Monday, 15 January 2018

Sweden and Norway Itinerary: "The Duke and Duchess are Keen to Experience a Taste of the Scandinavian Way of Life for Themselves"

With just two weeks to go until the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertake an official tour to Sweden and Norway; Kensington Palace released a statement with the itinerary and additional details regarding the trip. The four-day tour marks William and Kate's first official visit to the two European countries. What can we expect? There's a full itinerary planned involving members of the Royal families in both countries. "The Duke and Duchess have asked, as with previous overseas visits, that this tour allow them opportunities to meet as many Swedes and Norwegians as possible. Their Royal Highnesses will meet a wide variety of people, including children and young people, those working in the mental health sector, and leaders in business, academia and scientific research, government, civil society and the creative industries."


More from the Kensington Palace statement:

'During the tour, The Duke and Duchess will be welcomed to Sweden and Norway by the respective Royal Families of each country. Their Royal Highnesses have been invited by Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden to a special luncheon at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, and in Norway will join Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja at Oslo's Royal Palace for an official dinner. The Duke and Duchess also look forward to spending time with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, who will join Their Royal Highnesses on a number of their engagements throughout the visit. 
The tour will also take in the beautiful settings of both Stockholm and Oslo, and     The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to exploring these two cities for the first time. Their Royal Highnesses will wander through the cobbled streets of Stockholm en route to the iconic Stortorget square; they will take in the lit up skyline from the Fotografiska Galleries, and they will visit the ski jump Holmenkollen, one of Norway's most iconic landmarks, which boasts dramatic views over the city of Oslo.
The four day tour will also include time learning more about what makes Scandinavian culture so unique, from attitudes towards young people and mental health in schools, to the importance of being active and spending time outdoors, whatever the temperature may be. The Duke and Duchess are keen to experience a taste of the Scandinavian way of life for themselves, and to see how people of all generations battle the elements to make the most of their surroundings, whether ice-skating in Stockholm's local parks, or skiing off-piste in the hills that surround Oslo.   
The UK’s links with each country are extensive, and Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of both Sweden and Norway.'

Tuesday, 30 Jaunary

The tour kicks off on Tuesday morning in Stockholm, at a bandy hockey event at Vasaparken, an outdoor ice-skating venue in the centre of Stockholm. Interestingly, we won't see airport arrival photos from Sweden, instead William and Kate will fly over on Monday and arrive at the rink from the Residence of the British Ambassador to Sweden, where they will have stayed the night before. The Duke and Duchess will meet a group of local bandy players on the ice, and learn more about the sport and its popularity in Sweden.


From there, William and Kate will head to the Royal Palace of Stockholm for a packed royal affair at a luncheon hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to officially welcome them to Sweden. Approximately fifteen members of the Swedish Royal Court will attend the luncheon, including Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel. It's quite possible Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Princess Madeleine will be there.


I'm very excited to see William and Kate teaming up with Victoria and Daniel. They have two young children, Estelle and Oscar, no doubt they'll have plenty to discuss and get along famously. The foursome will walk through the picturesque cobbled streets of Stockholm from the Royal Palace to the Nobel Museum. During this walk, The Cambridges will have an opportunity to meet members of the Swedish public that will have assembled in Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm, and a charming public space outside the Nobel Museum. Once inside the Museum, they will meet a number of Nobel Laureates, and will hear more from the Museum's curator about Science in Sweden and the Nobel Laureate system.


From the Nobel Museum, The Duke and Duchess will travel to Ark Des, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. They will attend an event celebrating architectural collaboration and the best of Swedish design, from the most iconic and global furniture brands, to up-and-coming homeware designers with new takes on sustainable furnishings.


That evening will see the first glamorous evening event of the tour, The Duke and Duchess will attend a black tie dinner at the Residence of the British Ambassador, attended by members of the Swedish Royal Family, and representatives from government, and popular culture, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, and actors Stellan Skarsgård and Alicia Vikander. It promises to be a memorable night and the perfect opportunity to bring out a gown and jewels.


Wednesday, 31 January

The morning of Day Two will focus on Sweden's pioneering work in the field of mental health and children's wellbeing, and in particular how this translates into support for children and young teenagers going through the Swedish education system. More from KP:

'Their Royal Highnesses, accompanied by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, will begin the morning at the world famous Karolinska Institute, which accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden. The Duke and Duchess will meet with leading scientific researchers and practitioners to discuss ground-breaking academic work in developmental psychology, and Sweden’s approach to managing mental health challenges, including the impact of physical activity on mental health. Their Royal Highnesses will also hear about the Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) programme run by the National Association for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill Health (NASP). YAM is a programme run for 14 – 16 year olds promoting increased knowledge about mental health through dialogue and role-play, and now operates internationally, including in the UK.
The Duke and Duchess and Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will then head to Matteusskolan, a comprehensive school in the heart of the city centre. Their Royal Highnesses will join children who have taken part in the YAM programme during one of their mental health activity sessions, and will speak to the mentors who run the training.'

That afternoon, the two Royal couples will visit one of Sweden's leading department stores – NK – to open an interactive exhibition of UK design, fashion and brands that operate in Sweden. The Duke and Duchess will learn how these brands in particular put innovation, technology and sustainable practices at the forefront of their businesses. The event will take place in NK's entrance hall, and for the duration of the exhibition the best of British brands will feature in the display windows of the store.


They will travel to Haga Palace, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel's official residence, for a private tea with the Royal couple.


On their last evening in Stockholm, The Duke and Duchess will attend an event at the Fotografiska Gallery, which at night boasts beautiful views over Stockholm. The event will be a celebration of contemporary culture with guests representing the worlds of music, film, television, theatre, tech, dance, art and sport, with live music, drinks and canapés. William will also deliver a speech at this event. Weather permitting, the couple will travel to Fotografiska by boat, allowing William and Kate to take in the views of Stockholm by night as they pass around the harbour.


Thursday, 1 February

On Thursday morning, the Cambridges will depart Sweden for Norway from Uppsala Airbase. Prior to their departure, The Duke and Duchess will receive a short briefing on the Swedish Armed Forces' operational capabilities, before viewing some of the Gripen aircraft of the type deployed by Sweden as its commitment to the Joint Expeditionary Force. The Duke and Duchess will land in Norway at Oslo Gardermoen Airport in the late morning, where they will be met by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. From there, Their Royal Highnesses will travel directly to the Royal Palace, where The Duke and Duchess will stay at the invitation of King Harald and Queen Sonja.


The KP statement continued:

'On arrival at the Royal Palace, The Duke and Duchess will be officially welcomed to Norway by The King and Queen by way of a luncheon, which will also be attended by other members of The Royal Family. Following this, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the Princess Ingrid Alexandra Sculpture Park within the Palace Gardens, which opened last year in the name of Princess Ingrid Alexandra to mark the 25th anniversary of The King's reign. The sculptures, of which there are now four, are designed by and for children, through cartoon competitions in schools across the country. During this visit, The Duke and Duchess will have the opportunity to meet members of the public gathered in the park.
Later that afternoon, The Duke and Duchess, accompanied by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, will attend an event held at MESH, a co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-up companies to grow their businesses and thrive in a creative environment. Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation are high priorities for Norway and the UK, with plenty of exciting collaboration across the North Sea. Their Royal Highnesses will meet a number of Norwegian and UK companies based at MESH showcasing their work, and will see how some start-ups are tackling issues such as the environment, and mental health and wellbeing, in new and engaging ways.'

That evening, Their Majesties will host an official dinner in William and Kate's honour at the Royal Palace. The dinner will be attended by members of government, leaders in business and those from the Norwegian creative industries. There will also be serving members and veterans from the Norwegian Armed Forces, who will be introduced to Their Royal Highnesses. Both King Harald and Prince William will speak at the dinner. Although, this sounds like an ideal tiara opportunity, royal reporters were told the Duchess would not be wearing one during the tour.


Friday, 2 February

The final day of the tour begins at the Hartvig Nissen School, which was the location for the hugely successful Norwegian television programme 'Skam'. Skam is a drama series highlighting teenagers and the challenges young people can experience growing up, such as identity issues, bullying, relationships, sexual assault, and eating disorders. Following on from the theme lines of the show, the characters started their own social media profiles to engage with the audience watching directly, creating an international following and fan base.


Later that morning, The Duke and Duchess will travel to Skaugum, the official residence of The Crown Prince and Princess of Norway, for a private lunch. I imagine we'll see an official photo or two.


The tour will end at Holmenkollen:

'The final engagements of the tour will take place in the beautiful setting of Holmenkollen, the snowy hills that overlook the city of Oslo. Here, Their Royal Highnesses, accompanied by The Crown Prince and Princess, will see how Norwegians embrace the outdoors in the coldest of temperatures, and champion the importance of exercise and wellbeing.'

William and Kate will firstly visit Holmenkollen's most iconic landmark – the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. With panoramic views over the city, the ski jump is truly impressive in its size, and has capacity for more than 70,000 spectators. The Cambridges will walk through the Holmenkollen ski museum and then watch a demonstration from some of Norway's top under-18 ski jumpers, before meeting them at the top of the ski jump. The Duke and Duchess will then attend an event organised by the Norwegian Ski Federation, at which they will see a group of local nursery children taking part in an afternoon ski school session on the slopes. The Duke and Duchess will join children taking part in a number of outdoors activities, from experiencing Sami tents, to roasting sausages on an open fire.


From Holmenkollen, The Duke and Duchess will depart for the airport, and on to London.

It's an excellent itinerary; jam-packed with events highlighting the beautiful surroundings of both countries. There's a nice focus on businesses in both countries especially the visit to NK, and the creative industries are highlighted. William and Kate's focus on mental health and young people is also a prominent feature. I'm looking forward to seeing the Duke and Duchess carrying out engagements with Royals from both countries and of course the black-tie evening events promise a host of sparkling looks for the Duchess (I bet Jenny Packham is busily adding finishing touches to a gown or two). Kate will be around six months pregnant when the tour commences; I expect we'll see bespoke items, maternity wear pieces and a look or two by designers and brands based in Norway and Sweden. Are you looking forward to the tour? :)


George and Charlotte will not be accompanying their parents on this tour. George is attending school at Thomas's Battersea and Charlotte began at Willcocks Nursery earlier this month. They will be looked after by Nanny Maria and the Middleton family.


Speaking of the adorable pair, the Queen shared a little update on George and Charlotte. Richard Palmer writes:

'The Queen has suggested royal chatterbox Princess Charlotte loves to boss around her big brother Prince George. She made the comment after asking if a schoolgirl she was presenting with a Bible “looked after” her little sister.
The mother of the girl replied that it was “the other way around”, prompting the Queen to say: “It’s like that with Charlotte and George.” Her description of her great granddaughter echoed a remark by the Duchess of Cambridge, who in March last year said Charlotte was “the one in charge”. The Queen discussed Charlotte with Ellen Clay, 38, who went to Sandringham House to watch her daugher Emily, 10, receive a Bible. 
Every year, she presents a Bible to the pupil from primary schools on her Norfolk estate who does best in a religious studies project. This year the prize was awarded to Emily of Dersingham, Norfolk, whose father Tom Clay, 38, also won it in 1990. Mrs Clay said: “She asked if Emily looked after Hadleigh and I said it was more the other way round. She said it was like that with Princess Charlotte and Prince George.” Insurance worker Mr Clay added: “The Queen was implying that Charlotte keeps an eye out for George rather than the other way around. “It is often the case that a younger child is more confident. It is second child syndrome.”

See you tomorrow for William and Kate's day in Coventry. In the meantime, don't forget to vote for Kate's Best Coat and Gown of 2017 here.

52 comments:

  1. As I have never been in the northern part of Europe, I look forward to the opportunity to visit these places even if it is via pics.

    It will be interesting to see how Kate manages her gardrobe choices from an icerink to the royal palace luncheon, I suppose she is gonna have some time to change.

    Lastly, can somebody send KP a thesaurus? Frankly, this amount of keenness is killing me:)

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    1. Scandinavia is gorgeous and while it is obviously very cold there in winter, I feel like that is still THE time to go because that's when you can experience so many of it's attractions :)
      I also thought that going from the ice rink to the palace would be quite the challenge sartorially, I do think she'll need to change.

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    2. Anett I laughed when I saw the headline with the word "keen" in it. I never knew a word could be so overused. I'm with you let's get KP a thesaurus😀

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    3. Hi CuriousKat! Nice to see you here commenting again, long time no see:) I am always amazed how uncreative KP's staff can be, honestly.

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    4. Let's not lie. 'Keen' is not limited to just this press release. The Duke and Duchess are always 'keen' to share a picture or celebrate an event or visit something.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2018 at 21:14

      I had not heard the word keen before starting to follow the British royals but since I did hear it there I have noticed how often it is used on British TV or an australian online personality I follow and such! It's a very good word but I agree a rather "overused" word. But it makes sense why that word in particular word has become overused since it sounds more "proper" than saying "I love to do that". "I'm very keen" sounds more.. refined? :P

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    6. If I read Kate is a "keen photographer" one more time I'm going to be keen to throw my phone across the room!

      It wasn't used here but it's used A LOT!

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    7. Julia from Leominster16 January 2018 at 06:12

      I'm keen to have them find a synonym for 'keen' as it is becoming something of a joke. It's easy to overuse 'pet' words in speech and informal writing - I do it all the time - but formal writing is another matter. Since 'keen' been picked up for satire it would be better to find another way to word the idea, and there are many possibilities - since 'looking forward to' has been used already, they could say they are 'eager' or 'hope to', or are 'will be pleased to have the opportunity to..'

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    8. LOL, Julia! Those are some good alternatives to the “word that shall not be mentioned” :P
      Anett, you raise a very good point! Who writes these press releases?! Jason Knauf...please locate a thesaurus ASAP! A few other words that get regurgitated are “delighted” & “thrilled” - the former is used every time they release a photo & the latter, when Kate is reading a speech or reacting to something.

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  2. I'm very excited for this tour! Looks to be extremely busy and quite interesting. Im hoping for some rather high end maternity wear, erroneously perhaps.

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  3. I'm soo excited for this tour because a) Sweden and Norway are two gorgeous countries b) we'll see the Cambridges meet with Princess Victoria plus the rest of the Swedish and Norwegian royal families and c) I'm so excited to see what Kate's 'really cold winter' wardrobe will look like. I'm looking forward to seeing beautiful warm coats and pretty weather-proof boots. I'm also excited to (hopefully) see her wear some local designers!
    I hope we'll get to see Princess Madeleine as well!

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  4. It will be so fun to see them with the other royals! Can't wait to see what all the royal ladies will be wearing together.

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  5. But why not a tiara??? The queen used to wear them for a lot more events if I'm not mistaken. Do you know what changed Charlotte? Thank you

    Silvia

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2018 at 20:14

      Times are a-changeing!

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    2. Hello Silvia,

      I'm guessing the evening will be a black-tie affair, rather than white-tie which calls for a tiara.

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    3. I was so hoping we would get a tiara event since the Scandinavian Royal Families love their tiaras.

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    4. Until I was a teenager, ladies wore hats and gloves for everything except cleaning the garage. Modern day is so much less formal.

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    5. "for everything except cleaning the garage". lol
      Greybird.😊

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  6. Is it possible that we will see the gown from the Royal Variety performance again? I had wondered if that was originally meant for this tour had it occurred when originally scheduled.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2018 at 20:14

      I doubt it will still fit. But who knows!

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    2. Maybe the new one she wore with a tiara at the reception in December? Linda

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden16 January 2018 at 10:55

      Appearantly that one had a nipped in waist according to someone who was at the event so I think that might be another case of "probably doesn't fit anymore", Anon 05.45

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  7. I am really looking forward to this especially since I have been on a "Nordic Noir" fiction frenzy. Several of the places they will visit have been mentioned in the novels I've read.

    In case anybody else is interested here is a site with some suggestions. There are many more too and some are really, really good.

    I do all my traveling via fiction!

    Thank you Charlotte! I am really happy about this tour.

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    1. Don't forget the link Leah, would love to follow your "Nordic Noir" as a fellow mental traveler. cc

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  8. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2018 at 20:11

    I am really looking forward to this (obviously!). Especially that there will be so much royal-to-royal interaction!! Seems like a good amount and mix of engagements fitting around all the royals interests!

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  9. Thanks, Charlotte. I’m looking forward to the tour.

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  10. Intrigued By Royals15 January 2018 at 21:36

    These are two countries I would love to visit in person, so I am looking forward to living vicariously through Kate and William! I had to laugh at KP's description of Their Royal Highnesses "wandering" through Stockholm! Yes, they will "wander" through with Royal Protection Officers and a huge turnout for an official walkabout. Not exactly my definition of wandering. ;-) I guess I am on #teamthesaurus!

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  11. Of course I'm looking forward to the tour! Very curious what Kate will wear (I hope maternity clothes!) and think that being pregnant it must be not so easy to plan wardrobe (maybe some last minute changes as the belly grows?).

    Look forward to the meeting with Victoria and Daniel. And who knows maybe W&K will get a little bit more relaxed with their privacy? I like the way Victoria & Daniel handle it... Estelle in public is very natural...probably because used to it from the beginning.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 January 2018 at 22:09

      It will probably be quite a bit of new clothes for Kate considering the climate and her being pregnant!

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  12. Caroline in Montana15 January 2018 at 21:45

    I am very excited as well, Im sure some very beautiful photos will come out of this with the other royals, the only thing cuter is if all the royal children were photographed together! some seriously cute kids:) I also cant wait for the clothes, can she really do repeats on a royal tour? looking forward to see what she comes up with. Anyone know about the designers in either country? she is usually good about representing!

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    1. She usually repeats one or two things on every tour. My guess is that we’ll see some of her causal clothes again, like winter jackets and jeans.

      I’m most looking forward to her evening gowns. She’s never worn an evening gown at 6 or more months pregnant.

      About Swedish designers you can google Crown Princess Victoria, she wears a lot of them. As does Princess Sofia.

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  13. Thank you for the detail in your blog Charlotte! As always, I found all of the information so very interesting! I haven't been to Scandinavia yet. Almost got Mr. Jo on a Norwegian cruise last year but alas he begged off before I could put the money down :(

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  14. I'm very much looking forward to this tour. :-)

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  15. Wow it would be jampacked i love two see them with other royals as well i so love with sweden and norway and im guessing the duchess cambridge will recycle all the royal tour dress and coat hmm i think she wearing design in swedeen and norway hmm i the royal kids qill be lovely

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  16. Once again, the young royals are going to stir up some significant feelings of wanderlust in me. Time to start adding to the travel savings account again!

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    1. I reckon! ;) I would love to visit Sweden & Norway...so jealous!

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  17. I once heard that you can see water from every street in Stockholm. Surely that's an exaggeration?

    I'm wondering what kind of shoes Kate will wear. By six months, my feet were always swollen

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    1. I'm pretty sure she'll be wearing boots for outside events, as it's going to be cold and there will be snow.

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  18. Very much looking forward to this visit. Lots of exciting places to be visited and looking forward to see how Kate handles the cold with her clothes and a glamorous gown. Such a shame that there won't be a tiara. I'm the same as several other people on here, I would love to visit these countries myself.

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  19. Sabine - California16 January 2018 at 03:47

    Meeting Queen Silvia should provide for interesting conversation, too. Like Catherine, Queen Silvia, is a "commoner" and grew up in Heidelberg, Germany. Carl Gustaf and she met during the Munich Olympic Games - it was quite the story at the time. The Cambridges visited Heidelberg last summer.
    I have always admired the Swedish Royal family for the way they have defined their status as Royals, very down to earth. Catherine has brought a similar approach to her marriage that is already shaping the British Royal family.

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  20. Alejandra Campos16 January 2018 at 05:59

    Love, love, love the post and the itinerary! This might be my favorite tour so far!
    Actually it already is because I love the Swedish Royals so much!

    The fashion "battle" is going to be so interesting (not in a bad way but really interesting)
    As for Catherine's wardrobe, judging by her last tour she is going to be wearing a lot of bespoke pieces. However when pregnant with Charlotte, she wore zero bespoke pieces (the Seraphine coat was later mass produced) so maybe she is buying a lot!

    My prediction:
    - The night events will be bespoke
    - The arrival events will be either a local designer or British with local colors
    - The Ski and Fashion Opening will be purchased

    What do you think?!?!? :)

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  21. Julia from Leominster16 January 2018 at 06:16

    It looks like a wonderful tour -I'm very much looking forward to it including seeing the interaction between royals of the same generation and the possibility of gowns!

    I would like to the British royals grow closer to their European counterparts - rather than just sending Edward and Sophie to events where most of the others present are closer to succession (nothing against Edward and Sophie.) This seems particularly important as other ties are expected to be broken.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 January 2018 at 10:58

      I agree. I love how the European royals hang out so much, even having "heir meetups" now and again and such. It makes sense that some are closer because of proximity (both physical but also family relationships), but it does bug me that the Brits have a "stand off-ish" approach to them.

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    2. Agreed. Edward and Sophie are older than their years, if that makes sense.

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  22. I love Skam! It's a wonderful show that deals with teenage issued without glamorizing the nitty gritty parts. We can all relate to at least one character. Im glad that TRHs will be interacting with the two CP couples. It will be nice for them to make friends with other royals from other RFs.

    P.s. CP MM's son Marius actually made a cameo in Skam. I believe it was a party scene in the second season.

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  23. So excited to see Kate and William on their tour across Norway and Sweden.
    It will be great to see them together with the Norway and Swedish royals! I enjoy reading this blog, as well as the blog about Meghan and Harry. 2018 is going to be amazing for all of them.

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  24. I am super excited about this tour but disappointed that there will not be a tiara when there is an event perfect for one. I think that when Queen Elizabeth dies, sadly, the wearing of tiaras will die too.

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  25. I was so moved by my visit to Coventry in 1966. I've never forgotten it. Always reminded of Coventry in the final scenes of the film "Mrs. Miniver" when they gather in the bombed out church. I love that pink coat, and did when she wore it in New York to visit the 9-11 memorial.
    Norway has been much mentioned in US news recently, and I look forward to seeing the Cambridges there, especially with the younger Royals.

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  26. Very much looking forward to this tour! I have always been impressed with how the Scandinavian royals seem to have such a close family bond. It will be interesting to see William and Kate interact with them and experience Scandinavian life! Hope this is the beginning of more interaction and networking between these royals. Also looking forward to the fashion aspect of this from Kate and the Scandinavian royals, I am sure none will disappoint. cc

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  27. I'm so excited for this tour! It'll be great to see William and Kate meeting and interacting with their Scandinavian counterparts. Such an interesting itinerary too!

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  28. Really looking forward this tour ! I hope Catherine will wear the white gem encrusted dress she wore for last year diplomatic reception. We only saw the top part of the dress, so fingers crossed, she'll give it an outing at one of the black tie event.
    If what she has been wearing of late is an indication of what to expect, I don't think we'll be disappointed.

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  29. Dear Charlotte thanks for the great post. I can't wait for this tour as I am half norwegian and my whole dad's family is from there and go there often its a beautiful county with beautiful people and they have a great monarchy. I love the Norwegian family portrait thanks for posting you rarely see that.

    what happened to your royal blog of different royal families all over? you still doing that if so can you provide the link?

    I look forward to this tour with eager anticipation as i will know the locations and customs. look forward to seeing her in norwegian designers.

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