Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Duchess of Cambridge Carries Out First Engagement of 2016 with RAF Air Cadets

The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first official appearance of 2016 this morning - marking the 75th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets with a service at St Clement Danes Church in London.


Since Christmas the Cambridges have been enjoying time at their country home Anmer Hall, with George settling into Montessori school and William reportedly eager to put in additional shifts with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. In a change from what has become something of a tradition, they didn't join the Middletons for their annual getaway to Mustique this year.


Richard Palmer reported a small crowd of about fifty people gathered in The Strand ahead of Kate's arrival.


The event marked Kate's first engagement as Honorary Air Commandant of the organisation. In December, the Duke of Edinburgh passed his patronage of the RAF Air Cadets to Kate, after 63 years serving as Air Commodore-in-Chief. It is understood today is the first of a series of appearances on behalf of the cadets the Duchess will attend throughout the year.


A photo from inside the service.


The Duchess was all smiles as she joined in singing a hymn.


The RAF Air Cadets, which is made up of the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force promotes a practical interest in aviation among young men and women, providing training while 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. It was first established in 1941 during the Second World War, with the aim to train young men in aviation skills before they joined the RAF.


The history of St Clement Danes Church is a rather fascinating one. Although It was reputedly founded in the 9th century by the Danes, the current building was completed in 1682 by the highly acclaimed English architect Sir Christopher Wren. The building was gutted during the blitz in 1941. Following an appeal for funds by the Royal Air Force, the church was completely restored. It was re-consecrated on 19 October 1958 to become the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.


As part of the rebuilding a Latin inscription was added under the Royal Coat of Arms. It translates as "Built by Christopher Wren 1682. Destroyed by the thunderbolts of air warfare 1941. Restored by the Royal Air Force 1958".


Outside the church stand statues of two of the RAF's wartime leaders Hugh Dowding and Arthur "Bomber" Harris. Indeed the latter is controversially steeped in history. The erection of the statue of Harris due to his responsibility for the bombing of Dresden and other German cities led to protests.


When the late Queen Mother unveiled the statue in 1992 she looked surprised when she was jeered by protesters. The statue had to be guarded round the clock for some time after that as it was frequently sprayed with grafitti. The inscription on the statue reads: "The Nation owes them all an immense debt."


A look inside the Church.


A message from Kate was included in the programme for the service.

Betony Kelly Instagram

Afterwards, Kate attended a reception held nearby at the Royal Courts of Justice.


It offered 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.


Kate cuts the cake with the youngest cadet.


During the reception, Kate revealed George wants to be an RAF Air Cadet. More from the Express story:

'She told cadet Lucinda Conder, 19, that she had shown George, who is two and a half, pictures of Spitfires after a royal engagement. He is now obsessed with the air cadets and wants to join," said Ms Conder, a medical student from Hammersmith in west London, who was the top female cadet of 2015. "We are going to have to push that one when he gets to age 12.'

The Duchess brought back her popular cornflower blue Alexander McQueen coat for the engagement.


Today's outing marks the third time Kate has publicly worn it. She debuted it in Blenheim, New Zealand during the royal tour 2014 and chose it two months later for 70th anniversary D-Day commemorations in Normandy. The bespoke belted piece with large pockets looks great on Kate.


Kate selected a stylish hat by Lock & Co. The Duchess first wore the piece at Richard Meade's memorial last March, and it's interesting to see it in its entirety today. On another note, how many of you are pleased to see the return of Kate's longer hair? I must admit I am. :)


Initially it was thought Kate debuted another new pair of Gianvito Rossi pumps 

Net-A-Porter

On closer inspection, it appears they are the Rupert Sanderson Malory Heels (with thanks to Farzana and What Kate Wore). The $675 pumps are described as "A perennial classic, Malory returns for the new season in opulent navy suede. Loved for a sultry 100mm heel and forever-chic pointed toe, this signature court will complement on-duty tailoring and occasion dresses alike.".

Rupert Sanderson

Very appropriately the Duchess accessorised the Air Cadets Dacre Brooch. The brooch is considered the highest award any female Air Cadet can achieve and is awarded annually. I expect Kate will wear the brooch many times in the future in her role as patron. It's a beautiful, colourful piece.


Below we see Bridget Donaldson receiving her brooch in 2014. Chosen in her role as a Morpeth Air Cadet she said: "I really feel that achieving the award is more of a credit to the staff of the Squadron as I could not have achieved it without all the help I've received from so many people along the way. I really hope now I can give something back to our cadets, to help them realize that there’s so much more they can all achieve."


The Duchess carried her navy suede Russell & Bromley clutch and matching gloves.


Kate completed the look with her unidentified diamond and aquamarine drop earrings.


You can watch a video from the engagement on You Tube.


It was lovely to see Kate out and about today!

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In other news, with the royal tour roughly just two months away, we're beginning to hear details and possible dates trickle in. British Royals shared an article from Daily Excelsior claiming William and Kate will tour India from April 10 - 17. That sounds about right from everything I've heard. I understand it will be a shorter tour than previous ones lasting about a week. More from the article:


'Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are expected to visit Taj Mahal in April this year. This would be the first visit to the monument by a member of the British Royal family after 24 years. Princess Diana, mother of Prince William, visited the monument in 1992. An advance team from the British high commission held a meeting with Agra officials here on Thursday to review the security system and other arrangements for the couple.'

We know the Cambridges will also visit Bhutan during their tour, which is why it was lovely to see Kensington Palace congratulating the king and queen on the birth of their son. The Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to congratulating Their Majesties in person when they visit Bhutan." It's wonderful news for the couple and no doubt a joyous time.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed
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As you've probably heard Kensington Palace released a date for Kate's engagement with The Huffington Post - Wednesday, 17 February. More details were shared in this article including plans to launch a new initiative - Young Minds Matter:

'On 17 February, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, will join editors at HuffPost UK as guest editor to specifically help raise awareness of this issue and help us launch Young Minds Matter. Using the hashtag #youngmindsmatter we will discuss the problems, causes and also most importantly the solutions to the stigma surrounding the UK's mental health crisis among children.
 Finding solutions is a core value of The Huffington Post globally, which we express through our What's Working approach to news. As Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, says: "What's Working is about consistently telling the stories of people and communities doing amazing things, overcoming great odds and coming up with solutions to the very real challenges they face. And by shining a light on these stories, we hope that we can scale up these solutions and create a positive contagion." That's our aim with #youngmindsmatter.
Under guidance from Kensington Palace, my team has been working on a series of original articles, blogs and videos commissioned by the Duchess. They all aim to inspire families and teachers to lead the conversation with children about mental health, so youngsters feel loved, valued and listened to.'

Finally, it was disappointing to hear King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia's state visit to the UK has been cancelled due to political uncertainty in Spain. While nothing was confirmed, it was very much understood the Cambridges would be involved in some capacity. Hopefully the king and queen will be able to reschedule at a later date this year.


We should see Kate's video message for Children's Mental Health Week later today.

121 comments:

  1. Thank you for the post! It's good to see Kate again even though it's already february. But I don't like the look of today. It's somehow boring? I'm looking forward to the India tour in april!

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    1. Totally agree with u. It was great to see Kate today and I think it was great that she attended an engagement for her latest patronage so early in the year as it takes away the anticipation of seeing her at an official event with the Cadets. Personally I think its a good change for her to have a patronage like this.

      I love the way Kate recycles her outfits in such a way that she never wears the same accessories with a particular outfit. If she does recycle a piece, she always changes it up with a different bag or shoes or a different hairstyle, its brilliant in my opinion. I never really liked this coat from the first time she wore it. Theres just too much going on with it with the high collar, the belt, the large pockets. There should have just been one detail on it.

      Im really excited for the upcoming tour, hope to see Kate in some gorgeous Indian attire!! And I also hope we get to see the children soon, they must be growing so fast!

      Avee from South Africa

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 12:47

    Nice to see her again! :) I look forward to seeing her more with the air cadets! I love how this coat has become "her military coat" :P I like how it compliments their uniforms while still standing out. Also nice to finally get a good look of that hat.
    And WOW, that badge is BIG!
    I love that she's holding a pair of gloves. Look so retro :P

    On the tour. I wonder if those 7 days is just India and that they will have (for example) 3 days in Buthan.

    I'm so bummed by the cancellation of the state visit. But I get it..

    I also hope the rumor of the video message is true. Especially since her last one was so successful.

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    1. Rebecca, the video is no rumour. From what I remember Place2Be had confirmed it before.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3435869/Duchess-Cambridge-Support-childrens-mental-health.html

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    2. My thoughts exactly, Rebecca. The monochromatic blend and military styling of this coat are perfect for the occasion. As it's a church service and the commemoration more important than the attendees, an understated conservative look is perfection

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 16:14

      Francis, it was just a rumor when I commented :) Shortly after that it got more "confirmed" :P

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    4. I agree with everything you say, Rebecca. Due to the fact that she has been out of the public eye for so long, and that the event is so high profile and celebratory, I would have expected a new bespoke, the cornflower blue McQueen is perfect for the occasion. The color does complement the uniforms beautifully and the stylized military design picks up the theme of the event. My only wish would have been a half up/ half down hairstyle to add more polish to the whole look. However, I love that her longer hair length is back and that the fringe is nowhere in sight.

      This seemed to be a lovely occasion and the perfect patronage for the DoC.

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    5. Rebecca, oh, then I had, until today :), a different appreciation of the information that was made public. I personally didn't consider the video to be a runour because Kensington Palace and Place2Be President Benita Refson confirmed in January.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3403021/Kate-s-new-mission-Princess-Hearts-Crusading-Duchess-follow-Diana-s-footsteps-secret-visits-troubled-children.html

      (Charlotte referred to it in her January 18 post.)

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  3. Great post and so quick! I thought Kate was wearing Rupert Sanderson Malory heels in blue which can be found on the brand's website.

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    1. Farzana you are spot on :)

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    2. wow, and I thought I knew shoes. you guys are pros.

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  4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3435869/Duchess-Cambridge-Support-childrens-mental-health.html

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  5. What a nice way to start a Sunday. :)

    Although I have stated before that this is not my favorite coat (don't care for the pockets), I think it was absolutely perfect for this occasion. She looked perfect from head to toe. I am drooling over the new pumps! And the brooch, well, it's not exactly petite, is it? :)

    Looking forward to the tour...

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    1. The first time I saw her in this coat I really liked it (with the exception I agree of the pockets) and thought she looked stunning from top to bottom, the sleek hair with ponytail was perfection.

      It left me a little flat today. I don't like this hat with it, it doesn't seem to go with the structured, streamlined look of the coat. It seems too cutesy or something.

      I also think because she doesn't do a lot of engagements (relatively speaking) she has to be careful of repeats. The second time works, by the third or fourth you start to think, "isn't there something else in her closet?" May sound silly, but things look repetitive sooner on her I think, because she's not out as much.

      I would have liked and expected a new look for a new patronage and first event of year. I wish she would be a little more adventurous/experimental with accessories too, that's how you really make a look your own.

      Just my opinion of course, not looking to ruffle feathers as they say :)

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    2. Personally I don't think the repetitiveness has anything to do with the number of engagements. It is rather because there are so many bloggers, sites, Facebook and Twitter that are following her every move and so repeats are easily and instantly discussed. This outfit was last worn in 2014 and I think was really a good fit for today's event. Why have something new if there is something that is entirely appropriate. The cadets were all tweeting the night before about their excitement of welcoming their new patron, not what they anticipated she would wear.

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    3. I don't see this coat as military-styled. I am always disappointed when Kate is wearing a repeat especially after a long absence. I guess that is shallow of me. I also agree that repeating twice is too many times.

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    4. Claudia, this type of hat is not a favorite, but if she had worn her hair up, it would have worked better, IMO. Perhaps the hat would have gone from cutesy to vintage..?

      Regarding it being a recycle, well, there could have been just as much criticism if she had worn something new after not being seen for a while. This coat was appropriate for the occasion and the setting, and the focus was not on her (as much).

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    5. I agree the hair can make or break a look. Though I think I've come to the conclusion I just don't like many of the hats she chooses or maybe how she wears them! I like a more substantial hat myself, I think it should really flatter and show off the face and be the finishing touch to an outfit, not detract at all. The final piece that sets everything off.

      As for recycling, yes you can't please all the people all the time! I wish she could reach a happy medium though, and in my opinion she's still finding it. Sophie Wessex said in that recent in-depth interview that it took her a while to come to terms with fashion and how important it was to her appearances and engagements, people want to see you out looking the part!

      I have a friend who is a news anchor and is dressed to the nines with hair and make-up every day, so on her days off she dresses waaaay down! And when she goes out and someone spots her you can see the disappointment fall down their face because she looks "normal"! As Rita Hayworth said, "men go to bed with Gilda but wake up with me" :)

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    6. Claudia, I prefer wide brimmed hats and I wish she would wear more of them. With the exception of a few occasions (her black one from William's graduation, the Garter Ceremony in 2008, and the odd wedding), she appears to enjoy smaller hats or fascinators. I can't get too excited about them, although I do like her Betty Boop hat as well as the Jackie Kennedy type (worn upon their arrival in Australia). Fascinators have a vintage feel to them and they just look better with an updo.

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    7. I must say that I do like most of her fascinators but would not be adverse to her wearing larger hats more often. She wears them well. I think my favorite is the hat she wore to Zara's wedding. I do think people can see her face better with a smaller hat however, and she may have blocked someone's view in the church yesterday had she worn a hat bigger than the one she had on. Sometimes I like her hair up with the fascinators although once or twice I thought the result was rather stern. I think the half up/half down is my favored hairstyle with the smaller hats.

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    8. Erika, I had forgotten about Zara's wedding. Yes! That was a rather large one. In my dreams, Maxima takes Kate on a hat buying adventure. ;)

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    9. That is a very flattering look, I'm thinking of the Easter Sunday hat from the New Zealand trip (?? hope that's right) I thought that was a great look and outfit and an example where the hat "set" the outfit if that makes sense. So yes maybe you're both right, the hair once again is the issue! I did think however that country look at the memorial recently was too severe, hair all back and small hat. Very stern indeed!

      I don't much care for the Berks/Bucks blog anymore, but the one thing that blogger does that I think is amazing is the Kates Clothes site. Great online encyclopedia basically! Actually maybe I should check it now to confirm my Easter reference :)

      On a side note, I'm never sure whether to continue a conversation on an older post or not? I think does everyone instantly move on to the new post so they're not seen? Plus, with larger comments it's impossible to find my place!

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    10. Claudia, I was thinking of the red hat she wore when they first arrived on that very windy day and introduced George. It was sooo Jackie Kennedy. And, yes, the hairstyle is the other half of the formula. A key ingredient! ;)

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    11. One of my very, very favorite outfits of Kate's.
      Loved everything about it. So beautiful. So Iconic. Hopefully she will wow us again with another new classic on the upcoming tour.

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    12. Anonymous 7 February 2016 at 20:06, I so agree with you. I love repeats and think that it is part of being a good role model. Just imagine if 7 billion people all wore their clothes just 2 times!

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  6. I have to admit, I've never been fond of this coat and was soooo hoping she would wear this today instead!
    http://www.katesclothes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/kates-clotehs-mcqueen-blue-military-coat-wpcf_252x500.jpg. I found this a knockout look when Kate first wore this and would have been so appropriate for today!

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    1. But she wouldn't stand out from the crowd then, would she. I think this light colour was perfect for the occasion.

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    2. Anon, I LOVE that coat, but with the shorter sleeves perhaps it wouldn't have been the best choice today. ( believe she wore it in June 2011.)

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  7. Great post! I love the history on it! Kate looks Beautiful!!
    I told you in my tweet Charlotte that Kate would have longer hair! I just had that feeling!

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  8. She looks splendid like good, old Kate.

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  9. I wish she would put her hair up more, it looked lank today and not tidy, more obvious because other women had theirs up Carol vorderman looked great. It is really starting to annoy me now, this is a woman who is over 30 at a military event, untidy hair blowing in her face is not professional or chic in my opinion.

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    1. Debra, me thinks you will get a lot of responses because of the "over 30" reference, lol, but I do agree that it looks better up. Not because she "has to," but it's a more sophisticated look, IMO.

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  10. Wow, Kate looks especially great today! Hair shiny, makeup perfect, winning smile? She is truly at her best. Love seeing her back at it.

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  11. First, thank you so much for these wonderful posts! I enjoy them immensely. Second, I'm going to cheer for the shorter hair. I find it more stylish and less messy and distracting. She certainly has gorgeous hair and it looks beautiful no matter what she does with it!

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  12. Does anyone else think she might be pregnant?

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    1. Yes. Can't put my finger on why, but it certainly crossed my mind.

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    2. With the India tour in view, I highly doubt it. Kate likely knows she'd have to cancel her involvement due to HG, and she can plan her family accordingly.

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    3. I'm not sure that I think she's pregnant,however in most of the pics today she looks great, the coat is one of my particular favourites ,but in one or two of the pics I think she looks really tired and almost puffy eyed.I know she has two young children but she has plenty of help and she's hardly been run ragged with engagements....I do hope everything is o.k with her !!


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    4. I know it is probably unlikely with the tour....but it did cross my mind that we didn't see her a lot in January, we aren't seeing her much in February (so far, and one appearance is via pre-recorded video). Is it possible that she has already gone through part of the HG? It is worse in the first trimester, no? Perhaps she got pregnant in December, and she is already almost in the first trimester. I know it is a lot of speculation. But her face looks fuller/puffier to me, and it would explain the Mustique trip, plus the fact that she had no official engagements in January. Just a thought!

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    5. I was on my way down to the bottom of the page to post a comment about her looking pregnant, then decided to see if anyone else had posted anything. I think I can see the smallest baby bump. That would explain the cancellation of the trip and no engagements. I know that it is always rumored, but I truly think that this time, she really is. I don't know, but I believe that she wore that bigger coat and nothing tight, to hide it longer. I am going to assume that she found out in December also and she is going to stay in a while.

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    6. I am inclined to think Kate is expecting as well she looks pasty and her face looks fuller as it did with both of her last pregnancies.
      I'm not loving the hair its so untidy it needs tying up in this wind. I prefer it shorter I think it is due a trim. I love the blue coat though but not the suede shoes these are looking ok today because judging by the very clean soles as she is getting out of the car they are brand new, but suede can look scruffy very quickly. I should mention also that the Dacre Brooch has been gifted to Kate by the RAF Cadets as since last year(?) female cadets now receive the Dacre Sword like the male cadets due to equality rules.

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    7. Look at the fourth picture posted it really looks like there is a little baby bump there.

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    8. Tammt from California7 February 2016 at 19:12

      Funny you should mention this! It did cross my mind! I don't know what made me think it but perhaps because she is a little paler than usual, a little tired in the eyes. Who knows. If she is, she's MUCH MORE woman than I am.

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    9. I personally don't notice anything different with her appearance (though I'm not a Kate expert!) I would say the only "clue" would be the time off. I had the same thought when there was radio silence last summer :)

      I don't think the official schedule is a clue one way or another. I can practically guarantee William and Kate (like most couples) don't discuss their family plans with anyone but each other, even closest aides. They know schedules have to be made, but if Kate gets pregnant that will come first. As we just saw with the Spanish trip, schedules can be changed and events cancelled.

      I think if they want more children, the biggest consideration is knowing they only have a short time (while the Queen's alive) to live this part time royal life. So if they want more I would guess it will happen sooner rather than later.

      Also just to note... just because you decide you want to get pregnant doesn't mean it will happen on command :) Most people decide when they want to start trying and it can happen anytime after that. A few are lucky right out of the gate but most couples will take a couple of months at least. The older you get the longer it can take, up to a year for people under 40. So they can't really hold up their schedule when they don't know if or when it will happen :)

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    10. Personally, I don’t think she’s pregnant. While accidents happen, I doubt they’d plan to get pregnant before Charlotte turns one and after their Indian tour. Wouldn’t be surprised to have an announcement this autumn though.

      As for her looking pale or tired, maybe she had the flu or a stomach virus or maybe Charlotte is teething and kept her up last night. Or maybe one of their friends had a wild birthday party late last night. There could be a millions reasons besides pregnancy.

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    11. I don't see that she looks pale, tired, puffy or pasty. I think she looks lovely and that her makeup was especially beautiful today. I thought she was
      glowing in all the photographs actually.

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    12. I don't see anything different about her, and certainly no sign of a baby bump. Not on my monitor, anyway. :)

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    13. If you look at the pictures of Kate on the Daily Mail, she looks like she's slightly under the weather. I came over to see if anyone else thought she might be pregnant again, as that was my first thought too. Maybe just wishful thinking, she and William make such gorgeous babies!

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    14. I didn't look at the DM pictures anon. For some reason, a lot of people don't look good in their photographs.

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  13. Hello everyone,

    I'm hearing the video message will be released at some point today, perhaps at midnight?

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  14. Lovely post, Charlotte. I like the message Kate sent to this new patronage; it continues her focus on improving the lives of the young. Your research on the Church was indeed interesting. I have to say the bombing controversy will never really be over -- until all impulses to get revenge are gone from all humans...

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  15. Many thanks Charlotte. A wonderful look for an even more wonderful occasion and patronage.

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  16. Tedi in California7 February 2016 at 16:32

    Loved this post. Kate looked perfect today, and yes, I was happy to see her longer hair. What a wonderful event.

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  17. The coat has some beautiful pleats in the back of the skirt of the coat that move nicely when she walks. The video at the Telegraph shows that if I remember that correctly. That skirt design detail balances out all the stuff on the front of the coat.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 19:06

      This occation was the first time I saw those pleats as well. Very pretty!

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    2. Many thanks Anon 17:22, I never noticed until you mentioned the detail, and it has now moved from one of my least favourite to, at the very least, a smart, classic and enduring frock for some military engagements.

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    3. Anonymous 7 February 2016 at 17:22, I find very interesting what you are saying. It is only at this 3rd outing that I have stopped to see this coat with strongly 1970s polyester eyes. Thank you, Charlotte, for posting the photo of the brooch which shows the texture of the fabric at the same time. Knowing the fabric, the coat looks very different to me, even from afar. I like it much more now.

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  18. Nicole from France7 February 2016 at 17:23

    Anon 15.58 I do not think she could take the risk of a pregnancy with the visit to India soon , which would be at the time she usually is so sick with pregnancy ! I did like the coat, although I am not keen on the pockets, but as it is rather long, the pockets are fine ! I do agree on the hair looking untidy, but possibly she did not want her look to be too "military" ! this kind of hat does not really look good on her, she needs bigegr ones, that's my thinking but I am not a professionnal in hats !

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  19. actually, the videos at the Daily Mail show the skirt better, but that is still not the video I saw before where it shows the skirt of the coat in full motion. I don't know where I saw that video as I was surfing the Internet this morning but it was a nice one.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 19:06

      The telegraph has another video. Might be that one :)

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    2. yep. Thanks Rebecca. :)

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    3. Anonymous & Rebecca, thanks for sharing. :)

      Some of Catherine's outfits that I didn't "understand" with stills only "explained" themselves when I saw them in motion.

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  20. Hello!
    Today Kate looked amazing! Smiling, refreshed, elegant!
    I love the color of the coat and, yes, i'm really happy to see the return of her longer hair! Did she change her hair color? They look incredible :)
    I read the headlines about her band- aid: poor Kate, the media notices even things like a plaster!
    I can't wait to see Kate's video message for Children's mental health week. This year's theme is really interesting. "Building resilience" is an important part of maintaining health.

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  21. Great post as usual. Thank you.

    I thought she looked good today. I had a bet with myself that she might wear this coat and I won ;)). Everything appropriate for the event

    I've read that the Dacre Brooch is no longer being awarded to the girls and they are to receive a sword, the same as the boys. So, as with many regimental brooches, it's on "loan" to Catherine for as long a she is Hon Commandant.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 19:07

      Congratulations on winning that bet! How much did you bet yourself? ;)

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  22. Kate definitely looks great! I think her outfit is perfect for the occasion, and her role as patron suits her. I wish her luck on her tour to India!

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  23. The driver/PPO, in the striped tie, looked so uncomfortable being on inadvertently on camera. His little smirk while singing was curious. seems like he might be somewhat of a rookie, although a cute one.

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  24. I thought it was a special nicety that one of the cadets got to open the car door for Kate when she arrived.
    Usually the driver does that or one of the other PPO's.

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  25. Kate seemed happily thankful that the lady with her reminded her of the page number for the hymn. cute.

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  26. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 19:03

    The man in uniform with Kate, can it be Williams equerry? He was appearantly accompanying Harry this week as well. Maybe Rebecca (and whoever Harry usually has) have some vacation? Or maybe the equerry tagged along on this one since (if I remember correctly) he's former military and might know more about such protocols than Rebecca :)

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  27. Tammt from California7 February 2016 at 19:09

    I never liked this coat/dress in the past because I felt it was too frumpy. I must say, today it fit the occasion perfectly! It was very business-like and matched the tailored look of the RAF. The brooch, of course, WOW! We give nothing like that in our military here in the US and we SHOULD. We give lots of little pins and medals but nothing that grand and it is a nice honor to those who give their lives for our country.
    I agree with other commenters, the longer hair: LOVE IT!
    I just have to add here that has nothing to do with Kate. The Queen and King of Bhutan look to be just as well suited for each other as Kate and Will seem. They are darling.

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  28. Love her look today. So nice to see her back in action. I did notice her tummy but am not sure if she is pregnant again. Well time will certainly tell. Love the longer hair. Prince George seems to love anything with wheels or wings such a darling boy. Much thanks Charlotte for all your hard work.

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  29. Nice to see Kate back in action and wearing one of my favorite coats (...love the blue colour). Cannot wait for April.

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  30. The earrings are gorgeous. Are they new?

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  31. What seems to be different with her eye brows?

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    Replies
    1. It is a bit overdone. I think less is more, especially regarding make up. She should tone it down.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 21:31

      Haha, I do nothing with my eyebrows but I've seen alot of comments about Kate's eyebrows today and recently being "on fleek" which is the ultimate compliment on eyebrows from young people and very heavy brows are rather in at the moment. I think they look nice but I don't know much about it. And it's a matter of taste as well. Some like them like that, some dont.

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    3. I noticed it too. Didn't care for the heavy look. I also prefer the shorter hair; now it's back to the same old look. Of course she's always pretty though!

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  32. I feel like there's not much care & attention given to Kate's hair these days. No more bouncy, pretty curls like before. Now it's all flat and lifeless. I feel like her hairdresser is not doing good enough. Her hair should always be primped and shiny and with lots of body and beautiful curls! Paging, Duchess Kate hairdresser.

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    1. Yup. I 100 percent agree with you. It seems ever since she switched to Amanda cook tucker it has gone downhill
      She needs to find someone else because I could do hair better than her current stylist

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    2. If I were here and I had such a bad first trimester for both of my pregnancies so far....I don't think I would put myself through that a third time
      Maybe she just finally decided to be at a healthy weight for once. She looks so much better now than she did last fall

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  33. That you Charlotte for a great post. Loved reading all the history of the church and seeing the photographs. Now the fashion. Really liked the coat for this engagement. It is perfect and the brooch. I also liked her hair down despite blowing in the wind because it seemed to be in keeping with the engagement being for young people. Had it been a more formal affair like a remembrance service hair up. Would like to see her try some bigger hats though. And then January. I follow Royal hats blog also and it was very quiet with new posts in January hardly any and that was all the royals all over the world. I noticed the bandaid too. Perhaps our Duchess has given her cook a month off and been in the kitchen. Kensington Palace could post The Duchess's cook book to keep us all entertained.

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  34. Zora from Prague7 February 2016 at 21:08

    I'm very happy for the King and Queen of Bhutan - what good news their son has been born! I thought the baby was due later in the spring. I'm looking forward to seeing them interact with William and Kate during the visit.
    Zora

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    Replies
    1. Me, too. Happy Birthday, little boy.

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  35. What's with her eyebrows?

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  36. Kate's look was lovely...the coat absolutely perfect for the occasion and I love her longer hair, it's her signature look! However for today I do wish she had it half up half down , just to add a bit more of a polished look.

    As for pregnancy rumours, I don't think she would want to be pregnant during the India tour, even though it's a short one. Can't wait to see them with the prince and princess of Bhutan, they'll have a lot of baby advice to share! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 23:06

      They're acutally the King and Queen of Buthan! I know, young right? His father abdicated in favour for him at the same time they started being a democracy.

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  37. Julia from Leominster7 February 2016 at 22:02

    I have to admit my first thoughts on seeing Kate were ignoble - two months off and for the first big engagement of the year with a new patronage - she wears the same tired coat she has used on two important occasions previously. But it had grown on me as I've thought about it more.

    It does pick up the belt of the uniforms as someone over on OSS pointed out - and it does show off well in St. Clement Danes and it shows off the brooch well -something not every coat would do - it is such a large piece.

    However, I do think there is an art to recycling outfits that the queen has - an outfit is never worn to an important occasion twice - it may and will be used for a less noticed occasion or changed in a very noticable way, but each occasion has a freshness - and that coat will always be linked to France and Australia and look like it was meant for a time of commeration of loss to me.

    I'm also sad to see Kate's hair back to it's old messy self - I liked the new cut so much - it looked so professional and neat - but I'm glad the fringe is gone.

    But the engagement itself was wonderful - Kate looked very happy and her smile is always winning - and this new patronage is a step forward for her. Cahrlotte has done a masterful job as always of laying everthing out - such wonderful photos.

    I'm sorry about the Spanish visit but it obviously can't be helped - the reasons are so important. Tours are expensive to plan though both for the home country and the one visited - and while they sometimes have to be cancelled - I doubt Kate would fall pregnant at this moment by choice - and India would be a risky tour for a pregnant woman with the long flights. There is the queen's birthday coming up too. If there is to be a third, maybe next year.

    Someone commented in the last post that the queen didn't want another Diana - and that may be governing Kate - but the queen is far from infallible - and she has made mistakes - most of them by not understanding or possibly wanting to understand the synergy of Diana and the public.

    The queen is quite up to date for a woman of her age but she is still almost ninety and expectations today may be hard for her to appreciate -the recent poll in Hello! - while it's hard to say how representative it may be - did show the public in that poll want to see more of the young royals. How much any of this influences Kate is hard to say but looking at the Queen Mum and Diana, hearts were never won long term by being too cautious.

    I'm not in love with Kate's next engagement for reason that may be hard to understand for many here on this blog - so I'll stand back from it and join Bluhare who seems to be taking a break (or am I wrong, I hope) but I look forward to more this spring, surely the Irish Guards if nothing else, before the Indian tour - the Place 2 Be statement and possibly more.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 23:12

      Oh, I don't agree with the Queen not reusing for important occations. Wasn't the clothes she wore to William and Kates wedding also worn at trooping? And the coat from her jubilee worn on state visit to germany?

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    2. It seems to me, Julia, that comments belittling Kate's work schedule do not take into consideration the controls that may be in place. I always think she is unfairly blamed for not doing enough, as though what she does is her decision alone. Neither Kate nor the royal machine is operating on the basis of polls. There is long range planning at work. I also think the quality of Kate's work speaks for itself. What she does, she does well. Seeing her every day would not equal the effect of her obviously sincere meetings with people and her seriousness about the roles she undertakes.

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    3. And a BIG AMEN to that 04:47

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    4. Anon 4:47, it has been reported by royal reporters and palace officials that Kate makes her own schedule with her staff, and is happy with it.

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    5. Julia, you mentioned here that you are 'not in love with Kate's next engagement'. Do you mean as guest editor?

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    6. Julia, you have stated that she had "two months off". I am not sure why you are not willing to give her credit for the official appearance she did in December plus the Christmas walk to church, which I consider to be "official" as it was expected. You are also dIscounting the Gallipoli Memorial service she attended on her Birthday weekend. Also what aboutpreparing for and recording the video for Mental Health Week, working on the Huffington Post venture as well as most likely beginning preparation for the upcoming India Tour. Why can she not be given credit for what she does and for doing it well.

      Anon 23:00 not sure I would ever believe the so called "royal reporters" statements. Can you please provide a link with the statement that "Kate makes her own schedule with her staff". She may have some say in her schedule, but you can be fairly assured that if the Queen asks her to do a certain engagement, take on a particular patronage, or event she certainly will accommodate the Queen's request.

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    7. Making her own schedule is compatible with abiding by certain guidelines. I would not be surprised if the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William are all concerned about keeping a certain balance. They must want to see Kate develop her own way of doing things without being either harrassed or idealized by the media.

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    8. Thank you Eva. I think she certainly deserves recognition for those things. She didn't just "take two months off".

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    9. Annette New Zealand9 February 2016 at 16:08

      Having in my younger days been involved in helping to organise royal tours to New Zealand, I should imagine she will have been quite busy getting ready for the tour to India and Bhutan. She and the Duke of Cambridge will have been involved with the host country helping to decide on the itinerary, including which events to include. They will have received lots of information on the organisations and the people she will meet as well as background facts about each country, which they will be expected to remember. They will have been warned about local customs or prejudices in case they might offend and to stay clear from local controversies especially if they are political. it is more difficult than you might expect to ask intelligent questions and look interested and involved while photographers are busy snapping away and journalists recording every remark you make, no matter how inane!( One of the problems with the Duke of Windsor was that before he abdicated he often showed how bored he felt at official events.) The Duchess of Cambridge will also have to decide before the tour what to wear on each occasion based on the expected weather and what is locally appropriate. Maybe she has had to have fittings or buy some new outfits. It is obvious she tries to have some local designers when she does such a tour. It also obvious that she either writes or has some major input into any speeches or written statements she makes as they are much more personal than the officially written speeches of the past, simply delivered by the royal person. Finally she will be expected with the help of her staff to write thankyou letters or at least sign them. All this takes time, especially if she is a hands on mother. She must be all too aware that if she slips up, it will reflect badly on the Queen and royal family. Some previous royal spouses simply couldn't cope with all this and the Duke and Duchess certainly need some private time to be able to bring up their family rather than always be on display.

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    10. Thank you, for the insight, Annette. :)

      For those interested in the preparations going into inward State visits, https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/exhibitions/a-royal-welcome has interesting videos showing them

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  38. any news on the earrings. They don't sparkle like diamonds do they? my guess is clear topaz.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 February 2016 at 23:07

      Ive actually contacted a BUNCHES of places. They were thought to be by asprey by some but they denied it. And I mailed alot of jewelry places and noone seem to know. Appearantly they look like a common style from victorian times and there is at least 1 other identical pair out there, but other than that, no clue. Alot of people have been sleuthing about them with no trace :P Hope we get to know one day because I love them!

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    2. thanks, Rebecca. :)

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    3. Diamonds according to this...

      http://www.dianasjewels.net/earringscatherine.htm

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    4. thanks, RF. I didn't find those exact ones though for some reason.

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  39. okay girls. are you ready for some football? :)

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  40. Thank you for your interesting post, Charlotte.

    Among the many things I liked about today’s engagement are

    - Prince Philip's monogram on the birthday cake

    - the hat by Lock & Co. : hatter to the Duke of Edinburgh - founded in 1676 :)

    - the (near?) Royal Air Force blue of Catherine’s coat matching the ATC Ensign
    > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Training_Corps#/media/File:Ensign_of_the_Air_Training_Corps.svg

    - that the Queen still seems to be the Royal Patron of the Air Training Corps

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  41. Rosman at St Joe7 February 2016 at 23:38

    This is a message for royalfan. Thanks for the suggestion on converting the Hope Egg earrings to a necklace. It sounds like a good plan. I will consider it in the future but at this moment I am still completely heartbroken and really angry at myself for not putting the pushes in. I don't know why I didn't take the extra 2 seconds to do that. I think that eventually I will convince myself to spring for another pair.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. :) I tend to be more of an earring person than a necklace gal, so I do sympathize.

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  42. I thought Kate looked absolutely right for today's engagement This was not an event that I would have expected her to wear something new and her choice of coat was appropriate both in colour and style and warm enough for the bad weather we are having in the U.K. at the moment. I like the length of her hair as it is but hope she keeps it to that length and no longer. I suspect she was accompanied by an equerry due to the type of engagement. Having just seen a photo of her boarding a helicopter to fly back to Norfolk she was still wearing the coat & dress she wore for the event I wonder whether she flew down early this morning from Anmer Hall.
    It was good to see her at a different type of event and at her sparkly best genuine rather than forced smiles. The cadets clearly enjoyed talking to her and the young lady who escorted her to the reception has been reported as saying that it was good to have a female Hon. Air Commandant for the first time and nice to have someone younger as she hopes it will encourage more young people to join.
    I suspect that W & K did not go to Mystique because William couldn't have any more time off so soon after Xmas & New Year & possibly also because of George just starting Nursery School. Personally I am glad they did not go they are now there own family and shouldn't be expected to tag along with the Middletons for their holidays they see plenty of Kate's parents on a regular basis. I hope they might go for a short skiing holiday before they go to India as I am sure George would enjoy the snow & the Nanny could look after George & Charlotte whilst William & Kate enjoyed some skiing. The last time they had any skiing was before George was born when they were at a wedding when William went skiing but Kate was pregnant with George & just did some tobogganing. I am glad that the DM was for once right about Kate recording a video for mental health week and look forward to seeing it. w

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    1. Annette New Zealand9 February 2016 at 15:01

      An equerry would be wearing a uniform of some description. Surely he is one of the security officers? I've never seen an equerry with her. The Queen or a Governor - General usually have an equerry present on very formal occasions such as an investiture.

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    2. The man who reached out and closed the car door after Kate got in was in uniform.

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  43. Oh, how touching. In the video, Catherine is wearing the suit she wore in the presence of Henry Worsley.

    > 'bounce forward' from life's challenges

    > while we cannot always change circumstances, we can cope with the difficulties life throws at us

    Thinking of & praying for his children and his wife.

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  44. Thanks for the wonderful post Charlotte as usual. Very interesting and informative. This isn't one of my favorite coats but she looks great. Love those earrings, I hope we find out more about them. They look like aquamarine and diamonds to me. Love that she is wearing Rupert Sanderson again. I always like his shoes when she wore them previously. Nice to see a familiar favorite back again. I wonder how many navy suede shoes she has now.

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  45. Not a fan of seeing her in yet another hat that is perched on her head. Also, I personally like her hair shorter and wish she would experiment with it even shorter or just plain wear it up 99% of the time. She's getting older now and needs to start wearing her hair in a more stately manner - long hair down is more for younger gals -- I stopped wearing mine long and down when I was in my 30s - I'm in my 70s now and think women over 35 should have short hair or wear it up.

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    Replies
    1. I am also in my 70s, but I believe lomg hair can be very beautiful on a woman Kate's age. I do think wearing it loose does not go with this sort of hat. I would not advise Kate to cut her hair short, but I did like the length she had at Christmas.

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  46. I have always liked this coat. It is a lovely color and fits well. To me, the pockets seem to give it a modern look. I do wish Kate had tied her hair back. Perhaps she did not know about the brooch, but she does know how military women wear their hair. I like the accessories, though I am not enthusiastic about the hat. Still, with a neater hair style, it would have been all right. It is nice to see Kate undertaking her association with the air cadets, which no doubt will continue for many years.

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  47. hmm tonight event and love her outfit we see more duchess and lady cadets Its a very comes from thr e heart speech and I love the suits she wore in presence of Henry Worsley thinking and praying for his children and his wife to cope with their losses the life thorws them I understand the king and queen of spain to postpone their trip

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  48. Sarah from Calif.8 February 2016 at 13:37

    Lovely post Charlotte

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  49. Oh yes ! Kate's longer hair is great !

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  50. she looks beautiful I love their coat and look forward to their upcoming visit in Bhutan!

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