Monday, 1 January 2018

Year in Review 2017, Part 2: The Year in the UK!

Hello and welcome to Part 2 of our annual Year in Review. In Part 1, we looked at Kate's year abroad and several trips she and William undertook in Europe at the request of the Foreign Office as Brexit unfolded. Today, we're focusing on the year in the UK, engagements, speeches, notable events, and the year for the Cambridges personally.


January

We first saw the Cambridges publicly in 2017 on 8 January, the day before Kate's 35th birthday, attending Sunday service with the Middletons and the Royal family.


The Cambridges invited family and friends to spend the weekend at their country home Anmer Hall to celebrate Kate's birthday privately with a dinner party followed by hours spent enjoying the Norfolk countryside. They were joined by their neighbours the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley and close friends and godparents of Princess Charlotte, Sophie Carter and Thomas van Straubenzee.


The Duchess carried out her first engagement of 2017 on 11 January in support of her patronage, Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families. Wearing a belted blue Eponine London coat dress, Kate met with parents and discussed the challenging aspects of parenting, admitting it "is tough". Kate continued: "And with the history and all the things and the experiences you've all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers...I find it extraordinary how you've managed actually. So really well done."


From there, Kate teamed up with William to mark the first anniversary of Child Bereavement UK's centre in Stratford.


A key focus for William, Kate and Harry in 2017 was their mental health campaign Heads Together. The trio spoke at a briefing at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Carlton House Terrace today to outline the next phase as efforts intensified to create conversations around the world to break the stigma surrounding mental health. The Duchess said: "We have heard time and time again in the course of our work how talking can help heal the hidden challenges we can’t deal with alone, so the question that William, Harry and I have asked ourselves is, how we can get more people to start talking?"


Looking back at photos from the day now, how amazing did Kate's hair look? I think longer, fuller hair is gorgeous on Kate and frames her face beautifully. I know many will be in opposition to this thought, but I do hope we see a return of Kate's long hair soon :)


In late January, Kensington Palace revealed significant news regarding the Cambridges. As expected, Prince William decided not to renew his contract with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and it was revealed he would take up full-time duties in support of the Queen when he finished his role. The Palace said: "Their Royal Highnesses have loved their time in Norfolk and it will continue to be their home. From this autumn, however, the Duke and Duchess will increasingly base their family at Kensington Palace. As they have in recent years, Their Royal Highnesses are keen to continue to increase their official work on behalf of the Queen and for the charities and causes they support, which will require greater time spent in London." Undoubtedly a range of factors came into plans when making this decision. We now know Prince Philip would retire from official life just months after this press release and with the Queen now in her nineties, it was time. Another factor was likely the fact Prince George was to begin school in London. I suspect it seemed like the best time to make the transition.


Kate sported a rich green Hobbs London skirt suit for a visit to her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospice as fundraising efforts continued for a new purpose-built hospice in Norfolk. A memorable moment came before the visit concluded, when Kate received an update on the appeal. Chief Executive Graham Butland spoke about Kate's "journey" since she became patron in 2012. He said: "Then that journey developed into your first public speech." Kate smiled and interjected - "terrifying". Mr Butland continued: "Terrifying, well I can tell you my former chairman was equally terrified that day." Rebecca English noted: "After Mr Butland's comments, Kate held her hands to her face as though she was blushing from his remarks."


February

February kicked off with William, Kate and Harry getting their running shoes on for a training day with runners participating in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for Heads Together. They enjoyed a spot of friendly competition during the relay race.


The Duchess encouraged kindness at ‘The Big Assembly’ by Place2Be hosted at Mitchell Brook Primary School. "I think that every child should have people around them to show them love and show them kindness, and that is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly here in your school."


That night, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a Guild of Health Writers conference focusing on mental health. The theme of the conference was 'The Anxiety Epidemic'. Kate looked chic in a violet skirt suit by Oscar de la Renta.


Kate's first evening gown of the year came at the BAFTAs; she chose a bespoke off-the-shoulder, tiered, floral McQueen.


Duchess Kate spent Valentine's Day with local air cadets at RAF Wittering.


Kate travelled to Wales to visit two Action for Children projects supporting vulnerable families. It marked her first engagements with the organisation since becoming its patron, following on from Her Majesty. Kensington Palace said: "The Duchess of Cambridge is incredibly proud to follow the Queen as Patron of Action for Children. The Duchess firmly believes that every child who needs it should be given the best support at the earliest opportunity. She is looking forward to getting to know the people that make Action for Children such a success and meeting the young people they work with."


Kate and William joined other members of the Royal family for a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, kicking off 'UK-India Year of Culture', a year of events to celebrate cultural ties between the two countries and help build closer relations. Kate's look for the night was lovely: the Erdem Rhona dress and Oscar de la Renta Cabrina pumps.



Kate visited Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, marking the opening of their purpose-built 'home away from home’ accommodation for the families of children being treated at Evelina London Children's Hospital.


March

Kate looked very Audrey Hepburn-esque in the Lock & Co Tiffany hat, inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's, as she and William joined members of the Royal family for a service of dedication on Horse Guards Parade before unveiling the new Iraq Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment Gardens, London.


Kate chatted to the wife of a Royal Marine commando about Princess Charlotte and revealed: "She's the one in charge." :)


Before jetting to Paris for a two-day trip, William and Kate marked St Patrick's with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow. The couple enjoyed a pint of Guinness before leaving.


One of Kate's most interesting and insightful engagements came in late March when she gave a passionate speech at the launch of a maternal health film series with charity partner Heads Together. The engagement came the day after the horrific terror attack in Westminster and Kate appropriately began by "sending thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected". Drawing on her own experiences, the Duchess admitted to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance as a mother. "It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.  Your fundamental identity changes overnight.  You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost." An important component of Heads Together was hearing the royals draw on personal experiences. Public speaking is something Kate, like many, finds very difficult. I thought the Best Beginnings speech was one of her finest and most personal.


The Duchess was glamorous in green Temperley London for the 2017 Portrait Gala.


March closed with the release of ten short films as part of the next stage of their Heads Together campaign. The films show a range of people, including well-known faces, discussing the first time they opened up about mental health and the impact it had on their lives. The royals commissioned the series, with leading directors including Stephen Frears (The Queen) and John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) participating in the project. I'm still struck by the honesty and bravery those involved displayed.


April

In April, ahead of Pippa's wedding, William and Kate were photographed arriving at Pippa and James Matthews' Kensington home for dinner with the groom's parents David and Jane Matthews. Kate wore a pretty off-the-shoulder Somerset by Alice Temperley dress.


It was a glamorous night at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for the opening of much loved-musical 42nd Street. Kate was chic in a red tulle Marchesa dress, Gianvito Rossi pumps and Kate Spade Petty Pom Tassel earrings.


Following the terror attacks which took place in Westminster on 22 March, William, Kate and Harry attended a service of hope at Westminster Abbey. Attendees included the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, with the Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey. Families of those killed in the attack, together with other victims, witnesses and first responders from the police, fire, paramedics, RNLI, lifeboat and NHS hospital services were also in the congregation.


Kate was photographed once again leaving Pippa and James Matthews' West London home for preparations ahead of her sister's wedding.


In an unexpected surprise, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and members of the Royal family for Easter Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. It was the first time they marked the occasion with the Queen and was seen as the beginning of a new tradition.


With just days to go until the London Marathon, Kate welcome Heads Togtether runners to Kensington Palace. Asked about Prince Harry's candid interview, in which he spoke of having counselling to come to terms with his mother's death, she said: "We all felt there was very much a campaign to get everyone talking and have these conversations. We’ve got to do the same, you know, so he’s been brilliant."


Duchess Kate wore a red Armani suit to officially open the Global Academy. As well as giving young people a route into the media industry, the Global Academy gives students the practical and technical skills they need to succeed in the real world. This includes encouraging young people to talk about any mental wellbeing issues they may be facing. During the visit, Kate chatted with Oliver Monger, 16,  who hopes to go into the film industry; he revealed he was too shy to talk "to someone so high". Kate told him, "I’m shy as well, so don't worry."


A highlight of the year came when William and Kate paid an unexpected visit to Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts who was participating in the London Marathon. Speaking about Heads Together, Prince William described how "eye-opening" the experience had been. "This issue of mental health is really brimming under the surface of public consciousness," he said. Kate said simply talking could be "like medicine". We certainly didn't expect to see the couple at the radio studios, but it was a tremendous way to get the Heads Together message across to the public and a great setting for a relaxed chat. The Duke and Duchess also revealed they watch "a lot" of children's programmes with George and Charlotte. "George has gone past Peppa Pig," said William, adding that Fireman Sam was a big hit in their house at the moment. When it comes to adult programmes, the Prince said Game of Thrones "was worth watching". And they "absolutely" are allowed to order takeaway when it comes to movie night, with Kate favouring a curry. Kate chose black pants and the whimsical Temperley London Cypre top on the day.


Kensington Palace released a new video of William, Kate and Harry discussing why Heads Together matters to them, why they chose to tackle the stigma of mental health, and the personal reasons driving them. Why Heads Together and why mental health? William and Harry said the concept was actually Kate's idea. The Duchess said: "Because it's a common thread, mental health seemed to run between all the different areas we were working in, so whether it's homelessness, military [looking at Harry], and addiction with me, and bereavement [looking to William]." Kate opened up about the difficulties she faced when George was a baby particularly when they returned to Anglesey. "Having a child, particularly your first child is such a life-changing moment, nothing can really prepare you for that... The first few days with little George, you have no idea what really you are doing, no matter how many books you read, nothing can prepare you for it." Kate then turned to William and said: "Do you remember up in Anglesey? So we'd had our couple of weeks of family support and you were keen to get back to work and I was like: 'yeah, I'll come with you', so we scooted off back to Anglesey with George. Those first few weeks were a steep learning curve, massively."


William and Harry discussed "never talking enough" about the loss of their mother. Kate paid tribute to how strong they are. "Considering what you boys sadly went through, the trauma that you experienced... I think it's incredible how strong you are and how you've been able to cope really. I put that down to your really early years, your childhood experience." Harry said: "I always thought, what's the point of bringing up something that's only going to make you sad. It ain't going to change it. It ain't going to bring her back." Kate paid tribute to the princes' "amazingly close" relationship, saying it had obviously been a big help. "Most of the time," joked William, adding: "We've probably been brought closer because of the circumstances." The video was another highlight of the year in my opinion.


On 23rd April, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry officially started the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon by pressing the big red button.


Efforts supporting William, Kate and Harry's Heads Together initiative have all been leading up to that day. More than 700 Heads Together runners took part in this year's London Marathon, raising money and awareness to change the national conversation around mental health. All 39,000+ runners in the event were given a Heads Together blue headband to help make 2017 the 'mental health marathon'. It is believed the event raised millions for mental health charities.


It was a day filled with smiles and hugs.


The royals were delighted at the support shown for the campaign.


May

April showers bring May flowers... May opened with the release of a gorgeous new photo of Princess Charlotte ahead of her second birthday. The photo was taken by Kate in April at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. The Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share the photograph to mark their daughter's special day on Tuesday. Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank everyone for all of the lovely messages they have received, and hope that everyone enjoys this photograph of Princess Charlotte as much as they do."


Kate enjoyed a day filled with 'Muck and Magic' when she travelled to Gloucestershire to visit Farms for City Children. Children’s author (best known for War Horse) Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. Rebecca English noted: "According to a spokesman for the charity, Kate read about its work in Country Life and approached them to see if she could come down to one of its farms." As you may have heard, Mr Morpurgo was awarded a knighthood for his services to literature and charity in the New Year's Honours list.


William, Kate and Harry hosted a very special tea party at Buckingham Palace to honour the children of those who have died serving in the armed forces. The Duchess got right into the spirit of fun and games. She was particularly eager to try her hand at firing water balloons. There was clearly a lot of thought and consideration given to making this a family-centred day with a host of entertainment and enjoyable activities for the children.


Kate brought back her blue Christopher Kane coatdress for the Queen's first garden party of the year at Buckingham Palace.


The 20th May was a very special day for the Middleton family as Pippa Middleton married James Matthews at St Mark's Church, Englefield. The Duchess was on hand to look after the pageboys and flowegirls which included George and Charlotte who both looked adorable.


And to adjust Pippa's train as her sister did for her at the Royal wedding.


Prince George led the way after the ceremony.


Pippa was a radiant bride in a bespoke Giles Deacon creation - crafted to give the impression of being seamless. Giles said of the collaboration: "I was thrilled to work with Pippa on her wedding dress." The dress is constructed with a cap sleeve, high neckline and features a corseted bodice with draping to the front and a heart-shaped detail at the back. The bespoke silk cotton lace was hand appliquΓ©d to create the illusion of the dress having 'no seams'. The lace bodice is embroidered with pearl detailing over an organza and tulle underskirt, which has layer upon layer to enable a floor-sweeping movement. It's a privilege to show the craftsmanship that my team produces in London and a real testament to Pippa's support of British fashion.


After family celebrations for the wedding wrapped up in Bucklebury, Kate returned to London to join the Queen for the Chelsea Flower Show. The Duchess was aptly attired for the flower show in a new floral dress by French brand Rochas teamed with her favourite Monica Vinader Siren Wire earrings.


To celebrate Children's Hospice Week, the Duchess has released a video message praising the extraordinary "dedication" and "inspirational" staff and volunteers. In the message, the Duchess highlights the fact there are more than 49,000 children and young people across the UK with life-limiting conditions. As patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices, Kate noted the "incredible difference" it makes to families. "They deliver first-class care in a safe environment that feels as close to home as possible, full of colour, warmth, love and support." The video features the track Lego House by EACH ambassador Ed Sheeran.



As part of the ongoing Heads Together campaign, Prince William was interviewed by Alastair Campbell for British GQ. The spread features a black and white photograph of the Cambridges relaxing at Kensington Palace as they watch George, Charlotte and Lupo play. The photo was taken in April by Norman Jean Roy.


A second black and white image showing William with George and Charlotte was also included.


June

In June, the Duchess visited King's College Hospital to meet those affected by the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks. Speaking about the visit a royal aide told The Telegraph: "Although the story has moved on, publicly, this is a chance to thank the staff and reassure those still in hospital, many of whom have families with them, that people very much care." Kate asked about the roles of staff and praised their efforts, saying: "Well done."


In her role as Patron of the 1851 Trust, Kate attended the charity's final Land Rover BAR Roadshow at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre. The Duchess and the children spoke to Sir Ben Ainslie live from Bermuda about the team's experiences in the America's Cup. Whilst speaking to Ben Ainslie, Kate said: "Commiserations, obviously, but really well done. We've been watching with really keen interest. Both William and I have been glued to the telly. Well done to you guys. I gather now you're on to the next thing."


Kate chose a pretty pink McQueen dress and the Queen's earrings for Trooping the Colour. As always, it was a treat to see the entire Royal family on the balcony, including George and Charlotte.


Kate was elegant in white lace McQueen for the couple's second appearance at Royal Ascot.


Ahead of Kate's first appearance at Wimbledon as Royal Patron the Duchess gave an interview for a new documentary celebrating ninety years of Wimbledon. The avid tennis fan said: "I have watched Wimbledon, that was very much part of my growing up. I was really taken by Agassi and Sampras, Ivanisevic and Steffi Graf. Those are my first memories." Kate also said she queued for hours to get into the tournament before joining the Royal family, adding: "Being able to go into Wimbledon and be part of an amazing atmosphere is special. It inspires young people including myself. Every time Wimbledon is on I am thinking 'Yes, I could do the same' and get out the racket. Sadly, not the same results." Kate also recalled funny memories about her parents: "My father is not going to appreciate this but we were walking past Tim Henman and had just seen Sampras play. "My dad said 'Hi Pete'. I was mortified. Roger Federer is my mother’s heartthrob. I don’t think she will mind me saying that! I think he probably knows that too."


Sporting a stylish Gucci dress, Kate visited the Victoria and Albert Museum to officially open the new entrance, courtyard and exhibition gallery on Exhibition Road.


July

The Duchess debuted shorter hair for the opening day of the Wimbledon Championships. The visit had additional significance - marking her first visit to the championships as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC).


We do love a tiara appearance here at 'Duchess Kate', so it was wonderful to see the Cambridges attend the State banquet in honour of the Spanish State visit of King Felipe and Queen Letizia. The night marked two milestones for the Royal family -  Harry's first State banquet and reportedly Prince Philip's last ahead of his retirement later this summer. Kate looked stunning in a bespoke pink Marchesa gown and dazzling jewels, including Diana's Lovers Knot tiara, Diana's Collingwood pearls and the Queen's Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace. Given the recent allegations about Harvey Weinstein, I have my doubts we'll see Kate in Marchesa again. The label was founded by his wife Georgina Chapman and it is said he financed it.


The following night, Kate chose a simple but pretty Preen dress for a night her at her patronage the Natural History Museum for the opening of the spectacular new Hintze Hall.


Kate wore a beautiful Catherine Walker dress and Stuart Weitzman sandals for the Wimbledon men's finals. The Cambridges cheered on Roger Federer as he secured his 8th Wimbledon title and 19th major singles title.


August

August is the Royal family's 'summer holiday' month and thus very few engagements are carried out.  The Cambridges joined the royals for a few days to enjoy the stunning scenery the highlands has to offer at Balmoral. They were photographed arriving for Sunday Service at Crathie Kirk.


A poignant engagement on the 30 August - On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales' tragic death, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace, which has been transformed into the White Garden, dedicated to Diana and featuring a selection of the Princess' favourite flowers.


2017 was very much about remembering Diana for William and Harry, and preserving her legacy by sharing memories of their mother and the incredible work she did throughout her life. I was a small child when she passed; I'm glad to say I learned a lot about her during the year. As a mother, a Princess of the United Kingdom and a humanitarian, her commitment and duty to those who needed help was inspirational. I think, when one puts aside the intense interest and scrutiny which surrounded Charles and Diana's divorce and her personal life, she really paved the way for what a modern monarchy could be and achieve.


September

With William's work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance completed and the family moved to London, September was heralded as the month we could see William and Kate stepping up their royal duties exponentially. The first of Kate's autumn engagements was with Family Action on the 4th September. Photographers showed up the Hornsey Road and were told it was cancelled out of the blue. Shortly afterwards, Kensington Palace broke the happy news the Duke and Duchess were expecting their third child! As with her previous pregnancies, Kate suffered with Hyperemesis gravidarum and was very ill.

Three days later, Prince George started school at Thomas's Battersea. The significant day denoted an all-important milestone in any child's life. Like thousands of other children up and down the country, the four-year-old future king was likely feeling a little apprehensive as he began his new journey. Unfortunately, Kate was too unwell, to accompany George and William. I have no doubt it was enormously disappointing for her. George had his dad by his side, and despite those first day jitters, I'm sure he settled in quite well.


Kate showed her support for 'You're Never Too Young to Talk Mental Health' – the new campaign by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The campaign featured a new animated film with an introduction by the Duchess. The piece was recorded in January 2017 when Kate visited the charity.


Kate returned to duties on 10 October to mark World Mental Health Day. An aide told reporters: "The Duchess' condition is improving but she is still suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum. The Duchess is delighted to be able to be here tonight."


In an unexpected appearance, the Duchess joined William and Harry to meet children from the charities they support on board Belmond British Pullman train at Paddington Station. Who doesn't love Paddington Bear? Certainly, Kate is a fan and enjoyed a little dance with him. It was great to see Kate looking so well and on the mend.


Two days later, Kate joined William and Harry at West Ham United's London Stadium to attend the graduation of more than 150 Coach Core apprentices.


On Halloween, Kate joined a group of children for a decidedly non-spooky engagement at the Lawn Tennis Association. The outing marked her first solo engagement since the pregnancy announcement - a clear signal she was feeling much better and allowing for the return of appearances scheduled in advance.


It was the first time Kate has been accompanied by her new private secretary Catherine Quinn. Ms Quinn took over from Rebecca Deacon in October, bringing a wealth of experience to the role. A private secretary plays a pivotal role for any royal not just in a logistical sense. They are by their side at most engagements, travelling with them up and down the country. Ms Quinn is now a regular fixture at Kate's events.


November

In November, Duchess Kate hosted a round-table discussion on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace with the Royal Foundation. The Palace shared the following information on the discussion: "The Duchess is keen to develop an understanding of the issues surrounding maternal mental health, and to learn what support is available. At least 20% of women are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. If left untreated, maternal mental health problems can have significant and long lasting effect on the woman and her family. The Duchess has spoken about the importance of having open conversations about maternal health, and the impact this can have on family."


The Cambridges were spotted at Chester Railway Station. It isn't known where the family were, but it has been suggested they may have spent the weekend at Eaton Hall where the Grosvenors held their annual bonfire and fireworks display on Saturday evening. The event would have been delightful for George and Charlotte, and Eaton Hall the ideal place for a relaxing weekend.


Kate brought back her DVF Zarita gown at the 2017 Gala Dinner for Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) in the Orangery at Kensington Palace.


At the Place2Be School Leaders Forum, Kate admitted: "As a mother just getting used to leaving my own child at the school gates, it is clear to me that It takes a whole community to help raise a child." She chose the GOAT Eloise dress for the day; the brand has become a favourite of hers.


The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and a host of other royals for the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.


Remembrance Sunday marked changes for the Royal family. For the first time in her reign (aside from a handful of occasions she was absent when pregnant or overseas), the Queen did not lay a wreath, instead leading the service from a balcony. Her Majesty asked Prince Charles to lay her wreath, a decision seen as an example of a shift in head of state duties from the Queen to her heir. Buckingham Palace said the decision reflected her wish to be next to Prince Philip on this poignant day. Prince Philip's wreath was laid by his equerry.


A rescheduled engagement for Kate, as she visited Hornsey Road Children's Centre for an engagement with Family Action. There was a firm focus on perinatal health and during a chat with parents Kate admitted William found parenthood challenging initially.


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh marked their landmark 70th wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends at a special dinner held in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Royal family to gather and mark the momentous occasion with Her Majesty and Philip's dearest friends. Unfortunately, a family photo wasn't released but thanks to arrival photos we saw a glimpse of Kate wearing the Queen's choker.


During an 'away day' in Birmingham, William and Kate kicked off the day at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull Manufacturing Plant. Next, the Cambridges visited the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre, where they met Mountain Rescue volunteers participating in a vehicle familiarisation exercise. Kate was eager to get behind the wheel for a demonstration.


At Aston Villa Football Club (William's team) they met Coach Core apprentices. Finally, the Cambridges wrapped up the day at Acme Whistles, creators of the first police whistle and the original Acme Thunderer.


Amid a security alert, the Duke and Duchess attended this year's Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in London where she met Louis Tomlinson and the ever-youthful Dame Joan Collins, amongst others. Kate sparkled in a new Jenny Packham gown.


During a visit to the Foundling Museum, Kate shared her delight at news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement: "William and I are absolutely thrilled. It’s such exciting news. It’s a really happy time for any couple and we wish them all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment."


Kate showed off her green fingers as she joined pupils at Robin Hood Primary School this morning to celebrate their work with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening.


December

Kate was photographed at King's Cross Station on 1st December wearing a new ZARA coat.


The Duchess sparkled in a new Jenny Packham gown, the Lovers Knot tiara, Diana's earrings and the Queen's Collet Necklace for 2017's annual Diplomatic Reception.


William and Kate travelled to Manchester for the Children's Global Media Summit at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. Kate sported the L.K. Bennett Deli coat and red GOAT Elodie dress.


For a festive pre-Christmas engagement, the Duchess of Cambridge joined children and families to celebrate the work of the Rugby Portobello Trust at its community centre in North Kensington. It was also an opportunity for Kate to get into the seasonal spirit as she helped staff and volunteers set up for their children's Christmas party later in the day.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at St Paul's Cathedral for the moving Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service. It marked Kate's final engagement of 2017.


William and Kate were photographed departing the Kensington Palace staff Christmas party at Notting Hill dinner venue Beach Blanket Babylon.


The Cambridges' 2017 Christmas Card.


The family arriving for a staple on the royal calendar - the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon.


When I saw the photo of Charlotte; I couldn't believe how much she had grown.


The following night, wearing a ZARA cape and McQueen petal print dress, Kate enjoyed a seasonal performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House.


The Cambridges celebrated Christmas with the Royal family at Sandringham in 2017. The couple hosted Harry and Meghan over the festivities at Anmer. They attended Church at St Mary Magdalene where William revealed Santa had granted George's wish and left a police car under the tree. They arrived holding hands and looked incredibly happy.


Tim O Donovan's annual letter to The Times revealed the Duchess carried out 105 engagements in 2017. 42 of these were carried out on European visits abroad. With the arrival of Baby Cambridge and Kate's maternity leave I wouldn't anticipate we'll see a higher number in 2018. William, who began full-time duties carried out 171 engagements. I expect we'll see a substantial rise for him in 2018.


Richard Palmer reported:

'Palace officials had billed 2017 as the year in which the younger royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, would step up to the plate to help take over the Queen and Philip’s workload. But although Harry saw a 37 per cent rise in his duties from 152 to 209, William and Kate reduced theirs.
Kate, who spent the first half of the year prioritising her children, was for the second consecutive year the royal who completed the fewest number of engagements in the UK, with 63. There were 42 abroad, making a total of 105, down from 140 last year. She had been expected to increase her workload from September but she fell pregnant in the summer with her third child and missed engagements while suffering from severe morning sickness.
William too did fewer engagements, down from 188 in 2016 to 171 in 2017, despite giving up his part-time job as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia in the summer to become a full-time working royal. In part, that may have been because he and Kate postponed a planned November tour of Sweden and Norway until next month.'

I expect it's quite likely the Cambridges rang in the New Year in Bucklebury with the Middletons before they returned to London as 2018 got underway. Princess Charlotte is due to start at Willcocks Nursery School; I believe term starts on 4 January. William and Kate will visit Sweden and Norway at the end of the month. It promises to be year full of milestones with Baby Cambridge arriving in April and Harry and Meghan's wedding in May. Kensington Palace shared a video of their highlights from 2017. It includes Charlotte receiving her first bouquet :)


I would very much like to thank you all for your support in 2017. It wouldn't be the same without your input and participation. I look forward to following the events of the next year on the blog with you all and anticipate lively and insightful debate on all royal matters to come. I'd also like to thank all the royal correspondents and photographers for their hard work and dedication, and also those working tirelessly to ID the Duchess' clothing and accessories. Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. I sincerely hope 2018 is a wonderful one filled with all you hope and wish for! :)

106 comments:

  1. Sarah Maryland USA1 January 2018 at 17:42

    I agree with you 100 percent about wanting her longer hair back. That blowout she had in Jan was the best it has looked in years. I’m very disappointed in the number of engagments Kate didn’t do especially since almost all were in London. I don’t understand it especially because up until September she wasn’t sick. Hopefully something gets announced soon for this month besides the tour but I’m not holding my breathe
    Overall her fashion this year was a miss for me especially that flower dress she wore to the BAFTAS.

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  2. First and foremost, I wish you Charlotte and the readers here a wonderful and healthy 2018! You did a wonderful job with these reviews!!

    There is a lot to look forward to this year, for sure. I am very excited how things turn out for the royal family.

    My favourite engagement was actually where she made her speech, she improved there a lot. Also good to see CQ on board, although we didn't give her a lot of time before she call quits.

    On fashion front, I was a bit underwhelmed by this year's choices but I would like very much to see her white gown she wore for the annual DR.

    The kids were adorable, such a pity we can't see more of them.

    And finally I think she looks so much better with long hair too.


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  3. Second las paragraph: They visit Schweden und Norway at the beginning not at the end ofthe year. ;-)

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  4. Tammy from California1 January 2018 at 18:38

    2 comments on clothing:
    1)I have been in love with the capes Carole Middleton wears to church for a year now! She fashioned a new haircut and cape on Christmas day at St. Marks in 2016, that I haven't been able to get out of my head since!
    2) The green dress Kate wore to the flower show is one of my favorite outfits she has ever worn. Her hair, shoes and dress were all in perfection for that type of event that day.

    My last comment is to you Charlotte. THANK YOU for all of the hard work you put into this blog. I look forward to this blog every day. I like to read, re-read and see the unfolding comments every day. The hard work you put into it is appreciated very, very much. I look forward to 2018. Happy New Year to everyone here! Blessings and every wish for good things this year!

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  5. Thank you for your hard work through 2018 Charlotte.
    Cant wait for baby Cambridge#3 and Prince Harry and Meghan´s wedding in May. 2018 is going to be quite an exciting year.

    I am a frequent reader of both of your blogs (hrhduchesskate and madeaboutmeghan) who hardly made any comments, but today I would like to drop by to give you a big hand for the job well done. Also, wish you a happy and prosperous new year. :)

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  6. Kate, Texas, USA1 January 2018 at 19:12

    Charlotte, thank you for the wonderful review and all your hard work on the blog. You always do a beautiful job writing and the time and effort you give is perfection. Thank you! I am looking forward to all the fabulous reading and royal news in 2018!

    I have to agree with you that I would love to see Kate’s long locks back. Her hair always looks so full and beautiful to me, but you are right when you said the long locks frame her face beautifully. Maybe she’ll grow her hair for the wedding! Ha!

    2017 was full of wonderful moments for the Cambridge family! It was fun to go back and watch some videos, as well as see pics from throughout the year. I was surprised to see the number of engagements had dropped, but possibly because of pregnancy and having to shift the schedule some. I think the entire family does a phenomenal job representing the UK at home and abroad. As mentioned above, I am looking forward to great moments in 2018!

    Charlotte, do you think a picture will be released of Princess Charlotte starting nursery school? In all her pictures the resemblance to the Queen is amazing. She has such a sweet little cherub face.

    Happy New Year to all the readers! I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing day! Here’s to all the great moments 2018 will hold, especially with a new prince or princess coming AND a royal wedding!

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  7. Fantastic work as always Charlotte.

    I thought the floral dress from the Heads Together briefing last January was gorgeous and remains one of my favourites from this year. I hope we'll see her wear it again.

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    1. I loved that dress too! I would be very pleased to see it reworn again.

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  8. Thank you Charlotte. A lovely post with lots of interesting engagements to remind me of all the other posts and articles I have read throughout the year. I am so impressed with the focus on mental health as the hub of the Cambridge/Prince Harry charitable endeavours. The photographs of the children are gorgeous, and it is so lovely to see more of the Queens jewels getting an outing on Kate! She wears them well. Happy new year to you and yours Charlotte. And may 2018 be the best year yet lived for all :) It certainly will be a wonderful year for Duchess of Cambridge and the wider British Royal watchers!

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  9. Thank you Charlotte! Happy New Year to you. 2018 is going to be an exciting one. Really looking forward to checking into to this online community and sharing it with you all. But it wouldn't be possible without the hard work you put in Charlotte.

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  10. I was surprised to see both William and Kate had a reduction in the number of engagements this year. I felt like we saw more of them. But, I think their work is starting to shift from things like day trips with multiple engagements to more 'typical' stuff like office work and meetings. Plus, Kate was in London most of this year and didn't do those day trips like they have in previous years. I would like to be optimistic but I suspect that 2018 will be a quiet year for Kate workwise and it might not be until 2019(or until someone passes away) until we see a visible uptick in workload for her.

    In terms of fashion, I loved the flowered dress from the January Head Together visit. I think that dress and others in the same vein would make for a great staple in Kate's work wardrobe. I also loved the red Armani suit, black and white Gucci dress, and the dress from the Garden Show.

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    1. I was surprised at how little Kate did relative to her "generation." At 63 engagements that puts her way behind Harry (139 engagements) and well below Willaim (117 engagements). Not to mention she is also behind Prince Philip and the Queen, both of whom are nonagenarians. I know she had HG after September but to be so far behind her peers, so to speak ... it's sort of shocking. Maybe with Baby #3 coming along she'll just quietly semi-retire from charity engagements? I'm sure she'll still do official banquets and tours and whatnot.

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    2. Ivy: She is tied with Duchess of Gloucester or something - no ? I took a glance at this website for the breakdown : http://katemiddletonreview.com/2017/12/31/2017-in-review-kates-engagement-numbers/
      and I think it was something like she is literally competing with 90 year olds. I agree with you that it was shocking. I had a moment of disbelief when I saw the breakdown.
      I really don't know what else to say about her work - I feel like everything that should be said has already been said. It is so beyond disappointing to most women of our generation.

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    3. I just looked at the site again and it seems that the only people below her in number of engagements are Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra. Even the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester clocked in more work than Kate. Yikes !! I also read in the comments somewhere that even Sophie of Wessex had more engagements than Kate the year she had Louise and almost died. She had a rough pregnancy, birth and recovery, yet she worked more than Kate !

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    4. I really don't want to get into the numbers game. What counts as an engagement, what gets reported where...

      I will just chime in with this:

      -tours do carry some weight, especially with young children
      -Kate's husband is one generation younger than Sophie's. The two men had VERY different circumstances as children and young men so I would expect the mindset regarding family life (priorities) to be different. Generally speaking, lessons have been learned (on many levels).
      -RANK matters. If Kate is known to suffer from SG, EXTRA precautions will be taken.

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  11. Charlotte - France1 January 2018 at 22:16

    So disappointed with how few engagements she did. Surely, she was ill, but that was at the end of the year, and it's not like it's the first time they are this low. Even Sophie did more the year she was pregnant with Louise, and the following, in which she almost died because of complications. I hope they step up but with their 7th wedding anniversary nearby, I doubt it.

    I think it may even be more apparent if Meghan and Harry do more events than W&K

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    1. I am so disappointed at the numbers. I genuinely thought that Kate had done more work than this. I don't think this is going to change in the next few years.

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    2. I'm disappointed too, but I think Kate is a much more hands-on mother than royal women in previous generations so most of her time is spent with the kids. She has 40-50 years of engagements ahead of her and I have no doubt we'll see a significant increase in duties when she is one day Princess of Wales and Queen consort. Right now her children are still so young; maybe in a few years when both kids are at boarding school she'll be more active.

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    3. Penny if you look at a lot of Kate's engagements they're rather short and not time-consuming. They're local -- in London. So while I'm sure planning for these engagements and having her hair and makeup done do take time most of these engagements are not things that would take a significant time away from her kids. It's actually probably way less than the average mom has to spend away from her kids simply because Kate doesn't have to worry about buying groceries and whatnot.

      And not to compare ... but despite their personal troubles Charles and Diana both made efforts to be hands-on parents and by all accounts succeeded, and both of them were very active "workers" so to speak.

      So it's not really an either/or thing.

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    4. Charlotte - France2 January 2018 at 05:41

      Penny, with all due respect but the Countess of Wessex is only 52 years old and gave birth to her last child in 2008, I don't think she is from a past generation... Also, countless parents work full-time and raise their children perfectly, even more so if they have the help W&K do and they usually don't even spend a day away when on events ;)

      As for her having 50+ years of engagements... there is a good chance she becomes PoW tomorrow, and Charles is not that young either, so her change could be sooner rather than later, and I think being "forced" to do more events all of the sudden might be more harsh to her rather than if she began right now (or 7 years ago, but well). Plus, her job won't begin when she becomes PoW, her job began on April 29th, 2011

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    5. Ivy Lin, Kate was never going to be the “average mom.” She probably works more and spends less time with her kids than if she hadn’t married William. In her social circles, she could have met and married any number of rich, aristocratic men (like Pippa did) and had a more leisurely life in which she wouldn’t have to work outside the home at all. So, as the Duchess of Cambridge, she probably has more work than she would have had if she married someone else. Maybe that's actually a sacrifice that she made. I know, it seems crazy to see her life as any kind of sacrifice, but we can’t always evaluate the lives of the rich from the perspective of our average lives.

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    6. Does a woman in 2018 have "the right" to do anything except choose to spend more time with her children? I may be simplifying, but it seems to be the same debate each time, with me wondering how far we've really come.

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    7. It has been stated a number of times that Kate's focus is on raising her children, it might seem to be a dated choice but it is her's, and William's, to make. It can be seen as disappointing to women that she is making that choice but they can afford it. Many women choose to be full-time carers for their children. I think that if the mother of the future King of England and his siblings chooses to do so then that is fair enough.

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    8. Amen, rf, Tara, Pam, Penny. :)

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    9. Same debate with the same set of responses each time! As has been pointed out many many times, she married a job and along with the perks comes responsibilities. As for her not being the average mom, you are right that her position has a lot of perks, but she isnt a socialite either. The royal family is expected to be seen working and visible. No one is asking her to work 40hr weeks as the "average person". Being away on engagements a few hours a week doesn't necessarily mean the children will be neglected. Whether its the future king of England or not, any child needs the necessary attention from his/her parents and its also the responsibility of the parents to instill the right work ethic. There is no point in trying to twist this around otherwise. I just dont get it when I read comments along the lines of doing work means neglecting children. In her position, she can definitely spend 10-12 hours every week doing engagements. Ofc it does require some prep work but she is not going to spend 40hours still. Their staff does most of the work behind the scenes. As for selecting outfits and grooming, any working woman has to do this aside from the requisite 40hours or more they put in. So no biggie

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    10. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2018 at 02:52

      Kate is not making the same choice as stay at home moms! Most women who choose to do that are sacrificing a salary and related work benefits. Kate, however, still has received all the royal privileges, i.e. her salary since taxpayer funding and free palatial residences for royals is justified these days by pointing to things like their charity work. If they paid for Kate's security when in private and did not spend millions of other ppl's money to renovate a huge rent-free london home that they ended up barely using for the first four yrs after renovation, etc, then I wouldn't have a problem with Kate's choice. But let's be clear - she is not making a choice all women should have since they don't get paid for a job when they choose to give it up - she is making a choice most women don't have.
      By the way this is a family who takes their full time nanny on vacations and even things like that weekend trip to the Duke of Westminster estate just a few months ago. So clearly they plan/do spend significant time away from the kids, even on a family vacation and such. And that's absolutely fine, not to mention healthy. But then why do they spend time away from children for private, fun purposes, while being less willing to do the same for work?

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    11. Marci in Utah (a born Californian)3 January 2018 at 03:20

      It seems disappointing to me that women who choose to spend their time focused on their young children instead of seeking as many outside assignments as possible while still technically being a "stay-at-home" mother are actually disappointments to women of any generation. This feels all wrong. Kate's choice to be the very best mother to her children that she knows how to be seems to me to be such a different choice from the standards of the royal family, from the norm for aristocratic women, from the forced standard of the middle and lower-class world where economic realities enforce full-time working mothers as the norm, that why are we not supporting the fact that she is free to make such a choice in favor of a much more stable generation of royal children than has been the case since forever? I think it is okay for Kate to choose what she wants to do and I support her experiment in a radical new way for royal children to be brought up. Here's hoping it succeeds in producing amazing results for George, Charlotte, and the coming child. I think it counts as work, radical as that may seem to most people.

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    12. I think the issue around Kate's workload and life choices is the fact that her choices are not funded by hers and William's earned income. If their lives were funded by their own private wealth I don't think there would be the complaints. But they're not. They are perceived to be funded by the state, and I don't think it's all that surprising that people want to see where their money is going. William and Kate live a subsidised life of luxury (not having a dig, simply stating a fact - it's not a life I would want however comfortable!) and they need to be seen to be worth their keep.

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    13. I think that Kate is actually working for the monarchy by focusing on raising the children - "earning her keep" so to speak. She is raising the future king and next generation of royals and perhaps the monarchy has come to realize that a hands on mother raising their next king is more beneficial than having her running around all over London at charity events.

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    14. The issue is that Kate's lifestyle is publicly funded, so it is not a straightforward choice of whether to work or stay at home. But I think everyone knows that.

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  12. Thank you for your review Charlotte! I especially enjoyed listening to the interview the three did re mental health conversations.

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  13. Darla from Colorado1 January 2018 at 22:24

    And so 2018 begins ... So many things to look forward to and right out of the gate a very long new blog post!! What an unexpected treat! (When I told my husband he said, "See you at dinner! ;-)) I did like Kate's beautiful long hair, but I don't expect it to change with Cambridge #3 entering the scene. When holding babies they will grab and pull your hair, so unless she puts her hair in a ponytail or updo every day it would be a real pain (literally!). I love pink, so I loved the dress she wore when dancing with Paddington and that was a fun picture! So, of course, I loved the Marchesa dress for the Spanish State Banquet, too. I hope she doesn't stop wearing the brand. Is it fair to punish Weinstein's wife? Hasn't she had enough loss this year? Just my opinion. I also loved the floral dress at Wimbledon and the berry colored suit and the green suit. I love that Kate tried so many new brands this year and that she mixed up sheath dresses, coat dresses, twirly dresses, and suits this year. She also looks great in dark green as in the dark green lace long dress for the Portrait Gallery engagement.

    I was surprised William's engagements had gone down from last year and agree that is was because of canceling the Norway/Sweden part of their Scandinavian tour. I am always impressed with Princess Anne's and the Countess of Wessexes numbers. It is a shame that we don't hear and see pictures of all the royal's engagements.
    Finally, I, too, would like to wish everyone a healthy, joyful new year full of good things for you and yours!

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    1. It's still debatable if Georgiana Chapman was completely innocent in that relationship. Harvey Wienstein was involved in founding Marchesa and actresses were bullied into wearing their design. Rumors about his behavior toward actresses were rampant for years, it was on gossip sites and it's hard to believe his wife didn't know anything. At least, that he wasn't a faithful husband.

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  14. Charlotte would like to thank you again for the dedication and effort you put into this blog πŸ’• happy new year to you and all the readers ✨

    So great to look back at the year and remember those engagements. There were so many beautiful looks... Loved the green flower dress at the garden show and the ponytail. Kate looked fantastic at trooping the colors and it was so great to see cute George and Charlotte πŸ’• every time I see them my heart is melting... Loved Kate's hairdo and dress at pippas wedding! One of my favorite looks was her white lace dress at royal ascot... She looked so lovely...I had a Mary poppins moment!πŸ’• at least it was so nice to see her so happy and serene on Christmas day.

    Contrarily to most of the readers, I like that she had chopped her hair! Looking now at the fotos of the beginning of the year to me it seems the long hair (although she has beautiful hair) makes her look a bit older. However, would like to see her style the shorter hair in different looks.

    Look very much forward to next year with baby number three to arrive and harry and meghans wedding πŸ’’ and look forward to stay here in this wonderful place, read all of your comments and comment myself.

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  15. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts. Fantastic round up of a great year. I regularly read but not always comment, so thank you for your hard work. Happy New Year to you and your family Charlotte.

    Not sure if anyone else has this problem, as it may be at my end, but none of the media plays for me. I just get a message "media could not be played". Any suggestions? Help appreciated - thank you.

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    1. Hi KiwiNic, I had the same problem until I switched browsers. I was able to watch the videos using Firefox but they wouldn’t play when I switched to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Hope this helps!

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    2. I think it is has to do with geographical thing, lately I have the same "message" and I use Firefox. Charlotte obviously is using GB links so it works there but not outside. Now, I checked it works for me with Chrome:))) Hope it helped sorry:)

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    3. Hello Kiwinic,

      I'm very sorry to hear that. Drop me an email at hrhcatherineblog@hotmail.com and we'll try and get it sorted.

      I always thought it was a browser related issue. Is anyone else experiencing the same problem?

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    4. I cannot view the videos in Firefox. I am in the U.S.

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    5. I also cannot view the videos, on either Firefox or Safari. I had thought my system is at fault, but it sounds as if others have the same issue.

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  16. Thanks for the reviews, Charlotte! I thoroughly enjoyed looking back at the past year :) I have to say, I do wish Kate would go back to her longer hair! & I also hope we see more of the children this year...they have grown so much. Can’t wait for the new arrival in a few months time :)

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  17. Thank you for the recap! What a wonderful New Year's surprise. One of my fashion highlights of 2017 was Kate's look at the UK-India Year of Culture reception at Buckingham Palace. I love the Erdem Rhona dress and Oscar de la Renta Cabrina pumps are so glamorous. Engagement wise, I really enjoyed seeing the Cambridges attended Easter Service at Windsor with the Queen. I hope it is a new tradition, but wonder if they will attend this year (Easter is April 1, but I'm not sure when in April we are expecting baby Cambridge/how early Kate will take maternity leave). I doubt we will see Kate this year at some of my other favorite engagements such as the Chelsea Flower Show, a garden party, or Royal Ascot (which sadly means we will have to wait another year to see if Kate takes any of our excellent styling advice - styling Kate was one of my favorite parts of this community this year). Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to everyone here!

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  18. Thank you for wonderful recap i should take these comment to s wising you a healthy peaceful healthy new year i should say a fantastic review these year my mosr favorite is there head together talked and listening coverstion looking forward on to 2018 For fashion she very classy and siimple looking baby Cambridge and prince harry and meghan

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  19. I loved reading this recap, and I enjoy this blog so much. I don't comment often but please accept my thanks for all your hard work. Here's to 2018!

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  20. Love this recap Charlotte! I hope to see more of Kate after Baby #3 is born, but I am also anxious to see how Meghan evolves into her new role. ( I predict Zara Tindall and Meghan will be pregnant next year!) What a year to look forward to!! My favorites this year for Kate were both her Erdem dresses and the Bafta McQueen. I hope she continues to try new colors, prints and new designers too ( please no more ice blue or lace). We will see if Meghan and Kate influence each other with their wardrobes. Can't wait for spring! (especially since it was -8 this morning)

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  21. Alejandra Campos2 January 2018 at 03:31

    Great recap Charlotte!
    May God bless you forever and ever for all your hard work!
    You do make Royal Watching a pleasure and delight!
    Happy New Year and May the Force be with you! :D

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  22. I do think the numbers very much need to go up - especially since there are so many working mums who have to manage jobs, house matters and the little ones, all with economic pressure and not much help. Kate seems more out of touch than anything - and there are worries with William's low numbers too. I wonder where George will get the work ethic he is going to need - the future of the monarchy for both him and William is going to require extremely hard work. With Philip retired and the queen cutting back and the hard-working older royals forced to cut back for health, it's time for the no-longer-so-young royals to step up.

    I feel like an old scrooge saying this - but the problem is there and I doubt this year will see much improvement in numbers for Kate. Tours are wonderful and hopefully serve their diplomatic purpose but both more and broader engagements are needed at home.

    On the positive side, I prefer Kate's hair shorter because it looks more professional and she is less inclined to touch it - and I honestly think her mood lightens when her hair is shorter - as odd as it sounds. I liked most of her clothes - some were lovely - like the Erdam cocktail dress - and whilst some of the engagements were quite light like Wimbledon, it's nice to see them more involved with royal traditions from Easter services and the diplomatic reception to, very sadly, the memorials.


    Hopefully, so hopefully no more need for memorials next year. Happy New Year to all.

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    1. Julia, I agree about Kate's hair. Looking back on the photos from yearly last year just reconfirms that for me. Her hair looked quite heavy and and the style dated, think Sharon Tate from the 60's. Kate's hair itself is beyond gorgeous, but sometimes less is more.

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    2. While I see your point about shorter hair looking more professional, it does not solve the issue of her touching it every time. Just look at every arrival video, that is her first thing to do, and I have not even looked further.

      I agree on the numbers, I predict the same or rather less this year.

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    3. Marci in Utah (a born Californian)3 January 2018 at 03:33

      True from one perspective, but children have in the past and can continue in the future to learn a strong work ethic from an at-home mother. Kate will be working from now until forever, and perhaps her children will turn out the better for their mother's experiment in rearing royal children in a more hands-on fashion than has been tried before. I'd like to give the experiment a chance and support.

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  23. Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you for this wonderful review Charlotte. It’s always great fun to be able to look back on the year’s engagements in one or two posts. I so appreciate all your work on these blogs - you are one talented lady and I’m so glad I found your websites! Sometimes I come back to them several times in one day, because I often find something new and I know I won’t encounter some of the vitriol that exists on other sites. On another note, I think my favourite outfit in this group is the white lace the Duchess wore to Ascot. She seems to have very slim hips, and when she wears a dress that has a flare or pleats at the waist, things balance out. I love the way she looks in white or pale colours.

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  24. What a wonderful recap. I think my favorite gala look was from the January Bafta awards. I can't wait for this year - from the new baby to the wedding - exciting. Thanks Charlotte for such wonderful posts! Happy New Year!

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  25. Thanks for all your work this past year, Charlotte. I always read your blog (now blogs, since you started the Meghan one too) but never comment. You put a lot of effort in, and it is appreciated!

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  26. Thank you for your very kind comments and good wishes for the New Year, they are greatly appreciated :)

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  27. I believe that the quality of Kate's engagements are more important than the quantity. All that she does she does very well, and with great enthusiasm and engagement. Kate has tied in so much of her work with mental health, it is just wonderful. I think we need to look beyond the numbers. Her main job is to bring up the future King of England. There needs to be a mother who is present and stable, and Kate personifies that to perfection.

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    1. Agreed, Royal Watcher. I’d personally love to see Kate out doing engagements every day of the week. But I also feel that raising their small children is as important as anything else she does on behalf of HM and ‘the firm,’ regardless of whether or not she has help. Just my two cents on the subject.......

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    2. I so agree with you. Kate has never given any other impression other than that she would be spending time with her children. Raising the future King of England is no mean feat and I for one think that is more important than raising her engagement numbers to make people happy. When she becomes the Princess of Wales and her kids are going to school full time is plenty of time for her to raise those ever important numbers. I also believe that if the Queen or Prince Charles wanted her to do more engagements, she would be doing them. Kudos to her for sticking to her guns to be a hands on mother.

      MizBev in Colorado

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    3. Couldn’t agree more, Royal Watcher!

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    4. RW, add me to the "AGREED!" column. :-)

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    5. I agree with everyone's sentiments here! As much as I would love to see more of her too, I think that her time will come and that she will more than willing step into (and up to) the responsibilities. Someone mentioned that "it seemed like she did more" tells me that the impression she leaves when she does do engagements speaks to the quality of the engagements rather than the numbers. I like her focus on mental health and think her presence does so much for bringing much needed attention to a very worthy cause. This groundwork can only help her in the future when her role is broadened. I don't mind that her children are a priority for her now, as their needs will change, so will hers. While I think statistics are important, they are like scorecards, they are good to get the numbers, but they don't necessarily tell you how close or how well the game was played. This recap just reiterates to me the impact she has at her engagements...IMO she is doing very well. cc

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    6. Ok ... raising a future king ... I actually find that sort of sentiment rather limiting and degrading. Catherine is not just a breeder for an "heir and a spare." Certainly we've progressed beyond that mentality? Also like it or not the role of the monarchy is evolving. The days when Queen Victoria could essentially be "in mourning" forever for her husband are over. In order for the monarchy to have a future, they have to seem in step with the currently British population. And 63 engagements (which, if you tally and give a generous average of 5 hours per engagement for a total of 3000 hours worked give or take) all year is less than two months of an average work year for many moms in the UK and elsewhere.

      Kate's not an average mom ... but she also has privileges that the average mom could never dream of. She doesn't have to worry about the bills, the groceries, the laundry, the cleaning, and on and on. So while I do think that Kate very much wants to be a homemaker that her lifestyle could eventually cause resentment and that will WEAKEN George when he becomes king.

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    7. Ivy Lin, there is a considerable difference between 'breeding' and 'raising!' One could have a child and leave it in the care of nannies for the next 20 years. Or one could be a hands on parent, giving it one's loving care and attention. I am always concerned when comments reflect a lack of understanding of what raising a child means. See the picture of Kate with her two little ones at Pippa's wedding in the next post. She could never be confused with the breeder mom!

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    8. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2018 at 03:12

      Could not agree more, ivy Lin, about the cringeworthiness of saying Kate's role is to breed royal heirs...that's incredible sexist and dated. Also agree with everything else you said. And just to add to the point that it could weaken george - imo aside from hurting public popularity of monarchy, it also fails to set any kind of example for george in regards to work ethic, and also in terms of learning to not have old-fashioned and sexist views of women that will affect how he treats them. George will see a life where he and his parents get to go on luxurious vacations to places like mustique with the nanny, have huge free homes renovated by other ppls money, along with not having to worry about the randomized terrorist incidents that threaten most British citizens - all the while also seeing that his parents have that life without having to do much to earn it. It amazes me that ppl put so much importance on the Cambridge kids having normal childhoods when it comes to Kate staying at home and shielding them from their roles in the monarchy, but then brush off the fact that a "normal" childhood also tends to include things like full time working parents, for at least one parent. And if we are going to stick to the old fashioned idea that Kate's most important role is as royal breeder, then we should talk about what is so important abt raising the king of England. If it is any harder etc than the job of any mother, then it's because the king of England is expected to play a public leadership role and serve his country well. So if she needs to be sooo worried about raising a future king, then how is the most important part of that not raising him to have a real sense of duty?! It is incredibly contradictory to say she needs to focus on raising a future king and then ignore the importance of setting an example for the most important part of being king.

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    9. Maggie, I disagree with you on most (all?) of your points, but want to point out that not only are William and Kate and their children subject to random terrorist attacks (that's why they're called random!), they are also the target of specific threats because of their status, which must be top of mind for them every day.

      As far as her choosing to be an involved mother, I approve. It's not sexist to note that women with children are mothers, and I thought the point of so-called feminism was that women can make their own choices.

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    10. Hrhdhd- yes feminism is about empowering women to make any decision they want. But it does not deny others the right to criticize those choices and it does not say we have to like those choices.

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    11. I find nothing wrong with Kate being more involved with her children. My mother who is a doctor, stopped working after my sister was born and was a “ stay-at-home” for about 10 years to raise me and my younger sister. She started working again after I started high school. She doesn’t regret it one bit, sure if she had worked when we were younger she would have been more successful now but she says she was glad that she stayed home and raised us instead of working long hours and having a nanny. Thankfully, my mother could afford to stay home and I know some(most)mothers can’t, but I think Kate is in an entirely different league. She can afford to say home but she is also being partially funded by the taxpayers. Although I have no problem with Kate being a more involved mother, I also think that she should do just a little bit more work because part of her luxury to stay at home is being funded by the taxpayers who have to work long hours to feed their children.

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    12. Hmm. Not sure I agree with that logic. Freedom of speech means people can say what they want and have the opinions they want . . . but if being a feminist means supporting women's choices, whatever they are, then not supporting them isn't being a feminist.

      Interesting that in today's age of "diversity and inclusion," I am asked to respect a lot of non-traditional choices, but traditional ones are looked down upon.

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    13. Zora from Prague4 January 2018 at 10:18

      Good points, hrhdhd.

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    14. hrhdhd, I couldn't agree more, especially with your last paragraph. That may just be the understatement of the year....yes, even at this early stage. :-)

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    15. This is absurd. Kate's "work" is not normal work. Kate doesn't have to worry about calling in sick. She doesn't have to worry about being fired. She doesn't have to worry that her paycheck can't pay the bills. She doesn't pay taxes. She doesn't have to find childcare for Charlotte and George while she's out "working." In fact considering most of her engagements are short and in London she could probably "work" two to three days every week and still be home in time to pick George up from pre-school.

      I think of her "work" (as all of the Royals' work) as giving back to the British people who support them and foot the bill for all the privileges they have. Kate certainly has royal taste -- I'm often shocked at the price of her clothes. It's not unreasonable to ask her to give back a little more. 63 engagements for the entire year is really pitiful.

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    16. Hrhdhd- being a feminist does mean supporting woman’s choices, but not with the cost of somebody else’s money. If a stay-at-home mom is receiving government benefits we would tell her to stop being lazy and go find a job if she is physically and mentally able to work. Same thing goes for any unemployed welfare recipient married with children or single who are able to work. I believe woman( people) can make their own lifestyle choices as long as they can afford it with their own money, but if your on welfare nope you don’t have a choice until you get off of it. Like I said in my previous post Kate’s luxury to mostly stay at home is partially taxpayer funded. So asking Kate to do a little bit more work is not unreasonable.

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    17. hrdhd and ROYALFAN: what you say is patently wrong. You are grossly mistaken on what the women's movement was about. You ladies might want to understand what feminism means before you trot out the word willy nilly. Feminism is believing in equal rights for men and women. That does NOT mean that you support whatever women do. If a woman chooses to stand on top of a tower and fire a gun at hundreds of innocent people, we are not not feminists if we don't support that. How ridiculous.
      I am astonished that women of your generation have such a huge misunderstanding of what the entire movement is about. Usually young women are the ones that need to be educated, primarily because they take their rights for granted. Given that hrdhd uses Firefox I am assuming you are not a millenial - probably a few generations away from being one. Pardon me if I am wrong in my assessment of your ages.

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    18. I am constantly surprised that we think we can stipulate what Kate's work should be. We are not the royal households, and we don't know the policy behind Kate's work assignments. Thus ordering her to do more seems pointless and unkind. I am impressed by what she does.

      It is quite amusing to estimate age via browser use! My children who have advised me to use Firefox are still in their thirties.

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    19. Rosman, that was hilarious and very well articulated. I don’t know why these confused people think feminism = having to unconditionally and unanimously like and support every woman on the face of the planet. It’s literally just wanting equality between men and women.

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    20. Rosman, I promise you that I don't vacuum while wearing heels and pearls, nor am I a hardcore feminist. I'm somewhere in the happy middle and I believe (hope) that comes through. :-) Part of my issue with this debate is that once upon a time men (not all) looked upon their stay-at-home wives/mothers of their children as somehow being less than. My point is how far have we come if women do it to other women?

      Kate's life will never be similar to that of a CEO. Right now, because of William's rank, lessons learned, and private decisions, Kate is focusing on her children. But unlike Ms. CEO, Kate will not retire in 25 or 30 years. The role is hers for life and while it does come with many perks, it also comes with negatives that I would not want to factor into my day-to-day life, never mind that of my children.

      I am here, willingly, following a member of the BRF, and I do believe that they give back and will continue to do so in the decades to come. And as far as G&C being more special, I don't think anyone is suggesting that, but I also don't see the appreciation for what her children (George in particular recently) can be subjected to in the years to come. Talk about giving back in exchange for the lifestyle that is such a hot topic here.

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    21. You are pardoned. :) And we will have to disagree on our perceptions of the "women's movement."

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    22. royalfan, I know where you are coming from. I truly do. But I think that you will have to trust that this forum does not consist of women who are coming from a place of non-support and women-bashing enjoyment. As I have explained in multiple posts I have nothing against women not working if they choose it. I have respect for what stay-at-home moms do. I have friends and family members I adore who are wonderful home-makers. I couldn't do it - I am just not patient or giving enough. If Kate was not a woman, but a man then my wager is that we would have the same reaction. I certainly feel the same way about William's work ethic as I do about Kate's. I think you know that. This discussion is not one of women bashing another more fortunate and more beautiful woman because they are jealous of her good fortune and beauty. I think you need to REALLY understand, believe and give credit for that. Unless you do that I feel like our words will never reach you. Which is also fine.

      Stripping everything away : people just don't like other people taking advantage of social welfare. And that is what people feel is going on here. Societies have lots of checks and balances in place to make sure that doesn't happen. The US (especially the Republican party ) has spent decades trying to perfect a system where people don't game the system and take benefits while enjoying a life of leisure. I believe that you would support such checks and balances - yes? The perception is that William and Kate are enjoying a publicly funded lifestyle while not giving back and this is gaming the system.

      I honestly don't think that William or Kate won't retire in 25-30 years. I think that how you view work and duty is revealed early on and your values stay with you forever. I just think that they care minimally and feel entitled to their benefits, status and life. They don't view their work as duty and their job - they view it as doing the world a favor. This has been revealed time and again.

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    23. Zora from Prague5 January 2018 at 17:05

      Fatima, I don't think it's very kind to call your fellow-commentators "these confused people" and ascribe to them opinions which are not theirs. None of the participants in the discussion claims feminism is what you describe in your ironical equation. Readers here are mostly very intelligent people with wide knowledge of a lot of subjects. Opinions differ and as hrhdhd puts it, let's agree to disagree on the topic of Kate's work without slighting the others.

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    24. Speaking as one of the confused posters, I'm not aware of anyone suggesting that women have to "unconditionally and unanimously like and support every woman on the face of the planet." I do not. But one does not have to be a cheerleader to have **respect** for another woman's choice.

      Rosman, I am on the same page (perhaps the same paragraph) on people who take without giving back. And, yes, I hear you, but I do not see W&K as being in this category of not giving back. Also, I do not think a blog devoted to a member of the BRF is the place to look for or advocate feminism. To a degree, it's like following a Fortune 500 CEO or a political figure and wondering why they did not choose to be stay at home moms.

      Zora, you're a very nice blog-mate! Thank you. :-)

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    25. Zora from Prague5 January 2018 at 21:59

      :) royalfan. I've been thinking for several days now about the topic and what feels "askew" to me. Just now, I've watched a British document about the Queen from 2012 on our TV (not that we have such programmes every day) and I realised a couple of things. First of all, the royals do a lot more these days than they used to in the old days. Next, the Queen is quite extraordinary in her devotion to duty and putting the service to her country above everything else. I believe her influence on Charles and William will become more and more apparent as one and then the other becomes sovereign. And finally, the problem of tax-payers' money. I agree people should know where their money goes and they want to see the results. I am not from the UK and don't know what else is funded by tax-payers' money there; I know, however, what is funded by tax-payers' money in my country and I can assure you people are not happy about the results. Not at all. The BRF, on the whole, represent their country in the world; they stand for certain standards and values. (People expect them not to lie, not to steal, to be above politics etc.) Now in my country, there is no one such expectations could be applied to. What a pity. Many of our representatives fall short of values and dignity. They come and go, each time people get hopeful about their promises but they are very often disappointed and frustrated. I'm sure a lot of people would be happy if they knew that their tax-payers' money is being used for funding a decent young family, albeit rich and with a lot of privileges, who already represent them with dignity, together with raising their own children, trying to reach out to less privileged people, supporting various charities, caring for mental health, prevention of cyber-bullying in kids etc. All along knowing that these people will still be there longer than for the next couple of years and will be putting on more workload, undoubtedly (I don't think they can avoid it even if they wanted to).
      I hope all this isn't too much off-topic and I apologise if it is. I'm not saying people shouldn't have expectations but I also think W&K are not just taking without giving back.

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    26. Interesting thoughts, Zora. And not off topic in this thread IMO.

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  28. It was so much fun reading this recap! Thank you so much for taking the time to do these.

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  29. Love reading this blog and everyones thoughtful comments.Kate is doing a wonderful job.
    Thank you for all the amazing updates Charlotte.

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  30. I understand *why* people like tallying up engagements but I don't understand why it really matters. I post this almost every year but I'd like to post it again here. First, it is just my opinion but I see the royal family as a working whole. It doesn't make sense to me to count each engagement for each person but to each their own. I see a hard working royal family with a lot of moving parts and many people doing many different things and touching so many different people. Second, everyone has a different system of counting engagements. For the tallies posted, Harry's numbers are a bit skewed (in my opinion) because each different sports game that he attended for the Invictus Games were counted as a separate engagement (which wasn't done in past games, interestingly). William, the future King, stepped up his game *exponentially* since announcing that he would go full time and has done a splendid job. Third, it is my feeling that Catherine has a completely unique roll as mother to her children. She is raising a future King and two children who will grow up in the public eye where their every. single. move will be watched by the media and the world. They need unique support and an absolutely stable home life that will help them with the task that falls on their young shoulders. I will never shame a mother for wanting to spend time with her children at home, especially not in this situation. In my opinion, the work that she does, the attitude that she has, and the quest for information she shows is more important than more engagements just for the sake of numbers.

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    1. Thank you for repeating the message. :-)

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  31. Maggie - Minneapolis2 January 2018 at 20:25

    I've made my thoughts on Kate's workload clear enough on this blog probably :P, so I'm trying to avoid repeating my thoughts on her being a stay at home mother. But regardless of if you think it's fair for her to avoid royal duties, can we at least stop using the excuse that the Queen and Charles must support/want it bc otherwise she would do more? Seriously? William and Harry refused to cooperate when the BP and CH plan to consolidate press offices and leadership was put in place, and chose to start their own power base at KP instead. For a whole yr leading up to August, they spent a large portion of their public time bringing up memories of their mother that made the entire BRF look terrible again just after Charles and Camilla were finally seeing some success with their pr strat post diana. Do we seriously think the queen or Charles wld *want*that to happen? Esp when charles' popularity was more imp than ever as the BRF begins transitioning from the queen as total monarch. When Charles had the huge honor of being the opening speaker at the Paris climate talks that concluded in a historic, worldwide accord to fight the world's biggest threat, KP released that adorable family Christmas picture of all 4 the very same day. I could go on and on abt all the ways it has been incredibly clear that the Cambridges have no interest in doing anything buttheir own thing, and have been able to avoid any pressure from anyone to act otherwise. And don't get me started abt the Queen's very lengthy history of choosing not to get involved when her children are making poor choices that threaten the monarchy.
    Again, if you want to think Kate has the right or is right to focus on family, then fine - but it seems to ignore all recent and older history to say that it has anything to do with charles or the queen wanting it that way.

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    1. Maggie, I have a difficult time seeing C&C as victims at the hands of W/K/H. As a matter of fact, I think it's high time they took the reigns whether their mother's legacy is concerned. Considering what was done to Diana in her lifetime, and the ongoing attempts to rewrite history, what sort of men would they be if they DIDN'T speak up?

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    2. I think it would do a lot of good for Charles, William, and Kate to do more appearances together. Meanwhile, it says more about the reader - who is focused on a Christmas card then real issues in the world.

      I think the Diana review was necessary and never needs to be repeated. The princes said as much. It's time to move forward and I think Harry's interview with his father was a great ending to the year.

      I mentioned my thoughts on the reader expectations of Kate below. Kate is only royal by marriage -- for an institution whose sole claim is bloodline it's a curious thing to expect her to represent the institution to the world. Her husband and children carry royal blood - there is a subtle difference there. I don't expect Kate to move much beyond a consort role - she's pretty much established that with her focus on wife and mother. It is still interesting to watch her public life and the media interest it draws.

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    3. Moxie, I wholeheartedly agree with you and with your analysis below. One of the reasons I am a monarchist is that I believe a person raised from infancy as a state representative and future head of state and obliged to be neutral will be a better representative and head of state than any elected politician, presumably ambitious and whose loyalty usually is to his party or own interest. For centuries, future monarchs were not allowed to choose their spouse. Paradoxically, now that love is the only criteria for their choice, it has become less democratic, in that there is less control from the parliament and the law, which means less participation of the people in the election of a person who by marriage is going to represent them. Thus I agree, the role of spouses should be a supportive role, and I think the RF is aware of that and Kate is and has been made aware of that. It would be illogical as you say, if a new family member by marriage had his/her own agenda. Add to that that all members of the RF, blood or not, are expected to support the Queen, which is the only one who has the job of head of state.

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  32. Somewhere above there is a comment, I think by Rosman, that Kate’s engagements seemed more numerous than they were. Surely that is because of the quality of Kate’s work, the focus on mental health and on children, the European tours, and of course the beautiful photographs and Kate’s luminous smile. Her appearances are always memorable, the press is drawn to them, and people who actually meet her are charmed. Those of us who watch from a great distance always learn a lot, as well as enjoying the splendid coverage, especially here. Charlotte of course knows just how to provide the context for whatever Kate does. I would like to see a comparison between the early part of the year and the last couple of months. Of course Kate was compensating for missed time during HG, but I also have a feeling that Catherine Quinn and the move to London have made a visible difference. Kate’s schedule seems to have been reorganized. It will be hard to tell this year, but we may see the same more focused effect at the beginning and end of the year. I wish for Kate a healthy baby and a great 2018, with work she enjoys that makes a difference for those she has the most concern for!

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  33. Thank you so much for the recap Charlotte!
    I just wanted to note that in 2017 - Kate did most of her engagements with other family members. Who also got credit for the engagement.

    Her solo contributions were as follows:
    One day solo tour overseas to Luxembourgh
    13 days as a charity patron
    10 days as a representative of the royal family

    I suspect we will continue to see the trend of joint appearances in 2018. And more work in foreign relations. Will be interesting to watch.

    Also, I think it is interesting to consider O Donovan's list from the perspective of time in the family. Kate (2011) is the newest member on the list. She is also not of royal blood - but a married in, like Camilla (2005), Sophie (1999), and Birgitte (1972). Everyone else on that list is of royal blood. I'm not sure where the expectation that a spouse should outwork those born of royal blood comes from. Kate being at the bottom makes sense logically from that angle. O Donovan should probably re-order the list like this:
    Queen
    Edward, Kent
    Alexandra
    Richard
    Charles
    Anne
    Andrew
    Edward, Wessex
    William
    Harry
    Brigitte
    Sophie
    Camilla
    Kate

    I left Philip off since he is retired. Just some food for thought. Happy New Year!

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    1. Good thinking, Moxie! Shouldn't Birgitte be before William and Harry, or did you intend to list the spouses separately?

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    2. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2018 at 02:58

      Kate is future Queen Consort, so while sure, her husband the blood royal should work more than her, I'm not sure why lesser ranking blood royals should be expected to do more too. Esp when their families are no longer given taxpayer funded security or even grace and favor apartments in palaces. It's not like Kate gets less security protection than Edward, for example, bc she is not blood royal and he is. In fact she probably has a larger security detail.
      Also why is Sophie, who is a non-blood royal with no title higher than Countess, come before two future Queen consorts? Not sure why recency of marrying in matters at this point.

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    3. I'm with you, Maggie. I agree William should be out there more than his wife; however, Kate shares the lifestyle and status, so not sure why she should be relegated to the bottom and expected to do less than everyone else. By Moxie's logic, Meghan Markle should be expected to do least of all when she gets married in May.

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    4. Hi Patricia, the spouses last are intentional - they can become non-royal at anytime due to divorce. Meghan will come after Kate once she marries in.

      Hi Maggie, the list takes in account privilege and experience. Privilege in that every blood royal has benefited from being royal and they are supported by the Queen - from the funds she is given - whether in trusts or through the royal payroll. Meanwhile, just because Kate married William did not automatically make her an experienced diplomat. Imagine that the Queen actually works in conjunction with the UK government and there are more folks making decisions about how to represent the UK inside and outside the country. (Who decides that William and Kate are going to visit Land Rover, Aston Villa Football Club and Acme Whistles? And why those places? Because they represent British economy.) It is no accident that Kate has a new private secretary/tutor who is far more qualified than Kate to be involved at the national and international level. So that's why I list Kate and Camilla at the end - they weren't hired for jobs - they married men with royal blood. They have less experience in public royal duties - less experience then Sophie (18 years) and Birgitte (45 years). And, I'll also point out - Camilla and Kate are married to high status males - they aren't going to outwork them - and their husbands may like that their wives do not work that much but put their efforts towards home life and accompanying them in their public life. It's not like either had careers they gave up to marry them.

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    5. So Moxie you are saying that Kate and Camilla have no experience or qualifications unlike Sophie (who has experience as well as qualifications), so we are supposed to be okay with them being at the bottom of the list? That is sort of saying that we should expect the bottom of the class to remain at the bottom of the class because that is just who they are ? You have funny logic - I think that you just enjoy being the contrarian, don't you :)

      I don't agree with what you say at all. Phillip and the Queen worked similar amounts. PP's engagements were not half of those of the Queen - he was almost at par with her. And anyway, the debate is not one of whether Kate should work more than William - it is whether Kate should work more. Period. She is at no risk of catching or outwork William or any other blood royal at this point, so this whole thread is moot. At this point she cannot possibly work less even if she tried.
      She worked 62 days out of the last year. That is less than the number of days children go to school. It is abysmally low.

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    6. It's not funny logic at all. Is the UK government going to send an inexperienced 30 something year old to a foreign land to represent them? Someone whose only experience is in being William's girlfriend? How does that qualify her to represent the people of the UK? The same goes with Camilla. How does being Charles mistress and then wife equate to skill in international relations? How does being an American actress on a TV series make you qualified to represent the UK or the royal family?

      Philip had quite the ego and had a need to fulfill his time in a way that was rewarding to him, given that he was 2nd to his wife. I don't know that his schedule was out of duty, more so then boredom. He liked being the most important person in the room - so that meant not being in the room with his wife.

      In so far as the numbers are shown in engagements and not days - it's not possible to tell how many days Princess Anne or Prince Charles put in - they are known for stacking the day - so while their numbers are high - it might have been done in 85 days for all we know. Just a little more time then Kate spent out there. And don't forget, they are all getting credit for the same events - Trooping, Garter, State Visits, Diplomatic Receptions, Church visits, Remembrance Sunday...

      My point is this. In an institution where the only reason you are given privilege/power is your bloodline, to expect those without the bloodline to "earn their keep" is a bit odd. William picked a spouse. The UK didn't vote for a representative.

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    7. bluhare - are you expecting a divorced American actress to represent you? If so, why bother with a monarchy at all? Apparently anyone can do it.

      I think she will accompany Harry at home and around the world - and not use a British title to independently promote her own agenda. That would be very troubling indeed.

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  34. Interesting perspective Florida Moxie!! You present a clear and logical review of the statistics...makes sense. cc

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  35. Enjoyed the review, part 2. And Charlotte, we THANK YOU.

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  36. Women have always worked! Mothers have always worked! Very few mothers, historically as well as today, can devote their full time to their children, while having live-in staff (and no, not your mum staying over - although that can help).

    There is absolutely no reason to assume that Kate is more devoted to her children than any other mother on earth; highborn or lowborn (yuk!). All in all, this is about the privileged few who can actually make choices. I believe we should be allowed to discuss Kate’s choices, seeing as she is hugely privileged, and may become Queen, one day.

    William and Kate are publicly funded to perform their duties. She went into this with open eyes. Furthermore, the democratically elected powers that be are not interested in Kate’s wardrobe, which is rapidly growing as opposed to the number of activities. In four years’ time she will be 40.

    I wish she would lean forward; use her unique position and that hugely respected platform that is royalty, and be more visible, and say something to those who ultimately need her attention; those who are not in a position to choose.

    Heidi

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    1. Great comment Heidi. I always cringe when someone brings up the point about 'raising' a future king, as if mothers of non-kings have less of a job. So yuk indeed.

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    2. When I have referred, in my previous comments, to the importance of Kate "raising a future king," I have meant it from the perspective of the Monarchy, and in interest of its continuance and survival; with the view that perhaps a king or queen raised in a more hands-on and loving environment will make a better and more relatable monarch in the future. But, as much as I enjoy following the RF, I don't believe the world will be a worse place if it ceased to exist. It's not as if Kate's raising a future president or prime minister. And, as the mother of 4, I personally agree with you - my job is just as important, if not more so, than Kate's (because perhaps one of my daughters is a future POTUS - lol!)

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  38. First of all, Happy New Year! I have been reading over the comments to this post regarding Kate's number of engagements. Unfortunately, I don't believe her low numbers are because she's focused on raising her kids. I believe that even before children she typically had the lowest numbers. I believe that this is two fold. Number one, she doesn't have as many patranages as the more senior family members, and two, and I honestly hate to even write this, but I do believe she maybe a bit work shy. Also, considering what she spends on clothing a year, her number is abysmal. I remember the reading that the Queen was less than impressed that she had not held a proper job before marrying William. I love William and Kate, but sometimes I do feel that they simply don't get optics! Unfortunately, right now Kate is earning that Duchess Dolittle moniker! I just hope as time marches on, she will want to actually volunteer for these organizations and not just show up for photo ops. For all we know, she might just be doing that, but I seriously doubt it.

    To put this in perspective, I'm peeved that the current US President is coming to my home state of Georgia to watch a blasted football game! It's the college National Championships, but he didn't go to either University of Georgia or University of Alabama! It's ridiculous!

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