Tuesday, 20 December 2016

UPDATED: A Royal Turnout for the Queen's Pre-Christmas Luncheon & Kate's New Patronages

We may only see arrival photos through car windows - nonetheless Her Majesty's annual pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace is one of my favourite staples on the royal calendar. It heralds Christmas, which just days away, and remains a constant and enduring tradition within the family.


Fresh from yesterday's Christmas party with charity partners the Mix and Heads Together, the Cambridges and Prince Harry looked relaxed as they arrived. No doubt there's been an abundance of last minute preparations before the family travel to Bucklebury where they will enjoy the festivities with the Middletons. Below, we see William driving with Harry in the front seat; Kate sat in the back with George and Charlotte.

A look at Prince George.


And in Mark Stewart's photo we see a glimpse of Princess Charlotte.



Today marks the seventh consecutive year Kate has attended the luncheon, which last for roughly two hours. Kate wore a purple dress/coat with what appears to be a black scarf.


The Queen hosts the fifty-strong luncheon every year for the entire extended family, many of whom are spending Christmas with their own children and grandchildren rather than joining the annual gathering at Sandringham. Her Majesty and Prince Philip are expected to make the journey to the Norfolk estate within the next couple of days, where they will settle in before welcoming their children, grandchildren and other relatives on Christmas Eve. The Queen is said to take attendance very seriously and loves nothing more than a full house palace for the occasion.


Lady Sarah Chatto was all smiles upon arrival.


Princess Beatrice.


Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with their daughter Gabriella.


Lady Helen Taylor and her family.


And Viscount and Viscountess Linley. It's nice to see photos of extended members of the family whom we rarely see.


Buckingham Palace is also a majestic sight; Her Majesty's love of Christmas means it's no surprise to see beautiful festive dΓ©cor on display.


A look at the finishing touches...


And a simply ideal addition to the Christmas tree :)


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We also have news of a significant announcement made by the Palace today. The Queen has given twenty-five of her patronages to other royals to ease the workload in her 91st year. Her Majesty still remains patron of over 600 organisations, but the move is in recognition of the fact she cannot continue at the incredible pace she has throughout her reign. The decision follows the example set by Prince Philip who resigned from a number of patronages when he turned 90.  This has been in the planning for some time and it comes as no surprise to hear the Duchess of Cambridge will take over as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, better known as Wimbledon. The choice is a splendid fit for Kate, who is an avid tennis fan and loves to spend a day or two at the tournament every summer. It's safe to say this tradition will continue as the Duchess will be there not only as a lover of the game but as patron.



'The Queen has been Patron of Wimbledon since 1952, the first year of her reign, though she is not a tennis fan and has only taken her place in the royal box a handful of times. Paying tribute to her years of service, Philip Brook, chairman of the AELTC said: "We would like to thank Her Majesty for her long and unwavering service to the Club and the Championships during her time as our Patron. We remain immensely proud of her role in the history of the Club and the Championships.
"We would like to welcome HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, who will take up the Queen’s former duties as our Patron, and also recognise with appreciation the ongoing contribution of HRH the Duke of Kent, who will continue his long-standing role as our President."
The Duke of Kent is expected to continue presenting the singles trophies at Wimbledon, but the Duchess may be invited to present some of the trophies for doubles.'

As of publishing, it is not known how many others will be passed on to Kate. I would imagine at least one or two more. Here's a full list of  the patronages. Action for Children and Save the Children UK are two contenders, given Kate's interest in supporting children.

Holocaust Day Memorial Trust
Royal Institution of Great Britain
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Battersea Dogs Home
Barnardo's
Royal School of Needlework
Royal African Society
Welsh Rugby Union
Amateur Swimming Association
Action for Children
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) Wimbledon
Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
Blind Veterans UK
Rugby Football Union
Rugby Football League
Edinburgh International Festival
Sport and Recreation Alliance
British Cycling Federation
NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund
British Science Association
Institution of Civil Engineers
Animal Health Trust
Royal Geographical Society
Save the Children UK

UPDATE: Tying in nicely with Kate's Wimbledon patronage, she will also become patron of the Lawn Tennis Association in 2017. The Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) mission is to get more people playing tennis more often, and part of its role is to govern tennis in Great Britain, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man by acting as guardians to promote and safeguard the integrity of the sport. More from the LTA:

'The Lawn Tennis Association has paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following the announcement that Her Majesty will be relinquishing her patronage of The Lawn Tennis Association. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge will become patron in 2017.
Speaking about the announcement, Cathie Sabin, President of The LTA, said: "On behalf of all the British Tennis family, I would like to thank Her Majesty for her many years of patronage and dedicated support of tennis in Great Britain. "We were honoured to welcome Her Majesty to open the National Tennis Centre in 2007 and we are enormously proud of her association with our sport. We are excited to welcome HRH the Duchess of Cambridge as our Patron from 2017, and wish to thank HRH the Duchess of Gloucester for her continued and steadfast support as she remains in her role as Honorary President."

It has also been officially announced the Duchess will replace Her Majesty as patron of Action for Children. Founded in 1869 by Methodist minister, Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (the charity recently celebrated their 145th birthday), Action for Children is a national charity that supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people. It works with more than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers each year at 650 services based in the heart of communities across the UK. In February 2015, Kate visited the organisation's Cape Hill children's centre. You can view our post covering that engagement here. An excellent choice in a very important area.


Prince William is taking over the Welsh Rugby Union and Prince Harry has been confirmed as patron of the Rugby Football Union. We'll update if any more announcements are made concerning Kate.

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Finally, I've received a large number of queries from readers asking if we'll definitely see photos of the royals attending church with the Middletons on Christmas morning. When William and Kate spent the day in Bucklebury in 2012, a couple of photographers covered it, although the Palace leaned quite heavily on the media not to publish if I remember correctly. Certainly, I do expect we'll see at least a few photos, although it's not guaranteed. Below we see William and Kate leaving St Mark's with the Middleton family in 2012.


With the knowledge many of our readers are travelling and likely will be too busy to check in on the day, I'd like to wish you all a very, very Happy Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful time.

159 comments:

  1. Prince William looks so handsome in his glasses! I wish he would wear them more! DWLee333 in Bend, Oregon

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    1. I think he only requires his glasses for reading and driving, because it is for those 2 activities that we usually see him wearing them. It is quite possible he wears contact lenses most of the time, and switches to glasses when his eyes are tired. I do that myself.

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  2. One more comment- I love that the Duchess has the opportunity to be patron of Wimbledon. This seems like such a natural fit for her and her interests. And how good that must feel to have the Queen see you interests and allow you to take on such a patron!

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  3. While I've commented very little this year, due to many health issues in our family, I wanted to thank you so very much, Charlotte, for your fantastic blog! It's given me many bright moments in a fairly dark year, as it has since you first started writing. Thank you for your wonderful writing, interesting history lessons, and complete coverage of our favorite Duchess and her family. Wishing you and Mr. Charlotte a very Happy Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

    Julie

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    1. Julie, I feel the same. This blog is a great place to escape to when life and world news become overwhelming. I hope 2017 brings your family good health and happiness.

      Thank you, Charlotte, for your hard work. You've created a wonderful site. Merry Christmas to all!

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    2. Julie, wishing your family members improved health and wishing you peace and comfort.

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  4. Thank you for a wonderful post Charlotte! Looks like the DOC has purple on? Quite surprising since she loves to dress for the occasion. I quite expected something red or green lol!

    I realize it's none of my business (lol) but I must say I'm disappointed the Cambridges are spending Christmas in Bucklebury. Given HM's age (I mean no disrespect here), one would think they would spend as many Christmases with HM as possible. I thought one of the benefits of their new home was location and the fact that the Middletons could join them. Ok, whatever.

    Nice that the DOC gets to add Wimbledon to her patronages.

    Thanks for the wonderful year here and Merry Christmas to you Charlotte!

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    1. Personally, I'm glad the Queen seems to realize how unfair it would be for her family (or any other family) to hold another family hostage for every single holiday because of her advancing age. She is not demanding W&C's attendance. We have seen that over the past few years she seems happy to be flexible and share the time in different, creative ways. I think that is commendably unselfish and loving of her. It's what I saw done in my own family. My grandmothers and aunts kept everything harmonious and fair. Unlike ex-Mr. Philly's family where there was a lot of whinging about it if someone spent one Christmas in 7 years on "the other side."

      Think about it. If HM lives to be 100 like her mother, that's a decade of zero complete-family Christmases for the Middletons. ALWAYS one child and the grandchildren missing. Another consideration is that Sandringham is full to the rafters with royals squeezed into servants' quarters. If W&C attended this year, someone else would be bumped. A bit of give and take is good.

      An equitable rotation and attendance at some events over the holiday season is only right. It increases the pleasure and lessens the stresses all around to share the time. Sometimes here. Sometimes there. So much nicer than a command appearance. Nothing destroys a festive season more than knowing you always HAVE TO attend a particular function (and hear about it ever after) and can never opt for something else.

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    2. Purple is the colour of the advent season in the Anglican Church so perhaps Kate is wearing it as a nod to the Queen as head of the Church of England? Just a thought :-)

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    3. I agree philly.

      Not to mention that the Queen and Prince Philip spend almost two months at Sandringham and the Cambridges will have weeks of opportunities to spend time with them, as well as all other family and friends the Queen hosts during her stay in Norfolk.

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    4. Amen, Philly, lol. Those family dynamics sound so familiar. Things have worked out in our families over the years and now everyone is onboard with sharing the love. So much better. Thankfully.

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    5. In my family, my children do one year at my house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their in laws, then they reverse the next year. With going to the Queen's luncheon it isn't as if the Cambridge's are ignoring Her Majesty. Kate has a family too and allowing her to spend time with her own folks can only strengthen the bonds of understanding from the Royal Family.

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    6. Speaking from personal experience, it is very unfair for them NOT to spend some Christmas's with the Middleton family. At this point I have not had my youngest son for Christmas in 23 years. I am always relegated to what ever is left when they do not have something else happening. Christmas Day is ALWAYS spent with his wife's parents. When we have discussed it it is always that he has "to keep peace in his family".

      While I was happy to see the Middletons included in last years festivities at Sandringham, however, I can understand there may be extenuating circumstances that might now make that impossible. There is now another set on I laws to consider as Pipa up coming nuptials approach.

      Please also remember there are many more days other than Christmas that the Cambridge's spend with the queen. (As I do every year) So please consider the other side when criticising them for not being there this Christmas Day.

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    7. Philly- You said beautifully what I'd been trying to come up with for a couple days. Plus like I said in the previous post about how hard taking children multiple places over the holidays can be and how monotonous and exhausting it can for the children and parents. I don't think spending a holiday once every handful of years is wrong or selfish. I also don't think, for holidays and family interactions, that the Middletons should be deprioritized because they aren't as "important" as the queen. Rank often dictates Will and Kate's entire life including Sandringham so I have no problem with them grabbing a more typical, relaxed holiday.

      Having read about the timeline and precision set up for Christmas at Sandringham I also wonder how much of the decision to do a Middleton Christmas was to give the kids a more low key Christmas. Following the schedule to the minute is often stressful for adults. George is at the age where Christmas is just wondrous and I don't blame Will and Kate if they wanted a Christmas out of the spotlight. I know they wont ever be truly out of the spotlight but there are degrees of it.

      Some of my best Christmas memories are of me and my siblings making huge messes of wrapping paper as we dug into the presents to open them as quickly as possible. Wanting your kids to balance out their lives like Will and Kate is not selfish in my opinion. They are parenting their children whilst trying to balance things out. I just don't see wrapping paper flying, peels of laughter, etc. At Sandringham. That doesn't mean it is bad or wrong, just different and I don't think exposure to a Middleton Christmas is hurting anyone now, nor will it in the future.

      Just my opinion. Sorry it is a rambling post but I blame it on lack of sleep.

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    8. I know people thought that having the Middletons over at Amner Hall is the perfect compromise. But I have always thought it slightly awkward. Invite your family over to spend Christmas with you and on Christmas Eve you potter off to the big house, "Help yourselves to whatever is in the fridge."
      I can be a solution some years to enable the Middletons to have more Christmasses, but I completely understand that Kate wants a Middleton Christmas once in a while.

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    9. Julia from Leominster21 December 2016 at 23:53

      What I fail to understand is this business of a Middleton Christmas since Kate has celebrated with her family almost every year since her marriage, even missing the queen's lunch last year. I also fail to understand since the Middleton home is new since her marriage and can have no long term memories for her, why the family traditions can't be adapted to Amnner. Spending a few hours with the family on the opposite side hardly seems too much of a burden, my parents, more thoughtful in that way than the Middletons insisted that we spend holiday time with my in-laws even though it meant taking time away from them, sometimes travelling on Christmas Day.

      Believe me, if someone gave me a lovely house, with no rent to be paid, furnished as I wished, with all sorts of wonderful improvements, I would certainly not think it too much to spend some of Christmas Day with them.

      But the queen and Philip are ill so it is unclear how much of a royal Christmas will happen anyway. Colds at that age do tend to linger. I wish them good health as quickly as possible and hope they get the rest they need and have the opportunity for a wonderful holiday with those family members who do join them. Given all the talk of gag gifts (which I don't really like) and plenty of young children like Mia and Edward's children, I should imagine there will indeed be plenty of laughter at Sandringham.

      And I wish all here a very Happy Christmas whatever form it takes. We are with family which is a blessing indeed.

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    10. I went back through Google to understand where W&K have been every year at Christmas. It is interesting to see such a strong reaction to their choice of where they want to spend Christmas. So let's take a look at their plans since marriage.

      2011: stayed at Sandringham with the royal family, public walk to church
      2012: with Middletons because she was really sick from HG and needed to be closer to hospital
      2013: with royal family. It is unclear if it was actually at Sandringham but think it was as I don't think Amner Hall was finished yet. George's first Christmas and W&K walked hand in hand to church
      2014: Amner Hall Christmas morning with Middletons at home, walked to church with Royal Family on Christmas day, attended Christmas eve activities with royal family. Seemed like a good split between both and their own home. Think the Middletons also went to church this year with the royal family on Christmas day. Kate was pregnant with Charlotte
      2015: with royal family at Sandringham to give their staff a break. Middletons joined royal family for church after Christmas day, I believe was 12/27. Not clear if they were also there on Christmas day but I don't think that they were.
      2016: with middletons in Buklebury

      Based on those google facts, it does seem that they are spending equal time with each family and doing a good job of rotating around and also taking into account the needs of their own staff.

      Christmas is about family, both families and the royal family shouldn't take precedence over the Middletons. Whether or not they are in the childhood Middleton home is irrelevant because memories are more than 4 walls and a roof. Whether your loved ones are is your home. I also agree that while the Queen/Philip are advanced in age, you can't live expecting them to die at every moment. By all accounts they are very healthy and are expected to be around for several more years. But the future is unknown, you can't live with the thought of "what if this happens, or what if that happens"? You have to make the best decisions with the information you have at the time.

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    11. Amen, Julie from NC.
      They were thoughtful of their employees also. That speaks volumes. And all good.

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  5. Is the dress red or purple? Someone on Twitter speculated she was wearing her purple Issa dress (which I do not think is the case) but it's an interesting theory! Personally I'd love for her to wear more purple - it's such a flattering color for her.

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    1. It is a beautiful color for her skin tone and hair color. Very regal.

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  6. Am I mistaken or do Eugenie and Beatrice appear to have been driven separately by security detail, while the others mainly drive themselves?!

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    1. Perhaps Eugenie and Beatrice don't drive or don't have cars of their own?

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    2. If they need a ride, for gosh sakes, call Uber!

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    3. They are driven by security but I expect that's for practical purposes. What the cameras did NOT show were the vehicles full of PPOs preceding and following the vehicles driven by the senior royals.
      As a side note, Beatrice and Eugenie's security is paid for privately by Prince Andrew. They were stripped of their 24-hour police protection funded by the Crown, in 2011. That was one of the things that caused the big rift between Charles and Andrew.

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    4. They always come in separately. What's unusual is the absence of the Wessex family. And Mia Tindall was not there either.

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    5. Man, I wish I could remember, but there was actually a royal function and someone in the extended family did use a taxi. I'm so sorry I can't recall what it was--but it was within the last 5 years or so.

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    6. Denise, are you thinking about Chelsy arriving at Clarence House....?

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1085693/Chelsy-grows-Harrys-girl-turns-midnight-rendezvous-Prince-classy-black-gown.html

      Other than this story, I cannot recall a taxi scenario.

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    7. Yes! At the Queen's luncheon a few years ago.And this year, too. I'll look it up.

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  7. Thank you Charlotte for a fun filled year of Duchess Kate. I hope everyone has a cozy Christmas with their loved ones. Looking forward to 2017!

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  8. Hopefully not off topic by much, Emily Andrews, 11/5/16, in The Sun, in an article entitled "Markle Sparkle" submits some pretty radical comments about Meghan, Harry and the Monarchy. I like where she is going with this. More food for thought for sure.

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    1. I think a big part of this is the public's and the media's hunger for Harry to be dating someone.
      If anyone will recall, everybody went crazy over Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy in a similar manner, proclaiming each was the love of his life, he'd finally found "the one," he was head over heels in love, marriage was right around the corner, etc. etc. etc.
      Harry seems to have inherited a lot of Diana's qualities, her human touch, her capacity for empathy, her ability to genuinely care and be concerned for others - but her impulsive nature and her almost obsessive nature when it comes to romance, as well.
      If you've read about her affair with Hasnat Khan, which descended almost into obsessive stalking at the end, Harry's sudden attachment to Meghan Markle draws a lot of comparisons.

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    2. An addendum, :), for those of us who have had questions about Meghan, she has explained a lot in an article she was invited to write for Elle magazine,
      that she entitled, "With Fame Comes Opportunity, but Also A Responsibility", 11/8/16. Another good read. (She has also written another article for them on the topic of being bi-racial, and in addition, they have a cute article on some of her memorable quotes.

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    3. Thanks for the Info. Those articles were refreshing.

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  9. Also confirmed that the Duchess is taking on the patronage of the Lawn Tennis Association which is different to the Wimbledon patronage. I think she has a purple coat or dress on but not Issa.

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  10. How exciting! George looks very happy and glad to see William, Harry and Kate arriving together. The palace decorations look absolutely lovely and would love, love to be a fly on the wall as George and Charlotte see them! Christmas through the eyes of a child is priceless! It is nice that Kate has been given the Wimbledon patronage, I think she is a perfect fit and will be wonderful. Thanks Charlotte for posting the other patronages. It is interesting to see, at least a smidgon of, the scope of work that is carried out by the royals and those paronages that will be carried on by William and Harry. Agree that the children patronages would be good for Kate to uphold in the future. Somehow I think this is a pivotal year for the Cambridges and that the plan all along was to pass these patronages on slowly, methodically and when the Queen was ready! As ever, the post is very informative and always interesting, thanks for sharing. cc

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  11. George looks cute and I agree that William looks handsome with glasses. Too bad we can't get a better view of Kate and Charlotte.

    Lots of controversy the past week for the Cambridges, mostly at the hands of others. It's notable that the only two official photos (not taken during royal duties) released by the BRF released in the past month were of the Prince of Wales with his mother (for the portrait) and with his wife (for the Christmas card). No other member of the royal family released a Christmas card this year-not the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Cambridges, Harry, Yorks, Wessexes or the Princess Royal (several of these usually don't). There will definitely be a big push to concentrate much more attention on Charles as heir over the remainder of the Queen's reign.

    In terms of spending their Christmas with the Middletons (if, of course, the story is true), I think it's good that they are spending time with Kate's family. Everyone wants them to spend Christmas with the Queen and Duke, but the royals have maintained, since the time of Queen Victoria, the tradition of Christmas Eve as gift exchange, big family meal, etc. Christmas Day is meant for church, a cold buffet lunch, and watching the Queen's speech. Last year the Cambridges went to Church but skipped the afternoon activities (according to reports). I'm not sure how not spending the whole day away is that much different.

    According to the press, the patronages are divided by royal, so Kate's patronages include the AELTC and the LTC along with Action for Children. The Princess Royal will become patron of Save the Children as her association with the group dates back to the 1970s. She has gone on many overseas trips to Africa, Asia, and elsewhere to visit children in need and see the work of the organization.

    I look forward to an overview of Kate's work and wardrobe over the past year. Have a Merry Christmas and thank you Charlotte for such an excellent and balanced blog.

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    1. These are excellent points! I have also just realised that the Queen herself never released Christmas cards! I think it is something only Charles has done.

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  12. Nicole from France20 December 2016 at 18:40

    Dear Charlotte, I wish you a very happy Christmas, The Queen is on holidays and I wish you to be able to take some time for you too, as you work so hard and so well on this blog ! and merry Christmas to all of you, readers and posters , it is such a pleasure to belong to this group, I do hope you forgive my mistakes and I also hope the way I express things does not sound out of place, as I am French and sometimes ignorant of special details about the RF !

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  13. Probably this has been seen, but would like to share this nice montage of the Queen titled "20 Times Queen Elizabeth Stole Our Hearts". Some great pictures and some lovely quotes. Fitting for the end of her 90th birthday year. cc

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/celebrities/197414/20_times_queen_elizabeth_stole?utm_content=kate_fanpage&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=sm&utm_campaign=fbpaid_cmmaind&Dmpg2=f_1899&goal=pv

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  14. I'm so excited that she is taking over the Wimbeldon patronage! What a great fit. Another I would love to see Kate involved in is The Royal School of Needlework. I am American but took a class there a few years ago and it was a wonderful experience at Hampton Court Palace. Also, some from these school helped with the needlework on her iconic wedding dress. It would be fun to see her take a class there!

    Thank you Charlotte for the wonderful coverage. Happy and healthy new year wishes!

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  15. I would like to see the Duchess of Cambridge as the patron of the Royal School of Needlework. The school did such a lovely job on Kate's wedding dress. It would be a wonderful way for the Duchess to continue her passion for supporting the arts.

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    1. As an Art History graduate that would be very appropriate.

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  16. It's always fun to see the lesser-photographed members of the royal family arriving for this event.
    Also nice to see them all - with the exception of William, Harry and Kate - smiling for the cameras. Something appears to be going on with Kate's face in the one photo, almost looks like some sort of burn or reaction?
    I'd have to guess that this year's dinner might be more than a little tense, with Will and Kate skipping off to her family for the duration, Harry's shenanigans with his side trip to Toronto after his Caribbean jaunt and just all the tensions that come with a big family at the holidays.
    I understand Kate's desire to spend the Christmas holiday with her parents and family but it's very odd that, given William and Kate's hatred of publicity and the media, they'd choose a very public Boxing Day pheasant hunt over the very private one, away from the eye of the media, at Sandringham.
    Not to mention, I would think that they would want to spend as much good time with the queen and Prince Phillip as they can, given the advanced ages of Will's grandparents.
    For all the spin about the wonderful relationship they all have, I think it speaks volumes that Will and Kate won't make any time at all to spend with the queen and Prince Phillip and the rest of the family at Christmas at Sandringham and instead choose to be three hours away from the family festivities.

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    1. Elizabeth,

      I choose to continue to believe that they have a good relationship with the Queen. She did invite the Middletons as house guests recently at Balmoral. That was historic. She seemed to be enjoying herself with both Carole and Kate. I don't know where people say they don't get along. I just don't see that. As for George seeming formal with the Queen at Charlotte's christening, he was also aloof from Carole and Michael, etc. I think it had more to do with the occasion and the crowds, and photographers than anything else. He did cry when he didn't see them walking behind them at first. He didn't want to leave them behind. And as for Kate not having a cozy enough story to tell, I think that had more to do with her wanting to be cautious in her sharing so as not to overstep privacy. She knew every word and her every expression would be critiqued almost to infinity and back. I think that what she said was in keeping with the interview. I don't think that them getting along is a spin at all. I think they truly do get along swimmingly. I am not trying to make anyone angry please, just stating that I think they get along and why.

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    2. Kate has parents too, and George and Charlotte have grandparents and relatives on both sides. It's fair for them to grow up having memories on both sides. All of us have dilemmas about making decisions of who to see on holidays with our significant others, even royals.

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    3. Really? Seriously, you all act like Kate has no family. I know the Queen is the Queen but to expect Kate and William to never spend time with her family on the holidays because the Queen might die in the next decade is ridiculous.

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    4. I actually think it "speaks volumes" in fairness that William and Kate are spending time with her family as well. As I have posted above I have not spent even one Christmas Day with my youngest son and my grandchildren in 23 years. In order "to keep peace" in his family the Day must be spent with her family.

      With all due respect a close relationship with someone is built over time and not just on one Christmas Day.

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    5. I am sure William and Kate would not miss the Queen or Prince Phillip's last Christmas on purpose. But it is possible that HM cam live another 10 years, which will mean the Middletons will miss all the children's Christmasses.
      (I also have my pregnancy suspicions)

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    6. Julia from Leominster21 December 2016 at 23:58

      The Middletons have not missed any Christmas with William and Kate, they have simply spent it at Anmer. Last year, they even attended church with the royal family.

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  17. Dearest Charlotte,
    Thank you so much for all the fabulous work you do on your blog, and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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  18. Is Kate wearing the purple dress from the first Canadian tour looks the same shade and the V neck would explain the black scarf. https://goo.gl/photos/KLEe3d5khhrGtQDQ9

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  19. If you look closely, George is in a car seat. Around his head the head rest looks different. Charlotte too. They are facing forward, but the laws in the UK may be different than the US. I always like the arrival photos too. Kate's profile is striking.

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  20. Anna, of The Countess of Wessex blog, says of new patronages:

    • Blind Veterans UK - The Countess of Wessex (confirmed)
    • Edinburgh International Festival - perhaps Prince Edward?
    • Sport and Recreation Alliance - Prince Edward, he is currently President
    • British Cycling Federation - possibly The Countess of Wessex, because of her challenge?
    • NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) - The Countess of Wessex (confirmed)

    There are also several charities where Camilla (Battersea Dogs Home and
    Barnardo's) and Anne (she’s president of Save the Children UK) are involved, so I expect those will become their patronages.

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    1. Most of HM's patronages already have another royal associated, eg the Duke of Kent is president of Wimbledon and will remain so. I would think some of them could take over the patronages they are already serving in some capacity.

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  21. I thought something significant might happen today as in years past the Christmas luncheon wasn't announced on the court circular. How exciting that Kate has been passed the patronage of All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and Wimbledon
    Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). This is a great fit for her and a sign that the Queen expects Kate is in it for the long haul.

    Perfect also for William and Harry to take over their respective Rugby associations as Patron. You can tell they love the game and have enjoyed their association with it as Vice Patrons in the past.

    I do hope Kate takes on a few more patronages from the Queen the ones you mentioned and I hope also she takes on the Royal school of Needlework. didn't they work on her wedding dress? That would be another good choice.

    The winds of change are starting to blow through.

    I also like the Christmas luncheon and watching the extended family come together. Such a great sign of the season and something that everyone in the family looks forward to as well. I do hope we get some pictures from Bucklebury on Christmas.

    I hope all the readers enjoy their holidays and have a blessed new year. Thanks Charlotte for all you do. Keep up your fantastic work through 2017!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Maggie - Minneapolis20 December 2016 at 23:11

    Here's my question - if it's just Kate and William being so "normal" by alternating Christmases like most people get to do, then where's that desire for normalcy when it comes to William working on Christmas? Generally more junior employees like him are the ones who would have to work the holiday(s), yet last year he got a ton of time off. So first, if Christmas is private like many of those defending the Cambridges are saying, then why did he get to still use his royal status to get that time off for a private event? And this year, since he's definitely spending it privately, it seems like in most situations the employee would probably have to work Christmas Day esp to make up for not doing it last year even as one of the most recently-hired employees.

    Also why are people acting like Kate and William spend an equal amount of time with the Middletons and the royal family in general? It's fairly obvious the Middletons see them quite a bit more - they holiday together often, they spend many weekends together, and actually do the Cambridges really spend any holiday other than Christmas (half the time) with the royals at all? Let's not forget - this year on the Cambridges' annual trip to Balmoral, presumably something at least in part planned to get to spend time with the Queen, the Middleton parents also came. Along with a bunch of their other friends. And this is not just the 2nd time Kate will be in her "family home" for Christmas since marriage. In 2014, they spent the entire day/month with the Middletons at Anmer, which is also a family home. Just because it happens to be on a royal estate doesn't change that, especially when the Middletons attended church right along with them. And I'm not sure why Anmer isn't as much a family home as Bucklebury when the Bucklebury home has not be lived in much longer by any Middleton than Anmer has. I'm not sure why another Middleton family Christmas couldn't have happened at Anmer so that Kate and William could at least attend church there. Is that really such a sacrifice, especially when Bucklebury Manor is not even a childhood home and it would save taxpayers a ton on security too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fairly obvious huh? I would say that we have no clue how much time they spend or dont spend with eachother. The Queen has alot of close friends, but it's not like we see them out dining or on vacations. They hang out in private homes. Chances are that we don't see even a fraction of the interaction between royals. The Wessex kids hangs out alot with the Queen, we hear from Sophie. But we don't see it! We don't see everything so I don't think it's fair to pass judgement on how much time they spend together. The Middletons seem to like eating out, going on vacations etc. And they are doing that, just like they've always done. And the royals hang out in private homes, like they've always done. Charles might not take George to the petting zoo, but maybe plant a tree in his garden and play in the treehouse thaat appearantly exists there.

      The thing is. They might hate eachother, tolerate eachother, like eachother or love eachother. Or mixes of all. What annoys me is that people think we are privy to any of that based on the liiiiiittle information we have and what spin the media has decided on!

      Delete
    2. I think we have clues, Rebecca, and I think it's fairly obvious that Kate spends a lot of time with her family; her mother in particular. I recall when Meghan Markle news first hit and it was reported she'd met William and Kate, it was reported afterwards she'd met William but not Kate because William was in London but Kate was in Bucklebury with her parents. She was there when she got very ill when first pregnant with George, as William met her (he was off at a house party) to go to the hospital. She takes the kids there a lot; they were there at Easter when William was off somewhere. There was a lot of conversation about that here. There was a lot of conversation about Carole's presence at Anmer when two staff quit. So Kate does spend a LOT of time with her family, and from what has been said a lot more than she spends with the rest of the royals, except perhaps Harry.

      However, this isn't about who spends what with who. It's about William stepping up and doing his duty to his grandmother. And it would be simple for him to do that AND spend time with Kate's family. They could all decamp to Anmer as they've done every other year but one.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca,
      This is my take on all the "talk" also.

      Delete
    4. Well said Rebecca! cc

      Delete
    5. While I didn't read the original comment, that was a magnificent reply, Rebecca.

      Delete
    6. Thank you, Rebecca! You've hit the nail on the head.

      Delete
    7. I agree so very much Rebecca. Noting, the media may comment on time with Carole because they are able to. Not so much with the privacy of the Queen. My feeling is she spends ample time with Kate and the children.

      Delete
    8. I think that Kate is being criticized for not living a life that her critics would never tolerate.

      If more people had a happy family life like the Middletons, the world would be a nicer place with a greater generosity of spirit.

      Delete
    9. I agree with Rebecca. And I would add that families can see each other frequently, but that does not substitute or negate the need to spend a special time with each other at a holiday or special observance. It doesn't matter how much or how little time William and Catherine spend with the Queen, PP, PC, her parents, there is the intent to share the holiday this year with the Middletons. And we don't know what all the decision points were. We should not forget that if the Queen wished for a different outcome or behavior, she would make it known.

      Delete
    10. I'm not arguing that Kate spends alot of time with her family. But that doesn't mean that they can't spend lot of time (or talk on the phone!) with his side as well. And so what if they don't! I'm way closer with my mothers family than I am with my fathers. That doesn't mean I don't like them or cherish them for what they are. But they are relatives, while my mothers parents is family who helped feed me as a kid, babysat me etc. That doesn't mean I don't have respect for my fathers parents, wouldn't help them, like talking to them etc. They just have a different role in my life. My maternal grandmother was the one I was crying in the couch with when I had my first heartbreak. My maternal grandfather was the one I was sitting quietly by when my anxiety was starting. That is the kind of thing that I see Kate having with her family. The royal family, while nice and all other things seem more like my paternal grandparents. They are kind, they are clever, and I would not want them out of my life in any way. But if I have to choose who to turn to, I turn to my maternal. Because they are the ones that turned to me while my paternals turned to their work. And that is ok. But Charles seems to have been the same. Kates family has cultivated a relationship in another way than Charles. And that is OK. Charles is fully committed to his work and duty, just as he has been taught. That doesn't mean he doesn't love his kids and would do anything for them. It just means that he maybe hasn't cultivated the same kind of relationship that makes you want to curl up in their couch when you need a cry and a comfort. And that is ok! But you can't blame Kate for wanting to keep her close family, especially in a life that will be very tense and stressfull at times. She has all right to be close to her family.

      I'm not saying that they couldn't be at Anmer. They could. But I also think it's very unfair to blame them for wanting a normal "at home" christmas with her family from time to time. They have spent the majority of the christmases with the Royals so it's not like they are snubbing them. I saw this summary on a forum:

      2011
      Christmas Eve- with the BRF
      Christmas- with the BRF

      2012
      Christmas Eve- with the Middletons
      Christmas- with the Middleton

      2013
      Christmas Eve- with the BRF
      Christmas- with the BRF

      2014
      Christmas Eve- with the BRF
      Christmas- with the Middletons, though the morning was with BRF

      2015
      Christmas Eve- with the BRF
      Christmas- with the BRF

      Delete
    11. Julia from Leominster22 December 2016 at 21:42

      Christmas must have been with the Middletons as well as BRF in 2015 because they attended church with the royal family. So the forum is wrong!

      Don't know about 2013 but I wouldn't be surprised if the Middletons were at Amner. Since the forum was wrong when the Middletons were obviously in attendance (at church!) I don't know that we can make assumptions about 2013. By all reports, Carole was helping a great deal with George who was a baby then.

      William and Kate attended church with the royal family in 2014 but lunched with the Middletons.

      If William and Kate were truly "normal" William would have worked at least one of these Christmases since his work requires staffing at Christmas and normally that is by seniority. Up until now, the excuse has been that attending Christmas was part of his royal duties. What his excuse is this year, who can say!

      Delete
    12. Rebecca, I feel the same way about Kate's closeness to her family and you expressed it so well. Kate's life is not "sleeping on roses". She is sensitive and she surely gets frustrated from time to time by all the negative - often unfair - comments they get; she is a mother of two very young children; her every step is being followed; etc. etc. We all know how difficult it was for William's mother to cope with her role and how she lacked support. I think William knows that Kate is very close to her original family. (Could anyone imagine Kate being close to her mother-in-law, William's stepmother, in a similar way she is close to her own mother? Although that does not mean they can't get on well, of course.)
      HM the Queen has had her husband's extraordinary support, she called Philip her strength and stay. I suppose William has learnt a lot from his grandparents' relationship - more so as his parents' relationship was so unhappy and painful. I would 't be surprised if he took Prince Philip as his model in a way. Like Prince Philip, William did not come from a stable, happy marriage. Like him, he married a woman whose original family was/is very important to her. So if he makes it possible for Kate and his whole new family to spend this Christmas with her parents, isn't it a very considerate gesture showing how much he cares for her? And I'm sure if HM considered their being with the Middletons as annoying, inappropriate or showing lack of his sense of duty, she would make her sentiments known to him. Let us give her credit for knowing how to deal with such things, at her age and with her experience.

      Delete
    13. Thanks for sharing Rebecca.

      I certainly agree. Kate being fortified by supportive family on both sides is the stuff dreams are made of. Build strong families and you build strong communities. Build strong communities and you build strong nations. It truly is foundational. How anyone can fault strong families is way beyond me. I think the Queen has flourished over the decades with the support of her mum and her husband and other members of her family. She keeps all of the family members as close as she can. She has strong core values and so does Kate. I think that is one of their bonds.

      Delete
    14. I'm not blaming anyone, Rebecca. In fact I think I've posted that I understand Kate's desire to spend the holiday with her family. And they can do what they want; I don't really care. What I do care about is William stepping up and supporting his grandmother on Christmas -- the one day of the year that HM does not work. His, and his children's, future depends on the continuity of the monarchy. And they get a lot for being who they are. The difference between you and I is that I think William should at least go to Church with his grandmother on Christmas. I don't care if Kate goes. But I do care and think William should.

      He also should not participate in the kind of canned hunt Carole Middleton is organizing on Boxing Day. It isn't just a jolly in the woods shooting wild birds. It's a canned hunt where birds battery bred and raised (and debeaked) are brought over and released just so William & Co can shoot them out of the sky because they can't fly. It's disgusting; just like a canned hunt where people shoot wild animals who are penned up so they can't escape. And here's Mr. Conservation going to shoot animals who were mistreated their entire lives and probably won't be eaten either. some might; most are not. They usually have too much shot in them to be edible so they are burnt. No, they aren't endangered; far from it. But how he can go off on conservation and participate in events like this is beyond me.

      Sorry. rant over.

      Delete
    15. I do not think William needs any excuses. None.

      Delete
    16. Julia, I'm not sure. But I think the one where they went to church on christmas was the year before and that last year they went to church with the royal family a few days after christmas. And I'm pretty certain that in 2013, Anmer was not renovated. And we know Kate said George was with the nanny when they were on the christmas walk.

      Delete
    17. Rebecca- a lovely sentiment:"...curl up in their couch when you need a cry and a comfort." Your whole 10:50 comment is helpful and gracious-as usual.

      I think a few commenters are missing or ignoring the point that 2012, the year Catherine was ill, is the ONLY year the Cambridge family spent Christmas exclusively with the Middletons. (and how enjoyable could that have been with Kate so ill?) If they were all situated at Anmer, people would say-"They are right there close by-why not divide their time between the two families?" In past years, the idea of the Anmer staff having the holiday off was mentioned.The actual mechanics of going back and forth, changing clothes, making arrangements for the children etc. needs to be considered as well.
      It is disruptive to a peaceful and lovely holiday. Also, it has been suggested that James Matthews might be included this year. Very natural, considering that
      a wedding is in view.He likely has spent many hours in the Middleton home and the couple may feel Anmer a bit too public. Then, church: if the Middletons , Pippa, and James attend with the RF, not to mention brother James and his long-term girlfriend, they would likely be labeled pretentious. If they don't attend church, well complaints there,too.

      Above all, neither KP nor BP nor CH has announced the Cambridges are to completely forego the Queen's Christmas. (I haven't checked KP Twitter yet today)
      Would it be so difficult to wait until they don't show up to start the judgement?
      I think they may attend at least Christmas Eve festivities and church. Just a hunch that I've expressed in several comments not yet published,although I can't imagine why that speculation was not approved.

      Delete
    18. The point underlying the media reports could simply be that they would have to choose which event to cover, as the two places are many miles apart. This would be quite inconvenient for the royal reporters, paps and such.

      Delete
    19. Julia from Leominster24 December 2016 at 15:25

      I will be very happy if it all proves to be wrong.

      Delete
    20. It's all a moot point now, anyway. In view of Zara and Mike's sad loss, I doubt there will be a church walk this year.
      I do think the Queen, Prince Phillip and likely Charles and wife will arrive
      descreetly at the church for services.

      Delete
    21. Julia from Leominster24 December 2016 at 23:51

      I think there will be a church walk by some - if for no other reason than the locals around Sandringham - many of whom are elderly and wait for a long time out in the cold - expect it. There was disappointment one year when the queen failed to collect flowers as expected. But attending church - at least to the queen - I suspect is more spiritual than celebratory.

      I wouldn't expect to see the queen or Philip on the walk - if they are well enough to attend church at all, it is most likely they will be collected by car. As we know, the press believes William and Kate won't be there, and probably not Mike and Zara sadly now. But Charles, Camilla, the York girls and Andrew, Edward,Sophie and family and possibly Anne and Tim and Harry may all appear. The celebration at Sandringham may be more muted however due to the queen and Philip's health and now this sadness, although there is still little Mia, just at the age to appreciate Christmas.

      Delete
  23. Confirmed new patronages:

    Holocaust Day Memorial Trust - Charles
    Royal Institution of Great Britain – Charles
    Barnardo's – Camilla
    Welsh Rugby Union – William
    Amateur Swimming Association – William
    All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) Wimbledon – Catherine
    Blind Veterans UK - Sophie
    Rugby Football Union - Harry
    Rugby Football League – Harry
    NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) - Sophie
    Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund – Andrew
    Royal Geographical Society – Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot Lawn Tennis Association LTA which is different from Wimbledon. it's confirmed Kate has this patronage as well.

      Delete
    2. Confirmed today by Action on Children that Kate will take over this patronage.

      Delete
    3. Another confirmed patronage has been announced for Catherine-a children's charity, as Charlotte suggested.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster24 December 2016 at 15:31

      Rebecca, I believe you are correct - the Middletons appeared at church in 2014 although they were also reported to have been at Amner in 2015.

      Having looked at Carole Middleton's Christmas suggestions whilst looking this up, I hope they are for public consumption for her business only - they define materialism and tat - it's no wonder William is saying that George is spoilt and received too many Christmas gifts - Carole's suggestions have no spiritual aspect at all.

      On a second sad note, such a shame to hear about Zara. It will not be the happiest Christmas for the queen and the royal family.

      Delete
    5. I feel very badly for Zara. Such a terrible thing to have happen. I hope they're coping.

      Delete
  24. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNuUf4bDgDr/
    Hi Charlotte!! i have never seen this pictures of Duchess kate. do you have any idea what the event was?
    have a Merry Christmas :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Flower,

      The photos are from a private Royal Foundation dinner on 14 November. The lady who owns them shared them on Instagram, I got in touch with her about obtaining permission to post on the blog but she told me the Palace stipulated the photos were only for private use and that she expressly didn't want them posted on blogs or websites. Quite dreadfully, her daughter (who gave an inspiring speech at the dinner) received a very hard time when they were published on various sites online. It's always a pity when something like that puts a dampener on a memorable occasion. Unfortunately anything posted on social media can go viral though.

      Merry Christmas and thank you for the kind wishes! :)

      Delete
    2. Wow I also knew they work behind the scenes but that's very lovely. Thanks for sharing the link here.

      Delete
    3. Was William in attendance also?

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster24 December 2016 at 15:23

      What a pity for the young woman who made the speech that royal privacy for some reason is more important than her inspiring talk. Why I don't like this "behind the scenes" work. How many more people might that young woman's talk have inspired!

      Delete
    5. Privacy addicts!! Sad:(

      Delete
  25. In one photo I saw, I suspect that Kate has the fur collar around her neck that she wore with the unidentified coat in Switzerland while attending a friend's wedding.

    I don't believe it's the Issa dress. The fabric looks heavier. The color is definitely pretty - would like someone to track down what the coat might be.

    Charlotte, thank you for all you do. What a great year to follow Kate, her journeys and style choices. Looking forward to wrapping the up with fun recaps.

    Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy Christmas holidays from rainy Ireland! I am spending Christmas here with my only daughter and her husband and their children are spending Christmas with his parents thousands of miles away in California. It was always the agreement when my daughter got married was that they would alternate Christmases. Besides, the Queen will be surrounded by her sons, daughters-in-law, other grandchildren and great grandchildren. It's not like W & K and family would be the Queen and Prince Philip's centre of attention. As another reader said, Christmases at Sandringham are very formal, hard for little ones. The Middletons Christmas will be a small family affair and the children WILL be the centre of attention which is what Christmas is about.
    Don't like hunting and shooting--think they are archaic and cruel. But, oops, I said I wasn't going to criticize what other people do if it doesn't affect me :)
    Valerie about to go house hunting with Mr. Valerie driving (he says he won't be in the car when I drive in Ireland) and a wet dog in the backseat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. happy house hunting Valerie.

      Delete
  27. I have seen a report that only two royal photos have been released, the portrait of Charles and the Queen, and Charles and Camilla's Christmas card. If so, Kate and William cannot be blamed for not releasing theirs. In addition, perhaps the Queen or the POW welcomes a Christmas Day when all of the attention will not be on Kate, assuming the rumors are true. Surely criticism, otherwise warranted or not, is quite premature since the facts are not entirely clear.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello,

    Thank you for your lovely comments and kind Christmas wishes. As you may have heard, the Queen and Prince Philip have delayed plans to travel to Sandringham.

    ITV reports:

    'The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have delayed plans to travel Sandringham to start their Christmas break as they are both unwell, Buckingham Palace has said.

    The pair had been due to travel to King's Lynn and then onto the nearby estate in Norfolk on Wednesday, but were delayed by heavy colds.

    A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have heavy colds, and so have decided not to travel to Sandringham today."

    The pair, aged 90 and 95, normally spend Christmas at the Sandringham estate.'

    Wishing them both a speedy recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear hear on the speedy recovery for HM and the Duke!

      Delete
    2. This has made me wonder if one of the reasons the Cambridges are not going to Sandringham is that some small children get sick a lot and lengthy exposure to them by people in their 90s is not a good idea. I also think that the schedule that I've heard of for the Queen's Christmas includes very little time to spend with children on Christmas Day--perhaps W&K want something that doesn't involve 5 outfit changes, 2 church visits and a long walk, when they have two young children who will be having a blast.

      Delete
    3. Excellent point. For three years in a row my cousin has invited me and my parents to her house for a holiday celebration and dinner. Invariably, her grandchildren arrive and bring with them a virtual Petrie dish of germs. Either the kids are sick or they make the elders sick. So every year, my folks and I do not attend.

      Delete
    4. The 2 children who they spend the whole year with. I expect Moxie is coming soon and we find out how many days Kate left her home to do some work!

      Delete
    5. You've got to be kidding Anett. Spending alot of time with your kids means you have no need to see them on Christmas?!

      Delete
    6. Anett,

      The DuchessKateTracker website can give you that also. Not that we would not love to hear from Moxie from Florida.

      Delete
    7. Nah, Moxie is probably sunning on the beach with a colorful drink that has an umbrella, enjoying the tanned and toned cabana boys. Duchess Kate Blog just a distant memory. lol

      Delete
    8. If the argument is that they see the kids all year and can celebrate Christmas with the Middletons a different day it is pretty easy to flip it around. They could surely spend another day with the Queen doing "Christmas " instead of the actual date. Also since they spend time doing engagements and planning with the Queen they see her all year as well.

      My point is that we don't know everything that goes on behind closed doors. I am certain the Queen knows the Christmas itinerary isn't really toddler friendly. At some point we need to accept that not only do their children deserve their parents full focus during the holidays whilst they are young but also accept in this scenario she isn't the Queen but a great grandmother.

      Delete
    9. Well, now, this isn't the time and place for number crunching... because we are busy trying to figure out if we need to hire staff over at Watching Kate Watching Sports! More Tennis and Rugby for everyone! Watching Tennis and helping William watch Rugby are sure to feature heavily in 2017. Fun fact - Kate's first royal sport watching event after marriage was with William in the Royal Box at Wimbledon on June 27, 2011.

      It's nice that Kate is helping the Queen with a patronage the Queen never attended. I'm not sure how that is going to reduce the Queen's workload, but then I'm not real good at royal math.

      On another note, I don't think it's a big deal to miss Christmas at your Grandma's when you live a mile down the road from her on her estate. There must be plenty of opportunity to hang out together. Especially since she's going to be there through February. And you only tend to do 3-4 days of appearances during that time period.

      Stay positive!

      Delete
    10. I didn't say that Rebecca. But it is diffucult to past comments like the kids can't have a proper Christmas because they are not with their grandparents, or with their hard working parents etc.

      Anon 21.56

      I got that you are not interested in Moxie's numbers, I do.

      Delete
    11. Anett, didn't say that at all. Quite the contrary.

      Moxie's numbers happen to often correlate to those at that website that's all. And you seem eager to know the statistics. Right?

      21:56

      Delete
    12. Moxie,

      LOL and Merry Christmas!!

      Delete
    13. Hey Moxie, so good that you gave the beach a momentary break to say Hi to all your DKB fans. ☺️ How is Florida treating you?

      Delete
    14. Even though I often do not always agree with you Moxie from Florida, those counterpoints? No one quite presents like you. :) Thanks for the laughs. "royal math", that's a good one. I think you just created a new genre.

      Delete
    15. Astrophysics, move over. Royal math is now in town. πŸš€πŸ˜‚

      Delete
    16. Moxie has a brilliant suggestion. Stay Positive.
      Some here have sounded almost despondent because of their takes on the Royal family. Try to stay healthy. Perhaps look at the glass as half full rather than half or seven-eighths empty. Think happy thoughts. Go to your mind's "Happy Place". Rejuvenate. Keep the endorphins going. hugs to you all.

      concerned

      Delete
    17. MultiState Moxie: I can be available to edit the Watching William Watch Rugby segment of your meticulously researched blog. I only require a travel budget to attend all the matches William watches. And locker room access for player interviews after their match. You know, so I can see how they feel having William watch them play. I think your readers will love it.

      And I can help with that royal math. The Queen didn't do anything for that patronage, so it's pretty much even as Kate won't either. You're welcome. :)

      Delete
    18. My bad 21.56 I misunderstood your comment.

      Delete
    19. According to Lord Howard, as quoted in the Telegraph, neither William nor Harry were scheduled to appear at the match this year.
      Kate not do anything for the children's patronage? Wanna bet?

      Delete
    20. I think the Queen being patron of Wimbledon gave it that somethin' somethin' prestige-wise that it would not have otherwise. Kate's Royal association as patron there will perpetuate that.
      So she will be making a good difference.

      Delete
    21. 2116: Certainly. What's the bet, timeframe and what does the winner get. It needs to be more than a visit and/or video because I do think it likely she'll do that. That may take care of the disparity in having the demotion in patron from HM to 2nd in line's wife.

      Delete
    22. ..".the Queen didn't do ANYTHING...Kate won't either." Unquote.
      Time frame? HM had 60 years to vist 600 patronages. (10 a year) Instead, she chose a few to emphasise and left the rest to other royals. Good, sensible plan. Unfortunately, few of those other royals have been getting credit.
      Second in line second choice? Judging by today's media coverage, I'd say they're
      getting the best end of the deal.

      Delete
  29. Good to see a nice photo of George travelling to the Xmas lunch he looks quite excited. Pity one could not see Charlotte and I am disappointed Kate was not sitting beside William we have no idea what she was wearing though it looks as if it is purple whether a coat or dress unable to tell.
    regarding the Cambridge's spending Xmas with Kate's family I can well understand why and support their decision, with Pippa getting married in May and James maybe thinking about the annual gathering of the whole Middleton clan might well not take place every year in the future. I am sure George & Charlotte will thoroughly enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Bucklebury and Kate & William will not have to worry if George or Charlotte get rather over excited.
    Delighted that Kate is becoming Patron of both Wimbledon & the L.T.A though I think her input will be rather restricted in the immediate future as both Presidents are staying in place the Duke of Kent for Wimbledon & the Duchess of Gloucester for the LTA. The Duchess of Gloucester has been very proactive over the years attending all Davis Cup matches and major official Dinners both at home and overseas. She is still a fit 70years so I hope we see Kate involved in some way but I would think this appointment is more for the long term future. We are bound to see her at Wimbledon but at present not presenting the cups. I do hope she does get the patronage of action for children in 2015 she attended an event at that charity her visit is highlighted on their website so hopefully she will become their new patron
    Thank you Charlotte for all the hard work you have put into this Blog throughout this year I have greatly appreciated all the very informative information you have provided about the Charities involved and the places visited and I have learnt a great deal thank you so much.
    Have a good Christmas and I look forward to your Blogs in 2017

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine has been given the Action for Children patronage.

      Delete
  30. I pray a speedy recovery for them also.

    Since Sandringham is all ready for Christmas will everyone show up there as planned anyway? Or will they visit the Queen and Phillip at Buckingham Palace?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good question. I doubt that the Queen or Phillip are accepting guests today, even family maybe.

      maybe the family will "carry on" at Sandringham.

      Delete
    2. I hope they take the time to rest and recover. Blessings to them, I am sure if they are feeling up to it members of the family can visit over the next week.ali

      Delete
  31. Dear Charlotte,

    A big thank you for creating and maintaining this extraordinary blog ~ a little beautiful garden to visit, inviting to linger and to enjoy …

    And also:

    Dear visitors of this garden, those who come to read and rest, and those who share their thoughts,

    A big thank you for your spirited contributions, your thoughtful comments, and for helping to make and keep this place such a treasure …

    To all of you and yours:

    Best wishes for a most wonderful and Merry Christmas, a warm hug and a broad smile :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Miol Mor, I like your metaphor of a garden! I do like to sit here on one of the benches and relax... :)
      And thank you, Charlotte, for everything you do for us! It is really very much appreciated. From India and Bhutan, to Canada and back to London, you have taken us on a grand tour this year!
      Wishing everybody joyful and peacefulChristmas, and a Happy New Year.

      Delete
  32. IT has been confirmed that Catherine is to be Patron of Action for Children. She visited them in February 20th 2015

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  33. Prayers and condolences to those in Mexico regarding the fireworks explosions. 🌷✝

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  34. I'd love to ride in the car with the Three Amigos. A road trip with them seems like it would be fun, especially Harry. Love the purple splash of color on Kate.

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  35. Very ironic that they have been given additional patronages. Despite their hard work this year, most likely related to their bad PR earlier this year and the Queen's 90th birthday, their decision to not attend the annual Christmas appearance indicates their disrespect towards their roles as public figures. I'm sorry but I don't think many of us need anymore evidence that they don't take their role seriously. It's just one day. I'm sure they could go up and see the Middleton's on the 26th. Despite them both attending numerous engagements this year, it's quite obvious they prioritise themselves over their duties. It's a pattern we've seen for years with William and Kate, and it's unlikely to change. And yes, they need to look after themselves, but they also need to understand their role in the context of their country. And their are also ways for it to APPEAR like they are prioritising their duties AND prioritise themselves.

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  36. Delighted that Kate is the Patron of action for children it is a charity that has only received visits from the Queen usually about once every 4 or 5 years and then Kate's visit in 2015 followed by a large reception in N. Ireland held by the Queen & Doe later in 2015 it does however have many ambassadors who work on its behalf. I hope Kate becomes a hand on Patron and really highlights their work. She needs to show more enthusiasm for all her charity work let us hope we see a lot more of her in 2017.
    Regarding the amount of time she spends with her family I do feel that her Mother is too involved with the Cambridge's I admire Carole's work ethic but she comes across as a very dominating women and Kate needs to break away from her dominance and spend less time at Buckleberry and stay with William at KP when in London Hopefully if Pippa has a family Carole will have other grandchildren to occupy her although I think Pippa is a stronger person than Kate and would stand up to her mother.

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    1. Mary,

      I think Kate shows as much as enthusiasm during her visits as the Queen does during hers. As William has increased his activity Kate will follow in hers I think.

      I don't think Carole is a domineering mom anymore than the Queen Mother was, if even that much. And, honestly, if I had Kate's position, I would want my parent's ever present as much as possible. She was a home girl when William met her and she is still a home girl today. Nothing wrong with that. I think that truly endears her to the Queen actually. Kate does her job just as the Queen does, and Kate will be doing that more frequently now is my guess.

      I don't see Pippa as stronger than Kate at all. There is more than one photo of Pippa having to be comforted (while in public) by her mother. Out of all the many photos I have seen of Kate and Carole I have not yet seen one similar to those.

      Relieved to hear that the Queen and Phillip are at Sandringham. Wishing them a full and quick recovery.

      Seasons best to all. Merry Christmas

      Delete
    2. Mary - I am so taken aback at your comments that you find Carole to be domineering. And even more that Catherine needs to break away from her mother. How ungenerous. How can you even know what the internal family dynamics are? Moreover, you discount William. William is very strong minded. If something was out of balance and needed adjustment, I'm certain he would intervene. Instead, I see evidence that he seeks spending time with the Middletons as well. Keeping in mind that among the many reasons attributed to the challenges Diana faced with the RF was that she was on her own, perhaps in that vein, Catherine's success can in part be attributed to the support of her family.

      We just have no idea about all the internal machinations and family dynamics that go on. If the Queen wanted something it would happen. Charles has a say. William, Catherine, Harry, the Middletons. And all the other royals. Generally we know only the tiniest bits.

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    3. The Queen Mother was very domineering; steel magnolia comes to mind. And I don't know if Carole is domineering in the arrogant will asserting way, but she is certainly quite . . . present.

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    4. Thankfully, she is. Carole is an amazing asset all the way around.

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    5. Yes, and as the Queen benefited from and cherished her mum's presence, so does and will Kate benefit from and cherish Carole's presence.

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    6. I think their mother-daughter relationship is healthful and beautiful.

      Delete
  37. Good news. The Queen and Prince Phillip were feeling good enough to fly, via helicopter, to Sandringham. HalleluYah, they are feeling better. yay

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  38. Julia from Leominster22 December 2016 at 15:55

    Royalfan, just had a chance to look at your comments in the last post. We may disagree at times but I appreciate the thoughtful way you always respond.

    On a light note, as Christmas is coming, I had a chance to look at the beginning of the Telegraph's grandly named "Every Outfit The Duchess of Cambridge has Worn" - and I've already found several omissions - the Erdam coat I loved so much recently, several outfits from the Indian tour including her arrival outfit, that somewhat strange, but appropriate blue dot gown she wore just before the tour and I think we're missing that prison tour dress she wore in 2015. Telegraph should perhaps have put "A Selection of DOC outfits" instead.

    Any sharp-eyed readers here with a moment on their hands might want to see if they can find any other missing Kate outfits. The Telegraph should have consulted Duchess Kate!!!!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/kate-middleton-duchess-of-cambridge-style

    A Happy Christmas to you Charlotte for all your magnificent work and to your family for sparing you for us so often. Condolences where appropriate for both readers here and those affected by recent tragedies and I pray all here will have a peaceful and lovely holiday wherever you are.

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    1. They certainly should have consulted DKB. We are nothing if not thorough.

      Delete
    2. I noticed that they missed quite a few outfits that she has worn. A couple of times I saw things I hadn't remembered she wore. It is in neat though to see her transformation throughout the years since her marriage. Not just what she wears but just her body language and confidence.

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  39. The Telegraph has details and photos of The Royal Suite, the suite that Kate used the night before her wedding, if you have ever wanted to see it. Her family rented out the whole hotel for two or three days at the time of the wedding.

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  40. It's the last Christmas for Pippa before being married, I think it's enough to explain (if an explanation is needed) the choice to spend Christmas with Middletons.

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    1. Good to hear from you, Paola. Merry Christmas to you and yours. (how do you say "Merry Christmas" in Italian?) :)

      Delete
    2. Since Princess Charlotte and the Queen apparently share such a love of horses, and since the Queen has lots of horses, I think they probably spend time together around horses and riding. They say Charlotte is already taking riding lessons. It is said the Queen rides with Lady Louise so I think she might ride with Charlotte and Charlotte's groom. Lady Louise is said to be taking up carriage racing with her grandfather, Phillip. Who knows, maybe Charlotte will share that interest with him also in the future. The Queen might easily stop by to lunch by the pool and watch George and Charlotte swimming with their pool guests, Lady Louise and her brother James, or Mia, Savannah and her sister. A lot less antiques, perhaps, at Amner Hall rather than Granny's house.

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    3. Thank you Anon 17:52! We say "Buon Natale"! And I say "Buon Natale a tutti voi"! (Merry Christmas to all of you)!

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    4. grazie, Paola. :)

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  41. I'm also wishing the Queen, William and Catherine-the entire royal family-a peaceful and lovely holiday.

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  42. Kate published a "Thank You" message in The Telegraph.

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  43. According to The Mirror, Harry is going to be ducking out on Boxing Day to head for North America to be with Meghan. Maybe in Los Angeles to meet her mum? Could be pure speculation.

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  44. Oh i love. Prince william in glasses there nothing wrong with.them spending with the middletons Merry christmass everyone i think. These last one. For pippa. Middleton I hate. Pure speculation .

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  45. A very happy, lovely and peaceful Christmas to you all, dear fellow "Duchess Kate" readers!!
    And very special thanks to you, dearest Charlotte, for giving us another year of great coverage, loads of interesting information and all those lovely pictures!! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share views, discuss and getting to know other people´s views and cultures!! It was pure pleasure for me!

    So let me wish you a very special happy, peaceful Christmas, filled with love and surrounded by your loved ones, dearest Charlotte!

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  46. Merry. Christmass everyone I heard that zara tidals and mike tidals together with mia lost their second baby in the. T christmass spirit. I think. They are deeply sad when they have said it public

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  47. What is Boxing Day anyway

    you might ask. So did I. No, they didn't try to tie in boxing with family holiday gatherings, although,as with Thanksgiving and football, that would not have surprised me. Here's the how the story goes. :) As servants would prepare to leave to visit family the day after serving their employers diligently at Christmas, their employers would give them a gift box as they left for holiday travel. And that, is Boxing Day. Who knew?
    A Joyous Merry Christmas everyone.

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  48. Sad news about Zara and Mike Tindall losing their baby. I hope they have the comfort of their family through this difficult time.

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    1. I agree, Tedi. I hope they're coping with it.

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  49. Merry Christmas Charlotte, and to all my fellow posters. Hugs to all.

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas, Tedi.

      God bless us, every one.

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  50. I was hoping to see a Christmas card this year from the Cambridge family. They have shared such beautiful pictures in the past.

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  51. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Charlotte and many thanks for all your hard work with this excellent blog.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my fellow bloggers.
    So sorry to hear about the Zara and Mike losing their baby. Prayers for them.

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  52. Hope I'm not repeating a comment, but has anyone else noted that the scarf Pippa is wearing appears to be the same scarf Kate wore to Cheltenham in 2006 with the mink hat and Katherine Hooker coat? That outfit is a favorite of mine.

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  53. This is such a lovely blog.. I have only recently started following it and I find it such a great place to discuss everything that is DOC and so many more things.. You write in such a great way, Charlotte.. I think this is my most favourite blog dedicated to the Cambridges..

    I was just wondering.. There has been a lot of debate over what the DOC wore for the Christmas lunch with HM. While I'm not sure which brand the dress/coat/coatdress actually belongs to, I am willing to take a wild guess at saying that it could be the Goat Danube coat.. That's because I was at an event some days ago and I came across a lady wearing the exact same coat with a black scarf (just like the DOC) and it looked very similar to the images that have come across.. Again, I'm not certain and I could very well be incorrect, but I just thought of sharing since the DOC has often been spotted wearing the brand. I am very new here, so any feedback or opinion from the readers is highly welcomed.. And you can check out the coat here.. http://www.goatfashion.com/danube-coat-magenta-cream-navy

    I hope you all have a brilliant New Year! Elinor x

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