Monday, 18 January 2016

Kate Fashion Awards & the Duchess to Support Children's Mental Health Week

Over the course of the month you have voted for Kate's best sartorial selections of 2015. As always, it was fascinating to see your favoured pieces along with your votes for Kate's stand out designer of the year, and of course I was very eager to see your winning choice of tiara. Without further ado,  let's get to it - our annual Kate Fashion Awards winners are...

Best Coat

Whilst 2015 was a quiet one in terms of royal appearances, Kate still debuted a number of striking coats, adding to her already fabulous collection. The winner of the Best Coat award goes to the bespoke cream Alexander McQueen coatdress the Duchess wore to Princess Charlotte's christening. It's a timeless piece and a very worthy winner.

It was our closest poll yet - with just three votes separating our winner and your second choice - Kate's blue bespoke Christopher Kane coat worn in Scotland in October.

A look at the results; showing just how close the vote was.

Poll Results Duchess Kate Blog Best 2015 Coat Poll

The least popular options were the blue SportsMax coat, the Hobbs 'Celeste' and Kate's black coat which was designed by her private dressmaker. With the latter two, they are both repeats. In the case of the Hobbs Celetse it has been seen many times over the past several years - a factor which may have accounted for its low votes.

Best Evening Gown

Whilst the coat poll was a close race, it was a very different affair when it came to voting for Kate's best evening gown. With almost 50% of the vote, the sparkling red Jenny Packham gown the Duchess wore for her first state banquet is your winner. There was so much to like about this look: the symbolism of the colour, the very princessy style, and the fact it was beautifully complemented by an elegant updo and tiara.

The Jenny Packham gown Kate wore for the Spectre premiere took second place with the much talked-about Erdem 'Alouette' in third. Last place goes to the icy blue gown Kate wore for the Diplomatic Reception. Again, the fact it was a repeat and not seen in its entirety were likely deciding factors.

Best Dress

With twenty possibilities in our 'Best Dress' poll I suspect it may have proven one of the most difficult decisions, and I know I had three or four clear favourites from the year. The award for the Best Dress of 2015 goes to very sophisticated 'Eaton' dress by The Fold London. The structured garment with peplum detail offered a professional, chic look for the Duchess without appearing "too old" for her. The Fold is a fantastic British brand and one I hope to see Kate champion in the future.

In second place we have the Dolce & Gabbana Guipure lace dress Kate wore for a creative industry event during the state visit. On the day, many felt the Duchess was overdressed but in hindsight it's proven very popular indeed. The third spot is taken by the summery Jenny Packham frock Kate wore when she left the hospital with Charlotte.

With a meagre seven votes the Hobbs Animal shirtdress was the least popular option.

Best Separates Look

The awards for Best Separates Look goes to the Christopher Kane bespoke slim-fitted, dogtooth wool, tailored coat and mini dogtooth wool kilt. The popularity of this look is undeniable, and in fact, I would say it's arguably Kate's Best Look of 2015. Looking through photos of the day one possible reason for this was clear: this is very much reminiscent of 'Kate Middleton's style', in the months before and after the royal wedding particularly, and I feel that's one of the reasons readers are so fond of it. The boots, shorter skirt and stylish coat are very, very Kate.

Kate's new Michael Kors suit takes second place - again it's reminiscent of several of Kate's pre-wedding looks.

Kate's black spot-print dress received the least number of votes. 

Best Designer

The award for best designer goes to the immensely talented Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Since the royal wedding Kate and Sarah have collaborated to produce HRH's most memorable and outstanding looks. 2015 was no exception, as we saw iconic looks such as the cream coatdress worn at the christening showcased.

Jenny Packham was just 300 votes behind. Another of Kate's go-to designers, Ms. Packham is undoubtedly the Queen of red carpet looks. 

Catherine Walker was awarded the least number of votes, and featured with two coats Kate wore - for St. Patrick's Day and Trooping the Colour. I must admit, I wasn't terribly fond of either look, particularly the floral-print coat at Trooping, as it seemed ill-fitting and the pattern was quite distracting.

Best Tiara

An unexpected new introduction to our polls - the Best Tiara category! I thoroughly enjoyed watching the votes for this one and wasn't at all surprised to see the Cambridge Lovers Knot take the winning place with 68% of the vote. It's such an iconic piece and I expect those who voted for it are looking forward to seeing Kate create a history of her own with it.

Of course, it's worth noting the Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara is also a beautiful piece. It suits Kate wonderfully and I don't know about you, but I would rather like to see her alternating both in the future.

Thank you so very much for your participation. It's always so enjoyable to see your feedback and votes. We'll be holding our next series of polls after the tour of India and Bhutan this spring. :)


In other news, the Mail on Sunday reports the Duchess plans to concentrate on the complex issue of children's mental health throughout this year. It will reportedly begin with a video appeal to promote Children's Mental Health Week, which runs from 7 - 14 February. This year's theme is 'Building Resilience' and teaching children to 'bounce forward' from life's challenges.

More from the Mail Online: 

'Unlike some other members of the Royal family, Kate is rarely interviewed on camera, making next month's high-profile appearance an important step in her Royal career. She will be the face of a major seven-day campaign by the charity Place2Be which provides counselling in schools. She is already a patron of the charity, and filmed a similar video message last year. Aides say she has agreed to front this year's campaign in order to shine a spotlight on the cause closest to her heart.
 Benita Refson, the charity's founder, said they were delighted to have Kate's support again. 'The Duchess's involvement with the first-ever Children's Mental Health Week last year made a huge impact and her video message of support reached millions across the world,' she said.'

The Mail can be hit and miss with their exclusives, however, I'm inclined to think this one may be accurate. With Kate's focus on mental health, it makes sense she would record a video message for Children's Mental Health Week, and it also coincides with her plans to guest-edit the Huffington Post in support of the cause. The article also reports the royal tour itinerary will feature mental health.

While we're chatting about the topic, Victoria Murphy spoke with Nicki Mattocks who met William and Kate in October at Harrow College. Nikki, who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, recurring depression disorder and social anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event at 14, spoke about the effect she feels the royal couple's support is having.

"The visit was a massive step forward and got a lot more people talking about mental health. For me it was the first time I’d spoken that publicly about hearing voices. I knew it would go out to a lot of different media outlets because of the publicity that they bring but I was confident to do that because they were doing it in a positive way and a way that was compassionate and helpful. 
They helped me to feel like it’s OK and to speak about it more openly. It might have just been an hour that they came and saw us for but they gave us so much more than just an hour. I think they’ve done a lot more in terms of positive awareness than anyone else could have."

Nikki added she feels people need to listen more when it comes to mental health and public figures like William and Kate enable progress in that area.

"And also because they have George and Charlotte I think that they probably want their children to grow up in a day and age where mental health isn’t a thing to be ashamed of and I think that’s why they focus on children and young people’s mental health because they know it could affect anyone.
 She concluded: “When people like Kate and William speak about it mental health it’s not something that people can ignore any more. People have to listen, it really goes a long way to that."


Many of you have been enquiring about upcoming engagements. I'm guessing if the Cambridges go to Mustique, appearances should pick up in mid-February. King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are to make a UK state visit in March and I imagine William and Kate will be involved in some capacity. In the meantime, several of you have been submitting excellent ideas for posts. I'm taking note of them all and have several 'Kate Loves' planned, covering a range of topics I think you'll enjoy. :)


  1. Hmmm. A couple of surprises in the poll results. :) Although for me the true "best" here is the comment from Nicki Mattocks. Well said, Nicki.

    Regarding the DM's statement: "Unlike some other members of the Royal family, Kate is rarely interviewed on camera..." Well, I am not aware of too many interviews with members of the RF.

    1. Charles has given plenty of interviews. Both William and Harry have given interviews. Edward and Anne have given interviews. Sophie has given interviews. Andrew has given interviews. Camilla even gave an interview for that Prince's Trust documentary (it's her only one, though).

    2. Trixie, THANK YOU for reminding us and thus helping us to keep all that in proper perspective.
      Thank you.

    3. Julia from Leominster22 January 2016 at 04:51

      Actually, that Prince's Trust interview - if it can be called that- was Camilla's second. She gave a more extensive interview in Sri Lanka if I recall. To my ears, she was not impressive - sounding more gushing than anything else, which may be one reason she hasn't done more. Charles has done quite a number - he did one on Sky News quite recently - as have the others. The queen is the main exception but even her rarified world is changing - apparently Ant and Dec are to cover the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Says Julia with a shudder.

  2. What a fun post, Charlotte!!! I can't wait to read the "Kate Loves" posts while we wait for her next appearance! Thank you so much for working so hard to keep us Kate fans entertained:)

  3. All I can say for the moment is thank you Duchess of Cambridge for carrying and holding high the torch on mental health. The people in the health care industry have worked tirelessly but they help and suffers even more so.

    The stigma affixed to this disease has been around for far too long and it is only with the help from people as highly visible as the Duke and Duchess that we can begin to wipe away the stain and start to recognize and treat this disease.

    Charlotte, thank you also because with your blog, you are helping massively in this fight. I know that your blog is mainly about fashion; however, the fashion industry, especially over the last couple of decades, has been diligent in their efforts with helping with awareness as it pertains to certain diseases, AIDS, heart disease, cancer come to mind. Of course, this is certainly not on the scale of many of the campaigns they have waged; however, every little bit helps.

    As for the voting, I am among those who voted for Alexander McQueen, Christopher Cane, Jenny Packham in the stand out categories. I am also a huge fan of Catherine Walker, her sense of classical styling is always, in my opinion, so impeccable and timeless.

    Thank you again and make it a great week.


  4. I absolutely love the polls!! Thank you so much Charlotte for everything you do:) Here's to another great year....

  5. Maggie - Minneapolis19 January 2016 at 02:55

    I'm confused about what Kate will be doing for children's mental health week, not at all because of you Charlotte, but because of the Mail's story. They start off by saying she will be the face of the campaign but the details seem to indicate all she will be doing is a video message like last year, which I'm not sure really makes her the face of the campaign. This article reeks to me of a pr article the KP office "leaked" to the Mail. Its like that simon Perry article on people magazine about Kate really ramping up her fall work that started off by implying she would do a ton of appearances but then much later in the article being like there will be a few more appearances. Make it sound much more than it is.
    But I hope I'm wrong! I would love to be.

    1. I agree with you Maggie.

      They promise more engagements again, like in autumn, when she did more than ususal, but if it counts as ramping up, some of us will be disappointed again.

      I can hardly wait her appeal to come out.

    2. She probably posed for some photos (or authorized a still from the video) to be used on their advertising collateral, Maggie. She may sign a letter too. That's done all the time. I do hope she does a bit more than that, but we'll see.

    3. This is par for the course for DM. I do not see this as a PR ploy of KP, but purely a ploy of the DM to splash Kate's name in the headlines. I certainly would not trust this and several other publications. It certainly is not a reputable site.

    4. Also meant to add......Unfortunately the blame wiIl go Kate and not the DM if their hype is not correct. I can just see it now....

    5. Rebecca - Sweden19 January 2016 at 18:47

      I knwo right, Bunny. People will blame Kate if storys are wrong.

    6. Bunny B, I so agree.

      If they had one, the Daily Mail's middle name (and that of many other press outlets, d'ailleurs), would probably be HYPERBOLE.

    7. Looked as if the blame game had already started. I don't know how some of you can hear half a story and run with it. I'm very sure Catherine is not just sitting home all day doing nothing.

    8. Caroline in Montana20 January 2016 at 17:16

      Thank you Michael, took the words right out of my mouth!!

    9. Michael and Caroline... I agree with your sentiments.

    10. Perhaps you could try and lighten the tone if you are displeased with the quality of posts here, Michael. Just a suggestion because complaining about complaining doesn't do much either.

      For example:

      Michael: I think Kate is doing great. She's lendng her name to a big campaign, is going to record a video and be a spokesperson for it. What else do you think she could do to help with the cause? I think an excellent idea would be to solicit an article from the executive director of Place2Be when she guest edits at Huffington Post. This could effectively lengthen this campaign and hopefully increase the impact!

      bluhare: I like that! Another option would be to have a live blog with some young people Place2Be has helped and some mental health professionals participating in a discussion about _________________. There's a lot that could be done there and talking with people who have been personally impacted really carries weight especially in a medium where adolescents and young adults get much of their information.

      Not that difficult, no?

    11. I agree bluhare. Some people took up a habit of complaining about complaining and when they are reminded of this, fail to recognise it or feeling insulted because they have a right to be heard. Funny eh?

    12. I don't think I said anything wrong. Because pointing out for people to stop jumping to conclusions with half baked stories doesn't seem like complaining.

    13. I think if u scroll down Pricilla has expressed my views probably better than me

    14. I didn't say you said anything wrong, Michael. I said you are complaining about the complainers. That's an interpretation of what you said, not necessarily a value judgment about it although it is definitely true I'm in favor of more constructive conversation. Don't you think my idea is a bit more positive?

  6. I am surprised by the choice of the rather bland and wrinkled Eaton dress. The basic idea and design of the Christopher Kane outfit were nice, but neither piece fit Kate very well. If the christening outfit had been listed as a dress, I would have chosen the Catherine Walker coat for St. Patrick's Day as the best coat. But I could not choose Walker as the best designer because the Trooping the Colour coat dress was definitely not their best work. I certainly agree with the choice of the wonderful McQueen state banquet gown, and I understand why the lover's knot tiara won. I voted for the papyrus tiara because Kate wore it so beautifully that she transformed it from a secondary piece into one of the most beautiful tiaras in the royal collection.

    It is my hope that the debate about Kate's guest editorship was finished under the last post. Or at least that we can wait and see what the finished product turns out to be. It would be nice to see a discussion of the page itself when the time comes, minus the tangential issues.

    1. Aww, you must be disappointed already. Some of us care more about that than the clothes she wears. I, for example, didn't cast any votes in the poll. I like clothes as much as the next person, but I care what she does a lot more. If we had polls for "Best Engagement" or "Best Support of A Patronage" I'd vote on those. Therefore, I'm absolutely going to talk about what she does. And all we've got to talk about right now is a video and guest editorship.

    2. I've read several complaints about the ill fit of the Christopher Kane . Why do you think it doesn't fit her properly?

    3. Erika I thought she looked lovely that day, from top to bottom, but I did notice the pulling across the bust and wondered if the entire coat was just a hair too snug? Others thought the length of the kilt was too short.

      There's an Anon here whose observations I like to read, she said she's a seamstress so notices things like this often! As she says, tailored and bespoke pieces should fit like a glove. I wish this Anon would change her handle to "seamstress" or "tailor" or something so I can spot her insight when she posts :)

      The rule of thumb I always follow when shopping was buy in the size that fits the biggest part of your body (your bust, hips etc) then have the rest tailored. A good local tailor is not expensive, and it costs next to nothing to have a piece taken in here and there. Then we can all have that couture look! It's worth it believe me :)

      For the amount these bespoke pieces cost, they should be tailored to Kate perfectly.

    4. Erika, the gapping bustline of the coat and the wrinkling of the kilt across the abdomen.

      Claudia, I am not that Anon, but I do notice the fit of clothing, and I am surprised when ill fitting garments do so well in the polls.

    5. My opinion coincides with Charlotte's: I'd argue that Kate's best look of 2015 was in the Christopher Kane. It was fantastic, didn't swamp her thin frame, would work with different body styles and hair, etc. It's a beautiful outfit and I hope she wears more CK this year. Sy

    6. We could start NOW to get our designs for India and Bhutan ready, so that Catherine can take them into account. - VERY probable, I know. :)

      We could debate whether she will link EACH to hospice care in India as she has done in Malaysia or which of her charities would lend itself to establish links in Bhutan (and perhaps even in Nepal where Prince Harry will visit - perhaps something like "The Art Room" for stress relief after the earthquake?)

      Just for fun, we could start to look for a THIRD tiara from the vaults that we would choose for the State visit from Spain + a matching GOWN anyone? :) - to be "prepared" in case William & Catherine will be part of it.

      We could research organisations that award outstanding blogs (with comments sections that are working hard for world peace, love & understanding :)) and nominate Charlotte for the one we think to be the most suitable one.

      We could discuss whether we as a community would like to contribute to one or more of the charities that Catherine supports and once we have come to a conclusion do it. (Or share what some of us may already have done, inspiring one another)

      etc. etc.

    7. Kate has had that "gapping" problem more than once. You are right Claudia you are supposed to buy for the largest part and have the rest tailored to fit. I learned that on "What Not to Wear". :) Bespoke pieces should be perfectly tailored always. Period. A Princess' garments should always fit properly. Even my clothes fit properly or I don't buy them. Why would I buy clothes that don't fit right? Why would Kate?

    8. Anonymous 20 January 2016 at 00:39, so interesting you mentioned this. I've been thinking about this, too. Maybe there are numerous/multiple reasons for Catherine's outfits to be appreciated/voted for:

      I would love to wear this myself
      Catherine looks gorgeous
      This is so appropriate for the event/her position/...
      The tailoring sets standards
      This is so fashion forward/trend-setting/daring/...
      The garment fits beautifully
      Appreciation for the outfit in itself
      Ethical considerations like fair trade, eco materials, ...
      I like this style

      it of clothing, and I am surprised when ill fitting garments do so well in the polls.

    9. Charlotte - I really like Bluhare's idea. Would you be open to making a poll about Kate's engagements? Her work really is the most important thing of all, and she does so much!
      As fun as the clothing polls were, of course :)

    10. Thanks anon and Claudia. I see what you're saying.

    11. That is an excellent idea. I'm also planning to write features on areas Kate's passionate about, and hopefully, chat with some people from the organisations involved, too.

    12. Excellent Idea Charlotte. What fun and how incredibly fruitful. win win all the way around. :)

    13. I like the Christopher Kane as well 00:56. Although, I understand what is being said about it not fitting absolutely perfectly, I thought it was lovely nonetheless. It seems to bother me more when the DoC's clothing is too large on her, rather than too snug.

    14. Erika, I tend to agree with you. Given Kate's figure, a hint of snugness is far more forgiving on her. Personally, I loved the CK and hope it makes another appearance, perhaps at Balmoral.

      Francis, you have very good questions and interesting ideas. :)

      Charlotte, if you do a poll on engagements, you will need a generously loaded Starbucks card. No crystal ball needed on that one. :)

    15. The sleeves of the Kane coat are also too long. Such a beautiful fabric and interesting design, but marred by failure to fit the garments perfectly.

    16. Julia from Leominster22 January 2016 at 04:55

      Still hope we might be able to share our favourite photos of Kate from last year at some point.

      I agree the Christopher Kane coat was spoilt for me by the ill fit - especially in a bespoke garment. The kilt was too short in my eyes too. The colour was very winning though, and at least I agreed with everyone's least favourite in dresses - but I did love the colour of the sportsmax coat on Kate.

  7. Tedi in California19 January 2016 at 07:17

    Loved the winners, especially the gorgeous Eaton dress, so chic, the Christoper Kane, I also loved her hair in those 3 pictures. Both tiaras were worthy, beautiful in their own way. Looking forward to Mental Health Week, and Kate's involvement. Thanks Charlotte.

  8. Thanks for the post, Charlotte! I enjoyed the Kate Fashion Awards this year. Dear readers, when do you think Kate's first official engagement for this year will be? BTW, does she have any upcoming engagements with EACH or the Art Room?

    Thanks a billion!

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if there was work done at the moment to establish links between EACH and a children's hospice care organisation in India (> the visits to Malaysia and Australia). If this is true then (one of) Catherine's next engagements supporting EACH/hospice care could be in India.

      I suppose she might also do an engagement in support of the £10 million Nook appeal when it reaches a milestone (25%/50%/75%).

      EACH twittered on 27. Nov. 2015:

      A year after launching in the presence of The Duchess of Cambridge, the nook appeal has secured £2million! #Thankyou

    2. Francis, amazing numbers, are they not!? :)

    3. royalfan,

      amazing indeed. And 20% secured! :)

  9. Rebecca - Sweden19 January 2016 at 14:15

    I'm a bit surprised about the Fold dress winning. Not because it's ugly, not at all. It's very nice. But it's rather neutral so I didn't expect it to make such an impression. But I really, really hope Kate will wear more of their clothing. If you look at their site, they have very nice, proffessional clothes :)

    1. Rebecca, I'm not at all surprised. As noted when we created various looks for Catherine to consider, many people visiting this blog have a great sense of style. The Fold dress, though somewhat understated compared to other choices she has made screams high-style.

    2. Some of The Fold's clothing is very nice, on paper. I would need to see some of their pieces worn to decide whether they are appropriate fabrics and a good fit.

    3. I'm not sure the" Eaton " screams high style but it is a very professional look.

    4. I really like that Paulina knit dress Kate is wearing in the last picture above. It was so perfect for the play date in Australia, and I was glad she wore it again. It is fun and yet elegant, and it looks so comfortable.

    5. Rebecca - Sweden20 January 2016 at 14:12

      Yeah, you are probably right Philly :)

    6. I think the Eaton dress is neutral, but it's not a basic power suit or a bland professional outfit. The color is sort of basic, but the style and design of it really stands out to me. It's not my mother's 80s power suit. Lol.

    7. The Paulina knit is also impeccably made, in spite of being complicated in design. The Fold dress is well made; the problem is the choice of material.

  10. Tammy from California19 January 2016 at 20:33

    Charlotte, I could not even read the blog because I could not get past your little Kate Award figure. I think it may be the most clever thing you have done yet, and I laughed out loud with joy seeing it. You really cracked me up today! Now I will go back and read the blog...

    1. Lol! It is adorable. It might rival the sparkling Christmas wreath for putting a smile on my face.

  11. THANK YOU VERY MUCH Charlotte!
    As always lovely to pop in here

  12. I love The Fold dress and voted for it (I'd also wear it and am looking at their website to see if anything is affordable). It's simplicity lends the design to many occasions, and the material looks like it would wear well, which is critical to spending a lot on a piece. I have some pieces from over ten years ago that I mix and match; I paid a lot but they are so well worth it and continue to look smart with a scarf added or new suit. Great post as always Charlotte. Sy

  13. hmm I love the fashion award love the Christopher kane and the evening the red alexander McQueen gown that she wore in state dinner the elegant two tiaras are also a winner looking forward to mental health event

  14. Thank you!
    I love all of her outfits, but I am a little surprised of the one that won the best dressed. I am not surprised at all that the Alexander McQueen won, I especially love when she wears that. Thanks for the post!! :)

  15. As Kate's status increases and her schedule increases she is simply going to have to have a stylist/personal shopper. And, have any bespoke designers told that improper fit is no longer an option. It is not accepted in corporate and she is royality, quite a step above corporate, so improper fit should not ever be an issue.

    1. I agree. She is going to become even more high profile and busier, and even though she has a good style sense, she will need gifted help. The Nixon-Kennedy televised debate solidified forever the fact that savvy appearance sells Ideas and wins support. Appearance matters. She needs to look her very best and she will need just the right help to accomplish and maintain that. It will pay huge dividends all the way around for a relatively small investment.

  16. Interesting choices.
    The whole "she's going to do a lot of stuff" schtick is getting old. We've been hearing these same announcements since shortly after the wedding and the same thing happens - a couple of engagements followed by a lengthy luxe vacation, followed by a couple of engagements and then bam, Kate disappears for another 12-18 months or so, with no royal engagements to speak of.
    "She's focusing on the children," the Palace and WK's PR spinners insist. That's fine and absolutely understandable.
    But don't make public announcements that you're going to be doing more work for these causes and then do the same as you've always done. It's not fair to the organizations and the causes they represent. It's become "a whole lot of talk, not a lot of action" treadmill with her.
    Hopefully she'll prove me wrong but I'm not holding my breath.
    The odd choice of the HuffPost UK to "guest-edit" continues to bring questions from a lot of people. There are really veteran, devoted royalist UK palace reporters who are absolutely shocked that they'd choose a publication that publishes the very types of paparazzi photos that Will and Kate have fought so hard to prevent. If they're doing it in hopes that HuffPost will stop publishing, get serious. Publications publish what sells copies and covert snaps of the royals in their downtime are what brings in the $$$.

    1. Rebecca - Sweden21 January 2016 at 01:09

      I get your point. But this: "But don't make public announcements that you're going to be doing more work for these causes and then do the same as you've always done."

      Who says they are doing announcements. This could just as well be a backhanded insult from the Daily Mail knowing what the reaction will be when it doesn't come true. Just as the times they defend her a little toooo much it's just a clear case to stir up in the comments without being accused of saying bad stuff.

    2. Their office doesn't make announcements often, Rebecca, and when they do they tend to be of a serious nature (foreign tour, birth of children, etc.). But they have a communications office for a reason and that's to communicate with the press and public. Those people have talked about Kate's engagements in the past and how keen she is to get on with things. There was a post on this very blog last August about how Kate wasn't ready to get back into the hectic whirl of pre pregnancy work yet. Which implies there was a lot prior to being pregnant and would be in the future.

      But what's really important is that Rebecca and The Hectic Whirl would be one awesome band name.

    3. Elizabeth, I think the issue is people believing the media and creating false expectation vs listening to what the palace is actually saying and paying attention to reality.

      Since day 1 people have been arguing that Kate and William need to start filling in for Queen and Prince Philip who are so old and need help. The arguments of "William needs to be prepared for when the Queen dies."

      Since day 1 the palace has said that William and Kate are only part-time royals. People on the internet are not happy.

      Expectations: William quits RAF and everyone assumes for some reason that they are going to become full-time royals.

      Reality: William takes a gap year and decides to do air ambulance. They continue as part-time royals. People on the internet are not happy.

      Expectations: The media says that according to the palace Kate is going to be very busy when she comes back from maternity leave. People assume she's suddenly going to start doing 100s of engagements.

      Reality: Go back to September 8 and Charlotte did a post called "What to Expect from Kate's Autumn Schedule and Other Updates" Kate does EXACTLY what the palace announced she would do. People on the internet are not happy.

      Elizabeth, my advice is to stop believing everything the media writes. Base your expectations on reality.

      - The palace had said that William and Kate are part-time royals.
      - In the almost five years that they been married their engagement numbers have been pretty consistent.
      - It took 4.5 years for William and Kate to attend their first state banquet.
      - It took 4 years and 8 months for Kate to receive her first military appointment.
      -It's been almost 5 years and Kate has not been given the Royal family Order.

      My expectations from these facts
      - William and Kate are going to continue as part-time royals.
      - William and Kate will continue to do around the same amount of engagements.
      -The queen is going to start inviting Will and Kate to more state banquets and maybe other important functions.
      - Kate is going to start receiving more important patronages from now on, maybe some from the Queen and more from Prince Philip.
      - Clearly the Queen is not on her death bed or in any rush to do anything when it comes to the Cambridges. She seems to be increasing their roles at the pace that she thinks right. (To the great disappointment of many on the internet)

      Please don't blame William and Kate for what that media passes off as fact when they are only guessing.

    4. Lol Bluhare, our blog has now it's own Band: fantastic! could you give us some title for some new song?

    5. Rebecca - Sweden21 January 2016 at 12:44

      Sure, I know that bluhare. But you also have to take into account the source. If it was Camilla Tom.. uhm.. the Camilla who told that Kate would do more speeches then I absolutley would take it into account. Also People, if they wrote like that, I would think that they knew she would do one or two engagements and then went with "she's gonna do alot" since they have a tendency to embellish a bit. But the Daily Mail has a tendency to play fast and loose with "sources" and also write stuff that look positive but clearly is intended to stir up the comments. I am not saying that this is NOT a leak from the Palace. I am just saying that it is very premature to talk as if it is surely from the palace.

      Hahha, nice band. Are you "the hectic whirl" in that part ;)

    6. Bravo, Priscilla! Truth is such a powerful thing. You have written the best comment this blog has seen in just about forever.

      Let's hear a new blog anthem from Rebecca and the Hectic Whirl! :-)

    7. Rebecca - Sweden21 January 2016 at 17:43

      My oh my! That is a big thing! Maybe the first song might have the text of the great poem Philly wrote around christmas! :)

    8. Another applause for Priscilla, who knows how to distinguish what the palace SAYS and what people WRITE. They do write anything even if there's little basis because Kate's name sells. But people take their opinions as palace PR and in turn build false expectations.

      Huffington Post no longer publishes paparazzi photos. They have stopped for several years now. It is the UK reporters' papers that CONTINUE to publish paparazzi shots. Let us be honest here. Pointing fingers at your competition when you aren't any better equals egg in your face.

    9. Omg Pricilla where have u been all this time.I couldn't agree with you more. Pls do well to contribute often because I really want to here more from you

    10. The poem, the band. Now we just need the Duchess Kate t-shirts. A Duchess Kate online gift store would be nice.

    11. Tedi in California21 January 2016 at 19:33

      A voice of reason, bravo Priscella. Agree 100%.

    12. There is no such thing as a part time royal!! You are either royal or you aren't! If you receive publicly funded police protection and live rent free in a palace also paid for by the public you are royal
      And did someone really just say hectice pre pregnancy schedule? Doing three or four engagements a month is not hectic
      People need to stop making excuses for them. And the "whole focusing on the family thing" is nonsense.
      You can be focused on tour family and contribute to society..especially to a society that funds tour lifestyle

    13. Priscilla:

      Since day 1 people have been arguing that Kate and William need to start filling in for Queen and Prince Philip who are so old and need help. The arguments of "William needs to be prepared for when the Queen dies."

      Since day 1 the palace has said that William and Kate are only part-time royals. People on the internet are not happy."

      Actual reality: Part-time royals is a term created for William and Kate, and never existed until they wanted it to. Prince Phillip said a few years ago he is getting old and would like to ease up on duties - it fell on deaf ears. Other less senior royals do hundreds and hundreds of more duties than the young, healthy heirs.
      Also, WK are happy to take full-time benefits.

      "Expectations: William quits RAF and everyone assumes for some reason that they are going to become full-time royals.

      Reality: William takes a gap year and decides to do air ambulance. They continue as part-time royals. People on the internet are not happy. "

      Actual reality: A 31-year-old grown man needed a full year to decide what he wants to do with himself. And in that time, he went to Cambridge, and I dont think there was any closure on if he actually finished his course. And it wouldn't suprise me if he didnt, he has spent most of his adult life job-hopping.

      "Expectations: The media says that according to the palace Kate is going to be very busy when she comes back from maternity leave. People assume she's suddenly going to start doing 100s of engagements.

      Reality: Go back to September 8 and Charlotte did a post called "What to Expect from Kate's Autumn Schedule and Other Updates" Kate does EXACTLY what the palace announced she would do. People on the internet are not happy."

      Actual reality: She was not "very busy" and when she did show up, she acted non-professionally and insincere. Then she takes 8 weeks off. Hint: It isn't that she needs to show up, she needs to do a decent job. However, I will say she has greatly improved in her work performance since the birth of Charlotte.

      "Elizabeth, my advice is to stop believing everything the media writes. Base your expectations on reality."

      Yep, totally agree with this Priscilla. Thankfully, that is what most do around here, rather than listening to sycophantic media articles.

      - The palace had said that William and Kate are part-time royals.
      - In the almost five years that they been married their engagement numbers have been pretty consistent.
      - It took 4.5 years for William and Kate to attend their first state banquet.
      - It took 4 years and 8 months for Kate to receive her first military appointment.
      -It's been almost 5 years and Kate has not been given the Royal family Order. "

      Exactly! They are invited to many state banquets and declined them.
      The RFO is given to those for their dedication to royal duties. Of course she hasn't been given it yet.

      Thankfully, I have seen an improvement in Kate the last half of this year. I hope desperately the trend continues, and that her husband shapes up soon as well.

    14. Could some among us start to research a medley of (if possible wellknown and relatively easy to sing, rap, ...) melodies that would work for Philly's poem, please? :)

      Philly 23 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!

    15. William and Kate are not part time royals. When you start off your post with a totally incorrect statement, you lose me especially when the rest of your argument depends on the veracity of that statement. They are full time royals. If they were not, we should not call them HRH and their titles on their off days and they'd need to let us know when those are to avoid confusion.

      But I'm always happy to sing backup to your lead, Becks!!

    16. Sure, Rebecca, the Official Poet of the Blog must work with the music of Rebecca and the Hectic Whirl Blog Band...
      I suggest that the new anthem will be played in honor of Priscilla and her healthy sense of reality (Royal Reality)

    17. WOW. A "Duchess Kate Blog" brand. No doubt would be as excellent as the blog itself. I hope that becomes a reality. I have my debit card waiting. :)

      Eager to see your creations/inventory Charlotte. Perhaps Duchess Kate could sooner than later design a piece for the blog store with all proceeds going to her charities. I am serious. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. "Go Charlotte Go, Go Charlotte Go, Yaaaay, Charlotte." (little pep cheer there.)

    18. Priscilla @4:37
      Reasoning based on information, and as such with recollected information and interest. A very refreshing post. A nice break from too much speculation especially when done by too many. It is as if it catches on like fire, quite some speculation had to be responded with another speculation. Some times can't blame people, cause that is what is left to be there.

    19. Add to that, a Kate meet and greet day, for duchess Kate blog Admin and fans.

    20. AMEN, Priscilla. Thank you. :)

    21. I think people are confusing the reference to part time (as in *schedule*) with that of part time *rank* which, clearly, is not the case and I don't believe anyone is suggesting it.

    22. bluhare, you wrote: "When you start off your post with a totally incorrect statement, you lose me especially when the rest of your argument depends on the veracity of that statement."

      In case you referred to what Priscilla wrote, she started off her post with: "Elizabeth, I think the issue is people believing the media and creating false expectation vs listening to what the palace is actually saying and paying attention to reality."

      Personally, I can't find anything in this statement that is totally incorrect.

      Anonymous 21 January 2016 at 19:45,

      Are you referring to state banquets at home or overseas? Which ones did William & Catherine decline to attend?

    23. royalfan,
      As if this is a telepathy, right around the time of my post 23:54, “meet and greet Kate” with hrhblog Admin and fans, you were among the first people who crossed my mind. You also happen to post w/o knowing.
      I am not sure if Charlotte will post is, but here it goes without any malice. This is my “speculation”.

      Kate: At the front entry of BK for her appointment to meet hrhduchess group. She is in delightfully giggly and happy mood, looking forward to meet the group.

      Admin/Charlotte: By her side to introduce a line of people.
      royalfan: The first one to be introduced. They have a nice pleasant chat and change business cards. Kate tells royalfan how much she liked the evening gown rf selected for her state banquet.
      royalfan: It had been my wish for your highness to include velvet in your admirable collection of clothes. How do you like the crown?

      Kate: Darling rf, that shows how delightfully magnificent your choice was. I love that crown. In fact my staff had been instructed to make it available for my future engagements.

      Charlotte: Your highness, please meet your young fan from Sweden.
      Kate: How delightful! How was your flight?
      Rebecca: Oh it was fantastic especially in anticipation of meeting with you.
      Kate: How is Princess Sophia?
      Rebecca: She is just fine. How are you and your family?
      They exchanged business cards.

      Charlotte: Your royal highness, please meet Julia from Leominster
      Kate: Good afternoon Ms. Leo Minister
      Julia: Good afternoon
      Julia to Charlotte: I want to meet the Queen first.
      And on, and on.

    24. Julia from Leominster22 January 2016 at 05:26

      Actually, I believe the press is being blamed too much here by Priscilla and others. There were royal announcments directly from the palace at the time William left the military - announcments that proved to be unfounded. There were also multiple announcments that announcments were going to be made - that then didn't happened as announced. (This is looking like how many times I can put "announcement" in a sentence.)

      Basically, there was a very confusing time with announcements from the palace - which spoke to me of disagreement in the royal family about William and Kate's plans. William's plan to keep flying came after an announcment that Kensington Palace was being prepared for the couple as they increased their role. So it's not actually accurate to say people believed that for "some reason". Kensington Palace, which was supposed to be the Cambridge's main residence, before they changed their minds is a bit more than "some reason". A rather expensive reason - unnecessary for the amount of use it presently gets from the Cambridges. (It is unclear if it will continue to be used when Charles ascends - after all Clarence House will then be available.)

      Personally, I have no expectations at this point but things can happen rather suddenly in life and a lot will be expected of the Cambridge's in the future to make up for this interlude.

      Part-time royalty seems an invention of William and Kate although other royals may have functioned as such defacto without putting a name to it. I'm not counting royals who are the age of pensioners when duties will naturally diminish - although the royal family is being represented almost entirely by pensioners at the moment. In a society where youth is perhaps prized too much and with the fact that at all times, young royals are of more interest to the public than older ones, it's no wonder the press jumps on every little thing about the Cambridge's. There simply is no one else to cover. (Andrew and Edward meant that wasn't true as much in the Charles and Diana period - there were more younger cousins too.)

      I've noticed that papers that cover royalty are turning more to European royals for news - and many papers - including the main ones, have used this situation to cut back on royal news all together. I suspect there are a lot of republicans among editors - whether that's the official stance of their papers or not - and they're letting the royals drift more into irrelevency. No one thinks that the public is ready to abandon the royal family at this point and events from the queen's birthday to funerals and coronations in the future will lead to upswings, but there seems to be a certain trend to let the family lose relevance with a whimper rather than a bang.
      As William and Kate age, and when Charles and the unpopular Camilla are on the throne, there will be a major gap in interest - with George and Charlotte still too young to fill it -especially with the emphasis on privacy. This is why many of us want to see the family in a position of strength now - when William and Kate still generate strong interest.

      I doubt very much the queen is managing the Cambridge's engagements -the royal family simply doesn't run on that sort of centralised system. She may support what they're doing or at least go along with it, but I don't believe it is at her direction or initiation.

      There were conflicting announcments made about Kate's autumn - so most of us had a wait and see attitude.

    25. Again, it was never stated by the Palace that William would increase royal duties after quitting the military. In fact I remember aides explicitly saying the number will stay the same. Once again this illustrates the need to separate reality from the false stories some of the press have created just so they can write a story about the younger royals. Then they write another story to correct their previous story. Double business for them. Don't fall for it. Bravo Priscilla for saying it as it is.

    26. In case someone is not familiar with what the official website of the British monarchy and the Duke & Duchess' own one say about (their titles and) current role as far as work & royal duties are concerned, you can find this information following the links below:

    27. Anon 15, I am starting my Friday with a smile. I love it!! :))

    28. Perhaps you should try reading past the first sentence of her post, Francis. Then you might see what my point is, because that's when her point started.

      Thank you!

    29. Julia, I believe the term is "shooting the messenger". And I agree with your points.

    30. Elizabeth, you wrote: "followed by a couple of engagements and then bam, Kate disappears for another 12-18 months or so, with no royal engagements to speak of." When did this happen?

    31. bluhare, I read the entire post (Priscilla from California 21 January 2016 at 04:37) and can’t find anything in it that is totally incorrect. :( I would appreciate if you explained which part of the post you are referring to so that I can understand your reasoning. :) Thank you very much.

    32. Francis, I had the same questions. I couldn't find the things referenced either.

    33. Rebecca - Sweden22 January 2016 at 21:32

      I think Bluhare was taking "offence" with the term "part time royals".

    34. Maggie - Minneapolis22 January 2016 at 22:11

      People who are blaming the media for unkept promises are ignoring basic PR 101 imo. Here is how it is fairly clear to me if an article promising a huge increase in engagements is pushed by KP PR - existence of specific details. If an article is very vague about the engagements coming up, it's probably the newspaper/site just posturing. But if it has very specific, verifiable details, it's probably from KP. Last fall, when the People article came out about Kate seriously increasing her workload in the fall, it had specific details that turned out to be true - i.e. it was correct about specific numbers (although the beginning of the article embellished to make it seem like Kate would be doing more than she would be), and it was the first we heard about upcoming engagements in Dundee (which turned out to be true). Rebecca English also had a similar article in the DM that made Kate seem like she was going to seriously increase her work with similar specific details (I think it was the first we heard about Wales). When articles are the first we hear about specific engagements, and those articles are very positive (and unfairly so if Kate doesn't meet the expectations outlined), it's pretty fair to assume that KP "leaked" future engagements to those reporters in return for positive articles about Kate's upcoming "hard work". The reporters got to be the ones to first "break" the news of certain engagements, and Kate got positive PR in return. Both of those articles started off by making it seem like Kate would be working much harder than she actually did. Did they lie? Technically, no. But did they imply differently than the truth? Yes. And to think that wasn't pushed by KP is, imo, silly. KP doesn't just release engagements coming up in 1-2 months to specific reporters for no reason. It's tit for tat. That's how media relations works. And the reporters wouldn't embellish about Kate's upcoming work without KP's approval because that would hurt their relationship with KP, thus hurting their chances to get a "scoop" in the future.

    35. royalfan,
      Keep smiling! It is good to know that.

    36. Maggie - Minneapolis22 January 2016 at 22:20

      Also can we stop pretending like Kate and William walk on water and would never do anything to make themselves look good? It doesn't necessarily mean anything BAD about them as people just because they try to use PR tricks like anyone else in their position. OF COURSE the Palace would never be the one to specifically say that Kate will be seriously increasing her workload because then they would be caught in a lie. And OF COURSE they WOULD encourage articles embellishing their future workload that gives them good PR while avoiding being the ones directly issuing the "lies" in question. And everyone does it. It's not just them. And I honestly think it's naive to think that KP doesn't do it. But at some point, they may have overdone it. That's when it becomes frustrating.

      Also can we at least acknowledge the hypocrisy of arguing on previous posts about the Huffington Post stuff (and when KP releases pictures, etc.) that the media has no power and has to accept that the Cambridges don't need them, only then to come to this post and say that the media has enough power to make the Cambridges look bad by purposefully lying about how much their work will be increasing when the Cambridges don't want them to? Because the same people are saying both. So which is it? Either the media has to bend to the Cambridges' will because they need the Cambridges more than the Cambridges need them, in which case it makes no sense that they would purposefully try to hurt the Cambridges by embellishing their workload, or the media truly does have the power, in which case the Cambridges have a terrible PR strategy.

  17. Thanks for the great post Charlotte. I really enjoy the polls as they're a fun way to have a retrospective of what she's worn during the year. The Christopher Kane is stunning. IMO the fit issues are minor & could have been affected by external factors e.g. if she was still breastfeeding Charlotte.

  18. I know that this is a blog about Kate, but I just wanted to share how impressed I am with Princess Madeleine with how she handled the pap pics of her family vacation.

    I know that Scandinavians views on privacy are much more open than Anglo-Saxon views (Chris O'Neil said something along those lines in a recent interview.) But I think Madde's reaction really shows that you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In that, they recognize that they can't stop paps from taking pictures of them while vacationing, but by realizing their own photos, they substitute the pap shots and get good press.

    I think that Will and Kate (especially Will) get a lot of flack for complaining and filling lawsuits, which may be justifiable depending on your opinion. I feel like Will (and to an extent Kate) think that they can stop all unauthorized photographs of George though threatening and fearful tactics. But this strategy is completely unrealistic and it alienates a lot of their supporters. And so I wish they would have an attitude more like Madeleine where she regulates the circulation of pictures of her children by releasing better pictures of her own while still adding a subtle yet still positive dig at the paps.

    1. Not true! Madeline and Chris filled a lawsuit against Bunte for publishing photos of their honeymoon.

    2. Perhaps, Amelia. Your points are not without merit. However, if Madeline had seen her mother hounded by the paps and killed during a high speed chase, she might respond differently to the press. A person's experience does a great deal to determine his/her response.

      William couldn't protect his mother--from the press, from the Firm, and from public demand for her image. I imagine he is determined not to be powerless again. He's fought the press in the courts, he's insisted on any number of things pertaining to his wife and family going his way within the Firm, and he has been more aggressive about setting borders between his public and private life. I think he's done remarkably well.

      Perhaps we sometimes need to question our insatiable demand for more and more images. Perhaps it's not always a healthy thing, but part of the zeitgeist we are caught up in. Perhaps we should question it more.

      Yes, George and Charlotte cute. The Cambridges are a handsome couple. But MUST we see their images continuously? Wasn't it more fun to see home movies of Charles as a toddler in 2016 rather than having them be made public at the time?

      There is a lot to be said for restraint. The media used to do it all the time. So did we. We waited less impetuously.

    3. Priscilla, thank for the excellent analysis of expectations and realities. Bravo!

    4. Madeleine handled it beautifully on behalf of her family. But she and her children will never be hounded the way George and Charlotte would be, given the opportunity. I'm not sure that's a fair comparison...

      And did anyone see this?? Princess Sofia made an appearance with the king and queen...

    5. Rebecca - Sweden22 January 2016 at 01:53

      I see your points, and I think it is worth discussing. And I also think this was a "sweet" thing of Madeleine to do. But I also have to say that it hasn't helped her anything. She did this same thing on their honeymoon when paparazzi show up. Yes, it does take some money value of the pictures the paparazzi take on that specific occation (like when celebrities post the first picture of their newborn instead of being hounded for the "money shot") but Madeleine is still photographed on Vacations and in London. Same with Victoria etc. So it doesn't help that they share as much of the kids as they do.

    6. that's the music!

  19. yay Priscilla. precisely presented and makes sense.
    gossip rarely pays attention to fact and you just showed gossip up, big time.

  20. The Duchess Kate gift store thought has so much potential. Love the t-shirt. I would buy stuff for sure.
    What a fun way to let people know about this awesome blog. Charlotte you might have to clone yourself though.

  21. All differences aside, we truly do have a sweet, very articulate, creative and caring community here. What a nice cyber oasis.

  22. Off topic re fashion, but a few thoughts about patronages.

    When William and Harry set up the Royal Foundation, although some single organisations were selected, the intention was to support CAUSES and, in particular,raise funds.

    A good example is military causes - they support Help for Heroes, SSAFA etc but they are not Patrons. They are interested in helping servicemen.

    They are also interested in making links across their various causes - another example is young people from Centrepoint going to help TUSK Trust in Africa; Child Bereavment helping SSAFA etc.

    And now she is part of the Foundation, you can see Catherine doing the same - its causes (mental health) and using her interest in Art to support that cause.

    The other aspect they are taking on is "fixed term" support rather than life long commitment (this means they can help more causes).

    I think the days of taking on 400+ patronages is fading away. As existing royals "retire", there are fewer to take their place. The oldest royals (those over 60)have over 2,500 patronages between them!

    In the future, there will just be W&K (+children working in 25 yrs time) plus Harry, wife and children. Not enough Royals to do how we see it now.

    I think they are building a different way of working for the future.

    Priscilla made an excellent point about expectations. ITs going to be different, GOOD, but different.

    1. Rebecca - Sweden22 January 2016 at 02:02

      Very true. They have more "theme goals" than assotiation goals. As in combining the charities and do fundrasing and such through their foundation.

      This person (who appearantly is familiar with the charity sector in the UK) has written a well thought out explanation on what sort of charity their foundation is:

  23. I read the comments about the tailoring of the Kane outfit and looked again. I think the sleeves are an excellent length. I think the tailoring is as spot on as one can get that soon after pregnancy. It is barely a gap and in a different pose it might look like a flawless tailoring job. I am pretty picky on my tailoring but unless your designer is there on the last day of a wearing, i.e. your wedding day, the fit will change a bit. Just my opinion of course, but I thought it was a beautiful outfit. ali

    1. I tend to agree, Ali. Personally, I loved the outfit and thought it was very appropriate for the occasion, while being fresh and youthful.

    2. It was a favorite of mine also. As a whole, it worked well regardless of the imperfections.

  24. hmm princess madeleine handled the paparazzi photos really nice my sharing nice photos of her yes she and her children are will be the same treatment with prince George and princess charlotte but more active princess madeleine really handle with grace the paparazzi photos really nice wish the duke and duchess will do the same as example as princess madeleine doing everybody as a great idea helping duchess kate gift shop

  25. Awesome comment Priscilla and a very welcome breath of fresh air.

    Julia I disagree about the coverage of the RF or that it’s being left ‘to lose relevance with a whimper rather than a bang’. All the British media have now expanded their platforms and each is tailored to a demographic. The legacy media are the newspapers in hard copy and they’re tailored to the older demographic (60+). They may have reduced their coverage of the RF but this isn’t where the future lies. It lies in the on line editions & social media. Here there’s huge coverage of the RF especially William & Kate & their children.

    We’re also living in a time of major transition when it comes to the media because the RF now can & do provide direct coverage on a daily basis via their websites & social media. It also gives them direct contact with, & feedback from, the public.

    Here’s an example. When the Cambridges released their Xmas photo & later the photo of George’s first day at the Montessori nursery school these photos were also uploaded to the British Monarchy Facebook page (the official Fb page of the RF). The response was staggering. The Cambridge Xmas photo had over 764,000 likes, 64,530 shares & 24,680 comments. The photo of George at nursery school had 395,767 likes, 28,829 shares & 13,055 comments. On top of this there were the official Twitter & Instagram feeds all of which were retweeted simultaneously by the British media. Not to mention the coverage in newspapers, magazines, on line editions, blogs etc. Sorry Julia but I can’t see how this in any way demonstrates ‘irrelevance’. It looks like quite the reverse to me.

    1. Blue wren if you think that 400k likes us a sign of popularity I have a bridge to sell you. I run A teeny tiny blog and regularly get 1000 likes on my Instagram. On a good day I have gotten 5k likes. I have around 10k followers. A cat video posted on YouTube gets millions and millions of likes. any large fashion blog will get 400k likes.
      I don't know anyone in my social or professional circle that follows the royals. In fact I am made fun of because I do. The fact is that the royals everywhere form a very inconsequential role in society. I like Kate because she is beautiful and has access to high fashion but I am under no illusion on how irrelevant she is to my generation. I am an exception rather than the rule,
      A popular picture on the Internet will fetch millions of likes and millions of shares not 400k.
      With due respect I do think that you are grossly overestimating their popularity.

    2. Maggie - Minneapolis22 January 2016 at 21:59

      Anon at 17:41 - so true! Here's something to put all this in perspective - the population of London alone is over 8 million people. 764,000 likes for Christmas on the internet, which allows for people outside of Britain to also 'like' things, is a very small number. KP's twitter has a little over 600,000 followers. I know of athletes who won a single gold at the 2008 Olympics and haven't competed since who have more followers on Twitter. The fact is, Kate (and the Cambridges) represent an institution that not many people in the world care about. The monarchy plays a very small role in things people care about these days. And Kate leads a lifestyle that women have spent the past few centuries fighting to leave behind.

    3. I am not included with those women, thankfully. I think stay at home Moms who are supportive of their husbands have great merit and that those are things that mankind should ever leave behind.

    4. Here is some additional perspective ... people can follow/admire/support (whatever term you wish to use) the royals without ever clicking on anything associated with social media. I follow them, but I have nothing to do with social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. None of it. If I like someone or something, I will use words to express it (as old fashioned as this may sound!) :) And let's not forget that even people who don't like them can be quite active in following them. ;)

    5. Maggie - Minneapolis23 January 2016 at 01:21

      I wasn't talking about being a stay at home per say, and I certainly didn't say I think the idea of stay at home moms is one that should be left behind. First, I was talking about Kate's lack of independence. She has spent her life financially dependent on either her parents and boyfriend, or her husband. She never had a career, even before marrying much less becoming a mother, and shaped her life around a man even in her twenties. And even now, as many people on this blog like to say, her role is apparently to support her husband in his endeavors, and not actually carve out her own independent role with the risk of outshining him. That's what women have fought for centuries to leave behind. Being utterly dependent their entire lives, and spending their whole lives supporting their men instead of being able to do their own thing. Oh and Kate's whole royal career so far has been one big propagation of "being seen but not heard," something else women have fought a very long time to make less of the norm.
      And there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom, but women have indeed fought for centuries against the idea that they MUST stay at home after having children. Is it a choice for Kate? Yes. But even still, I was speaking to whether or not that choice is something a majority of women can relate to in this day and age. Its not bad to make that choice, but it does affect how much most young women feel like they can look up to Kate. The fact is, there is very very little about her entire life that can be applied as a lesson for young girls and women, aside from ideals that belong more in the 18th century than the 21st, and that DOES affect relevance, or lack thereof.

    6. Woman have also fought for the right to make their own decisions in life, and how lovely it would be if other woman (especially) could support this concept. It isn't about the individual choice; what matters is that a woman is able to make it.

    7. 18th century?? So, women/girls can't look up to Kate because she is a stay at home mom who supports charities and Royal events?????
      You said you weren't saying anything bad about stay at home moms but you did it again more than once.

    8. Exactly true royalfan! Maggie, it makes me sad that you would say that young women would feel that they can not look up to Kate because of her choices. That is basically saying that being a wife and mom is a decision that should not be respected, and that career women are the only ones deserving adulation. I really dislike hearing statements like that about women from women.

      There is very little about the monarchy that the majority of women have
      ever been able to relate to no matter what the era. That is the point of the monarchy.They are different from the rest of us and that is part of the fascination. If they were just like us, I don't think many of us would be all that interested. However, that doesn't make Kate irrelevant. Her relevancy is affirmed each time she steps out and brings attention to the causes she has chosen to highlight.

    9. Erika, thank YOU for expanded on the subject.

      "Her relevancy is affirmed each time she steps out and brings attention to the causes she has chosen to highlight." Well said.

  26. One more thing, I think the constant comparison to other European royal families is totally wrong because no other royal family draws as much attention as TBRF. Hence what may work for them could fail when applied to the British. Kate on her own even draws far more attention than other Europeans of higher position so of course more can be done but maybe not in the way we may envision it. As we know times are changing and I suspect W&K and even Charles are definitely changing the direction of the monarchy. As to whether it will work is not for as to decide as we never truely know what happens and what info they may have before taking certain decisions

    1. I agree Michael. It is comparing apples to oranges at the very least.

  27. Anon 19:45:
    Your examples of actual realities are all opinions and not facts.
    1."Prince Phillip said a few years ago he is getting old and would like to ease up on duties - it fell on deaf ears" Not a fact!!!!
    2."And in that time, he went to Cambridge, and I dont think there was any closure on if he actually finished his course. And it wouldn't suprise me if he didnt," You just stated yourself that this is not a fact!!!
    3. "She was not "very busy" and when she did show up, she acted nonprofessionally and insincere." Not a fact!!!!

    I don't think you understand how the BRF works. Eugenie and Beatrice don't do any official engagements yet they are still royals. I know other countries do limit royal titles and maybe Charles will do that but at this time the Queen doesn't do that. So Will and Kate are royals no matter how many engagements they do.

    Julia from Leominister:
    I think you prove my point actually about what the palace says vs expectations.
    "William's plan to keep flying came after an announcement that Kensington Palace was being prepared for the couple as they increased their role. So it's not actually accurate to say people believed that for "some reason"."

    People took the palace's statement and created expectations way beyond what ended up being reality. The Palace never lied.

    1. People expected them to live at KP. They do live at KP. Their staff is there and they use it for when they are working to have all their meetings and need to receive official guests. But they spend more time in Amner Hall and people weren't expecting that. BUT they still live in KP and do all their work from there.
    2. People expected "increase their role" to mean that they would focus solely on royal duties. Instead it was only things like William beginning to perform investitures, stating to attend the Duchy of Cornwall meetings. Kate got pregnant and was ill, but after George was born they participating in their first state visit by welcoming the President of Malaysia and they began attending white tie events and we kinda got to see Kate in a tiara. So their roles did increase.

    Also about the fact that the part-time royal was invented for Will & Kate is because it is rare for someone to be in William's position. The last time there was two adult direct heirs was during Queen Victoria's reign and they didn't do engagement back then like they do now. But the monarchy won't have this problem again for a while because Charles will be dead by the time George has adult children.

    Honestly my comment was made because Elizabeth posted a comment that said: "The whole "she's going to do a lot of stuff" schtick is getting old. We've been hearing these same announcements since shortly after the wedding and the same thing happens - a couple of engagements followed by a lengthy luxe vacation, followed by a couple of engagements and then bam, Kate disappears for another 12-18 months or so, with no royal engagements to speak of."

    Which I found ridiculous because so far for February we have a grand total of ONE engagement announced, the Huffington post one.

    1. Priscilla, I do agree with part of what you are saying. I think that the press does make things up during slow times and the public jumps on that boat. Katie Nicholl in particular is very unreliable.

      That being said I also agree with Julia however on the KP announcements. At one point KP would make statements on what William would do and it would never come true. For example before the Jubilee KP made a statement about how William would have an increased role and then several months later - I want to say 9-10 months later it came about that William wanted to continue flying. Around the same time they said that KP would be Kate and William's primary residence and then backtracked a year later saying that Anmer Hall would be the primary residence.
      I do think that William and Kate went through a period of time when they were being indecisive and trying to figure out how much they were expected to do. My suspicion is that around the time of the Jubilee when Pr Phillip was very sick William was told that he would have to assume more responsibilities and KP issued a number of statements to lock him in. It was also around that time that William appeared extremely unhappy in public - anyone remember his manner during the Jubilee events ? He was so angry then. Then when Phillip got better I think that William was able to get out of those extra duties and hence KP had to backtrack.

      I also agree with the Anon above who expressed doubts on whether William completed the agriculture course. I suspect that he did not because we definitely would have heard some sort of confirmation otherwise. I think that he did back out of that.

      So while the press is unreliable on the royals I do have to say that for a while William was vaccillating quite a bit. For now he seems to have found a good balance, so hopefully they will continue on this path for a while.

    2. I understand the BRF and it's workings, and what you said is pretty much what I said. They aren't part time royals. Neither are Beatrice or Eugenie, although I'm told all the time that they are private citizens. I don't buy that for a second. If they were private citizens they wouldn't be listed in the order of precedence.

      And as for your last sentence, exactly. Elizabeth was reacting to an article recently published about how Kate was coming off maternity leave with a vengeance and is so keen to make a difference. And we have one engagement (plus a church service). What happened to the bullying workshop she was going to do with William? It's not on Charlotte's list of upcoming engagements above. Has it been rescheduled?

    3. Concerning the course at Cambridge, it was tweeted by Richard Palmer in response to a question a while ago that William definitely completed the course.

    4. I can see the problem. 'responding to an article". As has been said many of this papers simply make up stuff. And as Priscilla said there was no event Charlotte had listed at that time that Catherine missed. We just to take KP words not Daily Mail or any rumours we here without official confirmation

  28. AMEN Priscilla and HALLELUYAH,

    So happy to have your comments here on this blog to help effectively separate fact from innuendo. How VERY refreshing. Truth. What a concept. Love it.

  29. Blue Wren, I agree. Thanks for the substantiation.

  30. Francis, thank you for those links. :)

    That should clear the waters. Perhaps Charlotte could add those as a side bar to help readily provide clarity in the future. Primary sources are the best. They addle speculation mongers.

  31. Priscilla I really enjoyed your post, may I also add this - Anon 19:45 states. "They are invited to many state banquets and declined them. " - definitely not a fact. There is NO evidence they were ever invited and declined. Also "The RFO is given to those for their dedication to royal duties. Of course she hasn't been given it yet." There was a big discussion on this blog at the time that the Royal Family Order was given at the discression of the Queen and NOT related to royal duties. So more miss-interpretation.

    Michael, GH. I also agree with you statements. It would be so nice to get to enjoy one post without the naysayers turning it into criticism.

    1. The Duchess of Cornwall was given the RFO very quickly. It has more to do with her position (wife of the Prince of Wales) than merit.Prince Harry does not have the RFO either.

    2. Men are not given the Royal Family Order.

      Kate has worn two of the Queen's wedding gifts, the Hyderabad necklace and the bracelet designed by Prince Philip. Only the Queen has worn them previously. Kate also wore the Queen Mother's tiara and Queen Mary's choker bracelet at the state banquet. How could the Queen's opinion of Kate as her granddaughter-in-law and as a future queen consort be more clear?

      What state banquets have William and Catherine declined to attend?

  32. It seems to me that Kate gets an unfair amount of criticism by the british public. She is the new kid on the block and it would be absurd to think that she calls the shots. It seems to me that the RF does not want her to become "the star" in the family. The last thing they want is another Diana.

    I really believe that William and Kate are trying to do things differently. That includes William actually having a job. Perhaps he honestly feels that it does prepare him for his future role in a way that no other Royal has ever experienced. As for Kate, being a mommy is the most important job she will ever have. There is time for the rest.

    1. Maggie - Minneapolis22 January 2016 at 22:27

      I don't know about the Cambridges' dynamic in their marriage, but either William or Kate or both certainly calls the shots. She may be the new kid on the block, but how is it not fairly obvious at this point that the Queen tries not to get involved with the details of her family? She has let Charles slim down the monarchy while she is still the monarch. I think we can all also agree that she probably did not sanction all of the drama of the 90s. Also Charles tried to bring the Cambridges' PR workings under his own press office, but the Cambridges backlashed and succeeded in establishing their own PR office. And that PR office often does things in ways that does not help Charles.
      For example, they released new pictures of Charlotte, purportedly to celebrate her 6 month birthday, a day before Charles would be giving a speech to open the biggest and most important international conference about climate change, the biggest threat to humanity, ever. By the way, Charlotte's six month birthday was 3 weeks before the pictures were released. Heck, they released Kate's guest editorship with Huffington Post on the SAME DAY Clarence House released news of an upcoming tour for Charles and Camilla. I'm not saying KP is specifically trying to hurt Charles and Camilla. But it seems fairly obvious that there is not much coordination either, and that the Cambridges have quite a bit of control over their own calendars and engagements and PR strategy. Look at today, even. News of an upcoming engagement for Kate was released, along with news of an upcoming engagement for Harry. Harry's is in a week. Kate's is in over 2 weeks. Yet KP tweeted about Kate's, but not Harry's. The Cambridges are in full control of their work and PR. There is very little evidence, if any, to say otherwise at this point.

    2. I think this maybe because the palace wants to avoid another Diana with Catherine. Hence knowing her increasing popularity they still keep her in check. I just don't see her rebelling as Diana (anyway she has no reason to).
      Btw this are just my opinions

  33. Anonymous 22 January 2016 at 15:33,

    you're welcome. :) I am fond of primary sources (especially written ones).

  34. I do agree Francis.

  35. LOL anon at 17:41 no you can’t sell me a bridge :). We do analytics all the time for clients about their social media impact. Comparing the British monarchy site with a popular cat video or You Tube video is like comparing apples with watermelons. As it happens there have been a number of ‘popular culture’ studies on these videos and the key feature is the global nature of the response. Most of the ‘likes’ et al on the popular videos come from China, SE Asia, USA, South America. These are countries/regions with few or no connections to the BRF so you wouldn't expect to see the same response to a post on the British Monarchy site. What interested me about the comments on the Cambridge photos was that they were mostly from people living in the UK & the Commonwealth with a sprinkling of Americans. Not all the comments were positive – there were some republican comments but it’s all direct feedback. There are comparison benchmarks for social media that let you compare like with like and using these the response to the Cambridge photos is very positive.

    My comment was about coverage not popularity. But if you want to look at popularity then the only way to assess it is by looking at the properly conducted, methodologically sound polls. The UK has two respected polls on the RF one commissioned by the conservative media and the other by The Guardian (which is pro-Republic). The results of these two polls are very consistent. I posted here about the results some time ago after I’d drilled down into the data. I’m not going to repeat that detailed post but the headline data is that Prince William & the Queen are the most popular royals at around 80% approval ratings. Prince Charles is usually about 20-25 points lower. The approval rating of the RF as a whole is around 77%.

    The current approval ratings may be inflated by the major events of the last 5 years – royal wedding, Jubilee, royal babies etc. They may go up & down a bit in the future – we’ll have to wait & see. But they’d have to go into free fall to reach the levels of the ‘annus horribilis’.

    Now I’m going to read Charlotte’s new post & then we’re off to the beach for the Australia Day long weekend. Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussies here.

    1. blue wren, I hope you see this because I want to clarify something. It is my understanding that polls measure popularity among the sample polled. Which is not a random sample. Since you work with polls you must be aware of huge selection issues in who decides to answer polls. The random person in the street who does not care at all about the royals will never decide to answer the poll. The older lady who loves monarchy and her queen probably will. Among this very very biased sample that was polled RF has an approval rating of 77%. If you polled all of the UK I think you would come up with a number that is a fraction of that.
      Therefore respectfully I suggest that polls measure nothing.
      Social media is a good metric of how the current 18-45 generation view the royals. A measly 765K "likes" on a Christmas photo would suggest that the average 25 year old does not pay any attention to them whatsoever.

  36. Pertaining to no RFO, I think that was more an ivory issue than a merit one. Besides, she got to wear 2
    VERY special bracelets then. Now that signifies merit.


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