Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Year in Review: 2014!

We're back from holiday celebrations with our annual Year in Review post looking back at the Duchess of Cambridge's year. From engagements and holidays to overseas trips, news stories and fashion, we look forward to taking a step back and discussing 2014 before we ring in 2015!


As usual, January was an incredibly quite month without sightings, photographs or public engagements. At the end of the month Kate and Prince George joined the Middleton family for their annual holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique, making it George's first overseas trip.

Hello! Magazine


Prince William, who normally accompanies the family on their vacation, remained in the UK in order to complete an agriculture course at Cambridge University. The year got off to a rather controversial start for the second-in-line when he was photographed on a hunting weekend in Spain. It was described as "horrendous timing" given his role in an illegal wildlife trade conference just a week later.

The Sun

Journalists including the Express's royal correspondent Richard Palmer weighed in at the time.

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

Fresh from her holiday, Kate was spotted by members of the public walking Prince George and Lupo at Kensington Gardens.


Interestingly, Kate turned her talents to writing and penned a foreword for a publication about life as an RAF wife - Living in the Slipstream. The Duchess touched on her time in Anglesey and her concern for William in his role:

'I loved my time in Anglesey, but I can't pretend I didn't feel anxious when William was flying in challenging conditions. He loved it and I felt incredibly proud of him.'

Looking tanned and relaxed, Kate began official engagements for 2014 on 11 February when she attended The Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  Her Royal Highness made a short but endearing speech in which she praised the work of the gallery.

The Duchess wore her much-loved Jenny Packham silk tulle gown with a dazzling necklace on loan from the Queen. The priceless piece was given to Her Majesty as a wedding gift in 1947 from the Nizam of Hyderabad then ruler of a state in India. The Nizam was the owner of one of the most celebrated and largest private jewellery collections in the world.


Kate spent Valentine's Day at Norfolk High School to officially open the ICAP Art Room in the striking L.K. Bennett 'Detroit' dress. A few days later she teamed up with Her Majesty for a star-studded Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace in her recycled red Alexander McQueen dress. A clever move on Kate's part not to debut a new piece when joining the Queen, ensuring the focus was not on her sartorial choices.

The Duchess rounded up the month by becoming a godmother to Oliver and Mel Baker's five-month-old son Henry at an intimate christening at St Barnabas Church in Mayland, Chelmsford. Of course, William and Kate chose university pal Oliver as one of George's godparents so it was nice to see the couple returning the favour. 



March 2014 proved one of the most divisive months for royal fans we've ever seen on the blog. In fact, upon reflection I would say it was the  most divisive. News broke confirming the couple had travelled to the Maldives for a week-long holiday while Prince George settled in with his new nanny Maria Teresa back in London.

Given the fact Kate had only recently returned from Mustique and William from Spain - and they were just weeks away from a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia - it was very much viewed as a bad move due to the small number of engagements they had carried out in the months beforehand. Our two posts on the holiday - The Cambridges Holiday in Mustique and About That Holiday - were two of our most read and commented on yet. Almost a year on, have your initial feelings on the holiday changed?

We next saw William and Kate on St Patrick's Day for the parade at Aldershot where the Duchess presented shamrock in a gorgeous green Hobbs coat.

To mark Mother's Day, a new portrait of Prince George taken by Jason Bell was released to the Sunday papers. Taken at a window of Apartment 1A, Kensington Palace the photo shows George with his parents and Lupo.

The Mail

William, Kate and Harry attended the wedding of friends Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett in Marshfield, Gloucestershire. Kate wore her M Missoni tweed coat, Whistles Bella dress and her Lock & Co 'Fairy Tale' hat.

It was a lovely, understated look for a wedding. So much so, another guest had the same idea :)


April was the month of the royal tour and what a memorable one it was. From the moment the Cambridges left London media and royal fans were waiting to see William and Kate arrive with Prince George - one of the few glimpses of the young Prince we had seen at that time.

The highly-anticipated tour offered a wide array of engagements over a three-week period which saw William and Kate meet as many people and take in as much of both countries as their schedule allowed, whilst spending as much time as possible with George. The little prince stole the show at each appearance he was involved in.

When the couple brought Prince George to a play date with families from Plunket, New Zealand - George's first official engagement - little did photographer Simon Woolf know he would take Kate's favourite photo of the royal tour.

Governor-General of New Zealand

More from People:
'Woolf was the official New Zealand government photographer allowed at every event that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended during their nine-day tour of the country. And it was his picture of little George cuddling into his mum's shoulder that has been reproduced so many times. Woolf was told that Kate called this her favourite photo of the tour and gave her a black and white copy.'

Prince George particularly enjoyed himself at Taronga Zoo where he was introduced to a bilby. These informal family shots proved to be the highlight of the tour for many including myself.

There were plenty of light-hearted moments during the tour.

The cricket game was particularly memorable.

 Director Peter Jackson took a snap of a smiling Duchess.

Experiencing the Shotover jet.

We also spotted a romantic moment...

Or two.

The couple visited landmarks including Uluru and Sydney Opera House.

Supporting causes close to their hearts was also on the agenda. When Kate visited Bear Cottage Hospice with William she said, "to be here together as a family has been very special and we will always remember it with fond and happy memories".

Bear Cottage

In terms of fashion, we saw the Duchess choose favourite brands including Alexander McQueen.

The Duchess worked with one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham, to create a bespoke black dress with an embroidered fern. Symbolism is very important and shows the level of thought that goes into clothing choices for tours.

Her go-to casual ensemble of jeans and wedges paired with a casual sweater or navy blazer featured several times.

Most notably we saw the Duchess wear four U.S. designers: Tory Burch, DVF, Lela Rose and Michael Kors.

It was a wonderful tour and tremendous fun to cover with all of you. We've heard whispers the next joint tour may take place in Autumn 2015...


We didn't see Kate again until 29 May when she and William carried out engagements in Scotland in a pretty coat by Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders.

During a visit to a popular local distillery the Duchess enjoyed several sips of a 58.8% whiskey which left her eyes watering. 'That's... err... delicious,' she said.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined thousands of people, including the Queen and other members of the Royal family to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. They met with veterans and Kate sat down and said to them, "You've got lots of stories to tell". Veteran Arthur Jones asked her, "Is it OK to kiss a Princess?" Laughing, she replied, "Of course it is." Mr Jones described the Duchess as "very sweet, very lovely and down to earth".

Also in June, Kate supported Britain's America's Cup bid at a breakfast reception in Greenwich with Ben Ainslie, The Duchess was elegant in bespoke McQueen for the Queen's Garden Party and looked regal in an icy-blue suit by the designer for Trooping the Colour.

Kate brought George to support William on Father's Day at a polo match at Cirencester Polo Club. George was crawling around and incredibly excited.

The busy month continued with an appearance at Order of the Garter in a shiny Christopher Kane coat.


Kate had the opportunity to explore a family connection at Bletchley Park.

Kate's paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborow worked as a "duty officer" at Bletchley with her twin sister Mary during the war. Records show Ms. Glassborow worked in Hut 6 as a civilian member of staff. As with so many people who worked in British Signals Intelligence during the war very little is known about their work. Valerie's records were among many destroyed after the war.

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Kate also paid a private visit to East Anglia's Children's Hospices in support of Children's Hospice Week.


In July, Kate made a Place2Be school visit and officially launched the Tour de France at Harewood House with William and Harry, wearing her colourful green Erdem 'Allie' Coat.

Avid tennis fan Kate went to Wimbledon twice to support Andy Murray.

The Palace released adorable portraits to mark Prince George's first birthday, showing the little prince with his parents at the Natural History Museum's 'Sensational Butterflies' exhibition.


William, Kate and Harry travelled to Glasgow at the end of July to support the Commonwealth Games. The royal trio were ambassadors for London 2012 and given their personal sporting interests they had a wonderful time at various events.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled to Belgium to commemorate the First World War. They were received by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Upon their return the trio visited the emotive poppy installation in Tower of London's moat.

In August, the Palace confirmed, following his transitional "gap year", Prince William had decided to return to flying with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Regarding Kate they stated: 'She will continue with her small portfolio of work and focus on being a mother. No rise in duties.'

The couple laid low in August spending time with the Middletons in Bucklebury and enjoyed a date out in Norfolk near their country home Anmer Hall. Of course, we now know they may have been celebrating...

Daily Star Sunday


September came with a very special announcement.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

Once again, the couple were forced to make the announcement early because Kate was suffering with Hyperemesis gravidarum. The Duchess was unable to attend several engagements including a trip to Malta and felt poorly for quite some time. The Palace confirmed the baby is due in April!


We didn't see Kate again until the 17 October when she and William were photographed leaving an appointment with Dr. Alan Farthing for the first trimester scan after dark.

NY Daily News

Kate returned to engagements with her first official state visit role - greeting President Tony Tan Keng Yam of Singapore and his wife Mary Chee Bee Kiang at the start of a four-day state visit to Britain.

The Duchess looked stunning and healthy at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards in a beautiful Jenny Packham wrap dress featuring a split to the waist and a modesty skirt underneath. It was perhaps Kate's red carpet highlight of the year and a nice departure to see her experimenting with her style.

Kate's Temperley London dress at Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala was considered one of her misses during the year.

The Cambridges wrapped up the month with a trip to Scotland.


William and Kate enjoyed an away day in Wales where they visited the Valero Pembroke Refinery and took in a rugby match. Kate's Matthew Williamson opal blue coat proved a great success and she looked very happy and well. 

Kate was sombre in McQueen for Remembrance Day. The Duchess also opted for darker colours at a SportsAid workshop (Interestingly, I had forgotten this engagement, which is unusual given it was relatively recent).

For the Royal Variety Performance Kate dazzled in an elegant black DVF 'Zarita' gown. The entire look was perfect for the event and the Duchess was in her element.

Kate mixed high street and designer for the Place2Be awards at Kensington Palace, when she paired a Hobbs peplum top with a Jenny Packham skirt. For a visit to her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices Kate chose a simpler look: a stylish red Katherine Hooker dress.


The final month of the year will be remembered for William and Kate's trip to New York, marking the first time either of them had visited the city. Upon arrival at The Carlyle Hotel, they turned to pose for pool media, something of a first for the Cambridges and a sign of goodwill on William's behalf.

The Duchess selected garments from maternity brand Séraphine for the trip, unlike her first pregnancy when she relied on bespoke designs.

The Duchess undertook a variety of engagements including a visit to Northside Child Development Centre, and receptions where she met everyone from Sir Ben Kingsley to Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

The Cambridges attended their first NBA game where they met Beyoncé and Jay Z. Kate gave a nod to her host country in the Tory Burch metallic tweed 'Bettina' coat and J Crew black skinny jeans.

The cerise Mulberry coat Kate wore for a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum provoked heated debate and divided opinions across the board. Many felt the bright hue was wholly inappropriate for a visit to a memorial of such magnitude. Others suggested there is no imperative here and the coat was fine for the nature of the day - which included a quick visit to the One World Trade Center.

The trip concluded on a fitting note - with the glamorous St Andrews' 600th Anniversary dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The glowing Duchess repeated her much-loved Jenny Packham gown. However, the talking point of the night was the sparkling emerald and diamond jewels she debuted. The Palace revealed they were "a private gift". They are simply incredible.

The Palace released three new photos of the little Prince to mark Christmas and to show gratitude that he is not photographed going about his daily life.

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Looking effortlessly stylish in a Scouts hoodie, Kate made a surprise visit at a Beaver Scout meeting in London. The evening was excellent fun and HRH participated in a number of activities including learning sign language and eating blindfolded.

The Royal family gathered at Buckingham Palace for the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon.

The Cambridges celebrated Christmas at Anmer Hall with the Middletons and the group made the walk to St Mary Magdalene Church with the royals ensuring time was spent with both families. One expects it may mark the beginning of a tradition for the Middleton clan, spending the holidays in Norfolk. Kate chose British labels for the day: a Moloh coat and a scarf by Really Wild.

As always, as the year draws to a close, a survey of annual royal duties revealed which royals carried out the most royal duties. What astounded me in terms of the figures is the number of appearances made by the Queen and Prince Philip, carrying out 375 and 200 respectively. I feel we cannot give the pair enough credit for their dedication and determination. Out of the fifteen royals surveyed, Kate had the least number of engagements with 76 (while William carried out 111). Aides have stressed Kate wants to focus on life as a wife and mother and according to various reporters has the Queen's backing on this. You can read Rebecca English's article in its entirety here.

Mail Online

Which events, engagements and looks were your favourites from 2014? We look forward to following Kate with you in 2015 and want to thank each one of you for reading and commenting throughout the year. There's a wonderful community here and it's a joy to see it continue to grow. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

We'll be back with our polls next!


  1. Great summary of 2014. Thank you, Charlotte.

    My goodness George has grown in the last year if you look back at the Mustique photos.

    And a happy and health new year to everyone!!!

  2. Nice Write up. Thank you~
    It appears that the Duchess indeed had a year busier than I remembered. I guess it was the 2 months of her coping with sickness that made it seem so...Australia/New Zealand tour definitely was the highlight of 2014 in both political and fashion sense.

    Looking forward another year of intrigue from the young royal family and from the awesome Charlotte.

    Happy 2015!

  3. Great post! So many events I forgot about! 75 does seem like such low number, and especially considering the queens high amount!
    Hopefully next year we see more of Kate!

  4. Maggie - Minneapolis31 December 2014 at 04:51

    Great post! Quick question - does anyone know how many appearances Harry ended up doing? Thanks in advance :)

    Anyways - we didn't see Kate for the entirety of January, March (minus one appearance), May (minus one appearance at the very end), and August. And that's not counting the 1.5 months she missed for HG. Next year she will probably take off quite a bit of time at the end of her pregnancy, and then will be on maternity leave, so I imagine we will see her even less. I hope that the new PR guy at least helps her space out her engagements more so that she's not out of the public eye for a month at a time.
    Lastly, I'm utterly flabbergasted why Kate cannot do at least as many engagements as William, who was in school in the spring and then studying in the fall, but still managed to get in many more than Kate. Obviously he didn't have to suffer from HG, but that doesn't account for the almost 40 in difference. Yes, Kate is a new mother. And yes, raising her son is a fine goal. But contrary to what society tells us, the mother does not have to be around more than the father in order for the child to be raised well. If George can live without his father for periods of time (i.e. vacations, hunting weekends, polo, all the time William wasn't with Kate and George during the HG period, etc.,) then why can't he also go without Kate for 3-hour periods, three times a week? Heck, why can't they reduce William's engagements a little and up Kate's so that they have an equal burden? And, if Kate can spend so much time shopping or vacationing without George, then why can't she do some more engagements while leaving him at home?
    I was pretty angry when news of the Maldives vacation broke. Now I care less, but I do think it showed utter disregard for public opinion, and an arrogance about their position in the world. And I know that most royals vacation just as much, and that the January and August vacations were normal for their position, but given that their workload is not normal for their position, I don't know why they should get the vacations.
    Most importantly, I just feel bad for the other royals that Charles is trying to push out. The only people on the balcony for the Diamond Jubilee flypast were the Queen and Prince Phillip, Charles and Camilla, Harry, and the Cambridges. That was sending a huge message about slimming down the monarchy. But how insulting is that when Andrew and Edward both did around 300 engagements a piece last year, while William and Kate did much less? Everyone says that Kate and William don't need to have a rise in duties because there are so many other royal family members to take care of them, but where is their sense of duty or obligation? They get the most perks and do the least work. Also (and this is separate and just something I'm curious about), why include Harry, who is basically in the same position, but not Charles' siblings? He is also the future child of a monarch and then future brother of a monarch - like Anne, Andrew, and Edward are current children of the monarch and future siblings of the monarch.

    1. Maggie What is wrong with parents taking a vacation without their child? I have done it and many other people take a vacation without their children. And why be angry, it did not affect you. And it has been said here and other places that Kates role is going to be a mother and wife and she get's the queens blessing.
      So if it does not bother the queen it should not bother any of us except that we all would like to see Kate more.
      And they do not get all the perks as you call them. You just do not hear about the other royals taking vacations, getting their homes fixed up etc etc. But since WIlliam & Kate are in the media 24/7 you hear about everything they do or have done. Oh and William knows what is expected from him. He made that statement in an interview after George was born.
      So I would not be so hard on them. We do not know what all goes on in the royal family.

    2. "if Kate can spend so much time shopping or vacationing without George..."

      OMG. Really? Are we talking about Kate or Kim?

      I do agree that Charles is pushing some members of the family off to the side, but if folks can recognize and acknowledge that this has his signature on it, perhaps they can consider that *other decisions* are his doing as well.

    3. Maggie,
      Why be angry that the Duke and Duchess went on holiday? They do not need you permission. They foot the bill themselves, so whose business is it but their own or the Queen's?
      I suspect that the next couple of years will follow a similar pattern to the last two---unless of course there is some major change in circumstances.
      I also suspect that Prince Philip continues to do the number of engagements is because that is what he wants to do.
      Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

    4. I think the answer is simple, William and especially Kate have been scheduled for less engagements because they are very popular right now and the Royal House doesn't want them (especially Kate) to overshadow Charles and Camilla (maybe at times even the Queen). As is, Kate is in the media all the time, can you imagine how much more she would be in the spotlight and taking over headlines if she were given more public engagements to do? She would easily eclipse any engagements that Charles and Camilla would do. It's a tactical PR move to keep their popularity at bay until after Charles has been established as King. I recall during the Diana times that there were reports that the Royal House did not like that Diana was more popular than Charles and nearly eclipsed the Queen! They don't want that to happen again.

    5. Anon 06:58, royalfan and Jean

      What are your responses to the salient points in Maggie's post? FX

      1. Did Cambridge vacations show disregard for fairly widespread public opinion of them working too little? Why or why not? I characterize it as widespread based on Guardian, Telegraph and DailyMail comments about the year end engagement tallies.

      2. Do you see why their vacations can be viewed as arrogance about their place in the world? Why or why not?

      3. Not leaving George in constant care of the nanny is often stated as the reason Kate can't do more engagements. How can this reason be believed given that they vacationed without him?

      4. Is it sexist and/or unfair for the bulk of parenting to fall on Kate's shoulders given Wm's job situation?

    6. Anon 16:06...

      And a *happy* New Year to you too. Before demanding (sorry, but that is the tone I picked up on) responses of other posters, perhaps you could respond to Maggie's post. Personally, I thought her post had an angry and accusatory tone to it. And, apparently, I was not alone.

      I have shared my opinions many, many times and I am tired of **SOME** of the repetitive and overt criticism. I'm not suggesting that everyone has to love and praise everything about the Cambridges, but if this couple is such a bitter disappointment to some folks, then what on earth is the attraction to following them religiously?

      I have followed the BRF since 1981 and I continue to do so because I will always think of William and Harry as "Diana's boys." For all their wealth and privilege, their lives are a shining example of money not buying happiness.

      I was thrilled that William found Kate because I believe she is exactly the type of girl Diana would have wanted for him. She loves him to the core and will be there to support him both privately and publicly, and give him a stable and happy family life. And no, that does not make Kate a martyr or doormat because people who are loving and give to others actually get it back tenfold. This is a simple and old fashioned concept that is not valued as much these days. Unfortunately.

      As I said, I have been following the royals for some time and I see the big picture. The royal family went through some rough patches in the 80's and 90's and I firmly believe they have no wish to repeat them. Charles has spent a lot of time and money getting to where he is in his personal life. His current wife is tolerated more than she is accepted and he still has a long way to go. If he wasn't worried about her being accepted as Queen, he wouldn't have had his lawyers step in over the BBC program (in the news in recent days). He realizes that for many people history is still rather fresh and he has good reason to worry. If people dismiss the idea that W&K's popularity is a threat to him and his ultimate goal (to have Camilla accepted as his Queen), then I'm sorry, but that is dismissing a lengthy chapter of royal history.

      William and Kate are devoting time to their family and not "getting in the way" while Charles (not too far from 70 at this point), still waits to ascend the throne. In time, they will take on a more active role, but not until Charles is more established in his final chapter. (Someone else here pointed that out and I agree.) Compare *that* to some of the European heirs in their 40' can't.

      And while the argument about how much work the average person has done by the time they are W&K's age may be relevant in our lives, it is not relevant in theirs. We can look forward to retirement; they cannot. That's not the way the firm operates.

      If the Queen or Charles had issues with W&K, we wouldn't see Charles clearly enjoying her company whenever they are together, and we wouldn't have seen the Middleton's attending Christmas Day service with the royal family. Sooo much points to the current game plan being a sanctioned very much.

      Finally, I've seen many poll suggestions thrown out on this blog and I would like to add one to the list on this first day of 2015.... maybe we could track the "productive" time devoted to tracking the Cambridges' productive / non-productive time. :)

    7. Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting post. I agree with you. I like Camilla but understand it will be a long time before some accept her as Queen. Seems to me if HM agreed to let Kate be a full-time wife and mother, that's all there is to it. Absurd to stick our noses in on how often she'd with her son or vacations apart from her husband. Every couple is different. These are private decisions and they seem happily in love. I'm sure as their children enter school and especially when William becomes Prince of Wales, their public engagements will jump dramatically. How nice to know there will be one Royal couple who enjoyed a more normal sort of life. It can only help The Firm.

    8. One way to evaluate Kate is with her own words.

      In her engagement interview, she said she would "learn quickly and work hard."

      How do the following three years match up to her own criteria?

    9. Anon 03:39 Things do change. Did you ever think that William wants Kate to be a wife to him and a good mother to their children. People are always ready to put her down without knowing all the details.
      People sit back and read all this crap about number of engagements so and so forth but never knowing what goes on in making these decisions.
      Why can't people just be happy that they are in love and let them go about their business.

    10. Maggie - Minneapolis2 January 2015 at 22:57

      People seem to be misinterpreting my words. I have no problem with someone taking a vacation without their child. I DO have a problem with them saying that they are not working in order to be able to spend time with their child, but then vacationing without that child. So maybe before calling me angry and accusatory, you could read my words more carefully. Kate seems to get much more of the benefit of the doubt from a lot of you all than any Kate criticism does!

    11. HI Anonymous, if there are details to be had that support your position, please share them. I think a lot of us would change our opinions.

      And we "read all this crap" about engagements because it's put out for public consumption. By the royals themselves on the court circular. And as far as what goes on in making the decisions, I posted elsewhere today regarding an article I just read that stated both William and Harry have said they were enouraged to work more.

      I think most of us are very happy they love each other. They also have jobs to do and that's why I pay attention, not to bill and coo at two lovebirds.

      And Maggie, Maggie Maggie. They have to take care of that child so they can leave him behind when they decide to go on holiday! :)

    12. Maggie I am very interested in why you have a problem with Wills & Kate not working in order to spend time with George but it is ok for them to take a vacation without him. You and a few others here have really gotten yourself all worked up for something that really does not effect you at all. As far as I know we are fans of Kate's but many act like she owes them everything. She owes us nothing.
      Yes I would love to see her more but I as an older adult competely understand what she is doing along with Wills.
      And I really don't think anyone is misinterpretong your words. We all hear you loud and clear. You think Kate needs to be out there at least 3 to 4 days a week and to add to her charities. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. I do not see Kate working like you think she should until her babies are in school.
      We will see her do a few engagements with her charities and support Wills in his.

    13. anon from Leominster3 January 2015 at 15:41

      I do think Kate owes the public something -- a rather large something --- for the bodyguards that protect her to her Kensington Palace home and the many other benefits she receives. We are not paying for her security and a fancy flat for her to stay home and make jam.

      As a royal, Kate is seen as a public servant and if she was anything but a princess, she would be getting the sack. She also is one of the faces, and outside of the queen, one of the most prominent faces, of a public institution called the monarchy. She is expected to enhance its reputation not harm it. When she married, she married a job, the royals say so themselves and she promised to work hard.

      One would think we were torturing Kate by suggesting she do something outrageous like work forty hours a week like most of the young mums who will decide someday if she is worthy of being queen. (Yes, it may not be automatic, if the royal family falls from favour.) Most of us would be content if she did one or two engagements a week, leaving her huge amounts of free time for her retro June Cleaver act.

      As for waiting until the children are in school, the monarchy will be badly damaged if she does that. And we have no promise she will do that. One problem is that there is no sense of certainty or stablity with William and Kate, they say one thing and do or don't do, something else. And the idea that the public will pay more attention to Charles and Camilla in the absence of William and Kate is nonesense. No one pays any attention to the majority of their engagements or is likely to. The press will fill the space with exactly what it is filling it with today, royal scandal and dirt.

      Except for the queen, the monarchy isn't seeming too strong today. Look at the headlines this week, the Andrew scandal which is only beginning, the Hewitt influenced play, the queen mum book...Kate's miminal 76 engagments (most on a tour) was part of what must have been a miiserable week for the queen who has seen her favourite son and her mother's reputation called into question.

      If Kate waits that long, she will be almost forty. Already, many are losing interest in her and I suspect she may go the way of Margaret and Andrew (the once dashing pilot now in the news for all the wrong reasons.) Once youth is gone, Kate's reputation will be built solely on her work, so work there must be.

    14. anon from Leominster - You are very right. Nobody is interested in C & C work. They doesn't sound genuine. More they appear more they get on people's nerves. They will always sound negative. So - they may lay on the church floor they won't get people's respect. They are finished. And - with present Andrew scandal - it only fuels republican claims. I don't envy the Queen.

  5. Oh Charlotte thank you!!! It is so clear you worked so, so hard on this. I loved every word.

    George has grown so much! Oh he is so cute. And I will never, ever stop loving that photo of him giggling into mummy's shoulder <3

    My favourite Kate outfits would have to be the white and blue floral on the Oz trip. And I loved the green coat she wore at this year's St. Patrick's event. Also, the 40's style green tea dress for George's first birthday photoset. Green is a beautiful colour on her.

    I'm interested to see the final count the CC puts out for Harry. Unfortunately, I am under the impression it will not include his Sentabale, Walking with the Wounded and Invictus work.

    1. If you take out the Malta trip from William which was ten engagements and add it to kate the number of engagements between william and Kate will be more even. William did quite a few investitures this year.

    2. Also loved the white and blue floral from the tour. Maggie when Harry appeared on the balcony he was third in line to the throne. That is why he was included. Now he will be bumped down to fifth. Slimming down of the monarchy does not mean Anne etc will be ousted but rather the york girls etc will not get working roles as all the queens cousins did. How do you know kate and will get the most perks?

  6. Marci from Salt Lake31 December 2014 at 05:09

    I loved your "Year in Review" summary, Charlotte. Well done!

    I must say, however, I think it is both unfair and a little misleading of the Mail to compare Kate to all the senior royals, given that her position is very much a junior one and she is "merely" the spouse of the actual royal to boot. No other spouse appears on this list except Prince Philip, and William is the only other junior royal. How many engagements did Harry carry out? Beatice? Eugenie? The other spouses--Camilla, Tim Lawrence, and Sophie--are attached to senior royals, so they don't compare exactly with Catherine's position. The only major position she holds is the totally unofficial one of Chief Royal Darling of the Media and the Public. And the media and the public are not calling the shots. Not yet.

    As an older woman, I side with the Queen on this subject. I think it's fine for Catherine to concentrate on her roles as wife and mother in this season of her life. Perhaps it is only when one is older that one can appreciate just how brief a time she has to do this. It seems to be gone in a flash, and I can't think of a single person I know who ever regretted spending time with their children while they were young. Plenty of my friends and acquaintances regret not spending enough time.

    1. Thank you, thank you!

      We first have to remember that she is actually junior to the other royals that are carrying out more engagements than her. Yes, she might be the most high-profile, but in terms of ranking, she is junior to say, Edward or Andrew. She's also a new mother and wife. To me, she is doing perfectly in her role. Also, we have to remember that she will be doing this for the rest of her life. And, if this poll is anything to go by, she will be working extremely hard well into her 80s and 90s. I don't understand why she can't focus on raising her family when she will still be working even harder 60 years down the road.

    2. I'm with you, Marci. Kate is a spouse and a junior one at that. She has a baby under 2 years old and another one to be born this year. If the number of her engagements is fine with the Queen, then it sure is fine with me too. Tracy/Ohio

    3. Very sensible comments, Marci, anon 6:12 and 15:01. There would likely be as much (if not more) complaint if the Chief Royal Darling upstaged everyone. Remember how Diana was dressed down for that?

    4. ... you guys? Seniority is based on rank, as in lines to inheriting the throne. Not age. Which means WK do A LOT less than other less senior royals.

      Also, as the Queen is a woman who cares deeply for the monarchy and the nation and everything it represents, it is unlikely she "blesses" WK to remain unprepared for their role. The Queen is 88. Charles is 60-something. Both could fall ill and pass away tomorrow. And WK are so ill-prepared. They should be learning from the best while they are still around.

    5. I agree. And she had two houses to furnish as well. I think critizisms of her are unfair. She has only been in this new life for 3 years. She has a toddler & another on the way. She has a lifetime of duty ahead of her.

      Trust me, if she had done MORE engagements people would have slammed her for not being home with her son. In my book she is doing just fine. Perfectly in fact!

    6. All 15 of the so-called "working royals" are on this list. Charlotte probably didn't have space for it.

    7. I agree with Stephanie on this one. Seniority is not age based with the royals; it's rank based. Otherwise that pesky Order of Precedence thing would have Charles, William and Kate much further down the line than they are.

  7. such a great ending the year with the duchess we expect she will be embracing motherhood and pregnancy and least engagement for her let end the year with big bang happy new year to all readers its a great year for them

  8. Dear Charlotte thank you for all your hard work this past year and happy new year to you and all your readers!

    Just wanted to add its been a spectacular year for the duke and duchess and next year with the new baby it should be even more wonderful.
    God bless them all including gorgeous George.

  9. I think it's safe to say kate has had it very easy. I am quite upset at how little she does regarding her duties. I know she's a mother and a wife, but usually nowadays, the woman is in the work field while she has to raise her family. I personally think kate needs to do more, and when she married INTO the family she knew what she was getting involved in. I love kate, but sometimes I think she just wants to have an easy regular life, which we all know is impossible for her.

  10. Have been waiting for this post - thank you, it is lovely. Also thank you for all your hard work, you keep us up to date and brighten my days - thank you and Happy New Year :)

  11. Where is Sophie placed in this survey?
    Omg. The most hard working and passionate about her role woman omitted here?

    1. I doubt Charlotte wanted to print the whole room as it takes up a lot of space. Here it is.

  12. Great thank you. Just love this family!

  13. A wonderful post to conclude the year ~ I thoroughly enjoyed the review month by month. The year has flown by! Kate had a number of wonderful looks and outfits in 2014, and I loved the variety. It was a busy and happy year for them and I am sure they are getting prepared for the upcoming year which will be busy as they add another member to their family. I think it is wonderful that the Queen embraces Kate's desire to be an active mother and to put motherhood first above her royal duties. I like that the Queen seems to embrace new traditions and is open to doing things differently (including the Middleton family on Christmas). This is such a wonderful blog and the first thing I look to read everyday when I log on the internet. Thank you Charlotte~ you have a big fan in me. Happy New Year to all and I am looking forward to another great year following Kate.

  14. Anna1985, Austria31 December 2014 at 12:54

    Poor Wills, hardly any hair left on top :) but he still is prince charming!
    Happy 2015!

    1. With every year Will looks more and more like Prince Edward. I figure at one point they will seem like twins.
      Poor Will, he looked so much like his mother in his college years :/

  15. I have no doubt that Kate's workload will remain light in the years to come, and the excuse will be that she is focusing on raising her children. At what point though will her super-light workload start to become an embarrassment? When all of her children are school aged? Or when they're in college? I'm just curious if folks think there's any point where she truly needs to step it up. I have doubts that she ever will. I think her work habits since graduating college (including the time after she married William but before she became pregnant with George) are the best predictor of her future work load. Once I remember how many of those 76 engagements are things that most people do in their leisure time (attending concerts, white-water rafting, visiting a winery, attending a basketball game, sailing, etc), it becomes even harder to fathom why she can't do more, especially with all of that staff around to help her. My opinion about the nature of engagements that count as royal work does apply across the board to all royals (you'd have a very hard time convincing me that even the hardest working royals work harder than the average working Brit), but year after year, Kate's low numbers make it difficult to classify her as a "working" royal. She's lovely, and seems like a nice person with a great family life, but I feel a bit voyeuristic following a stay-at-home mom who opts out of doing much with her public profile.

    1. I feel exactly like you anon... but I am glad at some point I had interest in following Kate, that has lead me to learn about other European Royals. Others' work in valuable charities and worthy causes have me looking into returning to volunteer work :)

  16. Thanks for all of your hard work, Charlotte! It was fun reviewing this past year with William and Kate. The Daily Mail is known for "winding up" people, especially when it comes to the royal family. The "Mail" knows that it's a very controversial subject. Those who want to abolish the monarchy are always the most vocal. I wonder how many engagements the "other" royals attended. Obviously someone is keeping a record.

  17. Regarding the number 76 (I count 77) that is being tossed out - that represents her official role as a royal, and not her efforts regarding her charitable work - she did an additional 12 engagements for her patronages. In almost all of those 77 appearances, she was with William. She did two appearances with the Queen (Arts Reception and Garden Party). The only time she was not with William or the Queen - Bletchley Park (where she had a personal connection) and the America's Cup Breakfast - which we now know she was the run up to her being announced as patron of the 1851 Trust - so will fall under charitable work. Another area where she was not with William was in New York when her calendar was filled with activities while he was unavailable.

    So about 68 of Will and Kate's engagements were the same events. (I don't follow Philip - but I imagine you might find many of his engagements and the Queen's were the same as well.)

    I never quite realized that Kate was not functioning as an independent royal, but appearing as a royal spouse. Malta would have been her debut. I think it is quite interesting to note the circumstances in which she makes appearances to see if she does become a more independent figure in the future - or primarily supports William in his role. In so far as mostly what the Queen needs support with right now is overseas representation - I would anticipate much of that is done together when Kate is well enough to travel. In 2014, Kate only appeared 12 days in the UK in "official" capacity - and most of those were at sporting events. She did an additional 12 days in charitable appearances (as I mentioned above) and everything else was on foreign soil. 25 days in five foreign countries. Not in these figures are the 4 days she appeared as a member of the family at Trooping, Order, Remembrance Sunday, Christmas walk.

    In summary: 28 (12+12+4) days in the UK, 25 days on foreign soil. 365 days mother to George (Shout out to the Moms!) except when she went to Maldives and New York, France, and Belgium and Norfolk and left him with the nanny and her parents. (Shout out to support systems for the Moms!)

    It's interesting to me that people want Kate to work more - since most of what she does in accompany William. That would mean William would need to work more -- for surely she can't do more than what her husband, the heir to the throne, does. And supposedly, he is starting a new job when the new baby comes... I would anticipate a decrease in appearances in 2015 due to those 2 life events.

    1. This is a great analysis. And although it might seem unmodern her role IS to support, not to lead. The same would be true if the genders were reversed (as we see with Philip). Yes, she will have to build a "worklife" of her own but that isn't allowed to be larger than her husbands. Also, she was one of the first modern royal ladies (Mary, Maxima, Letizia etc) in terms of amount of time between her wedding and first solo engagement. According to this blog post only Charlene of Monaco and Mary of Denmark were faster. People that many consider very ambitious and had good careers such as Letizia and Maxima took longer to do the same.

      The Malta tour (even though she wasn't able to go) is a testament on the plans of her "independence within the firm" and what the future brings. People are complaining that they're not doing more. But have you looked at WHAT they are doing? Catherine is still getting her feet wet with her charities but in Williams case this year and the upcoming is really indicative of his rising in the world. And along with that Kate rises her work. Maybe not in quantity, but in quality. Their AUS/NZ tour might have been "lightweight" but concidering the limited experience William actually have with tours, Kate as a beginner plus a small child I think it was a big step. The bigger things I think is the Belgian visit they made. That is a huge deal. Also Kates (non-)visit to Malta is a really important in seeing the pattern in their kind of engagements. This New York trip is also a new version of work for them that is higher profile. The biggest testament to their growth is Williams upcoming tour to China and Japan. That is in no way a lightweight tour just in diplomatic terms.

      Yes, I am talking about William and Kate as the same, they are a team. And in this marriage it is important that she doesn't overshadow or downgrade William to a point where he isn't seen as a future monarch. I think it also is a good thing that the Queen is able to see things long term and learn from the past. I think this might be the tactic that will work best in the long haul. As of now they are not needed as much, and when they are needed it is most as a PR thing - hence the overseas trips (which btw is hard for the Queen and Philip to undertake). This arrangement is probably also the preferred version of raising their child for Kate and William as a family. So for them it's a win-win situation as of now. People complain, but unless they do a really big misstep, the public have a really short memory. Remember the grandmother who wrote here through one of the commentators (sorry, I can't remember whooo.....) about how people complained about the Queen left her kids and lived at Malta... Even though that happened everyone is talking about how she has been such a good monarch (which she has!) and how she's never taken a wrong step.... So, I think we are a little shortsighted and they might have a plan.

      Ofc, this is my feelings and everyone has their right to their own. Just wanted to show it from another angle :)

      Happy New Year everyone!!

    2. **Correction: Kate's UK days work out to 26 days - she attended a few charitable and royal events on the same day (Sports Aid and Commonwealth games in the same day - Singapore State Visit and Natural History Museum Awards on the same day). Also, while she was on foreign soil for 25 days - she only made appearances on 22 days - she had 3 days no appearances in NZ/AU tour.

      New Summary: 26 days in the UK, 22 days on foreign soil.

    3. I saw now that I wrote "This is a great analysis" in the beginning of my comment. To make sure it's understood correctly, I meant Moixies and not my own :P Hahaha....

    4. Moxie, we know you like the numbers. Tim O'Donovan's numbers are out. 40 engagements for Kate on UK soil, 50 overseas. Total 91 engagements. 10 weeks out with HG. William 143. Harry 94. Apparently if she had not been side lined by HG she would have done more than Harry. Numbers are more than double than 2013 and she would have been on course for approximately the same number as the Jubilee year where she did 111.

    5. In this post and the last post, a lot of posters are trying to compare Kate and Harry's numbers in a way that makes Kate look favorable. I really think that backfires. Prince Harry has a full-time job as a British Army staff officer at the Ministry of Defence. Kate's unemployed. Prince Harry designed the Invictus Games. Kate designed a tea set. Honestly, the list goes on and it's not flattering.

      Kate and Camilla, as spouses to heirs, is a much more natural comparison, especially their ratio to the work of their husbands.

    6. Our numbers are close - my sources show 89 engagements. I don't count press releases - that may be where the numbers differ - she took George to see butterflies and shared a photo of herself at a children's nursing center. I use the Duchess Kate Tracker - very simple to understand. It gives the detail so you can verify - Tim O'Donovan doesn't share how and what he counts.

      It sounds wonderful to say that someone doubled their appearances.
      Be aware that in 2013 - she appeared in public 28 days.
      16 days and 22 royal appearances in the UK
      13 days for charitable appearances
      (she visited South Africa House and went to the Natural History Museum 3D Movie the same day)
      She appeared an additional 5 times at family occasions: Christmas Walk, Remembrance, George's Christening, George's Debut, and Trooping.

      I don't think comparing royals to each other is relevant. A lot of these numbers neglect to report that the royals were at the SAME event. William and Kate, Charles and Camilla, Elizabeth and Philip, Sophie and Edward.

      I'm interested in the amount of time that royals spend engaging the public. To say that someone did more then another royal who is also not very active doesn't mean anything. The "engagement" numbers get inflated - the court circular counted the Singapore State Visit as two engagements - riding in the carriage and then talking to the dignitaries.

      Kate's annual appearances have been very consistent - she spends about 12% of her time engaging the public as a royal. She lives privately the other 88% of her days. The number to compare that to is the Queen - how many days does the Queen appear publicly - and what percentage is that? One would not expect Kate to be more "royally" active than the Queen, the Prince of Wales and her husband.

  18. Thank you Charlotte for writing such a fantastic blog. Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy New Year!

  19. I still think Kate's choices for the New Zealand tour were the best all year. Lovely article!

  20. I don't understand the criticism about Kate's lack of engagements. When she is the Princess of Wales/Queen Consort, her life will be devoted to engagements. She has so many years of public service ahead of her. But you only get one chance to raise your children. It's a cliche, but they really do grow so fast. I'm actually surprised she travels without George as much as she does.

    Happy New Year Charlotte, thank you for all your efforts!

  21. Charlotte! This was such a treat to read! As always, thank you for your fair, comprehensive, and respectful coverage of the world's most-watched family. Looking over the whole year, incidences like the extra vacation and the pink Mulberry coat seem so slim and insignificant. That's the blessing of seeing the whole picture, I think. HRH has continued to show dignity and kindness to everyone she meets-what more could we ask for in a princess? I loved that snippet about the D-Day visit-what a charming response to veteran's request for a kiss! I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for this family of...4!

  22. First and foremost I want to wish you Charlotte a really happy and blissful new year! For your blog lots of Kate sightings:)
    To all the readers a lovely,peaceful,new year and plenty to discuss in the future!:)

    As for 2014, at the beginning of the year, I was pretty disappointed in the Cambridges like many others. First, she goes on vacationing with her family, which is fine, but soon they go on another, no engagements in sight, although they promised a raise in numbers earlier. I still think when they feel the change of opinions in the public, they take part in more, which is sad, I think. I was not so fond of the NZ tour, lots of fun but less material. And her bum gate. Only George saved the day for me at least. I liked less the American tour, it was too packed simply the opposite that they usually do. I wish their PR people would find the middle way somehow and people would stop complaining.
    As for the annual royal duties, it is a shame that a 90-year-old does more than a princess with a baby with lotssss of help. I know she is not in line with her hubby, plenty to come, but where the respect for the old generation is, come on, and my critism here is for William.

    For the fashion front, there are always nice pieces that we are all envy of. Her poppy dress would make my day. I think that is my fave this year. But we will see many more. I love that she has different hairdos as she has a pretty face, she should show it more.

    Finally, I would rwally wish them a happy new year, healthy baby- girl;), and less controversy.
    Thank u for reading, see u in 2015.

    1. I've been looking at the situation from a PR perspective and I noticed something. I think that the few engagements she has had is probably due to the Royal house not wanting to give her more exposure because they don't want another Diana mania situation with the media because it would overshadow the other senior royals. Lets face it the young couple are more popular than Charles & Camilla and this could undermine their position. This would be a tactful way to keep Kate and William a bit more on the back burner until after Charles has been established as King. As is the media and public obsess over Kate. Can you imagine how bad it would be if they sent her on more engagements? She would eclipse Charles and Camilla. And of course no one wants to eclipse the Queen, that would be a disaster.

    2. You are right, maybe, who knows the real answer, these are opinions which we are all entitled to. But thanks for your normal comment:-)

    3. Sarah from Calif.3 January 2015 at 00:01

      Anon. 2:20. My thoughts exactly. This is why I don't jump on the Work Issue. I think the PR department has it all taken care of very well. The Queen first, Charles and then William and Kate......

  23. You do such a wonderful job on this blog! I so enjoy all your posts and personal comments.

    Hearing about the criticism of Kate's lack of royal engagements and duties is a bit of a shame to me. There is a season for everything and she is doing the right thing, in my opinion, by enjoying her season as a mother and new wife. There will be plenty of time (years, in fact) for royal duties.

    I'm very much looking forward to the polls. Thank you! Your blog is a bright spot in my life. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  24. Theresa, from Paris31 December 2014 at 19:12

    Wonderful post to finish off 2014 ! A billion thanks, dearest Charlotte, for all your wonderful efforts and the time you spend bringing us so much fun with this great blog.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015, to you and your fiancé :) May this year bring you happiness, health and success with your studies and work ! And of course, best of Royal fun !!!

    And Happy New Year to all readers of "Duchess Kate" :)

  25. Happy New Year Charlotte!!!!Thank You so much for your excellent coverage of DuchessKate this year. Can't wait to see what the New Year will bring in the lives of our favorite family of 4 ;-))

  26. Charlotte you have done an amazing job with "Duchess Kate"! The coverage every year has been thank you. thank you. thank you. I wish you happiness, good health and good fortune in 2015. I also hope you get to meet Catherine next year.....she is I'm sure flattered by your beautiful blog in her honor. :)

    Happy New Year to all "Duchess Kate" fans.....Cheers!

  27. I agree with the criticism on lack of engagements somewhat, and yet I also agree that it is wise for Kate and her family for her to remain in the supporting and nurturing role (just remember how Diana ended up loved by the public but how that backfired in her private life and within the royal family). What I think would help keep the balance yet reduce the criticism is a more predictable rhythm of appearances for Kate. People love her, they want to see her, and want to know when they will see her next. Also a bit more glamour and a few tiaras instead of hoodies would probably go a long way. I like Kate's style, but especially lately it's become a bit boring. Remember the fabulous debut Jenny Packham sequence dress, and the breathtaking turquoise wedding-dress variation? I don't think she necessarily needs to work that much more to enhance her role, just a but differently.

  28. anon from Leominster31 December 2014 at 23:34

    A Happy New Year to all and special thanks to Charlotte for a wonderful write-up. To me the most special engagements were the ones honoring the D-Day soldiers and the one in Belgium commemorating the beginning of World War 1.Yes, I think Kate needs to do more, not a full schedule but at least a half-time one. On that, I'd like to address some fallacies (in my eyes) I've seen here.1, Diana's schedule was the same as Kate's at the same point in their marriages. (Diana of course was much younger.) This is completely wrong. I looked back at my books on Diana that list her engagements. At this point of her marriage she was doing three times the work of Kate or more, with many more charities including such important ones as Barnados, Birthright and Help the Aged (the latter two had name changes.) Diana was building up to making a name for herself in important areas like AIDS. Frankly, Kate has stalled deader than a car in winter.2. To do more might look like Kate is steping ahead of William as future king, look at Diana.... First, there were so many problems in Charles and Diana's marriage, age differences, her insecurity, his self-pity, Camilla and most of all the fact he didn't love her, that the situation isn't hardly the same. Hopefully, William, our future king is confident enough not to fell displaced if Kate does 150 engagements instead of a handful. (Not counting the tour.) And far from protecting the monarchy, Kate makes the whole family look lazy. It's like a contagious disease that feeds on republicanism.. Benefit scroungers anyone?3. If Kate isn't a full-time mum, George won't turn out right (or lessons from the past.) Well, Anne is the hardest worker out there of the women and not too maternal and Peter and Zara seem to have turned out extremely well. No question they have benefits but both Peter and Zara seem to be devoted parents, very close to their mother and hopefully have happy marriages. What exactly is George getting from having Kate hanging around all the time. When he is older a reasonable schedule of work for her would teach HIM how to work (where do we get our work ethic?) and make her a more interesting mother. And even though they were nanny raised with parents with a horrible marriage, David Lindley and Sarah have achieved happy marriages and David a successful business (his father is a real grafter.) Rather have that then James Middleton and his cupcakes!4. Kate is so far away from succession that she doesn't have a public role. Nonsense! Royals much lower than she are working hard. Her husband is third in line to the throne. She needs experience. A lot of it. The idea she will magically become another Elizabeth at forty-five is pretty unlikely.

  29. anon from Leominster31 December 2014 at 23:35

    5. Kate and William need time. These are people in their thirties. At their age, most of us have been working for a decade or more. They have had a lot of time as a private couple. It's time get stuck in.
    6. Kate will always be the darling of the press. Well, Princess Margaret might have something to say about that. And the Duke of York. Once they were as glamourous as Kate. The fall came fast and it came hard. Royals who don't build on their reputation for work have a short expiration date and it comes without much warning.
    7. The queen approves. Well, she isn't going to say she doesn't approve. And there aren't a lot of younger family members to fill in. And the queen has been wrong a few times, as much as we love her.
    8. The public will love the retro Kate tottering around in high heels and a lace apron like a latter day June Cleever being a supportiive wife and mother and not much else. Wrong. Today, women are expected to have a voice of their own. Retro seems terribly out of touch with other young mothers who have to work and run a house. At a time when the monarchy needs to prove its relevance, Kate is starting to look very irelevant.
    9. The queen left her children. That was a completely different generation who raised children in a different way. Anne, the Gloucesters and the European royals have all managed to combine working mums and being parents with no complaints from the public. What much of the public doesn't like is Duchess Dolittle.
    10. Kate does a lot behind the scenes. No way to tell. With such a poor work record maybe she should try doing more in the scenes.10. What Hilary Mantel said about Kate (and her ilk) being little more than a voiceless walking womb is false --- Kate is much more than that. Just don't ask us what. I'd like to believe that but Kate seems determined to prove that Hilary Mantel was RIGHT. At the moment, Kate seem likes a pretty girl who is fond of children and occasionally steps out to visit a hospice between sunning and shopping. (And with a nanny and housekeeper, she really doesn't have the burdens of most young mums.) And at the moment, that's all she seems. I'd like to see her passionate about something but I don't know what that is because she doesn't seem to know herself.

    1. Beautiful post Leo, great points.

    2. Hi Leo! Nice summary. I couldnt agree more especially with your number 10 points. I wonder whether she will ever find a cause to be passionate about. Happy 2015!

    3. Great summary !!!!!

  30. Amy, Detroit Michigan31 December 2014 at 23:36

    Thank you, Charlotte, for all of your hard work. Yours is the only blog I follow, and do so proudly.

    I hope 2015 brings better fashion, some lip gloss, and maybe a baby girl for the Duchess.

    Be safe tonight, everybody, and Happy New Year!

  31. Hi Charlotte – thank you for this awesome post and all the work you put into this sparkling blog. Happy New Year to you and everyone here.

    Thank you Marci from Salt Lake for your insight about parenthood. I read your comment to my grandmother & she agrees. Her view is that the Queen wants the Duke & Duchess to have what she herself wasn’t able to have – the opportunity to be hands on parents. There’s scope for this to happen while William is second in line to the throne.

    The DM article comes across as quite manipulative & designed to wind people up.

    I’m totally bemused by some commenters here who seem to want to re-invent royal duties. The tour to NZ & Australia was a ‘good will tour’ and the type of royal activities that are carried out on this kind of tour have been agreed by the Commonwealth and they all follow the same pattern irrespective of who does a particular tour. The fact that some people here consider them to be lightweight is irrelevant. As Australians we’re quite capable of deciding for ourselves what’s acceptable and not acceptable as a royal duty in our own country. :)

    Hope you're all having a great New Years Day!

    1. Marci from Salt Lake3 January 2015 at 07:15

      Please give your grandmother my best wishes and thanks, blue wren. I hope she has a happy and healthy new year--and you too.

      I think first that functioning as a full-time mother should not be equated with laziness; it is not a job for the lazy. Nor should the presence of a nanny necessarily mean Catherine is not doing most of the work of rearing George. She's rich--she can have a nanny and also do the work she wants with her children. She seems to have had a very good mother herself and appears to want to duplicate that experience for her own children. My second point is that this should not be seen as an invalid choice for a woman to make in these days. She is not a middle-class woman; she is in the privileged class that can afford to make whatever choices she wants. She is not like most of us! But women's liberation (for which I fought hard in my younger years) should have given women by now the right to choose their roles in life. It is a bitter irony that women can no longer choose a home life while their children are little without coming under extensive criticism. Third, I do wonder about people who want the royal family's "work" to be more like most of our jobs. If you are going to remake them into middle-class workers, why have a royal family at all? Fourth, if all you want is for Catherine to make more appearances, then I agree, within limits, such as those taking into consideration her position in the family and her desire to be there for her children as much as possible. It's true that children of working mothers can and do grow up to be great people. But I can't think of anyone who got to my age and said, "I spent too much time with my children when they were young. I should have gone to work instead of doing that" if they were in the economic position to choose. No, I strongly think people who have the privilege of choosing to spend time with their young children and who want to do so should be supported and applauded.

      I know a lot of people disagree with me, but thanks for letting me get on my soapbox once more! I promise not to say any more about it.

  32. Happy New Year to you all :)

  33. Rebecca - Sweden1 January 2015 at 00:19

    To you as well, Charlotte! Thank you for your amazing work! I hope you know that it's truly appreciated!! :) Not only as a source of information, but as a community where you can discuss frivolous and important things and get a break from life, share your troubles and joys. That is all thanks to you and the amazing example you set by being such a thoughtful and, for lack of a better word, diplomatic in your writing!! :)

    Thank you for this year and best wishes for you and your family for the future! Big hugs!!

  34. This has been a great year for Kate and William! They celebrated P. George's first Birthday, announced their second pregnancy and took their first trip to New Zealand/Australia and New York. I love every picture of them together. I love the way they look at each other and take care of each other. It reminds me how special marriage is and how I should treat my husband. I am a confirmed SAHM (Stay at home mom) and I think it is very important to spend as much time as possible with your children when they are young and as they grow up. I also think it is important to spend a little time alone as a couple when your children are young. It helps you be a better parent. And as far as fashion goes my favorite look was the Jenny Packham wrap dress. I also loved the pink top and skirt she wore in Australia. Happy New Year to all!

  35. Wow what fun this last year was! Thank you Charlotte for such a wonderful year in review post, I hope the New Year brings wonderful Joy and blessings for you and your family! Your blogs both HRH Duchess Kate and Royal Digest are always the highlight of my day whenever a new post comes up, and though I don't comment often I love coming to the blog to read each and every post and comment. It's nice to read about William and Kate and all the other royals of the world! I feel that some of the controversy over William and Kate this year's has been un warranted firstly over how much they work. I think many of us forget that William is not the Crown Prince, Charles is and so I think we expect them to have that kind work load. Secondly as many have said Kate can't and won't overshadow William so she won't have as large a work load as he does. Many of the commenters who argue that she doesn't work enough and say why can't she do the same amount of engagements as William even when he works a full time job forget that being a Mom is a full time job especially when you live the life that they do and want to be normal parents and give their children some semblance of a normal life! Now for the March vacation they took to the Maldives without George. Many parents take some time for themselves and have a vacation whIle the kids stay with grandparents, nannies, or au pares. Secondly your treating the tour of Australia and New Zealand as a vacation, well it's not and what's wrong with a little time off before 3 weeks of extra work and traveling! We don't know what goes on behind closed door and lots of prep goes into each and everyone of their engagement and even more so for Royal tour over seas. So how about a little respect and understanding all around for William and Kate and for each other because the grass isn't always greener on the other side! Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all are safe and enjoying yourselves!

    1. So they went on a holiday before the tour. Then they spend 3 weeks visiting zoos, museums etc. And they had the day off there too. Except for the travelling which can be tiresome, where the extra work is. Please.

    2. My sentiments exactly Mary USA. I too am over the negative comments directed to both The Duke and Duchess especially on this lovely blog which Charlotte has created as a positive format to keep us up to date with the Duchess and her family.

      Charlotte I rarely comment but read your blog religiously and thoroughly enjoy your posts and really appreciate not only the detail on events and the Duchesses outfits but all the background information you provide.

      Have a wonderful 2015 Charlotte and Duchess readers and please remember this should be a positive space.

  36. Thank you for the nice recap. I want to say that I think it was fine for them to take a holiday before the 3 week tour in NZ and Australia. The tour was work not a personal holiday so it was fine for them to relax a bit together before going to tour. Remember that their days are scheduled very carefully and a lot is packed in for 3 weeks! It's not easy to have your game face on all day and night for 3 weeks straight.

    One thing I want to mention is, why is Sophie not listed in the 2014 number of engagements? I feel like she gets left out of a lot of things. And Camilla is also not there. Surely being the wife of the next in line should land you on that list. What about Prince Harry? Is he not listed because of his military job? I know Kate got a lot of heat for her few engagements but lets get real people, she was really sick for a few months and then gave birth! Talk about exhausting! She couldn't be up and around when she was sick in bed and then after the baby arrived she probably needed some rest and to be near the baby for while for feedings and such. I think this was normal. In any case she is doing her duty as a royal wife by having a baby and now another on the way. It's normal for a young mother to want to spend time raising her babies before she has to increase her duties. It's the healthiest thing for the kids too. The person who's number of engagements we should be looking at (besides the Queen, Prince Phillip, and Charles, is Camilla because she has no kids to raise and she is the wife of the next in line. I would expect her number to be quite high but it's not listed.

    1. They are now all listed on British Royals

    2. Maybe Camilla is on her way out. And they arte using a bad back as an excuse. Only time will tell.

    3. The only way Camilla will be on her way out is in a box. Hope you aren't wishing for that.

    4. Anon 21:00, I am doing my very best to stifle a response. If you only knew. :)

  37. Happy New Year to all HRH readers and, especially, to Charlotte. *chin chin* cheers, everyone! To health & happiness!!

  38. That headline from The Sun about William's shooting weekend is rubbish! It's so ignorant to equate legal shooting of game for food with the illegal shooting of endangered animals for collection, ivory, or skin, etc. First of all when hunting for deer on the estate, the games keeper has the responsibility to keep the population under control and that's what hunting is allowed for the mature deer. When hunting game birds, there are plenty and again these are used for food. A lot of what is hunted is stored for use at large dinners and state dinners. There is no better way to have respect for the meat you eat than to hunt it yourself because you learn to respect how animals live and you learn not to be wasteful of your food. It doesn't get any more organic and free range than that. Meanwhile (with the exception of vegans and vegetarians) I bet people like The Sun reporters get their meat from the supermarket where they don't even stop to think what kind of farm it came from and what kind of treatment those animals had. It is such hypocrisy! Most hunters are supporters of the various wildlife funds because they understand the importance of actually having a wildlife. I think the only people who have any argument here are the vegans and vegetarians.

    - Angel

    1. Not to say that I'm for illegal shooting (I'm definitely against it) but there might be people in Africa doing it in order to survive. So, if Prince William says they shouldn't while being able to legally hunt due to his privileged status, that just doesn't make a nice picture.

      I'm vegan by the way and I agree with you that hunting in a controlled manner is much less harmful to the animals than buying (usually non organic) meat in the supermarket. But it's also a question of money. The vast majority of people cannot afford to hunt themselves (I'm not particularly familiar with hunting but I gather that the Royals are usually hunting on their estates - which is not something that the average person can do.) or buy organic meat - therefore the supermarket it is.

      And the hunting incident that caused all that controversy was a hunting trip to Spain, I think. Therefore, the meat was most likely not used for state dinners. In fact, we don't know if all of it was eaten or if those animals were killed merely for personal enjoyment.

    2. anon from Leominster3 January 2015 at 15:52

      I agree. We all know culling is necessary. But shooting is very much a rich man's sport (not so much as hunting in the States) and while the money in poaching is obscence, those participating at the ground level do see it as a way to survive. So William will never be the ideal spokesman for an anti-poaching campaign. It becomes a question of appearances and someone who does killing for sport, even though the meat is probably used, just isn't as strong a spokesperson as someone who doesn't.

  39. For those complaining about Kate & William's duties....

    They apparently aren't being paid.

    "Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry are not paid for the royal duties they perform, though they are reimbursed for any related expenses and they do live rent-free." The wedding was in fact paid for by Charles and the Middletons but security was paid for by the taxpayers to ensure public safety.

    In addition, "Prince Charles is paying £1 million a year to support his sons and the Duchess of Cambridge in their official duties. But the heir to the throne may struggle to foot the growing bill if Prince William, Kate, and Prince Harry end up taking on much more royal work as the Queen and Prince Philip slow down."

    "Charles's principal private secretary William Nye conceded that his boss would have to look carefully at how much he could continue to fund the activities of the three younger royals in addition to his and Camilla's duties if the balance of work changed."

    Now I ask you, if your father-in-law was footing the bill, would you want to upset him by taking on MORE royal engagements? I think he limits the number of their engagements because 1- he can't afford for them to do more and 2- he doesn't want them eclipsing him.

    1. If The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry were to do more engagements someone would have to do fewer. The money returned by the Government from the Crown Lands' profits (15% only) just now covers the expenses of all the working royals, except the Prince of Wales and his family--who get only travel costs.
      The Duchy of Cornwall-- now covers the cost of five royals.
      When William left the RAF the Duke of Edinburgh was ill; the Queen had been ill and both the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexander were ill. I suspect they were not expected to return to Royal duties.
      I doubt that there is enough money for Catherine; William and Harry to be full-time at present, so they are probably glad for her to be at home with her child.

    2. AaMEN to that Angel. This has been said and written about many times. But some here elect not to read the information provided so they can complain about the lack of work that Catherine does. It has been said many times here that we do not know what goes on in planning how many engagements she does in a year. I read her main job is to be a supported wife to William and a mother to George and the baby to be. So let's just let her do what the royal elect for her to do and for what William want's for his wife and family.

    3. Okay - this is just silly. The Duchy of Cornwall profits are in the 20million pound range. What are the costs of Kate and William attending the Royal Variety Show that is breaking the bank? Is it all the employees - assistants and communication staff? The clothing and dry cleaning bill? The nanny and the fuel for the car? Would those expenses go away if they didn't attend? I doubt it.

      Seriously, someone tell me what bills they are incurring for "public duties" that Charles can't afford to pay?

    4. From what I have read, the most expensive aspect of an engagement is the security, which is more directly funded by taxes.

      Security which Kate and Wills have whether they are working or chilling at Bucklebury or Amner or hunting or shopping or sunbathing.

    5. Honestly, Stephanie, I don't know how five grown adults without mortgages are supposed to survive on 20 million pounds annually. And Kate keeps having kids! More mouths to feed! If this keeps up they are all going to have to move into the 775 room Buckingham Palace just to make ends meet. That's 9 people trying to share 52 bedrooms - unthinkable! That's only 5 bedrooms a piece!

    6. anon from Leominster2 January 2015 at 16:02

      I am always at a loss about the money argument for the couple not working. First of all security is there whether they work or not, to carry Kate's bags and keep her from having to find a carpark. When William and Kate go out privately, for a romantic dinner or to weddings the number of security officers increase. So to the public, non-working royals are very bad value. William will even have a security officer with him on his helicopter duties. Supposedly trained as a paramedic but it is not clear if there was a safety issue and the officer had to choose between helping William and helping the patient who would get chosen.

      Second, most of Charles' money will be going towards staff. And that is the same regardless. The nanny, the housekeeper, Rebecca, the other employees all get paid whether William and Kate are working or not. There is no suggestion that more staff would be needed to carry out a reasonable increase of engagements.

      So where else does that money go that makes engagements so expensive! Kate's clothes? She often wears repeats on engagements and it would take a lot more engagements for that to make a difference.

      And how do the Gloucesters and the Kents and the others who do a lot of royal engagements manage on a limited amount? The Duke of Gloucester does take the train but so does Kate somertimes. Are we talking helicopter flights? That only applies to very few engagements. Generally extra security for engagements are covered by the locations visited.

      So why are William and Kate such an expensive pair and such a drain on Charles. I'm not sure I understand. Royal tours are undoubtably expensive due to staff travel and housing but that is generally covered by the country being visited.

      And the reason we are interested in William and Kate's "well-earned" holidays is they cost the public a huge amount. Security guards acoompaning them have to be paid, fed, housed and transported. Any firm will say overseas travel is the greatest cost and many try to avoid it, but Royal Protection Officers go with Kate and William to hugely expensive resorts.

      I suppose the final thing I wonder is how Kate spends her copious free days. She isn't scrubbing the loo, that much is certain. Unlike most stay-at-home mums, a rare breed at best anyway these days, she doesn't have to worry about having her eye on George every minute. Unlike her mum, she isn't running a business. The amount of prep work she would need for her limited engagements is miminal, and staff handles the most of that. It's not clear how she spends her days but with only a handful of engagements within Britain, (most of those 76 were on tours) she has a massive amount of free time.

    7. Jean from Lancs - What types of additional costs would they incur assuming the added engagements were say within a 50 mile radius of London where heli or commercial flights would not be used.


    8. Leo - I agree, seems like the bulk of it is fixed costs.The added costs for more royal appearances would be incremental. I can't think what would break the bank if Kate worked more, perhaps averaged 3 appearances per week, since it's not like they would be sending her on expensive tours. She'd just do more in her neck of the woods. Added costs would be fuel, but not additional security b/c they are FT whether or not she goes somewhere. Added costs for hair styling would not increase if she gave someone a regular gig say 3 days per week. Right now she pays premium rates for intermittent visits to her. I would hope she would not claim a need to increase her wardrobe budget. By my count she already owns at least 70 coats or coat dresses.

      Kate's own prep time for an engagement though I bet is 2 hours any time she has her hair done by a professional which appears to be almost all the time.

      10 minutes - shower
      90 minutes professional wash/dry/set/style*
      15-30 minutes makeup
      10 minutes - get dressed - more time required for fancy dress

      *1.5 hours just for her hair b/c it's long and thick and almost always looks to have been freshly styled by a pro. For that she's is stuck in the chair and can't do much concurrently but read or have mani/pedi.

      And finally, I am interested in the altruistic value of how Kate spends her time. By all reports, a royal visit to a sick person or someone struggling in some other way brings an unique and massively cheering boost to such a person's day.

      My new year's hope for Wm & Kate is that they start viewing their royal roles not as a burden but as the gift of incredible means and power to better the lives of the downtrodden.

    9. There was an article in The Mirror today which categorically stated both William and Harry have said they are being encouraged to work more. Not sure how that would translate to Kate, but if her husband is being encouraged to work more it stands to reason no one would argue if she did as well.

    10. No personal offense intended, really, but some of this math is becoming almost voyeuristic.

    11. When you use "voyeuristic" which has a pejorative connotation it does indeed sound personal, royalfan.

      Bad royalfan! Bad! Go into the corner right now young lady, and write "Camilla is lovely" on the blackboard 100 times!

    12. i love lamp.

    13. bluhare, I couldn't think of a better word even though it may be extreme (and I still can't), for going into how long someone should be applying makeup or taking a shower.

      As for writing *that* particular statement 100 times...not even with cut and paste. :)))

    14. You ladies need to post on Daily Mail, isn't that the go to place for anti-monarchists? It's disheartening to read such comments on this blog which was created by Charlotte as a positive place for those of us who are interested in the Duchess and her life. Please understand that all these people are wealthy beyond our understanding and (as my young daughters love to sing) LET IT GO.

      Positive posts please. This should be a safe, nurturing and happy place for those of us who admire and respect the Duchess. Charlotte, please don't allow the ridiculous snippy comments get to you, most of us understand what you are trying to achieve and love and respect you for all your efforts.

    15. anon from Leominster3 January 2015 at 15:55

      I think if expense is used as a justification for William and Kate not being able to take on royal duties, it's not unreasonable for us to wonder exactly what those expenses are. Surely, Kate's "nightmare" hair isn't costing Charles so much that it's preventing her from taking on more.

      But money is always a bit of a black art with all royals, which is one reason why hard work for all members of the royal family is so important --- so we really don't think about it!

    16. I see. So it's not voyeuristic to constantly speculate about how she spends her down time, which a lot of people do here, but it is to speculate on how she prepares for an event and cost associated with her upkeep.

      No, Mrs. M, the Daily Mail is not the go-to site for anti monarchists. That would be The Independent. You're welcome. And if you'd like positive posts, post a few.

    17. anon from Leominster3 January 2015 at 23:21

      Mrs Mac, respectfully, you're wrong. I am very much a monarchist and so are most here. Not being an unquestioning supporter of Kate -- apparently so pampered and wealthy she is beyond our comprehension and all we can do is gasp at her beauty and praise everything she does or, in her case, doesn't do, isn't the same as being an anti-monarchist.

      I am sickened reading the Daily Mail and seeing the queen and Charles lumped in as benefit scroungers with a certain young woman when they are in fact working hard. I want the monarchy to survive -- and thrive, now and in the future.

      The royals have not survived this far by being rich people that we ogle at and accept without question. Perhaps it was once that way (or people had less freedom to speak out) but few people today will accept royal members who don't work in the long-term.

      Our remarks are most certainly not ridiculous although I have better manners to put that word to any remarks here, whether I agree with them or not. I will simply say if you read the remarks carefully, you would see that your comment is inaccurate.

      Charlotte has made it clear that discussions of this nature all welcome as long as we treat each other politely. There is no requirement that we mindlessly praise. Kate's 76 engagements are a topic of every newspaper in Britain right now, drowned out only by the unhappy issue of Andrew.

      Many monarchists are not too happy with Kate's level of work and her development as a princess. And this post is a place for all of us, as Charlotte has made clear. If you don't care to read remarks that are not unqualified in their support of Kate's decision not to do more, you are free not to, but don't mischaracterise the people who are concerned about the future of the monarchy with the republicans who are becoming more and more vocal -- and not just in the Daily Mail. So far, I believe their numbers are still small but I want it to stay that way and not for them to have any more justification than they already do.

    18. Mrs Mac - with all due respect - Charlotte controls whether our remarks are shown. If she wasn't interested in seeing different perspectives on her blog - she wouldn't post them. I'm trying to imagine the world where only positive comments were given and "my, what a lovely dress she wore to her hanging" comes to mind.

  40. Happy New Year from Louisville, KY

  41. Charlotte in my earlier comment I forgot to include my grandmother’s thanks for the photo of the Queen in the black strapless dress. She says to tell you that this dress had a huge impact on her generation. It wasn’t just the WOW factor but it also set a whole new tone for style. If the Queen could do sexy then so could she and her friends.

    I came across this post on the Queen’s Coronation shoes and thought I’d share it with everyone. Gold kidskin & rubies! You’ll need to scroll down about six posts.

  42. Eve from Germany1 January 2015 at 08:51

    Happy New Year to everyone!!! And a very special and very happy New Year to you, dear Charlotte!! Thank you for your wonderful work - your posts are always something very special and a real treat!! Thank you also for giving us the opportunity to discuss and exchange our opinions!!

  43. Great post, Charlotte. I just want to say to the other posters here: Critic what you like, love what you love, and in the end, the Duchess will always be the same, the one that she want herself to be, the one that her family needs her to be. That doesn't mean that she doesn't have her own opinion, but none of us are privileged to that. Its like our best friend, the one we love dearly for reasons that we love not because we like them, but because they are who they they are. We hate for other people to dictate our life, so why do the same to others?

    Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year..

    1. anon from Leominster2 January 2015 at 16:05

      Hate to say it but bosses dictate the lives of employees everyday. As long as William and Kate have security and a rent free flat at Kensington Palace, they are to some degree employed by the public.

    2. .... Anon, I'm just curious, how do you decide who to vote for?

      WK are NOT celebrities. They are dignitaries and representatives. What they do does matter.

  44. hi everyone, happy new year 2015!
    i love her red Katharine Hooker look n Jenny Packham gown.

    love, .fawzana, malaysia

  45. Sarah from Calif.1 January 2015 at 14:35

    Dear Charlotte,
    Thank you so much for another year of fantastic writing! Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  46. This morning's figures list the Duchess as undertaking 91 engagements and they forgot to credit George with his two.

    1. That's likely because Mr O'Donovan counts arriving and departing from countries and provinces/states... Yep, he counts disembarking and embarking transportation as engagements, because it's listed as such in the Court Circular!

      So "The Duchess today arrived in New York" = (1) ...

    2. Then the same thing applies to all the others who carry out engagements..
      The Court Circular on the internet missed out 3 engagements in Scotland and there have been others not listed.
      There were several gaps this year when nothing was entered for several days.for any of them.

    3. Wow. So I do six engagements a day on top of working a full time job! (Leave home/arrive at work, Leave for lunch/return from lunch, Leave work/arrive home) And then lunch probably counts so that's seven. :)

    4. Rebecca - Sweden1 January 2015 at 19:10

      Court circular (i think) doesn't list many charity visits either... They list going to sports because that's in the governments name (or something like that) but not visits to a charity. Only if it is an opening or unveiling. Something like that.Truly sideways :P

      Another persons calaculations on The Royal Forums adds her engagements up to 101.

      Don't know how. I know though that that person only counts arrivals and departures when it's accompanied in the Court Circular by "greeted by..." etc. As in the arrival in New York didn't count but the one in Australia did.

    5. I agree Jean. I think it goes to show how none of them do much at all. I wonder when arrivals/departures started to be included as separate countable items. Does anyone know? Or were they always counted like that? Seems a bit disingenuous to me.

    6. Of course it applies to all, Jean. That's why I wrote it.

      Mr O'Donovan uses the print version in the Times, not the nonsense on the Internet.

    7. Rebecca - Sweden1 January 2015 at 23:06

      To be fair. All that "counting" of engagements isn't done by the british royal family in any capacity. They just list in the CC what happens each day (and that includes landing because it is of interest to people wanting to see them). They are not the ones counting the engagements. That is done by private people. That's the reason the numbers come out so different, because of the different ways of counting.

    8. The Daily Mail figures were taken from the Court Circular printed on the Royal website and this year it has been shocking at keeping up to date. A good example is 29/5 when W&K were in Scotland and did 4 engagements. It isnt on the royal website. In total the BRF did 19 engagements that day. This is why the DM figure is understated.

      I know of 2 other people who track this data and they never agree exactly because it isnt an exact science.

      And it is only their public appearances or official work (and it does include charities). The Queen and PoW have official papers to read on a daily basis. They are responsible for the running of the Duchy of LAncaster and of Cornwall. Charles has just taken over the management of Sandringham. There is so much we dont see.

      Charles has been doing his job for over 40 yrs and has over 400 charities, is Colonel in Chief of many regiments etc.etc. It takes time to garner all of those.

      Also - it isn't a competition.

    9. Rebecca, unfortunately, the Court Circular doesn't reflect precisely what you're proposing. I'm listing below what's searchable online at

      For New York, their US departure - "Their Royal Highnesses this evening departed from John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, for the United Kingdom" - and UK arrival "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this morning arrived at Heathrow Airport, London, from the United States of America" were listed. There were no official departure or arrival functions (the names listed for the UK arrival are the couple's traveling party).

      The Court Circular certainly captures charity visits beyond openings or unveilings. Remember the Duke's unannounced visit to Centrepoint - listed for 17 Dec as "The Duke of Cambridge, Patron, Centrepoint, this morning visited the Dean Street Centre, 54 Dean Street, London W1" - and the Duchess's visit to play with the Scouts - listed for 16 Dec as "The Duchess of Cambridge this evening attended a Beaver Scout Group Meeting at Old Ford Primary School, Wrights Road, London E3" - from this month?

      ... Having looked again at the online Court Circular, I hope it puts other comments in perspective -- the ones that say William and Kate are not working royals or they're in some psuedo-semi-status. Beatrice, Eugenie, Prince Michael of Kent etc are not working royals and thus are not listed. William, Kate, the Duke of Gloucester etc are working royals and thereby listed.

    10. Rebecca - Forgot to say in my comment, thank you for the link to the royal forums count, that was a very interesting breakdown.

    11. bluhare - you've forgotten to give your spouse who came with you credit for her participation too. They don't get on and off all those planes all by themselves! It gets counted twice for each person. There was also the Commonwealth Games - I wonder if you get credit for showing up to different events? You could get quite a few engagements that way as well. Especially if you show up every day like Edward and Sophie did.

    12. Mr. bluhare now wants a promotion to Lord bluhare, Moxie.

    13. bluhare, Granted!
      We count ourselves lucky the bluhares don't insist on a palace and security!
      Titles we can do.

  47. Happy New Year and thank you for the wonderful work on the blog this year. I really look forward to reading your posts. Wishing you a great 2015 and looking forward to what is next for Kate!

    I think it's a very funny video. You should see this to bring back the good memories about Kate and William first years of relationship. Old good times ;)

  49. Bottom line, the Queen is head of the family, and, witch Charles, the source of everything that comes to W&C (except Diana's trust that William received, which is also not from the public purse). Therefore, to the extent W&C have duties, they are the ones set by the Queen and to a lesser extent Prince Charles. I believe, based on both recent history and tradition, that they view Catherine's duties as follows:

    1. Breed.

    2. Raise George and his siblings.

    3. Do not make waves.

    4. Not upstage Charles.

    5. Make William happy.

    I don't think "make more appearances" is on the list, and If it were, it would be contrary to #3. So Catherine is doing her job. I just do not get the criticism at all. Giving the Daily Mail something to write about is not the job of a future Queen. The Queen Mother's family has said many times she was not one to court publicity. I believe that's the model Catherine has been told to, and is, following.

    1. You might be right but that's a depressing list. If true it makes me wonder why I follow her!

    2. anon from Leominster2 January 2015 at 16:10

      I wouldn't call headlines in major papers about Kate's limited work (not just the Daily Mail) not making waves. That's making very negative waves. But the above is a very "Hilary Mantel" view of a royal princess and the main reason why many are saying the monarchy is anacronistic in today's world. Work is what justifies the existance of the royal family today and "Duchess Dolittes" don't help that at all.

    3. You may be correct, Elle, but if so, that list is truly depressing and makes me question why I follow Kate. It's certainly not inspirational.

    4. Kate signed on to support her husband and the monarchy, and she is doing it well. It's not her place to stage a take-over and change it. In time, I strongly believe that W&K will modernize it, but at this point they are not calling the shots.

    5. She doesn't need to change it, those who criticize simply want her to work more.

    6. Royalfan,

      I wonder how you explain her saying " I want to make a difference, I work hard". Just saying and wondering....
      On the other hand I totally agree with Anon, if it is her list ans seems like it, nothing left to follow just fashion. And here comes Hilary Mantel's piece.
      Is she really called Duchess Dolittles? It is sad, after given the Waity Kaity stuff!!

    7. It's not about what WE want; certainly not on this side of the pond. It's about what is expected of this couple by the Queen.

    8. In the engagement interview, I saw a young lady who was gracious, humble, respectful of the role she was taking on, and willing to learn and do what was expected of her. I believe she is doing exactly that. But if others are enjoying afternoon teas with the Queen and they know better, who am I to comment. :)

    9. Even the Queen realizes what the subjects want is of utmost importance. Which is, in HM's words, "the be seen", and to serve the people.

  50. Happy New Year everyone!! As much as I am opinionated, I do love the good discussion, Charlotte's talented writing, and of course I do hope very much Kate has a wonderful new year with her family, baby and new little bun. I am very much looking forward to what the new year will bring for her and the rest of the RF. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a good year :)

    2014 brought a lot of pain and heartbreak, two (3?) South Asian flights crashed and/or missing, ISIS, Ebola, Korean conflict, Ottawa shootings, the Australian cafe shootings, Ferguson shooting, and many many other things. 2014 seemed determined to just be crappy.

    I have a feeling this year will see a lot more love, peace and giving back. As a mental health nurse, I am hoping to see a lot more awareness and a lot less stigmatization. I am hoping the best for all of you and your goals and wishes for the next 12 months and onward.

    Here's to 2015 to us all xo

  51. Tammy from California1 January 2015 at 20:27

    I have two faves from above:
    1) When the veteran (sweetest lil old man ever!) asked if it was okay to kiss a princess and she said "of course it is".
    2) That cheeky little monkey George on the steps. That little guy makes me smile big. He's going to be a rascal.

  52. Hello everyone!

    Chiming in on the number of duties conversation. I've been hearing Camilla isn't very well with bad back problems (and perhaps other issues we're not hearing about). At 66 and 67 respectively I don't think Charles and Camilla can continue their current workload long term. The Queen and Prince Philip are in truly exceptional health for their age, however it would seem unlikely C & C will be able to maintain the same pace.

    During a chat with a royal reporter a few days ago the topic came up and I got to thinking about the future. If Charles becomes King in his mid-late seventies, not only will William and Kate have the substantial workload he and Camilla currently undertake but I believe they will have additional responsibility, carrying out a very heavy bulk of engagements because C & C might have to slow down.

    For William and Kate's sake, I hope there is a gradual transition into a full-time royal life because going from family life in Norfolk as a pilot and housewife with few duties to the enormous workload they'll have a second-in-line will be very difficult for them, in my opinion.

    It could happen at any time unfortunately. I hear talk of them taking on a second nanny for the baby and Maria will continue looking after George. It's good to have that structure because when there is a major change George and his sibling will be well adjusted to their nannies.

    What do you all think about this? Do you think a gradual transition is the way forward? Alternatively, should they take as much time in Norfolk as possible? I understand the plan is to remain there for several years.

    1. Charlotte, I would like to see more of W&K out of selfish reasons :) as well as for their sake, but I think it would conflict with the immediate agenda which is having C&C step into the number one spot.

    2. Royalfan - If Camilla is unwell, the agenda could be a very short sighted one. The PR team is eager to promote C & C as much as possible at the moment.

    3. Charlotte, I totally agree about the PR team's primary goal. I also believe Charles suffers from tunnel vision when it comes to Camilla and their future; I don't think he factored in health issues (ie...reality) into his plan. He should realize that he will be king with or without her at his side, so he should give more thought to W&K's role. But there's that conflict again! ;)

    4. I don't think William cares much for Royal duties and I've often wondered if anyone abdicates, would it be William? If Charles lives as long as his parents, Goeorge will be an adult when William becomes King.
      To answer your question, as long as Charles can maintain his workload, Camilla's poor health is sad but not really as issue. So Kate and William can go slow for the short term. But so perceptive of you/ it will be a struggle for them if there's a rapid shift, I believe.

    5. Charlotte,
      I think we are seeing the transition happening. It's the little things. William has been doing investitures this year for the Queen -- and that is a task that can be planned around his pilot job. William going to China and Japan is not insignificant. The Malta trip was meant to give Kate an opportunity to represent the Queen - so perhaps we will see another attempt at that later in 2015. Also, at home, we'll see what she does with this 1851 Trust - it's meant to be an economic boon to the country and we'll see how involved she gets in that area. Charles took over management of Sandringham from Philip this past fall - which I see as very telling - it's not like Charles doesn't keep himself busy. Charles also has taken over the Commonwealth duties - the travel and representing his mother. Things he will do as King.

      I've said this before - but I think each Prince of Wales does as he will - there is nothing to suggest that William needs to manage and take on all of the stuff Charles was into as POW. Anymore than George would need to take on his father's pilot career and interest in conservation.

      It's really a matter of watching what Charles and William do in terms of actual duties of the Queen/Crown - to see the movement. It's interesting to see phrases like "enormous workload" when above the discussion focuses on the perhaps inflated numbers of "engagements" due to how they are counted. Charles may have 450 - but if we say that is 4 a day - that is still only 100 days out of the year. If we say 3 a day - that would still only be 150 days a year. This gives him about half a year to rest. :-) Full Time royal life isn't as hard as you might think.

      As a spouse, I don't think Camilla was doing very much work by herself - much like Kate, she has her patronages - but when it comes to the actual "royal work"- she accompanied Charles - she wasn't out and about solo representing the Queen/Crown/UK. Just like William was in the US representing his charities - when Camilla traveled solo - she wasn't representing the Crown (as far as I am aware).

      Anyway, that's why I think it is important to distinguish the nature of an appearance/work when reporting on it. There is work on behalf of the government (abroad and investitures), work on behalf of the royal family (domestic appearances - not government business), work on behalf of a charity (abroad and domestic)...

      So I don't see an impeding crisis if William and Kate are stationed in Norfolk - until Charles needs some help as King for the diplomatic part of being royal there isn't a need for William to be in London if he doesn't wish to be. The Queen herself is out of London 4 months out of the year.

    6. I completely agree with you Charlotte, if there is a sudden change, I have doubts how these two accomodate their lifestyle to it. We can only wish them luck.
      Thanks for letting us know your opinion.

    7. Part One:
      Thank you, Charlotte! I wanted to jump into the conversation several times, but you have said exactly what I thought regarding possible near succession. Also thank you to Maryland Moxie for your excellent points as well.

      I have a few thoughts to add: I would love to know the source for the constant criticism that William doesn't want to be King. All I can find is that William was once interviewed and got upset with the reporter for asking basically did he want his grandmother and father to die, and that as a young teenager he reportedly told his family he wanted to live a normal life. In his family situation at that time, who can blame him? But he is a 30-something adult now, not a teenager, and I believe he now has (with Catherine) that normal family life that he probably craved as a boy. Everything else I can find on the matter is tabloid gossip and inferences based on William's work in the military/living in the country/not being seen on the party scene any more.

      Aside from that, I strongly suspect (I have no basis for this, I admit) that there are Things going on behind the scenes. Take for example William's agricultural course of 10 weeks, which I understand was for his future running the Duchy of Cornwall. What I think is that there is training going on behind the scenes, training for both William and Catherine, targeting their future roles as Prince and Princess of Wales and later King and Queen. Training such as learning Prince Charles & Camilla's charities and projects and patronages (William has already taken over the presidency of the scuba whatsit from Charles), training from the Queen (William now doing investitures, also we already know Catherine takes George over to Buckingham Palace for a swim frequently - who knows what else goes on?) in etiquette, politics, etc. The Queen has decades of experience to teach, and is also approaching 90, Philip is 93 and hasn't been in the best of health.

      Also, another point to consider, at the moment the working Royal Family includes the Kents and the Gloucesters, all who are in their 70's. Within a decade or two the Royal Family will likely no longer include them. Who will take their place, their patronages, and their work on board? Their children are not taking up royal duties. Beatrice and Eugenie are not taking up royal duties - much.

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It doesn't make sense long-term for the Royal Family to have William and Catherine build a large portfolio of charities and patronages. It's great for us in the short-term, we get to see more of them, and there is the perception of them working more by being out and about more. But in the long-term, when it is their turn to take on Charles's work, what will they do if they already have many patronages and causes and they must add on so much more? Charles has put a great deal of time and effort into his projects such as The Princes' Trust, and I believe it would be incredibly meaningful for him to pass on his work to William and possibly Harry when the time comes. That is Charles' legacy.

    8. Part Two:
      There is also the not-so-small matter of Diana's (and Charles) legacy. I hear from many people including personal friends how wonderful Diana was with her charities, how much work she did, etc. But forget that for a moment, and think: Diana came from a broken family. Charles came from what many describe as a reserved family. William has come from a broken family - an incredibly broken, shattered, mess of a family that fell apart and was picked over in the glare of the public lens. That is William's legacy. If Catherine, who comes from what appears to be a close, loving, supportive family, can provide her husband with a close, loving supportive relationship, and George (and sibling(s)) with close, loving, supportive family, she will have accomplished much simply by being a wife and mother. Better that she gives the British people two stable and emotionally healthy Kings than becomes a big star in her own right - if she does become a star and does much for charities and the like, wonderful! Also remember the failed marriages of Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew. Edward is the Queen's only child who is still married to his first wife, and by all appearances, is happy in it. For the Queen, brought up in an era when marriage was sacred, and duty the ruling factor, the success of William and Catherine's marriage is no doubt unusually important to her.

      For the people who think that William and Catherine are lazy and are doing nothing at present, if you are proved right, I will be very sorry for us all, and ashamed of William and Catherine for wasting their time. But I sincerely doubt that is the case. I think the Queen is very savvy, I think the Royal Family are very smart, and there is plenty going on which will eventually bear fruit later.

      I must say it was interesting this year that Kate was to have done a solo trip to Malta for their Independence Anniversary - especially since I recall reading - I think it was on the Royal Forums - that Camilla did not undertake a solo trip on behalf of the Queen until seven years after she married Charles. To me that is a huge sign of Catherine's preparedness, of the Queen's confidence in her, and of the behind-the-scenes preparations for the future change in Monarch and Prince/Princess of Wales that I believe is happening.

      Having said all that, I join all the fans who would dearly like to see Kate out and about more!

    9. anon from Leominster2 January 2015 at 16:25

      I do think there needs to be a gradual build-up. The idea the Cambridges can just jump in when needed and take on a full work load is no more true than any other job.

      I frankly doubt William and Kate will ever be known as hard-working royals but they will have to do a great deal more for the monarchy to survive -- and a referendum could happen quite quickly after the queen goes, so the time to build a good reputation is now. (the late response to the Scottish referendum is why you don't wait until the last minute.) At the moment, William and Kate are relying a lot on dazzle resulting from their occasional appearances-- but that won't last forever.

      As for Kate, one thing I will note is that of mums I know who had to go back to work after being out some time (very few, as most mums today don't even get to take full maternity leave) found it much harder if they had no work experience from an earlier age. Getting hit with a huge work load at forty can make for a huge adjustment -- and the couple of women I knew in that situation, who suddenly had to get a job because their husband lost his, wished they had earlier work experience.

      And it's always worth remembering no one expects Kate to take on a forty or more hour work week, something she has never done in her life (except for a few months at Jigsaw, maybe) but which the vast majority of her subjects do while still having to take on most of daily work her household staff does for her. The royals are tremendously privilaged, the trick is to make sure they never look like celebrities or ordinary rich people -- they have to show they are bringing benefit to the nation.

    10. Yankee from California2 January 2015 at 23:24

      Edythe, I am so glad you commented. I agree with all that you said. :-)

    11. Rebecca - Sweden3 January 2015 at 01:50

      A thought I've had. Many people say William and Kate wont be able to handle the sudden shift in duties because of the amount. While I can see that argument being made about Kate... Don't drag William into it! He might miss the adrenaline in future duties, but where are you guys getting the idea that he is not used to working? For years he has worked full time in a high energy, high focus, weird hours, dangerous job.All the while he has also been able to fit in his royal duties. So I don't see where that argument fits in on him.

    12. Rebecca - I thought that as well about William. Meanwhile, Kate never maintained a workload so that she wouldn't have conflict with her personal life and work life. If her future work life is to be with her spouse - she's ready to go! However, I maintain that the duties of royal life are about half of what the average worker does - and the average worker doesn't have all the support systems - housekeeper, nanny, driver...

    13. Personally, I regarded him like Diana because of the resemblance but what I see is it is Harry who has Diana's gene. He is kind, lovely, devoted.
      William is stubborn, very stubborn. He wants to have a normal life, normal job. I cant see any excitement, any interest in him towards royal duties, as u stated miss the adrenaline. Not just once but all the time. I find this sad.
      I was the one who said they gonna have problems with the workload,and I meant not the work itself but the type of work they must do, which he seems so reluctant to have.

    14. Marion from Germany3 January 2015 at 08:03

      Edythe, I am impressed by your statement and agree with every word that you say. Bravo! It must have taken you quite a while to write it – and it is definitely worth the effort! What a pleasure to read your comment, thank you very much for it!

    15. Eve from Germany3 January 2015 at 08:55

      I am very surprised to hear that they are taking on a second nanny. How does that fit with "wanting to stay at home and being a hands-on mum"? If this is true I honestly don´t get it any more. Why on earth do you need two nannies for two children as a supposedly "stay-at-home-mum"?
      @anon from Leominster: if I remember correctly, the job at Jigsaws was part-time, so Kate could "adapt" her working hours to William´s schedule (i.e. to be available to him whenever he had time off from his military career). So no 40hours a week job there either....

      I would never criticize Kate for staying at home -especially with two small children with a very small age-gap between them. But employing two nannies at the same time? That would just contradict the whole thing. Somehow it always looks as if both of them can´t make their mind up. First they move into Kensington Palace - after having it renovated for millions, then they decide they want to have a quiet country life and have another house renovated for millions. Then it is said that Kate wants to stay at home and look after her family - then they are supposedly looking for a second nanny. I sincerely hope this new press guy will help them to get their message straight - whatever message they might choose!

    16. I agree with you Rebecca, William appears to be willing to take on royal duties when required, as well as working at his job - he needs to have a career of his own after all, since it could be some considerable time until he is Prince of Wales. Thanks so much for your comments Edythe, with all the criticism of what Kate is doing (or not doing) we can't underestimate her role in providing a happy and secure base for William and their children. Her stable, supportive family background is probably just what William needs. Raising well-adjusted children will be of huge benefit to all. The Queen appears to be very sensitive to the patterns of the past, with so many failed marriages as you mention. The success of William and Catherine's marriage is vital to the future of the Royal Family. The Queen seems to learn from the mistakes and mis-adventures of the past and no doubt this is why she is allowing William and Catherine to make their own decisions about where they live, and what career path William follows. It makes sense to me.
      Fiona in Australia

    17. Charlotte, Thanks for the update.
      I also believe William is more ready than some believe to assume more duties as needed. I have seen him take on more responsibility over the past year and is taking on the trip to China. He has been around the "job" all of his life. If things do change as far as Charles and Camilla and the Queen and Phillip what may need to change is taking on a full time job as a pilot. I am sure everyone is prepared for this possibility.

  53. Thank you, Charlotte, for a great summary of the Cambridge year! A very Happy New Year to you and to all who read and comment here.

    I am especially taken with the positive tone of most of the comments under this post, especially those from readers who rarely make their thoughts known. They are a nice counterpoint to chronic criticism.

    Googling Camilla's health, I could only find a few references to her giving up smoking, and to her occasional sinusitis. There was a comment or two about her difficulty with travel, such as not tolerating extreme heat well. Neither do I! It did not sound as though Camilla has any life threatening condition, but of course a bad back can be disabling. The Queen can attest to that, as I can.

    My New Year's wish for this blog, and especially for Kate, is that we should give her our support and appreciation in the role she has undertaken. I wish for her a healthy baby, a safe and happy family and home life, and continued success in her royal role.

  54. well i dont think the duchess and duke cambridges does not upstage prince charles and i heard that Camilla is not the best form in her back and duchess Cambridges will once bounce back after she gives birth april 2015 but for now i think the duchess is focusing motherhood and duties of being a wife to his prince Charlotte looking forward on your next adventure in 2015 and looking forward on next step in blog

  55. Charlotte, thank you so much for your tireless work and the effort you put in to this blog. Reading it is a highlight for me and gives me a lot of pleasure. Have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to spending 2015 with you, and Kate!

  56. Lynn Georgia USA2 January 2015 at 15:08

    Thanks for a great post with great pics, Charlotte! I had forgotten about that opal blue double-breasted coat from Wales trip. It is beautiful!! Kate's coats are just unbelievable. I rarely see really gorgeous coats in Georgia USA, because we just don't have enough really cold weather to justify the cost of an extensive coat wardrobe. Most of us here in the southern part of the state invest in one nice serviceable topcoat in a neutral color like black or tan or gray--which we wear and wear and wear year in and year out intermittently for a couple of months. Therefore, I have serious coat envy!!! (But I don't have cold weather envy!! Everything in life is a trade-off, isn't it?)

  57. Maggie - Minneapolis2 January 2015 at 21:55

    Regardless of if you think Kate is doing enough work or not doing enough, can we PLEASE stop saying that not doing work is critical/necessary to her being a good wife and mother? For example, one poster above said - "If Catherine, who comes from what appears to be a close, loving, supportive family, can provide her husband with a close, loving supportive relationship, and George (and sibling(s)) with close, loving, supportive family, she will have accomplished much simply by being a wife and mother. Better that she gives the British people two stable and emotionally healthy Kings than becomes a big star in her own right.."
    Yes, being a good mother and wife is an admirable job. But it is insulting and sexist to imply that the millions of women around the world who work full-time cannot also be good wives and mothers. Kate has every right (minus the royal benefits, maybe) to choose to be a full-time wife and mother. But it is incredibly sexist to say that that is necessary to raising a child/having a stable home life. Because it isn't. Women can work full-time and still be wonderful mothers and wives. So to treat Kate's decision to be a stay-at-home mother and wife as an honorable one because of how it helps her family seems very unfair to the majority of women who choose to work. Can we agree on that even if we cannot agree on Kate's work ethic? Because honestly, all recent studies agree that being a stay-at-home mother versus a working mother has no effect on whether you raise a child to be a good person. Other things matter much more. And again, this isn't to knock on Kate's decision. It's a perfectly fine one (one I cannot respect given the opportunity she has, but still a perfectly fine one). But it does not ensure that her family will turn out like the Middletons.

    1. Thank you, Maggie!
      I think we'd get on quite well. I agree entirely with all of your comments that I've read so far! :)

    2. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:23

      I appreciate your support, Marlene! :)

    3. Hi Maggie - I agree that it is not necessary for Catherine to be a full-time mother and wife to bring up a healthy family, nor is it guaranteed that she will bring up a healthy family. I did not say that. I also think having a healthy marriage and family is just as much William's responsibility as it is hers, which I did not initially say. My problem is with people comparing William and Catherine to Charles and Diana. I think it is better that W&C working at being good, average, happy working royals rather than superstars trying to change the world. If they can manage both, that's great. Yes, I do hope to see William and Catherine doing more, and no, I am not using 'building a good family' as an excuse for less work as some posters seem to be doing. As for their workload, my theory as I've mentioned is that they are involved in preparations for the future. I hope I'm right, that there is work going on behind the scenes, because I do expect both William and Catherine to develop respectable royal careers. Sorry, I tend to wander all over the place when I argue, and address everything and anything whether or not it is actually on topic.

  58. Not even Mary Poppins herself would be as invested in that little boy as Kate is. Sorry, I'm not suggesting that woman can't or shouldn't work (I think every woman can and should make her own decision), but there is no replacement for a **truly invested and nurturing mother.** (I emphasize that because it's not always a given.)

    1. I think Maggie's point (which I agree with) is that you can be a truly invested and nurturing mother and still work. And you can be a stay at home mom and not a truly invested and nurturing mother. One doesn't equal the other. Though, perhaps royal fan, that's what you mean too? And you just mean that regardless of if Kate does more royal duties or not, it's clear that Kate is a good mom? (If so, I agree with you too.)

    2. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:14

      The implication that you cannot be a "truly invested and nurturing mother" if you work is ridiculous! Up until now, I have disagreed, but respected, what pro-Kate people have said. But this is unbelievably sexist. Good for Kate for spending time with her child. But you absolutely do not need to be a stay-at-home mother in order to be "truly invested and nurturing." It is incredibly troubling to me that you or anyone else thinks otherwise. This is what leads to women feeling pressured into not having careers. This is what makes women feel guilty for having children and other jobs as well. You can say that you think every woman can and should make her own decision, but your above statement makes it pretty clear that you think less of the parenting ability of working women.

    3. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:22

      In fact, let's look to William and Harry as an example - they did not have a stable family life, but they were also very close to Diana, who worked quite a bit, and often did leave them with nannies. Their lack of a stable family life had nothing to do with Diana, who was (at least in my opinion) "a truly invested and nurturing mother", while also working quite a bit. Their lack of a stable family life was because Charles cheated on Diana, and then there were a lot of very public media battles between their parents. But Diana was still a wonderful mother.
      The Queen, on the other hand, has been criticized for leaving Charles to the nanny. But that is not BECAUSE she was working. She did not HAVE to do that. Women CAN have a career and also raise their children. And if they can't, it's because the men in their lives refuse to compromise in order to help them do that.

    4. Kate isn't even a full-time mother. She has a full-time nanny.

    5. Maggie, my point was more to be supportive of a woman's *choice* to be as hands on as possible. Unlike your insistence that Kate could or should follow a different path, I support the decision W&K made for their family, with what I believe to be the support of the Queen and Charles.

      I do support a woman's desire to work whether it's based on preference or economic necessity. And I realize that they can still raise a happy and healthy child. But I do stand by my statement that a nanny does not take the place of a loving mother or family member.

      And, yes, I am aware that she has a nanny *available* to her on a full time basis.

    6. This may be a repeat and I apologize if so....

      I agree... Diana *was* an invested and nurturing mother, and she did work more than Kate. In 1981, she married the direct heir and was thrown in the deep end. She was expected to get on with all aspects of her life (princess, wife, mother) with little or no guidance and support. That would be a lot for any woman to deal with, regardless of her age.

      Two generations later (William, George), Charles is still next in line. Therefore, William's position allows them to concentrate on their family while they can. This period in their lives won't last forever and they will find themselves in roles from which there is no retirement.

  59. Yankee from California2 January 2015 at 23:37

    Maggie, respectfully, I don't think Edythe's comments were sexist in the slightest, to the contrary, she was supportive of Kate's strengths and apparent will. I think her point was that Kate's background may provide a greater chance of achieving a stable family life for two monarchs which, in turn, may be good for all. That this works for THEM. I didn't interpret anything she said as a judgment of working parents. I am a single mother and, obviously then, a full time professional who finds the Cambridges' approach wonderful. And even if I didn't value their approach, I support their right to choose to live their lives as they decide. She has the ability to do it this way, so good for her. And again, as a working parent, I found Edythe's remarks to be quite positive and reasoned.

    1. Thank you for chiming in. I admire and respect your outlook. I truly do.

      How much have we evolved as a society if we go from telling women they can't/shouldn't work to telling them what they "should" be doing? How about the right to choose what is best for our own families?

    2. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:16

      But this is my point - you can be supportive of Kate without implying that you can only be a good mother if you choose to forgo a career. I never said Kate does not have the right to make a choice to be a stay-at-home mom. So I'm not sure why most of your post is at all responsive to my point. Which is simply that - we should not defend Kate, or any mother, for choosing not to work with the argument that they are putting the interest of their family first - because that DOES imply that a woman is not putting their family first when they choose to have a separate career.

    3. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:18

      Also, just to be clear, while I quoted Edythe because that was the last comment I saw, I was not solely "pointing fingers" at that comment, but rather, the general trend of defending Kate by saying her choice not to work is necessary to a stable family life.

    4. Maggie - Minneapolis3 January 2015 at 02:28

      Here's a different example. Anon at 20:20 said: "TDid you ever think that William wants Kate to be a wife to him and a good mother to their children. People are always ready to put her down without knowing all the details."

      Again, the implication that you can only be a good wife and good mother if you don't have a separate career. Also if it truly is William wanting Kate to "be a wife to him and a good mother to their children" then William deserves the blame, definitely. That's also sexist.

    5. It doesn't even matter really, as the job of a royal is to work and represent and being a stay-at-home parent while receiving perks is not okay. End of story.

    6. A stay at home parent OF THE KING. I call that public service.
      Also, I don't like phrases like 'end of story' when obviously anyone else can go on and make their point.
      p.s. she'll never work like us. She's a duchess.


    7. Kate was raised in a very close-knit, loving family and it's not unreasonable to think this is the choice/preference THEY have made for their family. After all, they both enjoy time with the Middleton's.

      And "the job" is to do what is expected of them by the Queen while she is in charge. And given Charles' apparent fondness for Kate and the Middleton's appearance on Christmas day, it's far more reasonable to assume that they are doing exactly that vs. digging their heels in and refusing to do so.

    8. ...You mean, the family of working parents she was raised in?

  60. Maggie your comment prompted some reflection. Over the last year there have been lots of comments on this blog about stay at home versus working parents in the context of the debate about the workload of the Duchess of Cambridge. The workforce participation of women is an area of research expertise for me so I thought I’d share the ‘headline’ research findings even if this risks some over-simplification. Sorry everyone in advance for the ‘dryness’ of this comment.

    There’s a heap of research data from international agencies & national governments on this topic. In the developed world the majority of women with children aged 0-5 work part-time. The main exception to this is Scandinavia where the level of parental support provided by governments makes full time work easier.

    All the survey data of women with young children shows that what they want is choice on how they balance family and work over their lifecycle especially when their children are 0-5. Most would prefer to spend more time at home when their children are in the pre-school years and to gradually return to longer hours of work when they get to school age.

    Maggie I agree in principle with your passionate defence of working parents but don’t see the connection with Edythe’s comments. Like Yankee from California I’m a working parent and I don’t find them sexist or saying anything about my choices. She’s just commenting on the context of their family and the possible impact of the choices that they’re making for them. And after all Kate & William are also working parents. The fact that Kate may wish to balance work & family by not taking on a full time schedule of duties at this stage just indicates that she’s very in tune with the aspirations of her generation.

    1. blue wren - do you have data on WHO is looking after the children? Who are Mom and Dad handing the children off to? Is it non-paid family members or is mostly paid personnel - nannies/daycare?

      Meanwhile, I remain confused by a person who works very little, yet employs a full-time nanny, housekeeper and personal assistants and communications staff. Perhaps Kate has one hell of a private social life that her staff keeps out of the papers?

  61. My impression is that only the royalists want a full time schedule for Kate, as if they were worried about the possibility that a part time work (as we can consider the actual schedule of Kate, if comparing her number of engagements with others same-level royal family workers) would utterly damage the strength of Monarchy. As a neutral observer (I am not a monarchist in general, I am just very curious and fascinated by British RF) I would say that the number of engagements is not the main message sent by our nice couple of royals. I think that the "normality" they pursue is a great message, instead of Diana's eagerness for the spotlight (I'm sorry but I feel very critical of Diana both as a mother and as a wife, peace to her soul). Diana had an incurable wound in her soul (due to her childhood, not to Charles nor Camilla), she needed people's love and she was never satisfied with it; I don't see her as a good model of royal, I'm sorry to say. I think that the strong message of W&K is: we are normal people, we want to symbolize that normality for you, we don't think that being famous is a goal in the life, family values are the top for us as for common people, we just look for happiness, and happiness is not so shining and spectacular. Happiness is a right for everybody, isn't it? Having a nanny and a home helper is rather common in the middle class, therefore I don't see any contradiction in their behavior. So, please, relax, enjoy the opportunity we have to see Kate, maybe if she was more often on the spotlight it would become boring :)

    1. You r right when you say Diana was wounded from the very beginning and used the media for her own interest. But I think she is someone to look up to when it comes to being a role model in the royal family. I really wonder who lived or lives up to your expectations as a good royal.
      Normal people W and K also disagree, they and everybody has the right to be happy, this is not a privilage. They live a very privilaged life thats for sure. They want us to believe they r normal, but they should act on that now they do the contrary.
      Seeing Kate more is boring, I do not know, maybe she is boring in everyday life;)

    2. Lynn Georgia USA3 January 2015 at 21:50

      Paola, Your comments are quite interesting and thought-provoking. However, a couple of your statements do confuse me a bit, I must admit. For instance, having a nanny and a home helper is certainly not very common at all in US middle class households. I hope that bloggers from Britain and other countries will weigh in on the situation in their countries. I'm truly interested. I also question whether happiness is really a right for everybody. Indeed, I'm a cynic I guess, but I question how many people achieve true happiness. Most people I observe seem never to be satisfied, constantly bemoaning what they lack rather than reveling in what they have. Of course, everyone should have the right to pursue happiness. I presume that was your meaning. Sadly few seem to recognize happiness when they find it. (I guess I'm feeling philosophical here at the beginning of a new year. ha, ha!)

    3. Paola, I'm not so sure the work related criticism is strictly related to the "strength of the monarchy."

      Regarding Diana, yes, she had issues from childhood, but I believe Charles' upbringing didn't prepare him to be a loving and supportive husband which didn't help the marriage. (Never mind Mrs Parker-Bowles.) The Queen Mother, especially, coddled Charles and he was raised to believe that everyone and everything should revolve around him. He wasn't prepared to support a young wife or to share the spotlight with her.

      Having said that, I totally agree with you regarding the message W&K are trying to send. 200% !! :) The monarchy needs to be relevant in order to survive. Most people realize that the royals are not like the average man or woman on the street, but they do want the royals to *understand* their lives and struggles.

    4. "only the royalists want a full time schedule for Kate, as if they were worried about the possibility that a part time work (as we can consider the actual schedule of Kate, if comparing her number of engagements with others same-level royal family workers) would utterly damage the strength of Monarchy"

      ... well, yes. The less work experience, the less strong they will be. There isn't a long life left in present Queen and the first in line. Either of them could very well pass away or become very ill in the near future (of course, hopefully not!) and if so, WK are ill-prepared.

  62. Women can be really cruel towards each other. The fact is, Kate is a full time mom who, for now, works part time for the Royal Family. I don't see what is wrong with her wanting to be there as much as possible for her children. Yes, she has a nanny, but I think if she were not part of the Royal Family and needed to be able to attend engagements, she probably would not have one. There is nothing wrong with this! I do think Kate could step up her engagements a but, but I am sure she has the full backing of the Queen when it comes to this, and there is no denying that she is raising a beautiful, happy, well adjusted son.

    There is no right or wrong way to raise a child - Kate is very lucky that she is in a position where she does not have to go to a full time job every day. The Queen seems to be giving them a lot of leeway now, but things will obviously change in the next few years depending on her health. W&K are doing what they feel is best for their family, and everyone stop being so critical of them.

    1. Well said. :) Great points.

    2. It doesn't matter if she would have one if she was royal or not. The point is, the taxpayers fund her staff so she can represent the nation. Which she only does sparingly. That is the point.

  63. anon from Leominster3 January 2015 at 16:05

    One thing I've wondered is how younger mothers feel about Kate and her life so different from theirs. The few I know have no interest (so unlike when I was a young woman and we all looked at Diana) but I'm sure there is a lot of variation. But one very interesting comment came out of the Daily Mail. Unfortunately, I didn't get the responder's name. Mostly, I don't pay much attention to Daily Mail comments because most are so negative and few on either side have factual basis. But this was a bit different and worth reading.

    "From what I see, I like Kate and I understand her wish to establish her family life, but there are lots of women who have to juggle working and family life. I suppose always in the background is the shambles of Will's parents' marriage and the family don't want that to happen again, but these two have known each other a long time and have gone through their wobbles before the marriage so they should be on pretty solid ground by now. I think she could notch up more engagements without jeopardising her family life. As said, lots of other mothers have to go out to work every day. What if she keeps wanting more kids, are we suppose to wait 10 years for her to up her to take on more. I'd been working 15 years by the time I was her age. Being a stay at home mum usually implies that you have done something before."

    I can't say it much better.

    1. I agree with it. I don't understand comments defending Kate. She gets so much help but she doesn't bother to visit at least one charity a week. That's shame.

  64. Has anyone noticed the 50th birthday pictures of Sophie Wessex, in which she was pictured at the entrance to her mansion, and in the drawing room? These are very elegant spaces. I wonder whether Sophie wanted to make the point that the Queen has provided elaborate homes for her children, especially those who will not inherit Sandringham and Balmoral or live and work in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. In this context, Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall, and even Clarence House and Highgrove, are relatively modest abodes. (Check out aerial photos of Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate and Prince Edward's Bagshot Park.) Yes, these are hard working royals, but they are also a generation older than William and Catherine, with families grown in Anne's case, in school in Edward and Sophie's. And they are not, given normal circumstances, future monarchs. Those who are live in substantial but less elaborate settings. Sophie's point may in part be that there is a logic about royal housing, into which Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall fit nicely.

    1. Yes, I did see the rather grand backgrounds in the birthday photos. The photos were lovely, but I think the message Sophie was sending had more to do with *her* position than a general statement about royal housing.

      But I agree that Bagshot Park is much grander than Highgrove or Clarence House.

  65. I wouldn't have a problem with Kate's lack of work if she wasn't getting the benefits of being a full time royal
    The trade off for living rent free In a palace is supposed to be royal duties
    I mean I would never be a house wife because to me that insults all the suffrage movements of a century ago..they wanted women to become more important and contribute more
    But with Kate she has a nanny and a housekeeper and a secretary and personal private secretary and a personal assistant
    So what is she doing other than shopping? I mean come on

  66. OMG - 93 year old Prince Philip is doing twice as many duties as Kate... That sounds devastating and he still has time for his wife and family. Not mention the operation. Sorry I don't get it. Kate has so much help (a nanny, cook, housekeepers..) and doesn't have time to visit a charity (at least an hour a week). I have very little children and I and my husband still work full time. No help from grandparents and private nanny. I don't mention about a housekeeper or a cook. But if Kate doesn't want to work for charities we shouldn't push her. I wouldn't be happy if someone does something for me because someone told him to do so. People from her charities must feel sad about the way Kate treats them (as an awful duty...)


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