Wednesday, 18 December 2019

The Cambridges Attend The Queen's Pre-Christmas Luncheon & A Family Christmas Card

The Queen hosted her annual pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace this afternoon. The calendar staple is an opportunity for the family to spend time together before they disperse for Christmas break. The Duchess of Cambridge arrived with Charlotte and Louis. The baby of the Cambridge family is growing so quickly, his hair looks darker since we last saw him. His resemblance to his mum remains unchanged though, the older Louis gets, the more he favours Kate.


I expect the Cambridges will travel to their country home Anmer Hall before the weekend. They will join the royal family at Sandringham once again this year. It's not confirmed, however there's growing speculation we may see George and Charlotte join their parents on the walk to church Christmas morning.


William and George arrived just before Kate, Charlotte and Louis.


The Queen hosts the fifty-strong luncheon on a Tuesday or Wednesday in December for the entire extended family, many of whom are spending Christmas with their own children and grandchildren rather than joining the annual gathering at Sandringham. I imagine the Queen is looking forward to departing for the estate this year. Since Prince Philip's retirement, he spends a great deal of his time on the royal estate in Norfolk. With the Queen's schedule, it means they don't spend as much time together. This year marked Kate's tenth consecutive appearance at the luncheon.


Prince Charles arriving.

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Zara and Mike Tindall (and a scene stealing moment from Mia).

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Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.

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Princess Beatrice.

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The Cambridges all left the event together after the traditional meal.


A great shot of the Cambridge children leaving with their parents.


Louis was cute as a button in the Parsnip Fairisle Jumper by Amaia Kids (with thanks to Bojana). It's described as: "Cosy and beautiful forest green unisex cardigan with a stylish Fairisle ivory pattern around the neck, sleeve cuffs and waist. With round collar and crafted from warm cashmere, wool and merino blend, this piece is ideal for the festive season in style or any winter outing of your child. Mother of pearl buttons fastening down the front to finish off a polished both little boy's and girl's outfits."


Caroline Parr identified Charlotte's fabulous festive dress as the Little Alice London Nutcracker dress. We know the Princess adores ballet and last year Kate brought her to the Royal Opera House to watch a rehearsal of The Nutcracker.


Prince George wore a white shirt with blue trim, it looks very similar to the one he wore for Trooping The Colour.


The Duchess was festive in red tartan.


From what we can see, it appears Kate wore Emilia Wickstead's Anni Tartan dress. Due to limited photos, it may be a custom version of the piece (Kate's garment doesn't appear to have the wispy sleeves).


Elizabeth from Kate's Closet suggests it may be a custom blouse, designed to match the Pris Skirt Kate wore for an RAF Christmas party last year.


And accessorised with her Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Pearl Stud Earrings. By the time they left the luncheon, Kate had removed them.


We also saw the much anticipated Cambridge Christmas card thanks to the RAF Air Cadets. Kate sent a card to Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who shared it on social media.


The family posed on a vintage motorcycle with a sidecar. Similar to last years card, we see them outdoors in their country home. It was more than likely taken over the summer. It's a darling photo and great to see the tradition of a new family photo continuing. We should see it released via Kensington Palace shortly. I'll update the moment we have a high-res version.


Caroline identified Kate's dress as the sold out Boden Aurora Midi Wrap Dress. The blue print dress is described as: "This wrap midi dress is all about boho luxe, right down to the floaty tiered skirt, three-quarter-length sleeves and crinkle viscose fabric."


Are your plans for the festivities coming together? I'm very much looking forward to spending next week with family and hurriedly doing last minute shopping and wrapping in preparation. It's all part of the fun, right? :)

82 comments:

  1. Loius is the spitting image of Kate.

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  2. its nice too see them the cambridges kids are growing are fast snd louie is splitting image of the duchess i love the christmas card they sent

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  3. Lovely!! 😃I hope they enjoy their pre-Christmas family party! Thank you, Charlotte!
    In the card, George's hair looks so blond that I couldn't recognise him at first! Charlotte is so grown-up, such a sweet girl! And little Louis looks so tiny and cute! Great picture!

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  4. I thought you were against posting pictures that are leaked before they are officially released, or that’s what you said some Christmas ago.

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    1. Hello,

      The card has been posted to a number of people and is in the public domain now. It's not the same as media organisations leaking birthday photos. A couple of recipients of the Christmas card have shared it online, so I'm comfortable doing so here. There's no broken embargo or anything like that :)

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    2. Interesting that you feel the need to call Charlotte out on something like this. If you follow the account you know she bends over backwards to be fair, respectful, and kind. I wonder what your motivations are?

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    3. God bless you Charlotte, after all the heart and soul you put into these posts for us Royal Thirsty Peeps to get challenged about your integrity. Honestly.

      The family just looks incredible and I loved loved loved the Berry Royal Christmas Special. William and Kate have evolved as comfortable, settled, dare I say eager even, for their duty as future King and Queen. I couldn't be happier for them or their gorgeous little family of 5. Happy Christmas All.

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    4. Agree, Momstheword! Motivated to find something negative to say to a kind and hard-working person like Charlotte, who gives us all joy on this blog. What a shame.

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    5. Thank you for your supportive comments. I'm afraid it was my error as "Anonymous" is a troll who leaves a large number of rude and accusatory comments because they have serious issues with me running a blog on Meghan in addition to Kate. It feels like a good opportunity to say to the person behind the comments that I'm proud of the content I produce on both women. I know I cover them both respectfully. Attempts to look for perceived slights are very much in vain. I'll never understand the mentality from some who believe we must hate one. Thankfully, real life doesn't work that way.

      Delete
    6. You do a splendid, brave, and fair-minded presentation of the work and fashions of both duchesses.

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    7. Charlotte, you are such a refreshing blogger in a negative world. Not just about the royals, but in general. Thank you for that.

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  5. Kate looks SO lovely today, and the card photo is wonderful! I love it!

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  6. Sandra from Canada...A loving family. They all look very happy.
    The kids are adorable and little Louie looks a lot like Catherine's father in my opinion.
    The Xmas special with Mary Berry was heartwarming and I loved how down to earth William and Catherine came across...they seem very happy together. Future King and Queen!

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  7. Dumb American here .. is that normal in the UK for children to ride in the front seat, or is that just because they were going a short distance?

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    1. NOT dumb American at all from another American who had the same reaction!

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    2. Dont hate me! It is not the best Christmas photo of the family in my opinion. They are all so handsome especially the children I can't believe Kate choose this particular card. It reminds me of a photo that is picked when its last minute and one is frantic looking through the latest photo memories to have cards custom printed and sent out on time. Its almost as if they are trying to hard to look like an average family when in fact most families go out of their way to present the best photo option.

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    3. My first thought as well... but it might be due to the short drive and to give a proper glimpse of him.
      I feel that George is going to be featured a bit more prominently now that he is getting a bit older.
      I think there was a motorcade too most likely.

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    4. USA Granny, I share your thought- why is George in the front seat?? He is way too small. I'm sure they knew these photos would be plastered all over the internet, so is this something that is considered safe in the UK? Here in the US, kids can't ride in front until they're 12!

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    5. I'm from Germany and had the same reaction. Looks like the older kids were without proper carseats on the ride back home too. All crash tests suggests that to be a bad idea, whatever the reasons. Accidents can happen no matter how short the ride (weird argument anyway IMHO). But it's a risk every parent has to evaluate for themselves I guess.

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    6. UK regulations says as long as he is in a booster seat, which he visibly is, he can sit on the front or back seat.
      If I remember correctly the use of a booster seat is also linked to height and not to age.

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    7. I don’t think they’re going to do something illegal and unsafe with their children. And if they did, I’m sure they wouldn’t do it knowing there will be cameras.

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    8. In the UK the law states that children aged 3-12 years old or up to 135cm tall must sit in a booster seat in the front or back of the car. ... Children under the age of three can sit in the front seat only if there is no space in the back for a child's car seat.

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    9. I have wondered this before. When George was born he was very improperly (by Canadian safety standards) fastened into his car seat. Strange how different the regulations can be. In Ontario, it is a minimum age for the front seat (12) and for car/booster seats it is by height and weight, but neither are allowed in the front seat ever.

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    10. Caroline in Montana19 December 2019 at 15:35

      I believe I was on my mothers lap on the way home from the hospital. there was life before car seats. I'm sure they were not putting their children at risk.
      seems some will look for anything to criticize. sad.

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    11. Caroline, I am sure that your parents loved and cared for you with every ounce of their soul, and bringing you home from the hospital on their laps was likely commonplace at the time. I don't think anyone was accusing William and Kate of intentionally endangering their children.. so perhaps your defensive stance was a little uncalled for???

      Yet again anyone dare to question anything automatically means they are needlessly criticizing. Since "there was life before carseats" I guess we should all just strap our babies down in the backseat with an adult seatbelts and see what happens??? What did you even mean by that? Kind of makes me laugh actually... whose children do you suppose we take chances on? Yours? Mine? William and Catherine's?

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    12. It's fine here in the UK. My 5 year old daughter always sits in the front seat as she gets horribly car sick and sitting in the front helps enormously. Perhaps Louis is the same!

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    13. Caroline in Montana20 December 2019 at 15:58

      Wow Unknown, "defensive stance" is right, on your part. now you put words in my mouth to the effect of "strap our babies down in the backseat with adult seatbelts and see what happens" and "whose children are we supposed to take chances on" ???????- I said nothing of the sort and that kind of makes me laugh, ridiculous gross over exaggeration on your part that I somehow want to "take chances" with children's lives! I am sorry that you feel anyone disagreeing you is uncalled for. I am entitled to my opinion that they did nothing wrong and I stand by it.

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  8. Oh Prince Louis how you've grown! He looks so much like George who has now moved up to drive alone with his dad. Charlotte has such a lovely presence about her and that smile! Kate looks lovely as always. I love that she is wearing Boden in the family pic too.

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  9. This brightens my day. I wonder whose hand that is on the seat where George is sitting.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio19 December 2019 at 02:10

      The RPO in the back seat.

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  10. Beautiful Cambridge's card. Amazing royal family. It's Great

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  11. Louis is the cutest, and how George and Charlotte have grown! I'm thinking that the royal Christmas cards will not be officially released until after the opening of Parliament, which would make them awfully late in the season, just a few days before Christmas? The election so close to Christmas seems to have thrown a spanner into the regular holiday schedule.

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  12. Caroline in Montana18 December 2019 at 15:24

    was surprised at how blond Louis hair is, thought it was going to be dark like Kate's, I don't feel the glimpse is enough to really see his features so hard to say who he looks like at this point. so wonderful to see them all. cant wait for a full post. thank you Charlotte!

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    1. He's at the age where kids' hair tends to lighten. It may get darker as her gets older. My daughter who has light brown hair now was blond at age 18 months and my daughter who has dark blonde hair now had very light blond hair at that age.

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  13. Can't wait to see a better image of the Christmas card. I love Boden dresses....I bought two for my daughter for Christmas. The first time this blog did the "dress Kate" challenge, I chose a Boden dress for her (the Ottoman dress). Also would love to see the dress Kate is wearing today in full. Although I'm not an Emilia Wickstead fan, I do like the pattern.

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  14. Livelihood George's curls on the card photo!

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  15. There is a hope! Lovely photo! Lovely all of you!
    Merry Christmas!
    XOXOXOX

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  16. Rhonda - Wisconsin18 December 2019 at 17:43

    I haven't posted in a while, but I always read the comments and love Charlotte's blog. Everyone looks really good - wish that William wouldn't purse his lips and look scowly at the cameras. George is adopting his looks and it makes him look grumpy when we know he's not. Otherwise, the kids are all growing so fast!!

    I did get to use the link to A Berry Merry Christmas and it was just fabulous. I'm so glad that the people that work hard for the charities were recognized. Loved Mary Berry - she's quite a crack-up. I also loved how she got both William and Kate to come out of their shells and talk about their families and how they are doing things. I just love everything Cambridge.

    I hope that everyone here on Duchess Kate has a lovely holiday season! Happy Christmas all.

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    1. I think he can’t see well if they are taking flash photos , so that’s the face he makes. I have a half sneer and half-shut right eye every time someone uses a flash on me. It’s hilarious , but then I’m not a celebrity.

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  17. Fabulous pics of the Cambridge’s The children are going up fast and Louis has changed so much I can definitely see Kate in him Lovely the family Christmas card too A lovely relaxed photo Thanks for the post Charlotte x

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  18. I like charlotte's dress the best of all! Kate's sleeves do look a bit poufy, but regardless it is a festive outfit. I love, love Kate's dress in the card -- the family may look very casual but they still look very healthy, happy, and well taken care of. Their clothes are relatively expensive, and they look just how they feel -- like a real family of real people. I hope showing this aspect will encourage the press to realize that George, Charlotte, and Louis are people and not objects in the years to come.

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  19. It's a beautiful, natural family photo of a natural family moment. I love it.

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  20. I think Kate has taken out her earrings on the photo leaving the lunch? Maybe they got too heavy to wear.
    Kate looks radiant.

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  21. Kate was wearing earrings on her way to luncheon, but did not wear any on the way back :)

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  22. Charlotte, it looks like Kate might have removed her right earring in the photo of them leaving the reception. Hope she didn't lose it!
    Wonderful photos, everyone looks so happy and, as always, to the nitpickers, people have the right to choose whatever photo they want in a Christmas card. Sheesh!

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  23. What a great post! I am looking forward to watching Charlotte grow up. She is so cute and appears to have such a personality. Happy Holidays to my fellow Duchess Kate fans.

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  24. I love Zara's short hair!

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    1. I noticed that too. Great style!

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  25. George looks so much like William!

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  26. The Christmas card photo is my favourite so far (compared to ones they issued in earlier years). I feel like they're giving us a glimpse of them in their off duty lives which I prefer to more formal poses.

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    1. Um... I think this a formal pose. They are dressed up and positioned around an antique bike. Somehow I don't think they were just zooming around on motorcycles and decided to stop for a photo. I don't see the glimpse at all. Still, it's a nice arty photo.

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    2. Lol! I know what you mean but I was thinking of the one a couple of years ago, with a plain background and the adults wearing blue suits!

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  27. Merry Christmas Everyone ! Thank you Charlotte , and Mr Charlotte who helps from time to time for this blog, thank you for this group of friends and for a positive place to go on the Internet. Thank you for covering both Duchesses with compassion and fairness .

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    1. How beautifully written Susan! Merry Christmas to everyone!
      Ella

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  28. Yeah, more Boden on Kate! I’m wearing Boden myself today. Not sure anyone would mistake us for twins, but nice to be in good company! :)

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  29. It is great to see the kids again, but as usual car photos leave me more frustrated than anything else because you only get a tiny peak that leave you with more questions.

    However the Christmas card is awesome, I can’t wait for a high res photo to be available so that we can see more details.
    I can understand why they chose a picture taken during the summer in Norfolk but I do wish that they would rather use a picture taken in autumn (like last year). We tend to see a lot more of the kids in summer than in winter, and at this age they still change a lot in six months.

    However if rumours are true that the kids will be joining the Christmas walk, then my point is moot as we will them see them at least once in winter.

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  30. Tammy from California18 December 2019 at 22:14

    Charlotte, I noticed a few different families arriving separately. For example the Countess of Wessex and her daughter arriving separate from the Count and her son. The Cambridge’s also drove separate. Would you happen to have an idea why this is? I’m sorry if it’s a stupid question I am just curious.

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    1. There could be a variety of reasons. Protection officers and nannies accompanying the royals is most likely.

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    2. I would like to think like any other family William and George was ready while Kate was still struggling to get the little ones dressed and everything packed and William was making a fuss because they are going to be late, again. So Kate told him to just take a car and take George and go so long.

      I just spend a couple of days with friends with kids of a similar age and within a day we realised traveling with two cars are always a better idea than trying to get everybody ready to leave at the same time.

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  31. Sharon - Washington 018 December 2019 at 22:25

    Great family Christmas card photo. I have a question that is slightly off topic. Did the Tindalls bring their youngest daughter? I saw Mia in photos on another site but no mention of her little sister. Thanks for creating such a wonderful site, Charlotte. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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  32. Really beautiful family photo on the card. Love Charlotte’s dress for luncheon today, Kate’s is beautiful too, what we can see of it.

    I appreciate your balanced, positive writing on both Kate and Meghan.

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  33. Hi Charlotte--Thanks as always for your post. I've been following you for years and this is the first place I come for al things Cambridge! Lovely photos and LOVE the little glimpse of Kate's outfit. I am getting so frustrated with the media here in the US...they are making a huge deal of Kate's shoulder shrug from the Mary Berry Special
    (which I watched and never even noticed) and now about them arriving separately! ugh! thank you for always staying positive, I wish the media would stop twisting these photos!

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  34. Charlotte looks so much like the queen i can't get over it. Beautiful family! happy holidays to all!

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  35. Happy Holidays to everyone!

    A few observations: I love to see the royal ladies driving. I remember loving when my mum drove us somewhere when I was a kid and never understood why some families always had dads behind the wheel. So for me, seeing Kate, Sophie and Eugenie and Sarah Chatto (and maybe others, who I failed to notice) driving their families is a kind of feminist victory, lol.

    I hope we will see George and Charlotte walking to the church, they seem so grown now! George's face expression are hilarious and Charlotte and Louis both look as if they were going to become very attractive and bubbly and popular people in 15-20 years :-)

    I like the holiday photo a lot. It gives a good glimpse of every member of the family and is not too stiff. While I liked last year's photo a little better, I still think this is a great choice and in line with how they lead and present their family. I also like the fact that Kate's dress on the photo is not a designer piece, but a relatively affordable one (although still not cheap in any way) & that it is from a british brand. It is also very pretty.
    Ella

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  36. Always love this event. I love Kate's dress she is wearing to the outing. I believe it does have the the same lighter weight fabric for the sleeves as the original. The Christmas photo of the family is very nice. Are we sure it is at their country home?

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  37. Kate always chooses something so special for this family event. I love that dress. So fun to watch everyone arriving.

    I also like her Boden dress in the photo - I think the photo (while posed) looks fantastic and relaxed.

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  38. that is a beautiful christmas card! such a lovely family. i have to say Zara looks beautiful in the car

    merry christmas Charlotte

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  39. Royal 👑 Watcher20 December 2019 at 10:46

    This is one of my favourite royal events. Only Kate could pull off this kind of dress, and I love her for it! The royal children - cuteness overload. Merry Christmas!!!

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  40. A number of you have asked me about the Cambridges travelling in separate cars. There's now reports suggesting William and George attended a separate event before the luncheon and needed to be there 30 minutes earlier than everyone else. Apparently we'll hear more about it in the coming months.

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    1. Also, there was a KP press briefing yesterday and we're going to see at least one more Cambridge family photo over the weekend.

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  41. Merry Christmas Charlotte, and to your family, and to our family of readers. 🎄❤️

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    1. Share your sentiments Tedi, and Merry Christmas to you as well! cc

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    2. Happy Christmas Charlotte, Tedi, CeCe and all DKB followers! ⭐️😀We're almost there! 🎄

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    3. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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  42. Love the pictures of the Cambridges arriving and departing the luncheon.
    They all look beautiful in their Christmas card. The children have grown so fast. What a lovely family.

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  43. Royal 👑 Watcher20 December 2019 at 22:23

    Hi Charlotte, I hope you don’t mind me mentioning that https://www.black.co.uk/ have a pre-Christmas sale on, up to 50% of gift items, and an extra 10% also. You have shown some of their items here in the past. I have ordered ponchos and socks from them before, and this time I got some gloves, a hat and scarf at a very good price! Their cashmere accessories are so lovely! Thank you, enjoy!

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  44. Love the Emilia Wickstead dress with the sleeves in the lighter fabric, but still the same tartan. It makes the dress seem less heavy than it would have been if it was all in the same fabric, very clever :-)

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  45. Thank you very much Charlotte for your amazing, always respectful and kind, very interesting blogs on Catherine and Meghan! Merry Christmas

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    1. Thank you very much for reading. A very Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones :)

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  46. Thanks, Charlotte. Beautiful family.

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  47. Very photogenic family!!!! ❤️❤️

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