Sunday, 30 December 2012

Year In Review: 2012

As we approach another New Year it's always interesting to reflect on the past twelve months and what a year it's been for Duchess Kate. There have been so many highlights and unforgettable events for the Duchess who has settled marvellously into royal life with a string of solo engagements and speeches as well as Kate's best looks and of course the wonderful news the Cambridges are expecting a baby. We'll take a look at the best bits from 2012 in chronological order.

2012 began with an announcement from St James's Palace confirming Kate had chosen her first four patronages The Art RoomThe National Portrait GalleryAction on Addiction and East Anglia's Children's Hospices. Kate reached her decision following a series of private visits to charities and while in Anglesey the Duchess would volunteer privately with UK Scouting.

UK Scouting

On January 8th, the Duke and Duchess attended their first red carpet engagement of the year, the War Horse premiere in London's Leicester Square. Kate looked beautiful in the black lace Temperley 'Amoret' Dress.

Days later, William and Kate were photographed enjoying a romantic stroll on a beach in Anglesey. We also saw the latest addition to the Cambridge family, their adorable puppy Lupo :)

The Cambridges enjoyed a vacation with the Middleton family in Mustique in early February. Upon their return Prince William was deployed to the Falklands as part of a 4-man Search and Rescue crew. Flight Lieutenant Wales' tour of duty lasted six weeks.

William's deployment proved something of a learning curve for Kate who performed her first solo engagement visiting the Lucian Freud Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

On Valentine's Day Kate began a day of engagements in Liverpool with a visit to alcohol-free bar The Brink, a project by Kate's patronage Action on Addiction. Huge numbers turned out in the hopes of meeting the Duchess and those who met her described her as "utterly charming". Kate also visited Alder Hey Hospital where she was greeted with a posy of flowers by a little girl.

Following the Liverpool visit one thing was clear: Kate had become the new People's Princess. It was later revealed Kate was incredibly touched by the welcome she received.

Daily Mail

The morning of March 1st was a very special one for Piccadilly as three generations of Royals visited luxury store Fortnum and Mason to mark rejuvenation efforts efforts in the area. With William in the Falklands it was simply wonderful to see the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall taking Kate under their wing. All three ladies coordinated and appeared to have a very enjoyable visit.

Fortnum and Mason

A week later, Kate joined the Queen and Prince Philip for a visit to Leicester as part of their UK Diamond Jubilee tour. During the visit, Kate admitted she "missed William desperately" but was being very well looked after. I adored Kate's look. The LK Bennett Jude peplum jacket teamed with the teal Davina dress and a Lock & Co hat made for one of her best looks of the year, in my opinion.

Kate made her first official speech during a visit to her patronage, East Anglia's Children Hospices, where she formerly opened The Treehouse Hospice in Ipswich. During her speech Kate said:

'First of all, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you for not only accepting me as your patron but thank you also for inviting me here today. You have all made me feel so welcome and I feel hugely honoured to be here to see this wonderful centre. I am only sorry that William can't be here today; he would love it here. A view if his - that I share - is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved. What you have all achieved here is extraordinary.'

The speech is available to watch in full here.

William and Kate attended a private engagement at Claridge's in May and Kate looked elegant in a cream Roland Mouret 'Lombarde' gown. Another beautiful look.

The next night, Kate showcased a teal Jenny Packham gown at the fundraising gala 'Our Greatest Team Rises'. It was Kate's first engagement as London 2012 ambassador.

Kate presented prizes at a polo match, much to the delight of Prince William who was awarded with a kiss :)

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was an unforgettable time in Britain. Not only did it marks Her Majesty's glorious sixty years on the throne but it unified a nation and provided some much needed fun. Jubilee parties were held in most towns and people threw house parties. The Thames Pageant saw over one thousand boats muster on the River Thames from all around the world. The flotilla measured seven miles from end to end and was the largest fleet of ships assembled on the Thames in over 350 years.

The royals appeared on the balcony following a service at St Paul's Cathedral.

The RAF flypast marked the climax of the spectacular Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Kate wore Erdem for Trooping The Colour. The annual parade which celebrates the Queen's birthday is always an event to look forward to because of the carriage procession and balcony appearance.

On June 16th, Duchess Kate visited the Widehorizons Adventure Centre in Kent where she met children from ARK's King Solomon Academy. Kate took part in an outdoor residential course where she helped the children to build a campfire. When one of the inquisitive children asked Kate how long she would be on the throne for she replied "that's not my job yet" and when asked about being a Princess she said:

"It's nice and I get to visit lots of countries. William is very sweet and kind and spoils me."

No doubt a day to remember for the children!

Rebecca English Twitter
 Next up, Kate and Lupo supported William at another polo match. This time in an unofficial capacity as Kate did not present prizes. Kate spent the afternoon with Autumn Philips and her beautiful baby Savannah.

I love this photo taken by the wonderful royal photographer James Whatling, who takes the majority of photos I use on this blog. A good time to thank him for his hard work and dedication!

As a tennis fan, it was great to see William and Kate supporting Wimbledon in July.

Kate also attended the men's final with her sister Pippa. It was an emotional final which saw Roger Federer defeat a heartbroken Andy Murray. Both Kate and Pippa looked quite touched by Andy's speech (Andy went on to win gold at London 2012).

The Duke and Duchess travelled to Edinburgh to attend a service at St Giles Cathedral where William was installed as a 'Knight of the Thistle'. The ancient Order of the Thistle represents the highest honour of chivalry in Scotland and can only be bestowed by the Queen. Kate wore a bespoke soft gold Emilia Wickstead coat dress for the service.

In her role as Olympic Ambassador Kate attended numerous sporting events at the Olympic Stadium. Both with William and Harry as well as a number of solo appearances. 

London 2012
William and Kate are both huge fans of sport and appeared to really enjoy the games.

William, Harry and Kate visited the Olympic village and met the athletes.

The Princes gave interviews during the games and during a brief chat with the BBC's Sue Barker, William revealed worrying about being caught on the 'Kiss Cam' with Kate and also revealed his wife is a "sight to behold with a hockey stick" :)

The best moment of London 2012 (for royal watchers) came as the Cambridges were watching the cycling at the Velodrome, and when Team GB's sprint team won gold in record time, William and Kate embraced each other. It was a wonderfully spontaneous romantic moment. Completely natural.

London 2012
In September William and Kate departed London for their second joint royal tour, this time in South-East Asia. The much anticipated tour began with Singapore where the couple's first engagement was to visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens to view the 'Diana' orchid which was planted in the late princess's name, though sadly, Diana never saw it. William's reaction upon viewing it was: "It's beautiful. Beautiful."

The Strait Times Facebook

Speaking about the tour, Principal Private Secretary and Equerry to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said:

"The aim of this tour is to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess will use the tour to pay tribute through what they do and say, and who they meet, to the Queen's lifetime of dedication to the mix of peoples and cultures that make up all of Her Majesty's Realms and the Commonwealth. The Tour will comprise a mixture of formal and informal moment which reflect these aims and the Duke and Duchess's characters and interests specifically." Courtesy photo

Kate wore a gorgeous floral print Erdem dress at an Eden Hall reception.

William and Kate's final engagement in Singapore was a sombre one with the couple visiting Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery. The Cambridges then travelled to Malaysia where Kate made a speech at Hospis Malaysia, praising the work of the staff there.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended an official dinner given by His Majesty The Agong at his official residence, the Istana Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. Kate dazzled in a long cream gown with embroidered gold hibiscuses (the national flower of Malaysia) by Alexander McQueen. Kate puts a huge amount of thought into her sartorial choices and again we saw her honouring her hosts with her choice of dress.

The tour was going splendidly until day four of the tour when William and Kate were informed over breakfast that a French magazine had published topless photos of Kate taken during a private vacation in the Luberon. It must have been devastating news for the couple but the way Kate dealt with it spoke volumes about her character.

Only a couple of hours later, Kate visited the Asskyakrin mosque in Kuala Lumpur, the first visit to a place of Islamic worship, wearing a flowing white Beulah gown with a matching headscarf. She must have been feeling terrible but never showed it, instead performing her royal duties with grace, poise and a smile.

Royal photographer Arthur Edwards, thought to be William's favourite photographer, recently spoke about the day the photos emerged and William and Kate's reaction in an article he wrote for The Sun:

"The tour had begun badly with the publication of topless photos of Kate taken in France. I told Wills, 'I'd just like to say your missus has done a brilliant job on this tour and you must be very proud of her'. 'Yes,' he said, 'that's why I married her.'"

Galaxie Magazine Twitter
 Kate continued to smile throughout the next few days and the tour continued with many more memorable engagements including a visit to Danum Valley Conservation Area where the couple explored the rainforest for themselves.

Next, the couple enjoyed a colourful visit to Solomon Islands.

Following a busy day of engagements, William and Kate flew to Marau, which is on the furthest end of the main island, Guadalcanal. On arrival, the Duke and Duchess were honoured by leaders and members of the local communities. 

The couple proceeded by boat to the island of Marapa, where they visited a village before travelling on a traditional war canoe the short distance between Marapa and Tavinapupu. On arrival, William and Kate received a local music and dance welcome and spent the night at the exceptionally beautiful Tavinipupu Resort Hotel

The Duke and Duchess spent the last night of the royal tour in Tuvalu where they enjoyed a traditional dinner hosted by the Governor-General. We had been hoping for evening gowns and a tiara but got something much better :)

The couple spent the evening dancing the Fatele and wearing traditional grass skirts. It was enormous fun and undoubtedly the moment of the Royal tour.

The perfect ending to a truly memorable tour!

In October, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited St George's Park for the official opening of the Football Association's new facility in Burton-Upon-Trent in Staffordshire.

Kate recycled her DVF wool coat for a sombre appearance on Remembrance Sunday.

On November 28,  William and Kate paid their first visit to Cambridge. The city's name was conferred by the Queen on the day of the royal wedding when Prince William became HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Kate became HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. William and Kate went on a walkabout and appeared on a balcony much to the delight of the crowd. William was presented with the gift of a babygro by a member of the public, upon which was the picture of a helicopter and the caption 'Daddy's little co-pilot' (you can watch a video of that moment here).

Kate visited her old prep school St Andrew's in Pangbourne, Berkshire to mark St Andrew's Day and met with staff and students. The Duchess made a brief speech and played a game of hockey. Little did we know then, but there was a huge announcement to come...

Newbury Today Twitter

On December 3 the Palace officially announced the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby:

"Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby. 
'The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princes of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."

Sadly, Kate was hospitalized for three days at the King Edward VII hospital in London with hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness which can lead to dehydration. When Kate was discharged she said she was "feeling much better", although the illness can last for the duration of the pregnancy.

Despite feeling unwell, Kate took time out of her recovery to present two awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. The Duchess could only stay at the awards ceremony for a short while but was eager to participate due to her role as Olympic Ambassador. Kate looked elegant in an emerald green Alexander McQueen gown.

In a break from tradition, William and Kate elected to spend Christmas with  the Middleton family at their home in Bucklebury, Berkshire. Given Kate's condition it seemed the best choice as Christmas at Sandringham can be quite formal with five outfit changes. The family attended a Christmas service at St Mark's Chruch in Englefield before enjoying a traditional Christmas Day.

The Duke and Duchess spent Boxing Day at Sandringham where William participated in the annual shoot and Kate attended a picnic.

What were your royal highlights of 2012? I'm looking forward to hearing what you all choose. 2013 promises to be the most exciting yet with the arrival of William and Kate's baby. Judging from what we've seen of the Duke and Duchess interacting with children I think Baby Cambridge will be one very lucky child :)

Happy New Year Duchess Kate readers and thank you for following the blog this year! x


  1. Thank you, Charlotte, for a terrific and comprehensive review of 2012. I enjoy your blog and follow it on a frequent basis. Please continue as it is do enjoyable. Wishing you the Very Best in 2013 .

    1. Thank you very much, I'm delighted you enjoyed it. It's always fun to look back over the year :)

      On another note, it's lovely to see so many of you commenting!

  2. And you've done an amazing job chronicling it all! :)

    Looking forward to another year with Kate... and you! ;)

    1. Oh thank you Bekah and continued success with your own blog!

  3. Charlotte - a great post. Thank you so much.

    Its been a heck of a year and you stayed on the case. William and Catherine are starting a new phase of their lives in 2013 and it is going to be interesting to follow their journey.

    Good luck to you for 2013, and thank you for everything you've done.


    1. Thank you so much CP. It's been a year full of surprises, I think 2013 will be a great one for William and Kate and hopefully all of us :)

  4. I loved it Charlotte. How quickly time has passed! I hope this new year is the best yet for William & Kate, my family and yours. Thank you!


  5. Charlotte,

    In 2012 our highlight was spending a very long weekend at Mildenhall, Suffolk, at a U.S. Navy military reunion from the days of flying our EC-130Q’s out of RAF Mildenhall. Many an embellished story was told over good food and ale at the Swan. While touring London we were not lucky enough to see William or Catherine; however, delish pub grub, friendly and informative locals and good weather kept us all on the go.
    Charlotte, thank you for all you have done in 2012 and may your 2013 be happy and prosperous.
    John and Joan, Tennessee, USA

  6. Sarah from Calif.30 December 2012 at 01:57

    Charlotte at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day "your the best" you have again done a beautiful presentation of Kate and William. If I had to pick I would still say the pictures of them in the jungle and walking on the beach are still my favorites. (So natural and.relaxed) Seeing them dance in Tuvalu was great fun. It has been a big year for Kate and I think she has done marvelously. She wasn't born with a camera following her every move like William. So I'm sure it's still an ajustment. I'm sure they will be very loving parents:)

  7. Love this post ! Love you more for your relentless and unselfish efforts to make us happy with all your updates on The Duchess :)

    Happy New Year !!!

    Lena from Malaysia

  8. Alyssa from PA, USA30 December 2012 at 02:15

    It is really fun to follow HRH on your blog. I love all the information about the Duchess and about England! I feel this blog is a good place to come to get accurate impressions of both. Thank you!

  9. Thank you CHarlotte for this comprehensive update!!!My favorite moment and picture would have to be of Will and Kate outside the hospital. That picture speaks a thousand words :)
    So looking forward to all that you have in store for your fans in 2013!!

  10. Charlotte, your amazing summary of this past year just made my evening. Thank you so very much for all your hard work and the time you put into this blog. Happy New Year to you and your family. :)

  11. Thank you, Charlotte, for this wonderful recap of a grand year for the beautiful young royals. You've hit all the highlights and reminded me of why I really love your blog. For Christmas my husband gave me the beautiful black gloves with the bow that Kate wore for Remembrance Day all because of the link from your post, and so I thank you doubly! Have a wonderful New Year, and I look forward to all the wonderful news and pictures you will be sharing.

  12. Great post Charlotte! I love your blog! There is one outting you forgot tho, St. Patrick's Day when Kate wore her beautiful green dress coat. This day stands out to me because I was getting MARRIED that day!! Hooray! Happy New Year!

    1. I want to see that green coat again, too! I loved it!

  13. Great post Charlotte! Your blog is amazing! There is one outting for Kate you missed though, St. Patrick's Day when Kate wore her gorgeous green coat dress. This day stands out to me because I was getting MARRIED that day! Hooray! Happy New Year!

  14. Ms. Charlotte- First I want to wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope all the best for you in the coming year. You are a very special person to all of us Duchess fans. You bring us something that we can read and keep up to date on the Duchess & her Prince. You do this while keeping a very busy schedule yourself. And I want to say "Thank You" for taking the time to bringus this great blog.

    I really enjoyed reading every day about the beautiful Duchess & her handsome Prince. Again you bring us somewhere to go everyday. I am checking into this blog several times aday to read the comments and to see if there is something new. Ya we make comments that some people find offensive but that is what is nice about your blog, you let us voice our own opinions. Not every one is going to agree.

    Now I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring us Duchess fans. I just hope & pray that the Duchess starts to feel better and has a very happy pregnancey. We might not see to much of the Duchess during her pregnancy but that is ok. I just want her to get all the rest she need's and I am sure William will make sure of that.

    Thank you Ms. Charlotte for this great blog and for all the friends I have made on this site.

    And a very Happy New Year to all of the fans who read this great blog.

  15. Another fantastic job, Charlotte! Thank you so much for all the hard work you do to present such a marvelous blog!! :o) You've always done a superb job and I'm looking forward to following the Duchess' life in 2013.

    A very happy New Year to you, Charlotte, and thanks again!

  16. What a nice blot post. Quite the year for Kate and a nice trip down the year! She sure has transformed rhis year and your blot is a terrific way to see those changes. Thank you for a wonderful trip down memory lane. Continued success and much happiness to you and your readers in 2013!

  17. That was a wonderful recap - thank you! So much fun to look over the past year - such exciting times ahead, and I know where I will come for all the news! Thank you for all your wonderful work.

  18. Simone from Germany30 December 2012 at 08:44

    Wow, a great collection of the nicest Kate pictures! I'm sure we are all exited to see Kate next year with her growing belly :) And then probably next summer the baby!!
    A happy new year to all readers and of cause to Charlotte!!!!

  19. This retrospective post has been lovely to read.

    Although it has been mostly smooth going for Kate this past year, there has been a bump or two in the road. However, I think those bumps have only made the marriage of William and Kate stronger - he has stepped up and provided the loving support that needed, so it's all been to the good.

    I normally don't like comparisons of Kate to William's late mother, but I just finished watching "The Diana Years" - a chronological documentary issued on the 10th anniversary of Diana's death.

    Since it's chronological, it's easy to see how it all started to go wrong for Diana right from the start. And it also reinforced for me that there have been lessons learned, and how much has gone right for Kate in these first years.

    Part 1 is of The Diana Years are here for anyone who cares to type out the web address -

    Happy New Year to Everyone!

  20. Dear Charlotte!

    I love your blog so much! Your work is always more than great! Thank you so much! I wish you all the best for the new year!!!

    Many regards!

  21. A heartfelt thank you for all your incredibly kind comments :)

    The year has gone by so fast.

  22. Dear Charlotte,

    A fantastic recap of a busy year for Kate. Time does fly by...Thank you for all the incredibly fast and informative updates you bring us.

    Looking forward to 2013 and all that it has in store for us - wishing you and all the readers of your blog and our respective families much happiness and health in 2013.


    1. A lovely recap. We can see that the duchess hasn't been too busy. Glad she's being eased into royal life. Fancy almost two tears a royal, doesn't time fly. Bea Boston USA

  23. Charlotte,
    This was a lovely retrospective. Thank you for your tasteful blog. I would imagine the Duchess would approve.

  24. LKC in South Carolina30 December 2012 at 15:13

    What a wonderful post to wake up to! Since I am new to this there a few pictures I hadn't seen before so for me it was an extra nice read.

    Thank you for taking your time to do this.

  25. A great re-cap! I look forward to all that is to come in 2013!

  26. Marion from Germany30 December 2012 at 15:52

    Dear Charlotte,

    I have read all of your wonderful posts in 2012 and I will go on doing that in 2013! I do not comment on each of your posts, because there are so many followers (which is fantastic and shows the high quality of your work) who have already said what I have in mind. I am convinced that you have so many more people following you who just enjoy your wonderfully presented information on Kate and William without taking part in the always interesting and sometimes weird and heated discussions, which I also enjoy. :-)

    But I feel that my year 2012 will not be complete without telling you how much I adore your blog and the way you turn to us readers, even if so many fans before have thanked you, but I will join them. We are indeed a very special community here which has often made my day in 2012, and so I am looking forward to reading all the wonderful new posts which you are going to write. How dull would it be to follow Kate without the bright “Charlotte-filter”!

    Thank you so much, dear Charlotte, and all the best to you and also to all the others here.

    Hugs from Germany, Marion

  27. Excellent work Charlotte. Happy New Year! Looking forward to following the Duchess through your blog In 2013. Can't wait for baby to arrive!

  28. Dear Charlotte,
    I would like to personally thank you for all of the hard work you have done this year. To keep us all updated with the latest looks, which is a job itself. Giving your time to share your love for the duchess and to share it with myself and the others who love her as well. You have always made wonderful posts and have continued to always give us the latest on Catherine.
    I would have to say my favorite would have to be when they announced that she was expecting a royal baby. This, in my opinion, is a perfect way to end a spectacular year. From the Queens 60 years on the throne, to the Olympics and the South- East Asia tour. A baby announcement was the perfect ending. Although best wishes for Kate as she goes through her morning sickness.
    Lastly I would like to thank you yet again for this wonderful year. And I can't wait to see all the new posts you will give us next year, they will be great as always. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

  29. Theresa, from Paris30 December 2012 at 16:37

    Great post, Charlotte ! Thank you for your lovely work all year long.It is fun to come here and share our views about the Duchess. As I've already said, you have created a friendly and very interesting blog.
    This was a special year for the royals and you covered all the events brilliantly. I think the Duchess did so very well, especially with the crisis about the photos taken in the South of France.
    Let's hope she feels better and can enjoy her pregnancy. And three cheers for next year !

    All my best wishes for an exciting, fun and wonderful 2013 to you and all of you who enjoy Charlotte's blog ;)

  30. Charlotte, your great recap really "capped off" a great year of posts. Thanks for a whole year of wonderful pictures, fashion features, and shopping information. My favorite picture was Kate and William hugging each other at the Velodrome during the Olympics. My favorite "fashion" was the beige lace sheath that Kate wore for the Queen's Jubilee service at St. Paul's. (Who was the designer?) My favorite shopping advice was your info about You should have seen my daughter's face when she opened her black cocktail gloves on Christmas Eve!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!

  31. Ana B. from Brazil30 December 2012 at 18:14

    Dear Charlotte, I would like to THANK YOU for your great coverage this year! With your posts, following William and Catherine become even funnier!
    Cant wait for 2013! I think it is going to be a magic year!
    I am here to thank the readers as well. It is a pleasure to read your thoughts and I feel privileged to know so many people from around the world!
    A Happy New Year to all of you!
    Hugs from sunny Brazil :)

    1. Hi Ana B- I really enjoy reading your comments. I know I have unset some readers but they are just my opinions. That is what this blog is supposed to be. Where we can come and read about the Duchess and give our thoughts & opinions on whatever was gooing on at the time of the post.

      I too can not wait until 2013 to see what it is going to bring the Duchess & her Prince besides their bundle of joy.

      I wish you a very Happy New Year. I send you hugs from a very cold California. And to Ms. Charlotte, if it was not for you & this great blog many of us would not have made friends from around the world.

  32. Dear Charlotte !
    I also want to say how much I appreciate your hard work on the blog. It is simply the best :) I read all of your wonderful posts. You are so sensible young woman who puts heart and soul into this site and your efforts are appreaciated.

    However, I am disappointed with Catherine's charity work that's why I've decided not to follow her in 2013.

    I want to wish you guys HAPPY NEW YEAR :) :) :)

    1. Thank you very much for following the blog. I am very sorry to hear you won't be following next year. I'm sad to say several people have informed me they won't be following next year due to the situation with charity work. All of them will be greatly missed and I have so appreciated them following.

      Lynn - That beautiful dress was a bespoke McQueen :)

    2. Yes I've been surprised at her lack of charity work too. Think will n kate have got to decide on bring 'normal' or full time roles don't think they can be both. Best if both worlds don't portray them in a great light, spoilt and too privileged. Sandy from Ottawa

    3. Have looked at photos of the Canadian tour, I liked her style more then, she seemed so much younger and fresher, feel she's getting worn down into the royal way of life.

    4. Sarah from Calif.30 December 2012 at 23:14

      Hmm don't quit get it. If we talk about charity work (do the scouts apply?) I for one of a million have been greatly blessed., helped and affected by those who spent time with me. Not to mention the hilarious memories of setting the den leaders kitchen curtains on fire (accident) _ being dragged in to the den moms house from a rain storm from an over night camping trip, sewing my sample stitching to my dress and having to be helped out despite my endless tears. Ect....... Don't the little things in life count anymore? I see pictures of Kate influencing many young ladies. Yes the scouts have had their share of problems but I can assure you Kate's love of helping little ones is genuine and priceless.

    5. Alyssa from PA, USA31 December 2012 at 03:18

      I feel like Sarah. I don't exactly know what is expected of a British royal, but what I see in Kate is a young woman who is genuine and has integrity. She dresses modestly and beautifully. She loves her husband and I believe she is trying to be what is expected of her. I look forward to the unfolding years of her life, and I hope they continue to put their little family first because I believe if that is strong, they can do more good than if their marriage is struggling. I can't talk to HRH, but this is the feeling I get of her when I read about her or see pictures. I don't say any of this to criticize anyone else's point of view. I just really like Kate and am pulling for her.
      P.S. Sorry if this is a duplicate post....trouble with my iPod.

    6. Charlotte,

      I wanted to write and tell you that I'm in the same boat as Anonymous of 18:16. After first hearing of Kate when she got engaged, I became a huge fan of hers... but given how little she has done for her causes since becoming the Duchess of Cambridge, I really can't call myself a fan anymore, so this will be my last comment here.

      Thank you so much for putting so much effort into this lovely blog - it was always the first place I came to for Kate news, and I always knew it would be accurate and on time. I remember how earlier this year you were faced with possibly having to shut down the blog over copyright problems with photos, and the classy way in which you handled that really showed what a professional you are. Kate fans are really lucky to have you :)

      Best of luck in the future, you would certainly have a bright future in journalism if you were to choose that path!

      Sarah from GA

      P.S. Wanted to leave a note for Pauline - I know we disagreed frequently, but always appreciated you being respectful about it! I enjoyed our debates :)

    7. After reviewing this post, I have to agree with the folks expressing disappointment with the dearth of charity work during 2012. It's actually kind of difficult for me to imagine what she does all day, especially when William's working. Shop? Attend sports events? Camp with Scouts? I'm willing to believe that she does a lot of behind-the-scenes research before charitable events and royal visits (esp. the tour), I'm just not sure why that didn't translate into more work on behalf of her charities. It's especially disappointing when you consider how other royal women, such as the Queen and Princess Anne, are such workhorses.

    8. Sarah GA,

      I am very sorry to hear you have decided not to continue to follow Kate this year. I do hope you will join us at my other royal blog (which should be ready today or tomorrow) and follow the other royals. You will be greatly missed at 'Duchess Kate'. Thank you for all your support x

    9. @Sarah GA- Thank you for the nice comment. I hope you will change your mind about following this great blog Charlotte has for us fans. Please remember that William & his Duchess are not full time working royals. I do believe it is the Palace who set's up everything the Duchess does. I also think William has a big say too on what she does. Charity work is not something you do everyday 24/7. There is alot of behind the secene research that goes along with being involved. I have worked with charities in the past and you can not beleive what goes on.

      So Sarah please continue reading and commenting. Who am I going to debate with???

    10. After reading these comments, I don't understand why you all are putting down the Duchess for her lack of charity work. We all have to remember that neither William or the Duchess are full time working royals. The Queen gave them 2 years to adjust to their marriage and for the Duchess to be a military wife (whatever that is). William also wanted her to adjust to being in the royal family. Some people will say that they have been together for 10 years and that is true but she was not involved in the royal family doings.

      As I have stated before there is more to charity work then being there. You have alot of the behind the scene research and things like that. So I hope you all will keep following this beautiful couple in 2013.

      Oh and yes the Queen and Princess Anne are work horses but they have been doing it for alot of years so it really isn't fair to compare the Duchess charity work to the Queen & Princess Anne.

    11. @ Pauline, we all know you've been giving the same explanations for Kate's lack of charity work for a while now. I totally understood when they first got married that Kate would be eased into royal life slowly, and I thought that was a great idea given Diana's experience. But then it took months for her to even select her patronages, and then there have been so few appearances on behalf of her charities in 2012 that I started to doubt her commitment to charity work. It would be one thing if she actually was just a military wife off in Wales, but she certainly manages to get herself to London and make appearances for fun things like watching Wimbledon and the Olympics, so it looks to me like she's happy to enjoy of the "fun" parts of being a royal without putting in the charity work like the others do. "Just my opinion," as you would say. I still think she seems like a very sweet person, and she and William seem to adore each other. And really, maybe it's not a bad thing for her to have a light workload - plenty of women don't have jobs or activities outside of the home, and maybe Kate prefers to focus on being a wife and mother as opposed to a working royal in years to come. As long as the British public was okay with that, maybe that arrangement would work best for W&K, although it would be slightly disappointing to see her squander the amazing platform she has to bring attention to worthy causes.

  33. Yes I am disappointed in her lack of committment to charity work. I know Pauline took except to the the two York Princesses but she should note the work Eugenie has done the past year for children with orthopedic problems. I think she has done as much or more than the Dutchess of Cambridge. Also the press coverage for the York Princess has been much lighter so some of their work may not be reported. I plan to follow them more next year and if you do your proposed blog we may see the good works of the Countess of Wessex and others who are committed to using their royal status for charity. Hats off to them.
    I see the Dutchess of Cambridge could shop for chips but skip church. Again priorities.

    1. @Anonymous- As I stated before, the only reason I said I did not want to follow the York princess's is becasue I felt that they do not pull their weight. We don't hear much about what they do except when they are coming or going to a party. I am not putting them down for that but that is what is reported about them. And I never said that I disliked them. Someone posted that I disliked them. Who ever posted that were putting words in my mouth

      Maybe the media should start to report more of their work if that is what they are doing. I woudl like to see more about the Countess of Wessex. I think she is a really classy woman.

    2. Maybe we don't here much about Beatrice and Eugenie because they don't do stupid things in public ala Harry in Vegas or younger William in the helicopter in the Middleton garden. Behaving yourself doesnt' get any press.

  34. Yes Kate has been in public for a reported 45 minutes since leaving the hospital. Her hands were visibly shaking on stage and she looked tired.

    Since that time she has done 2 private lunches, had the Queen's approval to spend Christmas in Berkshire, where she went to church on Christmas Day, gone to Sandringham on Boxing Day (but did not participate in the Boxing Day activities). All places where if she is still combating nausea, she can be sick in private.

    Today she bought some chips (used to combat nausea) and apparently is on her way back to her family.

    So yes, I do think Kate has her priorities straight, namely her health and the health of her & William's unborn child.

  35. Thank you Charlotte! I have been at the hospital with my son who was hospitalized with the flu, so I haven't been on in a few days. What a surprise to log on and see 2012 in review! You do an amazing job of keeping us informed. Thank you for always keeping it positive and happy. You are always respectful to William and Catherine and to us as your readers. Job well done!

    As far as a favorite moment, they all have happy memories. From a romantic walk on the beach to the precious embrace in the Velodrome. Kate's first speech to the amazing tour in South East Asia. It's been a wonderful year! I think my favorite would have to be moments from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend. Being there to experience it all brings the magic that just reading about it can't. Seeing the Queen, along with Will and Kate in the flotilla floating down the Thames River, experiencing the awesome concert outside Buckingham Palace, seeing the carriage procession down The Mall, and being so lucky to get a spot in front of the palace for the balcony appearance was simply brilliant! Such great historical moments and ones I will never forget. Seeing Kate so close up in the beautiful blush Alexander McQueen, she really is stunningly beautiful. I think it's been an amazing year for your country and the Royal family! Kate has definitely added to the exciting moments!

    I haven't read all the comments, but I have seen a couple that some are upset about the lack of involvement in charity. I don't know, but my feeling is I see Kate being eased in very slowly. I know she's been part of the family for 18 months, but I think William is fiercely protective of her and is just trying to not make some of the same mistakes that occurred with his mother. Diana was thrown head first into Royal duties and from my understanding with little preparation. I think there will be a time when they are full time working royals that more commitments will come. She is dividing her time between London and Wales and I feel there are many things done behind the scenes like the scouts and possibly private involvement with her charities. There's not the worldwide press hysteria that follows the York princesses and they were born into the roll. This is all they have ever known. I feel Kate has given alot this year. She has worked with her charity choices, was very involved with being an ambassador for the Olympics, and the tour to South East Asia. Definitely not trying to upset anyone, it is just my opinion.

    I look forward to keeping up with Kate and reading great posts in 2013! I think it is going to be a great year full of surprises for Will and Kate! The House of Windsor will have its heir and the Queen's third great-grandchild. Charlotte, thank you again for all your work! It is greatly appreciated! Happy New Year!!!

    1. Kate I'm so sorry to hear your son has been unwell. I hope everything is ok? Please send him my best wishes. The flu has been particularly bad this year with the winter vomiting bug doing the rounds also.

    2. Kristin,San Francisco31 December 2012 at 17:59

      Hello Kate, I totally agree with you on your post (am jealous of your Jubilee trip!!!) Many said Diana was basically thrown under a bus...William grew up in that not so healthy atmosphere, he wants things to go different this time around in his own marriage. I think the word 'ease' needs to be kept at the forefront thus seeing the big picture and the long term-ness of William & Kate's marriage and ultimate place in history. They have done a fabulous job and will continue to do so, some bumps in the road will happen I am sure - the important thing is how they handle those bumps. Unless one does charity work themselves they will not realize the amount of work that is involved & I am sure that Royal charity work is well 'amped up' over any of our small local charities that our fellow readers may be invovled with. They call it "The Firm" for a reason; it's a business - William is trying to inject more emphasis on his relationships with his wife and her family as it should be. We know how William grew up and he does not want a repeat - nor do we. So hopefully the 'ease' continues. I will continue to follow Charlotte's blog - it is the best!!! Happy New Year to all!!!

    3. Ktistin & Kate- I totally agree with you both. We have to remember that neither William or his Duchess are not full time working royals. William does not what his Duchess to be pushed into alot of charity work when they are posted in Wales. The Queen have given them 2 years to adjust to their marriage and to let the Duchess be a military wife. That is one thing the Queen missed when she first got married.

      I have worked with serveral charities and yes there is alot of behind the scene work that goes on. Just because you are involved does not mean you are working 24/7 with each one. Somne people who red this blog think the Duchess should be out with her charities everyday doing whatever but that is not how it works. As time goes on and they both become full time working royals you will see the Duchess involved in more charities and with military things. But we have have patience.

      Right now she has an important job to do and that is bring into this world a bundle of joy for her & William. And William as we know is very protective of her so we will not see much of the Duchess in the future months. Let's just pray that she is startign to feel better so she can go back to Wales with William.

    4. Pauline, I think you should re-read what you post. She has done about 10 engagements in a year. The taxpayers fund her to do good not to have her hair colored with vegetable dye. This is her second year and she did less than last year. Her sister Pippa works, her parents work, yet she spends all her time exercising and looking good. I like her clothes, her smile but she is a lazy thing who has done virtually nothing since college. I guess after kids that is it. Princess Mary of Denmark has 4 kids and does 20 times what Kate does.
      She is spoiled.

    5. Sarah from Calif.1 January 2013 at 02:04

      Hi Kate I do hope your son is feeling much better! Boys know how to keep us on the edge of our seats. (in sickness and health) A Happy New Year to your family!

    6. Kate, Texas, USA1 January 2013 at 05:07

      Charlotte and Sarah, thank you for the well wishes for my son. You both were so kind to ask. It was a scary few days when he was hospitalized for severe dehydration from the flu, but is at home now recovering. Charlotte, the flu has been really bad here this year also. :(

      Charlotte, I hope you rang in the new year in style in the UK and Sarah, you have a couple more hours to go! Looking forward to reading this wonderful blog and keeping up with our beautiful Duchess in 2013! Happy New Year to all!

  36. Happy holidays, Charlotte! I've so enjoyed the blog and will continue to do so! Can't wait to also add your new blog to my reading list! Thank you for your hard work for all of our enjoyment!

    1. I appreciate it thank you! Wishing you and your loved ones a terrific year.

      The firework display in London is magnificent. Sky News have some great coverage!

  37. Happy New Year everyone and a great 2013 for all. I have read the above with interest. I understand that the royal family wanted to avoid another "Diana" situation, quite rightly so, but think they have gone too far the other way. Catherine is much older, much more educated and has a much more supportive family than Diana did. And frankly, although William understandably wants to put blame elsewhere, Diana's main difficultly was Charles' involvement with Camilla which was ongoing even during their honeymoon. If Diana's marriage had been happy and she had a strong family behind her, things would have been much different. She was also frankly much more high-strung than I suspect Kate is. Having said this, I'm not going to stop reading or make demands while Catherine is pregnant and poorly but she needs to get working a lot harder! Times are tough and people are very mindful of the privileges of the royal family. Working behind the scenes is fine, but she needs to plunge in and build a public role as soon as she is able. There has been too much "waity Katey, too much Duchess Dolittle. She should have used the time before she was married more wisely and she should have jumped into building a strong royal role more quickly. I like to feel this is constructive criticism. I think she has fabulous potential but she shouldn't be losing readers on a favourable blog like this because of lack of work. No one should judge her while she is ill but her New Year's resolution should be an active and well-defined public persona just as soon as she possibly can manage it.

  38. Happy New Year to all, and having said that, I would add that many posting here appear to be utterly clueless
    when it comes court intrigues. My view is that both William and Kate are caught between a rock and a hard place,
    or, between the Queens spin doctors and those employed by the amoral POW, Charles. To wit, the Queen is a
    firm believer in continuity and hence would promote Charles before William and Kate-and to hell with integrity.
    Charles, ever selfish, happily promotes himself, and to hell with William and Kate. Hence, William and Kate must
    necessarily be banished-William to the military, and Kate to an even worse fate, a no-mans-land, where she is
    damned either way. Wake up people. William and Kate are trapped, but are doing their level best to survive intact
    as a couple and soon-to-be-family. Cut them some slack-a LOT of slack. In the meantime, I expect that Will and
    Kate will continue to make lemonade when handed a sack of sour lemons. Kate, banished, will have the
    opportunity to be a real mother to her kids, although she will be slammed as a slacker. Nothing new there.
    My advice to William is simple; he owes it to Kate to move her and his child ON BASE, which will give him much
    more time to spend with his family, who will need his full support, given that they will have little support
    All things considered, Kate is a true heroine. She has bitten off more than your precious aristocrat could chew.
    William is the luckiest of men. He managed to find someone who loved him enough to put up with him and to
    put up with his dysfunctional family-IMO, a pack of sociopaths-just because she loves him.--She is far too beautiful
    to be left at the wayside. Many men would have married her. I frequently wish one of them had done so.
    It almost goes without saying that I view her family, in particular, her mother and sister, with the utmost distaste.
    Kates mother, IMO, threw her eldest child under the bus in order to promote the family fortunes. In sum, Kate
    has nowhere to turn, except to William. The question is...does he have the right stuff to man up...given his
    sociopathic upbringing, highly unlikely. And that is why I will ALWAYS support Kate...just because she got dealt
    a poor hand by fate.

  39. As an American woman I admit that I don't understand what Brits expect fromthe Duchess. It seems to me that she does as much as the wives of Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world. I also think that it is wise to not throw her to the wolves. William saw what happened to his mom. She was not prepared for all of the things expected of her. So give Kate sometime to get
    her bearings and I am sure she will use the platform that she has to do many
    good things. I would like to see her focus on issues facing women and children.

  40. Diana was 19 and married to a man who was involved with someone else. That's a hellish scenario. Kate is 30 and she and William have been together for years. Her situation is totally different. I love this blog but I am also thinking about no longer following Kate.

  41. Happy New Year's to all. Charlotte you have done a great job with this blog. You make me smile and it is like getting a present everytime something new is on. With regard to Catherine she has done wonderful work. Frankly I wish we would hear more what our First Lady does because I have no idea. Catherine will be a wonderful mother and William will be right by her side. I am sure the Duchess knows what she needs to do and she will do it well we are not in her shoes. May God bless William and Catherine in 2013. Robin Indiana USA

  42. Sarah from Calif.3 January 2013 at 00:06

    Out of curiosity how much work did Camilla do this last year? If that is to much to ask maybe someone could point me in the right direction (for the answer) , being that she will be the next Queen someday and Kate has awhile before taking on that incredible responsibility. Thank goodness!

    Just made one of the dishes from Pippa's book. (Pot Roast Tarragon Chicken) yummmy!!

  43. Pictures are so stunning & beautiful.


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