Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Cambridges Join Belgian Royals to Mark the Centenary of Passchendaele

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Belgium for a two-day visit to attend commemorations marking the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the third Battle of Ypres.


The Duke and Duchess arriving.


A beautiful photo of William and Kate making their way to the service.


Commemorations began this evening with a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.


King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium arriving.


The Duchess and Queen Mathilde warmly greeted each other and chatted.


William spoke movingly at the Menin Gate monument "Today, the Menin Gate records almost 54,000 names of the men who did not return home; the missing with no known grave. Members of our families; our regiments; our nations; all sacrificed everything for the lives we live today. During the First World War Britain and Belgium stood shoulder to shoulder. One hundred years on, we still stand together, gathering as so many do every night, in remembrance of that sacrifice."


The relationship between Britain and Belgium is an incredibly special one, something William evoked in the saying: "100 years on we stand together." Britain entered the First World War to defend Belgian neutrality. A quarter of all the British and empire servicemen who died in the war lost their lives in that area.


The third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, began in the early hours of 31st July 1917. Its primary objective was to dislodge German forces from the high ground around the city of Ypres (now Ieper) and then advance to Belgian coastal ports from where German U-boats threatened Allied shipping. Men from virtually every corner of Britain’s then empire took part. They faced well-established enemy defences and heavy rain that turned the battlefields into a muddy quagmire. Many drowned in the thick liquid mud. It was summed up in poet Siegfried Sassoon's line: "I died in hell, they called it Passchendaele." The conditions at Passchendaele are among the most enduring images of the First World War.


The offensive ended after the capture of Passchendaele village by Canadian forces on 10th November. By the battle’s end, the Allied forces had advanced a mere eight kilometres. The human cost was appalling – an estimated 500,000 men on both sides had been killed, wounded, were captured or missing.


The BBC are televising events. Claire Popplewell, Editor of BBC Events said:

'One hundred years on the name Passchendaele remains synonymous with the inhuman conditions and bloody ferocity of one of the First World War's most horrific battles.'

Two hundred descendants whose ancestors are named on the gate alongside representatives from nations who fought on the Salient were also present.


They heard the 'Last Post', which has been played at the gate by a bugler almost every evening since 1928. The sounding of the bugle call remembers all the men who fought and fell fighting for the restoration of peace around Ypres during the First World War.


The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown. The memorial is located at the eastern exit of the town and marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line. It was unveiled in 1927.


One of the panels with names of the missing dead.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission Vice-Chairman Sir Timothy Laurence (Princess Anne's husband) and Prime Minister Theresa May meet interns working with the Commission.


Over fifty-four thousand poppies fell, one for every name on the Menin Gate.


The royals watch the poppies fall.


The Duke and Duchess met some of the descendants of those who served on the Ypres Salient from 1914-1918.


Next, William and Kate visited the Market Square in Ypres with Philippe and Mathilde for an event telling the story of the four years of war on the Salient.


Kate sat beside Sir Timothy Laurence.


The incredible event featured performances and music set to a backdrop of light projections onto the historic Cloth Hall.


The projection of veterans was enormously powerful and evocative.


Alfie Boe featured in the performance.


Highlights of the evening included performances by Dame Helen Mirren, the cast of The Wipers Times introduced by Ian Hislop, a tri-service orchestra and the voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.


And a specially written extract from War Horse narrated by its author Michael Morpurgo.


Children’s author Michael and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. The Duchess visited their Gloucestershire farm in May.


The Duchess looked elegant in the Alexander McQueen cream coatdress first worn for Princess Charlotte's christening two years ago. The fit-and-flare design features wide-winged lapels and a fitted, tailored bodice.


The Duchess wearing the piece at Charlotte's christening.


Kate selected the piece again for Trooping the Colour in 2016.


Kate's choice of hat was also previously worn for Trooping the Colour. It's the £895 Lock & Marisabel hat. It was described as a 'piece that has been handcrafted by Sylvia Fletcher, Lock & Co.'s leading milliner. The hat has been sculpted using sinamay and then finished with a curled feather in a matching tone.'


Kate carried her new Anne Grand-Clement clutch. There are similar clutches from the brand available at Baar and Bass.


The Duchess accessorised with her Balenciaga pearl earrings and pearl brooch (Kate clearly raided her Trooping wardrobe; the brooch was worn to the 2014 event). Kate wore a poppy on her lapel.


Kate's updo; as you can see the Duchess wore a hairnet.


Kate debuted a new pair of grey suede pumps, we'll update if they are identified.


Televised coverage can be viewed on the BBC Player. I will add a YouTube if one becomes available.

The Duke and Duchess will join Prince Charles for commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Tyne Cot Cemetery to mark the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the third Battle of Ypres.

118 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 19:39

    Nice to once again seeing the Cambridges being the representatives at these events! I always especially love when they meet with other royals! But it is also great to seeing them pull some younger focus towards these events that are falling farther and farther back into history. I do not think it's just by chance that the youngest royals (with the youngest audience) do alot of these events. The older you are, the bigger the chance that you have met someone with first hand stories to tell. So trying to get these events into focus with my generation and younger is very clever. I might be reading something into it that is not intended. But I only know that I've learnt more from watching these kind of BBC rememberance coverage and following the royals have taught me more (and more that has stuck in my mind) than I did in school. This is a big importance of the royals going to these events. General education and keeping the memory alive! Because it's so easy, when those human alive connections are no longer there, to have these events fall deep into the historybooks. Like some sad but disjointed story. Something that always touches me with these events are the memorials that gives people that don't know where their loved one was lost had somewhere to focus their mourning. And for us now to read the names and get a more tangiable connection.
    I was very impressed that the last post is not something that was just brought back for this event but has been played EVERY NIGHT (except during nazi occupation). That is respect! Especially since it's not an "official government decided" cermony, but something that the local area has continued to do for 80 years!
    Very nice also to see William once again being involved, this time with a reading.

    Creame today was the perfect choice. It's somber and a perfect half mourning colour. And nice combination of repeats. I did not like the hat the last time (that whole look was a mess) but with this it works. Not a favourite, but the look is nicely pulled together. Like the muted sparkle of the clutch. And that it ties in with the shoes and earrings. Very nicely fully finished outfit with the hair and all the details there :) And some will be VERY happy about her wearing a brooch. I think it works very well for this occation! Taking some cues from the queen with achoring the poppy with a brooch. This look is very quintisential british royal which I very much appriciate for this kind of event. And she works very well with Mathildes look.

    Thank you as always for your great coverage Charlotte!

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    1. We can never know for sure, but I think the younger royals participation is intentional (or at least I hope it is and I hope it continues). I am VERY happy to see a brooch. Not a big fan of this one, but I thought it helped anchor and emphasize the poppy.

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    2. I am very happy she wore a brooch & I don't mind the hat this time, too. She looked very nice. Such beautiful & moving commemorations. What a truly horrific battle & sacrifice by these men. Lest we forget.

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    3. Rebecca, I agree with so many things you said.

      Especially how the young royals can reach young people and draw their attention to things they might otherwise not be interested in.

      As a young lady said in the coverage of the second day of the commemorations, it was only when she did her volunteering/journey to Passchendaele that she realized so many of the fallen were about her age or even younger. (paraphrasing from memory hoping it was not the youmg man who said it)

      Re: the last post, how impressive.

      For those interested in the Last Post Association:

      Every evening since 1928 the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper at 8 o'clock sharp. This evening the ceremony will take place for the 30758th time.

      From their website http://www.lastpost.be/en/home

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  2. Stunning both from a fashion sense an a historical one. These commemorations are important as they sadly remind us of the casualties of war and uitimately, there are no winners. BTW, Duchess Catherine looked stunning.

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  3. I love the combo of cream with grey shoes. She looks so elegant. Thanks for updating so quickly Charlotte!

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    1. That's exactly what I was going to say. Love the cream and the grey. The purse pulls it all together. Not a huge fan of the hat, but Kate looks lovely. --J

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  4. live now

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbctwo

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  5. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:03

    Williams speech was now aired on BBC. He's very good by now. He has a very commanding voice befitting a future monarch! He especially is very good for these kind of solemn and "heavy" events. A good speech well delivered!

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  6. Eve from Germany30 July 2017 at 20:07

    OK.... I love that McQueen coat on her - but commemorating one of the most horrible battles of WWI in white? I even had to ask my daughter whether there has been some shift in "colour dress code" over the past years which somehow I missed...
    Queen Mathilde chose grey with lots of lace which was somehow combining the sombre occasion and the fact that maybe it´s as hot and humid over there as it is here in Southern Germany....... The lady behind her on the photo also wore something rather light in colour... I´m puzzled here, really... Personally, I can´t go "all dark colours" on such occasions because I look like a ghost then and people constantly ask me "Are you ok? Do you need to see a doctor?".. So I usually combine a dark suit with a white blouse. But "all-white"? Never.... Or is it just me being "old-fashioned"?
    Are there any representatives from Germany present? I remember Angela Merkel being present for the commemoration of the battle of the Somme/Verdun. There were about as many German casualties as British - so unnecessary and to this day just looking at the pictures of those WWI battles makes me almost sick... How can anybody in his right mind think that a war is something "necessary" to solve a conflict? It is beyond me, totally....

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:18

      WHite is a very traditional colour of mourning. Look up the Queen Mothers mourning wardrobe in Paris.

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    2. White was even choosen by our Belgian Queen Fabiola to wear at the death of or King Baouduin/Boudewijn. It representes hope!

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    3. If you go back to the visit to mark the start of WW1 in 2014 Belgium you will see both Mathide & Kate are wearing the same colors.

      http://hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-cambridges-commemorate-first-world.html

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    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mourning#White_mourning

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    5. In many Asian countries white is the colour of mourning.

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    6. Eve

      You are not being old fashioned about the colour. I agree wholeheartedly. Especially, because I am closer to your daughter's age, I think.

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    7. Given the nature of this event, the Duchess would have had a very limited choice of colours that would have served to be both appropriate and ensure that, as a prominent figure in attendance, she would be visible. If you look at the film coverage and photographs of the assembled male dignitaries, had she worn a dark tone she would have disappeared among them. Several of the female dignitaries also wore cream, so Catherine was in good company I feel. I believe that her outfit struck the right balance between smart and respectful, whilst projecting her trademark beauty and elegance.

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    8. Eve, I also thought of the Queen Mother when I read your comment. Rebecca beat me to it! :-)

      I'm rather surprised the color of Kate's coat may be a problem, yet no one has commented on Charles' suit in comparison to other dignitaries. In my book, this is a casual look for a man.

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    9. So interesting.

      White mourning

      The color of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white.


      In 1934, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands reintroduced white mourning after the death of her husband prince Henry. It has remained a tradition in the Dutch royal family.
      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Koningin_Wilhelmina_najaar_1934.jpg/330px-Koningin_Wilhelmina_najaar_1934.jpg

      Queen Wilhelmina's funeral (1962) with Queen Juliana and her four daughters all in white
      http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/the-dutch-royal-family-wearing-white-attends-the-funeral-for-queen-picture-id517771100

      In 2004, Queen Juliana's four daughters all wore white to their mother's funeral.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39983000/jpg/_39983405_sisters_ap200.jpg
      http://68.media.tumblr.com/8f8a283ac1d3df1cb127e17a392fada2/tumblr_mrn5ktO8zy1rehkngo1_250.jpg
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39982000/jpg/_39982243_church_300_afp.jpg


      In 1993, the Spanish-born Queen Fabiola introduced it in Belgium for the funeral of her husband, King Baudouin I of Belgium.
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/manuelromaris/5857814815
      Thank you, Tinneke, for mentioning it.


      The custom for the Queens of France to wear deuil blanc [white mourning] was the origin of the White Wardrobe created in 1938 by Norman Hartnell for Queen Elizabeth (later called Queen Mother). She was required to make a State visit to France while in mourning for her mother.
      http://theenchantedmanor.com/hartnells-famous-white-wardrobe/
      (via WKW - comments)


      Text from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mourning#White_mourning
      Thank you, Anonymous, for the link.
      Plus extra photos.

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  7. Am watching the ceremony and program on BBC. Thank you for updating so quickly and so completely Charlotte.

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  8. Well said Rebecca. One can not stress the importance of such events enough. What a moving occassion it must be and I always love seeing these historic events being honoured and remembered. It's especially important for the youth to know about.

    With regards to Kate's outfit, I know that it's not as important as a moving occassion like this but that hat has the potential to totally detract from the day's event. It's just sooo ostentacious and wrong. A simple pillbox hat would have been better, like the one she wore for the Easter service this year. I like the fact that she chose to wear most items which have already been worn but I wish that she just retired that hat after the last time she wore it.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:20

      Looking at what Mathilde wore I think she and Kate both hit a good note of dressed up like that. The lace, the shiny etc of Mathildes clothes seems about the same level (if not more "frivolous" than Kates).

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  9. http://tvcatchup.com/watch/bbctwo

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  10. Kate looks lovely and like her hair in that style for the hat and event. Do not like the pearl brooch, nor particularly the earrings. Love the dress however the waist seaming does not look as finished as in past wearings, I wonder if she has had it adjusted for changes in weight and it is starting to show the reworking of some of the seams and hooks etc. The hat is not my favorite but it works. Love the grey shoes and while not a fan of the clutch it helps along with the shoes to break up all the cream. She and William did a lovely job.

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    1. I think that the photos are clearer that is why we can see the seaming better. The dress seems to fit differently than before. Not sure what is different though..

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    2. I'm not sure I can see the fit difference. But if it fits differently it may be due to what Kate is wearing underneath. Also the last we saw her wear it she was holding Charlotte. Having a wiggly toddler's legs wrapped around one's waist does "age" some fabrics! 

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  11. I have never understood wearing clip ons when you have pierced ears. I think they are painful. I have never been a fan of these fake pearls. I'm sure in the royal vault there are beautiful real pearls. These just look fake and too 80ish.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:42

      They are not clip ons I don't think. I think they are normal ones but with a "clip on" element to guard.

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    2. I agree. I dislike immensely these fake pearls.

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  12. I love this connection -white and grey. It is very elegant and suitable to this historical event. I am very glad to see two royal ladies together.

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  13. Charlotte. Thanks a lot for this post.
    I like the combination of repeats (except the hat I really hated it in 2015 and now. Idon't know why but there's something in it doesn't fit with Catherine face). Anyway, the outfit is so appropriate for this kind of events. Personally, I waited a repeat for the grey coat from Australia Tour of 2014 but unfortunately Queen Mathilde opted for this colour. By the way, she's elegent and gorgeous.
    Just a question, why she didn't opte for the white Alexander Mcqueen suit worn in Poland ? It will be a perfect outfit especially with the grey clutch and shoes ( she could even add a nice belt).
    Any way, tonight, Catherine is beautiful and appropriate. Good on her and on William to be involved in this significant event. We should not froget.
    Amy

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  14. Julia from Leominster30 July 2017 at 20:44

    Such a moving occasion - that's what counts of course, far more than the clothes. There is that enormous contrast between the photos from the time - the mud, the destruction and all those men - so many lost - so many on that list - and that's just one panel - with the serenity of the memorial to the unidentified - and the sky raining poppies to represent numbers that are almost incomprehensible. The bugle call always brings tears to my eyes.

    Of course, it always is, and never is, about the clothes when it comes to royal ladies at such events. Kate's colour choices - blazing pink for 9-11, flowers for the camp makes me think she marches to a drummer of her own - it's perhaps because these events seem so remote to a young woman like her. But this time, she has it right.

    White can be used for demi-mourning as in the Queen Mum's white wardrobe for her French visit soon after her mother's death when she would normally have been wearing black but that would have struck the wrong note for the visit. (Everyone should look up the queen mum's famous white wardrobe and the back story to it.) So I'm pleased with this colour choice and wonder if the queen mum was in Kate's thoughts - but every time I believe I see something behind her choices, I'm soon cast into doubt again - so I'll just say I find it appropriate, my favourite royal word.
    It seems a good use of a repeat - albeit one used previously on festive occasions. I prefer this coat to what she wore in Poland. I also prefer the hat here to what it was worn before - it looks better when worn with the same colour somehow. I wonder if the brooch is part of that French set - it does look similar although it was always assumed to be real pearls - it works well here and shows how much a brooch can add to a simple outfit.

    After an odd choice - although pretty colour, for their national day, Mathilde looks lovely here - that colour between somber grey and sacred blue is lovely, and the lace so appropriate for a Belgium queen. The colour matches her eyes and colouring perfectly - a lovely hat too.

    I so much enjoy seeing the royal ladies together even for solemn occasions like this. And at this time, it is very important to show unity with Europe.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:52

      My personal guess (and a very odd and insignificant part for me to comment on from your whole, well written comment) is that her ring and earrings are balenciaga (Both have been seen online I'm pretty sure) and the brooch and necklace are McQueen. Both the necklace and brooch have small "diamonds" in between elements while the earrings and ring have "diamonds" around the side. Couple that with both the brooch and necklace being debuted with a McQueen piece of clothing and that is my guess! The earrings and ring are not real pearls and if the others are McQueen I doubt they are as well.

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    2. Thank you, Julia Leominster, for suggesting looking up the Queen Mum's white wardrobe. I read everything about it and found it extremely interesting. The dresses are gorgeous. I do love that period of fashion. I was interested in the history of the colors of mourning for Britain and found that interesting too.

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    3. I do not see the same standard of dress being applied between New York, Poland and here. In NY and in Poland they were visits. Not funerals or memorial services. Just yesterday I was at the national cemetery at the US Military Academy at West Point. No one including the educators and docents wore anything other that casual summertime attire. Here was Catherine attending a significant memorial service. That is why the more formal white attire.

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    4. Agree, Laura. Also, there has been a precedent and protocol established for those sorts of occasions, such as there has been for Remembrance Day. No such established royal pattern for non event-associated visits to memorials. Individual expressions of remembrance can vary.

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    5. Julia from Leominster1 August 2017 at 05:05

      I believe there are differences between funerals which require subdued dressing and 'celebrating lives' which seems to allow for more festive dressing, particularly in the States. The same seems to hold for memorials - but for a British royal lady, I believe she should wear what she would wear to such an event at home.

      (I still prefer dark clothes - to me, grief is part of the experience of losing people you care for, and clothes are part of that. Many of these memorials are recognising the loss of unbelievable numbers whose families grieved for them.)

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    6. I agree with the thought here; that it would have been more appropriate for us Britains for Kate to have worn a more subdued colour. A bit disappointing to me (sorry). I feel it should be less about her making a personal impact with her clothes; more about wearing 'appropriate' clothes for the occasion. I didn't like the recent very low banquet dress, either. And I am not a prude.

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  15. The whole outfit is fine and suitable for this event. She looks great. As does Mathilde - such a gorgeous woman.. what British writers would describe as "handsome" - eh ? She apparently is beauty AND brains , rare combo.

    I wanted to give a shout out to royalfan on your great write-up on Diana's humiliation and why we should not try to minimize the role played by Charles and Camilla. That was a well- expressed viewpoint, so clear. Please do save it somewhere so that you can paste it every time someone starts getting excited about Camilla-hate.

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    1. Yes. royalfan. I left a response to your text on that page (7/25) also. I hope you get to read it. :)

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    2. And, yes. Keep it for "repeats". For real. :)

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    3. Rosman, thank you so much. And no worries...I promise to copy and paste "as required." :-)

      SG, yes I did read your comment and also replied. Thank you, again. :-)

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  16. I am always so moved by Europe's recognition of the sacrifices of war. My grandfather was at Ypres -- not sure if he was here -- and it's really lovely to see that people do remember, acknowledge and honor.

    I think the statue in Trafalgar Square is another moving tribute. If you haven't seen it, a soldier was sculpted out of earth/mud, and the rain will wash him away. Beautiful concept like the wall of flowers from the Tower of London, which I understand is on a tour. I saw photos of it in Durham? I think it was?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 July 2017 at 20:57

      So many artful and respectful creations that have been thought out to mark these occasions. I had seen pictures of the mud soldier but didn't know the story behind it. Stunning!

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    2. If we had this kind of coverage and remembrance events in the US, people would be a lot more aware of the importance of foreign ties and the role the US plays/has played in maintaining world peace. Many people don't understand the events of both world wars or why the world allied the way it did. And the same people are advocating an isolationist approach to foreign policy and trade.

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    3. I agree, Rosman. Knowing history is so important. Gleaning wisdom from generations past.

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    4. Those types of things show the power of art, don't they Rebecca? For those who haven't seen: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/29/passchendaele-mud-soldier-slowly-dissolves-mark-centenary-battle/

      Rosman, I couldn't agree more. I had a correspondence with my dad's friend who was based in England during WWII. I would send him articles I saw about the war and commemorations, and he was always so amazed at the way the British remember their war dead and in some cases those who are still alive. He said more than once that he wished the US would do the same.

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    5. They put on a magnificient display. RIP!

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    6. Many believe that the US should have been involved sooner.

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  17. I think white is a perfect balance for an event like this, it's not to attention grabbing or bright, but also not black. (The queen by the way often wears bright colors to war memorials). The hat is also lovely, simple, and not boring.

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  18. If any of you have an interest in WW I fiction you might like this series. I really enjoyed them and learned a bit about that horrid war. https://www.goodreads.com/series/49700-bess-crawford

    I think Kate looked fantastic and I like when she re-wears something, but thanks to Charlotte I now try to focus more on the event and not the wardrobe.

    I would have been in tears!

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    1. Lynn, I like your idea of recommending fiction set in the World War One era. I would also recommend the Bess Crawford series of books. Two other series that show the long-term effects of WWI on British society in the years following the war, are the Inspector Rutledge series (also by Charles Todd) and the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. For a good novel that shows the effect of WWI on the families of Canadian soldiers, try Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery.

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    2. Lynn, I loved A Duty to the Dead. Thought it was very well done. I haven't read the others; I thank you for the list because now I think I will!

      Another book with a base in WWI is A Very Long Engagement by Sebastian Japrisot. It's the story of a soldier's fiancee who is trying to find out what happened to her soldier when he was lost in No Man's Land during that war. It was made into a movie, which I'm told wasn't very good, but the book stuck with me for quite a while.

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    3. Sask. Reader, thank you so much for your book recommendations! I have read the Winspear series but just picked up a Todd and found it excellent. I haven't read the Montgomery book or Bess Crawford. I'll try them both. My grandfather was in France during WWI with his brother, both in the infant U.S. Air Service. Lest we forget.

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    4. Yes, Ian and Maisie are my friends too and I will look right now to see if my library has Rilla.

      I read WW II fiction also and I can't get enough of the Resistance fighters.

      There is one more Bess Crawford book due to be release in a few weeks and I am looking forward to it, but I think it is the end of the series.

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    5. Read Wilfred Own's poetry, written about the horrors and futility of World War 1.

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    6. I meant to write 'Owen'

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  19. I didn't love this headpiece when I first saw it in 2015, but I think I like it better with this outfit. The pearl jewelry is fine, although I'll never truly love the Balenciaga earrings.

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    1. OK, I'm horrible because the only thing I think of when I see it is if she and Lupo were ever stuck somewhere and she has that hat with her, she could invert it and use it as a food bowl.

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    2. Hahaha, bluhare!

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  20. I wish the BBC would make this type of memorial coverage available outside of the UK.

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    1. here you can watch outside the UK

      http://tvcatchup.com/watch/bbctwo

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    2. It is if you can get BBC TWO you can watch it.

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  21. cp, it will probably be available on YouTube. It is a wonderful production.

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  22. I was very touched by the photographs of the poppies falling down representing every name on the Menin Gate. It is important that the sacrifice of these young men is not forgotten with the passage of time. I commend the younger royals for their participation in these commemorative events. I'm very interested in the work performed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. I would love to see William or Harry play a role in the commission someday.

    Given the solemnity of the event, I'm glad Kate opted for repeats. I think the Alexander McQueen cream coat dress and muted accessories struck the right tone for the event. I'm glad the Lock and Co hat got another chance and was not retired.

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    1. The falling of the poppies was perfect.

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    2. Annette New Zealand3 August 2017 at 17:25

      All the Commonwealth countries are represented on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which maintains these cemetaries and pays for their upkeep. The main difference between USA and the rest of the allies is that the Americans bring their fallen back to USA for burial whereas we leave them in Europe and erect cenotaphs in our countries instead. Every tiny settlement in New Zealand has a war memorial which commemorates our dead who lie far away. We remember them every ANZAC day just as you do on your Memorial Day and my grandfather's war medals are proudly worn in his memory by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. I am sure that there would be German representatives present at the Menin gate and Tynecot just as we have German, Japanese and Turkish dignatories at our services here. When my husband and I visited Galipoli in Turkey we were treated very courteously by the local Turks even though we had no business invading their country in the first World War!( Winston Churchill is not a hero in New Zealand because he sacrificed our troops at Galipoli for no good reason and then the remnants were sent to the Somme battle fields.) The Turks won at Galipoli and successfully defended their country and we respect them for that. If you want to read a truly forgiving and inspiring statement look up what Kemal Ataturk is reputed to have said about the "Johnies and Mehmets" buried side by side on the Galipoli battlefields. I agree war is always senseless and diplomacy is the best way to solve problems. It is easy to start a war but more difficult to finish it.

      Delete
    3. Annette NZ, have a look at the pictures in this link, and their captions. Totals are given at the end. Please ignore the political statement; I don't know to whom it refers. I needed to show you the American military cemeteries in Europe, and this is a perfect site to do so.

      http://www.americanveteransmemorial.org/Heroes_Buried_in_Europe.html

      A few years ago, we visited the American cemetery in Tunisia, which holds the graves of military casualties from all of North Africa. It is one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and well designed and maintained places I have ever been in. Some of our military casualties are indeed brought home, but many thousands are buried in foreign soil. The following site mentions 24 American military cemeteries in various countries, and gives a glimpse of the beautiful cemetery near ancient Carthage in Tunisia.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/magda-abufadil/american-cemetery-in-tunisia_b_1270208.html

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  23. I'm not a huge fan of this coat, but the hat makes me love it. This hat is one of my favorites.

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  24. kate looks lovely - smart of her to wear repeats. Interesting that everything are pieces she's worn to Trooping the Colour. I do like the gray accessories here.

    The poppies falling must have been a beautiful moment. Also when the two hundred descendants were marching to honour their familiy members.

    When Kate first wore this hat it looked very white and here it looks ivory. The magic of photos. The difference between how it looked at first and here I think is mainly due to her hair style. Almost all of her hats looks good when her hair is in an up-do.

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    Replies
    1. The poppies falling is not a 'beautiful moment'. I feel an inappropriate choice of words has been used here. The poppies falling represents the horror of a whole generation of young lives lost. As Wilfred Owen (who was killed in action in 1918) poignantly wrote in his poem 'Inspection'; 'The world is washing out its stains' he said, 'It doesn't like our cheeks so red, Young blood's its great objection.'

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    2. I felt that it was a very beautiful memorial moment in remembering the bloodshed that was experienced by those people. Sometimes when we read read numbers it is hard to grasp that in terms of individual sacrifices made. When you see each poppy, red poppy, falling from the sky, you see each one as a representation of an actual life whose blood was shed for us. It is an illustrated, active memorial. I know it made me stop and think and express my deep gratitude to the those who gave their lives. So, for me, it was very effective and memorable.

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    3. SG, I believe that you are exactly right. It was symbolic and touching, IMO. (My reply under my Google account is MIA. :-)

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  25. We should never forget the human sacrifice paid for our freedoms. Thank you Charlotte for this very moving post. Beautifully written about a solemn and painfull remembrance.

    Make it a great day. Blessing on All.

    RW.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Royalwatcher. Carpe diem, indeed.

      "Blessings on all". I second that thought for sure.

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  26. If you have a chance to watch the BBC production, I recommend it. Breathtaking and also poignant.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden31 July 2017 at 08:48

      I agree. Such a great balance between artistic expression and respectful commemorations!

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  27. Dear Charlotte, thank you always for this wonderful blog I've followed for years. Once only have I felt the need to comment, yet I so love it. NOT understanding nor wearing anything fashionable, am still fascinated by EVERYTHING your readers post. ESPECIALLY by ; Julia from Leominster, Bluhare, RoyalFan and Rebecca from Sweden, can't forget Kiwi Gal also.!! The Duchess of Cambrige is a trendsetter whatever she wears, whether we all agree/disagree with her choices, or her stylist decisions. Love the polls Charlotte, and LOVE ❤️ your blog, thank you

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for that lovely shout out, Lea.

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    2. Lea, I hope you will comment more often... :-)

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    3. Lea, I am flattered you mentioned me along with the likes of Julia, bluhare, royalfan & Rebecca (they're almost famous to me! :) I've been a long-time lurker on Charlotte's lovely blog as well & only started commenting recently (when I figured out how to!).
      Would love to hear more from you, too :)

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    4. "they're almost famous to me", lol, lol.
      Kiwi Gal that was way cute. I got a giggle from that one. :)

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    5. The autograph line forms to the right, Kiwi Gal. Watch out for Rebecca, though. She likes to draw horns and a moustache on my picture!

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    6. surfer girl, I will add you to my 'famous' list also :) Haha, bluhare ;)

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    7. Julia from Leominster1 August 2017 at 04:58

      Thank you, Lea - we have a lot of wonderful people commenting here - we're just some of the longest - in the great, articulate, witty and warm-hearted company of the others you listed, I appreciate you mentioning me. bluhare I love your comment!

      Surfer girl (and Jo and Rosman) you're on your way to joining usin my opinion.

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    8. That's sweet Julia.. :) Thanks

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  28. Nice, moving ceremony. Kate looks polished and classic, but nothing super exciting. Queen Mathilde's look is 💯! Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Marija Micevska30 July 2017 at 22:57

    I love the whole outfit. It's impeccable. I think the pumps may be Gianvito Rossi again.

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    Replies
    1. I thought they were another Gianvito Rossi pair, too. On What Kate Wore, it was suggested they are Emmy London. They look like the same shoes Pippa has worn recently.

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    2. I also think she wore Gianvito Rossi... lot of grey for the coming season https://www.gianvitorossi.com/it_en/woman/new-arrivals.html?color=247
      Emanuela

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  30. If we are suggesting World War One books for me 'All quiet on the Western Front' is a must read.

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    Replies
    1. I'm such a bookworm, I have to comment on all the book comments! I second this suggestion, alimai! This is a superbly written book, very moving.

      Because this is about one of my childhood heroes, I also suggest reading edithcavell.org.uk, about the British nurse who was executed in 1915 for giving aid to the wounded of both sides of the conflict while behind enemy lines. Her life and example taught me very early that humanity should transcend patriotism and that one person could make a very great difference to the world.

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    2. There was a PBS series, Marci. About those nurses. What happened with Edith Cavell illustrated both the best and worst of humanity. It is a haunting story.

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  31. Although I loved this outfit, I think the hat and earrings make it more appropriate at a party than a solemn event. Even Queen Mathilde (whom loves HUGE hats and bright colours) toned it down a bit for this event. She looked gorgeous, but a smaller hat (maybe even grey) would've looked better.

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  32. I liked Kate's whole look tonight. I think it was smart to repeat so much of the outfit, as it allowed more focus to be on the event itself.

    On another note, I visited Ypres 2 years when on a European trip. The Menin Gate was really something in person. There is also a very movingly museum in the Cloth Hall (In Flanders Field Museum). This is a great location to visit to pay respects to WWI veterans as well as see a lovely Belgian town.

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  33. My bet is that the shoes are the new Gianvito Rossi "Dust Grey Suede" 105s

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  34. I thought Kate looked lovely and her outfit hit all the right notes for this very moving occasion. Wouldn't you all love to take a peek in Kate's clothes closet or closets. What fun that would be! I wonder how her clothes are categorized/arranged. And the shoes and hats! It boggles the mind.

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  35. Oh how I wish Kate would try a new hairstylist. These pictures are forever and this hairnet thing is not for a modern hairstyle with confidence. Have we seen other royal ladies with hairnets!!

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  36. Thank you, Charlotte, for your sensitive and thorough coverage of this event. You always do a superlative job, in my opinion.

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  37. Hmm the duchess recycled again i love the cream matches grey of Queen mathilde of belguim I love the speech. Of the duke its beautifully written on the occasion and very moving ceremony and painful remembrance the duke and duchess future of monarchy

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  38. Almighty God,
    May there be no World War III at all.

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  39. Replies
    1. Agree! 30th appearance is stunning. Especially love Kate's using the clutch again so soon. Great pieces she's put together. Hair is also elegant and regal. Would love to know about Mathilde's gray shoes. . . . 31st appearance for Kate is disappointing in the hair falling down on the sides. I rather she repeat the side bun than risk the awkwardness of hair drooping over her ears. Katherine USA

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    2. It's a different style, but I'm with you...I prefer the first updo. :-)

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  40. I have been thinking about the hat that Kate wore. The white reminded me of the Forces' peaked cap, the angle of the hat reminded me of the Army beret and the feather reminded me of how so many ceremonial hats of the Forces have feathers in them (although I can't name one right now.) Well chosen.

    As far as books go, "Testament of Youth" by Vera Brittain stands out in my mind. Written by a woman who came of age during World War 1, who lost all of the young men who were near and dear to her, who nursed in France and out in the Mediterranean, it is a beautiful book. She also included poetry written by her fiancé Roland Leighton--heart breaking. There have been two TV series made, I preferred the first one with Cheryl Campbell as Vera, made in 1979. The second adaptation was released in 2014.

    I am currently reading "Kick," a book about Kathleen Kennedy, sister of JFK, who was killed in a plane crash during WW2. A lot in there about England and World War 2. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Except to remind us to do everything we can to ensure such carnage never happens again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. peace starts and remains alive only in our every decision and interaction. everything counts. 🌷

      Delete
  41. I believe the earrings Kate is wearing with the Catherine walker coat dress are Dianas? Shes stunning

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  42. grey shoes would have looked lovely with this outfit!!!

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  43. I think Kate's outfit was fantastic, but I just don't see how anybody can go to those memorials and not tear up. I did just reading about all the deaths!

    As I read my WW II novels I often this how Europe wasn't even really over WW I when WW II started. So much suffering and heartache!

    My thanks to all that served so people like us can read what we want when we want.

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  44. Broaching the subject....her brooch!
    Knowing they were in Belgium, I immediately thought of 'The Atomium' building when I saw her brooch! It's a very unique building located in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. CNN even declared it 'Europe's most bizarre building!' What do you think?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomium

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  45. Great job, Charlotte. Really enjoyed it.

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  46. Could these be Kate's shoes? Pippa recently wore the same style to Wimbledon with her Self Portrait dress:
    https://usa.emmylondon.com/products/rebecca-steel

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