Monday, 2 July 2018

Kate's Patronages: The National Portrait Gallery

Today we're chatting about one of Kate's very first patronages, the National Portrait Gallery. The Duchess officially became patron in 2012. As a history of art graduate with a love of photography, it seemed a very natural choice.


The gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom. Artists range from Holbein to Hockney, and the Collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. As well as the permanent displays, the Gallery has a diverse and ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events which promote an appreciation of portraiture in all forms.


Kate's first visit to the gallery as patron coincided with her first solo engagement in February 2012. The Duchess visited the Lucian Freud exhibition 'The People in my life', which was described by reviewers as a fitting farewell to Freud who passed away in 2011. During a reception, Kate told Mary McCartney (daughter of Paul McCartney) she had been looking up her work and was hugely impressed by it.


The Duchess returned to the gallery in July for the The Road to 2012: Aiming High Exhibition. Kate was the guest of honour at the Olympic photography exhibition which documented three years of preparation for the London games. The engagement combined Kate's roles as patron of the National Portrait Gallery and Olympic ambassador. Kate wore her favourite Stella McCartney dress (of course Stella is the sister of photographer Mary who Kate met during her first visit) and the dazzling Cartier Trinity necklace.


The Telegraph wrote: "Road to 2012 is the biggest photographic commission the NPG has ever undertaken, a three year project reaching its culmination this month to celebrate the festival of running, jumping and diving about to take place seven miles to the east. These are not quick snaps or candid behind the scenes revelations. Anderson and Low shot rowers, swimmers and gymnasts in their training environments to create the formality and feel of a fine art portrait".


A photo of the Duchess taken during a Team GB hockey event featured in the exhibition.


On 11 January 2013, the first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge was unveiled at the NPG. Kate was involved in the selection process, from which artist Paul Emsley, the 2007 winner of the Gallery's BP Portrait Award competition was chosen. Emsley's subjects are frequently located against a dark background and emphasize, 'the singularity and silence of the form'. Kate attended two sittings for the portrait in May 2012 and June 2012 at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. The Duchess wore a bottle-green French Connection pussybow blouse and her sapphire and diamond earrings.


Speaking about the portrait Mr Emsley said: 'The Duchess explained that she would like to be portrayed naturally - her natural self - as opposed to her official self. She struck me as an enormously open and generous and a very warm person. After initially feeling it would be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling - that is really who she is'.


A preliminary study for the painted portrait.


Kate was reportedly thrilled with the results "I thought it was brilliant, Amazing, Absolutely brilliant". William described the portrait of his wife as "beautiful".


Kate wore a pale blue bespoke Emilia Wickstead dress for a reception at the National Portrait Gallery celebrating the work of her patronage The Art Room in April 2013. The Duchess made a short speech noting she is a "firm believer in the the power of art to make a difference and The Art Room makes this on a daily basis". The outing marked one of her last engagements before George was born.


The Duchess carried out her first engagement of 2014, attending the Portrait Gala at the NPG, on 11 February. Funds raised by the Gala support the Gallery's daily work of delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world-class research.


Kate was glamorous in her ink blue off-the-shoulder Jenny Packham gown and the stunning Nizam of Hyderabad necklace. The piece was given to her Majesty as a wedding gift in 1947 from the Nizam of Hyderabad then King of a state in India. The Nizam was the owner of one of the most celebrated and largest private jewellery collections in the world.


In March 2015, when Kate was expecting Charlotte, she supported the arts in Margate in her role as patron of the NPG. Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries and since opening in 2011 has become one of the most successful galleries in the UK, welcoming more than 1.4 million visits. It's been widely credited as a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate, generating an astounding £32 million for the local economy. The Duchess sported her Hobbs Dalmatian coat for the visit.


The Duchess viewed the 'Self: Image and Identity' exhibition which includes the last self-portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck, which was acquired for the nation by the National Portrait Gallery through a public appeal with The Art Fund.


Duchess Kate was pretty in pink McQueen in May 2016 for a visit to the National Portrait Gallery to view the 'Vogue 100: A Century of Style' exhibition.


The visit coincided with Kate's Vogue shoot. The Duchess posed in the Norfolk countryside for a series of photographic portraits by photographer Josh Olins. Kate was persuaded to participate in her first magazine shoot thanks to the connection with her patronage. Two portraits from the photo shoot featured in the exhibition. 


An aide said it was a "surreal" experience for Kate seeing the pictures but that she had enjoyed the process enormously. The Duchess discussed the exhibition decision-making process and photography as she viewed her portraits with Josh Olins.


In March 2017, Kate made her second appearance at the Portrait Gala, wearing a very elegant green lace Temperley London gown and statement Kiki McDonough earrings.


To mark the gala, and help raise funds during the evening, a range of artwork was especially created, including 10 unique masks by the likes of Dame Vivienne Westwood and Philip Treacy, and 100 postcard-sized works of art for a Mystery Portrait Postcard Sale.


Before dinner, Kate met a selection of guests at a reception, including those who have contributed to the event, friends of the gallery and artists. Kate met Phillip Chung, father of television presenter and model Alexa Chung, who remarked on the collection of art he had built up thanks to his children. The Duchess told him that she too had begun gathering her own children's artistic efforts together. The gallery's director Dr. Nicholas Cullinan was delighted to accompany HRH. He joked "It’s interesting to be talking to so many people, and know none of them are looking at me"


On a snowy night in February 2018, the Duchess spent the evening at the NPG to view the exhibition 'Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography'.


'Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography' brought together for the first time portraits by Oscar Rejlander, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron and Lady Clementina Hawarden. Kate wrote a foreword to the exhibition catalogue. She discussed her interest in 19th century photography, the subject of her undergraduate thesis while an art history student at the University of St Andrews. "This period of history has long interested me. Photographs of children in particular, which feature predominately within the exhibition are of real interest to me. The photographs allow us to reflect on the importance of preserving and appreciating childhood while it lasts. Children held a special place in the Victorian imagination and were celebrated for their seemingly boundless potential. The notion still rings true for us today and it underpins much of my official work and the charities I have chosen to support, and, indeed, my role as a mother of a young family."


The Duchess put her history of art degree to good use, she selected several Victorian photographs and wrote captions which were displayed with the images for a special 'Patron's Trail'. In one caption Kate wrote a child's natural curiosity is "so hard to capture in posed photographs".


For those visiting London, I would encourage you to visit the NPG. Admission is free and there's always outstanding exhibitions to see. Click here to find out more :)

92 comments:

  1. Pam from Boston2 July 2018 at 19:00

    I have a hard time believing that Kate was happy with the Emsley portrait. It's quite unflattering. Of course she had to praise it publicly. Although I will say that I saw the portrait in person at the gallery and it's better in person than in photographs. But still.....

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    1. I think the pencil sketches for the study are better than the painting. But, the artist did a better job than I ever could!

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    2. I agree that portrait is very unfortunate... she looks way too old for a thirtysomething.

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    3. In some ways the official portrait is a reasonable likeness of Kate, but it makes her look so tired. I don't think it was necessary to shade in grey circles under her eyes. The Duchess of Cambridge is such a warm and vibrant person and this painting makes her look somber and dull.

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    4. I think there's something about her eyes that's wrong. The lights? I'm not sure, but there's some animating factor missing that makes this seem like "not" Kate.

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    5. I think he was trying to revamp the Mona Lisa.

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    6. Interesting concept, Anonymous 4:00. I checked back and there is a Mona Lisa vibe going on.

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    7. In the portrait, the smile doesn’t seem to reach her eyes.

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    8. Jessica in Los Angeles3 July 2018 at 17:11

      Oof. That painting is definitely not flattering. But wouldn’t she have seen it ahead of time and asked for changes if she didn’t like it? I don’t understand why it was ever released. She looks 45. I don’t know any woman who wants to look 10 years older than her actual age!

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    9. One problem for me was the closed-mouth smile. (Mona Lisa style, as mentioned, like the Cheshire Cat--I understand Mona's was to hide bad teeth--not a problem with our Duchess) Kate just does not smile that way. I agree about the eyes. They are lifeless, if not a little calculating; keeping on the Renaissance theme,Lucretia Borgia-like. She has always had shining eyes, except when she has been ill. She was newly recovering from HG at the unveiling, but I don't think it was necessary to portray her as ill. And what is going on with her left nostril? I agree with anon 23--that pencil sketch is lovely; I wonder if it was done earlier, prior to her illness? Then revisions done during, after HG? In that photo of Kate and William walking outside the Gallery Kate looked a little ill to me, as though she were holding back nausea. I am trying to find excuses for producing this image of an otherwise intelligent, cheerful, out-going woman. I just hope he isn't commissioned for a Meghan portrait. One cringes at the prospect.

      Otherwise, regarding the NPG patronage, a perfect fit for Kate. I enjoyed reviewing her fashion choices for her appearances. I'd like to see the tweed shawl-necked dress again, but that pink McQueen peplum suit she introduced in Australia will always be a favorite of mine.

      (I'm obviously also a Katefan and Charlottefan)

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    10. I agree on the portrait. The portrait looks like what a disastrously over-photoshopped version of Kate would look like. It also seems to be a weird parody of Kate's public look. The portrait emphasizes the distinct way Kate likes to do her eye makeup, the bouncy long curls, the unevenly drawn eyebrows (I was shocked to see that there), the slightly stiff smile she sometimes adopts at formal events. On the other hand the pencil sketch looks much more like the actual Kate. I really wonder where the creative process went in making the pencil sketch turn into a color portrait that stiff and charmless.

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    11. The portrait looks very much like Kate's face in the picture below the sketch, the one of Kate, in the burgundy dress, with William. It's her "suppressed" smile, not the smile we see in almost all of the pictures of Kate...the warm happy one we associate with her. IMO cc

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    12. CeCe, I also noted the similarities (in my above comment) between how she appeared in the portrait and her appearance in the photo with William. I related this similarity to a post HG versus pre-HG face in the sketches. I thought she looked as though she were holding back nausea in the January, 2013 photo. I have seen this look before on her and she was always either in the midst of HG or recovering from it. Remember her look in the plaid outfit when she was welcoming a dignitary guest? The sports award ceremony in December 2012? I believe she had this smile on the hospital doorstep when she was going home following her hospitalization, also in plaid. It is amazing to realize that she has been pregnant nearly a third of her years as a royal, experiencing illness with each pregnancy.
      I think we are seeing visual proof of the ravages of her illness.

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    13. Poor Kate! It's such an unflattering portrait for a beautiful woman with a stunning smile. The sketches and the picture he used for reference are are so lovely and reflect her much better so I don't understand how they turned into that severe unflattering portrait. Hope she has some other official portraits and this one goes to an unused corridor in a farflung wing of their home!

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    14. I think it is actually a very good likeness of her. That is what she looks like without photoshop. You can see it in the photo with William where she is in the burgundy dress.

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    15. Pam from Boston5 July 2018 at 15:17

      meghanfan - the sittings for the portrait were in May and June 2012, far before Kate became pregnant with George, so I don't think Kate's illness had anything to do with the unfortunate outcome of the portrait. Emsley just did a really bad job.

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    16. Pam from Boston5 July 2018 at 15:24

      I hardly think the thousands and thousands of photos of Kate that we've seen over the years have been photoshopped. There would hardly be time between the time Kate shows up at an event or engagement and the time photos appear in the media for photoshopping each and every one of them. And I've never seen her look anything less than gorgeous in each and every one of them.

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    17. Meghanfan, I 5hink someone is copying your ideas! I was bored today so I went and read over at from Berkshire to Buckingham and theres a poster there saying almost the same thing you did here about kate being pregnant. That's odd that someone would come up with practically the same pregnancy statistic.

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  2. Charlotte, you've done a great job (as you always do) on this survey of Duchess Kate's work with the National Portrait Gallery. This makes me want to visit the NPG again.

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  3. The NPG is my favorite museum in London and I visit it every time I am in town!

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  4. Intrigued By Royals2 July 2018 at 22:45

    What a lovely surprise on a Monday! I am missing seeing Kate in regular engagements and this helps fill in the gap! I hope she is enjoying her maternity leave immensely! I love how she is able to get involved with the NPG by adding captions to 19th century photography. She is going to be a 21st century queen--the first with a University degree, I believe. I just finished watching "The Crown." It is interesting that QEII is portrayed as wishing she had more schooling when talking to all the learned men she was required to meet. Kate will not have to worry about that. I also like that Emsley had a smile on Kate in her portrait because "that is really who she is."

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  5. Anon, I agree; pencil sketches better. Enjoyed the post. Thanks, Charlotte

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    1. Zora from Prague3 July 2018 at 19:27

      +1, Marcia.

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    2. I like the pencil sketch better,too. I wish the artist painting her picture could've bought out her beauty in color as much as he did in pencil..

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  6. 2012: 2 public engagements, 1 of which doubled for her ambassador role for the london olympic games.
    2013: 2 public engagements, 1 of which doubled for her patronage the art room.
    2014: 1 public engagement, almost a year after her last. This was her first time attending the Portrait Gala.
    2015: 1 public engagement, 13 months after her last.
    2016: 1 public engagement, 14 months after her last.
    2017: 1 public engagement, almost a year after her last. This was only her second time attending the Portrait gala in the five years she had been their patron.
    2018: 1 public engagement, almost a year after her last.

    A grand total of 9 public engagements in 7 years, two of which doubled as engagements of two of her other patronages.

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    1. I think it fits the pattern that royals usually visit their charities once a year at least... On the other hand, other royals do manage to have and visit more than what 20 charities?! I am not even sure she has 20.

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    2. What's your point? She's doing very well. These are normal and, even, above average numbers for a Royal Patron. Patronage visits are to bring attention to an organisation and visits are usually once a year at most unless the patron is super involved (usually personally) with the charity, for instance Camilla and the National Osteoporosis Society.

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    3. The point is that the royal trio have repeatedly stated that the reason they have so few patronages is because they want to be hands on and Harry and William have even gone so far to state that they believe visiting a patronage only once a year serves no real purpose to the charity/ and does not allign with how they view their roles. Either they have a large number of patronages that they visit once a year like the other royals, (and to be honest suggesting someone like Charles is hands-off with The Princes Trust or Poundbury or organic farming is frankly ridiculous and insulting) or they have a small handful that they visit very frequently. They've said the latter is what their preference is, but they are falling far short of multiple visits a year for each of their charities. Kate only has a small number of patronages AND she only visits them about once a year, sometimes not even that! If she only plans on visiting each one once every year, why doesn't she have hundreds of patronage like HM the Queen? And why does it have to be either or? Why can't they have a large number of patronages, and then choose a small number of their patronage to give more attention to and be more hands on with like with heads together?

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    4. I am of the opinion she is neither doing very well, nor poorly. Because she is simply going out and socializing publicly on behalf of the family. She's not bringing any expertise to the organizations to further their missions. Here, she's simply greeting folks and looking at art. The publicity that brings can sometimes aid the organization. A patron is someone who supports the organization by showing up or providing financial resources. Every time you attend a museum - you are a patron. You just don't happen to be a member of the royal family.

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    5. Susan in Florida4 July 2018 at 19:59

      I know this is gong to sound old fashioned. It’s my opinion that DoC is doing the best she can with her small children being her top priority. I’d rather see less of her ,knowing she was giving her little ones a great start in the world, given how unique they will be in the RF. She has plenty of time (God willing) to take on more. There is only so many years to give your little ones a firm foundation in life. And yes I do know that many women must work for a living while achieving a family balance, my Mom was one of them.

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    6. Anon 15:30, IMHO, your point misses the point. W, K & H declared they wanted to be more involved than just making a purposeless visit to their patronages. Did you expect them to make 2 or 3 or more purposeless visits? It would have been more of the same, wouldn't it? Take the NPG. Kate visited, attended galas but she also did the Patron's Trail, had her portrait painted for the NPG, merged the art room with place to be...I don't know how much work or time behind the scenes it was, but it involved more than just making an appearance or socialising. It implies she has frequent contacts with the NPG, and is aware of their needs.

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    7. Well said, Natacha-especially the last sentence. That thought has been repeated a number of times by officials of various charities she supports, as well as her patronages. We only found out much later that she had privately been attending Girl Scout meetings in Wales. That process has continued to the present. She may be avoiding publicity during this time; but I have no doubt she has quietly continued her work with her charities, while avoiding the spotlight official royal events bring. William certainly has continued to carry the responsibility in that area, while Kate manages home and children. I don't think the fact that most-if not all- of her appearances during this time have involved her children (including the Wedding and Trooping) is a coincidence. And I don't think she should feel guilty for choosing that focus. Her not choosing to prioritize her children during this time would not increase the time with children working mothers who must work would have. One does not starve oneself because others are hungry;one supports charities that feed the hungry-just as Kate supports charities that assist families and children.

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    8. meghanfan, the entire point of royal patronage is to spotlight. If Kate does everything behind the scenes she's just another volunteer and the charity gains nothing from her being a royal patron. :+)

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    9. I am not sure that the entire point is to spotlight. A royal patron also gives prestige and credibility and is in a way a warrant of good practice. Thus the importance for the RF of choosing carefully the organisations. They lend their name and position. A public appearance can give some publicity but the charity benefits more from the fact it has a royal patron than it does from public appearances of that patron. What Kate does behind the scenes allows her to know just what kind of support is needed. And it is not exclusive or her making a public appearance, in fact it seems she tries to do so once a year at last.

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    10. Agree natasha. Royal patrons are prestige for the organization. But they also need to be visible because they are a valuable aid in fund raising. For example I have noticed that Kensington Palace tends to not retweet patronage campaigns. I wonder why not. It would give them that.much more visibility if they did with the number of followers they could reach. Theres a real behind the scenes method of supporting them and they dont. That being said, I havent checked recently but I did a while back. Charlotte does more to highlight campaigns and events than KP does.

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    11. Interesting about KP not highlighting patronages campaigns. My feeling is that there is a shift from the Queen's approach, where her patronage is an honour, a kind of royal warrant. She would make a visit when the patronage was announced and not much more. W&H are of course much more involved but not to the point of systematically highlighting the campaigns, which they could easily do... Why they don't, I am not sure. No borrowed feathers? I will be very interested in Charlotte's post about how patronages work.

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    12. The queen is head of state and has a schedule that is diplomatic and governmental on an every day basis. Neither William nor kate have that, although William is stepping forward much more now which is good to see. Both of them have had a lot of room to get more involved with them or anything else they want to if they chose and they havent. I find it quite telling.

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  7. As a reminder here are her engagements for Action on Addiction:
    2012 = 2 public visits, 1 private 'learning' visit.
    2013 = 3 public visits, 2 of which doubled as engagements for two of her other patronages: place2be and 100 women in finance charity gala.
    2014 = 2 public events, 1 of which doubled as an engagement for place2be (the other was the AoA Autumn gala and she has only attended this one time.)
    2015 = 1 public event (over a year after her last event in 2014).
    2016 = 2/3 public events, 1 engagement was on tour (almost a year after her only engagement in 2015) and doubled as an event for her patronage the Anna Frued Center (I'm not sure if the Recovery Street Film Festival and the A Street Cat Named Bob premiere were the same event or should be counted separately but they were on the same day and obviously linked, hence the tally of 2/3 engagements.)
    2017 = 0 public events, none
    2018 = 1 public event for Action on addiction.
    A grand total of 10 or 11 public engagements on behalf of AoA in more than 7 years, 4 of which doubled for her other patronages.

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    1. Your calculations are drawn on her appearances. To be fair, we don't know how many hours and meetings are done behind the scenes.

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    2. You will be surprised, Anon, but I think it is impressive. There is a definite pattern, of making at least one public appearance of support each year. Not so obvious for a royal patron. You like numbers, do you realise that since she took over the patronage of Wimbledon from the Queen ,the DoC has made more appearance in one year than the Queen in 50 years?!

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    3. Quite true anon 15:15. But we don't know how many behind the scenes hours any of the working royals put in. So all we have for any of them are official counts of appearances.

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    4. Nice of you to remind us what a good job Catherine is doing. Other British royals have less than one visit per year per patronage, and she has a higher percentage. And all this while giving birth to 3 children, with difficult pregnancies that take her out of work for months.

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    5. These appearances are quite the norm for a royal patron and probably above normal. Royal patrons don’t spend time at each of their patronage’s every year.

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    6. That is what she is supposed to do as patron. Occasional visits to highlight certain events. Her presence brings the attention to the organization. Too many visits and people don't care because she's always there. This is why some royals have hundreds of patronages. The infrequent visits help bring attention when it is needed.

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    7. It's a miracle that all the other royals who perform 300-600 engagements a year and have a similar number of engagements haven't dropped dead from exhaustion with all the behind the scenes work required of them!!!

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    8. Correction: similar number of patronage.

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  8. Thank you Charlotte for this interesting post! It is so much fun to see how engaged Kate is with anything that involves art. This part of her Princess life must be a dream come true for her!
    Royal 👑 Watcher

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  9. It feels like such a long time since we have seen Kate though I know the day at polo was recent and the photos from it were so charming! Still, I am missing your frequent posts and was so happy to see this come up in my inbox! Thanks for the retrospective, including the wonderful photos, of Kate's patronage to date with the NPG. Thank you, Charlotte! AnneHH

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  10. Beautiful post Charlotte!
    Claudia

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  11. Thank you Charlotte what a lovely surprise to pop in and read this detailed piece.
    I would love to see a portrait painted of Catherine by the artist Ralph Heimans. His portrait of both HM (for her Diamond Jubilee) and of Prince Philip, and quite recently of the Danish Royal Family, were as close to a photograph I've ever seen in a portrait. As an artist he seems to capture the subject as well as the moment. I'm unsure if his works are on display at the NPG London, but I know his works were on display in NPG Australia.

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  12. Silvia from Tuscany3 July 2018 at 14:58

    Lovely post. Thanks Charlotte, you make me spend this period of Kate's absence better with details about her patronages. I'm fond of arts myself and I do love London's museums, so I share and undestand Kate's interest. As for her portrait I prefere the sketches too. Just personal taste.

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  13. Thank you for your usual wonderful work, Charlotte! The National Portrait Gallery is a perfect patronage for Kate, especially with her background in art and photography.

    Thanks also for helping us get through Catherine's maternity leave. ;o)

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  14. Thank you for this post. I've been going through "Kate withdrawal" during her maternity leave and can barely wait for Monday's christening!

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  15. Pam from Boston3 July 2018 at 16:13

    Charlotte, perhaps you could explain what being a royal a patron of an organization means and entails? I'm asking because Anon 00:14 and 00:26 has put a lot of effort into detailing the exact number of public appearances Kate has made over the years to her patronages in an apparent lack of understanding of what it actually means to be a Royal patron. I could be wrong but I believe that a patron is basically the Royal representative of an organization for the purpose of generating public awareness to highlight the organization's mission, and that their involvement with their patronages are not necessarily on the same level as their work with their charities and/or foundations, i.e. Heads Together in the case of the D&DoC and the D&DofS. Otherwise how could the Queen possibly have had time to be the Patron of 600 organizations, as she has been until very recently. She still has patronages that number in the hundreds, I believe.

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    1. Hello Pam,

      I will definitely discuss it in the next post in the series. I read a couple of very interesting articles on the topic several years ago and will include quotes from them.

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    2. Pam from Boston3 July 2018 at 19:20

      Thanks, Charlotte, - looking forward to it!

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    3. Thank you Pam for asking the question that bears clarification. I like these series as its a great way to educate ourselves on Kate's Patronages and look forward to Charlottes post on this topic. cc

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    4. Seems like background work would be handled by her staff. I guess the question is not how many patronages or how many visits but how much total time she spends on her work. And those trips take up a lot of time, too. I remember reading that the Queen had 600 patronages, which would be hard to fit a half-day visit for each in a year.

      I am enjoying this refresher a lot and love looking back at her fashions. Thank you, Charlotte!

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    5. Susan in Florida4 July 2018 at 19:50

      I would love to know more about royal patronage’s and how it works. In the US, a patron is a financial donor and sometimes serves as a board member of the group.

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  16. This was a great rundown of Kate's engagements with the NPG. Thank you for this. I quite like this series (Kate's Patronages).

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    1. Yes! I was coming here to say this very thing! Even though I've read about all of these visits in the past, having all of them together in one post was really interesting to me! Thanks!

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  17. Charlotte:

    I could not find your email address to send this privately. Under the photo of the Duchess in the pink McQueen outfit, I think I noticed a typo. (See sentence below) Did you mean "series" vs "serious".


    "The visit coincided with Kate's Vogue shoot. The Duchess posed in the Norfolk countryside for a (serious) of photographic portraits by photographer Josh Olins."


    With that out of the way, I am an avid reader of your both your blogs and do appreciate all the time and effort you put into them. Recently, I introduced my friend in Brazil to your "Mad about Megan" blog and she is truly enjoying it.

    Once again, thank you for all you do.

    Best Regards

    RW.

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  18. Oh i love the duchess cambridge rundown Of the duchess engagement at npg thank you for effort

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  19. great post thanks charlotte for your continued hard work

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  20. I do love this series and learning more about Kate’s patronages. I think it also gives us a little insight into her personality as well. It’ll be interesting to see if/how her patronages change as the years go on and the children get older.

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  21. I hope we see Kate at the portrait gallery for years to come, and I hope to see a new portrait released that better captures her vivacity and charm.

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  22. Pam from Boston5 July 2018 at 15:25

    Florida Girl - the christening's at 4 pm! Lucky you!

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    1. I am going to try my best to be there! With the recently announced balcony appearance and flyover the next day I have made that my very top priority on this trip. Because of that our only day to see the Tower is the day of the christening. The Tower was going to be on July 10th leaving the christening day free. We will get to the hotel probably around 11am on July 9th, store our bags (check-in is at 2pm), go straight to the Tower then hopefully from there to the christening and then the next day up early to go to The Mall to get a good spot to see the balcony appearance. Big first 2 days!! If I get to see the balcony appearance and flyover, AND a peak of the arrivals/departures at the christening nothing else that happens for the next 6 days will wipe the smile off my face!!

      If any of you have tips about where to stand/go at the Chapel Royal please let me know. :)

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  23. NPG is such a great fit for Kate. I think she chose very well & carefully with all of her patronages. I look forward to seeing her list of patronages grow over the years. I love the grey Jesire coat dress she wore on her first solo engagement to the gallery. Her 2011/2012 fashion was the best.

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  24. Thank you Charlotte for this very interesting recap of Kate's visits to the NPG and information about the NPG.
    I have just brought up the write up on the formation and history of the NPG and supporters over the years there is no mention of any previous Royal Patron is Kate the first one?
    I am sure the NPG must be delighted to have a Patron who has such a very genuine interest in the many different types of painting and photography that they cover.
    Having had 3 very difficult pregnancies which I think have taken their toll in the years since she became Patron I think the number of visits she has made has been reasonable she may well have had to cancel some due to her pregnancy problems however I do feel she should attend the major annual gala more often to encourage the people who support the gallery she should follow Prince William's example who never misses annual major black tie functions in support of his main charities. Admittedly judging from photos these functions are something William thoroughly enjoys whereas attending such a function on your own as a woman even in Kate's position will not be so easy. She attends very few and I think she is a less social person than William.
    I am disappointed that she is not prepared to attend the celebration of 100 years of the RAF as an Hon Air Commodore of the Air Cadets she should be there and I think she is letting herself down and the Air Cadets whether she will be at Wimbledon I question when she attended after Charlottes birth it was a casual visit purely as a member of Wimbledon now she is Patron it would be an official visit. Although it is the 150 anniversary and I must admit I feel she should attend she is on record as saying she would undertake no official visits until the Autumn.
    I am fully supportive that she should have maternity leave but sometimes one needs to balance whether the occasional very important event should be recognised neither of them would be very onerous.
    I very much hope she widens her charitable interests in the near future I am disappointed she has not become Patron of Evalina childrens hospital she has made two visits there one to open new accommodation for families visiting sick children so I had hoped she might become patron and I am sure there are many other areas she could show an interest not only the arts and young children.
    I look forward the christening on Monday though I must admit I am sorry it is not at Sandringham Charlottes was such a lovely family occasion whereas I thought Georges' was a rather formal affair without the family feel.

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  25. For some reason people keep comparing Catherine to the Queen or Charles, when she should be compared to Phillip and Camilla. She is only a consort, not a monarch. Not to mention that she can hardly have more engagements than William. He is the future king after all.

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    1. Julia from Leominster8 July 2018 at 04:55

      I believe that Philip often carried out more engagements than the queen - there would be no restriction on Kate having more engagements than William, not that she's ever likely to.

      Although it appears she won't be present, I hope very much Kate appears for the RAF anniversary. Yes, she is on a maternity break but she is a future queen, not a shop girl, and being attuned to the history of the nation is vital to her and to her children if the monarchy is to continue. It seems very little to ask of her, given she always has the month of August off.

      I've not given up hope although it seems unlikely. She has already missed the Garter and Thistle services.

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    2. Completely agree with you, Julia. I have never begrudged her maternity leave or other time off to spend with her children but think it would be prudent for her to pop up once in awhile for events such as this. Actually, I wouldn't mind if she didn't come back to work full full time in the fall if she attended in the interim these high profile occasions that are historically significant for Britain and the BRF.

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    3. Julia and Erika,
      As someone in the US, I don't feel I really have a right to comment but I can certainly see your point. The monarchy's purpose now should be to serve the country. I feel like Kate and William are reluctant heirs, though, and the Queen is such a special person and has devoted so much of her life to the country that it is hard for anyone to live up to her standards. This may be the last extended vacation Kate takes but I can understand that there are certain events where you expect members of the RF to be present. It is probably one of those issues on which the citizens have a range of opinions.

      Delete
    4. I agree, Allison. I'm sure opinions on this span the spectrum. I realize too that this will most likely be her last lengthy time off with her children but the legalistic margins give the impression that she views her position as simply a job and not a way of life.

      Delete
    5. Perhaps it is easier if she doesn't attend any event at all during the maternity time. If she picks and chooses, she will give more importance to certain events and not to the others, with the question, if she attended so and so, why not that other important one? Take the RAF. Of course a very important anniversary. But one could argue the armed forced have more than their share of royal attention. And if the RF is in full force on the balcony, does it matter very much if one spouse is not there? Or the garter. A very elitist gathering after all, not automatically in tune with the people...

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  26. What a lovely post and interesting retrospective. I've never commented here before but have been a regular at FBTB. Jane seems to be enjoying her time off but I miss chatting. Nice to see friends Royalfan, lizzie, Kiwi Gal, and others here. Looking forward to the Christening on Monday!

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    1. Hi Robin! Hoping for good pictures on Monday!

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    2. Welcome Robin! Nice to see you here :)

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    3. Hi Robin, I'm glad to see you here! Hope you're having a good summer.

      And, yes, definitely looking forward to tomorrow.... ☺

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    4. Thanks, I'm looking forward to some good photos on Monday as well!

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  27. Lovely post, Charlotte. Always, the photographs captured from the DoC's engagements at the NPG are beautiful. Kate plus fine art is an exquisite. pairing.

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  28. I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great
    posts.

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  29. Godparents have been announced. No surprises except possibly Guy Pelly and I suspect William has wanted him for a time but Guy needed to sort his life a bit. There is a Middleton though so people here will be pleased.

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy to finally see a Middleton as godparent. However, I'm a bit unsettled to hear that HM and the DoE will not attend. I understand that their schedules are heavy for the week but, surely, a christening date could have been selected to ensure their presence. Feels as though this third child is somehow not quite as important which is a shame.

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    2. Erika, that is a shame :( It is good to see the Middletons represented, though. Can’t wait to see little Louis again & how much he’s grown!

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    3. I can't wait to see him either, KG.... and the family of five photographed together for the first time. I'm interested to see who Prince Louis favors.

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    4. Pam from Boston9 July 2018 at 15:19

      Lucy Middleton is NOT the first Middleton who is a godparent. Adam Middleton is one of Princess Charlotte's godfathers.

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    5. Yes, sorry, Pam. Completely forgot that they have been included before.

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  30. wow,,,the queen is not attending. I feel it will be looked back on as a huge mistake like the golden jubilee decision to have a paired down royal family on the balcony. What a shame and how can this be explained without casing such speculation?? an charls and camilla really substitute??? so sad

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    Replies
    1. Neither TQ or PP attended Isla Phillips's christening.

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