Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Cambridges & the Middletons Join the Queen for Sunday Service!

I do love an unexpected royal appearance! Not only was it wonderful to see Her Majesty at Church today as she recovers from a heavy cold - as an added bonus the monarch was joined by the Cambridges.


The Palace decline to reveal if Her Majesty would be attending service until this morning leaving many concerned. It's wonderful to see the Queen feeling well enough to go and slowly easing back into her normal routine. Looking regal in royal blue, HM and Prince Philip travelled to St Mary Magdalene Church by car this morning.


More from the Telegraph:

'Colin Bunn, 70, of Snettisham, Norfolk, said: "We live locally so we come to Sandringham quite frequently and were here on Christmas Day. She looked beautiful and came down the steps unaided." His wife Pam, 67, said: "She looked good. She had a lovely outfit on and looked well." The Queen broke protocol for the first time in her almost 64-year reign when she decided not to attend both her traditional Christmas and New Year's church services. She delayed her annual trip to Sandringham for the holidays, opting to travel one day later than planned by helicopter rather than by train to shorten the travel time.'

The Cambridges made the walk from the house accompanied by the Middleton family. Tomorrow Kate celebrates her 35th birthday and the family are no doubt enjoying a celebratory weekend to mark the milestone. Surrounded by family and close friends, Kate will mark the day privately with a relaxed dinner on the picturesque Sandringham estate. It's becoming something of a tradition seeing the royals and the Middletons making a post-Christmas trip to St Mary's.


William and Kate left to cheers from a crowd of local well-wishers who turned out to see the royals.


Michael and Carole Middleton chatted with the Marquee and Marchioness (the lady in the wide-brimmed black hat) of Cholomnodeley. David and Rose are neighbours of William and Kate, and the two couples are said to have forged a close friendship during their time at Anmer Hall.


Below we see the Marchioness, Rose, making her way to church with William and Kate's close friends and Princess Charlotte's godparents, Sophie Carter and Thomas van Straubenzee.


You'll recall the Duchess attended a gala for EACH at their stately home Houghton Hall last year.


A stylish Pippa Middleton with her fiancΓ© James Matthews.


William and Kate chatting with locals.


Her Majesty and Prince Philip leaving the service.


The Duchess was wrapped up in her forest green Sportsmax coat first seen on Christmas Day 2015 and again last February for a day of engagements in Edinburgh.


The Long Belted Coat is made of green virgin wool and comes from the Sportsmax Autumn/Winter 2015 Collection. It features a V neckline and two deep side pockets. It originally retailed for $1,800.

Farfetch

The always informative Perth Fashion quickly identified Kate's pretty scarf as the sold out L.K. Bennett Sammi Blue Silk Scarf. The £110 silk scarf is described as "an elegant addition to any wardrobe".

L.K. Bennett

Kate sported a new grey hat.


With thanks Kate J from What Kate Wore Facebook, it's been confirmed Kate wore the Sumac Luxury Alpaca Fur Hat. The £225 piece is described as "Divinely soft, fluffy and warm, with a generous brim, our luxury alpaca hat is a knock-out – perfect for a winter wedding or the races. As with all our products, our luxury alpaca hat is derived from natural herd loss in the bitter Peruvian winters and handmade using Fair Trade principles. Light, breathable and hypoallergenic with no lanolin content."

Sumac

And it very much looks like the Duchess completed the look with her Emmy Shoes Valerie Carbon pumps. The £400 pumps are described as: "A beautifully classic court shoe with a discreet platform to help manage the sexy 11.5cm heel in darkest grey suede with leather lining and natural nubuck sole."

Emmy Shoes

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Also today, those who have sent the Cambridges a Christmas card began receiving replies last week. Which photo did the couple chose? There has been a fantastic selection taken throughout the year. A lovely shot of William and Kate with George and Charlotte at the children's party in Canada made the cut in the end. Taken by the incredibly talented Arthur Edwards, it's a great family shot. Our lovely reader Wendy from Fife kindly emailed a photo of the card she received.


And a look at the accompanying message.


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I couldn't conclude the post with saying an enormous thank you to all for your outstanding effort in trying to improve the quality of the comments section. When I asked readers to consider using names instead of posting anonymously I never anticipated so much support. Already I've seen a vast improvement in terms of comments coming through for moderation and a friendlier atmosphere is evident on the blog already. Overall, I want this to be an inclusive place for readers to feel welcome to share their opinions and I can see we are very much on our way to a more open, communicative and respectful community.

Given the feedback I've received in recent days, I would very much like to go ahead with phasing out Anonymous posting. So if you're just joining us, please simply click the "Name/URL" option (you can leave the URL blank) and leave any name you like (there's a fun list of suggestions in the comments of the last post). You can also sign in with a Google account or Open ID if you wish. I have been truly touched by your support on this and hope to make this blog as enjoyable as possible for all who are kind enough to stop by!

Finally, I would like to wish the Duchess a very, very Happy 35th birthday! I hope she has a wonderful day with her loved ones.

229 comments:

  1. Julia from Leominster8 January 2017 at 15:53

    Glad to see the queen. She looks very elegant in blue but still rather fragile.

    You are quick as always Charlotte. You're amazing! A Happy New Year to you and your family.

    I like Kate's coat as before. The hat not so much.

    Given she was photographed at a party with James in December and his very nice comments about his affection for her and her daughter, I find the absence of Donna Air very odd.

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    1. Are they formally engaged? I think there's a protocol. From what I recall, the royals don't include girlfriends/boyfriends (even for Harry and William) to private functions with the royal family. Once separated, Diana and Sarah were excluded as well, even though that meant they could not share Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations with their children. I hope someone who knows chimes in.

      On another note, though HM and PP show the effects of their recent colds, everyone looks elegant,happy and relaxed. The women all look stunning. What a splendid variation of coats, footwear and hats.

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    2. Have we ever seen Donna at a Middleton event? I wonder too why after so many years she is still absent. Unless the Middletons have a concern? But then James could refuse to attend if she isn't welcome...who knows!

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    3. I am glad to see HM as well. All things considered I think she looks remarkably hale and healthy.

      Perhaps Donna Air is refusing to be seen in public with James until he grooms that beard.

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    4. Courtney from NC8 January 2017 at 21:36

      Bluhare- I just snorted really loud. While I was taking a drink. Which ensured choked laughing ensued. I agree with your sentiment about Donna and the beard.

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    5. I've always wondered why Donna Air never accompanies James to church appearances. Maybe it his beard, bluhare :-P

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden8 January 2017 at 21:51

      Maybe she doesn't go to church? Or maybe she was working? Or any other reasons. I don't see much use in speculating (especially speculating trouble) when we have no information to go on.

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    7. Julia from Leominster8 January 2017 at 22:08

      There's no such rule about having boyfriends or girlfriends staying at a royal house. A number of Charles' girlfriends did so. Official events are different but Donna and James aren't royal so (hopefully) won't be attending those outside of ones directly involving William and Kate. Kate is known to have stayed at Balmoral prior to her engagement and was invited to semi-private events such as Peter and Autumn's wedding and one of the Gloucester's weddings.

      The Christmas day walk to church could be called official (I probably would call it that) but other church visits are private. Diana did attend private events before her engagement including Princess Margaret's birthday. Sarah was often seen at polo.

      Here, the Middletons are undoubtedly staying at Amner - where William and Kate can have anyone they want. It looks like all members of their party - some of whom live locally, attended. Probably no one is meeting the queen unless they are invited to Sandringham so James (the fiance) would have no worries.

      It does look like the Middletons are specifically excluding Donna who was photographed with James at a wildlife party just a month ago.

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    8. Julia,

      It could just as easily be that Donna had other obligations, doesn't prefer church, etc. Why would it have to be the Middletons excluding her?
      If James wanted her there I see no reason why she wouldn't be. The Middletons have associated with their children's school and social chums for years, and local community people also throughout the years. Historically, they seem to be very friendly, inclusive people to me.

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    9. I agree, Rebecca.

      And Bluhare, you need Pippa's hat. I think you just solved the mystery.

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    10. That, to me, is an excellent point Anon @ 20:00.

      Again, I do not think that the Middletons are excluding Donna at all. From the interviews I have read from James, he is strong-willed enough that if they were not allowing Donna there, James would not be there either just as you mentioned, and certainly not looking as happy and relaxed as he does. I think James would take it very personally if the Middletons were excluding Donna in any way and I do not think he would attend any function where she was not welcomed.

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    11. I don't understand the obsession with Donna Air. When is the last time James and Donna appeared in public together, anyway? I'm afraid Ill have to agree with Rebecca on this. annie

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    12. Julia from Leominster9 January 2017 at 00:26

      James and Donna appeared together at a ball for the elephant charity founded by Camilla's late brother and were photographed as a couple in Hello! Without waking hubby and spaniels, I can't give the exact date but the magazine was in early or mid December, making me think the party took place in late November or early December. So they were appearing in public a month ago.

      It was a lavish affair with private dinners beforehand - one at Clarence House hosted by Camilla. I don't think Charles was there but don't know for certain - I don't recall a photo of him. I don't know whether they said which dinner James and Donna went to. Elaborate masks of animals were given to the guests.

      In early November James gave an interview to the Daily Mail primarily about his marshmallow business. In it, he expressed his love for Donna and her daughter although stopped short of speaking about marriage. Below is the link. I will just say based on that interview, I would have expected Donna to be included in any Middleton gathering unless there has been some recent change. As for the religious feelings of any of the parties, I would hesitate to say. The Middletons weren't known as church goers before Kate's marriage from what I've read.

      I don't think being involved with families of school friends of their children or being friendly with local people necessarily speaks of overall inclusiveness - I'll leave it at that.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-3905662/JAMES-MIDDLETON-EXCLUSIVE-Kate-Pippa-s-little-brother-getting-Donna-living-sisters-shadow-spot-hangers-mile-off.html

      The Middletons these days, I admit, bring out the worst in me, sharing that with Camilla and family. But just like I think Camilla's son is a witty writer, I liked James from what I read in that interview - much better than what I've read of interviews with Pippa. He had an easy honest way with him, quite pleasing. For someone who is admittedly dyslexic (and many hugely bright people are) I thought he read beautifully at the wedding as well. I don't even mind the beard but I like men with beards. Prince Michael, the Norwegian crown prince and the Spanish king all look very handsome with them.

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    13. Hi everyone. I'm a long time reader & very infrequent poster. In truth, I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I'm one of thos readers who grew increasingly uncomfortable with the tone of the comments which I perceived as being unnecessarily unkind & judgmental. So, I took to reading Charlotte's excellent posts & by-passed most of the comments.

      But today, I glanced at something that I've decided to comment on. Julia, I'm using your comment simply because it exemplifies my thoughts, IMO, and not as a personal dig at you. :)

      You ended your comments saying, "It does look like the Middleton are specifically excluding Donna ..." I have to disageee. We have, as far as I'm aware, no factual information detailing Donna's relationship w/ the Middletons or their opinion about her. Maybe they are excluding her. It is possible they dont like her. I've not liked every individual my children have dated. But maybe she doesn't adhere to the Christian faith. Maybe she was baptized into a different denomination. Maybe she's uncomfortable w/ the media zoo that accompanies the Middletons when they're with William & Kate. Maybe she hates James' beard. :) Maybe a lot of things. The point is, we don't know. So why, so very often, when we admit we aren't privy to all of the pertinent facts, do we choose to believe the negative, and cas aspersions on character? Julia, I don't know you. I don't know exactly what you meant by your comment, but the words certainly carry meaning. IMO, the words "Middleton are specifically excluding Donna," can be translated as they are purposefully preventing, or intentionally keeping her from joining them. To me this expresses a negative, maybe even a judgmental, view of the Middletons. I'm of the opinion that when all of the facts aren't in the default should be to give the benefit of the doubt and believe the best. Words have weight. They carry influence. Yes, we all have opinions, and everyone, including Julia, is entitled to them. The voicing of them, however, especially where they may cause harm, is a privilege which needs to be carefully weighed. It is my responsibility to govern my tongue (or pen or keyboard) when expressing ideas publicly.

      I'm going to make one more observation. Bluhare, I'm going to pull you into this - again, not as a personal dig, but because of a comment you used. In the last post you equated unwavering supporters of W&K (or you referred to someone who did) as "sycophants." I consider myself a fairly unwavering supporter of W&K so I take some umbrage at that descriptor which means, according to the dictionary app, "a self-seeking, Seville flatterer or fawning parasite." Why am I (as part of the collective whole of W&K supporters) so maligned because I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt when I know I don't have all the facts? When I choose to believe they are good hearted & intentional & working hard to figure out life just like the rest of us? That I believe there's so much more that we don't know than we do? I know they're not perfect. In my mind, That actually gives them the freedom to mess up and still walk with dignity because I don't have unrealistic expectations of them.

      I don't expect to change any opinions w/ this rant & I apologize for its length. I just needed to say something this once. Now I'll go back to reading & marveling at the quality of Charlotte's work & by-passing most of the comment section. I'll save myself grief and you all from having to read or by-pass my rants.

      Happy New Year to everyone.

      P.S. I support the notion of having everyone choose a moniker, even if it's totally fictitious. I do believe, at the very least, it will make the comment section easier to follow.

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    14. I, too, don't see an issue with Donna not being there. As Rebecca stated, there are many possibilities.

      But, frankly, unless/until James' is engaged to someone, why give anyone material for a potential book?

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    15. Thanks for the laugh Bluhare! I agree with you about the beard too.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      I don't see why we couldn't speculate, others speculate on how close the Middletons with the Queen because they go to church on the same day, though none of them were church goers, not even Kate.

      If we all talked about "facts" here, the comment section would be blank! Right Bluhare?πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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    16. Rebecca - Sweden9 January 2017 at 06:23

      Thank you Laura. You and I seem of a very similar mind. I like speculating about things. As Anett say, it would be very quiet here without it. But something that also has struck me is why people default to a negative implication before a neutral or positive. I hope to see you comment aagain :D

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    17. Julia from Leominster9 January 2017 at 07:07

      I have no problems with your comments, Laura, you put it very respectfully and as I said in the last post, I respect all opinions, whether they are from people who just enjoy Kate or royalists like myself who are as interested in the role as the individual.
      In fairness to bluhare, I don't believe she was calling anyone a sycophant - she was just observing that others have used harsh terms, often quite personal (I won't repeat them since I hope they're gone for good) to describe people who make any critical remarks. I don't think anyone should be personally questioned for having a politely put opinion.
      But I agree with Anett - it is all speculation - why Donna isn't there, whether the queen is offering support to the Middletons or they just happen to be visiting, why Kate wears a bracelet, why she doesn't have a royal order yet, why there are no foreign tours announced. It's all speculation and to pick and choose elevates one speculation over another. Even if - and in Charlotte's case - sometimes when there are royal sources, they often differ.
      Since much has been made of the Middletons supposedly egalitarian views, I feel the absence of a young woman who has been involved with their son for over four years is worth noting. There could be many reasons, although I seriously doubt from what I know of Donna Air who is a well-known celebrity that religion is at issue. I'll speculate no further.
      I have nothing against the Middletons as individuals per se, in fact I admired their discretion at the time of the wedding. But that discretion has been slipping away and the border between celebrity (Pippa), promoting business (James and Pippa at the least) and too, too much attention (Carole lately who has featured in articles in People and Point de Vu in silly, fawning articles) is a fine one.
      By promoting the Middleton Christmas, William and Kate essentially rubbished the royal one as stuffy and child unfriendly - which may well not be true. I didn't like that. We are dealing with a very aged monarch who presumably likes Christmas the way she has enjoyed it for many years. When Charles in on the throne, it may be a different matter. But for now, I think the queen deserves to have her Christmas respected.
      Again, we don't know the reasons. It may be William and Kate are fine with the queen's Christmas but unfortunately, all we can see is what results. And that's what counts to me.
      I will say bluntly again I think all relations of royal family members, whether dukes or dustmen should maintain as low a profile as possible - which is different from enjoying private time with family members. I feel the Middletons have breached this rule this winter and if that continues to happen, it could be a problem. Decades of royal watching have made me think that breaching certain boundaries while considered acceptable, even applauded, short-term can long term lead to problems. Here a boundary between royals and non-royals, celebrities and royals is being breached. The Internet is very good at making celebrities out of people who shouldn't be.
      For now, I just hope, after Kate's birthday, that the Middletons return to Bucklebury to quietly pursue their business until Pippa's wedding, while William and Kate get on with royal business. Because while many of us are here for different reasons, that's why I'm here and it's the only reason.

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    18. Not only attending church together Anett,

      but the Queen has had the Middletons as houseguests at Balmoral, personally chauffeured Carole herself on Balmoral even, invited them to Ascot, invited them to lunch at Buckingham Palace. Not speculation. And, we don't know that "none of them were churchgoers". Carole and Kate wearing crosses in the past, and not just as a fashion accessory in my opinion, and William and Kate's wedding statement would tend to make me believe that they have attended church some.

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    19. Hello Laura, I'm glad you brought that up. I was talking about what I perceived the blog to be with all the Anonymii postings. Because people didn't have to be responsible for what they say I think the comment section devolved a bit. And I used those two terms as examples of the two camps. And I see you didn't like yourself characterized as a fawning sycophant, and I don't blame you. I'm not a fan of being characterized as a jealous and envious hater either. I think most of us (with very few exceptions) are somewhere on the spectrum. And I think using names instead of anonymous has improved the comment section already. And it emboldened you to post so that's a good thing too!

      I'm glad some of you agree about the beard! If he doesn't trim it soon, James should start side-eyeing birds come spring. And I agree about facts, Anett. If we only had facts, I'd have to shut up about that beard because as far as I know he could have trimmed it before church.

      But I agree with Julia about the Middletons. And they were guests at Balmoral that weekend as William was hosting a party I believe. I don't know if that's fact; I have just seen it written. And Harry hosted one either the weekend before or the weekend after.

      As I've read Kate was confirmed only immediately before her wedding, I would not characterise the Middletons as church goers if that's correct. Heck, I was confirmed when I was 12 and my parents certainly weren't characterised as religious church goers.

      I don't think that everyone speculates negatively, Rebecca. I usually respond to positive speculation to show the other side. But there's plenty of positive speculation here; maybe the difference is in how we read it?

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    20. Julia, I do respect your views and passion. However, from reports read this morning it appears the Middletons were invited for tea before church on Sunday. We could speculate that the Queen embraces the relationship with the Middletons and possibly even enjoys their company. The Middletons have really done nothing to harm the Monarch and they do what they have to do to promote their business within the confines of their daughter marrying royalty. To say that they should disappear smacks of classism which should not be encouraged in this day and age. I am wondering how the British will embrace Meghan Markles American parents should Harry marry Meghan.

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    21. Surfer girl

      I referred to this occasion not previous ones and as an example. Scroll down if you wish.

      As you said we do not know, so I agree with you. But I have a feeling they would not be regulars if they didn't have to. This is all called speculation of course.:)

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    22. A take on religion, faith, church goers.

      http://www.robertsharp.co.uk/2011/04/16/kate-middleton-insults-the-church/

      By the way, I agree with you, Julia, about the Middletons. I wonder why other relatives are not around the royals that often.

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    23. We do actually have some concrete information on whether or not they are regular church goers.

      Kate was only confirmed at the age of 29, a month before she married William. It was at a private ceremony at St. James. That's 15 years after most people are confirmed. Aides insisted at the time it was part of her "religious journey", but most felt it was to avoid scrutiny and controversy, that the woman marrying the future head of the church had never been confirmed herself. A common line I read at the time was "is this conviction or convenience?" Personally I think the Queen had a great deal to do with it and probably was strategic in urging William to make it happen. We know how she feels about the church.

      I know of no regular church goers, who are active in their church and church community, who do not follow the ceremonies and milestones of their religion. The fact that Kate was confirmed between 12-14 indicates they weren't regularly attending and it wasn't that important to them. The fact that she still wasn't confirmed before her 20's is more proof.

      That said, I want to point out that I believe faith and religion are two different things. People of great faith never attend a church service, people of little faith are often sitting in a front pew! But the question was about church attendance, so there's what we know. I suspect the Middletons have attended church more in the last 5 years than in all previous years combined.

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    24. Also I have to chuckle when people tsk tsk about speculation, since 99% of what goes on here is pure speculation! Unless someone here is a close personal friend of Kate or William that I don't know of.

      I am not well informed on Donna Air or James Middleton, but we do know that they are a well known couple so it does become odd at a point that she's never at these family events. Again, none of these things are looked at in a bubble, it's the cumulative impression.

      The only thing I can add is that I read a Donna interview once where she said she and James are homebodies and like flying under radar so to speak, so maybe they feel appearances at such high profile events would only increase the public pressure and press attention. But you do have to wonder if she's ok with it, I would think most of us might be fine (or say we're fine) in the beginning but it would become deeply hurtful over time.

      Blvhare I saw your svggestion and wondered covld I type my entire comment like this and sign it "I, Clavdia" but was afraid some wovld think I had lost the plot ;)

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    25. Tammy from California9 January 2017 at 17:27

      Bluhare, you made me laugh out loud this morning!

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    26. Zora from Prague9 January 2017 at 17:32

      Laura, thank you for commenting, I share your point of view. Words really have their weight; as a person working with words (I'm a translator) I can appreciate and confirm that. Sometimes a single word makes all the difference.

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    27. Thank you very much Laura. What Rebecca said to you I agree with also. Opinions can be diverse, be it critical or affirmative but they can at the same time be done with kindness, compassion and respect.

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    28. Surfer girl- I noticed the photo of Sophie with her father decked out top hat and all in the royal enclosure at Ascot. Apparently HM has chosen to welcome other royal-spouse families publically, as well as privately.The divorce and living former husband may complicate matters for Camilla's family.

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    29. Claudia, I was going to say. Since they don't appear together often in any other photos it is not surprising she isn't with him here. I think it is all about "flying under the radar" as she said and as you referenced. Once she appeared with him at gatherings like this the speculation and media coverage would sky rocket, in my opinion.

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    30. Claudia,

      I think that Kate's confirmation was for the Church of England, per se. She could have easily been confirmed in any other denomination as a child, you know, like Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. but since William will one day be the head of the Church of England and because they were to be married at Westminster Abbey, she had to be confirmed like that. I believe they were probably members of their local church but had to fulfill the public official confirmation for Royal reasons.

      Kate did have her christening gown on as a baby. You know, the one where she was eating her christening gown. lol So that, additionally tends to make me think they were/are members of a local church.

      like the blvehare, Claudia. cute.

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    31. Bluhare,

      I think that things are definitely improving here on "The Bentley of Blogs". We are really polishing her comments bonnet up and making her look better than ever. lol But I do agree with Rebecca, Blvhare, :), that there had definitely been some negative speculation. It is better now for sure, but not completely absent. And as far as speculation goes, I personally think it is far better to err on the side of mercy.

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    32. JN, Since the papers said they had left for church from Sandringham House I had hoped it was something..... Kind of thought it was something ....... :) But a tea before church, that's even better than breakfast. yay. sweet. How British. :)

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    33. Oh Clavdia, that was great. I think yov have great potential as a Latin scholar!

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    34. Julia from Leominster9 January 2017 at 20:28

      J.N - Meghan's and other families are exactly what I'm worried about - this could get out of hand very quickly - I have no idea if Harry's relationship with Meghan will - or should - turn into something serious but the immediate involvement of her family disturbs me , making statements and showing childhood snaps. This applies to anyone Harry marries. I hope that family, whoever they may be, maintains a low profile.

      Annie, I agree Sophie's father has attended Ascot - as have the Middletons, and has visited Sandringham - but I doubt most people on this blog - even myself - would recognise him. I have no problem with discreet connections with families - that's very positive - it's when the family members begin to be treated as an extension of the royal family, it concerns me. If the Middletons came for Kate's birthday as here - or even attended church at Christmas with the royal family, I think that's fine. It's when there's a public appearance for Christmas - an alternative Christmas one might say, and a great deal of attention-getting activities and articles: that's when I become concerned. As noted above, Camilla used Clarence House to promote her brother's cause - and it is a worthy one - but her sister's briefs to decorate royal houses trouble me - nice though the decorations may be - and if Camilla started to pull Charles too much into her family activities - I would be even more concerned. If after the Christmas service and lunch, Camilla goes to stay with her children and their families - that seems very reasonable. If they walked with Charles and Camilla and the royal family at church - and we started to hear about a Camilla Christmas, that's another matter.

      There are charming Christmas family photos over on the Royal Hat Blog of various royal families. None include in-laws of the various members even though all the prince and princesses have families they are close to. To me royal unity is the most important thing.

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    35. JN. p.s. and btw, :)

      That photo of baby Kate chewing on her christening gown is so cute. Carole's mother, Dorothy, is holding her in that one. Kate looked just as calm as ever in her Nana's arms, chewing on that beautiful lace gown. classic. :) Wait... THAT'S where Kate gets her love for lace. Bingo. :) And she may have even been christened at the little church they attended yesterday. Neat, huh.

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    36. I think you are a little unfair, Julia, to complain about the Middletons going to church with William, Kate and the children. I think it is entirely reasonable for them to go collectively as a family on such a day but the arrival at church was very clearly choreographed so that William and George with Kate and Charlotte walked ahead and could be photographed alone.

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    37. Annie,

      I think the the Queen is avery warm, funny and gracious woman. And, I think that since her mother and her sister's passing she has become even more cognizant of the importance of family and thus more inclusive, like allowing Kate to go to Bucklebury when George was born, entertaining the Middletons and including them and also Sophie's father, etc. She's such a neat lady. :)

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    38. The Vicar certainly appeared to be familiar with the family. Now that you mention it SG,(thanks rf, ha!- hope SG is ok)I do recall that there was membership in another church. It should be easy to verify. I certainly would not wish to declare that she took religion on as a sort of job requirement or ticket for the lottery. The specific church, certainly. I think many if not most churches, other than the drive-through Las Vegas variety, require church membership for a marriage ceremony. Especially if the Archbishop is performing it. It worries me that there seems to be an effort to demean the Middletons, making them seem without church roots and as self-promoting. If the Queen likes to keep them around, that says something. They would not be at any royal events without a royal invitation. Phillip seems to especially enjoy sharing a smile with Carole. I suppose we will hear about Kate's going to Christmas church with her birth family for the foreseeable future. My question is where were the other senior royals on HMs triumphant return to public life? The Queen is still that aging granny who could breathe her last at any moment. If they were there, I saw no photos. Zara was in Australia privately, I do know that.

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    39. HA! SG. The Duchess certainly Does have a taste for lace.

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  2. Thanks Charlotte.

    I am so happy and thankful that the Queen is feeling better. She looked beautiful.

    From what I could see of it Rose's hat looked like it was very pretty. Pleasantly surprised to see them accompanying everyone to the service. So happy that they attended.

    Carole's outfit is beautiful. So nice. And I happen to love Kate's outfit, especially the hat.

    But most of all, I am so happy they are all attending church, :), and attending church together. :) :). Yet another solid indication that there are no hard feelings, divisions or bickerings amongst these people.

    Again, I am so thankful the Her Majesty is recuperated. HalleluYah. She has the glow of good health. She looked beautiful. 😊

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  3. Whee! What a great post!! Happy Birthday to Her Royal Highness and looking forward to the 11th as well.

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  4. Just a quick update for this current page. According to the Daily Mail, Charlotte Griffith, Meghan will be accompanying Harry to his friend, Tom Inskip's wedding in Jamaica.

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  5. Sandrine (France)8 January 2017 at 16:14

    Thank you Charlotte for your fantastic site !!! I wish you a very beautiful year ! And I wish a very beautiful birthday to Kate, that she spends a lovely day with her family and friends.

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  6. Deborah in Canada8 January 2017 at 16:15

    I'm so delighted at this unexpected sighting of Duchess Kate and her family. What a treat on Sunday morning. It's great to see most of the family - the Middletons', the Royal Family and Pippa's fiance. Wonderful to see the Queen out and about again. Thanks again for all of your work.

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  7. What a treat to see this post. And talk about a "picture tells a thousand words" scenario with the Middleton's included,once again. A warm ray of sunshine just eclipsed the doom and gloom analysis of Christmas Day. :-)

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  8. I love an unexpected royal appearance too, Charlotte. Very reassuring to see HM out today.

    Love Kate's new hat. I'll be interested in the identity of the milliner. I do prefer boots with this coat instead of courts. I know a hand muff would be slightly costumey but I think one to match her hat would be a showstopper. Today, for me, Pippa takes the cake. Great pieces that look spectacular together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erika, I like your idea about the hand muff. One to match would be a showstopper...classy.

      Delete
    2. Again, Kate and the Middleton ladies in subdued colors and modestly attired. HM was the star today, without a doubt. Were Charles , Edward and wives there? Andrew?Surely they wouldn't miss the Queen's triumphant return! annie

      Delete
  9. Btw, if anyone can ID Sophie Carter's coat, it would be appreciated. Looks to be a gorgeous velvet confection. I think Kate would look lovely in something like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the gorgeous velvet confection. I'd like to see it straight on.

      Delete
    2. Me too bluhare but, then maybe, we would be disappointed.

      Delete
    3. Kathleen, New Mexico USA9 January 2017 at 01:02

      I agree! I love Kate's coat, but for me it was Sophie's who stole the show...along with HM looking so lovely.

      Delete
    4. Erika, I wondered that too. But wouldn't it be awesome if it had that buttoned up Victorian look? That's what I want to see out of it, but I suspect that isn't so.

      Delete
    5. It would be perfect, actually, bluhare. The stole is in the way but if I were to take a stab, I'd say it has lapels and is double breasted which isn't as exciting. I do love the shoulder and cuff structure, however, and the flow
      of the skirt portion is lovely. Plus, the decadent color and fabric. .... If I owned it, I would wear it to death.

      Delete
    6. That velvet coat is stunning - I hope Sophie's around much more just so we can see her stylish wardrobe.

      Delete
    7. I had the same thought FM. Hoping some of her panache will rub off on the DoC to make things a bit more exciting.

      Delete
  10. I've been visiting your blog since it's inception but have never posted in the comments. I'm excited about the future of the blog in regards to a more positive comment section! I think that's great :). I thoroughly enjoy this blog...I'll just say, it's my FAVORITE!! I look forward to reading your blog when Kate has an engagement and of course I peek daily for surprise engagements like this one!! I love William and Kate and all they represent. And I thank you very much for having such a fantastic, informative and fun blog! You do a great job!!
    Angela K.
    Colorado-USA

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  11. I love the new 'tradition' of seeing Cambridges and Middletons for Kate's birthday weekend. It is a nice way to celebrate her birthday private, but still being see. I hope they keep it up.

    I liked the way Kate styled the coat in 2015 more. But then it was Christmas and more of a formal appearance, so it is to be expected. But still, why a grey hat (furry thing) with a green coat? I get that Norfolk in winter is a dreary and cold place, but this combination just doesn't do it for me. Combine the hat with a navy/red/pink coat and it would be a great look. Otherwise wear the coat with a brown furry thing and you have another winner.

    Pippa's hat is another I don't understand. It does nothing for her outfit.

    But my overall winner is Carole. She is just so elegant in an undstated way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with all you say, Duchess at 16.36. The hat, whatever, your feelings about wearing fur, does nothing to coordinate with this coat. It also isn't especially flattering on Kate. Pippa's hat is so masculine looking and as you say, does nothing for her outfit. Carole Middleton is one very classy lady...always elegant, always appropriate. The fact that the Middleton's are in the Queen's presence so often, should really veto all those silly rumours about the Queen disliking their social climbing. The Middleton's don't put on airs or use their daughter's status to further their own agendas. They are discrete and courteous...Her Majesty must appreciate that.

      Delete
  12. Great post and great surprise! Happy Birthday to Kate!

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  13. William seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the crowd. (He is so cool, in my opinion. :) )

    So many beautiful outfits there this morning. Has anyone found a photo that shows Rose Cholmondeley's outfit? If so, please let us know. I really want to see her outfit. :) And whether Kate wore earrings today? I didn't see any in the these photos.

    I love that color on the Queen with the cute little peacock feathers, Kate's hat, Carole's hat and Rose's hat and all their outfits sans Rose's although it is no doubt as beautiful as the hat.

    Who is the blond woman in the red velvet coat? Who is the older lady in the red coat and hat (walking beside Pippa in a photo in the Daily Mail)? I am so exited to see them all out and about today. I guess it shows. :)

    The papers say they all walked to church from Sandringham house. Perhaps the Queen had a Sunday breakfast there for everyone before church? Or is planning an after service brunch?

    So cool Wendy receiving that card. So nice of her sharing that with us. Encouraged me to also reach out and share my goodwill to them in the future. Thanks Wendy.

    Okay. I'm done for the moment. I apologize for the exuberance. :)


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  14. Andy from Canada8 January 2017 at 17:10

    I have been following your blog for a very long time now and this is the first time posting! Checking your blog is part of my daily web activity and I throughly enjoy reading your commentary. Although I don't post, know that you have a fan from Canada! Happy New Year!

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  15. Hello Charlotte: it's difficult for me to tell in the photos, but does it appear that James Matthews has worn jeans to both recent church services?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I noticed as well, it looks like he wore jeans both times.

      Delete
    2. I noticed the same. Bizarre to say the least. Also irreverent to the hosts.

      There are some who say he's not a very nice person, looking down on people and such. Hopefully they are completely wrong.

      Cheers from the frozen Manitoba

      Delete
    3. Manitoba,

      I did quite a lot of research on James Matthews when I was composing a comment on how James wasn't just a "sudden suitor" in Pippa's life and I never found that James was anything but socially appropriate. What you said about him is a curiosity to me. I would like to know where you read that. Any references you can share? Thanks. :)

      Delete
  16. So lovely to see the Queen out and about. Everyone looked really nice. A few thoughts. First, why do we not see the men wearing hats on occasions like this? Second is Rose the one in that incredible ruby red velvet coat? Kate looked lovely, love her shoes and thought her hat and the scarf were fun additions to the green coat. ali

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    Replies
    1. Ali

      No, that is Sophie Carter. Rose is in the wide-brimmed black hat and dark charcoal grey long coat.

      Delete
  17. Question - do the Cambridges not attend church on a regular basis? I always hear about how the Queen is deeply religious, but you would think more pictures would surface of church visits throughout the year and not just holidays. Do they have private chapels in the palaces? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is believed W&K only attend when they "have to". It is not a personal choice for them to do so, it seems. Time will tell if they go more often once Charles is King and when William is one day himself...

      Delete
    2. I don't know, 21:43,

      Throughout the years both Kate and Carole have worn crosses. I got the impression that that was more a statement of faith than a statement of fashion. Couple that with William and Kate's wedding statement and it isn't a stretch for me to believe that they attend church services more often than not. I think the Queen might attend weekly services on Sandringham and if that presents no security problems then perhaps the Cambridges attend weekly as they can. I don't know about Kensington Palace as it is in the city and going weekly to church might be more difficult because of security reasons. They might have a chapel at Buckingham Palace or even in Kensington Palace, I don't know.

      Delete
    3. I think they are probably religious in the way that many, many British members of the Church of England are religious - they are christened, have church weddings, go to church on Christmas and so on, but it's really more of a social/cultural obligation than a real deep faith.

      Delete
    4. The Queen spends weekends at Windsor Castle and worship privately in the grounds of the estate https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Chapel_of_All_Saints

      Delete
    5. Claudia @ 16:36 and Penny, you probably know this already, but many churches, before you join them, have you agree with their belief creed, a statement of faith. Then going to church thereafter becomes an extension of that statement of faith, not just a religious routine. Granted, only God knows who really believes, but actions can be somewhat of an indicator. By their fruit, you know. And as far as being faithful and not going to church, it is all a matter of obedience for us I guess, as we, Christians, are admonished in God's word not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together with fellow believers. So church attendance is an encouraged enhancement and blessing for us. Hope that makes sense. :)

      Humphrey's Girl, Is that St. George's Chapel? How do I access the link you provided? Do I have to type all of that somewhere? lol

      Delete
  18. I'm sad to see the LK Bennett Sammi is sold out. I'm very fond of it, so I'll be keeping an eye on the website.

    I like the deep dark green colour of the Sportsmax coat. It's a rather simple coat but I like it.

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  19. I'm not very happy with Kate... the hat. It doesn't go with the other pieces of the outfit. Her hair looks amazing however and I am always grateful for another sighting of the Sportsmax coat.

    Pippa looks like she just escaped from a detective movie in the 40s.

    The Marchioness and Sophie look like they just finished filming Downton Abbey.

    Her Maj looks quite healthy now, which is great.

    BUT CAROLE LOOKS AMAZING!!!!! The coat fits perfectly, the hat looks great and I am a sucker for fur scarfs so this entire outfit looks perfect. I am usually indifferent to Carole's outfits, but now I am a huge fan. She looks youthful and timeless, and utterly perfect

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me laugh out loud with your description of Pippa. She just can't get it quite right in the fashion department.

      I agree, Carol looks smashing!

      Delete
    2. The scarf is like black/red/blue and her coat is dark green. How does that match? Sometimes you really want to get into the head of someone when they make a fashion choice :-)

      Delete
  20. Very glad to see HM out and about again. I am not in the UK, but I was worried about her. Thanks for the update.

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  21. I'm in love with Carole Middleton's coat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it looks good too. I like simplicity and this is nicely done.

      Delete
  22. Happy birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge! Carol and Pippa looked great today. I wish we saw more of Carol. Many women, who are (dare I say older) would probably love to emulate her style. Sometimes "we" can't quite pull off Kate's more youthful outfits.

    ReplyDelete
  23. MizBev in Colorado8 January 2017 at 18:24

    Happy to oblige. They all looked widerful today.

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  24. Okay. That's Sophie Carter. And Kate was wearing earrings. You can see them in the photo where they are talking to the crowd. Don't know what earrings they were though.

    Quick question. Are Sophie and Thomas dating?

    And, it dawned on me that this is James Matthew's (James2) closet affiliation by proximity with the Queen and Prince Phillip to date that we know of. Just the first of many no doubt. Was he nervous about that prospect of meeting them? Did he have butterflies? I sure would have. I would have been smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Not too embarrassing or obvious. :)

    Sorry to repeat myself, but I love Carole's outfit so much and Rose's and I love Kate's hat. And Michael looked very handsome, as usual.

    Hope this does become a tradition. It is a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think we've ever had photo confirmation of Sophie and Thomas dating, but I think it is possible!

      Delete
  25. It is so nice to see the Queen better and out and about. I hope she is getting and feeling stronger each passing day!!!

    Well, the ladies presented fashion for us for sure. I think Carol beat her daughters by a mile. She looked beautiful. Pippa's hat reminded me of the one worn by Robin Hood (animated version). I don't know why.:-)

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    Replies
    1. Ha, Anett, I agree about Robin Hood. And Carole. She looked good. I didn't think the Middletons were churchgoers though. I can still be surprised!

      Delete
    2. If your son-in-law and grandson are going to be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which is the mother church of the International Anglican Communion - you might start to take an interest in it.

      Delete
  26. Elisabeth Monica8 January 2017 at 18:43

    I'm so happy to see Her Majesty in good health again and the Cambridges and the Middletons as well. Thank you very much for your blog dear Charlotte. A very happy new year to you and all and a wonderful and happy birthday to our favourite Princess, Duchess Kate!

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  27. I want that hat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want all the hats! Coats shoes and boots, too. I agree that Carole looked especially wonderful today. Her fondness of styles is both elegant and young.

      Delete
    2. Zora from Prague8 January 2017 at 21:05

      Philly, lol :) You're going to have a pretty full wardrobe!

      Delete
    3. That's right, Zora! Less is not more; more is more. You can quote me on that.

      Delete
    4. Haha, I want only one hat: Pippas. I am not a "hat wearer" but I would love to own this one. Snazzy!

      Delete
    5. Zora from Prague9 January 2017 at 17:17

      I sure will, Philly :) when the right moment comes, e.g. when I want to eat more Christmas cookies!

      Delete
  28. Thank you for this post. It was a nice surpise to see the royals this morning. And i am very happy to see the Queen up and well enough to attend church. I do have to say i always love reading your blog. There is so much detail which i love. Catherine looked very pretty as always. I do have a question. I have read in many books that Catherine hates being called Kate. Any truth to it?

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    Replies
    1. Courtney from NC8 January 2017 at 19:57

      At an engagement last year and child asked if she was a princess and she told the child to call her Kate. Based on that I'd venture a guess that she doesn't mind being called Kate.

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    2. I saw in an article once that a child asked her what he should call her and she replied, "Just call me Kate". So I guess she likes it. She's so down to earth, I'm sure she doesn't mind.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster8 January 2017 at 22:10

      William called her Kate in their initial interview so she can't mind it too much. It's said the Middletons always called her Catherine but clearly William didn't before their marriage and they were together a long time before that interview.

      Delete
    4. Trish- interesting question. Let us hear from you again. It seems you posed a question but didn't stick around for the answer.

      Delete
  29. Sarah Maryland USA8 January 2017 at 19:26

    James Middleton looks so much like king George v lol
    I hate those kind of big furry hats and that isn't my favorite coat of hers but I'm glad to see her and William interacting with the crowd!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those hats make me think of troikas and Dr. Zhivago.

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    2. Anna Karenina :-)

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    3. I saw Kate's hat and thought of a Brillo pad. I usually love her hats, but this one is a miss for me.

      I'm very happy to see the Queen is feeling well enough to attend church. I was beginning to dread opening my computer every morning.

      Up thread there was talk of James wearing jeans, and it looks like Pippa's fiance has jeans on, too. Can this be? They're in the presence of the Queen and Prince Phillip and attending church, and they couldn't put on a proper pair of trousers? If true, I find it disrespectful.

      It's nice to see William smiling and interacting with the locals. Maybe he got my memo. ;)

      Delete
    4. Kim, lol, he must have gotten your memo years ago then because he's been friendly with the locals since before he married Kate. That's one of the many things I have appreciated about William, and Harry. :)

      Delete
    5. Surfer girl, you're right and thank you for the correction. When William is on walkabouts, he does a good job of interacting and making light conversation. I've read he's quite charming when doing so. In my mind I was comparing this church outing to the one at Christmas. Smiling, waving, and looking pleasant is such a small thing, but has great impact. I wish William would do it more. He often looks peevish to me, but perhaps I'm wrong here, too.

      I know I was wrong about James Middleton. He *was* wearing proper trousers. Apologies all around!

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    6. I had the same morning dread Kim so was thrilled to see her attending.

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    7. No problem, Kim. About the peevish look and the trousers, it is often a factor, as we know, of photography, ie, angles, lighting and timing. :)

      Delete
  30. Zora from Prague8 January 2017 at 19:32

    Thank you for the post, Charlotte. I was hoping we might see HM today... and we did! I'm really happy she is well again. Prince Philip seemed rather tired to me but maybe it was just the photos (from the car).
    Erika, I love your idea of a muff! It would surely look gorgeous.
    I hope Kate has a very happy birthday, among her loved ones. 35 is a beautiful age!

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  31. So happy to see HM out and about again; she looks lovely in royal blue. The addition of W&C and their assorted family/neighbors/houseguests is also an added treat! I enjoy these unexpected appearances so much more than when every public move they make is announced weeks or months in advance πŸ˜‰

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  32. Thank you for another speedy post! I have spent the last 10 days or so on another blog and am completely burned out by the nasty (and crazy) comments so I am so relieved to read these comments. One can be critical without being cruel. That being said, I am thrilled to see Her Maj out and about and hope that she is truly on the mend. Love the color of her coat, too! Kate's coat has never been one of my favorites. The drab color and the placement of the belt just don't do it for me. Pippa's coat...I want it bad!!! She may, however, keep the hat. The one thing that I love about all the ladies--no boots. I much prefer shoes and hose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "One can be critical without being cruel", BethNY, so true.

      I would love to know who made Pippa's coat and to get a better look at it. The hat seems casual for the coat and occasion, but then I am old school, and prefer the classics. The hat reminds me of Britney Spears.
      I would love to know who made Carole and Rose's coats also. Can't believe Thomas and James1
      we're not cold without a topcoat.

      Delete
  33. I'm glad to join in with my true identity. I post occasionally. I'm one of the "nice" anonymous who just adores this site. I agree with Charlotte that the posts seem more civil now. I enjoy seeing all of fashion and flare of the royal family and Kate and her family. I try to see her also as a wife and mother who is intensely dedicated to the well being of her family. Wishing them the best for this year, and all of you too!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Two years in a row, ever since Thomas's divorce, we have seen Sophie and Thomas together for Kate's birthday weekend. They also accompanied the Cambridges on their ski trip in early 2016. Could they be together? How wonderful if they married!

    Pippa was so stylish...I didn't recognize her at first!

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  35. So nice to see the Queen up and at church this morning, and a lovely treat to see the Cambridges and Middletons as well, they all look very well. Happy Birthday to Kate for tomorrow, hope they all have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Courtney from NC8 January 2017 at 20:06

    This may be first time ever that Kaye is at the bottom of the fashion totem pole for an event. She is lovely buy the hat with the coat makes zero sense to me. It is also visually boring. The Queen looked lovely. Carole looked elegant and her hat would have worked better style wise for Kate's coat than the one Kate wore. Other than the Queen, I think Carole is my winner for best look.

    I hope they have a wonderful time celebrating Kate's special day!

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a lovely surprise today!! I am so happy and relieved to see the queen out and about, she does look a bit frail still but beautiful in that blue. On the fashion front, Carole wins today for all-around stylishness, but I MUST find a red velvet coat! Gorgeous. Pippa looks ready to engage in a spot of detective investigation in that hat

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  38. So good to see the Queen and she looks wonderful! Happy birthday catherine!

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  39. Lovely to see everyone out today. Since this happens to be my first post this year. I'll like to wish everyone a happy New Year.

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  40. What an exciting surprise! I've always thought that William and Kate must live a privileged yet perhaps lonely life since they can't really go out too often. This makes me realize that they have beautiful estates and plenty of friends and there are probably so many more get togethers and events than we are ever aware of.

    Kate looks beautiful but I LOVE Pippa's outfit. It seems like such a timeless English look of city meets country.

    I wish we knew more about Sophie Carter. Is it known where she lives and works? If she's dating anyone? She is so pretty, reminds me of an old world movie star with her sophistication. She's probably Kate's closest friend and how trusted she must be! If I remember right, Thomas and Sophie used to date before he got married (and divorced) right? It would be kind of awkward for the only other single during the weekend together to be your ex but they are probably used to being friends by this point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was a huge fan of Pippa's too! So fun, chic and stylish!

      If they aren't together, but I hope they are, Sophie and Thomas have no choice. And I don't think it's that awkward for them, or we wouldn't still see them with the Cambridges. They went skiing with them in early 2016, and this is the second of Kate's birthdays they've celebrated with the Cambridges (and these have all taken place since he divorced his first wife).

      Delete
    2. That's the life I'd love to hear about -- no doubt they are constantly entertained at great estates with servants and chefs and gorgeous surroundings -- who needs restaurants! I've always heard William and David Beckham were good friends -- but we've never seen them together -- must be part of their private world we know nothing about.

      Delete
    3. There is an eschelon like that all over the world Florida Moxie, many with even loftier perches. But, thankfully, William reaches out to help those who don't live high in the stratosphere. Kudos to him.

      Delete
  41. Thank you for your wonderful blog which I have enjoyed since inception. I fully support inclusive and kind conversation! This is my first comment :)

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  42. I love Kate's hat! Why not wear something warm and a bit different! I like it with the green coat too.

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    Replies
    1. I think there was grey in her scarf and then the grey shoes to kind of blend the grey hat with the green coat.

      Carole does seem ageless, Kiwi gal. Having a loving husband like Michael probably doesn't hurt. :)

      Delete
  43. The Queen looks beautiful, but frail. I think the fashion winners from the day were: 1st place: HM - love the colour!, 2nd place: Carole - does this woman ever age?! & 3rd place: Sophie Carter - absolutely gorgeous! I don't particularly like Rose's hat, nor Pippa's or Kate's. But great to see them all out at church together :) Happy 35th Birthday Duchess Kate!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Orange County grandma8 January 2017 at 21:35

    Love seeing HM today. And the topping on the cake was Will and Kate. Wonder why he does not hold her hand. They have in the past on the walk to church. Also seeing the Middletons, and all of Kste and Williams friend was wonderful.
    Loved Kate's outfit today. I see a lot don't line her hat but I think she looked great. But we really didn't get to see her full on. William blocked her as they were walking. Not saying he did it on purpose. always enjoy see Kate's eyes light up when she is looking at William. So much love shows in her beautiful eyes.

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  45. Courtney from NC8 January 2017 at 21:37

    Kate looks tired and pale in these photos. Hopefully she isn't coming down with whatever the Queen had.

    ReplyDelete
  46. As an avid follower of the Cambridge's, I really enjoy getting a glimpse in to their lives on this site.
    Its lovely to see close up views and obtain info on what the Duchess wears. I also love to see the children close up. Im in New Zealand and we do not get much coverage on the Royals here.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Charlotte, it's nice to se HM back. Such a strong woman!
    I hope that now it works: maybe it's not the right place to put it, but it's the third time I'm trying to post my limerick for Bluhare, so this is a sequel of the former post's conversation in verses...

    There once was a lady Bluhare,
    with a pen that never threadbare
    she gave us such a fun
    with her humorous gun
    that we roll about laughing, Bluhare!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw it, Paola! I'm amazed that you could write one in a second language. Much respect from the frustrated limerick writer known as bluhare!

      Delete
    2. I like and enjoy writing limericks in Italian (I call them Italymericks). Your limerick is my second in English. The first was a translation of one of my Italymericks:
      There was a she-duck in Keewatin / that spoke very fluently old Latin. / She told "quo, quare, / quocumque, quoque" / that learned she-duck in Keewatin.

      Delete
    3. Paola, I would write one about you but I am having serious trouble rhyming with Paola. Serious trouble. Like, nothing!

      Delete
    4. You left out "why." :+0 The five Ws of journalism. Often left out these days. My Latin is rusty, so... Anyway, probably the highest test of a language proficiency, Paola- humor and idiom. I am amazed!


      Delete
    5. Paola can rhyme with "bresaola" which is a kind of dry meat... :)

      Delete
    6. lol, too bad she can't give you her middle name Bluhare. :)

      Delete
    7. There was a young girl named Paola
      Who was entirely too fond of bresaola
      She would chew and she'd chew
      But would always eschew
      Talking as her mouth was to full-a


      Sorry Paola. That's all I've got! :)

      Delete
    8. Love it. lol A merry heart certainly does doeth good like a medicine. Love the "full-a".

      πŸ™‡‍♀️πŸ™‡‍♀️πŸ™‡‍♀️. Bluhare, Philly and Paola creating away at the keyboard. :) (sorry. I couldn't the the hair color thingy to work right.)

      Delete
    9. Also, " a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance." Best one yet, bluhare. :=)

      Delete
  48. Alejandra Ramirez8 January 2017 at 22:59

    Great post Charlotte! And yes the comments looks amazing!
    So many new names!
    Welcome all! :)

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  49. I was so thrilled to see that The Queen is on the mend, she truly looked glorious in her beautiful blue hat and coat. Catherine's hat is stunning, but a slightly odd colour combination to go with green and the mismatched scarf. But, she still looked beautiful and both she and William looked happy to be out and about talking to the locals. Carole Middleton looked just stunning! She won the fashion stakes hands down for me. I do love an unexpected royal appearance! Happy Birthday our beautiful Duchess.

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  50. I think it would be interesting to research that " Just call me Kate" remark, since it keeps making the rounds. I also understood "Kate" was a school girl nick name that carried over into college. Also, I'm sure Charles refers to his wife as Camilla in public at times, but I wouldn't want to be the reporter that shouts out ''Camilla" from the crowd. Husbands are allowed. ;+)

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    Replies
    1. Annie the last time I know of was at an engagement in May (Charlotte did a post on it as well) when a child asked "Are you a Princess?" Kate responded, "Just call me Kate". As Charlotte herself has said, she could just as easily say "Just call me Catherine" and as others have mentioned repeatedly, William himself called her Kate publicly, and I think she was referred to as "Kate Middleton" in pre wedding palace statements.

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    2. I found it in a story in The Express, (on the same page as a blurb for a story questioning Andrew's paternity) It happened during a Kate charity event-the same one where "Marvin" the hamster was introduced. A credible source, who was involved in the by-play was quoted, The context was a little girl asked if she was a princess and the quoted man said it was the Duchess of Cambridge. At some point, not really clear to me, the Duchess replies to the little girl's princess question, ' Just call me Kate." This story has made the rounds out of context in various incarnations. I do feel her telling a confused child in that context to just call her Kate does not automatically extend an invitation to the populace in general to refer to her directly as "Kate." I am also reminded of the tiara-attired little girls on a Kate walkabout in Australia who called out, "Princess Catherine!"

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    3. Would you believe three people have asked me about that statement recently? I finally found it in an old Telegraph article and yes you're correct, Clarence House referred to "Kate Middleton" at the time.

      'The prince's spokesman said: "Having already been photographed leaving the club, he and Kate Middleton were then pursued in his car by photographers on motorcycles, in vehicles and on foot. The aggressive pursuit was potentially dangerous and worrying for them. It seems incomprehensible, particularly at this time, that this behaviour is still going on."'

      Here's the link to the full piece:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565212/Prince-William-chased-by-paparazzi-like-Diana.html

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    4. Here's a reliable one we've chatted about before. During a pre-wedding engagement in Belfast, a lady asked her which name she preferred and she replied "I'm still very much Kate". The quote is 100% as confirmed by royal correspondents and reported from everyone to The Telegraph to The Associated Press.

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    5. Thanks for the input, Claudia and Admin.

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    6. Charlotte I rarely comment on the name issue because it seems silly really, and it gets exhausting, so I can imagine you're well and truly over it :) But it is an example of a non-issue becoming a distraction because of how it was handled, whether originally by the Cambridges or their communications office. Why they had to comment on it at all is beyond me. An unnecessary tempest in a teapot. They could have downplayed it and said, "some call her Catherine, some Kate, both are fine" and left it at that. After all, many people have several variations to their name.

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    7. Claudia, I wouldn't expect BP to say, "some call her Anne, some Annie, both are fine." :) I think the shift to Catherine (we assume) was/is quite understandable given that she married William and will be Queen. I don't think there's any need for clarification, to be honest.

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    8. Claudia, is the unfortunate KP statement in that Telegraph article? I'll have to read it. I do think it is more than a matter of nicknames. I always feel uncomfortable using Kate while her husband is referred to by his full name- William. It seems it should be William and Catherine or Will and Kate. She seems to be a modest sort of person and telling people to use the familiar form may be a means of both reflecting that no fuss modesty as well as forming a bond with them.I still think there is a time and a place to use nicknames or short versions of a name. I think good taste and manners,at the very least ,should enter into the choice. I imagine Charlotte is well and truly over a number of subjects and themes discussed here. I guess that comes with the territory.

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  51. It is nice to see Queen Elizabeth recovering and out to church with her family. I wish her continued health. She is such a living history of a certain era short of a century. Her Christmas message was on December 14, 2016 according to some media source. It was an inspiring message which might have connected to many people.
    I wonder what a person in her position thinks at vulnerable times and with age being realty. This message comes to mind. Credit to source and author has had some progression, It is such a common message adapted by many.

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference




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    Replies
    1. It's the Serenity Prayer used in all Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I don't think that Bill G wrote it, but they've adopted it and I think it's now used in just about all 12-step groups.

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    2. “Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change,
      the courage to change the things I can,
      and the wisdom to know the difference.”
      This was actually the one I was more familiar with, which started with, “Lord, grant me the strength”
      Reinhold Niebuhr

      Its original message /lessons seem to have biblical basis. I have known about it for a long time as many people do most likely. It can fit life’s challenges in a number of circumstances. QE is a wise lady, but still a human being in a certain global position. Yesterday, looking at the queen, it crossed my thoughts. I wish her well, but she can use some well-deserved rest gradually delegating her engagements to the younger generation.
      I googled it to get the right order of verses yesterday. I found out for the first time it is AA’s mantra. Whichever one it is they use, good for them.

      Well, Bill Gates can write me a check and I will be a happy camper.

      ------
      The Queen's brilliant blue out shined everything. It is beautiful on her.

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    3. It wasn't Bill G. It was Bill W!! Sheesh. I knew that, I really did.

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    4. I believe Bill G. is the founder of AA. (Not Bill Gates, :=) )Last names aren't used in AA- that's the Anonymous part. I made another remark not updated yet.

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  52. Happy 35th Birthday Kate!

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  53. I think Carol and Sophie are the two winners in the style stakes today. Think Pippa is trying to look a little rakish with the jaunty hat, but failing. Kate's coat, shoes and scarf are fab, but the hat is odd. It's looks like something my Gran would choose wear due to a genuine fear of being frozen with cold (which I guess is the point of a hat!!!!), rather than for style.

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    1. Is it the type of hat a pregnant woman might wear for genuine fear of being frozen with cold? Just wondering.... :-)

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  54. Jen in Vancouver BC9 January 2017 at 00:48

    BethNY I believe I saw your comments on that other blog. I completely agree, some people have nothing but negative things to say no matter what the Cambridge and Middleton families do. I honestly don't understand why if people dislike the royals so much they bother following them at all. I come to blogs like this because I enjoy reading about the royals and escpecially Kate. I really enjoy this blog because it is very well put together and for most part I have found everyone here very respectful even when in disagreement.

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    1. Jen,

      that "some people have nothing but negative things to say no matter what the Cambridge and Middleton families do" has been a mystery to me also. Parallel universes (as others have postulated) seems to be the only plausible explanation. :)

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    2. Hello Jen! Yes, you probably did see my comments. I agree with you--it's all about respect. We don't have to agree with everyone else's opinion but we must respect that they are entitled to have one. Between this and the Presidential election, I am burned out with negativity. Furthermore, I get your point about following the Royals when they so clearly dislike them.

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    3. I dont think anyone here dislikes the royals. I know I wouldn't pay attention if I didn't care about them. The difference is some of us care more about the insitution than the people in it if that makes sense, and how the institution is a product of all the actions of those people.

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    4. I have recently heard of hired trolls who mascarade as fans/participants who are plants to promote/demote particular ideas, products, or persons. They can disguise themselves and seem to blend in, but for anyone with a sharp eye, they are detectable. I believe this may mostly involve Twitter, but as I don't follow it I can't comment from personal experience. This can happen with any internet site, Linking with an email address could help theoretically, but as someone said, "dummy" untraceable accounts can be set up.

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    5. Julia from Leominster9 January 2017 at 20:15

      Jen, as you most probably know there is a difference between people who "don't like the royals" and people who strongly support a monarchy but are concerned about the behaviour and activities of people within it. But about once a year, I feel the need to make that distinction again, then I'll let it go.
      Those who don't like the royals are called republicans and whilst I don't know whether their numbers are truly increasing, for various reasons they are becoming more vocal and their position, one might say, more acceptable. I don't believe most, if any republicans, follow this blog. Republicans don't dislike the Middletons - on the contrary, since the Middletons help blur the distinction between the monarchy and "ordinary" people, they consider the Middletons an asset to their cause.

      Those interested in the institution are called monarchists. I consider myself one of them. They support the existence of a royal family - but may critique individual members of it. At least in my case, mindful of the strongest republican argument which is based on equality, I prefer to see traditions maintained, innovation to come gradually, and the line between royal and non-royals kept strong. This is because my feelings are based on the historical aspect of the monarchy - why members of it are "special" based on their long history.
      But history alone can't preserve the monarchy, it needs to have a purpose and my feeling is, until a new purpose is strongly defined, the old model of representing - let us say - the best of the nation, calling attention to good works and bringing support to those in need and those helping is the best purpose outside the diplomatic and limited political role of the monarch herself. Every time, I hear someone say "just ribbon cutting" or "tree planting" I shudder because they are forgetting - or ignoring - the people behind those activities. Unfortunately, calling those duties pointless has sometimes been used as an argument to support William and Kate.

      There are many people here who just want to enjoy William and Kate - at least whilst they are young and interesting. I hope more than a few of them will be around when William and Kate cease to be young and interesting - mindful that royals such as Margaret, Andrew and even Charles once had this kind of attention and it has fallen away. I feel that any attention to members of the royal family is positive but wish those who are just interested in William and Kate would realise there is a bigger picture and that people here see things in different ways. I realise this sounds pedantic - but I always identify my comments. I'm fine if people ignore them.

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    6. bluhare, you nailed it for me. The institution, which goes back 1000+ years, is bigger than the present individuals. They are only the current players in this rich history. Presently, the public is supportive of the monarchy. After the Queen's reign ends, who knows what the sentiment will be? That's why I think it's so important that the younger members of the royal family (anyone under 70) behave in ways that strengthen the bonds between them and the people. (On a sidenote, I'm afraid Andrew is waiting to pounce after Charles is crowned and will cause a huge dust up. Anyone else get that feeling?)

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    7. Well said again bluhare, and fortunately Charlotte welcomes that discussion, until she tells us otherwise ;)

      Annie, yes, that's a long held practice by PR and marketing companies, and pops up on social media, online, and in comment sections! Companies with high profile brands also pay people to write reviews, to increase online "ratings" for their products. Politicians and lobbyists have used them as well for their political goals.

      It would be very unusual and frankly highly suspect if any royal household hired a firm to do this, but given the younger royals enthusiasm for social media it wouldn't completely stun me. If ever discovered it would be quite a scandal though. Richard Palmer has actually suspected it more than once...

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    8. Julia,
      This post now has better distinction in defining where you are coming from, and why you believe the way you do. It is more convincing than “ordinary verses” “royal” or the “children are ordinary while they are in Middleton’s church environment” not necessarily your quote, but that was implied in the Christmas 12/25 post. A good constitutional monarchy which is balanced can no doubt serve to preserve national identity and a sense of stability. The same 12/25 post someone responded with an important word, “it shifts with the times”. I agree it should. Still, as new generations keep replacing the previous one, your values are important in imparting the reasons for being a Monarchist.

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    9. Annie, that wouldn't surprise me, to be honest.

      And I wonder if I am the only one to be troubled by some of the persistent negativity directed at the Middleton's? They raised a lovely young lady who has fit seamlessly into the RF. William could not have a more supportive or loving companion from everything I have seen and read over the years, nor could the Firm ask for a more loving family unit to represent the monarchy now and in the future.

      The Middleton's have remained silent as they, and their children, have taken turns at being called all sorts of names by so called "journalists" and internet "fans". They also remained silent while their roles as grandparents have been criticized. And through it all, they continue to support the Queen and she continues to return the favor.

      Naturally, there is more interest in the Middleton's compared to other royal in laws. Kate dated and married a future king whose mother was extremely popular. The looks, status and fairytale come true are all part of the equation. And the Middleton's are a wonderful example of success both on the home front and in the business world. They made it, and their success enabled an English girl from the country to meet and marry a future king.

      Does Sophie's father get the same attention? Of course not. But Sophie married Edward, the Queen's youngest son, and the same "ingredients" are not there.

      Do we see Charles' in-laws? Yes and no. They may not attend church with the royals because of the tricky dynamics involved in this marriage, but my goodness they have not been shy about using their royal connections. Camilla's sister has decorated and renovated property for Charles and that's fine, right? Her son promotes his connection to "Sir" and that too is okay. Camilla attends a book signing and it's all good. She still maintains a private home (from before her marriage to Charles) and entertains her children and grandchildren there. Is anyone up in arms about this extra expense? What about the security to protect two senior royals who live in separate households from time to time? And was it okay that Camilla's father lived in CH along with the couple before they were even married? I could go on... Trust me. :)

      The Firms worst problem should be that W&K share their lives with the Middleton's. Had Diana been blessed with an equally supportive husband (and in-laws in her day), a certain chapter of royal history could have had a far nicer ending...............

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    10. bluehare,
      Interesting point, it also takes the contribution of many ordinary citizens to get the institution going.

      Delete
    11. Kim thank you. And I think you might be right about Andrew which is why he's hitting up his mother while he can

      Using name/URL as I dislike signing onto google on my phone.

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  55. Im so thirlled to see ber majesty healthy and well locing all the middletons joining the fun i love pippa. Middleton coat too hmm the looked.good i never thought that her majesty and the middleton are in good company makes think they loved. Being each other i love the duchess too she looks amaing in her rececycle coat happy birthday On our princess

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  56. http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/royal-family-?excludenudity=false&family=editorial&page=1&phrase=royal%20family%20&sort=newest

    More photos from today... Note Pippa walking with the Queen's Lady in Waiting, Lady Susan Hussey.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Royal Fan,

      I thought that's who that was, but I didn't recall her name.

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    2. p.s. Lady Susan Hussey is also a Baroness and one of William's god parents. :)

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    3. You're welcome! :) I always take a look at Getty's site to see all the photos they have for any given occasion/event.

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  57. I'm amazed at some of the comments, also.

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  58. Really enjoyed the Telegraph article on what Kate's legacy will look like & what's next for the Duchess at 35. I think you put it on your twitter, Charlotte, luckily I managed to read it on a news website here in NZ. 35 does seem like a milestone age & I look forward to seeing Kate mature & take on more responsibilities in her role this year. As I'm turning 30 this year (another milestone age!), I definitely look up to William and Kate as good role models for my generation and I see them as modern, warm and down-to-earth royals, which has renewed my interest in the monarchy since the days of Diana.

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  59. Would love to see the new hat with the Sentaler wrap coat, her favorite black skinny jeans, and boots!

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    Replies
    1. I second that Piccolomeni! That would be a smashing look! I wasn't sure I liked the hat with this coat, but it has such a Dr. Zhivago feel to it and besides Kate looks great in it that its hard not to like her stepping outside of her zone. Think that Carol's look is great and its not hard to guess (or wonder) that perhaps Kate takes some of her cues from her mother. Carol isn't much of a trend setter, but she is a consistently classy and "steady" dresser.

      So very glad to see Her Majesty :). What better way to say that I am doing well than wearing royal blue! Very nice that the Middleton's were together and the entire group looked happy and engaged! Pleasant and surprising post all the way around! cc

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    2. Courtney from NC10 January 2017 at 05:16

      I would love to borrow the Sentaler piece. Borrow it and never give it back.

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  60. So happy to see the Queen is feeling better. Everyone looks very happy and all the ladies attire was beautiful. It's good to see them going to church together. Thank you Charlotte for keeping us up to date. Happy New Year!

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    1. Anon @ 01:50 from the previous page, if you are reading here today, I just wanted to say thank you.
      I hope you will comment more often and with a moniker. (If I can do google, anyone can do google. Trust me on that. :) ) There are other options also.
      Anyway, thanks again. :) Hope to hear from you soon.

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  61. So glad HM is back in circulation. What a surprise to see the Middletons part of the group. I read that as the Queen, in her quiet, dignified way, putting to rest any negative feelings for Kate's family.
    I love Kate's hat. It is so charming, and she looked just gorgeous today. All the other ladies were lovely, and it looked like a most congenial group. Great post, and before signing off, I must say Happy Birthday Kate!

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  62. Sophie is wearing Kate's fur stole from Christmas, yes? I'll say it again- Kate's fur hat from Cheltenham remains one of my favorites- I scoured the internet for one myself and adore it. That hat would have paired much much better than this grey one, but I suspect she is trying to phase out real fur, and this grey one, like the Christmas stole is faux. Great update Charlotte, thank you!

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    1. Maybe the grey hat was a Christmas gift and she thought she should wear it. I like the hat and I really like the brown fur one.

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    2. Ladies, I definitely like the brown hat. :) It's one of my favorites from her single days. Classy, timeless and very flattering.

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  63. Happy 35th birthday to Kate!

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  64. I never comment, but do enjoy all the posts! Thank you! I'm very very curious about one thing? Kate has a lovely closet full of coats, but it seems rarely see what is underneath the coat, I have to assume the coat comes off sometime????

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  65. I love your blog so much Charlotte! Thank you for the wonderful in-depth posts. I also like your idea for less anonymous posting. I'm signing in with my google account, I usually post as "Kate from CA" so I will try this for now.

    I bet I'm not alone in hoping for a pregnancy announcement from the Cambridges soon! I was thinking that as Kate is now 35 they may be trying sooner rather than later, as I believe 35 is when the doctors start following more closely for pregnancy complications. Here's to a wonderful 2017 for all!

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  66. Question? Can anyone attend the Church? i.e. is it only open to those who live or are staying on the Sandringham estate or is it open to anyone who is staying in the general area? I wondered in part because would Kate and William need to ask the Queen to have their friends and Kate's family attend if they are staying with Kate and William? Plus if the Queen is not attending or not in residence would the Queen need to be asked before guests of William and Kate could attend church. Thanks ahead for any information anyone might have. ali

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  67. Happy 35th birthday to the Duchess. I hope she had fun celebrating with family and friends over the weekend and today.

    It's great to see a repeat of the church attendance during Kate's birthday weekend again this year. I hope it continues as it is so lovely to see the families together. They all looked lovely.

    I saw on twitter from Middleton Maven that Kate's hat was identified as a piece from The Hat Company in Norfolk Alpaca hat.
    http://thehatcompany.com/cossack/1160-alpaca-ava-fur-hat-quality-you-can-feel.html?search_query=ava&results=100#/alpaca_colours-grey

    I liked the coat and the scarf and the hat. I think the gray of the hat was picked up in the scarf and the scarf contrasted nicely with the jacket. Maybe it matched her dress underneath that we didn't get to see. I loved all of the ladies looks and thought they were all beautiful.

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    1. Julie, I agree that the hat must be the one from The Hat Company in Norfolk. The one from Sumac looks much more fluffy and higher brimmed, you can't see the top of it like you can with the one from the Hat Company, IDK?. I like both, but really like the Sumac one the best! cc

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    2. CeCe, I have to agree the "brim" looks wider on the Sumac one, while Kate's hat has a smaller brim. Hers could be from The Hat Company or a number of other sources. The Sumac one does have a more luxurious look to it but could be the photography.

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  68. Carole did look the best with the blue coat and pillbox style hate, and the blue color is gorgeous. Kate looked okay, but Pippa's hat looks out of place for church, more like a cowboy style.

    To me, Kate's face looks fuller, like it did when she was younger or pregnant….it's too bad in the photos she was blocked by William so we can't see how the coat is fitting. Just hoping!

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  69. I loved that scarf!! Was disappointed to see it was sold out. We have an LK Bennet outlet nearby, in Kildare, and I was sooo tempted to see if by chance they had missed one. Especially as most of my scarf collection was in my lost luggage last month. But I am laid up in bed with a bad back. Maybe tomorrow if I can distract Mr Valerie....

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  70. Hope you feel better Valerie. It is amazing how motivating a pretty scarf can be. :)

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