Thursday, 15 October 2015

All About the State Visit

Yesterday, Buckingham Palace released the full itinerary and details surrounding next week's state visit by President Xi Jinping of China. As this is the first of many such visits we'll be covering, and indeed the first William and Kate will be playing a significant role in, we thought it an appropriate time to take an in-depth look at the week ahead, the history of state visits, and much more.


The Question We've All Been Asking

First things first: do we have confirmation the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be present at Tuesday's state banquet? The answer is no, and there's nothing unusual about this. I learned yesterday attendance isn't confirmed beforehand, not even for Her Majesty the Queen. Again, however, I stress I'll eat my hat if they are not there. When Prince William visited China in March he personally handed over an official invitiation from Her Majesty to Mr XI, and given the fact Charles and Camilla will not be there, it's considered a given William and Kate (tiara and all) will.

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

The Itinerary

The Mr Xi and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan will visit the United Kingdom as guests of the Queen from 20 October to 23 October and will stay at Buckingham Palace. Whilst the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will not be attending the banquet they will play a full role in the visit. On 20 October they will greet Mr Xi and Madame Peng at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on behalf of the Queen. Their Royal Highnesses will then travel with the Mr Xi and Madame Peng to Horse Guards Parade, where the president will receive a ceremonial welcome.


Readers will recall William and Kate undertook a similar role in last year's state visit, welcoming President Tony Tan Keng Yam of Singapore and his wife Mary Chee Bee Kiang at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. It was the first time William and Kate had taken a formal role in a state visit and was seen as something of a warm-up, easing them into taking on a larger role for such events.


A look at the rest of the day's events from the press release:

'The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will formally welcome the President and Madame Peng at the Royal Pavilion on Horse Guards Parade. Presentations will be made, the guard of honour will give a royal salute and the Chinese National Anthem will be played. The President, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will inspect the guard of honour. Afterwards, the President and Madame Peng will join the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for a state carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
 Following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, given by the Queen, Her Majesty will invite the President and Madame Peng to view an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to China.
In the afternoon the President and Madame Peng will visit the Palace of Westminster, where they will be welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The President will deliver an address in the Royal Gallery to Members of the Houses of Parliament and other guests.
 Afterwards, President Xi and Madame Peng will meet with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House. The President and Madame Peng will be invited to view a display by The Prince's School for Traditional Arts and meet students, and thereafter they will join Their Royal Highnesses for tea.
Later, the Duke of Cambridge will call on the President at Buckingham Palace. Following this, President Xi will receive an official call at Buckingham Palace by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, MP.'

That evening, the Queen will host a state banquet at Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty and Mr Xi will both give speeches.

The remainder of the itinerary includes a host of events including a meeting with the Prime Minister David Cameron, a visit to the UK-China Business Summit, a trip to Huawei Technologies and a banquet at Guildhall hosted by the Lord Mayor and attended by the Duke of York. The itinerary can be viewed in its entirety at Majesty Magazine's Facebook Page.

William and Kate's Engagement with the President and His Wife

On Wednesday, 21 October, Mr Xi and Madame Peng will join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a creative industry event at Lancaster House. The event will celebrate cultural collaboration - existing and future - between the UK and China.

Wikipedia

Overnight Rehearsals

Overnight rehearsals are already very much underway. Max Foster shared these photos via his Twitter Feed.

Crown Copyright

The Last Chinese State Visit to the UK

The last state visit from China was by President Ju Jinato in 2005. It's safe to say relations between the British Royal family and China have been somewhat strained. When the Queen and Prince Philip last visited in 1986, Prince Philip famously advised a group of British students: "If you stay here much longer you will all be slitty eyed". Prince Charles also referred to Chinese officials as "appalling old waxworks" in his journal.


There's much talk regarding gentle diplomacy ahead of the visit and given the warm rapport William had with Mr Xi back in March, it seems most sensible for the Cambridges to be involved in the visit. Indeed, just today China's ambassador to the UK said: "China’s president, Xi Jinping, would feel offended if he is spoken to about Beijing’s human rights record during his five-day state visit to Britain next week. Britain is fast becoming the leader in terms of western countries with the best relations with China, and said he expected Xi’s visit to “herald a golden era for the relationship”.

The History and Importance of State Visits

State visits are formal visits to the UK by heads of state from overseas, with the aim of strengthening Britain's relationships with other countries. There are usually two incoming state visits each year. Invitations are sent on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. To view a list of inbound visits since the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 please click here.


State visits usually involve the following components. More from Wikipedia:

  • The visiting head of state is immediately greeted upon arrival by the host (or by a lesser official representative, if the two heads of state are to meet later at another location) and by his or her ambassador (or other head of mission) accredited to the host country.
  • A 21-gun salute is fired in honor of the visiting head of state.
  • The playing of the two national anthems by a military band. The guest country's anthem is usually played first.
  • A review of a military honor guard or guard of honour.
  • The visiting head of state is formally introduced to senior officials/representatives of the host country and the hosting head of state is introduced to the delegation accompanying the visiting head of state.
  • An exchange of gifts between the two heads of state.
  • A state dinner, either white tie or black tie, is mounted by the hosting head of state, with the visiting head of state being the guest of honor.
  • A visit to the legislature of the host country, often with the visiting head of state being invited to deliver a formal address to the assembled members of the legislature.
  • High-profile visits by the visiting heads of state to host country landmarks such as laying a wreath at a military shrine or cemetery.
  • The staging of cultural events celebrating links between the two nations.

State Banquet Preparations

Plans will be very much in action at Buckingham Palace ahead of Tuesday's state banquet, which will have been meticulously planned with every minute detail taken into consideration in recent months. The event takes no less than ten days to prepare and on the night seventy-six members of staff - from underbutlers (are you seeing visions of Downton Abbey, I know I am) to page boys - ensure each plate is laid down at precisely the same time.

The Royal Collection

1,700 pieces of mismatched baroque, rococo and neo-classic cutlery to be placed at each of the 170 table settings precisely 46 cm apart. Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service, which takes a team of eight three weeks to unpack and repack. 1,104 glasses - six for each guest to contain water, champagne for the toast, red wine, white wine, champagne or sweet wine and port - must be laid on the pristine 175-foot dining table.


More from the Telegraph:

'It's choreography, traffic management, fine dining, diplomacy, showbusiness, pageantry - and a glorious set-piece swank. There is nothing to touch the finesse and wow factor of a State Banquet. Tony Blair once called it "a piece of old-fashioned theatre", but no theatre director could put on this kind of big-budget spectacular.
 In preparation, it is not thought odd that men in white aprons should polish a 175ft-long dining table to a mirror shine with a sort of padded croquet mallet while standing on it in their socks. Or that 170 linen napkins, embroidered with the Queen's monogram, are folded by one man, known as the Yeoman of the Glass & China Pantry, in the shape of a Dutch bonnet.'

Each state banquet involves four courses: a starter, then meat or game, followed by desert and ripe, seasonal fruit. Chefs always try to incorporate something special for their guest nation, such as the sugar orchids recently made for the president of Singapore in homage to his country’s national flower. The Queen’s wine cellar, situated beneath the state rooms in one of the oldest parts of the building, holds a staggering 25,000 bottles, some of which are on display.


The menu from last year's state banquet for the president of Ireland at Windsor Castle.


The Journal


More from the Mail Online:

'The banquet itself is always offered ‘butler style’, so each diner serves the food themselves from silver-gilt platters which are presented to them on their left-hand side. Each dish is segmented so they know how much to help themselves to, although some foreign dignitaries are known to carefully watch their neighbour to ensure proper protocol is adhered to at all times.'

A place setting at the banquet.

The Royal Collection

Back to the Telegraph's article:

'Guests who have been to a state banquet say it was one of the most incredible experiences of their lives," says a senior member of the Household. "The pageantry, the perfectionism, the showcasing of British treasures, make it a display of British excellence. It is extremely rewarding for everyone working on it because it is so special.'

There's an excellent video available on YouTube about banquets.


Another one from the British Monarchy, including coverage of President Obama and his wife Michelle's visit to the UK including speeches by Her Majesty and Mr Obama.


And a video featuring Princess Diana attending a banquet in 1982 in a blue dress and dazzling jewels.



Will We See Many Photos from Inside the Banquet and When Will They Be Released?

We expect to see photos released on the night of the banquet, absolutely. There are usually several of the Royal family and a video. Whilst we won't be seeing full-length arrival/departure shots, we do expect to see a few photos of Kate. It's been suggested we may see better photo coverage than in recent years due to the interest in the Cambridges' attendance. To give you an idea of what to expect, let's take a look at the 2011 banquet held for President Obama.


There's usually a few good shots of the guests seated.


And portraits afterwards of the Queen, Prince Philip and the guests. The Duke and Duchess will not feature in these photos.


What Will Kate Wear?

One imagines Kate's look for the banquet has been in the planning for some time now. I would be enormously surprised if her choice on the night is not by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen or Jenny Packham. Kate has a fantastic relationship with both of these designers. They know silhouettes and styles the Duchess favours, and of course, Kate may very well want to give a nod to China by implementing red or gold detail or embroidery in her dress. We know Her Royal Highness is more than adept when it comes to fashion diplomacy; for a state dinner in Malaysia in 2012 Kate wore a bespoke McQueen gown embroidered with hibiscuses - the Malaysia national flower.


Jewels will have been selected by now to complement Kate's chosen gown, and of course, the tiara. I do expect we'll see the Duchess in either the Cartier 'Halo' tiara she wore on her wedding or the 'Papyrus' tiara she wore to the annual Diplomatic Reception in 2013.


Kate may surprise us on the night, as she's done so before. Many of you suggested stunning ensembles which would be perfect for the occasion (remember you can still vote for your favourite banquet look as suggested by readers here).

It's been suggested Kate could opt for a designer with links to China, something the Duchess will have at least considered. One designer I noticed after a little research is Ping He. Born in China, she studied fashion design at Nottingham Trent University before working at Alexander McQueen. Whilst working for the brand her natural artistic talent and love of architecture and structured silhouettes was nurtured.

Ping He

Now she has a successful brand of her own and her star is very much on the rise. Below we see four looks with potential for Kate. Perhaps a possibility or two for William and Kate's engagement with President Xi and his wife on the 21st.

Ping He

I'm very much looking forward to the state visit, and to hearing your thoughts throughout. It was so interesting to learn more about state visits during my research, their importance in terms of diplomacy and good relations, and it will be great to see William and Kate playing an active part!

Other News on the Cambridges

We also have a few quick updates to share with you tonight, beginning with word William and Kate are to carry out five engagements in Dundee, Scotland on Friday 23 October focusing on young people and mental health.

More from the press release:

'The Earl and Countess of Strathearn will visit Dundee Rep. Theatre where they will meet families participating in one of the theatre's regular Family Fun Day programmes. They will meet with the cast and crew of 'In Her Shadows', a visual performance that explores a young woman's relationship with the complexity of her depression whilst challenging the stigmas that surround it.
 The Earl and Countess of Strathearn will visit The Corner and participate in an anti-bullying workshop. The Corner, funded in partnership by Dundee City Council and NHS Tayside, offers a range of physical and mental health services for young people, many of them peer-led. The workshop will be facilitated by Scotland's anti-bullying service, RespectMe.
They will also have a chance to see the city and people of Dundee, by meeting families participating in a family fun day at the Dundee Repertory Theatre, a visit to The Discovery, and in a public walkabout. The day will conclude with a visit to Abertay University.'

************ 

Prince William carried out two engagements today. Whilst opening a new archive centre housing historic documents at St John's College he spoke about George and Charlotte's different personalities.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

Earlier this evening, William opened up about the pain of grieving for his mother at an event marking the 21st anniversary of the founding of charity Child Bereavement UK, a charity his mother helped establish.


Speaking in front of 270 guests William spoke movingly:

'Twenty one years ago last month, my mother attended the launch of the Child Bereavement Charity,”Fifteen years later, I was honoured to be invited to become Patron of Child Bereavement UK to continue my mother's commitment to a charity which is very dear to me. 
 What my mother recognised back then – and what I understand now – is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure. But my mother was determined to help those in need and she would have been immensely proud – as I am – of all that Child Bereavement UK has achieved these last 21 years.
 As a father to two young children, I now appreciate it all the more.'

Kensington Palace shared a photo of Diana at the launch of Child Bereavement UK twenty-one years ago.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

You can read more on the event at the Express.

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

We've also added autumn/winter staples and other stylish pieces to our Repli-Kate page, and finally, we expect to see William and Kate on Saturday for the Wales v South Africa match in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. :)

244 comments:

  1. The day has 10+ items BEFORE the State Dinner! The President and Madame will be exhausted!

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG... Charlotte, you outdid yourself with this post. I cannot begin to imagine the time and effort you must have put into. Thank you!

    I am sooo looking forward to these engagements. :))

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rose from Montreal, Canada16 October 2015 at 00:51

    Thank you Thank you Thank you dear Charlotte. I am getting really excited just reading all the wonderful details you provided. Wow and double wow, you are truly amazing and informative. I can honestly say I have learned a great deal with the truly inspiring details and information you provide. I am speechless. Thank you so very very much. I am so looking forward to the State Banquet and all the sightings we will see of our favorite Duchess.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an excellence page Charlotte. Thank you.
    I so enjoyed all the information, particularly about the banquets. I even liked that menu. I was thinking there would be a lot of super fancy stuff that I would have to google to find out what it was, but, surprisingly, not so. I would love to go to one of those banquets. I would love to work on putting together and presenting anything pertaining to those banquets. :)
    Obviously, I enjoyed this page a lot. Thank you Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No soup or salad course, mismatched golden flatware. Such a mixture of the grand and the practical - like the Queen herself!

      Delete
    2. nice analogy 02:27.

      Delete
  5. Michelle Obama looked lovely. Who was the designer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. She looks so effortlessly regal.

      Delete
    2. Why wasn't the Queen wearing a tiara for the visit of the French president?

      Delete
    3. I have to disagree with you that Michelle Obama looked effortlessly regal. While I think she is a very beautiful woman, I feel what she wore was so inappropriate. She is representing the United States and in the presence of the Queen and she looks like she is heading to a high school prom. That dress was way too revealing for the occasion. She is a very fashionable woman and I felt she could have made a better choice in a dress. :(

      Delete
    4. I loved Michelle's dress, very much. I did not think it was too revealing at all. If you watch videos of other state banquets on you tube you will see gowns similar in style to hers and some even more revealing.

      Delete
    5. The crossed straps on Michelle's dress were a bit strange, but the gown was not as revealing as Kate's for the Indonesian banquet or Princess Anne's for the Irish state dinner. I even wondered at the time whether Kate's low cut bodice was appropriate In Indonesia. Michelle did wear the long gloves we have debated about. I wonder where ladies put those gloves while they are eating!

      Delete
    6. Way too revealing? In what way? I see a little shoulder. Kate's dress for the state dinner in Malaysia was much more revealing in the neckline, and was considered by many to be inappropriate, as you can see the other women at that banquet were more modest in their dress, as would be expected in that country.

      Delete
    7. Yes, Malaysia. Thanks for the correction! Anon 13:26

      Delete
    8. I loved Michelle Obama's look at that banquet. Compare Camilla's dress for the same banquet. It's at the edges of her shoulders and "reveals" much of her upper chest, but it's entirely appropriate. Ms. Obama's dress was just fine, and the gloves were a perfect finish to the look.

      Delete
    9. Doesn't anyone remember the Queen's gowns from the 1950's and 1960's?

      Delete
    10. She wore new outfits and gowns almost always back in the day and they were GORGEOUS. Each outfit a sartorial piece of art and chronicle of
      the eras. The same is true with Diana.

      Delete
    11. Also very daring, Michelle Obama's gown is demure, compared to those dresses. The Queen has aged and
      her gowns are now modest. Diana was still young and displayed her assets to full advantage.
      The younger European royals display a bit of décolleté at times. (is that correct, French readers?)

      Delete
    12. Agree. Look at the gowns worn in the past. Queen Elizabeth had/has an incredible figure and she showed it off to great advantage in many of her day and evening outfits. Ali

      Delete
    13. she certainly did. She was a very beautiful woman. Still is.

      Delete
    14. What a great to put that anon @ 03:13,

      Each outfit WAS a sartorial piece of art AND a chronicle of the era. Thank God we have photos. Those outfits were SO beautiful. Same with Diana.

      Delete
  6. Sarah from Calif.16 October 2015 at 01:55

    Charlotte, well done! Lots of great information here :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll echo everyone else with a "huzzah, Charlotte" for a job very well done.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The videos were so informative and interesting as was this entire post. I am going to watch the videos a second time as there was so much to take in. Excellently done, yet again, Charlotte. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It really does take a village (a large village). And, everyone seems to truly love what they do for the Queen. She employs many. More importantly she maintains through those positions skill sets that might otherwise have been lost to posterity. Her standard of excellence serves posterity with integrity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She does employ many. What we saw was small percentage. They all seem to adore and respect her.

      Delete
    2. I wonder how many of her employees who care for her palaces and prepare for her parties have actually
      had enough personal contact with her to adore her? Perhaps they adore her image and respect her
      position. I doubt if many know her well enough to have a personal relationship with her-as is true in any
      business of any great size.

      Delete
    3. I certainly didn't mean they are all buds.
      I meant they adore her as their sovereign whose service they are in.

      Delete
    4. "all buds", lol, I can picture it all now. That would be something to see.

      Delete
  10. Julia from Leominster16 October 2015 at 02:16

    Outstanding post, Charlotte, you've really done a magnificent job as always. Loved reading about the banquet - somehow, I used to think the menu was in French - I'm glad it's not.

    It's a busy schedule for the Chinese president and his wife. There's been all manners of talk about his meeting with Corbyn but I suspect it will all go suitably.

    I notice the queen has avoided white on her previous Chinese banquets - wearing lavender for her visit there and gold in 2005, so I suspect all those fabulous white gowns in our list of sixty will need to wait for another royal event - there are some where white is almost mandated. It will be exciting to see what Kate does wear. Her Malaysian gown was so creative - I would love to see something similarly apropros.

    What a wonderful event for William - wish Kate had been there too, but oh well. There was a lovely article in the DM about Julia Samuel talking about her relationship with Diana http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-3261701/Princess-Diana-friend-Julia-Samuel-Diana-just-worked-Julia-Samuel-friendship-late-princess-shared-compassion-charitable-causes.html. Worth reading.

    The Dundee visit sounds like an important one for William and Kate. They really seem to be moving into their role - but don't want to speak too soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia: many thanks for the link re. the Julia Samuel interview. After Diana's death, I read that Julia 'wasn't as close to Diana as she purported to be', and that comment stuck with me over the years, but I now believe it must be untrue. I suppose, though, that Diana did sometimes 'freeze out' friends that she had previously had been very close to, so it's possible that their relationship may have gone through a 'rough patch'. It's all speculation, like many royal matters! Changing the subject, it will be interesting to see if Kate IS wearing the Queen's family order at the banquet.

      Delete
    2. Gosh! Imagine if Kate is NOT at the banquet! Anything is possible!

      Delete
    3. Hi Julia, in the Chinese culture the color white is associated with funerals and mourning which is why the Queen would not wear that color at a banquet honoring the Chinese banquet.

      Delete
    4. If Kate does not show up at the banquet, there may be rioting in the streets, after all the media build-up.
      It would be so much fun to see her all fitted out in princess gear. However, the possibility of a hat-munching
      event starring Charlotte is most intriguing.

      Delete
    5. save the hats. show the gowns.

      Delete
    6. Anon. 16:12, how right you are the media certainly has promoted the fact that Kate would attend the banquet never with any conformation from the palace. If for some reason Kate never was invited to attend she will get the blame not the media. I can just see the posts, "Kate refuses to take on her Royal Role". Just as above, Richard Palmer tweet sounds like he wants the palace to do something that is not part of their regular protocol so it is now their fault.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster18 October 2015 at 06:14

      If William and Kate don't attend, it can mean that they weren't invited - although that would be something discussed with the couple and a decision mutually made. If William attends without Kate, she was invited and didn't come - husbands are not invited without wives - something I've mentioned here before. William is an heir to the throne - the decision whether to attend is almost certainly his and Kate's.

      Delete
    8. Actually, I don't think Kate will get blamed if she is not at the banquet. I think the BRF and particularly the Queen will feel the heat. It will reflect badly on them, not Kate.

      Delete
    9. In "discussions" involving the Queen, I think she usually gets her way. If the Queen doesn't want them there,
      you can bet they won't be there. She may "discuss" the reasons why she did not invite them, but I doubt
      William is going to argue with HM.

      Charles was certainly an heir-THE heir- when he wanted to marry Camilla before Diana.-the decision most
      certainly was not his to make.

      Delete
    10. Erika, it depends on the *source* (of the blame). You are correct, but so is Anon 19:26. :))

      Delete
    11. Julia from Leominster20 October 2015 at 06:51

      The queen is not a dictator - even when Diana was separated from Charles, she was invited to attend royal banquets. While as we know royals - particularly William and Kate but also Anne and Edward and Sophie sometimes attend evening events separately, (which doesn't mean the spouse was not "invited" but how the royals worked it out with the charity through private secretaries) State Banquets are like Noah's ark - people come in pairs.
      Thus I think it very unlikely William would attend without Kate unless it is their choice for some reason - for the queen not to invite would be an unspeakable insult to Kate, and I think it very likely the couple will attend. Already, Charles and Camilla aren't attending, and it will start to look like a slap in the face to China if too many major royals are absent - especially after William just did a tour there.

      Delete
  11. Victoria, Oregon16 October 2015 at 02:22

    What an interesting post, Charlotte. Thanks for taking the time to share all the details of a state visit.

    Mary, I agree... 10 or more events/meeting before the Dinner... that's a lot of emotional / mental / physical energy to expend before a (maybe) once-in-a-lifetime event! I've often wondered how politicians do it. Do they just drink a lot of coffee and then use sleeping pills to go to sleep? I'm kind-of being facetious and kind-of not.

    I hope we do get some good pictures. Looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post! So I have two questions:

    1. How do we know the that Charles and Camilla will not be at the state banquet, especially since BP refuses to confirm?

    2. Who are all these other people invited to the banquet? How does one typically find their way onto the guest list?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gordon Rayner with The Telegraph had confirmation from BP and Clarence House, that although Charles would be involved in some aspects of the visit, he would not be attending the dinner. Rayner said they refused to give an explanation for why he could not attend, and Rayner called it "an apparent snub".

      Delete
    2. Oh, interesting Claudia thank you.

      Delete
    3. The guy who was waiting to raise the flag was so comical. What a sweetie. :)

      Delete
    4. I think it has more to do with the fact that William had visited and given the invitation.

      Of course, the media is going to be negative about it.

      Delete
    5. Prince Charles has not been a fan of China's leaders and regime for over a decade and more. He is also a huge supporter of the Dalai Lama and the issues with Tibet and feels they cold do more regarding climate issues.

      This is not the first time he has not participated in these meetings.

      I have read today in several papers that he has however decided to make a bit of an effort with this state visit and did not meet with the Dalai Lama last month in a work up to the visit now. He is also going to meet the Chinese President and they will have them at home and have tea.

      But he will not be at the State dinner unless something major changes. This is another sign that the a Cambridges will most certainly be there. If not the heir...then the heir to the heir. Plus as the post stated there is a relationship between William and the Chinese President already.

      Charles is Charles and as we all know he is rather stubborn. I admire his convictions but when he ascends to the throne he will not be able to 'snub' a visiting leader.

      For me I am glad he and Camilla will be absent as we get to see W&K.

      Great post Charlotte

      DB

      Delete
    6. It is my understanding that William was sent to China to issue the invitation because of Charles frosty relationship with the Chinese and in consideration that the Queen has slowed down on her long distance travel. It was William who was tasked last fall to appear at the new Chinese Study Center at Oxford opening as well. Charles and Philip have made some unfortunate remarks regarding the Chinese and leadership - which caused folks to question the royal's value in providing diplomatic service to the country. International relations are tricky enough without having to deal with thoughtless and egoistic self centered men. William shows a bit of this himself - His interest in illegal wildlife trade is being given air time on Chinese TV. Of all the things for a diplomat to promote on another country's media - it has nothing to do with British and Commonwealth interests.

      Delete
    7. I like Charles. He is funny and caring. The thought of Charles as King is not a thought I like to entertain. He does have agendas that are good but out there, not mainstream. Couple that with that stubbornness and it is not not a comforting scenario. no offense. I could be wrong about that and I hope I am, but I just don't have a good feeling about it, even though I like him otherwise.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca - Sweden16 October 2015 at 21:42

      I agree that that is why William was sent there Moxie.. The difference between William and them is that William is going the proper ways with his without making stupid comments. I mean, this was clearly in the works for a while and he had the full support of the Chinese in his endevaor (as we can see since China signed papers with the US over it). It's not like he in the middle of his visit started lecturing them on wildlife on a whim. It was thoroughly cleared by both the chinese government and the british, as is this speech. It's a HUGE difference to make a difference that way and to make diplomatic incidents by boycotting things and cracking stupid comments. This is why I think William will do very well, he's good at being neutral when it matters. As long as they don't attack his family, he will be a big asset to the british government in smoothing water and (as in this case) being an olive branch.

      Delete
    9. Illegal wildlife trade impacts the entire planet and is a worthy topic for William to discuss. Entire species
      can't be decimated without consequences that reach every part of the Earth. Also the use of ivory has been a
      significant part of China's history. Most appropriate topic.
      William may be diplomatic, but he did not visit China as a diplomat. He was representing the Queen as a
      member of the royal family.

      Delete
    10. I was thinking the same thing Rebecca. Charles can take after Phillip once in a while and they both have some out of the box opinions, and a not-so-diplomatic sense of humor that surfaces at the wrong times. William has Diana's tact and charisma.

      Delete
    11. Anon 23:56 - you are referring to the Queen that is the Head of State for the UK and Commonwealth are you not? He was not representing the Mountbatten-Windsors - Betty, Phil, Chaz, Anne, Andy and Eddie. Here is what the trip was about according to the UK's official media source, the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31683579

      I don't know any country that would listen to a foreign prince lecture them on culture. It would be as if he gave a speech on American television on gun control. The reality on species decimation is that it has been happening since the dawn of time and will continue to happen with or without human intervention. Imagine William giving that same speech about Wildlife on American television - how many people would go - Oh! Since Prince William asked us nicely! Lets change our ways.

      Delete
    12. Maggie - Minneapolis17 October 2015 at 17:44

      Talking about wildlife is important because it's a way to establish relations with China - i.e. it's important to find areas that they can agree on, that foster dialogue that can spillover to other areas that cause more tension. I don't think they are letting William speak on Chinese TV because it will actually do anything, but because it's a diplomatic nicety. I don't see the harm.

      I don't know about William having tact though. Remember when they did the Singapore state visit and William made that bedroom comment? It made me cringe so much. Honestly, I almost get the feeling that the difference between William's "tact" and Charles' sometimes blatantly "rude" comments is that William just doesn't have strong convictions about most of this stuff like Charles does. So he has tact because he just doesn't care. I could be wrong obviously. Charles obviously could stand to be a bit more diplomatic, certainly when he is King, but really why is he getting any hate for pointing out (correctly) that the Chinese have an abysmal record on human rights? That's different than Phillip, who frankly just seems very racist.

      Delete
    13. William and Charles could be playing tag team to get the human rights issue out there and let the Chinese government know it is an issue. William playing "good" guy, Charles playing "bad" guy.
      The point is human rights within China are in the news more now. Just a guess.

      Delete
    14. Charles will make a visit to Western Australia in November. Wonder if he will tackle the problems of the
      Aborigines and the refugee camps? So far, he has an appearance scheduled on a beach where he was
      photographed being kissed by a bikini-clad model in the 1970's.You can bet that won't happen again.(Camilla is going with plus Security) He has about
      24 advance workers smoothing the way for his visit. I'm sure he will be busy.

      By the way, Moxie, the Pope recently addressed the US Congress on many perceived US failings, including
      gun control, I believe. William is
      not lecturing the Chinese people. It is a co-operative project.

      Delete
    15. Maggie - Minneapolis19 October 2015 at 07:56

      I can't believe people are comparing/equating what Philip and Charles have said about the Chinese. Philip's remarks are like blatantly racist. There's no getting around it. Frankly, I don't like Philip at all. But most of Charles' infamous comments seems to stem from his dislike of their human rights abuses, which seems completely reasonable. Yes, maybe he could use some more tact, but I kind of like that Charles refuses to be the typical royal who never voices his opinion on anything. I like that he cares enough to have an opinion. I do think that is risky as King, but I hate that it is, and I don't blame him for it.

      Delete
    16. Maggie, you don't think the phrase "appalling old waxworks" is a deliberate insult, ageist if not overtly racist? Charles's language is certainly as reprehensible as his father's.

      Delete
  13. Julia from Leominster16 October 2015 at 02:28

    Forgot to mention to that it would be wonderful if she wore something by Ping He and there are some great choices there - it picks up Laura's idea of using a Chinese designer and a number of other Chinese gowns in our sixty.

    ReplyDelete
  14. William's speech was poignant. I have a feeling they may have played a part in William (and Harry's) healing process. Although, I think Kate has played the biggest part in his healing. Not to minimize the charity in any way.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you all so much for your comments. The post was so much fun to research and write. I'm very much looking forward to next week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlotte, I'm curious how much time it took for you to research to give us the basic foundation of what goes into a state banquet? I ask because I found this to be a perfect example of "behind the scenes" work that Kate has to learn being a princess and future queen. She will have to not only learn it, but be the example of it. I wonder how many times she's had to practice drinking from glasses, holding silverware, how to make conversation, walk, sit, stand ect ect.

      Delete
    2. Hello,

      I would say the research aspect took 3-4 hours (I got quite distracted looking at videos to get a feel of these events). This would have included reading articles, watching videos, searching for prep info on state visits and banquets and reading up on designers with links to both China and Britain.

      I imagine Kate has done her own research and will have been advised in recent months.

      Delete
  16. Bravo William... This is what some of us were discussing in a recent post, the importance of speaking up about any personal connection to a charity or charitable cause.

    It takes courage, when you start to speak publicly about something so personal and emotionally charged, your composure can disappear quickly! But from a practical standpoint, it's wonderful for the charity, not to mention for the people they serve. Because William gave this brief but personal insight, his speech got a lot of attention, more people took the time to read about it, and the name and mission of the charity probably sunk in a little more. I admire him for sharing, and hope it continues when appropriate.

    And to reiterate what others have said, bravo Charlotte for this post! You would make an excellent producer :)

    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had never realized that the portion of Windsor Castle that burned had been emptied of furniture artwork carpets etc, because of cleaning. What a Godsend that was.

      Delete
    2. There are pictures of Prince Andrew directing removal of furniture and artworks that were still in some of the rooms. He happened to be at Windsor when the fire started.

      Delete
    3. In the video, Prince Phillip was saying that days BEFORE the fire a lot of stuff had been emptied out of the rooms for cleaning purposes. a miracle, really. So, apparently, the things Andrew helped remove were just a remnant of things. That Andrew was there is yet another blessing.
      Another thing Phillip said about that, in typical Phillip style, was that those areas were due for renovation anyway. He was the one responsible for the restoration/renovation.

      Delete
    4. If I didn't know for sure that the RF would never deliberately burn any part of the Queen's beloved Windsor Castle, the interview on the video with Prince Phillip might have one calling Scitland Yard. lol
      castle area emptied before fire, Andrew right there to empty remnant contents, Prince Phillip saying it needed to be renovated anyway, Prince Phillip the one to head renovation/restoration?
      a little English mystery, anyone? :)
      (I am totally joking. I thought the coincidences were rather cute and oh so Phillip.)

      Delete
    5. Then the Queen arrives and watches the horrible fire in the rain, wearing a hooded raincoat and walking around in obvious anguish. Part of her annus horribilis, the rest of which was provided by her family!

      Delete
  17. Thank You Charlotte, what a great informative post. The Telegraph is also reporting that Kate and William will be attending the State Banquet and participating in multiple events.

    On the fashion statement, I would love to see Kate in the white Ping He, heck I wish I could have that coat or dress with the shawl.

    On William's speech, how I admire him and how hard it must have been to open up about loosing his mother in his teenage years to all those people listening. No one can say he has not experienced grief first hand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of those people there might have worked with William and his brother to help them overcome their grief.

      Delete
  18. Kate, Texas, USA16 October 2015 at 04:00

    Absolutely fabulous job Charlotte! This post is so informative and interesting! It really gives great insight into more than just the banquet, but all the details of a state visit. Again, great job!

    I love what William had to say about George and Charlotte...lively and lady-like. I had to giggle a bit over the lively comment. Having two boys and two girls myself, I have to agree. :) Congrats to Child Bereavement UK and all those involved with the charity on 21 years. I applaud William for opening up about his personal feelings and of a grief he knows all to well after his mother's death. There's a personal connection on a deeper level for William and you can sense the sincerity and care in his words. I think Diana would be so proud of him.

    Will and Kate will be very busy over the coming days. Charlotte, I hope you can rest up in preparation for all the engagements and events to come. Thank you again for the time and effort in this post. Looking forward to the rugby match on Saturday and eagerly awaiting any and all news on the state banquet!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you, Charlotte, for a wonderfully informative and beautifully illustrated post! The included videos make the state banquets so much more real and majestic. Our appetites are fully whetted for what is to come next week, and I can only cross my fingers and wish that Kate will be shown clearly in what is sure to be an elegant look.

    Speaking of formal attire, I am reminded of our exhibit every time I turn on the computer. Ads for our choices of gowns and clutches keep appearing, no matter what I am viewing. So much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow. Great job!!! Sounds so interesting and tiring especially after travel from China. So much activity and engagements coming up. What fun Oct will be

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the footage of Diana attending the 1983 banquet, on the arm of Robert Runcie.

    ReplyDelete
  22. looking forward to that event im so dismay about what happen last post did know who controlling but my second comment on the thread last post im that terrible sorry about the shit made my sister beau he said sorry

    looking forward to the tiara and gown poala magi

    im 26 years old
    great post charlotte its very informative and lot effort

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a great and informative posts, thank you a million Charlotte. I found out lots of interesting facts, though I couldn't watch the videos yet but...soon.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Tedi in California (currently in New York City)16 October 2015 at 05:39

    What a lovely and informative post. Great reading, thanks Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wonder whether anyone here knows how it is decided whether a visiting head of state will be entertained at Buckingham Palace or at Windsor Castle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are usually 2 State visits a year, and one of them is at Buckingham Palace and the other Windsor Castle. Occasionally you have a State Visit in Scotland at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, GertsRoyals. Interesting to know.

      Delete
    3. Does the Queen personally own the palace of Holyroodhouse or is it like Buckingham palace?

      Delete
    4. The Queen doesn't own it, it owned by "the Crown". The Queen does own Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, Gert. nice to know that.

      Delete
  26. I've had an absolute bugger of an afternoon (it's 5pm here in Oz), I thought, 'What will take my mind of things and help me smile?', sure enough I ended up checking "the Kate blog" :-) Fantastically informative as always Charlotte, Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've never seen Camilla look lovelier than in the blue off-the-shoulder gown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virginia, she looked young, pretty and glowing.
      (just let's not let Julia and RF hear us saying that.)
      :)
      Those diamonds. Did they sparkle, sparkle or what?
      so pretty.

      Delete
  28. Ok so I'm just gonna say it. I fail to see how a baby is lady like lol. Charlotte isn't even a year yet so at this point she's doing what all babies do. I've never see a lady like baby before.
    Not trying to be critical of William's comment, but it's getting so much press and it's just an odd comment to make about a baby in my opinion. She doesn't even know she's a girl yet lol.
    I'm sure there's going to be someone out there who will say how their child was lady like at a very young age, but come one all babies are basically doing the same thing sleeping, eating, drooling, pooping lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps "lady-like" is a stretch, but I suspect he was commenting more on the differences between Charlotte and George at the same age. I get the impression from the comments Will and Kate have made about George that he was a very loud, busy, somewhat difficult baby. By contrast, Charlotte seems to be (at least by her parents' estimation) much quieter and calmer.

      Delete
    2. George appears to be very focused and alert at all times, very goal-oriented concerning his environment and the things in his surroundings.
      The videos at the play date and him embarking and disembarking from the aircraft show that. When he was being shown the wallaby, they could barely hold him. He was running in the air before his feet even touched the ground. He was keen to find out about Charlotte at her christening. I don't think he is hyperactive. I think he is by nature a go-getter. The photos of him on the steps with that onery little smile on his face and pose of determination says it all. The Cambridges have definitely had their hands full. (yes, even with a nanny.)

      Delete
    3. more docile than George. To William, her more docile femaleness is "lady-like". made perfect sense to me, certainly no big deal. can't believe people didn't get what he meant.

      Delete
    4. I think most parents find that every baby is different, based on personality differences that can show up very early on. Perhaps that is what William is expressing. Finding fault with his choice of words here might be somewhat nit-picky. It's true that there are those obvious similarities that Blair pointed out, however.

      Delete
    5. somewhat? nit-picky??????????????

      No offense, but I think it was very obvious what he meant and I think it was sweet of him to comment. He is a guy. How else is he, on the spur of the moment, going to describe his new baby girl? I think his comment was fine.

      Delete
    6. I have a very strong feeling that George's behavior and mannerisms at five months is distinguishably different than Charlotte's, no contest. Yes, they both do the things babies do at that age but they do have obvious personalities even at five months. So, by comparison with "little monkey", George, Charlotte could very easily appear gentler, quieter, more passive and more "lady-like".

      Delete
    7. I assumed he meant a more easy going nature in Charlotte's case.

      Delete
    8. The photos in front of the hospital gave the first inkling of times to come-George waving his hands around and scowling; Charlotte calm and peaceful.

      Delete
    9. Maybe having a baby for the first time is difficult because you are uncertain and insecure which is sticking on the baby too. I have a friend of mine they had the same case. The first was crying so a difficult baby ones called it. She even had depression although everything was provided. While the second was very easy. Mother handled it better too.

      I wouldn't say I would have used the same wording but probably he referred to the difference between the kids. I wish they had published few pics of them. I am dying to see them:)

      Delete
    10. I dont see anything weird about what he said. William says things oddly but I am pretty sure he means Charlotte is chill and George is active. He usually makes comments about how much work George is, so Im not going to complain when he says something positive.

      Delete
    11. Lol Anon 5:48 I wasn't doing anything like that. Just because you don't like my comment doesn't mean you have to put me down for it. If you've seen any of my other comments I have nothing but nice things to say about William. This was not coming off as "negative" or critical. I simply said that I thought his comment was odd. Nothing more, nothing less. To me personally it was an odd comment. I've also seen similar comments on different sites. So I'm not the only one who thinks it.
      I don't find fault with what he said, of course he's proud of his children. Royal or not all parents are proud of their children and love to talk about them.
      I think a few people need to lighten up. We all have different opinions and what's so great about this site is that we can express them as we like, within reason.

      Delete
    12. Blair

      Leave it, the same Anon comes by all the time, you will see the pattern here, she uses the verb "put down" many times.

      I totally agree with your last 2 sentences!! We have a great Admin here!

      Delete
  29. Love this post Charlotte! I especially enjoyed reading about the preparations and table settings. Thank you! Cant wait to see the tiaras!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Appreciate the photo of my First Lady Michelle. She was absolutely stunning at that banquet, as always. NOBODY can top Michelle Obama when it comes to formal evening wear..
    But I have a feeling (hoping) Kate is going to wow us on the20th.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Charlotte, another fantastic post! I love the McQueen gown Catherine wore in Malaysia and hope she does something like it for the state dinner. I would also like to see her in one of Ping He's for the day event.
    Diana looks exceptionally beautiful in that suit and Michelle Obama looked amazing in Tom Ford. Thanks for the great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Quote from Ali MacGraw: “It [fame] is brutal for women. I don’t think there’s a woman over 40 who’s ever been conspicuously in the spotlight who doesn’t get sick of the kind of questioning the media lays on you, the fashion industry, all of it. It’s cruel.” Kate is certainly finding that out. Many of you are too young to remember how the Queen was criticized for frumpy clothes, teeth too large, voice too high pitched, etc. It's inevitable and has to be ignored in order to retain one's sanity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so true! The way the queen survived is by just continuing her life without apologies or justifications or explanations or...and this is where the younger royals differ...without interviews with media.

      Delete
  33. Anyone have any Idea yet why the Queen did not wear a tiara for the state banquet when the French president visited?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what your referring to She worn Tiaras for the last state visits

      Queen in France for State Visit 2014
      http://gty.im/450198924?share=site_twitter

      French State visit 2008
      http://gty.im/116817952?share=site_twitter

      The Queen didn’t wear a Tiara at the 2004 dinner with French President, but that was not a State Banquet. It was just a dinner and no one was wearing a Tiara. This wasn’t one of the 2 State visits of the year it was a Official Visit to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale.
      http://gty.im/52117381?share=site_twitter

      Delete
    2. Thanks Gert. my mistake. Glad to know we are in tiara territory for this event.

      Delete
    3. Definitely in the Tiara Territory!

      Delete
  34. Charlotte, what a beautifully done post! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I don't know why the Queen didn't wear a tiara for that state banquet,

    but that makes me wonder then if it is really a given that the Queen or anyone else will wear a tiara
    for the Chinese state banquet since she didn't wear one when hosting the French president at that state banquet. oh my.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nm, my mistake. tiara alert, cancelled.

      Delete
  36. I thought it was interesting in the description of events that it is Prince Philip that will accompany the President when they inspect the guard of honor. Why not the Queen? Usually the two heads of state do the inspection together. The Queen inspected the military when she went on a state visit to Germany recently. I wonder if she is starting to get tired of the walking that the inspection entails.

    It's also interesting to note that the Americans are not decked out with ribbons and stars and medals at these banquets. Just beautiful gowns and formal wear. I personally think the ribands or sashes distract from the royal ladies's gowns, and interfere with their carefully selected look of dress & jewelry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mending fences, I suspect, eelady-re: Phillip.

      Delete
    2. It seems to me that Prince Philip is always the one to inspect troops with the guest.

      Delete
    3. Prince Philip always does the escort for the military inspections

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - Sweden18 October 2015 at 01:53

      Might be one of those things they implememnted in the beginning of the Queens reign when noone knew what Phillips role would be. You know, just to give him something to do other than escort the wives of the leaders around :P

      Delete
    5. Rebecca, You might be right...Ali

      Delete
  37. Thanks for all your work on this post Charlotte - it was a great read. Kudos to William too for his heartfelt speech. I'm really looking forward to all the upcoming events.

    And Moxie you're way off base in your comment about William and his visit to China. The illegal wildlife trade has everything to do with the UK and the Commonwealth. Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia are some of the most impacted by this illegal trade. Even in Australia we have major problems with the illegal trade in birds & reptiles. This topic has been discussed a number of times at CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in recent years. The November 2013 Communique from CHOGM included a statement on the illegal wildlife trade. The Chinese government has also made a number of statements about cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade so it's likely that they would have welcomed William's speech. Anon at 23:56 is spot on in stating that William was in China representing the BRF and not the government. The Queen as monarch is apolitical and represents the British nation and not the government of the day. This is a subtle but very important distinction. Judging by the articles in the foreign relations media William's visit to Japan & China has enhanced his standing because of his deft handling of the visits despite the very high tensions between the two countries over disputed territories, and the international tensions around China's building of the concrete islands/military bases along the main shipping channel in the South China Sea.

    On a fun fashion note - I loved Michelle Obama's whole look for the State visit dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue Wren,

      Thank you. wow, who knew? I wish the media would include these facts in their articles. Thank you. I am going to do more research into these things, particularly the military bases. wow

      Delete
    2. Blue Wren-almost missed your comment. Glad I didn't. I wish you could comment more often, as I have a
      feeling you are well-acquainted with the facts and do not regurgitate tabloid and partisan drivel. I do feel
      that William is well up to the task at hand and will continue to prove worthy of his increasing responsibilities.

      Delete
    3. Blue Wren - your comment stating that there is a fine distinction when a royal travels abroad is noted. However in reality it is the government that sets the agenda, makes the schedule and deals with the various countries. The royal family does not operate independently of the government and decide on its own who they are going to visit, when they do it, and what they are going to talk about. They claim that "independence" as a diplomatic tool. If they were truly independent, they wouldn't use the taxes the government collects and gives them - to fund their endeavors.

      The statement "illegal wildlife trade has great impact" - has not been proven. (If all the elephants are killed - how does that effect the world other then no longer seeing elephants? Governments tend to focus on illegal wildlife trade in effort to distract from the PEOPLE on this earth being impacted by Government policy - human rights violations, war, economic inequality, etc.) So I recognize your "common ground" for talks angle, but it is a red herring, in my opinion. I stand by my position that any foreign prince lecturing to another culture is irrelevant because no culture recognizes that person as an authority. Someone brought up the Pope visiting the US - and the difference is the Pope is a recognized spiritual leader who has adherents in the US. Who is William to the Chinese people? I used the US as an explanation. William is to China as William is to the US.

      So I disagree that I am "way off base" - I think I'm closer to home then you realize.

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - Sweden19 October 2015 at 16:32

      I don't think "great impact" was soley the death of the animals. But that it's the 3rd biggest trafficking in the world (after drugs and humans) and a big deal in funding terrorism.

      Also, William is probably speaking there more as a "celebrity" than a government official. He's the young prince alot of the younger people might had crushes on and the son of Diana. Things he does get noticed in general magazines and pop culture. Hence, he spreads the word and get people talking. And this is a speach on a government funded channel in China talking about wildlife trade. That is huge. He's an official person from a country with kind of unstable relationship with China talking on a very government sanctioned chanel about a topic that is very controversial in China. It's a HUGE deal that both the british and Chinese government have okayed this and have that confidence in him!

      Delete
    5. Sorry Moxie, but it's that "it's not in my backyard, therefore it doesn't affect anybody" attitude that will render the elephants and other animals extinct. "If all the elephants are killed, how does that affect the world other than no long seeing elephants?" Some of the poorest people in the world owe their very existence to the tourism impact these majestic animals bring to their meager lives. Lets have a little respect for that. Among a zillion other reasons. Just because elephants don't wander the streets of the United States of America, doesn't mean they have no purpose.

      Delete
    6. The focus on illegal wildlife trade is primarily sponsored by private individuals and foundations.
      The use of that effort by governments to distract citizens from other problems attributed to government is
      an idea promoted in partisan and tabloid media. There are many organisations that can educate regarding the impact of
      extinction of species. Starting with bees . National Geographic Society is one. No party affiliation or political
      agenda.

      Delete
    7. It is an intercontinental problem. The ivory trade of elephants poached in Africa is smuggled to China for medicine purposes. It is a matter of demand and supply. In your view, if all elephants die, the only disadvantage is, we wills top seeing them. There are good % of conservationists by profession, interest, ethics, business and whatever other interest who value the continued existence of most animals. Scientifically, there might be a purpose for preventing extinction of certain animals too.

      The link below also details the usage of elephants.

      http://www.elephantsforever.co.za/elephant-domestication.html#.ViWQ_24YHFI

      Delete
    8. It affects the world because, if enough species die off, humans will not be far behind. And of course we would like our children to have a world where wild animals can live and greed is under control. William has influence in the US because he is an English speaking prince who is a leader in this particular field. The United States, however, no longer imports ivory. We can only hope to help make some impression on the southeast Asians who fund the greed. The Chinese will listen to William because it is a novelty to be addressed by a British royal, especially given Charles's attitudes. Whether William will have influence there and throughout the countries that consume ivory is another question. Perhaps he will. There is a link with human conditions in that all dialogue with China is good, and diplomacy matters. A China open to discussion of wildlife may become a China open to discussion of human rights and protection of the environment.

      Delete
    9. Anons at 17:59 & 20:08 thank you for your comments. I'm a researcher & our firm does a lot of 'Fact Checks' for a wide range of organisations so I have the data bases & research protocols at hand. Work is so busy these days that I no longer have time to comment regularly. I managed this one because I've taken a week's leave & caught up with my backlog of unread posts.

      Delete
  38. I know I sound harsh, but the way China treats people, especially the political prisoners, make me feel seek about the event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more they establish relationships with the "outside" the more that can change. That is my hope, and, my prayer.

      Delete
  39. Deliah, Florida USA17 October 2015 at 13:18

    As an American, let me say first off that I LOVE my country, even though we are in a mess right now, however when I come to this blog (Charlotte you are just awesome) and I see all these buildings and churches and "homes" and castles I am awestruck by the beauty of your country and the history that it holds. Thank you for giving me this gift Charlotte. I truly enjoy every single bit of it! I too, am looking forward to these next few weeks of engagements. I hope everyone has a Blessed & healthy week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a special country Deliah. I have felt the same way. I am motivated to research pubs, castles, family histories, maps. I am 40% English ancestry I recently found out, so maybe that explains it. I was beginning to worry. lol

      Delete
    2. also found out, through the DAR here, that my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Salathiel, and his four brothers served in the American Revolution. How weird is that? (don't get me wrong. I love my country btw. Just had no clue about this stuff. so much fun finding out.) 17:54

      Delete
  40. Tammy from California17 October 2015 at 16:28

    On a naughty note: I giggle at the things that come out of Prince Phillip's mouth. He has a naughty mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hello everyone,

    There's no sign of William and Kate at the Rugby today. It's looking like they are not there.

    ReplyDelete
  42. All the information on the banquet is truly making me want to get out our holiday fine linens, my wedding China and crystal, get fresh flowers, and put a nice prime rib in the oven, try my hand at Yorkshire putting while I'm at it and serve it all up with some mushy green peas with mint and then some sticky pudding. Maybe even put on a nice cocktail dress, throw my hair up in a French twist and then call my family into dinner. And they think I have been a "blog fanatic" before... I can see it all now.....
    I will kindly inform them that it is honor of Kate's first state banquet. (I might even wear my tiara that I wore to watch the Royal wedding with my girl friends.). Ya think? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlotte- I had forgotten about that game. Obviously, you hadn't. Thanks for letting us know.

      Delete
    2. I say, go for the tiara. :)

      Delete
    3. great idea! did you get through with it?

      Delete
  43. Thank you Charlotte for the lovely and informative post. It will be an exciting couple of weeks for us to watch the Cambridges out and about. I was surfing You Tube and happened upon the old ITN documentary from 1986 "The Prince and Princess of Wales- In Public, In Private" and watched the video in full- nearly two hours. In it, you see William and Harry as young toddlers- wearing military uniforms and playing on their swingset at Highgrove. William was quite feisty and a real handful. You see Diana, William and Harry wave Prince Charles off into a helicopter and Diana remarks (paraphrasing)- "William loves helicopters. Might have a future pilot there." I found the video of the young family sweet and wistful. Hope Kate and William are enjoying their young family as much as it seemed the Waleses were then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that video spoke volumes about so many things in their lives. It isn't all tiaras and Bon Bons. Thanks Lori.

      Delete
    2. Anon @ 09:53,

      It certainly did. Great video. What surfaced, to me, was Diana's tongue-in-cheek behavior, buffered by giggles and humor, to get through what, by that time in the marriage, was a complete charade. Even with Charles teasing her in public and tickling her, etc. (and who knew Charles could be so playful? That was a surprise.)
      Even aside from all that, the video was very educational. William kissing his mom from the helicopter was ever so precious. I wonder if he has this video. I hope so.

      Delete
  44. Go for it, Anon 18:19! Sounds elegant and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. :) I am googling Yorkshire pudding recipes.

      Delete
  45. Anon15 aka anon1518 October 2015 at 04:31

    This is one of my favorite topics on this subject; one thing led to another and I watched the following video / comparison of QV and QE reign and its longevity. For the first time, I felt convinced the Queen might stay in her position until she passes away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eXpoZ6W5ts

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wonderful and informative information about state banquets I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you for all your hard work.
    I must admit I do wonder why BP are always so secretive about which Royals will attend the state banquet it invariably is always the same ones unless any are unable to make it or decide not to. I do hope the press are right about William & Kate it must be awful for Kate reading all the conjecture over her attendance and also whether she has been given the Queens medal.
    I was disappointed neither W or K were at the rugby not least because I think Kate's expressions if she had been there could have been well worth seeing as it was a very close game it has been lovely seeing two young people thoroughly enjoying themselves watching a sport they both enjoy.
    Just my thought but I think William may have been working hence their absence. I notice that in Sept. when they had a number of engagements William worked the 2 days between engagements that was picked up when he was spotted at one rescue at that time. They have engagements most days this coming week & the following Monday & K on Tuesday & he had two engagements last Thursday it would be a long time away if he did not do anything over the weekend. Just my thoughts but it seems logical I am sure they would have been there if possible.
    I am now looking forward to all the events this week and all your informative information.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Camilla Tominey's full interview with Sophie Wessex is up today and I highly recommend it. It's truly a very candid, honest piece about how she adapted to her royal role, her 70 charities, the importance of her appearance, what she thought of being named to the best dressed list, and of course her very close bond with the Queen.

    Camilla describes Sophie as "approachable, honest and self deprecating" and the interview really reads like a casual chat between friends, very well done by reporter and subject.

    I don't want to be accused of complimenting one by putting down another, but I think this is a good example of what many would like to see more of from William and Kate. I know this kind of talk frustrates some fans :) but this is such a good comparison to the often controlling nature of the Cambridges and their lack of rapport with anyone in the media. Again, you can hate and despise the British press all you like, it's often well deserved! But fact is the majority of Brits don't ever see the royals in person, their "relationship" with them is through the press, an important public relations point!

    I would love to see another candid, informal interview with Will & Kate, not as extensive as the Burnet piece with the Wales, but some kind of "at home" segment. In print or televised, I think it would do a world of good.

    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudia, "anyone in the media"????? That's quite a blanket statement and I don't think that's true. I think they have rapport with many in the media, Edward Arthur, the father and daughter Murphy's, Ingrid Seward, etc. Some in the media entourage, the Royal press Corp, have known William for years
      and he knows them.

      Delete
    2. Sophie had a rough start and has been at it awhile.
      Not a fair comparison at this point, Claudia.

      Delete
    3. I totally agree with you. It is a very nice piece to read. Sophie seems to be a really nice, approachable person to me. Dealing with charities like pre-natal care, which is close to heart made her look even more human and NORMAL with capital letters. She is the second woman from the royal family to whom I look up to for sure.

      Delete
    4. Claudia, this is my not-frustrated, but blunt response to your comment. :)

      Sophie was in PR before she married Edward (at 34). Aside from a couple of PR hiccups early on, they conducted themselves in a manner not unlike a past royal generation; a sort of seen but not heard loyalty to the Queen. And this has included dressing Louise (12 years old next month), in a style that her grandmother could relate to from her own childhood.

      In recent years, there *has* been a shift in their approach (Sophie more so). Could it be in response to Charles' wish to downsize the Firm? Or perhaps a new addition to the Firm? We can only speculate. Or is it a combination of age and confidence? Perhaps, but they married in their mid-30s and Sophie has had the benefit of a PR background all along. Whatever the reason(s)...the timing is interesting. IMO, of course. :)

      Regarding W&K doing interviews... Hmmm... The C&D did it in response to rumors of problems in their marriage and I'm not sure it was a major success. Charles and Camilla have not done it from the point of view of a married couple, so I'm not sure I see it happening in W&K's case. I believe we will see charity/cause related speeches or comments, but not the sort of "welcome to our living room" interview that people would hope to see. Frankly, I think Clarence House would twitch at the thought of it.

      Delete
    5. Claudia, I definitely took away a different take on Sophie's interview and as it would relate to Kate. What I heard in the interview was it took awhile for her to grow into her role. It did not happen over night so why do we expect Kate to be "perfect" in just four years. She is now 50 and Kate only 33. She has had a lot of time to grow into that role.
      The last interview William gave was torn apart so why would he want to give another to be twisted whatever way the person wants.

      Delete
    6. Kate, Texas, USA20 October 2015 at 02:13

      Claudia, I agree, but..... I read the interview and I think it was an excellent interview. I believe we will see this of William and Kate in the years to come. One thing I think we should note is that both the Earl and Countess of Wessex are full time working royals. They are senior representatives of the Queen at foreign Royal events. Sophie has been a member of the Royal family for over 16 years and their children are almost 12 and 8 years old. Sophie had definitely carved out her path and role in the RF and is doing great and meaningful things with her charities. Kate in comparison has only been a member of the RF for 4 1/2 years. Her children are 2 years and 5 months old. William and Kate are not full time working Royals yet. Again, I think William and Kate are defining their roles as parents to little ones and their roles in the family. As we all know, Prince Phillip and the Queen are not getting any younger. As they slow down in the years to come, William and Kate will have to step it up. I believe great things are to come. For anyone to compare Sophie and Kate right now would be comparing apples with oranges.

      I absolutely agree that another candid interview is needed, maybe some shots of the family life with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. I know Charles and Diana gave the public a small glimpse into their lives as young parents through photo shoots and televised programs. It would be a great PR move for William and Kate to consider doing the same.

      They were voted top global power couple by one poll this past week. They do have great influence and power and I feel the monarchy is in great hands. Hopefully their rapport with the media will strengthen because you are absolutely right that their relationship with the public is through the press. I guess we'll all wait and see on this one.

      Delete
    7. I agree, Claudia.
      I continue to wonder how and why the Cambridges keep getting their PR and media relations so bad so much of the time. They have largely squandered most of the good will that they built up during the run-up to the wedding and then their trip to North America.
      Their behavior toward the media, not the paparazzi but the regular media, including the royal reporters, most of whom William has known since he was a little boy, is beyond bizarre.
      And you are absolutely spot on about another thing - while we may see and read reports of "crowds" at events, the majority of Britons only know the Windsors and the Cambridges through what they see and read. THAT is colored by how the Cambridges treat the working royal media and so far, it hasn't been great.

      Delete
    8. I came away with a different take on the interview as to Kate. In the interview she stated it took her awhile to accept her role or to for better words to sort of grow into her role. She has had the "role" for more than 16 years and Kate for 4 years. It would be nice if everyone would give her another 12 years to judge her performance. I think it is also unfair to contrast the two families.

      Delete
    9. Thanks for the feedback, some fair and accurate points made in response...

      As I like to say, we can disagree without being disagreeable :)

      Delete
    10. AMEN, 17:55

      Delete
    11. Thank you Kate. So nice to hear your thoughts on these things. :)

      Delete
    12. Royal Fan and. 00:49,

      Comparing Sophie and Kate at this juncture just doesn't make any sense at all as far as I am concerned, and for the very reasons so adequately expressed already by Royal Fan, Anon @ 00:49, Kate from TX and others. Sophie has most likely had more one on one time with the Queen for counsel or whatever. Again, I think William and Kate are doing a superlatively good Job in every way. They have accomplished a lot in four years. Keep them in your prayers everyone.

      Delete
  48. For the President of Ireland, the Queen wore her emeralds, and each course of the dinner had something green on the plate, except the dessert - and then there might have been a sprig of mint. Obviously the details are carefully planned!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ana B. from Brazil19 October 2015 at 03:18

    Hello!
    I have a question regarding the dinner. What if a person is vegetarian or is allergic to certain types of food?
    I'm sorry if it sounds silly!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden19 October 2015 at 16:26

      Stuff like that is always noted in beforehand and discreetly served as similar to the others. At least that's my guess. That's usually how it's done. They have a "map" of the seating and marked with what that person will be served. Probably the same if you want non-alcoholic. All very discreet ofc.

      Delete
    2. Hallo Rebecca,

      That is correct, everything like that is asked beforehand. I saw this in a documentary on banquets. For example Princess Anne doesn't drink alcohol and drinks noting else then fresh orange juice.

      Delete
    3. Ana B. from Brazil19 October 2015 at 17:41

      Thanks, Rebecca!

      Delete
  50. Hi Everyone!

    ~~~
    Just briefly: I'm hoping this comment makes it into the blog, as only a very few of my Comments and zero Replies seem to get through. I apologize to anyone who asked for additional info from me and received no reply. I've actually sent three and four replies to some posts and they simply did not go through. I've tried two different laptops, an iPhone, an iPad and my desktop computer. Only a few of the comments sent from the desktop computer make it into the blog, even when I get the message that they are "processing". All the devices are running the latest operating and security software, so I am at a bit of a loss...
    ~~~

    Charlotte, Thank you! Your articles are always wonderfully informative and entertaining and this one is simply exceptional! I *very much* enjoyed reading it and looking at the accompanying photos! You noted that it took you about 3-4 hours to write the piece, and I have to say I am impressed. I would have imagined it took so much longer with all the thoughtful detail you included.

    I am going to be an optimist and assume Duchess Kate is attending the impending state banquet. I can't wait to see what she chooses to wear! :-) I hope she selects a truly striking dress and does not opt to be safe and conservative. Given that white is not an especially good color for the Chinese guests, a deep color would be especially beautiful.

    Another poster commented that the state banquet has her in mind to dress up, set the good china and prepare a fancy meal. That sounds like a fun and fabulous idea! It also got me to thinking again (Oh, no! I can hear some of you groaning! Lol). My husband and I visited London for the first time last September and took a day trip to Windsor Castle. We went on the Kitchen Tour, which was fascinating and gave lots of detail on formal dinners held at Windsor Castle. I highly recommend the tour to anyone who is has an interest in the "behind the scenes" workings of the castle.

    At the end of the tour, we had an opportunity to purchase a book of royal recipes. I bought the book and love it. It is a beautifully printed little volume that contains a trove of interesting recipes, photos and information on the royal kitchens and formal dinners. It is still available on the Royal Collection Shop website and Amazon.

    http://www.royalcollectionshop.co.uk/a-royal-cookbook-seasonal-recipes-from-buckingham-palace.html

    With the State Banquet about 24 hours away, I feel like a little child waiting for Santa's arrival! Most people would call that silly, but I have a feeling there are a more than a few people reading this blog today who feel the same way :-)

    ~ Sue T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, a couple or two, maybe. lol

      Delete
    2. Thanks Sue T. I am interested in the tour and recipes. Thanks
      The Biltmore estate in North Carolina, USA has behind the scenes tours also, including the kitchen.
      very nice also. They were kind of royalty.

      Only a few hours now Sue. :)

      Delete
  51. Can I just say that I am so excited I can barely stand it?!?!?! I am in the United States so by the time I am able to look at my computer tomorrow afternoon after work, I am thinking the State Banquet will already be underway or over. I am so looking forward to pictures. Thank you, Charlotte, for the fabulous job you do. This is my favorite blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been googling to find out what time the banquet starts and have looked at my phone's International clocks at least three times to find out what time it is in London. I know they are 8 hours ahead of us but couldn't help be a clock watcher today. I am SO excited about this. I mean, hello, even TIME magazine did an article about what tiara Kate might wear. I mentioned that fact to my brother, btw, and he isn't rolling his eyes at me nearly so much now. Thank you Time magazine.

      Delete
  52. Did anyone else see the bit Hello online did about what Kate might wear to the banquet? The red McQueen column dress that Marci from Utah entered is highlighted as one of the possibilities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see that Erika -- I love that gown so it caught my eye right away! Kudos to Marci :)

      Delete
  53. Great post, Charlotte!
    This is going to be a tricky visit for both sides. The BRF have to tread carefully so as not to offend either their Chinese guests or anger the UK public, over the issue of human rights abuses and China's activity around some disputed land in the South China Sea.
    Prince Charles's and the Duchess of Cornwall's absence from the state banquet, even as they will entertain the Chinese couple, is widely suspected to be a not-so-subtle protest over Chinese activities in Tibet.
    Another interesting development that I'm sure folks in the UK and definitely the BRF have their eyes on is tonight's elections in Canada. Justin Trudeau, from the Liberal party, was elected prime minister and his party swept into power tonight. The Liberals haven't exactly been warm and cozy with the monarchy so I'd expect some sort of royal jaunt to Canada in the next couple of years to shore things up there.
    It's going to be interesting how Will and Kate's presence is handled. Will QEII allow their stars to shine to draw attention off the PoW's awkward absence? Or will she be front and center to remind everyone - including her heir - that she is still indeed queen and still the boss?
    Interesting times for sure!
    As far as Kate's outfit, she certainly cannot outshine either the queen nor Peng Liyuan, so I expect something with a longer sleeve, in a dark color, a dark ruby red or wine color perhaps. Yellow represents friendship but I can't see Kate donning yellow for a state banquet.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Charlotte, you posted some great clips with info about the state banquets. Another good resource is "Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work." Really an interesting look at the queen and the other members of the royal family and what all goes into planning the different events, including state banquets.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Prince Williams speech on conserving wildlife was very very good. If you have not read, listened or watched please do.
    Ali

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Charlotte and everybody else on this blog. I am so looking forward to tonight's state banquet! I want to share a link to an interesting article run by the Telegraph on Sophie Countess of Wessex. Sophie says how she eventually did not give much thought about what she wore because she wanted it to be about what she does not what she wears, but she realized that people were also looking at her as a whole including what she wears. Also incredibly interesting is that she said initially she wanted to be very involved with her charities and that she eventually realized that was not what the charities wanted or expected and that she had to step back. She says she realized her biggest role was in getting or bringing people together. This from a royal that is seen as very successful. It made me think of what we expect of Kate, that we might have it amiss and that not even her charities might want from her what we expect from her! Also I am kind of hoping that these royal ladies share their experiences and that Sophie can give Kate some excellent advice learned from experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow, good points Lize. I hope they do communicate and support each other. and soon, if they haven't already. So glad she felt secure and comfortable enough to be candid.

      Delete
  57. Oh I forgot to add the link. Sorry! Here it is: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/11938857/Sophie-Countess-of-Wessex-tells-how-she-caved-into-fashion.html

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sonja from Bavaria20 October 2015 at 14:57

    Will pictures of the State Banquet be released tonight or in the following days? And if they aren't published this evening, is there a chance that we'll see photos of William & Kate arriving in the car tonight (just like for the diplomatic reception)?
    Already a big Thank you for any answers! I'm just thinking about whether I should stay awake longer to see pictures be published or not...
    When does the state banquet start?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja, you sound like a kid at Christmas. :)
      (don't we all?)

      Delete
  59. Peng Liyuan wore a white suit for the official greeting this morning. So much for our theories about avoiding white for the Chinese banquet. She also somehow matched the height of her hem exactly to the Queen's.

    The Daily Mail refers to Charles and Camilla as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in its changing coverage of the event. What is that about?

    ReplyDelete
  60. I know we're just hours away from the big reveal, but I have a stinking suspicion that Kate may do a recycle. I could see her turning up in the Alexander McQueen gown and papyrus tiara from the diplomatic reception. For Kate, it's about supporting the Queen and William, not about the attention. In fact, she seems not to want it. It still could give us proper "new" pictures, it would be appropriate for the occasion, it would go with her new Family Order, and it would deflect a bit of the attention and put it back on Her Maj and her guests. Diana enjoyed "speaking" through her clothes, and always felt it was her duty to dress the part of fairytale princess. I could see Kate doing this and maybe change it up with her hairstyle and jewelry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I wouldn't be bothered by her recycling -- especially if it meant we could get a proper look at the beautiful McQueen from 2013, but I wonder whether wearing "used" clothes would be considered an insult to the visiting head of state for which the banquet is being held, as if Catherine, who can afford a new gown, would not consider the visiting head important enough to wear new (and showy) clothes. What do you all think?

      Delete
    2. Diana certainly did "speak" through clothing choices. (actually everyone does, like it or not).
      She also was a pro at using expressions and giggles to get her point across. She was a very special person, although misguided at times.

      Delete
  61. I'm on the way home now but wanted to pop in to let you know William and Kate are confirmed for the banquet tonight :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cannot wait!!!! SO excited to see her ensemble tonight!

      Delete
    2. Yay!! Can't wait to see pictures!

      Delete
    3. Also, can I say how jealous I am that Catherine gets to go to such an event and wear a beautiful gown and glittering jewels? It sounds so exciting! I remember the excited anticipating when getting ready for formals, and imagine Catherine must be nervously excited for this evening as well.

      Delete
    4. Glad you are not going to have to eat you hat :-)

      Delete
    5. Yay! So excited! Would love to get a closer look on the mcqueen from the diplomatic reception. But I wouldn't mind seeing a new tiara ;)
      When does the banquet start? Will we see arrival pap shots?

      Delete
  62. Thank you so much Charlotte!
    This is so exciting I can't wait to see what she is wearing.

    ReplyDelete
  63. William and Kate are due to arrive in just over half an hour :)

    The Telegraph's live stream will be here (hopefully it will work) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11941937/Chinese-president-Xi-Jinping-begins-UK-visit-live.html?WT.mc_id=e_DM56443&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FPM_New&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FPM_New_2015_10_20&utm_campaign=DM56443

    ReplyDelete
  64. First photo of Kate leaving for the banquet: https://twitter.com/RegalEyes/status/656544677030707200

    Red gown, hair up, appears to be Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published. If you wish to share your name and where you're from without using the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.