Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas with the Cambridges & Kate's Festive Dinner Date with Carole & Pippa

With the festive season very much upon us, it seems the perfect time for our annual Christmas post. Christmas is my favourite time of the year; spending time with family and loved ones, preparations and decorations offering an atmospheric build up to the day itself. There's something very comforting about the the sense of tradition too, from decorating the tree with a glass of mulled wine (indeed wearing a christmas jumper is a sartorial requirement in my family :)) to church, Christmas lunch and a long walk if the weather permits, it's a splendid time of year.


It's undoubtedly an incredibly exciting time for the Cambridges who are celebrating their fifth Christmas together since they married in 2011. This year will be extra special with the addition of Princess Charlotte, and of course, Prince George will be looking forward to seeing what Santa has brought. When in Wales two weeks ago, Kate was asked if she was preparing for the holidays and replied: "I haven't started yet, but George will be starting to talk about Christmas soon".

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

No doubt Christmas plans were very much on the agenda when Kate, Carole and Pippa enjoyed dinner out at romantic Covent Garden restaurant Clos Maggiore on Tuesday night, much to the surprise of other diners. The restaurant is a very popular venue for pre and post show dinners, and it's entirely possible the trio took in a show after their meal. Rod Stewart also had dinner there the same night. The Duchess wore a white top for the evening out (with thanks to Ashley for the tip).

Equine High Style Twitter Feed

The eatery offers French cuisine and is influenced by the country inns of Provence and Tuscany. Chef Marcellin Marc’s love of Proven├žal cuisine is recreated with individual style and flair. Marcellin is committed to sourcing local and seasonal products throughout the year to create perfectly balanced menus which have consistently been recognised and awarded with AA-rosette awards. Below, a look at the apple blossom-adorned conservancy.

Clos Maggiore

A look at the restaurant's festive exterior. One customer described it as "the most festive restaurant in London".

Clos Maggiore

A snap of Carole from the night.

Josephine Wadman Instagram

Before we look at William and Kate's plans for this year, let's take a quick look back at how they spend the holidays thus far. In 2011, the couple joined the Royal family at Sandringham. It's a packed day for the royals with no less than five outfit changes. The Duchess of York once famously complained about changing seven times in one day. More than twenty royals traditionally join the Queen and Prince Philip for the festivities. Upon arrival, guests are ushered to their rooms, furnished in the post-war Spartan style.


In 2012, the Cambridges opted to celebrate with the Middletons at their home in Bucklebury. Kate was expecting Prince George and had recently been hospitalised with Hyperemesis gravidarum. Still feeling quite poorly, it was reported Kate wanted to spend her last Christmas before motherhood with her family.


In 2013, a smiling William and Kate held hands as they joined the Royal family for the walk to St Mary Magdalene Church. Wearing an Alexander McQueen Black Watch Plaid Coat and Aquatalia, boots the ensemble remains my favourite Christmas look from the Duchess.


It is understood William and Kate's initial plan was to alternate their holiday, spending one year with the Royal family and the next with the Middletons. With renovations on their country home Anmer Hall complete they found the perfect way to mark the day their way and began a new tradition. The couple opened gifts at Sandringham and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner before making the walk to church with the Royal family. Afterwards they headed back to Anmer to enjoy the day with the Middletons.


It is understood the Duke and Duchess were very eager to model their home and their Christmases on the relaxed, family-filled and fun days the Middletons enjoy rather than the usual formality of royal life.


During an interview with trainee journalist Sophia Kichou, who landed the exclusive due to a promise William made her four years ago when she was homeless, the prince revealed: "If he gets any sleep on Christmas Eve it will be good". Needless to say George is more than a little excited :)

The Big Issue

More on the Cambridges' festive plans from the Mail Online:

'So that will be two children, one who suddenly appreciates Christmas, which could be quite challenging. But I’m looking forward to it.’ Speaking further about his festive plans with wife Kate, George, two, and Charlotte, seven months, the Prince said: ‘We’ll go to church as a family on Christmas Day, as we always do.
Then we’ll watch George try to tackle his presents as he tries to unwrap them. It’s a very different experience at Christmas, having a family of your own. It’d be nice if we got a white Christmas because we haven’t had one in many years.’

This year is expected to follow the same plans as last year. We'll see the Cambridges making the walk to church before they tuck into a traditional Christmas lunch of roast turkey with all the trimmings, warming soups and Christmas pudding for dessert.


It's all about board games, opening stockings with the children, walks with the dogs, and relaxing by the fire. One imagines the Downton Abbey Christmas special will feature in their evening itinerary too. It will be one to watch as it is the last episode of the show...ever (I know I'm one of many who will miss it). Below we see Kate with Lady Mary and Anna during her visit to the set in March.


At Anmer Hall, Kate will be busy making plans to ready the house for entertaining over the coming weeks, while also shopping for gifts. The Duchess is regularly spotted at the local flower market where she favours roses and white freesias to fill her country home. Decorative candles and centrepieces will add a fabulous festive touch. A keen cook, Kate will be sourcing local ingredients for family meals and making jam which she reportedly gives to members of the Royal family as presents.


Carole Middleton shared some insight into Princess Charlotte's first Christmas in her column for Baby London magazine along, with plans to make the month ahead special. Carole and Kate are very close and Mrs Middleton will have an integral part in preparations at Anmer. More from Hello!:

'"Relax and enjoy baby's first Christmas," Carole wrote. "They won't remember it, but you'll have fond memories. We're all busy planning festive parties and get-togethers, but taking time to choose and make those all-important festive touches is a must."
 Hoping to get the little ones excited about the upcoming festivities, Kate’s mum has suggested making a "paper-and-string sew your own Christmas garland", which is a great family activity as it’s perfect for "young helpers to personalize".
As well as getting crafty, little George and Charlotte can look forward to some baking with their grandmother. They can roll up their sleeves and get stuck in with the "Very Merry Cupcake Set" because, as Carole says, "all children love to bake".'

Annual Christmas events for the family have begun already with Prince William, Carole and Pippa Middleton attending the annual carol service at St Luke's Church for the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund. Interestingly, both ladies repeated the coats they wore last Christmas Day with Pippa in French Connection whilst Carole selected her green Really Wild Bottle Green Pelham Coat (now reduced from £425 to £150) and boots that look identical to Kate's Aquatalia 'Royal' booties.


 The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund is a member of the charities forum and currently helps over 28,000 children in Uganda by improving the quality of education, buildings and hygiene. The carol service is an event the Duchess used to attend annually before the royal wedding and it's one we miss seeing her at. In previous years, Kate played an active role helping out by preparing refreshments and tidying up afterwards.


What is on William and Kate's agenda over the next couple of weeks? The royals will treat over twenty members of their staff to the traditional Christmas luncheon over the next couple of weeks. In previous years, their chosen venue has been popular eatery Bumpkin in South Kensington. We don't expect to see photos, although it should be a lovely afternoon.

Bumpkin Facebook Page

The Duke and Duchess will also attend the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace before Her Majesty and Prince Philip depart for Sandringham. We can expect to see arrival and departure photos as usual.


There's also a possibility we'll see a portrait of Prince George and Princess Charlotte released. There's no official word on this, but it would be lovely to see another photo of the adorable twosome together :)


In terms of royal engagements for the month, William and Kate are attending the annual ICAP Charity day next Wednesday. On Thursday Kate will visit Warminster to visit the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies. Also taking place next Tuesday, 8 December - the annual Diplomatic Reception. Attendance is never confirmed but there are whispers the couple will be there. If so, we should see arrival photos. The Duchess will be wearing a tiara and a gown similar to the stunning lavender lace Alexander McQueen dress she wore to the white-tie event in 2013.


Are you excited for the festivities? How will you be spending them this year?

232 comments:

  1. I had a baby in April so it will be his first Christmas! Probabaly quite different from Charlotte’s as we live in Australia. I doubt princess Charlotte would go swimming on Christmas Day but that's what our after lunch relaxation will include!

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    1. Enjoy your first Christmas with your son. :) And I envy your swim on Christmas Day!

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    2. One Christmas, when I was living on the Island of Maui in Hawaii, I was laying on the beach, tanning, and a little red Toyota pickup truck pulled up onto the beach near us. It was filled with snow.

      It had actually snowed there on the peaks of Haleakala volcano and they had taken their truck up there, filled the truck bed with snow and brought it to the beach and then proceeded, very quickly, to make a snowman. I so wish I had had a camera with me. (That was before cell phones.)

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 16:26

      Aww, that's adorable 14.28!

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    4. I know. :) What are the odds? Very special.

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    5. The people who made the snowman were native Hawaiians, so that made it even more special. I mean, how often do they see snow?

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    6. There's skiing on the Big Island, I believe.

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    7. There is. It's amazing to ski and then go surfing. But that's the magic of Hawaii. S

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  2. Thank you for the lovely post, Charlotte, :)
    So appreciated.

    May our prayers go up to the families in San Bernadino.

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    1. Thank you, Anon. @ 20:03,


      California Girl

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  3. HO HO HO!!

    I will be here on Christmas Day to see if I have to do any hat eating! Becks, are you ready?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 06:59

      Hahah, oh I'm ready! In Sweden we celebrate christmas on the 24th so the royal christmas is my "day after/food coma"-entertainment!!

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    2. Rebecca,

      Here in the U.S. there are lots of football games on during the holidays (the men LOVE it). Anything similar in Sweden?

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    3. Mr. bluhare's family celebrates Christmas Eve as well. But mine celebrates Christmas Day and I'm about 9 hours behind you so it will probably be your dinner time before I show my face that day. But I will be here, hat in hand!

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 16:28

      Hmmm.. No clue! (Not a sports fan) But I doubt it... Nothing I can think of. The classic Christmas entertainment is what we call "Kalle Anka" (Donald Duck) where we have a Christmas host on our main national channel that lights a candle and then a traditional assortment of short disney clips (this was basically the only cartoons that were shown when my parents were young so it was a big deal) and all the kids (and my mums side of the family and alot of people around the country) gather for that hour and sing along and see the same few clips every year :) I love it!

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    5. No wonder you are so cheerful. :)
      Thanks for the Information Rebecca. I love learning about other cultures. That was really sweet. :)

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 18:47

      Haha, one of the best parts is that it started being aired a very long time ago so you can hear the english voices but is dubbed over with a calm, male voice in Swedish :P It's rather badly done and he sings a bit false at the end, but it's all part of the charm!

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    7. that is funny, Rebecca. :)

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  4. Charlotte:

    Oh what a lovely time to make fond memories in the Cambridge / Middleton household especially with two bundles of joy in the mix. I certainly hope the family have a Happy and Blessed Christmas.

    Thanks for the lovely post: it sure has awakened memories of Christmas past and excitement for the coming season. I especially love the photo of the plum pudding, yum... The photo of the meal from Bumpkin is a feast for the eyes and it certainly prompts one to start thinking about the Christmas meal.

    I look forward to your posts throughout the season and beyond and hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that Santa will bring you all your hearts desire.

    All the best to you and your family. Stay safe.

    Anon LA.

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  5. Hello everyone,

    It's absolutely lovely to hear your plans for Christmas.

    Kate, Carole and Pippa enjoyed dinner earlier this week in London. A lovely lady sitting close to them shared a photo, I updated the post with info!

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    1. I also heard from a friend that they attended a ballet together one evening as well and was seen by many people.

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    2. any photos from the ballet?

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    3. Sarah from Calif.5 December 2015 at 00:07

      Wonderful that they all had a lovely time out together!

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    4. By the way, Charlotte, is Mr. Charlotte going to put hats on the lion and unicorn again this year?

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    5. Oh yes, it's a weekend of Christmas decorating here and the blog is no exception (having seen the blog, you can imagine how the house looks) He shall be a busy man :)

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    6. How cute that you two thought to decorate the blog. And so perfectly also. Kudos. :)

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    7. Kate, Texas, USA6 December 2015 at 05:12

      Charlotte, your comment is adorable! Happy 1st Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.! I hope you both enjoy the holiday season and the many lovely sights and sounds!

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    8. wow. First Christmas. I remember that. Hadn't thought of it in years, but that is so special.
      Enjoy, Charlotte. :)

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  6. I've so enjoyed reading this blog this past year and chatting - or debating - with all of you! I wish you all only good things for 2016 and look forward to many more interesting conversations. Charlotte, a huge round of applause to you for your hard work, as I've said before you'd make an excellent producer - or editor!

    And Bluhare I hope the only hats you see on Christmas are on someone's head :)

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    1. I said if William wasn't at Christmas because he's at work I'll eat my hat, Claudia. I think my hats are safe!

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    2. I think your hats are safe too Bluhare, but he may work the evening shift and we will never know. Anyway at least you won't suffer any indigestion:)

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    3. I am so happy that it seems that William will carry on family traditions and be home with family for Christmas. Will they carry Charlotte or have her in a pram or simpler stroller?

      I am also eager to see Harry meet his soulmate when he does and to that royal wedding. Hopefully he will meet her soon if he hasn't already.

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    4. My guess is a stroller.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 07:02

      Oh, Claudia! I agree so much! I look forward to all the future talk on here! :)

      Anon 23.53 Charlotte will not be there, probably not George either. They're too young to sit through the church service.

      Bluhare - Yeah, I doubt you'll have to eat any hats, thankfully :P

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    6. Sonja from Bavaria5 December 2015 at 08:50

      I think they will bring neither george nor charlotte to church with the queen... it was reportet that the queen doesn't want children who aren't about 7 yrs old in the church at christmas because they'd be too noisy and not that well behaved... but I hope that it's not true!!

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 14:06

      Sonja, the Queen places very big importance on church and is very solemn in her faith. In that classic kind of church setting, kids will disrupt and not have a good time. That's why most churches has special groups the kids are in while the service is, for both kids and adults sake. So I fully understand why they don't bring the kids to church until they can handle and appriciate it :)

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    8. I also think that Wiiliam may work the night shift or otherwise work that out because he is a kind and considerate person, and also a diligent worker.

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    9. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:53

      It's important to remember that even if William happened to work Christmas day or Christmas night - he still gets to spend MUCH more time with his family than most of his co-workers probably get to do - i.e. he got the day off from work for his son's 2nd birthday. Or the fact that he took almost two years off from having a non-royal job while not increasing his royal duties either. Or that they can afford a nanny, which facilitates getting to spend more time with your spouse, or getting to focus on one child while the other child also gets excellent care, etc.

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    10. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:55

      Oh and William also has access to a private helicopter and taxpayer-funded security that help him get faster transport than most people do to/from work, which increases the amount of time he can spend with his family.

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    11. If William did work on Christmas Day and miss the traditional walk to church, I could see the comments about him not wanting or acknowledging his role in the Firm. Perhaps the word abdication would pop up again. :)

      Yes, his job accommodates his royal role, but I would prefer to give him credit for being willing to risk his life in a way that he doesn't have to do.

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    12. I agree (I think this makes the 100th time? :) ),
      Royal Fan. I think William has a sincere heart for service, both in his Royal and private life.

      And, if he didn't do the walk there, no doubt, would be those abdication accusations.

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    13. If he didn't participate because he was taking a shift on Christmas Day I do not think that would be the case, royalfan. However, it's a moot point as they're going to Church and my Christmas Day diet will not have as much roughage in it.

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    14. Although it is a moot point, I do agree with Royalfan on this one. I think the British public, especially those around Sandringham would expect it of him to attend church and do the royal walk. He is able to adjust his schedule to fulfill other royal duties, and although this really can't be classed as a duty, to some it may be perceived as one. Night shift? Maybe!

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    15. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 18:50

      I actually agree with royalfan here. It has been soo many wierd critiques around the cambridges lately (not here) that I have NO doubt at all that the ones who have already decided William is reluctant will take that as a HUGE talking point!

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  7. How many think Prince Charles will continue on with the Queens Christmas traditions? Spend Christmas at Sandringham?
    Ali

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    1. I hope a lot of them remain, like Christmas at Sandringham. They have such varied scheduled during the year, a nice Christmas family get together would be a boon. The only question is, will Camilla agree to it.

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    2. Ali, I believe he will. The question is, will Camilla remain at Sandringham (and invite her side of the family) or will she continue with her tradition of joining her children and grandchildren elsewhere after the traditional walk to church on Christmas Day.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 07:03

      I think he will, but I think it will be more open. Like Camillas family being invited, and the Middletons etc. That it will be less "exclusive" but still many of the traditions. And that the Christmas walk will stay Royal only. That's my guess!

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    4. What I think may change is the extended family of the Princes Royal, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and their families. I hope not, but with the loss of the matriarch sometime the glue comes apart and families drift apart. I think it will be important to stay close, but without the queen,I don't think they are exactly a "close knit" family.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 19:20

      Hmm.. I think the sibling families might continue. What I think will be phased out both at Christmas and Trooping is Margarets kids with families.

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    6. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:51

      Sibling family attendance may continue for the private royal celebrations, but I bet when Charles becomes King, they will no longer take part in the walk from church, since Charles is trying to slim down the royal family. But Charles may have them keep doing the walk just because it makes him look bad otherwise, but technically, it makes no sense for him to phase out Beatrice and Eugenie from royal "work" but continue having them do the walk.

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    7. Eva and Maggie, you both made good points.

      Given Charles' desire to downsize the monarchy, I wonder just how "merry" his siblings and other family members will feel.

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    8. Julia from Leominster6 December 2015 at 19:25

      I confess I'm a little muddled about Christmas and Sandringham. My recollection is that it was held there when the queen was young and yet there was a period when it was at Windsor Castle during the 1980's. Perhaps that was due to the size of the family but since the family has only gotten larger, I'm not sure why they changed back or even if it was consistantly held one place or the other. I'm thinking it had to do with the fire in 1992. I must check my books - my memory is getting very faulty and I can't remember how long it was at Windsor. I know it was there when Diana was a bride.

      But given that, it seems possible there could be major changes again when the queen is gone. However, since that's where William and Kate have their house - perhaps it will remain.

      Likewise, it will be interesting to see if Charles does continue to include the whole family. To do so, has clearly been important to the queen but with Charles' plan to slim the monarchy - although percisely who he plans to take on all the work being done now isn't clear - that could change. I like seeing all the family gathered together but won't be surprised if it no longer happens.

      But to replace them with the Parker-Bowles brood and the Middleton crowd - this old royalist shudders!!! Being royal means being different - that would truly destroy the magic in my mind. To spend time with them privately is one thing - but being royal must mean something - not just some nice people with extraordinary privilages.

      For the same reason, I wish William and Kate would spare time from their busy day and lunch with the queen and the family. They have so few years left to follow the old traditions with the present monarch and many more years to be with Kate's family. I honestly think a bit of stuffiness and pomp would be good exposure for George and Charlotte while the chance is there. Their lives are going to be different and to understand there is a dignity to that, not just a heap of benefits seems an important lesson from the start.

      It could be that the queen doesn't appreciate the presence of small children but I don't think that's true - I remember somewhere reading how much she enjoyed having Edward's small ones at Christmas.

      Let's just say that I don't want to see the monarchy "dumbed down" too much - the fact they do things a little differently than most of us like celebrate Christmas on the eve rather the day gives a uniqueness to their situation - one I would like to see remain.

      As for William working, generally those lowest in seniority are the ones to work holidays- as I did as a clerk when I was young. I can see royal duties possibly as a good reason for William not to work on Christmas - and it will spare Bluehare some millinary munching - but the shoot the next day is another matter that's pure enjoyment - that's the time for William to return to his job - but we will see.

      As for the children at church, I think it's unlikely for a few more years. The Swedish and Belgium monarchies don't seem to worry about a bit of noise from the little ones and it does make for charming photos but it is more uncomfortable for the congregation.

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    9. I for one love Sophie, and hope that she isn't phased out due to Charles. She's an amazing asset to the firm. S

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    10. Maggie - Minneapolis7 December 2015 at 04:51

      Julia - I could not agree more! They spent most of Christmas day with the Middletons last year and clearly spend more time with them in general - why not attend Christmas lunch with the Queen and William's family this year? I understand why they may prefer for Christmas to be more informal for the same of the children, but will a two year old and a 7 month old really know the difference if they open their gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day? And what a small sacrifice to have to make for two kids who are afforded great privilege and luxurious lives in part because William's grandmother has done an excellent job of maintaining public support for the royal family even in the face of many PR disasters.
      You also make an excellent point about needing to expose the Cambridge children to more royal pomp and tradition. It seems like the Cambridges and many of their followers equate not participating in royal traditions with having middle class values and such. But really, while yes, Charles has great luxury in his life as well, he and the Queen are great examples for the children for what hard-working royals should be like. And participation in royal customs is necessary to instill an idea of the tremendous history the royal family has in the children. And avoiding the royal family and its customs and traditions doesn't do anything to help the children be unspoiled or aware of an outside world. Not when they are growing up in a mansion and a palace and vacationing yearly in Mustique. Yes in many ways time with the Middletons must be very different and perhaps more relaxed than time with the Windsors, but different and more relaxed does not mean less privileged or luxurious or insular. It's the same reason I don't get why only one royal made it in the godparents list (and Zara is only kind of) because almost everyone picked was still nobility or very very upper-class and would not bring any real normalcy into the kids' lives. Also why deny the inevitable need for the Cambridge children to have people to look to for advice on being royalty in the 21st century?

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  8. Sarah from Calif.5 December 2015 at 00:08

    Thank you Charlotte for this lovely post! I so appreciate all you put into this Blog.

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  9. I would imagine that it is a treat for Kate to enjoy a night out in London (even if a PPO or two are at the next table. :)

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  10. That restaurant is just dreamy. I am definitely putting that on my Itinerary for London. The menus are nice also, although I didn't know what a lot of that stuff was.
    I am sure it is all delicious though.

    In the photo with Carole, it looks like a guy with them. Is that James?

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  11. wishing you all a happy hoilday season. i think it is wonderful that william and kate can share christmas with each faimly i don't know about anyone else but i would love to see how kate decorates her home and would love to see her tree. does anyone know if they decorate the out side of there house? thank you charlotte for the warm wishes

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  12. Sonja from Bavaria5 December 2015 at 08:48

    I'm sure Kate will make Charlotte's first christmas very special while involving George a bit in the preparations :)
    I'll spend christmas as usua with my parents, sister and grandmal: on christmas eve, we'll go to church, open presents and have our traditional dinner(in Germany, we already open presents on the 24th) and there is a good chance that it'll snow :) then on the 25th, we'll visit my other grandma where my whole maternal family will be gathering. So, tea, coffe, cake & slots, opening presents and enjoying time with your family :)
    Hope everyone has a lovely christmas!

    Hopefully, we'll get a photo from George & Charlotte!

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    1. That's sound perfect Sonja. Thank you for sharing.
      Blessings to you and yours. :)

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  13. I noticed that also. It doesn't look like James. Would that perhaps be a PPO?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 17:17

      I think it looks a bit like him. Maybe it's just the beard that is making me think so :P

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    2. don't know Rebecca, could be. I don't really have a clue who that might be but would love to know.

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  14. Thank you Charlotte for the great post today. I am so excited for this holiday season. My husband and I are usually traveling between families for Christmas so we haven't really decorated or gotten into the spirit for the last couple of years. I am hoping to change that this year because I miss it so.

    I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season. Wishing that everyone gets to enjoy family, friends, and creates warm and happy memories. That the world stays safe and we remember the reason for the season.

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  15. Hi everyone - Charlotte many thanks, as usual, for the post and getting us in the Christmas spirit! I hope you're in full swing with the decorations this year and putting the Tree up!!!

    I have to admire Kate and William for starting their own traditional ways of celebrating Christmas, the Middletons seem to know how to enjoy the season and concentrate on celebrating in a lovely way. Probably much better for George and Charlotte than the stuffiness (I presume) of Sandringham. It seems a good compromise for the RF tradition/ and the Middleton clan to be around close for them.

    I wonder how it will play out in years to come when Charles is King and then when W&K are there though, and will the Middletons be allowed further access and visibility than we've seen up to now. I don't expect to see them at church but will they be invited to Sandringham? I think they've always played a fine balance between proud grandparents and not trying to court attention or publicity, and seem conscious not to overshadow the RF. With recent remarks made by Catherine - this is a loving family which is close so it's a great thing to see them being there for the Kate - and William has always stressed the closeness he enjoys with this side of the family.

    Probably a debate for another time though. But for now I think it's a nice that W&K are creating some happy families memories in their home at Anmer for the children to grow up with.

    Often thought if Kate has trips to the ballet or Theatre - something that hardly seems to get reported - she did used to go with Prince Charles a lot at first? Maybe with the children this is hard to fit in. But nice to see her with the family out the other night.

    Hope everyone's keeping warm and getting ready for Christmas. Looking forward to seeing the updates shortly and possibly the photos of George and Charlotte together!

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  16. I just saw the update with the dinner photos, and I have to say this is one of the areas where I think photos are inappropriate. Sorry to dampen the holiday mood :)

    As I've said before, if you're out in public view or in a public place, anyone can take your photo. That's the very essence of public domain. But when you're on private property, or in a private establishment, I think there's an expectation of privacy that provides boundaries.

    I know the temptation to take a picture of a world famous person is overwhelming, regardless the circumstance. As I said in a previous comment, in the world of iPhones everyone is a citizen paparazzi with access to an instant broadcast via social media.

    But I am curious that this photo was used and that no one has objected, given such vocal objections to past incidents? I'd like to know your thoughts on it.

    Kate is in a private establishment. Why isn't that respected? Yes someone may take the photo but should others rebroadcast it online or on social media? Interested in what the rest of you think...

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 16:33

      I myself think it's different when it's the adults. But also, this was one fast picture posted on social media as a "wow, look who I saw". It's a chance photo, just as you take a picture of the food, the area and the funny sign you might have seen, I think its rather innocent to take one pic without disturbing them. It would have been different if a person following her/knowing her schedule was pressing their camera through a window. For me, personally, it's a question of intent.

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    2. Even though she's on private property Rebecca? ;)

      The issue of photos should be relatively simple, is it a public space or a private space?

      Take as many photos as you like of her walking in or out of a private shop or restaurant, once she's inside a different standard usually applies.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 17:32

      That depends on the policy on the property. Most people take alot of photos in resturants. Like in this example, it was a birthday lunch and they take photos of themselves, of their food, even got pictures together with Rod Stewart. I think it was a fair(ish) picture to take in that moment and then not make money of it. Taking a picture when seeing a celebrity to post and show your friends is a way more innocent thing, at least in my opinion. But I agree that inside it get's a bit more sketchy than if it was outside.

      Delete
    4. A dinner group taking pictures of themselves/each other are obviously aware that photos are being taken and no one is objecting, so they're giving permission to each other.

      I don't think Kate gave anyone in the restaurant (private property) permission to take her photo :) If someone asked her and she posed with them (like Rod Stewart) then yes permission would be implicit.

      Delete
    5. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 18:44

      Yes, I'm not saying it's totally okay and on the up-and-up. Just that pictures will be taken, and I, personally, think these kinds of pictures are more morally ok than paparazzi picutres. In a day where people photo document their lives, I think it is very "normal" to document seeing Kate as well. It is when someone seek out the person with the intent of photographing them that I think, for me, that it get a bitter taste. And for it being a "private property", this is a place near covent garden, a very standard place for after show dining and a normal spot for celebs to hang out. If they were at this point not OK with photographs, such a policy would have been implemented by now, just how that farm park implemented that policy after Kate and George was photographed there. It is up to the establishment to put up that policy, so as long they're not breaking policy, being disturbing or have followed her there I think it falls on the OK side of the line, while still being a bit of invasive. But that is just where my feelings draw the line.

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    6. Claudia, weren't you ok with the photos taken of Kate and George at the museum? Isn't this the same kind of thing?

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    7. I haven't been there in years Erika but I'm fairly certain it's still a national museum and considered a public place, in fact I think it's publicly funded. If it's now considered private property then yes I would have been incorrect :)

      And thanks for the chat Rebecca, you know I love a good debate!

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    8. Claudia she is in a public reustruant! My god to you hanker for the days of absoulte monarchs too?
      Your attitude scares the crap out of me and I cnat believe people would even think it's bad to take a photo of someone famous in A PUbLIC PlACE

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    9. In my opinion, in this instance they were in a public space, Claudia. The restaurant is open to the public; it's not a private members only club. So I don't think that their privacy was invaded. We all could be photographed while eating at a restaurant; in their case people actually notice when photos of them are posted online!

      Delete
    10. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 20:08

      Same here Claudia, I understood it was a genuine question from you and not a backhanded comment :)

      I agree bluhare.

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    11. Anon 19:36 I hope you don't mind me saying you gave me a good laugh there :) And sorry, it was not my intent to scare anything out of you!

      I was really interested in the debate on this isssue and the responses it would generate, and given how people have objected to other photos it intrigued me that everyone gave this one a pass.

      And, for the record, as I get older I'm less sure about monarchies at all, so no, I am not "hankering" for absolute monarchs!

      Bluhare, I agree that people tweeting pics of a ham sandwich (and other mundane things) is tiresome! And I definitely see your point of view as well :)

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    12. I agree with bluhare, Claudia. The restaurant is a public venue and if we can be photographed eating there, then so can she. Now, if she were photographed dining at a private residence, that would be another thing. How do you feel about her being photographed shopping? That is a very similar scenario

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    13. Hi Claudia! i have to agree with bluhare, I think a public restaurant is still a public place. Places that serve the general public also have to respect anti-discrimination laws and so on and so forth, that private residences, clubs and places of business that are not open to the general public do not have to abide by.

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    14. Technically the restaurant is private property, owned by a private individual or company. Normally you need permission on private property from the person whose photo you're taking.

      If she stopped and posed for a photo then permission would be implicit, and in that case I would say, she saw it, she agreed to it, not a problem.

      I don't personally like photos of her (or anyone) taken inside stores either. If she's walking up and down the street, going in and out, go right ahead and take as many photos of her as you like - I am generally all for photos taken in public places as you know :)

      It used to be a very firm line between photos on private vs public property and it does interest me greatly how it has blurred with iPhones and social media. But generally if the person is on public property, or visible from public property they have been fair game. Though that has been challenged by many celebrities, given that these powerful lens make a lot visible from public property!

      I was also intrigued that so many people who object to photos taken in clearly public spaces had no problem with what was clearly a private moment on private property.

      But I see bluhare's point and yours, it's definitely open to a lot of interpretation!

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    15. Hi Srita_f :) Yes that's a good point that you and Bluhare brought up, it's an establishment open to the public, different from a private club or members only club. Important note!

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    16. I've been home with a head cold today so have really enjoyed all the back and forth, great chatting with you all, it's been a very welcome distraction - thank you!

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    17. Well, there's a Christmas miracle in this post as well... :) I will agree with bluhare here. I don't know if it's age or a more private approach to life, but I do not understand the need to take photos of anything and everything and share it with the world. My dictionary was published before the word "selfie" became an everyday word.

      Claudia, if I was in the restaurant, I would take the photo if I could so discreetly. In my mind, a restaurant is not a private place, but the photo would NOT go beyond my smartphone. I cannot put it into words exactly, but I would feel awkward and guilty about doing so...if that makes sense.

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    18. Well Claudia, many have responded and as far as I can see, only one person agrees with you. She is the future Queen, she knows photos will be taken if she's out in public, and it's not like her meal was disturbed in any way. All you can even see is the back of her head! You need to relax...it isn't as though someone followed her into the bathroom or interrupted her meal. As someone else said, it would be a different story if she had been dining in a private residence or even a private, members-only club where cameraphones are banned, but...she wasn't, so I'm glad to see so many other posters disagreeing with you.

      You said you wanted a debate but I have to say that some of your comments came across as extremely condescending with the " ;) " and smiley faces.

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    19. I don't have time to chime in on other comments right now, but I did want to jump in here on your comment, Elizabeth, where you refer to Claudia's smiley faces, etc. as condescending. I have never seen it that way. Claudia is one of the most polite and easygoing posters here. I interpret it as meaning I am not being aggressive, or I am only kidding. At least that was always my intent when I used them (I only toned it down because I was accused of the same thing and i realized it could be misinterpreted).

      But for the record, please do not read condescension into comments based on a smiley. I think the words and a willingness/ability to discuss or debate is far more important.

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    20. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 14:47

      Elizabeth, I think most people use a ;) as either a flirt or a "this is in jest" kind of marker. And the :) one is usually used to show a smile, a good intent. But this is another hard part with writing...

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    21. Being someone who told royalfan that smiley faces don't always read smiley (and I do thank you for toning it down; it does "nice" your comments up a bit, royalfan) I must agree that in this case I don't think they're condescending. Claudia does have a more formal tone to her writing; sort of like Julia, maybe that's why they read that way.

      But will the Christmas miracles stop???? They're messing with my mind!

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    22. Wow Elizabeth that's a first. I am very relaxed about all this which is what I thought the smiley faces conveyed.

      Far from looking for people to agree with me, I like it more when they don't! I love to read the passionate arguments from both sides, the very essence of a good debate.

      And while many people disagreed strongly with my point of view, some even saying I stood for absolute monarchs (!) they all stayed on topic, which is fantastic. You were the first to take a swipe at me personally.

      Royalfan - thanks for the laugh, I needed it! So glad I could facilitate a moment for you and Bluhare :) And I think a lot of people (particularly around Norfolk perhaps) take your approach, so they can share the moment with friends and neighbors but not broadcast it. Interesting, the Queen has said lately that while she understands social media, she's frustrated by all the phones in her face and misses making eye contact with people. Another topic for discussion - are we really capturing moments or missing them? Food for thought!

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    23. Sorry, I did not see these other responses while typing my first! Thank you royalfan, Rebecca and bluhare for jumping in, very kind.



      Delete
    24. Personally I'd rather look the Queen in the eye and greet her than stick a phone in her face.

      Delete
    25. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 18:51

      A person I follow had the perfect compromise. She brought her boyfriend as cameraman :P So she got the experience of talking and such with Kate while she also had it documented (which she was glad for since she barely remembered anything about the meeting) :P

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    26. Julia from Leominster6 December 2015 at 19:40

      I don't see any problem with the smiley face.

      And I think it's impossible to stop the public from taking photos in a public place - and a restaurant is a public place where people do bring cameras and photos can be expected, as Rebecca noted - even Mr Leo has been known to take photos of his food! (Although this comes with a grumble from me - I did recently ask him to take snaps of a lovely buffet at a London restaurant.) I don't see how you can stop the public without causing an enormous fuss and resentment - it is just part of being in public life.

      Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it - and like Royalfan, I'm not a believer in sharing snaps - but the rest of the world has moved beyond me and I don't think there is a privacy issue here.

      As for security - the world is such a sad place right now with those poor people at San Bernardino and in Paris - and the recent events at Leytonstone tube. At a time when attacks are targeting ordinary people at birthday and Christmas parties and rock concerts, I really don't think it would be right for the royal family to use security as an excuse. We are expected to go on with our lives - and expect they will as well.

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    27. Claudia, you're welcome. :))

      And your question, "are we really capturing moments or missing them" is worthy of its own post! OMG.

      My take...too busy capturing moments to truly enjoy and appreciate them. Photos are taken, posted, and then it's on to the next bigger and better moment.... It is the human equivalent of chasing tails, IMO.

      Delete
  17. Intent is the foundation of the law. I think the intent here was purely innocent, like you said Rebecca, it was more of a "wow, look who I just saw".

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  18. If that person had been taking a photo of someone at their table and Carole or Kate had been inadvertently caught in the background of the photo would that have been an invasion of privacy?

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    Replies
    1. As I said in my first comment, I completely understand the overwhelming temptation to take a photo of a world famous person when you come upon them :) And I understand showing off with "wow, look who I just saw!"

      My question is, why is ok to "rebroadcast" this image, particularly when it was taken in private?

      Charlotte used to post photos of George out and about, and most readers here loved seeing them. When the KP letter pointed out the circumstances surrounding some of those photos, Charlotte stopped posting them and many readers here said they stopped looking at them, saying they had been unaware of the more extreme circumstances surrounding how the photos were taken.

      The circumstances here could not be more clear. Kate is enjoying a private moment, on private property owned by a private establishment. And from the couple of pics I've seen, seems completely unaware someone is taking her photo.

      So why is it ok to "rebroadcast" these photos here or elsewhere? Do you think William and Kate would like it? I'll admit, I was a little surprised to see them posted here and maybe more surprised no one else raised this point. But as usual, I love the debate!

      The first clear cut standard for whether a photo is appropriate or not is usually whether it was taken on public or private property.

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    2. So let me understand this Claudia..you don't think it's right for people to take a photo?
      Seriously I'm scared for our future. It's someone's right to take photos of whoever they want as long as its not on private property
      Claudia I'm amazed and I'm like sad because you think the royal family should have that much control over what people do..
      And who cares how the photos are obtained? A photo is a photo it isn't like they are getting physical abused

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    3. Claudia, I'll preface this by saying I have no idea why people have to post photos of every mundane thing they do. I really don't care what my friends had for dinner last night, to be honest. But these days we live in a "take photos and post them" society. Photos of other patrons having dinner there probably are posted too, but no one cares about them.

      If a photographer was out on the sidewalk and saw them inside he could have taken a photo and sold it. There's no line crossed here, in my opinion anyway!

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden5 December 2015 at 20:09

      Anon 19.33 I don't think Claudia want them to enforce it. I think she is genuinley asking why people were not upset in this case and wanted to hear peoples moral/ethical/emotional/legal explanations for where they draw the line and why.

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    5. Thank you Rebecca :) You're quite right and clearly explain my point of view better than I do!

      Delete
    6. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:49

      I think the closest the law has come to drawing the line is whether or not someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy - i.e. Kate and William were right to have that expectation of privacy in the case of sunbathing in a private chateau in France, which is why they were able to win a court case to stop further publication of those pictures, but the Cambridges, including the children, have no reasonable right to privacy in a PUBLIC PARK, which is why they were forced to write that letter and appeal to people's emotions (because going to court wasn't sufficient). Reasonable expectation of privacy seems like a good, fair standard to me, and I agree that everything else seems arbitrary. It's no secret that I respectfully disagree with the choice to not view/show pictures of the Cambridge children on public property, especially if continuing to view/show pictures of the adult Cambridges. Yes, the children are children, but I'm not sure why that's relevant - William is an adult but has as little of a choice for being royal as his kids do, except for the choice of abdication, but the parents can make that choice for their children, so that choice technically still exists as much for the children as it does for William. Yes, I get that William wouldn't want to give up George's spot in line for the throne, but William probably wouldn't want to do that for himself either, so the choice is equally not a real choice in both instances. And, to be honest, the pap pictures probably impact the adults much more than the children, who have no idea what's going on until they're quite a bit older at least. "Stalking" isn't a good line to draw either because what constitutes stalking? What if someone just happens to see Kate and George at a park because they are there too randomly, but then spends time watching them and taking pics? Is that stalking? Is that much different than just happening to come upon Kate and George at a park and taking one random picture? If it is, why couldn't we view/show the museum pictures, which were taken by another museum attendee? The royal family draws different lines as it suits them. It's frustrating to me that people seem to just accept the arbitrariness of these lines.

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    7. Maggie I think this is a great point and what I was trying to get at. With all the hand wringing over whether photos are acceptable or not, isn't the first question "Were they taken in private or in public?"

      In private would generally be off limits. In public would generally be fair game, unless it's a matter of decency, which is open to interpretation -- depending on someone's standards!

      For instance, Kate walking from a car to a building - she's in public. But if she's in labor walking from a car into the hospital, decency would likely dictate not to take or publish that photo, we would hope!

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    8. Actually, the photos of Kate and Carole in the restaurant were cropped from larger pictures of other people. I'm not sure if they were selfies or pictures taken across tables by fellow diners, but they do show Kate and Carole in the background, rather blurry and apparently unaware of the cameras/phones, compared to the smiling people in the foreground. I'm sure the Middletons were deliberately included, just as people in crowds so often take selfies with the Queen or other royals behind them. Once, the Queen even stopped and obliged a couple of girls who were doing this. Her smiling agreement is quite different, I think, from using Kate and Carole as part of the restaurant atmosphere behind people's personal photos - and then publishing them. I also agree that there could be security issues if they are published immediately. It is a dangerous world.

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    9. Privately owned restaurants and bars are considered public places in most legal definitions because the public is invited into the establishments. By definition, a public place is "an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public are permitted". You can photograph anybody (including children) who is in public view and doing anything not considered private. So shops, parks, beaches, bars, restaurants and other public spaces are considered subject of legal photography. That being said, everybody is entitled to have a reasonable expectation of privacy, that is, to not be bothered either in public or not. So for example, if she was feeling bothered or harassed, Kate would have the right to ask someone to stop taking photos of her. However, she would not have the right to demand that a person delete photos or confiscate cameras/phones as they are private property. The issue of privacy lies within the issue of commercial use - selling photos without permission of the subject. That is clearly wrong but in this instance, the sharing of a private photo on social media/personal websites stays within the legal parameters - bottom line is - nobody has done anything wrong in a legal sense. Personally I have no issue with the photos - she clearly wasn't being harassed and was in a public place. It's to be expected that a high profile person like her will be photographed from time to time, though it's definitely one of the cons of royal life. I do feel uncomfortable with photos of Kate out and about with George but again, if it's in a public place then it's legal photography. It comes down to what people feel comfortable with viewing and I think Charlotte has taken the best stance by respecting the privacy of the royal children while being mindful, but more open to photographs of William and Kate.

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    10. @Anon 19:33

      In which country is it permitted to take pictures of whoever you want? Every human being has the right to not be photographed, if he or she doesn't wish to.

      Delete
  19. Claudia, upon reflection, I agree. Kate has a certain expectation and right to privacy within that establishment, particularly while dining.

    More importantly, broadcasting those photos had a potential of creating weakened security, and a possible threat to Kate and everyone in the restaurant.

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    Replies
    1. I think what you are posting Claudia and 19:10 is the law. And, the security issue is a strong one. There are legal precedents for what I am saying but don't have the time to look those up at the moment.

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    2. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:37

      How does broadcasting these photos create weakened security?

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    3. I don't see the weakened security either, Maggie. Nor do I think there are any prohibitions on patrons taking photos of themselves having dinner and having other diners showing in the background -- which is exactly the situation in these photos. The people didn't come up to their table to take photographs. They were photographing their own meal and Kate, Carol and Pippa were in the background.

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    4. Bluehare and Maggie, the security risk is if these are published immediately to a blog or a Twitter account and someone who wants to do harm to them is monitoring it, they can be at that spot in just a short time and take aim. I really don't have a problem with them taking the photo for there own files, but as much as I want to see the photos I don't think they should not be published.

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    5. Excellent points about weakened security. If photos like this are shared *immediately*, there's a lot that can happen in the next hour or two while the person remains at the same location.

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    6. I would hope people would have the sense to share after the fact.

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    7. Let's be hopeful and assume their ppo's have already factored those variables in. They certainly should.

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    8. While I see the point about security, that's no different than what her PPO understands from the minute they get up in the morning. If someone is targeting Kate, they will track her movements in a more sophisticated fashion than watching uplinks like this one. S

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    9. Maggie - Minneapolis7 December 2015 at 05:09

      People report about randomly seeing famous people, royalty, and politicians all the time on Twitter immediately. I fear that people are participating too much in fear-mongering that is often used to justify the loss of basic human rights. People have a right to take pictures of whatever in public places. At least they do in real democratic nations. Security is always a risk, but the royals already have very expensive and well-trained protection officers meant to protect them. If a tweet "gave away" the location of a royal and caused some sort of attack, that attack would be because of the many complex reasons violence, including terrorism, exists in the world today. For example - fear mongering leading to not just the loss of basic rights but also racist policies and rhetoric. It would also be because there are bad people in the world. If the attack succeeded, it would be because of those things and also the failure of PPO's. NOT because someone posted a picture online. Justifying the loss of rights in the name of security may seem small here, but it's the same logic that leads to indefinite detentions of innocent people with no access to die process and also dictators like the one in North Korea who justifies his many evil actions by pointing to all the people that may or may not want to attack the nation.
      Also if a major successful attack can be carried out on a royal within an hour of finding out on Twitter the status of their location - then they are in trouble anyways because that would mean ppo's cannot protect them from a very very impromptu attack and the entire intelligence apparatus has failed by letting a group of people become prepared enough to attack that they can do it anywhere at a moment's notice. I think the real concern would be that a fan or perhaps someone mentally ill who is unhealthily obsessed with Kate comes rushing to the restaurant after seeing the tweet, but if the ppo's cannot even stop them from getting dangerous access to Kate, then they should all be fired.

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    10. Maggie - Minneapolis7 December 2015 at 05:14

      Not to mention that everyone in this world is vulnerable to violent attacks and don't have anything close to the same protection. Yes the Cambridges are targeted more than most individual people of the public, but that does not mean they are more at risk than an individual member of the public.

      Delete
  20. 18:27, that is a good question. I don't know the answer though. :)

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  21. Tedi in California5 December 2015 at 19:52

    My favorite time of the year. Decorating our apartment, wish I could post a picture. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I am looking forward to more fun with group in the new year. Thanks Charlotte for always posting such wonderful pictures, and stories. You are simply the best. Love to you all.

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    Replies
    1. That would be lovely if we could do that! I would post a photo of my tree . . . when it's done. Mr. bluhare is taking his sweet time with his end of the job and has now wandered off to "run errands". HA. He's not running errands. He's headed off to the electronics store or local watering hole! Or both!

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    2. bluhare, let's hope if it's both that electronics comes before the water hole! I know when I've had a bottomless mimosa brunch in our local swanky shopping area I generally come home with purchases well beyond what I normally would!

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    3. I must take back the comment about Mr. bluhare. He went out, came back and made a lot of noise in the garage and made a lighted star that he put on the trellis in the back garden. And it even looks really good!! (Not all of Mr. bluhare's projects turn out so well. )

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    4. Wow! I'm impressed. I have a non handy husband :-(

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    5. At least you shop after mimosas. I forget all about it and have just a few more mimosas (with LOTS of food, of course). lol

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    6. Erika, Mr. bluhare is NOT handy. When I said not all of his projects turn out so well I was being kind. You should see the patio table he tried making one year. Even he laughed at it when he actually looked at it!

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    7. Lol bluhare! You are in good company.

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  22. Thanks for the update!

    Interesting to learn that the Duchess was involved in the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund until she got married. It's curious she didn't continue working with them? I wonder if they didn't meet any "requirements" for an official patronage, or if maybe she felt her presence was too distracting? Or maybe she was just ready to move on to new challenges :)

    As for the pic of her in the restaurant... it's no different from pictures we see of her shopping etc. Yes, it sucks to be in the public eye, but I do think there's a difference between a photo snapped of her/William and a photo of her children in terms of privacy. She's out to eat in a public place... not sunbathing in a private residence :) :)

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  23. Thank you Tedi,

    The same to you and yours. xo
    Would love to see your decorations.

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  24. My husband was injured while pumping gas at a gas station. A car veered off the road adjacent to the gas station and hit his car and his car hit him. The law said that even though the public had access to the property it was privately owned property and my husband had a legal expectation of safety in using their facilities. My husband won the case. In that process what you are discussing came up in our conversations all about privacy in various situations and liabilities for any breach of that. Kate has a legal right to expect privacy within that establishment. Any attorneys here to help confirm and clarify?

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    Replies
    1. I would have thought the driver of the car would have had responsibility there. But isn't the issue there liability for someone else's injuries, not privacy? Two different things I would think.

      My understanding is none of us have any expectation of privacy in a public place.

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    2. Bluhare you may be right, I'll have to research that a little tonight, see what I can dig up.

      Caroline Kennedy wrote an interesting book called The Right to Privacy several years ago, detailing how there's actually no such right outlined in the American constitution, so it's constantly up for debate and interpretation.

      I also remember Princess Caroline (another Caroline!) going to court with an "expectation of privacy" case and winning, even though she was actually out in public at the time. Her success in court reportedly prompted William to have Kate try the same path against Niraj Tanna after those tennis photos.

      It's certainly an interesting and thought provoking topic!

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    3. The owner of the car was uninsured and had no assets.

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis5 December 2015 at 23:36

      I've heard rulings be the opposite - i.e. despite something being a private property, because of public access, a person had a reasonable expectation of safety? Because that's usually how driving-based laws work - the defense of an area being private property does not excuse the owners from liability in certain situations. Unless the court case was ruling that the gas station is liable instead of the driver because it's a private property, even though the driver was the one to actually directly cause the incident. But that speaks to a very specific question that is different from the question of royal's privacy from pictures. Additionally, "privacy" for mother vehicle laws is not the same as "privacy" for things like pictures in the law anyways.

      Britain has no legally codified right to privacy. That's why the media and the royal family have an agreement that the British media won't publish pictures of them in their private time - if it was legally codified, then the royal family wouldn't need an agreement - it would already be against the law and they could just go to court and win a ton of money from the media. Princess Caroline won a court case from the European Court of Human Rights, which is not the national court of any country, and technically has no jurisdiction over any national courts in terms of decisions the national courts make. The British courts, as per UK law, DO have to take the ECHR rulings into account, but unlike the US Supreme Court for example (whose rulings can never be ignored by state courts), the ECHR is not the end all be all for British courts. This is also why we see pap pictures of the Middletons all the time and there is not much they can do about it in most situations. This is also why Kate and William had to write that letter. The law doesn't protect them from pictures in public in most instances. The royal family gets special treatment. Plain and simple.

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    5. As is, I doubt there would have been any penalty even if Kate would have won in the "expectation of privacy" issue. If anyone in the restaurant had gotten hurt or even threatened by harm in any way because of the release of the photos on a public site and them zeroing in on where Kate was by those photos, then that would be a whole different matter.

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    6. As it turned out the motorist had veered because of a missed turn due to obstructive signage at the station. It took awhile to get that all sorted out but the gas station was deemed liable. Hadn't thought of all that in years so sorry for the patch work text. I think I will now put that back on a back shelf. Not the happiest of memories.

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    7. That was a horrible situation for you Anonymous Original Poster. I can see why that wouldn't be the best of memories, and I hope your husband recovered. People without insurance shouldn't be driving and based on what you said, the gas station did have some responsibility. I do think it's a different situation than Kate being photographed in a restaurant, although I do see the parallels.

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    8. Bluehare, attorney here, and you are correct, we have no expectation of privacy once we leave our own property (at least in the U.S.). I hate knowing that I or my children can be photographed at any time by any random stranger and posted online, but that's the world that we live in now!

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    9. Thanks Bluhare. My husband did pass due to complications from his Injury. I miss him more than words can say and so does my son. That was over five years ago now and we are both doing much better now. Thank you for your concern. :) We learned a lot through it all. It has definitely made us stronger and more caring than we were before.

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    10. So we do have at least one "resident" attorney here then, Elizabeth??? That can definitely add some additional flavor to an already very flavorful blog. Lots of interesting and gifted people here.
      (Although I believe everyone is interesting and gifted, each in our own ways.)

      It is a VERY interesting topic these days, privacy. Given cell phones, go cams, public surveillance,
      the Internet, home security systems, GPS in autos, (my next door neighbors, lol), and now even drones, perhaps we might be in the last generation to have experienced true, old fashioned, privacy. Perhaps we had better start drafting our memoirs for posterity lest anyone forgets what privacy is.

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    11. I am so sorry to read that, Anonymous Original Poster. Mr. bluhare lost his parents in a traffic accident -- also someone else's fault -- so while I can't know your pain, I certainly know someone else's first hand. Glad to read you and your son are both doing better.

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    12. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 17:01

      Anon 15.50! I'm so very sorry for your loss! I cannot imagine the strength it has taken for you and your son to get through that! Alot of good wishes and hugs!

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    13. Thanks Bluhare and Rebecca. :)
      A hug to Mr. Bluhare, if that's okay. :)

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    14. Maggie Just wondering if you are an attorney?

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    15. Of course it's OK, Anonymous Original Poster! I told Mr. bluhare and, eloquent speaker that he is, he said "Man, that sucks". He will not be winning any prizes for self expression. :)

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    16. Maggie - Minneapolis7 December 2015 at 04:57

      Anon 15:50 - I am SO sorry about your husband and I hope my original comment didn't seem too unfeeling in any way. I don't know what it is like to lose someone that close to me, but I greatly admire you for becoming stronger and more caring for it. I hope you and your son have a wonderful holiday season.my best wishes to you both.

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  25. Another theme on the same: how do people feel about fellow diners posting what Kate eats. This happened when they were eating locally right before the pregnancy was announced. The dinner the press dubbed celebratory after we learned she was expecting. I can remember another instance on the way to a wedding when they stopped for lunch. To me , this is even more invasive than one quick clandestine photo.

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    1. How is it invasive to take a picture of someone in a public place?
      They live in palaces and will never worry about money in their life and have two housekeepers and a nanny and someone to organize their schedule.and make appointments for them the trade off is having their photo taken sometimes
      So.please everyone stop trying to quilch the freedom of taking a picture

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    2. I agree with you anon 23:47. I was just posing a question. I was wondering if anyone thought that was as or more invasive than photos.

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    3. From a personal point of view I'd hate it. What I eat is my business and it should be hers as well. Besides I'd be embarrassed to have my diet published; right now it consists of peanut butter cups and the odd bit of protein for actual nutrition. I will be dieting and exercising more after the holidays. :)

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    4. Yum! Peanut butter cups! I had the same reaction bluhare. I wouldn't necessarily mind if my picture were posted but would hate it to accompanied by details of what I ate.

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    5. Anon. 23:47 and Erika, How does taking a picture in a plubic place relate to the fact that they live in Palaces, their financial security or the amount of staff and their functions. I don't really think most posters are "trying to quilch the freedom of taking a picture" as much as calling into question the publication of them for the world to see and having a discussion. Just because they are Royal and have the things you describe, why does that negate their privacy?

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    6. Bluhare :) !!! peanut butter cups... https://i.ytimg.com/vi/0udlgkKGRYs/hqdefault.jpg

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    7. Julia from Leominster6 December 2015 at 19:45

      Love that diet - Bluhare - perhaps I will join you!

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    8. Ha, Paola! Reeses tried making peanut butter cups (one American confection I have truly embraced although I do not like peanut butter anywhere else except in a cookie) in the shape of Christmas trees this year. They do not look like Christmas trees. They look like what Snoopy thinks he just ate. Quite unappetizing looking, really. Although I managed to choke them down. :)

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    9. Good question, Eva. Whenever I read comments where we are reminded of money, nannies or housekeepers, it does sound a bit like "what more do they want?"

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    10. Bluhare do you mean this? http://celebbabylaundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Cups-trees_1003.jpg

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    11. Eve, that was all anon 23:47. All I said was that if I were Kate I'd rather have my picture posted then the details of my meal.

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    12. Yours look delicious, Paola! No, I was talking about this monstrosity: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/28/living/reeses-peanut-butter-cups-christmas-tree-feat/index.html

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    13. I don't have a problem with it because it happens so rarely, most of the posts are guesses on what the RF eats or what a particular member of the family has ordered. I think most restaurants recognize if they go blabbing to the media about specifics, they can count on never having royal business again.
      The details of the royal family's meals at the Sandringham Christmas have become public knowledge because people are fascinated by the vintage Christmas traditions still going on there.
      These are very public people who occupy a very public - and very privileged - role. Despite their tantrums, they do recognize that they have to be out in public, that very personal things are going to be made public every so often.
      The thing is - when interest in the royals drops, that means interest in supporting a monarchy drops. And the queen and Prince Charles and even Will and Kate, for all their protests, do recognize that. Better to bear a few glimpses into your at-home life than to have to pay for all those security officers out of your own pocket!!

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    14. Ah Paola, thanks for sharing that picture. Those would make great treats for a children's party.

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    15. Bluhare: http://imblog.aufeminin.com/blog/D20091122/382450_618140816_22139-clipart-illustration-of-a-yellow-emoticon-face-wit_H003153_L.jpg

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  26. Totally random but why in the heck is the roof of amner hall bright orange? I mean it's really an eyesore and doesn't match the rest of the building

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 12:08

      It is newly laid in the picture and (I read) the same material as the original roofing. It will soon get faded and weathered so then it will not look that bright :)

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    2. Did you look at a close up of the home? It actually matches the some of the brick detail around the windows, etc. And as Rebecca stated, it will fade.

      http://media.vanityfair.com/photos/5616cf9a319af15240f98ced/master/pass/kate-middleton-william-anmer-hall-country-house-no-fly-zone.jpg

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  27. They say the tiles will age and get "normal" blend in color with time.

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  28. The photos did up the ante on security though. Part of their plan in casual events is them being unannounced. If that photo was posted on a site that was public bad guys could have been there easily and quickly, yeh? (not speaking any bad things forth.)

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    1. Yes, I think it might be forbidden to publish the images immediately, it might be delayed at least 24h.

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    2. hopefully, Paola. After what has happened recently, I am happy Kate and the girls even ventured out like that. I mean, they are not high profile risks or anything. (also not speaking bad things forth.)

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    3. Yes, anonymous 16:54, in this sense it's a good thing that they have gone and the pictures are published. In such a historically difficult moment, people could be afraid going to a restaurant or in other public places. The Duchess and her siblings are setting a good example to everybody.

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  29. who was the guy in the photo will Kate's mum?

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  30. It’s fun to read all the Xmas plans. Fiona Harvey at 19:59 your Xmas day sounds lovely. We’re going to the coast & all the kids can talk about is the beach. They’re already organizing all the beach cricket & volleyball gear & it’s hard to get to the front door because they’ve piled all the soft surfboards there!

    Claudia your question about the photos and what the community here think is acceptable & not acceptable to publish is thought provoking.

    Some of the best thinking about how you balance freedom of the press with the public interest & individual rights was set out in Volume 1, Part B of the 2012 Report of the Leveson Inquiry. This was a judicial & public inquiry set up by the British government to examine the culture, practices & ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal. This scandal impacted the RF because the private voice mails of Prince Harry, Prince William & Kate Middleton (it happened before her marriage) were illegally hacked hundreds of times. Here’s the link:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/270939/0780_i.pdf
    Pages 69-74 are particularly relevant.

    I don’t have a problem with these photos of Kate being published largely because neither she nor William has ever complained about members of the public posting photos of them on social media. They seem to accept that this goes with the territory. I do support the stand that Charlotte has taken on the blog about pap photos of the children because they have objected to these practices & explained why. There’s a neat summary of the relevant principles in the Leveson Report:

    ‘to treat an individual merely as something to be talked about, reported or looked at against his or her wishes is contrary to the public interest in individual autonomy, and to the ethical imperative to treat individuals as an ‘end’ and not simply as a ‘means’’.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that blue wren, very interesting.

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    2. We all gather at historic Williamsburg, with hot apple cider, caroling, and old traditional dishes coupled with new offerings. Our family loves mixing the old with the new and spending time together. Merry Christmas to you Charlotte, and everyone on this lovely site. S

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  31. Her son James, I think.

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  32. I love that burgundy hat, and the burgundy coat, that Kate wore for her first Christmas walk at Sandringham. I also love the brown hat she wore last year, and the tweed coat, as well as the white coat she wore with it in Switzerland. Those are two of Kate's very best hats, and she knows how to dress with them. I like real hats!

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden6 December 2015 at 14:52

      I agree with the first year! So perfect! I love, love, love that hat!!

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    2. The first year coat and hat is my favorite too. It screamed princess to me which I love.

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    3. I also love the first year ensemble the best. That hat is fantastic on her.

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    4. I agree with you,I love the wine color of the coat, its my absolute favorite. Charlotte, this post was such a delight to read, its such a lovely time of the year. I hope we have a white Christmas this year!Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!xoxo

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    5. I guess I am in the minority here, but the first coat was not my favorite. I prefer a coat with more substance to it (the fabric looked very lightweight and it wrinkled easily...characteristics that were only enhanced by the solid color).

      I wouldn't mind seeing this one again...perhaps with black tights, boots, hat and gloves. Oh yes, and with an updo so we can see the collar.

      http://www.katesclothes.com/coat/opal-wool-double-breasted-coat/

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    6. lol, siddhi, and Merry Christmas to you and yours also. :)

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    7. I would love to see that coat again too, royalfan. The lines are beautiful and it fit her well while the double pocket detail and silver buttons are striking. All black accessories would be the way to go. It says Easter Sunday to me more than Christmas though.

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  33. Kate, Texas, USA6 December 2015 at 05:39

    Such a lovely post! Christmas is my favorite time of year! I loved reading about other reader's Christmas plans. It's fun to see how everyone celebrates, especially those in different countries than the US.

    It was fun to remember how Will and Kate have celebrated their Christmases as a married couple. I agree with you Charlotte that the McQueen plaid has been Kate's best Christmas look. I'm looking forward to seeing the RF walk to church and what everyone's attire will be this year, I know W&K are enjoying the preparations and holiday season through the eyes of George and Charlotte. My kiddos are beyond excited about the decorations, lights, songs, Santa, EVERYTHING! It really is so magical to them!

    Charlotte, a couple years ago you posted a yummy recipe for Christmas pudding. Could you possibly do that again this year? I should have written it down then, but didn't. Thanks again for the wonderful post! I hope all the readers are enjoying the holiday season!

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  34. Such an "Anne of Green Gables" atmosphere in the restaurant!

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    Replies
    1. If I owned a restaurant, that is what I would want it to look like. :)

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  35. I updated the post with lovely quotes about Christmas from Prince William :)

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  36. Thanks Charlotte. :)

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  37. What an AMAZING blessing that William promised an exclusive interview to a homeless woman. How precious is that? (William, who doesn't like the "press".) What a heartwarming Christmas story.
    How anyone can rag on William is beyond me.
    He is a rescue pilot, caring family man and conscientious Royal who loves and serves the Queen,
    and a philanthropist.

    I can imagine how busy Prince George is going to keep them all. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
    I would love to know what he asked Santa for this Christmas. And, perhaps Maria will get some more sweet outfits for Princess Charlotte for Christmas. (AND, I wonder if Kate will receive any Jewelry this season.) Always curious about the bling. :)

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Anon 16:50 :))

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3347810/My-George-ll-bouncing-like-rabbit.html

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    2. Absolutely love that he did that! What an amazing story and journey that woman has been on, and I'm sure I speak for many of us when I congratulate her on a well-fought victory to get where she is at. William was very gracious and did a great thing here. S

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  38. Wouldn't it be fun if we could each post photos of some of our Christmas decorations, like our trees, etc.? Not that Charlotte doesn't have anything else to do or anything. I don't know how to post such photos or if it is even possible but I think it would be lots of fun.

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    Replies
    1. ........or..........how about a "what will Kate wear on Christmas Day" post?

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  39. Julia from Leominster6 December 2015 at 20:00

    I've been fortunate enough to dine at Clos Maggiore and I have to say the food was scrumptious and it was so romantic - although I think Mr Leo was more excited by his brilliantly prepared duck than he was by me - we have been married rather a long time! Competing with that duck would be difficult, although he does sometimes say "Isn't this romantic!" generally at times I'm not thinking that at all!

    . Still, if I were Kate I would have chosen it for dinner with William rather than my mother and sister! I suspect it was a question of location. We were going to the ballet too, like Kate is said to have been doing and I would love to dine there again but last time, we didn't ask early enough and they were fully booked.

    I think Charlotte, you need to do some additional research there - you might suggest that to Mr Charlotte, - it would be a lovely place to have a first anniversary dinner! Have a lovely first Christmas together and huge thanks for all you do to keep us informed about Kate with these splendid posts.

    It's been lovely hearing about all the vaired Christmas plans from posters here from Australian and the States to Sweden and Bavaria - what a lovely assortment of traditions and yet family is behind it whether in sun or snow. A Happy Christmas to all!

    Although she doesn't post here anymore, I do hope Jean from Lancaster is well and isn't affected by the dreadful storm in the north - such a horrible things for people to have to go through at anytime - but especially at what should be a festive season.

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    Replies
    1. Julia, with a without a man seated across from us, we gals are worth such a magical setting and should treat ourselves to them occasionally. I do enjoy romantic dinners, but there's a place in my life for a few "I'm worth it" lunches as well. :))

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    2. Completely agree royalfan!

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    3. Love those also RF, and for the "girl time" that place is so pretty. I read the menu. A lot of things on there I have no clue what they are, but who cares. The place is idyllic. Definitely on my Itinerary.

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    4. Royalfan you are sooo right! This cascade of flowers could be a great consolation for a lonely soul, for instance. At least, for a soul like mine.

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  40. Julia,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your meal there and I fully indeed to do a little more research later this month before a show :)
    My parents have dined there and believe it's the most romantic restaurant out there and the food is supposed to be excellent. It's one for the itinerary for anyone considering a visit to London.

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  41. My all time favorite coat look and Christmas look is that luscious brown calf length stow-stealer. I so wish I could buy that coat. Just so beautiful and striking. And the collar!! I groan with envy every time I see it......

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  42. oh charlotte what a lovely post hmm hope you enjoy your Christmas hmm there a lot of Christmas carol in the town my family on we have a dinner on 24 and eve we go to church and exchanging gifts hmm charlotte you will enjoy your Christmas as mrs hmm my nieces and nephews are in my cousin are finally going cray about these Christmas hmm btw Christmas for kids

    hmm I love the interview of prince William at big issue prince George first Christmas with princess charlotte wherever they spend Christmas will surely be special

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