Friday, 22 January 2016

Kate's First Engagement of 2016 Announced, a Look at Dolce & Gabbana & Kate's Wedges Half Price!

We're back with news of Kate's first engagement of 2016!

Kensington Palace announced the Duchess of Cambridge will attend a church service at St Clement Danes Church in London on Sunday, 7 February to mark the 75th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets. The event will be Kate's first engagement in her new role as Honorary Air Commandant of the organisation. You will recall Prince Philip passed the patronage on to Kate in December, on the same day as the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Following the service Kate will attend a reception held nearby at the Royal Courts of Justice. This is an opportunity for the Air Cadets to introduce their new Patron, and for the Duchess to learn more about their numerous programmes and activities by meeting a selection of current cadets, veterans and adult volunteers. The Palace noted the Duchess's visit "will be the first in a series of RAF Air Cadet events planned  throughout the year to celebrate the organisation's work and history".


More from the press release:

'The RAF Air Cadets, which is made up of the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF), promotes a practical interest in aviation among both young men and women, providing training and encouraging the development of life skills including leadership and teamwork. The organisation currently comprises 42,000 air cadets aged 12-19, and 15,000 adult volunteers across the UK and abroad.'

There has been great excitement among the organisation regarding Kate's patronage. Below we see HRH on the cover of the latest issue of Air Cadet Magazine. You can read it here.

Air Cadet Magazine

It's great to see an engagement announcement and the event will give Kate a chance to become acquainted with the organisation. It's a pivotal year for the Air Cadets and a very important milestone deserving of celebration. I look forward to seeing Kate supporting them in the coming months. Will we see Kate before then? I don't expect so, at least not in an official capacity, however, there were reports claiming (not confirmed) she has recorded a video message in support of Children's Mental Health Week. If true, I expect the video will be released over the weekend of 6 - 8 February. Potentially the same day as her engagement with the cadets.

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Next, we're moving on to all things fashion related! The Duchess surprised us all when she selected a lace dress by Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana for an event with the president of China and his wife. Shortly afterwards, Kate wore a very similar dress in black for the Festival of Remembrance. I've mentioned before that I suspect this is a fashion relationship we'll see continue to grow. Unlike Kate's favourite labels, including Alexander McQueen and Emilia Wickstead, the brand's off-the-rack pieces work perfectly for her, and are very much in keeping with her style meaning she doesn't need to order bespoke pieces regularly.


The Dolce & Gabbana dress has become something of a royal staple. Below we see Crown Princess Mary in two elegant frocks by the brand; Queen Letizia in striking green; and Queen Máxima, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine.


The Duchess is more than likely already preparing her wardrobe for the spring tour of India and Bhutan and will be selecting a variety of designer pieces: both ready-to-wear and bespoke commissions. Looking at Dolce & Gabbana's spring 2016 campaign, it's full of vibrant hues and prints, telling the story of "fruit stalls, small shops, spaghetti, coffee, family, sunshine, and summer. In one world, 'Italy'.

Dolce & Gabbana

One of these glamorous, showstopping gowns would look 'princess perfect'. If the dress on the far left looks familiar, it appears to be the same one actress Kate Bosworth wore to the Golden Globes.

Dolce & Gabbana

Looking through the current collection there's a plethora of pieces that are 'very Kate' including the Fitted Floral Lace Dress, the chic Square Neck Dress, the Embellished Daisy Dress and the Floral Lace Midi Dress.  

Dolce & Gabbana

As one would expect, pretty prints dominate the collection. Below, we see the Daisy Macramé Lace Midi Dress, the Floral-Print Cotton and Silk Blend Dress, the Striped Poplin Dress and the Daisy-Print Brocade Mini Dress.

Net-A-Porter

Dolce & Gabbana's timelessly glamorous takes on the classic LBD include the Off-the-Shoulder Dress, the Embellished Stretch-Crepe Dress and the Cady Mini Dress.

Dolce & Gabbana

Stylish separates include the Crystal Daisy Crepe Cape, the  Embellished Button Jacket - which would look great with a matching pencil skirt - and also the vivid green Lace Top.

Dolce & Gabbana

Three more looks: I love the combination of the Tie Neck Blouse and lace skirt. The Tweed Sheath Dress and the Crystal Button Wool Crepe Dress are also elegant possibilities.

Dolce & Gabbana

We also take a look at one of the label's signature lace gowns. It is described: "With its vivid pink hue, sheer construction and unexpected open back, this floor-pooling cordonetto lace gown is at once elegant and electrifying."

Dolce & Gabbana

What do you think of the brand? Would you like to see Kate in more of their pieces?

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Finally, a quick word on significant discounts on two of Kate's favourite pairs of wedges. The Stuart Weitzman Minx Wedges are reduced from $425 to $213 on the Stuart Weitzman website. The Minx have been a popular choice for the Duchess for a variety of events, from polo to royal tours, in recent years.

Stuart Weitzman

There's also a 50% saving on the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon Wedges. The blue suede wedges are discounted from $398 to $199. As of publishing the post both pairs appear to be available in most sizes.

Stuart Weitzman

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If the Cambridges are joining the Middletons for their annual holiday to Mustique, we should hear about it over the next few days. They usually travel towards the end of January. We'll update if any news emerges. Until next time, have a lovely weekend! :)

218 comments:

  1. Sarah Maryland USA22 January 2016 at 22:21

    My birthday is less than a month away..time to send my parents a link to the shoes!
    It's amazing to me that no reporters are pointing out the fact that that will be her first engagement in almost two months? And after she just had five months off this is a bit ridiculous

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    1. To each their own I find the schedule just fine.

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    2. Well, she did have a baby, but it's not like she has been out of sight.

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    3. She has had a very busy maternity leave Royal Fan.

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    4. I am also american and a professional woman. I find it very sad that many american women have to return to work 3 months after giving birth. We are far
      behind many of our european
      counterparts and it is something that
      should be addressed asap. Families
      should have a higher prority than they
      are currently given by society in the US
      workforce. No mother and child should be exempt.

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    5. schedule is fine by me. Our mothers have twelve months off.

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    6. Come on. Why such a negativity. Why wouldn't you take materhity leave if you have a chance. I got to ge home with my child for a year and after that I could work half time til 3 rd year of age. Those years were over in a flash, but time, spent with a child is to precious to be missed. I am even amazed, she is doing so many apperances. In her shoes, many wouldn't. Some comments are just pure jelaousy....

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    7. Not sure this is the place to discuss social policy, but since it's been brought up, you probably know that professional women who take more than the minimum time away from work run the risk of their career suffering as a result, and this is assuming that these mothers want to return to work, rather than forced to work for economic reasons.

      In Kate's case though, she has no down side. She can do whatever she wants and she's still Duchess of Cambridge with no reduction in anything when she isn't in out in public, and she could stay out of the public eye for a lifetime if she chose. Personally, I think maternity leave was the wrong term to use, because that assumes there is something to leave, and somewhere to return. In Kate's case she's Duchess of Cambridge whatever she does. If they'd have just said she's going to take (insert number of months here) to be with her baby and son, rand not termed it maternity leave, then that says the same thing without a discussion about whether she has anything to take leave from. I know it's semantics; it's the same thing no matter what you call it, but semantics is what their communications office does. It's all about making them look good and in this case it backfired a bit.

      I don't think there's a person on the planet who begrudges her time with her children. Not me, and not anyone else I know. But let's not make her out to be this whirling dervish so excited to be out in the public doing good. She isn't, she never has been, and I doubt she ever will be. The past is the best indicator of the future, after all.

      The other thing that bugs is when I think of those women who can't afford to take that time. If I were one, reading the comments one would think children suffer if they have a working mother due to all the reasons given as to why Kate should spend all her time raising her children as opposed to going out in public a few hours a week. Most working women work 30-40 hours a week. Why 5-10 hours a week would irreparably damage Kate's children is beyond my scope of imagination. As far as preparation for the future King, almost all English monarchs were raised by nannies at best, and had horrific experiences at worst. So the jury is still out whether a hands on mother will raise a good King, or just a happier one. Luckily these days it doesn't matter nearly as much as it did when the monarch held absolute power.

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    8. It depends on which country in Europe... Not in all of them..

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    9. I think we are missing the fact that HRH does so much behind the scenes and as an AMERICAN (with a capital A please) I appreciate that she has already done so much for mental health with children.

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    10. I don't understand - why is everyone saying that women in the UK are entitled to one year maternity? You realize that it's not paid in full right? I live in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and I don't know of anyone who is able to financially be off work for a whole year, even those who have a 6 figure household income.

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    11. Caroline in Montana26 January 2016 at 17:38

      Dear Sarah in Maryland USA - I find it really disapointing that the first comment has to be so negative. im sorry you don't like the DOC's schedule, maybe you should be busier yourself then you would have something else to focus on. i for one think that its sad when folks try to make it seem like a crime that she is a stay at home mom or takes the full maternity leave, they can afford it and they should not feel bad about it. maybe try some more positive comments, bet it would make your day better too. you know, positive begets positive...

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    12. Amen, Caroline. That is a proven fact.

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  2. Sarah you must be new to the comments. You will get many responses explaining in the UK many take a year for maternity leave. I guess I see these 45 minute appearances as less taxing for a new mother than full time employment but again many will disagree. It is what it is and we have to wait for new fashions

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    1. Sarah Maryland USA22 January 2016 at 22:53

      I'm in full support of maternity leave for people with full time.jobs..as in 40 hour work weeks
      Maternity leave does not apply to Kate.
      A month off to recover yes but five months off and then another two?
      I became interested in the monarchy because of Kate joining the royal family...but right now she and William might be the reason for me to lose it again...I value hard work and the queen and Charles do that and after their gone...I'm not optimistic for the future of the British monarchy

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    2. Tedi in California22 January 2016 at 23:40

      It is discouraging to see negative comments about how many engagements she is, or is not doing. After all, they are not next in line. They are a young couple, raising their family, and most certainly they are right on target for what the Queen expects of them. That said, great post Charlotte. Happy Kate will be at the service on February 7th. I love Dolce and Gabbana, would love to see Kate in the rose colored gown, ( second from the left in picture of show stopping gowns). Also the square neck green dress would be stunning.

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    3. That can of worms has already been opened and closed again Sarah.

      Cute, about the shoes. "kids".

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    4. I love the gowns, except the red one with the black undies showing through. I think a dress should be about style and flattering the female form, not drawing attention to underwear. Gowns can be uber sexy and memorable without trashing it up. I personally don't want to see people's underwear. The other gowns were very nice. I LOVED the LBD's.

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    5. For those who work full time, yes they legally get a year paid maternity leave.

      She is a part time royal remember?

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    6. Tedi, I share your opinion.

      I did not realize that being royal disqualifies a woman from taking the time to make her baby a priority. It is a relative concept and one that has been discussed here many, many times before.

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2016 at 01:53

      I have posted this somewhere else but will copy and paste it here:

      I always get so shocked of the parental leave talk. Because here in Sweden Kate’s time would have been considered short/normal. We get 1,5 year roughly per child. It is in 3 parts. 1 part is earmarked for the mother, 1 part (as big as the mothers) is earmarked for the father and 1 part you can do as you wish with. So the mum is home at least 4 months I think it is, and the dad the same. Most mums are home around 7-12 months and the men half a year or some split it 50/50. And that goes for everyone, no matter if you work or not. It’s “time to heal and bond with baby” and not “time of work” over here. There is a minimum amount of money you get if you didn’t have a job or if your salary wasn’t high, otherwise you get a percentage of your standard pay. I think this is a great way to do it and I get shocked by all the negative emotions that has showed up around Kate taking maternity leave.

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    8. Rebecca, thank you for posting this here. I live in the US, but I recognize that other countries are more advanced in this area. Anger at Kate is misplaced, in my humble opinion.

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    9. What an interesting structure to maternity/paternity leave Rebecca! How marvellous that the leave is flexible and can be adjusted to suit different family needs. My husband's new boss just came back to work after 12 months (unpaid) paternity leave. In Australia, your job can be left open for 24 months if you wish to take maternity/paternity leave. Also, in Australia, many people do take at least a year off. If you can afford to, why not? You never get those baby years back. They grow up way too fast!

      Thank you for sharing Rebecca, it's always interesting to hear how other countries structure things like this.

      Back to fashion - I ADORE the daisy macrame D&G dress - couldn't you just see Kate wearing such a fresh and pretty dress to a daytime children's charity event or Queen's garden party?

      Cheers,
      Cara from Australia.

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    10. Sara the one thing about the Cambridge they are not forcing anyone to be their fans. It's up to you to like them or don't follow them. My opinion sorry.

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    11. Maggie - Minneapolis23 January 2016 at 04:05

      Rebecca, the issue is not that anyone thinks women don't/shouldn't get lengthy maternity leaves in certain countries, but rather that people don't think Kate is entitled to that maternity leave because she doesn't have a full time job. Also she doesn't lose any of her "pay", i.e. taxpayer-funded multi-million dollar renovations and security. Of Kate was working full time and/or the royal family paid for her security, or most of it, during her "maternity leave" (and avoided spending millions in taxpayer money on renovations), then at least I would have no complaints. Because no woman on maternity leave gets full pay after a certain period of time. Except for Kate.

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    12. Kate, Texas, USA23 January 2016 at 06:32

      Rebecca, thanks for sharing! I agree with Royalfan that there are many countries that are WAY more advanced in this area than America. It's very sad. I don't think we can compare Kate's engagements to Charles's and especially the Queen. Kate is wife of heir to the heir. She'll have her time, but right now her focus is family and raising her 2 year old and 8 month old.

      Remember Queen Elizabeth had her time also to have her first two children and lead a "normal life" for a very short time on the island of Malta. "They were magical days of endless picnics, sunbathing, and waterskiing. She immersed herself in a life of shopping, sightseeing, and dancing the samba." - Lady Pamela Hicks. She was heir to the throne and was able to have this time to just be a navy officer's wife. These years will fly by when George and Charlotte are young. I think Tedi is right that William and Kate are right on target with what the Queen expects of them.

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    13. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2016 at 07:06

      Maggie, exactly. That is why I pointed out that in Sweden it doesn't matter if you have not lifted a finger in you entire life. You're still entitled to minimum pay and the same conditions on your maternity time as anyone else.

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    14. I share sentiments with Sarah and Maggie.

      She is entitled to spend time with her babies, but as a member of the royal family she is entitled to work as well.:-)))))))

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    15. I had one year maternity leave, and believe me it was really needed. Having a baby is so engaging, I was always tired of breastfeeding (I did it very heartily, but it was exhausting). It is a very precious and irreplaceable time for a mother and the child. I think that all women on world might have such a long time to devote to their newborn children.

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    16. Maggie, you appear to be arguing it from the perspective of someone in charge of payroll; you don't see Kate punching in for X number of hours on X number of days per week and you are denying her maternity leave.

      The term maternity leave is relative. It refers to a period of time when a woman recovers from childbirth and bonds with her baby. Forget her HRH status for a moment; Kate is entitled to this as a human being.

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    17. I have followed this blog for years. It is interesting to read different opinions people have. Thank you Charlotte for all your hard work and keeping us updated. The blog is full of very interesting information, pictures and details. It is nice that it allows readers to publish different opinions not only those praising Kate.
      It is interesting to read about diverse types of maternity leaves in different countries. Here, in the Czech Republic, we have 3 options. You can choose to stay at home for 2, 3 or 4 years (if you are employed, your employer has to keep your position open for you for 3 years). It is true that you don't get high amount of money if you decide to stay home with your kids but it is possible. Those who want to work can return to work 6 months after giving birth.
      Anyway, I can't wait to see Kate in February.
      Have a great weekend everyone,
      Marcela

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    18. Tedi and Kate. I concur. W/K are on a very nice course.

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    19. Kate, I am very glad that you posted the quote by Lady Pamela Hicks. It is a reality check, is it not?

      The chart is from 2008, but what a sad statement (from this side of the pond).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maternity_leave_in_the_United_States

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    20. As I've learned about other countries' outlooks on work, family, health care, and so on, I have become discouraged by what I find to be the general American attitude of no sense of obligation to others/strangers, and of placing career above other personal and familial needs and interests. It is one perspective and a lot of benefit comes from this outlook, but there are trade offs. One particular incidence struck a cord with me recently. A man in my office had a new baby, so I asked about his plans for paternity leave. Silly me, I've read about leave in European countries and knew paternity leave is becoming more common in the U.S., so I assumed he would be taking it. Note: I've only been working professionally for two years, so am still learning how all these things work. I innocently asked what the paternity leave policy was for the office. He laughed and said there was no paternity leave. It turns out he took only one week at home and had to use vacation time. I'm not in a position to criticize these things at my office, but I am appalled!

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    21. The Royal Family makes public appearances, but as patrons of various charities, there is also work they do the public does not see: Sending correspondence in support of the charity's mission, serving on committees, working with them on getting contributions. There is normal office work and other duties associated with the organization.

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    22. Anett, you keep saying that. The fact you seem to ignore is that Kate DOES work.

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    23. Anon 23.12

      You keeping saying the opposite, :-) this is called everybody is entitled to one's opinion. Fun isn't it?

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    24. Kate works decorating Amner Hall, that I believe. I don't doubt she is a hands on mother. But only a diehard Kate fan could compare the privileges of the welfare country of Sweden's maternity policies to that of a senior member of the royal family of Great Britain. Come on! Kate, in my opinion, is second to the York princesses for the do- nothing factor. I admire a work ethic and I have yet to see that in the Duchess of Cambridge as of yet. One can only hope she and William will grow into their positions and give credence to them in the future. For now I'd rather see more of what charities and organizations the Countess of Wessex is supporting and working with. Now there is a royal Kate can look to for emulation- style and commitment to the Crown.

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    25. I've said this before, but my two daughters are close in age to George and Charlotte...

      I am a stay at home mom, and no one harasses me about when I'm going back to work. A good friend of mine has 3 boys and a part time nanny. She's a stay at home mom, and no one harasses her about when she's going back to work. It's accepted that our "work" is raising our children. I don't understand why Kate isn't allowed the same acceptance. She doesn't really live off public funding except for bodyguards and that is cheapest when she's at home. If I had a trust fund like they do, you can bet I'd have a nanny and a housekeeper too!

      You know what I did today? I helped my toddler into a pink princess dress and put on a cocktail dress myself. Then we donned cheap sequin tiaras and danced around to One Direction songs. Yesterday, we made a HUGE mess in the kitchen when we baked some bread, and then we had a tea party with her baby sister. Tomorrow, I will take my daughters to the park. My toddler will say, "Mama, swing with me! Mama help me climb!" And then I'll cuddle with the baby when the toddler is sleeping.

      ^^^THAT is the sort of thing Kate is doing when she's not working. So why so much hate that she's chosen her children?

      --Jessica in Los Angeles--

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    26. No hate at all, 2122. Staying home with your children is one thing and probably most mothers' dream. But someone has to be the breadwinner. And in their case, there really isn't one -- from the royal perspective. If she truly wants to stay home with her children, she should. But someone in that household then needs to support the Queen and earn the privileges they have. As William is apparently not very interested, then Kate should do her part. That's what it comes down to, in my opinion. They should be embarrassed that William's 94 year old grandfather does more than the two of them combined. Everyone here is so concerned about Kate and her children, but what about a 94 year old man who's given 70 years supporting his wife, not always happily? But he's done it. And I would think he deserves to be able to ramp down a bit and have the younger generation help out. William and Kate are the future of the monarchy. As such they need to be in front, not lagging in the back!

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    27. Jessica, I think your daughters are very lucky indeed. :)

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    28. The 94 year old man is doing exactly what he wants to and so is the Queen. It's most likely what keeps them going. It's not the younger generations fault that they are not ready to relinquish duties. When they are ready they will as we have seen with the cadets patronage, investitures and so on.

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    29. Tedi in California25 January 2016 at 01:49

      I believe I am right on this one:
      If Prince Philip wanted to ramp down, he would. One of his sons commented that he talks of cutting back, but somehow never does. That is what keeps him vital, and strong at 94. I say hats off to the Prince.

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    30. Rebecca - Sweden25 January 2016 at 03:16

      Aaaaand,ther it comes again Bluhare. Those poor old folks. Wait while I find my latest response to that...

      "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). "

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    31. "It's not the younger generations fault that they are not ready to relinquish duties."

      That sounds preety embarrasing for the people who are 33.

      Kate doesn't have to cook or buy food, clean her big house, do shopping, and she has a nanny. Maternity leave? For what? Spending the whole day with her children from Monday to Sunday (what is the point of having a nanny)? She and William should do more to justify their privileged positions.

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    32. I think W/K do plenty.

      I think the critics won't be satisfied until W/K clock in on a time clock for eight hours shifts. That is the mentality and has little to do with Royal philanthropies. Commenters here try to make it sound like Kate does nothing. That simply is not true. Prior to marriage she DID work. Because of security reasons (to not be hounded by the media as much) she worked for her parents company. She did work hard as she said to earn time to play hard as she said. SHE DID WORK. And she is working now and no one can say how little or how much because you simply do not know all the facts. Kate never has seemed a slacker to me nor does she seem like a slacker to me now. I honestly think complaints about Kate's work schedule are nothing more than sour grapes, whether anyone likes to hear that or not. Sooner than later her critics most always bring up her privileges like a vendetta. very telling. No one knows her work load except her family and team. And no matter what, Kate will always have critics on this earth, regardless, most of them
      unfounded.

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    33. I whole-heartedly agree with so much of what has been said.

      I hope that very soon ALL mothers and fathers of ALL children in the world (be their parents kings, princesses, payroll workers, farmers, unemployed, homeless, refugees, single parents, teenagers, …) will have a real CHOICE (not obligation!) if they wish to focus on devoting themselves to caring for and bonding with their offspring for up to three years (Go, Sweden, go, Czech Republic!).

      Does anyone among you know whether there is/isn’t evidence that the need for early intervention with children has IN PART to do with their parents being obliged to juggle raising them with working (out of financial necessity) long hours of payroll and keeping up with the rest of their lives (household work, social contacts, personal interests and needs, …)?

      I agree that the first years in a person’s life are very precious and irreplaceable times and I think that good bonding in this period can make people very strong. Yes, time flies, and before we know George will have graduated Eton and be off to St. Andrews after a gap year in Lesotho, for instance. :)

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    34. Thank you Rebecca, giving us another ray of sunshine and a lot of common sense.

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    35. Wow, 12:20. You really put it out there and it was such a joy to read. (If I could do a cartwheel, I would.)

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    36. oops, I was so excited I got the number wrong.
      That was 12:19, not 12:20.

      Bravo, 12:20

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    37. Jessica, that was beautiful and poignant. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. The formative years are very thoroughly documented to be crucial in the child's future mental, emotional and physical wholeness. Full time parenting shouldn't be denigrated like it is and WHY is it denigrated in the first place? WHY?
      Full time parenting is a very noble thing. And, yes, "working" moms can accomplish a lot also but my personal opinion is that Jessica's scenario is the ideal. The gold standard. How many "working" moms would love to be home with their children and pursue and experience.

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    38. Yes, Anett, everyone has an opinion. It was the
      uber critical spirit of your opinions that caught my attention and your lack of acknowledging Kate's accomplishments as if they don't even exist, which they do.

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    39. Rebecca @ 03:16, sweet and very funny. :)
      (right on)

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    40. Phillip, "wind down"? You have to be kidding.
      That's most likely keeping him alive, being very active.

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    41. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 11:41

      It's worth remembering that Kate and the royal family to whome she belongs, is being supported by, among others, working mothers who might like to stay home with their children but who can't afford to. Part of the success of the present royal family is the feeling that they are not just living like the privileged rich - that they understand the needs and burdens of the nation and are living responsibily - a life based on duty and hard work. To some extent, this is an illusion but the present success of the family coming has come from maintaining that illusion. The queen exemplifies it.



      I think most of us are very comfortable with Kate working a reasonable schedule that leaves her ample time with her children. But unlike other rich women, she has to remember that she also represents every mother who can't afford to stay home, who has to find childcare, who is carrying the burden of running a house without help while working. It is a very delicate balance and one that to be a successful royal long term, she will need to negotiate.

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    42. She is negotiating, beautifully.

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  3. This is great! I think this is an interesting role for Kate and I can't wait to see her in this new official role as royal patron!
    I think february will be a busy month for The Duchess - in terms of official engagements - and I can't wait to see her again!
    I'm so glad that Kate chose to wear a dress by the italian brand Dolce&Gabbana and I hope she will select other pieces from their collections. It would be interesting to see which one of their "vibrant prints" she would choose!
    Sadly I think the discount on the Stuart Weitzman site is valid for US only! I would love to wear the Corkswoon wedges!
    But thank you Charlotte for keeping us updated about Repli-Kates and discounts, I was able to purchase lots of pieces inspired to Kate's style using promo codes valid for Europe too during the last Black Friday!
    Have a great weekend everyone! :)

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  4. Thanks for the update Charlotte. cool that she's going to be more than a figurehead for the RAF Air cadets.
    love the D&G clothes but what's not to like about Italian designers - their fashion is so stylish.

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  5. I wish she'd wear the floor length pink gown at the end!

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    1. I adore that dress as well. I looked it up online and its $25,000! I can already see the headlines and criticism if she wore that dress.

      Delete
    2. Victoria, Oregon26 January 2016 at 21:29

      Maybe she could borrow that beautiful dress and then the designer could sell it for double the price. I love that dress!

      Delete
  6. Love the green square-neck dress! I could easily see Kate selecting that. With her figure, she looks so elegant in the sheath dresses and pencil skirts. I hope she doesn't get any new dresses that have the flared or pleated skirts with the high waist. They look so "little girl" on her. Can't wait for the tour!

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  7. Ok - I'm tired of the lace dress thing. Not just on Princess Kate (I did love the wine colored Dolce Gabbona), but in general, on everyone. They all look the same to me just in different colors. I'm suprised designers haven't moved on to something fresh and new. The fitted black lace with the green underlay pictured above is hideous.

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    Replies
    1. They are reminding me of different flavored gelato all lined up behind the case :)

      Delete
    2. Tammy from California23 January 2016 at 07:09

      I just couldn't agree with you more. It's not even pretty lace to me. It reminds me of a 1980's prom dress. I think I HAD a hideous lace dress just like it in high school! ...sigh...

      Delete
    3. Anon 23.24

      I agree with Anon. I have also had enough of it. I think it would be also nice to see her wearing more and more English brands.

      Delete
  8. Would you please explain exactly what a patronage is and what is the real purpose? I'm not sure what this is about. Also is it a lifetime obligation each Royal has? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Royal patron is a public advocate for the organization. In addition to attending events and making public appearances, they send correspondence promoting the organization, and work on fund raising efforts.

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 12:01

      Most charitable institutions have patrons who present a public face of the charity and help with fund-raising. Royal patrons have traditionally done this, as well as paying visits to charities, offering encouragement to those who are involved in the day to day operation, many of whome may be volunteers, and giving those who are receiving aid from the charity their support. Royals also represent many other insitutions, technical instituations, universities, the military and much more.

      It's too bad the Royal Digest is not presently active, but just looking at a recent royal magazine, I see Maxima and Mary of Denmark both attending events relating to shelters for women, Maxima attending a conference on doing business in fragile states, and so forth. So a royal may be a regular patron of charities or institutions but may also attend such events in the nation.

      There is no requirement that royal family members be patrons for life. Some may chose to be, but in many cases, duties are handed over to a younger generation. Some charities that in the past had royal patronage now don't, and seek patronage from others - celebrities and politicians and other public figures. For instance, just as an example, Wellbeing of Women, who once had Diana as a patron, now has Sarah Brown, the former prime minister's wife.

      Arguably, as there will be fewer royals taking on less duties in Britain, this may become the norm, although abroad in Europe, royal families are following established roles more closely. Time will tell.

      Delete
  9. Sarah from Calif.23 January 2016 at 00:13

    Lace, lace and more lace !!!!!! Thank you Kate!!!

    Wedges, I like them but, due to age factors, mine will not be so high.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would love to see Kate in something like the Striped Poplin Dress!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a bit surprised that the lace designs are still going strong. Don't get me wrong, I do like them, but it is a trend that has been around far longer than others. Me thinks! :)

    Regarding the SW Corkswoon wedges... We have seen Kate play volleyball in them, among other amazing moves, but I wonder if they have met their match with George? ;)

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    Replies
    1. Kate, Texas, USA23 January 2016 at 05:40

      Royalfan, that made me laugh! Have they met their match with George...hahaha!

      Delete
    2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Kate. :)

      When I saw the shoes featured here, I just had this visual of Kate running after George...

      Delete
  12. lol, George was the final straw for the wedges. Yay George. :)

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  13. Is it just the slinky in me? I love the come hither, but graceful black dress in the show stopper collection...second from the right. I can easily see Kate choosing it. Sexy as heck, but also timelessly elegant. I also love the floral print cotton...beautiful! Should be a fascinating year.

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  14. Maternity leave is around 6 to 12 months in a lot of countries except the USA Canada for example have a year doesn't matter if you are full-time or part time. You can choose which one is for you. Catherine deserve to be her new baby. Her choice.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a lovely picture of beautiful St. Clement Danes Church, rebuilt after its WWII bombing as the Royal Air Force Church. Kate no doubt will attend many services there in the future, in her role as patron of the cadets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tedi in California25 January 2016 at 01:51

      Agree, it's beautiful.

      Delete
  16. Kate, Texas, USA23 January 2016 at 06:05

    I'm looking forward to Kate's engagement on the 7th and for future engagements with the RAF Air Cadets. On to fashion.... I love the pretty prints and the little black dresses. I would love to see Kate in the Floral Print Cotton and Silk Blend dress and the Striped Poplin dress. It will be interesting to see who she chooses to outfit her for the India tour. Will she stick with her go-to's or branch out a bit? I know some Indian designers will be in there and we'll see who else. It will be fun to see!

    I know I'll be in the minority here, but I do hope Will and Kate join the Middletons for the annual Mustique vacation. I think it's wonderful that they all vacation together and there is an honest and sweet love between them. It has been mentioned many times before, this is exactly what William missed in his childhood and one of the things that drew him to Kate. I think it's great they spend time together be it at Amner Hall, Bucklebury Manor, or an exquisite island house. Go and enjoy!

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    Replies
    1. Tammy from California23 January 2016 at 07:02

      Kate, I am in agreement with you.

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    2. I agree about Mustique Kate and any other of their family get togethers.

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    3. I totally agree, well said

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    4. i do too Kate. Rock on William.

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    5. I don't think you are in the minority. I also hope William, Kate and the children will continue with their Mustique vacation every year and continue whatever family time they have. Being a royal can be very isolating and I cannot put more emphasis on strong family ties. Diana and Fergie suffered greatly because the lack of support from their own families, so I'm glad the Middletons continue to be part of Kate and William's lives.

      Delete
    6. It can be isolating. great that they get away from the circus for awhile.

      Delete
    7. I think that the Middletons are fantastic. They are definitely the best thing that happened to William. I hope they never lose the closeness with Kate and William.
      That being said, I hope that Kate will really ramp up her numbers this year. She has been in the royal role for 5 years and people expect to see her. All excuses have been hashed and rehashed again and again. Besides as someone said below, how can she justify or rationalize not going out and doing as many engagements as she can. The world is such a sad place, if I had the means and time to go out 10 hours a week to bring attention and money to causes that would bring children happiness, bring families out of poverty etc. I would be out there every day.
      I think that Kate is a kind loving woman and she feels the same way. She knows in her heart that it is her duty to go out and do what she can. Therefore I also believe that she WIlL be out more this year.

      Delete
    8. I will add another vote for the annual vacation with the Middleton's. William had the winning lotto ticket in the wife and in-law department.

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    9. Not in the minority in my book. I hope they both get to enjoy a great holiday in the warm weather.

      Delete
    10. Anon 23:48. I think there are a lot of things that have to fall into place for her to do an engagement. First she has to be invited. Then there is security. I read an article recently about Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her patronages not wanting her to be as involved as she had become with some of them. So many many thing go into who, what kind and how many engagements she can do.

      Delete
    11. I agree! I hope they go on the vacation! We vacation every year with my parents. It's hard work with two young kids, but so worth it!!

      My brother and his wife stopped joining us when they had a baby and it makes the rest of us a little sad. I wish they'd realize what they're missing out on!

      I think it's wonderful that Will and Kate spend time with family!

      --Jessica in Los Angeles--

      Delete
    12. Hip Hip Hooray Jessica. Family vacations. Families need family vacations. Who would ever denigrate family vacations???????

      Delete
  17. Tammy from California23 January 2016 at 07:02

    I just am not a fan of Dolce and Gabbana, I never have been. I also really dislike the lace on both dresses she wore from that line. I see that it's popular, but for me- meh. Then again, I am the worst dresser you will ever see, EVER. So there you have it. My opinion means absolutely nothing.
    I could, however, see her wearing the Net-A-Porter line. Cute, fresh, springy.
    Charlotte, what would you think about a shoe voting section or maybe some shoe selections from readers? I think the readers here put together better outfits than most stylists! I would love to see what they have researched for shoes!

    ReplyDelete
  18. hmm its ours 60 days with pays here in Philippines I think we are quick but our government really increasing they are increasing in 100 days with pays usa and other are more advance giving mothers maternity leave the duchess will no to rule of that if she wanted to take care her family no problem on that she a part of the royal family lovely pics saint clament dane church im sure the duchess will attend many services coming year love the dress and wedges especially the lace one

    ReplyDelete
  19. "I love the combination of the Tie Neck Blouse and lace skirt. The Tweed Sheath Dress and the Crystal Button Wool Crepe Dress are also elegant possibilities."
    Admin Charlotte

    Nice taste Charlotte. All three have some understated sophistication to them. Clothes can be best when they blend and make the wearer comfortable and alluring. Even better if the wearer forgets it is there/no self conscience and enjoy the smoothness of fabric, the fit of the cut, choice of design and print. They look like those kinds of clothes. In a way there is something about them that reflects you. That sheath dress, may be, after some years/you might be young for that one?

    I can see Kate wearing the sheath dress for an engagement. The left and right images depends where and when.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so agree, Anon15. :)

      Delete
  20. Who says she isn't working? Just because we don't see her looking fabulous out and about, doesn't mean she isn't spending 8 hours a day studying the RAF history and important player or getting a crash course in editing 101.

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  21. just bc she isnt as visible doesn't mean she isnt working. I think that security is so tight and so costly that they have to balance things, especially since they are not in 2nd in line yet, but still the prime terrorist target. I hope they go away as well. I wouldnt wish winter on anyone, except those who truly love it. I hate it. Ha!.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sarah Maryland USA23 January 2016 at 16:13

    I didn't mean to start a whole thing but I'm shocked that people think Kate can do whatever she wants and to be accountable for it..
    Also if I were in her posiiton I would realize I could bring so much attention to worthy causes just by going out and doing public engagements I would be doing a heck of a lot more than Kate
    That is what bothers me. She has such a platform and doesn't care to use it other than a couple of times per month
    I'm not saying she shouldn't spend time with her kids...but you can still be a great mom and work. My worked 40 to 50 hour weekss starting six weeks after I was born and I still find her to be awesome
    It's amazing to me and shocking that you guys don't think Kate should spend more time doing engagements...even four a week would be about 8 hours total of work
    And the whole concentrating on being a mother excuse is insulting because it implies those who actually work for a living aren't good mothers
    If she were a private citizen I would feel differently but not someone who is always trailed by pricy protection officers and living in publicly funded housing
    It's actually scary that I am innthe minority here because i'm an American and its not my taxs going to funding their lifestyle...it seems sad anyone in great britian isn't asking these same questions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because you don't see her does not mean she is not working. Maybe the British have greater insight into how the BRF operate than Americans.
      See Cepe's comment below. She is very well informed on the BRF and has a very fair common sense opinion.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree with you!

      Delete
    3. Another thing to keep in mind that each engagement isn't just the actual time spent visiting a charity, attending a reception – there's a lot of work that has to be done prior to each engagement. Like researching the work an organization does, being briefed on the schedule and what is expected of her during the engagement, and selecting appropriate attire.

      Delete
    4. Rosman at St Joe24 January 2016 at 02:47

      Alya, that work is done by her office. That is primarily Rebecca's job.

      Delete
    5. I truly don't understand why people put their own expectations on Kate. I find it baffling that so many feel that they have a right to pass judgement on someone that they don't know personally and have no clue as to what William or the
      rest of the RF want or expect from her. As long as they are satisfied with her efforts maybe everyone else should back off. Hopefully, she has decades to
      serve GB.

      If I were Kate, I would honestly just throw in the towel because she can't win. Even people she owes nothing to
      (americans and others) seem to think its open season. Its enough to make her ask why she ever signed up for this.

      Delete
    6. Hello and happy New year 2016 to everyone! I agree with you Sarah Maryland Usa. She is a young royal we know that and we dont expect to work as Charles or Princess royal and of course she has to stay with her children... but still there still plentyyyyy of time left for her to do quite more! Remember how many things she doesnt have to do, like cooking, cleaning the house, drive, etc. She could do much more, one or two appearances per week would not be so hard and tiring for her and would still have much time with her kids. It seems to me that she does only what she is asked and expected of her without giving her heart to it, or take any initiative. Countess of Wessex blogspot posted the table with the annual appearances of all royals, it is interesting to read it and understand, some of you, what is the whole purpose and existance of the royals!

      Delete
    7. Rosman, Rebecca may do some of the" getting information" together, but Kate is the one doing the visit and it has been said by many of her patronage that she is "well informed". She has to the read and study what Rebecca has put together.

      Sarah, your Mom may be awesome and glad she is, but she is not married to a future King of England and raising a future King. I would be happy to live in Great Britian or Scotland and pay the 56p (or whatever it may be today) for the privilege of having Monarchy.

      Delete
    8. It has been said before that Kate does alot of her own research.

      Delete
    9. It's also been said that Kate smoked, drank, and mooned people.

      Delete
  23. In regard to the Air Cadets, I had read somewhere, a long time ago, that Kate was taking fixed wing flight lessons from Harry. Anyone know anything about that? I also read that she was taking riding lessons but they didn't say from who (or whom?). It isn't like she doesn't have a choice of horses or equerries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2016 at 22:38

      I doubt it was from Harry but she herself has said that she has flewn fixed wing a few times. With a grandfather who was a pilot and parents who has worked as flight attendants/controllers plus a husband that is a pilot it's not surprising that she has tried it ut but I don't think she has a certificate of any kind. I have no clue on the horse bit. There was a rumor that she was allergic to horses but it was debunked so I don't know :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Rebecca. :)

      Delete
    3. Sarah from Maryland,
      Engagements for engagements sake,well, I guess, BRF job is engagements. Then, she is adapting her own style knowing her own self. She seems to gradually focus on where her real interest may be as far as "work". Last year and this hear, more and more seems to be children mental issues. She is in her early 30s and has about 10 causes, obviously a marriage and two kids under ages of 5.

      To understand, grow and be steady with her choices of engagements might be the right thing for her. She is of a different generation from the senior royals, and her formula might be different. If she fakes several engagements for the sake of scoring numbers, ultimately she may not become part of the solution. IMO, she seems to be focusing and building on her genuine interest and that can take her further than scoring several engagements. She is finding her way with out pretense, and that is healthy for a wholesome life of all involved including her young family.

      Delete
    4. "the horse bit", funny Rebecca. :)

      Delete
    5. If I were Kate, sigh :), I would definitely get my pilots license, including instrument rating, for fixed wing. What an opportunity, among many opportunities, she has. Nice to have that skill set in her royal arsenal and what fun. And I would definitely get riding lessons and manage the allergies if necessary. George and Charlotte are are obviously to the saddle born, so she could additionally benefit by being able to ride with them if she can. They are definitely set up for that to happen very easily. They have a few stables available, lol.

      Delete
    6. I would get my pilot's license and learn to ride horses if I were Kate. How awesome would that be. In her situation, I would like the assurance that I could take off in a plane with my family if necessary.

      Delete
  24. Lovely to see that Kate has an engagement for the Air Cadets and I feel an ideal one for her first visit. It will be interesting to see what she wears. I doubt if we will know if she is doing a video for mental health until one appears as if I remember correctly no prior announcement was made last year for the one she did last year.
    Going back to the appearance of the birthday party friends at Church at Sandringham I was pleased to see George's Godfather Oliver Baker & his wife there as Kate is a godmother to their young son who was born a few months after George. I wonder if he was there as well. I believe they live in Suffolk.
    On a completely different topic I think Pippa Middleton is almost being hounded by the press over this ex boyfriend that she now seems to be going out with again. The number of articles the DM and other tabloids have written is unbelievable on both her and the boyfriend I am afraid her private life is being treated in much the same way as Prince Harrys' if not worse. Although I am not a fan of either her or Carole as I think they both try to dominate Kate and her family and Pippa try's to outdo Kate fashion wise at every available opportunity I do feel sorry for her at the moment. Unfortunately her over the top partying in the months following Kate's wedding gave the press plenty to write about as does her excessive sporting ventures which is fair enough but she does not deserve the excessive intrusion into her very personal private life

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  25. Before certain posters really decide to lay into Catherine about her first engagement of the year being February, I think a few facts may help

    Of the 15 members of the BRF who carry out royal engagements only 7 have done so this year so far

    All of these engagements have been meetings except:
    1. Sophie Wessex attending a memorial service on behalf of her husband
    2. Duke of York carrying out 5 in a day in Yorkshire, following the flooding
    3 Princess Royal who has done 20 in an o/seas trip to the Falklands and South Georgia.

    January is the 2nd or 3rd quietest month of the yr in terms of engagements and that's because it is organisations, charities and patronages that determine when events happen, not the BRF. Its post Christmas/New Year and they are generally in the planning phase of future events.

    I also think that Catherine is in the throes of organising the Huffington Post contributions from her charities.

    What we see by way of engagements is only the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the entire work that any member of any royal family carry out.

    Criticism is unwarranted IMO, especially without all the facts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a typical Royal working day is like:

      http://www.royal.gov.uk/HMTheQueen/DayInTheLife/Queensworkingday.aspx

      with links to Queen Elizabeth’s morning, afternoon and evening

      http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/TheEarlofWessex/Adayinthelifeof/AdayinthelifeofTheEarlofWessex.aspx


      number of working days in European royal houses based on the official calendars of members of the Scandinavian and British royal families between January 1 and December 16, 2013:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530111/Hes-finally-King-Prince-Charles-named-hardest-working-royal-Europe-Queen-right-him.html

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/27/article-2530111-1A4FC2BB00000578-906_634x523.jpg

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    2. Here are two more:

      http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/ThePrinceofWales/Adayinthelifeof/Overview.aspx

      http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/TheDuchessofGloucester/Publicrole.aspx

      Delete
    3. cepe, thank you for your input. You put it very well. I agree with your IMO. Sorry to say that several on this blog are only interested in what they can find to criticise, they have no interest in seeing that much work goes on behind the scene in order to pull off an hour or two of appearance or how much work Kate may be putting into her HP endeavour.

      Delete
    4. Francis, thank you for the links. :)

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    5. royalfan, you're welcome. :)

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  26. I would love to see the DoC in either one of the pink lace gowns providing they are lined. I don't think they should even be considered otherwise. I do like the sheath dresses because they fit the Duchess' figure so perfectly. Or I should say her figure fits the dresses! I would hope she enliven them with something special like jewelry or knock em' dead shoes or a jacket, shawl or something. The LBD on the left is very nice and reminiscent of her ink blue Jenny Packham evening gown's neckline.

    I am more than tired of discussing whether she is doing enough or not. I do think we need to be careful because we don't know what is going on behind closed doors. Like this summer she was taking speech lessons. Enough said on that subject forever!

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  27. Julia from Leominster24 January 2016 at 05:42

    I've been over this ground before so I will try to be brief and just say I agree with Bluhare on semantics. The discussion of leave in various of countries is quite interesting but none of it is applicable to Kate as a legal right.

    That right is based on hours worked in a given time period before leave is taken and Kate would not have worked enough hours to qualify for leave as a right. Likewise, Willism took three weeks in December but this is unlikely to count as part of his holiday leave and prevent a holiday in Mustique, nor are royals subject to the rules on sick leave and so on.

    Royal life is simply very different and for this reason,I've never favoured terms used for the little privileges of ordinary people to be applied to royals.

    Even comparisons are fraught for Kate doesn't work full-time so saying she is entitled to a year or six months or whatever, doesn't really compare to a mum who must return to work full-time and seek child-care, which Kate already has. (Most mums I know have taken no more than six months if that, if they planned to return to work - Kate took five months before this last two month break.)

    The idea of applying "normal people" terms to royals isn't new. There was the bit about Princess Elizabeth using her clothing coupons for her wedding dress- a dress enormously grander than any a normal woman could manage at that time. But things are different today - more questioned, with a stronger emphasis on equality and it would seem wise for royals not to use terms that can lead to comparisons. Their lives are different and meant to be different but to claim rights that belong to those less privileged without assuming the burdens does not seem wise.

    At the end of the day, all royals will be judged by the public as to whether their work is important enough and sufficient enough to benefit the nation. There has always been a feeling that because royals live so much in the light of public scrutiny, that the generous time off in autumn and December is justified, but while this is easy to apply to the queen - or even Charles - it becomes harder with the very private life of William and Kate with their miminal duties. So there will always be those who are content, and those who are not - but normal standards don't apply.
    While British royals don't seem to work much in January exceot for Anne and usually Charles, European royals are certainly back at work.
    As for Pippa, she was just out in a very public way, in some cross-country skiiing marathon - wearing very tight clothing. She and to some extent James, are becoming like the Kardarashians - famous for being famous. If she wants privacy, this is not the way to go about it - I was sorry she broke with Nico - a move to Switzerland would have seemed beneficial to all - and this current gentleman's connections are not the best.
    After this rather grumpy post, I will say I'm looking forward to Kate's attendance at the air cadets service, and she can wear as much lace as she likes as far as I'm concerned - I'm quite partial to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 January 2016 at 07:53

      I agree Julia on that "Maternity leave" is a term that doesn't fully cover Kate's position, but I think people sometimes get a bit hung up on words instead of what they mean in the context. And I agree that different countries policies have no legal application on Kate. The reason I brought up Sweden was because alot of people talk categorically about maternity leave as "leave from something" so I was just showing that it's not that clear cut and that for me it's rather "leave with something" if you get my point!

      Delete
    2. Julia, the discussion of maternity leave in other countries was brought up because it was suggested that Kate had more than enough time away from royal duties. Look at the very first post...and read on... :)


      I wholeheartedly agree with you that royal life is very different. Absolutely. Unfortunately, much of the criticism directed at Kate (overall) stems from a lack of understanding of this concept. The same folks who keep reminding us that Kate is not one of us, have no problem judging her by our day to day realities. Ironic, no?


      Regarding the concept of "normal people" ... I will say that W&K are well aware that their lives are not normal, but I do not agree that they are enjoying perks without assuming the burdens. One of their "perks" is a life from which there is no retirement. And if W&K are allowed some time to concentrate on their family, build a strong foundation for future generations, and participate in royal duties accordingly (*while there is an heir between them and the throne*), I do not think it is unreasonable ... nor do I believe the monarchy will crumble as a result.


      Kate's life does come with advantages most of us do not have, but it's sad that her "advantages" can cause such irritation among folks who choose to follow her. Especially when we are talking about a woman spending time with her baby. Begrudging that is simply mindboggling. (NOT directed at you, Julia.) Goodness knows there are people in this world with advantages I do not have, but it doesn't irritate me. My bank account may not reflect it...lol...but in my book I am happy and healthy and that makes me rich. If someone else has more, whether it be monetary or otherwise, God bless. :)

      Delete
    3. But, Julia, you are such a naysaying, negative Nellie! James is successful in his own right and doesn't trade off his sister's connections at all. Why, he was interviewed in the Daily Mail to tell us all just that. Doesn't the Daily Mail interview the founder of all struggling start-ups?

      Delete
    4. My first impression of the skiing pictures is that she is showing Nico exactly what he is missing ( a la Kate).

      Delete
    5. Erika, you may be correct. :)

      Delete
    6. royalfan, I doubt that William and Kate will not retire. You seem to assume that because other British monarchs have not abdicated William won't either. I am not sure I agree. William does things his own way. Clearly. I don't know whether this blog will be around to witness the event but if William does not abdicate in favor of George I would be happy to eat several of Camilla's hats myself. I am willing to bet anything that William and Kate will retire while able-bodied and physically active.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 12:09

      I tend to agree with you Anonymous and will go so far to say that I don't think retirement is necessarily a bad thing. It has helped revitaise the monarchy in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain bringing in monarchs who are in their forties. In Sweden and Norway, the crown princes and princesses give a youthful face to the monarchy and in Denmark, the consort of the king has retired (after expressing jealousy of his son in the past) while the crown prince takes a very active role.

      The queen has made it clear retirement is not for her, and Charles isn't likely to, given the relatively few years he will have as monarch but I think it is a real possibility for William in the future.

      Delete
    8. Phillip is not remaining busy because of any one shirking their share of the workload. I think that was the issue being discussed.

      Delete
    9. The issue was that people said that Phillip was being forced to remain busy because others were shirking their responsibilities. That is one of the silliest things I have heard in a long time. I don't think the RF is into masachism these days.

      Delete
    10. I think Phillip is staying active and willing himself to stay able to do that so that he can outlive the Queen. I think he knows that if he goes first she will be soon to follow. He wants to be there for her as long as possible and staying busy is his method.

      Delete
    11. William is still a good way from taking the throne, and now we are going on to bet on how long he stays on it? I doubt, Julia, that you and I will find out, but some here are young enough to perhaps see George as king. I doubt it will be via abdication.

      Delete
  28. Charlotte thank you for th shopping links! I got the Corkswoon wedges! Im already tall (5'7") but I'm going to wear them with fabulous posture! Towering over my darling husband

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  29. Julia from leominster well said, i always like reading your comments.

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  30. Darla, regarding your second paragraph, I agree.
    Why we can't just enjoy the day and trust that they know what they are doing and that their intentions and motives are pure and altruistic and that they in no way can please everyone. The point of their workload has been discussed to the max and back again. Some even say Kate doesn't work at all. Hmm. Must have been her clone at all those functions and events. No logic to that whatsoever, nor is there in going over and over and over and over and .......... over that topic.


    On a fashion note, surprisingly, I really, really liked the LBD's, although I usually don't like that brand at all. I hope Kate wears a lot of outfits from the Beulah brand. I would love for them to do a lot of bespoke pieces for her. That is a brand I can get behind more than some of the other questionable fashion houses. The character of the infrastructures count, regardless of what they put on the runways. Character matters.

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  31. The DM article about Pippa's ski competition was littered with the term "show off" and snide references to her tight clothing. It was a ski race. Even septuagenarian racers wear those clothes on such events. But you'd think that she was deliberately slighting her sister by her weekend fun.

    Read often enough those sorts of pejorative little jibes are sticky. That doesn't mean that they are factual or that we should perpetuate the idea.

    How wonderful it is that Pippa has the opportunity and the means to enjoy competition at fairly high levels. Her beautiful body is not a character flaw. To enjoy dressing well and having a good time with friends is no crime. Would some mind that less if she were not rich and royally connected? Perhaps the bias and prejudice of the DM are not qualities to emulate or perpetuate here.

    I think it would be wise--and kinder--of us not to fall into the trap of attributing motives to people we don't know. In this thread I refer to the words like "show off" or "showing off" or "out do" or "dominate" or "excessive sporting ventures."

    I have the pleasure of knowing several superb athletes in rock climbing, tennis, cycling, and skiing. These family members and friends range in age from 30 to 65, and they still compete and win high level championships in their respective classes. All of them dress appropriately for their sport during practice and competition. Some with more gregarious personalities also dress flamboyantly off the track or court. Not always to my taste--but that's no reason for me to choose words that convey negative value judgments toward any of them.

    What should a spirited person and keen sportswoman do? Close her curtains and sit on her duff watching TV? Or when she is out in the public eye wear monastic grays? I don't think suggesting banishment to the continent with the old beau Nico (the stereotypical English solution--out of sight out of mind) works either. Now-a-days the photo lense can catch anyone anywhere. Besides, it reads very like a Barbara Cartland romance. Out of date and out of step with the times.






    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Philly,
      Thank you for such a sensible, interesting and informative post. Pippa should be admired for her sports prowess, and not denigrated.

      Why do people continue to use the Daily Mail as the standard that anyone should be judged by? Their writing skills are appalling and their researching skills non existent.

      surely Philly cannot be the only person who can form their own opinion?

      DM is not known as the Daily Fail without reaso

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden25 January 2016 at 03:24

      Amen! I agree fully. And I have to say, I am REALLY impressed with Pippas sporting abilities. She's not just skiing around for fun (no problem if she was) but all these sporting events she has done lately takes a looooot of training, stamina and not to miss focus and determination. These are tough, tough challenges she's doing!

      Delete
    3. Philly, words of wisdom again. Refreshing.

      Delete
  32. Not one person here is saying Kate can't spend time with her children
    But you all need to stop comparing you staying home for months with your kids to Kate doing it
    Kate is living in publicly funded housing and being trailed by very expensive police protection officers...and I don't think any of you are
    Plus the money Charles gives her comes from being a member of the royal family and in exchange for that money the royals are expected to pull their weight
    So not one of us who says Kate needs to work more are saying she should spend no time with her children
    U can still spend a majority of your time with your kids while doing more than two engagements a month

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    Replies
    1. Not pulling her weight by whose standards...blog critics or HM the Queen?

      Delete
    2. By a normal.human standard. You think a couple dozen engagements a year suffices? No. Prince Charles and princess Anne pull their weight and princess Anne is far down the line of succession so you can't use the whole not next in line excuse

      Delete
    3. Exactly, RF. Exactly.

      Delete
    4. I'm concerned about this "two engagements a month" position. I'm not British, so I won't make a statement about what I consider appropriate or not--it's not my business. But the fact is that last year Catherine had 62 engagements, even though she had some months without any engagements because of pregnancy and post-pregnancy priorities. That averages a bit more than 5 engagements a month. People may still think that's enough, which is their right, but their arguments need to be based on what she actually did. And even if you just count days rather than engagements, she's still in excess of two a month.

      Delete
  33. One of the aspects of Royal engagements I didn't mention earlier is the cost. Everything comes at a cost. And, apologies, more facts.

    1. Not one member of the BRF receives a salary.
    2. Only the Queen receives direct funding from government. She is responsible for the maintenance of KP private quarters whether W&K live there or not. They are responsible for utilities etc. This also applies to Harry, Gloucesters, D of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent and staff members who live there,
    3. Duke of Edinburgh receives direct funding to fund his staff

    4. Regardless of whether Royal engagements are carried out, senior Royal's get 100% protection. Other royals get protection on Royal engagements. Protection levels are determine by the security services, not the BRF.

    5. It is seems that it is some so called "fans" that seem to have the problm with work levels. This is not a major issue in the UK. We were told that Catherine and William were not full time royals ; that he was committed to his RAF and then Air Ambulance work, and here we like that. She is looking after her children and some Royal work And apart from some publications who think Catherine makes them money, there doesn't seem to be a major problem with her focusing on being a mum.

    If you can be bothered to look (rather than just complain ) you will see that Catherine along with half the BRF have not carried out engagements so far this yr. it might not suit some of you that she isn't out there like a celebrity selling herself, but she isn't a celebrity and doesn't receive any direct funding from the public.

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    Replies
    1. Cepe, please don't apologize for providing facts! And it is good to have a favorable British viewpoint. We need the balance you are providing!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Cepe for your post. Ali

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    3. Cepe it's nice to hear one actual account of a UK point of view. Comon sense. I am a Canadian with Jamaican parent. Lol. I am surrounded by royalty all around.

      Delete
    4. Cepe, I enjoyed your post. Thank you! :)

      Delete
    5. Caroline in Montana26 January 2016 at 18:20

      Thank you for that level headed explanation. Lets hope it sinks in! and shout out to royalfan:)

      Delete
    6. Hi back, Caroline! :)) And I so agree with your comment above.

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    7. Another shout out from me also Royal Fan. YAY

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    8. THANK YOU Cepe. :)

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  34. it does mean the duchess is not seen in public official duties is not working maybe she working beyond the scene many people are being judgemental

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  35. On a fashion note, I really love (though it's lace :-) Daisy Macramé Lace Midi Dress. Great great choice Charlotte! I think it is pretty much Kate's style.

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  36. I like the Daisy dress also. I think Kate has such a good style sense. She has good sense about just about everything IMHO.

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  37. Mercy. I just googled photos of the ski outfit of Pippa's that people were commenting on. What? Does anyone here ski? That is totally normal ski attire.
    Did you watch the winter ski competitions this season?
    Her outfit was not too tight. That is totally how ski attire fits. Period.

    And did anyone notice that she really puts herself out there to use her athleticism for charities?
    She doesn't choose easy ones either. Give credit where credit is due. And to have her sequestered in her "proper" place away with Nico is not a very nice sentiment.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden25 January 2016 at 14:04

      I agree. I don't ski. But even I know that skin tight clothing in any sport that involves speed (Swimming, running, skiing etc) always have thin, skintight clothing so the wind/water doesn't have anything to catch on to. I mean... warm pants and a jacket works when you're skiing with friends and family, but here she had trained, and tried to push her limits. She's not gonna have thick pants on for that!

      I fully agree with your whole post!

      Delete
    2. Agree, agree.
      Ali

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    3. I also agree. I really dislike the antiquated sentiment of worshipping the royals and banishing their relatives. Pippa is an athletic female who happens to have a beautiful body. It's not particularly nice to body-shame women into hiding.

      Delete
    4. Very true, 12:59. She doesn't just show up and look pretty. Pippa has what it takes to participate at these events and that is HER accomplishment, and hers alone.

      Delete
    5. Those are PIPPA'S accomplishments and HERS alone RF. Thanks for highlighting that. She could be living a Paris Hilton lifestyle easily but Pippa's is ultruistic and her other activities conservative and positive.

      Delete
    6. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 12:32

      But the royal family is in truth something of an antiquated insitution, albeit one I certainly support. It relies on deference, not equality, and has a certain mystique as well as reponsiblity for state duties. The link to the past, through prior monarchs is very strong and this heritige gives reason for its being. We're not just talking pretty people.

      It is necessary of course that members marry and today they tend to marry commoners. But the unique situation of the family is the reason families, while remaining close, have traditionally stayed in the background. The most important thing to a successful monarchy is that these families not be seen taking of advantage of their closeness to royalty.
      While I admire Pippa's athletic ability, her recent activities remind me of Beatrice and Eugenie who have taken on similar challenges successfully but seem to be much more challenged when it comes to holding down a job. Pippa arguably doesn't need to work, although if her sister were not royal, she would certainly be doing so (the Middletons aren't that wealthy by standards today, and most young women of Pippa's background are working.) Pippa's jet set lifestyle, her tendancy to presume upon her sister's connections by seeking posts that wouldn't be available to her normally, and her lack of a job are reasons I'm cautious of her.

      But I confess I am antiquated.I don't think Camilla's children should have put themselves forward either although Tom Parker-Bowles is ten times the talent in writing that Pippa is (having read both their books.) I'm uncomfortable that Peter Philips' firm was awarded the post of arranging the queen's birthday celebrations and I don't even like the antique reproductions from Althorp advertised in Country Life - although I suppose I see why they are necessary. But looking at royal families abroad, the siblings of royal spouses seem to manage to stay in the background (although there were some recent embarrassing moments from Mary's family and I hold in my wish Pippa and James would culitvate a lower profile.


      Delete
    7. Julia

      Only one thing I truly enjoy reading your take on many many things. Thank you.

      Claudia where are you?:-)

      Delete
  38. After reading the comments here, I was expecting skin tight spandex in lurid colors! Instead I saw a blue jumpsuit with a dark jacket, her competition vest, and a sturdy helmet with goggles. And a bright, happy smile. I agree that Pippa Middleton is to be praised for her athleticism and her commitment to making it socially useful. She appears to be a very nice young lady.

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  39. One more thing we seem to forget is that her parents work hard to become the millionaires they are. So no matter what she would still be living a life of luxury. So lets stop pretending that the taxpayer is responsible for their lifestyle. I doubt she would be working a 9 to 5 job even if not a royal. Her parents worked their way to the top so they might as well ensure the very best for their kids

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    Replies
    1. Excellent points Michael.

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  40. Gracious. I honestly don't what to say to some of the criticisms of William, Kate, James and Pippa here.
    They all seem so mean spirited and compassion-less
    and mostly speculation in the first place, and much grasping at straws. It very much seems that their only sincere intention is to create dissension. So much for supporting our fellow human beings in a loving and caring way. God have mercy on us all. Really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 16:21, I'm glad I'm not alone.

      And it has been an absolute joy to see more supportive comments lately.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you completely!!! I am to the point of avoiding reading the comments almost altogether. Ohio gal

      Delete
    3. AMEN AND AMEN 16:21

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 12:45

      The monarchy is a public institution. To look at how members are contributing to it, is hardly "creating dissension" for that sake alone. Everyone is free not to read comments but I prefer to do so, whether I agree or not. While personally I'm cautiously hopeful about Kate's coming year, there are many who feel as Sarah does (including many in Britain) and pretending these issues don't exist is not helpful - most of all to Kate.

      I actually think this new development of a role for her in children's mental health comes from her advisors and perhaps Kate herself seeing that many felt she needed a stronger public work profile and more focus. So constructive criticism and an understanding of how people feel can be very beneficial long term - more so than pure praise. Strong institutions always say, "we want to know how we're doing - what we're doing right, but also where we need improvement." A blog like this where most people actually support the monarchy is a good place to take measure of that.

      Delete
    5. Julia,
      You really think most people on this blog are supporters of the monarchy? For some reason, I got the impression most people here are either because they are Kate's fan, or related interest. Some other % are here for that, and are also supporters of the monarchy.

      I am curious if a vote is offered why most people are here, what % is here because they actually supporters of the monarchy. I wish Charlotte runs a poll on that.

      I do agree and appreciate you shared what strong institutions say. Criticism on Kate's work ethics can be ok when it is considerate enough to weigh out several factors. Post her fifth wedding anniversary, except unless pregnant, to judge her on number of assignments and work ethics will be fair. So far, considering several factors, she did not do too bad. To have over rushed into it and failed, in this case, may not have done her justice. Priscilla's key word, "Expectation" is a factor all on its own as well.

      Delete
  41. Tedi in California26 January 2016 at 00:03

    From a PR point of view, the Queen and her family are worth their weight in gold. People from all over thrill at the Changing of the Guard, the RF appearing on the balcony. You sell the sizzle, not the steak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tedi in California26 January 2016 at 16:20

      I love Charlotte's blog, I read it for a long time before commenting myself. It was just fun to read about this lovely young woman, who brought a breath of fresh air to the RF. Now there is so much anger and cynicism. It's not fun anymore. I don't understand why someone who dislikes DOC, would even want to follow her. What a pity, we can't just appreciate her from afar. None of us know her, or knows what goes on behind closed doors. This is all speculation, a lot of it fueled by the gutter press, who will print anything to sell papers. Catherine and William were together a long time before they married. He said he wanted her to understand what she was getting into before she became his wife. From the beginning it was inferred that they were not working royals, as some of the older and senior members of the RF. They are on a schedule set by the Queen. It doesn't matter what we think, they are on course. As I said in my last post, they are worth their weight in gold. Take away the RF, and watch England's tourism drop with a thud, and all the money it brings in.

      Delete
    2. Tedi, speaking as someone from YOUR side of the pond, I do agree with you about the appeal of the RF. And I appreciate your second comment as well! Amen. I feel the same way and I am happy to see others sharing their thoughts.

      Delete
    3. The RF is an integral part of the tapestry that is Britain. Destroy the RF and watch that tapestry unravel rapidly.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster27 January 2016 at 12:50

      I agree they are worth their weight in gold and believe also tourism would drop without them - although many disagree and point to France and Versailles as an example. But I don't agree from all I have read that the queen has created any type of schedule that William and Kate are following. Everything I have read points to the monarchy as a very decentralised institution where members do much as they wish. I suspect the queen would love to see William and Kate take on more - in the early days of their marriage, she took Kate with her on several engagements - but won't push them to do so.

      Delete
    5. Didn't the Queen enjoy a less busy lifestyle while her father was king? I disagree with you about Kate Julia. very much.

      Delete
  42. Dolce & Gabbana inspiration comes mainly from Sicily.

    It's so saddening for me to read all those negative comments about laziness and so on. I remember Sherlock Holmes said that if there is no fact there can be no judgement, but only prejudice.
    From facts I know, I can only say that we are facing a woman who doesn't want other people choose her dresses, who didn't want a help when she had no babies, and who now wants to take care as much as possible of her babies, therefore, from those facts, I can infer that she likes to control her own life and her own choices. If she is such a willing and decided woman for this kind of things, I suppose she does the same for her charities. That means a great work behind the spotlight, a really large amount of work. We had some demonstration of it, when those charities were linked together, or when she went to a jail for a visit.
    Maybe a good move could be to release some interview or video like "a DoC typical day", but maybe that's something only the Queen does?

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  43. I like the D&G collection very much. Kate loves lace and it is a timeless look. The evening gowns are all stunning. That daisy day dress looks very Kate. I hope we see what William called the "banana dress" from the tour Down Under on their tour this spring. Funny, I have not gotten accustomed to the return of tie neck blouses from my career woman youth. My mind screams "Dowdy!" and then I remember everything comes round again and I've had my turn with this fashion. The lace skirt pairing helps. Hope the Duchess is shopping D&G as I write and for heaven's sake, may we give the Lazy Kate complaints the decent burial this topic deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I just want to say thank you for the positive and supportive comments re my posts.

    Its v kind of you.

    Cepe

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden27 January 2016 at 12:16

      I hope you drop in more often :)

      Delete
    2. I too hope you drop in more often with a bit of fact and reality checking.

      Delete
    3. count me in on that cepe

      Delete
  45. This is unlike me to get on a "Soap Box" here.... I think? However I must, I just feel so strongly about this subject!
    It Breaks my heart to read all this negativity towards Kate & to see so many Women going up against each other, so intensely:( to me, as I check in each day, it's seems to me to have become more of a Boxing Ring & Not a Lively Healthy Debate!:( I Thought as Women that We Had Moved Past The Point of Judging One Another So Harshly for having different opinions about Working Moms vs Stay at Home Moms?
    1) I was Both! I raised our Early Children while Hubby & I were in Grad School & then when I was working while He went through Medical School & 2 Residencies! The last of our older kids started off going to the Sitter @ 8weeks old as I had to go back to work! When he was 5 I was expecting our last child & by then Hubby could earn more Moonlighting OnCall at various Other Hospitals than I could at my job, so I began my phase as a Stay @ Home Mom! So I've seen kids raised both ways; Have lived with the Guilt of a Working Mom & Suffered the Harsh Catty Judgement & Exclusions from The Stay @ Home Moms, all around me:( I was Baffled that We Women Had Come So Far In Our Fight for Opportunities & Pay etc Only to find The Enemy Was Not The Males... But The Other Women Around Me? It Just Seemed So Wrong That We Were Tearing Each Other Down Instead of Lending Each Other a Hand Up? When I Was Able To Stay Home I Reached Out to Other Working Moms & Helped Drive kids to Ballet or had kids over to enjoy after school activities they would have missed because Mom wasn't home yet.
    2) I Loved bring a Stay @ Home Mom & I can say there is a Difference in my kids. Between the ones raised while I worked & the ones raised mostly or all when I was @ Home! But not what you may think! The older ones are More Independant; Have Extremely Good Work Ethics, Are Very Successful & Also Very Very Hard on themselves.
    3) The younger ones raised while I was home (inc the one who was in Daycare from 8wks to age 5) got so much more of me & I enjoyed every minute of it....... all the way through the Traveling round the USA for Sporting Tournaments & College Athletic Recruiting! They are Too Smart for their own good; Entitled & Just assumed since they were bright & had Every Advantage that They Would Exceed! They didn't count on life getting harder as they got older & thus they flounder....
    4) I Believe No "One" Way is The "Right" Way! But I Do Believe That If We Don't Stop This Tearing Down of One Another as Women, All Doing Our Best In Life.... That We Will Miss an Amazing Opportunity To Change The Tide For Women Around The World & Perhaps For Ourselves & Our Daughters In The Process.... Let's Maybe "Judge" a Little Less & "Lend a Hand Up" Instead?
    & Lets Start By Giving Kate a Little Encouragement, as She Tries To Find The Right Balance Between Supporting & Raising 2 Future Monarchs, & Performing Her Duties as The Duchess of Cambridge & then The Princess of Wales & subsequently The Queen Consort.....
    Thx
    Becca USA

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    Replies
    1. My goodness Becca! Sounds as if you have quite a large family. I agree with everything you say. Although my children are still young, Ive been both a working mom and a SAHM at various times and concur that one is not better than the other both having certain pros and cons. What works for one family may not be optimal for another, and the key is choosing the lifestyle that makes your family thrive and your heart sing. For some reason, fellow women can be immensely unsupportive of either choice. I've been shamed by SAHMs when I worked and I've been made to feel less than by working moms when I've stayed at home. It flabbergasts me that the Women's Movement has brought up to this place. As women, we really need to be cognizant of the fact that we are all very different and have different situations. Lifestyle choice is not a one size fits all kind of deal. We really need to be more tolerant of one another. There is no right or wrong in this instance.

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    2. Becca, I completely agree with what you say about Kate!

      My oldest child went to daycare at 8 weeks as well. She is now a very successful professional woman. I was at home with my sons. They are also very successful. Perhaps I can see a difference in personalities - my sons are maybe less intense, though equally responsible. All three work in various kinds of service industries.

      The only comments I ever received were also from stay at home moms when I worked, but they were few and far between. There was some misplaced sympathy for women who "had" to work. But times have changed, and the opposite seems to be true now. Women are looked down upon if they manage homes and families and do not go out to work.

      The good part about it all, in addition to the much greater opportunities for women, is the domestic partnership at home. My husband was always an active dad. Our married son and son in law are even more so. They are decidedly hands on parents.

      Prince William said he changed Prince George's first diaper. I hope he is very close to his children; his occasional comments sound as though he is.

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    3. Becca, I so agree. I was never able to stay home with my kids and I always have regreted that. I am not sure why stay at home mom can't be Kate's primary job. The negativity of this subject has really grown here, almost as if she is directly answerable to us. I came to this page for the lovely fashions, not sure that is what it is anymore. Bev in Colorado

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  46. I agree with putting all of the Kate is lazy rhetoric to rest.

    I would love, love, love to see Kate wear all three of those little black dresses. She would rock each one, only with the backless one she would really have to watch her posture to wear the dress to best advantage and not slouch and wear her hair up with that one and the off the shoulder one.

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  47. Hello everyone,

    A reader in Mustique shared word Mike and Carole have been spotted at a party there. No word if William and Kate are there yet.

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  48. yay. Thanks Charlotte.

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