Thursday, 8 January 2015

Time to Vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2014 & Several Engagements Announced!

Hello-hello, we hope you're all having a fantastic week! We're back with unexpected news and several new additions to Kate's calendar for January.

As most royal watchers know, the first month of the year tends to be an incredibly quiet one for William and Kate, but this time round several engagements have been announced. The Cambridges experienced a backlash after going on holiday last year while carrying out very few public appearances, and this was obviously noted by their PR team. To avoid a repeat a number of appearances have been scheduled for mid January - before the annual holiday to Mustique with the Middletons.

There's also Kate's pregnancy to consider (most likely the deciding factor, as opposed to generating headlines unrelated to Prince Andrew) with the Duchess taking maternity leave this spring. Perhaps she wants to visit more charities before the third trimester, and while there's no official word on when Kate will take maternity leave, I suspect the annual St Patrick's Day Parade at Aldershot may mark her final appearance before the baby is born). Whatever the reason, it's wonderful news for royal watchers and most of all the organisations involved.


15 January 2015

In her role as patron of The Art Room, Kate will officially name The Clore Art Room at Barlby Primary School. Readers may recall this engagement was one of several which the Duchess couldn't make due to her illness. At the time the Palace said she was "hugely disappointed". During the visit she will meet staff and students before attending workshops where she will learn more about the charity.


16 January 2015

The Duchess will attend an event hosted by The Fostering Network in Islington to celebrate the work of foster carers who provide support for vulnerable young people. Kate will be given an overview of the world of fostering and meet carers and social workers. It seems to me this is very much a possible future patronage for Her Royal Highness, which would appropriately continue the trend of supporting young people. It is sadly a largely ignored area in many ways which could greatly benefit from having her on board.

The Fostering Network Twitter Feed

19 January 2015

Kate has a day of engagements in Kensington on Monday, 19 January. Her first stop of the day is a coffee morning at Family Friends, a voluntary organisation providing befriending and mentoring services to families in deprived areas of the borough. This is one of many organisations we look forward to sharing a background and history of on the day of the engagement.

Family Friends

Next, the Duchess will formally open Kensington Aldridge Academy where she will tour the building, watch a dance performance and unveil a plaque. Finally, Kate will formally open Kensington Leisure Centre. Her Royal Highness will tour the facilities, including the swimming pool, gym and sauna and watch groups of children from nearby primary schools playing various sports.

There's a nice mix of engagements involved with a focus on young people and a possible new patronage. We look forward to covering them and hearing your thoughts on the day!

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We're continuing on with our annual polls today asking you to Vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2014. We've decided to divide the voting into two polls, 'Kate's Best Dress' and 'Kate's Best Gown'. Once again, because we voted for tour pieces back in May, it seems best not to include them again.

Kate got off to a stylish start in 2014 wearing the "snorkel blue" L.K. Bennett 'Detroit' dress. The silhouette of the dress is one Kate favours, and in fact, she liked it so much she elected to wear it again in August for a visit to the poppy installation at the Tower of London.


Kate repeated her beautiful red Alexander McQueen knee-length dress for a dramatic arts reception with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.

The British Monarchy Flickr

Kate repeated her Whistles 'Bella' dress for the wedding of friends back in March.


The Duchess was perfectly attired for a visit to the Maritime Museum in support of Ben Ainslie's America's Cup bid in the navy and white crepe trim dress from Jaeger.


For the Queen's Garden Party, Kate brought back her very popular bespoke lace champagne Alexander McQueen dress. It's beautifully fitted and the length is very elegant.


Kate made a private visit to her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices wearing a pink and black DVF wrap dress she's had in her wardrobe since 2002.

EACH

Kate stepped out for a Place2Be conference wearing the Tory Burch 'Chrissy' dress. To view photos of Kate wearing the dress please click here. The printed jersey piece from the Resort 2014 Collection is a striking summery frock.

Tory Burch

In July, the Duchess made a Place2Be school visit in the coral-pink GOAT 'Scarlett' pleat-front dress. Made from Italian wool crepe it features a pleated bust and optional belt that keeps the waist in focus.


The Duchess was pretty in her white cotton broderie anglaise Zimmermann 'Roamer' day dress for an afternoon at Wimbledon (a floral-print version of the dress is available at Net-A-Porter).


And HRH brought back her Jonathan Saunders 'Evelyn' dress to support British number one Andy Murray at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon Twitter Feed

For Prince George's first birthday portrait, the Duchess looked radiant in the green print Suzannah 'Budding Heart' silk tea dress.


Kate chose her much-loved Stella McCartney 'Ridley' dress for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


Kate's Temperley London 'Emblem' flare dress for Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala received mixed reviews on the night. The panels of the dress didn't photograph particularly well and it will be interesting to see how it fares in the poll.


The Duchess selected the Hobbs London animal-print shirt dress to wear under coats over the Autumn/Winter season. The classic shirt dress is currently on sale at House of Fraser.


For Remembrance Sunday, the Duchess wore a frock from 2008 - the BCBG Max Azria Tuxedo ruffle front dress.


Kate debuted a new dress for a November SportsAid workshop - the GOAT 'Vreeland' dress. The lightweight crepe dress has a self-belt and buttons down the front. The colour is called 'iris'.


Her Royal Highness wore the Katherine Hooker 'Ascot' dress in a bespoke colour for a visit to EACH in November.


In New York, Kate chose the Beulah London black lace 'Amara' dress. The Duchess was in her element in the fit and flare dress from the brand's Spring/Summer Collection.


Another black dress Kate wore in New York was the £59 Séraphine 'Vanessa' dress. The black roll neck maternity dress is made in luxurious ponte roma.


Vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2014
 
pollcode.com free polls


Our second dress poll is my personal favourite - Kate's Best Gown of 2014. We have just three options for you to choose from beginning with the Jenny Packham ink-blue, off-the-shoulder gown. The Duchess loves the gown so much she wore it twice last year: for a NPG Gala and in New York for the St Andrews Gala.


Next, we have another Jenny Packham design. The gorgeous powder-blue wrap dress made headlines and was deemed a daring fashion choice for the Duchess due to its high split. It's a departure from Kate's usual style and it looked stunning on her.


At the Royal Variety Performance, Kate dazzled in the black lace DVF 'Zarita' gown. The entire look was perfect for the occasion and the Duchess looked regal.


Vote for Kate's Best Gown of 2014
 
pollcode.com free polls


We look forward to seeing your choices! :)

118 comments:

  1. Sarah from Calif.8 January 2015 at 06:21

    Loved the Amara lace dress, that was easy but I really love all of the evening gowns and since I could only pick one again I chose lace -Zarita. Kate looked lovely in all three. As beautiful as her hair is having it up with and evening gown gives the whole look a extra touch of elegance IMHO.

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  2. looking forward on those engagements definitely love or dress everything on her suite her

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  3. Yay! 19th January is my birthday! What a treat for me!

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    Replies
    1. It's mine too! As a birthday treat, I hope she'll wear 3 different outfits. :)

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    2. Marijn, Netherlands9 January 2015 at 00:39

      Yay and the 16th is mine! Lol we all get a nice treat for our birthday :D

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    3. Yay! Advance birthday wishes to both of you! :)
      And belated birthday wishes to Charlotte! :)

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    4. Marijn, Netherlands9 January 2015 at 13:24

      Advanced/belated birthday wishes to all of you :D

      Delete
  4. A question for Charlotte, and for whoever may have an idea about this:

    Do you think we can expect Kate to be at the June events - Trooping the Colour, Order of the Garter?

    With George she started making appearances 1 month after giving birth, unofficially, and 1 month and a half for an official engagement.
    I guess she'll attend the important June events - or at least I hope.
    What's your opinion?

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      Yes I do think so. Trooping The Colour, Order of the Garter and The Queen's Garden Party are annual events and I expect Kate will attend them.

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2015 at 01:08

      My guess is she will. Becuase there will be some months since the birth then. Even if she hasn't started working fully by then I think she will show up for those.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2015 at 03:54

      The one I'm kind of 50/50 on is the Shamrock giving. On one hand I think it's possible though...

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  5. The question about the June events was by me - forgot to sign :)

    Camilla

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  6. I just love the photo of Catherine in the L.K. Bennett Detroit dress. She looks so happy and very beautiful....it's my pick though I like a lot of the others too.

    The Jenny Packham was such a surprise and it especially looked good in the videos.....gorgeous!

    I've been up all night with a sick kid....this post was really nice to find at 3am PST. Thank you Charlotte!!

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  7. Charlotte,
    Thank you for all your hard work and effort in putting together such a fun and interesting blog. I always look forward to it and I appreciate being able to briefly escape troubling world events. You lighten my day. Thank you.

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  8. Erika from Massachusetts8 January 2015 at 14:26

    Hi Charlotte! How do you feel about running a poll closer to the new baby's birth regarding gender and possible names? I know it has nothing to do with fashion and it's a little silly
    but I think it would be fun.

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  9. Sarah from Calif.8 January 2015 at 14:46

    Happy Birthday dear Charlotte! Hip hip Hooray!!!!!
    Have a spectacular,brilliant and wonderful day!!!!
    Sent you a sm. message FB

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  10. While I don't love a number of these dresses, it astounds me that Duchess Kate basically looks great no matter what she puts on her body!

    mav

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  11. Amy, Detroit Michigan8 January 2015 at 15:44

    The dress vote started out being tough, her dresses were far more spectacular than her coats this year. I love so many, especially the Detroit dress. But then I saw the tea dress added, and it was no question, that is my choice. It is my favorite dress she owns, and I covet it!

    The gowns was a no brainer for me...that blue Jenny Packham wrap dress is perfection, and I really think she looked her absolute bestof the whole year that night.

    It's going to be good to see her out and about this month.

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  12. anon from Leominster8 January 2015 at 16:05

    It's quite strange, there was a feast of choices for coats, but, while all of the dresses are fine, none really excite me.

    I've always loved the McQueen lace, so princess-like. but didn't care for it without the belt. So in the end, I chose the Katherine Hooker since the red was so cheery. Most of the dresses I could wear, especially the Hooker or the Goat Vreeland or the Jaegar but I have to admit loving Kate best in dresses more like she wore on the Eastern tour, which would look ridiculous on me but make her look like the princess she is.

    Same really with evening gowns. I would love to own the DVF black lace but it looks like the sort of gown we mortals would wear quite happily and its just a bit tame on Kate. Sensible for a pregnancy but not dazzling.

    So for me, it was a choice between the Packhams. I thought the blue was fun and a bit daring but not Kate's best look. So I'm back to the off-the-shoulder which I've always loved and seems made for Kate who has wonderful shoulders to show off. Especially the last appearance as didn't care for the queen's necklace with it -- the earrings were much better and it adapted beautifully to being a maternity gown.

    It would be my dream to see it with Diana's sapphire pendant necklace which would look great with both it and on Kate. Who knows -- it could happen.

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    1. I feel the same way about her dresses!! I do think she wore her best ones for her tour!! The white one w the blue flowers all over it is lovely!!
      Charlotte, could you add her best tours looks to your final of year best post?? It would be nice to see her best looks in every thing.
      On a side note:
      Tomorrow is the 3rd snow day in a roll for my son's school, it is very cold right now so be safe people!! Especially, my neighbors around the Chicago area!!

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2015 at 03:56

      That would be great. To see a recap of the tour looks when we go through the winners of these polls :)

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    3. I too keep hoping to see Diana's sapphires...

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    4. It sure be nice for William to give his beautiful wife some oif his mothers jewels.

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    5. He has. Her engagement ring and sapphire earrings. The tiaras etc. that Diana wore were from Prince Charles and they reverted to him on their divorce.

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    6. Diana wore a Spencer tiara she borrowed from her father and then her brother. It is now with the Spencers. The Queen either gave or loaned her Queen Mary's Lover's Knot tiara, which is said to have reverted to the Queen after Diana's death. This may have been true of other royal jewelry she wore. Apparently Harry kept her ring, and then gave it to William for Kate. I think it's not clear who owns the rest of Diana's jewelry, but it would be reasonable to expect that her sons inherited her personal jewels.

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    7. anon from Leominster13 January 2015 at 18:24

      William has never shown much interest in the Spencer family at least on the surface, other than an occasional wedding, a couple of which Kate has missed. I think Diana would be quite disappointed in that (especially with the emphasis on the Middletons.) She seemed proud of her family's history and wore that tiara often to show that, even if she wasn't on best terms with all the members all the time.

      As for her emerald necklace, I suspect it went back into the royal vault. Chokers probably aren't Kate's best look anyway. (Certainly not Camilla's who looks ghastly in them, but that doesn't stop her. Maybe Charles likes them.) The sapphires are another story. Some of them were gifts from the Middle East, and I would assume, although I don't know, that they would be passed down to Diana's sons. The huge sapphire Diana put on a pearl necklace I believe was a gift from the queen mum. It is certainly linked to Diana in her LBD on the day of Charles' interview -- it might be a bit much for Kate to take on and her skin tone doesn't call for pearls the way Diana's did -- coloured stones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires look to be best on Kate -- she has dazzled in her rubies and her emerald earrings.
      As for the Prince of Wales feather Diana once often wore- Camilla either wore it once or one just like it. It was not well received and so far she hasn't repeated it. I suspect that may go to Kate when she becomes Princess of Wales -- that sort of pendant would suit her well -- more than fiddly necklaces.

      Delete
  13. Robin in Ontario8 January 2015 at 16:22

    I voted for the GOAT Scarlett dress... mostly because of the colour I think, but as usual I have so many favourites it's hard to choose only one!

    I think it's really roo bad that the Temperley London Emblem dress didn't photograph well... and it really didn't. In theory I think it was a good choice; a little funky and a little more youthful but still appropriate. I wanted to like that dress, but it just looked wrong in the photos. Too bad.

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    1. Erika from Massachusetts9 January 2015 at 02:45

      I liked the Temperley dress a lot too Robin, and felt that the photos didn't do it justice. I was so happy to see her mix it up a bit and wear a new
      style

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  14. yay for mor engagements!

    i liked the jenny packham with the emeralds, but not with that necklace. the necklace was spectacular, of course, but i liked how the earrings and no necklace looked better. the cut of the dress is a beautiful enough statement without the necklace- 2 completely different looks. in the end, i voted for the Zarita gown, which is fantastic.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  15. I had a tough time choosing between the Jaeger Crepe dress and the Goat Scarlett dress. Both were perfect for the particular occasion, and she looked lovely in both.
    Not a fan of the Zimmerman Roamer dress. That's a style for a 10 year old!

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  16. My favorite day dress is always the blue LK Bennett (which looked even better with the Tower poppies), closely followed by the white Zimmerman. A distant third is the champagne lace McQueen, just because it is so elegant and for once they made it fit so well. I did like it better with the belt. What happened to the dress Kate wore to the facility where her grandmother worked in intelligence during the war? Did I miss it? So many of the day dresses have been largely invisible under coats that I don't really know how they look on Kate.

    For evening I was torn between the first Jenny Packham and the DVF, but I voted for the dark blue Jenny Packham which I have always loved. To my mind, this is really a tie, surprising as I have never cared for the classic DVF wrap dress. I can't stand the light blue Packham with the slit and the strange underskirt. Again, my least favorite is ahead!

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  17. Such a hard poll! the long evening dresses i simply couldnt chose- all three were amazing. My top three day dresses were the LK Bennet and Stella Macartney bright bue dresses as well as the Temperly lace dress - short- worn in New York. I ended up voting for the black because there was something very special about that one!

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  18. Sorry- Beulah not Templerly- i was referring to the "amara" lace dress

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  19. I kind of feel like the Amara dress should be in the other catergory even though it isn't floor length. I can't vote for the champagne lace dress, too many shades of beige.

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  20. So glad that she has engagements on the calendar for January. I hope that future years hold similar schedules so that we can see her a bit before the annual Mustique trips. It's so important to load up January, February and March so that there's obvious work to show before she goes on maternity leave.

    As for the polls, the cream Jaeger dress is one of my favorite dresses she has ever worn. To me it strikes the perfect balance of business but sporty, comfortable but elegant, classic but eye-catching. I hope that we'll see it again at Wimbledon.

    As for gowns, I'm torn. The Zarita gown is quite pretty, but I'm rather bored with black lace gowns. I loved the inky Jenny Packham when she wore it in New York--absolutely gorgeous. I wasn't as much of a fan of it when she wore her hair down, though. My vote goes to the powder blue wrap dress. I loved the color on her (even though it wasn't a typical color you'd wear in fall), I loved that it was a departure from her usual look, and I loved how she accessorized. Great choices this year!

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  21. Happy New Year Charlotte! I really loved all of the dresses, but I chose the Jaeger, and the DVF gown. Tomorrow is Kate's birthday. I wonder how she and her family will celebrate? I imagine maybe something low key, maybe at Amner Hall since they are just moving in, and getting used to it. Or could they possibly be in Bucklebury? Whatever she decides I'm almost sure it will be low key and private. Great post Charlotte!

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    1. Hello!

      Yes I do think they will enjoy a low-key celebrations with the Middletons. William and Kate prefer to entertain at home now rather than going out in London as they did frequently in their twenties.

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  22. My best wishes of Birthday #PrincessKate, once again, good luck with your work!

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  23. I voted for the red McQueen. I like the cut.....and the longer sleeves (not really a fan of the three quarter length sleeves).

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  24. In wearing a wide variety of day dresses, Kate has certainly given visibility to a great many designers and brands. Several of the dresses have not really been seen on her because she wore them under coats, but they have nevertheless been identified and publicized. The ones that have been out on their own have looked so great on Kate that they must have boosted sales immensely.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2015 at 03:59

      I agree. I would love it if she would look for some unknown small brands. That would be amazing. Like that amazing gray coat with a collar she had bought vintage/thrift shop or something like that. That clothing store was about to close down when she wore that and she saved the brand. Also when she wore the purple and orange EACH bracelet to her first speech. It sold out really fast, which is extra great since the money went to the charity! I love when she can do stuff like that so easily!

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    2. I agree, but that is a double edged sword. I don't think she wants to be known for the "Kate effect" as far as fashion is concerned. If she did, she wouldn't wear so many pieces that are not "current".

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden11 January 2015 at 00:09

      True, but I doubt that aspect will go away fast or soon so I think she could still have a rather safe style but mix in a couple of unknown labels on them.

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    4. If she wasn't interested in fashion - she wouldn't have so many bespoke McQueen outfits. In so far as she would be promoting British industry by wearing British designed clothing - it would be a smart move to occasionally wear something from an unknown to promote her countrymen (and women). She has to wear something when she goes out. Seems a silly waste of time to be so contrived in wearing older pieces - to go out of your way to not help the fashion industry. .

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    5. I think Kate's method is to wear a lot of labels but usually avoiding current garments that she may see on others. Not that she avoids that altogether, witness others turning up in the blue coat or the black lace gown.

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    6. Moxie, there is a certain obligation/expectation that goes with her role so naturally she wears bespoke pieces. But I don't believe for one minute that she is trying to not help the fashion industry; she doesn't want to be seen as a clothes horse and irritate her royal in-laws with reminders of the past. And by blending some of her older pieces into her wardrobe, it does make a statement that fashion isn't her priority. Granted, it only goes so far because she would make the cover of a magazine while wearing jeans and sneakers before some of the other royal ladies would in ball gowns. :)

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    7. Instead of showing passion, personality, and using her voice more, her best defense against being a clotheshorse is to wear either extremely expensive, or past-season clothing.

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    8. Maggie - Minneapolis12 January 2015 at 01:27

      Royalfan - I honestly don't understand why not being a fashion horse means wearing older pieces. If they're still new to the public, then they still get the same amount of attention as wearing a newer piece from a lesser-known designer.

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    9. Stephanie, I happen to think she is showing plenty of passion and personality. It takes a strong woman to go out and perform her duties as well as she does while putting up with some of the persistent criticism that is directed at her, and to be a supportive spouse and raise children under these circumstances knowing that every aspect of their lives will always be subject to the same scrutiny. Never mind the issue of personal safety every time they go out in public in this increasingly crazy world. Look at the threat the Queen stood up to on Remembrance Sunday? Imagine your husband or children facing the very same threat. If that doesn't take backbone I'm not sure what does.

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    10. Maggie, everything she wears will get attention. Correct. The point is that she doesn't mind being seen in something that isn't current, or wearing it multiple times. To me that suggests that she isn't shallow and ruled by fashion because in her position she could "turn it up" if she wanted to.

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    11. Maggie - Minneapolis12 January 2015 at 02:50

      While I don't deny that Kate faces an unbelievable amount of scrutiny, I don't think that being able to withstand that scrutiny by showing up to events occasionally and smiling is enough to indicate passion and personality. Especially since despite all of the scrutiny Kate faces, she can be confident in knowing that her life and the privileges that it comes with can never be taken away from her. Which is unlike most people, who have to impress people at their jobs not for positive PR, but rather, in order to ensure that their jobs, and thus their livelihoods, remain theirs'. That is a stress that Kate will never have to face. I can understand why many people admire Kate, and I too do admire her ability to withstand an incredible amount of public intrusion, but, in my opinion, that is not the same thing as showing passion or personality. She has no voice. She may be fulfilling her "job" perfectly, but that doesn't change the fact that until now, we know very little about how Kate wants to make a difference, or if she even does want to make a difference.

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    12. Maggie - Minneapolis12 January 2015 at 02:56

      Regardless of everything else, I do agree with Stephanie. At least in my book, a "clothes horse" isn't someone who has/wears a lot of different clothes. A "clothes horse" is someone who seems like they only CARE about clothes. So honestly, Kate could never repeat an outfit and only wear bespoke pieces, but if she also gave regular speeches and really started showing passion for a cause, I wouldn't consider her a clothes horse. But with her current trajectory, where the only passions of Kate that the public knows about are sports and shopping, I really think that there is much more of a risk of her being known as a clothes horse, outfit repeats or not.

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    13. Kate *is* making a difference if you consider the history of the royal family. She comes from a happy, stable family and is creating the same scenario with William, George and his sibling(s). The monarchy benefits in the long run.

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    14. Maggie after 60 plus years as monarch do we really know what the Queen is passionate about? Do we know what Prince Philip is passionate about? Just because Kate does not give a speech at every outing does not mean that we cannot see where her passion lies. One merely has to look at her interaction with the young and vulnerable to know what she is all about. Words are not everything and although looks may be deceiving at times, so are words. This constant discussion of her not having a voice is rather pointless as the palace will decide when and if it will be time for her to speak up. It may be archaic to some, but that is how the BRF functions.

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    15. Excellent points, Anon 3:33. Sooo true!

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    16. Anon, your comment seems very shallow in terms of royal history. Of course people know what Prince Philip is passionate about - he created the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, for goodness sake, among many other achievements as a public servant including his time as a naval officer - unless people show little interest in the royal family beyond Kate's looks.

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    17. royalfan,
      I fail to see how Kate wearing an unknown designer would upset her in-laws. I understand the camera is the 3rd party in the room -- that these engagements are suppose to be about royalty administering/receiving/supporting their countrymen -- and they aren't suppose to be seen as actors playing for the camera. Yet, I hardly see how it would be considered a flaw to seek out young British entrepreneurs and support their efforts by buying their clothes. She has to wear something - to see the same expensive Stella McCarthy dress and be told that Kate is "thrifty" insults the intelligence of the viewer. To see Kate in a dress that is two seasons old that someone has made sure wasn't shown publicly on someone else to avoid the "Who Wore It Better" comparison - strikes me as the frivolous work of idiots. My point is - if you are going to go to the effort to make sure she looks "special" then use designers no one knows about and make her countrymen's lives better. In my opinion, wearing McQueen shows wealth - launching an unknown designer - shows power.

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    18. Regarding what the Queen is passionate about:
      Horseracing and Corgis and she really liked the Royal Britannica yacht
      Regarding what Prince Phillip is passionate about:
      Military, Physical Fitness, Carriage Racing, Hunting and he was fond of that yacht as well.

      Neither of them have a formal education -- they are, however, extremely well traveled.

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    19. And Kate is passionate about
      - art and art history
      - sports, including sailing
      - volunteering with the Scouts

      And many other things we're not supposed to know.

      Camilla

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    20. And that is exactly my point. We know from observation that the Queen enjoys her horseracing etc and Prince Philip his military etc. But they never voice out about it as some are demanding Kate does. We know she likes her sports, art, etc. Prince Philip has had multiple years to launch his awards. Kate is four years into the job. The Queen and Prince Philip have more than sixty years of travel for the monarchy behind them so of course they are well travelled. Sixty years down the line people will say that William and Kate are well travelled. Right now they are more traveled than quite a large portion of the worlds population.

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    21. Moxie, the point I was trying to make was that it would not be in Kate's best interest *within the RF* to become a promoter of fashion designers. Personally, I don't care if she wears McQueen (in her position, why shouldn't she?), but she balances her choices and is not making it *about* fashion.

      And to my knowledge the only people using the term "thrifty" are people who pay attention and follow the royals. So I don't see how that could be interpreted as insulting.

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    22. Anon 03:33:

      "Maggie after 60 plus years as monarch do we really know what the Queen is passionate about? Do we know what Prince Philip is passionate about?"
      If you follow the RF, then yes, you would know their passions.

      "Just because Kate does not give a speech at every outing"
      She doesn't need to give a speech at every outing. But as it stands, she rarely does. And when she does, her speeches read like promotional pamphlets from the agency. And "using her voice" does not necessarily refer to speeches, though they certainly would help.

      "does not mean that we cannot see where her passion lies. One merely has to look at her interaction with the young and vulnerable to know what she is all about."
      The way she turns up for an hour, smiles, shakes hands with children unless they come forward to hug her, and doesn't say anything substantial? I don't think I have read even one quote from her that sounds substantial, deep or personal at any engagement.

      "This constant discussion of her not having a voice is rather pointless as the palace will decide when and if it will be time for her to speak up."
      This isn't about her changing the world and making waves. Also, how heartbreaking it is that discussion of a woman, or any person male or female for that matter, not having a voice is pointless.
      The RF is not to blame for a member of their family choosing to remain relatively silent.

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    23. OMG. I sincerely doubt that Anon 3:33 meant "pointless" as in who cares. I took it to mean that this is the way the firm is handling things at this point, whether we agree or not. Kate is not the boss, nor is she the boss' wife. I don't think it's anymore complicated than that. I honestly don't. Once again, I think the big picture is being overlooked. Kate's time in the royal family is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the history of the monarchy.

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    24. Anon 13:34, once again I agree with you.

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    25. Moxie, my point of of course was not that other people are prevented from wearing clothing Kate has in her closet, but that as time passes they become less likely to turn up at the same events wearing the same garments. The Queen of course has all of her clothing made for her, so that seeing her outfits on others doesn't happen. Kate may need to do this eventually.

      Where were you during the Paul McCartney century, that you don't know Stella is his daughter??

      Delete
    26. She doesn't have to be the boss to say things that are substantial.

      The RF is not to blame for her remaining relatively silent, not making more than a few speeches thus far, not saying anything particularly substantial, etc - and if they were, it is not pointless to discuss how heartbreaking that would be if they were.

      But alas, other members of the RF have more substantial things to say when working and acting as patron for agencies.

      Additionally, royal reporters have stated for years that Kate dictates her own schedule and she is fine with it.

      I don't know why Kate fans are so adamant that the RF, HM, whoever, is clipping Kate's wings or something.

      Delete
    27. The three pictures Charlotte posted above, of Kate with children, demonstrate her personal commitment to them. And I believe Kate's public time and activities are being strongly influenced by the Palace.

      By the way, I have read that the PR offices have been separated again. Does anyone know if this is true? If it is, Kate and William and their advisers may have more leeway now.

      Delete
    28. Well, I am not sure why others are so adamant that the RF *isn't*...although I don't call it clipping her wings. I just think it's the current game plan. It's about strategizing and prioritizing, and W&K are not next in line.

      Delete
    29. Rebecca - Sweden13 January 2015 at 02:28

      Wow, I really got stumped over you saying she isn't good or compassionate with kids. Have you not watched anything she does?! I have been involved with children activities, my mother works as a special needs teacher and believe me when I say that Kate is a natural with kids. She is not the person to run forward and put a kid in her lap, as you shouldn't do. Kids are not dolls. She talks to them, listens to them. A instance that showed that is when she was in the forest with some kids she asked the kid if it was ok to sit beside her. Many adults don't show that kind of respect to kids, thinking they should just come along. I think Kate is really passionate about kids since most of her patronages revolve around them. I also think she is interested in childrens education. This mainly because of her comment that they had introduced George to messy play. To know words and techniques like that takes passion and research. She is really good at connecting with kids. Like when they sang twinkle, twinkle on tour this year and she caught a boys attention, or when she sang with that frog dolly on her hand and made sure the handicapped kid beside her was involved. Sorry for my rant but I kind of got offended by that criticism. Most criticism I can understand, even if I don't agree.. But that was just rude.

      Delete
    30. Agree Anon 01:48 and Royalfan. With the palace there is always the bigger picture.

      Delete
    31. Personally, what annoys me is the gender stereotyping, and I'm not talking here on this blog. Kate's a woman so she must be involved with children and love children. Maybe she does; I don't know. But let's not forget that they have a PR staff for a reason, which is to help display the image they want to project. That goes for all of them, not just William and/or Kate.

      Delete
    32. I never said she totally wasn't good or compassionate with the kids at all. I don't see her as exceptionally warm or invested on engagements, and she doesn't ever say anything particularly deep or touching.

      You are welcome to disagree with me.

      Delete
    33. royalfan - many members of the RF who work are not as close to the throne as WK and they work more hours and/or when they do, have more substantial or enlightening things to say. They don't just smile constantly, shake hands and look around.

      Delete
    34. I am not negating what other members of the family do. But they don't have the same appeal. Not even close. With the exception of Harry, none of the others take the focus/attention away from C&C. And even Harry is in a slightly different position as a single man. When he marries, the press will focus a lot more on him and his wife too.

      Delete
    35. The rest of the royal family are much older and more experienced, and have been doing their work for a lot longer than William and Catherine. The Cambridges are senior only in their place in the succession; with the very occasional exception of Princess Beatrice, they and Prince Harry are the only members of their generation who have royal responsibilities. And they all still have other important responsibilities. I don't see how they can be expected to have the same level of expertise as their older relatives who have had full time royal positions for many years.

      Delete
    36. Stephanie you are obviously watching different footage to what I am watching. She is always engaged in the footage I have seen. One hardly ever gets to hear what she or any other member of the royal family has to say to the public when they meet them. Also much of her work is done with ill or disabled children, and what she says to them or their parents will never be for public consumption. To say that she only shakes hands and looks around is not what I have observed. Respectfully I will agree to disagree on this one.

      Delete
    37. Place in the succession (aka rank and title) is EVERYTHING in the British royal family. If it were not, they wouldn't have that Order of Precedence so there's no doubt of who's got rank and pull when. I doubt this blog would exist if they weren't where they are in the succession and if it did I doubt it would get as much traffic.

      And the only way to get that expertise is to do it.

      Delete
    38. Royalfan and Anon 03:41, I respectfully agree to disagree :)
      On a lighter note - I am sincerely stoked for the upcoming events, and just counting down the days to the LITTLE BAMBINO'S ARRIVAL! :D!!!

      Kate, it feels like you've been pregnant forever already come onnnnn :P

      Delete
    39. That Stella McCartney dress is worth over $1,000. And yes, I know she is Paul McCartney's daughter. Do you think Stella McCartney needs the economic boost - or a designer who is not the daughter of a Beatle? Meanwhile, I am not someone who thinks wearing a $1,000+ dress more then once is thrifty. Kate's worn her $6,000+ Jenny Packham gown 3 times - she could have gotten three new $2,000+ dresses for what she paid for it. Perhaps she will put it up for consignment and recoup her money.

      Royalfan, I understand your point - but there is a delightful irony in making it on a post that is a fashion poll about what Kate wears. Kate is a promoter of fashion designers when she wears their work in public. She wears McQueen at almost every family event, Packham, and Wixted, and Temperley, and Hooker, and DVF, and GOAT, and Burch, and McCarthey and I think you can read the list of names above that are hanging in her closet. She had to go shopping for these clothes - it would do her no harm to go shopping at a young designer's shop and wear something of theirs in public. Perhaps she will do this when she works with 1851 Trust to help out the economy with the Sailing industry.

      I just have a hard time believing that someone who has worn over 20 Alexander McQueen outfits is not interested in fashion and just doesn't know where else to go for formal wear. :-)

      Delete
    40. Anon 1:15
      I make the same point - that if you wear a dress of a designer that is not known - it is very unlikely that you will be in the same dress. One of these approaches ends up supporting the UK economy and one of them does not. One of them is self-centered and one of them is not.

      Delete
    41. anon from Leominster13 January 2015 at 18:11

      I wouldn't put Kate ever in the same family as Philip who has always been a grafter, very busy doing something -- when someone said he didn't make speeches, I spent time listening to a presentation he made at the Engineering Society which he helped found -- one of his interests. He has a lot of these types of interests, and has always been outspoken, sometimes too outspoken.
      The queen I believe avoids showing particular interests -- if you asked her I suspect she would say her subjects are her working interests -- in their many and varied forms. Also the Commonwealth.
      Kate really isn't in that category, clearly sailing is both a public and private interest, sports and children too but I agree she is likely to mostly to be known for her clothes until she links her charity work to something she seems truly passionate about and engaged with on a regular basis. She radiates enthusiasm and brings joy to those she visits but nothing like Raina and her work for women or Mary and her work in Cambodia or Diana and land mines and AIDS. Since such women are the models for monarchies today, hopefully that will come for Kate eventually. It takes time and work.
      I doubt the palace as such is behind any of this but I don’t know whether the light schedule comes from Charles or from William and Kate. It is particularly peculiar because the lack of young royals to take on work as they have in the past. Perhaps it is to put the emphasis on Charles and Camilla but if so, is likely not to be to the monarchy’s benefit – in a recent poll, even the non-royal-working Zara and Eugenie rated higher than Camilla – showing the public interest in more youthful members.

      Delete
    42. Moxie, I'm so glad you know who Stella McCartney is, and you've spelled her name right this time!

      All of the royal ladies wear designer clothing, usually custom ordered. I'm wondering why Kate, as you say so near the top of the line of succession, should be different. Apparently Prince Charles approves, since he supports her wardrobe. I wonder whether there is a blog somewhere tracking the Duchess of Cornwall's clothing expenditures for her bespoke outfits.

      Delete
    43. If I were standing in Kate's wedges and reading these remarks, most likely I would throw my arms up in the air and say "I give up." On many occasions she has been criticized for dressing too girlish and High Street, and she has been advised (by posters here) to step it up, with Princess Mary being used as an example more often than not. Well, most royal ladies have a "go to" designer, Mary included. So I really don't understand the criticism over her favoring McQueen, or spending the money for the clothes. She does wear far more accessible (financially) designers when she is off duty (certainly for a woman in her position), so I honestly don't understand the need to criticize her from just about every angle. Kate is playing it safe and predictable which, most likely, is exactly what BP wants at this time. I suspect that even Charles' plants don't want to hear "oh, not again."

      Delete
    44. If I were Kate, I probably would hesitate to wear Alexander McQueen again because some of their outfits have been so embarrassingly badly tailored for her. But McQueen is certainly popular even when they fail to provide top quality - witness the results of the dress and coat polls. As for choosing unknowns, to me a lot of the designers and brands Kate wears are obscure, but perhaps that is not true in Britain.

      Delete
    45. Maggie - Minneapolis14 January 2015 at 03:36

      Royalfan - I don't think anyone is really criticizing Kate's designer choices, so much as responding to your claim that her clothing choices show a non-interest in clothes. I have no real issue with Kate wearing a lot of McQueen, etc., but I do think that her outfit choices don't do much to prove she isn't supremely interested in her clothing. And that's not bad. Different people have different interests. Again, for me at least, none of this was meant as criticism so much as a response to some of your opinions.

      Delete
    46. I don't Kate would ever throw her hands up and say "I give up" if she read these comments.

      She is not trying to please everyone. She made it clear in the engagement interview that she does not care what people think of her and that William's opinion is the most important (possibly the only, I don't remember) one that matters to her.

      Delete
    47. To be clear - the topic of the conversation was whether Kate had an interest in fashion and whether holding back a season or two to wear pieces so she would avoid appearing in the same outfit as someone else was the best approach per a news article that suggested she was applying such a method to her public wardrobe.

      I suggested an alternate approach - one the solves the issue of looking "special" and supports the UK -- which I've been told is the function of the royal family. I mention the 1851 Trust because that has been presented as an economic project that Kate is involved in - therefore, she does take an interest in the economic welfare of her countrymen. Or is she really just interested in winning the America's Cup for the UK? Perhaps I'm making assumptions there.

      And yes, I've made fun of the idea that Kate is thrifty -- it's a lot like calling her independent. I don't know any independent woman whose father-in-law pays for their wardrobe. I'm all for Kate spending money on clothes to support her country's fashion industry and improving the economic conditions - that is the whole point of my analysis. She can buy all the McQueens she wants - but maybe once in awhile buy something she likes from an unknown UK designer and wear it in public.

      Delete
    48. Personally, I am not a big fashion follower, but I do follow Kate. Therefore, I have been made aware of many British designers by merely following her. I am sure that this holds true for many in my position as well as for those followers who are not British.

      Delete
    49. Moxie, I think you've acquitted yourself brilliantly here, so much so I've been enjoying sitting back and just reading.

      Delete
  25. Pauline. Oak Hills9 January 2015 at 04:40

    Charlotte. A very Happy Birthday to you. Hope you had a blessed day. And thank you for all your hard work on this blog.
    I haven't been here in a while still healing from my accident. But wanted to stop n and wish you a Happy Birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy birthday to our lovely duchess and to you too dearest Charlotte.

    Happy new year to all DK readers!

    Monica, France

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many happy returns of the day, Charlotte!:-)

      Delete
  27. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2015 at 15:01

    Do you think William and/or Kate will be at BAFTA on Febraury 8th? I don't know, William has been there, right? Since he is the president of it... Would love to see them both there all glammed up!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kate, Texas, USA9 January 2015 at 18:17

    Happiest Birthdays to the Duchess of Cambridge! I hope she has a wonderful day surrounded by those she loves! I imagine celebrations will be with Cambridge and Middleton families getting together. Enjoy dear Kate!

    Charlotte, I wish you the happiest of birthdays also.....a day late. :) I hope your day yesterday was AMAZING and RESTFUL! I hope you felt loved and celebrated and took a little time out for yourself. Praying the year ahead is simply wonderful for you!

    Dresses....wow....they are all lovely! I chose the beautiful Beulah London Amara dress and the DVF Zarita gown. So pretty! I really love the Jaeger crepe trim, McQueen champagne lace, and the Tory Burch Chrissy dresses also, but alas we can only vote for one. :) A great selection Charlotte! Thanks!

    Charlotte, question for you... I am planning my annual trip to England this summer. Do you think Kate will be in attendance at Trooping the Colour and Order of the Garter? Already planning my agenda for this year. I'm thinking she would attend, but ???? If she's due at the end of April, it would be around 6 weeks post baby (if this one is not as "tardy" as George was). What are your thoughts? :)

    I hope you all have a wonderful and warm weekend! We are all in an arctic blast here in the States....burrrrr!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you so much for your lovely wishes. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    On an off topic note, it has been so deeply saddening to see the events in France. My thoughts are with all our readers in Paris.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sarah from Calif.10 January 2015 at 01:33

    Yes Charlotte, the news in France has been horrific.
    My deepest condolences to the families and friends , also our blogger friends in France.
    Life is so precious.

    ReplyDelete
  31. yes charlotte happy birthday my deepest condolences to fam and friends in france terrible new life should be value and precious looking forward to see the next chapter of the duchess engagement and on the topic note im praying for those who lost their love ones in paris im praying those soul

    ReplyDelete
  32. anon from Leominster10 January 2015 at 18:09

    My deepest condolences to all in France. Such sadness and fear in the world is almost unbearable.

    On a happier note, happy birthday -- one day late-- to Kate and Charlotte. Kate just did extremely well in a popularity poll, higher than Charles and William, and Camilla, who Daily Mail article just said was supposed to be one of our favourite royals was off the map!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dear Charlotte,

    Happy, happy birthday!-I hope you have a marvelous year! Thank you for all you do through this site.

    Happy birthday to HRH. May she have a happy and healthy year also.

    Here's a trick(y) question-does Kate have brown eyes or blue (or green) eyes? I always assumed they were blue as they often look so in photos. Then I read a journalist's comment that Gorgeous George looks like his mother and has her beautiful brown eyes(?!). His eyes are clearly brown. I just thought he favoured his Aunt Pippa that way. Then I saw another photo where Kate's eyes really DID look brown...Are Kate's eyes brown?! Inquiring minds want to know.

    Hope those in cold climes are staying warm. Thanks to all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kate's eyes are hazel with an occasional brown speck.

      http://tinyurl.com/olv7wkv

      Mr. Middleton, Pippa, and Prince George have brown eyes.

      Delete
    2. Hey eyes are green; sometimes her eyes get photoshopped darker or brown to look a little more like George's. It's unnecessary though.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Anonymous 01:16, for the web site reference which really shows Kate's eye colour.

      I also have hazel/green eyes which often trick people. Some people think I'm blue-eyed and others think I'm brown-eyed. I should have recognized the same in Kate.

      I thought Mr. Middleton's eyes were blue too but many sites say they're brown. I'll have to look more carefully next time.

      Thanks to all for the interesting information and comments.

      Delete
    4. Kate does look like a princess in the first Jenny Packham. In the second one, she still looks like the royal girlfriend. And her hair and expressions are part of the effects! In the third formal picture, she simply looks lovely and appropriately turned out. I like it, too.

      Delete
  34. The Jaeger crepe dress is on sale for £49.50 -- I bought one for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  35. A belated happy birthday Charlotte & hope you got very spoilt on the day.

    For France & our French friends here 'Je suis Charlie'

    I could have voted for any of the three evening dresses. They're all knockouts. Ended up choosing the Jenny Packham Blue Wrap dress because it's both elegant & fun.


    ReplyDelete
  36. In the picture above of Kate at the St. Andrews gala (Jenny Packham and emeralds), I suddenly see a Princess emerging. Mary of Denmark once said, "I gradually became Crown Princess Mary." Kate has always been lovely, vivacious, and engaging. But that picture shows something else, something elegant and sophisticated and regal.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happy belated 33rd birthday to Kate! Very much looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings her and them family :)
    My favourite daytime dress was the green teadress she wore to George's birthday photoshoot. My favourite gown was the black lace from the Variety Show.

    Can't wait for your next post Charlotte!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Does anyone know a good substitute for Kate's (Russell and Bromley?) Charge-It boots? I found these by Zara but they are sold out: http://www.zara.com/ca/en/sale/woman/shoes/special-sizes/soft-leather-boot-c541571p2167030.html

    I specifically want the soft leather-looking, flat boot with slight heel, no jazzy stuff all over them. If anyone knows of a good brand that is affordable, I would very much appreciate it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look up LifeStride. They are also available on amazon.

      Delete
  39. Hi Charlotte! I recently read in Vanity Fair that Kate hired a stylist (her former PAS). I always thought that she was notorious for not having one. Do you know if this is true or if it's just gossip.

    Lots of Love from Across the Pond

    Amelia

    ReplyDelete
  40. Maggie - Minneapolis14 January 2015 at 03:37

    Kate was spotted shopping!
    http://www.eonline.com/news/614370/pregnant-kate-middleton-is-a-natural-beauty-as-she-conceals-her-baby-bump-during-rare-shopping-trip

    ReplyDelete
  41. Carmen from Texas14 January 2015 at 19:26

    Hello! As I am not British, I'm wondering if Kate's scheduled events for January are what are considered "working" for the royals? When she tours a building, watches a dance and unveiling a plaque, does that appease British citizens that the monarchy is working? I assume so, but would love to hear from someone living in England.

    Also, you referenced Kate going on "maternity leave"; how is this different from her just not making appearances for a couple of months? I was just wondering about the distinction. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete

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