Friday, 22 April 2016

The Royals Gather for the Queen's Birthday Dinner at Windsor & BBC's 'Elizabeth at 90'

A fantastic day of celebrations to mark the Queen's 90th birthday concluded with a special family dinner at Windsor Castle yesterday evening. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled together from Kensington Palace.


The lavish party hosted by Prince Charles was reportedly the largest gathering of the Royal family in years, with more relations in attendance than Christmas at Sandringham. The Telegraph reported "almost everyone" at the dinner was related to the Queen, including her four children, eight grandchildren, their respective spouses and extended family, including cousins. Whilst details of the party had been kept largely under wraps, Prince William said in a Sky News interview: "'It's going to be a fun schedule - a big dinner on her birthday I think as well. We’ll keep her up very late. She won't like that at all! After everything she's achieved it is quite a moment for the family."

Kensington Palace revealed William, Kate and Harry were "looking forward to celebrating with HM".

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

The dinner was held in the grand Waterloo Chamber, created to display paintings of the Battle of Waterloo commissioned by George IV.


The Duchess was in lace for the night. Whilst the dress appeared green in the photo, the photographer suggested the Duchess wore black. It is not clear whether the gown is full-length or a cocktail dress either. Readers have suggested the dress bears some similarities to Kate's Temperley London Amoret Gown, her DVF Zarita Gown and several Dolce & Gabbana dresses (with thanks to Tiffany and What Kate Wore). Perhaps a bespoke piece by one of the aforementioned designers?


It was a momentous day of celebrations befitting the landmark birthday of our longest-serving monarch. Her Majesty and Prince Philip greeted wellwishers at Windsor during a walkabout. There was quite the turn out from royalists at home and abroad. The Queen looked resplendent in a spring grass-green coat dress and hat adorned with flowers by Angela Kelly.


Readers will recognise royal superfan Terry Hutt from the Lindo Wing. The fervent royalist donned his Union Jack suit and hat, and brought his camping gear to ensure he had the best opportunity to give his best wishes to the Queen on her birthday.


The birthday balloon!


Royal photographer Mark Stewart said Her Majesty seemed "genuinely moved" by the huge crowds that turned out in Windsor to wish her many happy returns.


Prince Charles led tributes to his mother. More from the Express:

'The heir to the throne described the years since her 21st birthday speech in South Africa back in 1947 – when she vowed to devote her life to service – as the 'Age of Elizabeth'. “As we celebrate her 90th birthday, she, like all of us, can reflect on a life that has inspired and encouraged millions of people in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world,” said Charles, 67, who will host a private Royal family dinner for the Queen at Windsor tonight. “In many ways, it’s a life that has defined our age.”
Sixty-nine years ago today the then-Princess Elizabeth took to the airwaves to broadcast the speech to the Empire from Cape Town, where she was on tour with her parents and younger sister, Princess Margaret. “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” she vowed.'

A varied assortment of tributes to Her Majesty were made. The British Monarchy's Twitter Feed marked the day with balloons.


A quarter of a million tweets sending birthday wishes were made as of yesterday afternoon.


Astronaut Tim Peake sent a birthday message from space.


Photographer Mario Testino released an unseen photo from Princess Charlotte's christening.


Gun salutes thundered throughout London as 41 volleys were fired by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park.


Shortly before the young royals arrived, the Queen lit the first in a chain of more than 1,000 beacons that will be spread across the UK. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall joined her for the ceremony.


Charles said: "The beacons represent the love and affection with which you are held throughout the world."


Perhaps the biggest treat for royalists was the BBC documentary Elizabeth at 90. It's full of special moments, family footage and wonderful quotes. William said: "I would love to know their secret. I regularly ask them how they managed it as they are the most lovely couple. I hope Catherine and I have the same future ahead of us, when we are married for 68 years." The documentary is available on YouTube.


I hope it was a splendid day for the Queen and she enjoyed the party immensely.


Should any further info/photos emerge from the evening we'll update the post. Otherwise, we we will see you this evening when William, Kate and Harry welcome President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to Kensington Palace for dinner.

58 comments:

  1. Tania AUSTRALIA22 April 2016 at 11:31

    Great work Charlotte. I don't know how you have the time to post such in depth and prompt posts but I you are certainly my first point of reference for everything "Kate".

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    Replies
    1. Yep, Tania.

      VCharlotte always presents us with the
      "Bentley of Blogs" and "The Gold Standard Of Journalism", and always promptly. :)

      I believe she will be given some much deserved recognition by the Royal family sooner than later. yay. She is a real asset to them.

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    2. Being a Royal family fan and an even bigger fan of The Queens I just thought to show you this great piece by emerging artist Escobar - http://www.waltonfinearts.com/buy-art-online/escobar-the-boss-special-queens-90th-birthday-ultra-limited-edition-print/

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  2. I don't think it's either of those dresses you suggested, as it appears to be a high neckline.

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  3. Sonja from Bavaria22 April 2016 at 12:28

    The d&g and zarita dresses you suggested seem to have the wrong neckline. They have a rather deep v neck while Kate appears to be wearing a dress with a high neckline. Maybe another new dolce & gabbana dress? :)

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  4. It looks like the dress has a high neckline which could be the dress the Duchess of Cambridge premiered from Dolce & Gabbana at the Service of Remembrance in November 2015.

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    1. I hope it's a green dress and we get to see it again officially - Kate doesn't wear enough green in my opinion!
      Maria

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    2. EliSay, even I thought it was the dress she wore for the Service of Remembrance..Can't wait to see the BBC video tonight,,, :-)Thank You Charlotte!XOXO

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    3. Its absolutely the same dress kate wore on the service of remembrance. The event kate attended first time.... its not v neck nor the dress kate wore at royal variety performance as that dress's neck was not see throw.... but it is so i am 101 percent sure
      Faiza, Pakistan

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    4. I doubt if Kate wore black, since the Queen considers it a mourning color. I also think she would have had a new cocktail dress for this occasion, and I vote for green. It certainly looks green next to William's black tuxedo. Maybe a nod to the green room in which the Queen and the great grandbabies were photographed? And it does have a high neckline.

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  5. Theresa, from Paris22 April 2016 at 13:38

    I absolutely adored the BBC documentary "Elizabeth at 90". The rare footage, the memories, the quotes - the whole film is just perfection... I have never seen a better documentary on the Queen.
    Pure happiness and bliss for over an hour ! Wonderful !
    Of course, it is all about the happy family memories, as it should be for a birthday. But it is really moving, too.
    Thank you, dear Charlotte, for posting the link.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden22 April 2016 at 18:05

      I agree. It was a really great documentary! I loved it and have watched it 2 times already!

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    2. Couldn't agree more.The Queen at 90- was stunning. I never use the telly and was at pains to turn it on- had to phone my husband who's out of the country enjoying some down time right in the middle of his dinner- and ask how to turn the telly on directly! It was truly one of the best I've seen, agreed!

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  6. hmm thanks charlotte happy birthday again your majesty the queen I must say I really enjoyed the bbc Elizabeth at 90 your real she the queen who never rule the she with her family and she was work hmm charlotte do we expect photos tomorrow or its just private

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  7. Extraordinary footage so generously shared wow I have stayed up far too late in Australia mesmerised by The BBC doco. What a gift to share history with us. May it make us all live tomorrow better and be at peace for life is short or long but it is a gift! Happy 90 years. Wow.
    Theresa
    Aus

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    1. It also helps to try to match the lace design from the three dresses of course. I don't see a match yet, do you?

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    2. Kate, Texas, USA22 April 2016 at 17:14

      I love your wording of the "extraordinary footage so generously shared". I could not agree more! Beautiful words and beautiful tributes!

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    3. Thankyou Kate that's lovely comment; that was written exuberantly at near midnight & I'm still moved the next morning (with a strong coffee) about that history they shared. Imagine if we could all watch our grandparents history on film!
      Theresa Australia

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    4. Yes, nicely said Theresa. :)

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  8. No need to post this comment. It is difficult to discern from that photo but perhaps the Dolce & Gabbana gown during Festival of Remembrance (as other commenter suggested) or perhaps the DVF (Diane von Furstenburg)Zarita gown that she wore for the Royal Variety Performance.

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  9. Sarah from Calif.22 April 2016 at 14:26

    How precious :) since Windsor is where Queen Elizabeth considers home.

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  10. Victoria from North Carolina22 April 2016 at 15:18

    Daily Mail has just put up great photos of President Obama and Michelle meeting the Queen and the DOE. there is great photo of the Duke driving President Obama and Michelle back to Windsor. President Obama is in the front and the Queen and Michelle is in the back. Michelle looks glamorous as always. I would love to raid Kate's and Michelle's closets.

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  11. Thanks Charlotte for a great post. I thought the BBC programme last night of unseen footage and comments was a beautiful tribute and a great insight into the families private moments. Wills and Harry always work well as a great team (Harry being the more outspoken and down to earth one). I was moved by Lady Chatto - the very rare interview was a very personal and intimate perspective. And having had the privilege of meeting Princess Margaret, she had a glorious sense of fun and humour.

    A lot of comments already on Will's interviews yesterday, so I won't add too much, needless to say it all made sense and I do wish them some private time to raise a family and enjoy this rather unique period of time whilst pressure isn't quite on them. It's always a long game, but there seems a more positive gear change to be happening which will come as a welcome to all.

    Just a small point though which is bugging me - I get what he means by wanting a 'normal' life but this is starting to jar - the syntax rather than the sentiment - it's some private time to grow and think about shaping own future and have some quality time bringing up the children, and experience life in different communities away from the riggers of "duty". What's "Normal" is starting to sound like a distancing away from being Royal (like it's a bad thing) and all that it holds, which I think where William and Kate aren't helping themselves - they're royal at the end of the day - it makes them special, carrying the weight of ancestry, history and tradition for hundreds of years and admired worldwide. 'Modernising' is not a new thing either, each King or Queen has shaped and grown, at various rates, the idea of monarchy. But I'm rambling.

    Looking forward to seeing the Dinner tonight, I'm sure that would be a great dinner conversation to listen in on. Makes me wonder if the Obama's (especially Michelle) is planning on continuing to be an ambassador for good causes - and whether there's anything that W&K could learn by or work with?

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, Michelle knows what it's like raising kids in the spotlight. I wonder if Michelle gives Kate advice. The Obama's and William and Kate seem to get along well. It's great seeing the laughs between Harry and Michelle.

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    2. I know what you mean Mr. D, about the dichotomy in William's reasoning, seeming to minimize and avoid his heritage. He says otherwise at times but the avoidance message comes through loud and clear.

      And each new sovereign has had to endeavor to be relevant, like you said. Don't know how much planning you can actually do for that but he has had years to try to figure that out. His working in the public sector will give him some advantage but mostly I think the the bulk of change for any sovereign is pretty much a natural process as each day unfolds. The Queen embraced her destiny with a good attitude and it shows and has for 60 years.
      Let's hope William somehow does also.

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    3. Nicole from France22 April 2016 at 19:47

      of course w & C can't be that "normal" ....first they have money, which can help .... no supermarket, no laundry, no "nanny problem" if they wan to go out for a restaurant , etc .... that makes quite a difference, doesn't it ? and then .... they are royals ! which we can't imagine ! I must say I am not very found of W. , that permanent smile and the comments on his life , well, anyway he'll have to make the job, so .... let's waite, but they definitely are NOT anybody, and should not try tomake us believe the contrary. I recon it must be quite hard to cope with to discover you do not hold your future in hands ....

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    4. I was surprised that he hasn't spoken to her about her work. And his comment about his great grandmother led me to think that he hadn't talked to her either although someone had suggested it. As a genealogy buff I find that sad but I know not everyone is as interested.

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    5. If you listen carefully, William doesn't use the word "normal" in reference to
      material objects. He is speaking of having a relationship with his children, giving and receiving love,as is normal between fathers and their children.

      "Normal" is one of those words or phrases that have accumulated political
      and emotional nuances.Sometimes all one needs to do is see the word and
      context is forgotten-immediate stimulus/response reaction "Tax-payer funded does it for me. lol

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  12. Jean from Lancs22 April 2016 at 15:40

    Lots of happy pictures yesterday, then this lovely additional one from Charlotte's Christening. The baby is giving everyone a wave and George has taken his feet of the settee.
    Probably we will get photos of President and Mrs. Obama arriving at Kensington Palace, but doubt if we will see the hosts.
    ITV repeated the film they showed at Easter on Channel 10, so watched it again and then watched the BBC one. Sky did a programme on Wednesday evening, but of them all, I thought the BBC one the best. It was interesting to see the old films, never seen before and hear the comments from family members.

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  13. Sarah Maryland USA22 April 2016 at 15:46

    Thanks for showing that link to the documentary! Is it totally lame it had me tearing up a little? It was nice to see the duke of kent and princess alexandra contribute!

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    1. Sarah. nope. I did the same thing. That was a very poignant memoir.

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  14. Tedi in California22 April 2016 at 16:03

    I loved seeing the Queen and Prince Philip yesterday. What lovely tributes to Her Majesty. I thought she looked beautiful, and later on, before the dinner, she wore a scarf so as not to ruin her hair before the evening festivities began.
    Thanks Charlotte for all the posts. It's been such fun. I haven't watched this video yet, will do later this afternoon.

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    1. Tedi in California22 April 2016 at 23:09

      My husband and I watched the video. Thank you, so much, Charlotte for posting it. What a wonderful tribute to Queen Elizabeth. It was so very moving, and poignant. What a beautiful young woman she was. Together, she and Philip were a sensational pair, he has always had her back. We were very touched by Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret's daughter. She seems like such a gentle soul. And, all those wonderful home movies. Seeing King George and the Queen Mother with their girls was lovely. And, we mustn't forget all the dogs. Weren't they fun to watch. I will watch it again, as it is the best I have seen.

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  15. yeah the bbc one is great and I love its go to show bbc is the best nice too hear the queen and her family members

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  16. Would it be appropriate to wear black to the Queen's birthday party?

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    1. Even I thought the black color was odd, but Kate has worn black dresses to other engagements,, so I guess it might be okay,,,

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  17. "Elizabeth at 90" has got to be one of the Royal family's best documentaries. Superb.

    The Queen was and is stunningly beautiful and gracious both inside and out. She is spunky, fun, nurturing and witty. Quite a lady. And very beautiful.
    And, she brings the Royal Jewels to life like no other.

    Loved the footage of she and Phillip parenting.
    So see, she wasn't a cold and aloof parent ever. So that slur is completely erased, thank God.

    I love that we got to hear her casually converse with Charles and that we got to see her reactions to the memories. How special is that? So nice to hear from Anne and the others who seemed so moved and sincere, unlike some of the other interviews and documentaries with other family members. This was light years better.

    Prince Phillip is quite the fun guy also. Quite a hands- on dad and grandfather. Quite handsome and dashing. His deep love and respect for Elizabeth is very apparent. Nice that William has apparently set Phillip's example as a goal for his marriage. That was encouraging.

    Now we have a clearer understanding why the Queen cried when the ship was decommissioned. It was a very special haven and home to them, away from prying eyes and formality. I was moved to tears as I watched her sadness concerning that.

    What a beautiful insight into lives that have so often been misconstrued by so many for so long.

    What a sweet part of their legacy. Kudos to the documentary team. Beautiful.

    Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth, hugs to you. :)
    Long Live The Queen

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    1. Yes yes yes I echo all those sentiments
      This is remarkable insight
      Elizabeth as young girl ... Wow
      And so much love and laughter and outdoorness as children!!
      Theresa
      Australia

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  18. Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth! I am quite sure Kate is wearing her Temperly London Amoret gown. If you look closely at the lace of the sleeve, you will see the same pattern of the vine with three leaves grouped together, which the lace of the other dress does not feature. We can't see the neckline as Kate is turned away from the camera, and her hair is obscuring it. If not the exact same dress, perhaps a bespoke Temperly gown using the same lace.

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  19. Kate, Texas, USA22 April 2016 at 17:12

    What a lovely tribute to HM and a special treat for us! She is such a beautiful woman from a very young age til now. The film footage was so wonderful to watch and it made it even more special to hear commentary from those closest to her. It's been a wonderful week of tributes and celebrations to a special woman worthy of it all. I hope she enjoyed her family celebration last night. I'm sure she's ready to get back to business as usual. :)

    It has been a busy couple weeks on the blog. From the India tour to all the wonderful celebrations this week, it has all been fantastic! Charlotte thank you again for another great post! I'm looking forward to the post this evening covering the special dinner at Kensington Palace!

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  20. I've been wondering why William often looks so tired! Then seeing this photo with his handsome glasses explains! He tries to go without them in public, but his eyes get so tired! He needs to just give in and wear them! DWLee3

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  21. Great post Charlotte
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE QUEEN. She looks gorgeous and amazing... don't have any words for her
    Our net service is so slow so that i can't watch any documentary or news.... also i have not seen any other news as our cable line is disconnected. Feeling very sad i can't do anything. If any disk will be available of all the documentaries? And kate wore the same dress she wore on service of remembrance, the event she attended first time...
    p.s what a beautiful pic of Charlotte's christening. George like ever steals the show.
    faiza, Pakistan

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  22. We know that George calls the queen Gan-Gan, but does anyone know what Kate calls the queen?

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    1. Annette New Zealand22 April 2016 at 21:27

      I noticed that Prince Harry referred to the late Queen Mother as "Gan-Gan" as well. The grandchildren appear to call their Grandmother "Granny" so maybe "Gan-Gan' is reserved for great grandmothers in their family. I presume the Prince of Wales is being lighthearted when he refers to "Mummy" but it sounds a bit feeble, especially coupled with the recurring joke of knowing the Queen since she was 22.

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  23. Captivating. Absolutely terrific. This was an A+ production (unlike the previous recent doc). Historic, sentimental (in the best sense of the word), informative. I think we all felt like we were sitting with them in the living room, watching our own family home movies. Love Harry and William's pep. William's closing wishes and comment showed poise, confidence and proper use of the English language (which he doesn't always and it's been my one ongoing critique of William-if you are to be the King of England your English should be impeccable. Should go without saying, but alas one must ). Elizabeth II IS the 20th century-and the 21st. Quite a life and one whose symbolism, and importance, will be further made evident as years go by (and more visual, written documents, analysis will surely emerge). Can I also say how much the Princess Royale continues to impress? She's a powerhouse, quietly working as hard as a horse, terrific personality (loved her honest answer & reflection in response to the question "Do you think the Queen is an optimist"? And kudos to the producers for including that response in the doc.) Love Princess Anne's personality & her own amazing contributions. I don't think she gets the credit or the attention she deserves (which is unfortunate-the media complains about Royals, but doesn't give her the attention she should, partly because her role is not to be the "glamour" side of monarchy, as it falls on to HRH's of Cambridge). Thanks Charlotte for embedding the documentary on this great post. Silvia

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  24. Nicole from France22 April 2016 at 19:50

    Charlotte, you really are great, with all these posts , mind you, the burn out is not far ! LOL I suppose, anyway, that you are thrilled to share all the news and photos and finos you discover and collect, what a moment for you !!!

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  25. Nicole from France22 April 2016 at 19:52

    anyone knows why Will wears glasses ? does he have contact lenses usually ?

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  26. Mandy from the USA22 April 2016 at 20:27

    That looks like the rocking horse gifted to Prince George by the POTUS, conveniently placed in the room where they'd be chatting. ;)

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  27. I am always taken aback with Lady Chatto- the Queen's niece. If anyone has got every element of the "classic" Windsor family look , it's her...Of everyone, in the BBC documentary," The Queen at 90" last night on the telly, it was her big toothy smile that did it for me. She looked like she was blinking back tears most of the time. So sweet.
    The Queen and Charles- I always think they are just slightly odd together- on the news last night showing his speech as they lit the torch outside Windsor yesterday for her birthday: the whole thing elicited little applause, his" Mummy" sentiment drew no laughter, and she was about as glum or peeved" with no smile on her face as you ever see. I know the weather was horrid- as I live rather near Windsor. How stiff- and horrid. And as if to make the whole thing worse, the torch didn't "light" - it just " smoked" and sputtered and smoked some more ... That was just horrid!
    - and even their interactions during the documentary seemed a bit jaded, stilted, rehearsed or canned. Very stiff. I'd hope for better - but together , they always leave me slightly disappointed.

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  28. Hi Charlotte Im a massive fan and love reading your blog. I wouldn't dream of telling you what and what not to feature but if I may I'd like to offer some thoughts. This article features a photo taken by Niraj Tanna an individual who has grown increasingly hostile towards the Cambridge's. This is especially so since he was warned away from George & Charlotte. It is clear from his twitter feed that he knows his actions cause W&K anguish indeed he enjoys his subsequent notoriety. I also find it telling that so many anti-kate folk love his 'work'. They hate W&K but they nevertheless want to be inundated with photos because they know he upsets them. The point i guess im trying to make is that I would like to see the most pre-eminent Kate blogger out there take a stand against his bullying and stalking. By using his photos and inviting discussion about them you are in danger of lending him journalistic legitimacy something I strongly feel his actions doesn't warrant. I would like to know your thoughts. I will keep on reading your fab blog regardless.

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    1. Interesting point. Kate appears to be turning her head away quickly from the photographer, as if she is clearly saying "I refuse to let you photograph me". I looked at Niraj Tanna's Twitter feed and you're right: he (she?) is clearly someone who is antagonistic and not wanted around the royal circles. I've seen Charlotte say that she won't publish paparazzi photos on this blog, but this one may be just that.

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  29. I really want to find out where I can watch Catherine's interview about the Queen. Anyone know where I can find it?
    Mari in Utah

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  30. Tammy from California23 April 2016 at 01:38

    I cried many times through the BBC production. Gosh, how those home movies reminded me of my grandparents and the movies they took! Gan Gan made me miss my Gan Gan. WWII Generation truly is the greatest generation.

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  31. Charlotte,
    Thank you for providing the video, "The Queen at 90, a family tribute".
    It might easily be dismissed as somebody else family adventure, why should I bother, or, have an entertainment value as an alternative for some people. In reality it reveals a lot more especially about Queen Elizabeth, some about Charles and Anne. Distant times and the present and so on.

    1. The casual conversation with Charles recalling events from over 50 years back, and at 90, her memory is very sharp. As members of her family have said, she is active. She has obviously continued to carry duties actively at 90. In a way, in her case age is a number. If she wants to continue in her role, there does not seem to be any limitation on her which age restricts at age 90 to do her kind of duty within reason.
    2. It is a rear video which finds her speaking spontaneously in a casual conversation.
    3. It gave a glimpse of her matriarchal style when in response to Charles’, “I could go far…” regarding how far he could slide down from the slider playing with his much younger brothers and cousins. She did not flatter him, oh you were so good at that, or turn the conversation into an analogy of his very life, “you could go far in everything you do and so on”. Plain and simple, she told him, “You were big and heavy”. This also gives justice to her other children in the game. That was one moment in her matriarchal position and style.
    4. In many ways, destiny and the stars went out for the right person as if she was born for it. She has had her own disposition uniquely her own among her very own family. They will miss her some inevitable day.
    5. When Anne was asked if her mother is an optimist, simply watch it. Why don’t media show her speeches, activities, interviews etc.? She is interesting. She is another person who “is made up of the tough stuff”, with some forthrightness and intelligence.
    6. At the end of the interview, the response from Queen of The Netherlands about QEII, hit the mark at the core of what sustained a long reign. Other leaders and monarchs could have been helped by similar hold on faith in the lonely job at the top. The difference is the British people seem to hold their Queen with high regard, affection and respect. The fact that it is a constitutional monarchy most likely will help it continue. Her reign had been during peace times although with some challenges. British monarchy in the next 40 years may not necessarily enjoy the same enthusiasm as her time on the throne.

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  32. The lace on Kate's gown is the same pattern as her Temperley "Amoret" gown. The top of the gown looks like the Temperley "Cleo" gown. Prince William is wearing black tie, so this gown is probably floor length.

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  33. God bless the Queen may she live for many more

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