Thursday, 14 December 2017

Duchess Kate in Petal Print McQueen for Kensington Palace Staff Party

Hello again dear readers,

The festive season is filled with evenings out and of course staff Christmas parties; the royals are no exception when it comes to this. Last night, William and Kate were photographed leaving exclusive  Notting Hill dinner venue Beach Blanket Babylon after a night celebrating the Kensington Palace annual staff dinner.


The Mail Online reports Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Charles were also there. The article contains several photos of the Cambridges departing; it can be viewed here.

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle, with Prince Charles also believed to have made an appearance. 
As they were driven by their minder to Kensington Palace, under two miles away, Kate bowed her head while Prince William looked out of the rain-splattered window. The Duchess of Cambridge appeared to be wearing a black skirt with a red, floral pattern while the Duke opted for an emerald jumper over a white buttoned shirt. Both were wearing heavy black coats to shield them from the elements as they made their way to their Range Rover estate. 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly left much earlier, according to a source. '

The Mail reports the royals hired out Beach Blanket Babylon's upstairs ballroom for around 60 guests at an estimated £110 per head.


The Rococo-style Beach Blanket Babylon, or BBB as it’s affectionately known, was established in Notting Hill in 1990. BBB Notting Hill occupies an old Georgian Mansion house in the heart of the Royal borough and describes itself as "an institution of the London restaurant, bar and club scene". Made up of various intimate spaces, the restaurant serves seasonal, modern European cuisine, accompanied by an impressive selection of world wines.


The Christmas menu includes Champagne of course. Guests enjoyed a feast of seasonal dishes including caviar, yuzu glazed smoked salmon, buckwheat blinis and wasabi créme fraiche for starters. Options for the main were Dover sole, bubble & squeak patty and corn fed goose. Golden Christmas pudding and chocolate fondant were on the menu for dessert.


The canapés menu.


The bar is ideal for cocktails in front of an open fire.


Whilst we only saw car departure photos of the Duchess, it did not deter the eagle-eyed Middleton Maven from identifying her dress.


Kate wore a black coat and it very much looks like her dress is the Alexander McQueen Petal Print Oversized Mini Dress. The $2,045 garment is described as "oversized mini dress in 100% silk crepe de chine in an all-over petal print. Featuring soft gathering on shoulder, three-quarter length sleeve with ruffled cuff and an asymmetrical ruffle detail on the hem. Finished with keyhole button fastening at the back of the neck". It is currently available on the McQueen website and Neiman Marcus.

Alexander McQueen

A closer look at the petal print.


If you're just joining us, William, Kate and Harry joined the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at St Paul's Cathedral for the incredibly moving Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service. You can view the post here.


The festivities are well and truly underway for the Royal family. We can expect to see arrival photos from the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon next week (thought to be Tuesday or Wednesday). Perhaps a Christmas photo of Prince George and Princess Charlotte might be in the offing too. :)

111 comments:

  1. What a great setting for a Christmas party. Hope everyone had an enjoyable evening.

    And what a fun print and a perfect choice for the occasion. I'd love a blouse to wear with my black skirt. :-)

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  2. hmm its looks.like they are om festive mood i lovd the setting oh i love the blouse i love the color i would love to wear that too you can see how beautiful the floral dress ..

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  3. It looks like a beautiful venue; and I hope a lovely time was had by all.

    When leaving a restaurant, they know there's a good chance they're going to be photographed, right? So how about leaving the restaurant, getting in the car and driving off? Why sneak out by the dumpsters? I have no doubt it gets old, but there's not a whole lot of dignity in that, and it's not like there was a screaming herd of fans demanding autographs.

    The Queen just did it the other day. She walked out of The Goring Hotel after a private party, looked at the photographers and drove off. Simples!

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    1. THat would have been so easy. And would have generated some good I’ll. PC, PH, MM should have done the same thing. A few quick pics would have been nice

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    2. That type of exit made no sense at all. It did not give a good impression for sure.
      It just naturally makes one ask, "What were they thinking? Why would they behave that way?" Hopefully they will think about that and and also think about not giving photos at the Royal Household party and after that further consideration make good changes. Otherwise it was not flattering PR.

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    3. This comment is a general one not directed toward any one comment, but to the fact of W&K leaving by the alley exit. No doubt the tabloids were upset by this maneuver and made it the focus of coverage of the event.

      Entrance and exit points are decided by security based on the most current risk assessment. The royals don't get to pick. Since someone obviously alerted the press-I doubt the activity and venue we listed in the CC, the RPOs may have felt others could have been alerted and would have had time to be in place when the royals left. There are a number of viable explanations, none of which likely included the Cambridges being "sneaky." Harry,apparently, left by the same route, as no one seems to have any hard information about his presence. We have no idea what was at the front entrance when they left, unless you were there and witnessed it. No photos. The area could have been congested with traffic. Who knows?
      Kate bending over in an attempt to hide? Really? If it had been anyone else, the assumption would have been she was looking at her phone. Hiding. While William sat straight up, gazing out the window.

      The RPOs know their business and I have no doubt they do what is necessary to protect their clients. Since they were photographed, the reason for the choice was not likely in order to avoid being photographed.
      The Queen was at the Goring--a totally different venue and area from the party site. I'm not sure, but I believe the lighting around the Goring is brighter. Kate was also photographed leaving the Goring by the front entrance after a private dinner (she was wearing that full-skirted patterned dress) HM security has a much more complex and thorough routine, including comprehensive pre-arrival screening and set-up. Needs may have differed between venues and the particular dates and times. The RPOs have access to threat information we do not have.

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    4. Maybe it was for security reasons. Where this was more of a personal event, it is less costly to go in and out the back. I don't think we can always assume they are being difficult. If they were going in the front door, there would have to be a lot more security on surrounding rooftops, sidewalks, more of a motorcade etc. Going in/out the back from an alley, it is already offers more protection and can probably be handled by their own security team.

      Hope USA

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    5. I see. I find it interesting the Queen's security had no issues with her walking straight out of The Goring Hotel in the middle of London in the middle of the day. Yet William and Kate have to resort to skulduggery usually reserved for celebrities avoiding press packs and fans.

      From what I saw no one complained about them doing it. It just seems ridiculous to go to all those lengths when they are just walking out and getting in a car.

      I think you all search for reasons that are not there.

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    6. SG, I respectfully disagree with you on this. This was a *private* party with their staff and I don't think they owe us a photo, nor do I think it was bad PR. Because if it *was* bad PR, does it mean that they should use (milk!) a private party to create a grand exit photo op? In my mind, this would trivialize their roles, no? They are not K&K (if you get my drift) who are addicted to the superficial attention they receive.


      Yesterday was, and should have been, about the memorial service; that should have been the proverbial period at the end of the news day. This alone was a valid reason to avoid having a restaurant exit become *the photo* that went around the world. And any bets that if we HAD such a photo, some people would criticize their actions and question their sincerity (regarding the memorial)? I think you and I have seen enough blog activity to know it's true. And as far as Kate looking down, perhaps she looked down at her cell phone. A text to or from Nanny Maria, or Grandma or Grandpa Middleton to let them know they were leaving? Does anyone else here check a cell phone when they get into a car?


      Regarding HM ... no disrespect intended here, but her photos do not cause the frenzy that W&K, or H&M, generate. We can look at the photo of her leaving the hotel and think, "oh, how nice...hope she had a pleasant evening." PERIOD. Next story. NOT so with the younger royals because if that were the case, we wouldn't be chatting on a royal blog.

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    7. I see your point, rf. :) but ducking out still seems counterproductive to that to me. :)

      I think Meghan will bring change in some areas.
      Maybe in a situation like that she'll go, "Wait a minute. And, whyyy are we sneaking out?"
      She'll probably have a big group photo done in front of the restaurant with them, all KP employees and the employees of the restaurant with maybe some Christmas hats and ugly Christmas sweaters. Just sayin.... :) lol

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    8. I think you will find that the frenzy for William and Kate photos is not nearly what it used to be, nor did the photo go round the world. There was an article in the DM and that's about it.

      But again, the point is not the photo. It's the incredible lengths they go to avoid one being taken. Which doesn't happen, and they end up looking less dignified than if they'd just bit the bullet and walked out. The Queen can do it; they need to learn the same. They aren't celebrities. They are future heads of state.

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    9. SG, if Meghan approaches her role with a "let me show you how it's done" attitude, me thinks the boss will not be amused.

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    10. I think anonymous summed up very well. There is no reason to think the use of that entrance was to avoid photographs, nor that they have the choice of the entrance. And even if the wish not to be photographed were the cause of the choice of exit, why not? If they want to draw a line between private and public, why not? It isn't as if we hadn't enough pictures of them. And I don't think PR should be their first aim in life.

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    11. But Surfer Girl, Meghan & Harry Did "Sneak Out" Too & "Early"! They seem to be coming & going all over the place while avoiding pics. William & Kate's exit need not be a negative for them.

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    12. Yes and have to be guarded. The security decide how they enter and leave any building.
      HM was leaving the hotel in the daylight---this was probably after midnight. There is a great difference

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    13. Becca, thank you.

      William and Kate cannot avoid photographers, but it's perfectly okay for Harry and Meghan? And we just wait until they pop-up again?

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    14. I hear you, rf. :) but, again, I think Meghan is already, in an apparently very non-intimidating way, showing them "how it is done", as in getting to know all the "key" people in Harry's life already including Diana's family and friends, having "been everywhere" already and having Windsor Castle be "a special place" for them already and all that after only every two weeks for 18 months or less if you take into consideration trips to the Northern lights, Jamaica, and Botswana and Harry's time in Toronto, and greeting the Royal Household employees with the Queen even before marriage/right out of the gate, and cultivating her own social circle that intersects with Harry's, and so on...., lol. The girl had plans and most certainly followed through, lol. The bulk of those plans were not what we've seen and to that degree of execution. Of course my example about the Christmas hats and ugly Christmas sweaters was an exaggerated example for effect. But I wouldn't rule it out either, lol.

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    15. Bluhare - I agree the frenzy for Will and Kate pics is not what it was. In fact, I wouldn't call it a frenzy anymore. Julia has said it best in that interest in them is going down.

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    16. I agree with Becca and Royalfan. I don't think Kate was hiding and as for why they left through the back door, I believe it's totally up to them. They are the future King + Queen PLUS free human beings who can surely choose which way to go, without having to explain or pose for photographs. How about the most simple possibility - they didn't want to draw unnecessary attention to themselves?? I believe they were not being arrogant or anything. There were and are a lot of photographs available from their public engagements. I wish the Cambridges, as well as everyone here, a nice (albeit very busy) pre-Christmas week, filled with kindness and goodwill.

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    17. SG, I hope all of the "ingredients" you just mentioned will add up to a very successful royal life for Meghan. :-)

      Zora, I hope you have a good pre-Christmas week also. May we all stay safe (and sane) during this final week of preparations. :-)

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    18. me thinketh they are and will, rf. :) 🌸
      who do you think will design her gown?👰🏻
      do you think she will wear a tiara and if so, a new one or one from the royal vault?👸🏻

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    19. Thank you, royalfan! Exactly: safe and sane are my priorities at the moment as I seem to be going down with something 🤧.
      For anyone interested in baking , there is a really nice article on the royal website: https://www.royal.uk/inside-royal-kitchens-christmas

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    20. SG, you made me think more about the gown and perhaps it should be an American designer. She will have plenty of years ahead to fly the British flag, but on the day she gets married it might be nice if she honored her own heritage as she prepares to embrace a new life, culture, etc. And my guess on the tiara is that she will wear one from the vault. And what are YOUR thoughts...? :-)

      Zora, thank you for the link. I think my calorie count for the day increased just by LOOKING! ;-))

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    21. 😁, rf!

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    22. rf, :), I think she will choose her new countrie's designer. I think that on MWF, but on STHTS
      I definitely think she will go with Dior, or Valentino. Then, again, her choosing Ralph Lauren wouldn't surprise me. Basically I'm all over the board on it, lol.
      As for the tiara, maybe a new tiara with some of Diana's diamonds or semi-precious stones. She'll need a tiara for the future also. Harry might be able to finagle the Spencer tiara for his wedding.

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  4. That venue is beautiful and the menus delicious. So glad they had a fun night out even if it was work-related. Glad that Harry and Meghan were there. It is like she is already a part of the family and Monarchy, isn't it? Amazing. Harry really did lay the necessary groundwork successfully. Kudos Harry. :)

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    1. P.S. beautiful that is, except for that ridiculous fireplace. I just noticed that monstrosity. That fireplace ruins the whole ambience of the rest of the place, in my opinion. What were they thinking?

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    2. The fireplace is sort of a Florence's piece of art....As Saturn eating their children sculpture.... something classic.... You should visit Italy!!

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    3. The fireplace adds to the eclectic vibe, IMO. I wouldn't want it in my living room, lol, but I could appreciate it in this venue. :-)

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    4. Saturn eating her children. yuck. lol

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    5. Saturn eating his children. yuck. lol

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    6. It might be Vulcanus also, the god of the fire....

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  5. I love this dress...it gives us a little idea of what Kate's personal wardrobe is like. It's too bad they feel they can't go out the front door and give people a candid shot or two. Wondering if any xmas card is going to be released - wouldn't be surprised if not.

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    1. I agree. Photos would have been so thoughtful. The Queen has reportedly said that she needs to be seen to be believed so photos would be not a problem in instance, yeh? Photos would have been a good thing. :)

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  6. If that is the dress, it is gorgeous, and just the style that Kate would like. The restaurant looks amazing. I hope they had a good time!

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  7. The image above the fire place looks like a fire eating greek mythiology god.

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    1. Sure does...looks like quite an interesting place to throw a Xmas party!

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    2. And like Patricia I below, I felt quite scared looking at that image LOL

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    3. Why would they ruin a perfectly beautiful romantic dining place with the fireplace from hades?

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    4. It's a perfect piece of art.... Romance having a booze?? It's time to chat.... Back in the day women didn't enter these places, and this one is old..

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  8. Beautiful table setting and splendid menu, in a lovely room. The wild man over the fireplace in the bar is pretty scary! I like Kate's dress, wonder what earrings she wore. This must have been a beautiful dinner.

    But why the secrecy? The Queen walks in and out of the front door quite openly when she goes to a private party, as she did at the Goring the other day. The alley entrance to BBB looked pretty grungy, and Kate was certainly not hidden by leaning over. ;-)

    I haven't had a chance to comment on the Grenfell Memorial Service. It appeared to be a beautiful and emotional remembrance. I hope it provided comfort, but I can't imagine the devastation the victims must still be feeling. Kate looked lovely and dignified and empathetic.

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    1. I was wondering if perhaps HCG has reared its head again? Leaving by the back would be understandable if so, and might also explain the “head down” photos in the car.

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    2. ☑️ Hopefully there will be follow-up reports soon telling of revised building codes and legislation expediently passed to enforce those new building codes. And the task forces in place to monitor the progress made.

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    3. Why the secrecy indeed, Patricia 1. It seemed somewhat childish, yeh? And not in keeping with such a beautiful dinner. Hopefully they'll work out those kinks and make a proper exit in the future.

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    4. But Kate was smiling, Alison. I think she thought whe was tricking the photographers (she wasn't).

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    5. Patricia, the party did indeed look very lovely!!the head down picture looks rather odd but who would know why? The dress looked lovely and I have a feeling this will be repeated sometime early next year. Charlotte, are we doing the year in review post this year? Im looking forward to it if you are :-)))Thank You!!XOXO

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    6. I thought may be Kate was texting, or something that has to do with communication with someone on some electronics. May be she was texting or on skype with her children, and care giver as soon as she left the party. You see people everywhere bending their necks hooked on their cell phones ( it looks familiar?/ or I am naive).

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  9. Busy times for the young Royals. Thanks, Charlotte

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  10. The dress gives us a glimpse of what Kate likes to wear in her private time. It's much more fashionable than the clothes she wears when on duty. Would love to wear that dress too 💕 however, the cost is impressive....

    Hope they had fun at the party!

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  11. Nice dress & lovely venue...that back alley looked a bit dodgy & unbecoming of royalty, though.

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  12. I like the dress very much and I would wear this to holiday parties and events myself.
    I am also puzzled by this secrecy. It's not as if they lose anything by walking in and out of front doors. If they did photographers and normal folks may make a few bucks off of these images. Considering how wonderfully they live it has always puzzled me as to why they begrudge this small act that can benefit others. I think they just react to media without even thinking about it anymore - it's just a gut reaction with no questioning.
    Anyway, it's been nice to see Kate - I haven't read the posts yet but looked through the pictures and everything seemed normal.

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  13. I think the dress is very pretty. I'm going to London in January with my daughter and husband and we'll be staying on Pembridge Crescent, quite close by to Beach Blanket Babylon. I had thought about going there for dinner....I wonder if it is hard to get a reservation.

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  14. In regard to Kate being seen looking down....I think many times too much meaning is read into things. These photos were taken over the course of a few seconds while the car passed the photographer. Likely she was simply texting someone or perhaps dropped an earring and was picking it up. Who knows, but I doubt she was trying to hide from the camera.

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    1. It does look like Kate is maybe picking something up but they still should have just gone out the front door as it was accompany party, yeh?

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    2. Anonymous in Colorado15 December 2017 at 17:14

      I agree, Pam! To me it looks like she's just rifling thru her purse or something, not hiding from the press.

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    3. Pam agree 100 percent. Way to much analysis going on.

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    4. DKB' ers never over analyze, lol. We expound. :)

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  15. I like the McQueen dress a lot. I think her private wardrobe must be more interesting and quite different from her working one. Agree with everyone saying that sneaking out the back is ridiculous. Contributes to the idea that they are elitist and unapproachable.

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    1. Erika, I do agree with you. It does give us a peek at her private wardrobe.

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    2. I would love to have a peek into her closet, royalfan. I bet we'd find some surprises.

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    3. I have a feeling we would... :-)

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  16. I understand from contexts that 'knees up' means a party, but why is it called that? Still trying to learn British English, even after quite a bit of experience with it!

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    1. Ever heard the song "Knees up, Mother Brown"? It refers to dancing, originally, though a knees up does not necessarily involve dancing nowadays. It is not a word I would use; but everyone knows what it means.

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    2. Most sources cite "Knees Up Mother Brown," a popular song and dance from at least WWI. (It wasn't published until 1939, but every source I checked points to WWI. Some sources say that it was sung quite a bit in London on Armistice Day 1918, but they didn't cite any reliable source for that.) From there, the connection to a lively party with perhaps an abundance of drink is easy to make.

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    3. Thanks! Do you mean it is not quite polite? And no, I have never heard the song, will look for it.

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    4. It's just not the sort of phrase that people like us use unless we are being ironical.

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  17. Lovely! I have NO DOUBT it's a bespoke or customised piece. Otherwise it'd be too short to look that way when she's seated (plus the bump). Hopefully we'll see it sometime ;)

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  18. It is so great to see Kate choosing some higher end brands. I love the way she has really stepped up her fashion choices this year. I look forward to seeing coverage of the Christmas luncheon.

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  19. American Army Wife15 December 2017 at 18:37

    Hmmm well, maybe the street was very crowded because of time of day, or rain, maybe back door was shortest dry route with safe walking for pregnant woman. Maybe security insisted on back exit for some reason because there was no other crowd control. Maybe people here should stop seeing everything as an offensive slight to the public such as coats left on (the horrors!) or back door exits in the violent world we live in. The back alley was unbecoming? Maybe they went through the kitchen and thanked staff including dishwashers, etc. and that was the direct route out afterward? Maybe the exit was based on a kindness to someone or the business. Why do you think you know?

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    1. I agree, AAW, and just posted similar sentiments!

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    2. American Army Wife, Thank you Thank you Thank you! Very eloquently said! I whole heartedly agree!:)

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    3. Agree with AAW also.

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  20. Also too much speculation and criticism regarding leaving out the back door. Ever go to a restaurant where upon entering there is a crowded bar area in front that has to be passed through in order to get to the dining rooms? From the online photos, it appears that "BBB" is laid out that way. I would imagine there would be security concerns if W&K had to pass through this area on their way in and out and/or perhaps they felt it would be disruptive to the other patrons for W&K and their security team to have to elbow their way to the door.

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  21. Over the years there have been a number of pictures of W&K leaving private dinners in London, through the front door. So I have no doubt that there was a reason why their RPO’s decided that the back door was the way to go.
    An I expect if they didn’t want any photos, a paparazzi dodging veteran like Kate would do a better job that half heartening ducking down.
    Storm in a tea cup if I have ever seen one.

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  22. Actually. They were avoiding that scary fireplace. :)

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    1. I think that image looks like Jacob Marley's door-knocker.

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  23. I do believe that security comes in early to checkout every single public place that Kate and William and other royals go to. The entering and exiting from places would be purely based on security, not whether they want to be photographed or not. Entering early, I could imagine that coming in from the front would be easily controlled, as fewer people in the restaurant/bar. Exiting via the back makes sense as the restaurant/bar might be full at the front and harder to control, security wise. This way they don't draw attention to themselves. In the car: it actually looks like Kate is checking her phone, not ducking down. Why would she? I think there is too much overthinking going on here.

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    1. Thank you Royal Watcher for pointing this out & saying it so well. We will never know on any given day, what security threats there are for The Royals. Think of all that has happened in The UK. It must be such a challenging job keeping them safe! Paps might not always be the worst thing they are trying to avoid!

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    2. Tbey are walking out of a restaurant to a kerb and getting in a car. Any security sweeps have already been done but if you want to think they are under attack in Notting hill that's totally your prerogative.

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    3. I do believe that the royals and any member of the public for that matter is potentially always under attack in modern society. London especially is a place that has suffered much of this. Safety has to come first.

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    4. The point is there are a million reasons for why they left that way, it actually could be security or it was just easier for traffic parking reasons, or they had finished the evening in a back room and it was quicker to exit from the back than go to the front with the need to stop and chat a bunch on the way to the door. Mainly to assume it was simply a decision based on avoiding the press is based as on as little as any of the other possible reasons.

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    5. Ok. Let me take your point that they are always potentially under attack. Why then does no other royal sneak out to the extent these two do? Do they not face the same threats too? I have been told many times that WK are in a unique position and shouldn't be held to such high standards because William is 2d in line, so why are they under more threats than the.monarch or Prince of Wales?

      I think people here should consider that they don't feel a connection to the people they serve. If they did I don't think they would go to the lengths they do to hide away.

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  24. You may be right, RW. I hadn't thought of texting or reading emails.

    SG, that too! :-D

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    1. If security or logistic problems necessitated the Queen's leaving by an alternate exit from a private, unannounced event, we would likely never know about it because any person not authorized would have been removed...no photographers. Just because there is no photo of HM leaving by an alternate exit doesn't mean it hasn't happened. It just means security was tighter and the photographers were removed ahead of time. As with selected train trips that have promoted the Queen's thriftiness, I imagine she allows certain planned photo-op "candid" photographs picturing her appearing publically. The effectiveness of this image is proven in some of the remarks on this thread. Those Goring photos did not look like they were taken by some random photographer with a cell phone. The resolution and angles indicate a fairly close-range shot. Have you wondered why we see camera phone photos taken of William and Kate all over the internet but rarely such casual photos taken of HM--other than by the vetted crowds at appearances at Sandringham and Windsor. NOTHING happens unplanned in HM's world- not when order and safety are concerned.

      This situation reminds me of when a prominent American political candidate was taken through the kitchen to avoid the crowds in the auditorium. Not even done for security, just logistics, but he was killed. If the Queen appears to be taking chances with her safety you can bet it is either against the advice of her RPOs or there is no current threat or logistic concern.


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  25. I love her hat she looks so sophisticated ! I hope to look half as lovely when I am expecting!

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  26. Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all of you and your loved ones.

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    1. 🎄Thank You Anon 15. :) And the same to you and yours.Xc

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    2. Surfer Girl, Thank You very much. I hope to stop by here next year. I like your tree. Enjoy the holidays.

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  27. Julia from Leominster16 December 2017 at 15:05

    I am very old fashioned as are my views.

    Royals are not celebrities. That means they neither court the cameras nor hide from them - it should be as if the cameras don't exist - (which will be reality soon enough because interest in all royals including William and Kate is fading.) Kate should have her head up - she is a future queen and should act like one - she is no longer Miss Middleton playing cat and mouse with the press nor a tragic divorced princess.

    Royal security is seen as different than in the States. Royals set an example by not being paranoid about security - no one wants a secret service intensity, necessary for presidents but not for royals. If a royal can't walk proudly in an out of restaurants, or on a street, no one can - because those who have died in terrorist attacks have been ordinary people. Royals lead by example that you go out unafraid - that's what royals are about - they aren't politicians making decisions, they are setting the positive mood of the nation - no matter whether they are doing private engagements or public ones.

    There have been royal security problems of course, from Mountbatten's death to Princess Anne's attempted kidnapping - the great thing about royalty - is that you go on - and I fear young royals - are forgetting that.


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    1. I would very much like to agree with you wholeheartedly, for I am also old-fashioned (and old). I believe, too, that the importance of the royal family lies not in their personalities, or even, perhaps oddly to the young, in their actions, but in the constitution position of the Queen and her immediate heirs. I recall nostalgically my childhood in Windsor, where it was perfectly normal to see the Queen out shopping; and no one made a fuss about it. The same was true in Cambridge, when I was up at the same time as the Prince of Wales, and in St Andrews, where we lived when Prince William was an undergraduate, as my husband was a lecturer there. But sadly I fear that the world has changed more quickly and radically than I.

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    2. Pippin. Are you hiding under the bed again? 🐾

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    3. Way too harsh Julia. They are vulnerable every time they are at a public event. This was a private event. Who cares if they exited from another door. A photograph captures only a split second of time. I wouldn't spin a narrative based on a photograph.

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    4. Pip's a very happy dog with a tail that wags non-stop along with my other two, so he only wants his photo used when I'm happy about things - a pain of sharing his house with old grumps.

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    5. awh. :) Then we will see him again then (yay) and soon. Thankfully, bad moods don't last forever. :)
      Hugs to you, Julia.X

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  28. I believe the decision to leave by rear door was entirely for security reasons. Leaving by the front door would have involved more security and at the moment there is a considerable amount of discontent in the Kensington Notting Hill area due to Grenfell. The KP party was the night before the Memorial service but a low key birthday party for well known rich people at a community club in Notting Hill on the Thursday evening was invaded by a group of trouble makers and had to be closed early. I am a little surprised they held the KP party there one wonders why at the moment they had no alcohol licence.
    I am delighted that Kate is clearly much better and they stayed until near the end of the function even though it was partially a working evening it would have been a good evening out and if that was the dress she was wearing it was very appropriate for such a function.
    I watched the recording of them receiving the Blue Peter badge they both reacted in a nice way to the award & I think it is good for them to receive recognition for their work in raising awareness of mental health in children.
    I am amzed how inaccurate some of the reporting is on the fact the Megan is attending Sandringham for Xmas when Kate wasn't invited as far as I am aware not one paper has referred to the fact that William himself was not at Sandringham for Xmas Eve or Xmas day as he had volunteered for Air Sea Rescue duty in Anglesy Kate wanted to spend her last Xmas as a single woman with her family. Both W & K went to Sandringham for boxing day I do think some of the reporters need to do proper research. Understandably H & M want to spend Xmas together & with her family in USA I can understand why permission has been given for her to join Harry's family.
    I expect they will stay with W & K because space is limited at Sandringham.
    I thought Kate looked appropriately dress for the service smart but understated. The hat was right for the occasion I think most people who had headgear on were for religious reasons Theresa May did not wear a hat it was not a service where hats were expected but the Royals almost always wear a hat in Church and Kate would have had to take her cue from Camilla an eye catching hat would have been totally wrong the simple hat she wore was just right.
    I look forward to hopefully seeing arrival pictures for the family lunch and of course the church walk on Xmas day

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  29. I want to go to a party at that venue - it looks amazing. I’m sure the royal household needs an awkward, baking loving, laundry folding, hard working, silly American secretary to help around the home. Lol

    Seriously though, that venue looks like a great place to have a party. It’s nice that they go a little more casual for their staff parties. I like the dress and I’m hoping she’s wearing cute little black booties with it.

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  30. Maggie - Minneapolis17 December 2017 at 04:10

    I didn't really interpret kate ducking down as avoiding photographers, mostly bc william looks content and not annoyed, and usually he's even looking all cranky at photographers when they take pictures of them driving into Buckingham palace for the extended family Christmas get together for example. Kate looks like she's maybe just checking her phone?
    However, I don't think it's at all ridiculous of ppl to think that the choice of sneaking out the back is silly. For those scoffing and saying ppl are just looking for something to criticize or that this is a security issue - your protests would be more convincing if this wasn't such a trend. If it was one time, I'd totally accept the idea that maybe just once there was a special circumstance.
    But rmbr, the Cambridges have been noted in the past for trying to dangerously speed through palace gates to avoid having a picture taken of them in the car, even though none of the other royals attending have any problem with it. The first time they brought George to that Christmas event, they covered him with a shawl so no pictures could be taken. They've tricked media in the past by opening the front gates of anmer to make it look like that's where they're going through while sneaking in through a side entrance themselves. While on tour, when leaving their hotel at the end, just bc their official events were over, they left out a back alley exit from their hotel instead of through the front to go to the airport. I spent literally no more than five minutes without even trying very hard to find just these examples from an easy search. Imagine how many more examples there probably are if I spent even just another five minutes.
    Some things maybe can be explained by security (although lol if notting hill is as dangerous as ppl are spinning it to be here, then why would they choose to host a party there in the first place)? But anyways, some things can be explained by security but this is a consistent trend for the Cambridges and when even the queen is more relaxed about off duty pictures than they are, it really does make one wonder why. Or at least makes me ask why.

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    Replies
    1. I'm too lazy to write such a well thought out response but I agree with what you said. Sneaking out is not dignified and that's my point. I do enjoy reading everyone's rationale for it though.

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    2. I can't believe how much time and space has gone into the issue of the exit from the back door rather than the front. It is not just you Maggie but countless others. Why is this even an issue? It must get tedious for public figures and celebrities to be photographed non stop. I personally feel, that William and Kate are most gracious at public events and official engagements. A staff Christmas party is not in that category. Ditto for when they arrive at Anmer. This is their country home, their off duty retreat. With all that is going on in the world…wars, terrorism, famine, natural disasters, poverty, crime, disease…I could go on and on…surely what door W and K leave from is really trivial.

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    3. As a "countless other", let me just say it's not just this time. They do it a lot. I just called it out this time. And please don't try to dismiss the point with other world news that's more important. It is more important; true. However, we don't talk about that here do we? No, we don't. We talk about Kate and her family, and this poster wonders why they have to go to so much trouble to avoid having their photograph taken.

      Deborah Orr wrote a good article on George's first day of school. At the end of it, she said:

      It’s not the people who regard the royals with indifference who turn the institution into an endless bunfight of intrusive demand. It’s the fans. Everything that the royals find most irksome about being royal is generated by those who support them, and want to feel some sense of communality, ownership or wonder.

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    4. FWIW I've always heard that both W&K are secret smokers. Might one of them have been sneaking a cigarette and didn't want to be photographed smoking?

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    5. I don't think that Kate smokes, being pregnant...

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  31. Thank you for including the canapé menu, Charlotte.
    Not only did I know what everything on the menu was, lol, they are canapés I would actually eat. :)

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  32. Why are we critiquing William and Kate's exits and not Harry and Meghan's? Simple. Harry and Meghan are Ninjas. Different skills, different dimension. :)

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