Thursday, 5 January 2017

Year in Review 2016: Part 2 - A Tale of Two Tours & What to Expect in 2017!

Hello and welcome to Part 2 of our 2016 Year in Review. In Part 1 we took a look back at Kate's year in the UK, her engagements, causes she focused on, fashion highlights and family moments. (If you missed that click here to read it). As mentioned in our last post, it's notable to see overseas engagements accounted for almost half of Kate's overall tally in 2016 (61 out of 140 to be precise). It was a year of firsts and royal milestones; the first year the Cambridges undertook two full scale tours, Kate made her first solo overseas visit to the Netherlands, and there was a trip to France for Somme commemorations. I often feel royal tours pass so swiftly, there's little time to fully absorb individual events, so I'm very much looking forward to revisiting many of them with you.


March

William and Kate's first trip outside of the UK in 2016 was a private one which produced several of my favourite photos of the year. The Cambridges enjoyed a relaxing family holiday in the French Alps in early March and upon return released shots taken by John Stillwell. Kensington Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share new photos of their family enjoying a short ski break. The Duke and Duchess hope people enjoy these photos."


I love this photo of William and Kate playing in the snow...


It was the first time either George or Charlotte had played in the snow. A skiing holiday provided some of the very first shots of William and Kate together, and it's a tradition they are now passing on to their children who both appeared to have a wonderful time.


April

April brought William and Kate's glittering tour of India and Bhutan. The run up to the tour was such an exciting time on the blog as we looked at the itinerary, possible designers, jewels and so much more. Next to the 2014 Australia/New Zealand tour, I don't think I've felt such a palpable buzz surrounding a tour. It all kicked off in Mumbai when Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. Kate chose a vibrant Alexander McQueen look from the Pre-Fall 2016 Collection.


Following a short break at the hotel, the Duke and Duchess travelled to one of Mumbai's most famous public spaces, Oval Maidan. An afternoon of sporting activities ensued with the couple trying their hand at cricket and playing with local children. The first day very much set the tone for what I felt was an excellently planned itinerary encompassing a varied range of events.


The Duke and Duchess made their way to the Banganga, an ancient water tank in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai where they placed petals on the water in a traditional ceremony.


Kate chose a bespoke Mughal-inspired tunic by Mumbai-based designer Anita Dongre. An aide said about Kate's dress: "She wanted to wear a local designer at the earliest possible opportunity." Another interesting titbit I learned from the tour: it was only when I read a subsequent interview Anita Dongre gave to the the Telegraph that I realised PA Natasha Archer was playing a substantial role when it came to Kate's wardrobe; not only did she liaise with the designer, but was also involved in altering the garment. More from the article:

'Dongre, who started her label seven years ago, told the Telegraph that Kate’s PA-turned-stylist Natasha Archer got in touch a month ago to request some clothes for the Duchess. "Her stylist emailed us and and we sent her a look book, then she came in and got some pieces for fittings," says Dongre whose Rajasthan-inspired designs are already popular in India, where she has eight shops. All the more surprising was the fact that the Duchess’s team had altered Dongre’s design. The "Gulrukh" dress - from the SS16 Love Notes collection - was originally full length and included a traditional stole in matching fabric.
In India a lot of woman would wear this with trousers and a stole," she says, pointing to the catwalk look from Lakme Fashion Week where the dress was shown in its original form. "Her stylist has taken the stole and converted part of that into the belt and then chopped it off so it can be worn as a dress. She’s amazing - it looks easy, breezy and so contemporary," Dongre says of the DIY update by Natasha Archer.'

The first day of the tour ended in glamorous fashion with a glittering gala dinner and reception with a host of Bollywood stars. The event also provided one of the sartorial highlights of the tour. Kate chose a bespoke sapphire blue gown and matching cape by her go-to evening wear designer Jenny Packham. The beading on the gown was done in India and the silhouette and design of the garment were clearly inspired by the host country. To complete the look Kate accessorised with a statement pair of lapis and diamond earrings by Indian designer Amrapali.


Day two was another full one with the couple officially launching the 2016-2017 GREAT Tech Rocketship Awards. The Duke and Duchess' next stop was the Social. The bar, restaurant and callobartive workspace is a popular urban hangout and a hub for artists and designers. The Social offered the perfect venue for William and Kate to meet young entrepeneurs and innovaters who demonstrated their start-ups. From there they travelled to New Delhi where they visited India Gate and visited Gandhi Smriti - a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi - where he spent the last years of his life and was assassinated in 1948.


The couple rounded up a busy day two of their royal tour of India by attending a birthday party for Her Majesty the Queen at the residence of the British High Commissioner. Kate very much surprised us all in a crop top and maxi skirt by Alice Temperley for the evening. I love this look; it was entirely different, fresh and perfect for the garden party setting of the evening.


The third day kicked off with an unannounced engagement. The couple visited the Salaam Baalak Trust - an Indian non-profit and non-governmental organisation which provides a sensitive and caring environment to street and working children in Delhi. William and Kate met a group of youngsters and participated in an art session. During the visit, Prince William asked the charity's director: "What can we do to help?"


The Cambridges attended a luncheon with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House. They also met with women's rights advocates to hear about a range of issues affecting girls in the country. The meeting was convened at William's personal request because he wanted to hear directly from women who work to support other females. He also wanted to get a sense of the work being done to help young women achieve their full potential and for men to become more supportive of the women and girls in their lives. Kate was elegant in the lace jade Temperley London Desdemona dress.


Kate in a colourful maxi dress by Anna Sui for an evening of events at Kaziranga National Park.


A bright and early safari at Kaziranga National Park was said to be a particularly exciting event on the agenda for the royals. It offered them an opportunity to soak up the surroundings and explore the extraordinary wildlife on offer in the park.


For afternoon engagements, Kate showcased another pretty print dress - this time by Topshop. They travelled to nearby Panbari village where took a walk in the picturesque tea garden.


They were warmly welcomed by locals who greeted them with hugs and showed them around their community.


Some of the best photos came from that day without a doubt. Who could forget William and Kate feeding the young elephant and rhino?


For the next leg of the royal tour William and Kate travelled to Bhutan - most certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth. William and Kate will have seen stunning views as they stepped off the plane. The couple, clearly eager to take in as many sights as possible, were in the cockpit for the landing - the King and Queen of Bhutan having arranged it with the airline.


They travelled to the breathtakingly beautiful Thimphu Dzong where they took part in a chipdrel - a traditional welcoming procession with music, ceremonial dress and colourful displays. The Duke and Duchess were greeted by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. William and Kate bowed and curtsied when they met them privately.


The Duchess was eager to try her hand at Bhutan's national sport, archery.


William decided to have a go too...with Kate looking more than a tad apprenhensive :)


Kate was regal in a traditional looking ensemble which included an Embroidered Wool Cape by French brand Paul & Joe, a lavender skirt made by her unidentified designer in London using fabric woven by Kelzang Wangmo, a lady from Thimphu, and a striking new lavendar pair of Kiki earrings. The Bhutanese kira-inspired look was wonderfully put together. A kira is the national dress for women in Bhutan. It is an ankle length dress consisting of a rectangular piece of woven fabric. It is usually worn with a blouse and jacket.


Kate selected a colourful floral mesh Tory Burch gown for dinner with the King and Queen. William and Kate were photographed leaving the Taj Tashi hotel following a quick change.


The Cambridges put their fitness levels to the test as they embarked on on a hike to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery. As the royals looked at the view ahead William said: "Look at the roof of the temple. It's cool. What a great view." Kate replied: "It's very special."


The hike provided the backdrop for the royals one PR hiccup of the tour. A row erupted between KP and the media over a lack of access on the final leg of the hike. To alleviate tensions a last-minute brief interview was organised with the couple revealing they were "massively" missing their children and were "looking forward to seeing them. They also said they had spoken to George and Charlotte "many times". Kate noted she saw a couple with a baby at the monastery and thought "it was very brave of them".


Kate opted for the poppy print Beulah London Juliet gown for a reception for British Nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK.


Kate brought back a popular McQueen look as the couple said goodbye to Bhutan. The Duchess accessorised with a gold and diamond necklace given to her by Queen Jetsun. Simply Bhutan shared more about the symbolism of the piece: "This is one of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism & symbolises union of wisdom and great compassion." A lovely gesture by Queen Jetsun, and Kate chose a very fitting time to wear it.


The tour came to a close at one of India's most iconic landmarks, the Taj Mahal. The visit held a personal connection for William, too. In 1992, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana toured India and iconic images of Diana posing alone at the Taj Mahal would become enduring images of the collapse of their marriage. The Palace described the visit as an opportunity for William to retrace his mother's footsteps and "make new memories". Kate wowed in a blue and white sheath dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan. The chic dress was a perfect choice to end a tour that brought us an abundance of fashion highlights. An added special touch was Kate's decision to wear a pretty pair of blue earrings she bought during her hike to Tiger's Nest.


For me, the tour was a resounding success and looking back it's unquestionably one of my favourites. The itinerary provided so much scope for the couple to meet locals, learn more about organisations that tied in with their own interests, celebrate the links between India and the UK, explore Kaziranga National Park and the heavenly Kingdom of Bhutan. From a fashion perspective, we saw an abundance of designers and a plethora of gorgeous dresses. It was great to see Kate having fun with fashion with many of the looks reminiscent of her "Kate Middleton" days. It's hard to believe how much was packed into that week. It was lovely to look over it all once more...


June/July

June came to a close and July began with the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry travelling to France for two days of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. It was a sombre and reflective trip for the young royals, who received a historical briefing on the battlefields of the Somme at Thiepval Memorial.


William, Kate and Harry attended a vigil at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, which bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men from the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French battle memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive, and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at its foot. Kate chose a Missoni coat with a black hat and pearls for the first day of the trip.


For their second day in France, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to the Thiepval Memorial to officially open the new Thiepval Museum. It was a poignant day marking exactly a hundred years since 1 July 1916, one of the bloodiest days in military history, with almost 20,000 killed and double that number wounded in the first day of fighting. We now know Kate's stunning dress is a Jenny Packham design. The knee-length frock is crafted of 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.


The royals joined political leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron, Irish President Michael D. Higgins and French President François Hollande. Princess Anne's husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, was also there in his capacity as trustee of the Commonwealth Graves Commission.


The Cambridges returned to France in late July for a family break in Pau with George and Charlotte. They landed in a £5m Cessna owned by the Duke of Westminster. Very sadly the Duke of Westminster passed away shortly afterwards.

September

September brought the Cambridges' second tour of the year. It very much came out of the blue with few expecting another full-time tour to take place in 2016. The couple had missed their children in India and Bhutan, and decided they would accompany them on the tour of British Columbia and Yukon. Of course, William and Kate carried out their first overseas tour of Canada in 2011 - it seemed appropriate to return there with their two children five years later.


There was great excitement as the family arrived in Victoria on a Canadian Air Force plane. Kate revealed George was "super excited" about travelling on the plane. That was very much evident as the Prince was spotted peeking through the window.


Princess Charlotte had a peek too. These remain two of the most wonderful images from the tour :)


The Duchess hit a sartorial home run in a bespoke blue fitted dress by go-to designer Jenny Packham. It's a beautifully crafted garment with gathered shoulders, a belt, and detailing at the collar and back. The dress was perfectly complemented by a Lock & Co. hat, an elegant up, the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch and Kate's G. Collins & Sons Tanzanite earrings.


Day two saw the Cambridges travel to Vancouver where they arrived to a loud welcome from several hundred fans. The royals did a walkabout at Jack Poole Plaza, located by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre where fans had been waiting since 5 am to meet the royals. One of the most fun aspects of the tour was hearing from readers in Canada who met the royals and shared their stories on the blog (thank you again to all who took the time to do that!).


The royals met representatives from several local organisations in the area including the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia where they met staff and volunteers who support over 25,000 recent migrants to Canada each year, including some of the 30,000 who have arrived in Canada over the last year from UNHCR camps that are supporting those who have fled the war in Syria.


The Cambridges were joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie for a couple of events. Kate chose a fittingly red and white dress by her go-to brand McQueen for the day. Unfortunately, the dress received mixed reviews.


The Duchess was causally attired for a rainy day in Bella Bella on day three of the tour. Unfortunately dismal weather conditions meant an aerial tour of the rainforest had to be cancelled. Whilst meeting locals chiefs William said: "It wouldn't be the rainforest without the rain, it's authentic! We're very excited to be here. Stunning views." The royals received a warm welcome and enjoyed a walk in Great Bear Rainforest before unveiling a plaque to mark their visit.


The fashion highlight for me came at a reception held at Government House when Kate wowed in a 1950s style red gown by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. The Finella Satin Midi Dress is crafted from heavyweight satin and has a classic fit-and-flare silhouette that's elevated with a wide asymmetric hemline, front pleated wrap, and box pleats at the skirt.  Red is certainly the Duchess' colour!


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Kelowna for the fourth day of the tour. It marked the first royal visit to the city since William's parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana did so thirty years ago. The couple visited the University of British Columbia Okanagan where they watched a women's volleyball game. The Duchess sported a gorgeous green Dolce & Gabbana dress (altered to remove the pocket watch detail) for the day.


Next on the agenda, they visited A Taste of British Columbia, showcasing British Columbia’s agri-food and seafood industries at Mission Hill Family Estate. The Duke and Duchess toured stations of samples and displays that showcase the diversity and bounty of the province’s agri-food and seafood industry.


Prince William even played a few chords on a guitar...


That evening, the royals flew to Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. Chief Bill and Chief Kane welcomed William and Kate to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre for a showcase of Yukon's thriving performing arts. Kate wore her Hobbs London Persephone Trench Coat and carried a maple leaf tartan scarf. The maple leaf tartan was designed in 1964 by David Weiser to commemorate the new Canadian flag and declared an official national emblem of Canada in 2011. The four colours reflect the colours of the maple leaf as it changes through the season - green in the spring and summer, gold in early autumn, red at the first frost, and brown after falling.


We saw Kate in a coat by legendary designer Carolina Herrera for engagements in Whitehorse, beginning with a stop at MacBride Museum where they had the opportunity to learn more about Yukon's region.  The Duke and Duchess were very much following in the footesteps of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh who visited the telegraph office there in 1958. They were around the same age as William and Kate are now when they visited.


William and Kate signed the Museum’s virtual guest book via morse code on a telegraph machine which was transmitted into a digital message and posted onto Twitter. The message read: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Whitehorse, Yukon, September 2016." The message was typed out by former radio operator Doug Bell, 90, who last sent a telegram in 1947. William and Kate simultaneously hit the 'send' button. The Duchess commented: "Wow, that's amazing."


The Duchess sported a coat by Canadian brand Sentaler and handmade earrings by Yukon designer Shelley MacDonald for engagements in Carcross. Emily Nash reported: "William and Kate climbed out of the cab of a steam train on the White Pass and Yukon Route in Carcross. It was an unplanned stop but the Duke couldn't resist climbing on board and each had a go at blowing the steam whistle! The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh travelled in one of the carriages during their 1959 visit to Yukon. Choo choo!"


At Montana Mountain, the Duke and Duchess received hugs from locals. This photo perfectly depicts the warmth with which they were received throughout the tour.


George and Charlotte's appearance at a children's party at Government House has got be contender for the event of 2016, right?


Unforgettable moments included a very excited Princess Charlotte making a beeline for the balloons and hugging them while saying "pop".


Charlotte met a black and white rabbit.


And George having a ball blowing bubbles.


It was wonderful to see William and Kate interacting with their children and to get a glimpse into George and Charlotte's personalities. A truly memorable one with photos I suspect will be reproduced for many years to come.


The penultimate day of the Cambridges' royal tour of British Columbia featured a trip to Haida Gwaii. The couple paddled in a Haida war canoe from Skidegate landing.


The Duke and Duchess experienced a Haida prayer, and a song and dance performance with representatives of the Haida Nation during the welcoming ceremony at the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum.


A boat ride on the Highlander Ranger from the Queen Charlotte boat launch. Kate looked a little squeamish as she picked up a freshly caught fish.


Kate had a wonderful time fishing.


For the final day of the tour, William and Kate's first engagements focused on learning more about mental health and family-based support services offered in Victoria.


Kate's ensemble - a white Zara blazer, black Zara jeans, her H&M off-the-shoulder top and a new pair of J Crew Avery shoes - was a particularly popular look. It was a very fresh take on her usual choice of casual attire.


William and Kate went sailing with children from Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) and Jack.org. SALTS uses the training and teamwork required to sail a tall ship as a way to engage, inspire heal and mentor young people from all walks of life. The Duchess was eager to take the wheel. The ship's captain said: "The Duchess was hauling on the halyard on the fore sail, really giving it some. She stuck it out the whole time. She was tough."


Kate was elegant in Catherine Walker as the Cambridge family said goodbye to Canada at Victoria Harbour Seaplane Terminal.


We were treated to darling shots of the children before they left.


Adorable George couldn't resist giving a double wave :)


The second tour of the year was in stark contrast to the India-Bhutan visit. It was very much a more informal affair. With the children joining them, I think it was (naturally) significantly more difficult for William and Kate. Several events were scheduled one immediately after the other to ensure they could spend as much time with the children as possible, which led to a few scheduling issues and late arrivals along the way. I recall live blogging during the tour and feeling the itinerary was at times (for lack of a better word) cramped. We didn't see the same level of variety as we did during previous tours, however, we did see a focus on First Nations, places of cultural importance, organisations of immense importance to the area, and of course George and Charlotte's appearances were simply wonderful. On the fashion front, Kate wore several lovely dresses I would love to see again (not to mention the Catherine Walker coat).


October

The Duchess made her final overseas trip of the year in October - marking a royal milestone as she undertook her first solo overseas visit to the Netherlands. Kate's day began with a courtesy call to King Willem-Alexander at Villa Eikenhorst. The Duchess and the King posed for official photos before having lunch together.


The focal point of the visit was Kate's stop at the Mauritshuis art museum in the Hague for the exhibition, 'At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection'. Kate received a great reception with crowds turning out to greet her.


Gordon Rayner noted Kate took a keen interest one particular painting: "The secret of a successful royal visit lies in the planning, and the Duchess of Cambridge showed a superb eye for detail on her first solo foreign trip. Knowing she would be shown Johannes Vermeer’s celebrated 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' at an art gallery in the Netherlands, the Duchess borrowed the Queen’s own treasured pearl earrings for the day to provide the perfect photo opportunity."


Next, Kate visited the British Ambassador’s Residence in the Hague, where she convened a roundtable discussion on the themes of addiction, intervention, family and mental health. The discussion brought together professionals from the renowned Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands, with two UK charities of which the Duchess is Patron: Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families and Action on Addiction. Finally, Kate travelled to the neighbouring city of Rotterdam to see Bouwkeet, the social Makerspace of Bospolder-Tussendijke.


Kate's opted for a pale blue skirt suit is by Catherine Walker. The belted jacket features large buttons and peplum detail, whilst the skirt falls to just above the knee. Teamed with the Queen's pearl and diamond earrings and a chic updo, it was an effortlessly professional look.

2017

Part 2 of our 2016 Year in Review has taken us to a number of locations around the globe. As you can see, overseas engagements accounted for a significant portion of Kate's work last year. Will we see the trend continue in 2017? I would be surprised if another tour is not already in the planning stages, and perhaps another solo overseas trip for Kate. We do know the Duke and Duchess will be returning to duties earlier than anticipated. The Palace confirmed Kate has two engagements next Wednesday, 11 January.  The Duchess, Patron of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, will visit the centre's Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) to learn more about their work with families who have children under five years old. William and Kate will also visit a Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford, which marks its one year anniversary.

What else does 2017 have in store? Perhaps the biggest decision for William and Kate will be whether or not they move to London full time this year. Reliable news outlets including the Telegraph are reporting this is looking likely with Prince William contemplating giving up his career as a helicopter pilot when his contract ends in the spring. It is thought there is a good chance George will be sent to Wetherby (William and Harry's old pre-prep school) in September. Gordon Rayner added: "Officially, they have made no final decision on schooling, but the Duchess is said to be privately resigned to moving back to London." There are myriad opinions on this topic, all valid with worthy points. My own take on the topic would be: it would seem a very appropriate time for the family to make the inevitable move to London. We saw a notable increase in Kate's engagements last year, and I would love to see the couple continue to build on that, devoting more time to key areas they are passionate about whilst taking on larger roles within the family. With each passing year, we're likely to see HM and Prince Philip slowing down and continuing to pass patronages on to younger members of the Royal family, and with Charles's desire for a slimmed down monarchy that will ultimately have an effect on the number of duties carried out by the Royal family. We saw a number of milestones in 2016, and 2017 promises to be even better! Also, on the personal front, Pippa Middleton is getting married in May and the late Princess Diana's 20th anniversary will take place. I understand plans are underway to mark the occasion.

On the blog, it's been another fantastic year thanks to all of you! Last May the blog celebrated its fifth anniversary; I've enjoyed reflecting on all the major events, from the birth of George and Charlotte to royal tours, Kate's first state banquet and so much more that we've followed together here. We have a warm community that truly makes writing this blog enjoyable. 2016 brought plenty of discussion and debate, though I think many of you will agree that the comments section continues to be a cause of concern. We welcome different points of view - we always have - and as a community we've been able to agree to disagree respectfully. At times, it has felt that ethos has fallen by the wayside, so my hope for 2017 is to see readers sharing their opinions, challenging one other and enjoying following the royals without personal attacks. It is my honest belief that the vast majority of readers are all rooting for William and Kate to do well. There will be differing views along the way, but isn't that what makes it interesting?

One bone of contention has been the option for posters to comment 'anonymously'. It has led to difficulties with people using it as a means to attack other readers, sockpuppeting in an attempt to shut down other readers' opinions and derail discussion. I would love to open a conversation asking those who do comment anonymously if they would be willing to comment using a pseudoym. Alternative options include signing in with a Google account (which can be completely private) and OPEN ID. Alternatively, readers can choose a name without 'signing in' by simply clicking the drop down menu and selecting 'Name/URL'. I've thought about this for a while and feel posters using names would not only lend to more cohesive, respectful conversations, but a more open, communicative comments section.

Thank you so much for reading and following the Duchess here. Whether you're a new reader or someone who has been here since the beginning, thank you! Don't hesitate to let me know what you would like to see on the blog in the coming year, too. I am incredibly excited to follow Kate with you in 2017! We'll be back with our annual end of year polls next :)

337 comments:

  1. Sandy. New Jersey. USA5 January 2017 at 02:13

    Thank you so much for all of your hard work! I enjoy this blog so much!! Happy New Year!

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  2. Thanks for the 2nd review post,I didn't expect it so soon! I loved the India tour, it is my favorite one yet! I'm surprised they haven't announced a new tour yet for this year...maybe they want to want until William announces if he is going to stay or leave his work duties. I think they will be doing more engagements this year, every year they step it up. Besides when Kate is on maternity leave. I'll be happy as long as Kate hands out the shamrocks for St Paddy's day ;)

    As for the comments go, I think you should take out the Anonymous ID. It's hard to have a conversation with someone's name is Anonymous. Truthfully I usually scroll past the comments that are marked Anonymous, if there is no name there is no point in trying to have a discussion. But that could be just me, and it is just my opinion.

    Oh Charlotte, one more thing. Are you going to make an App for this page?? I would for sure download it!

    Thanks again for the review post!

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  3. Sarah Maryland USA5 January 2017 at 02:46

    My favorite foreign outfit of the year had to be the belulah London she wore in Bhutan. It was stunning. Her hair was as well and it reminded me of the blowouts she used to have at the start of her marriage
    I love that Kate has mixed up her casual outfits from a navy blazer and jeans and those cork wedges to others this past year
    Hope to see even more of her this year! The queens health scare over this past month is a reminder she won't live forever and that the time is approaching for William and Kate to start doing this full time especially, as you pointed out, since Charles wants a slimmed down monarchy (which I think is a mistake)

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    1. I completely agree Sarah. My favorite tour outfit of the year is also the Belulah London but because that was my dream look for Kate and she actually wore.

      I think she looked stunning as well.

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  4. Thank you for a lovely post! I agree that anon posts often lead to an unfortunate "courage to be rude," for lack of a better phrase. My mother and sisters left an abusive father and ever since I have been hesitant to share my name/location widely, including on blogs (even though I imagine my father is not reading this blog!!). However, your ideas on how to comment with an alternate identity make sense and I would do that in the future. Here's to 2017 and more royal watching!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 January 2017 at 18:46

      No need to comment with a name. You could be PuppyDog, or Anon16 or Blueberry or Horseshoe or Crownie or whatever :) But it will be nice getting a continued feeling of who you're talking to :)

      Delete
    2. I'm the same anon - 2:58 - thanks, Rebecca. I appreciate your comment and I agree. I read all of your comments and others with names and get a feeling of your personalities so I completely feel the same. Also, I have to say that your positivity and the way you cheer for the Duchess are quite uplifting and appreciated. I can always tell with your comments how much you enjoy following her work!

      Delete

  5. Charlotte,

    You are an amazingly huge credit to Kate. I hope you will interview her, and Kate will also ask you some questions / a dialogue between you and her someday.

    The archive you have built and your posts are informative of places, people and some history in an interesting summery. The most recent one memorable is the details of St, Mark’s church and the picture of its surrounding. If I come back to England someday, that might be one of the first places I will visit.

    Parts I and II of Kate’s life and style 2016 must have been some task, and there by refreshing memories of duties Kate undertook as well her style. She wore quite a few midi dresses lately and used to wear a lot of “coat dresses”. Beyond that, I would have remembered Kate for 2016 in the red evening gown, “cow boy dress”, the sweater with a color all worn in Canada. Parts I and II are very interesting reminders. I thought even India’s visit is in 2015. She must have been busy in 2016.

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  6. I post anonymously because while I am a fan, I am not blind to Kate and Williams faults and feel its worth discussing openly and honestly when they make mistakes. Using my name would make me feel a little vulnerable to the backlash from fervent fans. HOWEVER, I could use a pseudonym if you're saying that's an option? I've always liked the idea of changing my name!
    Thank you charlotte for your blog and I'm sorry if the comments make it unenjoyable for you at times.

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  7. Again, thank you--the tours did go by so quickly, its lovely to re-visit them.

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  8. Julia from Leominster5 January 2017 at 04:49

    To me, tours are about balance and I thought the India tour beautifully balanced with an interesting selection and variety of engagements. Riding the bus to the water tank and the Salaam Baalak Trust visit were two extremely important engagements in my eyes. I thought Kate's choice of clothing outstanding. Even outfits I didn't like as well personally were excellent in context. Her choice of dress for the Taj was one of her best ever and one for the history books, along with Jackie Kennedy and Diana's visits. The Bhutan visit also was very successful - loved the skirt and cape.
    I thought Kate looked lovely and appropriate for the Somme visit - two wonderful, yet restrained outfits and the French lace was a lovely touch.

    At the risk of being unpopular, I didn't find the Canadian tour as well balanced. I should say tours can be looked at three ways, from those involved in the visit, from those in the country visited and those looking at the tour from abroad. For instance, someone said the India tour got relatively little attention in that country, although massive attention at home. But royals do need publicity and tours are extremely expensive for both the country visited and those visiting so they should be as perfect as possible. Engagements seem selected both by the country and by the royal's staff.

    The Canadian tour didn't end up with that type of attention. It started brilliantly and Kate wore some great outfits - the Packham and the Preen. But then attention faded. Charlotte noted some problems. I felt there were too many similar engagements too close together, that is, too many boat trips. Looking at a distance, they began to blur. I follow royals quite closely and at one point I got mixed up. Since the First Nation visits and the Haida canoe and the SALTS seemed the most important, I would have jettisoned the fishing. Fishing is an important industry so perhaps a visit to a fish plant would have provided variety (says Julia, who has visited a lot of them, don't ask.) But something didn't quite work viewing the tour from a distance.
    There were delightful moments with the children's party. I thought Kate dressed perfectly for that - I'm not a believer in royals being too informal - I believe the people they meet (the women at least) love to see a striking princess outfit they can always remember (says Julia, who remembers still the tartan suit she saw Diana in at a distance.) I also loved that photo of Kate embracing the native woman. One of the best, and her best casual outfit including the earrings and jacket.
    The Dutch visit was important and I thought Kate looked very appropriate for it except for the suit being creased. For an off the peg look this might be understandable but Catherine Walker's people should know how fabric responds. A lovely colour though and fabulous art.

    So a great royal year abroad. We'll see what this year will bring.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 January 2017 at 18:53

      I agree with your comments on the tours very much. Someone noted a similar patter of "too much the same" on Harrys carribean tour this year. In that case because it being alot of different countries with similar culture so there was alot of "GG arrival, school, sport". I think it was a similar problem with the Canada tour. Alot of first nation visits (which from the outside look similar, but engagements that were very important!), and alooooooot of officials at every event so William and Kate did alot of sitting around listening to speeches. Add to that similar fun events and it was a bit muddled at times. But it was still a nice tour, aand appriciated by the people present I'm sure. And I do think... maybe both the Carribean tour and Canada tours were more geared towards the countries they were visiting rather than outwards. Which I think is ok. Some tours are themed, some are very balanced, some are fun, some are heavy. And because we had the India/Bhutan & Nepal tours this year as well, I think the Canada & Carribean were great second tours. Tours that made an impact on spot but were not relied on to pull interest towards the royals because they had already done more photogenic tours earlier in the year. :)

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    2. Couldn't agree more with your comment, Julia. Sums up my thoughts about last year's tours to a T.

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    3. Completely agree with your views on both tours Julia. The tour of India and Nepal was a riveting feast for the senses but that of Canada lacked any sort of rhythm. Although, the presence of the children did make it all worth it at the end of the day.

      Strictly speaking about the clothes, the blue and white Naeem Khan is hands down the most memorable piece for me. She never looked better.

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    4. I also agree about the two tours including the sartorial choices. As I looked back on the fashion this year I realize that 2016 was one of the better years for me. I think many of her choices were outstanding. The India tour in particular was inspired and closer to her original Kate Middleton days. Clever, creative outfits. The Canada tour had some wonderful dresses but more of the Duchess flavor, which is also great.
      I hope that Kate will go back to the shorter length with lots of layering and framing the face. I think it is most flattering to her features. She seems to prefer very long hair, though.. maybe she grew up with it and can't imagine life without long hair.

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    5. Courtney from NC5 January 2017 at 22:40

      I agree with your thoughts about the fashion differences between the two tours. I found her choices in India and Bhutan exciting and Canada more of her normal style. I found myself excited and wondering what her next choice would be. She looked beautiful both tours but India reminded me more of single Kate and Canada of mom Kate.

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    6. Agree with your comment too, Rebecca. I like how you described the different 'feel' of each tour, for both W&K and Harry.

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    7. I'd venture to say that perhaps the greater attention given to the India tour in the UK press over the Canada tour might not be the itinerary, but could very well be linked to unconscious prejudice. That the India tour got little attention at in India but the Canadian press was all over the tour here might be explained the same way.

      India has always been the "jewel in the crown" of the British Empire. India's connection to British elites through the British East India Company was long, deep and profitable. The British Raj was laced with wealth and splendor incomparable to a "wild, backwoods" colony acquired as booty after the Seven Years War. France essentially dumped the colony of New France on the British in exchange for Guadeloupe. Our history books say that France traded snow for sugar. Offer a Gallic shrug: They had their priorities.

      Suddenly the Brits were stuck with with the headache of administering a population that was culturally French in a place that was inhospitably cold. In spite of the success of the Hudson's Bay Company (which received its original charter from Charles II), there's little in Canada to compete with tigers and elephants, glittering treasures, saris or exotic spices.

      No Vice-Regal courts were ever established out in Canadian hinterlands to equal the Mountbattens in India. There's no Taj Mahal here. (And there's hardly a sorrier place in Vancouver to take W&C than Jack Poole Plaza. It's only redemption is the Helijet landing pad nearby and the harbour view if you turn your back to it.) Sadly, the spectacular Great Rain Forest flight was a washout.

      I didn't find keeping track of a tall ship, a canoe and a fishing boat too confusing. Rather, I felt compassion for W&C because getting around this vast coastal geography required so many flights. Another Gallic shrug: If you want to go anywhere, it's what you have to do.

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    8. Philly, Loved your narrative. Pointing out, in addition, that there seemed to be undertones of tangible political and cultural tensions in Canada second tour. I personally don't think William and Kate particularly looked forwarded to being emeshed in that, but they most likely had no choice. And, in comparison to their Camelot-like first Canadian tour, how do you ever successfully follow that?

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    9. What they do in their own country engagement wise is obviously important. Touring brings out a certain side, and seems to agree them. Over all, for the global community watching, it can be exciting to know more about places through their tours. Kate’s clothes also get variation reflecting the cultures they visit. The Indian and Bhutan being what it was, and adventurous. Again and again, from the hat to the dress, my favorite ended up being the Jenny Packham lace dress. It worked beautifully with that black hat. That hat is artistically impressive too. The deep richness of the cobalt blue dress in India with the shawl is another interesting one.

      The children: George offering ice cream to Lupo is my favorite from the previous post. One wonders what Lupo was thinking. He might have preferred the birds from the Boxing Day.

      Charlotte’s gentle passion, for the rabbit. Her interaction with the balloon man in Canada, and her over all personality says some future there. “More balloons, and how did you turn it into such twisted fan, I want to do the same”

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    10. Thanks for reminding us of the history, Philly (aka Vicky?). The thing is, if one has visited Vancouver Island and the area between there and the mainland, one cannot help being struck by the incredible beauty of the area, and the fascinations of the First Nations peoples in the area. And their politics, which are highly vocal. The trip to India and Bhutan was exotic, but the Canadian trip was wonderful in its own way.

      Although I am not normally a lover of the color blue, I thought both bright blue outfits at the beginnings of the tours were splendid - the formal gown in India and the arrival outfit in Canada. Packham almost always does such a wonderful job of designing for Kate. In contrast, Walker chose a blue that is not really Kate's best color (note how it differs from the blue in the pearl earring painting) and of course in a bad fabric. The style was nice enough, but not fitted extremely well. I could have liked the lace dress for the official luncheon in India if it had been a more muted aqua that would have complemented Kate's skin tone. The style was lovely.

      As for most of the clothing Kate wore in India and Bhutan, to me all those print and embroidered fabrics had an effect of costumery. I liked the outfits in Canada better. The gold dress she wore to arrive in Bhutan was a nice exception, and the dress she wore in the city of Vancouver was an exception in the other direction.

      The two tours were very interesting. I thought they were each fairly strenuous - good that William and Catherine are young and fit!

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    11. Julia from Leominster7 January 2017 at 07:02

      A very nice write-up Fact-Checker but you make me feel old! In the seventies I lived in those Indian prints - at a fraction of the cost of Kate's of course.

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  9. Alejandra Ramirez5 January 2017 at 04:59

    Wuhoo! Great post as always!
    Is it just me or does it seem that she wears the most variety of clothes while on tour and then goes back to classics (just a thought)
    In any case, I believe that this will be a transitional year for them
    Another tour is very likely, maybe Europe or Asia
    I´ve read in another blog that a baby might come, but as the time goes by it seems unlikely bu who knows, maybe they will slow down to have the baby and then return to engagements

    And yes, I agree with your views on the tours
    India and Bhutan were varied and colorful
    Canada was informal but classic

    Let see what the future holds

    Oh and I agree whole heartily with the anonymous comments, when I scroll down through the comment section, all I see is Anonymous :(
    In any case, mega excellent job with the blog!
    Congrats and Blessings for doing a wonderful job!

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  10. A great review, love the way you've broken out the information this year. Thought some of you might appreciate the break down on why some years seem busier then others - Some food for thought:

    2016 45 days in UK, 18 Foreign - 63 total Queens 90th Birthday
    2015 39 days in UK, 0 Foreign - 39 total Charlotte born
    2014 28 days in UK, 22 Foreign - 50 total New Zealand/Aust tour
    2013 34 days in UK, 0 Foreign - 34 total George born
    2012 41 days in UK, 10 Foreign - 57 total Diamond Jubilee/Olympics
    2011 18 days in UK, 12 Foreign - 30 total Married William in April

    Kate's numbers in 2016 were higher because there were 3 additional events in honor of the Queen's 90th birthday (Thanksgiving Service, Horse Show, Patron's Lunch) and she attended Ascot. It will be interesting to see if the numbers hold or continue to rise. Pregnancy will certainly cause a drop. She's averaging a little under 2 months of public work a year in years when she's not having children.

    Her patronage appearances break out like this (days where she doesn't combine events and split press coverage).
    2016 10 days
    2015 8 days
    2014 10 days
    2013 12 days
    2012 12 days

    With the new patronages we could see these numbers rise - especially as patron of sporting organizations what with all the matches. Again, with pregnancy being a wild card.

    Charlotte, it sure has been fun royal watching with you and everyone. 2017 does seem a bit of a mystery in so far as there isn't any "major" event/anniversary on the calendar. I'm kinda hoping for another baby.

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    1. Definitely food for thought, interesting facts. I do wonder about possible 2017 'big' events/tours in the pipeline. Out of interest, when did we first get word of the India/Bhutan tour? I think it was end of 2015?

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    2. It is so strange that the Indian Tour feels like not in 2016. It can't be 2015. Well it is in a season all in its own and had a life of its own. There was such a time difference, that I was waiting for Charlotte to start with their day. Her better half posted a clock with the flag symbol fortunately, so it was easier to keep track of time in India. It was an exciting time, even sleepless to catch up. I really enjoyed it, as well as become more familiar with Bhutan.

      Thank you Charlotte and your other VIP half.

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    3. Another interesting breakdown. Thanks for providing the information and doing the research.

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  11. Tammy from California5 January 2017 at 05:31

    Of all the outfits, the Temperley pale green dress and Kiki McDonough earrings in India, while meeting the Prime Minister was my favorite! Oh if only I could look that good in that dress....

    2nd favorite outfit was the cape and wrap worn to the archery event in Bhutan. I felt like the one picture of her holding the bow was like a Disney princess: tough and beautiful! I loved her cape in that, along with her hair.

    I always love Kate in "Peter Pan" collars: on her coats, dresses, etc.

    Last, I will comment that perhaps it is a good idea, Charlotte, to make people use a name to comment. My feeling is: if you are going to make a comment, have the courage and conviction to stand behind it. I think people in many outlets, like blogs and social media, are much more flippant about giving their opinion- the good, bad and UGLY of it, because they don't actually have to say it right to someone's face. Maybe having a moniker is a way to keep people more accountable. Maybe people will think about what they write before they write it, if they have to own it. My very insignificant, humble opinion: take it or trash it ;)

    Wonderful post Charlotte. Loved it. I haven't seen some of the pictures that you posted, like Kate on the fishing boat.

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    1. I really like your perspective on the Disney princess moment in Bhutan. That is very astute now that I look at those pictures through that lens. I imagine the Duchess has enormous personal strength that has severed her well throughout the years and that pictures really illustrates that to me.

      Thank you for giving your opinion

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    2. Julia from Leominster7 January 2017 at 07:03

      That look really did have a Disney Princess feel to it. I thought it was fun and that cape would be wonderful with jeans.

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  12. What a great post. Very fun. While I did not like many of her India tour outfits, a bit too "costume" for me, but a few really gorgeous outfits. The rest of the year to me shows her or her "stylist" :) "whoever that might be" struggling a bit to find a sophisticated, easy to go to look for Catherine. To me her clothes are a bit hits and miss but her jewelry and belt selection is really hit and miss. I loved many of her looks, jope she grows from this year. ali

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  13. The photos were gorgeous Charlotte! Thank you! As to the Comments section, I am trying to limit my Comments to thanking you and perhaps a quick comment if someone gives a particularly insightful and positive comment. I did get entangled in some of the conversations last year and regret it. We can't diagnose what will happen no matter how many years we have been following the Royals. Events in the US have certainly shown that no one can know real public opinion until the event. So much better to sit back, enjoy the blog and share in happy times, learn about the work of these wonderful volunteer organizations and hope for this to continue (if you are a RF fan, which I happen to be.)

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    1. I do so very much agree with you Valerie.

      Given the nature of public opinion and prognosticating, getting entangled in some of the conversations is, to me, not unlike chasing one's tail. lol. Your perspective, to me, is an excellent way to enjoy sweet people who are doing good things, i.e., "William and Kate watching".
      Enjoy. Cheers, Valerie, 🎉🙂.

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  14. Thank you, Charlotte for all your wonderful research and thoughtful comments about Kate. I really enjoy this blog .

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  15. Marion from Germany5 January 2017 at 08:58

    Dear Charlotte,

    thank you so much for your dedication on this blog, which I have followed now for quite a while. You really do a fantastic job providing us readers with wonderful pictures, informative background information and your own view of things. You are a trustworthy source for all topics related to Kate, which makes it a pleasure to follow your blog on a daily basis.

    Regarding the "Anonymous"-posts, I must say that I have always regarded getting into contact with other people needs a solid introductory of yourself first; on the internet the least requirement is your name, be it your real name or a pseudonym. For myself I chose to let you know my first name and my nationality, so that you and other readers do at least know a tiny bit about who is talking to you. Giving away a proper name makes sure that you stand to what you say, this is in my eyes necessary politeness.

    I am looking very much forward to all the coming posts in 2017. Thank you again, Charlotte, for everything!

    With all the best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017 to you, your husband and all the other Kate-friends here! :-)

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  16. Eve from Germany5 January 2017 at 09:26

    Thank you, Charlotte, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, for another wonderful year of great, great coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge. She can be proud and feel honoured to be covered by such a wonderful person as you are, Charlotte! Your last comment on what is to be expected in 2017 has shown all your very special qualities once again and to perfection! It is a pleasure to read your blog and to be able to comment and share opinions/views with all the fellow bloggers. So THANK YOU a n d all fellow bloggers!! I wish you all a VERY happy, successful, healthy and especially a very peaceful 2017!

    To be quite honest, I was a little bit surprised that after such a short time of living at Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess would consider moving permanently to London. There was much "hubub" about their move to the country, especially because it meant the very costly renovation of yet another "home of theirs" (after the appartment at Kensington Palace which they also "abandoned" quite shortly after their move in). They were very adamant that they want to raise their children out of the spotlight and give them the life which living on the Sandringham estate offers, i.e. a life away from the paparazzi and the spotlight. I understood their reasons and understood that apparently their first move to London and not directly to a country home was due to some facts we can only speculate about (e.g. at the time they moved away from Anglesey no "appropriate" country home had been available). But to first explain a move to the country the way they did and then kind of make a complete u-turn, well, let´s say their critics will have another "field day".....

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    1. Nicole from France5 January 2017 at 18:58

      Eve , my feeling is that K&W did, from the first day , plan that they would enjoy Anmer as long as they could (keeping in mind William's contract as an air-ambulance pilot , ending in April if I do not mistake ) , and they might have not decided , at that time, where George would go to scool , and then go back live in London when royal duties and/or George's school needed it .
      regarding the expensive refurbishment of both places, it has been said that KP had not been re done since Princess Margaret's death in 2002, and it certainly needed a good amount of work (like Buckingham Palace !), besides they need an official place for receptions; for Anmer Hall, the family did need a country home, and there again, the house might have been a little shabby and not really up to date .... I'd rather say that their communication team has not been very good in not saying things simply, or ... it might have been William who did not want to say his private thoughts ....

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    2. Yes, Charlotte, I echo Eve's sentiments.

      You are an immense blessing to the Royal Family. I hope somehow they know that. (Queen Elizabeth, please read this blog. You will be so impressed and thankful. :) Kate's team, can you manage bringing this blog to her Majesty's attention? :) ). We know you read Charlotte's blog. lol

      They have a superbly done family photo album/diary at the ready with this blog. Thanks for chronicling that for them. Kudos Charlotte. Kudos to your hubby also.

      Fun following one of your passions, yes?

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    3. Nicole,

      They truly do need a new or improved communications team NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. A lot of the heated discussions here most likely would not have been necessary had their communications team done their jobs properly. They seem rather bush league more often than not. And with some concerned about the continuation of the Monarchy, top rate communications are mandatory.
      And in conjunction with that, as it is media related, for optimal photo ops, Kate needs a top rate stylist also. It is important. A key integral part of what they put forth to the world and the pages of history. The whole package. Not a mumbo jumbled hodgepodge. No more missed opportunities, press wise, style wise. There are people trained to do these things who are very good at what they do. They need those people.

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    4. Prince Charles lives in Clarence House in London, and in his country place, Highgrove. He has rescued a Scottish manor, Dumfries House, and spends time there, as well as in the Queen Mother's castle in Scotland. He owns a house in Wales. And of course he visits the royal palaces in various places.

      The Queen lives in Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, and Sandringham. The last two are privately owned. She spends a week at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh every year.

      William and Catherine lived in a farmhouse in Scotland and a farmhouse in Wales. Then they moved to a farmhouse in England. They do use their London base to entertain presidents, for example, and as their base when they are between engagements. And by the way, that apartment had not been renovated since Princess Margaret *married*!

      There is Prince Harry, who is living in a two bedroom cottage at KP. Some day he will need more space, and may move to housing Kate and William will have vacated as they move up the succession.

      All this is a matter of context. And there is the matter of maintaining buildings. Surely they should occasionally be brought up to date and made habitable for the future. The royal palaces are said to be in serious need of renovation. It is good to know that some work has been accomplished.

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    5. Eve from Germany6 January 2017 at 08:26

      @Nicole from France: I totally agree with you, Nicole, the real problem seems to be the communication side of it all. I know about the background of the renovations, especially at KP, still, as you say, it´s the WAY all this is "presented" that makes it such an easy target for loads of criticism. Quite a big part of my career I have been working in sales and one thing I could really experience almost DAILY was, how well customers reacted (meaning how much understanding and almost sympathy they showed) depending on how you communicated things to them, especially "bad" things, like prices going up or services not offered anymore. With William and Kate, so many things seem to be "sudden" and/or real "u-turns" which then, understandably, puzzle the public. I mean, it´s been quite "the usual thing" for members of the Royal Family (as for many well-to-do families) to have a country home and a London base, so nothing to be "upset" about there. If they had made that clear from the beginning, I guess nobody would have been surprised. But somehow I always feel quite a strong "vibe" of "I will do what I (!!!) want and WHEN I want" in Prince William´s actions, turning absolutely "normal" things into showcasings of him having his own will. Which in turn then makes it an absolute nightmare for any PR department..... I understand why he is so adamant about that, his childhood really is almost a "gold mine" for any analyst, still, one sign of being past your childhood trauma is that you don´t need to react "as if" anymore...

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    6. I think we need to be careful to give some thought to where our reactions and vibes originate and how they can be subliminally influenced. If you're talking PR or advertising you have to acknowledge this very basic precept. "William" is a product of his heredity and those who nurtured him, as well as all he has done or learned ;but "William' has also become who people with varying end-games have said and written about him.

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    7. Julia from Leominster7 January 2017 at 07:16

      Charles has a place in Transylvania too - one he rents out some of the time.

      Most people familiar with royal would expect William and Kate to have both a London and country residence but the issue came from the renovation of Kensington Palace, which was supposedly because William and Kate were to take up full-time royal duties which then didn't happen. It's always been unclear if this was badly worded publicity (certainly not artful) or because there was an actual change of plans.

      With money very tight as to necessary repairs to Buckingham Palace, it seemed strange to put the money towards Kensington if William and Kate were only to use it rarely for the foreseeable future. But I can't see anyone would have any objection if they start using it more this year since the work is long completed.

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    8. The Cambridge's have two primary homes ... KP in London and Anmer in the country. No one talks about Charles or the Queen "moving" as they split their time between London and the country. Not sure why it should be the case with W&K. I suspect that country living is the preference for everyone in the Firm and they stay in London as needed.

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  17. I am totally in favor of no more anonymous posting. I'd go even one step further and disable name/url too. As we all know, people can pick and choose their names and still play those silly games.

    Google can be totally locked down for those wanting to maintain anonymity. You can't see anything about me on my profile; it's totally locked down. It also gives Charlotte a bit more oomph in dealing with disruptive posters. It also allows you to delete any comments you have made that you wish you hadn't (not that I've ever done anything like that!) and is an easy way to get the comment feed directed to your email. Although you don't even have to use your usual email either. You can set up a dummy one to activate the account.

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    1. As an anonymous poster, although I do put my initials at the end as a sort of signature, I have no problems using some pseuodym and think it is a pretty reasonable recommendation. Doing it anonymously was just sort of a convenience for me as I am not a blogger and wasn't sure how to set up an account without giving my whole information, so thanks bluhare, will investigate how to it through Google. I always wondered how some people could delete comments...lol. cc

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden5 January 2017 at 18:58

      I think having the name/url thing is ok. People can (and will) change the name and still play games. But I would not want to scare away new posters. (Also, I myself use that option :P) I think this is a great community and would want it easy to step in and start talking. So while I agree that anonomous should be removed, I think removing the name/url option could alienate people more than we would like :)

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    3. Oh no, then I would loose my name if you disabled name/url. I don't have a google account so I don't even know the first thing to set it up.

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    4. We definitely would not want to lose either of you two! Or Claudia or Julia or Courtney or Erika either. Forgive me if I forgot someone! I agree people will probably still play games, but it is so much nicer going back and forth with a name instead of Anonymous Posting Time!

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    5. Courtney from NC5 January 2017 at 22:48

      I used to belong ton a mom's group where some people had created multiple accounts to continue stirring the pot. I think even needing a Google account wouldn't stop someone if they were determined. I use the URL/name function and always use it. To me even the URL/name is a huge step up from anonymous because it connects a "name" to a poster. Easier to reply and know who is saying what.

      I would make an account if it was the ONLY option but I think it would discourage many from posting. The name/URL feature takes me 10 seconds to use when I post and super easy.

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    6. Testing... Testing...6 January 2017 at 00:43

      For what it's worth, two other blogs that I can think of require emails to post and they get quite a hearty response every time. What Kate Wore and Kate Middleton Review. There may be others but they are the only two I know.
      I do also appreciate what some have said about being repeatedly targetted, I have seen that. Maybe Charlotte you could just delete comments that come in that cross the line, whether Anons or long time posters?

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    7. TEST...with an email address, dummy or not, and an ISP-available with minimal software, a complete identification can be made. I once provided an email address and found my emails had been embedded with a hidden addressee who was receiving copies of all my emails. Another time, I attempted to email a business contact. He not only did not receive it-days later his name appeared on my facebook page on a Do you know...list. I had never mentioned that name anywhere but in that email. I think recent world events have shown there is no anonymity for most of us. Just the illusion of it. I do agree that choosing a moniker and sticking with it simplifies and lessens confusion in discussion. For that reason, and because Charlotte asked so nicely, I will be known as "Annie" here Forevermore...(ha! Anon USA)....:+)If it ain't Annie it ain't I.

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  18. Apologies for posting as Anonymous. I do love this blog & look for it daily, whether updates or not. I post under "Anonymous" since I am not tech savvy enough to figure out how to change from my initial posting. With my first post some months ago, I was not sure how the process worked, and was stuck with Anonymous USA forevermore. Will update this if someone can explain in simple terms how to make the change. Thanks much!

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    1. I don't think it should be a problem since you added the USA- that IDs you as an individual.

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    2. Courtney from NC5 January 2017 at 22:50

      I agree with anon 2203. Anonymous USA helps differentiate you from others which is all we are really asking for. At least that's all I want.

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  19. Charlotte--I absolutely love your blogs. Daily check-in to see what's new! Thanx for the 2016 wrap-up! It's a pleasure revisiting all the places and clothes. Enid from FL

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  20. What a beautiful post! These tours mark the continuing global and Commonwealth education of the Duke and Duchess. They looked fully engaged and greatly enjoying their visits, everywhere they went. Kate chose some remarkable outfits. Personally, although her Indian choices were fun and lively, I prefer the beautiful solid colors she wore in Canada. Those colors were especially well chosen for her skin tone, and tailoring was generally superb.

    You have given us a wonderful look back at busy 2016, Charlotte, and I very much look forward to the polls. Please, though, what does 'sockpuppeting' mean? I am a longtime Anon, but I hope I am not guilty, whatever it is!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 January 2017 at 18:59

      I'm sure you're not guilty. Most anons are very kind and nice. Just a few rotten apples playing games and destroying for the others. As is usually the way :)

      Delete
    2. Re sock puppets from Urban Dictionary: A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.

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    3. For example, presenting an identity from a non-English-speaking country, complete with scenic descriptions and broken-English speech pattern, then proceeding to use American idiom like a born citizen of the USA a few posts later. Berlitz would be proud to claim these commenters as former students.
      This false identity happens on FB also. I wrote a first time comment to a celebrity on a FB page that looked like it belonged to a known person. The trick? there was a very subtle change in spelling, but the accompanying photo was actually of the celebrity. I don't know how that is allowed.

      I would like to thank Charlotte for allowing this free exchange of opinions about a significant change in blog mechanics. It allows some airing of prior, pent up feelings and felt slights. I should imagine this will prove helpful in the long run.

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    4. Thank you, Rebecca. Your posts are among my favorites! You like facts, you are well informed, and always cheerful and kind. I wish for you the best in dealing with anxiety, which I also know about personally.

      As has been said below, a lot of negativity comes from named posters, and I am always a bit surprised at the blame cast on anons. I do know that having several anons in a conversation makes it somewhat difficult to follow. I haven't decided what to do about assuming a moniker.

      Thank you also, bluhare. I read virtually the same words in Wikipedia, probably a quotation from the Urban Dictionary or its source! I remember the real sock puppets from my college days, but I had not encountered the online derivation. It sounds quite devious, and the examples in Wikipedia of its variations are complex. I am still trying to understand some of them. 15:50

      Delete
    5. Courtney from NC6 January 2017 at 22:53

      Anon 200 (and 1550?) lol - It just seems really tiring to me to have to go through all that trouble. Remembering the lies you have told, your fake backstory, etc. I don't have the time or patience for it.

      Delete
    6. Courtney, I am astonished at your words! Obviously you are confusing me with someone else. For quite awhile I have wondered if one can really identify a poster, and now I know that the answer is no. I have never lied, and I have no backstory. I posted here to ask an honest question, and yes, I am both 2:00 and 15:50.

      Delete
  21. I really enjoyed looking back at everything the Cambridge's did in 2016 and the photos with the children are a delight.

    I'm also thinking that Kate's wardrobe really needs to be judged as a whole. The bottom line is that works and she always looks appropriate. We all have our favorites and the not-so-favorites, but seeing a summary post like this does make the not-so-favorites far less significant.

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  23. Charlotte I would add one thing to your hopes for 2017: I hope they improve their communications office and develop a better relationship with the royal press corps. I know many a royal correspondent must look back at these events and absolutely cringe, there were so many PR disasters, from either poor communication or simply thumbing their nose at the press. Again, it is a difficult balance to strike and something that must be learned so I don't expect them to be instant experts. But they are too often veering in the wrong direction and don't seem at all concerned about course correction.

    I will reiterate that the press is not without sin, but they are a reality of royal life and the sooner you learn how to deal with it the better. Social media can certainly complement that relationship, it cannot replace it.

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    Replies
    1. Comparing the tour versus the home fashions, it seems to me that her choices for home were more varied and impressive than the tour selections, as a whole-once we get past that stunning arrival outfit and her Netherlands mini tour suit she wore to lunch with the king.

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    2. I do not know how in the world they would do it, but I would love to have them somehow design a software program that could track various variables in the charites and initiatives all of the Royal family is involved in. Increase of press response, increase in sponsors, donations, personnel satifaction/less turnover, all correlated to their sponsorships/visits. There has to be a software program like that somewhere. That would help answer the age old question about what, if any, good do those Royal involvements make. To me, their involvement yields a myriad of great benefits extrinsically and intrinsically. Including tours.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you, Claudia. William and Kate's office has not done a great job and I wonder if it's because Jamie Lowther Pinkerton is no longer there. From all accounts, he was able to tell William when he thought William was on the wrong track. I'm not sure that the new staff do.

      I imagine this is a tough balancing act -- providing information to the public so the public supports them vs their right to privacy. But as Moxie's numbers show there is a lot of time they are out of the public eye and not subject to that scrutiny so I don't think right to privacy is a giant issue right now.

      For example, there are now tweets and photos of the royals' Christmas cards that were sent, and William and Kate sent a Christmas card to people who sent one to them. However, do you think that is the Christmas card they declined to release? I don't, mostly because it's actually a card and does not open. Harry sent his card to the children who appeared in the photo with him and his was actually a card that opened and he signed it. I don't know why releasing a card is such a big deal to William and Kate, especially when the only people who really care about it are their fans and supporters.

      Perhaps if they were more open, they could sway more people to be firmly in their camp. It just seems pretty us/them to me which is not really the vibe I want to feel from my future King.

      (Erika, this could be the start of that PR conversation we've been threatening to have!)

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    4. I do not think the Christmas card is such a big issue. Last year the Cambridges and Harry released pictures of their cards before being sent out to those who write to them or to whom they send to anyways. This year none of the royals did except Charles and Camilla. Then we had the Charles and Queen picture released at the same time. All seems to me a deliberate ploy. Cambridges have also only released twice in six Christmases, but have always sent out cards. Fewer royals release ahead of time than those that do.

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    5. Many of these PR issues can be blamed on William's hubris. He's not the first young man to think he's got it all figured out thank you very much. Then after a reckoning, some humility should set in. As much as I'm not looking forward to Charles' reign, it's good that William has to wait before assuming his role as King, as this will give him the necessary time to mature, gain wisdom, and acquire perspective.

      Delete
    6. Definitely bluhare :-) A few comments up, Eve from Germany made some great points about communication.

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    7. I agree Erika. (And Eve!!) It is all in how you communicate, but I also agree with Kim that some of it is William and his hubris (Thanks for that word, Kim, it sums it up nicely for me!). PR departments are only as good as the boss, and I think William would be very difficult to work for. While I do think that having clear ideas of how you want yourself projected is a good idea, he also needs people who will tell him when an idea is not a good one, or whether it can be done a different way with a different effect. From what I understand Jamie Lowther Pinkerton did that. The new staff not so much.

      For example, I think that letter about photographing George could have been worded much better and still get the point across. Veiled threats to shoot people don't go over well, but perhaps talking about how it frightens a little boy might.

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  24. I agree with using names for posts. I love reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful photos. I pray the Queen is feeling better soon.

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    1. Hello Barbie62,

      Thank you for your comment. I understand the Queen is very much on the mend and is already back to work. She invested Ray Wheaton, the Queen's Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order. William and Kate have reportedly been to see her and thankfully all reports indicate she's doing very well :)

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    2. Such good news. HalleluYah. Such an amazing lady. So glad she is up and about. Thanks for the good news Charlotte.

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    3. I was disappointed that there was apparently no photo of HM doing this, as there usually is. I only checked ROOSS , however.What is a Queen's Page of the Chambers? Perhaps the ceremony took place in her chambers.
      :+)

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  25. I love all the work you do on the blog. Are you planning any year end polls for Kate's 2016 appearances? I understand it would be the most challenging year yet to put together a favorites poll, but it's one year-end activity that I love.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Stephanie,

      Yes that's coming up next. I'm looking forward to seeing which pieces you all choose :)

      Delete
  26. What a wonderful post! I loved looking at everything again. Since The Duchess has increased her duties in the royal family, I was wondering why she hasn't received Queen Elizabeths Royal Order or any other Royal Orders yet. I understand they were easing her into everything but I would assume she would receive one. Once again, I love your posts!

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  27. Hello,

    I cannot express how grateful I am for the amazing support you've all shown regarding using a name instead of posting Anonymously. It is just wonderful to see new names here and already there's been a massive improvement in terms of respect shown to other posters. I wasn't sure how people would feel about it, but I am certain it will pay dividends throughout the year and many insightful people post anonymously so it's going to be wonderful to see you posting under a 'name' and getting to know you all better.

    Regarding privacy, I completely understand and value everyone's complete right to anonymity. A few examples people still considering a name could use, anything from 'MapleLeaf' to the name of a tiara you like, to a royal name you might like such as Máxima to DowntonAbbeyFan. Whatever you feel comfortable with is absolutely perfect.

    I also want to stress the issues I mentioned are with a handful of posters and they do not represent the majority of readers here. The problem with the anonymous option is the same comment can be left virtually a hundred times. One person persistently saying dreadful things about George or Charlotte or another attacking certain posters every time they comment all adds up to unnecessary unpleasantness.

    If anyone has any questions about posting under a 'name', I'll be available tomorrow evening and throughout the week to help so don't hesitate to drop me an email at hrhcatherineblog@hotmail.com

    Together, I know we can make 2017 the best year yet on the blog. My sincere thanks again :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to see everyone post under a name, whether it be John, Mary or Mickey Mouse. It would make it easier to have a "conversation" instead of trying to keep track of posting times to address someone as a number.

      HOWEVER, the name/URL option still enables people to wear many hats (and they do) so, once again, it all comes down to one's true intent in posting on a blog dedicated to the Duchess of Cambridge.

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    2. Many thanks for all the feedback everyone. I appreciate each comment and I'm paying close attention to your thoughts on the topic.

      Delete
    3. Charlotte, anon from down below here. First of all, your marvellous blog is a huge asset in our lives, and as the person said a while back, if it were to go away, would leave a crater sized hole in our days.
      That said, I have to gently disagree with the notion that anonymous posters a) create more trouble b) are more intolerant and c) are picked on less. Yes, there have been a couple of people who fit this description and have made trouble for you, maybe, but as someone who has respectfully posted under anon I don't agree with the assessment that many anons have.
      From past precedence most anon posters drop in occasionally, post something and leave the conversation. It is actually the regular fervent fans that usually attack other posters. Whether they are anonymous or not. As someone who was quite unkindly attacked by a lady from Lancs, who btw was not anonymous (neither was I) I feel that attacks are a) less likely to be initiated by anons and b) less likely to be carried out ON anons.
      I just don't see how having a name mitigates the issues of troublemakers who are determined to pick on people or make unkind remarks about posters or young babies.
      In any case should you decide to do away with the anon option I will totally understand and comply, but I just don't see rational reasons for it. Warmly.

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    4. I agree anon 22:38. I don't believe the entire issue is with anon posters. IMO, the heated discussions came from some who very strongly disagreed with others. As well as forgetting to be respectful of others. There has been soo much criticism of the Cambridges and other posters lately. I don't believe removing the anon will solve that problem. I think we just all need to be a little less negative and respect others comments and opinions .

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    5. I do agree 22:38 that Anons have not been the only ones to have misbehavior that Charlotte was referring to, but I am confident that with all this so openly being truly discussed finally the blog will be a much healthier and fun place because of it. And that makes me happy.

      Delete
    6. Rebecca - Sweden6 January 2017 at 17:08

      I agree that anons is far from the only issue. But the "pop in with a one-liner" anons and the "one person posting as if they are many" anons do pose a problem that unneccessarily stirr the pot. That doesn't mean that there is not issues to be dealt with with named posters as well!

      Delete
  28. Melanie from California5 January 2017 at 18:26

    Hi Charlotte,
    Thank you, Thank you for your hard work! I really enjoyed reading this post and enjoying the photographs from the tours--the actual tour goes so fast, quite a whirlwind. So this look back was very fun!

    Regarding the "Comment as" I think "Anonymous" should be done away with. The Name/URL choice is sufficient. I feel that commenting as "Melanie from California" still gives me a degree of privacy, but it also offers fellow readers the opportunity to address me directly as "Melanie" which I have enjoyed. On Nordstrom's product/purchase comments page, I sign in as "A Duchess of Cambridge Fan." These names are so much better than "Anonymous" and I think a name ALWAYS reminds people there is a Real Live Person behind the posted comment.

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  29. Have followed this blog from the beginning but started posted comments only within the last couple years. I always posted as 'Anonymous' not because I wished to criticize or cut down other commenters (I always try to keep mine brief and respectful) but simply because I wished to remain anonymous ;)

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  30. This is a great post and a wonderful blog. I, like others, check it daily for updates and enjoy the comments and posts from followers. While I can say that I love Kate's overall style, not all were my favorite and some more successful than others. My favorite looks from her overseas tours were the two engagements in France, where she was appropriately somber and the lace dress especially classy; the blue Jenny Packham she wore disembarking in Canada was spot on as well as the beautiful red Preen. I liked how she mixed it up casually in Canada and was particularly pleased with her Sentaler jacket and total look that day as well as the white Zara jacket and pants and the J. Crew shoes (which alas I tried to buy and they were sold out :(). It is nice to look at these engagements chronologically as it gives a different perspective and makes you appreciate the successes that much more. Love, love the photos of the children, their faces and reactions, especially Charlotte smelling the flowers and George doing the double handed wave!! The last picture of Kate on this post is beautiful and I think embodies her sincerity! Great year, great post and a great job! cc

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  31. I'm excited too to see what will be in store for Kate and Will in 2017. I wonder if they are planning on having another child in the near future.

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  32. Nicole from France5 January 2017 at 19:22

    well, I am completely admirative of your work , Charlotte ! amazing how you transformed that blog, from a "Kate fashionista point of view" to a source of very welcome informations (all the comments you add about the places Kate goes to, churches, history of the places, people she meets ....)and a place where we can express our feelings and discuss . this is indeed a splendid work ! I agree with you about posting anonimously, mainly because it is not always easy to follow the conversations with many "anons" , and also it is easier to find new comments from someone we appreciated before, I myself look (amongst others ! ) for Julia's comments , for example .
    I did enjoy this year in review, I had good laughs seeing again clothes I had not liked at first ... and still don't , and I enjoyed seeing again others ! the only comment regarding the sartorial choices is that I keep wondering why Kate does not use accessories more than she does ? I think she must not feel at ease wearing big "rocks" (like Camilla does, and she looks so good !) , but she could very often do with a bracelet, or a small necklace, she used to do that when she was younger, and sometimes it does a lot to a dress or a coat ! and personnally, I do hope her PA leaves , I am not sure she knows how to enhance Kate's beauty !
    Let's look forward 2017 now, all expectations are allowed, a new baby, more appearances , more tiaras .... yes let's waite for the diamonds ! Happy new year to all of you !

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    Replies
    1. Nicole, see, you there have it. lol

      You are from France, where fashion "is", n'cest pau?
      And even you think "her PA needs to leave" (or at least be positioned somewhere else farrrr away from Kate's closet perhaps?). I agree, she does "not seem to know how to enhance Kate's beauty". I am sure Natasha has many talents but make-shift stylist is not one of them, in my opinion.

      Delete
  33. Great post Charlotte. My 2 cents worth: I am 100% in favor of posting with a name. I realize some people have very valid reasons for keeping their identity private, but you have given an option of commenting with a pseudonym. I hope this comes to fruition.

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  34. Thank you for both end of year wrap ups. Great decision doing a part one and two. Looking back of the photos, I am struck again with the joy and engagement Catherine brings to each person and group she meets.

    Thank you too for showing me how to add my name to the comments section; I didn't know how to use all those options in the 'comment as' drop down box! Now I do!

    Happy new year to all readers of this marvellous blog, and to you too Charlotte. Thank you for all you do.

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  35. Hello, such an interesting post! I'm the regular reader although I don't comment many times. It was wonderful to recall all of the Cambridges tours of 2016, it was an incredible year! I hope the 2017 would be more amazing and I'm looking forward to follow Kate, William and their family and to read your posts, especially "Kate Loves".

    I wish you a Happy New Year and send greetings from Poland

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    Replies
    1. Gabriela from your picture you look like Kate! :)

      Delete
  36. Love the photo of William and Kate with the snowball. From photos or video elsewhere, she initiated the playfulness. His gentleness with that was so sweet.
    Ah hum, keep in mind William is a highly trained military man. Good thing it was just Kate. Good thing it was just a snowball. She was definitely outmatched from start. lol.

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  37. Another great round up of the activities that occurred in 2016. You were so fast to post Part II after Part I. I appreciate your thoughts on the tours and perspective of the events. I would imagine that there was a LOT more time to plan the tour for Bhutan and India then there was for Canada as that may be why it feels a bit thrown together. At the time, i felt that the invitation for the tour was sent from Canada and accepted with relatively little time in between. Plus bring George and Charlotte added a different dynamic to it as well.

    But of the two tours, the one that really made Canada special for me at least was all of the posters that were sharing their real world experiences of seeing the couple. India was lovely, I really enjoy learning and seeing different cultures, the engagements were wonderful and varied, and Bhutan was beautiful beyond words. On a fashion note, while the looks in India/Bhutan were beautiful but weren't as close to my own style but they provided some very iconic looks and historic pictures. Canada was closer to my own style and so I found I liked more of them. I have favorites from each like the Bhutan skirt/cape, the Beulah dress (my personal pick for Kate), safari outfit, Canada arrival outfit, Preen dress, etc.

    I agree about the use of Anon to be a shield for some that let's more contentious remarks get posted. I think that is unfortunate the few that use this in that way spoil it for the rest of the Anon that provide thoughtful comments that generate discussion. This becoming more and more of an issue when online and you can definitely tell it when it comes to social media. Some of the comments I see I would be embarrassed to say in person so I can't imagine typing it on line. I found over the course of the year that at times the comment sections becomes too much and I get fed up with tone and stop commenting for awhile, several posts, several months, etc. so I an return later with a fresh perspective. I appreciate that you are trying to address this as it must be one of the hardest things to manage on the blog. I definitely support the best direction to keep the blog as special as it is now.

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    1. It seems to me that the most negative comments are posted under the names of frequent posters. But of course I am not seeing the comments that Charlotte does not post. Those evidently contain a lot of negativity from anons. It is a conundrum, because I much prefer to be anonymous, rather than to become known by a moniker. I am almost always positive in what I say, because I believe that the Duke and Duchess deserve our respect.

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  38. I have been a long time reader of this blog and used to post under a name but was chased away by some pretty feisty ladies who were not interested in having a discussion and were only interested in hearing what they agreed with. This was a while ago - not sure how long. I think that Julia had just started to post, and bluhare was already here. These ladies have, since then (except for one person who is still here openly) found a home in another blog, at least I think they are not here anymore. I stayed away from this blog for a really long time and then started commenting again last year under anonymous. I don't comment much but will come once in a while when discussions get particularly interesting.
    The reason I like being a pesky anonymous is that no one can identify me or my opinions and they pick on me less when they don't know who is talking. A feature of this blog, back in the old days, seemed to be that readers would associate names with personas and became quite a bit personal and would develop likes and dislikes of these personas. They had little cliques going on. Having the same name post repeatedly gave them a chance to "know" these people and they felt it would be okay to attack them. The ladies here were incredibly prickly and would bristle at the slightest provocation. There was one older lady from Lancs who was particularly licentious in how she addressed posters she did not like. I did not feel it was worth my time to fill my life with that kind of negativity.
    As I have been reading over the past few months I see that some of these royal fans have greatly toned down their approach and are quite measured in their response. Which is heartening to see. But occasionally the claws will come out for people who say particularly provoking things. For that reason I do firmly feel inclined to hide behind my invisibility cloak when I post. I hope that Charlotte won't get rid of the anon option.

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    1. I may remember some of that but I think I have to defend Jean from Lancs. I wish Jean still posted here. I know I'm not one of her favorites; however, Jean knows her stuff. And says it in a very no nonsense way. Sometimes I think that creates issues, as I recall what led to her picking up sticks and it was because she used the term "moaning" as it all the moaning in the posts. That's something people in Britain say all the time. It's not used in common speak in the US, which is why the US contingent reacted so negatively to it. So some of it is not necessarily being mean. It's being misunderstood.

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    2. I sympathize, 21:05, since I witnessed the brouhaha as a new reader. It was not pretty, and I have remained Anonymous ever since. In time, I will probably try using a moniker, but I am still uncomfortable with becoming identifiable in this group.

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    3. Good on you Bluhare that's very kind :) But as someone who spends life straddling the pond (!) let me add that I do understand what some Anons are saying and can imagine the feeling of vulnerability they may have.

      In my mind, being so completely dismissive of someone's viewpoint is just as rude as an outright insult. It's one of the great downfalls of social media, we block what we don't like, only interact with what we do, I wonder have we all lost the art of discussion?

      It's funny, a common defense of the Cambridges when controversies arise is, "give them time, they're only 3rd, not seniors, etc etc" --- So wouldn't that instantly imply that they DO have more to learn, that surely they can't be doing everything perfectly right away? That there is room for discussion?

      I started commenting because it was clear Charlotte allowed a broader discussion on the monarchy, William and Kate's place in it, and how they are handling their roles. There is MUCH to discuss in that regard. William and Kate are not perfect! And to be honest, fans only make it worse when they try to push that, and I think W&K would be the first to agree!

      In my mind, someone who only ever has glowing things to say is just as off as someone who only comes in to berate. The reality is always in the middle. So it would be great for everyone to allow people to express their views on Kate's clothes, or on topics beyond fashion, without jumping in simply to shut them down.

      And, if some of us feel strongly about certain topics, it's because we see an entire institution in the balance. We know the Queen's time here is limited, but it really struck me personally when she was ill this Christmas, that so much may go with her. I have to say I find it quite emotional when I stop to think on it.

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    4. Yes, Claudia, I had the same feelings about the queen like: Bye, bye, good old times. Something, which was very familiar in a comforting kind of way, disapears. But if you are open for new experiences, it may be, a new broom sweeps clean too - possibly even better and a new kind of regency might show us something, we wouldn't have expected. And for me, Charles is different from what we are used to but we should give him the chance to show us his abilities. Sorry, that was not the topic, just my thoughts which popped up.

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    5. Thank you, Claudia. I try to be fair and I actually liked Jean and her posts. I don't think it was reciprocated, but she got my respect because she could actually come back with reasons I understood and in one unforgettable incident agreed with! I had to concede she was right.

      However, I'm not so sympathetic to Anonymous posting. I can totally understand why people don't want to have an identity here. As someone who's had the same identity here since day 1, and I think the first person who wasn't totally in William and Kate's corner to stick around, I have been the recipient of all kinds of lovely comments and reactions. And I totally understand that some people don't want to deal with that. But hiding in with the crowd gives cover to those who do want to play games. And, if I'm totally honest, I will say that I give anonymous comments much less respect than one posted by an actual persona.

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  39. Hope the days are over of blaming comments one disagrees with on the wrong person or accusing commenters of belonging to a "cadre, for example. Unfortunately, it has not been just anonymouses who have used these tactics. Tasteless remarks and use of vulgar terms that I won't repeat here as well as the previously mentioned behaviors appeared under a known moniker. Quite honestly, a moderator has the choice not to allow such activity. It taints the superior quality of the posts. This post, in particular, is absolutely gorgeous in choice of photos and presentation. One of the best I have seen on any blog. I do hope, going forward, that you can keep in mind that eliminating anonymous is not going to help if some commenters with names are still allowed to dominate the comment section and essentially get printed whatever they choose to say,

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    1. Interesting points, marg. Do you count "bigot" and "donkey" as vulgar terms? I was called both of those by an anonymous poster, maybe you? And it seems Charlotte is trying to stop those sorts of things by asking people to choose a name instead of posting anonymously. I've not called names; however, I've been called plenty. And I've always posted under my own name and will continue to do that.

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    2. I don't think Anon 21:52 was talking about you
      Bluhare,

      but I do agree with what they are saying and have tried to express those same things myself but didn't manage to as clearly. And I don't know who Marge or cadre is. I don't perceive that at all. But, again, I am one who agrees with Anon 21:52 very much. Certainly no offense to you. Hopefully, putting names to comments will help 50% or more in making this a better forum for fun discussions.

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    3. Oh, she is, surfer girl. I'm the one who referred to cadres and cabals. It's one of the tells. I won't give the rest of them because it would ruin the fun. And I didn't say Marge. I said marg. Her old posting name.

      I really am curious about why you agree with the original poster formerly known as marg. Because I read this blog too, and I do not see more critical posters calling names or getting personal with other posters for posting an opinion. Truly, I don't. I see that from some fervent fans who don't appreciate a comment. I only did it once in my memory, and that was after being called jealous and envious for the umpteenth time. I think I said royalfan must be jealous and envious of Charles and Camilla because of all the negative comments she posts about them. Surprisingly, she didn't appreciate it. I can't say I blame her. I don't appreciate having motives attributed to me either.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden6 January 2017 at 17:13

      Bluhare, you know I say this with nothing but love. But sometimes you have a tendency to feed the trolls. ;) Might be better to let the known disturbers starve. No attention=no satisfaction. That does not mean that you shouldn't post your great answers to opinions. But I think you kind of know that calling out Marg (I still cannot understand how you recognize the text!) and other things you know are just for stirring is kind of poking the bear and keeping the ball rolling :P (As you know Bluhare, this is not a critique, more of a.. I don't know... general tought!)

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    5. Bluhare, no problem. I explained it before in my Anne from San Diego comments before I braved google. Royal fan has echoed my thoughts on that more than once also if you need more clarity. She has a good way of saying things. Hopefully, 21:52 will feel safe enough to join the community using a moniker, whether everyone, including you :), agrees with his/her comments or not. 21:52, welcome. :)
      (It would be hilarious if they choose to use the moniker, Marg.) :)

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    6. Oh, Becks, I know I do. I've had that thought on more than one occasion, trust me. And most people I would ignore, and believe it or not I do pick my battles. However, I think it quite egregious that she's doing it again in a post where this is being specifically called out! Pretty sure she's changed names again within this same post.

      But you can get mad at me any time you want. I've told you that before. I can take criticism and sometimes it's even right! :P

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    7. Again, 21:52, you are not alone in feeling that way. I hope you read Caroline in Montana, and 01:38, and Anon in Wisconsin, Rebecca 17:08 and others. Again, would love to have you choose a moniker and continue commenting. Charlotte is moderating. You will be safe. :)

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    8. Lol Rebecca, Bluhare feeding a Troll... are we in Alice in Wonderland or in a Harry Potter scenery? Bluhare's spoon is made of humour, and I think that trolls have no sense of humour at all. They can be fed by Bluhare, but her food cannot work for them. Too sophisticated. Humour works because it lets peep out the opposite of what is shown on the foreground.

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    9. Paola, you make me feel so lyrical. I may need to compose a poem. Ode to Misunderstood Poster.

      As I walked in the valley of shadow and death
      Reading comments all the while bating my breath
      Thinking, "Lo! This place needs a voice!
      One that brings sunshine so others rejoice!"
      Fingers on keyboard, tappity tap, tap
      Responses that said, "your post, it is crap!"

      That's as far as I've got.

      Delete
  40. Charlotte, as a long-time reader/just-recent commenter, I want to sincerely thank you for the wonderful and welcoming space that you have created here. I completely agree with Eve from Germany's sentiments regarding your work ethic.
    Your blog was the first one that I discovered when I became interested in following the Duchess. I first followed Kate just for her fashion choices, but after reading your blog, I soon became interested in all things Royal and also in Kate and William's family life.
    I enjoy following other blogs, but IMHO, Duchess Kate blog is the best! Your posts are always so balanced, well-researched and informative. You also give a thorough background to royal history and the causes that Kate and William support. Bravo on a job well done!
    Kate and her fans are truly lucky to have someone with such a kind heart and talent to take the time to keep us all updated. I also want to thank all the followers here for their interesting comments and views. All the best to everyone in 2017! Look forward to the upcoming polls :)

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  41. I think the Name/URL section should stay. I do not have a Google account and don't want to make one. I get frustrated with posts that won't let me just add my name.
    I think this blog is wonderful and really feel that the negative comments are unproductive. We just want to enjoy seeing Kate, William and the family, and her beautiful clothes. The rest of it is for another blog, I suggest.

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  42. Charlotte, you have really outdone yourself with these last two posts. As an avid Kate watcher, I really don't know what I did before I happened upon your blog. :-)

    My heart goes out to Kate (and also to William) in trying to balance being a royal family member and trying to be a "normal" stay-at-home mother (which is what it seems she is trying to do). I understand that she has much privilege and help, and knew to an extent what she was getting into when she entered in to the family, but you really doesn't know how motherhood will affect you until you are knee-deep in it. I do think they are doing their best while trying to put their children first. Looking back on William's childhood...I can hardly blame the man for wanting some normalcy for his children.

    Anyhoo, I found Kate's tour fashion (especially in India/Bhutan) so exciting and vibrant. I do wish she brought a little of that flair in the UK, but I also understand her wanting to draw attention to her causes and not to her clothing.

    As for commenters, I see where you are coming from in trying to control the trolls, as it were, but I have seen on other blogs where people get around restrictions or blockings if they are determined to do so. Perhaps install a moderator for the comments section? But the anonymous posters don't bother me.

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    Replies
    1. Jenna, so true. You truly "don't know about motherhood until you are knee deep in it." lol
      Imagine having those ephiphanies in her mileu.
      With the children being the third and fourth in succession to the throne. Cameras everywhere. Surreal pomp and circumstance. So many expectations. I wouldn't be surprised if she had entertained the thought of heading for the mountains of Slovenia with them, never to be on another front page ever. lol

      Delete
    2. Your question should be who is the moderator. It's Charlotte. :)

      Delete
    3. I did not understand rhat suggestion, since Charlotte is the moderator. She decides which comments will be published.

      Delete
    4. I thought it was a techie screen to filter things.
      (Thank heaven my family didn't "hear" my question. I get techie teased enough.) lol

      Delete
    5. Surfer girl, there is nothing wrong with you. So you are tech challenged. No big deal. No one expects everyone to be car mechanics, violinists or film makers or anything else that requires a gift and a skill set along with tons of experience to master.

      Yet, society somehow thinks it just fine to disparage anyone who is not "tech savvy." Sorry your family makes you the brunt of their teasing. I ask: What can you do brilliantly that they can't (don't or won't)? Plenty, I'll bet.

      Odd. We don't disparage others because they are not chefs but can put a decent meal on the table (or rely on deli and take out) to meet their nutritional needs. Why do we feel free to pick on tech know-how?

      Delete
    6. Similar to Terminator, Sg? :+) There is actually a spam filter. It has nothing to do with canned ham, however. Or maybe it does.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for the encouragement, Philly. :)

      Delete
  43. In comparing the two posts, I found myself enjoying the India tour the most. The sites, the visits, the fashion-I found it a lot of fun to follow. The kids were, of course, adorable in Canada but as people have previously posted, kind of ran together and wasn't quite as easy to follow. But I did love that Kate convened a round table in Amsterdam. William does a lot of that sort of thing in relation to conservation and I am excited Kate has stepped out into that sort of leadership.

    In terms of posting, I am all for names. It still might be confusing-I know there are multiple Kate/Katie's/Kathryn's(I even got confused on a post once- I couldn't remember posting it and then figured out it wasn't me) but I think it will also make it easier to follow comments and threads.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Charlotte, your blog is wonderful as always. I want to put my vote in for commenting with a fake name. My real name is very distinctive, as in googling just the first name immediately leads to me. I don't comment much but I would be fine with commenting always as "mapleleaf" or whatever, just not my actual name/location.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fake name or any moniker is absolutely perfect. No need whatsoever to use your real name :)

      Delete
    2. I actually don't go by bluhare in my real life. :) I have a distinctive name too!

      Delete
  45. All in favour of dropping the Anon option but please spare a thought for those of us who can barely manage to comment the easy way ....consider this a test comment to see if l can surprise myself Lol!!By the way Charlotte love what you do !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Chrissie. I reply to a comment in it's reply section yet my reply instantly transports itself to the bottom of the page and then somehow moves me to the top of the narrative page (cue weird twilight zone music). lol

      Delete
    2. Dear Charlotte, your blog is really amazing and I look at least once a day to entertain myself 😊. Mostly the discussions are so interesting and hereby I get to learn a lot of different opinions, which are always remarkable for me. The last time however, I think, it got encreasingly confusing due to the amount of anonymus - at least for me. Many commenters are able to difference the writing style and the expression of the anonymus to match the opinions. Alas I am not and so I would really appriciate all commenters would use any names. And as some wrote it would be more personal too. Thank you, Charlotte, for your suggestion. It seems, a lot of writers are comfortable with it, so hopefully in the future there will be lots of names in the blog section!

      Delete
  46. Charlotte, what a splendid review. Thank you so much for the walk down memory lane in both posts. I so look forward to the votes. If you ever have the time, it might be fun to choose again from the favourites from different years. That would also give us an insight into the degree of Catherine's style evolution over that time.

    I'm glad you also elaborate on the use of names. As you suggest, I never use my real name on Internet forums but choose a moniker. I expect others do the same. But as the administrator you have the url and can contact the poster if you need to speak to them about their tone.

    I think creative names are so much fun. As I read I try to imagine what bluehare might look like. A playboy bunny in blue satin? (Just punning.) Maryland Moxie--possibly a full-figured woman in the style of Jayne Mansfield with a voice like Lauren Bacall. Rebecca from Sweden resembling the Crown Princess Victoria but with not so pointed a chin, rather one more like Prince Daniel's. Julia in beautiful but no nonsense shoes, exquisite woolen skirts and jumpers with thick bobbed hair and an English rose complexion. But I digress. (Play is like that.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've created visual identities for many regular posters too :-) I suppose we all do that. Human nature to put a face to a name.

      Delete
    2. Haha it's fun to imagine the person behind the name. Someone thought I was Australian - Kiwi's sometimes get confused. It would be interesting to see previous year's choices...I'd also like to see how Kate's fashion has evolved.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster7 January 2017 at 07:20

      I do too and Philly, take out all the nice adjectives and you're correct about the sensible shoes, woolen skirts and jumpers. No comment on the English Rose complexion - I don't want to destroy illusions!

      Delete
  47. Thank you for the year in review ~ parts 1 and 2. I enjoy this blog so much and want to thank you again Charlotte for this blog. I look forward to each and every post. I am hoping that Kate and William have a great year ~ I wonder if they will have another little one...I do hope so. Thanks again and wishing you Charlotte and all blog members a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Personally, I am hoping for 2017 another tour and most of all, baby #3! (another girl, I hope)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the reason the 2017 tour has not been announced is that they are planning for another baby. I hope for a girl as well.

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    2. I'm hoping for a tour/baby #3 as well! Don't know if we'd get both this year though, but one can dream :)

      Delete
  49. Charlotte, I like your idea of those posting comments NOT using "Anonymous." I see here that at least one person said that they don't want to use a name, whether it be their real one or not, because then they become identifiable within this blog. But that is the very reason why people should post using a name - one becomes responsible and accountable for what they say.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Also, I would be happy to add a photo of myself if I could figure out how!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you for another great year of blogging!! I love the extras that you have added this year.
    Re Anon posting... I haven't posted in some time as it was getting annoying to be part of discussions that went off the tracks and don't like Anon much in theory but from my perspective I can't always get the comment as to work so now I default to Anon and type my pseudonym in the body. I do hope this remains an option for us tech challenged folks.

    Happy New Year
    Erininnyc!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to know that I am not the only tech challenged person here. Huge relief. lol

      Delete
  52. I think the Naeem Khan blue and white Taj Mahal dress and the Packham blue dress Kate wore on their arrival to Canada were two of Kate's top looks in 2016. The fit was on both dresses were perfection. I appreciate that Kate tried new looks this year, really I do, but I think there were too many misses. If this can be blamed on the stylist, then it's off to the tower! ;)

    I suggested a few 2017 fashion goals on the previous thread, but more importantly I would like to see Kate do more solo events, give more speeches, get more involved in her charities, and exude more confidence in her role. Of course it's impossible to know if this is what Kate wants, or if a more independent Kate would be encouraged. She steals every show due to her natural charm and beauty, and this has to be tough for even the most generous royal family members.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree Kim. I'd love to see Kate become more independent and grow in her role. Sometimes I feel like she is holding back, maybe as to not overshadow other royals as you said.

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  53. Yippee drop anonymous. I vote yes. Thanks Charlotte you are the absolute best.

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  54. Wow! Thank you so much for the year reviews. I had forgotten about some of the dresses that I had loved. I really appreciate the time and effort that you put into this blog. Whenever there is a scheduled engagement this is the first place I check to see all the details as you are so good at details! Looking forward to 2017 engagements!

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  55. Thanks for your year end post and all the post threw out the year.

    I know a lot people were bored with the Canadian tour but as a Canadian who got to go down and see them it was so cool and a life memory ill never forget after the day fun events I came home and right here to read all about it!

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  56. I think Kate's bests looks come from tours. I feel since they are preplanned so much in advance, more thought goes into the entire outfits.

    To me the India and Bhutan tour was more special knowing it's probably going to be a long time before they go back.

    Canada was great with the kids but since it's a realm we know they'll be back a lot, so it felt more normal I guess.

    I like both outfits from France. I really thought she looked elegant and regal in the Missoni Coat, black hat and pearls. She looks classical and timeless in that photo. Did not like the outfit from the Netherlands. Such a wrinkle mess for a Catherine Walker.

    Overall a great a year. A lot of first for the Cambridges: Ascot, Chealsea Flower Show, Garden Party in Northern Ireland, two tours in one year, photos from the diplomatic reception. Obviously they can't take a step back now or the media will have a field day, so whether they move to KP or stay at Amner Hall I'm confident they will continue increasing their duties.

    Thanks Charlotte for all your hard work making these posts!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Courtney from NC6 January 2017 at 04:08

    2016 Tours -

    India & Bhutan - Out of the two big tours last year I preferred the variety Kate gave us during the India and Bhutan tour. The maxi dresses, which were Kate but not Kate at the same time, mixed with the more formal looks worked really well for the environments they were in. Again she proved she has a gift of choosing things that give a nod to the location and activity. I didn't love the arrival outfit. I don't know why, I just don't. I also wasn't fond of the green lace Temperley. Maybe the color? Or perhaps the fit? I just don't like it. Other than that I thought she did well. The blue Packham was amazing and I would love to see it without the wrap and paired with a fabulous necklace and tiara. Bam! Lol. The Naeem Khan was also really nice.

    My favorite outfit from this tour was the Paul & Joe cape with the purple skirt. I want to see the cape with a pencil skirt or some cute ankle pants or something. I thought the cape worked amazing with the Bhutanese fabric. Not too costumey for me. Home run, slam dunk, GOAL! or whatever sports metaphor you prefer, this look is fab! Oh! I also covet the earrings she wore with the outfit.

    100th Anniversary Somme - Out of the two looks I prefer the second. It is quintessential Kate and she pulls it off so well.

    Canada Tour - The blue arrival outfit was stunning on Kate and she accessorized it beautifully. I absolutely loved the red Preen look as well. I was not in love with her earrings with the look but she did look fabulous. The green D&G is also really cute.

    I really think Kate's best Canada looks were her casual looks. I love the Sentaler coat outfit on her. Perhaps it is because I just really want the coat for myself. Her best casual look though was the one she wore the last day. The white Zara jacket, black Zara jeans and the J Crew sweater was beautiful. The shoe with the outfit was so different that it made me love them even if I wouldn't necessarily wear them.

    Netherlands -- LOVED IT! Absolutely loved that she didn't pick a coat dress. The color was beautiful on her and her hair was amazing. I want to see more looks along this same line.

    Charlotte - I will comment no matter what I have to do to enable the feature. You are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Bhutan Beulah is growing on me. :+)

      Delete
  58. Another fantastic post Charlotte, and I agree with posters here that this is a great blog with a great deal of background research, and a lovely tone to it. I too look forward to 2017, I think it'll be a year where William and Kate step up a notch given HM and Prince Philip's ages - they are truly remarkable! I am very relieved to hear, no doubt like many of us, that HM is on the mend and back 'in the chair' again.

    Regarding posting as Anonymous, I've always used that option but signed my name at the bottom as 'Fiona in Australia'. I read the blog regularly, but don't post that often. So I'll try your option of choosing a name, Charlotte, and since there don't seem to be any other Fionas here, will just choose my name. Here goes! Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  59. To go back and identify the Anonymous by time and date is some minus. This blog deserves a constant ID of its commenters. When people are new to the blog, may be to test the water, understandable. After some time, it makes sense to have some pseudo name, or real names if that is the preference.

    For me this is the only Kate Blog I visit. People visit here for various reasons; Kate, monarchy, W&K being among the reasons. The content of the blog is excellent quality inclusive of much beyond Kate. The commenters are worth spending time to read and interact. The "ID names" which consistently post enrich its magnetism.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I echo so much of what has been adequately and beautifully expressed about Charlotte's blog. Thank you so much to you Charlotte and here is to the new year of 2017 of all things Duchess Kate.

    I will make my vote known of doing away with Anonymous. I know personally that if you have any problems you can email Charlotte and she will respond whether it be a how to lesson or just because. We always need to be respectful of each other and our individual opinions. If it is not something you would say in person don't put it in writing. I do not want to read all happy and bouncy positive reviews either. Good constructive discussion is fascinating and fun.

    Do unto others what you would have them do to you.

    Thank you to you all. I enjoy this blog and many of you I have come to know by a certain "name."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine, I hope that Golden Rule applies to the comments about William, Kate and the Middleton's also, and with the thought in mind that the same measure we judge with will be used on us. Golden Rule, Part B. Sobering thought, huh.

      Delete
  61. Frankly, I post as anon because I have a professional public life and don't want any cross walk between that arena and this commentary.

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    Replies
    1. I think the point is not to reveal your true identity, but to use an alias instead, that will identify you within this group. When a person has any kind of identity, with it comes a sense of responsibility for their words and actions. I am "Pam from Boston" and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of Pams from the Boston area. No one knows who I truly am. But within this group, I have an identity, as do others who post using a name (real or not) and with that comes a sense of being part of community that fosters support for each other and deters derisive or critical treatment of each other.

      Delete
    2. Pam, I think you said that beautifully. I've always shook my head when people refer to the community here because I have never seen one. It's hard to feel connected to people and care about what they say when they either post anonymously or change their name all the time.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden6 January 2017 at 17:20

      Exactly Pam. I doubt KettleBlack, DogPaw, Smell The Roses or TheHaloScroll as a name would out anyones personality.

      Oh Bluhare, I don't agree. I see a sense of a diverse, multi-clique community with alot of drop ins here and there :) We are way too many people here to be just one tight knit group.

      Delete
    4. Anon 8:47 Since you have a professional public life you are protecting (and I get that), why not post as PPL? Or Pro. Or even No Crosswalk. Or anything else that would never identify you. As someone else has said, when reading a bunch of Anons on the thread (especially when the thread goes into the hundreds of comments), it's impossible to identify any personality behind the post. As bluhare points out, a moniker builds the feeling of community. It's easy to do using name/url and has no blow back.

      Delete
    5. Rebecca, I didn't mean a tight knit group, but up until this post there really hasn't been much posting that actually shows you that people have personalities other than Fawning Sycophant and Jealous Hater. At least I haven't felt it. Perhaps you do.

      Delete
  62. I aboslute love reaadibg your blog. I love.the year recap. My question. I read somewhere. That the queen is shot in. Late night. I dont know its true.but hello magazine published it. The story there added. Enagement. For the duchess

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    Replies
    1. There has been a story in the last few days about how the Queen sometimes gets insommnia and when she does she likes to go for a walk in the Buckingham Palace garden. Apparently one night she was walking at 3:00am, and a guard said "who goes there" or something like that. He obviously recognized her, as he said "Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I almost shot you!". She said she'd call ahead next time she went for a midnight stroll.

      Delete
    2. I just read that amusing story in Hello, which I believe originated in The Times. It is credited to a FORMER Queen's Guardsman. To me, this indicates either the unlucky fellow was fired or this alleged event happened some time ago. I wonder if it is part of a BP attempt to keep HM fresh in our minds? BTW, the Queen supposedly added...' So you won't have to shoot me."

      Delete
    3. bluhare-it occurred to me that it may have been seen as rude for me to chime in on your story as I did. You were sharing a great story, one that I also had just read, and I chimed right in.I do apologize. I can only claim an acute attack of oxygen deprivation.

      Delete
  63. Zora from Prague6 January 2017 at 15:31

    Charlotte, thank you for Part 2 of "Year in Review" - just as beautiful as Part 1 - I don't know which I like better! :) I loved both tours, perhaps India tour a tiny bit more because of the varied activities (and clothes) but Canada tour was fantastic too, seeing the whole family together. When W&K were in India, I often thought how much they must miss their kids even though they had "freer hands". Whereas during the Canada tour I found myself thinking: I'm sure they're happy having the kids with them but it must be tough at times! Sticking to the schedule etc. On the whole, well done!
    I completely understand the arrangement about commenting. With names, whether real ones or pseudonyms, it will become even more interesting and personal. I don't follow any other blogs about Kate, I came across this one by chance and as it is the best, I never felt the urge to look for another one :). I really feel as part of an international community here which is great. In this crazy world, it is a comfort to see people from different countries and with different tastes talking to each other, discussing things and enjoying the same subject, wherever they come from. Thank again for providing the space for this, Charlotte, and thanks to all fellow readers!

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  64. Caroline in Montana6 January 2017 at 16:47

    Charlotte, I so enjoy your blog. I have been here a long time but rarely comment. Not super tech savvy so use the name/url option. I do read the comment section, though for while i had to skim it as some folks were adamant in the kate and will bashing. I really enjoy following the royal family, and they are not perfect, just like everyone else:) But i am rooting for them! Thank you for all your time and total attention to detail you put in this blog, and thank you to Mr. Charlotte too for sharing you with us all! I am hopeful that the "monkier" request will cut down on the Anon's, mostly because its so much easier to follow a conversation. Wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year!! - Caroline

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  65. Hello!

    Thanks to everyone who is continuing to post using a moniker, it's wonderful to see so many new names. A couple of quick areas of discussion I want to address:

    1) Several readers have expressed their concerns about Anon posting being singled out. There are of course comments by readers with names that don't make it through because of their content. The Anon comments seen on the blog only represent a portion of what is actually coming through for moderation and, having witnessed some pretty outrageous behaviour, I do think the move to using monikers is really a massive step in the right direction.

    2) I've really felt such an abundance of support for this, and by and large to continue to grow a sense of community it's great to see so many sharing a desire to do this. Already issues have been alleviated, however I do believe one poster is using several 'names' at present. One of my main objectives is to eliminate one poster using several pseudonyms/Anon postings to get the same point across or target specific posters.

    3) I mentioned the possibility of a tour in the post and there were rightly comments of surprise that nothing has been suggested by the media. In November 2015, the Palace confirmed William and Kate would tour India the following April. Rumours surrounding that tour came very early. Will we see a tour this spring? If I remember correctly, the Canada tour was confirmed in late July by the Palace. It's hard to know. One would imagine there would be some word by now if that was the case, I expect it could be later in the year unless it's being kept entirely under wraps. Hopefully we'll hear something soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for bringing up the suggestion of a tour because I thought that we did hear about the India tour well before now and was wondering if we would hear about in the spring soon.

      I was also wondering about state banquets because even though the one for Spain was cancelled it was in the spring as well. I was hoping we might hear something about them being involved in one as well.

      Do you think it is just Will and Kate or is the lack of announcements true for the rest of the BRF?

      Delete
    2. Caroline in Montana6 January 2017 at 19:02

      Charlotte, it is crazy to me that people go through the time and trouble to have multiple "names" to make comments. It seems to me there are just so many better ways to use ones time!! I never really thought about all the comments we dont see, Thanks for not letting that get you down and continuing your fabulous blog! - Caroline

      Delete
    3. What is the difference between one named person making multiple nearly identical very long comments on a given subject and one anon using various forms of anon making multiple replies on a given subject, as related by that named commenter? I assume you have the software to identify which commenters are the same person. Must conviction be allowed only in certain circumstances? If a named commenter believes strongly shouldn't strong disagreement be allowed? Is that truly "targeting?" I must be missing something here and look forward to further explanation. It may be that what is viewed as "targeting" a poster could be a matter of a commenter's consistently disagreeing with another poster's continued and persistent elaboration on favorite themes. Are you suggesting that some should be allowed to expound without their ideas being critiqued? There are several former posters who were brave enough to speak of being targeted by named commenters, as well as others who have observed this happen to fellow commenters. My concern is 1) that this blog comment section be worthy of the admirable posts....2)that a few long-time posters not be allowed to monopolize the comment section and 3) that each comment, within the bounds of intelligent, adult discussion, is viewed and judged equally. I offer my opinion with the utmost good-will. As I have said, I am forevermore "annie" to demonstrate my acceptance of your goals for your Blog. Possible future tours? I expect those hoping for baby Cambridge #3 would be disappointed by a tour announcement. I would like to see another US tour, but perhaps not until the political situation settles down. Given the relationship that William has cultivated with China leadership, I could visualize his returning with his wife. UK very much needs strong diplomatic ties there. annie Charlotte, I keep entering my name but it comes up Anonymous. Maybe a glitch?

      Delete
    4. Charlotte at the risk of sounding too motherly, I will tell you something I often tell my girls. There are very few things in life that are permanent :) Why don't you try something out for a "test" period, and see how you like it? See how your readers respond, see how blog traffic is or isn't affected, and go from there.

      Start with requiring names, or email sign-ins, whatever you think. If you don't like it, or if you see the blog affected, you can always change it back. No harm, no foul!

      As I've often said, it's your party, you are free to determine the guest list and the dress code, so to speak. You have created a wonderful news site about Kate, there is no doubt about that. So you clearly have good instincts, I would follow your instinct on how your blog develops from here.

      And just because you decide it's one way today, doesn't mean it has to be that way tomorrow. Embrace your own flexibility and don't be afraid to make changes. They're called growing "Pains" for a reason ;)

      Delete
    5. Charlotte, I have posted with both Anonymous and a temporary moniker during this discussion. The Anon posts were for the purpose of discussing the move to monikers. The temporary moniker was for comments about other subjects where I had some knowledge. I have not targeted anyone, and I will make a decision about what to do going forward.

      Delete
  66. I am one who has posted anonymously but always put a signature at the end to help differentiate from other anon's. Completely understand about the commenting and have no problem using something to identify me. I have enjoyed this blog and the wonderful discussions, insights and knowledge that is imparted through the comments, good, bad or indifferent! Since I am not so "blog savvy" this is my attempt to test using the name. Not sure what to put for the URL?? But here goes anyway. cc

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    1. Hello CeCe,

      Thank you very much indeed! I forgot to mention, you can just leave the URL blank unless anyone wants to link to a blog/page of their own :)

      Delete
  67. Hello Charlotte,

    have you heard about Kate becoming a honorary member of Royal Photographers Society? I read about it on a website of my country, couldn't believe it, but it's true.
    Here it is:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38494382

    Happy New Year!

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  68. Hello Charlotte (and all!)
    This is my first comment to the blog although I have followed for a number of years now, I have really enjoyed the posts and I too am excited to find out what 2017 will bring. I'm wondering if we may see a holiday to Mustique as in previous years (except 2016) and I'm also hoping that baby number 3 might be in the plans :-)

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  69. Hello Charlotte

    First time commenter, although I check your blog everyday:) and thoroughly enjoy it. One of the main reasons I stay is the positivity of your commentary, and generally the comments. Never have I seen you comment on the Duchesses weight - how refreshing and unusual is that. Vigorous debate on whether something suits Kate is interesting and opinionated- as it should be! It is all down to taste, we are all different and it would be boring if we all thought the same.

    I hope you do remove the anonymous posts - as some have pointed out, I know this isn't the whole answer, but you have to start somewhere.

    I just set up a google account, it took 5 mins and I m not particularly tech savvy.

    Thanks for all your had work and interesting, thoughtful posts. X

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  70. Dear Charlotte, dear members of this treasured community:
    All the best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new journey around the sun! And, of course, countless hours spent together following the endeavors and engagements of our favorite Duchess - needless to emphasize, I consider the Duchess of Cambridge to be a major part of this community which wouldn’t exist but for her and our gracious host, Charlotte …

    While I’m not one to comment with any frequency I’ve been an avid reader for a long while and my visits here quite often rate among the highlights of my day. Which is the reason why I’d like to put in my twopence on the issue of commenting as ‘anonymous’ with some words those who do so:

    Don’t hate on me, but I’ve given up on reading such comments because it is just too confusing – and distracting – to read opposing positions posted under the same label. What is so bad about creating a pseudonym? As pointed out by so many others, there are countless possibilities of handles* which keep your anonymity while still allowing the community here to identify with you. As to your feeling exposed that your earlier comments may be connected with later ones and associated fears I’d like you to consider this: At its core, this community is a wonderful platform where the individual opinion is valued even if it may not be shared … (I credit Charlotte and her vigilance as well as the majority of those who comment – my heartfelt thanks to all of you!!!) … every opinion is individual and valuable. However, an opinion voiced under the shroud of ‘anonymous’ inevitably loses some of its credibility – IMHO, which is why I’ve stopped reading such comments ...

    My apologies to all for the excessively long ramblings ~

    * Some suggestions (in addition to those appearing in other comments): Green Dragon, Domino, Sprite, Gremlin, Kitty Cat, Fly on the Wall, Fashion Lover, Morning glory, Tudor Rose, Snowflake, Rainbow, Foghorn, Minstrel’s Song, Rambling Rabbit, Not Me – Really!, (and of course) Not me, either! :)

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  71. Fiona from Ireland6 January 2017 at 23:46

    Dear Charlotte I have been enjoying your wonderful blog since the beginning and find it a lovely place to escape to especially this year as both myself and my husband lost a parent. My late mother had a great interest in the royal family especially Dianame and I think it rubbed off on me. I rarely comment but I am going to make an effort this year to chime in regularly. It's lovely to feel part of a community and I really love seeing the progression of Kate and William in their roles. Many many thanks for the time and effort you put into this, I for one am very appreciative.
    Fiona.

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  72. Charlotte, I sincerely hope you get to meet the Duchess someday. The amount of detail and research to document her life is really amazing and something to be celebrated. I've so enjoyed coming to this blog for the last 5+ years. I still remember the first time I stumbled upon it, I was studying abroad the summer after W&K's wedding and barely had internet access but I wanted to know what the new duchess was wearing and what her and William were up to.

    If Kate and her team ever see your blog, I'm sure they really appreciate your incredible work following HRH.

    -N

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    1. Oh goodness. I didn't read the entire post as I was in a hurry, nor the comments. I am so embarrassed! I'm all for not posting anonymously, but I'm not the most tech friendly when it comes to blogs, so it seemed like the easiest way without using a login. I'm trying now to type a name in and see if it works.
      So sorry!
      -N

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  73. Testing the tech ability

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  74. Thank you, Charlotte, for your beautifully written, well researched, and insightful blog posts. You do a tremendous job and I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into each one.
    Happy New Year!

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  75. Julia from Leominster7 January 2017 at 07:44

    I first post as anonymous because I had never posted on a blog before or thought I would before discovering Charlotte's wonderful forum. (Mr Leo thought me quite mad but then he often does especially about things royal, especially about royal fashion.)

    I moved to a name when people starting guessing that comments were mine - and sometimes they weren't! I do think a name - real or not - makes it much easier to follow posters and their thoughts - and for any who don't like the views of a particular poster, makes them easy to skip too - there's Julia with her midnight ramblings again - jump over those...

    It's very nice to see all the new names = I still think about names we don't see post anymore. I enjoyed reading all the differing viewpoints - on both the tours and posting.

    The most important things - to me - is that we all should feel welcome to make our comments - whether others agree or not, as long as Charlotte approves, and that it's better not to ascribe personal motives to anyone's comments as we all are here for our own reasons. Whether we are royalists or just Kate followers -one reason is not superior to another and I enjoy reading all views. We all see things our own way and it would be quite dull if we didn't.

    I know Charlotte gets comments she can't print and with all the wonderful work she does, I'm sorry she has this burden and hope more use of names minimises it. She should be able to use her time for her fabulous reporting (and I still miss the Royal Digest) and I hope she does have a chance to meet Kate one day.

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  76. Thank you Charlotte for two outstanding posts and all the hard work thst goes into producing the blog. Really enjoy the read, especially now when we as a family are entering a long black tunnel with no good outcome.
    I would wholeheartedly support the use of named posts. If one cannot stand by what is written then it should not be written.
    In my opinion some of the tension in the blog comes from individuals believing very strongly that their view is correct and being somewhat abrasive in the forceful statement of their view. One has options put up a counterarguement/view or ignore. Or if the comments really rile or upset just read Charlotte's wonderful posts with a steaming cup of tea and don't bother with the comments. The choices are there for all of us.

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  77. It took me a full year of reading this blog before I could post a comment. The Name/URL option never worked for me somehow, so in the end I (reluctantly) signed up for a google account.
    I don't care about being identified, names are good, eg there are a few frequent posters I scroll by without reading and if they posted under anonymous I wouldn't be able to do that.
    Congrats on making such an interesting blog, Charlotte!

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  78. According to The Sun, Harry and Meghan spent New Years together. Then Harry flew Meghan to a lakeside town in Norway to watch the Northern Lights and do some whale watching.

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  79. Deborah in Canada7 January 2017 at 12:40

    Thank you Charlotte for your wonderful posts! I look for them nearly daily and I always so enjoy the content!

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  80. Charlotte, your blog is the first thing I check when I walk in the door after coming home from work! I love how you write, and I love the positive flow you bring to this blog. Keep up the great work! Truly appreciate you and this wonderful blog. Can't wait to see 2017 unfold. :)

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  81. Anon15 aka International 157 January 2017 at 14:07

    In the spirit of cooperation, I will drop off the Anon, and keep 15. I like 15 for many reasons including January 2015, the year I officially changed from Anonymous to Anon 15 on this blog, after posting as Anonymous for a few months prior to that. It will be International 15 from here on.

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  82. International 157 January 2017 at 14:15

    Peace, health and love to the world.

    January 7, 2017

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  83. Charlotte, I'm so proud of you - not only do you run a top-notch blog but you do it while finishing school, getting married, and now you demonstrate such grace with monitoring the comments. I am not a regular commenter but I've been following your blog from the very earliest of days and lived through with you and others here when you shut down for awhile. I must say I stopped reading the comments regularly because the tone became too snarky and I there is already too much negativity in the world. I think avoiding Anonymous would go a long way and fully support that decision. Please keep up the tremendous work - you are well loved by your devoted readers!

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  84. For the last couple of months I have been commenting with my full name without realizing it! But as I would not be embarrassed about anything I said, I am not super bothered by it. Still I am going to go back to just plain Valerie from now on. I am currently reading a book on Cyber Behavior--how interacting in cyberspace has changed not only rules of behavior but behavior itself. And not for the better in many cases. It is rather like the crowd mentality--people do things they would never do if they were just one person. And they jump onto bandwagons without thinking things through. And I believe that has led to viewing people not as other human beings deserving of respect and empathy but as ciphers.
    Anyway Charlotte, I truly enjoy your blog and enjoy reading many of the comments on it.

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  85. My favorite from the India tour is the Alice Temperley crop top and maxi skirt outfit and for the Canada tour my favorite is the Preen red dress.

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