Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Year in Review 2020, Part 1: The Year Before the Pandemic

Before I delve into tonight's post, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year. While extending those wishes to loved ones in recent days, I was reminded of T.S. Eliot's 'Little Gidding': "For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice." A quote with poignancy like never before as we all hope for a brighter and safer 2021. In the UK, we're in the midst of an incredibly challenging period with the virus and have returned to a similar level of restrictions to those imposed last spring. With schools closed, George and Charlotte will not be returning to Thomas's Battersea as planned, nor is it expected Louis will commence nursery this month as was speculated. I anticipate a return to virtual engagements largely across the board for the Royal family for the time being -- with a strong possibility William and Kate will elect to remain at Anmer Hall.

I've pondered this year's Year in Review with the realisation a linear month-by-month look back wouldn't work as well as in previous years. Instead, I've opted to divide the year into two posts; the first will focus on the period before Covid-19 and the second will retrace central themes as showcased through Hold Still.

2020 kicked off with a traditional walk to Church at Sandringham ahead of Kate's birthday. As has become tradition, a number of close friends were present including James and Laura Meade. James is Charlotte's godfather and Laura was chosen as one of Louis' godparents. They were accompanied by George's godmother Emilia Jardine-Paterson and her husband David. The Duchess wrapped up in a past-season Roksanda coat in orange and blue tones with a fedora hat and Stuart Weitzman boots.

Following a sun-soaked holiday over Christmas with Pippa and her husband James Matthews, and James Middleton and his fiancée Alizee Thevenet in St Barts, Michael and Carole Middleton joined the Cambridges for the weekend too. It's understood they had hoped to spend Christmas with the Middleton family, but those plans were changed by the announcement of new restrictions in December.

To mark Kate's birthday, KP shared a lovely informal photo by Matt Porteous to mark the occasion.

Engagements for the year commenced on the 15th with a day in Bradford. The itinerary highlighted "a number of projects which support the community and promote cohesion within it, in one of the UK’s most diverse cities". There was a great deal of excitement following news Bradford was the "most improved city" in the UK, with an impressive work-life balance.

There were plenty of fun exchanges throughout the day with Kate discussing her plans to knit a jumper for George and telling a well-wisher who asked about more Baby Cambridges, "I don't think William wants any more." Kate wore a longline military green McQueen coat with a ZARA check dress, Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair bag and Zeen earrings.

The first (of a handful) of glamorous evening events came during the UK-Africa Investment Summit reception at Buckingham Palace. The Duchess was stunning in a fabulous sparkling red dress by Needle & Thread for the occasion. The brand has long been admired for their attention to intricate embellishment and sequin detail. Kate teamed the dress with her red suede Gianvito Rossi pumps, Jenny Packham clutch and Soru Jewellery earrings.

The day after the reception Kensington Palace released details of Kate's early years project which had been in the works for over eighteen months - a landmark UK-wide survey on early childhood. In 2018, Kate convened a steering group filled with experts across several fields including education, mental health and academia to focus on how to help families support children in their earliest years. The Palace revealed the project "aimed to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come".


The announcement coincided with a 24-hour, whistle-stop trip across the UK, beginning with a visit to MiniBrum at Thinktank Science Museum, Birmingham. Speaking about 5 Big Questions, the Duchess said, "Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them. As a parent I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children. The Early Years are more crucial for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime. I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most."


The next stop on the 5 Big Questions tour was Cardiff. Kate, attired in Massimo Dutti and ZARA, joined a baby sensory class at Ely and Careau Children’s Centre. Speaking to a group of mothers, she told them, "It’s nice to be back in Wales. I was chatting to some of the mums. It was the first year and I’d just had George - William was still working with search and rescue and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey. It was so isolated, so cut off. I didn’t have any family around, and he was doing night shifts. If only I had had a center like this." I think it's so important for the royals to share their own experiences, it also offers a wider understanding of Kate's interest in this area."


During a return visit to HMP Send women's prison in Surrey, Kate reunited with some of the women she met almost five years before to discuss how they are rebuilding their lives. Over tea and cake, they discussed the challenges and hardships on families when a parent is in prison. Kate asked the group how much their experiences as adults were influenced by their childhood. Several of the women immediately replied, "All of it."


When I think of Kate's professional highlights of 2020, the focus on the power of photography to evoke feelings, memories and indeed the year as a whole springs to mind instantly. Memorably, the Duchess had photographed two Holocaust survivors, Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein with their grandchildren. The images were part of a project which inspired people across the UK to consider their own responsibility to remember and share the stories of those who endured persecution at the hands of the Nazis.


Steven Frank was photographed with his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie. Originally from Amsterdam, Steven survived several concentration camps as a child. It was heartbreaking to read Steven and his brothers were 3 of only 93 children out of 15,000 who survived Theresienstadt camp where life or death was determined capriciously.


The Duchess described the experience as a "privilege", adding the stories she heard "will stay with me forever". Kate continued, "While I have been lucky enough to meet two of the now very few survivors, I recognise not everyone in the future will be able to hear these stories first hand. It is vital that their memories are preserved and passed on to future generations, so that what they went through will never be forgotten." Below, the Duchess with Yvonne Bernstein.


The Duchess with Yvonne at the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster.


The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in her Dolce & Gabbana bouclé skirt suit to join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Programme at Evelina London Children's Hospital to see how the creative arts can support children’s health and wellbeing. Luke, a heart patient at Evelina and quickly asked to take a photo of Kate holding the wreath. She was more than happy to oblige and looked delighted to pose for the budding photographer.


Luke was thrilled with the results. He said would "take it home and keep it forever". :)


Kate continued a busy week with a visit to London Early Years Foundation (LEFY) Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Pre-school in London. The engagement was originally scheduled as part of tour of the UK to mark the launch of 5 Big Questions. Kate revealed that morning over 100,000 people had completed the survey in its first week. The Duchess said, "I'm so happy. I can't wait to see the results."


We didn't know this until a little later but during the visit Kate gave her first podcast interview to Giovanna Fletcher of Happy Mum, Happy Baby. Speaking about the survey during the conversation, the Duchess said, "I think ultimately if you look at who’s caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of five, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that, and although I’ve spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it’s so important to listen to families. What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges? What we’re doing with the survey is asking people – what is it that matters for them in raising their children today. It’s going to take a long time – I’m talking about a generational change – but hopefully this is the first small step: to start a conversation around the importance of Early Childhood development. It’s not just about happy, healthy children. This is for lifelong consequences and outcomes."


When asked what parts of her childhood she would want to give her own children, the Duchess recalled memories with her grandmother and spoke of the importance of quality relationships. "If I take the experience from my own childhood, coupled with what I know now and what I’ve learnt from the experts in the Early Years sector, I think there’s a few things that really stand out for me. One is quality of relationships. So, those moments that you spend with people that are around you. I remember that from my own childhood. I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us, and I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now. There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment. As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying developmental foundations. It’s such a great environment to spend time in, building those quality relationships without the distractions of ‘I’ve got to cook’ and ‘I’ve got to do this’. And actually, it’s so simple."

It was a star-studded night at the Royal Albert Hall for the annual BAFTA awards on 2 February. The event celebrated the very best in British and international contributions to film over the past year. Guests were asked to be more sustainable in their sartorial choices. Whether re-wearing items from their wardrobes or supporting sustainable designers. A spokesperson told Grazia magazine, "Sustainability is very important to Bafta, and we’re doing more than ever before." With this in mind, the Duchess chose a McQueen gown from her wardrobe - the white gown with gold embroidery she debuted for a State dinner during the Malaysia tour in 2012.

The look was completed with Van Cleef & Arpels jewels, Kate's citrine ring, gold Jimmy Choo pumps and the Anya Hindmarch Marano clutch.

For an away day in South Wales, the Cambridges focused on highlighting local organisations. Kate sported her navy Hobbs London Bianca coat with a red ZARA dress and Beulah London scarf.

Mike Sutton Smith shared a very sweet video of his father-in-law, Harvey Bentley, meeting the Duchess. Kate told him, "I hope you're keeping warm enough. It's very nice to meet you. Thank you for coming to say hello to us." Adding, "It's lovely to see the children out." Harvey kissed Kate on the hand and she told him she would send William over to say hello. Harvey's son-in-law, Mike, said his family would never forget the meeting.

I remember this 'moment of the day' brought a smile to all present.

It was a rare joint engagement for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for a visit to the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre Stanford Hall, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough. The Defence National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) was the brainchild of the late Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, who led the £300m fundraising drive with a personal gift of £70m. Sadly the Duke passed away in 2016 and did not have the opportunity to see the project come to fruition. The Duke was Prince Charles' friend and close confidante for decades. His wife Natalia is Prince William's godmother and he has been credited with serving as a mentor to William over the years. The Cambridges have been loaned the Duke's jet on several occasions which has ensured family trips to Southern France and the French Alps were kept under the radar.


The Duchess of Cambridge continued her 5 Big Questions tour with trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland in February. 


Kate began the day with a visit to Ark Open Farm near Belfast, speaking with families about themes covered in the survey. Kate met a number of families. She thanked them for participating in the survey and said, "It's really interesting to get everyone's perspectives." Afterwards, she told two children, "Charlotte and George will be very sad not to have met you and see this really cool farm."


From there, the Countess of Strathearn travelled to Aberdeen, Scotland. Kate visited Social Bite café to speak with employees, support volunteers and regular customers who have experienced homelessness. When Kate sat down with a group of people involved with and supported by Social Bite, she said, "So often, many issues are caused by family breakdowns and that can have a huge effect on a child’s development in their early years."


The Duchess was elegant in Eponine London for a special performance of 'Dear Evan Hansen', which was held in aid of the Royal Foundation. I loved the sparkling addition of the Queen's chandelier earrings and Jimmy Choo's Romy pumps and Ellipse clutch bag.


As patron of SportsAid, Kate visited Olympic Park for a fun and sporty afternoon. The Duchess spent time with parents and guardians of SportsAid athletes, past and present, to hear about their experiences, the challenges that they face and about the impact of the support they receive from the charity. She was in her element participating in activities.


On 3 March, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Dublin for a visit to the Republic of Ireland. The trip would be their only official trip outside of the UK in 2020. The three-day trip came at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A meticulously planned itinerary saw William and Kate spending time in the capital first before travelling to County Meath, County Kildare and County Galway.


Their first port of call was a meeting with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina. The couple had the opportunity to meet the Higgins' Bernese Mountain dog Bród. His partner in crime Síoda was under the weather with a sore paw, which meant extra attention for the adorable pet, especially from the Duchess :) Kate said, "He's lovely. How old is he?" Very sadly, Síoda passed away several months ago.


From there, the Duke and Duchess travelled to Government buildings where they met outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett. The Duchess was in the first of several green ensembles for the trip in a bespoke double-breasted, forest green Catherine Walker coat, a green Printed Silk Peplum dress by Alessandra Rich and Emmy London pumps.


That night, the Duchess was in a shimmering emerald green dress by The Vampire's Wife. Vogue described the Falconetti style as the "dress of the decade".


Kate enjoying a pint of Guinness.


Kate brought back a piece from her pre-engagement days the following day. The timeless Reiss Olivia coat has an almost nostalgic feel for royal watchers. Kate wore it on several notable occasions including her 26th birthday (below Kate and Pippa arriving at Kitts Club for celebratory drinks). Kate also wore it for William's RAF graduation in April 2008, the Henry van Straubenzee carol service in 2009, and a pre-wedding rehearsal before the big day.


William and Kate travelled to County Kildare to visit Extern, Ireland's leading social justice charity at their respite centre, Savannah House. In 2019, the Duke and Duchess visited their Northern Ireland arm in Fermanagh. The Duchess was excited to join a game of ping pong.


William and Kate enjoyed a walk at scenic Howth and took in stunning views of the Irish coastline on the cliff walk.


The Duchess was in vintage Oscar de la Renta that evening for a reception hosted by Tánaiste Simon Coveney at the Museum of Literature Ireland. It was revealed Mr Coveney's three daughters Jessica, Annalise and Beth wrote letters for George, Charlotte and Louis which Mr Coveney was pleased to hand William and Kate. I thought it a lovely touch and very much in keeping with the incredibly warm welcome the royals have received in Ireland. The Duke and Duchess have continued to focus on the theme of reconciliation and looking to the future, which we've seen many members of the family echo since the Queen's State Visit in 2011. On the night I wrote, "A simple but thoughtful gesture like the children of the deputy leader of Ireland writing to the children of a future king of the UK represents how far relations have come. It struck me as a symbolic moment and perhaps something Prince George will remember decades from now when he visits in his capacity as monarch. It is moments like these I feel underscore the unique soft power of monarchy."


The couple concluded the trip with engagements in Galway. They attended a special event at Tribeton featuring a number of Galway 2020’s acts, including Livefeed, Hoops and the Galway Community Circus, and met young performers, young people and volunteers. Kate was in a green polka dot dress by Suzannah.


The Irish visit finished in sporting style as the Cambridges tried their hand at hurling and Gaelic football.


Kate loved every moment :)


Back in London, Kate repeated a Catherine Walker coatdress for the Commonwealth Day service.


Kate's final public engagement before our lives changed and strict restrictions were imposed was a reception to mark the 25th anniversary of her patronage Place2Be at Buckingham Palace. During a very nice speech, the Duchess praised the work of Place2Be and reflected on her own journey with them. "You taught me, right from the start, that the children in your schools are only as happy and emotionally strong as the adults in their care. That is why you take such great pride in the work you do with your teachers and your parents. You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional well-being which permeates through the whole school system. You also taught me that it's the simplest things that make a difference to children. It's the quality time that is spent with them."


The Duchess brought back the beautiful sapphire blue Jenny Packham gown she first wore for a Bollywood Gala in India in 2016. The dress features intricate beading and a train. It's a design which highlights why the designer is admired all over the world for her evening wear. With the addition of floral cluster earrings by Erdem and Jimmy Choos, it made for a very fitting choice for Kate's final gown appearance of the year, though we didn't know it at the time.


I very much enjoyed revisiting the months before the pandemic, glimpses of a normality we all look forward to embracing again.

39 comments:

  1. Robin in Ontario6 January 2021 at 21:33

    I haven't even read the post yet... but thank you for this one! It's been quiet on the Kate front for so long! This makes me soooo happy!

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  2. What a lovely comment Robin, thank you very much indeed :)

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  3. I've been looking forward to this posts for ages!! Thanks for posting it..I had forgotten a few of these engagements. Last year started so well..I have a feeling it would of been such a busy one too.

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  4. Thank you very much Courtney-Anne :)

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  5. Thank you for this Charlotte, you have no idea how much this distraction is needed, what with everything going on in Washington, DC right now. 😞

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  6. I'm thinking of you and all readers in the US tonight. The scenes are just terrifying.

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    1. Charlotte, this is truly an example of just how much we need & appreciate your blog & you. If you are ever having a hard day, or any doubts, please remember today. You are a blessing & your words have touched us all. xoxo

      Becca USA

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    2. thank you so much, Charlotte. I love your blog because it is always positive and uplifting, even through all the insanity of 2020 and now, 2021.
      I hope that you are also doing well, amid new lockdowns.
      stay well!

      Annie
      NY, USA

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  7. Valerie in Arizona7 January 2021 at 00:47

    After this absolutely awful day here in the U.S., I am so thankful for your beautifully presented, happy memory post. I had forgotten all the good things that happened pre-COVID, your quote from T. S. Eliot was so appropriate, I pinched it for my affirmation for today.

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    1. Well said Valerie. Charlotte, you bring a true breath of fresh air. To view a day in history like today, no words.

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  8. I have been a long time reader and rarely comment. I’ve been looking forward to this post for a long time. As a Registered Nurse taking care of covid patients this past year, reading blog posts was a bright spot. Seeing the work the Kate has done and shining a light on so many important causes. I was so excited at the beginning of this year. Kate really seemed to be coming into her own. She seemed more confident in her role as future queen, wife and mother. Unfortunately we did not get to see all of the events that would have been planned. Fortunately, we did get a treat of virtual events and a view of her more relaxed style. We can look forward to the future of her impact and her future fashion choices! I can’t wait to read part two of this series! And I I can suggest maybe we should had a style Kate as I think the UK has new lockdowns and the US has its own difficulties.

    All the best,
    Emily from USA

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    1. Thank you Emily for your strength, courage and the work that you do, it is greatly appreciated! So nice to know that Charlotte's blog could be a 'bright spot' in your day, as she is for so many!! I completely agree with you about how exciting it was at the beginning of the year with Kate's engagements, this has been a very pleasant reminder of was and hopefully will be again. Just seeing the post without reading it even brings happiness, practically every picture she is smiling and her energy just seems so infectious. It's nice to have a place to come to be reminded of the beauty of the people in this world who work to make a difference. The best to you too Emily, hoping it will be a good year for everybody. cc

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    2. Zora from Prague9 January 2021 at 19:41

      Yes, CeCe, let's hope things will be good again! 🌺

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  9. I am a US reader. Whilst following the terrifying news, I have come here for a few moments of respite. Thank you, Charlotte.

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    1. I needed some light news and came here for the same reason. My husband works in D.C. and Wednesday was a sad day.

      Thank you Charlotte for all your hard work.

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  10. Thank you, Charlotte. The beginning of 2020 feels SO long ago. I live in Washington DC and the day has been just awful. Not what we were hoping for in 2021. But I think that I will sleep better after enjoying your beautiful wrap up right before going up to bed. Best wishes to you for the new year and during this new lock down.

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    1. Anne, I joked on New Year's Eve that I was going to tread lightly into 2021. I joked that I would reserve my opinion until after at least 3 months..... who knew it would take 6 days!? I am now joking that I want to trade in my 2021 Upgrade back in for a pass back to 2020! lol :) Coming here & reading Charlotte's post has been a true tonic.

      Becca USA

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  11. I can’t believe all of this was less than a year ago. How time flies and how quickly the world can change.

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  12. I needed this post today,something to take my mind off Crazy American Politics! I realized I'm wearing the same sweater that Kates wearing while she was hurling and Gaelic football. So thats something.

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  13. Charlotte, thank you so much for your kind introspection, into how you wanted to creatively create this year in review. It's truly inspired. Especially on a day like today, it's a much needed respite, to be able to snuggle up & come here for a bit of an escape. I must admit that it felt surreal to see all that you posted, many times I felt sure certain events must have taken place long before this year. They seem that they happened a lifetime ago. I can't adequately express how much this post has fed my soul today. Thank you. xoxo

    Becca USA

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  14. Thank you Charlotte for the review!
    My first thought was "Wow, Kate did all that before March?" She was really going for it. It seems the beginning of the year is always slow for the Royal Family. However last year it seemed busier- until March happened.
    Thank you for the post. We in the US are all trying to escape American politics right now. I believe a Media Blackout for me as started.
    Something I am thankful for this past year. My sweet 7 yr old was home from school and extra time with her was a blessing. Life slowed down (as a mom of 3 under 7 that is fine by me!) We also added numerous chickens and 3 ducks to the "farm". Yes I still miss my family and especially Great Grandma most of all.
    But I do think this time out of the spotlight for the Royals is a gift. William and Kate are getting even more time with their children than any of the past Royal family members. 100 years ago the royal parents rarely saw their young children.
    It's been a tough year past. But there have been numerous blessings in each of our lives.
    Anyway! Thank you Charlotte for this blog. If I'm ever in London I'd love to have tea with you. (Let's be honest I won't be in England for at least a decade. It is a nice thought and heartfelt invite to you!)
    Rachel from Washington State USA

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    1. I would love to accept that invitation someday Rachel. Thank you for a very thoughtful comment and to others who shared very kind words on this post. They are greatly appreciated.

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  15. Caroline in Montana7 January 2021 at 21:23

    I must echo the sentiments of others - this blog has been a wonderful place to go over the past year, (frankly since they got married and started following!) a bit of distraction and class. Charlotte you do an amazing job! Thank you!!

    hard to believe these engagements were only from the last year, some of them felt like much longer and some I had forgotten had happened before the zoom months! think my least favorite look is the gumby outfit:) How I miss the gowns! here's hoping that at some point this year things can get back to a new normal. Happy New Year everyone at the DOC blog, stay safe!

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  16. Alejandra Campos8 January 2021 at 05:05

    Hello Charlotte!
    It's been a while since I've commented.
    Thank you for your hard work in this post, you have certainly brought a bit of joy to our day.

    Speaking of which, I have had a lot of time lately and thought it might be good to read ALL your posts that you have written since May 2011.
    I have to say, you have improved MASSIVELY!!!!!!
    The first posts were short, 1 photo and barely any comments.
    Towards the end on 2011, you began having more interaction, better photos and better quality of writing.
    It's been amazing to see how much you have grown, from being a blog to becoming THE blog (or at least top 3) Catherine blogs!!!!


    Thank you so much for your hard wird and dedication! It means a lot to me!!!!!

    Blessings and Be Safe

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  17. I can’t help but wonder what the Cambridges would have had in store for us in 2020, had Covid not happened. They really took of with a bang in the first quarter and I can’t help but feel that there are a lot of projects, especially around Early Years and Earthshot that got put on the back burner, to put the focus where it should be on supporting the nation through covid.
    They also started to take a bigger diplomatic role and I would love to see how that played out.

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  18. Nicole from France8 January 2021 at 18:10

    Thank you Charlotte, that post is so welcome l and as it says Part 1 ..... we know we’ll be happy again soon ! I must say I visited the two blogs (Catherine’s and Meghan’s ) from time to time during the past month , randomly choosing one subject or the other , so many things I did not remember that it seemed almost new , and that allowed me to appreciate once more your style and the way you gather all sorts of informations to enrich your texts, I have learnt so many things from you , thank you !
    Next week I shall start going once a week or so , to an English conversation group , I so do miss speaking English ! And for sure if it comes to how to keep with a good level , I shall recommend your blogs !
    I wish you all a very good year , health and freedom , enthousiasme and hapiness !

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  19. this is so lovely! I look forward to a return to the OLD normal, hopefully soon. stay safe!

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  20. Marie from France8 January 2021 at 20:53

    Hello Charlotte!
    I never commented but I wanted to tell you this: I have been watching your blog from the very beginning. I found a happy place there where we can all share our passion for the Duchess of Cambridge: her outfits, her work ...

    I remember almost 10 years ago, I loved your blog from the start, my evening ritual since that moment: see if there is a new article. Since then your blog has evolved along with the Duchess. (I find that since Louis' birth, like many of you, the Duchess looks more confident and she really has the stature of a future queen).

    Even though I wasn't commenting I found it nice to have a place to 'talk' about the Duchess of Cambridge, I find the DKB community to be always nice, (though some don't like some outfits the comments are never mean). Personally, I don't really like Kate's midi-length dresses.

    We lived a particular year 2020 and during confinement, between giving distance lessons and everything else (I am a teacher in a primary school) the DKB was a breath of fresh air that allowed me to escape for a few minutes

    So I wanted to write this comment and say THANK YOU.
    (Excuse me if there are some spelling mistakes).

    I wish you all a happy new year 2021.

    Marie from France

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  21. Marie from France8 January 2021 at 20:57

    Sorry I want to say "lockdown" not "confinement" (confinement is the french word).

    Marie from France.

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  22. Great post, as always, Charlotte! Really enjoyed looking back at 2020 pre-COVID.
    Kate’s really hitting her stride - it’s fantastic to see.
    Hope things get better for everyone here on the blog x
    P.S. I absolutely miss seeing Kate in a gown! A ‘Style Kate’ post would be a lovely distraction from all the happenings going on right now.

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  23. I forgot to wish the Duchess of Cambridge a very happy birthday today! Hope she reads this blog ;)

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    1. Zora from Prague9 January 2021 at 19:37

      Yay, Happy Birthday, Kate! 💐 And thank you so much for this wonderful blog, Charlotte. Like all the others, I appreciate it so much that at this time of stress and uncertainty, there is a place of positivity where I can go to relax for a while. I enjoyed this post enormously - it was hard to believe all this had taken place before the coronavirus! At first, some of the pictures felt surreal and like from a different life. The blue Jenny Packham gown is my all-time favourite on Kate, I fell in love with it the first time she had worn it in India. 😍

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    2. Zora, that blue Jenny Packham gown is a showstopper! 🤩

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  24. 2020 was off with a great start. Who would have thought? It is lovely to the pictures before this strange time began. Kate did a lot, I had forgotten the Irish tour, and many of the engagements.

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  25. Good year of meaningful engagements for the Duchess of Cambridge despite the pandemic, better perhaps without it. Congratulations Duchess Kate, more power for 2021. Happy birthday!

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  26. So lovely to read and look at on a old January day! Kate is a bright spot for us all. Thank you for all that do!

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  27. hi Charlotte it's so lovely to see you the blog I really appreciate your efforts and dedication in these blog thank you hardwork

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  28. Charlotte, this is a lovely post and so welcome at this time. I had forgotten much of what happened before Covid-19 really hit us. With deaths in my family and incredible stress, I really needed your posts here and on the Mad about Meghan blog to give me a break from my hard reality. Thank you for producing such a wonderful blog as this, and for your equally great other blogs.

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