Sunday, 5 July 2015

Princess Charlotte's Christening

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge was baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk this afternoon.


It is the first time we have seen the Cambridges together as a family of four publicly - and what a joyous day for it! The family made the quarter-mile walk from Sandringham House to the church. Interestingly the large traditional silver-wheeled Millson pram Charlotte travelled in has a family history of its own - it was once used for the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.


Here she is :)


It was an intimate ceremony attended by close family, including Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Middleton family and the godparents and their spouses.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Prince George was impeccably behaved (and adorable as ever) as he held his father's hand during the walk.


Taking a peek at his little sister...


The Duke and Duchess chose five godparents for their daughter:

Adam Middleton - Kate's cousin, the son of Michael Middleton's brother Richard. Adam works for Mayfair firm Manchester Square Partners.

The Hon. Laura Fellowes - Princess Diana's niece, the daughter of Diana's older sister Lady Jane Fellowes and Baron Fellowes, who served as the Queen's private secretary throughout the 1980's.

James Meade - Prince William and James Meade have been close friends since they attended Eton together. He is the son of Olympic gold medallist equestrian Richard Meade. He has become of a close friend of Kate's too, and accompanied her to the Badminton Horse Trials after her brief split from William in 2007.

Sophie Carter - A friend of Kate's for years. Sophie isn't someone we've seen photographed much over the years, but she has been described as a "discreet and loyal" friend. Interestingly, Ms. Carter and fellow godparent Thomas van Straubenzee used to be an item.

Thomas van Straubenzee - Known simply as 'van' to his friends, Prince William and Thomas have been friends since they attended Ludgrove prep school in Berkshire together. He accompanied William on his gap year to New Zealand. Both William and Harry are patrons of a charity in memory of his brother, Henry van Straubenzee, who died in a car crash aged 18 in 2002.

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter noted all godparents share a common bond with William and Kate: "Each has a long, in some cases life-long connection to William or Kate. Trust and loyalty at the core."

Mail Online

As expected, thousands of well-wishers from the nearby Norfolk area and much further afield travelled to St Mary's to catch a glimpse of the Cambridges. The Palace said the Duke and Duchess were "pleased to welcome well-wishers" and were "delighted" the paddock could be made available.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Royal commentators noted it is the first time that the christening of such a senior member of the Royal family has involved the public in any way and it was a much more public affair than Prince George's christening in 2013.


The Duchess carried her daughter into the church,


The Duke and Duchess's choice of venue was partly due to its proximity to Anmer Hall - the Cambridges' primary family home and the place George and Charlotte will be spend the early years of their childhood - and of course its royal history. The late Diana, Princess of Wales was baptised there and more recently Princess Eugenie received the sacrament there during a public service in 1990.

Sandringham Estate

Princess Charlotte is the most senior member of the Royal family to be christened outside a royal residence for 120 years. The Queen’s father, George VI, was christened in the same church in 1895, but for the next three generations Royal palaces were used for the christenings of all senior members of the Royal family.

Geograph

This photo offers an aerial view of the distance from Sandringham House to St Mary's.

Panoramio

The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who was assisted by the Reverend Canon Jonathan Riviere, Rector of the Sandringham group of parishes.


More from The Telegraph:

'Princess Charlotte's baptism will take place in the The Lily Font, a small, silver gilt vessel which is part of the Crown Jewels and has been used for almost all royal christenings since 1841.
 Water from the River Jordan, where Christ was baptised by John the Baptist, has been flown to Britain for use in the ceremony, as is also traditional at royal christenings. Otherwise the service will be largely familiar to anyone who has attended an Anglican christening service.'

Decorated with lilies, ivy and cherubs, The Lily Font was commissioned by Queen Victoria ahead of the birth of her first child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, in 1840. It left London as a top secret operation went underway to move the font from the Tower of London to Norfolk.

The Royal Collection

William and Kate chose two hymns for the service: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" and "Come Down, O Love Divine". The lesson was from Matthew 18, verses 1-5, read by godparent James Meade. Sandringham Church Choir sang at the service. Two anthems were chosen: "I Will Sing With the Spirit" and "God Be In My Head", both by John Rutter.


Princess Charlotte wore a hand-made replica of the royal christening robe, made by Angela Kelly, dressmaker to the Queen. The original Honiton lace and satin robe, was last used in 2004 with Lady Louise Windsor being the last royal baby to wear the piece. After years of wear it had become too fragile to use, so in 2008 Her Majesty commissioned a replica. It features the same length skirt, elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor. The first baby to wear it was was James, Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.


Prince George wore the robe for his christening in 2013.

PA
The guests mingled after the service.


A splendid shot of the Duchess with Her Majesty.


The Queen talking to Prince George. In the photo below, you'll also see Nanny Maria wearing the traditional Norland uniform.


The Duchess of Cornwall and Carole Middleton chatting.


The Middleton family were all smiles for the occasion. Pippa Middleton looked elegant in an Emilia Wickstead bespoke high-necked cream coatdress and a Jane Taylor hat.


We saw just a few photos of the godparents. Sophie Carter chose a striking coat for the christening.


Princess Diana's nice Laura Fellowes.


James Meade was all smiles upon arrival.


Links to William's mother were very much evident in the planning of this christening. As we noted above, Diana was also christened at the same church. It means both of William and Kate's children have a baptismal link to Diana, as Prince George was christened at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace where her body lay before her funeral in 1997.


According to royal sources, William wanted the date of the christening to be as close to his mother's birthday as possible - Diana would have been 54 last Thursday. Of course, Diana, is one of Charlotte's middle names and Diana's favourite photographer, Mario Testino, will take the official photographs.

Princess Diana by Mario Testino

After the service, the Duke and Duchess will gave a tea at Sandringham House. Guests were served slices of christening cake, which is taken from William and Kate's wedding cake. One imagines a selection of refreshments were enjoyed too, including sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and cream. Beverages of tea and perhaps champagne will be served. It is thought Prince William may give a brief speech before toasting his daughter.


Former royal chef Darren McGrady spoke to People shared the details of a royal afternoon tea.

'It's not a "high tea", as it has been called but an "afternoon tea", he points out. For the Royal family, a high tea is a nursery tea that Prince George might have if he was staying with the Queen. "That might be beans on toast, or little fish fingers," McGrady says.
 They will likely use the hand-painted Meissen china, of which there are several sets at Sandringham and, in fact, the Saloon is decorated with the china, including vases, and antique tea sets. 
He adds, "It is low key, and it's mainly family and a few friends. They will not sit at one long table. Some people will stand and drink their tea. Others, especially the ladies, will sit dotted around the room. The Queen doesn't eat much – for her afternoon tea is probably one square of sandwich and one piece of cake. 
It is like Downton Abbey when they do afternoon tea. The sofas are laid out in U shapes and a small table in the centre so you can put six-inch side plates down," he says.'

The Duchess selected a bespoke Alexander McQueen cream coat dress for the event. It is a gorgeous piece which worked perfectly with the christening gown. The neckline and fit of the garment is just perfect.


Kate wore a pretty cream hat by milliner Jane Taylor.


A closer look at Kate's elegant updo.



Kate's selected her Russell & Bromley 5th Avenue shoes.


The Duchess accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress Pendant and the matching Empress Drop Earrings. It is the first time we've seen Kate wear the earrings publicly. They're available at Mappin & Webb from £3,450 (with thanks to Last Video Corner via Twitter and Anna).

Mappin & Webb

Meanwhile, Prince George looked adorable in the Smocked Set by Rachel Riley (with thanks to Prince George Pieces). It is described as a "traditional 2-piece smocked shirt and short set. The shirt is hand smocked across the chest with a vintage inspired design. Matching red shorts with button opening at the side - button onto the shirt for a formal look".

Rachel Riley

It is incredibly similar to the outfit Prince William wore to meet his little brother Harry for the first time in 1984.


There's a video available on You Tube showing arrivals.


It was a beautiful christening and all involved appeared to be having a wonderful day. It was wonderful to see the Cambridges walk to the church and the photos were beautiful.


We expect to see the official christening portraits by Mario Testino released in a couple of days.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Kate in ZARA Shirt for Outing with George, Christening Timings, Wimbledon on Wednesday & More

Hello, dear readers. We have multiple updates of interest to share with you today.

New photos of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George feature on the cover of German People MagazineGerts Royals discovered the cover and revealed the publication is relatively new - with its first issue coming out in March.

German People Magazine

The images were reportedly taken at Snettisham Park - a 329-acre working farm and petting zoo near the family's country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.  The pair appeared to be having a lovely time with George, who turns two later this month, playing on the slides and tractors. Christin kindly shared scans and alerted us to the photos.

Packham Gown Twitter Feed / German People

Kate and George are frequent visitors and were photographed there in April enjoying an afternoon out.

The British Monarchy Heir Facebook Page / New Idea

Snettisham Park , incorporating Park Farm, first opened to the public in 1986, and is a working Norfolk farm growing wheat for animal feed, malting barley, sugar beet and grass, grazed by a 400 ewe flock, red deer herd, and horses and ponies from the stables. It's a lovely time of year to visit and Prince George clearly adores his visits to the farm.

Snettisham Park

The Duchess opted for a casual yet stylish look, wearing a plaid checked shirt by Zara (with thanks to WWKD). The 100% cotton piece is currently sold out, but it originally retailed for £30, before going on sale for £20. Kate's sister Pippa has been photographed wearing similar plaid shirts by the brand too.

Zara

Plaid shirts have been everywhere over the past few years and there's an array of choices by popular brand Rails for those wishing to Repli-Kate. Below we see the Rails Carmen Plaid Shirt, the Hunter Shirt and the Britt Plaid Shirt.

Saks / Nordstrom

Kate wore her favourite Le Chameau Leather Lined 'Vierzonord' Wellington Boots. They are available in most sizes for £165 at Country Attire (receive 10% off if you sign up for the newsletter). They're also in stock at Harrods.


Country Attire

The Duchess accessorised with her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.

Cartier

Kate wore her hair in a bun and completed the look with her signature skinny jeans, mostly likely by Topshop or J Brand.

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Next, the timings for Princess Charlotte's christening on Sunday have been released. The christening will begin at 4.30 pm and the gates outside St Mary Magdalene Church will be open to the public at 3 pm.

Interesting info for those wishing to attend from the Western Daily Press:

'Norfolk Police said that anybody wishing to join the celebrations should arrive in time for gates to the paddock outside the church opening at 3pm. The ceremony is due to start at 4.30pm.
 Superintendent Kevin Clarke said: "With this being such a special occasion we are expecting the area to be extremely busy on Sunday and encourage the public to heed our advice so they can enjoy the event safely."
Car parking will be available but large crowds are expected.
"People are asked to consider their arrival time carefully as they could be queuing for some time in warm temperatures with limited refreshments and facilities in the area," a spokesman added.'

Any well-wishers who bring flowers will have them collected and they will be donated to Kate's patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

£5 commemorative coins to mark Princess Charlotte's christening have been unveiled. The coin features two harp-playing cherubs encircled by swags of lilies. The Queen, William, Kate and Chancellor George Osborne all approved the design, which was created to by engraver John Bergdahl "to symbolise the link between the royal siblings".


The Mirror


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We've been very much hoping to see Kate at Wimbledon this year and were delighted to hear the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will watch the quarter-finals at Centre Court next Wednesday.

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton were among the guests in the royal box at Centre Court today.


Of course, Kate's love of tennis extends beyond watching the sport. She is also a keen player too, which is why it came as no surprise to hear the Cambridges are planning to revamp the old tennis court at Anmer Hall.


More from the Mirror's story:

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have submitted plans to revamp the crumbling old tennis court at their country mansion. The proposed designs show that the existing tennis court that has fallen into disrepair will be removed and replaced with a 3.65 hectare tennis court AstroTurf.
It will also be located on a new site further away from Anmer Hall, the royal couple's secluded 10-bedroom Georgian country house in Norfolk, - which will "improve the views" across the acres of rolling fields.'

A look at proposed plans.



The proposal reads: "The current Tennis Court needs extensive work to resurface and we have been advised that to resurface we need to remove all the existing Court and start again."

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Finally, readers will be familiar with Scot Web, as the Duchess has worn their Artisan Hand-Woven Spun Silk Scarf on several occasions during trips to Scotland.


The company has launched a new accessible luxury brand CLAN , designing and creating must-have contemporary clothing and accessories for men and women, using superb local fabrics, and made to the highest standards for which Scotland is traditionally renowned.

The brand has started an exciting kickstarter campaign offering customers the chance to purchase cashmere scarves worth £240 for £75.

CLAN

More from the website:

'We’re launching CLAN with an incredible offer for our favourite product: the fabulous extra large Scottish cashmere scarf with ripple finish. As you'll know, Scotland is famous for producing the world's finest cashmere. And it just doesn't get more luxurious than this. It's sumptuously cosy, stunningly gorgeous.'

A look at the beautiful scarf.

CLAN
 To read more about the Kickstarter campaign and pieces available for order click here.

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Are you all excited for Sunday's christening? It will be splendid to see the family of four together publicly for the first time!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Details on Princess Charlotte's Christening, Mario Testino to Take Photos, Brad & Angelina Take Tea at KP & More

Good evening!

We have a number of updates to share with you beginning with new information concerning Princess Charlotte's christening on Sunday. Yesterday, Kensington Palace confirmed the service will be attended by Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Mr Michael Middleton, Mrs Carole Middleton, and other family and invited guests. Notably, Prince Harry will be absent from the event because he is in Africa.

More from Kensington Palace:

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be pleased to welcome well-wishers into the paddock outside the church. The Duke and Duchess are hugely grateful for the warm wishes they have received since Princess Charlotte's birth - many of them from local people in Norfolk - and are delighted the paddock can be opened on the day of the christening.'

It promises to be an enormously memorable occasion and it will be the first time we have seen all four members of the Cambridge family together in public. Police in Norfolk are preparing for thousands of members of the public to turn out. They will stand in a field between St Mary Magdalene Church and Sandringham House - the same position they stand when members of the Royal family attend church on Christmas Day.

St Mary Magdalene Church

The Telegraph's Gordon Rayner noted: "It will be the first time in living memory that the christening of such a senior member of the Royal family has involved the public in any way". Prince George's christening was a much more private affair, but this time William and Kate seem eager to involve the public, particularly the people of Norfolk who have been very respectful of their privacy since they moved to Anmer Hall.


We'll all be incredibly excited to see the official christening photographs. Today, Kensington Palace confirmed the late Princess Diana's favourite photographer, Mario Testino, has been chosen to take the historic pictures.

Mario Testino

More from the official press release:

'The Duke and Duchess are delighted that Mario Testino will help capture this important moment for their family and look forward to sharing the photographs with the public.
 Throughout his career, Mr. Testino has also photographed the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Acknowledging the request to photograph Princess Charlotte's christening, Mr. Testino said: "I am overwhelmed and honoured to be chosen to document this occasion and to carry on the documentation of the family that is the soul of this country, a country that has given me so much."

Mr Testino is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential portrait photographers of his generation. From high-fashion magazines, to A-list celebrities and royalty, he is the photographer of choice. Mr Testino has received numerous awards and honours in acknowledgement of his career and charity work, including an OBE and his native country’s highest honour, the Grand Cross Order of Merit in Peru.

Mario Testino / Clarence House

Of course, the photographer took William and Kate's official engagement photographs.

Mario Testino /Clarence House

Some have suggested because Mr Testino was his late mother's favourite photographer, it is another way for William to involve Diana in her granddaughter's christening. Below we see an iconic shot of Diana taken by Mr Testino. "Photographing Diana, Princess of Wales for Vanity Fair in 1997 was one of the most memorable days of my career," he recalled recently.

Princess Diana by Mario Testino

Mr Testino with Diana.

Mario Testino

It is expected the christening portraits will be released a day or two after the event.

As for the exact time, we know the it will take place Sunday afternoon, though specific details have not been made available yet, most likely for security reasons.

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

Another big question. Who will the godparents be? It appears we will not hear this information until closer to the day, if not the day of the christening itself. Rumoured choices include Princess Beatrice, Peter Phillips, one of the van Cutsems and perhaps a relative of Kate's, too.

Weather permitting we hope to see Prince George walking down to church, while Princess Charlotte will most likely be in a pram. Further updates are expected closer to the day.

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Last Friday, the Duke and Duchess welcomed Hollywood royalty, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Kensington Palace for tea. Prince George was reportedly present too.


Kensington Palace confirmed this is indeed true, however, as it was a private meeting no photos were released. Brad and Angelina were photographed arriving at the Palace, and the photos can be viewed on the Brangie Love Instagram account.

Brangie Love Twitter Feed

The Palace said William and Kate had tea with the couple "to discuss their shared interest in combating the illegal wildlife trade".

More from the Mail Online's story:

'The Royal couple were said to be 'really excited' about the afternoon tea.
The Duke and Duchess, according to the source, were joined by their son Prince George - who will be two years old in July, but the Jolie-Pitts' children were not present.
 The Hollywood pair brought a special gift for their daughter Princess Charlotte, who was born in May. 'Everyone got on splendidly' said the source. Brad and Angelina spent much longer with the Duke and Duchess than planned. They ended up staying for almost a few hours.' 

It will be interesting to see if we see anything further comes from the meeting - such as the couple lending their support to one of the wildlife conservation organisations Prince William works with - by becoming ambassadors or perhaps starring in an advert. Which couple do you think was more nervous about the meeting? :)

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Do you all recall stories emerging in the weeks leading up to, and after, Princess Charlotte's birth claiming Carole Middleton had moved in to Anmer to run the household to the detriment of her marriage? At the time, several sightings of the Middletons around the Bucklebury area were reported and it quickly became obvious the story was fabricated.


Mrs Middleton has now got a correction to the Daily Mail story, it can be read here.

Daily Mail

Speaking of the Middletons, a selection of photos of Carole and Prince George enjoying an afternoon outing at Bucklebury Farm Park were published at Pop Sugar last week. George appeared to be having a splendid time and Carole is very much a doting grandmother. The family are frequent visitors to the farm, both Kate and Carole have taken the prince there a number of times separately and together. The photos can be viewed here.

Pop Sugar Twitter Feed

George's hair looks adorably cute and natural!

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We're delighted to announce the winner of Mirabelle Lolita Earrings Giveaway is Mrs D in Dublin. If you could please email me at hrhcatherineblog@hotmail.com we'll coordinate the delivery immediately. With thanks to all who entered and to Mirabelle for sponsoring the contest.

Mirabelle

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Finally, for those asking about possible appearance for Kate. The Duchess was spotted in Norfolk over the weekend meaning I think a Wimbledon appearance is perhaps most likely at some point next week. The Royal Norfolk Show takes place Wednesday and Thursday - it was suggested as a possible appearance for Prince George. There's been no official word on this, and royal commentators appear to think it very unlikely but not impossible.

As we mentioned earlier in the post, we expect to hear more christening details in the coming days.