Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Year in Review 2019: The Children's Princess Gets Back To Nature

As we prepare to ring in 2020, it's time for our annual Year in Review post. I always enjoy writing these as often times during royal events important moments are missed or there simply isn't enough time to go into as much detail as one would wish during the demanding pace of a tour schedule. Then, I go back and see certain engagements or interactions that really capture the essence of the day. 2019 marked the Cambridges' second year residing at Kensington Palace as their primary residence. Princess Charlotte joined Prince George at Thomas's Battersea and we began to see a lot more of the children from family photos to their Christmas Day debut. The year brought a tour of Pakistan and a strong focus on the importance of nature and a continuation of early years works for the Duchess. I hope you have a glass of your favourite tipple or a cup of tea or coffee in hand as it's going to be quite a long one :)


January

Following Christmas at Sandringham, we first saw William and Kate on 6 January for Sunday service at St Mary's. It's become something of a tradition for the Middletons and close friends to gather at Anmer for Kate's birthday weekend to celebrate privately, but we didn't see Kate's family as they were holidaying in St Barts, but they were joined by a close-knit group including the Meades, Emilia Jardine Paterson and Thomas van Straubenzee. Kate sported her funnel neck Catherine Walker coat and a matching Jane Taylor headband.


Kate's first engagement of the year saw her visit King Henry's Walk Garden to see how the project brings people together through gardening and food growing. The engagement coincided with the exciting news Kate was in the process of co-designing a garden for the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show in May. Architects Davies and White revealed they and Kate had read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, which raises the idea of a ‘nature deficit disorder’, and were taking inspiration from it.


Kate stepped out in her magenta Oscar de la Renta skirt suit the following day to visit the costume department at the Royal Opera House to learn more about their commissioning and use of textiles and fabrics. Kensington Palace said: "The textile and manufacturing industry is an area of interest to the Duchess. Her Royal Highness’ great-great-grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was a mill owner who ran the family’s successful textile manufacturing business, William Lupton & Company, with his three brothers."


Next on January's schedule was a visit to Family Action to launch a new support line. Kate asked volunteers about the process of helping a caller from the first point of contact. She also touched on the importance of parental help after the first year: "You get a lot of support with your baby, particularly as a mother in the early days up to the age of about one, but after that there isn't a huge amount. Everybody experiences the same struggle".


I absolutely love royal 'away days' and seeing members of the Royal family spend a day exploring towns and cities around the UK outside London which don't see royals as frequently. In late January, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn visited Dundee, Scotland to officially open the V&A Dundee and to meet with employees and their families from the Dundee Michelin factory, to hear first-hand how the factory’s planned closure was affecting them. Kate teamed her McQueen black watch tartan coatdress with a gorgeous Manu Atelier green bag.


This little one was keen to say hello :)


February

In support of Children's Mental Health Week, the Duchess of Cambridge visited two primary schools in London to find out more about the support offered to students, teachers and parents in helping with mental wellbeing. The Duchess was asked to bring something that made her feel good. Kate told the youngsters: "I’ve got something. It’s not very big. Do you want to see it? This is a photograph of my family. These are my children and this is my husband. And my family makes me feel happy. And we like playing outside together and spending lots of time together as a family. And that makes me feel very happy."


It was a night of glamour as the Duchess donned a beautiful one shoulder McQueen gown for the annual BAFTA awards at the Royal Albert Hall. Sarah Burton outdid herself with the design which featured a whimsical flowing skirt and floral detailing on the shoulder. Statement earrings and glittering Jimmy Choo pumps completed the look (we need to see these droolworthy shoes again in 2020).


The Duchess attended the Royal Foundation's ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference at Mercers' Hall wearing a Dolce & Gabbana boucle suit. Although Kate wasn't intending to speak, she was so impressed by the conference she felt compelled to address guests. Just before she was due to leave, the Duchess told staff she had prepared an impromptu speech. Kate said: "I wasn't actually planning on speaking but I just want to say a few words of reflection after today's wonderful speakers. It's really so exciting to hear everyone here speaking, with your wealth of experience, about the importance of mental health and particularly the emotional development of our children and teachers." I was really pleased to see Kate speaking unexpectedly; it's a topic she's so passionate about, it was excellent to hear her thoughts on the conference in her own words.



That evening, the Duchess wore a sweeping tonal pink Gucci gown for the 100 Women in Finance Gala at the Victoria & Albert Museum. During a speech Kate reiterated her words from earlier in the day on the importance of early intervention: "I have often been asked why I have decided to focus my work on the early years. Having been lucky enough to meet some of our country’s amazing charities and organisations, tackling some of our hardest social challenges, I became acutely aware just how important the earliest years of our lives really are."


Late February brought  a surprise in the form of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland for the Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus. Day one focused on meeting locals and kicked off a visit to Windsor Park football stadium, home of the Irish Football Association (IFA).


Following a quick change, it was time for a kick-about with young people supported by the Shooting Stars programme.


They visited the charity Extern at their Roscor Youth Village, which is a residential activity centre for children referred to the charity by social workers or the Department of Justice. The site provides a safe space to help and support these young people, with particular emphasis on outdoor activities and developing independent living skills. It was a day filled with outdoor adventures including a canoe race...


It was mint green Missoni for a reception at Empire Music Hall to celebrate young people who are making a difference.


Day two began at Hillsborough Castle where William and Kate met with members of the Police Service Northern Ireland. Officers discussed the toll their roles take on mental health. Chief Constable George Hamilton said: "It was lovely that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had asked to meet police officers to get an understanding of the pressure they're under from a wellbeing perspective. I think the staff certainly appreciated the opportunity to talk to Their Royal Highnesses."


In Ballymena in Country Antrim, Kate greeted locals wearing a fabulous McQueen coat which felt like a modern day take on several of the gorgeous ensembles worn by Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.


Kate was particularly taken by one little boy named James. She told his Dad Alan: "He's gorgeous. It makes me broody." Alan laughed and asked: "Baby number four?" Kate replied: "I think William would be a little worried." Nine-year-old Hannah Ritchie told Kate she was writing a biography of her for school. The Duchess knelt down and asked Hannah if she had any questions for her. Hannah asked her why she likes being a princess. Kate said meeting "special people like you", much to Hannah's delight. The Duchess added: "I love working with young people. Everyone is so brave and strong in some of the places we go. It's very nice to meet you. Good luck with the biography."

March

On 5 March, members of the Royal family gathered for a special Buckingham Palace reception marking the 50th anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales (fans of The Crown will know it was covered in detail in season 3). Kate wore a pale blue midi dress with a high collar by her independent dressmaker.


The following day the Cambridges travelled to Blackpool for a variety of engagements. The couple travelled to the seaside town to see a series of innovative projects that are focused on investment and regeneration, and learned how the resort is leading the way in tackling some of the social and mental health problems faced by people in Britain today.


A little earlier I mentioned the importance of 'away days'. What makes them so special? Reactions like these... I firmly believe you cannot put a price on how much these trips and making those connections matter. This man is going to well remember the day he met Kate when she's queen consort.


Kate brought back her red military Catherine Walker coat for the annual Commonwealth Day service. The annual event is considered the highlight of the Commonwealth year, offering an opportunity to reflect on the ties that bind member nations together and to look to future hopes and plans.


It was a sartorial surprise when Kate visited the Henry Fawcett Centre in a lilac Gucci blouse worn with the back to the front and a sharp pair of Jigsaw trousers. I loved this look. It was fresh yet sleek and professional. The classic blouse and trousers combination is a great go-to for any daytime engagement.


The Duchess debuted a reworked Alexander McQueen gown for the 2019 Portrait Gala at her patronage the National Portrait Gallery.


Continuing with tradition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow to mark St Patrick's Day.


The Duchess joined the Queen for the official opening of Bush House, King's College London. Both Kate and the Queen have connections with King's College. Since Prince Philip's retirement, we've seen Andrew accompanying the Queen quite a bit, but moving forward, I expect we may see the younger royals with the monarch more frequently. For 2020, it would be fascinating to see HM make visits to patronages she's passed down to younger royals accompanied by the recipient.


Concluding March, Kate was casual in her Barbour jacket and J Crew sweater for a morning visit to Scouts’ headquarters at Gilwell Park. Kate told a group of children she would love to see George, Charlotte and Louis join the scouting community as she believes "it's an inclusive way of life". The photo of the day came when Kate joined a little girl inside a den.


April

The Cambridges decamped to Anmer Hall for Easter break in April. They were spotted enjoying a family day out with the Tindalls at the Barnham Horse trials, just a twenty-minute drive from their Norfolk home. George had a particularly fun time playing with Mia Tindall.


We saw the couple on 21 April for Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel in Windsor. Kate brought back her elegant dove grey McQueen tailored coat from the 2014 Australia tour.


The family also celebrated Prince Louis' first birthday in April with the release of adorable photos.


With Baby Sussex due imminently, Prince Harry made a last-minute decision to join Kate at the annual ANZAC day service at Westminster Abbey. When the Duchess first entered the Royal family, Harry was often by her side (often times making her laugh) at official events, and it was nice to see them together for an engagement again. As I watched them arriving with Harry just days from welcoming his and Meghan's first child, I was reminded of how protective he was of his sister-in-law when she was expecting George. During an interview he said: "I just only hope that she and him - but mainly Catherine - hopefully that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that comes with it."


Kate looked regal in a teal Catherine Walker coatdress and a hat by Rosie Olivia. The Walker brand has become a prominent staple in Kate's rotation, particularly over the past couple of years.


To celebrate the Cambridges' eighth wedding anniversary, the Queen bestowed an enormous honour on Kate. The Duchess was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for services to the Sovereign. Kate received the highest rank of Dame.


May

May brought Princess Charlotte's birthday photographs taken by Kate outdoors at Anmer Hall and Kensington Palace.


It was a busy month for the Duchess, kicking off with a visit to her patronage, Anna Freud Centre, to officially open their new centre of excellence. She met an array of supporters and families who have availed of the charity's invaluable services over the years including Amy Herring whom Kate enjoyed chatting with. The Duchess wore a bespoke green Emilia Wickstead dress with a square neckline for the outing.


Kate was nautical for the launch of the King's Cup regatta, an inaugural regatta with proceeds going to eight of the Cambridges' patronages. Over the years, the princes' polo outings made substantial financial contributions to a host of organisations, but now they've reduced their playing days considerably, the regatta is very much a way of continuing that support.


The appearance came the day after Archie's birth. William said: "Obviously thrilled, absolutely thrilled, and looking forward to seeing them in the next few days when things have quietened down. I'm very pleased and glad to welcome my own brother into the sleep deprivation society that is parenting." There's a very sweet moment when Kate turns to William and says: "I'm not an uncle." Adding: "It's such a special time, obviously with Louis and Charlotte just having their birthdays, it's such a great time of year to have a baby. Spring is in the air. As William said, we look forward to meeting him and finding out what his name is going to be. It's really exciting for both of them and wishing them all the best. This next few weeks is always a bit daunting, the first time round, so we wish them all the best."


William and Kate returned to their former home of Anglesey. A walk on Newborough beach brought back memories for royal fans from the walks the couple used to enjoy there after the wedding when official appearances were sparse. Glimpses into their life on the island provided some of our first photos of them during the first couple of years of their marriage.


Sporting her polka-dot Alessandra Rich dress, the Duchess travelled to Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes to view a special D-Day exhibition in the newly restored Teleprinter Building, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Kate first visited Bletchley Park in 2014 to explore a family connection: her paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborow worked as a "duty officer" at Bletchley with her twin sister Mary during the war.


I remember May as the month of 'Back to Nature' and the many appearances we saw during the week the garden was unveiled. Ahead of the opening, KP shared a snap of the Duchess getting firmly into the swing of things.


Kate and William took George, Charlotte and Louis to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which was, in part, inspired by the Cambridge children's childhoods in Norfolk and Kensington Palace. It was the most informal shoot of the family we've seen to date, with a selection of outstanding candid family shots. It's fantastic to see official pictures of the Cambridges and their children against the backdrop of one of London's most stunning annual attractions.


Little Louis :)


Kate shared a preview of the garden with a group of schoolchildren. She said: "I really hope this woodland we've created, in a huge collaboration, really inspires families and kids and communities in general to get outside, enjoy nature, enjoy the outdoors, and really spend quality time together."


For the preview in the evening the Queen joined William and Kate for a tour. Kate incorporated memories from the Queen's life "including carrots and beetroot which she remembers planting as a girl". HM was overheard saying: "Very interesting." Kate replied: "Thank you very much, Your Majesty. We will see you later."


The Duchess was in pink McQueen for one of the Queen's annual garden parties at Buckingham Palace.


June

Kate debuted her GCVO regalia for a State banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of the US State visit. A ruffled off-white McQueen design was styled with the Lover's Knot tiara, the Queen Mother's sapphire and diamond earrings, and the Royal Family Order.


On 6 June, the Duchess took the salute at the Household Division's Beating Retreat, wearing her cream Catherine Walker coat and Irish Guards brooch. The two-day event is performed on Horse Guards Parade in front of St James's Park each year on the Wednesday and Thursday evening preceding Trooping the Colour. Funds raised go to service charities. A member of the Royal family is usually present on the second evening to take the salute.


It was a family affair as Prince Louis made his debut for Trooping the Colour in an adroable blue and white outfit his uncle Harry once wore for the same event.


It was another away day for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they travelled to Cumbria to celebrate the resilience and spirit of rural and farming communities in the region. Kate revealed she had taken the children to the Lake District over half-term for a little holiday.


In support of Addiction Awareness Week, the Duchess attended a gala dinner wearing her stylish Barbara Casasola off-the-shoulder dress and those divine Jimmy Choo pumps.


It was a decidedly regal day at Windsor for this year's Order of the Garter ceremonies as the Windsor women were joined by Queen Maxima and Queen Letizia.


The summer season was in full swing as the royals descended upon Royal Ascot for a week of racing and regal style. Many of us have been waiting for years for Kate to wear Elie Saab and the designer's first offering for the Duchess was worth the wait. I loved the shade of blue, the pussy bow detail and delicate trim, the princessy skirt... Yes, Mr Saab, I look forward to seeing your designs for a white-tie affair. We can't close this segment without mentioning the sublime hat by Philip Treacy.


Coinciding with news Kate had become patron of the Royal Photographic Society, the Duchess visited Warren Park Children's Centre in Surrey for a photography workshop to see how learning photography can positively impact young people's confidence and self expression. Kate wore a printed tiered dress by Ridley London.


July

For the second leg of Back to Nature at Hampton Court Garden Festival, Kate wore a summery geometric print Sandro Paris dress and her Castaner Carina wedges. As with Chelsea, the garden was centred on children and fittingly a group from charities supported by the Duchess joined her for the preview day. Nine-year-old Kane from Place2Be said: "It was beautiful. It was very creative. I chatted to the Princess Kate about making smores on a campfire." Kate said there were foxes in the garden which had left half eaten sandwiches." Little Ruby added: "I thought it was a dream - can't believe I'm really here!"


Kate was in Wimbledon white in a vintage-inspired Suzannah dress for the second day of the championships.


It was a family affair at Windsor Castle for the christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby and attended by close family and friends including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, Diana's sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and the chosen godparents and their spouses.


It was a family-filled day out as the Cambridges and Sussexes spent the afternoon at the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club cheering on William and Harry in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day. Kate wore her LK Bennett pink midi dress, whilst George and Charlotte had a ball playing and Louis stole the show trying on mum's sunglasses.


It was a very royal girls' day out as the Duchess of Cambridge was joined by the Duchess of Sussex and her sister Pippa Matthews for the Wimbledon women's final between Serena Williams and Simona Halep.


And for the men's final, William joined his wife to see Novak Djokovic triumph over the Prince of Tennis Roger Federer.


From there, they enjoyed a fortnight on the paradise island of Mustique with the Middletons, where they celebrated Prince George's 6th birthday. The July holiday is becoming a staple in their routine.


August

In a break from the summer schedule, the Cambridges hosted the inaugural King's Cup regatta in the seaport town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.


The event saw the Duke and Duchess go head to head as skippers of state-of-the-art Fast 40 boats. William sailed on behalf of his patronage Child Bereavement UK and Kate in support of her early years initiative with the Royal Foundation. Michael and Carole Middleton looked after George and Charlotte at the event. Much like Back to Nature, it marked the beginning of the children's gradual introduction into more royal events in the UK.


Who could forget the moment when Kate appeared to ask Charlotte to wave :)


From there, the Cambridges spent the remainder of the summer in Norfolk before travelling to Balmoral for a break with the royals in the Scottish Highlands.

Embed from Getty Images

September

It was a milestone moment for the Cambridges when Princess Charlotte arrived for her first day at Thomas's Battersea with big brother George and her parents.


Charlotte looked ready to take on the day ahead and make plenty of new friends with William revealing she was "very excited".


The Duchess officially opened a new play garden at Wisley, which was inspired by Back to Nature. Designed by landscape architects Davies White with support from RHS horticultural teams, it included a number of features from the original garden at RHS Chelsea such as the hollow log and boulders from the waterfall and the hidden burrow and rolling hill from Hampton Court Garden. It's a permanent installation which children will enjoy for many years to come. During a very nicely delivered speech, Kate spoke of the importance of laying the foundation blocks from the earliest years, her work in the area and how much she has enjoyed the process of creating the garden. "There is a well-known proverb – that it takes a village to raise a child – everyone here represents an integral part of that very village. By coming together, having fun, learning and experiencing new things, we can all impart life-long benefits on our children."


Ahead of World Mental Health Day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined forces to narrate a landmark three-minute film, Every Mind Matters, which was broadcast across several leading UK networks.


Kate paid a previously unannounced visit to Sunshine House Children and Young People’s Health and Development Centre to meet with the Southwark Family Nurse Partnership team. Kate teamed the slim-fit, polka dot Equipment blouse with ZARA culottes.


In late September, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Birkenhead for the naming ceremony of the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough. One of Britain's national treasures, Sir David has been a groundbreaking force with his environmental work and his documentaries. The final naming came as something of a relief for officials as the public initially voted to call it...Boaty McBoatface.


October

October commenced with a reception at Kensington Palace for BBC Teen Hero award nominees.


Who could forget George jumping for joy as Aston Villa won!



With anticipation growing ahead of the Cambridges' official visit to Pakistan, William and Kate attended a special event hosted by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Aga Khan Centre. Kate wore a lovely flowing emerald-silk ARoss Girl x Soler dress for the event and earrings by a Pakistani brand.


Next, it was a visit to her patronage the Natural History Museum to view the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity and hear how it is championing and helping to protect UK wildlife. It was a high street look for Kate with a berry Warehouse jumper and Jigsaw culottes with her burgundy Chanel bag and Tod's pumps.


On 14 October, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Pakistan for their first official tour of the country. The Duchess wore a stunning ombré turquoise ensemble by Catherine Walker. The bespoke look channeled the traditional shalwar kameez - a long tunic and trousers. I was very much hoping we would see Kate honour Pakistani dress; the Walker creation was sublime. The draped detail on the neckline and proportion of the dress and fitted trousers make for a gorgeous look.


Day two saw the couple visit Model College for girls in Islamabad where they learned about the benefits of the 'Teach for Pakistan' programme which recruits young graduates and professionals for a two-year fellowship to teach in schools with a lack of qualified educators. Afterwards they visited the Margalla Hills located at the foot of the Himalayas.


From there, they attended a meeting with the President and had lunch with the Prime Minister. Before entering politics, PM Imran khan was a very famous cricketer, then married to one of Diana's closest friends Jemima Goldsmith. During Diana's visits to the country, she supported Mr Khan's efforts to build a cancer centre and spent a good deal of time with the couple. It is believed William and Kate will retrace her footsteps later on in the visit.


The Duchess wore a shimmering deep green Jenny Packham gown for an evening reception at the iconic Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.


William made fashion headlines when he stepped out in a traditional sherwani by Naushemian.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to the mountainous region of Chitral for the third day of their official visit to Pakistan. The visit focused on climate change and meeting as many people as possible. Kensington Palace told reporters to expect "a colourful and fun introduction to rural life", adding the couple "hope to shine a light on the very real consequences of global warming and its devastating effects on our planet".


In Lahore, it was a spot of cricket before William and Kate visited SOS Children's Villages - the largest independent, non-profit development organisation operating across the world. The villages provide alternative families to children without proper parental care. Typically, children of all ages live together in a house with a 'mother' who is responsible for meeting the children's physical needs. These women are often single or widows, and able to fully commit themselves to the responsibilities included. The ethos of SOS is all about fostering a sense of belonging and family which is why several children are raised together and brought up as siblings. The Duchess wore a shalwar kameez by Pakistani textile company Gul Ahmed and a matching shawl by Maheen Khan.


During a speech the Duchess said: "Being here in Pakistan this week, William and I have seen on several occasions how family is at the heart of your culture. Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents all play important roles - you have reminded us exactly what family means. You have shown us too that it is not simply a term that describes the relationship between blood relatives. You have created a home, where children are given the love, protection, and support that will enable them to have a fairer chance in life. Here, women who were once vulnerable, now play the most vital of roles as mothers and it is most heartening to see that you are not doing this alone."


William and Kate visited Badshahi mosque with the Duchess in a turquoise and gold shalwar kameez and matching headscarf by Maheen Khan.


William and Kate's final port of call saw them retrace Diana's footsteps at the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital. The best was saved until last when the tiara moment we've all been waiting for happened. William and Kate joined seven-year-old Wafia Rehmani for a tea party. Wafia has a kidney tumour and told the couple she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.


When unexpected weather meant William and Kate couldn't travel back to Islamabad, it meant a great deal of last-minute logistical changes and the cancellation of a long-planned trip to Khyber Pass on the Afghanistan border. With an additional morning in Lahore on Friday, the royal couple made a return to SOS Children's Villages. In her very first Instagram post, Kate wrote: "The community at the SOS Village is built around family - and the best possible family you could imagine - where everyone comes together to nurture, love and protect the children in their care. These vulnerable children, many who have come through traumatic circumstances, are nurtured in this caring environment and are able to form these quality relationships that they so desperately need to thrive."


To close the tour, the couple were surrounded by adorable puppies at Islamabad Army Canine Centre.


The Duchess spoke exclusively to CNN's Max Foster at SOS Children's Villages: "I think William and I really wanted to see an SOS Children's Village like this. There are so many vulnerable women here but they really use their positivity. The support the village here provides them really to support and protect the next generation. The children in their care and give them the best possible start to their future lives." Regarding the visit, Kate said: "It's been fantastic, we've seen a lot of Pakistan. There's been a huge variety. It was amazing seeing some of the geography, but then to see some of the community activities like this has been really special." It was excellent to see another joint Commonwealth tour, and the visit to Pakistan proved a successful one, from the itinerary to the style, and thoughtful speeches along the way.


November

Following half-term at Anmer Hall where Kate was spotted shopping over Halloween with the kiddies at a nearby Sainsburys, the Duke and Duchess' first joint public appearance was the launch of the National Emergencies Trust. Kate wore a blue Emilia Wickstead dress for the event.


The Royal family gathered at Royal Albert Hall for the annual Festival of Remembrance.


The Queen was flanked by two future queen consorts on Remembrance Sunday. The balcony placement on the day is a reminder of how suddenly change comes. The Queen and Prince Philip were a fixture laying wreaths every year throughout their lives.


Kate opted for a smart casual look styling her grey Smythe blazer with a great pair of ruby trousers from Joseph for an event celebrating Shout volunteers. I love the fit of these and remarked at the time it would be great to see them again with the matching blazer. The new text messaging line was launched in May as a lasting legacy to the Heads Together campaign. It is a joint collaboration between William, Kate, Harry and Meghan. The team at the Royal Foundation contacted Crisis Text Line in the US to begin the process of bringing their successful model to the UK. It is the Foundation's largest initiative to date with £3 million invested.


15 November was a celebratory day for staff and volunteers from East Anglia's Children's Hospices. Their dream of raising £10 million for a much-needed, purpose-built hospice had come to fruition with the official opening of the Nook. Efforts undertaken to build the hospice exemplify community spirit. Across Norfolk, supporters, businesses, volunteers, grandparents and children came together to raise the mammoth sum. Whether it was £500 raised from a bake sale, or a £10 online donation, to larger donations from businesses in the area, it was very much a step-by-step process which took relentless determination. I'm just awe-inspired by the team at EACH who are now supporting children and their families from the Nook.


The Duchess chose a stunning black lace Alexander McQueen gown for the Royal Variety Performance. The bespoke piece featured puffed sleeves, lace overlay, a fitted silhouette, velvet detail on the neckline and waist, and an intricate floral pattern. Kate has a penchant for this style of gown, and the tailoring was beautifully done as always by McQueen and the touch of velvet against the lace has a very luxurious, seasonal feel to it.


Kate was in green for a reception celebrating Tusk Award finalists. She was due to join William at the awards but couldn't due to the children.


December

The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and a host of royals at Buckingham Palace this evening for a reception marking 70 years of the NATO alliance. Kate teamed a grass green dress with the Queen's earrings.


The Children's Princess was in her element for an afternoon of festive fun at Peterley Manor Farm. The common thread throughout 2019 is how much she loves working with children and enjoys spending time with them. I always think of Kate in jeans and a casual sweater out and about with little ones when considering her best engagements.


It was a night of regal sparkle at Buckingham Palace for the annual Diplomatic Reception. A night for 'go big or go home' in the jewellery department with the Lovers Knot tiara, Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, statement earrings and a ring on loan from HM. Kate wore a navy velvet gown by McQueen.


In a heartwarming festive watch, Kate and William teamed up with Mary Berry for a television special celebrating the work of several of their charities and culminating in a Christmas party for staff and volunteers working over Christmas.


It was a family affair for the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon with the three little Cambridges stealing the show.


To wish their followers a Merry Christmas, KP shared a very sweet photo of William with the children, taken over the summer at Anmer by Kate.


The Cambridge Christmas Card for 2019.


Prince George joined Dad, Grandpa and Gan Gan to prepare Christmas puddings as part of the launch of the Royal British Legions' Together at Christmas initiative.


During a family Christmas at Sandringham, there were two surprise additions on the walk to St Mary's.


Over the past month I've talked about George's increasing visibility marking the embryonic stages of his introduction into his royal role and role as a future king. It sounds rather bizarre to be speaking in such terms about a 6-year-old child, yet it is the case. The spotlight is a huge amount to absorb for grown adults, and I imagine growing up with it even in controlled settings is immensely difficult. Since he was born, there's been a great deal of expectation regarding seeing him more frequently; 2019 was the year it began to happen. It's such a fine line to walk, and seeing him look quite sad almost on Christmas Day broke my heart a little. Several of you noted we didn't see as many images of Kate smiling and that didn't entirely surprise me. She's loves her children fiercely, and no matter your position in life, having to choose when to share your little boy with the public just isn't an easy decision.


 I think that's partly why Kate and Charlotte greeted one half of the crowds - knowing the cameras would likely follow. It was a lot for Charlotte too, who is just 4 years old. There was quite a bit of noise, camera phones in all directions and people reaching out and hugging her. When one lady hugged Charlotte, I noticed a police woman almost jolt over. In addition to the points mentioned, there are considerable security concerns at each and every royal event. I do think next year, we may see the children do the walk with their parents and then return to the house with the Queen and Camilla via car. It seems the best compromise given how young they are. Equally, if they choose not to take them for another several years, it would be a very understandable decision. Childhood is precious and Christmas morning sacred for families.


As the year drew to a close, the Palace shared several photos from Kate's private two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London. In an open letter to supportive nurses and midwives, Kate wrote: "Over the last few years, I've dedicated a significant amount of my work to the Early Years - the pivotal period of development between pregnancy and the age of five when children build crucial foundations for life. Your role in supporting this critical phase of development extends far beyond the complicated task of delivering a baby successfully. The help and reassurance you provide for parents to be and parents of newborns is just as crucial. It goes a long way in building parents' confidence from the start, with lifelong impact on the future happiness of their children. The Early Years are more critical for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime. Even before we are born, our mother's emotional and physical health directly influences our development and by the age of five a child's brain has developed to ninety per cent of its adult size. Your role at the very start of this period is therefore of fundamental importance."


Tim O Donovan's annual letter to The Times put Kate at 126 engagements for the year. Over 20 of these were private meetings in relation to the Royal Foundation, mostly focused on Kate's early years project which will launch properly early next year. Several reporters have said her work supporting early intervention over the past few years will all come together with this project. I'm very excited to hear more about it. Simon Perry reports there are two tours on the agenda for the Cambridges in 2020 including a post-Brexit trip to Europe and there's talk of a larger tour over the summer, possibly to a Commonwealth destination with the children. We'll see Kate appoint a new private secretary in the coming weeks too, with Catherine Quinn departing after two years in the role. Kate's assistant private secretary Natalie Barrows was honoured in the New Year's Honours list, and perhaps she will step up to the senior position.


Today, KP revealed a new initiative William has been working on with Sir David Attenborough. The Earthshot prize will support a decade of positive action against the climate emergency. With the support of Prince Charles and Prince Philip, Chris Ship reports William wants "to get as many members of the family involved as possible". The initiative is a global one with Hillary Clinton supporting from across the pond, following her meeting with William at the Palace over the autumn.


More from the press release:

'In what is set to be a ‘super year’ for the environment with crucial summits including the Convention on Biodiversity in China and the COP26 Climate Change Conference in the UK, we will unveil a small number of Earthshot challenges in special events around the globe. These challenges will seek answers to the biggest issues currently facing the planet, including: climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.
We will be awarding a prestigious prize to 5 winners per year over 10 years. Through this, and the winners work following each initial challenge, we hope to be able to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030. An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030.'

Coinciding with the news, an unseen photo of William taken by Kate in Pakistan was released.


I want to thank you all for following the blog in 2019 and wish you all a very Happy New Year! May it be a peaceful, prosperous one. Take a look at the Cambridges' highlights compiled by KP.



See you all in 2020 :)

71 comments:

  1. Charlotte, thanks so much for all you do to keep us up-to-date on Catherine and her appearances and work. You do lovely and thorough write-ups and I appreciate your efforts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the review. I am sure this blog takes a significant amount of time to run.
    I think Kate had her best year yet, fashion wise. It seems that she has found a good balance between what works for her figure and the occasion. Can’t wait to see what the next decade holds for this family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree on the fashion. She really took it up a notch! This is the first year where I liked almost nearly every outfit she wore.

      Delete
  3. Charlotte, you did an exquisite job of covering every detail of the past year with the Cambridges. I have enjoyed this past year following your blog. It is the only place to go for fair and accurate reporting. I have enjoyed reading the comments by the other followers as well, although not always agreeing with them, we all have our love for Kate in common.I am impressed more than ever with William and Kate and their family as they clearly are the future of the monarchy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well it's January 2020 in many parts of the world already (my young cousin was one of the guys up on Sydney Bridge a couple of days ago setting up the fireworks) but in my corner of Arizona it's still December 31st. Thank you Charlotte for a wonderful year in review and for a wonderful year's worth of thoughtful posts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well-done, Charlotte! I cannot close out 2019 without a sincere thank you for all you do with HRHDK and MAM. Your writing and coverage of these women bring joy to my day!

    Kate has had an amazing year and has really crystallized her work-focus. I also noticed lots of green in her wardrobe, which I think is amazing on her.

    Here's to an exciting year of Royal-watching to come! Wishing you and Mr. Charlotte Peace, Blessings, and Health in 2020!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed she wore a lot more green, also, which I love on her! More jewel tones, please :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the review, Charlotte, and a very healthy and prosperous 2020 to all. Exciting news about their climate initiative and what looks like a busy year for the Cambridges.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Charlotte, this is excellent. Thank you all year for outstanding posts. Everyone enjoy a safe, prosperous and happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would have thought some of these visits occurred more than a year ago; I was surprised on seeing them all in the review. Kate looked really amazing in the BAFTA dress. both her personally and the dress. There were some beautiful outfits! A few I didn't like, but so many that were gorgeous! And I can't believe Louis is only 1 year!

    Looks like Kate is really pulling together a lot of aspects of early childhood, and will continue to work int he field. A perfect match for her and something of great importance. So many different aspects to focus from -- health, nutrition, physical activity, mental health, ... I guess she will have to lent her support to hundreds of groups but to have a specific focus is a way to make things change. And the Earthsot prize seems like a super initiative!

    It looks like K&W will have a heavy load -- I hope Sophie/Edward and Anne are allowed to continue their work when Charles assumes the major workload. I think Kate and william are in a very very happy time of life, though, and I'm sure they will enjoy the coming years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Charlotte, I can’t imagine how much time it must take to put together an overview like this. Thank you so much, as you said, when you see everything together like this I notice little things that I missed during the year.

    At first I was almost shocked that Kate’s total engagements only added up to 126 when it felt like she worked a lot more than previous years, but then I realised that even though they had the Pakistan visit, they did not have a proper tour this year. And a tour represents a lot of engagements in a short time. (Quick estimation a two week tour would have added about another 45 engagements to their tally)
    Can she do more? Well of course she can do more, but I think she still wants to make it clear that at this point in her life she does not consider herself a working mother, but a stay-at-home-mom who does some royal work in between. I don’t think there are many years left where she can do that, so I am happy that she was able to it this year.

    Another thing that stood out was how much better they spread their engagements over the UK. Two (or it could have been 3) years ago I felt that Kate was really London-centric, I think she only did one or two engagements outside the Greater London area, which I thought was a mistake. This year it feels like they made a point of meeting people all over the UK (I think they can still spend some more time in Scotland, but it was a start) and that is very important for the royal family.

    All in all I think it was a great year for the Cambridges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When considering Kate’s engagement numbers I think it important to remember that Louis is still very young. George and Charlotte got a lot of their parents time during their first couple of years and Louis deserves just as much involvement from his parents during these critical early years. Obviously William needed to greatly increase his time commitment in order to better serve the queen as she aged but I think Kate is striking just the right balance between work and home.

      Delete
  10. Zora from Prague1 January 2020 at 11:08

    Thank you so much, Charlotte, for this incredible recap!!😍 I really appreciate all the work and time that go into your posts. Your blog is such a quality reading - an incomparable source of reliable information, respectfully written pieces and so many interesting facts!
    Happy New Year to everyone! 😃

    ReplyDelete
  11. It was a really busy year for Cambridges including their children. I was surprised how much more we see George and Charlotte. It was exciting for fans but we must remember that they are only little children.
    For me the highlight of the year was Back to Nature garden. I think that it was one of the most important and succesful project which Kate created in eight years.
    I'm looking forward what new year will bring.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think one of the hardest parts of a royal’s life must be the constant push and pull between protecting and exposing your kids.

    Part of me feel that just because George will one day be king, should not spoil his Christmasses now. Afterall the fact that I would become a teacher had no effect on my life until I turned 18. And I also did not need to spend my whole life being prepared for my job, I spend 4 years training for it specifically. Why should being royal be different? Kate wasn’t exposed to walkabouts from a young age, and yes it took her a while to get the hang of it, but bow she is a pro.

    But then the realistic part of my brain kicks in, says that being a royal child can’t be compared. They need to be seen for people to build a type of relationship with their future monarch. Part of why the royal family works is because people are invested in their lives from the moment they are born. And for that to happen they need public exposure.

    But I think W&K are managing this process as well as is possible. There seems to be a trend of waiting until George is about a year older than William was and whenever possible including both kids together so that the attention is divided.

    And while I agree with Charlotte that I might have tried a compromise with them attending church but not do the meet-and-greet, the Christmas walkabout is probably the best one to use as an introduction. It is fairly small, security is tight, lots of people are there every year, they could take the kids beforehand to become familiar with the environment and explain how it would work and most of all with lots of other royals also greeting people, they could keep it very short. In the end G&C only greeted people for a couple of minutes before walking back.

    I makes me excited to see how W&K will continue to introduce the kids to royal life in 2020. Maybe joining Kate in the carriage for the Trooping? (At 5 years old both William and Harry already joined their mom).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering about trooping the colors too. It seems the logical progression.

      Delete
  13. Happy New Year dear Charlotte and to all DKB readers! xx What a fantastic year 2019 was for the Cambridges. I love the photo Kate took of William in Pakistan - such a great shot! It did make me a little sad to see little George & Charlotte greet the public at Sandringham. They still feel so young & I noticed Kate looked a bit tense at times, albeit it was a lovely gesture by them. The Earthshot prize sounds like an amazing initiative. I look forward to what 2020 brings :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. hmm looking forward to the to the new adventure the lead a better world and looking for more charities

    ReplyDelete
  15. An amazing collection of photo and hard work in 2019. HAPPY 2020!with joyous moments of joy, peace and health to all those you love, XOXOXXO

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for this wonderful overview of the year for the Duchess and her family. I loved it! Your coverage is so excellent and gives me so much joy throughout the year. Thank you! Wishing you and yours a very Happy 2020!

    ReplyDelete
  17. It was clear from the very beginning, Charlotte is more outgoing, while George tends to be shy and reserved in public. I wonder how the parents will handle the situation if Charlotte finds herself into the same situation as William and Harry or the Queen and Margaret, one struggles while the other shines.

    Honestly, I love how the Scandinavian royalty introduce the kids into public life slowly but surely. It is subtle but on point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine that W&K have and will spend hours discussing Charlotte and her role. Maybe even more so than George. Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew and now Prince Harry have all shown how difficult it can be to find your place if you are the spare.

      It would also be interesting in the future to see how the changes in the order of succession affects the Charlotte and Louis’ roles.
      Because Andrew and Edward was ahead of her in the line of succession Anne did not have the pressure of being the spare even though, like Charlotte she was the second child.

      Delete
  18. Rose from Montreal1 January 2020 at 15:30

    Dearest Charlotte
    Many thanks for the fantastic work that you do keeping us informed about Duchess Kate activities. You are absolutely the best. You are appreciated, From the bottom of my heart I thank you and appreciate all your efforts.
    May you and your wonderful husband have a wonderful blessed New Year
    Once again thank you

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can’t believe that I am the first to post a comment. I enjoyed scrolling through 2019 with Duchess Catherine and her family.
    I had some of the same feelings about the Cambridge children that you expressed Charlotte. I have been in childcare for years and so I do not find George, Charlotte, and Louis hesitant expressions when facing a barrage of cameras and people surprising. I am impressed that there has been no crying or hiding of faces. Which tells me that William and Catherine are doing a good job to prepare them as much as possible.
    Like previous posters have mentioned; the Royal Family would likely not survive if they are never seen; but I also think some of the interest in them would wane if we saw them all the time.
    So I can imagine the tension between how much or little to expose the children at this age is difficult for them at times.
    Enough chatter from me however.
    Thanks to you Charlotte for your continued superb coverage over the past year. This Royal Family following has become a fixture for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was disturbed a bit when watching a video posted online of the family's departure from the church on Christmas Day. The women apparently taking the video were relentlessly calling out Charlotte's name as she walked down the path and past them. They switched from calling her "Charlotte" to "Princess Charlotte", as if that would get her attention better. I really, really disagree with what they did. A four year old child should not be "harrassed" in that way. It seems harmless enough, calling out someone's name. But she's four years old. People who go to seem them in public like that should still respect the child's age and capacity for understanding what is going on. Enjoy seeing her but otherwise leave her alone.

      Delete
    2. Pam, I so agree! "We" have no claims to Charlotte. We may know more about than we should, but she does not belong to us. Until she grows up and says she wants to be a paid royal, at least, she should not be approached by strangers. I hope they figure out a way to keep that from happening again. I don't think George would like it at all!

      Delete
  20. The DuchessKateTracker shows 55 days with 90 public engagements at home.
    Another 7 days with 23 engagements abroad.
    Totals: 62 days with 103 engagements.
    The 20 days spent at the office - board meetings/parties for staff are not part of that record.
    It sounds like she gets to the office once, sometimes twice a month.

    Close to 23% of her days are focused on public life. (Which includes your nephew's Christening, your Grandmother-in-Laws Birthday Celebration, your Father in Law's Investiture Anniversary, and Horse Racing at Ascot).
    The other 77% of her days are private.

    Pretty much in line with years' past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just keep in mind that those 20 days spend at the office is when she have meetings with “outsiders”. We have no idea how often she meets with her own staff. Or even just doing some research, preparation or planning by herself.

      Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that she works 9 to 5 everyday of the week. Afterall she considers herself a stay-at-home-mom. But I really doubt that she only spend 20 days in the office.

      Delete
    2. Kate is also raising three children age 6 and under. It's always been understood that the children will be her priority while they are young. The way she is raising her children is an invaluable contribution to the monarchy.

      Delete
    3. What a busy year! I'm hoping some January engagements in London are scheduled. I will be there for two weeks this month - I am leaving next week! Am going with my oldest daughter who did not get to go along on my last two trips. She is a big follower of the Royal Family and is a British history buff, more so than I am.

      I have to admit I am disappointed there wasn't another pregnancy announcement in 2019. I hadn't really expected it until I saw someone on TV at the end of 2018 making predictions for 2019 and she has almost never been wrong in the past. And she predicted a fourth baby announcement. So I had gotten my hopes up. Silly, I know.

      Delete
    4. I've decided that it does not really matter how many hours/days Kate "works". William fell in love with her and her essence is having a family and being with her family most of the time. She could leave her kids and be gone from home more but, like most families, they are happier with her current schedule. It is a luxury to be able to do that, but many women do have the income to be able to choose, as does Kate. She seems to be incredibly successful in raising her children. She did have a remarkable year, so we will just have to wait another 15 years maybe for her to be at the level of Anne, for example.

      Delete
    5. Zora from Prague2 January 2020 at 20:25

      Enjoy your time in London, Pam! I hope it will be just as exciting as the last time. Keep us informed if you bump into the Cambridges, please! 😁

      Delete
    6. Zora, thank you! You know I will definitely let you all know if I see them (Kate especially of course).

      Delete
    7. Zora from Prague2 January 2020 at 22:07

      Yes pleeeease! 😍

      Delete
    8. It's true Catherine's calendar is empty compared to 400-500 for Charles and Anne, and an astounding 300 for the Queen. She must be forgiven during the years she is raising three young children and trying to be very involved in their daily lives, unlike past generations of royal mothers. When Charles is king, the monarchy will be very much smaller and as the Cambridge children get older, she will more of a workhorse than before.

      Delete
    9. greybirdk, I agree with you. This is how she wants to raise her children. William said long ago that he may not please some people but that his family comes first. Kate and William tend to them in the morning, cook their meals, take them to school, and generally spend as much time as any family that can afford to do so does. Yes, it is "privileged" -- not something my mother could do, but it is a wonderful thing to be able to do. I'm afraid that is the tradeoff -- William could be different, he could have chosen a different person to love, Kate could be different -- but they are not. We mustn't forget that William and Harry had an unhappy home -- these children have a very happy functional home and we mustn't begrudge them that!

      Delete
    10. Greybirdk, I was looking at the more in-depth analyses of royal engagements in 2019, I realised that we might see a change quicker than I thought. Anne’s engagements have show a very slow but steady decrease over last few years, she is still a workhorse with over 450 engagements, but as she is nearing 70 I expect that trend to continue. Add to that the 400-500 engagements that Andrew used to do and suddenly there is pressure on the young ones that wasn’t there 3 months ago.
      While I don’t think they will pick up all Andrew’s engagements, my guess is there are at least 150-200, like escorting HM and the military ones, that somebody in the family will have to pick up. With Charles stretched to his limits and Anne slowly decreasing (or at least not increasing) her tally, it will fall to the Cambridges, Sussexes and to a lesser extent the Wessexes to pick them up.

      Delete
  21. It did seem there were a lot more events this year. Those numbers don't take into consideration the many hours preparing for those engagements. Studying customs, familiarizing yourself with names, places, people, etc., Not to mention fittings and shopping for clothes for the events. By Kate's wardrobe it is obvious much thought goes into each outfit. How she does it is beyond me, and such a great mother and wife! Thanks Charlotte for your great blog, showing us the extremely busy year this future queen has had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s a good point, all the behind the scenes prep. All the studying up and agendas to go over and yes, things such as outfits.
      She by no means is like Princess Anne, and she is not working 40 hrs a week as I do as a mom. However, I am sure there are a few more things behind the scenes that she is doing. A few hours here and there.

      Delete
    2. And while most of is would consider online shopping recreation instead of work, I can imagine that putting together outfits for each job must be a time consuming task and part of Kate’s job.

      Delete
    3. I can't say I consider online shopping recreation! Absolutely boring and exhausting for me. I certainly think having to dress up, hairdresser, every single time is work.

      Delete
  22. I follow your Duchess Kate blog and as a fellow journalist really appreciate the detail you provide. Thank you Charlotte. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dear Charlotte,

    Thank you for the review and a very happy new year to you!

    Will there be a outfit-of-the-year poll on HRH Duchess Kate and Mad About Meghan like the last couple of years? It is always such a highlight of the season for me :)

    Thank you for all the hard work you put into your blogs. Please know that it is highly appreciated.

    - Cora

    ReplyDelete
  24. Charlotte, thank you for your continued support in providing all necessary posts about the Duchess in her work. I am an avid reader and have been following them for over 12 years so to have this readily available has been groundbreaking for me. I will always support your efforts in the vital work you do to keep us informed and leveled. It was a pleasure reading and reviewing the work you did in 2019 and the previous years before. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for the Cambridge’s and look forward to seeing you cover it with the help of some awesome photographers.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Charlotte I enjoyed this recap so much. You are an incredible resource and your work here is much appreciated!!

    It is evident to me that Kate wanted to “up her game” this year. By types of engagements, level of responsibility, and general confidence. If Catherine Quinn was bought to assist in that effort, mission accomplished. Kate was stellar this year on all fronts.

    Also is that McQueen white gown at the BAFTA awards the epitome of a princess?? Goodness - she was spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Susan from Canada2 January 2020 at 00:47

    Adding my thanks, Charlotte, for this wonderful recap of a busy and productive year for the Cambridges. In looking at the photos together, it's lovely to see that Kate is glowing, relaxed, and confident. She and William really seem to be hitting their stride, perhaps because they've had time to build a strong foundation for themselves and their family. Kate may be speaking of herself in some ways when she so often points out the importance of creating that base for children and families - and for her own public position and its duties.

    Charlotte, this site is one of the nicest places on the internet, and it's always a pleasure to see a new post. All the best to you, your family, and your readers for the upcoming year.

    ReplyDelete
  27. (Apologies if this is double-posted; some blogs don't work well with my Safari browser.)

    Adding my thanks, Charlotte, for this wonderful recap of a busy and productive year for the Cambridges. In looking at the photos together, it's lovely to see that Kate is glowing, relaxed, and confident. She and William really seem to be hitting their stride, perhaps because they've had time to build a strong foundation for themselves and their family. Kate may be speaking of herself in some ways when she so often points out the importance of creating that base for children and families - and for her own public position and its duties.

    Charlotte, this site is one of the nicest places on the internet, and it's always a pleasure to see a new post. All the best to you, your family, and your readers for the upcoming year.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a huge undertaking to put together this beautiful post. Loved reliving the year, and indeed, it was a great year.
    Happy New Year Charlotte and to all.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Happiest of New Years and so so many appreciative thanks for all of your time, effort, energy and passion that goes into making this such a wonderful read that I so enjoy following....xo

    ReplyDelete
  30. It has been an important year in terms of how Duchess Kate has been honored by the Queen, performed her duties to the Royal family, and stepped up the introduction of the children to public duties. Thank you for your coverage of all these events and for this recap, Charlotte. You always provide a stellar post.

    ReplyDelete
  31. A wonderful summary. Thank you, from a Kate fan in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Caroline in Montana2 January 2020 at 15:43

    Charlotte, thank you for the review, such a fun read. I have been here but unable to comment for the last weeks. the Christmas coverage was wonderful, loved seeing the kids but I must agree with those who say hugging charlotte is way off the mark. there is no reason to put your hands on her and bribing her with a toy was almost shameful. she is 4 and should not have to hug strangers! hopefully we don't see that again. loved the queens Christmas speech, very powerful words from a wise woman. Lest we forget Monarchy is a long game not about instant gratification, families are fluid. loved the photo kate took after the swimming. love how George has such a different face away from the crowds, he has such a great smile. beautiful family. wishing everyone a blessed new years! thanks charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello, Charlotte will you have any fashion polls coming up soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cora and Paige thank you for your interest in the polls, I'm starting a new project for work and will know for sure in a few days if I'll have time. I'd hate to start them and leave them half way. They are always fun posts and I enjoy writing them. I'll get back to you on it :)

      Delete
    2. Ooh a poll would be great! :)

      Delete
    3. yessss! that would be amazing :) I hope you'll manage to do one, Charlotte! thank you :)

      Delete
  34. Wow, what an excellent and very thorough post Charlotte!! I join in with everybody that it has been a fantastic year for Kate as we have watched her blossom. ove the pictue Kate took of William in Pakistan and a nice lead into the new Earthshot initiative and challenge; love the photo she took of William and the children and agree with Caroline that George's expressions in private show a very happy child; have loved Kate's style and looks this year, especially LOVE the BAFTA gown, it is quintesentially royal and very very Kate. If this year has been a peek of what is to come, can't wait to follow and see!! cc

    ReplyDelete
  35. Zora from Prague2 January 2020 at 20:42

    I've finally had time to go through the post in detail, and what a pleasure it was! I agree with those who said that 2019 was a great year for Kate. She seems to have had more self-confidence, partly because she has been striking the balance between raising her children and taking up more engagements. The area on which she wants to focus has taken shape: children's early development, their mental health and promoting the benefits of the kids spending time outdoors, possibly with their parents/relatives. I think the phrase Kate repeated several times - "it takes a village to raise a child" - sums it up pretty well.
    On the fashion note, my favourite 2019 looks were two McQueens - the tartan coat dress and the blue "Mary Poppins" coat, the Elie Saab dress from Ascot, the combo of grey blazer+ruby trousers, plus everything Kate wore in Pakistan.
    Thank you once again, Charlotte! 😃

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favourite is the blue McQueen coat! And all your other picks I loved, also :) There were so many great fashion moments.

      Delete
    2. Well said Zora! It is interesting to see everybody's favorite Kate styles!! cc

      Delete
    3. My top three were: 1) turquoise Maheen Khan worn for the mosque visit, 2) teal Catherine Walker with Rose Olivia hat, 3) khaki Jigsaw culottes with burgundy Warehouse sweater. I loved these three and when I think about it, I feel like they all were somehow different from what Kate usually wears, a bit of style departures, but at the same time very much in line with her general preference and signature style characteristics.
      Ella

      Delete
  36. Way too much to read now on this blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all, a lovely read and great recap. Many of us enjoy learning about the initiatives and can't get that from just pictures. If its too much to read for some, then just look at the pictures, either way its a great timeline of 2019. We appreciate the time you spend on this blog Charlotte so that we may enjoy.

      Delete
    2. Honestly, if you have nothing nice to say, it would be better to not comment at all. Charlotte puts an enormous bailout of work into keeping us informed, and all we should be showing is appreciation.

      Delete
  37. Thank you Charlotte, for all you do. This was an especially lovely post!
    Wishing you and all your readers a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Don;t have much to add to Charlotte's wonderful post except thank you for the great work that you do. Also: the McQueen BAFTA gown is literally the greatest gown Kate has ever worn. Ever. She looked so gorgeous in that gown.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for your blog. I do read every single post though I do not comment these days. For me this year has brought one thing forward that in my view is the most important over clothes, patronages, tours, children, feuding etc is this ~ in my very humble opinion this is the year that Catherine seems to have finally hit her stride in all areas as in her confidence. You can see it I her face, her interactions, her clothes, her speeches
    ...
    She is exuding confidence.....and that is just a really wonderful thing to see. I only see her flying higher.

    Thanks Charlotte for all your hard work and Happy New Year

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love her! Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Very nice recap, Charlitte. One of the things that seems to shine through in almost all of the photos is a genuine smile and enjoyment/interest in whatever activity she is engaged in. Catherine doesn't 'phone it in'at all, she focuses her attention on whomever is speaking and that is a rare quality anymore.

    I also want to say how much I enjoy your blog posts for the history and background information that is included, whether it is an event or location. I think I look forward to that more than I do seeing what Catherine may have worn.

    Happy New Year!

    Border Terrier lover :-)

    ReplyDelete
  42. "The Children's Princess " I like that! Great review of the year, and thank you for your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Ditto from me for everyone who mentioned Kate's growing confidence. I think it's evident in her stride and she seems to really enjoy her appearances.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.

Kate's Favourites