Sunday, 15 January 2017

Vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2016, a Move to London for the Cambridges & Calendar Updates!

Hello, I hope you're having a splendid weekend!

We're back with our next poll asking you to vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2016 and calendar updates, but first we have some very interesting news to share. As you all know, William's contract with the East Anglian Air Ambulance comes to its end later this spring; the Prince and the Duchess are said to have been grappling with a decision on whether he should renew his contract or if the time had come to take on a full-time role within the Royal family. It seems the couple have firmly reached their decision, as the incredibly reliable Roya Nikkhah exclusively reports in The Sunday Times: "The Duke of Cambridge is to end his career as a Norfolk-based helicopter pilot this year and move his family to London to take on full-time royal duties."

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times article noted the Cambridges will make Kensington Palace their full-time home in the autumn when Prince George starts school, whilst Princess Charlotte is expected to attend a London nursery. The decision has followed "months of discussion within the Royal family who are said to be very supportive". Apparently, William even explored the option of Kate and the children remaining at Anmer Hall during the week before eventually deciding they didn't want to spend too much of it apart. This is particularly interesting as it would appear the possibility of raising George and Charlotte in Norfolk for the forseeable future was very much in consideration - so much so that being apart during the week was on the table. The privacy and normality they have enjoyed in Norfolk was clearly a major factor.

More from the article:

'A royal source said there had been "no pressure from above" to increase William’s workload but "he knew there would come a point where this would be his life for ever more. He has always been a lot less reluctant than people think to take on more work and this phase of his life. The duke and duchess are a strong team and believe in their family and supporting each other," the royal source said. "They will always put their family first, while juggling family commitments with their work.
While royal aides insist William is ready to commit to official life, friends say the duke will miss the normality and privacy he has enjoyed while living and working away from the royal spotlight. One friend said: "I know he has really loved living in Norfolk and being just one of the lads at work. He loves the banter.” A royal source added: “He will really miss the flying. He does love it."

William is reported to have ultimately decided to extend his contract by just a few months before the move in the autumn. This makes sense to me - we've heard very little regarding the possibility of a tour, overseas trips or plans in general (apart from the Heads Together initiative) for William and Kate in 2017. With a move ahead, there will be a huge amount of planning going into carving out an expansive role for the future king. Areas of focus are said to include mental health, bullying and homelessness. How will Kate's role change? I think, naturally we're going to see Kate's role grow substantially as William's does, with a much heavier portfolio of engagements, causes and likely patronages. Her primary focus will continue to be the children of course, but I would anticipate a considerable change moving forward. I recently wrote I thought the time was right for such a move; with the Queen and Prince Philip still incredibly active in their duties this will give William and Kate an opportunity to transition into full-time royal life. With their public profile and global popularity, the sky's the limit in terms of what they can achieve, and 2017 looks to be a definitive year in their lives as royals. A royal source told The Sunday Times: "This is a natural evolution of the new generation of the Royal family."


Tying in with Roya's report, Camilla Tominey wrote an interesting article in the The Sunday Express regarding plans for George's choice of school.

It had been assumed the three-year-old royal, who starts reception in September, would attend Wetherby School in Notting Hill, where Princes William and Harry were both pupils. But the Sunday Express has learned that George is more likely to be enrolled at the brand new Wetherby Kensington, a five-minute walk from the Cambridges’ London home. 
As well as being close, Wetherby Kensington will be much smaller, initially opening with just two reception classes for boys aged four and five. A source said: “The Duke and Duchess like the idea of George enrolling at the new smaller school because it is much more discreet than the original Wetherby. 
“A few of the pupils at that school in Notting Hill are the children of celebrities so it has always attracted quite a lot of paparazzi. Although the children cannot be photographed, there is still a market for pictures of famous parents on the school run. The new school off Gloucester Road is preferable because it is much more intimate and less likely to attract photographers. Plus, it is just around the corner from Kensington Palace.” 

It's going to be a big year for the Cambridges. What are your thoughts on the news?

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Also tonight, we have news of upcoming engagements added to Kate's calendar. On Tuesday, 17 January William, Kate and Harry will speak at a briefing to outline the next phase of Heads Together as the campaign intensifies its efforts to create millions of conversations around mental health in 2017. The royals and other speakers will preview some of the themes and initiatives people can expect to see in the months ahead. I'm looking forward to this and hearing plans to continue efforts.

Kensington Palace

The following Tuesday, 24 January Kate will visit East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham, as it continues fundraising for a new purpose-built hospice in Norfolk. The Duchess helped to launch the Nook Appeal in 2014, and will be updated on the progress of the £10m appeal by staff, supporters and families at the hospice.

EACH

It's looking very much like we'll see William, Kate and Harry participate in a television programme in April in support of Heads Together. It's all very hush-hush at present with little known. Early details from People's article:

'The royal trio are set to take part in a documentary for the BBC leading up to the London Marathon in April, according to reports Friday. The royals are working with presenter Nick Knowles, who told The Sun, “I’m working on a mental health documentary with the young royals, which should come out around the time of the marathon. I can’t tell you anymore.” Knowles also worked with William and Harry on the day that they helped renovate homes for injured or sick Armed Forces members on the BBC show DIYSOS in September 2015.'

We'll keep you up to date as official news becomes available on the programme. It's a great way to expand the conversation as Heads Together amps up its efforts - especially if the young royals have given interviews speaking candidly on their feelings regarding the topic.

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As part of Party Pieces 30th anniversary celebrations, Carole Middleton shared a look back on the history of the successful company with a lovely photo taken in 1989. You'll notice a 7-year-old Kate on the far right with (I believe) Pippa and James behind their mum. In the accompanying piece Carole wrote: "From the small beginnings in my garden shed, we now employ more than 40 people and are able to send out 4,000 orders a week in busy times. It is still very much a family business today, and over the years all my children have played a huge part in it from modelling for the catalogue to developing new categories for the brand. James established our personalised cakes, Catherine started the 1st birthday side of the business, and Pippa developed the Party Pieces blog. They grew up with me working and appreciate the demands of a busy business and a working mum, and although now they are not involved day to day in the business, I still value their ideas and opinions."


Click here to read the full piece.

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Continuing on with our polls, are you ready to vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2016? There is an abundance of options to choose from, and myriad hues and designers. From bespoke designer creations to L.K. Bennett favourites, Kate covered quite a bit of sartorial ground last year. As with our Coat and Gown Polls (click here if you haven't voted already), looks from the India/Bhutan and Canada tour have been omitted as post-tour polls were already held to determine your favourites from Kate's tour wardrobes.


In March, William and Kate carried out engagements focused on suicide prevention in London. The Duchess wore her green Erdem Allie coat, but unlike many such events when we don't see the dress underneath, on this occasion Kate removed the outer layer to reveal the eye-catching Jonathan Saunders Swallow Print Dress. From the designer's diffusion line in collaboration with department store Debenhams, the £60 dress was actually part of a 2012 collection described: "This black day dress from Edition by Jonathan Saunders features a button fastening along the centre front, pleats along the lower part of its skirt and a sash at the waist. It is styled in sheer chiffon with printed white birds."


Kate mastered understated sophistication in the L.K.Bennett Addison Dress when the young royals hosted the Obamas at Kensington Palace in April. The £325 dress features a jewel-toned print, transparent sleeves and ankle-grazing length. It's described: "Ideal for events both formal and casual, timeless in its style and fashion forward in its execution." Kate added her own navy belt to the look.


The Duchess brought back her Roksanda Ilincic Peridot Dress for an Anna Freud Centre luncheon in May. The blue-grey dress first made an appearance in Los Angeles in 2011 and again for a GREAT luncheon in 2012. It is draped to one side with cap sleeves and a pleated skirt. It originally retailed for £815.


For a visit to the National Portrait Gallery to view photos from her British Vogue photoshoot, Kate wore her pink McQueen Wool Cashmere Peplum Dress.


The Duchess brought back the cream ruffled McQueen dress she wore for George's christening. I was surprised both looks Kate wore for her children's christenings make another appearance (the McQueen coatdress Kate wore at Charlotte's christening was chosen for Trooping). I had thought they were tucked away safely somewhere for future exhibitions. The bespoke piece is based upon designs from the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection. The leaf crepe garment with wave ruffle panel, rounded padded shoulders and silk lining.


Kate was vibrant in a colour-block Roksanda dress for the Patron's Lunch in June. The combination of blue, coral and pastel-pink made the dress a very nice choice for the celebratory event.


The Duke and Duchess visited the American Embassy in central London to sign a book of condolences for the victims of the Orlando nightclub attack. Kate teamed her black Ralph Lauren jacket with the Tory Burch Sophia Dress. The garment features a leafy monochrome print, short sleeves and a pleat-flared skirt.


Kate channelled Eliza Doolittle for her debut at Ascot last summer. Attired in a white lace Dolce & Gabbana Midi Length Dress; it was a winning look for HRH. The swishy skirt, nipped in waist and intricate lace detail made this memorable for me!


We saw Kate experiment with her style quite a bit in 2016, something that was very much evident when she arrived at the Natural History Museum wearing the Off-the-Shoulder, Mesh-Paneled Dress by Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola. The $2,210 midi dress is cut from figure-sculpting, stretch-jersey and panelled with sheer mesh inserts for a sporty feel. Made in Italy, it was designed to create a flattering, feminine silhouette. A fantastic look for the Duchess and a new designer with excellent future potential.


Roksanda made her third appearance of the year at Wimbledon when Kate chose her white and yellow colour-block dress by the designer. Affectionately known as the "Banana Dress" (when Kate first wore it in Australia (William told her she looked like a banana), it was suggested Kate may have chosen it for Wimbledon as the colours are the same as a tennis ball. A nice bright choice for the day.


Much to our surprise, the Cambridges brought Prince George along to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Airford in July. Kate selected her striking Stella McCartney Ridley Dress for the occasion. Since 2012, the electric blue dress had had multiple public wears - and is certainly a contender for the most seen dress on Kate.


Kate was regal in a stunning bespoke lace Jenny Packham dress for Somme 100 events in France. The knee-length frock is crafted from beige lace over black underlay and features a peter pan collar, three-quarter length sleeves and peplum detail. The lace was supplied by French lacemaker Sophie Hallette.



For her second visit to Wimbledon, the Duchess selected a new dress by her go-to label McQueen featuring the season's popular 'Obsession' print. The jewel neckline and A-line silhouette dress was adorned with butterflies, skulls and lipstick.


We saw the return of reader favourite the L.K.Bennett Lasa poppy print dress in August when William and Kate carried out a day of engagements in Luton.


For a visit to the YoungMinds helpline service, Kate opted for the feminine and floaty L.K.Bennett Eugenia Dress - a vibrant red summery dress.


For the Cambridges' trip to Cornwall, Kate was pretty in pink in the Lela Rose Double Faced Twill Elbow Sleeve Dress with body contouring seams with band at waist, a fit-and-flare silhouette with soft pleated skirt and a back zip. The blush dress is from the Resort 2016 Collection.


We saw another brand debut when Kate wore the Altuzarra Aimee Button-Front Dress for a Heads Together engagement.


Kate was in Kate Spade for a special Heads Together event marking World Mental Health Day in October. The Encore Rose Chiffon Dress received mixed reviews on the day. The 100% silk collared dress includes long sleeves, a bow tie neck, left chest pocket, side seam pockets and Kate's favourite fit-and-flare style.


Kate was in a McQueen Floral Print Dress for a Team GB reception at Buckingham Palace. Upon first look, I felt certain it was a Beulah London design and was surprised to learn it was in fact a Sarah Burton creation.


For a children's party at the Natural History Museum, Kate was stylish in L.K.Bennett's Cersei Dress. Crafted from a luxe chiffon with textured velvet print, this style boasts a high neck and long sleeves for a sleek silhouette. The silk dress comes in an evergreen print.


That evening, Kate impressed fans and critics alike in the black Preen Finella Dress. We had seen HRH opt for the red version of the dress in Canada, and she obviously liked it so much she purchased it again. I love the 1950s silhouette, the draped bodice and voluminous box-pleated skirt (for fans of the dress it is reduced from $1,370 to $548 at the moment on Boutique1).


The Duchess was festive in Vanessa Seward for a volunteer Christmas party in December. The Cai Floral-Print Jacquard Dress was a seasonal choice with a combination of red and green.


What a variety we've seen in 2016! There really is so much to choose from! A few cursory observations: Kate very much embraced the midi-dress trend last year - this is evident across her choice of brands. One might suggest the Duchess is perhaps seeking to broaden her list of 'go-to' designers and enjoying pieces from designers she may not have considered in previous years. As always, staples such as prints, florals and lace featured heavily. I am very excited to see which dress wins the title of 'Best Dress of 2016'. Do please share your selections in the comments section; I'm leaning towards the Jenny P. worn in France...

Kate's Best Dress of 2016
 
pollcode.com free polls


We'll see you Tuesday! :)

217 comments:

  1. Orange County Grandma15 January 2017 at 01:33

    With them moving back to London i hope we see them doing more joint engagements. It was nice to hear they did not want to be apart. Just shows how much they love each other. And cherish their marriage and children.
    I hope they still can have their privacy but I doubt it.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2017 at 15:19

      MORE joint engagements? This last year they have done quite alot of joint engagements. Not that I'm complaining because I love seeing them together!

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    2. They actually have a lot of privacy, and are hardly ever photographed during their private time. At least I don't see them, but then I don't go looking either.

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    3. I think O. C. Grandma meant that yes, they have privacy in the country, and she hopes they can maintain it in the city. Except for the beach photos, there hasn't been much intrusion in Norfolk. We know using the park or visiting a museum means photos in London!

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    4. My understanding also, Patricia. I understood more joint engagements would be related to their both being in London and not requiring one parent to stay at Amner while the other travels to an engagement, possibly requiring an overnight away from Amner Hall. I think the pattern last week of two individual plus a joint engagement is ideal for the present situation of commuting plus William's work and the children's needs.

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  2. Charlotte, Thank You. What good news.

    Talk about a world in transition. So happy they have made their decisions. They've built a good foundation. They are ready for the transition. They are bringing some valuable experiences to the full time Royal table that others before them haven't had. And that's a good thing. So.., what are William and Kate's critics going to have to complain about now? nada. zilch. zip. lol.... yeh, right. lol. I know. I know......, I shudder to think what they will come up with now. :)

    What a blessing for George about the smaller school. Providential, I think. And to think that Charlotte is starting to "school" already.....

    These polls are such fun too. Love the Dolce and Gabanna lace dress that Kate wore to Ascot. Perfect for Ascot. An iconic match. One for the history books. I love the L.K. Bennet blue poppy dress also. That dress just makes me smile. It has built-in sunny cheerfulness.

    Thank you again, Charlotte, for the "breaking news". Another historic day on DKB.

    God bless you William and Kate. Keep staying true to yourselves as you venture forth. Let peace be your governor. ❤


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    1. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 17:13

      I'm very pleased with the respectful tone that the comments have recently taken and I hope Surfer Girl, you will take this in that tone and consider being respectful to those of us who have had real concerns about William and Kate's activities and who would have been very glad NOT to complain if they just would have thrown themselves into their royal role - not just take full benefits whilst only assuming a small part of the burden.
      William and Kate have not taken a normal royal path. For an example of that path you need only look at royals abroad. And not all those royals have been first in line either. The younger brother of the Crown Prince of Denmark works very hard as does his wife. And all these people are successfully raising young children who seem happy and precocious - the idea that a full royal life is incompatible with parenthood is nonsense. And even if William and Kate aren't next in line - along with Harry, they are the only youthful face of a heavily aged monarchy - when this has happened before young people were brought to fill in - hence the royal of the hugely popular Princess Alexandra. Affection for royals begins when they are young and at their most popular. With the exception of the hugely hard-working Princess Royal who has by her always hard work, partially overcome her reputation for abruptness - no royal becomes more popular as they age.
      As for a "behind the scenes" royal role - other than the queen and her red boxes, there is no such role - royals are there to be seen representing their people in public - calling open attention to the best of the nation, looking to help the most troubled areas of the nation, offering support to the nation by being seen. Anything else would mean there is no purpose to the monarchy and it would end.
      I would have had more sympathy for William and Kate leading a normal life of a helicopter and wife if they had done so. They didn't. They lived a privileged and extraordinary life without assuming all of its burdens.

      Criticism has been growing and I just hope this time is at the end - that the reports are correct - that there is no more turning back as there has been in the past. The monarchy has been incredibly generous to William and Kate - giving them the freedom of their twenties to do as they wish and much latitude to live as they wish in their thirties - decades most of their subjects are working full-time to support their families and build necessary careers. The idea is that William and Kate will work into old age as the queen has. Frankly, I doubt that - I don't know that I even want it in the future (it leads to very aged heirs) but we will see.
      God bless William and Kate and before they are true to themselves, let them follow the example of a hugely revered monarch and be true to their nation. For if they do, at the end of the day, they will have been true to themselves and will stand as honoured as she is, as respected by their family as she is, not, like some of royals, accused of putting themselves first.

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    2. Ah, Julia, I couldn't agree more.

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    3. Julia,

      I am all for people giving their opinions and sharing their feelings. I prefer when it is done in a humane and respectful way, affording William, Kate, Harry and the Middletons, etc. the same respect and humane honor that we are trying to give each other here on this blog. I think many here have expressed those same thoughts on this that I have. And we are making progress. Thank God. :)

      My comments, truly, were directed at the media in general, knowing that amongst them, William and Kate will always have critics. I was just wondering what kind of things they could possibly come up with now since, seemingly, their strongest misgivings were now being addressed just like they had wanted. That was what I meant.

      And I think William and Kate are following in the way of the Queen and Phillip. They have built a good foundation and are now adding another layer all with the approval and guidance of the Queen and Prince Phillip. I think it will prove out more and more to be that way and will show that William and Kate were not putting themselves first at all. That's my observation of it. :)

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    4. Well said Julia!

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    5. SURFER girl- I don't quite understand the "turning back" remarks some have made. William is still the heir to the heir, same as Estelle and the Princess of Asturias was before Juan Carlos abdicated. The only difference is, their waiting parents haven't had as long of a wait ,giving time for the heir's heir to mature to adulthood. Edward VII had a long wait, but I am not sure how active his heir was, at least royal duty-wise. This - KP being the main residence when George starts school ETC. has been a plan known for at least a year, since George started nursery school. The only new "news' is William's extension of his flying contract. As royalfan has said, there is no move. KP -town home. Anmer -country home. They simply plan to spend more time in the London area-according to these reports ,so far not announced officially. (it IS about seven months in the future) All the pregnancy rumors cannot help but be escalated by this delay. Ha!

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    6. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 21:34

      Annie, the turning back remark comes from the fact that William and Kate indicated that they would be taking on more royal duties when Kensington Palace was prepared, and then William pulled back - first taking a "transitional" or gap year where he took a course in agriculture that he may or may not have completed (we'll assume he did, although he went on holiday towards the end of it) and then deciding "he had more flying to do" - after an engagement with a rescue helicopter. This was a "turning back" - all indications, semi-official and heavily procrastinated, were that he and Kate would embracing more or less full time royal duties and living at Kensington for the most part, the reason given for why it was prepared at that time, and they changed their minds. This was before the children were born.

      For this reason, until it happens, I'm taking a hopeful but wait and see attitude to these current reports.

      George V was intensely involved in royal life although royal duties as known today, were heavily enlarged, even developed by his wife Mary. As royal political powers declined and a lot of monarchies ended at the time of the Great War, a new royal paradigm was needed. No one was more forceful on duties than Mary - she of "we are never tired and we LOVE hospitals." I don't think she and Kate would hit it off.

      Whether this design for William and Kate is long-planned or a result of a combination of the queen's increasing frailty (although she looks wonderfully better at church this morning) and increasing criticism is as hard to say as whether it will actually happen. Already, we are hearing William "doesn't want to overshadow Charles so won't be doing as much as Anne, let's say." Every time we hear about William it comes with a qualification which I find very unfortunate. Don't expect us to do this every year" and so on. It is a bad precedent. Being royal should always be about what you are going to do - not what you aren't going to do (even if you actually don't plan to do it.) I feel he and Kate need better advisers. (The quotes are me setting off ideas from reports and aren't direct quotes.)


      As for a pregnancy, it's always possible but I agree with Elisabeth - I think it was, that nothing will happen until Pippa's wedding, presently reported as being in May.

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    7. Annie, did I mention "turning back"? I don't think so. :)

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    8. Julia,

      From what I've read of Mary, I think she and Kate would very much "hit it off". Mary, and her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth, were very close. I don't think that someone who was close to Mary, like the Queen was, would be as close to Kate as she is, if there weren't shared values all along the board. And Kate doesn't seem to have any known disdain for hospitals that I know of. If Kate's charitable interests are more diverse than solely hospitals I see nothing wrong with that, and in all fairness to Kate, I doubt that Mary would either. Kate's involvement in hospital work would no doubt increase also, if need be, in time of war. Let's hope we never have to find out.

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    9. Annie, nm, lol. I re-read that.

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    10. Julia, thanks for the input. I was speaking of Edward VIIs initial heir. Was George V his first-born son? Perhaps I was thinking of the heir problems Victoria experienced. Julia, I don't consider the possibility that Mary and Kate would not be best buds is necessarily a bad thing. Their differences on jewelry alone....ha!

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    11. SG-00:24- I was just expanding on your theme. I knew I should have clarified that remark. Although..." remarks some have made" was an attempt to point out it was not from you. I sometimes bunch my responses to various commenters. Sorry for the confusion.

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    12. No surprise, but I loved Mary's penchant for bling and have always thought she looked, in the words of Billy Crytstal, "maarvelous daaarling", particularly with the fashion of the day. :)
      Give Kate time and more access to the vaults (no disrespect to the Queen) and, who knows, Kate might get there. :)

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    13. Edward, Duke of Clarence, was Edward VII's oldest son. He was engaged to Princess Mary but died. She then married his brother, and they became King George V and Queen Mary.

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    14. Thanks, Patricia! Yes, I was speaking of Clarence, Edward VII's initial heir, not George V. I don't believe he did much in the way of royal duties. Although sad for his mother Alexandra perhaps, his passing did solve a few problems for the royals.

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  3. Oh, and I love, love, love the photo of Carole and the children and the little text she wrote. Very upbeat. Very sweet. And Kate looks so cute. Thanks for that Charlotte. I glad I didn't miss that. :)

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  4. Banana dress forever.
    I love Carole's statements about her working life. It puts a new light on Kate's working life also!

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    1. Tammy from California15 January 2017 at 16:06

      Paola, you made me laugh out loud this morning! Hee hee. Loved your comment. You are bananas for banana ;)

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    2. That it does, Paola. And what a fun business to be a part of.

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    3. "Banana dress forever", lol.

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    4. Why do I feel a limerick rising to the surface . .

      Our very own poster, Paola
      Really does loves her banana
      Even though it's a repeat
      She still thinks it's a treat
      And wants to have it for her own-a


      Not my best, but I'm working on your embroidered limerick walls, Paola!

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    5. love it, Bluhare. I think your rise to fame is imminent. :)

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    6. What a collection you are creating for my embroidered wall, thank you so much Bluhare :) I will start soon to embroider, hope my fingers will not be too much stung by the needle, or this wall will shine of words and blood! sorry, my blood-a.

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    7. Keep 'em coming, bluehare. Perfect timing!

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    8. Bluhare I finally saw your old post about men in kilt... such an inspiring one, I had to write my third English limerick!

      One morning, the hubby of Bluhare
      Fell down in a somber nightmare:
      three men in a kilt
      were shaking a quilt
      while dancing on a broken chair!

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    9. Haha, Paola! Mr. bluhare is quite aware of my fondness for a nicely built man in a kilt, although he himself refuses to wear one-- in or out of a dream!

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  5. Alejandra Ramirez15 January 2017 at 04:30

    Nice insight on the Cambridge´s life!
    Good job!

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  6. Charlotte, wonderful post as always. I can't even imagine how much time each of these take you. Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us.

    I must say, I am a bit sad the Cambridges are moving back to London and William is giving up his flying career. As noted, it had to happen sometime, but I had hoped they would have a few more years of a "normal" life in Norfolk with the children. I'm sure I'm in the minority. :) That said, I'm quite thrilled for the engagements coming up this month and this spring. I will wish them the best in this transitional year for them.

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    1. Tammy from California15 January 2017 at 16:07

      Jenna, I feel exactly as you do.

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    2. Jenna, we knew it would happen at some point like you said, and that it must be done and that now, with the Queen having missed some events, is the time, but you weren't the only one that was feeling for them as they leave Norfolk. I felt that way also.

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    3. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 18:05

      William and Kate have never lived a normal life of a helicopter pilot - that would entail a life of far more work and far less privilege. William has not worked a single Christmas not even this last one - spent privately with his in-laws and not by any definition, part of royal duties. Nor has he ever missed a boxing day shoot or his holidays. Nor is their lifestyle that of a helicopter pilot, it is that of a prince and princess. How his fellow co-workers see him is open to debate - since the EAAA is run by a friend of his who took over at time there was starting to be hints of dissent - it will be years before the truth is known.

      Nor did William and Kate live a normal life in their twenties - where they had copious time to party and play - more than any soldier or young working girl with no sense that they were going to have to worry about affording a home or paying bills.

      Nor are they living the life of average young princes and princesses, as seen abroad who manage to combine a substantial amount of royal duties whilst still raising happy children.

      Nor are they living the life of the country. Even very wealthy landowners have a constant host of worries and responsibilities to deal with. But William and Kate live on an estate that is completely managed for them.

      So it is very hard to describe what sort of life William and Kate have been leading because it isn't normal for any of these things - it has been a hybrid life with no full attention paid to any one area. I hope now to see William assume a full-time royal schedule and Kate a substantial part-time one and that they will start living the life destiny intends for them - as a future king and queen.

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    4. I wouldn't be surprised if it was decided last year after all the work shy William articles. I don't know obviously, but it wouldn't surprise me.

      And I thought the Queen looked very well this morning. I hope she's back to full strength!

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    5. I agree. The Queen was smiling and looked in robust health in her purple outfit- one of my favorites. I do think it was unfortunate that this particular occasion was chosen for this statement. The grieving son of HMs former | late brother-in- law attended church with her. Since this was likely the Queen's final tribute-I doubt she will attend the funeral- I am surprised. Bluehare, I truly am not trying to start an argument. These are my feelings. I would appreciate your views on this as a Brit. I may not understand the nuances of the protocol involved with these occasions.

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    6. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 21:48

      I'm no expert on protocol but my understanding is that the queen rarely attends funerals other than those of very close family or grand state ones. We know she recently did attend the private funeral of her cousin - however she did not attend the Duke of Westminster's memorial even though almost everyone else in the family did.
      I would say it's wait and see on Lord Snowdon but assuming there is any sort of public funeral or memorial, I think other royals will attend but she will not. She is thought to have liked Lord Snowdon and he could possibly count as family, but he had gone through some rather scandalous times in the last fifteen years (along with an excellent but rather eye-popping biography) and there seemed to have been a royal backing-off - he was not invited to William and Kate's wedding. I think the presence of Lord Lindley at church today is probably the queen's response.

      After reading the biography, I didn't find Lord Snowdon terribly likable but he did attend the funeral of "backstairs Billy" the Queen Mum's page when no other royal did and that to me spoke well of him.

      Charles has been rather inconsistent on the subject of funerals too by all reports - when Diana's uncle committed suicide, he refused to go to the funeral with her even though she was heavily pregnant. However, when Camilla's brother died, he was there holding her hand and making tea. So, outside of the queen, I suspect it has a lot to do with what an individual royal wants to do.

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    7. I think if people could read the biography, etc. of Lord Snowden and of many other members of the Royal family in recent and past history, it would garner a little more support for William, Kate, Harry and the Middletons, who have chosen to spend their lives and resources far less destructively and far more productively than some of those who have gone before them. Perhaps those are also part of the "lessons learned from the past" that William draws from.

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    8. Julia from Leominster - hence the word "normal" in quotation marks. Certainly for the children, but also for Will and Kate, their lives are more normal in Norfolk away from tons of attention and paparazzi that it will be in London. Most people don't have to deal with that. That's all I really meant.

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    9. Again, I feel it necessary to point out, as the subject is again on the table, that William himself said he was speaking of "normal" in terms of the loving relationship with his children that most parents normally have for their children. He added that he realized that their privileged economic status was not average and that he and Catherine were trying to help correct some of the adverse results of sub-standard living through their various efforts in getting attention and planning in the fields of addiction and mental illness, to name two of their concerns. That last sentence was in my words, interpreting the intent of William's statement. I really don't understand why William's own thoughts are rejected while various other meanings are attributed to his concept of what his "normal" is.

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    10. Amen, Annie. Bingo, again. :)

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    11. I have a strong feeling that William and Kate are well aware of the definition of the word "normal" and they realize it is relative. :)

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    12. lol, ya think? lol, RF. I agree wholeheartedly.

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  7. I'm surprised the Kate Spade was not more popular. Such an impeccable, classic Kate look, in my view. So many gorgeous looks. HRH always knocks them out of the park.

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  8. Seeing is believing from my part. These PR articles have so many gems. Not even start.

    I couldn't pass the L. K. Bennett Poppy dress, still find it beautiful, although there were other two I loved (McQueen worn in Wimbledon, and the blue Roksanda).

    Thank you Charlotte for the quick updates, hopefully the Cambridges will give you a lot to do this year too. Can we have a best shoes of 2016 post too? 💐

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    1. I agree that their PR office had a role in these, Anett. And again we're told that they're hitting the ground running this year. I do think it's probably true this time, although not much is said about Kate.

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    2. I may be wrong, but is the transition not only happening in the fall. His contract ends in March or there about a and he will continue flying until summer. If so upturn won't happen for the first part of the year.

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  9. Courtney from NC15 January 2017 at 06:42

    I couldn't just choose one. I know that shocks all of you! So I kind of split them in categories. The first is cocktail type dresses. I put the McQueen floral, the Preen black dress and the Casasola. I love the Preen but it wasn't her best look by far. The Casasola is STUNNING on her. Absolutely gorgeous. It is young, sexy but in a sensual way not an overt way. She needs this dress in black, blue, purple, red and any other colors that tickles her fancy. Unfortunately when I looked at the current Casasola collection there weren't any other things that jumped out at me at the level this is.

    Sheaths - The bespoke Jenny Packham for the Somme anniversary was my absolute favorite of her sheath dresses this year. My second favorite would the the Altazure blue polka dot dress. I also like the Saunders black swallow print dress, that I think may be a sheath. There were also a couple good repeats as well.

    other day dresses - I really liked the Kate Spade floral print dress that she wore this year but I think my favorite would be the McQueen Obsession print dress she wore to Wimbledon.

    Misc. dresses - The best of the rest would be the LK Bennett Cersei dress. I love it with the silver shoes as well.

    My least favorite dresses this year would be the Seward red and green floral which didn't flatter her at all. I also think the white lace D&G from Ascot was just not good. I tried to love it, I tried to like it, and I think the entire look was okay but the dress, by itself, if kind of juvenile and just blah. The last dress I just can't make myself like is the color black Roksanda for the Patron's lunch.

    Seeing her clothing choices all together like this makes me realize just how varied her looks were last year. I felt the same way with the coat and formal dress post as well. People say she is boring and predictable but last year she really had a varied look.

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    1. Tammy from California15 January 2017 at 16:08

      Courtney, I completely agree with your sentiments on the Cassasola dress! It's exactly what I think too.

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    2. Everyone's taste is different because that Casasola (hello, Paola!) is one of my least favorites. I totally agree with you about the McQueen Wimbledon dress, though. One of my favorites too. Along with the lace overlay Packham.

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    3. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 18:52

      A nice write-up, Courtney.

      I mostly agree with you and with the way the vote is going with a few exceptions. Mt top five were the Casaola which was a very dashing look, the lace Packham which was Kate at her royal best, the Preen, although it needed her hair up to show to best advantage, and the pale pink McQueen with its daring, yet tasteful, neckline. Although the McQueen skulls always horrify me personally, I did think the Obsession print was a fun one for Wimbledon. I was all right with the Roksanda color-block which worked for riding in an open car. The other Roksanda was a big success when Kate wore it with her hair up and wore it in the soft light of Los Angeles, but in its last appearance, it looked muddy.

      My least favourite was the lace dress worn to Ascot, although I've liked the other Dolce and Gabbana dresses Kate's worn, even the green one, although I would have loved to see a brooch to replace the discarded clock. That lace was just too costume-like and felt heavy, so different from the sharp separates she wore to the Derby a few years earlier. Some of the others like the Lela Rose and the Spade would have been better with better accessories a necklace would have helped the former, a belt the latter which really was a very pretty print but looked unfinished. I didn't care for those Mcqueen poppies dress that looked very droopy and poorly made although the print was nice enough.

      Over on OSS people are saying Kate is dressing quietly to avoid attention to her clothes but I didn't see this. To me she was stepping out a little into buying designer clothes on Net a Porter and Matches with mixed success. Some of that comes from the fact that the current fashion revival of the seventies doesn't really suit Kate who is best in classic looks. (The same is true of Mary of Denmark who also had some iffy choices this year.) Kate and the seventies droopier look didn't mix well to me - she is best in sharp little dresses and suits and has the figure to wear these. But whilst I didn't love all her choices, the ones I did love I thought fabulous. So I agree, I don't think she is being boring and predictable but some of her less popular looks are coming from trying to adapt to trends that don't really suit her and end up without much spark.

      I actually very much liked her blue coat dress that started this year, even if it is a typical colour and shape. Someone suggested the colour is to honour the queen's sapphire anniversary and that is a lovely idea, although Kate wears that shade of blue so often, it is hard to say. But, regardless, it suits her well.

      We've seen some new shoes last year for Kate which fashion-wise is quite nice. For everyone's sake (for it suits so few) I hope the seventies revival slips away into something more congenial for most people and for Kate.

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  10. Thanks for the detailed post Charlotte! Looking back on 2016 via these posts it struck me how many coats and dresses were recycles. I felt like 2016 was heavy on new items but I guess it's because of the 2 tour wardrobes tipping the scales. I struggled to decide between the D&G lace dress at Ascot, the Barbara Casasola and the Somme Jenny Packham but in the end went with the Casasola. Both the others were stunning but lace is very much a Kate staple and despite being beautifully executed they weren't as exciting as the Casasola which was a huge departure from her usual style. Hope to see more looks like this in the future!

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  11. Courtney from NC15 January 2017 at 06:59

    I know that the Cambridges will continue spending time with the Middletons, which is perfectly right and normal, but I wondered if Christmas with them this year was maybe a sort of goodbye to one chapter of their lives. I am not sure why that kept kicking around my brain but with the news about the move, and the expected increase in responsibilities, the life they have been living at Anmer is most definitely going to change. I agree that this is a natural step and with George starting at Wetherby in the fall, the contract with the air ambulance ending and the Queen, and PP's, health and age that this is the perfect time for that step to take place and make it official. I am also very glad that they aren't having Kate and the kids stay at Anmer. As someone who has been separated quite often, and for large chunks of time, I know that the stability of having both parents in the home is the best option whenever it is possible. I really believe this was the plan all along and that perhaps it was just the exact timing that was the only thing undetermined. That if the Queen's health had necessitated it earlier then the "when" would have happened then. I think it is a good decision. Not just that, I think it is the right decision.

    I also think sending George to the new, smaller Wetherby is an excellent choice. I also wonder when Wetherby decided to open up a second campus that close to KP. It seems like more of a slow easing into the constant public spotlight for George. First school experience in Anmer at a small place, followed by the new Wetherby location which brings more paparazzzi chances but less than at the other location.

    As a whole, looking at the time line from their marriage to now and the upcoming year, it appears, to me at least, that there has been a plan and that they have stuck to that plan. I knoe many have expressed that they were unsure if there was a plan for the future, etc. with the Cambridges, frustration at the funds spent on KP, etc. Finishing KP, retiring to Anmer to raise George and Charlotte from infancy for a bit, getting their footing as parents and a family and then going to their house in the city, KP, which the kids are already familiar with to start the next phase of their lives.

    I hope this post makes sense. I feel as if I am not adequately expressing my thoughts. I continue to hope that this will be a banner year for the Cambridges and that those worried about the future of the monarchy see them stepping fully into their roles.

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    1. Orange County Grandma15 January 2017 at 16:01

      Very well said. But I just pray that this big move does not put a strain on their marriage. They seem so in love. So I just hope it continues to grow stranger.

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    2. Courtney, very clearly and sweetly stated, in my opinion, and I agree that they have definitely had a plan all along, building a good foundation. It will serve them nicely.

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    3. Courtney- I certainly agree about the Casasola gown, except I think of it more in the evening category. Also, like you, I am having difficulty considering these as a related group. They certainly are all dresses. I thought maybe new and re-wear. I definitely liked the lace Somme outfit. I thought she looked very Duchessy. I recall discussions of the lace honoring the French. I thought the LKB Cersei, with its colorful pattern and velvet and silk chiffon was a great choice for a children's party at a museum. I can imagine C&G gently stroking the soft material. Another LKB, the red Eugenia, also caught my eye-its design and tailoring had clean lines and I thought it was flattering for Kate's figure. I will always enjoy the pink McQueen. So classic yet youthful at the same time and an appropriate choice for an evening event. I thought the blue and black patterned Aimee with the deep split at the thigh could almost be in the cocktail category as well..... Finally, but not least, the yellow Roksanda-immortalized by William as the "banana dress." I think it goes without saying=fabulous!

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  12. Fiona from Australia15 January 2017 at 10:18

    Well it seems the decision has been made, that William will now step up in his royal role. No doubt it wasn't an easy decision as he and Kate have obviously relished the early years with their children in the relative normality of Norfolk. Living in London will be very different, but I'm sure they'll make regular trips to Anmer when they can.

    I found it interesting in the article that William has never shirked his royal role as much as some thought, and is now being philosophical that now is the time to focus on his royal duties. No doubt the Queen and PP's advancing years has contributed to this.

    Does that mean we'll be seeing more of William and Kate in public? I expect so. Does this mean a third child is not going to eventuate? I guess the answer is, we don't know. While I hope they have another, I wouldn't be surprised if they stop at two children given her problems with HG. It's the old case of time will tell...

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  13. Eve from Germany15 January 2017 at 11:25

    First, thanks so much once again for all your supportive and heart-warming comments to my comment & sharing a little bit of my story in Charlotte´s last post. It meant so much to me!!

    As for the best dress vote, THAT was a difficult choice, dear me! I went for the L.K. Bennett Lasa poppy-print dress in the end, because I like that "fresh and optimistic feeling" it has, like the first real spring day after a long winter... But there were so many others I like, if I get started I won´t be able to finish... ;-)))

    Regarding the Cambridge´s move back to London, well, I already have given some thoughts as to how some critcs might go off on them again, because bringing up their children in the countryside rather than London was so much a reason for them moving to Anmer Hall in the first place. Well, obviously something quite important is going on behind the scenes that William is ready to give up that plan and become a full-time royal now already.... I´m quite curious whether we will ever learn what the reasons REALLY are... I must admit I feel a little bit for the children, I´m sure Anmer Hall must be a real little paradise for children...It sure would have given them a chance to grow up outside of the spotlight...

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  14. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2017 at 11:29

    All these reports seem very sensible and expected. It all makes very much sense and I look forward to what this year will bring :)

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  15. I think you may have swayed my vote, Charlotte, as I chose the bespoke lace Jenny P after reading your last sentence. And totally forgot about the Casasola! It was a toss up between those two...the Jenny P was classic Kate and the Casasola, sooo sexy - it gave her curves ;)
    The black Preen was lovely - I'd like to see it styled differently, and most of her repeats were fine. Kate looked stunning in the pink McQueen peplum dress at the NPG, loved her hair and makeup.
    Some of her other dresses last year, were...disappointing :( I liked the cut of the McQueen worn to Wimbledon, but hated the print - I appreciate her taking risks though. The floaty, patterned midi dresses were a miss for me, they were ageing and frumpy. Her slim frame seemed swamped by the fabric and I much prefer her in sheaths with a slightly higher hemline.

    Sounds like an exciting year for the Cambridges with the big move and George starting prep school. I like the idea of them taking him to Wetherby Kensington, which will be closer to the palace and more discreet.

    That wonderful photo of Carole with her children is proof that she hasn't aged...in 30 years! Amazing woman :)

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  16. Hi! First time commenter here :) long time follower. I'm going out of topic but is it possible that prince George is wearing the same coat his dad used in this picture I found on Instagram?https://instagram.com/p/BPRiySAjgaZ/
    Congratulations Charlotte, I love your blog and definitely think it's the best one!

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    1. How did you ever find that picture? That's an interesting thought and I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same, as we know George has worn some of William's clothes to other events

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    2. I think you are right about that Iberia. I had quickly thought to myself when I saw George in that coat, "hmm, that coat looks a little worse for wear, (maybe faded a little?) Has he been playing in it?" Not that I didn't think that he looked good. Of course he did. :) He is so uber cute. But I think that he very much might have been wearing his daddy's coat. sweet. :) One of those "Kate things" that even the media has mentioned before. Hope Kate continues with those. I think they add fun and even more historical
      significance.

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    3. I actually found it without looking Julie from NC. When I came across this picture of William (looking at old Diana pictures) I immediately thought that it looked almost the same, might be another Kate thing as you mentioned surfer girl :)

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    4. What a neat picture! Those coats are very, very similar. William's, however, has a flap pocket made from the grey coat fabric, while George's has a dark (velvet?) pocket that matches the collar. It's possible that the collar and pockets were replaced, of course, if there was wear. Or maybe George's coat is deliberately made to look like William's. Or the same coat is still available, with minor changes? How interesting.

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  17. If that is fact Pippa in the upper right of Party Pieces, notice the resemblance to Prince George!

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    1. Yvette, I did, however ,notice the scar on the side of Kate's head. This was such a big deal when it was first noticed during her first solo engagement when she filled in for P. Charles at the last minute. It was pointed to as evidence that she had extensions. When speculation became unruly, the palace put out a statement that it was the result of a "serious childhood surgery."
      That statement was slanted and reworded by tabloid writers to read: "...serious childhood injury," which of course could reflect on the Middleton parental watchfulness. Next, William's actual serious childhood head injury was compared by side-by-side photographs. From there, the story spun out of control. I suspect many still recall the incident as being the spun version, not the actual palace statement. I only mention this to more or less illustrate some points I made earlier. We have to separate the wheat from the chaff .The worst part is- I don't think any source apologized or demonstrated professional journalism by printing a retraction to clarify the issue. It is little bits of innuendo and half or slanted truths that can eat away at one's reputation and credibility. N0, that one story may not matter; it is the accumulated tales told that become an amended version of memory.

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    2. wow, nicely said Annie and thanks for reminding us about that and for putting it in proper perspective. "Innuendo, and half or slanted truths" act as fodder to do exactly what you said they do. Not good. But there is hope. We here at DKB comments are getting better and better at separating the wheat from the chaff I think. And even that can make the world a better place. :) (And William, Kate, Harry and the Middleton's would probably give a resounding "Amen" to that, :) ). That's why Charlotte's journalism here stands out so brightly as a beacon as to solid reporting. So refreshing. So appreciated. What you said Annie was awesome. :) Very encouraging.

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    3. Thank you, surfer girl. I have always thought that this is truly an international forum. Kind of an Olympics of opinion-bringing together many diverse cultures. OK, I'm over-stating a bit. Won't be the first time....:+0

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    4. I agree Annie. That's another reason that I hope that Kate's team stop by often for feedback. I personally think they do.

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  18. Wow, this was a packed post. Full of interesting news and updates on the future. I truly hope that reports of a change are true. Decisions like this must be extremely difficult, identify all the impacts and changes to take into consideration must be extraordinary. But I agree with it being the right time for the change to occur. Interesting the options that there could be like the family staying behind. I had just assumed that they would go full time together. Do you think there would have been tremendous outrage if that was their decision?

    Another thought I've had for a while is that when William committed to full time, that so would Harry. If not at the same time then shortly after. I never thought Harry would go full time before W/K. Do you think this means a change for him as well? Will he also go full time?

    I predict that this will be one of the most interesting comments section and very much looking forward to reading everyone's opinions and thoughts.

    On another note, I've seen several comments for Kate to find a cause that will become her legacy. Like Diana did with HIV & land mines. I've been thinking about this and wanted to ask a few questions to any of those that would like to respond. Why is there not consideration that children's mental health and the Heads Together is her legacy? Did people know what Dian's legacy was going to be in the early stages of getting involved in those causes and building upon them over years or is it only in terms of hindsight now after the fact that it can be called a legacy? I predict that 10 years from now or even longer, we will be able to look back and point to these causes and these days as the building period for her legacy.

    I understand that there still some of the Queen's Patronages that haven't announced. Hoping that we hear about the rest soon. I would like to see Kate pick up a few more.

    Now on to the fashion. How hard was it to chose a favorite dress?!?! I mean my goodness the selection and differences between all the looks. I picked the Casasola dress because it is so different from her go to style and she looked amazing in it.

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    1. Tammy from California15 January 2017 at 16:22

      Julie, in my view: there is NO greater cause than mental health. What makes the difference in someone who has had some of the most unbearable circumstances in life but who finds success (and I don't mean money wise necessarily, I mean happy, healthy, well adjusted...): their STATE OF MIND. State of mind is everything. It's why some can see the positives and others can not. Look at the wounded servicemen and women's organization Harry is so involved with. What makes those soldiers carry on and find happiness, health and new ways to reinvent their lives? Their STATE OF MIND. For me, there is no more important cause than giving people, especially at a young age, tools to help them cope in life. Life is messy and the more tools you have, the more able you are to cope with the challenges that come your way. I would absolutely love to start an organization like this on every campus in the US. It could be one help to the violence we see in schools here.

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    2. Julie from NC,

      Simon Perry, 1/13/17, People magazine did say the "Heads Together" ininiative was Kate's concept. Hopefully that fact will be picked up by other media and give Kate some additional recognition.

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    3. Meaningful comment, JULIE NC especially the hind-sight view of Diana. She was never properly honored during her life-time. As is often the case. Time gives perspective. So does compassion and empathy, which is possible without a person's first dying. TAMMY- giving the tools to cope with life. What better legacy? What better focus?

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  19. I hope KP deliberately gave Roya this scoop given how badly they treated her when she broke the air ambulance story several years ago. She is an excellent and very reliable royal reporter. That is likely wishful thinking on my part :)

    The "news" of William leaving EAAA is not really news, he discussed it himself in the Nicholas Witchell interview during the "reluctant royal" crisis just about a year ago.

    The move to full time royal is something else. I do think it's definitely the plan and William will not make one of his last minute u-turns, since he's about as boxed into a corner as an heir can get ;) The public mood can change quickly and if he pushed it off again I believe their good will toward him would run out faster than sand in an hourglass.

    What's interesting is the distinction between William and Kate, even thinking she might stay in Norfolk during the week. It's clear they see the "job" as his, she is definitely more Duke of Edinburgh than Diana. So I don't think Kate fans should expect to see much more of her this year than previous years, I doubt her role will change much till the children are older to be honest. Whether the public will just accept that or whether she'll continue to face tough scrutiny, remains to be seen.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2017 at 15:32

      They treated Roya badly? To me it seems that she is their go to for "easing information into the news". Wasn't she the one to break Heads together, William working with male suicide and the Wimbledon talk? I personally think a scoop from roya is as close to confirmed you can come without it coming from the palace.

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    2. Orange County Grandma15 January 2017 at 15:53

      It also said that they talked about Kate and the kids staying in Norfolk. But decided against it because they did not want to be apart. I think that shows how stronge they take raising their children as hands on parents. And the live they have for each other.
      I thought it would be a bad idea for them to remain apart.

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    3. So many things to comment on. Claudia - I also noticed to omission of Kate becoming full time. But that combined with the lack of royal tour announcement leads me to another conclusion. I'll just leave it at that.

      I am in no way surprised by the rumours that they are planning to make KP their principal residence again. There are basically 2 points in time where it make sense to move. Before George start school or once HM dies. When the Queen dies there will be no time for a manged move, William will be needed in London by the end of the day. If they are stationed in Norfolk it might mean Kate staying behind with kids to finish school terms etc. and only joining him later. Anybody will agree this is not an ideal sitaution.
      In one of the documentaries around the Queen's birthday William all but admitted that juggling family life, royal duties and the air ambulance is not working out as he planned and that once his contract expires, that will be it.
      Since there are very few engagements over weekends I do see them popping up to Norfolk over weekends and spending school holidays there. Almost like the Queen use Windsor.

      As to outfits. This category is the one where Kate is the most successful in my mind. There are 5 or 6 dresses that I would vote for.

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    4. Claudia, I think that "Kate staying at Amner with the children" in the article did neglect to add "and continue to run her charites from there" or words to that effect.

      I think Kate's role will be and is becoming a delightful combination of the Queen Mum, Prince Phillip and Diana with many innovative Kate ideas added to the mix. I think she will become an even more dynamic contributor moving forward. She has blended seamlesslessly into the Royal family and Royal life, and while on the world stage. Not an easy feat. She has already come up with the "Heads Together" concept. That's only one that we know of and only by a chance remark of one involved reporter at that. My guess is she has had a strong creative voice in other instances also.

      Kate has had excellent role models in Carole and Michael in how to manage school age children and business dynamics. That is serving her nicely, no doubt.

      And, let's not forget, Kate has tours, state visits, charity work, many military rembrance events with world leaders in Britain and abroad, has been building a marriage, and a family all in five/six years and all of it with the whole world watching her every move. Kate has already been very busy. :)
      I am excited about watching her blossom even more. (And William hasn't exactly been just sitting around watching the tellie and eating bon bons either.) :) I think they have built a good foundation that it will continue to get even better and better. :)



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    5. I have always thought that Kate will model herself on the Queen Mother and will be a quiet driving force behind William. As it emerges this week, Head Together was her idea, but she is not taking sole credit for it. Reporters have also noted that she is very active in decisions and ideas pertaining to the royal foundation charity efforts. I don't think she is an "out there" type of person but will diligently and quietly carry on with the task at hand even though many will not agree with the process. It could be that this works for them as a couple and family.

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    6. Except Kate doesn't run any charities, surfer girl. Do you mean participate in the Heads Together initiative?

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    7. I really hoped this awful tone that has crept up again would have been eliminated in the comments section, the sometimes snide and even accusatory tone if you don't agree with something someone says, or aren't familiar with the facts and background of a story. As well as the outright name calling that was directed at bluhare at the end of the last post because she suggested Kate might have done something *slightly* differently.

      It is, by my count, less than 5 people, maybe even less if, as I suspect, it is the same person under a couple of names. I wish Charlotte could just delete the comments because they are unbelievably rude and completely derail polite discourse, which has been very interesting and engaging of late.

      Rebecca this is not all directed at you. But, if you, or anyone, isn't familiar with a certain background, just ask. How about, "what happened with Roya in the past, I'm not familiar with that story?" Instead of something that reads as a bit challenging and dismissive.

      For the record, Kate Mansey and Roya Nikkhah broke the story that William, after a year of transition, was in fact going back to flying instead of a full time royal role. Instead of the usual "no comment" KP went out of their way to debunk the reports, flat out deny them to other correspondents, and truly attempt to discredit the reporters and their sources. That could have been incredibly devastating and frankly career ending to young reporters. Then months later, KP made the announcement that, in fact, the Mansey and Nikkhah account was true. It was a time of very tense media relations, which Charlotte herself reported on here on the blog.

      My apologies if my own response seems extreme. But it's been nice recently to engage in discussion that has been healthy and respectfully spirited, and out of respect for Charlotte, let alone each other, I hope we can all watch not just our words but our tone, and continue to discuss fashion or relevant news without resorting to name calling and the like.

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    8. She chose her charities and participates in them. How much input she has in program planning who knows. But running her charities to me means, staying current on their progress and activities, planning and scheduling visits, and doing those visits. That's what running her charities means to me. :)

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    9. I was a bit surprised at that comment, Claudia, but it's par for the course, really. I was more sad that a week of actual fun on the blog was brought to an end. I've enjoyed it.

      Audaciously yours,
      bluhare

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    10. In terms of Kate's 'legacy' I think what she needs to add to her portfolio is something new, that is uniquely hers and where she does more than lend her presence for publicity or her convening power. But were she is the driving force, like the DoE awards or Prince Harry with Sentabale or the Invictus games.
      Maybe Heads Together could be that, but as it is currently, it is more using there presence/position to get existing organisations together. (I am in no way negating the value of Heads Together)

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    11. It is a learning curve. And it will be a short one I think. We will get there, and maintain. Our moderator is on the quest with us. :)

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    12. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2017 at 22:29

      I'm a bit confused Claudia. I wasn't being dismissive in any way. I asked questions. Said what I've seen and said that I personally think her very reliable..

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    13. One disliked comment and dozens of others are discounted?

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    14. Claudia- first of all. I am annie. There is one annie and I comment only as annie. That is my real name, by the way, or a form of it. So, if you don't mind, I am taking myself off that list of five (or less) suspects, if I was on it.Second, I wonder which were the rude comments -to you, I realize rudeness to Kate is allowed and there are examples I can readily cite- where the name-calling? What were the names? I honestly have been concentrating on all the astute, thoughtful, compassionate comments I obviously have missed the rudeness and name-calling. I have seen statements challenged and objections voiced. Some have been quite convincing with new ways of looking at the Cambridge world, other than the same tired rote reflexive responses. Kate supporters and questioners are equally responsible. That still does not explain your comment to me. It sounded somewhat angry, but mostly hurt. There are so many readers and commenters who come here to escape the daily barrage on television and other forums of animosity and polarizing rhetoric. There is no need for that here. If anyone disagrees with that statement, I want to hear from you.

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    15. With all due respect, Claudia, i'm quite sure you are confused. KP never went out to debunk any of Roya's stories. She has been spot on for the recent past. All KP said at that time was no decision was made. It was Richard Palmer who first reported on William wanting a commercial pilot licence. KP said they haven't heard of such plan. This was waaaayy before Roya's story.

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    16. This is not aimed at anyone commenting here. Just so you all know. It's a general observation.

      I'm puzzled by a recent development in the media to discuss a person's "legacy" while they (like Obama or Catherine) are in office and still young. I think nowadays there's a general misunderstanding of what a legacy is or when it should be evaluated. I find it an irritating misuse of a word--much as saying something surprising or unbelievable is surreal reveals a complete misunderstanding of surrealism.

      A legacy is something that is built over time and judged by history, not current performance of a job portfolio which, by necessity, is malleable and constantly evolving around some constants during a person's life. You can see the trajectory I mean in the example of the Queen. No one was talking about her legacy when she was barely 35! It wasn't part of the zeitgeist as it is now.

      Most people are quite different from decade to decade of their lives. Their focuses change with their developing personas, interests and any quest to take on new ideas or projects. Some people don't find things "uniquely theirs" until much later in their lives (if that life is not cut short like Diana's).

      Personally, I think that to speak of Catherine's legacy now is to jump the gun. She is in the first five years of a complex role: wife, mother, royal patron for various institutions and charities, as well as future Queen Consort. When she has done all that (and based on her performance out of the starting gate I think she'll make a splendid mark), that's the time to speak of her legacy.

      I don't know that her legacy is an appropriate concern to add to any opinions or wishes we might have about how she styles herself in fashion.


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    17. Zora from Prague16 January 2017 at 18:18

      Thank you for your and interesting comment, Philly. I agree. Sometimes words are being misused and people get used to it, everywhere, in the newspapers, magazines, on the internet... At present, we can discuss Kate's style, attitudes, preferences, views... but not her legacy.

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    18. Wow Philly, I completely agree with you about the misuse of the word legacy. The idea that one can speak of their "own legacy" and help shape and form it by words and not deeds is beyond me. Legacy is "anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor" like "the legacy of ancient Rome". It is something that is built over time...and lots of it. I think that you speak correctly about Catherine and that she has a great start and she has her lifetime to evolve and develop. cc

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    19. Philly-glad you mentioned that. ha! The actress from My Fair Lady fame, Audrey Hepburn, left as her legacy her work in Africa, which she started in her later years. An interviewer on a program aired last night asked what he (President Obama) felt his legacy would be in ten years. The response...ask that question ten years from now.

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    20. I don't see any discounted comments. I do see someone saying some people's tone could be nicer. I agree with that.

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    21. RE read your Jan 15, 20:27 comment. You are judging a week's worth of comments on one remark you disapproved of, it seems to me. It is as if no other comments counted in your assessment.Just the one. The whole week down the drain. Reminds me of Carol Burnett in Once Upon a Mattress. Hysterically funny, by the way. The idea was a true princess was so sensitive that she could feel a pea under a mattress. Of course, she spent the night twisting and turning atop 20 mattresses with a pea underneath them all. Actually, I am wondering if this story even illustrates my point. Maybe you are secretly a princess, bluhare. ;+ ) Carol was very funny.

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    22. politics aside, I think Obama is such an elegant speaker. Honest and down to earth. And, funny. :)

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    23. When the comment was made about name calling and a rude tone, I went back and tried to find it, but couldn't. Either Charlotte removed comments or someone saw something in a comment or comments that was not apparent to me. In general, everyone needs to be able to identify and reply to comments they think are misguided or inaccurate. We can't be so thin skinned that we feel it is an insult if someone disagrees or points to an error.

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    24. annie, I didn't discount a week's worth of comments. Reread what I said. I said I had a week's worth of fun on the blog. And then someone went back to the old ways of attacking the poster, not the comment. Ergo, week of fun over. Would have nice to have had two weeks before the first one.

      Patricia, the comment has been removed, and it was directed at me.

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    25. Oh my goodness, Patricia (03:33) You certainly summed the issue up succinctly. Much better than my efforts. : +)

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  20. Regarding the poll, where is the dress Catherine wore in front of the Taj Mahal?

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    1. That was a tour dress, Nancy. :) The polls for the tours were done earlier. You can access them here on the blog "archive".

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  21. Amazing how much has happened over the last few days.
    I very much hope that the Times article is correct as like others I feel the time is right. By making the move now hopefully William will have time to ease into becoming a full time Royal. He has shown a passion and a great deal of involvement in Homelessness Conservation and now Mental Health and will no doubt undertake more Royal Duties on behalf of the Queen. I am relieved that the whole family will be moving to London with him the reported considered idea of Kate staying in Norfolk with the children with William at KP during the week could well have caused problems within the marriage and the children would have missed their father also if Kate had remained in Norfolk I very much doubt that she would have increased her public engagements hopefully moving to KP will see an increase in engagements. I also think that it is time William left the Air Ambulance as it appears he has been affected by the stress of the job.
    I am glad that at long last Kate has remembered she is Patron of EACH hospice It is time she did something more for the NOOK appeal which appears to be struggling to raise the funds needed.
    It was a lovely photo from the Party Pieces website and gives one more insight into the Middleton Family.
    Reported in the Sun that Harry's girlfriend met Kate & Charlotte last Tuesday at KP I don't take much notice of Sun information but this one has credence and is possibly right. We shall wait & see.
    The dresses what a hard task. I went for the white off the shoulder dress The JP lace dress was lovely but I am not a fan of lace and many of the others were repeats.

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    1. I found it so disheartening that the Duchess hasn't visited a children's hospice in several years, so I too am glad that she is at least visiting NOOK and lending help to their appeal.

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    2. I think there were a couple of things in terms of Each last year. Wasn't the gala she hosted meant to raise funds for Each? I also think there was a flower for sale and at the flower show that had proceeds going to Each. In addition I think she went to two Hospice visits, one with William and one in Canada with William. Plus she sent the statement to the palliative care conference and opened the thrift store at the beginning of last year. I don't think she forgot she was patron, but supported them in other ways than visiting.

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    3. As I recall, I think you are right about that Julie. Thanks for refreshing us on that.

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    4. Julie, I re-formatted that as it is easier for me to remember it. Hope you don't mind. :)

      Kate, supporting EACH,
      hosted gala to raise funds,
      flower sale and flower show fundraiser,
      hospice visit with William,
      hospice visit in Canada with William,
      statement to palliative care conference,
      opened thrift store that supports EACH

      Nope, doesn't look like she neglected EACH to me. Thanks again, Julie.

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  22. Nicely put Claudia!

    Your last paragraph really made me think about Kate and her role, and as it looks now judging her on her work ethic and all, probably this is what we can expect from her in the long run too. Hope she still surprises us one day.

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  23. Tammy from California15 January 2017 at 16:43

    I don't know how time flies so fast. I feel like William just started his job at East Anglia. It makes sense that he starts learning his bigger role in the family business now, as the Queen is getting to an age where the possibility of stepping down is more present. As one commenter stated above, it's good for William to get some experience while his grandmother can show him the way. Charles is 40 years older than when his mother took the throne, so he will not be king as long as she has been queen, which makes it more likely that William will need to fulfill a bigger role younger. As for their quiet life, it does make me a little sad, since they seem to cherish it.

    I can't believe George is ready for school :/ , or Charlotte for that matter! Time for another baby :) ! Nice that they have a 5 minute walk from KP and I am sure there is probably a more private route to get there, and hopefully a peaceful walk.

    As for the Part Pieces picture: I have never thought that Kate looked like Carole at all. But there was something in the picture at a quick glance that reminded me of Kate. I don't know what. Very cute though and congrats to her. Loved seeing the little Kate and Pippa. SO looking forward to her wedding this summer!

    LOVED the Cassasola dress! Same feeling foe me as other commenters: sexy without being too revealing. Lovely color on her and loved her hair with it. For me, I think her bangs are at a perfect length right now. Long but can be curled to look like it's not all one length.

    The nook advertisement with the field and cute little cartoon grass and bugs was my favorite thing today. What a cute little picture. Makes me want to go there ;)

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    1. I agree, that's the first time I've seen any resemblance of Carole in Kate, in that Party Pieces photo. I think it's her smile & the way she holds herself, or her physique, I'm not sure. Cute pic, I'm looking forward to Pip's wedding too :)

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  24. This is not a great revelation as William alluded to it in his interview. It was always the plan that they would move back when the time was right. Obviously their children are first and foremost in their eyes and I think until they move up to first in line to the throne, their focus and especially Kate's will remain so.

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    1. I find myself checking in on the poll like I am watching a horse race. Come on Dolce and Gabana Lace Midi dress, you can do it, you can do it, come on. Ah, there goes the Casasola leading the Packham by a nose...... , lol.

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    2. Talking about moving seems a bit inaccurate. Actually, what the Cambridges will probably do is to reverse their pattern, spending more time in London, with weekends and holidays in Norfolk. They surely will not abandon Anmer Hall.

      It is amazing, as Tammy said, that their babies are ready for school. But I had the same feeling when a two year old I know well went to Montessori. Little ones grow so fast!

      I think we don't realize how active William already is in taking on royal work. A lot of what he does is quietly performed. But read the Court Circular.

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    3. Patricia, I agree that they will make London their primary residence but will definitely keep Amner Hall as their country retreat.

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  25. So many beautiful and diverse dresses, it was a difficult choice. Ultimately, I cast my vote for the LK Bennett Addison dress - loved the colors, the classic cut and flow of the dress, and I thought Kate did a great job with her choice of shoes, jewelry, and hairstyling for the dress and event of hosting another couple in her home for the evening. I also liked her Ascot look, the JP lace ensemble, and the black Preen - though her overall look in the red was worlds above the black in my opinion.

    I like most of the dresses, but not all of the "complete looks" on Kate, mainly because I think many lack a completed look. And while I say this is not meant as a personal criticism of Kate, I now recognize that it is actually quite critical lol. Because of my interest in Kate and her clothes, I have also taken a more critical look at my own wardrobe and styling. I have a full closet and mostly wear dresses or skirts/blouses for work and church, but I rarely wear my hair any way but straight and down, and I do not put much thought into accessories. So when I look at photos of myself, I can imagine what people would say if they were critiquing my sartorial choices: her hair looks the same, a statement necklace or large pair of earrings would really make the look, her black Mary Janes are boring. On one hand, I am glad I don't have to read or hear those critiques; on the other, I am confident it would not change how I dress or style myself.

    Moving forward, I am going to try my best not to immediately assess Kate's looks from a place of criticism; rather, I seek to appreciate the clothes for what they are and her own personal style preferences. May she stay true to herself and not bend to societal pressures, whatever they may be!

    Health and happiness to all in 2017.

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  26. Julia from Leominster15 January 2017 at 18:28

    I hope very much this article is true and that this time there is no turning away.
    I know my views aren't those of many here but first of all - the health issues with the queen and Philip have shown that whether they want to cut back or not, they need to. And many of the duties of the queen in the last year have been within the palace, greeting dignitaries from abroad, and no doubt her meetings with the prime minister at a very dynamic time in history. She is getting to outside engagements less which is very understandable and Charles has a huge amount of duties. It's time for the "young" (although they aren't really except by comparison) members to get stuck in.
    William and Kate do brilliantly on tours and on their home engagements such as they do. But they have also done something I see as very damaging. Other royals abroad do their responsibilities with grace, good humour and high spirits, looking at their activities, even ones like Charlene are out there a lot - not complaining it's taking them away from their children but raising confident happy children while filling their royal roles. I was sorry Charlotte's brilliant Royal Digest didn't get more immediate readership because it showed how royal life can be done.
    William and Kate have managed to make royal life sound burdensome, onerous, something to be avoided. something at odds with being parents, something so dire that it might be better to split a husband and wife (which mocks couples that really have to do this because they are in the forces or can only find jobs away from their homes.) I can never see William and Kate at work without having the feeling now of a sense of exhaustion - that they are being taken away from something they really want to be or do - something unreal because the real life of a country landowner or full-time helicopter pilot would suit them no better.

    The comment that William isn't as reluctant as he has given the impression of I believe comes from a dawning royal understanding that the way I'm seeing it is the way a lot of people are beginning to see it. William has managed to give that impression in interviews, that royal duties are dull and dated and not something he is eager to do - something he is waiting to be asked to do. Even here, where there are many William and Kate supporters there is more an air of sympathy for him having to assume these burdens then a sense that this is something unique and exciting he is hopefully starting to do.
    As for Kate. George and Charlotte are delightful children but no more delightful than the children of European royals whose parents carry on full-time royal duties. She can do a lot more and still be a successful mum.
    William's background is unusual - based on his parents messy marriage, a father who was as interested in his mistress- later wife, and gaining her acceptance, than he was in his boys, and a mother who in the last years of her life - undoubtedly the ones he remembers best, lived a chaotic existence outside of normal royal roles. It's not surprising that his perspective is odd but at the same time to be a successful king and keep the monarchy vital and meaningful, he is going to need to step beyond that and embrace his role with enthusiasm.

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    1. Julia, I agree with several things in your post--HM and DoE's health, W & K's performance on tours and home engagements. I don't disagree entirely with your analysis of the damage that can be done by portraying W & K as reluctant royals. It does seem to indicate that one cannot work and raise well-balanced children, a challenge that "ordinary" parents face all of the time. I was an unmarried mother with a career at a time when the belief was that that just couldn't be done well, one would suffer. And there were times when that happened--when I let someone at work down because my daughter had pneumonia and there was no one else could look after her. Or when my daughter was doing miserably at school and I just didn't have the time during the day to be there. I beat myself up a lot now about falling down on the parenting part but the career is in the past. I have retired and my relationship with my daughter and now the grandchildren is more than that career ever meant. I think the same can be said in two-parent families nowadays. My son-in-law and other 30-somethings he knows are more likely to try to structure their worktime/vacation time around their children than my father ever did.

      BUT, being a royal is more than a job in the English Royal Family, it is a lifelong calling. Although some royals in Europe have given it up, the Queen still believes that the only way that a monarch leaves the job is to die. Whether that remains the case in the future, after QE dies, remains to be seen. Other monarchies, the Papacy, have passed the torch along and the monarchy has survived and in some cases (Spain and the current Pope) thrived. There are new paths being created and it will be interesting to see how things evolve. I think too, Julia, you have summed William's conundrum up quite well. His father was lacking as a husband, as a father, and as a Prince (his eccentricities, meddling in government, wanting to be treated as a Royal but also wanted to be seen as a man with needs.) His mother was loving but also fragile and needy and her death was about as horrible as any child would have to endure. W might want to have turned his back on being a Royal--no one really knows because I believe no one who really DOES know him would ever dare speak; he is notorious for cutting off anyone whom he believes to have spoken about his privacy. But he adores his grandmother and would never hurt her like that while she is alive. And now, having committed to being a Royal as far as he has (whether it is far enough for our liking), he has to see it out to whatever future the monarchy in England has. I have also been of the camp that believes that Kate married him in spite of being a Prince, not because of it. So, yes, for her it has been a huge change since her own father was so hands-on.

      In my final opinion on this post, I think what we know and accept about W & K's plans and feelings is a mixture of truth mingled with some wishful thinking, some cynicism and also some projection. Unlike some politicians, W & K do not Twitter. So anything that they may or may not be doing, may or may not be thinking, is filtered through the lenses of those reporting. And then filtered through our own lenses. My family and friends still think that my interest in present-day monarchy is amusing but not particularly interesting to them. I tell them it is better than following current American politics, watching endless World War 2 documentaries (Mr. Valerie) or the Daily News "celebrity" pages.

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    2. Julia, I enjoy reading your contributions. You always give me something new to chew on.

      A huge first step would be to repair their relationship with the press. The truth is that the royal family needs them more than they need the royal family. William and Kate need a PR boost. They should sit down with a friendly interviewer and talk about how much they're looking forward to moving to London and taking on a larger public role, what a privilege it is for them to bring attention to worthwhile charities and organizations, how much they appreciate the support and good wishes from the citizens that have been bestowed upon them and which they do not take for granted, and finish up with a couple of sweet stories about the kids (family photos in the background, of course). This may sound calculated (it is), but this is how it works when you want to bring people over to your side or do damage control.


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    3. Julia and Valerie, thank you for your carefully thought-out and interesting comments. I think you are both right to point to (in different ways) William's unusual/difficult family life during his childhood. It seems like one of the most painful and difficult things for him as he moves into an adult role is the requirement that he work more and more regularly with the press. Somehow he is still struggling to negotiate that, it seems.

      In other ways, he is showing the capacity to evolve brilliantly--for example, as Charlotte so well pointed out in the last post about the visit to Child Bereavement UK: "one particularly touching moment came when William was talking to a little girl whose father died from pancreatic cancer ... and he said: 'I lost my mummy when I was very young too.' We've seen a much more open William over the last year or so." Well said, Charlotte.

      I'm thinking that William is not "work-shy" in the sense of the content of actual engagements--talking with people, offering humor, support, and modeling ethical, principled behavior. He is maybe "work-shy" in trying to avoid the press as much as possible. And my guess is that QE is understanding about this--it is rare, if not unprecedented (I think?), in British history that someone in a royal position similar to Princess Diana's was killed in the kind of circumstances that she was. For sure the second half of the 20th century, and now the 21st, has been unprecedented in terms of the enormous power and role of the press. And William has to negotiate a relationship with the press in a way that is more challenging, perhaps, than almost anyone before him, except perhaps his great-grandfather, George VI, who had to negotiate his speech impediment.

      Thank you, Charlotte, for the incredible work you are doing already this year, and it's only January 15th!! I love reading your posts, and I have loved looking back through 2016, because there is so much I had forgotten in terms of outfits and engagements. It is a reminder of how amazingly carefully Kate and her team think through her engagements and outfits!

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    4. Kim, that sounds like a brilliant idea and a nice format,

      and so easily doable. That would be so lovely. William and Kate are doing their part, in my opinion. Dear heavens they need a better, much better PR team to augment and optimally highlight that and ASAP. (cue, Bluhare, waiting in the wings, :)). But seriously, I don't think the PR team is lacking because any directives from William. I truly don't. If anything they most likely come from the suits in Buckingham Palace and/or indirect influence, suggestions from Parliament. Who knows what their parameters really are. (The Queen's biographers' have alluded to this over the years.) But most of all, their PR team seems to have tunnel vision that is missing here and missing there and just not functioning properly at all for the most part. They need help. And asap. I am sure these are nice, hard-working people. They just need a better program, a better game plan, and mostly a more realistic revelation of how their work looks to the outside world, outside of the halls of tradition and aristocracy. I think they will get there now that William and Kate are going to be full-time and in London. A little bit of honest and comprehensive PR can go along way. I hope they get it.

      Kate's team, if you have ever read our requests here on DKB, please hear this one. Take the ball and run for William and Kate with it. :) Get them the best PR team in there for their return to London. Please. :)

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    5. I agree Valerie. So happy you are getting to enjoy your family. :)

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    6. "the truth is that the royal family needs (them) more than (they) need the royal family. This statement is somewhat confusing. Who is them? is they the same as them? Is them W&C? They, as well? Or is they the royal family? Julia and Claudia have made similar statements many times, but this sounds different somehow.

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    7. When people analyze William's relationship with the fate of being a Royal, generally I see that one aspect of the question is left aside: when Diana died, the Queen tried to protect the children, taking them in a safe place, surrounded by their loved ones, but the cruelty of public opinion was asking those children to put their grief, their terrible grief, openly in view. I remember that, when it happened, I couldn't believe that people was not able to perceive how bad was this request for those poor children. What a dramatic moment they had to endure.

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    8. Julia, I enjoy your posts and the way you write. I can't discuss your analysis of the British public's perception of the Cambridges, you know a lot and I trust your judgement. Where I can chime in is about the comparison to other European RF. You write "Other royals abroad do their responsibilities with grace, good humour and high spirits, looking at their activities, even ones like Charlene are out there a lot" what you are stating is your ( and perhaps the British) perception of them. I can assure you there are issues with each of the ERF, as every national of each country could tell you. And in their country, not every body agrees on their grace, good humor and high spirits!
      On the other hand, in each of those countries, the Cambridges are considered as almost perfect, young fresh, natural, happy, elegant with an old world charm, active... And are brought up in comparison to other ER. In fact many foreigners only know about the BRF through them, as I do. So I believe that kind of comparison is always biased because one expects much more from one's royal family than from the neighbour's.
      And about W giving the impression his royal role is a burden, what about the impression the Queen gives? For her it is a life long duty...hardly an exiting pleasure, isn't it?

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    9. Eve from Germany16 January 2017 at 08:57

      Julia and Valerie, thanks to both of you for your comments, they are both very thoughtful and considerate, and, echo a lot of my thoughts and feelings.
      I know a lot of people will start moaning in a minute, saying "Oh stay away with your psycho-crap!", but I have to say, if it´s true that William´s birth was induced, not for medical reasons but because his mother "couldn´t bear the pressure any longer", the poor guy couldn´t even choose his own birth time!! A lot of midwifes (and doctors for that matter), strongly believe that the child chooses the time of birth and you best shouldn´t meddle with that otherwise all kinds of problems will result from it (both medically AND psychologically).
      All the things that happened later with his parents didn´t really help the matter, either. His life was constantly thrown upside down by OTHERS (and not just anyone, it was done by those who should have protected him and kept him safe!), with him having no saying whatsoever in the matter. He had to take over the role of confidante for his mother, a burden that NO child in this world should have to carry. So, OF COURSE, he sees his role as future monarch as burdensome and something he would rather avoid as long as possible. Everything that was deeply troublesome in his life has to do with "THAT role" - at least it seems so to him.
      In reality it´s the fact that he had parents who both had many problems coping with their own lives which caused havoc in his life from very early on. The fact that his father is first in line to the British throne certainly didn´t help..... I hope he will understand that one day and work through the "real problems" so that he can stop "fighting windmills" instead. His life would become so much easier then.... I sincerely wish him all the best for that. This world needs some "good role models" and both William and Kate have a lot going for them, so I hope one day (ok, sooner rather than later ;-)) ) they will be able to both fully embrace their role as something positive where they can make a difference.....

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    10. I think what this shows is that William is human and in fact sensitive to the needs of his family. Sure, he is flawed but so is everyone else. If this news is true, then I applaud his decisions so far. It can't be easy being in his position but it shows that he listens but is at the same time uncompromising in things that truly matter. In this case, it's his family. Two in my family have personally met William (one of them is a charity organiser) and he's incredibly engaged and good at what he does. It's important to please media, but as we all know, the media will do what sells, not necessarily do what is right. IMO, William is doing what is right for him and his family. Not just his kids but also responding to the needs of his elder relatives. He has my respect.

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    11. Julia you are my hero of words and wisdom. William and Kate should be reading here for insight to many areas including fashion. Thank you.

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    12. Nicole from France16 January 2017 at 14:06

      Julia, I am always very interested in your opinions on royalty,as a French I like to have informations, I am not always sure my feelings are really right LOL ! what you say about W&K apparent reluctancy of acting as royals speaks to me, and makes me feel that they also speak of their parenthood as a great burden ! it seems kate said recently "beeing a parent is tough " ..... William also had some comments which were more on the negative side than on the "look how my children are splendid and loving" side ! we all know raising children is a real job, of course, but, as most of the contributors say, all parents deal with that plus their jobs plus other difficulties (illness, ageing parents who need beeing looked after, not much money ...) in the day to day life . W is not the only child to have lost a parent, he probably had psychological help, I do not mean this stops the pain, but this could help ease it and see things differently . THE thing we do not know is : how does beeing a king mean to him ? do we even know what it means to Charles ?

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    13. I finally started "The Crown" last night. In one scene the young Queen Elizabeth reads a letter written to her by her formidable grandmother, Queen Mary. She writes in part, “I have seen three great monarchies brought down through failure to separate indulgence from duty.” I immediately thought of you, Julia, and the words of wisdom you share here.

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    14. Julie - I always look for your comments and invariably you give me something to think about. My two cents? First I have to lay the foundation (and anticipate that some may feel that what I say will seem hypocritical) While I agreed at the time with Diana's decisions to try and explain herself and her position, I felt her situation was incredibly unusual and unique and she had in some ways a right to explain what she was doing and at least reasoning for it....OK so, I'm admitting I didn't criticize her then for that ... over time I have reconsidered and have seen how damaging it was not only to the monarchy - but to her individually....And so I am now going to talk out the other side of my mouth...at some point one would be well advised to adhere to the (Queen Mother's adage I think) to "never complain and never explain...." Having gone to this well (of announcing future plans) a bit too often I think W&K have painted themselves into a corner...rather than explain, again what and why they are doing it...I think it would be best to keep the explanations to a minimum and let the work announcements/facts speak for themselves.... They will either work hard or not...for me at this point what they say on the topic almost matters not. Unfortunately I think if they had tried this approach and made no announcement and they decamped and starting living in London full time with no explanation people would likely raise criticisms/questions about Amner hall and the cost of renovations...And that leads to my other thought which is I feel the announcements are always tied to deflecting criticism...and thus are about managing the public's view - (and yes I know that is the POINT of PR), but seeing this makes one feel the communication is less than genuine in that instance... In any event I have grown weary of the announcements .... let their actions do the talking - for good or for ill... (And now I will own and admit that have not yet quite gotten over the announcement last March that the duchess would not attend the St. Patrick's day event because she didn't want it to be "expected" of her in the future...) In closing I agree with Claudia - they need some new advisors. These issues are not unique and extraordinary - this is not rocket science - but for a couple that arrived on the scene with an incredible amount of goodwill (I include myself as someone who was not looking to criticize) they have made a hash of their own good work and need someone to manage their announcements and relationships with the press, post haste.

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    15. I don't believe that KP has officially announced the change have they? The official announcement will probably only come when his contract is up. Right now it is media speculation, although I do think it is correct.

      Delete
    16. ariagurl, I, too, was very disappointed with Kate for not attending the St. Patrick's day event. What a PR blunder that was! The excuse given made it all the worse. I expect Kate and team won't make the same mistake this year. Also, I predict she'll wear a new green coat. :)

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    17. Natacha, thank you for bringing up perceptions in other countries about their own Royals. For awhile I was following Princess Mary of Denmark on a Danish board and wow, did they slam her and her marriage to Frederick! I quit the board because of the nastiness and gossip so don't know if they have mellowed over the years. And then remember the field day the media had with Charlene and Albert's marriage, Letizia's plastic surgery and prima donna ways? The Norwegian royals seem to be really quiet as are the Swedish. Personally I think that W & K ARE "fun"--they have no airs & graces when they are out and about, they don't have a lot of servants, don't talk to plants (not that I criticize that as I recall my stepmother threatening a Christmas cactus with the dustbin if it didn't bloom and it did), they do issue photos albeit not at a prescribed moment.

      Stacey, thank you for sharing the perspective on William from someone who has met him. That goes back to what I was originally saying--monarchists we may (perhaps) be, Royal followers we may be, but as far as I can tell, none of us sit around the Royal dinner table or attend the Firm board meetings.

      And none of us are experts in PR as far as I can tell from the comments on here. Having watched the debacle of American politics, all the PR money and savvy in the world couldn't prevent what happened. The media split and fought themselves and we all lost. And the media war continues and it's ugly. I only refer to the US to demonstrate that maybe, just maybe, media reticence at the same time building up good feelings with charities and the "real" people of the country, will see W & K through to happiness. And happiness is what I wish for them.

      P.S. I notice no one has commented that K is going to an EACH event. After heavy criticism over her NOT going to the last one, can we be pleased that she is going to this one??

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    18. Ah yes. The great Shamrock debate rears its head again. I believe it illustrates my point about revising memory. That story, as well as several others continually referred to, is the result of the tabs etching in readers' memories the slant instead of the substance of an event. Just think- Kate scar=extensions; Kate surgery=Kate injury. The expectations story was a rather distorted and slanted interpretation of reported KP source comments after a tab-twitter firestorm ignited by a royal reporter with an ax to grind, truly created a story out of the air. I suggest anyone still giving that story credibility go back and read the actual statements, who actually said them, when, where, and WHY-if you can deduce that. I will admit, it was a successful story in terms of clicks and providing a perpetual excuse for discounting Kate's
      work-ethic. Bottom line-she wasn't scheduled to attend. No explanation required, Right about one thing- KP should not have given the tab-twitter remarks the dignity of a reply. The CH hired and Duchy of Cornwall paid PR personnel should have known better. No matter what explanation is given, it will be twisted to suit the writer's needs.

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    19. I'm pleased she's going to an EACH event. I'm pleased every time she gets out and about.

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    20. The tradition of a female member of the royal family passing out Shamrocks to the Irish Guards is a tradition that goes back over 100+ years. Kate took over the honor from Princess Anne in 2012. She chose to break this tradition in 2016. Here is KP press release:

      "The Duchess has very much enjoyed the occasions when she has been able to attend, but the Duke is the Colonel of the Regiment and is looking forward to presenting the Irish Guards with their Shamrock. The Duchess looks forward to marking St Patrick's Day with the Irish Guards many times in the future."

      The reason widely reported was that she wanted to spend more time with her children ahead of the India trip.

      I'll stand by my opinion that it was a bad decision, a lame excuse, and a PR blunder. If Kate doesn't intend to fulfill this yearly commitment, it should be given to another female member of the royal family.

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    21. I'm pleased as well. EACH needs her immensely right now.

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    22. Valerie 19:42- LOL :+) threatened a Christmas cactus...and it bloomed! Got any more of those anecdotes?

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    23. It seems some people are replying to comments that I hadn't seen yet. How's that work? Valerie's 19:42 comment was not there when I wrote my 20:43 comment-which I understand. What puzzles me is that bluhare commented on V comment three minutes after I wrote mine-having not seen Valerie's remarks. Can people respond to the appearance on email before it appears on the blog? I know, this is beyond trivial, but it is niggling away at me. I am obviously not the least tech savy.

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    24. Annie, I couldn't agree with you more. :)

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    25. Valerie, lol, loved the Christmas cactus story. That was so funny. My grandmother used to talk to her plants also and her garden was famous for it's heartiness and beauty. And I agree with your comments, even the ones about the media, even though I so, so wish that William and Kate's PR could help them out more rather than the other way around.

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    26. He has my respect also Stacey and I think you put it in real, day-to-day human terms. Where it is really at.

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    27. Your comment was on the board, or else I could not have responded to it.

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    28. Annie, lol. It is hilarious how that worked with my response to your comment.

      I was commenting @ 00:53 on your comment @20:43, not the one @ 22:43. lol. You are, of course, tech savvy.

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    29. surfer girl 00;53- appreciate the support, but...what exactly are you agreeing with? That I'm not in the least tech-savvy? Ha! Sometimes the time delay makes commenting more confusing than anonymouses did.

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    30. Kim 21:43- two questions- where is the "Expectations" remark? I will tell you. In a tweet of a royal reporter. Yes, that is the actual and only KP statement on that subject. What lame excuse is in that remark? Also, what history book do you take your shamrock stats from? Unfortunately, it is from The World According to the DM. William is the first royal Colonel of the Regiment. Before that, they were all fill-ins. Edward as well as other, non- royal MEN took their turns with the shamrock dispersal. Other than that one KP statement,That whole story is a revision of history and memory,,,,,tab|twitter hype. The whole "...broke a 101 year history of female BRF "..is false and any reputable source admits this. Plus, the Regiment had known "for months" that the Duchess would not attend. Kate was in London and had to travel back to Norfolk to say a brief howdy to her kids and appear at the Nook opening the next day. Don't forget the India tour...two weeks away. Yes, she could have taken the helicopter, had it been available. However, we all know the "tax-payer dollars" fury that always sets off. The idea in propaganda is to set a situation up so that no matter which course is chosen there is a ready argument against it. Kim, I don't blame you at all for this. I also agree that the Charles-controlled PR situation was confused and disorganized at times. We don't need disinformation and fabrications by tab|twitter to make it seem worse.

      Delete
    31. Annie, see comment 14:32, section 8, article 2, subsection L3, paragraph 2. lol

      Cyberspace, gotta love it.

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  27. Charlotte,

    Thank you so much for adding that link to Party Pieces. I just read that. More heart-warming information and photos. The website is so prettily and efficiently done. I love that Fiona Cairns has her cakes on their website. Another indication to me how Carole is a friendly person, maintaining long term associations like the one with Fiona. Just guessing, but Carole and Fiona, I think, probably have a lot of fun in the process. I like how Carole said she started her business with the help of a lot of neighboring mums working for her part-time. I also like how she mentioned that her children got to see, experience and participate their working mum (and dad) setting up a business from the ground up. Talk about instilled work ethics. :)

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    1. And, I agree with whoever said that photo just proves that Carole hasn't aged in 30 years.

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    2. Surfer girl, I agree with you. Nice little insight into Carole's world and maybe who she really is. The picture speaks volumes about what they are probably like as a family, happy, cohesive and fun loving. I have always had the opinion that the Middleton's have an excellent work ethic and have been role models to their children. cc

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  28. I would say that I love the Casasola dress but I just can't get a certain image out of my head. What are the 2 bumps on her left butt cheek in the second picture: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3677602/Duchess-Cambridge-wears-daring-shoulder-gown-Natural-History-Museum.html
    Is it just me or is something weird here?

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    1. Looks like a thread pulling to me. Or a tail. Who knows?

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    2. Did not check out her left butt cheek.

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    3. Could it be a medical patch?

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  29. Looking forward to seeing their role evolve.... I enjoy seeing their thoughtful and intentional decision making working its way out.....

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  30. Zora from Prague15 January 2017 at 21:56

    Thank you for the new post, Charlotte! I voted for L.K. Bennet Last Poppy Print dress because it's just so beautiful, fresh and fitting!
    How thoughtful of HM to join her nephew for service this morning after his father had died. I read how much the Queen cares both for him and his sister, lady Sarah Chatto. (She is my favourite member of the broader royal family).
    HM looked lovely, I'm so happy she has fully recovered!

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  31. I voted for the Dolce and Gabanna midi length dress, that was my favorite of all :)
    Thank You Charlotte for the updates, it will be interesting to see how their decisions unfold in this year we may even have a surprise engagement this year for Harry!XOXO

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    1. I hope so. I think Harry has found his soulmate. :)

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  32. I think this plan was sorted out years ago and is just being spun as "William's decision". They can't really report that five years ago, it was decided when the heir was old enough to attend school it would be in London. It would be kinda awkward if William stayed behind to play part-time helicopter co-pilot.

    Julie from Leominster is spot on with her critique of the "reluctant, poor me" narrative that has been coming out of their camp (Are your free houses, made up part time jobs, and staff that hard for you to handle?) Her description of their "normal life" is outstanding.

    I agree with the folks who predict that Kate will continue to be more of a consort figure - accompanying William on more engagements rather than carving out any more independent work/career for herself. And I think it'll be easier on Carole - because KP is much closer to Berkshire than Norfolk. Most likely spending weekends there - especially if Pips adds to the family.

    I don't think William's "work" time will increase. Whatever part time he was spending at the helicopter job will now be the time he uses for royal stuff and it will still work out to be about 2 days a week all combined - so I'm not concerned he (or Kate) will suffer from exhaustion.

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    1. Moxie, with all due respect, I disagree.

      If you are going to fault them for "free houses, part-time work and staff", then, in my opinion, you will have to fault everyone and anyone else who is independently wealthy from family wealth gained in generations past. And there are many. The original civil list concept didn't put the Royal family on a welfare or even hire them for that matter, but rather set it up so that their personal family wealth could be better managed to benefit civil and military government in addition to providing the family wealth for generations to come.

      If they were considering remaining in Norfolk, and I believe that that is true, then the Palace didn't predicate five years ago where the heir would be going to school. I believe the transition has been an contemporary, organic one processed by William, Kate, the Queen and Phillip recently.

      And again, to be fair, the information on their full workload, public and behind the scenes, is not available to us.

      And, I disagree with Julia, respectfully, that those who support William and Kate should not be referred to as the "reluctant, poor me" camp. I think that is disrespectful to us and our opinions. And, personally, did not find her description of their "normal life" outstanding.

      From everything I have read, Carole is not in the habit of "spending weekends" with William and Kate. There has been more than once that that was reported only to find Berkshire residents saying Carole and Michael had instead been in Berkshire at that time. If the Queen thought that Carole's presence was in any way in excess, I doubt that they would have been her houseguests at Balmoral or that she would have been chauffeuring Carole around like she did. (unprecedently, as a matter of fact.)

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    2. I disagree, surfer girl. Independently wealthy people have personal wealth. The royals living expenses are quasi public and public money and their security costs are borne by the police department. Not quite the same.

      The workload is available to us, though. It's listed in the court circular.

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    3. Surfergirl I'd only argue one point, W&K are not independently wealthy, and could not afford their lifestyle on their own means. KP, which is about to be their main home, was refurbished by govt money and the personal effects paid for by Charles through the Duchy.
      Also the Crown Estate was SURRENDERED to the government centuries ago.

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    4. AJ, thanks,

      I was referring to the family estates. :)

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    5. Their behind the scenes work is not listed in the court circular. :)
      Again, we do not know that they could not maintain their private estate (Kensington Palace is not their private estate) on their own. They own Sandringham, Balmoral, etc. Forbes, The Wall Street Journal etc. have done numerous articles on the Queen's personal wealth and theirs is still only a guess. No one really knows but them. The Queen is said to personally own large parcels of real estate in Canada and of course there is her art collection and Jewel collection. And just for example, William, having been said to have received a $10,000,000 inheritance from Diana, would be "independently wealthy", ie, not have to work for a living, because $10,000,000 Inheritance if put in a trust would yield, on average, $500,000 a year just in interest earned.
      We do not know that he doesn't have other trusts.
      The police security, to me,is a moot point because as even a private wealthy citizen that wouldn't be part of his lifestyle anyway.
      They would still have an aristocratic lifestyle. The things that would be omitted by virtue of a then private lifestyle would probably be welcomed by them, not chagrined. And the Crown Estate's origin, original substance, was their family's accumulated personal wealth.

      I personally do not begrudge them even solitary single good thing. I am happy they are prosperous. I think they are nice people doing good things. I think that the many, many charitable works done by the Monarchy, along with the tourism it generates, the business bottom lines it influences positively, the continuity and history it represents, and it's impact on the world diplomatically make the Monarchy and the members of it worth their weight in gold. Nice people, doing good things.
      Funny that all the criticism rushes in when the good news comes out.

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    6. Disagree with what?

      I didn't "fault" them for anything. Merely stated the truth that they live in free houses, have made up part time work jobs and staff. The only "news" actually being reported is that William is not continuing his co-pilot contract - so whatever charity that was getting that money - ain't going to get it anymore. And therefore, William is going to have more free time to use up! (Surfer Girl, I look forward to you letting us know who was hired to replace William in his unnecessary co-pilot job at EAAA.)

      Everything else is "spin". Raise your hand if you actually thought the heir to the throne was ever going to be educated in Norfolk country schools!

      And to clarify, William is being referred to the "reluctant poor me" camp - not his supporters. Julie is right about the European royals with young children outclassing the Cambridges. It is the information age -- we can see how Fred and Mary and Victoria and Daniel are raising wonderful healthy kids in the spotlight and working for their countrymen.

      You've flipped my statement on Carole - never commented on Carol staying in Norfolk, commented on Kate hanging out in Bucklebury. I predict those kids will be hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa Middleton on weekends when they are in school/London. No need to head to Norfolk until the summertime.

      The entire point of this blog is to report on Kate's public life - and there is a whole industry called "royal reporting". So, yes, the information on their public work life is available to us. You, of course, have every right to think that they are "working hard" where no one can see them. And I have every right to think they are working on their tennis game, watching movies, shopping, planning their personal travel, hanging out with friends and getting their hair done where no one can see them.

      Delete
    7. Actually, it is surfer girl. Last year Kate had 9 meetings and audiences.

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  33. I still am of the opinion, they are right where the Queen wants them. Too much exposure, and they take away from Charles and Camilla, who after all will be King and Queen(?) next. Unless HM outlives Charles. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few years. William and Kate will still have a very privileged life, and for a while at least, will be able to raise their children away from the public. I wish them all good will and happiness.
    It was wonderful to see the Queen looking so well today. She and Philip are just amazing. What a team they have been for lo these years. I can't imagine the world without them,
    I was sorry to hear of Lord Snowdon's
    passing. It must be very sad for his children, David, and the very sweet Sarah.
    I voted for the Casasola, couldn't resist it! The Jenny Packham lace was a close second.
    Another fun post.

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    1. Tedi, I share your sentiments on all points! I have always been of the mind that there is a plan in place and some things need to happen for it all to fall into place. We had only to wait for this announcement. One thing for certain is nobody wants a world without the Queen and Philip...they are amazing. I wish for William and Kate the same love, companionship and strength that the Queen and Philip have shown.
      The Casasola won in my mind for many reasons but the Jenny Packham gave it a run for its money. Kate looked spectacular in both. Love watching Kate and her style evolve! cc

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    2. Tedi, that was sweetly said. Let's hear it for sweet. It is a good thing. :)

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  34. New to posting, but I have been reading for a while. I'm excited that Kate and William will be taking on more royal duties. But I'm also sad for William, as it seems he really enjoys flying. Growing up in Norfolk would be amazing. I hope they can go on the weekends and holidays etc. And George is still very young, he could probably take the odd Monday or Friday off his "school" and they could all have a long weekend in Norfolk. On the upside, if they work more, they can take more extravagant vacations without complaint, so we might see more beach and snow vacation holiday photos, which I love! The Cambridges would want their kids in ski school and teach them to sail and surf etc. We might all be in for a treat in the future, oh what fun!
    Anni

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  35. I have looked back over the dresses. Very least favorite is the Cai Floral-Print Jacquard Dress, followed by the Saunders Swallow dress, D &G Lace dress, Kate spade pink number, Beulah London Floral. Favorites, Packman Somme Lace dress, Roksanda Blue/Coral dress, McQueen skull dress, Cassola dress, McQueen Cream Ruffle.WIth the retrospectives of her wardrobe, I have to say I am impressed with her trying to step out of her comfort zone and to try a variety of styles. She clearly has preferences but clearly is trying to push her comfort levels while still be appropriate in her roles:) It really was a fun year fashion and jewelry wise. Some big misses, some big hits, but really lots of fun.

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  36. Thank you Charlotte for an interesting post. I have enjoyed the review of all the varied fashion. Some outstanding looks. I liked the Brazilian designer's work best overall. However lots of the other designs were so appropriate to the event, which for me is important.

    And then to all the speculation and opinion. I follow the blog for the social context and the position of the monarchy in it both in Britain and abroad. So my comments are that the monarchy has survived because they have managed to mirror the social context of the time and to evolve with that. My fear for the monarchy is that because we have had over sixty years of one monarch who very much continued with her mother's assistance in her father's mode that the next monarch will not move fast enough to be of the people. One can be too traditional
    too old school as happened with the churches and now we have a spiritual void in our society.
    We are also living though many peoplw do not realise it in a period of incredible change. Within the next couple of decades so much of of daily lives will no longer exist. A much bigger change than the industrial revolution. Over and over again I read statements that the Royal Family need the media more than the reverse, and this whilst the media is rapidly imploding before our eyes. It will all be so different as google facebook etc control the news, with verifiable fact of no importance and the many versions of netflix control the tv audiences. None of know how this brave new world will pan out. I see that for William and Kate the most important thing will be for them to provide a sense of stability in this sea of change as King George did during the last war. How they work, where they work etc is of less importance.

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    1. Alimai. New perspectives. Much needed. Fresh. Very welcomed. And I agree. :) (Thanks.)

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  37. This might be off topic but... Not being as techie savvy as some, :), I don't know if this is helpful or not, but thought I would put it out there anyway as it might be. It is my understanding that for a blog that the number of times a blog is visited helps get more re-imbursement for the blog from potential advertisers. I think Charlotte purchases solely photos with the monies from the advertisers on this blog. Okay.., so. What I do, and it doesn't take much extra effort at all, is, on my way online during the day, and that can be often, I first quickly click onto DKB/click out then go to wherever else online I'm headed. My thought is that those extra clicks everyday will somehow tally to give Charlotte even more photo purchase power and substantiation on the internet in general. And it is easy. Does it work that way though? If so, maybe others would like to give it a go like that. This may be way out there. I don't know. Excuse me if it is. :) I read about how clicks count in an article about The Pioneer Woman's blog site so I thought I'd try it here. :)

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    1. Good question! I wonder too does Charlotte make any money off her wonderful writing and blog? I wish there was some way to contribute to show my appreciation for her hard work! Truly my favorite blog and so interesting and well researched. Thank you Charlotte!

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    2. Katie, I wanted to do the same thing. :)

      But here in Charlotte's blog somewhere, she shares with us that she takes no monetary gain personally from the advertising, etc., but instead uses any advertising generated monies here to purchase photos. Hers is a not-for-profit blog.
      That is admirable I think? :) lol. I had read, for example, that The Pioneer Woman Blog, a primarily cooking blog, generates in excess of a million or more dollars for Ree annually via advertising on her blog and that was years ago that I read that article, about a couple of years after she had been into her cooking program on Food Network. She has had that blog for years.
      I do wish we could do something to bless Charlotte like she has blessed us. :)
      We'll think of something. :)

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  38. p.s. For reference and clarity, the article I read wasn't on The Pioneer Woman blog/website. It was an article somewhere else on the phenomenon and evolution of blogs, with The Pioneer Woman blog being one of the prime examples given. It was a very good article and I read it some time ago, don't remember the name of that article though. (sorry)

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  39. I voted for the cream Casasola dress, because it was a departure from what Kate normally wears and she looked so darn good in it. Very few could pull off that dress. However, my heart belongs to the blue and white poppy dress. It's such a happy dress--as if you could never be in a bad mood after putting it on, or view it without feeling a bit cheerier.

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    1. Same here Kim. Voted for the stunning Casasola but have always been in love with the Lassa. Honorable mention for Roksandra Peridot dress too. She looked great in it both times and the dress has interesting design elements.

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  40. I really hope they can do more for mental health awareness and help more people. I'm grateful for what they are accomplishing now.

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  41. Meghan knows another royal reporter, not positive https://twitter.com/Studio10au/status/820770561135558657

    She has contact with a lot of reporters?

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  42. Given some of the comments I thought I'd look at the history.

    2013 William quits RAF, enters "transitional" Year, aides indicate readying himself for his future role
    Jan 2014 William takes agricultural course, and spends time with Charles at Duchy of Cornwall, aides indicate he is learning about his future property and how best to handle it
    April 2014 reporters ask what Williams plans are and aides deny he'll go back to flying but is preparing for "future role"
    May 2014 Sunday Times reports William "is not ready to be a full time royall" and will go back to flying as an air ambulance pilot. Aides deny report.
    August 2014 KP announces William will train to be an air ambulance pilot and start job in 2015 with 2 year contract. They add Kate's workload will not increase she will focus on "small portfolio" and being a mother
    This came the same summer that KP renovations spiraled and BP had to announce it would be more than 4mil from the public purse
    One year later, early 2016, The Sun goes after throne idle Wills, reports his low engagement numbers, and claims he has not been working that much at air ambulance. KP claims it's because of rules from Brussels - quickly refuted by aviation authority.
    Jan 2017 Sunday Times reports William is now ready to be a full time royal.

    We shall see.

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    1. WHO, exactly, are the "aides?" Whose "aides?" Might this have come from CH? WHAT were the news sources, other than the Sunday Times? WHEN were KP renovations, actually repairs, last done before this? WHERE was the 2016 flying news first broken?
      WHY not consider the possibility of a tug of war between CL and BP, with William caught in the middle? There is ample evidence in non-tab|twitter, reliable sources that just such a battle was going on, including issues concerning where PR for each royal would originate.It ended with a thorough shuffling of PR staff and offices and, at some point, Camilla being appointed to the Privy Council. ..............."Madge?"

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    2. Well there's already a Maggie here so i picked another form of my name, it's what my gran was called but thanks for making fun of it. Makes me wish for my Anonymous back. The
      And I looked up charlottes old blog postings, easy way to find royal news in order.

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  43. Oh i love all the dress in pools its hard to pick them up. I love the cambridge family insight when. They in london i hope they will have more joint enagement ... I miss them working charity side. By side. Prince george is bigger maybe the reason to their plans move and be normal hmm i think. Working in. Party pieces in young age its ok hmm i heard that meghan markle saw the duchess KP that prince harry value the advice. Sister inlaw

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  44. Sarah Maryland USA17 January 2017 at 00:47

    Is anyone else convinced Kate is pregnant? Usually by this time we have hints on what foreign tours might be happening during the upcoming year but so far not a peep
    Plus ever since the Scouts event in December she seems different. Her face seems fuller and she seems to be glowing
    But another part of me is doubtful because she had HG the first two pregnancies so wouldn't she have it around this time?
    Plus part of me couldn't imagine putting myself through HG again if I were Kate.
    But still... I am almost certain she is. Is it wrong part of me is bummed because that means we won't see her for months at a time after the birth?
    Anyone else feel as convinced as I am she is pregnant?

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  45. Hi charlotte, I have been reading your blog for about 3 years now but this is my first time commenting. I absolutely love your blog and every time kate has an engagement your blog is the first one I read. I liked all of Kates's dresses this year but I voted for the LK Bennett Cersei dress because I like the color combination and how the dress flows

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    1. I love elephants, too. Do you remember the photo of William with that injured elephant on his mission concerning ivory poaching, in SE Asia? IT is worth another look. I know how much courage it takes to comment the first time. Hope to hear from you again soon.

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    2. Hi annie,
      Yes I do remember the photo of William with the injured elephant. Its such a touching photo and I am really glad that William and other conservationists are doing everything they can to preserve these beautiful and majestic animals.

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  46. Unfortunately for William and Kate, as far as the media goes, you can't overcome hate with reason (or performance). No matter how much their work has increased they get no credit for it from the haters in the media. Any progress isn't even acknowledged to exist at all. The work increases but the haters are repeating and repeating, almost verbatim, the same argument like they are stuck in time warp. There are some out there who hate William and Kate and nothing short of a miracle from God will ever change that. No need to become frustrated by it. It is the nature of the beast. William and just have to assess every day what they need to do and find their way to do it. If they listen to a kazillion different opinions, mostly negative, they wouldn't last long. William has grown up with the media circus. He's a veteran. Kate has learned quickly. I am sure it hasn't been easy. I hope they take the good press as inspiration moving forward with this new transition.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously? I think the media reports. Yes, there is spin. Just waiting for someone to talk about fake news actually.

      Now we're disagreeing, do you still think the civility will keep up?

      Delete
  47. As with the previous polls, I decided to eliminate previously worn items. I voted for the LK Bennett Addison dress but felt sure I'd be one of the few. But I see it's actually one of the leading dresses.

    The Casasola was competing for my #1 vote, but I have to say I voted for the Addison because I knew the Casasola would likely win! And I always have to go for the underdog.

    Another favorite was the Kate Spade. Such a pretty fabric and colors, and I liked the high neck, although I know many others did not. And the LK Bennett Eugenia was another contender for me.

    ReplyDelete

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