Tuesday, 16 May 2017

It's Talk of Pippa's Wedding & A Visit to Scandinavia for the Queen's Garden Party!

Garden Party season is officially upon us! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined The Queen for her first garden party of the year at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.


The royals made their entrance at 4 pm to the national anthem playing.


They then dispersed into the crowd, each taking a separate route, known as 'lanes', to ensure as many guests as possible had the opportunity to meet a member of the Royal family.


Other members of the royal family in attendance included The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Princess Beatrice and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.


Every summer, Her Majesty hosts three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. The garden parties were instituted by Queen Victoria in the 1860s when they were known as 'breakfasts', despite taking place in the afternoon. Historically, Garden Parties took the place of presentation parties attended by debutantes, and have evolved into a way of recognising and rewarding public service.


This year the Queen has given permission for three additional parties. On Saturday William, Kate and Harry hosted 'Party at the Palace' to honour the children of those who have died serving in the armed forces. Later this month Prince Harry will host his first solo garden party for current and former members of the military at the annual Not Forgotten Association; the Duke of York will host another.


Over the course of each year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful palace grounds. The Palace describes Garden Parties as "an important way for The Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community".


More from the official website:

"Throughout the country, a long established network of sponsors is used to invite guests, who include Lord-Lieutenants, Societies and Associations, Government Departments, Local Government, the Services, the Church and other Faiths.  They nominate guests for invitation and we hope in this way to achieve a representative cross section of the community.  It is not possible to acquire invitations to The Queen's Garden Parties through direct application to Buckingham Palace. "

At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed!


A closer look at the treats on display today.


There's an interesting video about royal Garden Parties available here.


The Duchess mingles with guests.


With just days until Pippa's wedding, conversation quickly turned to the big day.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

More from Rebecca's story:

'Kate chatted to Andrew Bates and his wife, Janet, about her sister Pippa's wedding at the weekend - and revealed that while she was hugely looking forward to it, she was slightly nervous about how her children, Prince George, three, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte would behave as well.
Mr Bates. 55, from Coventry said: 'She said that they were all really looking forward to her sister's wedding at the weekend but she was a bit worried about how her children might behave.'She said she was hopeful that they would be good but you never know at that age.'
Mrs Bates was invited to the garden party as he has worked on the sound for the Queen's speech and other major royal events for the past 28 years.
'She was really interested in that, particularly when I explained that I had never been to Buckingham Place outside of work. The Duchess wondered how it felt to be on the other side of the fence. ' he said.'

Prince William chatting with guests.


The Duke of Edinburgh in fine form today.


Military bands played a selection of music throughout the afternoon.


A lovely photo of a smiling Princess Anne.


Princess Beatrice in the navy and white Tory Burch Winston Dress (with thanks to JKu for sharing the ID and info it is on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue).


Prince and Princess Michael of Kent meet the crowd.


Garden parties are steeped in royal history and I love to see those traditions continuing. Below we see, The Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, 28 June 1897. This oil painting by Laurits Regner Tuxen shows Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales in the midst of the crowds.


More on the provenance of the oil painting from the Royal Collection website:

'An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in the midst of dense crowds. 
According to the artist’s diary, Tuxen was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1897 to paint a picture of the Jubilee Garden Party at which would be present the elite members of London society together with other individuals from the British Empire who had connections with the court of St James’s. The Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) showed a particular interest in progress on the picture and visited Tuxen in Copenhagen and at Windsor to discuss the composition.
The artist was given permission to work in the Garden Entrance at St James’s Palace and was authorised to apply for sitting to anyone who had been present at the Garden Party ‘in accordance with The Queen’s wishes it may be a faithful Representation of that interesting Occasion’. An account of the Garden Party, with a list of those present, was printed in The Times on 29th June 1897. The Queen and members of the Royal Family entered the garden at a quarter past five. In the painting Queen Victoria appears to be returning to the Palace at the end of the party. In the background is the lake and on the right the royal tent. The Queen is accompanied in her carriage by the Princess of Wales who had changed places with the Empress Frederick during the afternoon. A set of fifteen studies by Tuxen, of sitters who were to be incorporated into the composition is in a private collection in Denmark. '

It's always interesting to see photos of the crowds and the various stylish ensembles on display. More on the official dress code "For a Garden Party, gentlemen wear morning dress or lounge suits, while women wear day dress, usually with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform are also often worn".


The Duchess tends to opt for repeats more often than not for garden parties. In 2012, Kate wore a pink Emilia Wickstead dress, in 2013 she selected the vibrant yellow and white Marella coat by the designer. In 2014, Kate wore her much loved bespoke lace Alexander McQueen lace dress and last year the Duchess brought back the cream ruffled McQueen dress she first wore for Prince George's christening. Last year William and Kate also attended attended the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's Garden Party at Hillsborough Castle. Kate chose a gold brocade coat by Day Birger et Mikkelsen she's had for over a decade.


Kate continued the trend of choosing repeats today - opting for the custom made ice blue Christopher Kane coatdress she wore for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and again for Order of the Garter in 2014. The silk satin piece features four panels per side and a self-belt.


Rebecca English shared this photo of the back of the coatdress.


Once again, Kate teamed the garment with the Lock & Co 'Sweet Delight' hat. The style is 100% woven straw and retailed for £875. 

Lock & Co

A closer look at the piece on Kate.


The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi 'Praline' suede pumps. They remain available at My Theresa.

Net-A-Porter

Kate accessorised with her new Kiki McDonough Blue Topaz and Diamond Drop Earrings in White Gold. The £3,500 pair are described as "A wonderful pair of blue topaz oval and cushion cut stones surrounded by diamonds set in 18ct white gold to form the most stunning drop earrings."

Kiki McDonough
And Kate carried a new clutch.


In the video below, Kate is talking to a guest: "Are kiddies over here as well behaved as they are in Australia?" Very interestingly William can be heard saying to guests: "Hopefully we are going to Norway very soon." It looks like a tour of Scandinavia could be on the cards. With Germany and Poland scheduled for July, is it possible other countries will be added. Perhaps a separate tour is in the works for later this summer or early autumn. Watch this space...


************

It's been a busy day for Prince William. This morning, in his role as President of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, he visited the hospital's facilities in Sutton. The visit marked William's 10th year as President of the centre. During the engagement, William visited the radiotherapy department, where he spoke with clinicians and physicists about the UK’s first MR Linac, a state-of-the-art machine set to make radiotherapy more effective and reduce side effects for cancer patients.


William met six-year-old Daisy Wood, who is being treated at the Royal Marsden Oak Centre for Children and Young People.


The Mail Online reports "The Duke of Cambridge showed his caring bedside manner when he helped take the blood pressure of leukaemia patient Daisy Wood, six, who was happy to let the future king strap a cuff to her arm in preparation for the reading. In the Oak Centre for Children and Young People the Duke sat beside Daisy, with parents Katie and Alistair Wood from Kingston upon Thames nearby, who moments before was watching a DVD about a princess. Her father later joked: 'She did say William was a little old for her to marry.' The six-year-old was left a little tongue tied after her meeting with the Duke but Mr Wood, 45, added: 'It's particularly nice he's come around, it shows he's interested in the Royal Marsden and the patients - it gives a boost to everyone. 'And being a dad with two young children you can see how he relates very well to the children."


The Royal Marsden is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe, treating over 50,000 NHS and private patients every year. It is a centre of excellence with an international reputation for ground-breaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies, as well as specialising in cancer diagnosis and education.


William was reunited with Fiona Bragg who had previously met William at the south London hospital in 2005, she recalled how she showed him how to check patients in during that visit. She said: "We just introduced him as William, he was really relaxed and friendly and spent a lot of time talking to the patients, not many people spotted him - one lady said he was a lookalike."


A fresh faced William during his work experience in 2005.


I expect the Cambridges will be heading to Bucklebury over the next couple of days to help with final wedding preparations.

269 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2017 at 18:01

    Always nice to see them attend these events with the Queen. Kate and HM makes a very nice pastelly combo. Very nice repeated clothes on Kate. Fitting to the occation and much in line with her previous Garden Party looks.

    I know some will dispair over her nude shoes, but this pair is one that I actually really like, not only tolerate. So I'm very content! She looks very pretty.

    Nice to get a better look of her new earrings. Very pretty, and nice that they are a bit more substantial while still working very well for daytime!

    I'm interested by the new clutch. Can't see it enough yet to form an opinion. Hope better pictures of it shows up :)

    How nice that you added some info on Williams doings today as well :)

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    1. That clutch is interesting...I like that it's not nude & has a nice, almost Victorian floral pattern. I may be wrong, as we don't get a clear view of it.

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    2. I wonder whether Kate acquired the clutch in India, mYbe as a gift. It is nice with this outfit.

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    3. I agree with all three of you! I think Kate looks very elegant, and appropriate for today's event. Wonderful to see The Queen and Prince Philip, who continues to astound. HM looks beautiful in her pink ensemble. Nice to read about the William's visit to the hospital in Sutton.

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    4. Patricia, I agree. My mom has some sarees with what looks like a similar design as the work on the clutch. It's like embroidery work

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  2. I'm giggling because it's another ice blue. However, I am thrilled to see it because it is a favorite piece of mine and her new Kikis go well with it. One minor quibble is that I wish her hair were down as I think it looks prettier that way with this particular hat. Also, still not of fan of this type of updo which is just a shapeless roll at her neck. So many other more beautiful ways to put hair up that would appear less utilitarian.

    Very glad to see William at the hospital. I remember his first visit there and he was a bit awkward with the very young children which was endearing. One can tell he has his own now.

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    1. I like the coat, and agree about the hair too. But I would burn the shoes any minute now.:))

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    2. Erika, I giggled when I read your comment because I think that Kate chose this coat just so that she could give those new earrings another outing :) Smart girl!

      Personally, I don't know if something so formal like a coat is suitable for a garden party... but then again it's not just any garden party right? I much rather loved the cream lace dress she wore for another garden party in 2014, the one she wore for the Queen's jubilee at first in 2012. I think something like that would have been better.

      Love the updo tho and those gorgeous earrings!

      Love Avee in SA

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    3. Not my favorite shoes either, Anett. She looks barefoot if you look very fast.

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    4. Avee, I think you may be right. The earrings go perfectly with this coat.

      The lace dress is one of her prettiest. I liked the first wear at the Jubilee with the ribbon belt and the more dramtic hat best though. As far as garden parties, I liked the the yellow coat with the frothy white hat. I thought it was young and fun but I know not too many will agree with me. It wasn't very popular at the time.

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    5. The yellow coat she wore when she was pregnant with George is by far my favourite Garden party look for Kate. She looked gorgeous & the white hat complemented the outfit perfectly. I did think the coat was a bit short at the time, but with such beautiful legs at that stage of her pregnancy, she could get away with it.

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    6. Oh good! I have some company with the yellow coat, KG. It was short but she did look amazing.

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    7. I love the lace, as well! I hope she recycles that at some point. It's funny, some of her prettiest (in my opinion) dresses are never seen again, while some of the repeats are ones I wish would be discarded for good.

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    8. The Duchess is of corse as always immaculately groomed. However, I agree with those who would prefer the brighter yellow on her rather than the ice blue. I do think the new earrings are a better fit with this look than last weeks. Still not quite a fan of these earrings for a day look. None the less they are stunning.

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  3. I'm giggling because it's another ice blue. However, I am thrilled to see it because it is a favorite piece of mine and her new Kikis go well with it. One minor quibble is that I wish her hair were down as I think it looks prettier that way with this particular hat. Also, still not of fan of this type of updo which is just a shapeless roll at her neck. So many other more beautiful ways to put hair up that would appear less utilitarian.

    Very glad to see William at the hospital. I remember his first visit there and he was a bit awkward with the very young children which was endearing. One can tell he has his own now.

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  4. Sarah Maryland USA16 May 2017 at 18:13

    Wow, I wonder why the hat costs so much! Is it made of gold or something lol
    I am not a fan of satin anything, every wrinkle shows on it and I hate how shiney it is. I would like this coat if it wasnt in satin because I do love the color on her. The hair looks good. I am glad she has gotten comfortable wearing it up
    Cant wait to see what she wears for her sister's wedding! I am pretty confident she will wear something new but part of me wonders if she will do a repeat like she does at most weddings
    My masters graduation ceremony starts at 11 a.m. EST does anyone have any idea what time Pippas wedding is? Not going to lie...I will be checking my phone throughout the ceremony because I am dying to see how much George and Charlotte have changed since we saw them out in December
    And part of me wants them to be a little naughty. I have seen footage of the Yorks' wedding (wasnt alive when it actually happened) and found William's naughty behavior hilarious lol

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    1. Congratulations. 🎓 What field is your degree in?

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    2. Sarah Maryland USA16 May 2017 at 20:00

      Thank you! Education! Social Studies in particular

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    3. Congratulations on your degree! Ditto on the York's wedding and some "naughty" behavior.

      To attempt to answer your question, I know some of the Duchess' hats/fascinators can seem unreasonably priced. I would have been astonished at the price tag and asked the same question before my brother trained as a milliner. The cost of the hat includes materials (which aren't cheap). You're also paying for the milliner's experience and training (not a lot of competition out there which drives up the price). A hat like this would take hours of handwork. Finally, there is the standard mark-up in fashion so that the company can make a profit, which can admittedly be high.

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    4. A teacher! How wonderful. Congrats from me too!

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    5. Well done Sarah! Congratulations and best of luck :) X

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    6. Yay! Congrats.

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    7. Sarah Maryland USA17 May 2017 at 00:30

      Thanks guys! And Anne thanks for explaining the priciness of the hat for me! I think someone mentioned on this blog awhile back that Kate has started to wear less high street in recent years and more high end designers so it would lower the risk of someone turning up in the same outfit as someone else
      However I think some of the high street dresses she wore were actually better made than some of the designer clothes she has

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    8. Good for you, Sarah. My nephew is finishing up a one year master's program in education in June! He'll be out pounding the pavement for a job after that. :)

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    9. Sarah congratulations on your graduation and I was really sorry to hear about your blog. You might be interested the is a blog called Royal hats - very interesting.

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    10. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 08:57

      Congratulations, Sarah

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    11. Sarah Maryland USA17 May 2017 at 14:26

      Wrong Sarah Alimai I don't have a blog lol

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  5. I love Kate's look today -- the coatdress, hat, and those earrings!!! Her hair is beautiful! She always seems so engaged. Looking forward to Pippa's wedding, mostly excited to see the George and Charlotte!

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  6. I love surprise DoC appearances! I don't really like her coat or hat, but she looks lovely. The Queen looks spectacular, that color looks wonderful on her.

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  7. That was a lovely surprise! Thank you for the excellent background on garden parties Charlotte. Cute that Kate shared her nervousness about George and Charlotte's upcoming duties at Pippa's wedding. I remember at my sister's wedding, her 4 year old niece was a flower girl and when the priest complimented her on her ruffle dress, she lifted her skirt and said "And I have ruffly panties too." The innocence of youth and 50 years ago surrounded by grandmas and aunties who quickly reacted with a "no dear we don't do that."

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    1. Cute story! :)

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    2. Thanks for sharing that story. What a hoot! I love it.

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    3. Haha, Jo, kids :)

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    4. Apparently I did the same thing when I was three during a church council meeting ( my father was the minister) that was being held in our parlor for some reason. He never got tired of telling that story. Kids can be a riot.

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    5. Aww.. such a cute story. I miss that age !

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 06:46

      Aww, that's adorable!

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  8. HM and the DoE are amazing! She looks so pretty in pink. And with a matching umbrella, no less!

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  9. Never been a fan of the coat it's too shiny. If she wants to repeat. I would love to see the Erdem dress from 2012 trooping the colour or that temperley dress from 2012 tour also the Jenny packam arrival outfit. I would love to see 2012 repeats from the tour.

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    1. +1 JJ.

      Those were all gorgeous outfits and would have been better suited for a garden party! I would love to see those outfits have a second outing :)

      Love Avee

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    2. Yes I agree on the coat - don't like it at all. I also want to see the 2011/2012 dresses. Where on earth are they and why don't we get to see them.
      Charlotte, I wonder whether you might consider making a post on Kate's dresses that have never been recycled, or recycled only once? That might jolt her memory and her handlers could drop some not-so-subtle hints on pulling them out of their mothballed storage?

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    3. That is a great idea!

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    4. I'll be looking for such a post too! I would love to see some of those once-seen dresses again. Maybe we could vote on our favorites . . .

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    5. I like the sound of that! I've always wanted to know what happened to those outfits & whether we'll see then again. The pale blue south-east Asia Temperley definitely comes to mind. Another poll if possible, please, Charlotte :)

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    6. Kiwi Gal I wonder if Kate has some unpleasant associations with that dress, which is why she has not worn it. She wore it the day the topless photos were published. I do hope she does wear it again. It was one of the more exquisite dresses she has ever worn.

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 06:48

      That would be nice to see (bar the "why don't she recycle more" comments that will be inevitable..).

      I always think that since this is the woman that can pull out 12 year old earrings, 6 year old hats and 10 year old dresses etc it will be a long time before I despair over not having seen a repeat of a piece :P I wanna bet that she will show up in many of the pieces when we least expect it. And all the more fun when she does!

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    8. I love that dress and have "requested" a repeat of it more than once. It is one of my favorites of her dresses. She has so many gowns and dresses that we haven't seen for awhile. I wish we had those catalogued somehow so we don't forget about them and it would be easier to say what outfit would go with what event regarding re-wears.

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    9. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 22:31

      There is a great place that indexes Kate's clothes that I spend waaaaaay too much time on: http://www.katesclothes.com/

      (Hope some promotion of this is alright here, otherwise just don't approve my comment Charlotte)

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    10. Rosman, you're right about the possible negative association with that dress. I hope there's a chance we'll see it again, also. Rebecca, I love Kate's Clothes, I've spent a lot of time there, too :)

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  10. Kate looks gorgeous and this is a great repeat. The coat while not my favorite works really well at this event. I love the hat and agree the bigger earrings really help add to her look. I like her hair up in this style. Looks like a lovely day for a garden party.

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  11. Kate looks gorgeous and this is a great repeat. The coat while not my favorite works really well at this event. I love the hat and agree the bigger earrings really help add to her look. I like her hair up in this style. Looks like a lovely day for a garden party.

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    1. Our devices are sending doubles today ali :)

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  12. Prince Phillip looks very dapper. Glad Edward and Beatrice contributed. Everyone looked nice and ready to mingle. Love the garden parties.

    Thanks for photos of the food. Beautiful array of tea treats. I had wondered what their treats looked like. They all look very regal and very delicious. I would no doubt have embarrassed myself and eaten way too many. For real. Just ask my family. :) They would have had to bring out the extra trays.

    The little girl thought William "too old for her to marry".
    cute. William's time with air rescue probably gives him more ease in that venue.

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    1. Haha love your bit about the extra trays :P I would probably embarrass myself, too, by eating way too many! They all look so tempting...

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    2. Good point, SG. He has probably spent a good deal of time around hospitals, sick people, and medical personnel with his second job. I imagine he has cheered up a few sick children in his work. And he has two little ones at home. Sometimes I worry he is over-extended, but I also wonder if the pilot work might be a respite from royal work. There is also a reward from that type of work that is very fulfilling. A smile and a few heartfelt , grateful words from those he helps. Without having to smile for the camera.
      I just hope that amidst all the talk of stepping up duties they don't yield to pressure and lose sight of their commitment as parents. As long as William is doing his job, as he obviously has been, I don't see why Kate has to keep up with activities of others whose children have long left the nest or are capable of taking care of their own personal care. At the very least, they should not be criticized for an effort to minimize their children's time without them by grouping activities and taking turns being out of town.
      I'd also like to thank Charlotte for including the news about William. I might not have known about it otherwise.

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    3. Sarah Maryland USA17 May 2017 at 00:28

      Abagail you are implying that since Kate is a woman she shouldn't work more because it would neglect her children. It is insulting to the millions of working moms out there my mom included. She worked more than my dad and I didn't turn out to be a mass murderer or addict so I think the kids will be fine if she works more
      And since she is followed by pricey protection officers might as well use some of that time for good deeds

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    4. William overextending himself.. ha ha.. good one Abagail. You do crack funny jokes.
      As for losing sight of their commitment as parents, well.. they are also in line to be King and Queen, so there is that teeny tiny commitment they have as well. We don't want them losing sight of that either.

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    5. Sarah Maryland USA17 May 2017 at 02:45

      And to be clear I don't think Kate nor William need to have the heavy schedule prince Charles has but there is a middle ground between the number of engagements they do and the number he does

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    6. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 09:06

      Interest is falling off massively amongst young mothers particularly who find no one in the royal family of interest to them. And the expense of supporting royal who don't carry their weight - their security and their palace residence is much at issue.

      Also those people with children flown should be able to retire - with the exception of Edward and Sophie they are all the age of pensioners - some are in their eighties and no longer can support a full schedule of engagements.

      The European royal women all work full schedules but have beautiful well-adjusted children - Letizia, Mary, Victoria. Don't see why it should be of difficulty for Kate since even with a fuller royal schedule, should that ever happen, will have ample free time.

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    7. Zora from Prague17 May 2017 at 09:14

      Sarah, I don't think Abagail is implying anything of the kind. She talks about K+W, not women/working mums in general. I don't see her comment as offensive at all, despite the fact my Mum also worked when I was a child. What she points out is that W+K need to balance their roles as parents & everything they do as members of the RF and that it won't always be easy, just as it isn't easy for anybody else. The specific thing on their part are the grouped activities that sometimes (will) take them away from their kids for several days.

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    8. Even though not all working mothers may be offended by the notion that Kate can't do more engagements because of the children, they won't be understanding of it either.
      And the thing is, I haven't even read from anyone asking they do the same number of engagements as Charles or Anne do but the problem is that they are nowhere even near that number. I don't always like comparisons but Victoria as heir to the throne has got a lot more duties than Kate would, even if she had a full-time royal role. Not everyone is even asking for a full-time schedule but there is absolutely no reason why she could not do a couple of things a week and I sincerely hope that she will as of this autumn.

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    9. Zora-exactly.
      Just to add a little perspective-I worked my whole life in an extremely demanding profession while raising three children. I loved my work and was dedicated, but there were times-if I had the choice that Kate had-I would have chosen to spend more time with them. This issue has brought many harsh and angry comments. It seems to arouse a lot of emotion. I had no intention of bringing up that subject. I think most working mothers would say-hey, you have an opportunity to spend more time with your children or to feel less harried and fatigued when with them...take it! Why not? I really don't care what child-rearing choices other European mothers/parents have made. Or other members of the BRF. The Queen calls the shots and has likely learned a few hard lessons herself about choosing not to focus on her children in their early years, instead choosing to stay with her husband and leave the children at home. It is a decision to be made by each individual family.

      I have tremendous admiration for the Cambridges for continuing with their duties. And they are-just read the news and Charlotte's blog, as well as KP Twitter. Luxembourg- the flights to and from, possible private meetings before the public ones; Party at the Palace--take a good look at Kate..it takes a lot of effort to keep that level of energy up; and a garden party at BP. In less than a week. I wonder at those who are stuck on "work shy " as through a needle on a warped record. All this is criticism that frankly is a bit behind the times. William has had investitures, meetings with government heads, Party AT the Palace, Royal Marsden-with that sick little girl, he was obviously putting his whole self into it, BP garden party, and meetings in Belgium---all in one week! I may have missed something. I think there was pilot duty last weekend. That's what I mean by over extending.

      Until there is a published rule book enumerating exactly what is expected of the monarch's children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews at each level and various circumstances and stages of family life-it makes no sense to continually say more work.
      It's all relative, folks. Anne and Andrew's children benefit from being members of the BRF, whether they have titles or not. They owe something to that family, especially considering that they will suffer if the monarchy crash lands, just as they enjoy the perks now.

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  13. What a nice surprise for W/K to attend. I don't think this was listed on their schedule in advance. And people were concerned as to why Kate didn't have any more engagements until July.

    OK, not trying to be mean but poor William. He had so much hair back then. I almost couldn't recognize him. Haha!

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    1. Oh my!!! I had the same thought. I wish that when he first started losing it he would have begun hair transplants. As a little fell out here and there, he could have had it filled in and none would have been the wiser. Oh well, all that matters is that he and Kate are happy!

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    2. Events where the Queen is the Host do not appear in other peoples diaries.

      For example, Trooping the Colour is not in Charles or Williams, Not in Anne's or Duke of Kent but they will be there.

      We also know that Catherine will be on tour in July, and Charles is in Canada. Not in the diaries.


      Also none of HMQs weekly state events are ever in e Diary.

      So it isnt an indicator for any member of the BRF - it isnt just Catherine.

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    3. Majesty Magazine always reports that Charles and his family's engagements (including William, Catherine, and Harry) are never in the monthly calendar because they don't submit them in time to include them. I wonder if the same thing goes for the online version?

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    4. I have lost track of the number of times when it looked as if her calendar was blank for weeks to come and then Charlotte surprises us with a new post.

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    5. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 09:09

      Very few people read the court circular any more - but an announcement of coming engagements gives the expectation of coming work - as it is, the impression has been the opposite. I believe we can assume William and Kate will be at the Trooping - although the same could have been said for the Commonwealth Service - but announcing things a bit sooner would be desirable.

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    6. It comes round to their PR departments once again. Get a Madison Avenue team in there for just a month and the Royal family would be the (good) talk of every nation sans confusion.

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    7. Did anyone else notice the familiar RPO literally at Kate's elbow at a BP Garden party, of all places? I have never seen this before. Added to the huge security presence around her in Luxembourg, there is reason to believe there could be specific threats to Kate, which might explain why local engagement announcements are being held back. We may see a few more of these "surprise"
      engagements. Keeps a Kate blogger on her toes, that's for sure. :)
      Nothing she hasn't been doing all along-just less notice.
      I have seen a similar increase in security for her in the past, but it was under specific circumstances which I don't think we want to get into right now. ;)

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    8. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:07

      Actually, looking at the video and photos I didn't notice that. There was an officer who was a guest, and there were the usual equerries who accompany royal family members at garden parties, pulling people out of the crowds and introducing them, but I didn't notice any security officer. Which photo or video do you mean?

      I'm sure security would be tight for any royal in Europe as things are going but there is security going into the palace at events. And, I hate to say, by royal standards, Kate is as expendable as anyone - she has produced the heir and the spare and William could remarry. This is purely pragmatic of course, not my wish or anyone;s wish, but that's how the royal line of succession works - and I'm certain there would be no more protection for Kate than any other family member.

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  14. I also love Kate's outfit today. The new clutch brought the colors together with the blue and beige designs. William has the matching color vest on. The whole family looks great and the guests as well.

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    1. Annette- I want that clutch. It is different from all her others. Did you notice Princess Michael? Elegant, as usual. That woman was born to wear hats. And OH, my goodness! the hat on the lady to the left of her-our left. Her chapeau looked like a ship in full sail or something from the court of Marie Antoinette. A masterpiece. I hope HM got to see it. I can't imagine what Phillip would have quipped about it.
      A note on another subject:
      The RPO officer is not shown here in the relatively few photos of Kate with guests at this garden party. There are a number showing the Queen, Anne, William, Prince and Princess Michael and others. This particular RPO was with her in Luxembourg-at her shoulder at times, and in Paris. That is why I was surprised to see him at BP at a garden party. There are other sites that have these photos. He is the rather hunky-looking blue-eyed, somewhat stockily-built one who has been with the Cambridges for years. There were also sharp-shooters on the BP roof with rifles trained on the crowd. I am not making this up. I am not saying Kate is more important; just that she may have become an increased target for some reason. Abagail

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  15. Queen of the sun16 May 2017 at 19:53

    Kate obviously like her new earrings and looked for a repeat that will go with them. I hope that means we might see the baby blue evening gown that she wore when just pregnant with Charlotte ( I think) it is one of my favourites.
    As for today's outfit, I don't like shiny coats. She is looking appropriate but its not something I can love.

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    1. Good theory, Queen. I, too, would look for a reason (any reason!) to wear these earrings. They're gorgeous!

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  16. 850 guests on Saturday and now today's party! The palace staff must be exhausted

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  17. I am once again amused by our differing tastes. Upon reading that this is Kate's 3rd wearing of this coatdress I thought "Good, now I hope she'll retire it!". I've never cared for the shiny fabric. However, the first 2 comments I read were from people for whom this is a favorite, so I guess we are all happy on different days.

    I do love the new earrings and, although the picture is blurry, I think I like her clutch.

    My favorite from her Garden Party dresses is the lace McQueen. I thought she looked particularly lovely in that dress.

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    1. BMOM,the lace McQueen is my favorite too.

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    2. I dearly wish she would retire most of her coat dresses. They're just so dowdy to me, and I always look a bit too big on her.

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  18. What a nice surprise! While not particularly fond of the material and cut of this coat, the color is beautiful and she looks great next to William! A very appropriate look and like how she mixed it up with the new earrings and new clutch....WBTW can't wait to see because the design looks so interesting. So happy to see so many pictures of William at his other event :). The Queen and Prince Philip are still quite the couple!! cc

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  19. I have to think the Queen has given a gentle "nudge" to William. Maybe just repeated invites that from the Queen (or her secretary) are really orders. "William why don't you join me for Easter?" "William why don't you attend the first garden party?" There's only one answer to those questions :)

    A biographer I like said "Her Majesty is practically allergic to confrontation" - which I believe as it's been reported so much - but I think she's not past gentle suggestions, especially when she sees someone about to reach a point of no return. I think the press William has received this past year+ has been of great concern to her, I don't think there's any way she wasn't troubled by that. She just waited too long (as usual) for him to sort it out on his own, and then saw that maybe he wasn't going to.

    W&K have resisted events that are usually standard on a royal calendar, I sense (my opinion) that someone is bringing them to heel a bit.

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    1. Claudia - that was my first thought also when I logged in to see these pictures. She is definitely nudging them along. I also agree with the rest of what you said.

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    2. I agree, Claudia. I think we're seeing a (not so) subtle campaign to get them out and in front.

      Although on a personal level I have such trouble with people who are "allergic to confrontation". It's so much easier in the long run to just ask for what you want. Drives me batty when people dance around a topic and never come out and say what they really want. It may surprise you to know that I get tired of that quite quickly and ask them to come out with it. 9 times out of 10 there's a fast and easy resolution.

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    3. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 09:19

      There is no question many biographies have said that about the queen, and it seriously escalated a number of family disasters - Charles and Diana's troubles, and Andrew's troubles amongst others. I wonder if the mess with Margaret early on didn't leave the queen reluctant to act.

      I don't know if she is behind this present move - but there is no question in my mind, the palace has seen damage happening as to the young royals and the whole institution - and are attempting to counter that. Whilst Philip's retirement may have been one trigger - I think there is a conscious effort now to get rid of the reluctant work-shy William which has reached the mainstream attention. The illness of Philip and the queen may also have cause a sense of alarm - the monarchy is not in the best place right now for a change in regime. Also the uncertainty and activism of Brexit may have been involved - nothing can be assumed these days.

      Whilst - re our comments in the last post - I think the royal family could survive a referendum, it would be a humiliation for a popular movement to rise to even demand such a thing. There is a void of interest rising that needs to be addressed. It is no time for complacency.

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    4. Doesn't surprise me one bit bluhare ;) And I couldn't agree more, what an exasperating way to handle things that can often be dealt with in minutes.

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    5. I'm one of those people allergic to confrontation, although it sometimes can't be helped and I'd like to say that the confrontations I'd like to avoid are not ones that could be easily resolved. It's rather that I don't like to fight, I don't like people sulking because of something I did or said (it makes me feel very uncomfortable) and because so often things cannot be very easily resolved. Let's take the issue at hand, for instance. If the Queen had told William years ago that he needed to quit his helicopter pilot job and start doing a lot more royal work, would he have happily complied? No. Maybe he would have tried to convince her otherwise, maybe he would have complied but secretly been mad at her, maybe he would have acted out. I don't know but he certainly wouldn't have done it without holding a grudge.
      I honestly don't even think the Queen has said anything now, perhaps Philip did though.

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    6. Hi Caroline, there are definitely some things that are more easily resolved than others. Without a doubt. And there are some things that won't ever be resolved; the parties are too far apart. My husband's family is a prime example. I won't bore you with all the details but my husband doesn't talk to any of them any more. Have they tried to work it out? Once or twice. But the minute someone steps out of their place it starts again. So it's never been resolved, won't be, and my husband is happy to stay away these days.

      Me? I'd hash it out. But it's his family and he gets the say. I just know two things. (1) 90% of conflict resolution is acknowledging the other person's point of view even if you don't agree with it, and (2) you don't resolve it by ignoring it. And even if it isn't resolved by talking, at least you tried. At least that's my theory.

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    7. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:15

      I do think there is a push to bring William and Kate forward right now - how much pushing it took and how involved the queen was is impossible to know - but I think there is a strong urge to give that impression to the public - to counter the negative press of a workshy and reluctant couple that was getting increasingly spread. (The latter is particularly bad - a reluctance to take the role and embrace it with enthusiasm is a gift to republicans - no one wants someone who seems unhappy.)

      There is nothing unusual about William and Kate attending a garden party - although it is notable it is the first one of the season. It will be interesting to see if they attend more then one, that would be new - personally I think they should attend the traditional one at Holyrood - they haven't been too involved with traditional royal events in Scotland. William's meeting with the queen and the Aung San Suu Kyi is a bit more unusual, especially given the timing right after the publications, but it's not completely without precedent. So I believe we've had some press releases that probably came from palace sources to royal reporters - but what the results will be are too soon to say.

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    8. I completely agree with your comments that there is a conscious effort by the palace to get William and Kate out and about more. They need to step up to the plate - or step down. Their reluctance to fully assume their roles is evident, and their repeated explanation of raising their children has worn thin with the public. Almost everyone has to balance and juggle family and work, European Royals included.

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  20. Charlotte, do we know if William is still actually working at EAAA? Any of the reporters confirmed that? The announcement was he would leave when his contract lapsed, which I thought was in March - I know there was talk he might stay on till summer but didn't know if that was confirmed.

    His royal calendar seems a little more open lately, since around the time of the staff meeting... maybe he's flying a day a week but can't believe much more.

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    1. Hello Claudia,

      I think William is flying on a part-time basis until late summer, although it's possible he will finish up before that. I'll let you know if I can find out. It was great to see him at Royal Marsden today; the visit meant a lot to Daisy and her family.

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  21. Cara, Australia16 May 2017 at 21:12

    What a lovely surprise to wake up to. I really enjoy reading your blog over a morning coffee, Charlotte!
    The coat dress looks beautiful from the back. The earrings are perfect with the outfit.
    I would love to attend a BP Garden Party. Firstly to meet members of the Royal Family. Secondly to sample those little cakes and tarts!
    Cara

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    1. Cara, that would be a dream come true to attend a BP party! I like Kate's dress but i did notice the color difference of her coat from when she wore it the first time. Im not sure if the earrings were a bit to bling for the occasion but they worked with the entire look. Can't wait for Pippa's wedding this weekend!!XOXO

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    2. Annette New Zealand17 May 2017 at 09:45

      Cara, if you are in London at the right time you can put your name down at the Australian High Commission and you might get an invitation either to a Garden Party or the Trooping of the Colour. I got mine through applying via the NZ High Commission.

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    3. That is so neat to know that. yay. Thanks, Annette. What about an American, though. Please tell that there is a way. :)

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  22. First of all... The queen looks so fresh in her outfit!

    Don't like the material of Kate's coat dress. And think it's not her best outfit. Although thought that she chose the pale blu because she wanted to wear her new earrings.

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  23. Tammy from California16 May 2017 at 21:25

    Oh I loved the video of Kate asking about the kiddies. Very, very cute.

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  24. I love satin, and silk satin is the best. This is such a great color for Kate; she looks wonderful in this outfit. Those new earrings go with so many things in her closet that I hope we see them a lot. Love seeing the Queen looking happy as usual, and that truly is a wonderful smile on Princess Anne.

    Prince William relates very well with the little girl who deemed him too old for her to marry! Very cute--I'm wishing Daisy all the best and a full recovery. Your two photos showing William's first visit and his latest are quite revealing! He really has come a long way in terms of comfort with his role. It's good to see.

    I wonder what we will see of Pippa's wedding, and if George or Charlotte acts up, will we get to see any evidence? Ha ha. I guess I'll have to hope with the parents that the children behave. I remember participating in things with my son in a prominent role and me not enjoying ANYTHING for sheer nervousness, and then afterward people saying how wonderful it was and how well he did, and my whole experience was just not the same reality as theirs at all!

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  25. Nice video at the end Charlotte, thank you for your well redacted posts (I'm sorry if this sound weird, English is not my first language hehe).

    I have to say that I think it must be really complicated to organize these events, I had no idea that every member of the Royal family was accompanied by an aide introducing every person on their route, really interesting to see.

    Looking forward to Pippa's wedding post.

    Greetings from Spain!

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    1. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:17

      The book A Year in the Life of the Queen, published some years ago, and widely available, has a chapter on Garden Parties that's worth reading - there have been efforts to improve the food which looks to be successful.

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  26. Cristin from Germany16 May 2017 at 21:49

    Thank you, Charlotte, for another very interesting post! Adding historic details, like the painting of Queen Victoria's garden party, is what makes your blog stand out.
    I'm not a big fan of today's outfit, I don't care much for shiny fabrics. And I couldn't help but wonder - what is it with her and dressing for (outdoor) temperatures? In one of the pictures you can see a lady with bare arms next to Kate. She's not even wearing three-quarter length sleeves. I've wondered this a few times before, e.g. when she stood outside in a thin dress without a coat (last fall, if I remember correctly? I believe it was a flower printed Alexander McQueen). Other times she kept her coats on indoors. (To be clear, this is not actually critique, just an observation of mine, so please take it with a grain of salt ;) )

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    1. Cristin, I can never figure out her dressing for the climate, either. LOL Sometimes I think she feels the cold when others don't, then other times she looks like she's dressed for summer when it must be freezing! I gotta admit, I'm a bit like that sometimes & people think I'm weird. I just don't understand it. I feel hot when others feel cold & vice versa!

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    2. At the garden party, all of the royal ladies wore long sleeves! And the men and the Queen carried umbrellas. Having experienced lots of weather in that garden, they were prepared for an unpredictable spring day.

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    3. I've wondered the same thing many times, Cristin! Most recently, her engagements in Luxembourg--I saw women in short sleeves and the weather, indeed, looked warm, so Kate's coatdress seemed much too heavy. Perhaps you're right about her temperature fluctuating :)

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  27. The cakes! So beautifully presented...I'm always impressed by the set up of these Garden parties. Everyone always looks so jovial & dressed up for the occasion. The Queen & DoE look fab...HM has a really lovely smile. Good to see Beatrice & the other royals engaging with the guests. I've never been a fan of this Christopher Kane coat. Maybe if it was in a different fabric, I'd like it more, as others have said. Kate looks nice, though, & I'm happy she got to show off those earrings again! W&K, especially William, seem to definitely be stepping up their royal duties. It's fantastic to see. Love the photo of him with Daisy at the Royal Marsden.

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    1. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:18

      If you visit the tea room at Buckingham Palace, it has lovely cakes and sweets - but, alas you do have to visit them. Worth it though if you are there when it's open - and do book the gardens too.

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    2. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 22:27

      Too weary - meant to say you must pay for what you eat.

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    3. Thanks for the tip, Julia! Those cakes will be worth every penny, I think :)

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  28. How do her heels not sink into the grass?

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    1. I've wondered that, too, does she stand with her weight on her toes or are there little things for your heels that stop them sinking?

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    2. On the pictures you cannot see those heel stoppers, so I think she must have extremely well trained calfs to stand on her toes for these long events!

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    3. There are little clear plastic things that you put over the heels. I forget what they are called though.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 06:56

      I wonder if the ground at that place is not packed unusually hard. Because it's not only Kate that can walk in heels on it (which, she can do basically anywhere it seems). So I wonder if the ground is not specifically prepared for lots of heels :P

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    5. Rebecca, it may be a very firm turf where the parties are held. Might be needed to keep up with the use and weather of London.

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  29. Thanks, Charlotte, for including the oil painting & a bit about the history of the Garden parties. That painting really takes you back in time...imagine arriving/leaving in a horse drawn carriage!

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  30. I think the 'Norway' think is more likely due to a guests being from there than about them going. It would be a bit odd to bring it up "yeah and lovely weather... we hope we go to Norway!" Hopefully they will go and become more involved with other Royal Families. Lovely post.

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  31. I eat my last comment! You can hear when he says "We are going to do a Scandinavian..."!

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    1. I am really sorry to say this. But knowing William he probably confused Germany/Poland with Scandinavia. He does not seem to be ultra-prepared for his royal duties and so, it's not a stretch to imagine that he is not exactly on top of his calendar either.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 13:13

      Rosman, that is just uncalled for.

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    3. William first said Norway, then explained that they are going to Scandinavia. And William's field of study at university was geography! Yes, Rebecca, uncalled for as well as inaccurate.

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    4. I don't think that is uncalled for Rebecca. It is my opinion and was expressed respectfully. I would appreciate it if you could refrain from rebuking me. I thought you were one of the big cheerleaders of a respectful discussion yes ? Or is that only on your terms?
      We will soon find out either way. I would be more than happy to be wrong on this.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 15:26

      I am sorry if I misunderstood your intent but your comment didn't sound respectful. Sure he might have mixed it up. If you just said that he might have mixed it up, it would sound alright. But saying "Knowing William" is hardly respectful in this case. In my opinion that was uncalled for.

      I very much am for respectful discussion, not putting down the royals for something they might even not have done.

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    6. Zora from Prague17 May 2017 at 16:52

      Rosman, respectfully, I don't think it's possible for a European (and I consider GB "Europe", Brexit or not) to mix up Scandinavia with Germany and Poland. William may not have been 100% prepared at all times but he is not... stupid, forgive me the word. Plus, he has relatives in Scandinavia so he probably has been there on more than one occasion.

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    7. Since William just recently returned from a solo visit to Germany to meet with Angela Merkel, where he gave a speech that was highly praised, I think he is well aware of its location. He is in Belgium today. There is something the media like to call " the Brexit charm offensive" going on. Multiple BRF members are taking part in it. I am afraid I agree with Rebecca.
      I imagine it was tea party chit-chat, not an announcement of a significant royal tour. Not the usual venue or means of making those schedule announcements.

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    8. I did not mean that he mixed up Germany and Scandinavia, Zora. I meant that he may not know that he is scheduled to go to Germany. He may be under the impression he is scheduled to go to Scandinavia.
      If he was making tea party chitchat with non-facts then that is not very authentic, is it. I don't think that was it. I think he will either go to Scandinavia or somewhere else.

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    9. Zora from Prague17 May 2017 at 22:17

      I don't know, Rosman. I may have misunderstood you but I still think William knows very well where he is scheduled to go. As a lot of people here like to point out he doesn't have tons of engagements and I personally do think he is capable of remembering his schedule of trips abroad. Let's see 😉

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  32. I know that I hardly ever comment on Kate's clothing, but I need a few seconds of respite from all of the mess and turmoil going on here in the US and my own personal stress. I admit that fashion is of very little interest to me. I am a firm believer that one should wear what they feel comfortable wearing, and not feel pressured to meet the demands of fashion. I believe this is exactly what Kate does. She and I are the same age and I think her choices of clothing are not only appropriate for her role, but she wears the types of clothes that she feels the most comfortable wearing. I do the same thing and many would probably say that I look too "matronly" for a woman of 35. But the truth is that I don't care for a lot of the fashions today, and my body type and short height also make it nearly impossible for me to wear them, so I choose to wear what I'm comfortable wearing. Like Kate, one of my favorite colors is blue and it is one of the best colors for me. I do favor it and wear it often. As a redhead, my choice of suitable colors is narrow. I'm glad that Kate looks confident and happy in her clothing and her choices are precisely that, hers. I admit that the engagements and substance interest me 100 percent more than anything she wears, but that's the way I'm wired, I guess.

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    1. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 09:24

      Sarah, I'm so sorry about all that happened - your blog was so important in subject matter and so beautifully done - it is always slow at the start but I was sure readership would grow and many people could be helped - particularly on such difficult subjects as suicide.

      I hope you will consider starting again when the time is right - I realise how difficult it is when you are looking for work - and just send prayers and wishes everything works out - I know hands are extended here to you through these difficulties. I only wish I had thought to copy some of your posts - I assumed they would be there to consult.

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    2. Thank you Julia. I appreciate your words. Maybe I could apply to run the "Heads Together" campaign. I know they already have all of the staff they need, so it is only wishful thinking. Ever since HT commenced a year ago, I have kept a growing list of issues on which they could expand or introduce. One of the things that struck me as bizarre was how long the campaign waited to provide any instruction on "how to have a conversation about mental health issues." They did not release any information on this until 48 hours before the marathon. Such instruction should have been provided when the campaign began last year. And, they haven't really discussed suicide in an open and direct way either. I know that William has worked with the "CALM" (Campaign Against Living Miserably) organization to decrease the number of men who die by suicide, and this is vitally important for William and the organization to do. But, given that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide and 90 percent of individuals who die by suicide have a mental illness, this is something that needs to be discussed by Heads Together in a very direct and compassionate way.

      I hope to be able to start a new blog at some point. In the meantime, remember that if you (or anyone) ever have a mental health/illness question, all you have to do is ask. If I don't know the answer immediately, I'll certainly research and find it.

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  33. Fun day. I do like the dress and earrings. But the clutch! Something with a pattern! Accessorizing! It's still neutral enough but has details that make it interesting. I like the hat but not the way it's positioned on her. It seems too low on her brow. I feel like she has to tip her head back to make eye contact with anyone slightly tall.

    I only heard one clip of William but I took the 'we are going to Norway' as more of polite conversation, a general statement rather than a 'we are going'.

    I am excited she is going to the royal garden show. I would love to go and am glad she is going. I know some think the Queen is nudging but I think it more a timing issue. I know a lot of people think they are lazy or workshy but sometimes I really think they are in a holding pattern. Heads Together was a good initiative because it can be connected to so many existing patronages and charities but much beyond that, to be blunt, they are waiting on the Queen. I think with the timing of everything (moving back, Prince Philip retiring, William's job ending) they are able to step into some more traditional roles. Which yes, they could always have done but it is the Queen's show and I suspect as long as she can, she will. Hopefully that made sense. All on my phone with a very small window.

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    1. Really, there cannot have possibly been a more overt, blunt and public scolding/nudging/what have you, than the last article published on behalf of the Queen. The Geidt one, the various Ingrid Seward ones.. in recent times all had the same theme - the Queen wants them performing more royal duties. The Queen won't step out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to announce it, but she really truly got as far as she possibly could to doing that. There could not have been a more public call-for duty than that. Did you really not believe it was that? This is the way the royal family works and have always worked.
      If after all of this you believe that they are "waiting on the Queen", well, I have a bridge to sell you.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 06:59

      Yeah, I don't see much of the nudging either. Maybe... but it might also just be the decided timing. I dont think we can infer either motive based on this.

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    3. I am having a hard time believing that the Queen dislikes confrontation. I know her family went amuck in the past but really that was about interpersonal marital dynamics, the most personal and private (in theory) dynamics there are. So her staying out of those as long as she did seems logical. I do know that she had no qualms whatsoever telling William to stand up and pay attention to the flyby when they were on the balcony. Nor did she hestitste one second to let Phillip know that the limo they were standing up in through the sun-roof-type-thingy should be going faster. Phillip immediately tapped the roof and told the driver through the sunroof opening to speed things up. Also she was adamant that William wear the red uniform of the Irish guards and not the ruffled black one he wanted to wear for the Royal wedding. The family, they show her respect and I think that that is for more than just the fact that she is Queen, but also because what she says goes and she isn't afraid to assert herself.

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    4. What new, never done before events have William and/or Catherine attended since that news article that weren't scheduled weeks ago or more? The story was supposedly an exclusive for at least two different reporters in which the reporters quoted an unnamed "source" quoting Sir Christopher in the meeting allegedly quoting the queen. The advice to step up was not just from HM-the source said, according to the R. English version; it also was "encouraged" by "the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge." Why would William be admonishing himself to perform more royal duties? Not only that, but it was a call for all members of the RF to step up support of the Queen , in light of the Duke's planned retirement in the Fall. Nothing immediate , exclusive to W&C, or only coming from HM was suggested.
      People really need to read the articles, not just what gossip or others say the articles said.Abagail

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    5. Katie, they went to the garden show before. Last year, I believe. She wore green.Abagail

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    6. I think we just saw the nudge, Katie. I guess I'm with Rosman. Although they weren't specifically called out, that meeting about Philip's retirement said things loud and clear (ie cooperation and filling in the void). And the people with the most room in their calendars are William and Kate followed by Harry.

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden17 May 2017 at 21:18

      I still think there might have been some added value-points in those stories by the source. I have no doubt that the teams were informed that a realignment was coming up and that some groups would be doing more traditional engagements. But for all we know, that was informing the teams of this that has been planned for quite a while (which would be in line with William ending employment right around the time Phillip retires) just as much as it could be the last attempted nudge.

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    8. I know they went last year, I loved the color of the dress she wore. At the time, I kind of felt like they went more because it was all in line with the Queen's 90tg-the Flower show, Ascot...

      I agree with Rebecca and Sufer Girl. I do think there was a slant to the articles. Maybe not a lot, but some. Something like that feels very passive aggressive and while the Queen might do that in her role as Granny, I feel like as one of the longest reigning monarch's she would be a bit more forward in matters of the Firm. Besides, there are other members of the family who might need to step up. Depending on where in the speech you are, you could argue that Beatrice and Eugenie need to do more - or maybe be allowed to do more. It's a family, not just Charles and kids.

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    9. Except Charles and kids (or one of them plus a grandson) are the future of the monarchy. Harry's side will slide off as Beatrice/Eugenie and Louise/James will. If they have room in their calendars -- and they do -- then they are the logical choices to step forward. Much more so than anyone else.

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    10. SG, I *do* believe that the Queen avoids confrontation. Perhaps she would have said a word or two to Charles regarding his "friendship" with Camilla. Regardless of how she felt about Diana on a personal level, what about the monarchy? HM had every reason to be confrontational to protect the monarchy. Surely, that would have been more difficult (or confrontational) than asking a driver to speed up or expressing a preference regarding wedding day attire, no? :-)

      Anon 17:15, interesting points indeed. IMO, PP's retirement and W&K's increasing royal diary were not dreamed up over night. The pieces were coming together as many had anticipated. I believe the retirement was sort of "hijacked" to reign in the trio and hit the reset button with a more Charles-sanctioned vision for the monarchy.

      Another angle that doesn't make sense to me is that IF the younger royals have been as work shy as some folks believe, then surely they had the capability of adding the more traditional royal duties to their current schedules.

      And, if W&K's diary had the limitations I believed to be true, what better way to dismiss that idea than to suggest that they need to step up?

      Delete
  34. Thanks for the video, Charlotte. Almost like we were there. :) Kate looks even more beautiful and gracious "in person". :) And Prince Phillip still had people laughing. yay

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  35. Hello. Thanks Charlotte. A wonderful post with Prince William visiting cancer patients. I love it. Showing kindness and compassion is so like Prince William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Good to see Prince Phillip all dressed and attending the garden party.

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  36. Obviously Kate would agree with your last sentence, Sarah. Good to hear from you. Marie

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    1. Don't know how my 00:51 comment ended up down here. It was meant to follow Sarah's comment. Marie

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  37. just an FYI, in case anyone was wondering, Beatrice is wearing a Tory Burch "Winston" dress. On sale for $170 at Saks :)

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    1. IMO, the dress would have looked better if the hat had "softer" lines to it. I do like the navy and white combination.

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    2. royalfan you could paint a paper bag navy blue and white and I would love it, that's how fond I am of the combination! But I agree, something's not working for me with this dress, though it did look better to me from afar, the shot of them all standing on the steps.

      Beatrice wore a magnificent ensemble once, I have to see where, Ascot maybe? And the hat was the perfect shape for her face, I thought she should go and buy that hat in every configuration! It was a white dress with a two tone bright hat. I think it was the best I've seen her in "royal" wear.

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    3. I agree, royalfan. I liked the dress and navy/white is one of my favorite color combinations, but something about the hat threw it off. It was too top-heavy.

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    4. I think I remember that outfit, Claudia. Sad when the only time in years and years someone wears an outfit that actually looks good enough that people can single it out among all the rest. lol That is true for Beatrice and Eugenie, in my opinion.

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    5. Did the hat have pink and tangerine or peach on it? I recall a white dress she looked wonderful in. She was posing against a backdrop that looked more like a social or red carpet event, rather than a royal occasion, I think. It is my favorite B outfit. It would take a lot of great hats to get past that wedding nightmare of a hat. She will never live that down. Or her "knighting" incident when she slashed that singer's face. The garden party-view on the steps- I think her dress may have been a bit too short, compared to the outfits the other royal ladies wore, which was emphasized in that photo on the steps.They were standing at attention for God Save the Queen, however. Maybe that made a difference in the way it hung.
      Ascot-navy and white-wasn't that Eugenie? She looked marvelous. Marie

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    6. I love navy and white together also. She looked very nice but agree something was off with the dress and I still am not sure what. Agree the hat is maybe too "stiff" for her face. Maybe it is the proportions of the top and bottom of the dress that does not work. There was a snap of her out with her Dad the other night and she had on a great pier of velvet shoes that looked wonderful on her.

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    7. Yay! I guess quite a few of us are fans of navy and white. How timeless, crisp and classic, eh?

      I just bought a pair of Michael Kors navy and white flats and I feel like a school girl with a new pair of patent leather Mary Jane's. ;-)

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  38. once again thank you charlotte its good too see the duke and duchess of Cambridge hmm I love that prince William mention we are they going trip probably we hear the next royal tour is hmm talking about the duchess on pippa wedding I think the Cambridge's kids we behave hmm its good to see prince William visit daisy hook they look adorable

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  39. Since it is all about Kate - for a different twist how about a Kate name maze? Kate looks very nice and great pics!

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  40. I appreciate all the background information on garden parties. Especially the Queen Victoria painting. Also the inclusion of William's visit to cancer patients.

    As for Catherine's outfit, I liked all but her hairdo. The bun is too stiff and dowdy. It makes her look formal and aloof. And she isn't. The videos of her conversing show her ability to connect. So much better in the prior wearings of loose or half up.

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  41. I think almost everybody looked perfect! The Queen & Kate for sure with even Princess Anne looking good - I liked her outfit.

    I like when Kate has her hair contained especially for outdoor events. When it isn't contained it blows in her face and she keeps batting it away, but for this event there was none of that.

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  42. I do like this recycle. The hairdo and earrings are perfect here. And hubby looks quite handsome. ;-)

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    1. Disagree on the recycle as I think the fabric is dreadful for a coat, but agree with you on William ;) He looked quite handsome at both engagements actually, and more importantly, also seemed in very good form at RM.

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  43. Alejandra Campos17 May 2017 at 04:25

    Great post Miss Charlotte! Love you included William´s event also! He looks so young! :o
    We shall see for a Scandinavian tour, maybe an overseas State Dinner? It will the first for each, right? :D

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  44. Thank you Charlotte for an interesting post. Liked the history behind the morphism of the garden parties. Quite fun to speculate on how some current traditions will morph in the future. The garden parties are such a good way to meet a lot of people. With all the comment about children's tea party the vibe that I thought would be taken home was how much fun it was for everyone. I thought Kate looked so elegant, every inch a Duchess and future queen.The silhouette of the coat was beautiful. I laughed to myself at yet another blue piece of clothing. Almost becoming the same as the great suede shoe debate. And to add to some of the comment above and to be fair to William since the 12th he has done children's tea party,investiture, audience with the President of Kenya and his wife on behalf of the Queen, private visit to a homeless shelter, the public hospital visit and then this garden party. So it appears he is well into serving his apprenticeship.

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  45. This video about garden parties is rather interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGEUMeS9kZU

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    1. Thank you, Paola. :-) I enjoyed it very much, along with other related videos.

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  46. Zora from Prague17 May 2017 at 08:59

    What a great surprise, thank you, Charlotte! I wasn't hoping for another post before the wedding. Kate looks pretty, this time I don't particularly like her hat but the whole ensemble is very elegant and I'm in love with her new clutch. Love seeing the other members of the RF. HM and PP are incredible, they both look fantastic! I can imagine how excited all the guests are, probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience, taking part in a royal garden party! The painting from Queen Victoria's garden party is lovely, just imagine, a party given at the same place by HM's great-great grandmother 120 years ago! I'm also grateful for the info about William's visit to the hospital. And the prospect of their possible trip to Scandinavia is great.

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  47. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 09:28

    I've always liked this coat and think Kate looks very pretty and appropriate for a garden party. I would love a diamond brooch or a little necklace but one can't have everything. The bag is pretty and the shoes seem fine. I like her hair up with the hat.

    The queen looked very pretty too - touching that's she wearing the pretty brooch she had designed for her mother.

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    1. Cara, Australia17 May 2017 at 13:44

      Julie, a brooch would have been delightful on the coat. A bit of sparkle against that lush sheen.

      Cara

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    2. I'm not a brooch gal but the sparkle against the luxurious satin would have been everything. A lost opportunity.

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  48. Hello!
    I'm a Duchess of Cambridge's fan and I always read this blog in order to be updated about her life and her work.
    I bought a pair of LK Bennett Fern pumps, this is my first RepliKate, and I'm really excited since I really admire the Duchess' style. The first time I tried my new pair of shoes, at home, I noticed how soft and delicate they are. I was wondering, does the Duchess own more the one pair of the shoes she wears more frequently (her Fern pumps, her sledges pumps, her Gianvito nude pumps)? Her shoes really look new every time she wears them and since she wears them a lot, I was wondering how she keeps them so "clean".

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    1. Kate wears them for 2-3 hours at a time, and that too occasionally. She is out and about around 50-60 days a year in TOTAL. She uses each shoe maybe a few days - say 5/6 days a year. So each shoe gets used at the most 15 hours a year. It is no mystery why her shoes appear so "clean" year after year.
      I wear my heels 8-9 hours a day in the office and they are also very clean. Most of them look almost new. Suede does wear much quicker than leather, but I have found that only when I walk in them on cobblestones or such that my suede shoes start looking old.

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    2. Anon--exciting! I know how fun it is to purchase items our favorite public figures/celebrities/etc have worn. I think Kate owns a couple of different pairs, but she's proven to be very frugal and I'm sure has staff members to help clean and polish the shoes after each wear.

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  49. I found this pretty entertaining:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-pippas-wedding-its-going-10439771

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    1. Hahaha, Anett. I think Pips is definitely over egging the pudding.

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    2. The pudding is now a flat souffle, bluhare. This wedding is over-the-top. There I said it. I am truly disappointed in Pippa. I thought she really did want to keep her head down and find a career. She seems to really want the attention. Why ?

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    3. Oh and to clarify I am not saying it is over the top because of the glass marquee - I really like that. Or the gilded potties or whatever. If you can afford gilded potties go for it, I say.
      It is the airplane flypast that did it for me? Really ? A battalion or planes or helicopters or whatever have to flypast you ? And there is supposed to be some fancy firework something or other. It's just altogether a bit much. A bit show offy to me.

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    4. Doesn't everyone have a Spitfire fly-over their wedding and luxurious port-a-loos inside their crystal whateverthatis? Mr. bluhare and I did draw the line over the SST sonic boom, though. We didn't want the crystal to shatter on the guests, and tempered crystal is just *so* expensive.

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    5. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:23

      It does seem a bit over the top - I thought it would be more traditionally low-key. especially since there has recently been a push against oversized weddings - as being not quite the thing.

      I would expect photos outside the church and probably some release of formal photos but that's probably it.

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    6. Anett, that article says that James Matthews is richer than Prince William. Is that true?

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    7. Zora from Prague17 May 2017 at 22:32

      Bluhare, lol! :) Those of us who want to be more traditional consider a flock of pterodactyls flying overhead though.

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    8. A Spitfire flyover?? Considering that, as we all know, a Spitfire is a vintage plane associated with World War 2 and usually only seen at airshows (there was apparently one that flew in Nottinghamshire yesterday for a Battle of Britain memorial) why on earth would they have one at their wedding? I tried to Google where this rumor originated from and came up with my Irish Independent printing: "More reports coming from the south east of England suggest that the bride and groom have hired a single-seater Submarine Spitfire to do a fly-past after the ceremony. 'The air display is a touch of class,' a source told The Sun. 'It’s the sort of thing you’d expect for the royals themselves. It will be totally breathtaking.'" The whole thing sounds kind of preposterous but Snopes hasn't picked up on it yet so I can't say whether it is fake news or not.

      I am still puzzling over the Spitfire--maybe they will also have Vera Lynn singing "We'll Meet Again...." And Pippa will be wearing a wedding gown made of parachute silk.

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    9. I'll believe it when I see it. I did see the glass building and assume it is located in the Middleton garden. My question is, will James's brother demand equal treatment, wedding wise?

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    10. http://www.independent.ie/style/weddings/pippa-wedding-watch-plush-portaloos-a-spitfire-flyover-and-a-second-marquee-35725978.html

      And Zora . . .flying pterodactyls! LOL!!

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    11. Spitfire, Vera Lynn, and a gown made of parachute silk. lol I got the "vision". Very funny, Jo.

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    12. I don't know what to think about the supposed 'flyover'. Could it be in tribute to Peter Middleton? Seems a bit far-fetched. Your comment made me chuckle, bluhare :)

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    13. Attention? Showing off? Those are always pejorative judgments. I don't like to partake in that sort of thing. Perhaps the (very rich who can well afford it) girl is simply wanting to have a smashing wedding that is memorable, crazy-fun, hugely celebratory and a little bit edgy.

      Maybe the Spitfire is a special romantic trope between the bride and groom. If so, why not indulge it? Who is being harmed by a little bit of over-the-top merrymaking? Think of it as creating employment for all the workers who, together, will create a special moment for a couple. I say bring it on! I'm never one to p*ss on anyone else's parade. (Frankly, I wish I were going. Sounds like one awesome party.)

      Delete
    14. It's easy and perhaps even popular for journalists to mock the Middleton's, but having the wedding in their own backyard gives them the most control over the situation. I don't blame them, and I hope Pippa has a fabulous day. She has been a loyal and supportive sister and deserves to be happy.

      Delete
    15. Loving this thread. LOL. The roaring planes do seem to be a certainty - multiple papers are reporting it ! Pretty sure these are not super sonic bluhare - must be mindful of the crystalware too!!

      Another one:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4516928/STEPHEN-GLOVER-Pippa-s-oh-lavish-wedding.html

      I am so disappointed that Pippa turned out to be what her critics have said for so long. I had high hopes for her. Sigh. But I suppose that the signet rings should have given away the true nature and aspirations of the family. All of this also fits in with the reports that Carole negotiated a discount on shooting in someone's backyard over Christmas. So terribly gauche. I didn't believe the article then but I do now.

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    16. Did you guys check out Natasha Archer's wedding photos? Found these while checking out bluhare's article. This wedding is definitely way more to my taste than Pippa's crazy affair. Small, and simple but tasteful and pretty.
      Maybe Natasha can plan weddings instead of Kate's wardrobe !

      http://www.independent.ie/style/weddings/kate-middletons-personal-stylist-ties-the-knot-in-picture-perfect-french-ceremony-35700570.html

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  50. Kate looks polished and put-together. I like her hair up with most hats. I don't like the shiny material of the coat and think a more whimsical dress would've fit the occasion better, but that's just my opinion, of course. I'd love to see her be more bold with her accessories at some point. She could do so much, especially since she looks pretty in almost anything! I understand, however, that it may just not be her personal taste to want to experiment much and to stick to looks she's comfortable with.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a Scandinavian tour pop up. I don't think the palace is trying to veil the fact that they're scrambling to maintain political relations in the midst of Brexit by sending the W+K and C+C out on tours. It also makes sense for W+K to go, to move them into a more full-time royal role and to prepare them for the future, since they are, in fact, the future of the monarchy. I only wish I could get a plane ticket over to Scandinavia if they do go, as I'm a 1/2 Norwegian American. :)

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, Becca. I'm 1/4 Swedish, 1/4 Norwegian.

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  51. Just realized the Royal family was all color coordinated for the photos for the day, with Her Majesty's being the stand out color. William and Kate wore matching light blue, Phillip and Anne a light yellow/green and Beatrice with the background navy color. Their PR team has been doing that more and more, even color coordinating welcome bouquets to the Royals outfits.

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  52. Pippa's glass marquee has to be seen to be believed as do the elaborate portable bathrooms. The photos are in the Daily Mail today via Rebecca English. They are amazing.

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  53. Quick note. The Daily Mail, Sarah Rainey, has photos and an article on the posh, 9,100+ square foot Mayfair home James Matthews, Pippa's fiancé, purchased and renovated when he was 22 and sold in 2006. It gives some insight into what his current €17,000,000 home in Chelsea might look like. Very interesting article.

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    1. Victoria, Oregon18 May 2017 at 06:01

      Surfer Girl, I love reading your comments. You always do your homework and find us great articles and neat tidbits. I'm usually unable to comment, but you usually say either what I was thinking or answered something I was wondering about. :)

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  54. I like Kate's outfit and I like her hat but am I the only one who does not like it when she wears a hat so low over her eye??

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  55. What time is the ceremony Saturday? I googled it but hsven't found the answer yet. :)

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  56. Julia from Leominster17 May 2017 at 21:30

    A lovely write-up Charlotte an I'm glad you found that painting - I'd never seen it before and it is truly special. The crowds don't seem to different from now. I'm glad you included William at Royal Marsden too - a wonderful visit - the type that brings such support for those in difficulties - and earns such good will.

    Every time traditional duties are questioned - I say yes but imagine being the person with a child in hospital - or one of the people benefitting by a ribbon being cut on a new building, or a one of the staff at a charity where a tree is planted - or you realise a place a royal visits could help someone but you didn't know it existed - or you're a student, or charity worker or volunteer who has done or given a lot and you are being honoured by a royal. Every time these things are trivialised - the people behind the ribbons are forgotten.

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  57. We could give the charity the option between a royal visit and a check for what the visit would have cost.
    No one's forgetting anyone. The very real problem of the future is paying for the ribbon cuttings. The royals themselves will likely face a few choices as well-if Parliament has a say in the days after QEII. The poor relations will have to be helped by the better off and they, in turn, will need to pay rent or give up or combine their royal residences, for example-which a few may not mind doing if it means moving out of the spot-light's glare. We've already seen movement in that direction with more of the family possibly moving into KP. It might even lower security, grounds-keeping and other costs.

    The simple truth is the current arrangement of royal duties will have to change. The patronages are mostly in name only at this point with letterheads being the closest some ever came to a particular patronage. That costs the monarchy nothing, as far as I know, and reaps the benefit of good will for both royals and the patronage.

    Endless luncheons and dinners might need to be realistically assessed for return value. The garden parties-huge expense in staffing and supplies. I wonder if a choice of a cool drink might be acceptable instead of the banquet offered now. The garden parties are primarily for PR and good will for the royal family and the monarchy. A RF member could explain that the thousands of pounds that had been required in the past for the making and serving of food has been diverted to the flood victims or a children's hospital wing. A short slide presentation could emphasize how the guests were helping in these efforts by for-going the treats.
    Considering the increasingly huge expense of security in these post 9/11 days as well as transportation and staff costs, charities will have to be limited to those the royal actually can devote some time to on a personal basis.

    I love pomp and tradition as much as many here, but I think the burdens of caring for an increasingly dependent and aging population will have to take precedence over some of the more costly traditions. Possibly a scaling down for some, as is being done this year for the opening of Parliament. Supposedly it is just for this year...but maybe not. Abagail

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    1. Julia from Leominster18 May 2017 at 01:23

      Respectfully Anon - I'm going to come down extremely hard on your statement - for two different reasons.
      The opening of Parliament is an event that defines Britishness - it not only provides pageantry - it separates this monarchy from the less formal opening of others - just as Denmark has its New Year's events, and the Netherlands and Norway have their special days - this is the monarchy, this is Britain - the cost in minuscule in the scheme of things - the benefit is huge.
      But even more strongly - I must write no, no, no, no, to the idea of of the "cool drink" Because there aren't going to be cool drinks for the diplomats, the State Dinners, all the events where every country - with a monarchy or not - pulls out stops. You are suggesting royals skimp on their subjects, not themselves - that the eight thousand men or women who attend these events should sacrifice but William and Kate should be able to spend huge sums of public money for a privacy hedge that benefits no one but them. NO!
      PR can explain until they are red in the face and the Daily Mail will scream that the people being honoured by this event should get a bottle of coke whilst the royals go in and drink champagne. That is exactly what people think. One reason the food looks so nice is because of COMPLAINTS. The queen is entertaining international guests lavishly whilst garden parties had terrible food - so they improved it. Never, ever, let sacrifices come at the expense of the public - those people who for various little good deeds, who live modest lives, get an afternoon at the Palace, entertained in style. They should have only the best, if William and Kate live on bread and water. And frankly, some paper will do up the expenses and it will barely cover a day at the hospital.
      There has already been damaging talk like this - how Camilla ordered fewer canapes served to guests so she and Charles could save money - contrasted to his valet and how their knickers are hand washed by staff. It looked terrible!!!
      Always, always, the money must be spent to best benefit the public - because the royals do lead extravagant lives and aren't going to stop and today everything is known. Those ribbon cuttings pay for themselves - without them, why a royal family? After all, they're a lot of people with huge expenses - private transportation, security (the single largest royal expense by far - every holiday William and Kate take - with their security staff who must be housed, flown and fed, probably costs more than a garden party. Security exceeds everything else and cut back on the public and they're going to say - fine Queen, fine Charles, pay the security out of your own private wealth and the Duchy of Cornwall - which the percentage of the public that even understands much is being paid privately, sees as quasi-public. That's where the queen erred so wrong in 1992 - after the Windsor fire - suggesting it should be paid out of the public purse. Right now, she is about to have a huge refit of Buckingham Palace, with things like new loos - even if the family moved elsewhere - and the cries about the alterations at Kensington Palace are huge - a new basement to accommodate William and Kate's staff - compared to sweets at a garden party.
      Every one of those sweeties are worth their weight in gold - imagine having a cheap glass of punch and then looking in the window and seeing the queen drink vintage champagne - you would say - something's wrong here - I had to listen to a dreary pompous lecture and she's gorging herself. So never stint on the public. Concentrate on a reduction of private expenses - not clothes - they are enjoyed by the public but things like hedges the public gets no benefit from - close the curtains and live with it. Because the public is your employer. Their pence is paying for you and they want some benefit from that.

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    2. Julia I was going to respond to that and decided to wait and see if some one else did. Thank you. Now I don't have to write it all out. If there is cost cutting to be done I would argue it could come from some of the funding sources for their personal expenses, not public.

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  58. Duchess fan from Downunder18 May 2017 at 01:14

    Notice how Kate has worn mostly repeats since the figures on her wardrobe spend were released?? With the exception of a new outfit for Luxembourg (which was expected for a first overseas visit), there have only been new accessories.

    Also, I expect Kate is going to have to build her wardrobe more rapidly. With more engagements expected and potentially less time to prepare, she's going to need solid outfits at hand and for repeats at shorter notice.

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  59. Queen Elizabeth wore the Centenary Rose brooch. A brooch she had designed for her mum's 100th birthday. A beautiful Queen Elizabeth pink rose on it.

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