Wednesday, 8 December 2021

It's a Family Affair for the Duchess of Cambridge's Christmas Carol Concert

For the Duchess of Cambridge's first Christmas engagement of the year, she had something rather special in store -- a Carol service at Westminster Abbey. The festive occasion was decidedly a family affair with multiple Middleton and royal family members in attendance.

George, Charlotte and Louis will be looking forward to their three-and-a-half week break from Thomas's Battersea and nursery, commencing next week. I would say things are a tad uncertain in terms of the pandemic at the moment, and would sound a cautious note on the possibility of last minute changes, however according to the latest reports, it looks like the plan is Christmas at Sandringham this year. It will likely see the Cambridges decamping to their Norfolk country home next week and enjoying the festivities with the Royal family. The Middleton family will also be on the guest list, and pre-pandemic, William and Kate often hosted friends toward the end of the break to mark Kate's birthday. The Duchess will mark her 40th in January. I thought we might see the children in attendance today, however if everything proceeds we will see them at Sandringham.

The Duke and Duchess arriving.

William and Kate were greeted.

Kensington Palace said: "Hosted and spearheaded by the Duchess, and supported by The Royal Foundation, the event will pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organisations across the UK who have supported their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmed for broadcast, the service will provide a moment for the nation to come together and reflect, to think not only of the extraordinary challenges that we have faced, but also to celebrate the acts of kindness that we have witnessed across our nation, the communities pulling together to protect and care for those in need, and those who have stepped up to help others."

Carole, Michael and Pippa arriving.

The gorgeous scene inside.

Kate greeting her family inside the Abbey.

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A Palace spokesperson shared additional details: "Combining traditional elements with a modern and inclusive feel to encompass people of all faiths and none, the service will feature carols sung by the world-renowned Westminster Abbey choir alongside musical performances by Leona Lewis and Ellie Goulding. It will also incorporate a performance of To The Day, a poignant composition created for the service by poet and writer Lemn Sissay, and readings delivered by speakers including The Duke of Cambridge, British Paralympian and junior doctor Kim Daybell and ITV presenter Kate Garraway."

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The varied guest list included people the Duke and Duchess met in recent months who exemplified community spirit, in addition to those working in key areas related to areas of focus for the Royal Foundation. Armed forces personnel who were involved with Operation Pitting were there, as were carers, faith leaders, representatives from community networks and patronages of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Cambridges.

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Inside the Duchess was reunited with a darling little girl you'll all remember.

As part of Hold Still, Mila Sneddon featured in 'Shielding Mila'. The four-year-old was photographed by her mother Lynda reuniting with her dad through the window after the family took the decision for dad to isolate from the family. At this point she was only four months into her chemotherapy journey for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. During a phone call, Kate promised to wear a princess dress for Mila, and in May she did just that, choosing a flowing pink dress by ME + EM.

Hello! shared more on the meeting:

'The youngster gave Kate a twirl in her green sequinned dress before taking her seat behind the royals.

Mila said afterwards: "She asked me what I was getting from Father Christmas and I told her I wanted a Barbie Dreamhouse.

"I showed her my dress and she said I looked lovely."

Mum Lynda said: "Last two Christmases Mila has been in hospital so we are looking forward to having Mila at home this year. We are just an ordinary family, it is amazing to be invited."

The youngster, from Falkirk, in Scotland, also gave a short reading during the hour-long ceremony'.

A lovely photo of Kate and Mila.

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The Mirror reports Kate shared the important of people coming together.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us all with countless and previously unimaginable challenges. We have lost loved ones, seen our frontline workers placed under immeasurable pressure, and we have experienced heart-wrenching isolation from those we hold most dear.

Alongside this, we have seen how communities have come together to support those most in need. And through our separation from others, we have been reminded just how powerful human connection is to us all.

"Just how much we need one another. And how loving and feeling a sense of belonging to one another can provide comfort in tough times. The importance of simply being together.

“In our roles, William and I are so fortunate to meet and spend time with phenomenal people across the country who day-in day-out support individuals and families. And over the past two years, we have been truly inspired by countless people who have brought their communities together through simple acts of long and kindness.

"This carol service is our small way of recognising the inspiring contribution so many of you have made. Thank you.

"Christmas is a time when we can reflect on the past, listen to one another, focus on the relationships that nurture us and build our resilience, so we can look forward to a shared brighter future.

"My hope is that this service creates a moment for us to do this together."

Kate's words appeared in the opening of the service programme. 


Kate speaks with performers including Elie Goulding who performed at the royal wedding a decade ago.

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Meeting guests.

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Westminster Abbey was in seasonal form.

Rehearsals underway earlier in the afternoon.

Advent and Christmas are being celebrated at the Abbey this year with candle lit-services, performances by the choir, and family themed activities.

The video below is filled with footage of guests mingling, William and Kate's hugs with Zara and Beatrice, and a special 'hello' for an adorable little boy.

More from Westminster Abbey:

'The service was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who welcomed the congregation to the Abbey and pronounced the Blessing.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Paralympian Kim Daybell gave readings from St Luke's Gospel.

There was music from Leona Lewis who sang O holy night; and from Ellie Goulding who sang Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay read his own composition, commissioned for the service, reflecting on love and togetherness at Christmas.

Actor Tom Felton read A letter from a soldier to his sister at Christmas; and broadcaster Kate Garraway read Christina Rossetti's poem Love came down at Christmas.

The Venerable Tricia Hillas, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, gave a reflection, and led prayers at the Abbey's nativity crib.

The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey directed by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.'

Guests departing after the hour-long service.

Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton. With thanks to Polka Popp, Middleton Maven and UFO No More we have details on several of the guests' looks this evening. Pippa Matthews wrapped up in the stylish forest green Finchley coat by The Fold London.

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James Middleton's wife Alizée was chic in a pink trouser suit by Sezane.

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Like Pippa, Princess Beatrice is a fan of The Fold's Finchley coat. She wore it in 'vicuna', paired with a Jennifer Behr headband and Aspinal of London hatbox bag.

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Princess Eugenie wore a festive green cape by Chloé and black leather Aquazzura boots.

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Zara Tindall sported Really Wild's Pembridge Coat and carried Aspinal of London's Mayfair clutch.

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And the Countess of Wessex tonight.

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The Duchess was festive in a red Catherine Walker coat. The Beau Tie is described as a "scarlet red wool coatdress" with pleats falling from the shoulder to tie into a bow at the neckline.

A closer look at the bow detail.

The Duchess wore the piece in black for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral. I expect this evening's choice has additional significance for that reason.

Kate accessorised with the Queen Mother's sapphire and diamond fringe earrings.


Kate has worn the pieces on several occasions since 2015. They are fabulous and steeped in royal history. 


The Duchess wore her red suede Gianvito Rossi pumps.


And completed the look with her Miu Miu Bow-Embellished Suede Shoulder Bag. The £640 bag is described as: "Crafted in Italy from plush crimson suede. This ladylike style has a gilded silver chain strap and opens to three spacious compartments - including a secure zipped section. Use the internal mirror to refresh your lip color on the go."

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas will air on ITV, Christmas Eve at 7.30 pm. It will include an introduction by the Duchess and additional performances. For our friends across the pond, I will share a YouTube video once it becomes available. Click here to read the Order of Service. 

With Christmas firmly on our minds, take a look at this wreath making video shared by Buckingham Palace florists.

61 comments:

  1. The coat looks beautiful in red. Definitely made for The Duchess. Absolutely stunning. I really love the Queen Mothers sapphires on her. I live in hope that we get to see her wearing the rest of the Queen Mothers sapphires. This concert is another great idea. I'm looking forward to watching it. Very good turn out from the extended family. Princess Beatrice is glowing, marriage and being a Mum must really suit her. Thanks Charlotte, looking forward to your update. You always choose beautiful photographs.

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    1. Thanks for a close up of the earrings Charlotte. S ☺

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  2. Perfectly beautiful and festive. Red velvety shoes...what could be more Christmassy? I'm inspired to buy a pair myself!

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  3. I love the color and loved the black version but feel this kind of swamps her, makes her look so thin. I feel fully a-line coat is more flattering or maybe it would look better a little shorter. Love Beatrice and Pippa’s coats.

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    1. She’s been doing this strange rectangle shape lately and it’s really not flattering. She’s not particularly curvey so it’s odd to me she picks clothes that only highlight and draw more attention her lack of shape.

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    2. Indeed, I had the exact same reaction. The colour of the coat is gorgeous, but the cut does not suit her body shape, it elongates her already very long torso to almost ridiculous proportions. The length of the coat only exacerbates the problem. A knee length, cut at the waist would have been way better, IMO.

      Lady S*

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    3. I agree that she has a tendency to pick clothes that highlight her long-waistedness in a not-quite-flattering way. This pretty coat is a little less problematic in that respect than some other items she's chosen, partly because the large bow draws the eye up and it also breaks up the vertical line to some extent. Still, I agree that she could make more of an effort to de-emphasize her long waist. In some things she's worn, it's looked almost freakishly long.

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    4. What's wrong with having a long waist? And why should one conceal it?

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    5. There's nothing "wrong" with it. However, the Duchess does sometimes choose clothing that makes her long waist seem even longer than it is -- sometimes almost freakishly long, as I said. That can be an odd look.

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    6. What is so interesting to me is that the length of the same coat is black is shorter than the red one. For that reason, I think the black one doesn't overwhelm her as much. I often think she needs to hem some of her coats, coat dresses and especially those flowing pants just an inch or two. Why hide those incredible legs?

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  4. So nice to see the family members and Catherine looked beautiful in red. I agree that the red shoes definitely festive !!

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  5. What a beautiful occasion. Today had been another dire day regarding Covid and this brought a bit of cheer. William and Kate are lovely and we are lucky to have them ❤️

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  6. Everyone looks so festive! I was happy to see Kate’a family was included too. Mila is a sweetheart and so thoughtful of Kate to invite her!

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  7. Zora from Prague8 December 2021 at 21:38

    Thank you for a beautiful and heart-warming post, Charlotte! I love the idea of this service and its meaning. I love Kate's look and it was exciting to see other royals too! Eugenie looked great in her cape. I can't actually remember when we last saw so many members of the RF plus Kate's family together!! 🥰

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    1. It is so wonderful to see so many family members attend!! What a heartwarming service and an absolutely lovely way to celebrate with family! Love Kate's style of writing, her message was moving....she really is about family and sharing moments. A pleasant surprise!

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  8. Wonderful event. Westminster Abbey is beautiful for the Christmas Season. Catherine looked gorgeous and festive in this coat. All the Middletons and members of the Royal family looked lovely and like everyone was enjoying the evening. I always wonder if they all have dinner together or at least some of them following and how many of the outside of London based group stays with family in London for the night.

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  9. What a festive event for Kate to put together. Great to see the support of the royal family in attendance along with the Middleton family. Looking forward to watching the service when it is available on You Tube.

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  10. Hello Charlotte:

    Season's Greetings! A long-time follower and reader of your blog, actually, I never miss a post even though I rarely ever comment. I so enjoy each and every post, this post being no exception. On such a happy and well-meaning event, it is fitting to say thank you for all the posts this and every year and to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    This event at the abbey seemed magical, and we do need events like these to buoy our spirits. (I can't wait to watch it once you are able to upload it for your friends across the pond!) Thanks to the Duke and Duchess for always injecting positivity and, best of all acknowledging those whom would have likely not got the recognition they deserve, through these events. What a joyous event and one could not have hoped for a better season opener.

    Well done!

    Once again, thank you for all you do to enlighten and inform.

    Bests regards,

    RW

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  11. RW, thank you so much for your lovely words. I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas.

    I hope to see your name in comments again soon :)

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    1. Charlotte:

      You are most welcome. Thanks and all the best.
      Regards
      RW.

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  12. i am from Texas and had the great good fortune to sing in a choir at Westminster Abbey. It was certainly a highlight in my life! Such a awe inspiring, historical place, I couldn’t believe that I was there. This event was wonderful. So great that Kate hosted a Christmas event in a Church rather than a generic holiday event. I hope we can view it in the states.

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    1. Zora from Prague9 December 2021 at 18:06

      Debbie, what a special and thrilling occasion it must have been!! There is only one Westminster Abbey in the world :) Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Wow what a wonderful event. Love the coat dress, saw it on Catherine Walker's instagram account awhile back and thought it looked so like Kate. Didn't even realize the black dress was the same style. Loved how she styled it with her hair down, the suede shoes, and the stunning earrings, gave it a festive feel. Shows how styling can change a look. What a treat to see everybody, loved that Eugenie, Beatrice, Zara and the Middletons were all there! I also like how Kate ties in her events and is inclusive of the people she has met this last year!

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  14. Susan in Florida8 December 2021 at 22:36

    I love the UK tradition of Carols and Lessons. It’s a beautiful moment of peace . I can’t wait to see it here across the pond! Thank you Charlotte for telling us you will share it on YouTube when it’s available. I hope between all these posts , you have some wonderful holiday moments.

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  15. My favorite is Eugenie’s outfit.

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  16. what a lovely event that Kate put together and whilst our Duchess looked beautiful as ever, can I also say WOW, SOPHIE WESSEX! What a gorgeous, chic and cool oufit, she looked stunning.

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  17. hmm i l love the festive theme the duchess really lovely looks and precise family is everything

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  18. The coat is quite lovely, but it's a coat, not a "coatdress". Coats are worn over other clothing, as in this case. The Duchess is wearing a dress underneath. "Coatdresses" are dresses styled like coats, and they are NOT worn over other dresses. You wear only underclothing beneath them. At best, this is a "dressy coat"; it is not a "coatdress".

    I'm always a little mystified as to why people are so confused about this.

    I loved the coat in black and think it looks best with the hair worn up and with a hat. A hat would not have worked for this evening event, but I would have liked to see the Duchess wear an elegant updo with this screamingly elegant coat.

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    1. Hi Vittoria. The Catherine Walker website describes the piece as a coatdress:

      https://www.catherinewalker.com/beau-tie-2/

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    2. Hi Vittoria. The Catherine Walker website describes the piece as a coatdress. I agree that The Duchess seems to have chosen to wear it as a coat on this occasion though.

      https://www.catherinewalker.com/beau-tie-2/

      Best wishes,
      Caroline A.

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    3. Well, then, whoever wrote the copy was confused, as so many people are. There are too few buttons, located too high up, for it to be a coatdress. It opens not just high on the leg but all the way up to the hips. No one -- let alone the Duchess -- is going to wear it by itself and not over other clothing. And that's how you wear a coat.

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  19. I feel like a grumpy curmudgeon.. I should like this... she’s practically a Christmas present, bow and all! But... the shape is just not flattering. And it’s just too much unbroken red.. But enough of that!
    The abbey is lovely! What a magical evening!
    -PB

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    1. You’re right it’s almost a literal interpretation of a present. Kate really doesn’t do subtle or understated style. Her choices tend to be very on the nose or almost costume-y. You can always see her very obvious calculations. She’s a beautiful woman who wears beautiful clothes but… she’s not particularly stylish in the sense of innate style. And I find she looks like clothes are wearing her more often than her really commanding a look. It is what it is.

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    2. Well, I think that is just what makes her own style. She might be criticized for being to conservative or literal, but she is always appropriate, polished and elegant. Now that isn't easy. What's more, she has taste. I'd rather have her tasteful than stylish. Although I do think she has a lot of style.

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    3. Completely agree with you Natacha! Have always had a hard time articulating what the difference is about Kate and you stated it well. She has taste and it shows. I would also be in the group that does think she has lots of style too, the classy, timeless type!

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  20. Random thoughts:

    Kate looks lovely in that shade of red. Seeing it as a coat (vs coat dress) makes me dislike the length less than the other maxi/midi styles she’s been favoring so much as of late. In the video, you can really see how spectacular those earrings are. (Also, in the video, it seems so weird to see a regular commuter bus and a few taxicabs passing along behind the Cambridge’s in front of the Abbey. I would have thought they would have completely closed down the road while the couple was entering the church.)

    The Windsor ladies were out in force! For a change, I don’t think Sophie looks very well put together. Zara in stiletto slingbacks and ankle length black trousers? Did we know she could be that stylish? I always think Beatrice looks like she got dressed in the dark, but I loved her coat tonight, although prefer it in the colorway Pippa opted for. It comes in a black and white check pattern called “Cambridge.” Wish it wasn’t a budget buster!


    My big take away was that it was delightful to see Mila twirling again. That little girl is a superstar!

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    1. Your observation about Zara is funny! I have also been quite surprised at her latest looks, she looks her best truly. I think she is really looking very stylish and pretty these days.

      As for Kate, she looks great in this hue indeed. I wonder if the coatdress is a way to hide some extra warm functional ski-like undergarments.

      Thank you Charlotte for this heartwarming article and I wish all my fellow readers happy pre-holiday time :-)
      Ella

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    2. It’s one of the rare occasions where I think the York sister have nailed it better than anyone else. Beatrice looks just gorgeous. Definitely my winner for this event. Eugenie sports a relaxed but still seasonal look. The rest is a bit meh and I have already expressed my thoughts about Kate’s outfit earlier.
      C.

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    3. C, my thoughts exactly about the York Princesses. They looked lovely and topped the list! Sophie looked like she just grabbed stuff from her closet.

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  21. No one could have done this better, great to see her this happy. I really think she is one of a kind. I don't think anyone could top this. Great job Dss Kate. All the support from her own family and the RF. I love this dress, red is a great color on her. Keep up the good work!!.

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  22. They are just such lovely people, and it shines through everything they do.

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  23. This event was a really lovely, festive evening for all those invited (and also for everyone that will view it on ITV - and yes Charlotte I look forward to the YouTube link). The holidays always seem more festive in the UK than the US. Kate looked lovely and I think the coat dress works because of the strong shoulder and flair at the bottom. Sure it makes her appear tall and thin but I'd take that any day!

    Wonderful to see all of the family. Really loved the coat that both Pippa and Beatrice wore - that could be a classic and staple in anyone's closet - and the burgundy color is lovely as well. Really like Zara's coat as well.

    Charlotte - love the new header! You have the holiday spirit.

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  24. What a lovely event. I am sure everyone enjoyed themselves and I will make sure to watch the program
    Fashion wise the York sisters, as controversial their choices often are, absolutely nailed it.
    Kate looks fantastic in red, but this particular piece is not exactly nice. The poster who mentions elongated rectangle shapes is right. What I find extra disappointing is the fact, it’s again the exact same piece just in a different colour. I had hoped she had left this behind. And from the top of my head I can remember at least 10 different red coats she has worn- wish she had chosen one of them. Or at least picked something unique- not a style she already owns.
    C.

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  25. Kate was absolutely gorgeous. The coat is very elegant, nice red, and those earrings are wonderful. I also liked very much Beatrice's outfit. First time I have ever thought she looks stunning. The color of the coat matches her air so well.it really suits her. Fun that Pippa wore the same model, and it looked so different. Very elegant on Pippa, tasteful and nice while there is something bouncy and happy in Beatrice's.
    Nice to see so many of the younger members of the RF.

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  26. I thought it was rather Emmy London shoes than Gianvitto Rossi.
    They all look great !

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  27. It is interesting how few people in the photographs are wearing masks. Here in Scotland we wear them as a matter of course in church.

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  28. Dozens of tweets yesterday of all the organizations and guests invited absolutely delighted with the invitation, Kate and the event.

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  29. No one could have done this better, great to see her this happy. I really think she is one of a kind. I don't think anyone could top this. Great job Dss Kate. All the support from her own family and the RF. I love this dress, red is a great color on her. Keep up the good work!!.

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  30. What a lovely, wonderful, uplifting event. Catherine despite all the negative comments looks happy and vibrant in her out fit. It’s been a terrible year and discussing negatively whether it’s a coat or a dress or wrong cut is rather petty in my opinion.
    Thanks 🙏 Charlotte for an amazing blog. It was bright beautiful and felt like it kicked off Christmas.
    Merry Christmas everyone and peace and goodwill to all. ♥️
    DD

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    1. DD, I agree with you about the negativity. I know we enjoy talking about fashion here, but you have to take a lot of things into consideration. The coat looks to me to be perhaps a modified fit and flare if you look at every photo and the video. Also, compare the photo of the Duchess and the photo of the model. We'd all truly have nothing to wear if all our clothes did not fit us exactly as they did an "ideal" model!
      It looks lovely and festive and cheerful. Catherine's family and the other royal ladies all looked smashing - each in their own way.
      Thank you Charlotte for all you do, and may you and all your readers have a blessed Christmas season!

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    2. I love reading the comments, especially when I find those who say what I am thinking, much better than I could. It's so true, Kate is always happy, smiling and she does look vibrant and festive, you can feel the happy energy. Scrolling down through the pictures was like watching a fireworks show as one after another the royal family stepped out in their own style, I was ooing, aahing, and wowing all the way through this post. Very uplifting to see everybody together, really got me in the spirit of the season, especially after the last year....thanks Charlotte for bringing this to us.

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  31. Westminster is so beautiful. Love the event. Catherine looks gorgeous in that coat. I love the coat on her. So fun to see the Middleton family and the various Royal Family members.

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  32. Tammy from California9 December 2021 at 18:04

    Well I love every bit of this! That dress is PERFECT for caroling with that giant red bow! A wonderful, uplifting event. Very much the duchess to make it about others and not herself too, which just makes her even more a Duchess of the people.

    I did wonder though, why she chose blue earrings with that dress. Gold, rubies or even emeralds would have looked more christmas-y, but maybe it was to symbolize Britain and it's people with the flag colors? I could see that because it's a "coming together" for Britain's people. Just a thought.

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  33. I think the real star is Charlotte's holiday blog header! Very festive! It is SO unusual to see any of the cousins so that was very nice. I thought Eugenie looked so very very pretty, and her hair was lovely. And Beatrice looked splendid, as she has been for some time now. Kate's dress did indeed look like a present but was completely appropriate. We are having some events in the US that were canceled last year, like the Kennedy Center honors, and I have to assume that participants in that event and in this UK event have been vaccinated and perhaps tested. Our daily official count of COVID patients has risen from 100,000 to 120,000, so I think people need to continue to be careful. It was a wonderful event and hope it brought a lot of holiday cheer.

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  34. I feel the scarlet red was an excellent choice. Catherine took a page from the queen’s dress book and wore a color that stood out above the rest. From whereever you were in the abbey and you saw this vibrant red you knew it was her.

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  35. A big thank you from my other half regarding the header comments :)

    I greatly appreciate the warm festive wishes. I know everything is feeling uncertain at the moment (at least in the UK). I hope we can all spend Christmas and ring in the New Year with loved ones. I have amazing family members on the frontline and they keep telling me they wish communication was better and the value of basic measures (hand washing, wearing a mask, making sensible choices when it comes to socialising) considered more. So many simple decisions can have an impact in this fight because sadly it looks like it's going to be an ongoing battle.

    If anyone is isolating, quarantining or feeling lonely over the coming weeks just reach out. We have a wonderful community here.

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    1. Thanks for your sentiment Charlotte. Many on this site are from different countries and we are all facing different situations. I'm thrilled that I was able to get my booster yesterday (which I'm still feeling in my shoulder) in order to be with family this holiday - as safely as possible. Agreed that this is an ongoing battle - just when it seemed as though people could move around and travel, restrictions are implemented again. Thanks for this wonderful community.

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    2. What a lovely thought. Wishing you Charlotte, and everyone here a wonderful festive season. From a very uncertain South Africa.

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  36. Did you spot James Middleton's daft face at his sister as she's walking past? Hilarious!

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  37. What an extraordinarily beautiful and festive celebration of holiday through song. Wonderful to see the families gathered together with honored guests and the special bonds that Catherine has formed through her amazing work to bring people together.
    She looked so gorgeous and happy, hosting this event. I love how her confidence has increased through the years. Her look for this event is so spot-on. The color, the flow of the coat, the way it fit her body contours perfectly - this is a winner! I just love everything about it, especially the bow accent. Minimal, classic, just perfect. Thank you for the coverage of this celebration. Catherine is a natural addition to the RF, and they are so very blessed to have her service to country. Thank you for a wonderful post. Happy Holidays to you.

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  38. My Dear Charlotte... You have given all of us such a gift, for so many years, with all of your lovely & always lovingly detailed posts! Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year & while I am across the pond, I always mark the Season with my annual Christmas orders from Fortnum & Mason, as well as alway choosing items from Emma Bridgewater. This makes me feel a bit closer to the city & country that I love so deeply. I miss my friends & colleagues whom I've not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. I would normally travel there & they would travel here. Something to look forward to, it starting up again....

    This Christmas has been a real struggle, as my daughter's Mother-in-law is dying & as I have mentioned before... I am recovering from 2 surgeries.... with other family struggles going on, somehow the "things" we love about the Christmas Season just don't seem as important right now. My son-in-law's Mother is expected to not make it through the next week, so we are already preparing for a Funeral just before Christmas.... it really makes one realize what the Season is all about!....

    So when I saw this post.... it just flipped a switch in me, there were tears... both of joy & sorrow... we all have lost so much, yet we have so much to be grateful for!!! The Duchess is truly a ray of sunshine in what is sometimes a dark world.... Thank you for keeping those of us across the pond in your mind & planning on posting any links for us to use to watch it.

    Again.... Wishing you all such a Happy & Healthy & Blessed Christmas & A Wonderful New Year!!

    Becca USA

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