Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Duchess Celebrates Scouts' Centenary at King's Lynn

The Duchess of Cambridge attended a special Cub Scout Pack meeting with Cubs from the King's Lynn district - a short drive from the Cambridges' country home Anmer Hall - to celebrate 100 years of Cubs this evening.


The Duchess was warmly greeted upon arrival.


Kate has been involved with the Scouts since shortly after the royal wedding, when she volunteered with them in Anglesey on a private basis - spending time with the group and hosting a BBQ on the beach for them. Since leaving Wales, the Duchess has carried out several engagements with the organisation. The Duchess was credited with an increase in flexible volunteers, with Scouting Magazine writing that Kate's involvement was "a boost not just to the Beavers and Cubs in north Wales whom she will be supporting directly, but to all of us across the UK who are trying to recruit new adults." A former Brownie, Kate revealed during a trip to Wales last year she very much hopes George and Charlotte get involved when they are older.


Emily Andrews shared a look at the party table at the event.


The cub scouts awaiting Kate's arrival.


Ahead of the engagement the Palace shared the following background information: "This year marks the centenary of Cubs. Cub Scouting was co-founded by Robert Baden-Powell and Vera Barclay on 16th December 1916. The anniversary year, called Cubs100, started with a special camp for Cub Scouts from across the UK at London Zoo. Since then thousands of small and large events have taken place to celebrate the Cub Scout centenary with events taking place at locations as far apart as Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Warwick Castle, the London Eye, Edinburgh Castle, the Angel of the North and the House of Commons. At each event Cub Scouts, both girls and boys, have learnt new skills and enjoyed great adventures with their friends. Of the 573,960 people involved in Scouting across the UK, almost 160,000 are Cub Scouts."


The Queen, patron of the Scouts, wrote this letter to Bear Grylls congratulating the Scouts on their centenary celebrations. I suspect much like Wimbledon, patronage of the organisation will be passed on to the Duchess in time to come. It seems an ideal fit for her.


The fun event saw a host of activities and games on the agenda themed around looking after yourself and others physically and emotionally.


The group enjoyed a parachute game to encourage teamwork, cooperation and first aid training.


Kate helped to decorate the special cub cakes.


Kate helped a little girl complete her cakes and write positive messages.


During the confidence building exercise where children wrote what they are good at, Kate wrote "bonfire building" as her skill.


Kate helped cubs learn how to tie a sling. Kate joked "Shall I keep it like this all night?".


A high-five for a job well done.


What does being in the Scouts involve? It's all about adventure, teamwork and learning. Scouting offers fun, challenges and everyday adventure to 400,000 girls and boys across the UK. Offering over 200 different activities from abseiling and archery to drama, street sports and water zorbing, Scouting helps 6-25 year olds grow in confidence, achieve their full potential and become active members of their communities. This is only possible through the efforts of 100,000 volunteers who also enjoy the fun and friendship of Scouting. Trusted by nearly a million parents each week, the movement welcomes members from all backgrounds, faiths and cultures. Special emphasis is placed on bringing the Scouting programme to young people who currently do not benefit, particularly those in inner cities, those in rural areas and other disadvantaged groups.


Below, a Ladybird Cub Scouts book from 46 years ago.


Next, they renewed their Cub Scout promise and celebrated the Cub's 100th anniversary with the lighting of 100 candles and a rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.


The Cub Scout promise:

I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen
To help other people
And to keep the Cub Scout Law.


Before departing, Kate was given flowers and a beaver bear and club scout bear for George and Charlotte. She said she would put the gifts under the tree.


More from Simon Perry's story:

'Klaudia Lovic, 10, from the 9th Kings Lynn Cub group, said that Kate chatted to her about ponies — and revealed that Prince George had been for a ride on one named Moo Moo. “It was awesome meeting her,” Lovic tells PEOPLE. “When she asked me what I liked to do, I said I like ponies, and she asked me if I had been for a pony ride. She said when George went on a pony it was called Moo-Moo. I told her I might go for a pony ride on my birthday.”
Dylan McKenna, 9, handed the royal mom a gift for George —  a backpack with a Scout teddy bear inside. “I said, ‘I hope George has a wonderful Christmas,’ and she said, ‘I will definitely put this under the tree.’ ” he tells PEOPLE. Charlotte was given a teddy bear dressed as a Beaver Scout — a group for 6-8 year olds.
The Cub Scout pack carried out activities themed around looking after yourself and others both physically and emotionally. Kate started with a parachute game that encouraged teamwork and cooperation. Frosting a birthday cake was also on the agenda! Picking up the pink icing, Kate asked, “Who wants the pink? No one . . . it’s me then,” as she tried to create a “Cub 100” decoration on the sweet treat.
The royal was shown around by Cub Scout leader Hazel Coley, who has been a volunteer for four years. “Meeting the Duchess has been the best birthday present this Cub Scout Pack could have possibly imagined,” she said.'

The Duchess was casual but chic for the engagement selecting the Grace Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater by Iris and Ink (with many thanks to Bojana).


Made in Italy, the light grey sweater is described as "100% cashmere, slips on, turtleneck, ribbed trims". It is exclusively available at The Outnet for $210 in sizes X Small - X Large. A distinctive detail in Kate's sweater are the split cuffs as seen below.

The Outnet

A closer look at the mid-weight cashmere sweater.

The Outnet

The Grace sweater is also available in 'mushroom'.

The Outnet

It's the first time Kate has publicly worn Iris & Ink. A little background on the brand:

'Iris & Ink is made for the modern woman, perfectly balancing comfort and style to create a wardrobe that works anytime, anywhere. Launched in 2012 and designed by THE OUTNET, the brand sources the finest fabrics and ateliers to deliver exclusive collections that are forward thinking, with a firm nod to the classics. The spring/summer 2016 collection includes new must-haves with an edge - think sophisticated tops, luxurious knitwear, suede and silk dresses and beautifully tailored skirts. Find out more about the collection.'

Kate teamed the look with her trusty Really Wild Clothing Spanish Boots in chocolate suede. The
£315 boots are described: "Sculpted from premium suede by expert makers in Spain, they’re leather-lined and have a robust leather sole. We design them to be tall on the calf, with a slim fit and tapered ankle cut so they follow your natural contours."


Supporting the scouts, it appears Kate accessorised with the £2.50 Cubs100 Official Adult Scarf. The cotton scarf features the Cubs100 winners badge on the apex and Cubs100 logo (with thanks to What Kate Wore for the speedy ID).


Kate completed the look with her Kiki McDonough Citrine drops.

Kiki McDonough

The Duchess thanks the scouts for inviting her.


It was a lovely engagement, and a very special and memorable way to mark the centenary for the children. They obviously had a wonderful time with the Duchess who was very much in her element enjoying activities with them.


We'll see Kate with William and Harry on Monday for The Mix's volunteer Christmas party.

246 comments:

  1. Nice to see her at another scout event. Such a great organization! I loved the stories from Angsley how she barbequed with the scouts etc. I hope the kids get involved in the future. And who knows, maybe Kate is still involved from time to time on the "down low".

    She is always so great with kids and this is no exception. These kind of casual child events are probably her favourite!
    A nice casual "look". I always love a cozy polo shirt. And I like that it's a bit longer. Something is not 100% for me with it, but I think it works really great. She's not a patron (I think), but just a famous volonteer, so I think this level of look is perfect. Especially with the parachute game and such. It's a very relatable look.

    I also like that she made a little impromptu thank you "speech"

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    1. Great engagement for the Duchess. Kids, volunteers and the Duchess all seemed to have a good time and that is the most important thing. Definitely a relatable outfit and appropriate for the activities. Anything crisp and white would be over the top in this instance.

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  2. Strictly from a fashion sense, ugh. The sweater is blah, shapeless, the sleeves distracting, the jeans look dirty, the boots old. Grey + Brown + Brown. boring. She looks so good in navy, in white, in sporty jackets, dark jeans - hair in a sleek ponytail - something crisp, something chic, please! This look could be found on anyone, anywhere, any time. :(

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    1. But this is not about fashion! She looks great and appropriately dressed for this occasion. Everything Kate does is not for fashion entertainment. She is providing a service for a great cause.

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    2. Anon 19:44, That might be the point for this visit; she could be anyone, anywhere at anytime because Scouts should be accessible to all! Leading by example and showing that anyone can join and benefit from the great programs. Goodness, last time Catherine attended a Scouts event she was in a hoodie!!! Scouts is all about getting mucky by getting involved. :) Cara, Australia.

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    3. This blog is mostly about fashion so the comments by Anonymous at 19:44 are not out of line. In fact, I totally agree with everything said.

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    4. Good points, Anon 20:55! Plus, yes she looks good in navy but she would have stood out in it today (we say: she would be like a fist on an eye :) ) which was not what she wanted. This outfit matched the kids' uniforms very well.
      Great post, as always. She is so good with children! It looks like they all had fun, both Kate and the Cubs. What a birthday present! :)

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    5. Though they may not say anything (or they might and it might not be pretty), children are highly-tuned to messages in clothes. From them they can read the wearer's mood and are often quick to judgement. (Right or wrong is often immaterial to the verdict.)

      With all due respect, though it's a great look for the Duchess, 19:44's suggestion would be a false note on this occasion. Dressed as she is with a combination of high/low, obviously worn and new items, the children present will immediately feel relaxed and at ease around the Duchess.

      By choosing a dressed-down look rather than something "crisp" she sends the message that she is one of the troop. All the other sweaters are a loose and relaxed fit, too. She looks quite ready to build that bonfire. At the same time, the light gray top among the burgundy and green draws the eye to her in every shot. Brilliant (you might even say casually-magisterial) move. Once again she shows how very good she is at what she does: She fits in while standing out.


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    6. As said earlier, oversized sweater & brown boots are overused. She should buy new stuff as a post marriage, post babies wardrobe upgrade but thrifty as she is, we know we will be seeing these clothing items for another 10 years. What I feel is that she dresssed to blend in with the cubs and with nature. Khaki and brown are mother natures camouflage colors. She wasn't seeking to upstage the kids or the anniversary or the purpose of this event. Today she was considerate not fashion conscious.

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    7. Even though this blog may discuss fashion, the scouting event was NOT about fashion. It was a casual children's event and I thought Catherine was dressed very appropriately. I LOVE the sweater and would love to own it myself.

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    8. Anon 20:38, that's why she said "strictly from a fashion sense" it isn't about the event, her comment was for the clothes. It doesn't mean she didn't think the event was a good cause. I didn't like her outfit either, people seem to get defensive when people don't like Kate's clothes. It's just a preference is all, people seem to defend her by getting upset, or saying "thae event isn't about clothes" when really, none of the events are, it's just still nice to talk about them and comment on them. That's a part of what makes this blog fun !

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    9. I'm trying to understand how a blah sweater can also have a distracting element.

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    10. My comment was only about fashion guys! Kate is great - she is wonderful, love her humble attitude, her love for people, her respectful nature, etc - I was only talking about the clothes. :) Didn't mean she should upstage the cubs either, or draw attention away from the issues at hand, or not be "relatable", etc - I merely meant that her clothes are (IMO) too casual sometimes - not that she shouldn't dress down, or wear jeans and have fun with kids, in nature, etc - but maybe with some fresh items? And if you must know Royalfan, it is the split sleeves that are distracting - the way they just fall open, it bugs me. No big deal though, I mean who cares in the great scheme of things, it's only fashion! What she's doing is far more important. Kudos to Kate, as always!!! :)

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    11. Some distract more easily than others, royalfan.

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    12. sweet comment 15:01. Tough room. :)
      no offense RF, lol.

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    13. If Catherine had worn something new... The message of supporting the Scouts would have been lost. Just my opinion, she chose exactly the right thing to wear :)

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  3. Wow Charlotte, you are so quick with these posts. What a great engagement, it looks like Kate had a great time and I agree with you that she would be perfect to become the patron when the queen relinquishes the role. She really looks like she enjoys these occasions and that she was Brownie herself makes it a perfect fit IMO.

    I'm glad she had another engagement with them also because it has felt like such a long time since she has had one. I'm sure they were all thrilled she was there and got to meet her. I see on Twitter that her sweater now has an ID as well. I really like the sweater with the jeans from the Canada trip. I'm thinking they are the same ones. The boots are great but it looks like around the toe they need a little TLC.

    I have a repliKate pair of jeans in a similar color that I bought from Ann Taylor here in the states and I love them. They are really versatile and go with a lot of things in my closet. They show up as brown but when you get them they are more of that brown/green color.

    http://www.anntaylor.com/modern-skinny-jeans/409737?skuId=21847882&defaultColor=8039&colorExplode=true&catid=cata000018

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    1. Im glad she had another Scouting engagement too. They seem to love her participation and, clearly, she enjoys volunteering.

      I think she looks great. The cashmere sweater is a nice casual chic piece and looks super comfy. I love its longer length.

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    2. I like the sweater. I like that better in the mushroom color. Love the tassels on the boots.

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  4. Kate is not Patron of Wimbledon. The Queen is, but in name. But The Duke of Kent is the one really supporting it as President. I doubt it will get passsed on to Kate any time soon, as Wimbledon won't want to lose the Duke. When ever the Queen passes on a Honorary patronage like this, the Royal who was president and doing the real work for the Queen also steps down.

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    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your comment. I know Kate isn't patron yet, but it is expected to happen in the near future. I think the scouts may be another possibility down the line :)

      Delete
  5. She looks great, perfect for the occasion.
    But very subtly fuller in the cheeks. I wonder if this may be very early pregnancy again (pre-sickness?). It could just be the photo angle but would be good timing!

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    1. I noticed her cheeks looked fuller as well! Took it as a sign of happiness. :)

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    2. I thought the exact same thing @ 21:04! Her face looks the same as it did in early pregnancy with both George and Charlotte! I hope so!!!!

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    3. Thought the same thing when seeing the first photo! Her face looks fuller as it did when she was pregnant (and more attractive in my opinion).

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    4. I was thinking the same thing myself - glad to hear I wasn't imagining it. I mentioned this on Twitter, but the smile she had and the twinkle in her eye definitely seemed to say "I've got a secret." And now that they've announced they'll spend Christmas in Buckleberry. . . If we are right and she is expecting, I wonder if she managed to hide away and get through the morning sickness already?

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    5. I have a feeling that she is pregnant she does have a full figured her in face and hair looks super healthy and shiny and so long. Her cheeks are always so flushed when she's pregnant. Charlotte you have an opinion do you have any predictions that you might want to share with your fans.

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  6. Nicole from France14 December 2016 at 21:10

    I like seeing Kate wearing a piece of clothe which is not tight .... she is so thin that it suits her very well to wear that kind of sweater, especially with skinny jeans , makes such a beautifull contrast ! who cares about the boots, we all wish to know how she is in the day-to-day life, there she is, natural-looking, simple, it is a pleasure to see her in that meeting !

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    1. I agree, I get the feeling like you said that this is every day Kate, not Duchess of Cambridge but Kate herself, in her element. She does have that natural relaxed look. I also like the loser sweater with her jeans and boots.

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  7. Tammy from California14 December 2016 at 21:17

    I'm just gonna throw it out there. There's just something in her face and a touch of her tummy in one of the videos: I think she is pregnant again...

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    1. Sarah Maryland USA14 December 2016 at 21:49

      And she looked extra radiant tonight. Her cheeks seemed fuller or I am may be crazy but they also looked they had more color and not just from makeup
      she looks like she did when she was pregnant with George right before they announced it

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    2. I think the drape of her sweater is deceptive. She looks as thin as ever to me.

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    3. I thought so too! She kinda looks like she's not feeling well and her face is a bit fuller than before. Maybe it's just the camera angle but I was suspicious lol!

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    4. That rumor has been floating around several UK news sites that tend to pay attention to Kate's duties and comings and goings. Apparently she pulled out of a charity event/gala a couple weeks ago and a couple different sources are saying it was due to morning sickness.
      It make sense. She'll be 35 in January and at 35 and over, pregnancies are classified as higher-risk and at a higher risk of genetic defects to the baby. If she and Will want three children, as all reports have indicated, it makes sense that she would be expecting.
      If she's JUST newly pregnant, it also makes sense because she'll have passed the first trimester, when she traditionally has had the worst of her morning sickness, in time for Pippa's wedding.
      If she's two weeks, that would give her another July baby.

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    5. I don't think Kate looks pregnant at all. Zilch. Nada. Nope. Of course that means she probably is. I didn't think she looked pregnant with George or Charlotte either until they announced that she was.

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    6. Tammy from California16 December 2016 at 00:30

      Yes to everyone above about her face. She looked glowing and twinkly and all the rest. There was nothing about her physical appearance in the sweater, it was a way she touched her belly in the video- and I can't explain it, it was just a feeling I got by her body language.

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    7. She didn't "pull out" of anything. She was never scheduled to attend. William
      went. Shows how a rumor can go from speculation to "fact" to expanded and elaborated rumor in minutes.

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  8. Kate looks radiant. What an awesome cause and engagement for her. She clearly is in her element in casual clothes and with children.

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  9. An all around sweet and fun visit. Very appropriate in every way. Hopefully, George and Charlotte will be involved there in the future with Kate volunteering. Loved her bonfire note. Artfully done, even on on the fly. She looked casual and ready for action. Perfect. The cashmere made it work. Kudos to Kate. The cupcakes made me hungry for cake though. :(
    Excellent page Charlotte, as usual. :)

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  10. Maggie - Minneapolis14 December 2016 at 21:35

    I really like Kate's sweater - think it suits her well. The jeans look faded or something though and I don't like the sweater jeans boots combo but it's the scouts so doesn't really matter. Good to see her doing something with them again. Also is it just me or did kate spell 'building' wrong haha.

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    1. Haha I thought she spelled 'building' wrong too! But it's the way she dots her i's, they're all over the place :)

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    2. Nah. It is just a floating dot, Maggie.

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    3. No she didn't - cursive can look like that tho

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    4. Good eye. I had to take a second look at it.

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    5. No its correct. I find Americans sometimes have a problem reading British cursive writing. The British form their letters differently.

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    6. Kate's handwriting is quite readable. Other than the 'f' in bonfire, all the letters look to me as though they could be written in North America as easily as in Britain. Kate's flying 'i' dots would be interpreted by a graphologist as reflecting a love of adventure. And the whole note, in its use of space, expresses her strong sense of organization, as well as artistry.

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  11. She looks good. I am not a fan of the sleeve style but like the rest of the sweater, The pants look good, the boots need a good cleaning and touch up to the soles:). She must have tied two ties together to get it to be that long with the knot covered by her hair in the back. The earings look great and work well with tying in the colors of the scarf. ali

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  12. She looks truly joyful to be at this event! What a wonderful fit for her.

    Can anyone answer a question for me? Is there any reason why certain patronages like Wimbledon and Scouts haven't already been passed on to Kate? If they are things she's passionate about, it seems like a better fit.

    And thihhh this isn't about fashion, I actually really love her look today. She just seemed natural and comfortable.

    -Jessica in Los Angeles

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    1. Jessica- I'll take a crack at answering your question. Many of the queen's patronages are meant for promotion and fund-raising purposes, but are not particular causes or personal interests. Having the Queen listed as a Patron adds to the clout of an organization. As popular as Kate is, HM is at the top of the wish list of patrons. I don't believe HMTQ has a particular interest in tennis as a sport-just as an institution of GB.I believe she does have
      a history with scouting, at least Girl Guides.
      I think HM hangs on to these patronages as part of her duty, as well as to continue to benefit the causes themselves.
      Just my very in-expert opinion.

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    2. Agree with Anon 01:12. I'd add that it also could be that the executive leadership of these patronages has input and that they prefer to keep the queen as patron as long as they can.
      And it could be that Kate and/or her staff hasn't asked for more patronages. She and William and Harry don't seem to be in any rush to step up their royal workloads just yet and taking on more patronages would require some attention to those, in addition to maintaining the relationships with the ones they already have. Perhaps they're not ready to make that commitment. I'm not judging, just stating a possibility.

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    3. Elizabeth,
      William has said more than once publicly that he is ready to take on any additional responsibilities that the Queen and Phillip would want him to have. It seems to me that Harry and Kate feel the same way. William did also say that his grandparents are not yet ready to relinquish any more duties than they already have at this time.

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis16 December 2016 at 07:53

      I'm not saying that William was lying, because who knows, but who is to say the royal family did not agree to make the party line that William will take on more duties as soon as he is asked because that shows more unity than the possible truth that he is refusing to do so. Again, not saying that he lied, but that I have no idea why him saying publicly he would take on more is something we should believe on face.

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  13. Whoops just saw more pictures of her scarf. I am wrong it looks like it actually comes in a large size as compared to my visions of scout scarves which basically tie closely around the neck. ali

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  14. An all-around sweet and fun visit. Very appropriate in every way. Hopefully, George and Charlotte will be involved there in the future with Kate volunteering.
    Lovec the bonfire note. Very artfully done, even on the fly. She dressed casual and action ready. The cashmere made it work. Kudos to Kate. The cupcakes made me hungry for cake though. :(

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    1. I would like to see her design that she put on the cupcake. Did she actually eat the cupcake? That would be unusual for her to eat sweets, yet a kid friendly thing to do.

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  15. I like this sweater...I wouldn't mind it for myself in the 'mushroom' shade actually! The slits at the sleeves add interest, otherwise it would be just another boring sweater. I agree with others about the jeans & boots looking worn/faded, but she looks natural & happy & that's what matters!
    Kate does look a bit fuller in the face & the sweater is baggy in the tummy area...maybe there is another little royal on the way?!

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  16. Kate looks so young and fresh, like a teenager. Love this look, and the event. The kids love her, and she them.

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  17. oh I love the duchess sweeter u could steal it she looks good with the children and joyous smile

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  18. Hello,

    Thank you for your comments. It was a lovely event and very special for the cubs who will no doubt be thrilled to share their stories at school tomorrow.

    On a slightly off topic note, I've received a lot of messages and there's been quite a bit of comment on the blog regarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The pair were photographed for the first time together after a theatre date. Obviously, the 'first photos' are a big milestone for any royal romance. Here's the link for anyone interested:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2401773/first-pictures-prince-harry-meghan-markle-date-london/

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  19. Thank you Charlotte. That is a milestone.

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  20. Meghan and Harry did go out a day or so ago and purchase a Christmas tree together for Not Cot. Sweet, huh.

    Do you think Meghan will celebrate the season at Amner Hall of William and Kate's Apt. 1? I think either is a distinct possibility. Also I read where Harry did take her out to the theater when she was here about two months ago but it seems that was a clandestine thing.

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    1. They said that Harry took her to see "The Lion King" a couple of months ago. Not Cot is seemingly rather small (by palace standards), so hopefully, they will be out and about more this season. I do hope Meghan ventures out with not only Harry, but perhaps she and Harry with William and Kate, or Beatrice and Eugenie. Wouldn't that be nice. Are William and Kate at Amner Hall or KP?

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  21. Really, really loved this engagement with the Scouts today. The kids are so adorable and Kate is so good with them. Charlotte, can you add the photos of Kate as a Brownie to this post? I think it really ties things nicely.

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  22. Kate is glowing. She's really in her element when she engages with children.

    I love the casual outfit, especially her sweater. The length is perfect and so is the neckline. Kate's loose, wavy hair looks fantastic, too. Great photos!

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  23. I love kate's outfit it's casual and chic at the same time.

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  24. All the things happening today!
    First, Kate looked good in this outfit. I am not a fan of the odd sleeves on that sweater, they just seem a little out of place for some reason. But the outfit looked warm and comfy and perfect for a day of playing with the Scouts!
    Second, the UK royal press (and when I say royal press, I mean the diehard royalist royal press, the ones who work to give the royal family as much positive PR as they can) are increasingly becoming disenchanted with the young royals, Wills, Kate and Harry.
    First of all, Harry lied outright to the media about his trip to Toronto following his Caribbean tour to see Megan Markle. And there's also a huge amount of displeasure with Harry over using English taxpayer funds, in the form of his bodyguards, to go off to see her.
    Then, the Cambridges announced today that they will not be releasing, as they have done, the photo from this year's Christmas card. There's genuine surprise and a lot of confusion as to why they suddenly decided not to release the Christmas card picture as they have done every other year. Spoiled, arrogant, ungrateful are a few of the words being used to describe them.
    As for the Kate pregnancy rumors, it wouldn't shock me. I don't think there are any particular signs in the Scouts outing photos though. That sweater is big and baggy on its own, so I don't think it was worn purposely to cover up anything. Kate has worn, on occasion, a big cowlneck sweater, so this style seems to be a favorite of hers.
    Thanks, Charlotte, for such a great post and the wonderful information the Scouting program.

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    1. Considering some of the analysis of past photos, I would understand if the word ungrateful entered into William or Kate's mind as well IF it's true that they won't release one........

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    2. How did Harry "lie" to the media? Didn't he just change travel plans. For security reasons, he isn't going to broadcast that in advance. Not that he has to. Those were his personal plans, not official ones.

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    3. Well, everyone tore apart the one they released late year, so I get it. Disappointing but understandable.

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    4. They have not released a Christmas photo every year, only the last two years. The royal press are not interested in whether they release a picture or not it is the twitter universe that is in uproar. Thank you cards will be sent out and I would not be surprised if it is the official picture given when they were in Canada.

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    5. Wherever Harry goes, officially or unofficially, there are security personnel present. I don't think he did anything wrong in making that detour. It was certainly more cost effective logistically for him to go to Toronto via Barbados than to return to London and then go to Toronto. Since Canada is a commonwealth country, there would be official security there for Harry no matter what route he had taken.

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    6. Canadian taxpayers paid for Prince Harry's security while he was in Canada visiting Meghan.

      I believe he paid for his flights himself.

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    7. Hi Elizabeth, i'm so sad to hear about the card! I couldn't find the news on it -- if you happen to see this, i'd love to know where you read that. I was so looking forward to seeing the kids. So cute.

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    8. Nicole from France15 December 2016 at 18:38

      quite strange the Cambridges should not release their Christmas card , seeing how it will probably be sent to a lot of persons, at least one of them beeing quite ready to show it on facebook or other social media ..... I cannot see the point, really ... I had been a bit surprised when reading K & W had said that the children were not to make any official traval for a long time, it sounded like a reproach to the public, or possibly somebody in the RF ? wanting to have private family moments is quite understandable, denying the people who afford them the style of life they have and who will be their people someday, is quite despising ....sorry , that will not do good to them !

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    9. Even if Harry had gone to Canada to buy a down Jacket or to watch his favorite Canadian Ice hockey team the Canadiam government would be paying for his security while he is there even on his personal time because Canada is part of the Commonwealth and he is a Royal. He just happened not to be buying a down Jacket or going to a hockey game. He visited his girlfriend. It is still his personal life just like the other stuff.

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    10. Amen, 15:40. on all points, I agree.

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    11. These were Harry's personal plans, I agree. And considering how the press hounds people who sell papers, I don't blame him for keeping it that way. What I do have a problem with is Meghan's social media "teases and hints," especially after the statement issued by KP on Harry's behalf. It comes across as immature and suggests (to me) that she may be more in love with the idea of dating Harry than the man himself.

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    12. I thought that also RF. I hope we're both wrong about that. Maybe that is just her outgoing perky personality.

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    13. Maggie - Minneapolis16 December 2016 at 07:52

      royalfan - why not see it differently? Harry was aware of some social media "teases and hints" by his girlfriend and still issued that statement. It's maybe not just Meghan that doesn't understand the hypocrisy of those two things....
      Also, I feel for Meghan. First, what girl who hasn't always grown up in aristocratic and/or upper class British circles could avoid being a little excited about dating Prince Harry because of who he is? Even if she also really liked him for the man himself. Secondly, its become a point in time where people show off their lives on Instagram and Facebook. Everyone does it. Even people not dating princes post things making it clear they are in relationships. Who are we to say Meghan is more in love with the idea of dating Harry than the man himself? Maybe she's just not willing to give up that part of the relationship experience. Not to mention you have to be somewhat outgoing (for lack of a better word) to have the career Meghan does - so some of this is probably just habit for her. I say all this because the pressure to not act like themselves probably did not help Harry's previous girlfriends want to stay in the relationship, and looking at Kate's decade of dating William, it seems to have affected her as well. I'd rather see a woman keep her own identity while dating a Wales brother instead of completely conforming her life to meet his needs. Although, yes, it does mean Prince Harry also has to recognize the hypocrisy of demanding the public/media back off when seen in relation to Meghan's more open and sharing personality.

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    14. Royalfan I am of the same school of thought as far as Meghan is concerned. I'm not quite on board with her yet and hope that for Harry's sake, she is genuine...but only time will tell. As for the Christmas picture its hard to know what is true or not anymore. I personally hope that they do release something, Christmas card or a lovely thank you card photo, but if they don't release one not sure it warrants such harsh critique or that it is a slight meant to offend anybody. cc

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    15. I agree RF and cc.

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    16. Maggie, I agree with you on principle. The statement that was given out was actually written by Megan as well as Harry, according to William when his office spoke about it to DM. So I am not sure where exactly Harry stands in all of this. Megan is obviously very articulate, smart and worldly. Harry may find himself a bit out of his league intellectually, and may tend to follow her lead in matters of the press, and later on, in general. Especially if he is as smitten as he seems to be in those pictures.
      All of this being said, I hope Meghan sticks around. I hope she adapts the model of Rania, Diana, Maxima etc. in molding her role when she becomes a royal. And most importantly I hope that she retains her personality and does not become a mannequin.

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    17. 15:44, I didn't know that that had been confirmed that Meghan helped pen that statement. That fits. You expressed my feelings about Meghan perfectly. I think she is an open and caring person and could accomplish a lot with all the opportunities royalty would provide. I think she will accomplish a lot even without those particular opportunities. If things do work out between Meghan and Harry, hopefully the reals suits won't diminish her.

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    18. I'm sorry, Maggie, but "everyone" does not advertise their lives on social media and, given the FAME involved here, surely, a more discrete path is the way to go. I have no idea how Harry feels about the hints she has shared on social media, but if he doesn't understand the hypocrisy of the situation then he, too, is not as mature as I would give him credit for at this point.

      I understand Meghan's need to be "out there" on a professional level. No doubt and I am not suggesting that she should curtail that, but if she loves this man and wants to establish a solid foundation for a potentially long term scenario, she needs to separate the two areas of her life. She is not sharing these photos with HER circle of "friends and family"; she is sharing them with the WORLD. IMO, the judgment here needs to be tweaked to fit the circumstances.

      And if anyone believes that she should just do whatever it is that she wants to do and the heck with any restrictions, well, then you only need to look as far as the Duchess of York's "success".

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    19. True, RF. If Meghan becomes a part of the family she can't be sharing every nuance of it on Twitter etc. or even with her circle of friends. Even if she whittles it down to just her circle of friends, can she trust them to be discreet. Her friend, Chopra, didn't do such a great job with it, saying she couldn't comment on Meghan's relationship but if the Queen wanted to invite her to Buckingham Palace she would accept. huh? Meghan is an avowed feminist also. Not exactly standard in the job description for a Royal wife. How will they fit that in? She will have to make some choices and stick by them. The question is, will she and can she do it?

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    20. I have my doubts, but I hope she will and can.
      They are so cute together.

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  25. Kate is in her element at this sort of event and the youngsters & adults were clearly delighted to meet her. I have just played two short videos of the event one with a leader & cub talking about her visit & the other of Kate interacting with the cubs which picked up quite a bit of her talking with the cubs. She should do more of this type of event low profile but meeting with people as many of the other Royals do not only the larger organised events which at the moment W & K mainly do.
    Off topic to this Blog I thought the documentary of the D of E awards was excellent far better than the one of the Prince's Trust. Both Sophie & Edward came across very well and Prince Philip is an amazing man for his age and clearly a great support to the Queen. I knew Kate had the gold award but had not realised she had received it from Prince Philip like others have said it would be lovely if a photo of her receiving it could be sourced. She and Prince Philip seem to have a good rapport with one another.
    I know at times we have remarked about other members of the RF Camilla is taking the salute at the Sovereigns Parade at Sandhurst tomorrow some Royal correspondents have expressed surprise C & C have been very much to the forefront over the past few months going to Royal Command Performance Royal Film Premiere and of course the high profile visit to the Middle East where Camilla was very prominent one wonders what 2017 will bring.
    Prince Andrew & Fergie have also ruffled feathers with their comments over the press remarks about their daughters & now with Harry's new romance things are not dull on the Royal front!!
    I look forward to seeing Kate with William & Harry on Monday.

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  26. Is that documentary on You Tube yet?

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    1. Hello,

      Yes it is. It was uploaded earlier today. Kate's part is about 37 minutes in.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp2dcTenHXk

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  27. Gordon Rayner reports the Cambridges will celebrate Christmas in Bucklebury this year. I

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/15/itll-lonely-christmas-prince-harry-meghan-william-kate-celebrate/

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    1. My thoughts...this is Pippa's last Christmas before she gets married and it will be nice for the whole family to be together in Bucklebury. I'm glad that Mike and Carole get to enjoy the holidays with their children and grandchildren on their own turf. It must be wonderful and refreshing for all. And how nice for George and Charlotte to experience holidays with both sides of the family; it's only fair and quite normal. :)

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    2. I think it is a big win win all the way around.

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    3. Julia from Leominster16 December 2016 at 06:20

      My father was the same age as Philip when he died. The Christmas before he seemed as healthy, physically and mentally, as Philip is now, still extremely active and so excited about the holiday. He loved Christmas and we had many family rituals. By April he was gone, even though he was so rarely ill, a cold turned to pneumonia. We all thought he would recover, we couldn't believe otherwise, but it was not to be. Fifteen months later, Christmas as I had known it my entire life was gone forever when my mother followed him. Leo's parents had already died.
      Although, I wish I hadn't taken it so lightly, I so much value that Christmas I spent with him and would not exchange it for anything, knowing it will never come again.

      The Middletons aren't old. Pippa is young. William and Kate should have many Christmases with them but ones with the queen and Philip are finite, maybe a few more at the most when both are in good health. Then everything will change and perhaps there will be no more Christmases at Sandringham.

      For all the talk about bracelets, I don't get the impression Kate is close to the queen or Philip - if she was, this wouldn't be at issue. George acted like the queen was a stranger at Charlotte's christening and the most Kate could come up to say in her interview was that the queen left him little gifts and asked about the children. no sweet stories at all. I don't know why this is the case but this is likely to be the first Christmas George would remember being with his great-grandparents at Sandringham. It might turn out that he will have no such memories. That would be a shame.
      I don't know if this rumour is true, but I hope not. William and Kate risk losing something unique and terribly finite. Regrets always come too late. Hopefully, there will be many more Christmases, even a decade of them with the queen and even Philip. Should it not happen, and the William and Kate missed Christmas with them to be with the Middletons, the public wouldn't notice and not think well of them for it.

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    4. Well they always said they would alternate or at least spend some of them with Kate's family. I think it is only right, especially this year, Pippa's last one single. It will be good for the kids too!

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    5. They have always said that they would not spend every Christmas with the queen. I agree RF, it's probably because of the upcoming marriage. They also cannot stop and think that this may be HM or Phillips last year as some suggest. It could be anyone's last year for that matter. Good for them and for George and Charlotte.

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    6. Completely agree, royalfan :-)

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    7. The other thing I thought about is that it seems many of the Royal Family stay or visit Sandringham before and after Christmas for several weeks so that it would be easy for Will and Kate to share 3 - 5 days around Christmas with Kates family and still have time to see Williams family over those 2-3 weeks of Dec/Jan. ali

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    8. I agree with Julia. Common sense and good taste would dictate to William to stick to his family. Of course, anybody can pass away, but if we tend to look at the age of these two hard working people, let's be realistic....

      Anyway, do we know when they are willing to spend time with the royal family? They spend it in Buckleberry, okay, but all Christmas? And why not in Anmer, which is close to Sandringham. I tend to believe the rumour that Carol Middleton is the boss in this family.

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    9. Very good points ali. I am confident that they are doing all that as equitably as possible.

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    10. Caroline in Montana16 December 2016 at 17:05

      Julia - I must point something out to you, People Die Young. (as william well knows.) So its really not fair to say spend holidays with the older people instead, the middletons could get hit by a bus anytime, anyone could. my mother died at 53 (2 days after Princess Di), who knew that would happen??!

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    11. It makes me happy to know they will be with the Middletons this Christmas. What an enrichment for everyone, particularly the children, to experience Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham one year and then also with Michael and Carole the next in an area where their mother grew up and spent many Christmases. Hopefully, that will allow Harry, George and Charlotte to share holidays at Sandringham and then their spouses homes if they want. So much more balanced and healthful. I think it is a loving and fun thing to do.

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    12. And let's not forget, the queen is Williams grandmother and the kids great-grandmother. Therefore the queen is probably a little less involved in their daily life than their parents on both sides (which is only normal, that happens in most families). I would have a hard time putting my family aside every year for the holidays because my husband has a living grandmother.... even if she is the queen of England ;)

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    13. sorry about your mom Caroline. :(

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    14. No offense, but to me it is not lack of common sense or good taste to alternate Christmas with different sides of the family.

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    15. I don't know. It has been mentioned more than once that the Queen takes a keen interest in Princess Charlotte so I think she sees her often. And, it has been inferred that since Charlotte seems to enjoy horses and riding, that the Queen might be in on a lot of that. She certainly was with the other children. I don't think that being with the Middletons is "putting aside their family every year". They have spent Christmases on Sandringham. My guess is that the Queen likes Michael and Carole and is happy that they are hosting William, Kate and the children. She knows how much she enjoyed her own mother, the Queen mum. I hope we get to see them after church services at St. Mark's. James will perhaps be there with Donna and Pippa with her James, and then George and Charlotte. On the homefront, Lupo will no doubt be having lots of fun with Pippa and Jame's dogs, Jame's dog and Michael and Carole's dog, with George and Charlotte chasing all of them. Yes, the Queen is probably happy they are sharing Christmas with the Middletons.

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    16. 21:21, thanks for the laugh. Love it...and so true! :)

      On a serious note, I complete agree with all the comments along the lines of "you never know..." And, we have no idea how often the Queen may visit AH when she is at Sandringham or vice versa. Surely, at some point they will catch up with the royal family. As Ali pointed out, the Queen remains there for quite some time during the holiday season.

      It's also interesting to read comments suggesting that they are doing something horrible by spending their SECOND married Christmas with the Middleton's. The common sense that I see is that William understands and appreciates his mother's experience and is seeing to it that his wife's experience is more balanced. And what about the value of exposing George and Charlotte to their maternal grandparents/aunt/uncle on special occasions? You can't complain about the royals being out of touch while also complaining when they do something quite normal and healthy.

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    17. Julia from Leominster17 December 2016 at 04:07

      I hold to my position. You might say being royal is William's employment. It is possible, although growing more unlikely, that someday he will be head of our church. (He has already missed every single Easter except when on tour.) As far as I am concerned, being part of the family at Christmas is part of being royal. He and Kate are not the only people in the world who are required to "work" on Christmas. There are numerous other days they can spend with Kate's family - and of course they are free to entertain them at Amner.

      Successful families of royal family members understand this whether they are aristocrats or commoners. I thought the Middletons understood this too but it seems not and they are not proving to be the discreet couple I once thought. There have been too many articles about Carole of late - in the US and in Point de Vue. I took it at first to be chance but it is starting to look like they are putting themselves forward unbecomingly. They are starting to become very unpopular - a gift to republicans, and will end up harming their daughter.
      Part of accepting that there exists a royal family, means that the royal family has superior claims to the families of those who marry into it. That's the way it is, and to avoid the possibility of undue influence in the future, that is the way it must be. From the Woodvilles to now, families who failed to understand this have caused enormous difficulties to the monarchy. For the privileges Kate receives, there are sacrifices that must be made. Her family has been treated very well.

      I know this won't be a popular view. But do we really want Camilla's children walking next to the queen? Do we expect Zara to say she's going to Mike's family this year - sorry Granny. Maybe we should just admit royals are just ordinary folks and dump the whole business. I'm beginning to have grave doubts about William and Kate and their lack of interest in tradition which is the bedrock of the monarchy. The sad thing is there is no one else. Harry,Beatrice and Eugenie are no better.

      Should this rumour prove true, it is unthinkable that the Middletons attend church at the same time as the queen. That would be an enormous insult to detract attention away from her. Nor could they attend when the queen is speaking. But is unthinkable they not attend, although the children should not appear. They will need to find a service at a time that does not interfere with a woman who has dedicated her entire life to her nation, unlike this selfish couple who can not bring themselves to dedicate one day.

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    18. Blending a family is always hard and splitting time on holidays can be very difficult. I just have a couple points about the situation.

      The first is that traveling, splitting days or even splitting up hours in a day for a holiday, isn't difficult if you don't have children. Once the children are born, and once you have multiple children, it gets harder. It was hard to enjoy Christmas getting up super early to have it with one family, then to another place and if you or your spouse is divorced there may be more places that want you there. It pulls you in all directions and can take the fun and meaning out of a holiday. We finally decided that we would do our Christmas. At our home and if others wanted to see the children they could make an effort as well. They have spent the last several Christmases with William's family and last year the Middletons went to them. I honestly think them spending time with her family this Christmas makes sense. Just because her family isn't royal doesn't mean they deserve less time.

      Another thing is Christmas with the Middleton crew wasn't as big a deal before when they were all going on their winter trip to Mustique. So not only, since they married, has Kate not had Christmas with her family, but also her birthday which falls around Christmas if I recall correctly. Add to that the loss of the January trip and all the traditions she had have been changed. If they want to spend it in her family home once every couple years it shouldn't be a big deal.

      I know she chose to marry William and there are plenty of perks that came along with that. She has conducted herself with dignity, respecting the royal family in words and deeds, since the beginning of their relationship. She has also done a good job juggling the two different "sides" of her life.

      Two more quick points and I am done. I promise. From everything you can find about Christmas at Sandringham and how it works it appears very regimented. Arrival times, etc. Having small children makes it hard enough to pop over to family for Christmas dinner or whatever. If you couple that with how strict and by the book it seems I can see why they might want to do something else with children not old enough to understand what is happening around them.

      Lastly no one is guaranteed tomorrow. It doesn't matter if you are 10 or 110. Any of us could die at any time. So you could counter the Christmas should be at Sandringham because they could die before the next one and they would regret it with if they spend another year with the BRF and one of the Middletons dies they would feel equally as bad. I just really think this should be a non issue.

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    19. Interesting story, but the author's whole premise is based on speculation.
      Miss Markle is Expected to return to LA to visit her mother. That is not a confirmed fact. Also, doesn't the tradition at Sandringham include engaged couples, not just married ones, as the author states? The article seemed even-handed, but credibility relies on getting the facts right and then sticking to them.

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    20. I think calling them a selfish couple is very harsh.
      I cringed when I read that.

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    21. I can see everyone's point on this one. I totally understand that Kate wants to spend Christmas with her family. However, she didn't just marry a man, she married into an institution, one that is ceremonial and has a religious element to it. I get that too.

      When you are part of a family that contains a head of state, I would hope that comes with the recognition that you have to put personal wishes aside sometimes. This is one of them. William (unless something changes) will be head of the Church of England when he is King. They don't appear to be regular church goers now, although his grandmother certainly is. Being seen with her on Christmas is one of those things that should be mandatory for a future King.

      I think there's a compromise here. The Middletons don't live in Kate's childhood home, so you can't argue memories at home. They live in a Georgian manor now too. So why they can't come to Anmer with Pippa and James is beyond me. W&K and kids could then spend Christmas Eve with the Queen and family, and then go home and spend Christmas morning with their children and Kate's family, go to church with the Queen, and then go home to Anmer for the rest of the day.

      They do deserve private and family time. However, they do also have a duty to the public, and that public will not be behind them forever if they aren't out there being seen -- and being seen with the Queen who is pretty much holding the monarchy together singlehandedly is something William should pay more attention to if he cares about his future and wants his son to be King too. If he doesn't, then why are we paying attention to them? They're just another rich couple with time on their hands.

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    22. Regarding Middletons: The Queen has been quoted as saying she understands and accepts the Cambridges's plans to spend Christmas with Catherine's family.Also, "royal sources" add that HM has said that the Middletons "have conducted themselves impeccably" with great dignity "over the years."
      If the Queen is satisfied and not disappointed I can't imagine what basis a person with absolutely no authority would have for judgement of the family.

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    23. The contrast between the ambiance and privacy of the present Middleton parental home compared to that
      of the Queen's estate is vast.Sandringham is like living life on stage.
      Sure, the scene represents a cozy family setting-but what about the audience?
      The "let them come to you" Christmas has been done.
      I do hope the Middletons are all well.
      And Hello! has any of this "break with tradition" Christmas actually been confirmed publicly by KP or BP?
      All the energy expended on musings from a royal writer in a tabloid. (DM is quoted as the original source)
      What is private, after all? I thought the days of the Queen's lying-in being attended by ten witnesses were long past.
      It seems not. And that is wrong.

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    24. Harsh or not, it's applicable.

      Carole is now hosting a competing shoot to Philip's on Boxing Day, so they won't be there then either.

      On the bright side, Charlotte now doesn't have to give up her Christmas Day reporting on the church walk at Sandringham.

      HO HO HO, Charlotte!

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  28. Thanks and Thanks Charlotte. I hope Harry and Meghan get to celebrate with William and Kate before they leave for Berkshire. I hope she gets to meet maybe Beatrice, Eugenie and maybe even Charles and Camilla. Harry was around all of them with Chelsy and Cressida so I hope that Meghan is affordable the same courtesy. It's Christmas. :)

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  29. Julia from Leominster15 December 2016 at 22:58

    Always love to see Kate with the Scouts as it encourages others to volunteer. I thought she looked very appropriate for the occasion and wouldn't mind having that cashmere top myself.
    I recommend Peter Pan Goes Wrong to all who have a chance to see it and don't mind a bit of slapstick. I'm not the greatest fan of slapstick but still found it very funny. If you are not in London at the right time, the Play That Goes Wrong, is still playing and is even funnier. I understand it will be going to NYC too, a little play that has done right.

    As for Meghan, marriages that go wrong are not so funny when it comes to the royal family. Again, time is my recommendation. If she truly loves Harry and he is not just one more in a string of attention-getting boyfriends, the relationship will stand the test of time.

    Harry's visit to Canada was wrong because it is against the rules for royal travel following a tour. It was also a waste of money, to whomever provided security since Meghan was joining him very soon thereafter. His impetuous conduct, and her silly blog activities - bananas and dog coats, make me think this is not a mature romance.

    I'm at a loss about the Christmas card. Let us just hope a photo of some sort will be released. Royals need to be seen more urgently than ever. I was thrilled to see the one at the diplomatic banquet and hope perhaps a huge one of all family members will be taken at the Christmas party. There was such a one taken many years ago, for some occasion, I can't recall which one at the moment, and it would be nice and suitable for the queen's ninetieth to have that updated. I wouldn't think there is any risk of divorce to make such a photo risky.

    Charles and Camilla may have done the Middle Eastern tour and the Royal Command Performance, but in spite of her red gown, other than to strong royal followers like me, their actions as always went virtually unnoticed. They are essentially invisible to the public at large. All the attention has been on Harry's romance (with some on his tour although the two got linked) and the only notice Charles got was that bit about demanding money for invites. I will say again, just to say it, the monarchy will not survive by trying to promote unpopular and uninteresting members at the expense of younger more attention-getting ones.
    William and Kate are going to need to take a more active role soon to secure George's future. That means the public - most of whom work - will lose even more patience with Kate should a third baby keep her at home too much. I don't see why it should, but that is one thing many professional couples have to consider when deciding to increase their families and William and Kate are no different. The most important thing is that there be a monarchy for George to inherit someday.

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    1. I agree about releasing the photo, Julia. I hope they're planning something else. I think we agree that if they don't play to their generation now, they could have issues later on. Unlike places like this, most people don't pay attention until something is put in front of them. If nothing is put in front of them, then the public doesn't notice. And as people who will live off the goodwill of the public I think their approach is quite shortsighted.

      As for Harry, his staff flat out lied about his plans as well. As much as everyone around here moans about the media, having them on your side would be preferable than not. And one way to not have them with you is to lie. Not to mention the tagging onto a trip no-no.

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    2. When the little boy was busy tying the sling in back at Kate's neck, Kate pulled the sling along her arm and over her elbow and thereby completing the task in the front. The little boy, after he had tied the knot, came around and looked a little surprised that Kate had finished the task for him. He probably wanted to finish the task for the Princess. He was a good sport about it though.

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    3. Kate seemed to do that automatically. I don't know that she even realized she'd done that. The young Cub Scout did notice.

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    4. In my mind, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but also perhaps the busiest! So I've missed stopping in for some royal chat :)

      I am a little out of the loop, are we sure they're not releasing a pic? Seems odd to leak that we're *not* doing something, but with the KP comm office it's certainly possible! It wouldn't surprise me though if one pops up on their twitter account sometime this weekend...

      I do think the Sandringham absence is disappointing and a little disconcerting. Pippa's not dying! I understand it's a personal choice for families (once my girls were born we told people you'll have to come to us!) but, again, the Cambridges are not a *normal* family, and have public roles this time of year whether they like it or not. Remember the monarch's role is also as head of the Church, and Defender of the FaithS is said to be Charles' wish. Lead by example. And as Julia has noted, they will surely regret not spending these truly traditional times with the Queen. Who knows what type of celebration or tradition Charles and Camilla will have, or be able to hold together! However, like the photo, it may not be true, though Gordon Rayner is fairly solid.

      And Harry seems to be courting at warp speed! Looks like his father but has the passion and heart of his mother, no doubt, leading by emotion. Though sometimes when you know, you know! But the side trip to Toronto was a mistake, the household warns not to combine business and pleasure, remember public officials have to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

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    5. At least Harry hasn't landed a helicopter in Meghan's garden a couple of times yet. He probably would if he could. :)

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    6. Another plus for Meghan, is that she doesn't seem to be very big on playing the field. As far as I know, she doesn't have a whole string of athletes or celebrities in her past dating portfolio. She apparently dated her ex-husband for a number of years prior to their marriage, and then dated a chef. So that's probably a comforting thought for Harry. He's only been, on a steady basis, with Chelsy and then Cressida. I think Meghan's ex-husband bears some resemblance to Harry. And wasn't he English or Welsh?

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    7. As far as being the head of the Church, defender of the faith, I think William and Kate will be attending Christmas services at St. Mary's in Englefield, near Newbury, just like they did before. They are leading by example.

      Has William completed his tenure with the Air Ambulance? Does anyone know?

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    8. No. He's American. His name is Trevor Engleson and he really does resemble Harry.

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    9. They did attend Christmas services at St. Mark's. That church, as with everything else in Great Britian, has a rich history. It is so quaint and beautiful inside. Attending Christmas services there this year will help get George and Charlotte a little familiar with the church and personnel so they are that much more ahead of the game for Pippa's wedding.

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    10. I agree with you Julia. I love the monarchy, feel it's a worthwhile institution, and wish it to succeed and endure. It is my understanding that the monarchy has had constantly "modernize" and evolve to adapt to changing times and political environments. This isn't unique to now and it's a feature that has enabled the British Monarchy to survive when others have fallen. However, this is balanced with traditions. While some may evolve slowly over time, traditions serve as foundation stones for the monarchy and need to be respected. Key occasions include things like attending the Trouping of the Colour, Rememberance Sunday, providing shamrocks to the Irish Guard on St. Patricks Day, etc. The public looks for these and they should be attended unless there is good reason otherwise. Attending Easter Sunday and walking to church at Sandringham are also part of these traditions and need to be respected as part of the job.

      William and Kate and their young family have added a lovely element to the royal family and I appreciate the role they play in modernizing the monarchy. I also appreciate their need for family time but I don't feel like it's demanding too much from them or sacrificing their privacy to participate in these key traditional events. It is part of their position. I hope they get advisers to help them see this.

      I am disappointed that William and Kate are choosing not to attend Christmas. I am also concerned that this is starting to become a worrisome trend for them. Some events they can pick and choose to attend but they should make every effort possible to attend others, such as the few identified above. William and Kate seem to be conveying ambivalence for these traditional occasions. This doesn't feel respectful of their role or of the public of which they will some day be King and Queen. They argument that William is the heir to the heir or comparing them to Zara and Peter Phillips isn't sufficient. This is part of William and Kate's job and role. Their are far more senior royals that Zara or Peter. Going to church is Bucklebury isn't the same and doesn't show a respect for this tradition. The argument that they need to alternate between families isn't sufficient in my opinion either. It is very important that Kate and William spend time with her family at Christmas and, from what I understand, they consistently have. The Middletons have been at Amner Hall, so William and Kate have been with her family every year. I was hoping that William and Kate would also be sensitive to Christmas at Sandringham as an event that is important to the Queen and Prince Phillip, especially considering their ages. While it is true that we don't know when anyone will pass, if we look at it from an odds perspective, it is more likely that the ones for whom time is limited is HM and PP.

      Unfortunately, not sending out a Christmas card of photo conveys a similar message of not wanting to engage with the public. While they are not celebrities, they are important public figures and providing a Christmas card or photo is a very easy way to reach out and create good will.

      I hope that they will change their mind on both accounts.

      Delete
    11. I think they wanted the Queen's 90th photo to be on center stage.

      Delete
  30. Julia appreciate your comments but not sure about your final sentence about George and the monarchy. Why does it matter if there is a monarchy for George to inherit? Maybe this is a natural progression of the end of this institution. I am sure the Royal Family understands all this and if they choose to not try and keep it going they themselves may be more than happy to see it slowly disappear. Ali

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    1. Julia from Leominster16 December 2016 at 06:29

      What one generation thinks, the next may not. Having studied monarchies past and present, I will go so far to say that there is not one former monarchy out there where the currant holders don't regret the loss and would do anything in their power to have prevented it or to see their old properties and privileges restored.

      So as a monarchist I would regret it, but members of the royal family would regret it even more. (William even, once he was handed the bill for his security and was told to move his belongings out of kensington Palace at once and find that nothing magically appeared for him anymore, except for bills. Royals live in an unreal world.)

      So let's hope it doesn't happen. As long as royals remember duty comes first, I believe the monarchy is a great asset to the nation. If one monarchy falls, whichever it might be, I think there might be a domino effect.

      And a correction - the play Harry and Meghan saw was apparently The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, which I also strongly recommend.

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    2. I was thinking the same thing, Ali.

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    3. Julia not sure why they would need security if the monarchy were to cease to exist. William has Anmer which is gifted to him so does not need to carry on living in KP. I am sure the queen has made provision for her heirs, probably through her children and by all accounts Charles is an astute business man and probably has put aside plenty for himself and his heirs. William most likely has not even touched his inheritance from Diana and the Middletons probably are also able to provide for their children. I do not think that
      William will be destitute. He also has an education and work experience which he can fall back on.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster17 December 2016 at 04:19

      I suppose you think Diana didn't need security either once she was no longer a member of the royal family. Sadly, that proved not to be the case. Once royal protection is withdrawn, all bets are off. Diana would probably be alive today if she had agreed or if it had been insisted that she retain royal protection. The tragic chaos of her final days mostly came from being a former royal.

      Anmer is still owned by the queen. William and Kate were gifted the use of it which is different from the freehold. It remains up in the air whether William and Kate would be allowed to retain it. My guess is much of the Sandringham estate would be sold if the monarchy ceased to exist.

      Most likely, the Duchy of Cornwall would revert to the state, with a settlement being made for Charles. Charles has an expensive lifestyle himself. Compared to the wealthy people in Britain, neither the Middletons nor William rank high. They are comfortable but the lifestyle they live as royals would not continue.

      It's easy to underestimate just how much of the royals lives are smoothed for them because it isn't readily visible. I've read quite a lot of books about former royals. Money always becomes an all consuming issue.

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    5. William is prepared either way.

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    6. Money can be a consuming issue for every one.
      I personally think that William and Kate would live a rather posh lifestyle even if the monarchy ceased to exist. William may have a trust from his godmother, the Duke of Westminster's wife. I agree that the Royal family has thought of all contingencies and planned accordingly. They of all people know how fickle the public can be and they know who their foes are within the government. They have their hands on the pulse things.

      Delete
    7. All the references I checked indicate RPOs were withdrawn from her after the divorce. Regardless, there are far too many variables involved in that situation to draw references to other royals.
      Does Sarah have RPOs when away from the Royal Lodge? Does Mark Phillips, Anne's former spouse?

      The context you originally offered was actually the fall-out after an end to the BRF, not after divorce. The monarchy was still going strong when Diana was killed. Great efforts were routinely undertaken to assure this.

      Really not a good example. I doubt anyone would contrive to do away with William, if he were no longer an heir. I imagine both he and Harry would be thrilled to forego their RPOs.
      In one of my comments that apparently appeared on email but not here, I mentioned, concerning the Toronto situation, that an RPO outside the aparment buiding supposedly tipped off the press that Harry was there.

      Delete
  31. Maggie - Minneapolis16 December 2016 at 07:39

    Prince Harry/Kensington Palace blatantly lied to the press, and it's honestly concerning to me that people don't think that's a big deal. The royal family has an immense amount of influence/control - they don't need the extra protection and power that the ability to subvert free press/media allows. Why do you think the US media got so worked up when Trump recently went to dinner and ignored traditional protocol that generally notifies the press of the incoming/current President's daily itinerary, including things like going out for dinner? It may seem like a little thing, but these things snowball. How can we ensure that Harry didn't spend taxpayer money to pay for his flight to Canada after the tour if we don't even know his actual itinerary on a taxpayer funded tour/trip to begin with? If he wasn't spotted in Toronto, he could have easily gotten away with it. I'm not saying that he did that, but the royals are like anyone else - most, if not all, are first and foremost out to help themselves, and in the past various royals have shown willingness to unfairly spend taxpayer money (which is what led to the "rule" that official travel and private trips should not be combined in the first place). And when dealing with an institution with an immense amount of power, it's important that the public have the opportunity to hold them in check, and the media is absolutely essential to that happening. Does the media have its annoying moments? Yes, but I also don't understand most criticisms of media (esp things like what they choose to cover) because the media caters to us - if we stopped caring about X thing then they would stop covering it. So in a lot of ways, criticizing the media is just really criticizing ourselves. Not to mention that they have a job to do, and like most things in life, all good things inevitably bring something bad along with them too. That's not a reason to ignore the benefits of something and let it die. Kensington Palace has shown a constant disrespect for the media and they're lucky that the Cambridges + Harry are still young/pretty enough for it to not matter.

    As for the lack of a Christmas photo - I hate that this makes it seem like the Cambridges think they just need to fill some minimum quota for how much they must release pictures of their children. They should view it as an honor and privilege to have so many people interested in their children, and should WANT to release pictures. I'm especially disappointed because we have actually had very little exposure to Charlotte, and after the peek we got on the Canada tour, I'd love to get to see her more because she seems like such a bundle of fun and adorableness.

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    1. I don't think we can tell the Cambridges what they "should want" to do. Last year they released a family photo for Christmas - good; no promises were made they would do the same every year. Why don't we let them decide for themselves when they release a family photograph? It is their family, PG + PCh are their children, not everybody else's. They may or may not release a photo from a winter holiday or at any other time. They are not public property. Yes, a lot of people are interested in them. So when they all went on an important tour on behalf of the Queen, we all had a chance to see them very often.
      Waiting longer for a new photo of the kids will only make me look forward to it more.

      Delete
    2. Maggie, at the end of the day, members of the royal family are human and I believe they are entitled to a degree of privacy.

      Regarding photos and honors, well, me thinks it is quite an honor when parents share photos of their children. Sadly, this was not recognized as such on many prior occasions. Michael Middleton, anyone? And last Christmas the debate took a new low with the suggestion that Charlotte was photoshopped into the family photo.

      Delete
  32. Maggie - Minneapolis16 December 2016 at 07:40

    Also if it's true that the Cambridges are doing Christmas in Bucklebury this year - I wonder if that means no Christmas church walk. And if so...the lack of releasing a Christmas picture becomes even more disappointing..

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    1. We may see a Christmas morning church walk in Bucklebury as we did in 2012. And who knows? Perhaps George will join them. That would be a treat. ;)

      Delete
    2. Right 18:26,
      We did see them on a Christmas walk when they were there before. Loved the red scarf and burgundy coat on Kate. That is the same church they say that Pippa will be married in.

      Delete
  33. Considering how some complained unnecessarily about last years Christmas photo I find it odd the same ones are complaining about a lack of one. I do hope in spite of that we will get to see the whole family soon. Even if one more "might" be in the way.

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    1. Sarah Maryland USA16 December 2016 at 23:00

      No one complained at last year's photo! They complained about the one from the ski trip
      Last year's photo was lovely

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    2. You need to take a walk in the Archives, Sarah.

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    3. Actually, Sarah, a lot of people complained. To some, William was positioned too far away from the rest of his family which was supposed to indicate his emotional coldness. Others claimed that Charlotte was photo-shopped. Still others thought the toy train and the tiny shoe were arranged artificially. I remember all those comments very well as they seemed so bizarre to me.

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    4. Yes, it was lovely. And there was a lot of unnecessary commentary about Charlotte being photoshopped, which she did not appear to be.

      Delete
  34. Since the subject of A Third Baby is increasingly on people's minds,..If and when William and Kate close the door permanantly on having more children (and they might have already), it would be nice if the public knew once and for all, otherwise we will be speculating for a long five years,! I know that they would never actually reveal such intimate information, but just sayin'....

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. They see the Queen every day perhaps. They are in her close orbit. They haven't spent Christmas in Bucklebury since 2011. Carole and Michael deserve the opportunity to host the children and grandchildren for Christmas also. I think they are being totally fair and conscientious. I believe they will release a Christmas photo of some sort.

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  37. I disagree. First of all they always said they would alternate Christmases. We've been lucky in the past 2 years that her family came to Norfolk, but as Pippa and James build their own families, it wouldn't be fair for them or their partners. No one said Anmer Hall was given for the Christmas purpose. This year is a big one for Pippa. It's her final year being single. Before she was married, Kate also spent a special Christmas at home with all her family. No one bat an eyelid when Zara, Mike, Philip and Autumn missed Sandringham at Christmas. I hope the all of them enjoy the holidays.

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  38. Dear heavens. What melodrama. So unnecessary. The Queen and Phillip can see William, Kate, George and Charlotte anytime they choose to any day of the week and weekend. If William and Kate base their decisions on whether or not the Queen or Phillip are going to leave this world then that is a sad state of affairs. Carole and Michael could also leave here at any time also. What a morbid way to live life thinking that way. I pray they will all be around for a long time. They have spent Christmas with the royals for the past 4 years. I think it is the Middletons turn. Many families alternate Christmas visits this way. Just something else to try to rag on William and Kate that's all.
    As for the card, I'm with Royal Fan on this one. The same people that harshly criticized their previous card are now complaining about no card. I do not blame William and Kate one bit if they don't release a card this season. I do think they will though. God bless William and Kate and all of their family.

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    1. Julia from Leominster17 December 2016 at 21:50

      I'm sorry if thinking of times lost and regrets that often aren't felt until it is too late, is seen as morbid but perhaps Anon is very young or not sentimental. Just had a family member lose her daughter - her regrets are overpowering at the moment, (she was not going to spend Christmas with her) so perhaps I stand too close that.

      I would be surprised if such thoughts aren't with the queen, having just gone to the funerals of two of her closest contemporaries and friends who died within the month. But I don't see the queen as one of those lonely pensioners of TV adverts. She has family that is very loyal and that she is clearly very close to - Edward and Sophie, the York girls, Margaret's daughter, and most often Anne's children. There will be children - far more than at the Middletons, since Edward and Sophie's children and most likely Anne grandchildren will be there. I thought nothing more charming the queen "babysitting" little James. One of the Katist blogs (not here) was offended because James got in the way of seeing Kate - on the queen's birthday! Impossible to imagine the queen babysitting George or Charlotte. George didn't even seem to recognise her and the most we hear is she asks about them and leaves gifts. I would be surprised if she sees them once a month.

      Does the queen care? Who knows. (I don't know that she is close to Camilla either who dutifully turns up for Christmas and then goes to her own family. They mostly seem to have horses in common. All the delightful stories of the queen have come from the York girls or Sophie.) But I can't think the queen likes all this fuss of headlines that William's decision has generated - which could have been avoided if the Middletons were content with being at the house the queen gave their son-in-law.
      My guess, knowing women of the queen's generation, she would shrug and say she has done what she can for the Middletons. But she is known to see Christmas as mostly a sacred holiday, not the tat extravaganza Pippa described in her book.

      My feeling as always been that royals should be royal. It is a very "normal" things to split holidays - I often did it myself - worked on it too when I was young.) But if I had married into the royal family, I would have known it was expected I share every holiday with them, keeping my own family quietly in the background, as Sophie does her father. Royal and normal life has always proved a very bad mix in the end. I'm sorry for the queen and hope this Christmas is about her - not the so-called alternate "court" of the Middletons and that all in Bucklebury stay out of the way except for one visit to church. And now, I'm off to my own family and will trouble those here no further.

      Delete
    2. But things can change if those involved want them to:) The Queen may after living the "Royal Life" for so many years have come to want some changes. My one question would be some of your assumptions about how much time all the kids, Grandkids and Great Grandkids spend with the Queen and Phillip.

      Delete
    3. I have read that the Queen, like Pippa, enjoys the Christmas decorating and knows about every lightbulb and tinsel that adorns her home, much like she oversees her banquet tables and has girly fun with her dresser picking out fabrics and accessories. Yes, she seems to view Christmas as sacred, Thank Yahweh, as do many people around the world but festive decor and recipes and reverence to the day are not mutually exclusive. I think the Queen is probably one of the funnest people in the Royal family amidst a lot of other fun members, including Phillip. I think it is a distinct possibility that the Queen encouraged the visit to Bucklebury as an honor to the Middletons.

      Delete
    4. p.s. I sadly know about stuff like that. My husband of 21 years died suddenly. My father died suddenly of a heart attack and my mother, due to a sudden change in body chemistry due to medication, committed suicude. That is why I think it is imperative to share the love however you can. I think it is only fair that the Middletons get to host the children they have raised (and that might just include William in a way) at their home to make memories there also.

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  39. Isn't the Middleton's new home in Newbury rather than Bucklebury? Same difference I guess as they say Newbury is only about 7 miles or so from Bucklebury. Any readers here live in that area?

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  40. I doubt that the gift of Amner Hall came with the disclaimer, "Enjoy. But know that every Christmas you will be here on Sandringham Estate until your grandfather and I kick the bucket. No exceptions". lol

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    1. My second laugh this evening! LOL! :)

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  41. Merry Christmas to all celebrating and my very best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and successful 2017! Thank you Charlotte for hosting this lovely blog and inviting us all to share in it :)

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    1. Thank you, Claudia. And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. :)

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    2. Thank you so much or reading and commenting. 2016 has flown by! Hope you're all looking forward to a relaxing Christmas with loved ones.

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    3. Thank you, Claudia :-) Wishing you and yours the same.

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  42. To them, as Autumn and Zara and others have said, they are "like most families". That is what makes it work according to them. William has access to the Queen probably whenever he wants it. The Queen exits to Balmoral for some R&R, why not William and Kate to Newbury?

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  43. When the Queen passes many years from now, Will she leave her personal Jewelry collection in tact as a collection or will she bequeath certain pieces to certain people and will that be public information? Will Camilla then be overseer of the Royal collection that belongs to the monarchy?

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    1. Those things about the bling are anyone's guess.

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    2. No one knows. However, certain pieces are already earmarked for queens to wear, and cannot be sold or given away. Others are private property of the Queen. The Queen Mother's private property, including her jewels, all passed to the Queen because that meant there was no tax. One could draw logical conclusions from these facts, and from certain pieces having been placed with specific royal ladies. But the details remain to be seen someday.

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  44. Charlotte thank you for the very interesting post and photographs. Some lovely ones of Kate. I thought she was appropriately dressed for the event. Good to focus on the movement. Learning varied skills is so important for young people. One never knows when one is going to need to step outside the norm and we are living in a time of great change, possibly as big a change as the industrial revolution.

    A lot of the comments have saddened me intrusive and not based on hard facts. Something in a twitter stream or media report is not necessarily fact and yet engenders such heated opinion and comment.

    For the people who commented on Harry's recent Canadian trip has consideration been given to the financial cost and inconvience to the Canadians if it had been announced he was Toronto bound either from Barbados or London - a security and logistic nightmare. The relationship is doomed we the public will not give time and space and a small measure of privacy which is sad. Koo Stark recently wrote a very measured article in The Guardian which encapsulated what I am trying to say.

    I have been similarly saddened by the heat caused by the Cambridges' supposed Christmas choices. Life in uncertain and unpredictable. No one in 1980 predicted how few Christmasses Diana had left.

    There are many millions of people who feel they have a right to comment on and dictate to to the BRF and they cannot all be satisfied no matter how they try.

    This is not meant to be directed at anyone but a reflection on how the world is now and it is becoming increasing unkind and lacking compassion.

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    1. Great post. Agree with your final comment.

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    2. Alimai, I share your sentiments especially as to with whom the Cambridges are spending Christmas with this year. Even for the most public of figures, Chrismas has ever been the one single day or time of the year when when the privacy of a quiet celebration with family is an unwritten understanding. Even in war there is a truce or a cease fire! The Cambridges are a lovely family and have the wonderful fortune of having two loving and supportive families to choose to spend Christmas with....no one choice is "wrong". And given the harsh criticism that they get, no matter what they decide, I hope that they can surround themselves with love and happiness and revel in the moment and have a wonderful Christmas with their children.

      Your comment about "Life is uncertain and unpredictable" is so true. You have to live and enjoy every moment with your loved ones, all of them, and find the balance in life to do so. Below is an article on a thank you letter that Diana wrote to someone the Christmas before she died.... who could have predicted it was her last Christmas. No one can or could have, so you have to live for the moment, without regret and work on being kind and compassionate...always. I think a kinder more compassionate world would be my Christmas wish for the world! cc

      http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/news/a41769/princess-diana-letter/

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    3. Well said, Alimai. Well said! I particularly agree with your last two paragraphs.

      Cara, Australia.

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    4. Lovely comment anon 18:08. Thank-you for the reference. It is amazing to be still learning about Diana.I truly think that we may only really get to know Catherine
      after time gives us perspective.

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  45. Emily Andrews confirmed on her Twitter account that the Cambridges will not be releasing a family photo for Christmas. While I would like to see one, I'm not surprised by their decision. They had quite a few family pictures taken in Canada by the press and they received criticism for their one last year.

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  46. I must have missed something. What string of attention getting boyfriends does Meghan have? I thought there was her former husband and then the chef. Who are the others?

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    1. Julia from Leominster17 December 2016 at 04:24

      There was also the prominent golfer Rory Mcilroy. The chef was the most recent. She apparently dumped him when she met Harry.

      Delete
    2. Julia,
      I don't know that dumped is the right description. Like Kate with Rufus, or as with anyone else who is dating someone and then meets what they feel is "the one", you kindly explain and part ways. Although Kate remains friends with Rufus (not a dumped indication) and I believe Meghan and the chef are on friendly terms from what I've read. In all fairness to Meghan, three suitors in the life of a 35 year old is very tame for these times. Not what I would call a publicity seeking string of boyfriends. Just an opinion.

      Delete
  47. I am an advocate of William and Catherine having private time and time to grow as a family but I too have to say that they should release a photo of their Christmas card:) While being third in line may be an excuse, their popularity is still known, so just send out a photo of whatever they are sending out as a card:) The card can be a non photo, but we all know they are sending out a Christmas card:):) So this silliness I blame on the PR staff...

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  48. wouldn't surprise me if Kate's "I am good at building bonfires" note found it into someone's scrapbook, maybe even the official Scout one.

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    1. If given the honest opportunity to grab that note during clean-up, I would have made a discreet beeline for it for sure.

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  49. Hmm. I think the cambridges spending christmass in middleton i think the duchess and pippa will spend girl talk as Think the duke idea to spend time with middleton family one last time as family before pippa getting married i think the queen permit william and kate spending christmass with middleton .. I dont think. The object with that
    About christmass photo i not surprise with they have decission
    My comment with. Harry and Meghan. I dont. Think she will be. Ammer or attend. Christmass walk with royals. I dont think its very nice to do that maybe good for her as image she not even engage to prince harry she only her girlfriend

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  50. Getting caught up on everything. I love her outfit. She looks like all young moms-cute, trendy(yes, oversized sweaters and skinny jeans are the trend), and completely accessible. She appeared to be having a lot of fun and kids seemed to enjoy her being there. A success event all around.

    Christmas - I think it makes total sense to alternate. I have actually been surprised they haven't done it more after saying they were going to. I understand the whole 'HM/PP might not be here next year because they are older' but my 25 year old brother was fine on Christmas, got sick a a week later and died. Meanwhile my grandfather who smoked and drank a ton lived well into his 80's. You can't plan your life around what might happen, just in case. Based on what I have read about the schedule with the royals, for George and Charlotte, the Middleton might be a better fit anyways right now. Not that William's family loves the kids any less but still more formal.

    Maybe they planned to release a Christmas card and it just didn't work out. Maybe the pictures were terrible. Maybe they didn't have any they wanted to release. Maybe they went, 'We'll get it done next week, next week, next week. Shoot! Christmas is here' - although someone is paid to track that so I doubt it. But I can say, that unlike previous years, card receiving is down in my circle of people. Very few people(for whatever reason this year) are not doing cards.

    Harry/Meghan - from what I understand, no one cared that he visited Toronto per se. Although after some previous situations in the family, it is highly highly discouraged to mix business and pleasure, it's not unheard of. The issue was lying about it. People asked if he was going to do it and were repeatedly told no, even up to hours before the flight. If they had been told yes or even a 'maybe' or a vague non-committal answer(which seems stupid), he might not have been as judged as he was. Flat, emphatic denial and then doing it, completely overshadowed all the good press he generated on the trip.

    Side note-I saw an article that Kate took the kids on an outing to something local and Christmassy. The comments were all
    Up in arms about how William was again missing family time like he did at Easter(because a holiday and a random Tuesday are the same thing). I really wanted to comment and mention that he technically has two jobs. People say he might not do them well or regularly(though I disagree) but they still exist and maybe he was at one of those!

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    1. As a Canadian taxpayer, I can tell you that *I* care that I had to foot the bill for Harry's security detail.

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    2. 22:34,
      He may have paid for that. We don't know. Meghan flew a private flight to London on one of her visits they say, so Harry probably paid for that. If Meghan had been an Ice hockey game would you be as reticent about that? How much did that cost each Canadian citizen anyway. Harry has a personal life. It is not his fault that as a Royal in Canada he is required to have security.

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    3. sorry about your brother, Katie. :(

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  51. Not a fan of the split cuffs. They look awkward and contrived, a little drafty. An attempted design feature that missed the mark. Otherwise I like the sweater.

    Glad the children got to decorate their refreshments. A very scouty way to incorporate the food. Not a fan of fondant. It is like play-doh that people have played with. Not all that sanitary in my opinion, plus it is like tasteless paste. One of my pet peeves. I am sure the children weren't as picky. They certainly seemed to feel at home around the princess.

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    1. Unless it is marzipan fondant which is delicious . Very sure that wasn't the case here, however.

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  52. I'm adding my thoughts about where the Cambridges spend Christmas because for some reason this issue struck a strong chord with me. I completely support the idea of alternating Christmases generally. It seems only fair. And I think in general life is more happily lived if we value and hold dear all time (not just time at the holidays) that we spend with family and loved ones.

    So in those senses, there is no necessity (beyond the pressures of Royal tradition) for the Cambridges to spend Christmas at Sandringham. However, it seems to me so incredible for anyone, not just William, to have grandparents who are so highly functional at their age, and such an opportunity to experience their wisdom and perspective, that it seems sad in some way to pass up the opportunity. If it wasn't a Royal family, I'd find it a bit sad too. The Middletons could come to Amner again. And they could spend Christmas Day dinner at Amner again. I am not suggesting that Kate or William are being selfish or anything like that at all. Just that I am imagining I would want to take advantage of every opportunity possible to spend with my grandparents. But that may be in part because 3 of my 4 grandparents died when I was very young, and I have always been sad not to have known them.

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  53. That kind of cuff might look good worn with bangles?

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  54. This is all much ado about nothing imo, and in the big scheme of things matters not a whit.
    On a happier note I hope everyone is enjoying this joyous season, and I send hugs to you all.

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    1. I could use that hug Tedi. Thanks. :)

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  55. I just saw the picture of The Queen and Prince Charles, released at the end of the year of her 90th Birthday. Lovely.

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  56. Lovely portrait of HM and Prince Charles released today in honor of her 90th.......a possible reason why W&K didn't release a Christmas photo this year? Just a thought.....

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    1. Absolutely, anon 05:11. If we wait a little before making judgements, situations
      become clearer.
      It's all a great balancing act. The Cambridges were put forward at the Diplomatic Reception. Now it is Prince Charles's turn. (royalfan, just rejoice that it was just the two of them) I'm sure plans for this portrait release were made months, maybe years ago. The Cambridge Family Christmas Portrait -a tradition of one-two years?- took a back-seat. The Queen and the succession must always take precedence.

      I think the Cambridges might also have a sort of compensatory offering in store for the season.

      Delete
  57. Alison Jackson has done photo spoofs of the Queen, Harry and Meghan in the Daily Mail. Some are a lit-tle racy. Hard to top the T-mobile Royal wedding video spoof.

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  58. I think that, although the Queen has been said to be lax on some aspects of parenting, because Christmas is so special to her, if she had not wanted William to go to Kate's family house for Christmas he would not be going there. She has clout. She definitely, as William said, made it very clear that he would be wearing the Irish Guard uniform for his wedding and not the black one with ruffles that had been his preference. When kneeling on the balcony to talk to George during The Trooping of the Colors, the Queen told him, in no uncertain terms, to stand up, and he did, immediately. Christmas is very important to her. If she wanted them to remain at Sandringham for Christmas this year, they would not be going to Bucklebury.

    ReplyDelete

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