Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge Joins The Queen For Remembrance Sunday

It was a poignant morning as the Royal family gathered at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in London.


Once again this year, the Duchess of Cambridge joined Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall on the balcony of the Foreign Office in Whitehall.


In earlier years, we've seen Kate with the Countess of Wessex and Sir Timothy Laurence. Prince Philip's retirement heralded a change, with the monarch now flanked by two future Queen Consorts for the moving event.


It is the third year the Queen has appeared on the balcony. Now approaching her 94th birthday, HM's decision to ask Charles to lay her wreath has been seen as an example of a shift in head of state duties.


The Duchess of Sussex and The Countess of Wessex.


The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of homage devoted to the memory of those who have given their lives in war.


It was originally conceived as a commemoration of the First World War's dead by King George V in 1919, but after the Second World War the scope of the ceremony was extended to focus on the dead of both wars. Remembrance Day or Memorial Day is observed in Commonwealth countries.


As the clock struck eleven, a two-minute silence was observed. The silence represents the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, when the guns of Europe fell silent.


From GOV.UK: 'Every year, the two minute silence for the remembrance service on Whitehall is conducted with military precision. On Horse Guards Parade the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire their First World War guns to mark the start of the silence, and a Corps of Army Music bugler from the Household Division marks its end at precisely the same time that the guns fire again, 120 seconds later.'


Prince Charles leads the wreath laying portion of the event.


William, Harry and the Duke of York laid wreaths.


William wore his RAF uniform and Harry was dressed in the Royal Marines uniform.


Her Majesty appeared to shed a tear as she watched on.


The march past is an annual event for British and Commonwealth former military and civilian service personnel to honour the fallen of the British Armed Forces involved in the two World Wars and all conflicts since.


Moving scenes.


It was heartwarming to hear about 94-year-old WWII veteran Harry Billinge and his inspiring efforts to raise a pound for every one of the 22,000 British troops who died in Normandy for a memorial. Harry tells the BBC "Don't say I'm a hero. I'm no hero. I was lucky".


More from the Normandy Memorial Trust:

'Harry Billinge landed on Gold Beach at ‘H Hour’, 6.30am on 6 June 1944. He was just 18 and part of the first wave of troops. Harry was a Sapper with the Royal Engineers. Now 94 years old, Harry has dedicated his life to remembering his friends who never made it back home.
Harry has committed himself to fundraising for the monument which will commemorate the sacrifices made by his friends, honouring the bond of comradeship forged on the sands of Normandy so long ago. He lives in Cornwall and is often seen on the High Street in St Austell, proudly wearing his medals and green beret, collecting money from passers by and telling youngsters about what happened during the war to ensure his friends’ sacrifice is never forgotten.'

Prince Charles thanking Harry for his work.


This year's Poppy Appeal saw a host of well-known faces go undercover, with the help of GCHQ in their centenary year, to highlight the unseen contribution of our armed forces.



It's always special to see so many people from all over the UK volunteering for the annual appeal. Daphne Snowden has been collecting since she was 11 years old. She was presented with her 65 year service bar in 2016.


This year's appeal is aiming to raise £50 million to help support serving and ex-serving members of the armed forces community and their families. If you wish to donate please click here.


It is the ninth consecutive year Kate has attended.


A video from this morning's ceremonies.


The Duchess was solemn in a new bespoke military style black coat. It features a zip and structured shoulders. Susan from What Kate Wore received confirmation it's a Catherine Walker piece.


Kate wore an elegant hat with netting. Gabi notes it's very similar to Philip Treacy designs.


We can also see 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.


And completed the look with the codebreakers brooch. Kate's paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborrow and her twin sister Mary worked at Bletchley Park during the war.


Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter shared a beautiful poem composed by 14-year-old Joshua Dyer who was tasked at school to write a piece about Remembrance Sunday. One hour later he produced 'One Thousand Men Are Walking'. I think it's incredibly moving such a young boy has a keen understanding of the importance of the day. It is vital we continue to commemorate and remember so the next generation like Joshua will know and understand the ultimate sacrifice so many made.


Lest we forget.

78 comments:

  1. Looks like Kate is wearing a Codebreakers poppy brooch which remembers the Bletchley Park codebreakers in WW2. Good taste there Kate I’ve got one of these and it is very pretty.

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  2. Thank you, Charlotte. I look forward to the full post.

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  3. I have enjoyed all the outfits that the DoC has worn at Remembrance Sunday. But this one is epic!

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    1. Yes LauraT, in one word "epic" is perfect!! cc

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  4. oh the duchess of cambridge lookd regal is she wearing codebreaker brooch by her greatgrand mother valerie Glassborow

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio10 November 2019 at 16:21

      Valerie was Kate’s grandmother-Michael’s mother-not her great grandmother.
      I love the tribute to her grandmother and the other codebreakers.

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    2. I am quite sure it is the blood royals who participate and not a gender thing. After all, the queen laid a wreath until 3 years ago.

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  5. Gorgeous. I love her coat and her hat. Nailed it.

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  6. Holy cow! I couldn’t wait for the full post. I love love Kate coat and hat. Spectacular!!!

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  7. Kate singing God save the Queen is my Fabio rite version of Kate. If I were British I would feel so beautifully represented by her...her posture, her passion while singing...She reminds me of her father during her wedding.

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  8. Ok this has nothing to do with fashion. I'm wondering why it's still that the royal women stand on the balcony while the men participate in the ceremonies. It seems pretty backwards? Men and women now serve in the armed forces. Surely the royal women could also lay a wreath in remembrance? But having them all stand on the balcony while the men participate just doesn't reflect military life today.

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    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but is it a women stand and watch thing or is it a blood royal thing? Anne does lay a wreath, while Tim watch afterall. Not everything is about gender.
      If Kate/Meghan/Camilla/Sophie served in the armed forces themselves it would also have been different.
      But I have always wondered if Prince Phillip lays a wreath due to his position as consort or his personal history with the armed forces? So would Camilla/Kate lay a wreath when they are consort?

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    2. I'm not sure either, Ivy but you have a point. Maybe just tradition, who knows.

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    3. I think it's the actual family members -- Anne participates while her husband waits on the balcony, and the spouses of Sophie, Camilla, and Kate are all born into the family so they participate.

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    4. Anglophile in Ohio10 November 2019 at 16:36

      Princess Anne laid a wreath while her husband, a retired Admiral, stood on the balcony with the other spouses.

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    5. I’ve always viewed it as the blood royals taking part while the spouses watch from the balcony. I believe the Princess Royal takes part while her husband is on the balcony.

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    6. So far, the royal women have not served in the armed forces. Like it or not, this ceremony is for those who have served.

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    7. Anne isn't on the balcony. Her husband is. The Queen wasn't before, for 69 years she was the one laying the wreath. It has nothing to do with being backwards. I wouldn't say the RF was egalitarian, there is a definite hierarchy, but gender has nothing to do with it.

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    8. I'm not an expert and hope someone who is will make it clear, but I think this reflects the fact that the wreaths are laid by those members of the RF who hold a military rank. So, while Princess Anne is there in her uniform, Sophie Wessex/Kate/Meghan aren't. (Interestingly, Princess Anne's husband Timothy Lawrence who is a retired Navy officer, is standing on the balcony.) It's definitely nothing like: men participate, women don't . After all, the ladies are very visible there, united with their husbands. It's not about m/f roles, it's about unity and honouring the dead, men AND women together.

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    9. This is one ceremony. There are many, many females in uniform at this event of all ages. These royal spouses have not served in the military nor do they (other than the Queen) have a position or title that puts them in the military/government hierarchy chosen to represent historic units and functions, on this day. Anne is not on the balcony as she has military titles and is in uniform often. Military spouses don’t carry any rank or get to do things because of their gender! At other times all of these women lay wreaths, etc. Designer dresses wouldn’t reflect the military history, tradition or its look today either.

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    10. As a born Royal, Princess Anne laid a wreath. Camilla, Kate, Sophie and Meghan are all Royal by marriage. So I look at it less as a male thing but more as a blood thing—Royal by blood. Maybe someday we will see Charlotte lay a wreath.

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    11. I have no idea, Ivy Lin. Up until 3 years ago, the Queen layed the wreath. But perhaps it has to do with bloodline. Princess Anne has often participated on horseback. And those on the balcony are spouses; Princess Anne's hubby is on the balcony. Or it could be that the men in the family did stints in the military and the women did not. Maybe Princess Charlotte will have some military training? That would be interesting.

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    12. Anne lays a wreath, it has nothing to do with being a man or a woman but with actually having been in the army, I think.

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    13. The Queen laid a wreath until a couple of years ago. Last year the Princess Royal did take the salute at the March Past of Veterans Organizations in Horse Guards. It is likely that she participated in some official capacity this year as well, since her husband is on the balcony with Meghan and Sophie. I presume that Camilla, Kate, Meghan, and Sophie were not chosen to participate, not because of their gender, but because they are married to royals rather than being members of the royal family by blood.

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    14. The Princess Royal is Colonel-in-Chief of the Hussars, and has military rank.

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    15. My understanding is that those who have married into the royal family watch from the balcony which explains why Princess Anne's husband is on the balcony too. The Duke of Edinburgh historically always participated up until his retirement and didn't just watch from the balcony but I'm not sure why.

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    16. Annette New Zealand11 November 2019 at 10:28

      Princess Anne's husband was an Admiral in the Royal Navy and also Chairman of the commonwealth War Graves Commission so would definitely qualify if it was based on ,military service. It must be a protocol thing.

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  9. Hey, just want to correct that Kate didn't wear the Women of the First WW Brooch but the Codebreakers Poppy brooch, you can spot the different...hope this help :)

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  10. As always Kate looks elegant, regal, sharp and appropriate. I especially like how the veiled hat photographed.
    But I will admit that I wish she would repeat her Remembrance day outfits more. With the number of black coats and hats she already have she can pull of a different look every year without buying something new. And since she was wearing a new dress last night a repeat today would have been very apt.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio10 November 2019 at 16:31

      She has worn one coat three times already and reworn two of her hats for Remembrance Sunday. She has decades of appearances in her future, we’ll see repeats.

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  11. This was indeed very very moving; thank you for all the information, as usual!

    I am always amazed at how every year even more styles of black coats appear, all of them beautiful! Kate is one of the few who could have pulled off the coat she wore, I think. I do wish the zipper pull was hidden, though. And she has a gorgeous hat, as always. I love her hats and Camilla's -- I can count on them for something that's very visible but not too big or too small. I love Meghan's hat, too -- although I though her hat yesterday was perfect, I do like larger hats on her in general. The Queen must be very proud of her family!

    I hope those who subtly suggested that not all women were appropriate yesterday are satisfied today.

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  12. https://www.poppyshop.org.uk/the-codebreaker-s-brooch.html Inspired by the enigma machine

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  13. https://www.poppyshop.org.uk/the-codebreaker-s-brooch.html

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  14. What a moving event. These Remembrance days have become an important part of my autumn, thanks to your blog, Charlotte. I've just watched last year's Festival from the Albert Hall and it was so beautiful and touching. Thank you!
    Kate looks solemn, graceful, impeccable. Her hairdo is a work of art!! I also like her coat and hat.
    On a lighter note: I love the difference in height between Kate and HM!😀
    The poem by 14-year old Joshua is beautiful. It shows how well he was able to understand that young men, perhaps just 4-5 years older than him, sacrificed their lives for his country's freedom. He must be an intelligent and sensitive boy.

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    1. Agree Zora, a very moving weekend and a touching event today. The poem by such a young man is so poignant, he has truly captured the spirit of the day. Feeling grateful. cc

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  15. Simply put... she looked stunning! I want that coat! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  16. Firstly, I'd like say a huge Thank You, to you Charlotte, for your coverage from last night, to today's service. This weekend was not really about the fashion, but of remembering and gratitude. Your posts, were both informative and respectful of the occasion.
    Our wonderful Royal British Legion are outstanding in giving us all, the opportunity year on year to come together and be thankful, of all those that gave so much, for what we have today. Bel x

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  17. Such a heartwarming ceremony despite the solemn occasion. Thank you for another excellent post Charlotte.

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  18. Thank you Charlotte. Of course Kate is beautiful as always, but what brought tears to my eyes was seeing her standing beside HM as a future queen of England and all that entails. And such a moving ceremony, a solemn remembering of those who died. It's just very special, all of it.

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  19. I'm like a broken record, but I LOVE Kate's family members being codebreakers. That is just so special and I am jealous always of that.

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  20. Really like the coat that the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. Enjoyed all the historical details. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  21. Charlotte, thank you so much. Such a moving ceremony. I think over the years of all Kate’s outfits, this is my favorite. The beautiful detail of her black coat, her elegant hat, and stunning brooch...again, just so classy. Love it.

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  22. Wow, LOVE this coat and the hat. Kate looks very stately, royal and stunning all in one. The photos of the Queen today first looking up at Kate and smiling and the one where it looks like she is shedding a tear really touched me! It's almost like a silent passing of an era. Moving moments all around. On a fashion note, all of the ladies really brought their hat game this year, but Kate's, the Queen's and Sophie's are my favorites (in that order). This event is one of my favorites to follow of the BRF, would agree with Allison that the Queen must be very proud of her family. cc

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  23. The future Queen consort looks absolutely beautiful! Once again McQueen does their thing. Love it!!!!

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  24. Looking at how elaborate the coat is, I knew it must be McQueen. She can really indulge her military influence at these events. The hat is gorgeous and really softens the sharp tailoring of the coat. The crisp shoulders are what stand out to me. I love the smaller hats on Kate because her hair really shines here. The elaborate updo for this hat really shows how much thick hair Kate really has. Meghan looks very appropriate too, but her look is so much less elaborate in contrast to the other royal ladies. Probably Meghan is grateful the focus is not so much on her these days. Thanks Charlotte for your glorious and well researched posts as always!

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  25. Joshua Dyer! What a poet!

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  26. Dear Charlotte or any of the readers here, can somebody explain why there are these white screens on the balcony’s where the Royal family stand? Is it for safety?

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    1. My guess is it is to ensure better pictures. With them all wearing black and black hats they can easily disappear against a darker background. The white screens provide a good contrast and make for sinple uncluttered photos.

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    2. I was curious about this too. Looks like they were using this type of screen even way back in 1960, although the screens were shorter and “squishier” looking back then. Here is a photo from Getty Images from 1960 (although it’s incorrectly captioned as Buckingham Palace, that would be impossible): https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/members-of-the-royal-family-on-the-balcony-of-buckingham-news-photo/606598567?et=nvoJXBBOQnBQB_8YiPkjWQ&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gettyimages.com.au%2F

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  27. What a lovely poem! I enjoyed seeing and reading your whole post.

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  28. I find this outfit too goth, too Tim Burton.
    Beth in SF

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    1. And I find it beautiful, elegant, and appropriate for the wife of the 2nd heir. Look at that posture! That super-model figure! Kate radiates poise, grace and respect. William chose well.

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    2. Me too and I absolutely love it! She has the perfect body shape and attitude to wear it well!

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  29. Kates hat is gorgeous. Very elegant coat. The hat, coat, hair and earrings work to create a wonderful look. This is always such a moving occasion.

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  30. A beautiful outfit, the Duchess looks superb. Love the theme of the coat. Her up do looks beautiful, and the side view show how elegant it is. The hat is delightful, just enough netting. Pearl earrings I love, they are stunners. All class.

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  31. I'm afraid that I hate the coat. Love everything else!

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  32. Tammy from California10 November 2019 at 20:09

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many things to say!

    Kate's skin! GLOWING.
    Kate's hair is absolutely beautifully done.
    The smile the Queen gave to Kate as they are speaking: a smile of love: so sweet.
    I love the Codebreakers Brooch. I had no idea that's what her brooch was called. Great way to bring a piece of her family to the day and her position. I think family is my favorite thing about Kate. She is a family person above everything else.
    I believe I have seen the Queen shed a tear at this event often? Truly, the greatest generation.
    I love that little 94 year old man. What a doll.
    The poem: I got chills.

    Lastly, Charlotte, you wrote something on the last post that is correct. They do not celebrate American soldiers like this. Definitely not all year round either. Tomorrow for us is Veteran's Day and I am not even sure there is a parade. When my family member is recognized for anything, it is by the base he works at, and that is about it. He told me a story once, about an 18 year old man who had stepped on a mine and it blew his legs and one arm off. He was being flown back to his family in Washington DC just to die. As the airplane took off the elevation began to affect the chemistry in the man's body, and he began to convulse. The nurse on the plane ran to the cockpit and told the pilots they needed to go back down. The pilots knew if they went back down, the man would not be with his family to die, so they asked if they could try something different and go down to a lower altitude. The nurse agreed and they got the man home. There are MANY stories like this. It would be nice if this man's sacrifice was celebrated. Unfortunately, our nation doesn't come together to show our heroes they are appreciated- enough or in a way that is meaningful other than putting out a flag. Very sad. Here, our military has been seen (at least by the people who have made nasty comments to me) as a political affiliation of one party. Because our country, especially now, is so divided over politics, our service men and women get bundled in with this argument, when they are as diverse in their beliefs as the rest of the country. There is a city next to us that even refuses to give military families discounts but give it to all police officers, firemen and teachers. Heartbreaking. My point in my rambling is this: we need to take a lesson from our UK friends.

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  33. Scanning the duchess's photos from previous years, it does strike me how she keeps evolving into her future role. Each year, more confidence, more wisdom, and the beauty that radiates from those two. A beauty that is so much more than just "beauty", if that makes any sense at all. A wholesome,deep, substantial beauty that goes with character. How lovely and inspiring she is.
    Shira, Israel

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    1. It makes perfect sense Shira! I love the way you worded it..."a wholesome, deep, substantial beauty that goes with character". Her beauty goes beyond her prettiness. cc

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    2. Thank you Shira, you expressed it so very well!! xx

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  34. It occurred to me that I have not seen, although I'm sure it's there, Kate's fabulous dimply smile. It is seldom seen anymore -- I'm sure it's there but just not photographed. It's peeking out in one of these photos. I remember it being so charming!

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  35. So poignant and beautiful 🖤

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  36. The Duchess looks perfectly elegant and regal. Love her hairdo, hat, coat; and especially love the photo of her talking with the Queen who looks up at her smiling. The poem by Joshua Dyer is absolutely amazing. He truly has a gift to write like that at age 14. I had a lump in my throat reading those beautiful words.

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  37. Kate looks sensational! Love her Updo and hat and outfit . Her Majesty looks lovely too

    Thanks Charlotte for a beautiful post

    Thank you to all the brave men and women who fought for our freedom and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice

    We will never forget you

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  38. Greetvdv antwerp belgium11 November 2019 at 09:26

    Saw the event on Tele wonderfull lots respect for these men....the duchess looked superb what a classy lady..thanks for
    the post Charlotte always glad when your mails arrive

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  39. Charlotte, thank you for the link to the codebreakers brooch! I read the description and love the fact that they include a card commemorating one of Bletchley Park codebreakers. It looks like it may be imprinted on the back with a person's name too?

    I love Catherine's look at this event. Military style is always crisp and 'clean' and suits her well. The hat is beautiful.

    I have a question related to jewelry 'loaning' … how exactly does that process work? If pieces are loaned, is it only for the day and then back in the vault it goes?

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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    1. This is purely a guess based on watching Kate's wardrobe. I think a number of the loans are in Kate's possession now such as both pairs of earrings worn over the weekend. We tend to see pieces from HM with some frequency which suggests they are in Kate's 'Jewellery Box'. Pieces with enormous historical value such as the Lovers Knot tiara or the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace are likely stored at BP, but again I think Kate has access to them and other pieces.

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  40. Not my favourite look, but very appropriate as usual.

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  41. What lovely poem that young man has written! And only 14!
    Very moving ceremony and fitting tribute to all those who have served.

    Kate's outfit absolute perfection!

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  42. I believe it should be the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not the Foreign Office.

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  43. Hello!

    KP announced an engagement for William and Kate tomorrow with volunteers from Shout.

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    1. Thanks for the updates Charlotte, so happy to see a busy November schedule. Wanted to share this about Catherine being on the October cover of Fabulous, which must be a UK publication. The piece seems to be about Catherine's new found 'mojo', which might be interesting to read, except I am not at all all familiar with this magazine and its audience. While I am sure that the pictures are out in the public domain and available for use, my question is do these magazines need to get permission from the royals to put them on the cover or is this an editorial piece? Not completely sure how it all works, just curious. cc

      https://www.yourcelebritymagazines.com/collections/kate-middleton/products/uk-fabulous-magazine-october-2019-kate-middleton-duchess-of-cambridge

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  44. I know this occasion is not about appearances....but WOW, Kate looks great! Love this entire look.

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    1. A-Maaaa-Zing!! Simply Next Level!! HRH Has Stepped Into Her Role With Exquisite Style & Grace! xx (the coat, the hair.... next level!)

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  45. 2 Words..... Future Queen!! xx

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  46. That might be one of the most elegant dresses Kate has ever worn. Absolutely stunning.

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