Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Hamster Named Marvin & "Just Call Me Kate": Kate Opens Magic Garden and Attends Anna Freud Luncheon

The Duchess of Cambridge began a busy day of engagements by officially opening the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace.


It's been quite an interesting few weeks for the Duchess both royally and personally. William and Kate celebrated their fifth anniversary and days later Princess Charlotte's first birthday. Following a successful royal tour of India and Bhutan, the couple welcomed the Obamas to Kensington Palace, and their 'Heads Together' mental health campaign was launched. We can expect to see a focus on this as well as participation in Her Majesty's 90th birthday later this month.


Hampton Court Palace has a fascinating history, providing the backdrop to some of the most turbulent chapters of Henry VIII's reign. Located in Surrey, redevelopment began to be carried out in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the King seized the palace for himself and later enlarged it. Along with St. James's Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII. The King is said to have sent the first letter threatening a break with the Papacy to Rome from the palace. He later declared himself head of the Church of England after the Pope refused to annul his first marriage. Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour, gave birth to their son Prince Edward at the palace.

Hampton Court Palace

Today, the Hampton Court is open to the public - a popular tourist attraction thanks to its history and close proximity to Waterloo Station. The structure and grounds are looked after by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces. The palace displays art from the Royal Collection, and other attractions include the huge grape maze and the historic tennis court.


The Magic Garden - the latest attraction - has been six years in the making, with an enormous amount of work put in. The Historic Royal Palaces’ gardens team have grown and tended to hundreds of trees and plants to create the garden’s magical landscape, planting over 17,000 bulbs and 3,000 shrubs in the garden.


Designed by RHS Chelsea award-winning landscape architect Robert Myers, the Magic Garden draws inspiration from the myths and legends of the Tudor Court, and offers families a new and unique way to explore Hampton Court’s past.


The Duchess met architect Robert Myers.


Hampton Court describes the garden as exciting and mysterious: "Populated by mysterious mythical beasts, with battlements to storm, towers to besiege, and even a secret grotto to discover, the Magic Garden is a new and unique way for your family to explore the palace’s past. Set within King Henry VIII’s former Tiltyard, where the elaborate spectacle of the Tudor tournament played out, the new garden takes inspiration from the fairy-tale-like quality of the Tudor Palace."


Those with children at home may enjoy showing them the 'Explore the Garden' feature which offers an interactive look at the garden. I suspect this is a spot George and Charlotte would have a wonderful time spending an afternoon.

Hampton Court Palace

Kate walks in the footsteps of King Henry VIII through the garden, where royal jousting tournaments were held.


The Duchess was taken on a tour around the new play area, and shown some of its unique features. Kate met those involved in the Magic Garden's design and construction, as well as children and families enjoying the new facilities.


Kate peeks into the Dragon's Nest.


One eight-year-old boy said Kate looked like "a very rich lady".


Kate told a group of children George would have loved the dragon, but he would be a bit scared.


Kate chatting with the children.


A couple of interesting nuggets from the visit. Kate revealed they have a hamster called Marvin. The Duchess said Princess Charlotte really likes Marvin because "the whiskers always tickle her face".

Valentine Low Twitter Feed

When asked if she is a Princess, the Duchess replied "Just call me Kate".

Emily Andrews Twitter Feed

The Duchess asked children about the garden.


Kate met designers who worked on the project.


The Duchess attended a short reception in the grounds of Hampton Court.


And unveiled a plaque to celebrate the garden's official opening.


A look at the decorative cake made for the opening.


Next, Kate undertook her first engagement as Patron of the Anna Freud Centre by attending a lunch reception supporting the development of a new centre of excellence for children's mental health.


Kate was welcomed by Michael Samuel, Chair of the Trustees. Mr Samuel is married to Julia Samuel - who is Prince George's godmother and was one of Diana's closest friends. Prince William recently presented her with an MBE.


Ahead of the engagement the Palace said "HRH has a continued interest in drawing attention to child mental health issues and the importance of early intervention and working with the whole family to provide children with in-school mental health services. Her Royal Highness is keen to draw attention to the ways in which this charity is working to lead a step change in children's and young people's mental health care".


During this engagement the Duchess will met families who have benefited from the centre, as well as key supporters.


The Duchess also saw a short film about the ambitions of the organisation. The Anna Freud Centre is campaigning for a step change in children’s mental health. The centre of excellence is a key aspect of this work and is due to open in the Autumn of 2018 in Kings Cross. The centre will for the first time, bring together under one roof, the best people and organisations in mental health, education, social care and neuroscience, alongside children and their families. At its heart will be The Family School, for children aged 5-14 excluded from mainstream school, which combines mental health care and education.  The Anna Freud Centre has embarked on a £10million capital campaign to complete the £34million funding required for the project.

Anna Freud Centre
A lovely shot of Kate.


Kate wore her Michael Kors coatdress today.


The Duchess debuted the piece on Anzac Day - the final day of the royal tour of Australia in 2014. The indigo twill jacquard swing coat featuring a full skirt and front flap pockets comes from the Spring 2014 Collection.


Several readers quickly noted Kate wore her Roksanda Ilincic 'Peridot' dress underneath. Kate first wore it in Los Angeles in 2011 and again for a GREAT reception in 2012. The light blue grey dress is draped to one side with cap sleeves and a pleated skirt. It originally retailed for £815.


Kate accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress earrings and necklace.


Mappin and Webb

Kate's new bag is a new Nina style in trench leather by L.K. Bennett (with thanks to What Kate Wore). In the photo below, we also see Kate wore her Cartier watch.


It looks like Kate completed the look with her L.K. Bennett Fern pumps.

L.K. Bennett

You can watch a video here.


And a video from the Anna Freud Centre lunch here.


We'll see Kate this evening when she visits the NPG!

104 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2016 at 12:52

    What a lovely park! So whimsical. Must be a paradise for kids!! I especially love that they formed the ground to be a part of the playground!

    It's always nice to see tour repeats. This is a solid working-coat for her :) That dress is lovely and I assume she will remove the coat for the lunch! Great way to distinguish between events :) She's started doing that more often. Very clever to give a visual que of it being different events!

    Cannot wait for the rest of the day! :D

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  2. The dragon is scary! Wish Kate wore something more spring like.

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  3. Kate looks very gorgeous and natural. Beautiful as usual.
    Faiza ,Pakistan

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  4. That park looks like so much fun, I want to go play in it! :) That coat is one of my absolute favorites of Kate's collection.

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  5. Lily (Canada)4 May 2016 at 13:38

    I love the coat and the dress but, Kate, your hair! Please do something with it. Even a half up, half down would have looked much better. It honestly looks like she just rolled out of bed and stuck a few pins here and there. I miss her old, long, glossy hair.๐Ÿ˜ฅ
    To the clothes...her coatdress looked much better the first time, however the style really suits her. I'll wait to post my opinion on the Roksanda dress until the luncheon. Hopefully, she'll remove her coat. Oh yes, is she going straight from the palace to the center, of all there be a break? Thank you!

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  6. Victoria from North Carolina4 May 2016 at 13:56

    What a lovely engagement, I love the dress that Kate wore, at first glance I thought that the shoes didn't go with the coat at all until i saw the dress underneath. Maybe I'm wrong, but I read somewhere a while back that Kate went to Hampton court when designing her wedding dress so no one would know who designed it, and what it looked like.

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  7. I like both items but agree, not very spring! It is beautiful weather in the UK today - she must have been boiling in that coat! On another note - that picture in the dress shows some poor workmanship on the waist - the stitching is really not very straight and looks cheaply made, not what I would expect from a dress that cost over £800.

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  8. Love this coat and the dress underneath. Great as photos are showing that she has taken off the coat as she arrives for the lunch.
    The garden looks great fun---but will be even better when the trees and other plants are more established. I am sure that George and Charlotte will be taken at some time.
    I suspect she might return home and change again for the Gallery visit.

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  9. Lily (Canada)4 May 2016 at 14:14

    Okay, I like the dress but.....her hair is really awful today. It detracts from the dress. Sadly, I think that lovely dress looked best the first time she wore it then the second time was nice too, but I think it is her hair. My hair looks like that when I just brush it and use a couple of clips. I don't have access to my own hair stylist (bummer) but she does and I just think she could have down a bit more. Hoping for some great hair and a lovely dress tonight๐Ÿ˜ƒ. Does anyone know if it will be a cocktail dress or a gown?
    Oh, and that is so adorable about the hamster and Princess Charlotte. I bet Princess Estelle would be jealous if she knew.๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Tammy from California5 May 2016 at 03:05

      Lily, I agree completely with the hair comment. She has such gorgeous hair, I just don't understand.

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  10. Hampton Court is an awesome place & the Magic Garden lives up to its fabulous setting. You can see she really enjoys the interactions with the kids & seeing their reactions to the garden. Kate already has a connection to Hampton Court Palace because it's also the home of the Royal School of Needlework which did the embroidery on her wedding veil.

    The coat & Roksanda Ilincic dress are both sophisticated pieces so it's good to see them again.

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  11. First i did not understand the coat dress till the reception later on. As always she looks divine and the kids seem to really like her. Looking forward to this evening.

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  12. I really don't like her hair like that! I guess it's her new favourite style since she wore it like that in India as well. I used to pull my hair back like that when I was a little girl. The dress had way more impact when she wore her hair up in 2012.

    She does look lovely otherwise and I love that she has a hamster! Thanks for all your updates today, Charlotte!

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    1. I actually liked both of her outfits the first time she ever wore them the best.๐Ÿ˜ƒ
      And I am a young teenager and I sometimes do my hair like that but I think it makes med look like a little girl. The same for Kate. However, she is still lovely and I greatly admire all of her work for charities that she does.

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    2. re anon 12:12- it appears one of our youngest commenters has one of the most mature attitudes-you certainly have your priorities in order. You also already know what a constructive critique sounds like.
      Thank-you for your refreshing comment.

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  13. I did wonder if she still goes by Kate- I'm sure personally she would, but so nice to hear because I always think of her as Kate, not quite Catherine! And the news of the hamster is so funny. Imagine Lupo would love to get that little guy. Are dogs indoor or outdoor pets in England typically?

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  14. She looks great and like Rebecca says, nice to see tour repeats and taking a coat off/putting one on for the different engagements - works well.

    If/when I'm ever lucky enough to go to England, Hampton Court Palace is on my wish list and now even more so. A garden inspired by the history of the place - sort of medieval fairytale stuff, very creative idea!

    I'm surprised she told a child to just call her Kate as usually she's referred to as Catherine in public and on official business.

    But, I like it! She's endearing herself to a younger generation, the generation which will have her as their Queen.

    Thanks for the abundance of information, Charlotte, on the places she visits! The UK tourism department should recognize you because yoy're writing makes me want to go there! :)

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  15. Five years of 'Catherine' undone in a moment...which I'm actually thrilled to hear. I've never thought she seemed altogether comfortable with Catherine all the time. Yay for Kate!
    This dress has always been one of my favorites. She looks happy and beautiful, as always.
    Thank you Charlotte, for the quick post!

    Lily

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    1. LT- actually, there are multiple versions of that story. The one that sounds most
      believable to me included names and specifics and indicates she was referencing some little girls who were calling out, "Princess Kate." A little girl near Kate
      asked, Is that the princess?" Then Kate told her just to call her Kate (not princess) No one had said Catherine at the time. There was no choice to be called
      Kate. Just no need to say "Princess."
      I admit, it makes a more sensational story that she wants to be called Kate and some back-up for those who thought calling her Catherine was pretentious of William.
      We don't call Anne "Annie" nor HM Liz-at least not in a respectful tone.
      And William calls her Catherine when she is in her official role.

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  16. Good thing Lupo isn't a terrier with a hamster in the house :-)! I thought Catherine's attire today was lovely and appropriate.

    Since I work for an architectural firm, it's nice to see acknowledgement of the architect (at least in one of the photographs) since announcements of new project openings rarely mention the architectural firm name. - Ohio gal

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  17. Love her outfits!! Her hair didn't photograph particularly well but I liked it from behind. Also her arms seem more muscular than in times past--is that true or just the angle? She is so gorgeous and fit!

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    1. Zora from Prague4 May 2016 at 18:41

      I think you 're right, Anna. It might have something to do with carrying Charlotte around :-).
      I like Kate's coat, her hair, her elegant dress and the whole HC engagement! And I'm so glad she supports the Anna Freud centre. It really sounds like a very important institution which can help a lot of people who are in trouble. I wish we had something similar here.

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  18. So surprised she paired this MK coat with this dress. The dress is so light, airy and delicate, as are the shoes. The coat just feels too heavy and seems to weigh the whole look down. I love each piece, but rather separate. Regardless, it is a beautiful day and beautiful Duchess.

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  19. Love Kate as always but not a fan of her outfits today. The coat seems too heavy for the dress, the neckline peeping out and the necklace did not work for me with the coat and I did not like the ensemble with the nude accessories. From such a heavy looking coat to such a summary dress was weird. How fun! We also had our fair share of hamsters but never one that we could tame...and I guess if the whiskers tickle Charlotte's face, the hamster must be quite tamed.

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    1. You know, I felt the same way about the summery dress/wintry coat combo. I saw her coat and didn't think much about it because I don't know what the temperature is there today.

      But, in the next photos I saw that summery dress and it felt odd. Was she cold in the dress? Hot in the coat? Odd combo. The second engagement was indoors though, I think.

      Also, the first thing I thought when she said their hamster's whiskers tickle Charlotte's face was, "oh, hope he doesn't bite her!" I don't know about UK hamsters, but USA hamsters are a little "bitey" and fiesty! ;)

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    2. Honestly, I think Kate hasn't mastered the art of layering yet!

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  20. I' m so happy she brought the Ilincic, it's one of my all time fave

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2016 at 17:24

      Same. I really like it!!

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    2. I always liked it but hadn't realised today quite how pretty it is. I love the detailing at the back.

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    3. Julie from NC5 May 2016 at 01:52

      Me too. My favorite dress of hers. Since she has worn it 3x now, it must be one of her favorites too.

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    4. Tammy from California5 May 2016 at 02:59

      I love it too. I also never noticed the detailing on it. Very pretty.

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  21. Ok, Peeking at the blog from work, usually save this for savoring over my morning coffee, so my comment will be brief but gotta say the Peridot dress has long by a favorite of mine from her collection. Just love this dress. Arigurl.

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  22. I haven't been a fan of that dress but I do love the coat, although I agree that it could have been more spring like, as a previous poster said. I thought the exact same thing when I saw the photos.

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  23. Tedi in California4 May 2016 at 15:59

    The park is terrific, and I am sure the children will find it all so magical. This was a great outing today. Important projects to focus on. Kate is doing so much good work for children. I hope that she begins to get the credit she deserves.
    I love that dress, and how it drapes. Really very flattering. Kate looked lovely, as always.

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  24. I like this coat. And I love the dress, although I wish the arms were matching :p I don't like this dress with the coat because it looks kind of awkward underneath, her hair looks a bit strange. It's pinned back and really curly where it's pinned, but almost no curls in the back? In all I like this though

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  25. That's the first time we've heard her refer to herself as 'Kate' in a great while, isn't it? I feel like she's been referring to herself as 'Catherine' in public since the engagement, correct?

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  26. Do not like the aesthetics of the playground at all.
    At all.

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  27. The Magic Garden looks fantastic! Kate, not so much. Odd choice for a bright sunny day at a children's playground, odd combination of dress and coat, odd hair. Seems a little thrown together without much thought so this is a fashion miss for me. But love the event and her chats with the kids.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2016 at 17:25

      I'm thinking... spring weather is rather unpredictable. And even when it looks sunny it can be really cold in the air. So I don't think the coat is that odd.

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    2. This coat is from the Spring collection 0f 2014, so it probably is not that heavy.

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    3. Jean from Lancs4 May 2016 at 18:39

      The morning temperatures have been close to freezing all week, so a coat was probably a necessity as she was outside for some time

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    4. I don't think the coat is odd either but the dress and coat don't go together, so it would have been better to either wear this coat with a different dress or the dress with a different coat.

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    5. Here on the west coast of Canada it was absolutely freezing this morning, but the wind has died down and its quite warm this afternoon. Typical spring weather. Coats in the morning, not in the afternoon. I think she looked lovely and appropriate. Many others were wearing coats in the park - not so much the kids, but the parents certainly were. I saw Rebecca Deacon had a coat on too. That Michael Kors coat was a smash hit for me the first time and I like it even more today. You can't even see the dress underneath it, so not sure why that would be an issue. The dress is one of my faves too, so nice to see it again.

      A hamster. Bet that doesn't last very long.

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  28. The lace for her veil was done at Hampton Court.
    So she does have history there. Also her husband and children's great (x's) grandfather, Henry, lived there, so there's that little connection. And, she is a future Queen in the history of past monarchs who have walked those halls, so she should have felt right at home there in many ways.

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    1. If you're meaning Henry Tudor then no, different family completely. The palace has seen Tudors, Stuarts and Hanoverians before our current royal family. It is a beautiful place though. Must be very surreal for her to be walking in the footsteps of such history

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    2. They all Descend from The Same Family. All The Families are Descendants of Henry VII. Happy to elaborate if needed. It's all elaborated in The Line of Succession.

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    3. What's also cool is the only other 2 Queen Catherine's were of The Tudor Era! Catherine of Aragon & Catherine Howard. Tho as many have pointed out, William's Family is not Directly Descended from Henry VIII. However they are Descended from The Lancaster Tudor King Henry VII (Henry The XIII's Father). William's Family continues their Descent via Maragret Tudor, Henry The XIII's Sister. So The Queen, Charles, William, Harry, George & Charlotte et al are All Decendants of Henry Tudor aka Henry VII. Who came to power after The War of The Roses, marrying The Plantagenet Princess Elizabeth. (Ie as in PG's "The White Queen) & Thus ended The 100yrs War & Ushered in The Tudor Era! The answer is Yes!.... We Yankees are Far Too Facinated with British History!:)

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  29. Love the visit--she is such a natural with children! And the "just call me Kate" is amazing. William always refers to her as Catherine but maybe she thought that the children would prefer the simple "Kate" (or Cate--my grandmother was Cate). I know that purists think that the playground is garish around such a stately palace but think of the fun the children have!!
    Now to what she wore. Not my favorite look. I am not usually into clothes but I actually agree with those who said a "Spring" coat would have looked better. She does bright colors so well. And I just don't like the dress. The color washes her out. Nothing against Kate but I think a matching coat and dress in a vibrant color would have been lovely. On to tonight and let's see what she wears.....

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  30. Really like the Ilincic dress, but her hair conceals the lovely neckline. She has a very graceful neck which is shown off beautifully by an updo such as the one from the GREAT reception. Glad to see her eyebrows back to normal.:) Another full day for our Duchess - so sweet that she told the child to call her Kate. I wonder if we'll ever see a family photo with Marvin!

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  31. I do not think of the coat as being a winter coat at all so the pairing with the dress makes sense to me. Ali

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  32. The current British royals are not descended from Henry VIII as his three children were all childless. The descent is through the line of Mary Queen of Scots whose son James was the first monarch of both England and Scotland.

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    1. Oh. Thanks 18:14. :)

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    2. But Mary Queen of Scots was descended from a sister of Henry VIII. So the royal family is related to him, however distantly after various turns in the genealogy.

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    3. Yes, but the line to James comes through Henry's sister Margaret, so the Tudor connection is still there.

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    4. Actually, they are thru Henry's sister Margaret. She was Queen of Scots by marrying James IV and was regent to her son James V. Mary was her granddaughter. Her great grandson was James VI of Scotland/James I of England. So there is a Tudor connexion.

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    5. Being related to is different than being descended from. Descended is a straight line. Related to branches out.

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    6. How can people be related and not have a common ancestor?-meaning descended from. Perhaps you are thinking of a "direct descendant?"

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    7. The three messages before yours described the relationship accurately and talked about the Tudor connection rather than direct descent, bluhare.

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    8. & Margaret was "Decended" (as in the Daughter of) Henry VII & thus the Family Line Contiues Down to Today! In may have weaved a bit, but All Heirs to The Throne have been Descendants via The Rules of Succession. Ok I'm a Big Histrory Nerd! :)

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    9. I have forgotten how far back the succession goes - to 1066?

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  33. Is the cake by Choccywoccydoodah?

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  34. I forgot to add this in my first comment. While I wasn't impressed with the vogue pictures, I wonder why she switched her rings around? She normally wears her eternity band her engagement ring and her wedding band, in that order. In the vogue shots her engagement ring is in front of both bands, and this event today her rings are back in the order she normally wears them. I wonder why? I'm curious lol

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    1. In her less public life she could be a fan of stacking. I am, and I tend to grab a few in a random order each day and switch them around as the day goes. Or, big blue could fit most snugly. Her hands would have shrunk in the cold. Maybe she kept the others inside to prevent one from getting lost. Just guesses, but I noticed it too. ;)

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    2. I think that's probably because she was in her private "at home" mode and was only wearing the two bands before putting the engagement ring on for the photo shoot.

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  35. I do love this dress, but agree with most that her hair made the look seem very thrown together. Again, long live the days of James Pryce! I also agree that her arms are looking much more defined, which I suspect is a lead-in to a rebirth of the very skinny days post-wedding.

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  36. Maybe she feels that Kate is easier for little children to say and remember than Catherine. Children flock to her like magnets, don't they?
    Linda. Illinois

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  37. I'm just here for the kid with the bucket on his head.

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    1. Tammy from California5 May 2016 at 02:58

      Okay bluhare, you made me laugh out loud!!! LOVE it!

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    2. bluhare, Kate seemed to get a chuckle from bucket boy too.

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  38. You may have missed my earlier comment. It is not a 'huge grape maze'. There is a huge ancient grape vine and, separately, a maze. Perhaps the official notification made the original mistake; do please correct this.

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  39. A busy day for Kate, but she looked like she enjoyed every bit of it. :) Love the coat and the dress...perhaps not together.

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  40. Such a lovely event, park and cause. Catherine looked elegant as always, but I was hoping to see a bright spring outfit, I had thought maybe even her Cayla dress from Wimbeldon. Also, I'm not sure why a clutch was necessary in a park with children, but it is a lovely matching set to her shoes.

    All the same, the dress is a lovely style on her, I imagine we will see it many times as it is timeless.

    I do love this coat, since the first time she wore it, I've been hoping to see it again!

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  41. Agree with everybody saying that the coat and dress are lovely, just not together. It is a spring coat but the material and style does not complement the dress underneath. She needed a different dress or a different coat. Thr Roksanda I. dress is one of my top ten favorites, so very happy to see it today. Its a hot little number.

    I think she did not have a hair stylist this morning :-(

    The park is a little bit garish but kids will love it, especially that dragon. I wonder how many Marvins they will go through. We had a hamster for two years and our vet thought that was a monumental achievement.

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    1. Dress is one of my top ten favorites, so very happy to see it today.

      haha I could write that too.:-)))

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    2. garish is an appropo word for that "playground".

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    3. Nice to see you love the Roksanda dress too Anett :-) So far, I think we only disagreed on the Khan dress.

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  42. I've never liked that dress. It looks like someone found some nice fabric, cut some holes in it for the arms and neck,did a quick drape and called it a dress. I especially don't like it with the coat. It doesn't have a nice neckline to go with the open collar of the coat. And when Kate removed the coat, the dress ended up looking even more rumpled. But, I feel like Kate's involvement in the Vogue photo shoot telegraphs the message that she wants to be known for much more than being a fashion icon.

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    1. I don't agree, because I love the dress, but I like the way you described it! very fun.

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    2. I agree with you about Kate seeming to want to be known as much more than a Style/Fashion Icon. I also read somewhere, that she has the kids in repeat or heirloom ish outfits, so as to avoid the stampede of people wanting to dress like her kids. Not wanting the "Charlotte & George Effect" to get too crazy out of the gate.

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    3. Ha zipzipzippy, your description sounds just like all the contestants on "Project Runway", only most of them couldn't even find nice fabric! (By the way, is that show ever coming back?)

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  43. I think this coat is really a winter coat, which is why it looks so heavy here. The dress is also too delicate to be coordinated with this coat.

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  44. I was seriously amused when I read Charlotte gets tickled by Marvin's whiskers :o)
    I like this coat and Spring weather is unpredictable, here in Md it was lovely spring in mid April, suddenly its become cold and fall like weather. The park looks to me like a bunch of pieces put together in a hurry,, sing see any coordination at all. I do like the Roksanda dress, her arms look so muscled and buff! Thank You Charlotte!XOXO

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  45. Tammy from California5 May 2016 at 02:57

    The peridot dress color is my absolute favorite on her. That baby grey-blue makes her eyes pop, I love it.

    Kate's hair has really missed the mark as of late and she has such gorgeous hair. If a stylist can make Jennifer Aniston's hair the envy of the entire world, surely there has to be someone out there who can work with Princess Kate's beautiful locks. I am from California and I feel we have some of the best hair and clothing stylists in the world. I attribute that to the film industry here. Stylists have to be able to move between looks from the Gatsby Era all the way to now and beyond...and it has to be believable. I think there have to be better options out there or the current stylist needs to up her game.
    Sorry for the negativity, I know her hair is not nearly as important as the work she does.

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    1. I guess we all have different opinions... but I think her hair's been looking wonderful the past months. During the Tour of India I felt she had a wonderful assortment of updoes & beautiful locks. Her hair was great when The Obamas came to visit & when they were outside for the "HeadsTogether" filming. Not to let pass how great she & her hair looked for The Vogue 100 Shoot. Well that's just my opinion.:)

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  46. well I love the fact she wearing these all over again feels like the duchess such a ease to children its the first time I hear her called me kate

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  47. I like the coatdress and the dress, just not together.

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    1. I agree it may not have been the greatest pairing, but what a great, efficient logistical idea! I wonder if she specifically chose that dress that clearly did not go with the coat as a set... so when she took it off it looks like a completely different outfit & vibe. Seems well thought out!:)

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  48. Great dress - my top favourite! Georgeous draping,interesting and delicate. Nice pairing with the coat, not boring with the asymetric neckline. Weird to see so many complain about the hair. It looks so relaxed and natural. Does it always have to be absolutely sleek and polished? She's in a playground... :)

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  49. I haven't been able to read the earlier responses, but did anyone else think about the fact that Catherine was not only "walking in the footsteps of Henry VIII", but also of the only other 2 Queen Catherines? It gave me a bit of a jolt when I realized that! Also, (a bit random:) but have any of you also noted that Catherine doesn't seem to be doing whatever she did to maintain a Year Round Bronzed Glow? I know she naturally tans well, but she seems more fair these days, even after the sun of India. It's crossed my mind that it seems to be a conscious decision. I'm naturally med/fair & was never able to get those golden tans like my friends. However, now I'm 55 & as yet still don't have a wrinkle. I have a lot of friends that tanned a lot, yet shifted when they saw how their skin was aging. It's a random question, I know, but I was just wondering if you all had noticed this shift in her coloring?

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    1. Thanks Becca for reminding us about the other 2 Queen Catherines. I am glad that the moment moved you as it did me. As for the tanning, as you know, when you have small children your focus certainly changes. For everyday, I doubt a self-tanner even crosses her mind, although, because of the children playing in the sun, perhaps sunscreen does. I know they do have awesome self-tanners now that are all natural and even beneficial for the skin and body. Some of them even have actual organic sunscreens built into them now in addition to all the other healthful innovations. Kate may not be aware of all of that though. (too busy). Hopefully, after reading today's blog she will be though, lol. Anybody know what Pippa and James have been up to? Is Pippa still living with that guy whose parents own that resort? Does James still own that marshmallow company? Is he still dating that media person with the blonde hair? Has Lupo, with his new found modeling fame been asked to do the cover of Field and Stream? What's up with Kate's family? :)

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  50. That little boy with the red bucket on his head is a national hero. I love him.

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  51. Sorry but didn't like the coat with this dress mainly because of the necklines clashing. Loved, loved, loved that she continuing to wear her Mappin & Webb Empress necklace as it is stunning. I was lucky enough to receive the exact same necklace as a Christmas gift. I love it as it is so beautiful and the diamonds sparkle so much which doesn't seem to show on the photos when Kate wears hers.

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  52. Harry's promoting the soon-to-begin Invictus games right now but when I google "royal news" every headline is Marvin the hamster!

    Sigh..... ;)

    Not aimed at you, Charlotte, as you cover Kate and not Harry nor general royal news. Just a tongue-in-cheek observation at conventional news sources and what sells papers and what doesn't. :)

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    1. So another Royal/Celebrity is born ..... HRH Marvin The Hampster:)

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    2. Lol! Already been hamsters with tiny crowns posted! "HRH Marvin The Hamster" lol!!

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  53. Just had to add that my Favorite Pic (other than the boy with the red bucket on his head:) was the one of Kate on the ladder taking a peak into The Dragon's Nest & chatting with the kids inside!:) She looks just like a young curious girl as she peeks inside! I feel that so much of her personality & playfulness comes through in that one simple photograph.:)

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  54. I love her coat not a fan of the dress or hair.

    thanks for the great post Charlotte.

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  55. Hello all! I watched a video of the event and from what I can hear, she ignores the question (initially) and instead asks the children for their names. After that, she asks if they know her name and I think she replied with 'Catherine'.

    Whoever reported the 'just call me Kate' line must've heard wrong. Or I did! Haha :)

    Here's the clip - https://source-news.s3.amazonaws.com/2121ITSN_KATE_GARDEN_0405_H264_640x360_StreamingMP4.mp4?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJUU26KHSVQJ54SIA&Expires=1478275182&Signature=khv2mjg6jve0Cr9IKFGirc9tLNo%3D

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    1. I can't understand what is said in any of her encounters with children, but I love the way Kate gets down to their level to shake hands with each child, and have a little chat with the group.

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  56. I doubt she would've said 'call me Kate' when the Royal Family have obviously tried to move away from that. I prefer Catherine, personally. Find it a little more respectful (and regal), considering I don't say 'Duchess of Cambridge'.

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  57. I am so happy that Harry has said that for any woman he meets and starts dating he realizes that they will first and foremost have to be very comfortable with each other as he knows that his girlfriend's following lack of privacy will add pressure to their relationship. Obviously he has thought it through, and that's a good thing. Oh, and can I mention again that I love Harry. :)

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    1. Well, Harry has come along way since his early dating days, and with W&K he's had front row seats to "how to get it right". ;)

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