Sunday, 26 August 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge Joins Her Majesty for Sunday Service at Crathie Kirk!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their annual sojourn to Balmoral with George, Charlotte and, for the first time, four-month-old Louis. William and Kate, styled as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, were photographed arriving at Crathie Kirk with Her Majesty for Sunday service this morning. William sat in the front seat. There's additional images available on the Mail Online.

More from the Mail Online:

'It was a family affair at the service with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex and their children all making an appearance.'

In previous years, William and Kate elected to visit the Queen's Scottish retreat in September, but with term at Thomas's Battersea beginning on 6 September and William resuming duties the same day, we expected to see the family make the trip earlier this year. The Cambridges enjoyed a fortnight on the paradise island of Mustique with the Middletons and spent much of the summer at their Norfolk country home Anmer Hall. Following their Balmoral visit, they will likely return to Kensington Palace for much of the remainder of the year.


Kate looked elegant in a grey coat with black trim. What Kate Wore received confirmation it is a Catherine Walker design. It could be a bespoke version of the Liza coat.



Several of you noted Kate's hat appears to be a Lock & Co piece she's worn several times. Below, Kate wearing it for a 2016 RAF service at St Clement Danes Church in London.


Kate accessorised with the Queen's Bahrain pearl drop earrings. Kate has worn the earrings on several occasions including Royal Ascot in 2017. In 1947 the then Princess Elizabeth received seven larger pearls from the ruler of Bahrain, and two of the pearls were used to create the beautiful pair of earrings. From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below. The Queen seems to have worn them mainly in the early years of her reign; they were later unearthed for the Buckingham Palace summer exhibit marking her 60th wedding anniversary." More recently they were loaned to the Countess of Wessex and now the Duchess of Cambridge.


Emily Andrews tweeted:

'Kate, William, George, Charlotte & Louis are spending this weekend at Balmoral with HM. George was taken to his first grouse shoot on Friday by Kate, with the Queen, Charles, Edward, Sophie, Louise & James, Anne, Zara & Mike Tindall joining for lunch.Quite the family fun!'

Click here to view a photo of Kate and Zara with George and Savannah. Note, George is very adorably clutching a toy bunny.

Crathie Kirk is a small Church of Scotland parish church in the village of Crathie. It is known as a regular place of worship for the British Royal family when they are staying in nearby Balmoral.


Queen Victoria worshipped there from 1848, and every British monarch since has worshipped at Crathie Kirk. Victoria laid the foundation stone for a new, much larger, church in 1893. Victoria's decision to worship at Crathie Kirk initially caused a scandal, particularly when it was discovered that she had received communion there. As Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church of England, it was expected that she would worship in the Scottish Episcopal Church, which recognised the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Below, the Kirk in 1895.


The Queen simply adores Balmoral and it has been said she is happiest there.


The Royal family first became interested in Balmoral in 1847 when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Ardverikie on the edge of Loch Laggan which is in the west Highlands of Scotland. Their time there was marred by terrible weather - Queen Victoria mentions the 'pouring rain'​ many times in her diary. While at Ardverikie the son of the Queen's physician, Sir James Clark, wrote a number of letters to his father who was convalescing at Balmoral. The letters from Balmoral described blue skies and fine weather - the news of dry weather interested Prince Albert. In 1848 it was therefore suggested that the Balmoral climate would make a more suitable Scottish residence for the Queen, with the artist James Giles commissioned to make watercolours of a plan of the house. The decision was soon made to acquire the remaining 27-year lease for Prince Albert, and in 1852 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the castle outright.


Victoria would later described Balmoral as "a paradise in the Highlands. All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils".


The Queen and Prince Philip have spent two months every summer there, and it has become a staple on the Cambridges' calendar since they married. It also holds many happy memories for them. People reports: 'William and Kate have spent some of their most romantic times at the residence, staying at a cottage called Tam-na-Ghar during their breaks from St Andrews University. The Prince also surprised his then-girlfriend in 2009, arranging a candle-lit dinner in a remote log cabin on the banks of the River Dee. A year later, Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton were guests of Prince Charles at his mansion on the estate, Birkhall. It was a sign that William and Kate's relationship was becoming even more serious - days later their engagement was announced.'


Now, almost a decade later, it's the location where they enjoy days filled with outdoor pursuits in the scenic Highlands.


The royals enjoy going for long walks, exploring all the natural beauty the estate has to offer, along with family picnics and plenty of fun and games for the children.


A number of you have been in touch asking when Kate is expected to resume duties: the only official word from the Palace was "the autumn". I imagine we'll hear something in the coming week or two.

235 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden26 August 2018 at 13:57

    WOW! Kate looks so regal and stunning today!! Very elegant! Nice to see her in the car with the Queen as well! Nice repeat of the hat! Hope they're having a great time with the family before school and work starts up again!

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  2. Just back from my annual holiday in Ireland, nice to see a photo of Kate! I was wondering--how does the Queen choose who will ride with her to church and how long in advance does the person know? I mean, would Kate have known the night before "you'll be riding with the Queen tomorrow..." and so have to dress up a bit more?

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  3. Kate and HM look lovely! Looking forward to announcements from KP soon regarding Kate’s autumn schedule. ☺️

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  4. Lovely to see Kate ! She's looking well and relaxed, and even a little tanned. HM has a full house, between the Cambridge's,the Wessex's,the Tindall's, the Phillip's families ! I'm sure she's in her element :-).
    Charlotte I read that the Cambridge's have a property on the Balmoral estate, do you know if this is the case ? x

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    1. Hello,

      Thank you for reading.

      I haven't heard that. I believe they normally stay with HM at Balmoral or Birkhall. They have also stayed at cottages on the property over the years.

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    2. It has been reported in a few places that William was given Tam na Ghar, a cottage on the Birkhall estate, by the Queen Mother https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565928/William-and-Kate-take-a-break-at-Balmoral.html

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    3. Humphreys Girl, yes, I think I read about it during their courtship.

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  5. Kate looks gorgeous, and those earrings are something special! It's nice to see such a large family gathering. And the views are heavenly! Hate to add anything negative but it seems a bit traumatizing to take children to watch animals being shot.

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    1. Allison, that is just what I think!

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    2. Let's keep our opinions of hunting off this blog. We are in the hunting business. My three boys have grown up with hunting, loved it and are all hunters themselves. No trauma.

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    3. Lize, you certainly have a right to your opinion, but I don't think you can speak universally and say there is no trauma for children, to view an animal being shot. I know my grandchildren are very upset just seeing it on TV, never mind to be there as a witness to the killing of animals. I am a huge fan of the royal family and in agreement with much of what they do. The exception is the hunting that goes on, especially at Balmoral. I would not let a five year old in my family take part.

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  6. Kate looks very beautiful, and so does the Queen. Balmoral is such a stunning place in its wonderful setting. One can see why the royal family love it.

    It has been announced that the centenary of the RAF will be marked by a service at Westminster Abbey on Septemberc16. Surely William and Harry, both fliers, and their wives will be present.

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    1. The service to mark the Centenary of the RAF was held at Westminster Abbey on the 10th July this year. I think you may be confusing this with the Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service which will be held in Westminster Abbey on 16th September. I expect the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will attend as the PoW is the patron of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association and they attended the service in 2017.

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    2. Thanks for your he correction! I should not post things from memory. And proofreading is good.

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  7. Queen of the Sun26 August 2018 at 15:00

    While HM normally only have one person riding with her, William was also not spotted in any of the other cars. So do we think William is at home with the kids?
    I am asking a bit tongue in the cheek, but not completely. If it was me I would not be taking the nanny with me on holiday to the Highlands. It seems to be such an informal family time that having a nanny there would almost intrude on the family time. And since nannies also get leave, it could be plausible. No nanny means somebody needs to stay with the kids - I would love it to be William.

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    1. Orange County Grandma26 August 2018 at 16:24

      William was in the front seat

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    2. Queen of the Sun, I'm not sure that a nanny would intrude on family time. At Balmoral or any royal house, there are numerous servants, cleaners, chefs, assistants etc. Outside there would be people helping with the horses and outdoor pursuits. A nanny would just be an additional staff member.

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    3. The royals may be on holiday, but organized activities and formal dinners would still make it necessary to have a nanny available.




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    4. Most royals carry a full staff while on holiday at the Queens residence including nannies, valets, and ladies maids. With the new little prince at hand, a Nannie, if not two would be essential so that Prince William and Duchess Catherine could fully participate in all of the breakfasts, teas dinners and family social events scheduled during their time in the Hughlands. This is not some common family off to visit Grannie, being a guest at the Queens home requires wardrobes, grooming, and parties on scale that most could never dream about. There will be on average of four complete wardrobe changes per day - each time the family gathers for a meal they dress in different clothes. Even hair stylist are brought along to keep everyone looking their best. The staff ar the residence in Quire skeletal year round, so the arrival of the visiting servants is always looked upon with great anticipation. My family has live in the area for generations and we have had many ancestors employed on the estates. Although many think that because the royals are on holiday they are casual
      and laid-back, on the contrary, everything is quite grand, and posh.

      ;

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    5. Anon @ 06:00 -- Thank you for you insight regarding staffing during the holidays. I find it most interesting and, of course, it makes perfect sense to have staff to assist with all that needs to be done. Such a different lifestyle. Marla from NH

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    6. Thank you for the information, Anon 6:00. :-)

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    7. Thank you Anon 6:00 for the information. It is always interesting to get "real" insights into the life of the royals. Can you imagine packing for a family of five for a weekend at Balmoral with the Queen? cc

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    8. CeCe USA I was thinking the same thing!!!

      Thank you Anon 6:00 for the info


      Silvia

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  8. That’s a very serious suit, for a 36 year-old attending morning service at a country church in summer. Duty rules, one supposes. She looks regal and 50, which is not to say she doesn’t look beautiful.

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    1. It was probably about 45 degrees. So not really summer weather.....

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    2. She's the most youthful looking 50 year old I've ever seen! Kate's dressed perfectly appropriately for a Sunday morning service with seniors in miserable weather. It is freezing and raining in the UK right now. Both Kate and the Queen have blankets over their legs for a reason.

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    3. This is classic Kate on duty and I love it. :-)

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    4. I'm with you Greybird K. She looks lovely but it is a mature look and the dark drab color doesn't help, especially next to the Queen in vibrant blue. For me, certain hat styles look better on Kate if her hair is not up. Had she not worn the bespoke CW but the Liza version above, I think the whole effect would have been lighter and brighter, less severe and plain. Oh well... she looks relaxed and happy to be there.

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  9. Fiona, NW England26 August 2018 at 16:46

    I think Kate looks stunning - and she always looks good in grey. I can see this outfit being repeated for more sombre occasions such as attendance at a memorial service. Looking forward to seeing her resume her engagements - hopefully in the not too distant future!

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  10. Nicole from France26 August 2018 at 17:00

    Although it is a well established tradition , I feel quite sorry to see a 5 years old child taken to grouse shooting , especially such a shy boy ..... I had already been shocked seeing a photo of Kate holding a gun, a few years ago , she and William like to say they care for environmental matters, may be this would be an occasion to slowly change the tradition , grouse are no worse than lions ......

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    1. Agree completely---I actually think this is completely sad and unacceptable. Shoujldn't

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    2. Not to heat up the debate but we kill billions of chickens every day all over the world. The grouse will be eaten. The lions are not. Perhaps it is important to see the process of aquiring food for us humans and maybe just maybe less if it will land up in landfill which is the fate of one in five chickens slaughtered.

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    3. Libby, you are right. I am a vegan, so I would like all meat to cease. Often people stop eating meat when it becomes clear that a living creature is killed to make a meal, but 5 years is a bit young to form an opinion. Just think that children should wait until they are old enough to have a reasonable opinion.

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    4. I don't think George would be forced to participate if he is uncomfortable. But, as Libby stated, the grouse will be eaten so I see this as a lesson in reality.

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    5. Libby, yes the grouse will be eaten but every year many of our native birds of prey (harriers, buzzards, eagles, kites) and any other species unlucky enough to find the traps are found dead in suspicious circumstances on or very close to grouse estates. It doesn't take much brain power to draw the conclusion that they are being taken out to 'protect' the grouse from predation. None of these birds will be eaten; they are just tragic victims killed for nothing more than trying to find food. Numbers of Hen Harriers in particular are crashing in the UK, and I'm afraid that William and Harry will never be taken seriously as conservationists while they continue to consider the lives of African mammals to be somehow more important than those of our native British bird species. I agree wholeheartedly with Nicole and Allison: to subject a sensitive five-year-old boy to this 'tradition' is unacceptable.

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    6. I'm not a hunting fan. I don't eat meat but I know alot of people hunt and many more eat meat. That's fine. But I don't respect Will or Harry's position either (do as I say, not as I do IMO) And I do find it disturbing to see a young child going to his first hunt while carrying a stuffed bunny toy as "security." Where I live, people hunt deer and hunting is probably necessary for control and to avoid having deer over-populate and starve. But 5 year olds aren't taken along on hunts. The usual age is 12 (well past the child car seat and stuffed animal stage)

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    7. Helen, glad you mentioned this.

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    8. Caroline in Montana29 August 2018 at 16:00

      Helen H. - Im curious as to how you know they will not be eating the grouse?? I think children respond as to how you present things, if you cry and are upset then they cry and are upset. Its a bit of hunting, not sure why everyone has to pass moral judgement on them.

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    9. Caroline, I didn't say the grouse would not be eaten, I said the birds of prey would not be eaten - just killed. To further demonstrate my point, within the last couple of days, a gamekeeper on a grouse moor in Yorkshire has been convicted of shooting and killing two Short-eared Owls - a legally protected species. How anyone can kill or condone the killing of such a beautiful bird as a Short-eared Owl is utterly beyond me I'm afraid.

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  11. she looks so regal and tan. but will kate ever be a fulltime royal like diana, i know of course she is a mother first and foremost but so was diana and she managed both. i'm not criticizing but many mothers work too without the help of two nannies and a household staff. kate has more help than most mothers. i love kate and william, it is time for them to take center stage

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    1. I agree with you Donna, and other people have expressed this sentiment and opinion differently. You have expressed it more politely. I also commented not long ago regarding their recent vacation to Mustique, that it seemed like way too much R&R on top of the maternity leave that the Duchess has, where she hasn't been on any official duties and has been technically resting. In other words, I was trying to say that it probably would've been more appropriate to go to Mustique in the winter, like they've done in the past. But my post wasn't posted for some reason, but in any case, a lot of people feel that the Duchess should've resumed duties long ago. This maternity leave has been way too long compared to the others, and all these "breaks" are too much all at once.

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    2. I strongly believe that Kate’s full time job right now should be as a mother. The children deserve a stable home and attentive parents. We all know the stories of lonely or mistreated little royals, going back to Queen Victoria. Diana was as hands-on as the the establishment allowed her. It changed how her sons show compassion in their work. Let’s allow this next generation the same or better chance. We will see Kate for a long time (God willing) as her future role is already defined. By the way , I’m not against Mom’s who have work to support a family; my mother had to work.

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    3. It's important to remember that Catherine's work takes on a deeper approach. She spends considerable time behind the scenes researching, brainstorming, conversing with others and developing new approaches. She is developing a platform versus counting a number of visits. Visit counts only capture one dimension; Catherine has a deeper approach. I find it refreshing that she is not attempting to be a magazine cover. Her intelligent approach to issues is a form of quiet empowerment. Let's also recall that the next center stage is Charles!

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    4. ALL royals do behind the scenes work AND public work.

      The two are not mutually exclusive.

      What new approaches are you talking about?

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    5. In regard to the comparison to Diana, Duchess Kate & Pr8nce William choose to spend far more time with their children that Prince Charles & Diana did. By their own accord, Prince William and Harry chronicle a far more lonely childhood than than the younger royals do - they were raised mainly by nannies, they were sent to boarding school at a young age, they spent some well publicized vacation time with their mum a don dad, but for the most part Charles and Diana lived, ate, entertained, and traveled in a different realm. This is not a criticism against Charles and Diana. I think that some people forget that Charles and Diana were first in line to the throne, and that William and Kate are only second. When, God forbid, Charles becomes King, the William and Kate will step up their role. Until then, there is not need for them to try to put themselves on part with the work load of Charles and his wife.

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    6. When this conversation comes up I think it's important to realize how different cultures view maternity leave. Although, I doubt any view them as "technically resting". But she's way within the norm of maternity leave in the UK.

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    7. Queen of the Sun26 August 2018 at 19:41

      I recently had a conversation with a friend whose kids are of a similar age to George and Charlotte. She too decided to take time off to be a stay at home mom and she found it extremely difficult how people did not consider what she did as a job. A Norland nanny would get paid a fortune to do what she is doing and it would be considered a successful career, but because it is her own kids people treat her like she isn’t working at all. I feel strongly that it is time we consider raising kids to be a respected and fulltime job.

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    8. @Donna @Anonymous: Kate is entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave in the UK. She has only been on leave for about 5 months so far and will likely only take 6 months at the very most. I think it's appalling for strangers to police her maternity leave. Unless one of them is Kate's doctor or midwife they know nothing about Kate or Baby Louis' emotional, mental or physical health or needs especially considering this time around Kate is medically considered advanced maternal age AKA geriatric pregnancy as she was over 35 during her pregnancy. Kate will return to duties when is appropriate for her and her child.

      Kate and William won't take centre stage until they are King and Queen. The Cambridges became full time royals last September but Kate is currently on maternity leave. Diana did fewer engagements when her children were young too, for instance the year William was born she only had 55 engagements. Diana was also Princess of Wales which is much more demanding as we can see from Camilla's workload now.

      Kate only has one nanny. Good for those other women you compare her to but every family and woman is different. Kate is doing what's best for her family and this is sanctioned by the Palace so clearly the Queen is fine with it.

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    9. Susan from Florida and Anonymous (18:47) : I couldn't agree more. The kids need all the attention a mother and a father could give when it is possible. Kate and William have to be logical in their duties (as parent and as patrons) : they won't be taken seriously when visiting and making speeaches at all the organisations concerning the Children they are patron of if they see their own children occasionaly. They have THIS chance, let them enjoy it and the kids as well. The kids will grow emotionally intelligent.

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    10. Of course Kate is entitled to bond with her new baby, though obviously she never did the same amount/quality of work like normal women.

      But if she can leave her baby to watch Wimbledon, and she can spend there hours (her charity visits normally an hour long) than she should go and support royal engagements which allegedly are close to her heart too.

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    11. @Unknown: Yes, I think a lot of these people must be foreign (possibly American as I understand maternity leave is very short over there) because Kate actually takes minimal maternal leave for the UK. Most women working full or part time here take at least 9 - 12 months maternity leave (of course depending on their work package). It's very rare for anyone to take less than 6 months.

      I, too, was amazed by Anonymous describing maternity leave as "technically resting". Really is very sad how little respect some people have for childbirth, post-partum recovery and motherhood in general.

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    12. @anett: Ridiculous comment! So according to you because Kate is on maternity leave she isn't allowed to go anywhere or do anything else besides sit beside her baby breastfeeding and bonding. Mums on maternity leave are allowed to take time away from their children, go places and do things without their kids but they are still on maternity leave. It is not an either or situation!

      What is a normal woman exactly? In our country (the UK) some mothers work a few hours a week and some mothers work seven days a week but they are all entitled to up to 52 weeks (26 weeks Ordinary and 26 weeks Additional is the government standard) maternity leave as they should be. Kate IS a working mother even if she doesn't work as much as you would like and she can and will take her legally entitled maternity leave whether you like it or not! She will do what is healthiest for herself and her baby as a good mother should.

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    13. @Sunny. You clearly didn't understand Anett. You expressed a great dislike for someone who wrote only 4 lines that were polite. She basically stated that if the Duchess was able to go to Wimbledon, then that meant she was well enough to go on a charity visit or a royal engagement. She didn't say anything about that the Duchess shouldn't go anywhere, nor that she should only sit with her baby. Re-read her post. Your post was only helpful in explaining the maternity leave law in the UK. A lot of us don't know that.

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    14. In a recent study by OECD (Organization of Economic Development, comprising 42 countries), the United States came in dead last among countries for maternity leave, since it offers none (it's up to individual employers). Therefore, I expect you'll hear far more people from the U.S. criticizing women who take maternity leave, since it's the norm not to get any or to be unable economically to take more than a few weeks' sick leave. In countries where decent maternity leave is normal, I expect you'll hear less criticism. Among U.S. women whose employers offered them generous maternity leave, I bet you'll hear less criticism of Kate. Is there anybody out there who took a generous maternity leave who now regrets it? If so, why?

      Additionally, you have to factor into this issue a few other issues. One is that Kate and William employ a Norland nanny. Nobody but the family knows how this impacts Kate's being a hands-on mother, but everybody has an opinion anyway. Another issue is that of Kate's perceived work load during her regular working months. She is one of the least-active royals as shown by the numbers, but there's another issue of what the numbers actually show in terms of "work"--another thing that nobody outside the role can actually know about, but everybody again has an opinion. A closely-related issue is that Kate's children are still quite young and she has shown a desire to be a hands-on mother during these years, making her effectively a part-time royal worker. Again, the exact arrangements are beyond the knowledge of any of us on this blog, but again, we all have our opinions and aren't afraid to express them.

      Another issue is that of whether the royal family should continue or whether republicanism should prevail and all royals should become private citizens--one of the complexity of arguments concerns the "work" that they do, and Kate is a leading symbol whether she likes it or not.

      One more issue is that people who have no experience being parents to babies and small children are certain they know what people with babies and small children should do. I was like that myself before becoming a parent. Then my parenting experience was so drastically unlike anybody else's that I had ever known, that nobody's "help" was helpful at all. The only help was in support groups for the few who also were in my same situation.

      My feeling is that our opinions reveal more of what we desire and experience for ourselves than anything about the real Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. We simply do not have enough facts on which to base a solid logical case for anything else.

      But I still want to read ALL your opinions! I get so much enjoyment out of this group, I really do. You've provided me many new ideas, you've changed my thinking, you've given me far more experience than I could have without you.

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    15. Anonymous at 21:50,
      Who said Kate was unwell? Anett said if Kate can go out and have fun, then she can go out and work. It sounds to me like she is saying that Kate should be working on her maternity leave if she can leave her children to have some fun. But I’m not wading into the should she be working or not debate. I’m just saying that’s how I read Anett’s comment and I think that’s how Sunny read it too.

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    16. I don't think any mother, royal or not, should be criticized for making her children a priority.

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    17. Work wise, Diana was the Princess of Wales, married to the first in line to the throne. Kate is in a different position hierarchically so is it expected that she should have a work schedule like Diana did? Regardless, it’s wonderful to see Kate. She looks marvelous.

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    18. Except she was not having fun but working, her Wimbledon visit as a Patron is in the Royal Circular. My question is if she can take the time off to visit this event which lasts up to 3 hours, why not having more charity visits then?

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    19. Hi everyone,

      Here are a few of my thoughts:
      I mean this in the nicest way possible, but Catherine's situation is completely different to any of us regular folk in many ways.

      On the one hand, in Australia for example, I was entitled to 28 weeks at minimum wage from my work plus 18 weeks at minimum wage from the government after having Bub. This meant that obviously my lifestyle had to change, we couldn't afford hired help plus holidays or even be able to go out/ buy as many new clothes etc ect etc as which Kate is fortunate enough to still have access to.

      Whether we like it or not, as well as being a mother, Catherine is essentially a representative of Britain and as such a public servant who gets to live a comparatively luxurious lifestyle. Therefore, in my opinion, her level of work expected should be and is different to a regular worker.
      So I think the debate about being entitled to a year off due to normal people having that available to them is kind of irrelevant (apples to oranges per se). If for example, she had to go "half pay" or not be "paid" at all and not have hired help/ new bespoke clothing etc ect which comes from money earned by the monarchy then maybe that would make sense in my eyes. But I think its understandable that some people are upset at a lack of work, as honestly it does look quite slack for Catherine to be spending the same amount of coin, going on luxury holidays, showing up to crathie Kirk in a new bespoke outfit after not working for the last few months. And with the help of a nanny (?two?).
      But, this time, I think her "maternity leave" has coincided with the traditional royal break in August, so for that period of time she does deserve some benefit of the doubt, just as if for example a normal person was working in a company which was closed over Christmas and new year and their maternity leave was "up" in December. Lucky them for getting an extra bit of break!
      I do think though, that due to past statements and promises being made about the Cambridges becoming full time royals, that Catherine will have to step up her engagements this autumn for sure. Yes we know she is a mother. But so am I and when my child is 9 months old I will also have to step up my work game (granted to put a roof over her head and food on the table etc). But Catherine has that responsibility to the people of the commonwealth. I'm not saying she should have to do as many engagements as the more senior royals (Charles, Camilla), but, after almost 8 years of marriage it is time to step it up a little (in my opinion). Her two older children are at nursery and school, and I'm sure Louis will be fine with Nanny Maria for a few hours a week so that Kate can do some engagements :)

      However on balance with all of this, we also do not know what kind of pressures Catherine is currently under, and as someone said, how her mental and physical health is post baby. And how hard it must be to go back to "work" to be scrutinised by the world so soon after having a baby.

      I hope my thoughts make sense and haven't offended anyone.
      Chrystal

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    20. Royal 👑 Watcher27 August 2018 at 09:23

      We must remember that 'normal' people retire at 65-70 or thereabouts. The British Royals will not retire, if anything, they will ramp up their engagements. So what is the harm in Kate and William enjoying their children's lives whilst they are still little?

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    21. Julia from Leominster27 August 2018 at 14:28

      Royal Watcher, I'm not certain I agree here. I think there is a very real chance that William and Kate will retire in their sixties and will go further at the risk of those brickbats always heading my way to say I believe they should.

      The queen was horrified by abdication. She also has a sense of duty to her nation that is unique. Yet I've seen how abdication has helped bring life back to the Dutch, the Belgium and the Spanish royal families and is about to happen in Japan. In two of those nations, scandal was part of the reason, but even so, it allows people to become monarchs in their prime, and keeps the royal families fresh - not the abode of old men and women as the working British royal family often feels like these days - rather musty- to its cost, even as we want a more modern youthful look to be like a gentle shower, not a hurricane. At this hour, that's where William and Kate must come in.

      I don't think abdication will be a dirty word for William and Kate - I think it quite possible they will embrace it and should - allowing George to become king in his late thirties or forties.

      But with that I think it's important that the royal family be kept fresh by fully active younger members - particularly the heir and his wife. Hopefully, that will leave them ample time to enjoy their young family - considerably more time than the average family will have. But whilst I'm thinking the queen's devotion to duty is unique to her - I would like to see an understanding of William and Kate's responsibility to their nation - and at the moment, a huge question mark seems to hang over that. As Eve and I have noted, and it's a feeling many people have, there is a certain reluctance sensed in William - we don't want future monarchs to seem too eager - but at the same time the self-pity and sense of burden that has come to define Charles (encouraged I personally think by Camilla in her own interests) and the petulance we saw in Edward VIII aren't positive images in an institution that is finding its purpose increasingly questioned.

      Most of us don't lead 'perfect' lives - we have to step up to one thing or another more than we might wish, often very difficult things. Yes, some of that is 'hard'. The same is true for William and Kate - and I don't think it will make them bad parents - any more than most working families are bad parents - to get back to mucking in - providing quite directly, as all working families do, for their children's future.

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    22. @Anet, she chose some events to attend. Because did that, you expect her to have attended other more important events as well. But how many of these? I guess whatever charity she then did not give a visit one could say that if she had the time for charity a, b and c, she should have had time for charity d and e. And before you know it, maternity leave would not have been maternity leave at all.

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    23. I actually hope to see the British Royal Family do the same as the Dutch, Belgium, Spanish, Japanese royal families and choose to abdicate once they reach a certain age and feel they can no longer adequately fulfill their duties. I think it's healthier for the monarchy and the individual and makes coronation much more joyful occasion rather than the the undercurrent of sorrow following a monarch's death.

      Watching King Willem-Alexander's inauguration with (the now) Princess Beatrix proudly and emotionally watching her son and daughter-in-law take on their new roles whilst sitting beside her beloved granddaughters including next in line Princess Catherine-Amalia was beautiful and heartwarming to watch

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    24. Anett- my apologies for misunderstanding what you meant about Wimbledon.

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    25. Caroline in Montana27 August 2018 at 22:57

      he is the heir to the heir, NOT time for them to take center stage.

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    26. Chrystal, I quite agree with you. You read my thoughts!

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    27. Lize

      I based my opinion following this blog from the very beginning, and following Kate'workload for 7 years now. I read too many times here: how leaving the children at home would be bad (just left a 2 month old baby at home for hours, and no hurt done), criticizing a SAH mum is bad (first she married a royal, 2nd I didn't criticize but I asked a nagging question), her focus is the children now etc. I think we, women can focus on more than 1 thing, IF we are willing. No more word from me on this subject I think. And nobody could come up with a proper answer to my question...but a I got a lot of what I should feel and think.

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    28. Well, my goodness Sunny - by that reasoning Charles is already past retirement age and should never take the throne at all. And while there are some reasonable arguments in favor of exactly that, I don’t think we’ll see Charles abdicate, ever. If William and Catherine ever consider retiring, I’d hope they would take into account how George himself feels about it.

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    29. Anon 23

      No worries.

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    30. Julia from Leominster28 August 2018 at 13:13

      Juniper I think my wish at least is to avoid another 'Charles' - which has become almost like a death watch for his mother - which he doesn't want - and who can blame him! Although I have many criticisms of Charles for his personal life decisions - I think he has done a very credible job as the perpetual 'heir'. But I don't think it is the best design for the future - the monarchies were abdication has led to a taking at a younger age have shown the benefits - both for their nations and for their monarchs too - the queen is remarkably healthy but the Belgium and Spanish former kings - quite apart from their scandals are both suffering from frailty and health issues - they could not do all the work.

      I see the Dutch royal family as a very good design now - although one that has suffered more than their share of tragedy. Beatrix seems enormously proud of her family and still has a role and Willem-Alexander and Maxima work very hard for their nation - Maxima was back with duties just a short time after the death of her sister - and they seem to have an excellent relationship with their girls.

      Many think it would be better if Charles abdicated - not just because his marriage made him unpopular but because he is seen as being outdated. I don't think he will and I don't think he should - he is entitled to his time - but as I said, it's not the best design for a strong monarchy and the situation has to be looked at realistically - not by formalities.

      It's worth remembering that devotion to the queen came from a generation that knew her as a young woman ruler - and passed that feeling down to their children and their children's children.

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    31. @Juniper: I didn't say anything about retirement age. I said once they "reach a certain age and feel they can no longer adequately fulfill their duties". Charles is clearly still very capable of fulfilling his duties regardless of his age.

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  12. Zora from Prague26 August 2018 at 17:19

    Thank you for the post, Charlotte! Seeing the pictures and reading about Balmoral was a treat. The countryside is incredible!

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  13. Kate looks great and I think her black hat is new and possible by Jane Taylor and her new coat dress that is new is possible by Catherine Walker.

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    1. I could be corrected, the hat could be the Midnight Navy by Lock & Co that Kate wore in 2016 and the Coat Dress is in grey and white tweed with possible a Midnight Navy piping by Catherine Walker.


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    2. Royal 👑 Watcher28 August 2018 at 03:12

      I always enjoy your well thought through ideas and posts, Julia. I don't think you are at risk of 'brickbats' haha, quite the contrary, you couldn't offend anyone with such brilliance and intelligence when it comes to the written word, I thank you!
      In my children' pre-school days, I was both lucky and excellent at budgeting, and so I was able to stay home with my children until they started school. Mind you, I was involved with playgroup, kinder and church charities, and I took communion to the sick in my parish. I guess that counts as work, even if it was unpaid. It has given my children good work ethics, and at the same time I have had time to be with them, and have plain old fun on the beach, in the snow or playing Monopoly.. nothing fancy. I wish the Cambridges something along the path of as 'normal' lives as possible I guess that is what it is about. It looks like they are creating a balance at the moment. It will be interesting to see what happens!

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    3. Julia from Leominster28 August 2018 at 12:57

      Thanks Royal Watcher - although I'm always prepared for those brickbats!

      My mum worked part of the time but she also was very involved like you in charitable works when she wasn't working - so were other women of her generation - the unpaid work was seen as an important part of their lives and a good influence on their children.

      That's one reason I don't feel expecting an engagement a week from Kate will harm her relationship with her children - I actually think it will enhance it. We learn from what our parents do. I am admittedly not as involved in charitable as you or my mum were but my mother's caring for her community was a powerful influence on me - and I try to help people as she did - in many respects, her kindness to others and the respect others had for her and my dad is as important to me as the happy memories I have of time spent with them. Perhaps the most important thing is my mum never saw that as a burden on her or her family - it was a pleasure and responsibility.

      When you assume a job or position by choice or by marriage - it carries responsibilities and that's what happened with Kate married William - it's just not a position for someone who wants to be a stay-at-home mum full-time although more time will be available to Kate than any working mum. I don't see this as an undue burden - other royal families abroad seem to have very happy, well-adjusted children in spite of parents who are doing a lot more than William and Kate.

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    4. Royal 👑 Watcher28 August 2018 at 15:45

      Thank you Julia,
      I agree that Kate could be doing an engagement most weeks, that would definitely reflect her work ethics with her children. I think you are right in that the Cambridges have quite a busy social life away from the media, one that we know little about. This would take up much of their time, time that perhaps could be spent putting in another appearance somewhere. It would also be nice to see more official photos, the Scandinavian royals are quite ahead here, they seem to go out of their way to provide appropriate shots and birthday photos for instance, then the media leave them alone to do whatever they want. I don't know if the British media are worse than the Scandinavian media, but from what I read, it wasn't until Diana spilled the beans on Charles and Diana that the media got really hungry for more and more. No judgement there, just how it played out was in hindsight the worst possible way of going about it. Sigh. The Scandinavian royal children do seem to be very well adjusted, and there have been scandals and divorces there also. Definitely a different approach though..

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    5. This whole debate about Kate's workload seems to go round in the same circles every few months. I don't want to write an essay but would like to throw in the following observations.
      1. The queen was heir to the throne when she relocated to Malta with her husband. Imagine what would be said about Kate if she got a job in Malta and William went with her?
      2. The queen took substantial time off and cancelled engagements when she was pregnant/after the births of her children and when she was the actual queen. (In my view this was/is fine.)
      3. Wimbledon is an annual event. She couldn't attend as patron when she resumes duties in the autumn. She also attended trooping and the RAF service, both official events during the summer. Should she have given Harry's wedding a miss because she was on maternity leave?
      4. Kate is referred to as a public servant. The only 'contract' she has is her marriage contract. Everything she has is hers as a consequence of her marriage to William. He is the 2nd heir and the one who matters constitutionally speaking. He stands in for the Queen at investitures and they both attend certain 'royal' events: trooping, Remembrance Sunday,garden parties, commemorative church services etc...Aside from that the expectation on her is to provide an heir and she's done that.
      5.It's nice that Kate gives her patronage to certain groups but there is no obligation on her to do x number of visits. Both the Queen and Prince Philip have been patron of organisations and not visited them for years.

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    6. Kate had her "Malta" time - it was called "Wales-Anglesey" Whilst she did some engagements in that period - that time was much longer than the queen's comparatively brief time in Malta. Kate also had a decade with William before she ever married.

      The queen took some time off when pregnant particularly in the earlier pregnancies because it wasn't thought proper for a showing pregnant woman to work. She worked extensively during her pregnancy with Andrew - doing a Canadian tour when she was suffering from severe morning sickness.
      To my mind, the wife of the heir is as much a public servant as her husband - the role carries responsibilities as many spouses roles do - imagine a diplomat's wife saying she won't help her husband host dinners because - her only contract was her marriage contract and she's just there to have babies. I consider the royal family the ultimate in diplomats and those roles always have a place for spouses. Many military spouses have obligations - so do spouses in the private sector - including one named Julia who went to many an event she would have been pleased to skip to support Leo's work, as he did for her.
      If Kate has no obligations, the nation has no obligation to pay any expenses on her behalf - particularly her security and improvements to her home - we shouldn't be paying to provide very lavish accommodations and security to people who don't have a defined role. After all, most wealthy people pay for such things themselves, including monarchs such as the Greek ones who no longer have a nation. Security and provided housing comes with a role.
      As for engagements, the queen would do nothing else if she visited every of her patronages for every year - Kate has only a handful. I have mixed feelings - and would like to see a middle ground - because I know charities and institutions benefit by being able to say they have a royal patron - and the ones that don't and turn to celebrities as patrons instead dilute the need for a royal family.
      I'm sorry if people don't like these discussions and all are free not to read but it is being an ostrich to assume the royals can just do as they please and the institution will hum along happily. I speak here but I don't speak much otherwise because more and more people are questioning the purpose of a monarchy.

      I always praise when there is something to praise and have no trouble with Kate taking time off for the new baby. But really other royal families seem to manage duties and family life without a group of defenders insisting they don't need to do anything.

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    7. Excellent points Julia. I haven't been commenting here for long but have always enjoyed your posts. I admit the British royals aren't like regular working folks so far as work hours go or even like regular wealthy folks so far as the source of wealth goes so I guess one could argue many of the usual comparisons don't apply for Kate (and Will.) I guess. But the argument that Kate (and Will) shouldn't be held to the "work commitment" standard of those higher in royal rank either does seem to lead to the conclusion you stated-- that they really don't need to do anything and that's just fine. And while I'm an American I'd guess you are quite right that approach isn't likely to make the monarchy valued in the UK especially these days.

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  14. I'm sorry but the royals' love of hunting is a "tradition" that maybe needs to end. I'm not talking about hunting if you truly enjoy it (as William and Charles seem to do), but the "tradition" of forcing the kids to actively participate at as young a possible age. Prince George can cotton to this sort of thing ... or he cannot. Just from watching him he seems sensitive and I don't see why at 5 years old he needs to be smeared with blood in this "tradition."

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    1. Completely agree! This would have been a nice place to take a stand but evidently Will and Kate don't mind hinting themselves. I think a child should be allowed to grow up and make his/her own decision.

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    2. meant "hunting," not "hinting" :)

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    3. Who says that Prince George is being forced into hunting? Most young lads like to engage in activites that are of interest to their father and grandfather ..., sports, hunting, what have you. Much like young ladies often follow the lead presented to them by their mother and grandmother. One would hardly think that the young Prince is being forced into sport against his will; surely he is having the time of his life, on holiday with his cherished family.

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    4. Royal 👑 Watcher27 August 2018 at 09:32

      I am sure they eat everything that they kill. I don't see it being any different to having turkey from the supermarket, it was also killed at one point. And if they want their children to enjoy hunting as a royal tradition, it has to start early, so it becomes part of who they are. Besides, as our own children grow, we teach them how to chop something small like an apple or cheese, then cut up some meat, eventually stuff and roast a chicken or fillet a fish and cook it into something delicious. Besides, culling is part of good wildlife/animal husbandry. I think it is a lovely tradition, as long as it leads to a delicious meal where everyone sits down and eat together afterwards!

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    5. I don't know what time the picture was taken but the children could very well be joining the hunting party for lunch, not the actual hunt.

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    6. Not here to defend hunting, everyone is entitled to his own opinion just want to give you my perspective on this thing. I was way under five years old when my granny and mother and aunt "killed" rabbits and chickens at my grandparents farm, it was just the way to do things and the kids understood that.
      I think here hunting is a way to provide meals, in some way, the same way my grandparents did back then,if it does make any sense


      Silvia

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    7. Caroline in Montana29 August 2018 at 16:11

      What if I disagreed with some of your families traditions? should they then have to come to an end??

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    8. Erika, I think you make an excellent point about the children joining the party for lunch!! Being originally from the Midwest, it was our family tradition to go hunting for pheasant around Thanksgiving. Seven years was when it was considered old enough to go on the hunt with the adults. My grandfather taught myself, my two brothers, and many cousins how to shoot, hunt and dress the pheasant, which was part of our Thanksgiving meal. My grandfather was an excellent baker and cook BTW and we were taught to not waste anything, to be thankful, and to share with our neighbors. But before children were old enough to join the hunt, we all would go together and wait in a safe spot by the vehicles with our mothers and other relatives drinking hot cocoa and eating graham crackers in the cold. It's a fond memory of a family tradition. Nobody was forced to hunt, but everybody wanted to be a part of the tradition and gathering. There are parts to every family tradition that are known only to them and special to the individual family. It makes perfect sense that George and his cousin were old enough to join the gathering and in time develop their own interest in the family tradition. cc

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  15. It's great to see Kate. She looks wonderful. Love the pairing of the hat and coat. The coat is nice and cosy for the rotten weather we are having over here and the little addition of some magnificently understated but serious bling with the Queen's Bahrain pearl drop earrings. Hopefully we get to see the coat in full at another time.

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  16. Thank you Queen of the Sun (19:41) for your comment. Not only do people consider that child rearing is not a job (in spite of prices Norland nannies command), to admit that you're a stay at home mother in social situations is often a death knell to the sort of adult conversation stay at home mothers often crave. People turn away and look for someone 'more interesting' to talk to.

    If the norm for Mat Leave in the UK is 52 weeks, perhaps we ought to zip a lip for the duration. From the get go there has been (and likely always will be) grumbling and grousing about Katherine's workload. However, I prefer not to contribute to it.

    SMH

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    1. Most women in the world cannot take off 52 weeks. We probably all agree that is she wants to, it would be great for every woman to be able to do that. Kate comes from a currently wealthy family and has married a prince. She can do things most women can't. She has gorgeous clothes, stunning jewelry, the best food and accommodations, the ability to travel and meet leaders in all areas of life, and the freedom to choose any hobbies. I don't hold it against her---it comes with the territory of her situation. It is silly to expect her to not enjoy the situation. :)

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    2. What a wonderful holiday in Scotland. Glad to see so many were up visiting and how fun for the kids to have so many of the cousins to play with. Kate looks wonderful. Love the suit and her hair and hat look great.

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    3. First of all, amongst the young mother's I know - 52 weeks is a dream, not a reality - six to nine months is far more the norm - and we are talking about mums who have to go back to full-time work, who have little freedom over their schedules when they do work, and must handle, hopefully along with their hubbies, errands and housework.
      For this reason, I've never liked to use maternity leave with regards to Kate because her position is so very different.

      The times feel very different too. When I was young, even though most of us including young mothers were working, there was still tremendous interest in the royal family - Today the young mums I know don't feel a connection to Kate - they may have watched the wedding - although not the most recent one - but they see her as privileged and out-of-touch, constantly on holiday, such as the too well-publicised holiday in Mustique and summer months off - an unbelievable dream to most.
      There's always a sense the royals aren't quite in tune with the times, and as I'm certain everyone knows, the times are very difficult right now - austerity, Brexit and the questions it raises, an unsteady government and so many other things. In such times the royals are looked to as rocks of traditional values - to those who look at all.
      So whilst being good parents may have been at issue for past monarchs - I have no question William and Kate are good parents. What's most important for them is showing the relevancy of the monarchy especially to a middle generation and demonstrating a powerful sense of duty and work ethic to their children - because for the monarchy to succeed, George is going to have to work very, very hard against questions his great-grandparents never faced. What good is it to have a perfect present if there is considerable doubt about the future. So yes, Kate needs to get back very soon - ironically - since Harry's marriage this is more important for her - not less. I will only mention Janet Street-Porter's recent column. Street-Porter isn't wildly popular with many, including me, but she struck a chord here of dissatisfaction with the young royals - it's worth reading, because I think it captures a sense of how things are being perceived - favourable comments were massive - and for her that is rare.
      As someone who has watched royal fortunes rise and fall for decades, I've often called myself Cassandra for seeing things I sometimes suspect the young royals may be insulated from. Brexit and even the Scottish referendum - unsuccessful as it was, at least for the moment - have given the public a sense of power unheard of in the past - that if they don't feel something is of value - they have control of it. Whilst I don't think the family is in true danger, it's not a time to ignore warnings either - the royal family has often left things too late until the situation is desperate. Far better now, with the queen still alive, to build a good solid reputation for work. William and Kate don't have that - because they took time off in the past - and many people, myself included, don't see them working into their nineties - personally, I don't think they should - by the time George is forty - it would be nice for him to be able to take the throne - if there is one - at a reasonable age.
      =My sense is the European royal families are doing better right now - involving their children more, allowing more family photos, not quick car snaps to be out there. For any of these royals, I suspect there is more free time than any of us will ever enjoy - but they are doing better at balancing perceptions.

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    4. Eve from Germany27 August 2018 at 07:37

      I haven´t commented for a long time, but felt very muched "moved to do so" by your comment, Julia! I agree very much with what you say here!!
      The trouble is, with the Danish & Swedish "young" royals - just to name an example - I get the feeling that they are "in it", that they´ve embraced their position&duty and raise their children accordingly. I know, they are the DIRECT heirs to the throne, not the SECOND in line, but the problem is: they are all seen as the current "next generation", because of their age. Charles is "old news" because of his age (literally).
      The Swedish & Danish royals seem to embrace their particular roles AND the work that it entails - whereas William in particular still seems to be somehow reluctant. I don´t think he would CARE if the monarchy was abolished BEFORE he actually became Prince of Wales, let alone King. The impression he gives is much more: I hope it´ll be done with before & I can lead my quiet rich upper class country life in peace. If that´s his mindset, no critique - no matter how justified - will change him & his behaviour. Because all criticism will only help if he wants the monarchy to survive and would feel threatened if it was threatened.
      I was aghast to see young Charlotte talk to the photographers at Prince Louis´s christening like she did. A young child doesn´t talk like that unless she´s hearing that kind of thing frequently at home. A young child would rather say "Oh, come over with us! We´ve got lovely cake coming! What? You are not invited? Mum/Dad, why are they not invited?" I get that the press are a nuisance, but instilling such dislike in children is not the way to go for a future monarch raising his children to be royals...
      To cut a long story short: I don´t think that William is interested in helping the monarchy to survive, let alone to thrive. He´s doing the minimum of what he has to do and if that´s the undoing of the monarchy, so be it, he would be relieved. That´s the strong impression I get & it´s incredibly sad. It´s an incredible opportunity to do good in the world & it´s wasted.

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    5. I so much agree with your comment. In my opinion we absolutely can not compare Catherine and other young mothers in Britain or anywhere else in the world for that matter. She enjoys different range of tools that are simply unimaginable to others - but don’t get me wrong we shouldn’t hold that against her (please don’t comment that she hires just one nanny). But, as Julia mentioned, current climate and people’s opinions changed a lot.

      With Catherine position so high I think we can admit she can do so much more good around, bring attention to charities etc and still be a hands on mother. Even though William is third in line to the throne, I definitely feel the time for a change has come. Prince Charles is also 70(!) and I think people are waiting to see younger generation of royals take the lead, to see change of attitude. Prince Harry to some degree fulfills that, but William and Catherine, as future King and Queen don’t. It is really like Julia mentioning, more and more people are already questioning the existence of monarchy.

      Kate has been in the spotlight for way over a decade now and well seems to be a fully established royal. I really hope we will see her defining her role in public life in the next year.

      Also, I’m a big fan of both Kate and Charlottes blog - been following since the Royal Wedding. Cheers!

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    6. Julia from Leominster27 August 2018 at 14:40

      Eve, I too was disturbed by that little comment of Charlotte's - not because of her, she's a tiny child but because her parents didn't respond to it - and indeed it almost seemed as if William embraced it as if he thought it cute - which it was not.

      Any toddler can come out with things but let's just hope it doesn't continue as she gets older. Princess Anne had a reputation for that when she was young, now she's older she has been able to overcome that - but her work is also ignored by the press!

      Of late, I seem to be on the barricades for promoting good manners and for believing, far from being stuffy - good manners at their best, offer a graciousness and a respect for tradition that can be a solace in today's ill-mannered world. I'm not at home but am recalling a quote by the American humanist Lionel Trilling, about the role of manners in Jane Austen - how she was sometimes seen as trivial for her emphasis on the importance of manners (and how haughtiness doesn't equate to good manners) but that manners in fact capture the essence of a society or a nation - the little things on the surface stand for far deeper values underneath.

      This probably makes little sense - so I will leave off - having that great important thing of good manners to do - write a note of thanks to some very gracious hosts.

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    7. I think that we need to draw the line at criticizing the spontaneous comments of a three year old. It is shameful to judge and criticize her - she is a child!

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    8. This is based on nothing but intuition but it seems as if William's idea of being a good parent is shielding and isolating his kids. A natural reaction perhaps due to his fishbowl childhood but sheltering their kids to such an extreme extent to the point where Charlotte feels okay saying essentially "get off my lawn" will only expose them to a world of hurt later on when they do need to step into public roles.

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    9. Caroline in Montana27 August 2018 at 22:51

      Ivy Lin, I must say that in order for Charlotte to feel ok saying to a stranger "get off my lawn" indicates how NOT sheltered she is. If she were that sheltered she would not utter a peep and be hiding behind her mothers skirts.

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    10. Eve, I think you said it exactly right. Often times, that is the sense I get from William. I could be 100% wrong, though.

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    11. Clearly, I am looking at a different man when I see William representing the Queen. I see a young man who is taking his role seriously. (The Queen can look quite stern and no one has ever suggested that it reflects her feelings about her role.) And when we see William talking to people his appears to be kind and sincere.

      Regarding Charlotte, oh my goodness. She's a cheeky little girl and if she was being raised to hate the press, I doubt very much that she would do as much smiling and waving.

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    12. I agree with the sentiment: it is indeed a peep, what a little girl already heard about the press at home, behind the scenes.

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    13. Eve,I don't get the feeling William is a "reluctant royal". Not at all. He seems to be a responsible dependable and active man, with a serious mind but a sense of humour. I always felt he was ready to carry his duties and was frustrated when he left the RAF not to be allowed to do more. Thus the ambulance work that was so criticised but shows IMO that he wanted to do more than wait his life long for a job he might never have like it is happening to his father. You are right that he doesn't seem to like the intrusion of press. That doesn't mean he doesn't want to be King because of it. He has said he admires the Queen for managing to keep her private life separate from her public one. In any case, there has been a clear shift in past year or two. Right now he is doing a lot and seems happy to do so, I don't think it is fair to call him reluctant any more.

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  17. It’s always nice to have a Kate sighting. She looks very regal, but it’s a very “mature” look. She still looks beautiful, as always. I am very disturbed by hunting and the fact that the kids are taken, but I know that many people don’t feel the same way as I do.

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    1. I was disturbed and surprised too,, its almost as if it's assumed George would be okay with it, rather than let him grow up and form his own opinions. Apart from that, Kate looked lovely and regal for church and it was nice to view a Kate sighting :-)
      XOXO Siddhii

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  18. Fascinating grousing about both Kate’s maternity leave and the grouse themselves. I support whatever decision a woman makes in how to raise her family. I only wish that many more moms had the wide range of options available to Kate, especially those of us in the US!

    Child rearing is not a job, and it doesn’t benefit anyone (including stay at home moms) to pretend it is analogous to one. It takes as much effort as one, and it can be a profession for some, but it is absurd to pretend that a mom who stays at home with her kids is completing her “job.” It’s her human right (and her partner’s) to raise her children. We should treat it like it is. It is diminished by people who treat it like something else.

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  19. She looks wonderful! Excited for the autumn.

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  20. It was lovely to see Kate! She looks very tanned, she must do a lot of sunbathing (to be honest I only properly noticed the sunspots on her chest at Louis' christening for the first time and was quite shocked - please be careful of the sun Kate!)

    I think it's interesting that she wore these earrings to what is essentially a private event. A lot of people have commented that she looks regal. I am curious to know whether other people think this has been a recent conscious effort on her part in terms of clothing and jewellery? It seems so to me, since this year's Trooping (okay there's only been like three official events besides Wimbledon since then but even so?)

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  21. Blood sports, they are a royal tradition. Shooting was part of Leo's family, my family was very comfortable with country sports and I love grouse, so have no comment - except I believe the queen is wrong to banish young children from church. Church attendance is dying away -and not allowing children - and showing a few adults in cars, is not wise. If children are old enough for shoots, they are old enough for church.

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    1. I so agree with your last statement, Julia. People almost never want to go to church if they are not exposed to it early, and even then, it's one of the hardest things to learn to do, to sit quietly still for an hour or more, without recourse to an electronic device.

      This is a part of your larger argument (above) about what the royals should be doing to stay relevant. It's a lot harder to argue that the church element is relevant at all to today's world, and yet, the monarch is the head and should be seen to support it. That doesn't start the day of the coronation.

      As for shooting grouse, I expect that they were on the menu that day or the following, don't you?

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    2. Julia, I agree with you about children attending church. There is a huge difference between the BRF and European royals who appear to include children from a relatively young age (AND, quite often with the grandparents (King or Queen) taking charge of their grandchildren).

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    3. Kate looks regal and elegant. And I would trade my heat and humidity for Balmoral weather in a heartbeat!

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    4. Completely agreed with the point made on not allowing children in the church. Really? Hard to believe. I wouldn’t take it for my children. Regardless of ‘tradition’. How can you take a five years old to grouse shooting but not to church?

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    5. I agree with everyone who is pro taking a five year old to church, especially if the service is less than an hour. Younger than that, I'm not so sure unless the service is geared to little ones and there is a separation in the church for those with families, those not. Babies crying and noisy toys take away from a sermon. I like some of our Anglican traditions in Canada where children stay with the parents for the first 15 minutes of the service and then they go to nursery.

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    6. Is anyone reading this blog Church of England? It is tradition/custom for the children to attend a service separate from adults/parents - why is everybody making such a big deal about this? Please stop being so judgemental and criticizing the customs of others; it is a shame in this day and age to see so many ignorant people, completely lacking in tolerance.



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    7. Caroline in Montana27 August 2018 at 22:49

      I am curious where it was written that the Queen has banished children from church? isn't this a personal decision of the children's parents? some children can not sit for a whole church service.

      I find the judging of children at church/not church - frankly you don't know where they are, a subject beneath us.

      Marci, I was subjected to church twice a week since the age of 5, I no longer go to church so I cant really buy into your theory that unless started young you just wont go. more than 1/2 the people I grew up with don't go either.

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    8. Caroline, I don’t know if it has ever been publicly addressed as the Queen’s wishes. I can just see that two generations of kids (William/Harry/Zara) and now their kids were not seen in church (when the Queen was in attendance) until they were like 7/8. If it was just one kid/family, it would probably just be dismissed as their parent preference but since it’s everyone, it makes you wonder.

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    9. I so agree with you Julia, I was banished at church a couple of months ago by an old lady because I took my children with us and they were not always silent but if we don't teach them if we don't give them our faith in their young years then all will be lost imo.
      No of offense to the Queen of course, just my two cents


      Silvia

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  22. Lovely sighting. Hope we get a glimpse of the full outfit someday in the future!

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  23. Wyes, it does seem a shame that taking the children do it attend mass with their parents. However, perhaps the children go to a different “children’s mass/service” with their nannies or/ young cousins - that is a tradition in many churches/families.

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    1. Oops, the above should read “ It does seem a shame that the children are not seen attending mass with their parents” - auto-correct has gone mad!

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  24. Life is short and goes so fast. My children are 20, 17 and 13. They grow up so fast. I stayed at home when they were young and I’m so glad I did and could. Please people don’t begrudge Catherine this time with her baby they grow up so quick.

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  25. Wow! That is a lot of leave considering the US gives six to eight weeks, ten or more if you want to not be paid.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden27 August 2018 at 12:03

      Yeah, the US is probably the developed country with the worst parental leave laws, and as a Swede it always shocks me!

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    2. It depends on the employer. Mine is relatively generous with maternity leave. I got 12 weeks paid, and additional few weeks at partial pay (still not enough, of course!).

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden27 August 2018 at 20:54

      Yes, of course Pam :) That is why I said laws :)

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    4. You got six to eight weeks? I got zero. Perhaps things have changed a bit since that was 20+ years ago.

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    5. Sadly Rebecca is right about USA and maternity leave! The disparity between countries is large enough to make it difficult to make comparisons. It really becomes an individual decision based on employer and personal circumstances.

      https://money.cnn.com/2018/01/19/news/economy/countries-most-maternity-leave/index.html

      In this article: "The least generous member of the OECD, a group of industrialized nations, is the United States, which does not guarantee women any paid maternity leave. It's down to individual employers to decide how much to offer." cc

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  26. I think Kate looks good. I can see where people think Kate looks a bit somber but she almost always wears neutral darker colors to church-forest green, brown, burgundy, so grey isn’t out of line.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Julia-kids should be allowed - and welcomed into church. Perhaps not Louis, but for sure George and Charlotte. Especially on special occasions. Assuming nothing changes, George will be the head of the church someday and how does one learn to love or at the very least respect the traditions and faith, if he’s not attending/welcomed to attend? Maybe they go regularly at home and it’s just kept on the downlow, I don’t know.

    Regarding the hot debate about Kate’s maternity leave....I just watched the two part ABC Special on the Royals. It’s (obviously) very favorable towards the group as a whole. And I was thinking, if the biggest issue/scandal of this generation is that Kate is more of a stay at home mom verses a full time working royal, that’s not at all the worst thing in the world. The 90’s were a rough time for the BRF, and they came through that, so Kate’s work habits will most likely not be the downfall of the monarchy.

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    1. Katie -who is saying that the children are nott allowed in the church? As with services on all of the Queen’s estates, the children attend a different service than their parents; it is the way things have been done for hundreds of years and will continue to be done so because the system works beautifully. I wonder how many people complaining and judging the Cambridge’s for not taking their children to mass with them actually attend church themselves or have ever taken their children. Judge not lest thee be judged!

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    2. Anon 00:38 for the record, I do go to church every week. That’s not better or worse than anyone, but if you want to question, there’s my answer. Regarding the Queen, I referenced in the comment above mine. No idea if it comes from the Queen as a spoken rule or it’s just unspoken, but I think in the last two generations, no kids in the fam under about 7/8 have attended church with the Queen. Sunday school or not, it doesn’t seem to be something that is encouraged.

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  27. lovely to see that the Cambridges are spending time with the Queen. I'm chuckling at the comments about taking a young child hunting, there are photos of me with my grandfather when he went wild turkey hunting, I don't remember the first occasion but the photo looks like I was about 2 years old. I don't consider myself emotionally damaged, being taught that meat comes from living animals isn't a bad thing to learn. I'm sure that grouse aren't endangered. As far as the maternity leave thing, I don't have children myself but I am stunned to learn that women in the UK have six months to a year of maternity leave. That's incredible, I know women here in the US who work up till just a day or two before the birth and are back to work within a month to six weeks after the baby is born.

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  28. It is an incredibly cruel tradition but I don’t see the British royals being anywhere close to having a sensible attitude. Many archaic habits have no place in today’s society. One of the reasons monarchy is getting many young people to consider them ‘out of touch’, despite their adjustments in other areas. Terrible thing to get a five year old to see.

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    1. Julia from Leominster27 August 2018 at 14:02

      I just didn't comment on OSS today because she is reporting on the Danish royal family's visit to the Faroes - charming photos of the whole family in traditional dress - the sort of thing I would like to hold up to William and Kate as an example of a family comfortable with themselves and with press attention - and am not making this remark with any criticism of the Danish royal family - yet it seems just a week since I was looking at photos of the bloody slaughter of whales in the Faroes.

      Of course, the Danish royal family aren't part of that and it is an aboriginal tradition there and I believe the meat is used for food and in other industries - yet the photos of these highly intelligent mammals being slaughtered sickened me and the Danish royal visit following so close on that - with such an embrace of the Farese culture somehow made me feel uncomfortable.

      Yet, I'm all right with the shooting at Balmoral - even though I'm aware that birds are probably shot in numbers that would make me uneasy (although hopefully all used for food by someone) - and I base part of my acceptance on the need to support the traditions of a beleaguered countryside and like Arizona Girl, it's been part of my life and seems very natural - more of that 'tradition' I like to see the royal family upholding against our fast-paced modern world - similar to my comments on manners and norms and the uniqueness of being royal as opposed to being a celebrity I've made elsewhere

      I'm nothing if not inconsistent - and William with his strong activism against poaching at least in Africa comes off as inconsistent too - because the line between sport, necessary game management, economic necessity (as the countryside would see shooting and grouse moors and quite rightly so) traditions, and our horror at subjects like poaching and whaling is so blurry.

      The economics behind poaching are terrible - the poachers themselves desperately poor, yet huge sums being made by those above - and the deaths seeming pointless to support industries in the East most of us feel are completely wrong-headed. Yet, although we all desperately want to see endangered animals preserved but it can also sound just a little patronising when William talks about wanting to be able to show his children the animals.

      I'm not saying this making any real point because I'm not certain I have a point except that I find my feelings in a bit of a muddle.

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    2. As you said yourself, Julia, your thoughts on this are somewhat inconsistent. I think generally, more people would object to the slaughtering of whales than the shooting of birds because whales are considered more fascinating & beautiful animals. But I suspect that for the people of those islands, slaughtering whales is just as normal as shooting grouse is to you and the BRF. The big difference to me is that the Danish royals did not actively participate in the slaughtering of those whales, nor did they sanction it in any way.
      William does himself no favors, as long as he goes hunting for animals, no matter which kind, his activism cannot be taken seriously. It's a matter of 'do as I say, not as I do' and of presumption - going off to other countries preaching on what they cannot do, then hunting back home (where the animals that he hunts may not be endangered but it still makes him look ridiculous). This is an issue with Charles too, who is always preaching about the environment (an important issue indeed) but then his environmental footprint is 1000 times bigger than the average citizen's. Who is supposed to listen to people who don't practice what they preach and why should anyone?

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    3. I am certain that hunting for grouse which was probably consumed that night at dinner is not even in the same category as the senseless killing of endangered animals.

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    4. Couldn't be consumed that night (hanging, prep needed) And my bet is they weren't ever consumed by the shooters themselves. That's what makes Will and Harry's positions a bit hypocritical IMO.

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  29. It was lovely seeing Kate accompanying the Queen to church and William with them in the front seat. I thought Kate looked very smart and I liked the coat though it did look a little Autumnal and made Kate look rather older than she is however the weather was colder than it should normally be for this time of year. As usual the Queen looked lovely. It was also lovely seeing so many other members of the royal family present and I would imagine the younger members had a wonderful time and G & C will have enjoyed playing with their cousins it may well have been the first time W & K will have seen Zara since the birth of her new baby.
    Like others I do think Kate needs to get back to work as soon as possible. Over the last few weeks she has enjoyed a long uninterrupted maternity break due partially to the normal royal family break in August and she has a great deal of catching up to do to improve the perception that a great many people have that she is workshy. What work she does do is good and I feel she has so much potential and it is sad she doesn't do more.

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    1. Caroline in Montana29 August 2018 at 16:22

      work shy?? she just had 3 babies in 6 years. cant we just give her a break. Sad how jealous folks are over her maternity leave, and no she does not have to "catch up" this is not a race. its their lives, there is a bigger picture here, not instant gratification of the press. personally, all these comments are, or should be, beneath us.

      and not you Lizzie K, but anyone else notice the same people stirring the pot Every Time and turning nice things, like church with the queen, into a work/stay at home mom debate?? its terrible.

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  30. Isn't it wonderful that the world is so diverse. We are from so many different backgrounds as regards financial status, class, ethnicity etc. Julie, in my neck of the woods many of the young mums watched the recent wedding. Some because they were enthralled by Meghan joining the Royal family, others because they they were enchanted by what they perceived to be a love story, yet others because they wanted to see The Gown. I can recall a lot of viewing parties in our little town. Diversity. A wonderful thing.

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    1. I don't want to be on the 'wrong side of the fence' on this blog - my own reasons why I didn't watch were personal to me and were admittedly fusty-crusty-musty - I have views on what divorced brides should wear and knew that wouldn't happen. Enough of that...

      But the apathy I felt amongst a younger generation in a diverse community is something that belongs on both sides of this blog and which I can't quite explain, and can't quite put down to the competing interest of a match. The interest simply wasn't there in the way I would expect, even with those who aren't openly republican.

      I tend to put it down to royals behaving too much like celebrities - who are seen as disposable - follow them or not as you wish - but I'm thinking my own feelings are slipping in again. What I do feel I can say with more confidence is that the purpose of having a royal family seems to be getting lost in the eyes of the young - there isn't the connection that the older generation had and a lot of that comes from not seeing the younger royals out there working hard - not just at frothy engagements but good solid work. I don't know if that is enough - but I do know that it is going to be harder than ever to keep a balance between disgruntled older royalists and even those who someone once described here - as 'those who let royals run in the background' - I may be paraphrasing. Both these groups tend to be traditionalists and a balance has to be kept between tradition and the expectations of the younger set. Losing one before certainty of picking up the next isn't good. For me, this means every single royal is going to need to play their individual part - William and Kate's more traditional roles balance the more modern - to some of us jarring - ways of Harry and Meghan and both balance the fustiness of Charles and Camilla and the older generation. It's like a puzzle where all the pieces are needed in place to create a picture. I hope this makes some sense.

      I should add that by younger I'm thinking of people I know - young families and working people in their late twenties through forties - not the young uni students - I'm not quite certain where their feelings lie except up until quite recently their strongest enthusiasm seemed to be for a man who is a noted republican - but that is so much in flux right now that I hardly know what to think or perhaps better to say, what they might be thinking.

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    2. "" For me, this means every single royal is going to need to play their individual part - William and Kate's more traditional roles balance the more modern - to some of us jarring - ways of Harry and Meghan and both balance the fustiness of Charles and Camilla and the older generation. It's like a puzzle where all the pieces are needed in place to create a picture. I hope this makes some sense. ""

      It makes perfect sense Julia, I agree with you


      Silvia

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  31. Silvia from Tuscany27 August 2018 at 14:16

    I don't understand why Kate should be criticized if she decides to take her entire maternity leave to raise her children. I did it myself for all my three children and I consider these periodos as the happiest in my life. Many mothers decides not to, and it's ok as well. It's a matter of mentality. Many prefere work, others time spent with their children that grows up so quickly. Of course taking the entire time means economical sacrifice, not for Kate, but for normal people, but again, it's a choise and choises are not priceless.

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    1. Silvia, I agree with you, but I think some people (Brits mostly, I assume) object to Kate taking a long maternity leave because they feel she should be earning her keep, so to speak, since they help foot the bill. I know that being American I don't have the same perspective, but I don't believe that spouses of those born into the Royal Family should have to do as much work as those who are born into it. I believe that Kate should be able to do as she pleases whether or not she had children to take care of. If they didn't have children and she chose not to take on any Royal duties, and just live a life of leisure, I feel that should be her privilege to choose.

      I just had this discussion with my sister. She chose not to work while she raised her kids because she felt that would make her a better mother. I chose to work after a few years of not working, because I was happier getting out of the house and doing some non-related kid things (also because we needed the extra income), but after awhile I realized I was a happier and better mother than I was before I started working outside the home. Every mother is different, there's no right or wrong and every mother, Kate included, should be able to make the choice to do what they feel is right for them, for their family and what they feel will make themselves and their families happier.

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  32. Kate looks positively gorgeous. The more mature she gets, the more her classic beauty shines through.

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    1. I completely agree Tedi! cc

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  33. The Queen looks fabulous, as always. Kate looks as she always does very put together. Unfortunately, for me I look at the photos as a planned photo op. I found Kate to be overly made up for Sunday Services. The earring which would normally be a night time event style for me were out of place. Kate's makeup has gone back to unnecessarily heavy especially in the day time. The attire we had a small view of appeared to be well planned out. Its unfortunate they refuse to look like the many families we all view at summer Sunday Services dressed appropriately without trying so hard. Sophie, looks wonderful, very much herself. The habit of leaving the children behind is truly unacceptable and sends a bad message especially coming from the Head of the Church of England!

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  34. So sorry to have got your name wrong. It is Julia not Julie. I was replying to your comment: 26 August, 23.11 pm.

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    1. Not a problem - as long as I know you mean me.

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  35. Great seeing Kate and Zara in the car pictures with George (plus his adorable bunny) and Savannah. William has always been super close to Zara so he must be thrilled Zara and Kate bonded so well beginning from the girlfriend days into the present. The Cambridges appear to be very close to the Tindall and Phillip families. Kate also gets along very well with Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy. Princess Anne is my favourite of QEII's children so it makes me happy Kate has a good relationship with her.

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  36. I always find popping in here and reading the comments uplifting,but,of late the criticism around Kate's maternity leave have clouded the waters a little for me. I wonder what those who call into question Kate's leave would have her doing ? Louis will only be six months in October, and that is when her maternity leave comes to an end. To have her leave her young baby and her children before that time makes no sense at all. William and Kate will have a lifetime of service and duty ahead of them, firstly as the Prince and Princess of Wales and then as King and Queen. So if they choose to make the most of this precious time, and lead a normal as life as possible whilst their children are still young enough not to realise the calling that faces them, then what harm can that be causing anyone. I think Kate will make a wonderful Queen one day, but for now, her duty should be to her family, and giving them the love and support they need to face the job ahead in the years to come. So let's cut her a little slack, and realise that 6 months in comparison to the years of service she'll be giving is a small ask.

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    1. Well said. I did not work when my children were young, they came first. In my view, much as I miss her, Kate has her priorities completely right. She has years of royal duties ahead of her and this time as a mother is precious- I hope she enjoys it it and makes the most of every moment

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    2. Yes! Duchess Kate is the wife of a grandson of the Queen. To comparison her to Diana and expect her to carry out duties like the Princess of Wales, a station above her and a position already held by Duchess Camilla is absurd!
      D

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    3. Julia from Leominster28 August 2018 at 12:38

      Often I think we run on parallel thoughts here - it's a technicality to stand by position - to survive you need to look at what people who aren't as keen royal followers are thinking. There is very little interest in Charles and Camilla amongst the young. No firm that is that rigid is going to fare well - you have to look to the market. As I have said many times, anytime Kate works, she is working for George's future - anytime she and William are perceived as not carrying their share of work, they are harming it. If they, as not-so-young royals are seen as not carrying their weight it will harm the institution no matter how much Charles and Camilla do - in fact that people the age of pensioners are seen as doing more is actually harmful because people are expected to work their hardest in the prime of life.

      Perhaps George won't care - people often get their work ethic from their parents - but should he care - a well-supported institution will be better for him than a shaky one.

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    4. The BRF has withstood many a crisis, and has still managed to stay popular with all ages, both here in the UK, and across the globe. I doubt Kate taking six months off, to nurse her new born will be the downfall of the BRF ! In fact,it would not come as a great surprise if those behind the scenes,are taking this time,to forge a way forward for H&M. A time will come when all four of them(W&K H&M) will take centre stage with their various works and causes, as well as promoting the UK abroad,and they will be an image of positivity for BRF. So until a time comes,when there appears to be a whiff of dissension, we should just allow Kate to enjoy this time ! Best history remembers her as a loving mother and steady hand to both future kings, than the alternative !

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    5. I agree with you Anon 16:31. The people who comment on this blog who are critical of Catherine are always critical, any compliment is begrudgingly given. William and Catherine are stepping up their service but they are not the next in line for the reign. And since the Queen doesn't seem to have a problem with voicing her opinion, if she wanted them to do more, then I am sure she would be letting them know.

      I also believe that a lot more work goes on behind the scenes that we are aware of regarding Catherine's involvement with her patronages. And since none of us are flies on the wall to hear every conversation and/or laying about comments that are so often tossed about ... none of us can say for sure that someone is being lazy or not wanting to work.

      It gets tiring to come on this blog and constantly read criticism in the comments. It seems to me that if someone dislikes Catherine's work ethic / fashion sense that much, then it would be much easier on their blood pressure to not read the blog at all!

      Charlotte does such a great job with the snip its of history related to locations or an event, I enjoy that as much as readying about Catherine's participation in a patron or personal event.

      Border Terrier lover :-)

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    6. I agree Kate is not the Princess of Wales and should not be expected to do engagements 5 days a week. I think questioning kate’s Work ethic would be more relavent if hasn’t changed 5-10 years from now.

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    7. Annette New Zealand29 August 2018 at 02:55

      And remember when the present Queen was first married she went to Malta for quite lengthy periods without her two young children and wasn't involved in many royal duties until her father's health deteriorated. It is only in more recent years that people have started to scrutinise their programmes and complain about their long holidays.

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    8. I agree with 15.00, Border Collie lover and Iloveelephants. And may I just add that it's no accident that Kate's experience is very different from Diana's (a key factor that is missed when her daughter in law is criticized). Unlike Diana, Kate has a husband who is loving and supportive and is determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. It boggles my mind that William is not respected for this, nor do people consider that the Queen is the boss and has the last word. William is a good future king; modern day society is so obsessed with defining everything in terms of numbers at the expense of the big picture. A man with a set and parents who are invested in actually raising their children should be applauded. Goodness knows the world would be a better place with family values being higher on the list.

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    9. I strongly believe that William and Kate's time is now. In 15 years time they will be in their 50ies - and will have long since ceased to be spokespersons for the young. Take it from someone who's already there; I can relate to young people's experiences (most of the time, anyway), but they cannot relate to mine. I'm not a young parent anymore. W&K are not that young anymore either, and Heads Together and Place2Be are first and foremost young people's arena.

      Good work ethic is not only about paid work, but it is a trait that needs to be honed while young. No one minds Kate's leave. But as Anon 15:52 says; hers a life of service.
      Personally, I would worry more if no one was critical, and that's probably when Charlotte will worry too ;-). That's when we no longer care - not about the exclusive clothes and the fancy jewelry - but about the persons and the institution.

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    10. 12.21, in 15+ years, George, Charlotte and Louis will represent the younger generation of royals. Charles has been the POW since 1969; I don't recall any period of his life being referred to as a "now or never" proposition.

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    11. Wonderful comments. 😃

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    12. Annette, While still a princess Elizabeth made 4 trips to Malta to visit Philip between 1949 and 1951. The total time spent there for these 4 visits combined was a few days over 6 months. One of the visits was for 23 days, another for 34. (One so often sees inaccurate reports that she spent nearly two years there without her children I did want to post.) Now that supersonic air travel is routine, those visits to Malta might be considered "lengthy" but travel was quite different then, even for royals. Travel was slower, sometimes less comfortable, and because it was slower, usually more tiring, especially for children. The princess was the direct heir so she and her son likely would not have been permitted to travel together (that rule didn't change until Diana forced the issue re: infant Will when she and Charles did their tour of Australia/NZ.) So I just don't know how relevant the comparison is. If Charles as an infant/later as a toddler and Anne as an infant had been taken along to Malta and something had happened (illness, accident), Elizabeth wouldn't have been viewed as a "caring mother" then either!

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    13. Caroline in Montana29 August 2018 at 16:32

      very well said! I also get tired of the constant belittling and criticism by the same people, (now even George will have a poor work ethic, since he gets that from his parents?? just flabbergasted to judge a child like that!!) I come here for her life and fashion, NOT to judge her or her children or family. I feel we should just stop feeding the trolls, we all know who they are. love your blog charlotte but sometimes I cant take the comments from those who are constantly negative.

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    14. Couldn#t agree more!

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  37. Perhaps this is a good time to give a huge thanks to Charlotte who so well balances the great pleasures of royal following with the Style Kate feature and at the same time, unlike some blogs, doesn't shy away from allowing us to discuss important royal matters in a way respectful to each other and to the royals. For me at least, being able to discuss these issues even though we may not agree, and even though we may not have answers, is ultimately helpful. Whilst I don't think royals do or should follow blogs directly - although Kate might like to look at those fabulous gowns - the feelings expressed in blogs are hopefully noted by royal aides who need to take the measure of public reaction. To me, this is vitally important - where royal families have run aground is not having a clear perception of public mood.

    On the positive side of styling Kate - I was so hugely impressed. I've always been dazzled but which each successive Style Kate, I feel there is a growing depth of knowledge about the purpose of royal style - not just beautiful gowns but gowns and jewels that represent things - in this case many that give tribute to the coming visitors by choices that represent colours, industries (the important floral industry in the Netherlands) history and heritage of the visiting nation, and recognition of their designers - as well as choices that represent the commonwealth and many other things. All the choices were wonderfully inventive in their individual ways - it was such a delight.

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  38. As long as I'm being grumpy, why not some posed photos in Scotland at least. Every single other royal family have allowed some holiday snaps of one sort or another. The British royals are so grudging...

    Also an appearance by some younger royals at the Braemar games would be nice. Maybe next year we should do a Style Kate for Scotland and hope she takes the hint. We've not seen her and William enjoying the Scottish estate from the time before they were married - and only one photo of her then. I know Charles loves Balmoral (which I believed I had a typo on an earlier post) but we've seen little connection with William and Kate who will inherit it someday other than these car snaps.

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    1. Everyone deserves privacy. The Royal Family are there to serve but are not objects. Let them have some peace.

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  39. That's an interesting comment about the earrings being out of place---thy certainly are, and it's curious. Maybe there's a reason we don't know about.

    It seems from all we hear that Kate is a very very nice person. I truly believe her goal in life was to have a wonderful family and enjoy family life. Nothing at all wrong with that, if you can do it. If she could forego all "good deeds" and just appear when she has to I think that would make her very happy. At least she's being true to herself. I can't imagine the monarchy with the Queen, and certainly can't imagine it without Charles, so it may all eventually become purely ceremonial. I like Kate and Will very much, but the more I learn about them, the more I appreciate the Queen and I'm in America! I do wonder if H&M were there but did not want to be photographed. It sounds like a ful family gathering except for Andrew and his daughters.

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  40. Tammy from California27 August 2018 at 20:02

    Does anyone think they'll invite me to the Scottish Highlands? DREAMY....swoon, sigh...

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  41. there are lots of comments above about the children not being taken to church but its not the norm for young children to go to church in the Uk. they would normally go to sunday school at their local church but this might not be an option when away because of the media disrupton for the other children.

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    1. Julia from Leominster28 August 2018 at 04:42

      That was certainly true in the past - and may still reflect the queen's thinking - that little ones are too young to understand what is happening and could be naughty. However, that seems to be changing in places. (churches vary considerably in their rules with individual discretion - a church I attended for a time in London years back would not have permitted Harry and Meghan to marry there because she was divorced, even though the Archbishop of Canterbury married them.)

      I believe that change where it occurs is a beneficial one as it encourages young families - and at this point anything that encourages attendance is a positive thing as long as it is done with respectful intent.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/12/church-of-england-attendance-falls-below-million-first-time

      Having George and Charlotte attend would seem to set a helpful example to my eyes - particularly if there are rumours that George is participating in other traditions. However, I doubt that will happen in the queen's lifetime.

      Whether William and Kate (or Charles and Camilla) attend church regularly is an unknown. If William and Kate do, I would imagine it is in Norfolk. Whether George attends Sunday school there I've not heard. I'm thinking at Bucklebury at Christmas he remained with his parents - or did he go with the other children - I can't recall.







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  42. Phew! Too much to read on these comments. Maybe I am too simple but I just like to look at the wonderful fashion, scenery, castles, etc. and dream that I can be a guest at Balmoral with them! Thanks again for a lovely post.

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  43. Hello all,
    Since we are all focused on Scotland, I wanted to share some film news that might be of interest. (Kate looks lovely btw & I look forward to seeing more of her this autumn!!) Our filming in The UK was a success (back home now in the states). As a Producer I have to say we had an Amazing UK Cast & Crew & I will Definitely be back doing more productions in The UK!!! That said, some of our Cast had not long ago "Wrapped" the filming of a soon to be released Movie (expected to be primed for some Oscar Nominations) & I wanted to share the news! I'm Excited to share the news (If you haven't already heard about it) of The December Release of #MaryQueenOfScots with Saoirse Ronan as Mary stuart & Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I. The Trailer is now available & it is good!! They tell the story from a new perspective, not taken before. It will not disappoint!! There is a wonderful promotional Shot of Saoirse Ronan riding with her Men & much of the men in that shot & some of the additional lead male actors she plays closely against, were also in our Cast! It was Fascinating hearing all about the Filming & about working with Saoirse Ronan! If she gets this expected Nod, This will be her 4th Academy Award Nomination!! She will be breaking a record due to her young age! I wish I could post pics here, but there is another photo (possibly used for promotion) showing both women in character side by side!! At first there was much discussion & confusion about the casting of Margot Robbie as QE, but when you look at them both made up..... It's astounding how much they look like Family!!! I Can't Wait!! (I have a slight chance of going to the Premiere..... but it's a slight one! If it happens, I will definitely share the news!!) I'm reading here, as I'm taking a break from unpacking my suitcases from London, as I need to pack them for the East Coast & then I return for one day & I have to repack for The West Coast!! I love my job..... but it's kind of hectic sometimes!! lol :) Wishing everyone an enjoyable end of Summer!! lol :)

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    1. Becca USA what exciting news and a wonderful movie to have had the opportunity to be a part of. I am very happy and excited for you. Look forward to watching the movie as I am a big fan of Saoirse Ronan. I first saw her in a hauntingly beautiful movie Lovely Bones, she did an excellent job with a difficult subject matter. Kudos to you and your crew and safe travels. cc

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    2. Zora from Prague28 August 2018 at 21:47

      Thank you for sharing your news with us, Becca! You do sound busy! ;) and it's great to see how you love your job! Looking forward to hearing from you again, take care and fingers crossed for attending the premiere in December!

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  44. How interesting to read criticism of Kate "not working" when she is visiting the Queen -- who is on a two and a half month holiday in Balmoral. Ahead of her two and a half month holiday in Norfolk/Sandringham in Winter. The Head of State, The Queen, the Leader of the Family, is only out and about 7 months out of the year. Why do you expect her Granddaughter-in-Law, who is not an heir, to do more then the leader?

    It's interesting that folks assume Kate is busy with children all the time. I think her life is more like this Countess's. There is a social world we are not privy to, and I do think she spends a fair bit of time with her children, but there is the rest of the aristocracy to mingle with. https://www.tatler.com/article/countess-of-derby

    The world Kate occupies is not work or children. It's leisure and parties and children and social events to support charities. We only get to see the latter.


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    1. There's no comparison to the Queen. The Queen has spent her entire life working. Plus the Queen IS working while at Balmoral and Sandringham as well. There is a lot of paperwork that the Queen does on a DAILY basis, as well as attending engagements in Scotland, receiving politicians at Balmoral etc. The Queen does in fact work every single day except for Easter and Christmas, dealing with government papers, legal papers etc because her job is one that never stops.
      The problem is that Kate's role does not permit a life of leisure as that of the Countess and other aristocrats. People to look at for inspiration should not be those kinds of aristocrats that do not have a formal role - they are privately rich people and can do as they please - but royals from other nations who are not yet King/Queen but spouses of monarchs in waiting such as Crown Princess Mary, Crown Princess Mette-Marit or Prince Daniel.

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    2. Julia from Leominster28 August 2018 at 12:28

      I was very fortunate with my parents-in-law so I can't say I would consider visiting my husband's family work - although I have known people who would prefer their actual job to doing so. Balmoral is not Mustique but at the same time William loves country sports and Kate is said to so, I should imagine they would enjoy it - - it's not clear if they stay at the castle which might be more formal than one of the cottages.

      The queen is ninety-two and has extended her holiday in recent years - but one would normally expect a thirty-six year old couple to be working harder than a ninety-two year old regardless of formal position - Charles by that standard should be doing less too.

      This does point out though the very generous amount of time off the royal family does have - they do almost no engagements for the month of August and generally have massive time off in December as well and part of January. July is often a light month as well.

      The Countess of Derby article is very interesting - I enjoyed the fashions - and yes, I think William and Kate enjoy quite a social life with their friends in Norfolk particularly, who aren't necessarily the aristocracy although some of whom are, but are what we might term toffs.

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    3. I wonder what the monarchy will be like in another five years. Having been in Ireland, where the monarchy was (sorry if the term is indelicate) ousted over 70 years ago and most country houses are no longer occupied by aristocratic families, I wonder if England itself could become a republic and how that would look. However, I still prefer following the Royal Family these days to following U.S. politics. Privileged as he is, when I hear William speak I feel he represents a tradition of careful thought about today's problems, something that in modern public discourse is sadly lacking. His recent trip to Israel Jordan and Palestine is an excellent example. But it is a sad truth that his influence isn't strong.

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    4. William has been entrusted with some delicate diplomacy during some of his trips. And his speech at Amiens was very eloquent, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. It seems to me that William is quietly taking on a royal role that will continue to gain depth as he matures. The experience he gains now will be invaluable when he is head of state.

      My feeling about Ireland is that British monarchy and aristocracy were never a good fit there. I don't think Ireland's independence foreshadows the future of the UK. I do think Britain will have to work out the boundaries questions, along with all the other problems it faces. Our US dilemmas are different in many ways, but we all have to face our changing place in a changing world. We are wobbling badly at the moment. The experience of the royal family can be instrumental in informing the government of reality, if only they are heeded.

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    5. *The Head of State, The Queen, the Leader of the Family, is only out and about 7 months out of the year.*

      She's also 92 years old and if she doesn't deserve a long holiday at that age then she never will.Plus, as anonymous said, she doesn't stop working - she has paperwrok to attend to every day

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  45. Kate’s summer maternity leave has been filled with beautiful formal gowns and royal jewels she might wear. The minute she becomes visible by getting into a car to attend church with the Queen, she is subjected to yet another debate about her work as a duchess. Kate looks lovely and happy, and it is her and William’s turn to support the monarch in her Scottish role. I skim read these constant forays into negativity because they are boring, and I don’t see a good reason for this one. It’s Balmoral month. The family gathers and goes about its traditional holiday in the highlands. No other member is criticized. Maybe we could at least delay comments about Kate’s work life and the barrage of ‘she does too little and Meghan does too much’ until the autumn? Seems odd and unproductive anyway, but weirdly out of place now.

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  46. Kate’s summer maternity leave has been filled with beautiful formal gowns and royal jewels she might wear. The minute she becomes visible by getting into a car to attend church with the Queen, she is subjected to yet another debate about her work as a duchess. Kate looks lovely and happy, and it is her and William’s turn to support the monarch in her Scottish role. I skim read these constant forays into negativity because they are boring, and I don’t see a good reason for this one. It’s Balmoral month. The family gathers and goes about its traditional holiday in the highlands. No other member is criticized. Maybe we could at least delay comments about Kate’s work life and the barrage of ‘she does too little and Meghan does too much’ until the autumn? Seems odd and unproductive anyway, but weirdly out of place now.

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    1. Respectfully, Patricia, it has nothing to do with Kate riding in a car although discussions of shooting and church relate to Balmoral. There has been a lot of general discussion of late about the young royals - and no not just Kate, but also Harry, Meghan, Beatrice and Eugenie - the expenses of Eugenie's coming wedding and the past wedding have triggered it but it's part of a general questioning at a time when there are many questions and uncertainty about the future.

      It's worth remembering how unsettled things are - deal or no deal ins't just a show Meghan was on. In unsettled times, the royal family can serve either as a rock of stability or can become part of the questions being asked. As a royalist who has seen many a royal come and go and consider myself more interested in the institution, I would like to think of it as the rock, not the question. It's far more than any individual engagement of Kate's or when she starts again - it's making sure she will have a chance to wear many more gowns in the future and those tiaras don't end up in museums or be brought out - like the Greek ones with orders for royal roles that don't exist any more. We can pretend these issues don't exist - there are a number of issues we might like to pretend don't exist, but unfortunately, they do.

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    2. Dear Julia, The times are indeed very peculiar, not to say devastating, at least as much over here as over there! But does that mean a duchess riding to church in a car in summer should be inundated with unrelated criticism? After the quiet maternity leave, and Kate's busy spring activity, the timing of the negativity seems strange.

      As for Eugenie's wedding, it's my understanding that the government only pays the bills for security. I think the public would be very disappointed if there were no outdoor aspect of a royal wedding. The crowds at Harry's were amazingly international, and the moneys brought in may balance the costs. I hope Eugenie will not also be criticized for simply getting married in the less elaborate, but traditional, way!

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    3. I'm sure with the news so international these days all here know what's been happening of late. William's tour that included Israel was vitally important - I don't want in any way to diminish that and he did brilliantly. I wish Kate had gone along, it would have tripled the attention if not more - I don't think it's a coincidence that they scheduled that when she was on maternity, leave but that's the way it goes - but it was a huge start for the royal family and could not be more timely.

      Eugenie's wedding is rather a muddle - I think most people feel as she's a blood princess she's more than entitled to marry at Windsor - but when one says 'only security costs' I shudder because they are the single highest expense of the royal family from the public perspective - no one is ever quite sure how much. Perhaps tourism did make up for it in Harry's case - I've heard conflicting reports - but the benefit is quite local for certain businesses only. Personally, my greatest shudder was the celebrity guest list that's being promoted again for Eugenie's wedding - I suppose I'm showing my age but it didn't used to be that way.

      I did suggest to Leo that we might go to Windsor for this wedding - put in for being part of the public at the castle. His response alas can't be printed in Charlotte's blog so it does look as though we will be missing it.

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    4. Ah, Mr. Leo, you wouldn't find something to enjoy in a trip to Windsor? I don't know how much would be open, but I would go to re-visit the Doll's House if nothing else! And your wife would enjoy the experience.

      I rather agree about the celebrities, but if they are personal friends or supporters of the charities the bride and groom engage in, then I can see their being invited to royal weddings.

      International visitors have to pass through the airports, stay at hotels, no doubt spend some time in London, visit famous places, dine, shop - they won't just appear and then vanish. They'll make a trip to Britain worth their time and money.

      By using the word 'only' I did not intend to minimize the cost of security, which I know is considerable. I was thinking of the Queen's expense, and the balance between public expenditure and income.

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    5. Royal 👑 Watcher30 August 2018 at 11:45

      Julia, I think you need to leave Mr Leo at home for this one, and head to Windsor with a girlfriend or by yourself. If you are in the vicinity and you are able to go, it would be an event too amazing to miss!!

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  47. Do you think the Duchess brings a hairdresser to those -- very formal -- family retreats? She looks so nicely coiffed.

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    1. I'm sure there is a hairdresser at Balmoral, probably more than one, everyone looks wonderfully coiffed, the Queen, Anne, Sophie and Louise!

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  48. It seems we always have these discussions during the vacation period that the Royal Family take in August. I believe that they're entitled to some "down" time despite their wealth and privileges. As I recall, Kate was very engaged during 2017 and right up until her 8th month of pregnancy. She will continue to ramp up her engagements as the children attend school. With Harry safely married ( and hopefully kids will follow soon!), the Queen can ratchet back her involvement but continue to give guidance. As Charles reaches 70, she will continue to delegate more and more day to day "kinging" stuff. She will still do the big events as long as she is able- Trooping, State Dinners,weekly PM meetings, etc. Obviously, if Diana and Fergie remained in the Royal Fold, the focus on Kate and Meghan would've been more muted- as those two would be heavily involved in the public eye with their charitable work. I also think the Family are trying to make sure that Meghan and Harry have a good start in their married life within the Firm. I tire of these "is Kate working enough" discussions. Can't we focus on happier things, like rejoicing in this tight-knit little family with the adorable kiddos and a brand new baby? If I were the Cambridges, I'd stay in Scotland as long as possible to stay away from the dreariness of the cyber humbug. Just sayin...

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  49. I don’t see this current thread of discussion about Kate as being overly critical at all. We have always had more than one point of view as commentators on this blog—there are those who prefer the fun and fashion and those who prefer the serious questions about monarchy as we face a huge reality—that the Monarchy will change hands in the next decade (unless the Queen breaks all records or the world comes to an end.) The British monarchy without the Queen changes all kinds of bets as does the dying away of the really hard core monarchists. I really don’t think Charles has the kind of loyal following his mother did even if he is more accepted than he was in the past.

    But imo Charles and Camilla do not represent modern Britain thus it is up to W & K and H & M to be visible and to win the hearts of the people. Much as I agree that it is lovely to see them happy and their children happy too that is the point—SEE them. And, visible, people/we are going to have opinions about what they are doing, wearing—because we are INTERESTED (not shouting, emphasizIng.) Turn away the respectful questioning (which some label as criticism) and you lose discourse. Not all criticism is bad—without considering it we can often miss danger signs that the majority mood is turning. I am not saying that the majority will turn against K because she takes a long maternity leave out of sight but she might lose her relevancy with the majority whom the RF, esp Charles and Camilla (who does not represent younger women) will need after the Queen passes.
    That’s all.

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    1. Wise words Jo.

      There is one point where I slightly disagree, kind of: maybe Charles and Camilla will never be popular because of the past, but what both of them stand up for in these modern times, for me is something to look up to. The Prince's Trust, and his enviromental concerns, he does invest a lot in the future. Camilla's causes whether it is about reading, dogs, very ill children, or domestic abuse, and these are I can only think of right now. All of them are really serious issues, and she does not take them light heartedly. I know in today's society youth is everything but if I had to choose whom I would like to chat and have a cup of tea, I would choose C or C without hesitation. There is substance there, a lot.

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    2. Caroline in Montana29 August 2018 at 16:44

      I have not seen "respectful questioning" I have seen judgment after judgment heaped on a woman on maternity leave. and it is overly critical, these are not serious questions about the monarchy!! they are opinions and ones that have been shared, by some over and over until they start a negative discourse, see most of the above.

      So then what's the difference, if we can criticize Kate all we want but not other people? I think that's because Kate is not here and if she were id love to hear what the haters would say to her??! most folks know its just plain wrong to judge away, but I think a lot of them don't read the comments anymore, for good reason.

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    3. Anett, good points about C & C. I guess my perspective is that their age is going to work against them when Charles comes to the throne. I myself am 67 and encounter ageism in my own volunteer work so I am probably projecting.

      And Caroline in Montana, the number of comments on this thread is at 185 so there still seems to me to be interest in talking about where K is fitting in with today’s RF issues. And re people criticizing Kate and not other people, my own interpretation of this is that we have been asked to keep the subject to Kate on this blog and not other people. I like Kate. She seems such a nice person, caring and kind. The kind of person the public world needs more of. But I think that’s the point, the RF needs her and there seems to be way too much William solo at important events and in publicity lately. Look at the positive reaction when she appeared for the RAF’s 100th. She was a force majeur for Heads Together and got the well-deserved credit for it because we saw and heard her talk about it. Her appearances at the London Olympics were great. All I see people saying is that her presence at William’s side gains more positive publicity and in these times the way they are, we could sure use it.

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  50. the duchess looks good and little bit tan im happy too see her just like that hmm i hope she return duties later on

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