Monday, 13 June 2022

The Duchess in Blue McQueen for Garter Day

The welcome return to the summer royal calendar reached another milestone with today's Order of the Garter ceremonies at Windsor. It marked the first time since 2019 the annual service and procession has been held.

Indeed, there's an additional significance to this year's appearance at Windsor for the Cambridges. Friends and aides of Prince William spoke to Roya Nikkhah for a Sunday Times profile celebrating his 40th birthday. The story confirmed the longstanding rumour the family will be moving to a property on the Windsor estate before eventually moving into Windsor Castle for the duration of George, Charlotte and Louis' school years. The children will complete term at Thomas's Battersea before starting at a Berkshire-based school in September. It is understood the move will occur over the course of the summer.

I suspect Kensington Palace will primarily serve as an office and a London base for weeks coinciding with clusters of engagements. It will no longer be their school-term home. Preparations have been afoot for some time, with reports long claiming William and Kate felt limited and stifled in London. We saw their social media handles change from 'Kensington Palace' to 'Duke and Duchess of Cambridge' too. For the past several years it's understood the Cambridges spent weekends and school holidays (all told a good five months of the year) at their Norfolk base. Onlookers and visitors spot the royal helicopter arriving and departing from KP regularly while the family travel back and forth. They will keep Anmer Hall with a view to spending more time there in years to come.

More from Roya Nikkhah's profile:

'As well as bringing the children nearer their maternal grandparents, the Middletons, who live in Bucklebury, a 45-minute drive away, the move to Windsor will give the Cambridges a new lifestyle and family dynamic. They are looking forward to the freedom the vast, secure Windsor estate will provide.

“The reality is they are quite confined in what they can do in London,” a friend said. “The kids can’t go into the park and kick a football with friends. Their plan is to be there for the next ten to 15 years and then move to Anmer, which is so special to them.”

Sophie, Kate and William chatting. 

Each June, the Knights of the Garter gather at Windsor Castle where new knights take the oath and are invested with the insignia.

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A lunch is given in the Waterloo Chamber, after which the knights proceed to a service in St George's Chapel.

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago. The Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter; several senior members of the Royal family; and twenty-four knights or ladies chosen in recognition of their work. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life, or who have served the sovereign personally.

Prince William was the 1000th knight on the register when he joined the Order in 2008.

You may recall Garter 2019 was quite the royal celebration. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Letizia of Spain attended to support their husbands King Felipe and King Willem-Alexander who were installed as knights. Supernumerary, or 'stranger knights', are overseas monarchs appointed to the Order.


This year, Her Majesty has appointed the Duchess of Cornwall to be a Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

The newly installed Duchess.

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A photo released of Her Majesty, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Buckingham Palace added: "In addition, The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint The Right Honourable Valerie Ann, Baroness Amos C.H. to be a Lady Companion and The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to be a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter."

You'll notice former Prime Minister Tony Blair also made the list this year. The Queen and Blair had a tumultuous relationship during the time of Princess Diana's death when the former prime minister travelled to Scotland and beseeched the monarch to return to London and lead the nation in mourning the "People's Princess".

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A view of the royal procession.

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The Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

The Order's motto is 'Honi soit qui mal y pense', which translates to 'Shame on him who thinks evil of it'.

The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England), and the spiritual home of the Order is St George's Chapel, Windsor.

The Order's members must wear vestments for ceremonial occasions. Members have worn the blue velvet robe since the 16th century. The heraldic shield of St George is sewn onto the left shoulder of the robe. The hat is a Tudor bonnet of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers.

The insignia of a Knight of the Order of the Garter.

A closer look at Prince William in full regalia.

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William, Kate, Charles and Camilla depart by carriage.

The foursome appeared to be having a lovely day.

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A very nice shot of the duchesses.

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Kate memorably made her Garter Day debut in 2008 (the year William was installed as a knight) wearing her black pin dot suit and a Philip Treacy hat. At the time, the appearance sent the engagement rumour mill into overdrive.

Kate attended in 2011 wearing Katherine Hooker. In 2012, she repeated a favourite McQueen coatdress. In 2014 it was Christopher Kane.

Sartorially speaking, my favourite appearance was 2016. The Duchess was a vision in red. She repeated a Catherine Walker coatdress with her Robinson Pelham wedding earrings and a matching Lock & Co. hat. This remains one of my all time favourite Kate looks.


I also adored the Catherine Walker coatdress the Duchess sported in 2019 with a Lock & Co hat and Diana's Collingwood pearls. 


Today, the Duchess chose a bespoke cornflower blue Alexander McQueen coatdress. The piece features an open collar, a waistbelt and a flared skirt.


Kate's matching hat is the gorgeous Floral Leaf Teardrop style by Juliette Botterill (with thanks to Polka Popp). The £560 hat is described as: "Beautiful teardrop hat. Woven straw base. Adorned with an array of silk roses, rosebuds, leaves, and silk abaca bow. This style is worn on a slim headband in your choice of hair colour".


The Duchess wore a chic pair of Aquazzura Love Link Sling 105 pumps (with thanks to BritRoyalFam63).


They are described as:
'The Love Link Sling is a timeless silhouette with a bit of an edge. Made in Italy from soft gros grain in blueberry, the towering style narrows into a sharp, pointy toe and is finished with a glossy, heart-shaped chain at the heel.'
The Duchess carried an oversized unidentified blue clutch we first saw in Belize.

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And accessorised with her eye-catching G Collins & Sons earrings and pendant. 

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Below we see the Tanzanite and Diamond Pendant at G Collins & Sons. The pear shaped pendant are available for £8,400.

The Duchess wearing the piece at a St Paul's service in 2015.

Royal Ascot kicks off tomorrow. I think there's a very solid chance we'll see the Cambridges attend one of the days.

60 comments:

  1. I love the shoes! I initially thought this was the dress she wore in Scotland because of the similar neckline and color. I didn’t love that one and I don’t love this one either. I think it’s the neckline? Bottom line not my favorite outfit but I’m always happy to see her and her smile! Loved Sophie’s outfit. It’s a nice color mix instead of all the same color.

    I do understand why the Cambridges would move, and it makes sense to do it now when Louis starts school. Although I’ll believe it when I hear it confirmed from Kensington Palace. I’m sure they’ll get a bunch of criticism for so many homes. Looking forward to Ascot :) thanks Charlotte! Sue

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    1. Kate looks lovely and I realize this blog is about Kate, but I wondered if anyone knew anything about Sophie's jewelry.

      Also, what are the rumors surrounding a move to Windsor? Is there a home selected for the Cambridge family?

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    2. Hello G.A. A temporary home has been chosen before an eventual move to Windsor Castle according to Roya Nikkhah.

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    3. I would expect that the brooch worn by The Countess is either from The Queen or Queen Mother. S. ☺

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    4. Those who criticize the Cambridges moving/retaining homes/households, must not understand the scope & the standing of the Cambridges. They are poised to become the next Prince & Princess of Wales, and the future King & Queen Consort - what are the royal homes for, if not for the highest ranking royals in the kingdom to live? Cheers!

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    5. Katie C.H.

      Anonymous 22:32, I was surprised they were moving too. Then I thought about it. They’ve lived there for almost 10 years. I know a lot of people who (and obviously theirs is not comparable) move from their ‘starter home’ onto a more long term home at about the 10 year mark.

      Timing wise, it seems to work. Louis can start school, George was (rumored) to be changing schools anyways and this gets them settled in the area before any drastic changes happen in the family. Plus, Kensington will still be for offices and late nights and formal ‘Let’s invite dignitaries into our home’ house.

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    6. Katie C.H.

      (Hit publish too soon)
      What I haven’t heard, are any comments about renovations or upgrades or redecorating. That would lead me to believe this is a temporary, until they settle somewhere permanently at Windsor move. And good for not remodeling a temporary house(even if it’s needed, it will just create controversy).

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    7. Whether or not this is substantiated, read an article that Adelaide Cottage fit the bill on many levels as the Cambridges will not be doing any remodeling and want to be cognizant of costs.

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    8. The brooch that Sophie is wearing is from her own private jewelry collection, and her dress is a Valentino rewear.

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  2. Although nice, it's almost the same with one she wore in Scotland last summer. What's the point to have two expensive and almost identical in color and shape coatdresses? In the beginning I thought she wore the same. It's almost the same minus some buttons .Lovely shoes though. Thanks!

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  3. Lovely look! The coat dress looks familiar - is it a repeat?

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  4. Firstly, congratulations to HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Very well deserved! It was lovely to see the queen today although just in photograph. Catherine's outfit is a Miss for me. I dislike the collar. Off lately, her coat dresses are becoming a bit boring. I love the heels and other accessories though. Lastly, hoping to see the Cambridges at Royal Ascot this week !

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  5. The 2019 ceremony was one of my favorite events on the official calendar. Loved Kate’s ensemble that day and image of her giggling with Queen Maxima was so classic.

    Today, she pairs beautifully with Sophie. I’m sure people will comment about the sameness of the coatdress, but I think it’s gorgeous on Kate. Beautiful hat too, but, oh I wish she’d drop the “mix a whole lot of blue tones in one outfit” motif. Even though the accessories are mainly in the periwinkle family, I just don’t think they work great together.

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  6. My favourite colour on The Duchess. Stunning. Prince William looks very handsome in his garter robes. Congratulations to The Duchess of Cornwall. It was a big relief that there were no distractions from todays service. I love this jewellery on The Duchess, different stone to her engagement ring but go very well together. Great to see The Queen attend today. S. ☺

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  7. At first I was so happy to see that she wore a repeat but it turned out to be a new coat dress. I like her in coat dresses but why buy an expensive dress all the time when the difference is so miniscule?

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  8. I forgot to comment on the move to Windsor. I think it's a great idea. I know which house on the estate I think they should have. 🤔. I know Diana felt a bit fenced in living in Kensington Palace. Also not very private with the two young prince's. They will be closer to The Queen and the other side of the family. Nice and private and plenty of room for the children to play, horse riding etc. Adlaide cottage looks very nice, if that is their choice. I think Frogmore house might be too big. S. ☺

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  9. I’m so confused. They won’t be living in London and be full time royals anymore?

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    1. Hello! I'm not anticipating any change in duties, it's relatively easy to travel from Windsor to London.

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    2. You don't have to live right in London to be a full-time royal. Other royals live outside of the city proper. Windsor is located within the London larger urban zone, just 22 miles from central London.

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    3. Of all the senior royals they are currently the only ones who live full time in the centre of London. HM, Anne and the Wessexes all have their main residence outside of London. Only Charles have a similar situation but even then Highgrove is a lot closer to London than Amner. I am actually surprised that it took this long before they moved.

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  10. I may be in the minority but I love this look! Everything, the neckline which shows off her collarbone, the shoes, the hat, and the wonderful jewelry (a favorite of mine). I don't mind that it is a coat dress, the cut and especially the change in neckline are very flattering. She looks particularly happy in all photos, but especially when smiling at the Duchess of Cornwall, it looks like a very happy 'congratulatory' smile....nice. Sophie looks fantastic as well, do love Sophie's looks of late and her hats have her signature style, yet a little less 'out there'. Both ladies do pair nicely! I am extremely glad that there was a change in the procession that allowed the focus to be on the recipients, and congratulations to Tony Blair and Baroness Amos (perhaps a photo of her could be included here as well? :) Everybody looks to be in high spirits. Loving the photo of the Queen with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall....lovely.

    I agree with another poster that the move to Windsor will be good for the Cambridge's especially with Louis starting school. Sounds like a very busy summer for the family!

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  11. Oh dear, this coat dress seems to be too big for her. Maybe it was fitted that way on purpose but it seems be swallowing up her neck and chest as she’s so slender!

    I do love seeing her in an interesting shoe and those are fabulous. If she retired the beige suede pumps I would be a happy woman.

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  12. I normally don't mind, but this is a little too much blue for me. And the coat is lovely, but very much the same. Though I suppose that posits a question: how many different styles can their actually be?

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    1. And the answer would be, obviously quite a few...lol! I agree and think that a touch of violet or lilac in her hat would add some contrast and a little bit of interest, but she looked very elegant nonetheless.

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  13. Sophie looks lovely today, so calm and steady and she and Kate look great side by side. I’m glad for the kids they are making a move, life at KP must be quite confining for kids who are very active and enjoy the outdoors. I only wonder at them not making the move sooner as changing schools can be a wrench. Likely it was because the Windsor area was “designated” for M&H initially. On another note, I’m glad to hear that William threatened to pull out of todays ceremony if Andrew insisted on participating. Andrew needs to stop trying to claw his way back, I’m quite appalled at his lack of self-awareness (celticgirl).

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    1. I thought best not to give him the attention he craves. S. ☺

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    2. Whatever intervention was needed and whoever initiated it, was a wise move for the royal family. The focus was where it should be - on those being invested - and not detracting headlines on the irrelevant. Was extremely worried that all of the wonderfulness and uplifting visuals of the Jubilee weekend would be obliterated in one single day and event. But it wasn't, so well done. Both the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall look quite chuffed with each other!

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  14. Great colour, I love it! Am I mistaken or she's extremely decoltee as for the Royalty standards ;-)?

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    1. No. She's definitely shown more skin, and so have other royal women. That's a modified (as in rather modest) portrait neckline, so not extreme at all.

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  15. The Duchess looks beautiful as always - her heart shines through! Love the hat, love the jewels. Not so much the shoes (just my personal taste), and the coatdress from the waist up looks to me like it is too large for her. Or is that just a new "style"?

    I'm with Charlotte on the red outfit from 2016!

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    1. I Second the Red look from 2016 too, just wonderful.

      Silvia

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  16. disappointing to see another virtually identical coat dress when it would have been easier and more environmentally friendly just to wear the scotland one. i love the shoes but think they are a little tacky with the rest of the outfit and would look better with cocktail dress

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    1. Perhaps the shoes are a little more on the formal side, but then you see the Queen in a long gown, so think that the nature of the event warrants the added bling??

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  17. I love her jewelry and the shoes. I have to agree that the coat dress looks likes others she has worn. I’m glad they are moving where the children can go outdoors and be safe. I wonder if HM will give their KP apartment to someone else in the family?

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  18. Breaking News in The Express, its reporting that the new home will be Adlaide cottage. A very good choice and beautiful house. S. ☺ Thanks

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    1. I'll believe it when the Palace makes an official announcement. I never trust anything the trashy tabloids claim.

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  19. Sigh.

    This is such a nice color on the Duchess, but the coatdress/fascinator combination exists in her wardrobe in such great numbers, and she must already have owned 3 or 4 in blue. This look is really becoming rather stale and unimaginative.

    Yes, uniforms are useful, but I think perhaps Kate Cambridge is too young to be going the Queen Elizabeth/Queen Mother route, basically wearing the same thing for every official appearance, just varying the hue. She's youthful enough that some adventuresome experimentation with fashion wouldn't come amiss. Other royal women in Europe dress in a rather more interesting manner, and she's younger than they are!

    The shoes at first reminded me of the black slingbacks with the rhinestone heel strap that Meghan Sussex wore for one of her evening appearances. I fell instantly in love with them but searched in vain for my size. (I ended up buying rhinestone-trimmed Tamara Mellon slingbacks instead.) I don't care as much for the chain-style strap-trim on this blue pair.

    That said, it was lovely to see Camilla in her Garter robes. Such a nice honor for her, after years of quite hard work (and putting up with a lot of public opprobrium). She deserves it.

    On the other hand, that was definitely not Cherie Blair's best look. I think that same dress in a solid color would have been more flattering. On the other hand, I don't think Ms. Blair really cares all that much about clothes. She never seemed to do so.

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  20. Love her shoes but sadly this blue is a miss for me, I just wish she would wear things more fashion forward. The hat and neckline ages her, enough of the floral hats, bring on something more Avant-garde!

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  21. I feel so spoiled with so many Kate looks these past few weeks. Summer is going to long without her! I love the blue but at this point her silhouette needs to change up a bit. Those shoes are fantastic though!

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  22. She seems to wear the same coat dress in different colours. It’s becoming a uniform. It works for the Queen but she is 96! Wish she would become more adventurous in her clothing choices.

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  23. I love the color of the coatdress, it definitely suits her. But I find the collar and neckline a bit awkward and stiff. Love the shoes but I personally find it too evening wear.

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  24. Sophie from ID14 June 2022 at 06:52

    so, we all can see this is not the MOST exciting look, buuuuuuut I have to say the cut of this collar is so gorgeous. Just perfectly fitted, and so flattering. Wow.

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    1. Completely agree Sophie, the collar is very flattering on Kate!!

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  25. I like the colour and length of this coat dress but I don't like the neckline, lovely hat but the shoes and clutch are a miss for me. I agree with Vittoria that some of Kate's outfits are a bit mature looking and at her age could have a more edgier look but I think she chooses to dress conservatively for the seriousness of the occasion she is dressing for and that's how she can look a bit older than her years.
    The photos of all the other Garter outfits Kate has worn over the years were interesting and she has stuck to a ''uniform", I like the white dress with black trim and accessories best, but what I did notice is the change in Kates eyebrow's how the overplucked look has now moved into the current trend of fuller eyebrow's ; )
    I think the move to Windsor makes a lot of sense at this stage of their lives. Do we know what school the children will be going to? I'm assuming they don't want to send their children to a boarding school until they would be older (or at all?) which I know would be a change from usual practice. And if there are upgrades to any home I know they will probably be criticised but if it's an old home that has been unused or not had any upgrades for a long while it should be made suitable for them. I'm sure they will cover any costs as H & M did.
    Sue in WA

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    1. Sue, if the boys are sent to Eton like their father was, I believe it’s right down the road from Windsor Castle.

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  26. The Duchess looks lovely, the blue color suits her beautifully.

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  27. Zora from Prague14 June 2022 at 07:59

    Great colour and a perfect polished look! I'd just choose a different clutch but that's my personal taste. Camilla looks truly happy in the picture with HM and Charles. The photo of Kate from 2008 confirms what I've been thinking for years - that Kate is one of those ladies who get prettier while getting older. :) Her look from 2016 is my favourite too.

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    1. Ditto Zora! Kate definitely is a woman who does get more beautiful with age, she really is very beautiful and quite photogenic. Also agree with both you and Charlotte on the 2016 look, it's my favorite too!!

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    2. She is exquisite - no doubt. While I love her outfit, it's just so close to the coat dress she work in Scotland. Of course the fabric is lighter and the fit better IMHO. Will we only see 'pseudo-repeats' moving forward given her extensive wardrobe? My favorite is also the 2016 look as well given the jewelry is so special and then this 2022 look. The hat, clutch, and shoes are elegant.

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  28. Did anybody else notice the mention of moving permanently to Anmer Hall in 15 years time? It strikes me as very odd. In 15 years, one could expect William getting closer and closer to the throne, slowly overtaking his father's duties just like Charles does for the Queen now. How could possibly William do all this from Norfolk? Also, they will have quite grown up kids so it would be expected of them to probably take on even more work (just like Sophie and Edward do now). It just doesn't add up. Am I missing something here?
    Ella

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    1. Yes, I too find it puzzling that – putting sustainability aside and their usage of helicopters – they are planning on permanently moving to Anmer 15 years from now. Curiously, in the same article, they are also going to eventually permanently move into Windsor Castle itself. Personally, I think they want to keep Anmer; to do so, they need a justification; hence, that it will be their future home, which, as you point out is unlikely.

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  29. I just read a bit more about the rumored new Windsor home. It’s described as a 4 bedroom house, and the article noted that the size works because they have no “live-in” staff. I always assumed that Nanny Maria lived with the family. Unless George and Louis share a bedroom, doesn’t seem possible for the Cambridges to accommodate Maria living with them.

    Any word on whether Maria will remain with the family? I suppose that with Louis at 4 perhaps they don’t need a live-in nanny, but I’d imagine they’d require someone to watch the children when W&K are off doing official business and engagements. Carole still works so maybe it’ll be Grandpa Mike who pops over to help with schoolwork on afternoons when Kate’s got an engagement? (Zipzipzippy)

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    1. This is sleight of hand PR and you fell for it. There’s staff quarters literally right next to the house. But they can get away with saying it’s not “live in” staff. They should be careful with this regular royals just like us nonsense. They are not.

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    2. I don't think this is a PR move. Literally they won't have any live in staff. Which I guess they prefer. Doesn't mean they won't get help or that their nanny will quit. I think they really need her, their schedules are too variable for relying on school times.

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  30. Always love Duchess Kate's outfits. I agree, the 2016 red suit dress is a beautiful look!

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  31. Was she wearing tights? I don't like them worn with that kind of shoes but I do love the Duchess' outfit

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  32. When Kate gets it right - it really is close to perfection. This year's Trooping the Colours was just such an occasion.
    This, strangely enough, is close to dowdy in my book. She is 40! No need to settle with a been-there-done-that-on-several-occasions look. Not if you can pick any outfit out of your closet and feign sustainability to boot. Her clothes are of superior quality and should be worn more than once or twice.

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  33. What a happy event, they all look as though they are superbly enjoying themselves. Such is the case when a family is close...Camilla looks beautiful, and what an honor for her. She seems a gracious sort, and I would love to have a gin with her! Catherine again is spot on with her ensemble. Perfectly tailored, fabulous color on her, and love the hat. I'm wishing a bit for more color variety but I understand that she's selecting colors/patterns that will wear well into the future in terms of saving money. I love that about her - not extravagant in her wardrobe expenses, but for glamorous occasions. She and William look so in love, after 11 years no less. A most perfect match. Thanks for a wonderful post.

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  34. Do you know who designed the Duchess of Gloucester's dress?

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  35. What a happy event, they all look as though they are superbly enjoying themselves she looks good in powder blue the duchess Catherine and prince wills looks more in love years and years

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