Wednesday, 17 December 2014

UPDATED: The Royal Family Gathers for the Queen's Pre-Christmas Luncheon

The British Royal family gathered at Buckingham Palace today for the Queen's annual pre-Christmas luncheon.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked relaxed upon arrival following a busy couple of days. Yesterday, Kate surprised the scouts in Bow, East London by turning up for a meeting, much to the delight of the unsuspecting children. They enjoyed a great evening of activities before badges were presented. Meanwhile, Prince William was fresh from an early-morning visit to homeless charity Centrepoint in Soho.


The Queen hosts the 50-strong luncheon every year for the entire extended family, many of who will be spending Christmas with their own children and grandchildren rather than joining the annual gathering at Sandringham. Her Majesty and Prince Philip are expected to make the journey to the Norfolk estate within the next couple of days, where they will settle in before welcoming their children, grandchildren and other relatives on Christmas Eve.


Today's gathering is one of the few occasions where so many immediate and extended members of the Royal family assemble together and Her Majesty is said to take attendance very seriously. Below we Prince Harry arriving.


Attendees include Princess Anne's family, the Yorks, the Wessexes, the Wales and the Linleys, and also Lady Helen Taylor and her family and the Gloucesters and Kents. Peter Phillips' wife Autumn looked very cheery and smiled for the cameras.


The royals are expected to stay for a couple of hours before departing. It is the fifth consecutive year Kate has attended the event.


Last year Prince George joined his parents with nanny Jessie Webb and although they arrived without him, the little prince was there with his nanny Maria today.


The Mail Online story shows a glimpse of George in the back of a land rover.

Mail Online

Her Royal Highness looked festive in a red dress.


Unfortunately it's practically impossible to definitively determine the designer of the dress, there are a number of strong possibilities we know of including the Katherine Hooker 'Ascot' dress the Duchess wore for a visit to East Anglia's Children's Hospices last month.


The Beulah London Elsa dress was also suggested, however, at this point in Kate's pregnancy I'm unsure if the garment would still be a comfortable fit.

Beulah Elsa

The Duchess wore a pair of statement earrings she's had in her collection since her pre-engagement days. The dazzling pair have never been identified, Kate has a penchant for bringing back pieces of jewellery she hasn't publicly worn in years and giving them a second life.


Kate also wore her Mappin and Webb Fortune Pendant.


She wore her hair in a pretty partially-up style.


We expect to see the Cambridges next on Christmas Day!

202 comments:

  1. Sarah from Calif.17 December 2014 at 16:08

    Hope they have a lovely time!
    Loved Kate and William's visits to the Scouts and Center Point. :))))

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    1. I agree. Very worthy causes, especially around Christmas!

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  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2877594/A-Christmas-feast-fit-Queen-Royals-including-William-Kate-Harry-descend-Buckingham-Palace-festive-lunch.html
    according to this article George was there.

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  3. I think George is with them since Maria Teresa is there too : http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/12/17/241F559800000578-2877594-image-m-162_1418831136603.jpg

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  4. Thanks for the quick post! I'm going to do a search on your site to see past pre-Christmas luncheons. You says it's Kate's 5th...she went when they were engaged?

    Why would the Queen take attendance so seriously? Don't you always hope for the best but understand if people can't? Although I understand she is Queen, it sounds rather entitled. Haha, I'm talking myself into a hole (of course she feels entitled!).

    They both look so happy!

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    1. Being the only time of the year the whole family gathers together, one expects it to be considered important to be there.
      I'd be disappointed even if I'm not a Queen.

      Camilla

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    2. Does anyone know why the Duchess of Cornwall was absent from the Christmas luncheon? She did appear in public the next day, at a horse show, so she apparently was not ill.

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    3. We don't know that she wasn't at the luncheon - just that she was not photographed entering (and neither was George). We didn't see Andrew, Zara, Mike, Mia, Savannah, Isla, Sophie, Louise, James or Eugenie either. We saw the Chattos but not the Linleys? My point is - they may have all been there - its a private party so they don't release info about it - we only see what the photographers capture standing at the one entrance. Most likely Charles had a busy day and they were traveling about in different vehicles at different times.

      Or the Queen hates her and she wasn't invited. Take your pick! :-)

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    4. Moxie, I suspect you know what my "pick" would be. ;)

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    5. royalfan, I wondered if you were in charge of the invitation list this year! :-)

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    6. I should have said that a bystander reported that Camilla was not there.
      His list of the luncheon attendees:
      http://members3.boardhost.com/Warholm/msg/1418841178.html
      A couple of posts down, he answers a question about the Duchess of Cornwall.

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    7. Ohhh, if only, Moxie. If only........ :)

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    8. anon from Leominster20 December 2014 at 23:55

      If wishes were horses, I'd send the Duchess of Cornwall out to pasture happily, to keep Charles contented but not burden the rest of us. (and being the horsy sort, she should appreciate my analogy.) Would love to think the queen agreed with me but more likely there was some conflict of engagements. Unless there was someone else present with who Camilla doesn't get on. I have no guesses there. As noted, she has certainly been out and about the last couple of days, flashing Dianaesque sapphires and going to concerts.

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    9. We don't hear much about Philip entertaining his side of the family at the palaces (but we know he does - for example they come to Sandringham after the immediate family moves on). I mention it because I wonder what happens when Charles becomes King - how will Camilla's family be mixed in. (Will they do the Sandringham walk?) And do some of these distant relatives lose their invitation status. Of course, who doesn't like throwing a party where all the guests have to come? Maybe Charles won't change a thing.

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    10. It has occurred to me that there may have been school concerts or plays that Camilla as well as Sophie and her children needed to attend. Grandmothering comes first, as no doubt the Queen would agree.

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    11. Moxie, I'm sure they will be mixed in. In bus loads. Do you recall the Christmas card they used in 2011? Charles and Camilla on the balcony after W&K's wedding. Charles was holding Eliza Lopes, Camilla's granddaughter. Granted, I am not a Camilla fan (understatement!), but I'm sorry.... she turned such a significant day (year!) in royal history into another feather in her rather huge cap.

      http://img2-3.timeinc.net/people/i/2011/news/111219/prince-charles-440.jpg

      Well, Anon 16:26, I do agree with you, but it is interesting to note that Charles came first before she married him.

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    12. OMG Leo..."if wishes were horses..." You have given me quite a visual. I haven't written a letter to Santa in a while, but that would be my number one request. :))

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  5. I just read in the Daily Mail that prince George was there in fact he was smiling out of the back window. And in one picture you clearly see his nanny!

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  6. Erika from Massachusetts17 December 2014 at 17:24

    Pretty earrings. I like chandeliers on her.

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    1. It's nice to see larger earrings. I hope it becomes a habit. :)

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  7. Prince george can be seen in the photos of them leaving the luncheon. Maybe him and his nanny sneaked in so he wouldn't be photograph ?

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  8. It definitely doesn't look like the Katherine Hooker to me - the neckline is far too straight across. Having scrolled through a quick google image search for "kate red" (yes, all the pictures are her. Now THAT is called being famous!) I think it's a piece we haven't seen before.

    Good idea to leave little Georgie at home, I think. Several hours at the dinner table will turn even the best behaved toddler into a little tyrant.

    I like the earrings but they're quite casual looking. More sparkles, Kate! Diamonds! It's Christmas!

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    1. I don't think it is that straight across as it looks. I think it's pushed up by sitting. A seam on one of the pictures seems to have the same position as the Katherine Hooker dress.

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    2. Rebecca this was just a family lunch, not a formal dinner. It seems everyone has a thing to say about her hair, her eyeliner, or George being left at home would be better. Would you leave your child at home?

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    3. I agree with you Rebecca. The neckline on the Katherine Hooker's dress is not as high as the dress the Duchess wore today! She looks lovely and the chandelier earrings lends a festive twist to the outfit. Love that she "shops in her closet, a lot!

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    4. I think whether a child attends these things should depend on how well he tolerates the environment.

      George went to the lunch and the nanny went as well. Probably to whisk him away in case he got bored and disruptive would be my guess. Kids that age don't sit still very long.

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    5. There were other tiny children at the luncheon, including Princess Anne's grandchildren and those of the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent. The Queen loves to gather her family around her. There are far too many of the extended family for a house party now, and the different families want to spend Christmas together. Therefore, the Queen has made the annual luncheon her time to gather everyone around her. The other time many of them get together is for Trooping the Color, but the small children are more in evidence at the Christmas luncheon.

      The direct heirs to the throne all arrived separately with security much in evidence. Since a crowd gathers outside the palace, I suppose it is a time for caution. It's amusing, however, to see the policemen on duty trying to identify all of the royal family!

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    6. I'm sure that the Queen provides appropriate accommodation for the children so that they can enjoy themselves--and everyone can enjoy them. What is a FAMILY Christmas gathering without the children? They are the heart and soul--the very essence--of the family--especially at Christmastime! We do a children's table with the older children "caring" for the little ones (we don't have any nannies or maids unfortunately!). Sure, something always gets spilled, some chaos ensues at the children's table, but that's part of the fun of family, I think.

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    7. The children who are school age, like Lady Louise and her brother, were probably not there.

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    8. Jean - I think Louise and James probably were there. If your Grandmother is the Queen and she's having a family luncheon - there isn't anything else they could possibly be doing that is more important. The only thing that would be a problem is illness. She will take priority over work, school, etc. It is possible that if you are out of the country - you would be forgiven/excused - ala Harry at the South Pole. I wonder if Eugenie came in from New York for it - she is expected at Sandringham later - so that is possible. I truly can't imagine Louise going to school rather then going to her Grandmother's luncheon at Buck Palace. I'm pretty sure Sophie wrote her note to get out of class.

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    9. The Earl of Wessex was alone with his detective when he arrived. If his family were present, they came in another vehicle.

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  9. in one picture William has a white shirt on and in another he has a blue shirt on - I am thinking some of the pictures were from this event last year

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    1. You are right, Anonymous. Catherine's hair is different in each picture also, as is William's tie and eyeglass frames. Definitely two different occasions.

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    2. Hello Anonymous,

      I'm not sure if you had a chance to read the post but I wrote above one of the photos it was from last year.

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  10. It appears according to the DailyMail that Prince George and his nanny did attend. They had a couple of pics showing nanny Maria seated behind Kate and one pic of George.

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  11. Kim from Washington17 December 2014 at 18:02

    Thank you...the festivities have begun...cheers and blessings to all

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  12. George was actually there also. He and the nanny was in the car on the way out apparently. The nanny probably took him inside there to avoid photographs.

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  13. Th Daily Mail has photos of Nanny Maria and Prince George in the back seat of the car. Prince George is clutching a yellow book.

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  14. There are photos on DM with the nanny who sits behind Kate

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  15. Earrings could be by Ippolita..

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    1. Looking at the Ippolita website, I think you may be right. They show various earrings in this shape, though not this particular style, which they call 'cascade.' Does anyone else think there are some kind of dark stones hung in the teardrop shapes of Kate's pair, apparently from something brighter than the frame? The teardrop shaped frames look like a dark silver, perhaps etched with a design. These earrings are a nice shape, which is reminiscent of a Christmas tree, and I wish we could see them more clearly.

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    2. anon from Leominster20 December 2014 at 23:57

      My guess is it that it wasn't a question of photographs. More likely George wasn't there for the whole occasion --- was brought at the end to show off.

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  16. I'm not even sure if she did anything different, but I'm really liking Kate's makeup in these pictures

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    1. Is it just me or is her eyeliner lengthened? Like more cat-eye.... Might be..

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    2. When your faces gets rounder, you tend to do that. The usual amount of eye make-up doesn't seem to do the trick anymore :)

      Camilla

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  17. rose from Brooklyn17 December 2014 at 20:12

    Beautiful Charlotte. How do u know what necklace she is wearing? ?? It doesn't seem visible in any pic???

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    1. Hello Rose,

      There was an additional photo at one of my photo sources which showed the necklace as they arrived.

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  18. Red suits Kate to perfection. I wish all the Royal Family a Merry Christmas.
    Let's hope we'll have a glimpse of Little George on Christmas Day.
    To think that next year, he will have a little brother or sister. I simply can't wait.

    Monica, France

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  19. Italian media are reporting the news of the Queen to announce her abdication during her Christmas tv speech .... Apparentrly, the Huffington Post is the source . I think it' s incredible, have you heard anything about that?

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    1. Hello Lella,

      It has been dismissed by the Palace as an odd rumour. We will not see HM abdicating :)

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  20. With thanks to everyone who noted Prince George attended. I wrote the post after the arrival and had popped out before departure photos. Interesting George and the nanny arrived separately.

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    1. Kind of figured ;) Probably so he wouldn't be photographed.

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    2. probably he was napping when they left.. or else, they felt it would be too much for a toddler to be there the whole time.. so had him come later.

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  21. Thank you for clarifying, it seemed so incredible to me that QE could abdicate in this way, she a strong sense of her mission and her health is good for her age

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  22. Charlotte: You are the best. Thank you so much for all these updates so close to each other: I know that it is time consuming and having said that, I hope you have had time to do all your Christmas shopping etc.

    I am thrilled to see the Wales's so happy and getting into the swing of things. The Duke shows his dedication to Centre Point, time and again, and somehow I feel it also ties into memories of his mother, the late Princess Diana. The Duke and the Duchess both look happy which makes me happy!

    I read that snippet of his comments about Kate' hair--I don't get it. Can anyone elaborate, please?

    Last but not least, Prince George gets to run around great grannies house--oh boy! But it should all be good!

    Once again, thanks Charlotte. All the best and have a Very Merry Christmas!

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    1. I think William's remark about Catherine's hair was lighthearted, small-talk and meant to be a joke to put the person he was speaking to at ease. Who knew? Even a princess has nightmare hair (which some posters here would have been happy to confirm...te-he...which was also a joke for anyone who might have their Grinch spirit on today.)

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    2. Thank you. I imagined it was something like that but as the quote had no context, thought I would ask. The Duchess has such beautiful hair--thick, shiny and lustrous!

      Back in the stone age there was an ad about hair dyes and the line was " only her hairdresser knows for sure." In the case of the Duchess, her hairdresser knew, her husband knew, and now we all have a tiny behind the scenes peak at what it takes to manage her lovely hair.

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    3. Was Clairol really that long ago? LOL

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  23. Re: William's comment about Kate's "nightmare" hair - I imagine he meant that it's time-consuming to style her hair. It is long, thick, and naturally has a strong wave to it, so blowing it out may take as long as an hour or more.

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  24. Some sites are saying she's wearing her Katherine Hooker dress. Its US Weekly so I don't know how reputable it is.

    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/news/pregnant-kate-middleton-recycles-red-dress-for-annual-holiday-luncheon-20141712

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  25. Peter Phillips wife Autumn is very pretty.

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  26. William speaks in self-deprecating manner - except he actually deprecates his brother, wife and son instead. I'm really not a big fan of the guy, he's a jerk.

    Kate looks very pretty, hope she had a good time at the luncheon :)

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    1. What? They're teasing. You would think my family hates each others guts if a bit of teasing is being a jerk. Ofc if someone don't like getting teased you shouldn't. But Kate gives back in kind. Remember the "needing toupé" comment this spring etc. When you know each other that well you know what you can joke about and not.

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    2. My goodness! This is only humour. Harry speaks the same way of his brother, sister-and-law and nephew and even Kate once pointed out after watching a sheep shearing that her husband could cover his baldness with sheep wool. One good turn deserves another. That's all. No harm intended here or there. Just good British humour.

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    3. Amy, Detroit Michiga18 December 2014 at 18:56

      I disagree. But then, I'm from a family where "you only tease those you love." We are relentless with each other.

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    4. There's humour, then there's snide remarks disguised as humour.

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    5. Exactly Amy.

      You are right. But these are not that. If they hinted on her being naggy or something, yes. But having hair that is nightmarish.... Not so much.

      I think their stabs at each other is one of the things that make me think they are genuinely in love and comfortable with each other. Otherwise they wouldn't be comfortable teasing each other in public. I think it shows love.

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    6. Stephanie, watch some William-Harry videos. They keep teasing each other with half smiles all over them.
      Same with William-Kate. They even said in an interview that William has a dry humour, while Kate has a naughty humour.

      They're lucky and happy enough to tease each other without belittling anyone.

      Camilla

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    7. Stephanie, I don't mean to insult you...that is not my intent here, but I think you don't like William and therefore you are making a negative assumption about his humor. Humor can be perceived differently, but it comes down to *intent*. That is the key IMO. And if it was mean-spirited they would not share it (publicly) so freely.

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    8. Royalfan I beleive there are many here that do not like William and some that do not like Kate either.

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    9. Royalfan,
      No I am not really a fan of William's. Having followed the RF, including him, since 2002, my dislike is based on a number of reasons and essentially, "The bigger picture".

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    10. At the risk of aging myself here, I have had my eye on the bigger picture since 1981. Not quite the days of black and white photos, but a bit longer. :)

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  27. Thanks Charlotte. Kate shines in red but I have to say for once Prince William has stolen her spotlight today he looks so handsome in those glasses

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    1. Those glasses look new. I really like them.

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    2. Marion from Germany18 December 2014 at 15:34

      That is exactly what I thought, Mellie. William is a handsome man anyway but these glasses suit him so much. He should wear them regularly to give him a special “wow”-factor.

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    3. Caroline in Montana18 December 2014 at 19:30

      That was my first thought, he actually stole the show from her in the first picture. Hes not a bad looking guy but WOW, something about those glasses:) he should wear them more often. Happy Holidays Everyone! - Caroline

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    4. I guess I usually skip over Prince William's pictures because I had to scroll back up to check out his glasses. You are right ... they do look great on him. I wonder who they are by; my husband would look great in that style too I think.

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    5. I noticed them too! I do like them. More trendy IMO.

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  28. well i think nanny and prince george are separated every girl have a nightmare of hair i think william is joking about the time consuming to ladies like gents to not much as suppose looking forward for the Christmas speech happy holiday will do Christmas party

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  29. I think Kate looks her best being a lil plump .. This is her ideal weight .. I don't know why she prefers to stay so thin when she's not pregnant.

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    1. Maybe she prefers thin. But I think she prefers training and the thinness is a biproduct of that. She lost her university weight while training rowing. She said then she felt much better when being fit. So since then she seems to have kept a similar weight.

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    2. I think Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, convinced most of us females that we can't be too rich or too thin!!! Most women and girls seem to believe it! I'm afraid I do--even though I try to deny it! However, I think Kate always looks beautiful at every weight. That said, I would describe her as always slender--more slender or when she's pregnant maybe as a little less slender (quite naturally in order to accommodate a baby, yeah?)--but ever slender.

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    3. Not sure it's a choice Pronomi! I have the same as kate, when I eat healthy, have a nice and balanced life without to much stress (and the corresponding food and wine cravings and binging) and do sports a few times a week, i am also very thin, even if i eat cheese, meat, bread and butter as much as i feel like. My mother and boyfriend then also comment I must gain weight. And I am then also cold all the time, thats why kate wears coat dresses in july :).

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    4. I never thought Kate was too thin except maybe around her wedding and the Canada/US tour her arms looked a little lank.
      But I am tired of people claiming that she is what an anorexic looks like. I am a psych nurse, I have worked with people who actually have eating disorders. Kate exercises and eats healthy, of course she is going to look drastically different from the rest of the population - 60% of which are overweight/obese.
      I do think Kate channels a lot of time and energy into her appearance and has a vain side to her. But she is hardly too thin.

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    5. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 00:10

      Kate was certainly heavier before her marriage -- I thought the extra bit of weight rather flattering. She has moved towards a style with little dresses that require being very slim. I think she may just be very disciplined and conscious of how the camera makes her appear.

      I do get the feeling Kate is rather obsessed with her appearance -- the way her skirts go up when she's pregnant and the "DVF, no knickers" look that seems to happen a bit too frequently. (Most of us, after one or two such moments, would be taking precautions.) But that is a long way from an eating disorder. Kate has never had that gaunt look Diana had. Rather than being deeply troubled about life like Diana, I think Kate might be a little insecure about William (couldn't blame her) and is trying to stay looking sexy.

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    6. Most definitely Kate is very concerned about her appearance and of course there is nothing wrong with that unless is to an extreme. Her university days and a lot of her prior to marriage time period there is quite a difference. She wanted to look especially good on her wedding day and then is where her weight loss became a lot. It appears that she does a lot of exercising in different formats and no doubt has to watch what she eats. Kate hurried to lose that weight after George was born. I totally agree that Kate is thinking mainly of her appeal to her husband and no doubt also being so much in the public eye. After all these photographs are a part of history.

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  30. Beautiful princess. Happy Holidays to all!

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  31. anon from Leominster18 December 2014 at 14:20

    Wish they would take a group photo of everyone together. What a gathering that would be!!! Suspect the queen insists on attendance so the "upper" royals, the ones who still go to Sandringham, don't do a bunk and offend the more minor royals for whom this is the main party.

    Kate looks lovely --- I thought, like Rebecca of Sweden, that it could be the Hooker dress-- sitting in the car and the fact she is gaining weight could push the neckline up but I could be wrong.

    Nice that George put in an appearance too. Also wonderful to see William at Centrepoint. An odd comment about Kate's hair but it no doubt sounded funny in context.

    I did jump a bit when I read that about the queen's abdication. I couldn't imagine, especially not when Philip is still alive, but there is so much change in the world today that I'm often surprised. Will be interested in hearing what her speech does say.

    In the meantime, a Happy Christmas to all, and to all who read here who have difficulties and I know there are many, may the New Year bring the best possible health and good fortune. Whether you still post or not, I think about you all and hope things are going as well as possible.

    It seems a bit futile to wish for world peace at the moment too, but I can try and at least hope 2015, with the happiness of a new baby for William and Kate and the debut of the Monaco twins, brings better news for all.

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    1. That was my thought also. They should take a big family picture once every 5 years or so. Would be fun for them later and good for the history-books :P

      Merry Christmas!! :)

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    2. I strongly suspect that the comment about Catherine's hair was a dig at all those people on many different sites, who continuously criticize the way she does her hair.,

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    3. I disagree, Jean - I think Kate spends an inordinate amount of time trying to get her hair to be something it isn't. She has naturally curly hair - why she just doesn't keep it that way is a mystery. Is it not one of the perks of her status to set the fashion? Why doesn't she bring curly back in style? I do think his comments were meant to be light hearted - a husband's gentle needling of his wife's time spent on her beauty routine. Perhaps as she has more children she'll recognize the folly in spending so much time forcing it to look the way she has it now.

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    4. Moxie, I have known many ladies over the years who have curly hair and prefer to straighten it or vice versa. We always seem to want what we don't , or can't have. :)

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    5. Re: Royal Family picture. I wish they'd take a picture, too. I have lost track of all the relatives and their relationships to Queen Elizabeth. I don't recognize random names and/or pictures anymore. What has happened to Flora Ogilve and her brother, for instance? Also, I don't know how many grandchildren Princess Margaret would have now. Maybe Charlotte, the magician, can bring us up to date on all the royal connections--accompanying pictures would be fun!

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    6. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 00:13

      That would be great, maybe a way of bringing the Royal Digest and Duchess Kate together for the occasion.

      I'm thinking Princess Margaret has four grandchildren, three boys and Margarita, but I could have lost track. They must be getting quite grown up.

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    7. James Ogilvy and his wife were pictured driving in to the Christmas luncheon with Flora, who has also been pictured on the palace balcony at Trooping the Color. Four young people are grandchildren of Princess Margaret, Samuel and Arthur Chatto and Margarita and Charles Armstrong-Jones, and they were at the luncheon. Two of the boys are pages to the Queen, and Margarita was a bridesmaid at Catherine and William's wedding. Rex Features and Getty Images have pictures of the luncheon arrivals:

      http://www.rexfeatures.com/livefeed/2014/12/17/royal_family_christmas_lunch,_buckingham_palace,_london#

      http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/search/events/529218309?editorialproduct=royalty&esource=AFF_GI_Linkconn&aid=39902&asid=94532&source=members3.boardhost.com&cid=4157&lid=12413

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    8. Lynn, I agree - would be nice reading if Charlotte did some pieces on the "in-laws". I use the line of succession to keep track - not the one on the royal website because they don't mention those that got excluded for Catholicism. (the new law was not retroactive). Wikipedia is surprisingly helpful - and for those who like to study the family here is a basic site: http://www.britroyals.com/succession.htm. Flora Ogilvy is number 46.

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    9. Leo, I appreciate your thoughts of all of us, and the world around us, during this holiday season. I hope that you and all of our online correspondents will have a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

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  32. It was great to see Kate at her best with the scouts and shows the value of her support by highlighting the tremendous amount of work they do voluntarily to help young people and also their desperate need for more volunteers.
    I thought Kate looked happy and I liked her outfit for today's lunch.
    On a completely different topic I am not particularly impressed with the way William is coming across these days and must admit I hope it is a long time before he becomes King.
    He is having far too much to say on many topics I was very concerned that he should make public statements and approach senior people regarding a possible enquiry into the Birmingham riots the Royals should not get involved in such matters also his spontaneous action in New York offering to help a young entertainer through his connections a gesture which he never thought through and then a jibe belittling his Wife's hair which I thought was unpleasant and uncalled for. His over the top behaviour which has been widely reported at a number of social events when his wife has not been present and his somewhat flirtatious behaviour with women at events makes me concerned that William is not the serious sensible young man the Palace would like us to believe he is. He has the ability to say what he knows people want him to say about his wife and son but I do wonder whether he really means what he says.
    Whilst William was in the RAF I had a great respect for him but since he left we have seen a completely different person. I am also rather puzzled over this extensive training he is supposed to be doing to join the Air Ambulance he has clearly not had much time for studying over the past few. weeks, I feel very sorry for Kate whom I don't think gets very much support from her husband and although I wish she would speak up more loudly for her charities and be a little more assertive I think in time she will. I hope that William will eventually mature give up these Hoorah Henry antics at social events and settle down to be a faithful husband an father

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    1. Gosh that's harsh.
      Unless you know him personally, you cannot possibly know any of these things.

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    2. The contrast between William's NYC trip and Harry's trip to Africa for his charity could not be stronger. While it is understandable that William wishes to invest in building a solid foundation for his family, his latest actions and words, as you point out, give the impression that he is a rather shallow and silly young man. He does not conduct himself with the dignity or gravitas as you would expect. Even when he was meeting Pres Obama he had to talk about his son rather than his causes.. and Obama could not WAIT to get out of there - you could see it in his body language. Now, in terms of raw IQ Harry could be the same. However, he is using his platform in a vastly different manner and is building towards a more serious image. History might judge both of them quite differently.

      The only thing I worry about is who Harry will marry. If he marries someone from the same priviledged set, someone interested in having kids, raising them, shopping and decorating houses and being coiffed and manicured to perfection, or in other words, another Kate, then he will end up following William's path. If he marries a serious minded educated lady (and by education I mean someone who has seen some of the world and life, someone whose vacations have taken her to museums and bazars and not just to beaches) then he will continue on the promising path he is.

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    3. First off how do you know that Obama could not wait to get out of there? Second how do you know all they talked about was Williams son. Thata was just a small portion of their meeting. You you can not say that Wi8lliam is shallow unless you have first hand knowledge on all the meetings William has had.

      And Harry is just a party boy who does work when he needs to. Karry is going to have aq hard time finding someone to marry because he might just like his father.

      And Kate has visited museums. I guess you did not read anything regarding whar Kate did before she maried William.

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    4. Prince William fuffilled many engagements this year. He has become a fantastic guardian of the Memory and defends wildlife with all his heart. He has gained much in dignity and will be a great king when the time comes.
      I am sure he will be a perfect ambassador to Her Majesty the Queen in Japan and China. He wholeheartly accepts his destiny. A king in born this year and that's all very well!

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    5. I take it you are not familiar with Charles's activist style. He expressed himself quite freely on all sorts of topics from architecture yo politics, and has for years. I don't see anything wrong with it.

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    6. I am sure the nightmare hair remark was supposed to be funny but he seems to choose such odd topics and sometimes it's a bit akward somehow. Talking with Obama of the sex of their baby and how 'chaotic' the birth was is really To Much Information to share between statesman on duty! maybe later, when they are having a beer in private. Or, the remark to the Korean Statesman that he was hoping they couldn't see into their bedroom in KP? Totally inappropriate as well. The most inappropriate moment of 2014 concerning the Princes is how they were laughing on that balcony when in Belgium for the WW I Remembrance ceremonies... 1000 times more inappropriate then to wear bright pink to a twin towers memorial.

      Wills and Kate start to remind me more and more of my own King Alexander (who was known as 'Prince Beer' as a student) and who has made some silly remarks in the past, and his more intelligent wife Maxima. But Alexander is doing great now as king btw, so things might change for the better!

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    7. I think he sometimes has a little odd timing. Try yourself being the one always keeping small-talk going! I am not surprised it fails sometimes. And the bedroom comment I think came out wrong. I think he just wanted to point out that you could see to their house. And when he had said that comment he realised that oops, weird that people can look into our house. So I think it was more of a thinking out loud, the last part.

      The Obama thing was just a small clip. We didn't see everything. My guess is Obama congratulated on the baby and asked if they knew if it was a boy or girl. At least that's how the conversation seemed to me. Since they seemed to end the meeting on that note I think the serious stuff was talked about before and this was just a little chit chat at the end. It's not their fault that the media showed that part only.

      The WWI rememberance I'm with you 100%

      I did not know Wilhelm Alexander used to be seen like that. I see him as a bore :P (in a kind of good way). Maxima is clever, but she seems a little over the top (or latino :P) sometimes. I love it, but I think she could be interpeted wrong alot of times. Whispering and laughing with Obama in France etc. Everything is about perception.

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    8. Yes, that is harsh. I agree with Jean here. Do people really think the Middleton's would be so fond of William if he treated Kate badly? Really? And would Kate and William's body language be so in sync if they weren't happy? I think not.

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    9. I really don't think the Middletons would step aside and let William treat Kate poorly. And I do not beleive they would put up with him be unfaithful. W&K are just so as royalfan said they are so in sync. The looks they give each other say nothing but how much they love each other. Yes they might have the same problems as every married couple but that is life.

      They live a different life then most of us. William does alot of royal stuff on his own and so does Kate but that does not mean there is problems in the marriage. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that William would leave Kate at home when she was very ill to attend a wedding (there were photos) and stay and party into the night and as the press say with other women. We do not know if this is true or not.
      I think as fans we just need to hope and pray that William treats her with respect and lots of love.

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    10. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 00:33

      I don't think the Middletons would ever say a word to William other than their one push to get him to marry Kate -- I think he can do pretty much as he pleases or the Middletons would find doors slammed in their faces -- but to me, William seems quite an affectionate husband as long as he can do as he pleases.

      Both William and Harry fell in with a rather fast crowd when they were young. Although that is the norm these days, I do think Charles should have held the reins tighter -- there have been embarassing moments for both princes. I don't think Kate cares as much for partying, although she did plenty when she was trying to attract William, and I don't know if the "William/Harry" set cares too much for her.

      As for his comments to President Obama, I believe there was more serious discussion with the vice-president later on. Speaking about George sounds just like the sort of banter that is fit for public ears.

      I do think there is a Peter Pan quality to William. There have been so many starts and stops to his interests -- farming one day, flying the next and he seems a bit adrenaline driven. He seems to have a lowish threshold for boredom at this stage - not helpful in a future king and I notice a lot of sports events in his schedule, Personally, I think the more routine royal work experience he gets, the better. The idea he could just jump in when needed and be the perfect ruler without considerable experience, is wrong in my eyes. No one knows what the future will bring -- it could be years until William is needed as king -- or not.

      The recent play Charles III makes Charles out as being dangerously opinionated, William as dangerously lightweight and bland, Kate conniving and Camilla too much a yes woman. All fiction of course, and beautifully done fiction (in verse like a Shakespeare history play) and I wasn't convinced by the Harry character but I have to say there seemed something truthful about the protrayal of William. I'm hoping his solo Asian trip will give him a firmer grounding -- but I do believe he is a good man at heart.

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    11. Well that would be one of the reasons some people aren't fond of the Middleton's.
      Then, there is their support for Uncle Gary. Now, I certainly understand it is difficult not to have unconditional support for a loved family member.
      But, when I say "support" him, I mean bringing their children (and Kate's boyfriend, someone else's child, William) into Uncle Gary's world and vacation spots, despite Gary being involved in a drug ring and being caught on video offering to help an undercover reporter find "fresh young girls".
      I mean seriously, what the HELL were they thinking?

      So, that's probably the top two reasons the Middleton's aren't exactly considered stand-up people.

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  33. Such a nice reminder that they are after all, a family.

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  34. Any pics of HRH wearing the earrings when she was single? Silvia

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  35. I am sure Diana would be very proud of the dedication both of her sons are showing to causes benefiting all of mankind. While I really like Harry a lot, I feel a bit uncomfortable with your encomium to his dignity and gravitas. I seem to recall that Harry has had some undignified moments in the not too distant past. He is working hard to redeem himself, I think!

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    1. Indeed. He hardly looked dignified playing billiards naked as the day he was born. I agree he's got a good soul and tries to act like a prince. Harry needs a nice steadying wife.

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    2. There's nothing wrong with playing strip poker with your buddies in a private space. Nothing. Just like there is nothing wrong with sunbathing nude in a private space. Nothing.

      I don't believe Harry needs anyone to steady him, he is doing just fine from what I can see. I do hope he finds a loving partner someday though :)

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    3. "Harry needs a nice steadying wife."

      What a strange comment to make. He's an adult and will mature in time if he chooses to put in the effort. I do wonder where the strange notion comes from that a man needs a woman to 'balance' his life or whatever it is that you mean to say?
      I rather believe in the saying that one can not change another person, one can only ever change oneself.

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    4. I agree with Greybird. I hope he finds a young lady who will bring out the best in him rather than the party side others brought out in him. He needs a gal like Autumn Kelly. Natural, down to earth and, most importantly, kind and sincere. That is my interpretation of her, anyway.

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    5. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 00:41

      I do think that Harry is a bit wild by royal standards. The public tolerates it now, even enjoys it, but Harry is getting to the age where it won't be so much fun and he needs to pull back before he really steps over the line. He has a wonderful way with people, a much easier common touch than William but we don't want him to end up like Andrew or Camilla's late brother as an aging playboy. A nice sensible girl who can keep him both amused and grounded would be wonderful -- haven't seen her yet!

      As for strip poker, it may be fine for the average bloke but it is not so fine for a prince. Likewise, royal ladies would do well to keep their tops on, just as most women in important positions are more circumspect than the average holiday Jane. Wearing a bathing suit is hardly a burden.

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    6. Yes, Marlene, I do believe the right life partner can help one human being become the best version of themselves. Why else marry in this day and age? Hardly a "strange" notion in one thousand years of human society, wherever have you been keeping yourself? Look around! Harry drinks to much, makes bad judgments with his partying friends. A woman who actually cared for him and accepts the limits of royal life might encourage him to make better choices. Harry said himself he was acting too much like a soldier and not enough like a prince when those photos went public. Perhaps it is generational, I was raised to believe marriage was a growth partnership.
      Anon from Leominster and royalfan, I see you got my point. There are many things ordinary people do that don't wind up on the Internet, thank goodness. The Royals can't have that level of privacy. They can never let their guard down.
      May I just add that the level of crabby, pompous, bullying behavior really is out of control on this forum. It's really not a fun place to visit anymore. What a shame. I wish all of you a bright and happy Christmas and hope you will develop a bit more charity for those you disagree with in the New Year.

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    7. Alright, I will try to explain what I meant to say by calling your comment 'strange'. To me it sounded like Harry should just find a nice girl and suddenly all would be well with his life. I do not like this notion because it seems one-sided and does not constitute the kind of partnership that I would find desirable.
      I certainly agree that Harry needs to grow up and mature but in my opinion that is something that he could very well achieve on his own if he put in the effort necessary. Even if he did find a woman who would be willing to help him along, he would still need to put in a lot of effort himself.
      I stand by my point that you can not change another person, you can only ever change yourself. Of course other people/ your partner may help you along the way but I don't think that relying solely on that will truly get you towards improvement.
      You say it might be generational and it could be. I do find your earlier statement quite old fashioned. It reminds me a bit of those old romance novels in which a man meets a woman of 'virtue', they fall in love and she makes him a better person. Again, I do not like this idea because it puts so much weight on the woman and is hardly realistic in my opinion.
      I try to watch and listen carefully to the people around me and I have seen many women of my parents' generation who have tried to change their husbands and sometimes still do, which leads mainly to a lot of disappointment and hurt on their part.
      And that kind of relationship is simply not one that I would like to be in. There might still be young women who find it desirable to be with a man who behaves immaturely and who may or may not have the potential to mature through their efforts but I certainly don't.
      I wouldn't consider that to be a true partnership. It is not that I'm not willing to 'give' in a relationship but I have seen many relationships where one person is (almost) always the one to give and the other the one to take. It should to be a mutual effort.
      Perhaps I should add that I have always been a rather serious person, which doesn't mean that I can't enjoy myself but I've never liked partying, for instance. I wouldn't think that someone like me being in a relationship with Harry would necessarily be beneficial but would rather lead to a lot of conflict. I don't think that he would readily give up his partying ways and what use is there in pushing your partner towards something they don't really want to do?
      I agree with you that marriage (ideally) is a growth partnership but in my opinion that has to go both ways! Perhaps your statement is (still) not a strange notion to society but it is to me personally, because instead of saying that HE needs to mature, you said that he needs a WIFE. I for one would not like to be a woman needed for a man's personal improvement.

      If you have met a life partner who has helped you become the best version of yourself & the other way around, I'm happy for you. I do think it's a rare and certainly precious thing :)

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    8. "I do believe the right life partner can help one human being become the best version of themselves." Greybird K

      That is what I find the strength of W&C is. By virtue of luck, destiny or whatever, you find that chemistry, know its value/worth as a human being or whatever it is you want from life, appreciate and nourish the relationship. This is the part of W&C that interest me most among other things that includes their history. When a man knows his diamond, the wisdom to appreciate it and the woman teams up in nurturing the relationship and it works out well, it is all well for society as well. Men and women can have different, interesting, rewarding and adventurous relationships especially in their youth. When on finds the "right one", better not wonder around. Partnership/marriage can be as life changing as rebirth, christening etc.

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    9. Marlene I do not believe you can change a person, nor would I want to be in a relationship where I was trying to control someone or vice versa. Perhaps "influence" is a better word. If a man has a fun, almost reckless side combined with a serious and responsible side, well, I believe the company he keeps will have a lot to do with which side of him "wins".

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  36. I have to agree with the above Anonymous - have been looking at the photos of Harry promoting Sentebale and it is so obvious that he is genuinely happy and relaxed and relates so well to the children despite that his circumstances are so different from the children who are the beneficiaries of his charity. Well done Harry!

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  37. 18th December, 2014
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales, Joint Patrons, the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, today attended a Board Meeting at 5 St Mary Abbots Place, London W8.

    Source: Court Circular

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    1. Awesome, thanks Rebecca!

      I do wish Harry's work outside of his royal engagements would be counted in the CC. His end-of-year counts never reflect all the work he does all year :(

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    2. If you mean his military work, I don't agree. Then Williams should have been too, and Andrews etc. What work are you suggesting? :) His Sentable work counts I think?

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    3. No not his military work. Harry does a lot of additional work outside of royal engagements and so they don't make it to the CC.

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    4. What kind of work? I'm genuinely interested in what you mean :)

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    5. From what I can tell, Sentabale never counted. Nor the Walking with the Wounded.

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    6. Really? That sounds really odd....

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  38. My god I'm shocked at how some people on here are so critical over a simple comment about someone's hair. Like seriously I really think William made that comment as a joke and I bet when Kate heard about it she laughed. I'll admit I'm not a big fan of William and I've got some strong opinions about him, like how he basically was just a glorified party boy for 10 years of his life and basically strung Kate along, which she chose to go along with. She could have broken up with him but I'm sure she had lots of people in her ear saying "if you break up with him, or let him get away it'll be the biggest mistake of your life" and she believed that.
    But I honestly do think they genuinely love each other. Sure William does come off as a jerk and he seems like he's stubborn and it's either his way or the highway, and Kate does go along with that for the most part, but I do believe Kate is trying to find her own voice. Like on tour in NZ when they were looking at the fighter jet and William told her to get in back and she told him no, that he needs to get in the back. If that had of been their first year of marriage she would have smiled and happily obliged.
    But I think looking at a few photos, or a two minute clip of him speaking to President Obama, can not determine what kinda person he is.
    There's a lot that goes on that we don't see, and who knows how their relationship actually is. But for the most part I'm guessing it's basically a normal relationship like any others, only difference is, they have a million cameras pointed at them and scrutinizing their every move. And it can and will cause a strain.
    I could sit here for hours and ramble off all my conspiracy theories, the hunting trip with Jecca, followed by the sudden vacation with Kate, Kate saying William wasn't around much for the first few months of Georges life, every picture where William seemingly looks unhappy with Kate. But at the end of the day that's all they are, conspiracy theories.
    I will say this, and I know lots of people will disagree with me. Kate has been sheltered her whole life, she's been taken care of by her parents, barely had a job, and has never really accomplished anything except being know for the woman who dated and then married William, wore pretty clothes and always had perfect hair and makeup, and has provided an heir and soon to be a spare to the throne. So that's all she knows, do I personally see Kate as a strong woman? No. I don't. And I do believe she will basically do whatever Will wants. Yes, just look at the past 10 years of her life before she was married. But I think that if William was treating her like a doormat and making snide comments about her in public at her expense, at some point she would say "no more". At least that's what I hope. I hope she hasn't got caught up in the hype of a royal title and all the perks and allows her worth and dignity to be walked on.

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    1. I don't disagree with your analysis of Kate at all. She has the media attention that she has because of Diana's legacy - but she doesn't do what Diana did in regards to public life. Of course, Kate is not yet the Princess of Wales, and that title might carry with it a higher expectation of performance and work load. Sometimes there is quite the disconnect in understanding that Kate carries the status that she does because she married William - I don't understand how that translates into "modern independent woman" that some seem to want to make of her. Kate has never been independent - she's literally the definition of "dependent" - on her parents who financed her pre-married life and William who is taking care of her now (sort of. except when she goes back to her parents.) There isn't anything wrong with being taken care of - I imagine it is quite nice - especially when you've got staff taking care of you too - like a nanny, housekeeper, hairdresser, personal assistants, communication staff, and foundation staff - all to manage 47 days of public appearances and 318 days of private life.

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    2. The reason why William wasn't around so much in the first few months of George's life, was he was still in the RAF Air Sea Rescue---not the easiest of occupations.
      Had Catherine been in a paid job, she would have been entitled to 50 weeks Mat. leave---so not doing anything except look after George. In fact she did a lot in that time. You only have to see the way George reacts to her and to William to understand that they spend a lot of time with him.
      She has recently only just recovered from the HG.
      When you bear in mind that over the 3.5 years of her marriage she had had one baby and halfway through another pregnancy of which 6 months were severe illness.
      For God's sake leave the girl alone.
      Incidentally they were all three at a meeting of their foundation yesterday(see Court Circular)

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    3. "My god I'm shocked at how some people on here are so critical over a simple comment about someone's hair."

      It's not so much the one isolated comment, but the high number of negative cracks he has mad over the years about his brother, wife and son under the guise of "jokes".

      "But I think that if William was treating her like a doormat and making snide comments about her in public at her expense, at some point she would say "no more". At least that's what I hope."

      William was unfaithful to her and broke up with her a number of times and she took him back each time during their courtship (and no, the articles about these incidences are not from shady tabloids, but from some pretty respected British journalists and royal reporters. If you didn't follow Will and Kate regularly from 2002-2010, as I did, then unfortunately you'll be hard-pressed to find them as negative reports about them have been whitewashed in order to support the "fairytale romance").

      While expecting her to wait around for him and put a life of her own on hold while being his royal girlfriend (and yes, her employer at Jigsaw said so here:
      "she needed an element of flexibility to continue the relationship with a very high-profile man and a life that she can’t dictate. She’s going to be dictated to when she’s needed and not needed"
      http://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/kates-not-precious-she-mucked-in-at-jigsaw-6922185.html).

      "No more" was never in her vocabulary before, so I don't know why it would be now.

      Excellent post Moxie. I have no idea why people try to paint Kate as a modern, independent woman. She is a "dependent" prototype.


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    4. Thank you Blair, Moxie and Stephanie for insights, which seem much more plausible to me than the overly naive comments one often reads about them.

      There's not much to add as far as I'm concerned, except that I have known a couple of women 'like Kate' (most of them are of my mother's generation). While they are of course not royalty, other aspects of their lives strike me as similar: going along with whatever their husbands want, supporting them in everything they do while putting their own aspirations aside, turning a blind eye to their husband's cheating even though it's quite obvious to everyone around them etc.

      I'm only waiting for people to jump on these comments and defend their fairytale image of William and Kate. I certainly don't mean to put Kate down, I'm sure she's a nice person. It's just that I cannot see how any objective onlooker would consider her a modern, independent woman. She has got the right to choose the kind of life she wants - if this is what she wants, I genuinely hope it will make her happy. But the words modern and independent just don't fit.

      Stephanie, I can see why you don't think she'll ever get to a point where she will say 'no more' but one never knows. Most people have got a limit as to what they will take before they finally take action - one just never knows where that limit is until it's reached. We'll see.

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    5. Moxie-
      I agree, I've never seen Kate as a strong modern independent woman. For some women, that's all they want is to be sheltered and taken care of by people their whole life. Which is cool, if that's their thing.

      Jean-
      I was saying that some people like to make assumptions based off of what William and Kate say. So when Kate said that William wasn't around for the first few months of Georges life, people automatically assumed he just wasn't there, but we all knew he was still working with RAF.
      No one here is doubting the bond that William and Kate have with George! Of course that baby loves them. So I think you have misread what I wrote. This has nothing to do with Kate's pregnancy, or hg. These are things that happened well before she was pregnant. I don't see why some people have to assume because you're giving out your opinion on her that you're picking on her and she's going to break like some delicate flower. People are very critical of every other member of the RF, but when it comes to Kate the second that you say one negative thing. Its "leave poor Kate alone" for god sakes she's not a child.

      Stephanie-
      I did follow their relationship when they were and I agree. William cheated on here, mistreated her and walked on her like a doormat. But when they got engaged the royal pr team did all they could to erase all of that. Kate was portrayed as this sweet innocent woman. Don't get me wrong I bet she is, but I specifically remember the incident of her making Beatrice cry at a party. There were photos of it on the internet, but they disappeared. Also Kate partied, a lot! There were photos of her getting into cabs flashing her underwear. And I remember a few friends from her school days said that she loved to flash the boys her bum.
      I also have heard the story several times that William intended to only have a casual relationship with her and asked a previous man that she had been with if she would be "discrete" about it if they were just fooling around and he said yes she was that type of girl.
      Of course that's just a rumor. But I see your point. I was merely saying I hope after years of putting up with William, if he were to lets say have an affair she would hopefully not look the other way. My honest opinion is she would look the other way.

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    6. You all are giving me a lot to think about! I hate to say that I can justify Kate by her "being in love" which when one is so in love they over look all the flaws. I do agree she probably past a point of no return with their relationship. There is a time in a relationship when you (at least the thought crossed my own mind) wonder, how many years have I invested into this relationship. Can I live a life without them? What is my life without them? Where do I go on my own? How do I start dating again after this many years? Weighing the pros and cons and wondering where is my life going, where do I want my life to go. On and on and on. I do think that marriage changes people. I would hope William has grown up and given up his rambunctious life up for a more settled life. I do think they love each other very much. And maybe to Kate the cheating was years ago that it feels like another life. Not to embarrass myself anymore but my husband and I had to intentions of a serious relationship when we started "dating" and now 8 almost nine years later we are so in love, have one child another on the way and we laugh at night about how terrible we were and the good old days of being young and carefree. Anyways, thanks for letting me read in on your conversation I will be thinking about this for days!

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    7. We had "no intentions" not "to intentions" it's so hard to proof read on my phone.

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    8. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 01:01

      I've always felt the one vital advantage the Middletons failed to give their children was a sense of independence. None of the three of them have ever had to cope without clinging to their parents, or now, in Kate's case, her husband's coattails. Kate's siblings are both trying to take advantage of her fame (unlike most royal siblings) I don't think James, with his floundering business and Pippa know what else to do.

      As for maternity leave. there was just an article how most women have to return to work much earlier than their allowed flfty weeks -- and that means finding and paying for child care. I would never ever put Kate with her few responsiblities and copious free time, not to mention domestic help, a rent or house payment free existence and a nanny in the same catagory. Most young mothers have so much they have to take on that "maternity leave" as some sort of right, sounds wrong and offensive when applied to Kate. She is a rich and hugely privilaged woman, and I have no resentment of that as long as she isn't likened to the average working mum.

      If Kate is to be a remarkable princess and future queen, she is going to need to make more of an individual name for herself -- but there is nothing that says that she will at this point. I think she gave very little thought before her marriage into what sort of princess she was going to be - her goal was to get William and I'm not sure she understood how much would be expected of her afterwards, perhaps because she had never had any real expectations of having to make her own way.
      \
      . Kate also seems very cautious -- more cautious than she needs to be, given William supports her and the royal family isn't likely to take issue with what she does. The truth is today's public, moulded by Diana and the queen, not to mention, European princesses and queens and even activist film stars,expects more of of a royal consort than Kate may ever have realised. I don't think either William or she have completely found their way as yet --- they are riding on public adulation that can prove remarkably fickle.

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    9. Maggie - Minneapolis21 December 2014 at 01:41

      Agreed with everything said above about Kate being treated like a doormat by William while they were dating. It makes me a little disappointed in the Middletons, and also furthers my confusion about why people think that they are good parents. Good parents don't encourage their children, female or male, to be completely dependent on someone else. Good parents don't let their daughter stay with a man who treated her like crap. Most importantly, good parents don't let their daughter give up any possibility of a career or life outside of a boy, even if the boy is great. It seems like Pippa was raised similarly - she doesn't seem to have any sort of regular job at this point and has plenty of vacation time. And then there's James, who dropped out of college and has failed at starting/keeping many businesses. Obviously Kate feels very comfortable with her parents and that's great, but coddling isn't always good parenting. My mother would be incredibly unhappy if I chose not to do anything with my college degree just so I could be at the beck and call of my boyfriend. Obviously no mother can or should control their daughter, but my mother also certainly would not fund a lifestyle of partying and vacationing all throughout my twenties, which is what Kate's parents did, thus enabling it all.
      And I'm sorry, but everyone saying that Kate staying at home to focus on raising George being the best thing for the monarchy is relying on patriarchal ideals. The idea that being a stay-at-home mom is at all necessary to properly raise a child originated as a strategy to force women to stay at home. There is absolutely no reason a working mother cannot also raise a child to be a good person. So yes, every woman has the right to choose to stay home and be a mother, but let's please not settle back on outdated, sexist ideals to say that that is a good idea. Also, every man has the right to stay at home and focus on raising their child too, but William would never be allowed to do that, by either the royal family or the public. So why are there different expectations? It's not like Kate gets less perks than William. It's because Kate is fulfilling the role of the ideal royal wife, which is based in not being modern or independent.

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    10. Maggie, I couldn't agree more about the sexual stereotyping. I don't see Kate as being independent either; if she was she may have broken out of the mold and stepped out more on her own. And as far as her family . . . or her mother more to the point. I knew all I needed to know when it was reported Carole's cell phone wallpaper was a photo of William (this was reported at their engagement). Not William and Kate together, but William.

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    11. Remember how Kate was treated by the media when she worked in London, with the fame and visibility but not the security afforded royalty. She had no protection unless she was with William, and the Queen was said to be very concerned, given Diana's fate. It seems to me that the choice to give Kate a job with her family's firm was a wise one in those circumstances. Pippa and James also no doubt are still working for Party Pieces. Their other efforts meet so much negative criticism (and accusations of coattail riding) that it is hard for them to succeed independently.

      My view of Kate is that she is a well balanced woman and part of a strong team with William and her family and Harry. Whether she has been fully assimilated into the royal family is something I wonder about. There is a certain remaining skepticism about spouses, which Sophie Wessex has had to overcome. I don't think Camilla has (where was she during the Christmas luncheon, for instance?).

      Kate is a royal intern, accepted cautiously. Still, things are moving along, and the Cambridges are founding their family. Kate's suffering during pregnancy, as well as her responsibility for her infant(s), has slowed her royal activities. And William would like to continue his own career for awhile. But their introductory commonwealth tours have been very successful, and Catherine and William are gradually becoming, along with Harry, the first active royals of their generation.

      My concern is whether there will ever be kind of support structure the Queen has with her cousins and children. Charles can depend in varying degrees on his siblings as well as his sons and Kate, but what about William and Catherine in the future? Sharing royal tasks only with Harry will be quite a change from the traditional structure, and it will be twenty years and more before their children will take on royal responsibilities.

      I am admittedly somewhat old fashioned, but it seems to me that Kate has never been in a position to be what many posters define as an independent woman. That involves quite a different set of expectations than royal wives have met in the past or can meet now. As Sophie and Edward found out, it doesn't work to try to live both lives at once.

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    12. Being independent is doing what best suits the person concerned.
      Unfortunately some women seem to have ordained that deciding to stay home whilst children are young is not acceptable. I made the decision to stay home with my children at a time when I was near the top of my profession---but I returned later and picked up the threads. I was lucky, my husband's income was sufficient for me to have the choice and it was always my choice, which i have never regretted.
      It is infuriating when young women now infer that my decision means I was not free to make a choice.

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    13. Jean, I'm glad you were able to do what was best for you and your family. And I am someone who thinks women should be able to decide their life, and not be forced into society's definition of what you should do.

      Kate has no voice, or has chosen to have no voice. And actions show she goes along with her husband. Don't know if there are fights behind the scenes about it or not, and until the tell all biography is written no one will. But what is presented to the public is not exactly an independent woman with a mind of her own. Perhaps you're right and that will come later, but as she hasn't shown any independent streak since she started seeing William (based on everything I've read), I won't hold my breath.

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    14. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 17:00

      Have to admit Anonymous, I get weary of the Kate and the press in London story (unquestionably put forth by Kate and family) becuase that girl was out in London non-stop during that period. Partying, playing, shopping. The cameras didn't bother her then and she used them when William broke with her.
      Kate also has stated that her goal was to be a teacher. Most schools have secured grounds. Kate could have pursued an advanced degree in all the time she had, improved her public speaking and become a more rounded individual. But she didn't, not because of the press but because she already had a job. To catch a prince really precludes full-time employment and Kate's Jigsaw employer said as much.
      Unfortunately, princes expect their ladies to be at their beck and call, to go off on holiday, to run down to see them wherever they are and so forth. Kate made this her employment at the time -working for her parents was the only other employment where she could have the freedom to do this. Other girlfriends, Chelsy and Cressida especially, who have more ambitions with their careers, have run into this and it contributed, if not caused, the end of the relationship -- although I'm not writing Cressida off yet.
      True or false, it is said that one reason Cressida ended things is that Harry expected her to drop everything and pay for her own ticket to fly out to that wedding in the States. If it had been Kate, I suspect she would have just asked Mum for the money and gone off -- post-marriage of course, she gave it a miss.
      As for Jean, I think a great many young women would like to be stay-at-home mums but today very few can afford to do so. Part of justifying the existence of the royal family these days is their dedication to work. Except for the queen's diplomatic role and very limited right to be consulted and to warn, that's all there is left. No one expects Kate to work full-time but a certain amount of duties puts her more in touch with her future subjects. And George will understand his future subjects better too if he has a working mum.
      Below there is an interesting discussions about the aristocracy. But truthfully, the aristocracy is fighting for survival, working like mad, to support themselves and their homes, and wondering what their role will be. The House of Lords is no longer open to the vast majority of them. Again, I would commend to all, the very interesting new book on Duchesses, available at Waterstones and I'm sure Amazon.
      The royal family is of course part of the aristocracy. But they have long cultivated a work-based Middle Class ethic, probably because wise forebearers like Queen Mary realised the British Middle Class would be the one to decide if the royal family survived, and they weren't going to be pleased if the family didn't work as hard as they did. That is still very much the case, where republicans call them, even the poor queen, a rich family on "benefits."
      Today, no royal family can afford to be complacent -- hence the spat of abdications when the older generation has gotten in trouble. The need for the royal family to be "relevant" to the nation is as strong as ever, and there is much less respect, I'm sorry to say, for history and tradition than before. The greatest gift William and Kate can give George is to leave him a strong and secure monarchy to inherit. To do so, they are going to need to keep their ear attuned to public expectations.

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    15. I do like to read your take on things, Leo, because you are there and you know the mood in Britain. But you may not have seen the videos that were shown in the US of Kate on the sidewalks, confronted by hordes of photographers, when she worked for Jigsaw. It did not look like a comfortable or even particularly safe environment.

      The discussion about aristocracy is very interesting. I live in what is, at least partially, a meritocracy, and I am more familiar with the Windsor brand of royalty than with British aristocracy. It seemed to me that there was a conflict between the two in Diana's day. She often referred to her family with pride, and criticized Charles's family. With Kate, a middle class past and a nouveau riche present seem to present a different set of questions.

      Kate can only continue on her path as a royal wife by trying to honor her wish, shared with William, for a private life in tandem with a sense of public responsibility. The debate about her role seems never ending, but perhaps it is a symptom of women's continuing search for meaning. Anon 4:44

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    16. Maggie - Minneapolis21 December 2014 at 23:33

      Anonymous at 19:18 - yes, she was confronted with hordes of photographers. But as Leo said, the hordes of paparazzi didn't seem to deter her from partying on a weekly basis, not to mention that there are situations, such as at schools, at which she could have avoided the paparazzi. And Chelsy and Cressy faced a lot of paparazzi too, but that didn't stop them from working. I think that Kate was just very comfortable living a life of partying, shopping, and holidays, with the occasional work for her parents, and a lot of funding from the Middletons. The paparazzi were certainly a challenge, but not one that should have stopped her from working if she really wanted to.

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    17. Independence has various degrees and meanings depending on the circumstances. The monetary aspect of it is just one part. We *could* look at Kate as an example of a woman who is comfortable going against the tide as far as what her critics expect or demand of her.

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    18. That's true, Royal Fan. After all, Kate did indicate in the engagement interview that William's opinion is the only one that matters to her.

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    19. royalfan -- you are too much. :-) I stand by my definition of dependent as someone who relies on their parents, spouse, and taxpayers for money and shelter and who is helped by nannies, housekeepers, drivers, security officers, communication staff and foundation staff to conduct their lives. This is a woman who is not independent in any aspect of her life. I use the word independent to mean "not dependent". "dependent" meaning one who relies on another. I'm using the Oxford English dictionary in honor of the British monarchy.

      The word used to describe someone who does not care what others think, nor is influenced by them, is called "insensitive". Kate is insensitive, or indifferent, to critiques of her dependent lifestyle. "critique" meaning detailed analysis and assessment (either positive or negative). Marie Antoinette was also comfortable going against the tide.

      Every once and awhile I get why folks would like Kate to contribute more to society - given all the help she has in other areas. She's just finished setting up two households and is about to have her 2nd child so I get that she needs to get her domestic routine down first. But after a few months of bonding with that new baby - she ought to have time to give a little more to the people. We'll see if she does.

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    20. Maggie - Minneapolis22 December 2014 at 10:28

      Sure, it's definitely not just about money. But Kate also catered to William's needs completely. I'm not saying she was independent because she didn't work for money. Many people in their early twenties don't have well-paying jobs because it's early in their careers. I'm saying she wasn't independent because she never pursued her own career, and didn't seem to have an identity outside of her relationship to Prince William. The people at Jigsaws even said she couldn't work because she had to be at William's beck and call. That's not independence, monetary or otherwise.
      And honestly, being a woman who is comfortable going against critic's expectations when in Kate's position does not seem independent to me, it seems not smart. The royal family relies on public opinion. I'm not saying that they should do everything the public demands of them, but they do have to mollify the public at least a little. Her staying at home and living the life of an aristocrat that most women these days do not get to live is not going to help the royal family. Also, she isn't comfortable going against the tide for the royal family's wishes. So I'm not sure she even meets your definition of independence anyways.
      And Jean, it absolutely is a fine choice for a parent to choose to stay home with their children. The reason that it seems different for Kate in my mind is that she was never independent. Never. I don't think it's healthy for a woman to live her entire adult life based around a man. The only thing she's ever exhibited interest in pursuing is William. Does she have an identity outside of him? It doesn't seem like it. Being a mother and wife is perfectly respectable. But before marriage, her only career was being a royal girlfriend. What about any of that is modern or independent?

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    21. Moxie- sure there is dependence relating to money, etc, but there is also emotional dependence which William has openly stated in his marriage speech that he relies on Kate for. Similarly with Prince Phillip and the Queen. The Prince gave up his career and has been dependent on the Queen for his upkeep for over sixty years but has provided the emotional support to her to enable her to carry out her duties. The Queen has also said that she could not have done it without his support and so have the children and grandchildren.

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    22. Moxie- I guess you forgot that when William & Kate were dating the reason she had to be available was he was in training. He only got so much time off so if they wanted to see each other Kate had to be at the ready. Right or wrong it was their choice to carry on their relationship that way. So why put someone down because of the way they handle their relationship.
      And you seem to have a big problem with Kate wanting to be a mother to her & Williams children. Did you every think that is the way they want to rasie their babies. Ye sthey have a nanny but it does nto mean either William or Kate still can not be hands on with George & their new baby when it is born.

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    23. Sorry my comment was meant for Maggie not Moxie

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    24. Less you do less chance you'll make a mistake...

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    25. To the Anonymouses:

      1. Kate had to be available because William was in training. He wasn't in training for ten years. And plenty of people manage to coordinate schedules while having lives of their own. I think it shows she was so scared of losing him she did whatever he wanted so he didn't find someone else.

      2. Of course WIlliam and Kate can raise their children as they see fit. One teensy little thing that's a bit different between them and everyone else. They're raising a future head of state, and they too will be heads of state. They also live lives subsidized by the British public and it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the public would like some returns on their investments. Every other royal has worked a schedule while raising a family yet there's all sorts of reasons why the next but one king and his wife should not.

      I understand some of you will never agree with that, at least as it pertains to William and Kate, and that's OK. But please understand why some of us wish they'd do more than they do, and acknowledge the roles they have.

      And lastly, the less you do the less you'll make a mistake. I'd like to see anyone try to explain that one to their employer. Or their teacher. Or their mother.

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    26. Maggie - Minneapolis22 December 2014 at 23:24

      Anon at 17:46 - Yes, William had training. But for most (healthy) relationships, that doesn't mean the other person has to give up any hope of a career. That means that they both have to make some compromises, and find time to see each other/be okay with limited time together. But where was William's compromise? I just cannot imagine giving up my entire future in a career for a man that I'm just dating. And I certainly don't think it's a healthy choice to just live at his beck and call.

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  39. I applaud the work that Harry does, Invictus and Sentable come to mind, and I am sure there are others that I don't know about. Having said that, I think most people who do this kind of work do it because they feel / see a heartfelt need for it. I hope we all have some kind of compassion in our heart and a conscience and can reach out to others without looking for monetary gain, praise or an award of some kind or to somehow right a wrong, perceived or not. But then, we are all human, and some where out there their are some who do, but I would rather not judge them as it is not in my place to do.

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  40. Kate looks very tired, though quite happy, in these photos. And George appears to be bothered by the flash cameras. That could be why he looked so serious in Australia and New Zealand.

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    1. She looks amazing, I LOVE her earrings!

      I wish we could find out what dress she was wearing. And I love her hair half-up. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at those luncheons, I bet they're really fun hey!

      Have they ever released photos in the past of the Christmas luncheons? What do they serve there, does anyone know?

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    2. There was one released in the year of HM's Golden wedding anniversary--that would be 2007.
      Perhaps there will be another in 2017

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    3. Thank you Jean! :)

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  41. Wouldn't it be nice if all posters especially the regular ones, and including Charlotte post their pictures on this blog.

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    1. Interesting suggestion from an "Anonymous" poster.

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    2. Just another person who believes appearance is absolutely everything.

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    3. Oh great here we go with the whole "anyone who has negative things to say about Kate must be some hideous woman"
      Can we please move past that?!?!

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    4. Anonymous, please say more about "wouldn't it be nice". Are you thinking photos would enhance discussions here? Something else?

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    5. Or their name :)

      Apart from that, linking a face to the voices on her is a thought that crossed my mind too.
      And it has NOTHING to do with appearances.
      I'm just curious to see who's talking :) even if I understand privacy is a precious asset on the internet.

      Camilla

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    6. Great idea, Anonymous. Why don't you start the ball rolling.

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    7. I just posted, and wasn't going to mention this but this seems a good place.

      I had a dream last night that I won the lottery (a nice big one -- a girl can dream!) and one of the things I did was contact Charlotte, and get an event in London organized for blog readers. I had her put something on the blog and the first 30 people who responded got a week in London at a nice hotel (airfare and meals included!), and we had an event at the Goring Hotel in the suite Kate stayed in the night before she got married. There were two rules. No one could say who they were on the blog, and we could NOT talk about Kate.

      It ended up very nicely with people shocked that some of the people they really liked had such divergent opinions from their own.

      And we all lived happily ever after.

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    8. MinnFinn,

      Good question. My original thought came from the form the consistent posters took in my mind. It was nothing defined as far as my assumption of their appearance, instead it was their thinking, or the way some approached / looked at one situation, while others gave some reasoning different / surprisingly convincing responses etc.

      So, being more and more familiar to another person's reasoning sort of technically (or at least presently defines them). In my case, if the thinking of another fascinates me, by the time I see the appearance, if it is a monster, it is the same one whose thoughts had defined the person. Another reason was, before you know it, the posters are the thinkers on the pictures/images of the members of this royal family. In a way it makes you think of the argument on this blog some times Kate is just an image collecting flowers and saying nothing. We connected through her image. Here, we connect through the thinking and thus the longing to connect the thinking with the image preferably without being judgmental. Besides, it is holiday and this blog had taken a life of its own with "members". Happy Holidays to all.

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    9. Bluhare what a beautiful dream!!! You are a genius :D

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    10. I look exactly like you think I do, except prettier.

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    11. There might be some art form out there that does some painting based on creating an image fitting the thinker. This also makes you think, how the blind imagine the communicator to look like.

      In my case, though not blind, I absolutely love some of the bloggers comments especially the ones that give me cliff notes on society. So in such cases, they remind me of places where I enjoyed learning and there by people, place and time as well.

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    12. Actually a game of "What is my line" could be as much or even more interesting.
      "Anonymous poster"

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    13. Moxie, that was brilliant! :)))

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  42. Some of the few consistent participants by now remain as a personality as far as their posts. Their passionate statements with conviction, rational analysis, suggestions, gently guarding /defending their fun subjects, and/or genuinely showing what a real fun is like, is interesting to read. Sometimes as in this very page, the discussion becomes so interesting; what it means to be an independent woman vs dependent, choice as opposed to living up to the times. In the meantime, wondering about the pictures of members of this blog especially the steady commentators, debaters etc. Personally, before I knew it, I drifted to becoming fun of the posters as much as the blog.

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  43. Kate, I think, is an interesting object of discussion because she embodies the conflict between bourgeois and aristocratic values. Living without a true job is, or at least was, the main feature of an aristocratic life. The story is readable in the very names of two opposite social classes: working class vs aristocracy. The bourgeoisie and its devotion to the work is winning, today, in public opinion, as we can see reading a great amount of comments in this blog. I think we can but enjoy that, because aristocracy, generally, is not the best category of human beings, in spite of the greek root of the word (do you see, I'm in the widespread mood too!). So, where is the place of monarchy in that conflict? How can a young lady, grown up in a self-made rich family, bourgeois with aristocratic aspirations, manage herself, her choices, her role? What does it mean, nowadays, to be aristocratic? What is the relationship between monarchy and aristocracy?
    Please do not blame Middletons' aspiration to improve their social position: the matter lays not here, but in the question if an aristocracy has still a right to exist or not, if it is right for aristocracy to be a privileged class, why common people have no right to try to become privileged as well and so on.
    What is my opinion? I think that the Monarchy, in England and in Great Britain, is a strong tradition, and traditions are important for the identity of a people; as an Italian, I'm also fascinated by the amount of responsibility attributed to the royals and the attention to the taxpayers requests and opinions. In tis sense, the British Monarchy is something worth to take care of. Aristocracy has also some fascinating traditions, the taste for beauty, elegance, art, for instance; they had a great role in building our western civilization, it's out of discussion. I would like so much to see what are, in a Briton's opinion, the reasons for keeping aristocracy alongside with Monarchy.

    In another side, Kate is an interesting subject of discussion because she is, thanks to her position, a feminine model and we, as women, are keen to compare ourselves with this model, and discuss about it. In fact, one of the interesting sides of this blog is that we are not just discussing about Kate, but about ourselves. I enjoy that side very much.

    Thank you Charlotte for being able to promote such an interesting forum!

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    1. Paola, we should nominate you for Site Diplomat!

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    2. she is not a model for majority of women, even here, imo

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    3. Paola Magi - I am not Briton, so I will keep my remarks brief. I appreciate your question about aristocracy and monarchy and I wanted to point out that it was the Monarchs who created the aristocrats - through war service and financing. Anyone with a title, received it because of some service to a reigning monarch which helped them keep their power. Charles Spencer, Diana's brother wrote an article for Vanity Fair in 2010 about the aristocracy: http://www.vanityfair.com/style/features/2010/01/english-aristocracy-201001 - a good beginners guide to anyone on the blog not familiar with the tradition.

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    4. anon from Leominster21 December 2014 at 17:28

      Paola, you write so beautifully in English, you might be interested in the new book on Duchesses I mentioned above. I'll try to get the title and author -- not at home right now. It has sections on about ten modern duchesses -- and their responsibilities and their attempt to find balance in a world where the aristocracy is becoming increasingly irrelevent, sad to traditionalists like me, but true.
      The British royal family has in the last century allied itself very closely with the Middle Class work ethic, (as the aristocracy is now doing as well) because that is where the support lies. People really don't want to support an institution that isn't seen as carrying it's weight. The work ethic was developed by Queen Mary for the most part, nutured by the Queen Mum and the queen herself and brought brilliantly forth by Diana. All these ladies were born into royalty or were aristocrats but they realised the need for the public role.
      Personlly, I think it's rather sad when I go to a National Trust house, with its beautiful treasures but dead feel. (Saw a TV show recently that shows the Trust realises that too and is trying to give their homes more of a family feel.) But expenses and taxes are enormous for these properties and most of their owners are looking for any means possible to keep them going. Only the royal family receives public monies as such.
      As is often the case, public expectations for the royals to be something more than aristocrats was created by the family itself and as in any inherited job, the public may be more content with the role than the members themselves. I have been concerned about this shadowy foundation of William's, so much like the average billionaire's rather than the average royal's. It may do fine work but we don't know much about it outside of Wikipedia.
      The royals can't be just ordinary charitble minded rich people becuase there is no point. There are rich people who can do that much better than William ever can. The royal family gets support, privilages and deference that no rich person does -- they must stand apart with a unique role.
      The queen has generally enjoyed her cousins and they have supported her with an enormous amount of good work, much done quietly- and are much loved by many. But Charles has indicated he wants a more streamlined monarchy (because cousins must be supported!) and that is going to put an enormous amount of responsibility on the few chosen members as potential workers like Beatrice and Eugenie are shut out.
      One thing noted in the book on duchesses is that charitable and public events that would once have an aristorcratic patron, now are opened by footballer wives and other celebrities. It sounds like a lot of charities once supported by royals will also be looking for celebrity patrons whether they want to or not as their former patrons grow too old and there is no one to replace them. William to my mind flirts dangerously with celebrity, there needs to be a firm line. (I'm thinking of his celebrity fueled fundraisers for the foundation.) At the end of the day, celebrities intrigue but they are completely disposable --- to be replaced by the next great thing -- and that is the last thing the royal family needs for a model. A balance of tradition and progression is what is needed -- to retain what is old while being completely relevent to the present. It isn't easy today for either the aristocracy or for royals to survive.
      And I add my thanks to Charlotte with warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas too. Thank you for your time.

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    5. ahahah Bluhare I have got a role now, thanks! :D

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    6. Winter Reading:
      Here's the article about the book Leo is referring to: http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/513135/Kate-Middleton-leads-the-way-for-the-modern-aristocrats
      The Book is called: Duchesses - Living in the 21st Century, and is by Jane Dismore

      Not all the Duchesses participated so it is not a comprehensive guide.

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    7. Leo - thanks for sharing. One thing I learned in that article by Charles Spencer was that market forces helped destroy the wealth of the aristocrats (income lost by cheaper American imports) - as well as incompetence, taxes, and divorce. The aristocratic system is one which is based solely on birth - of males. It was not a system perpetuated by intelligence, ingenuity, talent, and hard work. Your great great great great great grandfather (and beyond) may have done something for a distant monarch which got him lands to build a great house and today you are considered an "aristocrat" because of it. What was not mentioned in that article was who was buying up all the goods the great houses were selling - it would have to be folks of wealthy means - either fellow aristocrats or "new money" who appreciated the value of it - either local or foreign. Those folks who created wealth or maintained wealth with intelligence, ingenuity, talent and hard work.

      Charities need money and visibility in order to conduct their work. If the aristocrats aren't wealthy and therefore can't contribute or cannot draw the media - they have no role to fulfill for the rest of society. Most charities exist because of unequal wealth distribution. What is not discussed is whether the efforts or the royals produce results. Does Princess Anne's patronage of a charity bring in funds? Her efforts don't get media attention to engage a mass audience, but do her relationships with wealthy people increase the support for the charity through contributions? Or are her actions simply to brighten the day of the people who work there as well as the people who use the services?

      And finally, what is an aristocrat without money? Aren't they simply a "celebrity" - noticed for being descendant from someone who was once wealthy and powerful?

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    8. There's an article about the ghost owner of Anmer Hall. Poor fellow. He was tortured, when he died his home was confiscated. The story is horrible. http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/548123/Anmer-Hall-Baby-George-ghost-Royal-garden-Duke-Duchess-Cambridge

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    9. Anonymous 17:43, the story is really terrible… brrrr... but there is a Saint, after all, at Amner Hall!

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    10. Those are certainly interesting questions that you're asking, Moxie.
      I don't know how big of a difference Princess Anne is actually able to make - it would be certainly interesting to hear about this from people living in Britain - but I do find her work ethic commendable.

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    11. Paoli - Thanks for your interesting questions. I am especially interested in what Brits and Commonwealth posters views are on the pros and cons of maintaining the monarchy and aristocracy.

      Also, please enlighten me re: the long and ongoing history of comments (never on this blog) about Kate and family being "social climbers" and why Daily Mail and a few other Brit tabloids frequently mention that Carole grew up in council housing and that she worked as a flight attendant.

      MinnFinn

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  44. Anon 15,53: I said "a" model, not "the" model. She is one among many feminine models, like Madonna, Madre Teresa, Malala and so on. A model you can look at, discuss, compare to yourself. Are you more Malala, Madonna, Madre Teresa or Kate? Each of us has a percentage of them :)

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    1. A wonderful comment, Paola, and what an interesting mix of women you gave us to chose from. Buon Natale.

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    2. Buon Natale a te, Greybird!

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  45. Thank you Moxie and Leo, your answer was very interesting to me, the article from Moxie and the information from Leo. My warm wishes for a Merry Christmas to you, to Charlotte, and all the readers and posters.

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  46. Moxie you asked about specials not too long ago and I'm going to do research for you on one tonight. It's about Aspreys, the London jeweler. You know how I hate ostentatious bling of any kind so I will put my prejudices aside, take a hit for the team and watch a show about diamond jewelry. I really hope it's about royal jewels.

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    1. bluhare, your sacrifices do not go unnoticed!
      I just recently watched Princess Diana: A Day in the Life (1998) on Youtube - that's good for seeing some jewels in action.
      Let us know if we should check out the documentary and thank you for your leadership!

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    2. Don't waste your time, Moxie. It was about their one of a kind handbags more than anything else. I was looking for old world craftsmanship (which they do have in a lorry load) and more of a focus on that and the jewels rather than trying to sell 44 handbags. I guess I'll have to wait for the Garrards one for bling!

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  47. I just saw an article in People that reported that William and Catherine took George to Winter Wonderland yesterday. No fuss, bought tickets like ordinary folk and mingled. There don't appear to be any photos either. Although I am disappointed that there are no photos I am so glad for William especially that he can take his family somewhere where there are no hordes of photographers--something his mother could never accomplish.

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    1. Sarah from Calif.23 December 2014 at 01:36

      Valerie, that is wonderful!!!!!

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    2. Sarah from Calif.23 December 2014 at 01:58

      Hi Charlotte, hope you are ready for Christmas!
      I'm doing a lot of cooking for a lot of family :))))
      I'm thinking Kate is decking the halls of Anmer house. Looking forward to the Christmas pictures...relax and enjoy your holiday!!!

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  48. hi charlotte getting my Christmas gifts are wrapped glad the duke and duchess are having great and quality family time with prince george merry christmas

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