Thursday, 31 December 2015

Year in Review 2015: A New Princess, Tiaras, A Focus on Mental Health & More!

As we prepare to bid farewell to 2015, it's time for our annual Year in Review post! It's always a great opportunity to take a look back at highlights of the year from a royal perspective, and the arrival of Princess Charlotte was very much the top story. We also look back at each of the royal engagements carried out by the Duchess, the causes she chose to support, her sartorial selections and the stories that got us talking. Consider yourself forewarned, this is going to be a long one - put your feet up, grab a cup of something, and let's look back at Kate's year...


Kate's first engagement of the year saw her officially naming the Clore Art Room at Barlby School in London on 15 January. The Duchess selected the 'Naomi' dress by British luxury and maternity wear label Madderson London. The following day Kate paid a visit to Islington to celebrate the work of foster carers. Opting for a high street dress - the Hobbs London Animal Shirt Dress and a pretty pair of new Mirabelle earrings - it was a stylish start to the year.

January also marked the month Kensington Palace created their own social media accounts; up until then the Clarence House account had been used to share news and information. It has proved a very popular decision, with the Palace's Twitter account amassing 597K followers and their Instagram account a staggering 871K.

Kensington Palace Instagram

Kate was chic in a baby blue Séraphine maternity coat for a day of engagements in Kensington which saw her attend a coffee morning at Family Friends, a voluntary organisation providing befriending and mentoring services. When asked about the baby Kate said: "It's moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now". The Duchess also opened Kensington Aldridge Academy and a new leisure centre. I loved this look, and it was perhaps my favourite of the maternity styles she chose throughout her second pregnancy. The coat was beautifully tailored and the colour had us all speculating Kate might have been expecting another boy. :)

The Duchess was photographed during a relaxing weekend with her family in Bucklebury stopping for snacks at the local Peach's Spar. Kate looked casual in the very cute Beulah London Delaney sweater.

The month rounded off with the Cambridges annual holiday to Mustique with the Middletons.


A nautical Kate visited the home of Ben Ainslie Racing and the 1851 Trust in Portsmouth. It was a fun engagement with the Duchess showcasing her artistic talents by putting the finishing touches to a mural. She revealed she was painting with George the previous day and he loved it.

To mark Children's Mental Health Week Kate recorded a video message revealing how she and William have seen children struggle to cope with bullying, bereavement and family breakdown, and how the stigma around mental health issues means many children do not receive the help and support they need. Later in the year mental health would become a key focus.

Kate was moved when she met young families at Action for Children's Cape Hill Children's Centre. After hearing Michelle Griffiths emotional story in which she revealed she had "died" six times and been brought back after heart attacks, and how her thirteen-year-old daughter Chloe is her carer, Kate said: "You've brought a tear to my eye."


The Duchess made a private visit to the Goring Hotel - where she stayed the night before her wedding - to mark its 105th birthday celebrations. Again, Kate was on hand to add the final touches to a mural. Kate selected a very pretty floral-print Erdem dress for the visit.

Kate was pretty in pink McQueen as she and William joined the Royal family for the Commonwealth Observance at Westminster Abbey. The pale pink ensemble was completed with a Jane Taylor hat, Kate's pink Prada shoes and clutch, and Kiki Morganite earrings.

Kate supported the arts in the seaside town of Margate wearing her Hobbs Dalmatian print coat.

One of the most anticipated appearances of the year was Kate's visit to the set of Downton Abbey. William and Kate have long been fans of the show and the cast were tickled pink to meet the Duchess.  Kate had a ball as she watched a scene being filmed and met the cast who shared many memorable quotes afterwards. Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, recently revealed the Duchess "smelled like roses".

We saw William and Kate the next day for a service of commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Kate attended the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade where she surprised us by selecting a brown ensemble instead of green. Wrapping up the month, a visit to Brookhill Children's Centre in an Asos Spot-Print Dress, and a day of engagements in South London which marked Kate's last public appearance before the big arrival!


With Kate on maternity leave, April was the first of several quiet months during the year. As Kate's due date drew nearer we held a poll asking readers to vote for their favourite names for the little prince or princess. I think you all made some rather stellar selections with Charlotte, Elizabeth and Diana topping the poll.

Kate spent the final weeks of her pregnancy quietly and was only spotted out and about a handful of times, taking George to local farms and shopping. 'The Great Kate Wait 2' was in full swing with royal fans eager to find out if it would be a boy or a girl.

Daily Mirror


On Sunday, 2nd May I awoke to news the Duchess had been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in the early stages of labour. It was incredibly exciting and it was wonderful to see the reaction from you all throughout the day on our Live Blog.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Shortly after 11 am this joyous new was released.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

We had an unexpected treat when delighted dad William brought new big brother George to meet his little sister for the first time.

That evening, the Cambridges presented their princess to the world. Kate left hospital sooner than expected and despite the fact she must have felt exhausted, she was beaming as she emerged on the steps of St. Mary's with her daughter in her arms.

The couple were clearly thrilled to welcome the new addition their family, and Kate's expression in this photo is one of pure joy.

Our first look at Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. 

The Cambridges enjoyed their first few days with Charlotte at Kensington Palace where members of the Royal family and Middletons had the opportunity to meet her. William and Kate then travelled to Anmer Hall where they spent most of the summer.

Mail Online


June began with the Cambridges releasing four photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte taken by Kate at Anmer Hall. It was a real treat to see the darling pictures of the adorable pair.

Trooping the Colour marked Kate's first official appearance since Charlotte's birth. Kate chose the Catherine Walker Astrid coatdress for the event. As always, the Royal family gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Prince George making a surprise appearance. The Prince was attired in the same blue outfit with cream lace William wore for his first Trooping appearance in 1984.

The next day Kate took George to watch William playing polo at the Beaufort Club in Gloucestershire. Polo tends to be one of the highlights of the summer months as it offers an opportunity to see the royals candidly.

The Duke and Duchess also welcomed Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Kensington Palace to discuss their shared interest in preventing the illegal wildlife trade.


On Sunday, 5 July Princess Charlotte was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

It was the first time we had seen the family of four together publicly. It was an intimate ceremony attended by close family, including Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Middleton family, and the godparents and their spouses.

One of my favourite photos from the day: George checking in on his sister.

Princess Charlotte's christening portraits were taken by legendary photographer Mario Testino at Sandringham House. To coincide with the release of the photos the Palace released the following statement: 'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their whole family had a wonderful day on Sunday and were delighted to share the special occasion with the thousands of people who came to Sandringham. They are very happy to share these photographs and hope that everyone enjoys them as much as they do.'

Tennis fans William and Kate were courtside for the Wimbledon Quarter-Finals which saw British number one Andy Murray fighting for a place in the next round. Kate wore the L.K. Bennett Cayla dress for the day.

William and Kate visited Portsmouth at the end of the month for the America's Cup World Series. Kate attended in her role as patron of the 1851 Trust. The couple enjoyed a fun day trying out a sailing simulator, although the race was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.


We didn't see Kate in August and the quiet spell led readers to come up with some wonderfully entertaining ideas. Our reader Julia suggested readers select their 'Dream Looks for Kate' and it turned out to be such a creative, collaborative and fun activity. It's certainly something we'll revisit next year. Below, a look at your winning look submitted by Megs.

The primary talking point in August came when Kensington Palace released a letter of appeal to publications purchasing paparazzi pictures of Prince George and to inform the public of the measures used by photographers to obtain these images. The letter spoke of "increasingly dangerous" methods being used to capture images of the prince.

Kensington Palace


September began with a break on the Queen's Scottish estate, Balmoral. William and Kate were photographed attending Sunday service at Crathie Kirk.

Kate returned to royal duties on 17 September with a visit to the Anna Freud Centre. The engagement began what would be an autumn programme focused on children's mental health. The Palace said Kate's visit would enable her to "see how the charity is working to lead a step change in children's mental health care". Kate chose the Ralph Laren Silk Austin Shirtdress for the day.

The Duchess joined William and Harry at Twickenham for the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony. The royals were in great spirits as they enjoyed the compelling spectacle. Kate sported a very chic Reiss coat - the first of a number of new stylish coats she would début over the autumn.

One of Kate's most intriguing engagement of the year was her unexpected visit to HMP Send, a women's prison in Surrey. The visit was previously unannounced and carried out under a media blackout due to security concerns. It was an unusual sight to see the future queen stepping through the gates of the prison and it was one of those occasions where the nature of the engagement overtook what she wore. Kate heard first-hand accounts from offenders on the role addiction played when offending.

Following the visit, the Palace released these remarks from Kate:

"I was reminded today how addictions lie at the heart of so many social issues and how substance misuse can play such destructive role in vulnerable people's lives. I saw again today that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges can have profound consequences for people throughout their lives.
 I am grateful to the women I met for sharing their difficult personal stories with me. It is encouraging to learn how organisations like RAPt are offering specialist support to help people break the cycle of addiction and look forward to a positive and crime free life."

Kate joined William and Harry for the England v Wales match at the Rugby World Cup, and much to our surprise sported a pair of floral-print Zara trousers. It's always fun to see Kate experimenting and trying something new with fashion. Her mother Carole was photographed around the same time in a pair of Somerset by Temperley print trousers. Perhaps they inspired each other to try the trend?


Kate's schedule became noticeably busier throughout the autumn with October seeing the Duke and Duchess supporting World Mental Health Day at an event hosted by mental health charity Mind at London's Harrow College. A focus on mental health especially in young people was developing. At the time, a royal source said: "The couple feel there is a real momentum building and people are ready to talk about it. They are feeling energized about it."

The Cambridges cheered on Wales in the Ruby World Cup with Kate donning her Reiss Delaney jacket for the event.

On the 20th it was time for William and Kate's first state banquet. We had been awaiting the white-tie appearance since the couple got married and it certainly didn't disappoint. Kate was the picture of elegance in a bespoke red Jenny Packham cap sleeve gown as she took centre stage, seated beside President Xi of China.

As you all know, I do love a tiara appearance and was thrilled to see Kate in the late Queen Mother's Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara. With a chic updo, the piece looked fabulous and added a regal sparkle to the look. There was plenty of chatter over the other jewels Kate wore too, most notably two beautiful bracelets loaned to Kate by Her Majesty. One in particular is without question a very special piece in particular. It was in fact a wedding gift from Prince Philip, made with diamonds from a tiara belonging to his mother. The other, a choker worn by Queen Mary c. 1920, and later converted to a bracelet worn by the late Queen Mother.

The following day William and Kate joined President Xi and his wife Madame Peng for a creative industry event. The Duchess débuted two new Italian designers: a lace dress by Dolce & Gabbana and a sleek pair of pumps by Gianvito Rossi. Many felt the look would have been better suited to an evening affair; I presume given it was a state visit Kate wanted to take things up a notch - in terms of sartorial formality.

Next up, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn enjoyed an 'away day' in Dundee, Scotland. The couple carried out five engagements during the course of the visit under the umbrella of supporting mental health. They visited local organisations focused on the issue and did a little sightseeing on the RSS Discovery. Kate gave a nod to Scotland in a bespoke coat and kilt by Scottish designer Christopher Kane.

The 26th and 27th were two packed days with four engagements for Kate. It began with a fabulously fun day at BAFTA, London where the royals enjoyed a screening of the latest Shaun the Sheep movie before playing 'welly wanging' and chatting with the children. It was a lovely engagement, producing photos such as this one..

For Kate's Date With 007 at the Spectre première the Duchess chose another bespoke Jenny Packham gown. It was a polarizing dress with opinion very much divided. There were many aspects I personally liked, however, I did feel the amount of fabric at the front almost swamped Kate. I loved her updo and choosing Carole Middleton's royal wedding earrings was a lovely touch.

We couldn't not include a photo of Kate with "Bond. James Bond". One slightly off topic titbit: it was incredibly endearing to see how excited Prince Harry was on the night. After meeting Daniel Craig he asked him to sign his programme. I expect he's quite a fan of the franchise. :)

Kate repeated an Orla Kiely dress for an engagement at Islington Town Hall where Kate learned more about Chance UK. The Palace said the engagement reflected "the Duchess of Cambridge's particular interest in early intervention programmes".

When we look back on Kate's style in 2015, the Erdem Alouette Gown she wore for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala Dinner will always come up in conversation. It was such a departure from her signature style, the print, the voluminous silhouette were all entirely unexpected. Looking back, I have to say I'm glad Kate wore it and took a risk with her style. I wonder if it shall ever make another appearance publicly.

The Duchess was loaned another pair of the late Queen Mother's earrings for the night: the Sapphire and Diamond Fringe earrings.


November began with William and Kate joining the Royal family for the first time for the annual Festival of Remembrance. The Duchess chose a black Dolce & Gabbana lace dress - an appropriate choice for the event. The next morning Kate was joined by Queen Máxima for Remembrance Sunday.

Monday 17th began with the Duke and Duchess signing the book of condolences following the tragedy in Paris. It was heartening to see the response to the terrible news from readers on the blog and the concern expressed for our readers in Paris. That evening Kate attended the Fostering Awards in a pretty blue dress by Indian designer, Saloni, I suspect the choice may have reflected the news just days earlier that the couple would tour India in spring 2016.

For the Place2Be Headteacher Conference the next day, Kate delivered a confident speech in support of her patronage.  Kate spoke of how lucky she was to have a "wonderful and secure childhood". Aides described the speech as "very much her own", a fact which was evident by the text.

During an away day in Wales the Cambridges carried out a range of duties which saw them visiting a photography project, stopping at GISDA - an organisation working to help young vulnerable people by giving them opportunities to help improve their lives - and meeting locals who waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the royals.

The couple shared jokes and laughs as they enjoyed abseiling at the Outdoor Adventure Centre in Snowdonia. It was Kate's first attempt and she was determined to do well: "Not that we're competitive but if he climbs that wall I'll have to do it too." Kate also chatted about missing Anglesey and the mountains.

The month concluded with a very special treat - new photos of Princess Charlotte taken by Kate at Anmer Hall. It was splendid to see the beautiful little princess who had grown so much since we last saw her.


It was tiara time for the Cambridges second appearance at the glittering annual Diplomatic Reception. Kate surprised us all when we spotted she was wearing the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara. Steeped in royal history, it is best known as 'Diana's tiara'. In 1981, the day before Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, Her Majesty gave her soon-to-be daughter-in-law a red leather box, and inside lay the sparkling headpiece. Over the year, it has become synonymous with Diana. I'm delighted to see Kate wearing it and looking forward to seeing it in its entirety at future events.

Kate débuted a much shorter haircut at the ICAP Charity Day. The much talked about cut was the work of Richard Ward, I still prefer Kate's longer hair but the style is growing on me, excuse the pun. Do you like it? Has your opinion changed?  The royal couple closed a number of deals over the phone raising funds for organisations including several of their patronages.

Kate's new Reiss Rubik Coat was photographed twice over December. The Duchess initially sported the chic houndstooth coat for a visit to Action on Addiction's Centre for Treatment Studies in Warminster. Days later, Kate chose it for a spot of Christmas shopping at John Lewis.

Kate was festive in her red Alexander McQueen dress for her last official engagement of the year - Anna Freud Centre's Family School Christmas Party. The Duchess has been referred to as the 'Children's Princess' and it was more evident than ever as she embraced the children, chatting and sharing jokes during a drum lesson. Kate is very much in her element with young people, and it's always a joy to see these photos.

Kate repeated her popular red Luisa Spanoli suit for the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon.

Afterwards, it was announced the Duke of Edinburgh passed his patronage of the RAF Air Cadets to Kate during an audience at Buckingham Palace. It is Kate's first role with an official link to the military and a very fitting choice given William's service with the search and rescue force, and Kate's late grandfather Peter Middleton formerly a RAF pilot.

The Cambridges publicly released their chosen Christmas card photograph ahead of the festivities. The family picture was taken among autumn leaves at Kensington Palace in October by photographer Chris Jelf. It's a smashing photo and it's always a treat to see the foursome together.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

The Cambridges spent Christmas Day with the Royal family at Sandringham. The couple smiled as they made the walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church and chatted with locals afterwards. Kate chose a new green coat by SportsMax and a new rich green hat. I'm sure it was a very exciting day for the family as it was Charlotte's first Christmas and of course with Santa visiting. :)

William and Kate joined the royals for Sunday service at Sandringham. Kate selected a stylish new suit teamed with her Aquatalia boots and Fairytale hat. After much searching, it was unexpectedly identified as a Michael Kors design. It was a great look, beautifully tailored and very appropriate.

It's been another memorable year for royal watchers and it's been fantastic to follow it with you all.
What has been your royal highlight of 2015? According to the Court Circular Kate carried our roughly sixty-two engagements over the year (with many thanks to Cepe). Below, a graphic from the Mail Online.

Mail Online

With 2016 on the horizon, there's much to look forward to on the royal front. Our reader Rebecca from Sweden heard the BBC report the Cambridges tour of India will take place in April, it promises to be very exciting with a variety of engagements and events on the agenda. There's also the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations on the calendar. I hope to see Kate continuing her focus on mental health and young people, and perhaps expanding the focus with increased patronages and a larger number of engagements next year. It's an area she feels passionately about and one she can impact on. On a more personal level, George will be beginning pre-school and William continues to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. William and Kate will also celebrate their fifth anniversary on 29 April.

I'm looking forward to 2016 and following Kate with you for another year. Thank you very much for popping in and commenting. Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and successful new year! :)


  1. You forgot to mention one big Milestone for 2016. The Cambridges will celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary!

    Count of Official Engagements are always different. When there are multiple things in a day people often count them differently, and sometimes CC leaves stuff off but some people count it. I got 61 for Kate, so we seem to be quite close.

    1. Rebecca - Sweden1 January 2016 at 00:00

      Exactly Gert :) That's why people should just take it as a rough estimate and not do some kind of competition out of it :P

    2. That's going to be exciting for them, their 5th anniversary, April 29!! :)

    3. 5 years. wow. They certainly have done a lot and travelled to a lot of new places these past five years. Our little Princess has met Kings, Queens, Presidents and toasted the leader of China and his wife. Oh, and she gave birth to the 4th and 5th in succession to the British throne. She has been a sweet companion to her husband and has found her way into the hearts of many in the royal family. She has kept her family in the loop. She has set up numerous households and patronages. She has reached new heights (literally) and also made some children very happy. And all the while the world watched every nuance. And she did it all with a warm smile on her face and love in her heart. She's has kudos from me. God bless Kate and her family richly.

    4. Just for the record, George & Charlotte are 3rd and 4th in line of succession, with Prince Charles being 1st.

    5. ANON 18:12 Well Said! & All While Being True To Herself & Keeping Her Integrity Intact! She is a Wonderful Example for Young Girls Today!:)
      Becca USA

    6. It Really is Amazing all that has happened these last 5 years! (I may get jumped for saying this) but They have been 2 Very Busy Bees! Kate has (other than some feeling there were fashion faux pas) She hasn't really put a foot wrong! She has grown & evolved into an Amazing Woman, Mother, & Partner for William. She's carving out & fashioning her own path to making a difference in the UK, regarding Children's Needs & Mental Health/Addiction Concerns for the Whole Family. It's a Nitch that Really needed a Light Shown Onto It. Well Done Kate!
      Becca USA

  2. Happy New Year and thank you for a wonderful year of the Cambridges in motion

    1. Rebecca - Sweden1 January 2016 at 00:01

      Happy New Year everyone. Or "Gott Nytt År" as I would say! :D

    2. Rebecca,

      That actually sounds like Good (Gott) New (Nytt)
      Year (Ar). so many languages have so many common thread words. neat. Thanks for the Swedish lesson. :)

    3. Rebecca - Sweden2 January 2016 at 19:41

      Yeah, it kind of does :) You're welcome!

    4. English and Swedish are basically Germanic languages, and do share a lot of basic words. Thanks for greeting us in your native language, Rebecca! I hope more people will do so. Happy New Year to all!

  3. Anett from Austria31 December 2015 at 22:29

    Boldog Uj Evet!!Happy New Year Charlotte and to all the readers!!

    1. I wanted to comment on the post itself so here it is:

      Thanks for the very detailed and long post. 2015 certainly was memorable for the Cambridge family. I hope we will see them more in 2016.

      On fashion front, I must say it was really difficult to choose the best outfit, the worst was easy, for me certainly the Erdem deserved that title.:-) One truly aweful choice on her part.

      I loved her baby blue maternity coat and dress and the dark blue one with lots of nice jewellery. She did so much better with her 2nd pregnancy, chose really memorable maternity pieces this time.

      It was nice to see her trying new styles and brands like Really Wild Clothing.

      She came up with beautiful coats like the Christopher Kane one.

      On the official front or wear though, I felt a bit disappointed, she did not give me any goosebumps on the way. The only which came really close is the Christening outfit. That was truly magnificient.

      On the other hand she showed up quite a lot of bling this year. Tiaras, diamonds, wow.

      I hope her hair grows fast because that is not growing on me.

      Thanks for the enormous work, you do all year round Charlotte!

      I hope next year we gonna get a bit more pics of the kids, they are truly great ones.

    2. I loved the Erdrm gown. Fresh, young and different for her. Disguised her too long waist perfectly. The hideous failure for me was the ftumpy, I'll-fitting Jenny Packham gown for the Bond film premiere. It will forever be Granny's Nightdress to me.

  4. Sarah from Calif.31 December 2015 at 23:22

    Happy New Year Charlotte and all Duchess Kate Fans!
    Wonderful post of a very busy year for Kate.
    I for one will never forget seeing Prince George giving his first wave from the balcony from Buckingham Palace and being there with a special friend, Kate from Texas. All because of this very fantastic blog!
    Cheers to everyone for a wonderful New Year!

    1. Sarah,

      or George peeking into the carriage to see his sister, or shyly conversing with the Queen outside the church, or giving his sister a kiss on the cheek as she was nestled on the pillow, or defending his family with a stern and emphatic glare to the camera as his parents socialized at the christening, or as he sat tall on the shoulders of his grandmother at the beach or looked thoughtfully hand on chin with his Uncle Harry on his way to visit the Queen.... :)

    2. Kate, Texas, USA2 January 2016 at 17:20

      Sarah, I LOVED bringing you with me this year! Simply brilliant time! It was pretty amazing seeing Prince George in his Daddy's arms standing on the balcony. Here's to many more trips across the pond and crossing things off the bucket list! So thankful for this wonderful blog!

  5. Happy New Year Charlotte! Thank from the bottom of my heart for Duchess Kate, it is a wonderful place to visit. Today you have out done yourself.....wonderful post!

    Cheers to everyone!

  6. A Very Happy New Year to you, Charlotte, to you all & everyone!

    Thank you for creating this wonderful blog & being this extraordinary community:

    Philly23 December 2015 at 19:48

    ‘T is the Night Before Christmas
    By Philly

    ‘T is the night before Christmas on Duchess Kate Blog
    When readers are scrolling, their eyes all agog.
    Our parcels are wrapped and stockings are hung,
    And the long chimes of midnight about to be rung.

    Our houses now silent with all fast asleep
    Except we readers taking one more “last peep.”
    Royalfan in her kerchief and Julia in her cap,
    Are in no mood tonight for a long winter’s nap.

    Out in the ether there still is much chatter
    And a flock of anons are still having at ’er.
    The hair is too messy, the skirt way too short,
    The sledges are boring, and the jeans get a snort.

    The Duchess looks tired. Oh give her a break.
    She’s gorgeous in anything, for pity’s sake.
    A coat button pulling on a garment bespoke
    Or Corkswoon wedges make some people choke.

    Then others are here ignoring the comments
    Just relishing bags and jewels and bonnets,
    Or loving the glances between husband and wife
    And two little toddlers who spice up their life.

    Perhaps Charlotte’s added a last minute shot,
    Historical feature, poll or bon mot.
    Sure, morning will bring a procession to church
    But now we have time for “just one more” search.

    Are there pregnancy rumours or a marital spat
    Or is Bluhare finally eating her hat?
    Maybe there’s something somebody dissed,
    Whatever it is, it’s not to be missed.

    Maybe a Repli-Kate item to buy
    Or a tiara to view with a wistful sigh.
    It’s a wondrous addiction for most of us here
    Our crack, our wine, our spirits, our cheer.

    I laugh when I think it, in spite of myself,
    This dependence has spread through the Commonwealth.
    Tomorrow Charlotte will be back to work
    Offering us all perk after perk.

    Shots of the monarch, the family, the princess—
    Glamour, tradition and splendor of Christmas.
    May the royals in Sandringham and this family online
    Delight in a Christmas both merry and fine.

    And to Charlotte especially a wish for Good Cheer
    And everything splendid in a Happy New Year!

    1. ROFL! Francis, thank you. A Happy New Year to all!

    2. Frances! Thats Amazing!! Thank you! You are So Talented!:) You Captured It All & Then Some! I'm going to take a Screen Shot & keep it tucked in one of my Royal Books:) It's a Definite Keeper!:)
      Hope Your Christmas was Perfectly Wonderful
      Becca USA:)

    3. Francis, you are wonderful. That is such a great treat to read in the comments. Well done!

    4. Rebecca - Sweden2 January 2016 at 19:43

      Guys, it's Philly who did it ;) Posted in previous posts, and in this post it says it's Philly :)

  7. Long time reader...first time commenting. First off, I love this blog. I am always do happy to see a new entry! Charlotte, you do a wonderful job. Thank you so much for all your reporting. I am not sure where else I could get so much news on the Cambridge family. My opinion is that Catherine looks beautiful in just about everything! Her coats over the past year have been gorgeous.
    To all, happy New Year!

    1. So Glad You Posted Beth! It's really nice to be able to post or read, whatever suits us all on any given day:)
      Becca USA

  8. Happy New Year, Charlotte! May the next year be a healthy and prosperous one and may all the joy your blog brings to its readers come back to you tenfold and more. Happiness, peace, health and at least one fulfilled wish per day to you, to your husband and to all Duchess Catherine fans out there :)

  9. Dear Charlotte,

    Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2016 be full of love and blessings!

    Thank you for the continuing gift of this blog and its community of followers. You create and maintain an intelligent, engaged and compassionate atmosphere, allowing us to follow the Cambridges while learning more about them and each other.

    All the best to you and to all your readers!

  10. Wonderful wrap-up of 2015--thank you!

  11. Love the recap! Will be waiting anxiously for 2016 posts.

  12. Rose from Montreal, Canada1 January 2016 at 01:02

    Happy New Year Charlotte and all the other readers of this delightful blog. Wow Charlotte a fantastic trip down memory lane. You are truly amazing. Thanks for all the hard work you did in 2015 and I wish you blessings in 2016. Thank you husband for his delightful input also. We are truly blessed to have a wonderful person such as yourself to keep us so well informed on all things Duchess Kate and the Royal Family at large. I can say that you are a wonderful font of information and I for one have learned a lot thanks to you. Once more many thanks and have a truly great 2016.

  13. Wow what a busy year it's been for Kate! Thanks for all you do here Charlotte, it always brings a smile to read your blog and you bring much joy to many people across the globe. Happy New Year everybody from Australia where we're already mid-morning on New Year's day!
    Fiona in Australia

    1. Charlotte,

      I agree with all the sweet adoration expressed here for the work you do. This blog is a superlative blessing all the way around Charlotte. You touch so many lives all around the world. How amazing is that?

      From reading all the thank you's here, my heart smiles that not one of us takes this blessing for granted.

      The Royal family should bestow upon you one of their special orders or such. You are often better than their PR office in my opinion and quite an asset to the Royal family.

      Much love and appreciation to you and your hubby.

  14. What a fun retrospective. Charlotte, nobody does it better than you.
    Happy New Year, Everyone! Here's to a fabulous 2016!
    Shantel (@FashionandFaith)
    Minnesota, USA

  15. Happy New Year Charlotte! Here's to another fun year of seeing Catherine, William, and the fam from time to time!

  16. So do you think Catherine will have a tiara event in India.

    1. Anon, I would be very surprised and delighted if that were to happen, but I doubt it. This isn't a state visit by heads of state, this is 'only' a tour. Tiara events used to be more common on tours, but in recent decades have all but disappeared. We can hope!

    2. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 16:17

      I'm rather afraid there will be no tiara either although one can always hope - I will be happy if there is a long dress - Needle and Thread would be a lovely choice for that.

    3. Hey Julia, "welcome home", :)


    for reminding us of all the iconic moments of this past year. It seemed to just fly by even as we awaited Charlotte's birth. So fun sharing those moments with you all.

    Love and Peace In Every Areas of Our Lives

  18. Happy New Year!
    Thank you for this wonderful post!!
    Thanks for all the posts that you have done this year! :)

  19. Nancy in California1 January 2016 at 02:52

    Happy New Year to all, especially Charlotte. Can't wait to see what 2016 will bring
    for our favorite royal family. Thanks to all who have made this the most entertaining blog.

  20. Thorough, terrific year-in-review. What a treat, thank you! Best wishes to you and all your loved ones for a successful, healthy and fashionable 2016! :) Same to all readers on this blog. And to all of us, may we also have the strength and patience to tackle ongoing or yet to come challenges.

    My one 2016 wish as far as HRH's engagements: to shift gear slightly and dedicate more attention to the arts, her other important area of activism.

    Cheers, everyone!! Silvia

  21. This is my first time commenting, though I've read the blog religiously ever since I discovered it and used it to escape studying for the bar exam back in 2011. I wanted to take a moment to thank Charlotte and all the great people who carry on such interesting discussions here. It takes a lot to keep me visiting a blog for almost five years, but this has just always seemed like such a unique place. I've been pleased with Kate's apparent interest in mental health issues this year and hope to see her take on a more regularly active role in 2016. Cheers and Happy New Year! --KRH USA

  22. A great summary of all of Kate's outings in 2015!

  23. Happy new year Charlotte and to all Duchess Kate readers. I am looking forward to what will Kate bring this 2016. 2015 has been great. I especially love that she focused on mental health issues in children. I wish the duchess could be an ambassador in our country because its a major issue here. And there's still a stigma associated with mental health even in adults. Fashionwise, I like that she tried to change it up a bit even though some ensemble were not quite successful. There were times when her hair were a bit of a mess. But I'm glad that she did put her hair up more. I especially love the updo. She looked lovely and elegant. Overall look I'd give her 7/10.

    1. Belva, wonderful thoughts:) What Country are you from?
      Becca USA

    2. Thanks. I'm from the Philippines and I work in healthcare so I know the struggles of the patient as well as their families.

    3. A sweet perspective and addition to these comments. Welcome Belva.

  24. A wonderful recap of the year. Thank you, Charlotte for all of it--the research, the history, the attention, the photos, the writing--your labour of love. Thank you. Thanks as well to all those who comment and share the pleasure. Happy New Year to you all!

  25. happy new year charlotte and to all duchess kate readers im looking forward what are the Cambridge's will bring us this 2015 has been a good year for the Cambridges hoping for more things to charity and joint engagement im looking forward in next chapter

  26. Lovely post thank you - happy new year to you and all the fellow readers!

  27. Happy New Year Chralotte and to all the other readers!
    I verry much enjoy reading this blog. And Charlotte, of course, thank you for your wonderful ideas, during the more quiet months.

    Does anyone think that Kate and the kids will be going to Mustique with the Middleton Family this year?

  28. Thank you for the great blog and happy new year

  29. Theresa, from Paris1 January 2016 at 16:06

    Happy New Year, dear Charlotte ! Wishing all the very best for your family and you !
    Thank you for sharing so much joy and energy. Your blog is a treasure and always great fun.

    All my very best wishes to all the readers too.
    Happy New Year, with health and happiness and success to all !

  30. First, a very Happy New Year to Charlotte and all my fellow readers! I've so enjoyed stopping in this past year :) so a huge thanks to Charlotte for the tremendous work and to all of you for chatting as well!

    I know you say this is a non-profit blog Charlotte, but I don't think any of us would begrudge you earning from it. You are no different than a writer who gets paid for stories for newspapers, someone being paid to put out a newsletter, or being paid for submitting articles online. News sites wouldn't exist without freelance writers!

    Many of us have this awkwardness about money it seems, there is no shame in knowing the worth of what you do and being properly rewarded for it!

    One of the great secrets to a happy and satisfying life: figure out what you love doing, then figure out how to get paid to do it :)

  31. Someone said that Kate is put on a pedestal here. Perhaps, but not for very long. Often this seems more like a tribunal, although I must say it is much better than it was there for awhile. Hopefully we can give someone who has a huge destiny to fulfill, and who seems to earnestly be doing the very best she can each day to fulfill it, our sincere support and kinder critiques. If we were in her shoes, wouldn't we be so thankful for that? She is only human.

    1. Amen! Anon 18:25
      Becca USA:)

    2. tribunal does seem to be the prevalent attitude and vibe a lot 18:25. Any positive comment some perceive as putting Kate on a pedestal. How weird is that?

    3. I think just as weird as any negative comment being perceived as bringing her down.

    4. Erika, I think the former is more prevalent here. We certainly could use an unbiased (sorry, Moxie, wherever you are) statistician here couldn't we, a neutral archivist. lol

  32. Has anyone heard anything about Michael and Carole
    recently? They seemed to have dropped off the radar for a while. I hope and pray everything is excellent for them. Anyone know if Pippa is dating anyone? And I read an article that said that James' marshmallow business has made him a multi-millionaire and that he "failed" his first business models on purpose for business reasons. He says he is successful and now employs 47 people and that he gets frustrated at reports of his "purported" lack of success as it makes his employees unduly nervous for no reason. Hope this is not off topic.

    1. I for one find your topic interesting & would be curious to know as well?
      Becca USA:)

    2. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 21:11

      The last thing on Wiki (8-15) indicated that the company faced a loss in profits but had raised a million pounds in funding (which would not be the same as making him a millionaire - funding is for operating expenses) and so was not presently in debt. Many people with a business are going to talk big especially if they are trying to raise operating funds and yet his past failed enterprises (I can't think anyone in their right mind seeking investors would fail on purpose) may have been conflated with this business. So who knows. Clearly, it's not concerning him enough not to prevent a holiday but a business of that nature would probably be busiest over Christmas and not pick up again until Valentine's.

    3. Thank you for clarity Julia. That is not what the article/interview with James, actually, conveyed.
      I google so many things so often that I hope I can find that interview again. I will try. :)

  33. Now to the controversial work conversation :)

    As Charlotte said, I hope we see more engagements not just from Kate, but William and Harry as well in 2016, and I hope we see more speeches and interviews, maybe some brief Q&A with reporters at an event or an interview about one of their pet causes.

    The work numbers are out today, and Gordon Rayner pointed out that the Queen, at almost 90, did more than Kate, William & Harry combined. From just a PR standpoint, that's not a good headline.

    And regardless of whether they're next in line or not, they are the ones who get the most attention, the most press, they need to be out there more.

    Now Royalfan reminded me of an excellent point last year, that while most people slow down as they get older, for William & Kate in particular, their workload will only increase. (great thing about good debate, it can always influence your point of view or give you something to think about!)

    But I still believe they have to start stepping it up, public opinion can change very quickly and I think we saw a tiny part of that after the KP letter. It didn't get great sympathy from the public, and it showed I think that people will give them some slack but then don't start complaining or taking advantage.

    Charles & Camilla did something superb in recent days, a spur of the moment visit to areas hit by the floods. This is one of the main roles of the royal family in my opinion, especially in modern times. You have to be in sync with the public and the public mood. You cheer at times of national pride, you lead in consoling at times of grief, you show signs of solidarity in times of struggle. These are the kind of things the young royals should jump into as well, without hesitation. You are the face of the country. (It was great that William changed his plans to go to Wembley for instance)

    With great perks comes great responsibility :)


    1. Claudia,

      I think they are very much aware of that and I think they very much meet the responsibility.

      They do due diligence and even more. And that will only increase as time goes on.

    2. I completely agree Claudia!

      Though I will add that I find it interesting that in 1984 (the year Princess Diana's second child was born) Diana did 82 engagements, which is ten less than Kate did this year. Prince Charles also did about 30 less in 1984 than William in 2015. People like to compare Kate and Diana's work ethics, but I think that these numbers show the importance of a perception. Because even though Diana did less than Kate in a similar situation, Diana has the perception of being a hard worker, while Kate can be perceived as lazy and work-shy (Duchess Doolittle for example.)

      Part of this could be because Diana is no longer with us, but I think it's important that Diana had already developed this reputation before she had Prince Harry, so her lack of engagements that year did not really harm her reputation. Whereas Kate has the opposite reputation and so the lengthy maternity leave only added fuel to the "work shy" fire.

      This isn't to say that Kate should have started working on May 3rd and not taken any time off. But more that having a reputation of being hard working is just as important as doing the actual work. And I think this fall was a great start to developing this beneficial reputation. Something that I hope to continue in 2016!

    3. I mistyped Diana's engagements, it was 52 to Kate's 62. Sorry about that!

    4. Amelia, Kate did 62 engagements this year not 92. But you are correct that Diana had done hundreds each year before having Harry.

    5. When Diana married Charles, she was in a different position than Kate is today. Charles was the next in line, and still is. Also, I think those of us who followed Diana and understood the problems she faced, can also appreciate that, most likely, this is exactly the reason Kate's experience is a different one.

    6. Oh and I should add that she worked 41 days and did 62 engagements in those days. So, in the spirit of Moxie, she worked 11% of her time in that year if 1 day =8 hours. Since for Kate 1 day is more like 3 hours, she worked around 3% of her time.

    7. I believe it was planned that Kate would put her children and William first then royal duties second. And I believe it was agreed on by the Queen and Charles. We have to remember that the Queen learned from the past that family is more important. So she does not have a problem with Kate being a wife & mommy first. And I think William likes the idea that Kate is a v ery hands on mommy. Yes they do have a nanny but she does not work 24/7 nor is she raising their children.

    8. Interesting comparison Amelia. For me, my perception of Kate as a comfortable 'house bird' and not very ambitious for her own career (not saying lazy, for we don't know what she does at home) is mostly based on her time in London and Anglesey. Now that she is a mother, I understand better why we see little of her. But my image has already been formed. If I as a fan and monarchist see it this way, her not so work-filled twenties will haunt her I am afraid.

    9. To Amelia: Diana had her share of harsh media during that day. She may not have been labeled workshy but she was ridiculed for being unstable, needy and childish at this time. I don't know which label it'd rather have, honestly.

      To Claudia: I agree with many of what you said. But the KP letter gave me a change of heart and I know some others agree. I have not looked at a single paparazzi picture of the children since and I am glad Charlotte does not share them here. We might have complaints about William and Kate but the children are innocent and need to be protected.

    10. Yeah, it isn't about comparing Kate's work to the royals of the 80's, when they all did considerably less at the time, it is about her contributing at a rate that suits the present time.

      Also, work ethic is not even just about numbers, however important they are. It is about quality of work. And a common complaint about Kate's work ethic is based on how little effort she puts in each time she makes an appearance.

    11. Rebecca - Sweden2 January 2016 at 19:47

      Everyone seeing these statistics start debating Kate and Diana. But the guys magically get a slide. (Not just here, I understand why it happens here because it's a Kate blog)

      Charles did about 30 engagements less than William, and he was the Prince of Wales. And on top of that William is doing another job. Noone would call Charles workshy (He's often called a workhorse). I wonder then how they come to the conclusion that William is lazy...

    12. Claudia - thanks for raising this topic. Kate clearly had a busy year in one sense, as she welcomed a new child, but it clearly wasn't a busy year for her on the public engagements front.

      Thinking of the dichotomy between her public and private/family work made me wonder, though, if Kate and William really ever will suffer a major public backlash for their lack of public engagements. I don't think so, for a few reasons. (1) the number of public engagements done by the royals has never exactly correlated with popularity; if it did, Anne would be the most popular royal and she definitely is not, (2) articles about day-to-day charitable visits don't seem to garner anywhere near the same interest as pictures of cute royal babies, glamorous gowns and tiaras, and big events like weddings and Trooping the Colour. Would the public really notice if, even after becoming "senior" royals or even after becoming King and Queen, William and Kate simply did far less of the day-to-day charity work, as long as they showed up for the big events? I see people stating that their schedules will only get busier as they age, but is that really a guarantee? What incentive do they really have to take on more, if their interests really lie elsewhere (i.e., flying helicopters and home-making)? And will the general public *really* notice, beyond the brief flurry of press that these end-of-year engagement numbers always generate?

      I am interested in Julia's thoughts, if she's around, because she's presented some of the best arguments I've seen for why the royal family's daily work is so important even if it doesn't make headlines. I might be overly cynical, but at least on the American side of the pond, it doesn't seem like the majority of the public knows, or cares, about who is doing exactly how many engagements. Rather, most members of the public see and respond to pictures of Kate looking beautiful, of the Cambridge children looking like the adorable kids they are, and, occasionally, of the royals attending events like the opening of Parliament and Trooping the Colour that indelibly link the royal family with the British "brand," for lack of a better word.

      Frankly, I think the biggest risk facing William and Kate if they maintain their light schedule of engagements is that public apathy towards the royals might grow, particularly if newspapers cut their royal reporters from lack of regular news for them to report on. But even then, one-off events like coronations and royal weddings and babies would work wonders to boost support each generation, and maybe that's enough even without the daily work the Queen, Charles, etc do now.

      Sorry for the random musings, I've been thinking about this more and more ever since William's interview on his first day of work with the air ambulance company, when he hinted that he might keep doing that job even after becoming King. It really made me wonder how the public would react to a set-up in which senior royals spent their time pursuing their private interests, and only appeared in public for the minimum "required" royal events.

    13. Anett from Austria2 January 2016 at 21:16

      Moxie, Where are you?:-) People miss your counting:-) Certainly I do.

    14. I am sure Catherine and her large extended family have figured out what works best for each of them. I do not view it as a plus or minus the amount of "Royal Work" she does. ali

    15. I think that Kate's reputation as work-shy is largely due to the type of engagements she has been doing as well as the number. She does a small number of engagements each year, and if Anon above is correct is seen around 41-45 days a year. That in itself gives people the impression that she is not around much. Add to that the fact that most of her engagements are galas, official royal appearances like Trooping, movie premieres and such like and a much smaller fraction are actual charity visits. That adds to the impression that she is not serious about actual charity and does it more as an afterthought as a way to pad numbers.
      I am sympathetic to her priorities. If she is a homebody who would like nothing better than to stay at home raising a family then it must be supremely annoying to have to go out in public and pretend to care about some sort of cause. It is a difficult place to be in. If you are not charitable minded, then you are not - you don't become so overnight. Pretending to care can get tedious and makes the entire job seem even more onerous than it should be. That being said, I don't know what else she can do. She is doing what anyone who did not particularly care about charity or public work would do - which is prioritize family and do the bare minimum needed. What else can she do in this position.

    16. Rebecca-Sweden: the Royal family counted engagements differently in the eighties and nineties. That partially accounts for the low numbers.
      But yes, you are correct that in the eighties things were different. I think that the royals got away with more because the world was different. I saw a documentary the other day where they showed that Charles was away in Italy "painting" for 10 days while Diana and the kids remained in London. Can you imagine the brouhaha if William pulled such a move? We would have his head on a platter. What was sadder to watch was his reaction when he came back : he met Diana on a plane after 10 days and greeted her with a small peck on the cheek and a very lukewarm smile. No warm hug, no "I missed you".. nothing. What a cold fish he was and a pompous one at that. I can't imagine how it would break my heart if that is how my husband greeted me after 10 days !

    17. Anon 2026 I think your random musings raise a lot of good points!

      You're right, people losing interest in them is trouble. Public mood and opinion is a very tricky thing to gauge, and many have spent a fortune trying to predict it. But retreating from public work would be a death knell for the royals, as you can imagine it would be for any public figure. And the public mood can change very quickly, with little warning.

      The public expects the royals to get on with it, to represent the country and national interests. And though Anne may not win a popularity contest she has earned enormous respect for her work, which is equally important. The popular "celebrity" angle disappears if the work isn't there to back it up.

      I think the monarchy as we know it today ceases to exist after the Queen dies. There will be many changes, this is understood and expected. It's what I'm most interested in frankly, I feel we are on the verge of very fluid times.

      Also... William's comments in that interview were bordering on ridiculous in my opinion, there's no way he keeps that job as PoW and certainly not as King. Imagine, "the bad news is you've been in an accident, the good news is the King is on his way to take you to hospital" --- Absurd!


    18. Surprising no one I disagree with a few things said here. :)

      1. The Queen has always put duty first. She will not abdicate and I think that she would expect William and Kate to buck up. They have plenty of help with their children, including one very hands on grandmother.
      2. Diana was not widely reported as unstable, etc. at the time she had Harry. That came after Andrew Morton's book was published when the War of the Wales really kicked in. I followed Diana and I was gobsmacked when I read that book. There had been whispers all was not well, but nothing like what that started.
      3. Totally with you, Rebecca, in regards to the men!! They are the royals in line; their wives are consorts. Or will be. At the time Diana and Charles had Harry HM was in her late 50's or early 60's and also had her mother and to a (much) lesser extent her sister to support her and was fully involved and working at that time. She will be 90 this year ostensibly with some heath issues (a bum knee for one); that is a huge difference. Charles is stepping up to help her. William should do the same, and I know he has done some things, most publicly investitures. However, he's also getting access to state papers now and in my mind, it's past time for him to step up and do his duty to the country and his grandmother as well. I don't think William is lazy, but he does seem quite unmotivated when it comes to his job as a royal and second in line.

      It is a bit stunning to read that WK and H did less public work than the 94 year old Duke of Edinburgh though. Anne is the one who should get kudos. She does more than anyone for next to no publicity about it. She's not my favorite either, but I have to give her credit for what she does.

    19. Anon 00.26, I'm glad you can appreciate her priorities. There's nothing like a dose of "generosity of spirit" to start the new year.

      bluhare, no one can argue with the Queen's devotion to duty, but it did not make her the most successful in other areas of her life. Even Charles, who may work hard, does not have the reputation for putting duty first. Far from it.

      W&K are being allowed the opportunity to give their young children the sort of foundation that is needed for *true* success in life.

    20. Rebecca, I completely agree. I only mentioned Kate and Diana because as you said, this is a Kate blog, but I do think that the male royals' faults are often overlooked in favor of the female royals', which I personally feel is very sexist.

      And while sometimes I think that William can be reluctant to become a full time Royal (his new job is an excellent example) he still managed to undertake more engagements than Charles in a similar situation.

      But I think that because of Williams new job, he is labeled as "reluctant." Charles has had only one job, the Prince of Wales, and we can debate on how well he's done that, but he's never had to juggle between that and a private sector job. He's only been the Prince of Wales, so does that make him more devoted to Royal duties than William?

      Who knows, but William had the opportunity to pursue his passion through the private sector. Whereas Charles really only has two paths: be the Prince of Wales or remove himself and his future children from the line of succession. And he chose the first option. So Charles workhorse reputation stems from a combination of things, but I think included in that mix is the fact that he's never had to split his time between royal duties and his job moonlighting as a climate change lawyer or any job reflecting of his personal passions. Rather Charles has found a way to work those passions into his job. Something that I hope we will see William do with his role as heir to the heir.

    21. Prince Charles served in the Royal Navy before he was married. Throughout his adulthood, he has also been busy directing the Duchy of Cornwall and his various projects related to the environment, etc. He has not only been Prince of Wales.

    22. Anett from Austria3 January 2016 at 19:54

      Royalfan, I disagree on Charles and his lack of sense of duty. I would say and blame him for a lot, but I would never say he is work shy or duty is not his priority. His latest visit the flooded Cumbria must be calculated but I still find this spur of the moment visit really nice and touching.

      By the way I have just seen Sophie's numbers when she had a baby. Well Kate has a lot to catch up.

    23. So I mentioned in my previous comment that one thing I enjoy about debate is the little "nuggets" you pick up and can keep in mind when looking at something, good points that help balance your opinion.

      Another example is something Erika said once about fashion, basically, why do some people always jump to extremes? If someone thinks Kate is wearing a dress that's too conservative it doesn't mean they want her in something sheer and sexy! There's a lot of middle ground.

      I think of Erika's comment in many other areas and it comes to mind again here.

      If some people think the younger set need to work more, it doesn't mean they have to jump to Anne's levels. There's a lot of speeds between zero and sixty :)

      And for the record, I also noted in my previous comment that not just Kate, but William and Harry need to do more. And as Royalfan said once, if the expectation (we hope) is that their workloads will gradually increase, isn't a good starting point say half the Queen's schedule?

      So say the Queen's at 300, is it too much to ask that the younger ones start at about 150 each and add engagements every year?

      Also, I hope everyone understands that if someone thinks Kate needs to work more, it doesn't mean they're saying she's lazy. You can be a fan or suppporter or whatever and still see areas where they all need to improve. It's ok to like Kate and still say, "I like her but I think she needs to be out more"

      Kate may be a homebody, but as I've said many times before, she married the wrong man if that's the lifestyle she wants.

      I was a Diana admirer and watched her from the beginning, but I did not idolize her. And I was the first to say "what on earth is she thinking/doing" with some of her antics.

      Trying to insist that they're perfect in everything they do is just as unrealistic as someone who is critical of everything they do.

      As I've said, when the Queen dies, I believe the public will be a lot less forgiving and respectful of many issues surrounding the BRF. Many issues are being pushed off with the common refrain "not while the Queen's alive" - I truly believe we are on the verge of very fluid times with the monarchy and the royals need to tread carefully.

    24. Anett from Austria3 January 2016 at 20:25


      I love reading you. You put things into perspective that's for sure!

      I agree with your sentiment how every royal could raise her/his workload, at least do half what a 90 year old does. But I am afraid it remains only a wish.

    25. With all due respect, royalfan, raising your children to be a true success is every parent's job. Again, why do they deserve medals for doing the same? I would also say that raising children to be successes in life involves modeling behavior for them too. And their children have a much different life in front of them than our children do/did, especially George. So, no, I don't think it's quite the same as the rest of the world. If Kate would rather be a SAHM, then she should do that, and quit putting the word out that she's keen to do whatever her next "project" is. If that's the case, though, her husband needs to step up to the royal plate. And we should all go look for another blog to read because there would be absolutely nothing to say here as Kate would be practically invisible.

      I also disagree about Charles and duty. Look at his numbers and then get back to me. But only after you've looked at his private endeavors too.

      The queen will be NINETY this year. Ninety. Do you want to work full time at 90? Would you expect your children and grandchildren to help if you were running a family business and they were expected to take over? I bet you would, and I would too. And they should. I even think Beatrice and Eugenie should be brought in -- and I never thought I'd say that -- if William and Kate keep to this level of service.

    26. Thank you so much Anett :) I've always thought the royals in direct line of succession need to be the ones out there leading the way. Not to mention, the younger heirs are always the ones who get the attention, and that interest in the monarchy is crucial for keeping the monarchy!

    27. Anett, I was referring to his "non-negotiable" relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and the way it rocked the monarchy and destroyed a family unit. That was not an example of duty first.

    28. bluhare, I am aware of the Queen's age but she, like the QM before her, will keep going as long as her health allows her to do so. Was William to blame for that as well? Why the insistence that things are the way they are because of W&K? The junior partners (and compared to the Queen and Charles, they ARE) do not rule the family business.

      W&K are raising a family and are NOT next in line. But if we're talking numbers, the woman who IS next in line did 156 engagements in the UK....approximately half as many as the Queen, less than half as many as Charles, and approximately a third of Ann's. Shall we talk about who knew what they were getting into and how long they waited for the role?

      In fairness to her, however, when she and Charles were married, they stressed that her role would be to support her husband. Although she is not in a position to eclipse him the way Diana did, his son (and daughter in law) is (are) and the Firm wants (no, needs!) to keep him in the starring role.

    29. Rebecca - Sweden4 January 2016 at 02:02

      I have to say, I don't like how people are bringing up the Queen and Phillips age all the time as an argument. Just because they are old, do they have no say in the matter? Maybe they want to continue strong? I mean, considering the queens sense of duty and how all encompassing she see her role, I highly doubt she would want to lower her numbers more than is medically necissary. And yeah, Prince Phillip has said it would be nice to slow down, but Prince Edward have also commented that "Yeah, dad always says he's gonna slow down, and he does for a while. Removes a few patronages. But somehow, in a short while, he ends up doing just as much as he was doing previously." so I don't think it's as simple as "let the old folks rest". Maybe the old folks don't want to rest. Alot of elderly people get depressed or even die when they retire because they remove such a big part of their identity. And that is with a normal job. Imagine how big that change would be for someone where their identity literally IS their job. And before someone is saying that I'm taking this to extremes (which I am awere) I have to point out that during the last 10 years the Queen and Philip have lowered their numbers drastically as well as William and Harry (and later Kate) have increased theirs (so has Charles). Also, William is reading court papers, doing investitures, heavier tours and has started to get involved in state visits. He is well prepared, and not even prince of Wales yet. I say, let him get the flying out of his system. I think it will make him a more balanced person in the future because it would mean that he had something to look back on that he HIMSELF accomplished, and not his title. I don't think you can say that he is reluctant when he is doing more and more important royal work, "leading" a trafficking taskforce etc. And even IF he's reluctant... is that so bad? The Queen didn't want to be monarch, her cousins and such said she would be way happier as a country woman. Prince Phillip didn't want to give up the navy that early, and probably would have stayed ALOT longer if the King hadn't died. And the queens father was also reluctant, reportedly falling into his mothers lap sobbing when he learned he had to be king. All these people have turned out to be great monarchs and consorts. So what is the difference with William being reluctant. He has continously stepped up to the plate, reluctant or not. I would rather there was a reluctant monarch, doing it out of duty (and William ALWAYS talks about his fathers and grandmothers impressive duty so THAT is clearly an importaant part for him) than a monarch who WANTS to be king! Sorry for my incohesive little rant...

    30. Look, there are many things I could criticize Charles for, but duty is not one of them. In fact, his obsession with duty probably affected his relationships for the worse. If nothing else, I suggest you all research stories associated with the Prince's Trust, he has changed thousands of lives for the better, it is simply amazing and inspiring.

      Royalfan and I could meet for morning coffee, keep talking over lunch, through dinner and into evening drinks, and we still wouldn't cover all the drama of the Charles and Diana saga! There is a lot of blame to go around.

      The worst thing Charles and Diana did was to go to war at the expense of everything else, including their children. Almost unforgivable in my opinion.

      If any of you ever go through a divorce with children remember one thing: you have to love your children more than you hate your ex! Children should not have to absorb the ugliness of an adult relationship or be used as pawns in battle. Charles and Diana broke that rule spectacularly.

    31. I always wonder how much the Queen really wants the younger generation to become extremely active. She has said she enjoys what she does. More than that, she talks about the need to be "well trained." Perhaps she has had her fill of the antics of the less trained, and prefers to rely on her cousins and children. I think she is a creature of habit. I also think she wants to fulfill her duties as long as she is able to do so. In addition, she knows what it is to be thrust into her role too soon, and she no doubt wants her grandchildren, especially those who will be directly responsible for the monarchy, to have some fairly free years.

      Prince Charles did not really take on his royal duties until after his military service, and he took time off when his boys were small. Now he apparently wants to streamline the monarchy, though I am not sure there is a good source for that, other than the balcony appearance of only six people during the Queen's last Jubilee. I suspect he does not want to spread the credit for duties performed too thin. Much of Prince William's work is not really visible (investitures, reading state papers).

      The Queen has called on the Cambridges for major participation when China is involved, since Charles is an affront to the Chinese leaders, but otherwise their roles have been largely preparatory. And there has been careful consideration of their own interests, which helps to keep them focused. I do think there is wisdom in soft pedaling this time around. Lessons have been learned.

    32. Maggie - Minneapolis4 January 2016 at 08:36

      So when Kate is a housewife and mother, she is putting duty first because she is focusing on the well-being of her husband and children, which include two future kings. But when Charles, also a future king, tries to focus on his own well-being via being with the woman who makes him happy, it's not putting duty first?
      Look, obviously Charles shouldn't have cheated on Diana, but I'm confused as to why people don't ever seem to acknowledge that he didn't have anything close to full control over the circumstances leading to him marrying Diana and not Camilla. Especially people who say completely opposite things about the Cambridges.
      I mean, it's not like Charles hid his love for Camilla before marrying Diana - he made it clear he wanted to marry Camilla, but it was not allowed due to her being divorced. He could have done what the Queen's uncle did, but even if he wanted to, two of those occurrences in half of a decade would have destroyed the monarchy. In fact, royalfan, you've often countered people who say that William should give up his spot in line to the throne if he's so reluctant to be a full-time royal by saying that he probably feels a huge duty to his family to not do that. Perhaps Charles felt the same way. Not to mention - he was Prince of Wales - and it is rumored that Prince Phillip told him around the time that he had two duties - 1. Be King of England and 2. Produce the next King of England. That's a lot of pressure to get married, and all of his male mentors were telling him things like love isn't important, etc. And I'm sure he was basically told that royal men have their discreet dalliances, while marrying the appropriate woman to be the next Queen. That doesn't justify his behavior, but can we at least be a little more understanding of the environment he grew up in? And Prince Philip raised him in a way that made him have very low self-esteem, which didn't help his chances with Diana, because of Diana's popularity. But yeah, Kate totally puts royal duty first by being a mother and wife like millions of women all around the world do (without all the help or funding she has), but Charles waiting until he was 56 to even propose to the love of his life because of concerns about his family and the monarchy is absolutely him not putting duty first. Charles tried to find a way to be with the woman he loved while also sustaining the monarchy - just like William, as per many of you, is trying to find a balance between being a mostly private individual but also sustaining the monarchy by doing just enough royal work - Charles didn't find the best way to create his balance, but it seems incredibly unfair to ignore the fact that he was forced into marrying a woman he never loved, because it would be good for the monarchy. Especially when William is getting a bunch of credit for balancing a "difficult" situation in which he doesn't want to be a full-time royal yet but has obligations to his family.

    33. Maggie - Minneapolis4 January 2016 at 08:39

      Also, while for PR purposes it is important to at least have the appearance of a good family life, I don't think that means it is a duty as a royal. Charles didn't serve himself or his family when he cheated, but he didn't do anything less in way of his duty as The Prince of Wales, even when cheating on Diana. Look, every single person on this planet has an obligation to themselves/others to be a good person to those they choose to marry, give birth to, etc. I'm not sure why it's considered an extra "duty" for royals. I don't care if George, for example, is a future King. There is just as much importance in giving him a happy childhood as there is in giving a random child on the street a happy childhood. And I'm sure/hope the parents of any random child would feel just as committed about raising their children well as the Cambridges do about raising their own children. Especially in this day and age when royals have very little actual control over the nation and important policies and so whether or not they turn out to be a good person is more likely to affect how much taxpayer funding they get and not anything too important for the actual nation. Being a good wife and a good mother - that's a "duty" you sign up for when you choose to get married or have children. That duty is no more or less based on what family you happen to be born into, and it certainly is not the same as a duty someone has to their country or taxpayers for funding their lifestyle because they are a member of the royal family.

    34. Royalfan

      Next time then write that clearly, Bluhare also misread then, which I highly doubt as she is very good at translating other people's thoughts.

      As I said, we can all blame him C&C for many things but even their love affair proved it, he loved C ffrom the very beginning, and at least at some point he did everything he could to be with her. Please don't get me wrong, I don't approve his cheat but respect him for sticking to her no matter what.Kind of.

      Maybe Bluhare you have an expression in your vocabulary for these situations (misreading comments).:-))Always happy to learn new words. Thanks!!

    35. I think that I need to challenge the assumption that Charles loved Camilla from the beginning and this was some enduring love story. There is a great deal of evidence that Charles was also having affairs with Kanga when married to Diana. Charles cheated with many women during that time, including the mother of Chris O Neil who is married to Madeline, Princess of Sweden - look it up. I
      This whole Charles-Camilla fairy tale love story, of the Royal family keeping them apart is hogwash that was created during the whole image rehab of Camilla. From what I understand, Charles was attracted to Camilla, went away, she married APB (whom she really loved), Charles came back. They all remained friends, APB started cheating rampantly on Camilla, who at that point realized that she also needed a side piece and started interjecting herself into Charles' love life. When Diana came onto the scene Charles did love her for a while, but when things started going sour instead of working on the marriage he sought comfort in the waiting Camilla's and many other women's arms before settling for the ever-available Camilla.
      The whole thing was opportunistic as he**. Both Charles and Camilla fished around and ended up with one another. Diana was the casualty of all of this. Of course she was hugely damaged and completely incapable of matching Camilla in wit or manipulation. I completely agree that both Charles and Diana behaved atrociously wrt the divorce and acted very selfishly.
      It is no wonder that William gravitates to the Middletons. They must be positively godlike to him.

    36. Maggie, I think that this is the first time I don't agree with your comments. It seems that you have fallen for the PR spin that Charles-Camilla romance was one for the ages. It was nothing of the sort. Just another tale spun by Charles' ever creative PR team to rationalize Charles' rampant cheating and Camilla's obnoxious presence in the Wales' marriage. That union is as opportunistic as others. They have always been great friends and genuinely love one another now. They are a great match no doubt. But Charles played the field widely before and after his marriage with Diana and she was the last one standing.

    37. Royal Fan, I clearly understood what you said. And no one is that great at reading thoughts and historically here some attempts have failed totally.

    38. Quite frankly, if you do even a slight amount of research you will find that fidelity in aristocratic circles is rare and that no one seems to give a hoot about affairs, dalliances, etc. Just research Margaret's husband for starters if you dare. So Charles may not have seen his affair with Camilla the same way that middle income people do. I do think he perhaps intended to be faithful to Diana when they first married, but Camilla had other plans. Although the C/C cuff links Diana found on their honeymoon might set the timeline for that affair a lot earlier. They seem to have their own set of rules or lack thereof. I stopped researching the aristocracy because what I found was so jaded that it more than astonished me and made me sad. Not a fun read.


    40. Maggie
      You have made many many excellent points. I am not as well versed as you but I agree with your assessment. ali

    41. Ladies, I appreciate the additional reality checks regarding Camilla. Thank you. And I recall that Charles' finances were being questioned not long before they got engaged.

      Anett-Austria, we have all taken turns at misunderstanding and being misunderstood, but I don't ever recall a poster telling someone to "Next time then write that clearly..." I'm thinking of a word too, and it starts with "r".

    42. Claudia, I missed your coffee comment. Sorry. Yes, that and a glass of wine or two. :)

      Maggie, regardless of any prior circumstances, once Charles married Diana, his duty should have remained within his own four walls. His personal pursuit of Camilla cannot be compared to the investment (or duty) the Cambridge's are making in their family unit, and for the future of the monarchy.

    43. apparently there were others even after the marriage to Diana and not just Camilla IF reports are to be believed. Camilla made sure she was "the last one standing". Shrewd is a very appropriate description, cunning could be added perhaps. I just found, a couple of weeks ago, photos of Diana with Camilla in the early days, different photos that I had not seen before. Those also show Diana seemingly reaching out for help with her eyes just as much as Camilla's expression was sly and triumphant (yuck). (sorry I don't have a link to those photos though.)

      I think Kate, and her inherent goodness, will handle Camilla just fine. Kate is astute and savvy. She cut her teeth on those attributes at Marlborough while assimilating into the aristocracy there. I think Kate's "Camilla radar" has been on for quite some time now as has her "York sisters" radar. Kate will do just fine.

    44. Maggie, I am a bit confused by your timeline. Camilla was married to Andrew Parker Bowles when Charles married Diana. She married while Charles was at sea in the Navy, much it is said to his distress. After they were both divorced, much later and after they had each brought children into their marriages, the scandal of both divorces and Diana's death of course had to be somehow overcome. Eventually they just marched over all the objections and married. It was not only Camilla's divorce that was in the way. It was the whole sorry, tragic mess.

      Someone pointed out above that adultery was the norm among the upper classes. Diana of course knew that, given her own family's history, and she was as adulterous as Charles and the rest. The question is whether she would have been faithful to Charles if he had loved and been faithful to her. We will of course never know.

      My hope is that William, and hopefully Harry, will remain focused on their chosen wives and children, and will not follow the ruinous path traveled by their parents.

      I join royalfan in appreciating the 'reality checks regarding Camilla.' Camilla has obviously been air brushed, and I have always felt she was heavily responsible for Diana's plight, but I was not aware of her leaks to the press.

    45. Anett from Austria5 January 2016 at 07:05


      By the way, it was you, who came up with this arguement that C is/was not doing his duty as a husband. If you go back we never mentioned this. We all meant his work. And I think someone up there also who wrote that actually he was doing his duty and marrying someone else that effected so many of his rel.ship and not in a good way. I agree with this, he did what was expected of him, this is what you call duty or not?

      His duty as a husband, that is a different story. But I think it is not fair with him to mix all these together and say he is famous for not regarding duty first. Because it is not true, IMO. Only backs up your arguement when it is needed. How come his finances come here, I have no idea.

      Sorry probably because of the generation gap between us, we regard these things differently, you saw them in their prime, I didn't. It meant no shade again.
      But I read here many times, dont believe every words you read in papers, books. Because that is only one side of the story. And this issue is very complex.
      Also there was someone else who is a native speaker oif English couldnt get it right and couldnt read you mind as well. So afterall maybe not the most fortunate sentence it was but the content is still valid.
      That's all by me and no more. Thanks for reading.

    46. Anett,

      I just saw "The Woman in Gold" with Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. Excellent movie, btw, but I mention that because I had never seen Vienna before and what they showed in the movie of Vienna is very beautiful. Have you been there?

    47. Bed hopping is so ingrained as an expected and accepted social more' in the British aristocracy it would take a couple of PhD's to try to document it all (and that, for just one generation only even).
      Would Diana have been faithful to Charles had he been faithful to her? Only if their goal was to make each other happy in every aspect of their marriage, including country pursuits vs. city nightlife, etc. If they had been willing to each give a little in those areas, I think they could have made it. Early and ongoing counseling would no doubt have helped. The Westminster clergy would have been available, etc. The Westminster clergy at W/K's wedding seemed capable and it seemed as though they may have put in their expertise in speaking with William and Kate prior to their wedding.
      It is all speculation about Charles and Diana of course. But one can hope, although his insisting on wearing the C/C cuff links during his honeymoon might have indicated that the Prince of Wales might have had an historically ingrained sense of entitlement as far as the "convenience" of having a mistress or two was concerned. Hopefully William and Harry will put that to a screeching halt and keep it out of their families forever. Adultery is a really, really, really bad thing. William and Harry would know that for sure.

    48. I agree so very much 18:53. I think Royal fan's comments are always clear and right on. And speculation about other's motives and meanings most always miss the mark. No one here is a successful mind reader, thank heaven.

    49. Anett, I did not change the argument; I merely pointed out that royal duty is not defined by numbers alone. And I do not believe there is a language barrier here. You sound both fluent, and familiar, but perhaps the latter is my imagination.

    50. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 21:26

      I have been reading Charles, the Heart of a King by Mayer this Christmas. It is a flawed book. (It uses Nicholas Sommes as a major source without pointing out he was forced to apologise for his false claim that Diana was "paranoid" in thinking Charles was having an affair. Also it doesn't mention Sommes' broken marriage at the same time as Charles and that Diana's, I believe Diana was a friend of his former wife. That hardly makes him a reliable source on the royal marriage. The main other quoted source is a gushing and flattering Emma Thompson who comes off as fatuous.) But the book does point out several interesting things about Charles and Camilla that match the remarks of Anonymous 18:22 and others.
      Camilla was not even married, let alone divorced when Charles met and fell for her. The book claims Mountbatten discouraged Charles from marrying her because she was a bit too much of a party girl. It's more likely is that Mountbatten saw she lacked the style and élan necessary for a successful royal lady. She still does. Today because she is old (in fact she looks ten if not twenty years older than she is, and has made Charles appear a doddering old man) she is given more of a free ride on this. But I digress - the point is Charles could have married her. I suspect it was as much a case that he wasn't ready. And she married Parker-Bowles as stated in this book and elsewhere because she was extremely infatuated with him. She WANTED to marry someone else. She wasn't pining for Charles. So the idea there was this big thwarted romance is simply wrong. It was later she became the mistress and the Svengali of Charles and even this favourable and semi-authorised book admits she was an emotional presence in Charles and Diana's marriage from the start - such was her influence on Charles - whether they were actually in bed or not. As I stated earlier along with an Anonymous - photos show how much she tried to insinuate herself with Diana - the reason I will never accept her as a decent person. Whether Charles and Diana could have succeeded as a couple without her in their marriage is unknown - but I think it's possible. But there was no Romeo and Juliet situation with Charles and Camilla.
      I suspect some of Charles’ girlfriends realised how intrusive Camilla was going to be and backed away for that reason. Diana was too young to see the danger until it was too late – there is no indication she had any affairs (and most with single men despite what is sometimes claimed) until Charles was back with Camilla. I doubt even Charles supporters would want to claim otherwise since that would raise the issue of Harry’s paternity.

    51. Anett from Austria5 January 2016 at 22:08

      Anon 19.18

      Unfortunately I do not live in Vienna, I live in the southern part of the country. Also I have not seen this film yet, but surely I check it out.

      I think Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. If you are familiar with the history of this part of Europe it will give you goosebumps so come and visit one day.:-)

    52. Anett from Austria5 January 2016 at 22:10


      You have every right to express yourself such as others. Familiar or not.....

    53. Thanks Anett, :)

      I have already put that on my list along with Prague and just about every place in Great Britain. :)

    54. Julia,

      Thank you for filling in some of the blanks concerning Camilla. And, I think, also, that the bracelet she gave Kate speaks volumes about Camilla wanting to be Queen from the earliest days on. The bracelet says it all really. And she at the same time was insinuating by that bracelet the she deemed that she was at par with Kate. I do not agree. I thought the bracelet was strangely inappropriate. No wonder Kate has never publicly worn it again.

    55. The cinamatogher of that film should be hired by the Vienese tourist bureau. Beautiful film of that city.

    56. "Bed hopping" is such a polite way to put it. lol

  34. Whatever happened to that November Mustique trip...

    1. Those two, they worked right through it. Take that naysayers. :)

    2. It never happened. this goes to show everyone not to believe everything they read. When you talk to royal watchers sometimes, they almost thought it actually happened. Very unfair on the royals' part because the damage is done for a false story.

    3. I'm not saying it was the case here, but just because something didn't happen doesn't mean it wasn't considered.

      I often wonder if some of these leaks are trial balloons, and again, given the feedback to the KP letter they may have decided against a holiday.

      That said, when my daughters were very young we stayed put most of the time, and only ventured anywhere by car! Packing everything a toddler and newborn need is exhausting and you'll need a holiday after the packing alone!

    4. Perhaps more of a test (as in trust) than a trial balloon....

    5. Yes royalfan good point. I've wondered/speculated with some recent articles if it's James Middleton and Donna Air who are being tested, considering the subject matter and reporters involved... (maybe more Donna Air than James)

      Not that I approve of that method mind you, I always say if you have a problem or think you have a problem be direct and face to face! No games!

      Happy New Year by the way :)

    6. Rebecca - Sweden3 January 2016 at 22:27

      I think that is very possible Royalfan.

      And I get it Claudia, but in Williams position you can't blame him. People can be very good at acting as your best friend but blabbing on the side.

    7. Claudia, I would trust James. After all, W&K have been married for close to five years and dated for many more than that. If Kate's immediate family talked, we would know a lot more by now.

      I also wondered about Camilla. And before you suggest that I am nuts, consider the backlash against the Middleton's when it was suggested that Charles didn't get to see his grandson as much as they did. I would bet my last dollar that she had something to do with it. In MY opinion, the motive fit like a glove.

    8. Rebecca - Sweden4 January 2016 at 01:48

      Meh, Royalfan. Now I think you're reaching. I'm not saying it's impossible, but not very probable. The most probable thing is that it was just another article and they in one sweep managed to throw shade at BOTH the Middletons AND Charles. That is what the Daily Fail calls a great days work, no leaks needed. Just ssome imagination on the part of the journalists.

    9. Royalfan your intense dislike of Camilla has been duly noted :)

      I can see your point on the seeing his grandson story, but I don't see Camilla's motive in recent articles, they were specific to personal Middleton family plans (the trip) and how Kate followed her mother's traditions in how her home was decorated (the Christmas plans)

      And no seasoned journalist would say it was coincidence that just as some Kate tidbits were released, a very flattering profile of James appeared.

      I'm not saying James was behind it, but it is something a devoted partner eager to help her struggling boyfriend might do. Just as you suggest Camilla might step in to help Charles out on the grandson issue...

    10. royalfan that is not farfetched. The top people at Sun are on record stating that Camilla leaked many details to them during the Wales feud. It is often mentioned that Diana played dirty with the press as well as Charles, but Camilla's role is completely overlooked.

    11. I don't know. Camilla never opened her mouth during the War of the Waleses. (Maybe she did call Diana 'that ridiculous creature' but I doubt it.) She surely had good reason then, far better than any motive she might have now. Not that I entirely trust Camilla, but it seems she would be taking a big risk if she complained about Charles's sons or started false rumors. I can imagine that some friend might have been tested, but as Anon 17:03 pointed out, there was damage from the rumor even though the trip was unreal. Planting a story like that would have been sure to have negative consequences. It sounds more like someone's vengeful gossip to me, or the media's imagination.

    12. Royalfan

      Really? Camilla? That is one wild theory you know. I can see now that your weak spot is Camilla.

    13. Anon 05.09: "Camilla never opened her mouth during the War of the Waleses. "

      EXcuse me? Camilla would call the editor of Sun regularly during the War of the Waleses. The editors are on record saying that. Several books on Diana and others state that. I don't think that there is any doubt that Camilla played her part cannily during that time.

      I am no fan of royalfan's fierce protection of Kate and William at the behest of others like Sophie, but facts are facts. And the facts are that Camilla DID interject herself into the Wales' marriage and the fact is that she also leaked heavily and at will, when she wanted. I don't know how many are aware of this, but Camilla created a huge ruckus and came between Charles and his good friend Van Custem's friendship when the Van Custem wife accused Tom-PB of snorting cocaine in the press. The old friendship between Charles and the VC almost broke apart because of her. Camilla can be shrewd and wily when she wants and she manipulates Charles like nobody can.

    14. Diana was impulsive, but Camilla was shrewd, and still is. If anyone is old enough to remember, people threw bread rolls at her in public on one occasion. Charles was not seen as the most sympathetic figure, and never mind what people thought of Camilla's role in the triangle. Making Diana out to be the problem was an attempt at making Charles, and Camilla, look better. She had motivation back then, and she has it today. She may be good for Charles on a personal level, and she may be *accepted* (not loved) in her current role, but I cannot imagine that history will not be revisited when Charles becomes king with her at his side. I do not see the public embracing the idea, to put it mildly.

      When it came to people's affection and general popularity, Diana was competition back then, just as W&K are (and will be) today.

      Regarding the leak (as I see it)... I could imagine Charles making the observation, and perhaps it was quite innocent given circumstances (who has time vs. who may not). But I COULD see Camilla leaking it to make Charles out to be a sympathetic figure as the grandfather who doesn't get to see his grandson, while stirring up unnecessary trouble for W&K and the Middleton family. IMO of course. But the motive is not a stretch.

    15. I do not trust Camilla at all either RF. The way she tried to buddy buddy's it with Diana in the early days is ridiculous. Diana's expression in those photos says it all and not just coincidentally. I would have spurned any overtures from a married man. She should have gotten out of the way and stayed out of the way regardless. Charles would have had to work things out with Diana who was primarily upset because of the triangle in the first place. Even when Camilla was looking at Charlotte at the christening, Camilla's expression gave me cold chills. Watch your flanks Kate.

    16. Camilla is not RF's "weak spot". Camilla is Charle's "weak spot"..

    17. I am only guessing but my opinion is 1. Camilla wants to be Queen and always has from the git go, 2. she perhaps wants to accomplish for her great grandmother, Alice Keppel, what she thinks
      Alice should have been honored with in the first place, marriage to the king of England and a seat beside him on the throne. Sure seems that way to me. I hope I am wrong but don't think I am. British aristocracy can be snooty to put it mildly. Who knows what Camilla and her mother experienced as descendants of an infamous mistress to the king, although Alice apparently helped the king run the country in many ways they say. Perhaps all that adds to Camilla's motivation also.

    18. Anon 1:34, funny, I had the same reaction about the christening photo you're referring to. Manufactured sincerity at best.

      Anon 1:36, true, but by being non-negotiable, it became the RF's as well. If that makes sense! :)

      Anon 1:45, absolutely right IMO. The 2011 Christmas card, for example, was a loud and clear statement, IMO.

    19. I noticed Camilla's expression when she was looking at Charlotte also Anon and found it curious and not in a good way.
      I notice her expressions a lot when looking at their photos. I also hope I am wrong about Camilla but whoa, I don't think so either. And I strongly hope Kate does have her "Camilla radar" on as was already suggested here. Surely William must have a "Camilla radar" hopefully.

    20. No fear on radars, Anon. :)

      Does anyone remember this?

      AND can anyone tell me if Kate has worn the gold bracelet given to her by Camilla since then? Photos please. ;)

    21. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 22:06

      In answer to Anonymous above, who mentioned me, The book Charles the heart of a King makes the statement that people support the monarch to see an ideal family - there are people on this blog who admit they just love seeing the young couple. But youth doesn’t last forever and, as it has been pointed out by Claudia - the monarchy is approaching a fluid time. Personally, I feel now is the time to start building the strength of the monarchy as an institution - one that represents Britain on many levels - in a civil and diplomatic role but also as a charitable representative.
      This is a role it has held for over the last century - bringing to public attention the needs of the nation, while offering support to those in need and those who work for those in need. Space doesn't let me elaborate but I will say this is an area where Charles has excelled and where William and Kate still remain far behind. I fully believe in this role for the monarchy – what bothers me is whether William believes in it! Some of his remarks have trivialized it dangerously.
      The work may be dull for the royal but not for those they visit. Recognising the otherwise unsung work of others to me at least, is one of best roles of the monarchy and one supporters of the monarchy – a silent majority in my opinion - want to see continue. It is cheering to see Charles visit those flooded and one wonders what William is doing.
      I'm not a huge believer in numbers - what bothered me more at the beginning of this year was the lack of direction in Kate's engagements and the lightweight aspect of some of them. I've been pleased this autumn to see more of a focus - but there does need to be more if she wants her son to be king. Numbers do strike the public and as Claudia pointed out, the dichotomy with the queen and Philip is too great to be healthy. By the time Charles takes the throne, William and Kate need to be highly experienced royals.
      As for William and flying - having two such different jobs in my opinion means doing neither as well as he ought. If he wants to be king, he needs to quit flying soon and devote himself to an institution that desperately needs a full-time youthful presence. Today it's main representatives are pensioners - and people want to see what William will make of it. He has spoken of changes but what those changes are remain unknown and unproven. The work William could do as a prince would benefit thousands, the work he does as a pilot benefits a few who don’t care –another pilot could do as well. Bluntly, his present pilot job is a selfish endeavour.
      If I had one New Year's wish, it would be that there would never again be mentioned the excuse that William is "not next in line." Neither is Edward or Anne and they work hard. (I agree Anne is more respected than loved – while her work is impressive, there are mixed reports on her charm.) That simply is an invented excuse for lagging. In many countries, the next after the heir participate fully.
      As for the work of a lifetime, yes, that’s the queen’s goal but I doubt that the next generations will be working into their nineties full time. Abdication will not be such a dirty word – as the saying goes “everybody’s doing it” and I suspect William might yield to George – it might well be a wise thing to do when George is forty- although if Charles lives as long as his father, the reign of William might be short.

    22. In fairness royalfan, if true, it's a reflection on Andrew Parker Bowles who is known to be an awful boor.

      Nowhere does it say how Camilla herself reacted to the gift and whether she found it appropriate or not. Being a fan of a cartoonist does not mean she likes all his work, just as you may be a fan of a musician but not like all their music.

    23. I took that to mean that someone in the government had something to do with those photos in France more than being a slur on Kate.

    24. RF,

      There is an article in the Daily Mail by Luaren Paxman, "Charming Gift, Kate's Favorite
      Bracelet", June, 29, 2011. There are photos of Kate wearing the bracelet in that article. I don't think she ever wore that again in public after wearing it to Wimbledon that June. I think the two times she was referenced in that article as to wearing it, were the actual only two times she wore it. Does anyone know of any other appearance of that bracelet?

    25. I also think the Alice Kepell angle has played a big part in Camilla's choices. Her granddaughter, who was a flower girl in the royal wedding, to me, resembles Alice a lot.

    26. That certainly makes sense RF. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.

    27. Julia, I am stunned that you would refer to William's job as selfish. I really am. It is a dangerous job and involves saving people's lives. And I believe it will make him MORE relevant to the public in years to come than someone who has spent his entire life as a sheltered, working royal.

      Regarding Ann or Edward, and a few others, they could jump rope up and down the Mall and they wouldn't get the reception, or coverage, that W&K receive.

      The BRF is a family, but not all members of the family do exactly the same thing. The Firm is very compartmentalized and the areas that W&K are involved in are areas that the Queen herself could not pull off with her traditional, white glove approach.

      And the "not next in line" reference you object to is not an excuse; it is the current reality of the BRF. Charles is the next in line in 2016 just as he was before William was born. Today, there are TWO more generations with Charles in the same position as he was in in 1961.

      This is quite a unique scenario and one that is unlike any other royal family that people try to compare them to. I am also not aware of another royal prince being as threatened and traumatized by (extreme, but I am trying to make a point) his wife's popularity as Charles was during the 80's and 90's.

      You are well aware of the history there, therefore, I am puzzled that you do not entertain this as being the reason behind the way the Firm operates at this time.

    28. My apologies. 1969, and not 1961.

      Claudia, you are being kind. :) I tend to believe APB knew that the gift would strike exactly the right note.

      Anon 00:42, thank you. I read the article. There's enough sugar in it to bake a cake...and then some! :)

  35. And how many of us girls got to talk to Bond. James Bond. (as Charlotte so cutely twice posted.) ????

    I must say, Kate certainly was up to the meeting and "in the moment".

  36. Julia, hope you are having a safe and fun vacation.

  37. Happy New Year to My Fun, Always Interesting & Educational, Spirited & Sometimes Rambunctious, Blog Family that Charlotte Created:) I know She didn't Create all of us... But I'm reminded of the Movie Quote..."Build it & They Will Come":) Charlotte Built The Blog, She Created The Environment (with boundaries) & let it Evolve & Grow... & Grow It Has!:)
    Charlotte, You have Educated, Mediated..... & Always left enough space, for The Blog & Us to Grow! Well Done You!:)
    Wishing All of You The Absolute Best for Yourselves & Your Friends & Family in 2016. I Thank you for All that I have learned from This Group! It's not always Pretty, but in Those Times, I find I still learn something about myself, based on how I react to The Discourse on any given subject matter. I've Really Enjoyed getting to know you all a bit better each year, as your personalities shine through your views & the way you express them.:)
    Thank you all & Especially You Charlotte,
    Peace To Us All in 2016,
    Ever Fondly,
    Becca USA

  38. Thank you for keeping this wonderful blog! I check it nearly every day, and enjoy your posts so much. Happy New Year!

  39. Oh, & PS.... I had an idea I wanted to share, for the dry spells, when we are looking for something to do or discuss together?
    I know that I have benefited from all the Info that Charlotte has shared re: Replicate Products, Where they can be found or purchased, as well as links to Special Deals & Discounts etc. As I've mentioned, I did a fair share of my Christmas Shopping abroad this year via online shopping, especially from Stores or Companies in the UK! I was So Pleased with Everything! Hubby too! Everything I bought him was purchased from England or Scotland! He loved it all! I was struck by the various items that I could find readily in the UK, that I wouldn't know Where to begin shopping for in the US? For instance, as you know, when shopping one place, there will be ads & links to other retail sites. This is how I found The Gentleman's Gazette & their Amazing Boutonniere Collection! I originally started by looking for Edwardian Shooting Vests etc. yet found myself going in another direction! It was Such Fun on Christmas Eve & Day, as Everyone opened their Gifts:) for instance, I gave my Daughter an L.K.Bennet Purse & She was confused about where she had heard of The Company? (which was funny, as she is a Designer Clothing & Shoes Horse:) Once I mentioned Kate, She was like "Yes That's It! As in Kate's Nude Sledge Pumps?" :)
    Soooo Here's my idea:
    I'd love to hear from Others who have Shopped based on Kate & The Blog.... What was purchased, how you liked it? What you thought of The Design & Quality, once you had the item in your hands? How did in feel inside & out? i.e. How did you enjoy the product yourself & then did you receive any compliments on it? I'd be Very interested to hear about it all, as I know my biggest successes shopping for myself & others has often come via Word of Mouth Recommendations! I can say off the bat, that I loved the Azuni Pieces that I received from Hubby (cough, purchased for myself:) yet the only thing (& its such a small one) I was a bit not as excited about the clarity of the Calcedony Stones in the Drop Earrings worn by Kate. Not a biggy, but the Smoky Quartz ones & every other stone I chose were Beautiful & had such a Lightness & Clarity about them. Strangely, in the Calcedony Bracelet the stones where not as opaque? I loved their Necklaces & Their Friendship Bracelets too! Amazing Quality & Equally Amazing Packaging! The kind fit for Truly Fine Jewelry!
    Becca USA

  40. Such a nice recap of Catherine's year. Unfortunately I don't know if I'll be able to follow Kate this year with the same enthusiasm as I have done in the past. Before I used to follow or her charitable engagements (through this blog) and even donated to the charities to which she was patron but as of late I have found her public role to be less inspiring. This is just a reflection of my own personal unhappiness rather than a criticism of Kate. However there are people more in need of cheer than me especially those in our country whose homes are flooded. It would sure be nice of Kate to show an act of solidarity and help in whatever little way she can. I wish the author all the best in her Blog and hope I'll start enjoy following again.

    1. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 22:09

      I hope you find solutions and happiness in the coming months, Anon 2:31. We may have our differences on this blog, but I feel certain in saying that many of us have gone through difficult times and have felt support from others here. We look forward to having you back.

    2. My prayers go with you Anon that God will lead you to what you need. Do come and participate more in the future.

  41. I have thoroughly enjoyed the blog for many years, dear Charlotte, and this year I started to comment with my fellow Kate watchers. It has been a very productive and exciting 2015 for the Cambridges. With Charlotte's birth, I feel Kate has really come into her own and does not stand in the shadow of Diana anymore. She has given William two beautiful children and has really embraced her engagements more every year. I've said it before, but I'll say it again-- Kate has a quiet but strong personality and we'll see how she evolves in the years to come! We're all excited to see them in India in the spring and I am sure we'll see some more shots of the children as they mature this year. I can't wait for a glorious and peaceful 2016! Happy New Year everyone!

  42. Thank you, 1 January 18:54 for bringing up one of fall's hot topic issue - the infamous November Mustique trip that posters used to slam Kate for her lazy, spendthrift ways (though VERY rarely on this blog, thank goodness) ... you remember -the trip that NEVER HAPPENED.

    Though Kate's charity work in 2015 was well in excess of previous years, I think Amelia made an excellent point. The perception of what Kate does needs work ... and that, in part, includes working with the legitimate (rather than the paparazzi) press ... if for no other reason than to shine the light on some marvelous charities!

    Oh my, I went on much longer than expected (that's what happens when those of us who lurk finally chime in - you can't shut us up!). Thank you to Charlotte whose amazing work continues to inspire us ... the wonderful,thoughtful and delightfully funny posters ... and to the ever patient Mr. Charlotte who decorates our room beautifully and is so kind about loaning us his wife for such long periods of time.

    One last comment (I promise!) A special thanks to Charlotte during the fall influeza season. Wales had won the football game, the Cambridges were leaving the stadium and Charlotte "called out" about the Duchess's polka dot pants. I don't recall your exact words, Charlotte, but I nearly fell off the couch laughing. Thank you all for such wonderful sharing. This is the best blog ever!

  43. Thank you so much for all the work you do Charlotte. I am one of those who has read your blog religiously, but who has not yet commented. A busy - and beautiful - year for Catherine and William. I was wondering if anyone has princess Mary of Denmark over the past few weeks: relaxed, casual and summery in Australia one minute, regal and stunning in blue velvet the next.

  44. This is a lovely post!
    Happy new year everyone from Italy! May all your deepest desires come true!
    And thank you Charlotte for creating an amazing blog about Kate, your posts are always amazing! And I love to read all your comments :)
    I was wondering.. is Kate called "Kate" by her family? William calls her "Catherine" in public but I remember she said "Call me Kate" to someone, I don't remember when! I'm not sure if "Kate" is a nickname used for her by media or this is how she's called by her loved ones :)

    1. I think they call her 'Catherine' in public because they find it more suitable considering her role but I remember Harry slipping once and talking about her as 'Kate', which I'm sure he wouldn't have done if nobody called her that in private.

    2. Emi, a more seasoned Kate watcher could probably give you better info, but I have read various stories on this.

      I read she was always called Catherine by family and Kate was a school nickname. And that she emailed friends to say she wanted to go by Catherine again as her relationship with William became more serious. But William referred to her consistently as Kate in early interviews so that didn't help!

      Some have said she thought Catherine was more "regal"... also Diana hated the tabloid "Di" nickname so maybe William was trying to get away from the "Kate" nicknames the tabloids came up with. Either way I personally think it's all a bit silly and they focused too much on it.

      By the way Rear Window is one of my favorite movies - good call :)

    3. Claudia, I do not believe that she was actually called Catherine by anyone. Both William and Harry called her Kate during interviews before and after the wedding. Uncle Gary is on record calling her Kate multiple times. Her cousin who did that nasty interview on Carole a few months ago used Kate. I don't think that any of the Middletons or any of their childhood associates ever called her Catherine.
      I think that the line that the family called her Catherine is being put out there by PR to rationalize this change from Kate to Catherine. I think that the palace wants her to be known as Catherine, hence all of this PR.

    4. Rear Window is a great movie for a rainy day. Imagine having to choreograph it all. Amazing!

    5. She called herself Kate in the engagement interview.
      There are video footage of various events where you can clearly see William's lips say "Kate" when speaking to her, especially during the Jubilee float.

      "Catherine" is a full name, sounds more regal, and that's why the preference.

    6. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 22:15

      Catherine is a regal name but the way William says it always makes it sound off-putting and stuffy to me - especially as he didn't use it at the beginning. No question, if she is crowned she will be Queen Catherine, if consorts still use that title in the future, but I can't see a little informality would hurt at this point. I commend to William The Taming of the Shrew - and the part "they call me Catherine who speak of me..." If Kate's good enough for Shakespeare, (who uses it more than once - also for Hotspur's wife although that wasn't really her name) it should be good enough for William and er...whoever she is.

    7. Kate's mom, Carole, has called her Catherine and never Kate, for whatever that tidbit is worth.

  45. Happy 2016 everyone! I second all the great comments regarding the blog and Charlotte. We also, if I am not mistaken, had a very important milestone on the blog, Charlotte's wedding this year. Congratulations again and I wish you and your husband many more happy years to come.

    Becca - your idea about commenting on repli-Kate related items is wonderful. I myself have purchased a few and were very satisfied with them. I would be very interested in what others have felt and what the contest winners have to say about their wonderful pieces.

    What a great year 2015 has been and looking at it all together has really painted the full picture of the year for the Cambridges. They stepped up their royal game by adding a few 1st time appearances at yearly royal events:
    1. Commonwealth Observance (1st time per Daily Mail)
    2. Chinese State Banquet
    3. Festival of Remembrance
    They continued to attend yearly royal events
    1. Trooping the color
    2. Remembrance Day in Nov
    3. Diplomatic Reception (1st attended in 2013)
    4. Christmas at Sandringham with the royal family (Regular Sunday Church Service was an added treat)
    5. St Patrick's Day Parade
    6. Royal Film performance

    Kate sported more jewels than in years past and also added a few new pieces of her own. Leading to more significant statement jewels including 2 tiaras, jewels from Queen Mother, her mom's wedding earrings, Tanzanite and Diamond Pendant, the acorn brooch on Christmas day, etc. Kate was beautiful at all her engagements and stuck to her signature classic style, changed it up with new designers and styles, and brought back much loved pieces from years past.

    William and Kate found a focus for their charity work and had a great program of events for children's mental health. The pure joy she expressed at multiple events shows her commitment to bettering the lives of children and bringing focus to areas where the spotlight is desperately needed. She also had some 'fun' events, i.e. Downton Abbey.

    The birth of Charlotte was the highlight. Kate shared her love of photography with snaps of the kids and showed the world a wonderfully happy family on their Christmas card photo.

    As we look back on 2015, I think we will find this is a turning point for them and we are starting to build on the momentum for them to transition into full time working royals. 2016 promises to have a roaring start with the trip to India in the spring. Also, I take Kate assuming the role of patron for the RAF cadets as a sign of her growing role in the BRF. It will probably be another couple of years before the transition is complete, but you can see it starting to take hold based on the engagements this year.

    I hope we will have the announcement of additional patronages this year and her schedule will continue to grow with more scheduled events. I would also like to see her make visits to all of her existing charities including the hospices, museums, sports related charities, action on addiction, and others that I may have missed.

    I wish all the blog commentators a safe and happy 2016. Charlotte, thanks for all you do and you commitment to this blog and its family from around the globe. Keep up the good work as it means so much to so many and I hope you feel our gratitude.

  46. Kate, Texas, USA2 January 2016 at 17:13

    Oh Charlotte, this is simply wonderful! What a fabulous post to recap a fabulous year and ring in a new year! 2015 has definitely been a great one for Royal watchers!

    Kate in 2015....LOVELY! I agree with you Charlotte that Kate in the baby blue Seraphine coat was one of my favorite maternity looks. In the picture you posted, Kate definitely had the pregnancy glow and looked beautiful! Another favorite maternity look was the Erdem dress she wore to the private visit to the Goring Hotel. I love the print and fit of the dress, but also her precious baby bump that really showed off in the dress. My favorite coat was definitely the blue Reiss she wore to the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony. The color was vibrant and striking! I hope she repeats this one! Of course the beautiful red Jenny Packham gown Kate wore to the state banquet was so elegant. She looked every inch the future Queen consort sitting at the head of the table next to President Xi. The jewels were stunning and the history of the pieces made it even more special. Although Kate's gown for the Spectre premiere was debated over, I loved the look. Who would have thought our Kate in a sweeping, backless, sexy gown? SO pretty! I can't help but mention the pictures of Kate in the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara. Oh to see her wearing it in its entirety as Charlotte mentioned! I am looking forward to that day and LOVE that "Diana's tiara" was atop of Kate's head. And my last "favorite" was the festive and bright red Alexander McQueen she wore to the Anna Freud Center's Family School Christmas Party. It was beautiful seeing her wearing it in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee as I watched her from Westminster Bridge coming down the Thames and it was just as beautiful now. One of the best posts and comments though were definitely from the Somerset by Temperely print trousers Kate wore to the England vs. Wales match. I repeat, PRINT TROUSERS! Charlotte, that still has me giggling. Its been a great year for style watchers!

    Kate's hair styles of 2015... I ALWAYS love an updo! From the services at St. Paul's to Princess Charlotte's christening, and updo is always my favorite. I loved her styles for her tiara wearing engagements and love a sleek ponytail too. The bangs/fringe/whatever you call it, I'm not a fan of, but the are slowly growing on me. :) I like her haircut, but still love the long, luscious locks that are signature Kate. Fortunately, hair grows! I'm definitely looking forward to lovely hair styles and dos in 2016! Maybe, just maybe a reunion with James Pryce...HA!

    My most favorite of all are Kate's pictures with the children. I love that she is called the "Children's Princess" and I think she would think fondly of that title. You can tell the genuine love and care Kate shows to others. She brought happiness to the many children she embraced in 2015, as to her own precious bundles of joy Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Future Queen of England or not, to them she is just "Mummy", and my feeling is she's a great one. I think that is her most favorite title of all.

    Charlotte, thank you for this wonderful blog and all the hard work you invest in researching and writing. You are a jewel! From this long time reader and poster, THANK YOU! I pray 2016 will be a wonderful one for you and for your lovely blogging community! Happy New Year!

  47. I forgot to add that the dress Kate wore at the Spectre premiere somehow reminds me of the white negligee that Grace Kelly wore in the movie "Rear Window". I don't know if I can add a link, but i immediately thought of that movie when i first saw Kate wearing that gorgeous gown. I think she looked amazing :)

    1. I googled that and it does resemble Grace Kelly's negligee. Negligees like than were were popular at that time.

    2. Just had to add that Kate's Spectre gown bears a remarkable resemblance to the gown Lady Gaga wears at the end of her "Telephone" video. She is standing by a truck with her costar, Beyonce, who is wearing a black version of the same chiffon gown. Very strange since Gaga has always been a huge fan of one of Kate's favourite designers, Alexander McQueen...

  48. Kate, Texas, USA2 January 2016 at 17:17

    So I am laughing that my post was too long and I had to delete some. My husband is gifting me with a morning in bed while he attempts to hold the fort down! So, I'll post what I had to cut out of my last comments....

    Perhaps my most favorite moment was once again visiting London and celebrating the Queen with Trooping the Color. I have my favorite spot on The Mall and meet up with my lovely friends from Leister who I met a few years ago at Trooping. We'll share breakfast and chat for the few hours we're together and then hug until we meet again the next year on the same corner. I love it. This year was especially wonderful bringing with me Sarah from California. We met through this wonderful blog and jetted across the pond to celebrate the Queen together. It was a blast! Standing in front of Buckingham Palace with all the cheers and happiness while the Royal family stood on the balcony was fabulous! Little Prince George taking part in his first balcony appearance in Prince William's arms was simply amazing to see!

    I love the friendships this blog has forged and look forward to many wonderful conversations/debates/comments in 2016!

    1. Tedi in California4 January 2016 at 18:44

      What a lovely tradition. Thanks for sharing such great memories. My husband and I were in London a few years ago, and watched the Changing of the Guard. We were very moved by the ceremony, and the music. The Queen was not in residence, but it still was a thrill to see it.

    2. Tedi in California4 January 2016 at 18:51

      I have enjoyed reading and commenting this past year. Charlotte does such a tremendous job, I know we all agree on that! I love Duchess Catherine, I think she is growing so beautifully in her role. They are a lovely family, and an asset to the Queen and Britain.
      I thought she looked stunning at the State Dinner, so regal. Another stand out was her blue outfit in Scotland, complete with the kilt. Happy and Healthy New Year to all.

    3. I loved the blue coat and kilt also. One of my favorites.

  49. Thank you Charlotte for a wonderful imformative blog. And also to the feĺlow commentors some of whom are definite personalities in our minds. So many great moments of fashion for the year. I always like to look back as often one's opinion changes with time. My favourite looks were the three long gowns each so different and each carried off well. Love the shorter hair and especially the updos. A milestone for me too was the vanquishing of the speech demon. I like also how the work load is being progressively increased. In a very few years both children will be away at school and that is when the load can step up a lot. Best wishes to everyone for 2016.

  50. Happy 2016 to all! Thank you, Charlotte, for a wonderful 2015 on this blog. I'm looking forward to what this year brings. The tour of India should be spectacular!

  51. Hello form Serbia, from a longtime reader! I would like to thank Charlotte for doing such an extraordinary job with this informative, smart and interesting blog! I dare say, you make our well... superficial interest in Kate's clothes so much more justified! And as a history aficionado I really enjoy all the lovely references and facts you bestow on us. I apologize for any mistakes I may have made and I wish everyone a happy New Year! I'm looking forward to future posts!

    1. Welcome, Marija! Certainly no need to apologize; you write like a fluent native speaker of English.

    2. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 22:16

      I agree - beautiful English - welcome Marija.

  52. I have always liked Kate's 2011 Christmas outfit best. But this one is my new favorite. It is so well put together, and Kate looks so happy wearing it. The Christmas picture of her above is brilliant. So is the first photo, of Kate in turquoise, applauding some children. I gather that is your favorite photo from 2015, Charlotte, and it is beautifully chosen. This is a lovely compendium, and there are smashing pictures and excellent reminders of Kate's accomplishments during the past year. As has been pointed out, she is also completing a very productive first five years of marriage, literally in the case of her beautiful children and very much so in terms of the causes she has illumined. I have read this Blog for about half that time, but I believe congratulations are also in order to its author for five years of excellent coverage. Happy New Year, Charlotte - well done!

  53. No need to post this comment...

    ITV- When Dec & Ant met the Prince...40 years of the Princes' trust is airing tonight. I am interested in watching but cannot seem to find an airing time in the US. Do you know anything about it? Will it air in the US or will readers abroad be able to watch online? Will you post a recap here or on Royal Digest?

    Thank you Charlotte. I hope your New Year is off to a great start.

    1. Hello,

      It airs on ITV at 9 p.m. tonight. I haven't heard if it will air in the U.S., however I imagine it will pop up on YouTube. I'll post a link once it does :)

    2. Thank you Charlotte!

  54. Tedi in California4 January 2016 at 21:43

    I am really interested in seeing Princes William and Harry in this new interview. I read that Prince Charles allowed the interviewers access for a year. Should be fun to watch.

  55. yeah they will be candid I should watch it in my home with hot chocolate on my bed are you going to post the interview I would love being candid prince Charles love the emotional prince William and how game its was from prince harry im sure on youtube

  56. Call me crazy (or just greedy!) but I am hoping for the wbbiubcement of a third royal baby sometime in 2016! We shall see!

    1. Well, I don't know about 2016, but I would bet "yes" on one more child. :)

  57. As much as I wasn't that fond of Kate's Jame's Bond gown, that photo that you included here Charlotte of Kate arriving at the premiere is a very regal one indeed. what an amazing photo. that photo caught the best of the gown and also caught a most beautiful glimpse of the future Queen. How regal she looked.

    1. That IS an amazing photo of Kate.

    2. wow, do I agree anon @ 19:53,

      Just crop everything else out of that photo and have someone who knows how translate exactly that to oil on canvas and what a piece of art that would be. Definitely museum and/or gallery worthy.

  58. Julia from Leominster5 January 2016 at 22:25

    This is a very wonderful and complete write-up, Charlotte, a happy new year to you and your family and many thanks for this blog and for all your efforts.

    I do think this autumn, there has been an increased development in Kate's role which should make for an equally interesting year to come - with some new patronages - perhaps, taken over from the queen and others as the air cadets role was.

    As Kate took on more, this autumn, she seemed more relaxed and confident - all to the good. I might still wish for more - visiting flood victims (there are more than Charles can visit) would be a start to showing a care and understanding for what is happening in a nation where she will someday be queen - but I like to start the New Year on a hopeful note and with the Spanish visit and tour of India, (I hope not at the same time) we have much to look forward to.

    All that is left is to wish a Happy New Year to all here.


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