Monday, 30 August 2021

Kate Loves: The Queen's Diamond & Platinum Jubilees

It was with great interest I read celebratory plans scheduled to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. The much-deserved extended Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday, 2nd to Sunday, 5th of June will see the Queen become the first British monarch to celebrate seven decades of service. It has been described as "something of a reopening ceremony" for the United Kingdom. The four meticulously planned days will see an array of public events, royal appearance and opportunities to bring communities together. Equally, it will be a time for reflection. The passing of the Duke of Edinburgh has served as a poignant reminder the tides of change are pushing the monarchy forwards -- and the Jubilee is perhaps a more significant time than ever before to acknowledge a lifetime of unrelenting service.

Festivities will commence on Thursday, 2 June, with Trooping the Colour. Of course, all plans are contingent on the pandemic, but all going smoothly, it will be the first traditional Trooping since 2019. The UK's long-held tradition of marking royal milestones (weddings, coronations and jubilees) with the lighting of beacons will continue. For the first time, beacons will also be lit in the capital cities of each Commonwealth country.

A service of thanksgiving will be held on Friday, 3 June at St Paul's Cathedral.

The following day, Saturday, 4 June, will see the Royal family attend the Derby at Epsom Downs before Platinum Party at the Palace. Broadcast live on the BBC, a special concert will be held at Buckingham Palace, with members of the public invited to attend.

Finally, a highlight on Sunday, 5 June will be the Big Jubilee Lunch, encouraging families, friends, neighbours and communities to join together all over the UK. Events will culminate with the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, bringing 5,000 people together from across the UK and Commonwealth against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace. Arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and other acts will celebrate the Queen. A new story by acclaimed writer Sir Michael Morpurgo called There Once Is a Queen will be showcased on the day. Below, a sneak-peek of what to expect from Bristol-based group Cirque Bijou.

Town & Country reports:

"We see the 2022 Platinum Jubilee weekend as an opportunity for the country to emerge united, re-energized and renewed. It will in a sense be a reopening ceremony for the U.K, a catalysing moment of national purpose and most importantly to be fun, joyful and to entertain,” Pageant co-chairman Nicholas Coleridge told reporters and supporters.

His co-chair, Sir Michael Lockett, added, "We’re not just telling the story of an incredible life...it is the story of the second Elizabethan age, a time of rapid change and unparalleled progress."

In partnership with the Royal Household and Kate's patronage the Victoria & Albert museum, young people were invited to present design submissions for an emblem in honour of the platinum jubilee. Graphic design student from Nottinghamshire, Edward Roberts, won the national competition. The nineteen-year-old's design will feature prominently on merchandise, websites and social media campaigns over the next year. The choice of purple, symbolizing royalty, is the hue closest to the purple in Her Majesty the Queen's Robe of Estate and Coronation Gown. Edward said, "For my design, I wanted to give a modern twist to the iconic elements of St Edward's Crown, and so I created a continuous line, which I felt was a fitting representation of The Queen's reign."


Though still quite some time away, the Jubilee will not merely encompass what promises to be a truly memorable weekend, but senior members of the Royal family "will travel around the country to undertake a variety of engagements to mark this historic occasion". It's understood this will dominate much of the royal schedule for the first half of 2022, however, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jubilee visits underway as soon as this autumn. If we cast our minds back to 2012, the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh visited over 50 cities and towns, conducting a plethora of engagements, walkabouts and meetings. With the Queen now 95, a number of these trips will need to be conducted by other members of the family. Below, the portrait of the Queen wearing her State dress and robe, and standing in Westminster Abbey, by Ralph Heimans. It was commissioned to mark the jubilee.

As noted above, the pandemic is very much the deciding factor in many plans, especially when it comes to overseas tours. With this in mind, any definite overseas plans may not be finalised for some months, and again there is a large element of uncertainty. A succession of tours proved a key element of the 2012 Jubilee. You'll recall the Cambridges visited Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Prince Harry toured Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall undertook visits to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. It was Mozambique and Zambia for the Princess Royal. And the Earl and Countess of Wessex toured Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Gibraltar, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Let's revisit 2012 and take a glance over the engagements the Duchess undertook, both at home and abroad, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Not only will it offer a flavour of what to expect in the months ahead, it's a welcome trip down memory lane. I remember 2012 as one of the most enjoyable and busier years in royal watching. 1 March 2012 was a very special day for Piccadilly as three generations of Royals visited luxury store Fortnum & Mason to mark rejuvenation efforts in the area. Fortnum's renovated restaurant was renamed the Diamond Jubilee Tea Station to mark the Queen's 60 years on the throne -- a lovely touch from the prestigious Royal Warrant Holders. It was a significant engagement, and the first time the Queen had carried out one with two future queen consorts. The trio coordinated in shades of blue with the Duchess opting for a fringed M Missoni coat, ZARA dress and Links of London Hope Egg earrings.

A week later, the Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for a royal visit to Leicester. It was a very exciting occasion, with locals preparing for over a month in anticipation of the day. More than 10,000 union jacks and 1,000 metres of bunting were delivered to Leicester City Council ahead of the visit. Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby said on the day, "We're a modern city that has changed most dramatically during the sixty years of Her Majesty's reign - and I think very appropriate that she should begin her tour here." After a visit to the cathedral, Kate told locals she "missed William desperately" during his time in the Falklands. Kate's teal LK Bennett peplum Jude jacket and dress is still a favourite look of mine. Styled with Lock & Co's Fairytale hat and green amethyst Kiki earrings it was an ideal choice for a varied day.

The Duchess chose pink Emilia Wickstead for the Sovereign's luncheon in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor in May. Aside form weddings and funerals, it marked the largest gathering of monarchs for a decade. Royals from twenty-six countries including Japan, Sweden, Norway, Lesotho, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Romania, Denmark and Saudi Arabia attended to celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

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The Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend officially kicked off in June with a wonderful display at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Over one thousand boats mustered on the River Thames from the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.

Crowds lined fourteen miles to catch a glimpse of the royals. When the Duchess arrived, wearing red Alexander McQueen, she was heard describing the event as "so exciting". The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Harry, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Philip and the Queen on board a tender that once belonged to the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Royal Barge, called the Spirit of Chartwell. The Middleton family also travelled on another boat. Despite a very grey and rainy day, it was a magnificent sight on the Thames.

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It was a night of music and fun for the Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace. Ten thousand people gathered for a star-studded line-up, which included Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Madness, Alfie Boe, Grace Jones -- and Kate favourites, Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow. Take That singer Gary organised the event and said Her Majesty, William and Harry had a great deal of input in selecting the acts. Kate wore a Whistles print dress for the night, which ended with fireworks and cheers.

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For the final day of the weekend, a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral was held. Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams gave a sermon to mark the Queen's jubilee: "I found in the Queen, someone who can be friendly, who can be informal, who can be extremely funny in private - and not everybody appreciates just how funny she can be - who is quite prepared to tease and be teased, and who, retaining her dignity always, doesn't stand on her dignity in a conversation."

In one of her most elegant looks, Kate wore a blush overlay bespoke McQueen dress with a ribbon belt. A hat by Jane Taylor, LK Bennett Sledge pumps (do you remember the Sledges? :)), a Prada clutch and pearls completed the look.

The Diamond Jubilee tour continued in Nottingham, where the Cambridges joined Her Majesty for an 'away day'. The couple drove from Anglesey, Wales that morning, where they were living whilst William worked as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

William and Kate took part in the games at Vernon Park and both had a go at javelin, with Kate appearing to thoroughly enjoy taking part :) The Duchess repeated her M Missoni fringe coat.

Following celebrations at home, September heralded the Cambridges' overseas Jubilee tour in Southeast Asia. Then principal private secretary and mentor Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said, "The aim of this tour is to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess will use the tour to pay tribute through what they do and say, and who they meet, to The Queen's lifetime of dedication to the mix of peoples and cultures that make up all of Her Majesty's Realms and the Commonwealth. The Tour will comprise a mixture of formal and informal moment which reflect these aims and the Duke and Duchess's characters and interests specifically." Upon arrival in Singapore, Kate chatted with Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, Dr Maliki Osman and his wife, who chatted to the couple about outlet shopping in Bicester and life in the UK.

Orchids featured prominently. First, the couple took part in an Orchid naming ceremony in which an orchid was named in their honour. At the National Orchid Garden, William and Kate viewed the 'Diana' orchid in the VIP garden. Diana was due to visit Singapore to view the orchid, but due to her untimely and tragic death she was never able to make the journey. The symbolism of the visit was reflected in Kate's orchid print, kimono style Jenny Packham dress. The designer produced several beautiful daywear pieces for the Duchess during this tour, each taking into account sartorial diplomacy.

Another memorable look was Kate's purple and cream Prabal Gurung dress worn for a State dinner given by the President of Singapore, at his formal residence, the Istana.


Day two of the royal tour began with a visit to one of Singapore's most beautiful parks, Gardens By the Bay, which spans 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. Kate wore a white broderie anglaise full skirted suit by Alexander McQueen and her Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon wedges. The Corkswoon's were most definitely in the 'love/hate' camp and prompted many a spirited discussion on the blog :)


William and Kate visited Strathmore Green, a residential area in Singapore, which was chosen because it was named after Queen Elizabeth II. Kate picked a summery look by Singaporean label RAOUL. The brand is helmed by Douglas and Odile Benjamin and began as a men's shirt label. It  evolved into a full collection of ready-to-wear for men and women including accessories and timepieces. Despite a hugely promising few years, the label closed its boutiques to focus on wholesale business in 2016 due to a very tough retail climate.


It was floral-print Erdem for an Eden Hall reception.


William and Kate's final engagement in Singapore was a sombre one, with the couple visiting Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery. There are 4,641 World War II casualties buried or commemorated at the cemetery, of which more than 850 of these are unidentified. There are 64 World War I headstones, of which three commemorate casualties known to have been buried elsewhere, but whose graves could not be found. The duck egg blue Packham shirtdress was an understated choice for the occasion.

The Cambridges arrival in Kuala Lumpur coincided with Kate's first overseas speech at Hospis Malaysia: "William and I are hugely excited to be in Malaysia -- this, our first ever visit -- and are absolutely delighted to have been invited to join you all here at Hospis Malaysia. It is so exciting to learn about the Country's very first paediatric palliative care programme and to witness for myself something of the wonderful work of Hospis Malaysia's wonderful staff." Kate also announced plans for Hospis Malaysia and her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices to work together.

The Duchess dazzled in McQueen for an official dinner given by His Majesty the Agong at his official residence, the Istana Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. The intricate gown featured an overleaf of sheer material with embroidered gold hibiscuses, the Malaysian flower. Other striking design elements included a sweetheart neckline, a full skirt and fitted bodice. I imagine gowns like this and the orchid print Packham dress may one day feature in an exhibition at the Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began day four of the royal tour with a visit to the Asskyakrin mosque in Kuala Lumpur, their first visit to a place of Islamic worship. Kate selected Beulah London for the visit.

The tour took an incredibly tough turn before the Cambridges arrived to attend a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commissioner's Residence. Kate endured a gross violation of her privacy when a French publication published photos of the Duchess in private while on a holiday in Luberon, which were taken the week before the tour. The Duchess was said to be "hurt, shocked, furious and disgusted". A palace statement read: "The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and it is all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so." Later, a French court ruled the Duchess' privacy was invaded, awarded damages and fined the magazine's editor and CEO.


The itinerary for the next day was a welcome one: the couple travelled to Danum Valley conservation area to explore rainforest with a smaller press pack accompanying them away from crowds following a very difficult 24 hours. It was a relaxed look for Kate, who was in cargo pants, a past season ZARA blouse, and her Longchamp Le Pliage bag.


The next leg of the tour saw a visit to the beautiful Solomon Islands.

Following a colourful and incredibly warm welcoming ceremony in Solomon Islands, William and Kate attended an Island Feast, given in the traditional manner outdoors, hosted by the Governor-General at his official residence. Kate only tried on the Tav Pacific batik print an hour before wearing it, choosing the dress given to her by her hosts instead of the dress she had planned to wear. It proved one of the most popular looks of the tour.

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The Duchess sported a sunny yellow Jaeger dress for meetings with officials and a visit to a cultural village, Burns Creek in Honiara, where they viewed performances by the nine provinces that make up the nation.


William and Kate flew to Marau, dubbed Paradise Island, on the furthest end of the main island Guadalcanal. The welcoming ceremony was entirely developed by the local people who put garland necklaces made from shell money on the royals. William and Kate retired for the night at the exceptionally beautiful Tavinipupu Resort Hotel. I've always loved the midnight blue Mulberry dress the Duchess wore on the day.


From there it was time to wave goodbye to Solomon Islands and hello to Tuvalu.


The tour concluded with one of the most fun events of any Cambridge tour - dancing, grass skirts and an evening of relaxed festivities. It marked the very first time members of the Royal family had stayed overnight in Tuvalu.


A fitting end to a memorable Jubilee tour!

"In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship, and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth" - Queen Elizabeth II, 2012.

I know we're all excited to see plans for the Platinum Jubilee unfold.

55 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden30 August 2021 at 21:28

    Whoah, this post was a blast from the past! Wild to think it's been soon 10 years! I hope you're all doing well! I'm not as active and commenting anymore but still at least peruse every post when it comes up!

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    1. Great to read your comment Rebecca :)

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    2. Robin in Ontario31 August 2021 at 04:17

      A blast from the past is right! So wonderful to look through it all again:)

      ..and yes, definitely remember the sledges!

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    3. Zora from Prague31 August 2021 at 10:33

      Hello Rebecca! Well said! πŸ˜€

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    4. So nice to read your comment Rebecca! I remember the time when your comment was almost always the first and always thoughtful interesting and kind.
      10 years! How time flies! I remember many discussions on this blog and with hindsight, I think Kate got it right. She was very cautious at first, she didn't get dazzled by the huge popularity after the wedding, she was very careful not to upstage anyone.

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  2. So many wonderful memories! :)

    Funny, I loved the Sledges. I've pulled mine out a few times this summer even. I know they aren't necessarily in style anymore, but I just love them.

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  3. Rebecca-Sweden, so happy to see your comment! Hello from Utah. This was indeed a fun review. My favorite of all the activities was the thousand boats on the Thames. One of my favorite dresses of all time that the Duchess wore was the golden hibiscus gown in Malaysia. Can it really be ten years? That means it has been ten years since I last visited Britain - we were there in July 2012, just before the Olympics opened.

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  4. Susan in Florida31 August 2021 at 00:18

    Thanks for the look back ! I love the gold and white dress . I will never forget how happy they looked at the last event of the tour. The news going forward for the Jubilee is nice so to hear. Something happy to look forward to,

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  5. Some gorgeous dresses on that tour that I would love to see again, especially the Gurung, Packham, Beulah and Mulberry. Thanks for a great post.

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    1. I agree! Kate looked stunning on this tour. I love the pale blue dress with the lace overlay. Remember her hair?

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    2. G.A. My all time favorite daytime look for Kate is the pale blue dress with the lace overlay! A similar dress was available in my size/budget at Lord and Taylor's and I wanted to go try it on! My husband had to gently remind me that my body shape is very different from the Duchesses. Oh well! I am still learning to love the body God gave me!! Anyway, there are many good outfits on this tour and during this year celebration that I love and it was fun revisiting them again!

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    4. That tour was my absolute favourite from a wardrobe point of view - loved seeing the photos again and would really enjoy more re-wears from that group of dresses.

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    5. Annette New Zealand10 September 2021 at 17:30

      Yes I agree and often wonder what happens to all the outfits from the tours. Do you think they have enormous wardrobes stuffed full of them? Kate is lucky she never seems to put on weight and can still wear them all.

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  6. Sarah from California31 August 2021 at 01:46

    So great to hear from you again Ms.Charlotte! Exciting news about the Queen and great to see Kate again! So much hope still ahead dispite the present world situation. Her Majesty has seen so much in her life and has learned to adjust to it all. Such an amazing life example!

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  7. I remember them all except the RAOUL dress, which will become one of my favorites. She looks so lovely in it. And I enjoy her Solomon Islands outfits, and how youthful William looks! SO many wonderful looks! I'm so glad you are back, Charlotte.

    I think the logo by the 19-year-old is beautiful and simple yet all encompassing.

    Do you think just the "working" royals will be out and about? I would of course love to see H&M but also the York sisters.

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    1. I’m sure we will see H&M & the York sisters…it’s such a massive milestone that they’ll have to be included.

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  8. Ahhhhh 2012 was one of Kate’s best years in fashion. What a great flashback. I do miss her nude pumps.
    The Diamond Jubilee was fantastic. In general the UK is pretty great at big occasion (London Olympics were one of the best) so I am immensely looking forward to it. Let’s hope HMTQ will be in good health.
    C.

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  9. Zora from Prague31 August 2021 at 10:32

    Oh, Charlotte, you've treated us to SUCH a wonderful postπŸ˜ƒ!!! All the memories come back. I have to say one of my all-time favourites is the bespoke McQueen from the Service of thanksgiving! But so many other dresses are also lovely. It's great to see how Kate has been changing over the years. She is a beautiful woman, getting prettier as the time goes by, I think! I really look forward to all the Platinum Jubilee activities and hope it'll be possible to go ahead with everything planned!

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    1. Well said Zora! You are right Kate is getting prettier as time goes by!! We have been fortunate for these past ten years to see her grow into her role and carve out her own niche within the royal family. Her beauty is timeless and goes beyond her 'prettiness', she exudes grace... Lovely post Charlotte, looking forward to the Platinum Jubilee as we all move towards a better 2022.

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  10. I missed you, Charlotte. So good to hear from you. Wonderful post. I thought Kate's sartorial choices during the Southeast Asia tour were all stunning, but I loved the purple and cream dress best. So nice to see it again here. So much has changed in the past 10 years! W and K were newlyweds then, and now they have three children, and this pandemic has upended all our lives.

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  11. From the first time we saw her as William's girlfriend, it's always been obvious that Catherine was a beautiful, well-bred girl.
    But then, I remember seeing her in that white and gold gown and thinking..."My goodness...she truly is stunningly royal woman." That quality can not be learned or taught. She really just has it. I'm grateful that she and William met and chose each other.

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    1. Yes, so true, Lori. She’s an exquisite match for William; he couldn’t have chosen better.

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  12. Oh wow, it's hard to believe that tour was almost 10 years ago! Great post.

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  13. What a fun look back! Being in the US, I didn't get to see all of the year's coverage, especially of their Asian trip. There are some definite favorite dresses in this post:
    Blush lace McQueen at St. Paul's
    Pale pink Packham orchids, purple/cream Prabal Gurung, and blue/white Erdem (I never thought I'd like an Erdem print!) in Singapore
    Of course, the gold hibiscus dress
    Light blue with a sheer white overlay in Kuala Lumpur

    I'm not a fan of the fringed Missoni or the two broderie anglaise dresses, and yellow isn't a good color on Kate. And don't get me started on those wedges! On the whole, though, her dresses were fine--unobtrusive and always appropriate, and I'd kill for that figure.

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  14. I hate to sound insensitive, but this seems like very far in advance planning for someone of the Queens age! Does this all just get cancelled and forgotten if she passes before June?

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    1. Long live the Queen, I say! She will still be around for the jubilee.

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    2. Here here Sheila!! Long live the Queen!

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    3. Yes I hope she is around to celebrate her oak jubilee in 2032. I know a lady who lived up to the age of 108 so it’s quite possible due to her genes.

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    4. Here’s hoping 🀞🏻 Wow, an oak jubilee would be incredible!

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    5. Annette New Zealand10 September 2021 at 18:02

      I've been involved with royal tours and they are always planned well in advance. However there is also a contingency plan built in to cover unexpected events eg when the late King died everything was just cancelled mid tour.
      It is great to read this Duchess Kate posting and to look back to a time when we were able to travel overseas and not worry about covid19. However we can't complain too much here in NZ. I'm living near the capital of my country and we have had no-one die of the virus in my city so far. (Touch wood!) Of course we are still social distancing and wearing masks, but once most of our population has been vaccinated we will be able to open up again. I used to bemoan how far away from every other country we were, however in this case it has proved to be an advantage. I am also very proud that New Zealand has bought extra vaccines to be able to fully vaccinate the smaller Pacific islands north of us. The Tokelau Islands have over 99% of their population vaccinated so they are an example to us all.

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    6. May God bless the Queen and keep her whole and healthy for many years to come.

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  15. I am so looking forward to the Platinum Jubilee all of this and last years horror hopefully be over and life gets back to what we knew normal.

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  16. I can’t believe this was almost 10 years ago, I loved all her outfits form the Asia tour. I hope she repeats all the dresses for the tour this year or next. I can’t wait for the platinum jubilee celebrations next year. I also can’t for William and Kate’s next overseas tour. Hopefully it will be sometime early next year.

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    1. I was just thinking that she hasn’t “recycled” many of the outfits from that tour. I would definitely like to see more of them again, especially that purple Prabal Gurung dress 😍

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  17. What a fun post! So many great looks! Thank you - Sue

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  18. Thank you for this fun post! I know it must have taken you a long time to put together. Thank you again!

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  19. That is a stunning portrait of Her Majesty. Kate is a stunning woman great post

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  20. What a lovely post. Such fun to reminisce, and Kate was so beautiful, she still is, of course.
    Poignant memories of The Queen and Prince Philip.

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  21. I've only just realized I've been reading this blog for over ten years now and just wanted to pop in and say (for my first ever comment) thank you to Charlotte. You are such a fair and compassionate writer in both of your blogs and its so refreshing to see someone as yourself continue to champion excellent writing and reporting. I love that you always make sure to explain the causes or initiatives for all events as well as any historical reasons behind their actions. In short (which is not very short I suppose) I am a huge Kate fan and that is because you've taken the time to show what a caring, kind,genuine,role model she is outside her fashion and royal duties. Thank you for giving us someone to look up to, who ten years later, has never let us down. Long live Charlotte, our blogging queen!!:)

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  22. Stace welcome to the comments (I hope to see your name again) and thank you so much for your support. It's wonderful to hear expressions of interest in charitable causes and historical context. I love researching both.

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  23. I second what Stace wrote! I’ve learned so much about Kate & her work, in addition to fashion. Thank you for taking the time.

    As others have mentioned, I wish you were part of Kensington Palace’s PR. Sue

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  24. Sheryl from BC Canada9 September 2021 at 04:31

    This has been so nice to look back to a time when I wasn't on this blog yet....I can see that when the snow flies this winter, I'll have to see how far back I can go and read them all. To actually see an Erdum dress that I like. lol. So many beautiful looks that Catherine pulled off. Some plunging necklines that were quite daring and shorter skirts that she carried off so well. I'm glad that she's involved in the planning of the Platinum festivities....she's come so far and has found her footing for sure.

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  25. Hi Charlotte, it’s been such a long time since we’ve seen Kate. Do you think everything is ok?

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    1. Hello Dee,

      I do believe so. I know the Duchess was spotted sailing on the Norfolk coast about a month ago and travelled to Balmoral a fortnight ago. I imagine we'll almost certainly see engagements during the coming week.

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  26. Hello Charlotte,
    I wanted to ask the same.
    It seems a little bit too long summer break to me... I don't remember such a long period without any engagement. I was thinking about a fourth baby, but it doesn't seem the proper explanation. I'm so curious about your thoughts about this long break. And of course I can't wait to see our beautiful Kate :)
    Eve

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    1. Hello Eve,

      I think it appears especially long because the Cambridges went on summer break quite early in July. With the pandemic greatly restricting engagements during the first quarter of the year, there was some expectation we would see an uptick when it was safe to do so. With myriad changes within the family including, very sadly, the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, an increase in duties seems the next natural step. To hazard a guess, I believe there's truth to the rumours the Cambridges are seriously considering a move to Windsor. If true, I suspect a Windsor property would become their primary residence rather than simply another country home. It will involve quite a few changes, from schools to positioning Windsor as an official base when necessary.

      I really do expect the Duchess will return to engagements in the coming days. George and Charlotte are settled back at school, while Louis is attending nursery.

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  27. I hope that everyone in the family and extended family is ok. It would be interesting to know what is available for a home in Windsor and who already lives there. I'm sure the property is a lot better than I think of it.

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    1. I meant to say property is bigger, not better! :)

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  28. James Middleton got married in France. Is it possible the Cambs were there and that’s part of why we haven’t seen them for that long. Crossing the border still requires tons of testing and/or isolation both ways. Or maybe there will a second celebration in the UK for friends and family?

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  29. I've just seen. Congratulations to the happy couple!

    At the moment, I believe the UK is on France's "amber list". Travellers who are fully vaccinated do not need to self-isolate or present evidence of a negative test. I understand those travelling to France at the moment just need proof of vaccination and a sworn statement. George and Charlotte were scheduled to return to school on Thursday and William had engagements that day. I suspect a flying visit for the weekend.

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  30. Yay congratulation to James and Alizee. I hope we get more pictures soon. I would really love to see what Kate, pippa and Carole wore for the wedding.

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  31. What wonderful news about James Middleton and Alizee!! Being the close family that they are am sure that the Cambridges were in attendance (en toto) as were Pippa and her growing family. Can only imagine that with visiting Balmoral, looking for a Windsor property, preparing for school, and attending a out of country wedding, the Cambridges have been very busy. I'm with you ILoveElephants wish we could get a little peek, would love to see what they all wore...imagine a beautiful French wine country wedding!!

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  32. I love Kate's blue dress with the white lace on top, but unfortunately, I don't think she will ever wear it again as it will always be connected to the gross invasion of privacy that she endured. :-(

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  33. thanks Charlotte it's like a blast from the past it's been long haul wow congrats James middleton and his beautiful wife

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