Tuesday, 15 September 2020

The Cambridges Meet Inspiring People Who Went "Above & Beyond" During Pandemic

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out several engagements in London today, focused on thanking communities, business and individuals who have gone the extra mile throughout the pandemic.


It marks the couple's first joint engagement since early August when they travelled to Wales to visit Barry Island and Shire Hall. They spent several days at Balmoral where Kate had the opportunity to share a number of images from Hold Still with the Queen. Last week, life took another step back to normality when George and Charlotte returned to school at Thomas's Battersea. Before term commenced, the family returned to Kensington Palace following almost six months at their Norfolk country home, Anmer Hall.


More from the Mail:

'The Duke and Duchess are understood to have relished the upsides of lockdown, which they spent at their home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk. No foreign tours, no away days, no business of state has meant the Cambridges have been able to spend a huge amount of time with their young brood.'

We've all been looking forward to seeing the resumption of in-person engagements. Today's visits were embargoed and organised with social distancing and other measures in mind. I expect to see all the royals continue to work this way for some time, certainly until the spring. It's very much a case of balancing the role of the Royal family in celebrating the countless amazing people who have gone above and beyond since March, whilst adapting to the ever-changing situation.


Their first port of call was London Bridge Jobcentre.


They sat down with customers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and are currently being supported in searching for new employment opportunities with the help of the jobcentre.


Hello! shared more on their conversations with customers:

'The royals also met Victoria Bello, a fashion design graduate from London and former receptionist who has found a new role as a real estate co-ordinator, with help from a job centre work coach.  
"It was like having support from a friend, because it can be quite a depressing time," Victoria told them.   
The couple also spoke to employers who work closely with the Job Centre including Sandra McNamera, HR business partner at Leyland, who told them that the DIY firm has been hiring. William joked: "In terms of DIY, men think they can do everything when it comes to DIY. I think that’s why everything falls apart."

Kensington Palace added: "The Duke and Duchess also spoke to employers about their experiences of trying to help people find jobs during the pandemic. London Bridge Jobcentre, like all others across the country, has seen a significant increase in its claimant base since the start of COVID-19 and has continued to provide support with face-to-face care to vulnerable customers in a COVID secure manner."


The Telegraph reports:

'At the Jobcentre, they met Afef Ben Khaled, who lost her job in a commercial bank in May when her contract was not renewed.  
When the duchess asked her:  “Are a lot of your colleagues who were made redundant at the same time as you, are they finding themselves in the same situation?” Miss Khaled replied:  “Another colleague of mine who was made redundant thought they [employer] are using the Covid-19 as an excuse. Sorry to be direct with you, but this is the reality.”  
William responded: “I’m sure.” The Duchess, who wore a red Beulah dress and tan heels, asked other job-seekers: “Claiming universal credit, was that an easy process to go through?”   

From there, William and Kate visited the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel to meet volunteers who helped locals throughout the pandemic by delivering nutritious meals, medication and hygiene packs to the most vulnerable.


They spoke to volunteers and beneficiaries supported by William's patronage the National Emergencies Trust.


The trust was launched following the intensity of emergencies in 2017 - from the Grenfell tragedy to terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. It works to collaborate with charities and those on the ground to ensure much-needed funds are distributed as quickly and effectively as possible.


As they heard about efforts to support the community, including building projects, the Telegraph reports William said: "The children, especially Louis would love to come and watch that, to see the diggers, they love it." Kate added: "Don’t forget Charlotte! She’d love it too."


More from the Telegraph:

'The mosque's senior Imam Mohamed Mahoud brought up the issue of mental health - championed by the couple through their Heads together campaign - and said afterwards: "I highlighted the issue of people increasingly needing support with their mental health - the Muslim community aswell as the rest of the UK who have been horrifically affected by the pandemic in terms of losing jobs and livelihoods."  
 He added that the visit by the royal couple had real importance for East London's Muslims: "It's an incredibly significant visit.  
"The Muslim community often feel they have to do more than what is required to be recognised as part of mainstream society and their visit to the East London Mosque and Tower Hamlets borough helps us with that cause in establishing ourselves as part of the mainstream.'

Finally, William and Kate were excited to visit Brick Lane to try their hand at bagel making at East London’s famous Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery.


As they donned aprons and kneaded dough into bagel shapes, owner Elias Cohen described the efforts as "not bad", adding, "I think Kate wins." Kate jokingly replied: "Wait until you see the aftermath! I had beginner's luck. They are getting worse!"


The 24-hour bakery was forced to drastically alter their business and reduce opening hours during the pandemic. William and Kate heard about the difficulties staff experienced over the past six months.


Despite the incredible difficulties, the team came together to support their local community. The owners joined food donation programme Feast to ensure the most vulnerable people received meals throughout lockdown.


The Cohen family were thrilled with the royal visit and cheers could be heard both on arrival and departure. Founder Amnon Cohen described the visit as "the proudest moment of my life".


A video from the visit with plenty of footage from the kitchen.


The Duchess wore her Beulah London Calla dress for the day.


We saw a glimpse of the dress during a video call in May for Mental Health Minute.


The £550 dress is described: "The Calla Rose Red Floral Shirt Dress evokes a classic mood. It’s crafted from silk crepe de chine and trimmed with a contrasting white cotton broderie lace collar and cuffed balloon sleeves. Note the concealed placket - a contemporary touch - and A-line skirt. Team with ballet flats for an effortless display." The dress is available on the Beulah London website. 10% of profits from each sale are donated to empowering women all over the world.


Kate's new gold brown pumps are the Ralph Lauren Celia style (with thanks to Middleton Maven). The $675 style are described: "From its sculpted topline to its elegant pointed-toe silhouette, every detail of our iconic Celia pumps are carefully selected and meticulously executed. Crafted in Italy, this version is realized in full-grain calfskin that's aniline-dyed to amplify the leather's natural texture and grains." The pumps are available in a number of colours.


And accessorised with an £85 pair of Missoma rhodochrosite gold mini pyramid charm hoops.


If you're just checking in and haven't seen the final 100 photos chosen for Hold Still please click here. It's an amazing collection of images capturing a defining time for the nation.

62 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! It’s so nice to see them back in action (in person, not virtual). Brought such a smile to my face! Thank you for posting, Charlotte!

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  2. Such pretty earrings, too!

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    1. Nice mix of engagements! It’s great to see them out & about & I love those tan pumps 😍

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    2. Those are great earrings!

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  3. First thought: old-school big bouncy blowout! Love it!!!

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  4. Great to see this amazing duo back doing what they do best. Working hard for Queen and country, meeting the public.

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  5. Dislike the dress, shoes look painful, SO HAPPY to see them out!

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    1. They do look painful but I love the colour :)

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  6. Have not seen them in a while. Nice to be with the people again. Also nice dress love her hair always looks nice.

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  7. They look great, good to see them out and about! She looks gorgeous and healthy. Their smiles are a ray of sunshine.

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  8. Beautiful Kate William will be GREAT PEOPLES king .future ,

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  9. It's ggod to see them back into action. Sadly, Kate's fashion sense seems to be stuck on a long holiday still (couple of years long holiday). To say, I don't like the dress would be an understatement. We will never see eye to eye on this. But pairing it with the cognac shoes ans the earings (from this extremly chav brand none the less) is a complete miss in my books.

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    1. I am in total agreement. I posted similar thoughts in a later post. The colored stone earrings that always match the dress she is wearing totally baffle me. I often think are her dressers not allowed to offer an opinion to lead her in the right direction. Simple gold/silver earrings make a statement. Less is more most of the time and always classic.

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    2. I am with you concerning the shoes. Cognac and red - a no go in my books. Love to see them out and about!

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  10. Such a beautiful color on a lovely lady. I just wish she would go back to wearing her skirts slightly shorter. She is young and full of energy. This skirt length ages her a lot.

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    1. I don’t get the comments that this length ages her. It’s the length everybody around 30 in Europe is wearing. Midi length is everywhere in all shops. All royals are wearing it, have been wearing it for a while. Mart, Letizia, Victoria. And the only one that is matronly is Kate?

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    2. Maybe keeping her hems longer allows her to be more carefree so that there are no awkward moments because the hemline is too short seated or standing--no awkward "reveal" moments! Also, many times her selections/fabrics are way off season; it's not spring/summer! Always glad to see her out and about and appreciate her hard work.

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    3. Caroline in Montana15 September 2020 at 22:50

      I agree Anon 20:14 - No one said one word about CPVictoria in her white midi with the bold colors for the concert and that had lace detail that you'd think would be a no for all these folks, or would have been if it had been kate wearing it!! lol

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    4. @Anonymous 20:14: just because someting is "everywhere in all the shops" doesn't mean it flatters everyone or the even the majority. Letizia, Victoria, Mette-Marit and Maxima are all at least 10 years older. And the midi-length, if not styled either very elegant or very youthful, is a 40-50 year old style in my opinion. It is obviously subjective.
      Compared to the others you mentioned, Kate chooses styles that are more matronly in itself. There is so much wtong with this dress for example, the length is just the last drop. Everyone would look frumy or matronly in that dress. And Mette-Marit is not exactly seen as a style icon in the first place. Letizia and Victoria are very much hit or miss. So no, it is not only Kate that lokks matronly in it, but this blog is about her and she defenitely has (as she tends to do) fully imersed herself into this style. Thankfully, from experience, we can rest assured that soon there will be another trend she will take on and only wear it almost exclusively in all colours available. Hoopefully, less frumpy and more sophisticated again.
      C.

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    5. I know this blog is about Kate but many times other royals have been mentioned here as style icons she could follow. Letizia and Mary especially.
      I agree that something being trendy does not mean it flatters everybody. I said that because Kate’s dresses are regularly described here as outdated, from 1950. You may not like them but they are not outdated.

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    6. Wow tell us how you really feel! My goodness!

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    7. Maybe she has to wear long dress with long sleeves because of visiting a mosque, don’t you think?

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    8. Victoria is only 4 1/2 years older than Kate...so not at least 10. I like the dresses Kate has been wearing, they look appropriate, comfortable and classic.

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  11. Feels like old times, so nice to see them.

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  12. I really like the shoes (shocker, I usually hate her shoes). But the dress ... ugh. It appears maxi dresses with busy prints are her thing now and they've replaced the elegant sheath dresses or dress coats that she used to wear. At least she unbuttoned the top button but the starchy collar and busy print make it look grandma-ish.

    It's great to see them out and about though. And her hair seems dark chestnut again without the frosted blond highlights.

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  13. Beautiful dress and her hair is to die for. I love the bright color of the dress just to cheer things up. The length doesn't matter to me, she always looks great! Thanks Charlotte for giving us all something to enjoy (or complain about). Lol

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  14. Beautiful Kate - lovely to see them out and about 😀

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  15. I think the Duchess is glowing. With her handsome Prince by her side. Great to see them out and about again. Hopefully with the children back at school, we will see a lot more of them. It will be interesting to see if there is an increase in their workloads. Unfortunately we probably will while the Queen of course is kept as safe as possible. Again great to see them out chatting and listening to people while boosting moral. Excellent work by both.

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  16. This is such a lovely post, thank you, Charlotte! I'll only have time for the videos tomorrow but I appreciate the fact that W&K paid a visit to three very diverse places, all of which represent something "basic": job - community - bread. I really like Kate's dress, I don't mind the length at all. She looks so fresh, even though her expression is grave when she's listening to what the people have been through. I really like her face mask, too.

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    1. Her face mask is in a very pretty fabric (I love Liberty London fabrics!). It really suits her!

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  17. Caroline in Montana15 September 2020 at 22:48

    so nice to see them out and about, missed the movement you just don't get on the zoom calls. really like the dress, such a beautiful color and I like the print. some may call this dress old fashioned or complain about how she's not showing enough leg, but that's probably why I like it so much, she is not a celebrity or a rock star and she is not trying to be and that is what makes her such a good role model and a firm favorite. loved the bakery video, though it made me hungry:) some may also fuss about her hands, but its got to be somewhat hard to remember not to touch anything and must feel awkward to not shake anyone's hand and put them at ease.
    was really hoping we'd see some kind of back to school photos:( I suppose that was unrealistic! lol

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  18. Valerie in Arizona15 September 2020 at 23:34

    Montreal is my hometown and I actually order Montreal bagels every two weeks to be shipped here and frozen. So I loved watching the video of their final visit and wondered whether they brought any home to the kiddies. Great to see them out, I am longing for the day that the travel embargo lifts and I am able to get back to the UK and Ireland.

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  19. Tammy from California16 September 2020 at 01:04

    I think the time with family has been good for Kate, she looks rested and the tiniest bit fuller in the face-which I like. It must have been a warm one for long sleeves in London today because the couple are glistening outside a little.

    Speaking of warm, here in CA, it's been hot with fire all around us, so I am REALLY looking forward to winter and some winter outfits on Kate! In fact, I'll just speak out loud exactly what I hope for: a non-recycled winter outfit... andnot because I don't like recycled outfits, because I am pining for something I haven't seen before...with COVID and the dang fires we eat the SAME meals, are stuck in the SAME house, doing the SAME routine: I need something NEW. Who feels me out there??? ;)

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    1. Caroline in Montana16 September 2020 at 16:13

      Tammy, I'm with ya! I'm up here in Montana and the constant smoke from the fires all around is making me long for winter to put them out and lift the smoke, plus it makes it harder to breath - smoke plus face mask is not ideal:( I don't normally wish for winter but im ready!! Also ready for some new looks, new engagements and new pictures of the kids, lol. hope they stay at it as selfishly for me this is such a wonderful distraction from the Sameness droning on and on!

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    2. Tammy,
      I completely agree with you. We are in Washington State and are suffering from all of y'all's smoke! Hope you and yours are safe. Everyone up North feels for California (and Oregon). We are praying for rain.
      I liked Kate's dress and her shoes are gorgeous. This time out of the public eye for Kate and William had to have been a blessing for them and their children. It has been hard on Everyone but some good will come out of this virus.

      Rachel from Washington State

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    3. Valerie in Arizona16 September 2020 at 20:58

      I'm 100% with you Tammy. A few days we've woken up to our mountains being so shrouded in smoke I feared that Arizona was on fire. But, no, sadly, they are fires from California. I pray that things will get better soon!! And yes, yes, YES to something NEW! 2020 can't end fast enough for me.

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    4. I agree with everybody in this thread. 2020 is such a horrible year and I am also desperately hoping for some happy news this year. The holiday season is coming soon so hopefully it wil bring us some joy and cheer us up a bit. On the royal front I would also love to see more of Kate in new stylish fall outfits. I am also hoping for a pregnancy announcement from Meghan and Eugenie by Christmas.

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  20. I wish Kate would wear more dresses that hit her mid- calf as opposed to almost to her ankle, and that she lessen the number of dresses that have such high button up necklines and long sleeves. I understand that she‘s almost 40 and maybe wants to have a more mature look but I personally feel some of her long dresses are a little matronly.

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  21. Nice to see them out together. I am not a fan of this dress. It's not modern. It looks like the 30s and not in a good way. I do like the length of this dress however.

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  22. Lovely silk dress. The Duchess looks beautiful. The earrings are gorgeous.

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  23. Kate looked great as usual but really should worn hair net or ponytail in the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised by her shoes though I was never a fan of taupe ones previously.

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  24. I absolutely love this!! ♥️♥️

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  25. its feels like old times the duke and duchess arec in sync with each other listening to the people i love they encorragememt they give to the nation they are ray postivity in crying times it gives thw nation postive and a light nation

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  26. Of beigels, mosques and the dispossessed, and all on the same day – no one could accuse the Cambridges of not covering all bases. What a lovely treat to see them back at work. I’m so delighted to see Kate that I don’t even mind the return of another floppy tea-dress. This Beulah is looking terrific, it covers all points from a modesty point of view for a different heritage, and is a great colour on her.

    In the sunshine, the deep cuff detailing looks exquisite with a hint of artisan, and the full upper sleeve doesn’t seem out of proportion once Kate is energetically applying herself in the kitchen. And is it my imagination or does the whole dress hang better with the belt tied to the front? Certainly, from a wider range of pictures this time, it’s clear how the flattering flow of the silk handles gathers without bulk and flatters the figure.

    Today’s highlight for me has to be the two new additions, firstly the heavenly Ralph Lauren shoes. I will never tire of a beautiful court, and this is a very fine example. On Facebook Ann Roehrs astutely pointed out that the tan colour is a break from the black which is so often teamed with red, and which, as a fellow warm colour, works well for an upswitch, especially in an autumnal context. I love the skilful cut of the front to give a slipper-neat toe, the low sweep up to the heel, and the amazing stiletto, sheer and wickedly slim, with that neat final little curve to the sole of the shoe. Heaven.

    The one small proviso is the cruel 4.1-inch height of the heel in the close up, where it is clear what a strain the style puts on the human foot. At least Kate didn’t have to do a full work shift in them. The new earrings are the second new arrival, an unusual combination of gold with pink crystal, in keeping with tan shoes and red dress, very clever. The clutch is perfect, smart, unobtrusive, and wonderfully well recalled by Lady Parky and Valerie Njissen.

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    1. Wow Bertie, what a wonderful write-up, and I couldn't agree more!! The shoes really are a beautiful change and paired with the dress make it a great transitional style. Kate looks great in the shoes and it shows off her tan, which otherwise you can't see. Agree with you about the earrings, (while others may not), Kate pulls her clothes together much like a watercolor painting, some soft hues that transition into others not so soft. I think you are right, while it may not be everybody's choice, Kate thinks about what she wears.

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    2. Caroline in Montana16 September 2020 at 16:19

      Great post Bertie! agree with all you said, and you said it all so well!!!

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    3. Bertie thank you for such a wonderful comment.

      I would have never thought of putting the cognac shoe with this dress but now that I look at it I really quite like it. I think it works wonderfully and as has been mentioned it is a nice change from the more custom choice of black.

      And I am with you....a classic court shoe is also welcomed in my opinion.

      So good to see them out and brightening the days of people who have been through so much.

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  27. great selection of venues. Nice to see the two so professional but also warm. Unfortunately, this dress is one of many on Cathrine that I don't like. I don't like this collar length ruffle mix on her but she seems to love this style :) that's the main thing

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  28. What a fabulous day out for them both so glad to see them resume duties together. I like this dress on her but I’m not sure the shoes are a match to the dress but they are nice and love the earrings too. Her hair looking stunning as usual but think she should have tied it up to be helping make bagels ; )

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  29. I like this dress and think it was a great choice for today's variety of events. Many have commented on the high neckline and length being too matronly, but as a mom of 2 young children you start to appreciate higher necklines and longer skirts that keep wardrobe malfunctions at bay (especially when you are surrounded by cameras)! The higher neckline and longer length was also most appropriate for a day that included a mosque visit. I liked the darker neutral heel for the beginning of fall.

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  30. She and William are such superstars. It's lovely to see them out generating smiles and good will wherever they go.

    On the fashion front - disasterous day.

    The dress is matronly. I love a good midi as much as the next gal but this is a no. Even the sleeves appear confused.

    The shoes are a big no. The stacked heel suggests a more casual look and not fitting with the style of dress. To say nothing of the ultra warm brown. No no no.

    When preparing food best to have your hair tied back. I was reminded of this last week when I served a strand of my own to my brother in a salad.

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  31. Great to see the two of them out. She looks gorgeous but I do not like the dress or earrings.

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  32. Yeah, we can talk dresses again. I don’t like the dress but that is OK after 6 months of Zooms I am just glad that we get to chat about Kate’s outfits.

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    1. I agree, feels like old times!!!

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  33. I love the dress. The cuff detail is gorgeous and Kate looks beautiful! I think the dress looks better with the belt tied in the front (Kate) rather than in the back (model).

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  34. Ok, totally off topic! But does anyone know why "Joy to the World" is played at the end of all the Royal video clips?! Its so weird, there must be something I'm missing? I figured with all you lovely Royal experts here, someone must know the answer! Thanks!

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  35. The dress is so very pretty and feminine. Those heels have some height! I like the fabric used in her mask but I feel that it should come higher up the sides of her face (cover more of her cheeks) for fuller protection.

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  36. Valerie in Arizona17 September 2020 at 16:53

    Ordered the earrings today--free shipping to the U.S., yay! This will add to my collection of earrings and scarves I have bought through Charlotte's blogs. Am looking forward to the colder weather to wear the tartan cashmere scarf/shawl that I got last year. It is SO beautiful!

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    1. Wow, enjoy your collection, Valerie! :)

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    2. Valerie,I am glad I am not the only one who makes purchases after Charlotte posts the info on her blog. I have the Really Wild scarf/shawl, the suede brown boots and the perfect moment jacket.

      It is nice Kate wears items at times that do not come at royal prices. My thanks to Charlotte for giving detailed info on Kate's fashion.

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    3. Valerie in Arizona22 September 2020 at 16:04

      G.A., I am a bit too broad in the beam for Kate's jacket fashions but I did buy a Hobbes dress when I was in England last year and I absolutely love it. And the Missoma earrings came yesterday!!! Only took a week to arrive. They were beautifully packaged and although I was feeling crummy from a vaccine shot (not COVID) I put them on and they are lovely! So delicate!

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    4. Valerie, I am glad to hear you love the earrings. The color is fantastic and I like the style. The earrings need to go on my wish list.

      I am so thankful Charlotte provides detailed info, so I can read up on Kate, and shop at the same time.

      Feel better soon!

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