Monday, October 20, 2014

Palace Announces Kate's Due Month, AND A Royal Engagement at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards

Happy Monday! The day dawned beautifully with the much anticipated press release from the Palace officially confirming what has been suspected for some time: Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child in April of 2015. As is always the case, they did not (and will not) release an actual due date. The second little Cambridge could be due any day of April, although we suspect given Kate's evening rendezvous at 148 Harley Street, that she is due mid to late April.

Still, this will leave us in a bit of a tough spot. Just like the Lindo Wing Watch started on the very 1st of July, April could prove to be quite the long stake-out. No one wants to bet the wrong way and miss out, plus the likelihood that Kate will deliver earlier than her due date only increases with subsequent pregnancies. All I ask is that the baby not be born on the 29th of April, because I do not like to mix my royal holidays. Let us spread the fun around. 

Kate will most definitely not be at the State banquet on Tuesday night, since the Palace caught two birds with one stone and announced in the same press release that Kate has a conflicting engagement that evening:
The Duchess of Cambridge will also attend the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday 21st October. Further details will be released in due course.

Kate often bundles her engagements when she feels well, either doubling up on the day of, or performing multiple engagements on consecutive or nearly consecutive days. It is a smart strategy to utilize that interrupted time and maximize the effort she has to put into hair, etc. On this occasion, however, it even further suggests that she is quite on the mend. Planning an evening event after her busy morning welcoming the Singapore State Visit contingent suggests that she is not worried about feeling overly fatigued come evening.

Kate Arrives at the Natural History Museum 

To make matters even more exciting, while no tiara will be needed at the awards event, it is entirely possible that Kate will be wearing an evening gown. If she is, it will be the first time the Duchess has worn a floor length while pregnant. Of course there is the possibility she would wear a shorter skirt, as she has done to evening events in the past, but I am hoping the venue, so majestic and imposing, will push her to choose the more formal route.

Lastly, as you may or may not have seen reported last night on my Twitter feed, several enthusiastic fans spotted William and Kate at a pub just a few nights ago. 

A young man had also tweeted about the sighting, but has since deleted his tweet. Probably, he found himself overwhelmed by the outpouring of fan-joy he received from starved Kate watchers. Poor guy...

Tomorrow is stacked up to be a very fantastic day. I know everyone here is just as excited as I am to finally get a proper Kate appearance. Immensely looking forward to it... try to keep calm and carry on for the remainder of today. ;) 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Special Report: Are The Doctor's Appointment Photos Old?

There has been much speculation about the photos of William and Kate at their supposed 12-week scan on Wednesday night. The primary questions seem to be... who took the photos, professional or wandering iPhone addict? And, are these actually recent shots, or were they taken when Kate was pregnant with Georgie? 

We will start with the most important question. Are these recent? Counsel for the opposition argues that the photos appear to have been taken on a very cold night, with some pointing to the appearance of slush on the ground and arguably frost or ice on the windshield of parked cars.

New York Daily News

All relevant observations, but I ask why? We have seen old photos of Kate surface before, still when a paper is presumably paying a significant amount of money for exclusives, I generally assume they check to be sure they aren't being fleeced by the photographer. So...I wonder why, if these were taken when Kate was pregnant with George, did they not surface while Kate was pregnant with George? Although UK papers won't run photos of this nature, any number of those dastardly Americans will. 

Dr. Setchell (middle), Dr. Farthing (right)

My partial blind faith in newspaper editors aside, Kate's primary doctor when pregnant with George was Marcus Setchell, but her primary doctor for this pregnancy is Dr. Alan Farthing. Why, then, were these photos very clearly taken on a visit to Alan Farthing at his office in Harley Street, instead of Dr. Setchell? While Alan Farthing was part of the team for George's birth, and so she could have visited his office, it seems more likely she would have been at Setchell's office.

I am relatively unmoved by the remarks that Kate is dressed too warmly for London weather. Kate always bundles up when the temperature gets nippy, and even more so when pregnant. For a brief moment, William's purple jumper gave me pause. It seems the same one he wore to the hospital when Kate was first hospitalized for HG with George. Only a brief moment, though, given that man's proclivity to hang onto the same pair of trainers for years upon years, this is hardly the ace in the hole.

The crucial question seems to be...did it rain on the night of October 15th? Glare and the grainy nature of the photos could make wet cars look icy and shiny pavement look like slush. So, did it rain?

It rained. 

As I write, it is the lovely morning of October 18th. Three days ago it was the 15th. 3 days ago, @ashpod84 was getting tired of the rain and posted a video on Instagram to express her frustration:

The same night, @bronyawebb enjoyed the precipitation in London's Shoreditch neighborhood. Notice the slick pavement and the glare from the street lamps.

I was not there, I cannot say with absolute certainty that these photos were taken on the 15th, but none of the arguments against them are holding water for me--pun entirely and obnoxiously intended.  Certainly, there is no evidence that positively contradicts the proffered date of October 15th. Until more information surfaces to prove these photos are old, there is no positive argument against them.

The second consideration, were these photos professionally taken or did someone randomly walking by get very lucky. I think they are professional and I think someone was waiting for the Cambridges, not chancing upon them. 

The time between Kate's car stopping and her popping out and into the office would not have been long. A passing tourist or local yokel, minding his or her own business, and navigating the rainy sidewalk, probably would not have been alert enough to surroundings to recognize the famous lady, whip out a camera phone and take the relatively good shot of Kate smiling as she entered the office.  

The quality does not preclude a professional. Frankly, for a rainy night, and what appears to be a relative distance, these are not terrible shots. We have seen similar quality before from professional paps. Cast your mind back to a balmy night in July of 2009. William and Kate left a quiet dinner at a cozy pub, and in the car park William decided the time was ripe for a quick kiss. In the video, you can hear the camera snapping, and both the video and still shots share a similar low-res nature to the October 15th shots. This is to be expected, after all, it's dark and popping flashes might not be the most subtle approach for a lurking pap. (warning: video not for the faint-of-stalking-heart)

Lastly, did William and Kate tip-off the photographer to garner good press? I don't quibble before saying, I reject the theory entirely. Everyone and their brother had a pretty good sense of how far along Kate was, so we all knew the 12-week mark was any day. Everyone also knows Dr. Farthing is the lead on this pregnancy, and his office location is a matter of public record. This would have been an easy stake-out, if the spirit moved one to add to his vacation fund.

Ok, kids. Sherlock needs more coffee and some breakfast. This was a Saturday Special Report. I welcome alternate theories and suggestions, and details I have overlooked, but as always, keep the conversation classy and polite, s'il vous plaît.

Have a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kate and William Snapped Attending Her 12-Week Scan Appointment with Dr. Farthing

Wow, this has been quite a wait. Long, long weeks have slowly passed since we last saw Kate, so I think the entire Kate community was over the moon to see the New York Daily News' three photos of the Cambridges at an evening appointment on October 15th. The two were visiting Dr. Alan Farthing in London.

Perhaps the best part was Kate's big smile. She looks so happy and healthy--these photos skyrocket the likelihood that we will see her next week for the Singapore visit. This was almost assuredly her 12-week scan, and William was pictured as he left holding an envelope that probably contained the snaps of the future little HRH. I noticed that Kate once again had her hair dressed very casually and pulled back in a super relaxed half-do, as she did on her date-night with William six weeks ago.


The photos were dark and grainy, but Kate was wearing jeans, what appeared to be a turtle-neck topped poncho/cape top, and mid-height, comfy boots. Could those be Uggs? Kate has worn Uggs before... It is also possible she was wearing her Aquatalia ankle boots. I feel about the furry Aquatalia ankle booties much the way I feel about the tartan Moloh coat. But, Kate is sick and pregnant, she can do whatever she wants. Sit down before you read this, but: today, I would sign off on the Dreaded Moloh, that's how pleased I am to see Kate up and smiling and happy.

I don't know what the top is yet, although she is a Temperley fan, so it could be their Honeycomb Poncho in Wildebeest--yes, Wildebeest. I have heard other guesses, @livelovelaughlvr suggested to me it could be Libélula. The fluted sleeves seem to suggest it is not Temperley's piece, while I am not convinced the the high turtleneck in the photos would match the Libélula. Unfortunately, due to the grainy nature of these long lens shots, we may not be able to come to a definitive conclusion.  This will be updated if we do.

Libélula & Temperley 

This sighting...and the sweet promise of public engagements to come in the near future...softens the blow of the evening's 100 Women in Hedge Funds annual evening of glitz and glam. Kate has attended the mid-autumn event two out of the three years of her marriage, as The Royal Trio are patrons. On October 16, 2011, William and Kate attended the 100 Women in Hedge Funds' evening in support of Child Bereavement Charity, of which William is a patron. This is assuredly a charity close to the Prince's heart, as he personally experienced the loss of a loved one as a child when his mother was tragically killed in Paris. Kate left a lot of jaws hitting the floor in this stunning Beulah evening gown:

If you cast back to this month last year, our radiant princess was the guest of honor at a Kensington Palace event where she debuted the ink blue Jenny Packham and wowed us all with her post-baby glow. That night, 100 Women in Hedge Funds was raising money that evening for Action of Addiction, one of Kate's charities.

Last night, Harry was on hand as the women raised money for his charity Well Child. With Harry on the scene, humor reigned supreme. The cheeky prince remarked:
I'm not entirely sure who made the seating plan, but I am sitting between two men. I thought it would just be 100 women and myself.
Oh, Harry. You never cease to charm me. You thought you really had it in the bag when you accepted this invite. C'est la vie, kiddo. Next time...

The Palace will not release a due date...ever. They didn't release one for George and you should not expect one on this pregnancy. They do announce the due-month once the first trimester has been completed, so I think we can safely assume we will be hearing very soon that the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due in April of 2015. Since Kate should be over the worst of her hyperemesis gravidarum by her 13th week, I think we have well and truly made it through and that Kate will be rejoining us all and back in her regular swing very soon.

It has been a good day, a very good day. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pippa Middleton and Middleton Family Outing

Well, as we wait for Kate, a little Middleton sighting now and again is never an unwelcome occurrence. In this gallery from Just Jared, we don't just get Pippa, but the whole family along with an assortment of friends. James and girlfriend Donna, Mike, Carole, were all present at a cozy pub for  a meal with some light entertainment by the bubbly Pip. The outing also included what appeared to be a group bicycle ride. The only way Nico and Pippa could be cuter is if they had a bicycle built for two... 

Not related at all, but, the Prince of Wales is participating in The Campaign for Wool.
The Campaign for Wool is a global promotion initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales...By encouraging mutually rewarding collaboration between an international community of wool growers, manufacturers, retailers, the international design community of both interiors and fashion, as well as embracing the commercial craft sector and artisan community; it is unique in the way it has united a diverse network to promote real wool.

Brintons Instagram

I am a wool fan with the best of them, but my attention was particularly caught by this wool carpet by Brintons on display at the Southwark Cathedral. Does this pattern ring a bell? The carpet was made by Brintons by designed by one of Kate the Great's favorite labels: Erdem!

Should we have a countdown to the 21st? Le sigh... 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kate Takes On Royal Patronage of The 1851 Trust, Mulberry's Kensington Bag Makes Waves, Singapore Visit Set, Etc...

Good morning!  If you are in the United States, a very happy Columbus Day to you. Kate should have been with Sir Ben Ainslie today in Portsmouth for an event promoting the America's Cup. Had she, she would have been on hand for Sir Ben's launching of The 1851 Trust, of which it was announced Kate is Royal Patron. The 1851 Trust is the charitable branch of the effort to bring the America's Cup back to Britain; it is her 8th patronage.

The America's Cup left Britain in 1851 and has not been back. Sir Ben Ainslie is putting together a formidable effort to recapture the trophy, which should appeal to Kate's love of sport, patriotism, children, and...competition. In the press release, Kate said:
I am delighted to be Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence.

"It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America's Cup back to Britain. I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through the 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way.
Again, the Duchess has shown significant reflection in taking on a charity that is so closely aligned with her personal interests and hobbies. We have discussed in the past what a keen sailor Kate is, in addition to her interest in finding ways to help young people grow. It really is a shame that Kate was not able to make this event, but having accepted being the Royal Patron, we will be seeing her at 1851 Trust events in the future.

While the Duchess continues to convalesce, one report claims she has returned to London after spending time with her family. This has not been widely confirmed. I read in some article that Kate's health has been "up and down." I do not know enough about hyperemesis gravidarum to know if it is possible that she could have good days and bad days. I hope that since it is triggered by hormones, that they fluctuate, and some days she is indeed feeling better, despite her obvious continued illness. Since she is probably around 12 weeks, the real hope is that she will pass the worst entirely within the next week. 

Heading to Canada: Kate carrying a Mulberry bag at Heathrow 

Onto tangential news...Kate has been a Mulberry fan for some years, both carrying their bags and wearing their clothes. Fashionista reported on a Mulberry ad campaign that got a little too close to the royals for their comfort. Mulberry were working on promoting their new Kensington bag:
 ...a chic bucket bag named for the neighborhood in which the brand's headquarters are located. It's also the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their progeny, Prince George.
Mulberry Facebook

After they hung some of the bags on the iconic gates of Kensington Palace and tweeted the shots, the brand got a call from officials, Fashionista reported:
"The image was taken without our permission and we requested that it be removed," a spokesperson for the Palace told the paper. Mulberry responded that the photo had been taken "in error."
While you may think this was a pretty small infraction for the palace to take issue with, aides to the Duke and Duchess have been taking measures for some time to ensure William and Kate are not used for commercial purposes.  When Kate got pregnant with George, the Cambridges and Harry all formed corporations whose purposes, among other things, are to protect intellectual property rights and the use of their names. Some details on the formation of these corporation, and the names they chose here

Precautions have been taken for more than just the Cambridges. In February of this year, the Telegraph reported that Buckingham Palace had gone on a web-domain buying spree, buying up domains for other members of the royal family, such as the Duke of York and Countess of Wessex. Whether they will use them in the future, or just hold them, is not clear. 
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “We have purchased a number of URLs as a precautionary measure to stop others using them and in case we want to use them in the future.” 

As was quickly reported late last week, the schedule for the Singapore State visit was released and William and Kate were included. They will help to welcome the President and his wife to London. Richard Palmer of the Daily Express reported more details:
The second in line to the throne and his wife will be expected to greet the visiting couple at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and then travel with them by car to Horse Guards Parade to make their first appearance at a ceremonial welcome for a visiting head of state...If she takes part in the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards, she would normally be expected to travel there by car but return to Buckingham Palace in a carriage procession along The Mall before attending a palace lunch for the visitors.
William and Kate turn into the Horse Guards 

Palmer reports that a decision about how much, if at all, the Duchess partakes in this welcome will be determined closer to the date, obviously taking her health into account. While we have been very much hoping that Kate and William might also attend the State banquet, Buckingham Palace has quietly told two royal reporters that the Duke and Duchess will not be at the State banquet in the evening. This means we will not see Kate in a formal gown and no tiaras will be sparkling. 

I am disappointed, but on reflection, not entirely shocked. William and Kate will have already taken a very prominent role in welcoming the President and his wife. This duty was diplomatically chosen, since they have already met and socialized with the two and so are the perfect choices to welcome the visitors. Still, I believe there is an ongoing and appropriate effort to maintain the hierarchy in the royal family. To keep the larger spotlight on the Queen and on the heir to the throne, while at the same time allowing William and Kate to stay more private while they are not the pivotal senior royals. They will play their part, but not dominate the headlines. 

Also making the news last week, as we kick about waiting to see Kate, was that the royal duo were elected lifelong members of the Marylebone cricket club. To be entirely candid, I think the only reason this caught my eye is because William and Kate played a little of the game while on tour. Kate cut quite a figure in her reworked Luisa Spagnoli and heels. Her expressive faces all came out to play, too, and pictures made the papers accompanied by all number of funny tag-lines. 

Secretly, though, anytime cricket is mentioned I think of my other favorite couple of all time and their little idyllic cricket moment before Julian Fellowes broke all our hearts. 

Back to royalty... The Queen made Angelina Jolie an honorary Dame Commander. I mention this only because Angelina wore the most beautiful suit to accept the honor at Buckingham Palace. Kate would look innn-credible in this stunning ensemble. Angelina is also spot on with this year's longer hemline trend. Love it:

And just for fun to close the post, @theduchesslife shared this photo on Twitter that made me laugh out loud. We haven't seen Kate out and about, but my gosh it is good to see that someone else loves William's trainers.

Have a wonderful Monday...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Newsweek Poll: Is Princess Kate's Star Truly Fading?

I know the (semi)-recent Newsweek poll results caused quite the hubbub. Kate fans were a little taken aback, Kate-Haters were gleefully circulating the information and metaphorically thrusting it in people's faces. It was all extremely...tedious.

Let me tell you about polls. Polls are always weighted toward the preferred result of the person paying to have the poll conducted. This is absolute, gospel truth. Always. The magnitude of the bias depends on what the topic is and what is at stake. Which is why the political cognoscenti know the few polls that actual pride themselves on never being wrong (and so staunchly remain relatively unbiased) and also why campaigns themselves do internal polling, so they can see the cold hard reality, whichever way the wind is blowing. Before an election there are often significant spreads between polls, but about a month out, and decreasing as the weeks trip closer, the polls all suddenly start to get a lot more realistic. The reason is because the pollsters have to tighten up those biases so they aren't left looking like idiots when the real results come in.

There are a lot of reasons polls are biased. About as many reasons as people have motives. In politics, polls are slanted by whomever pays for them, to subtly shift public opinion. We are social creatures and people like to be in the "it" crowd. Displaying significant opposition or support for one candidate or another can help to shift a tight race by framing the election early as a hopeless cause in one direction or the other, and demoralizing your opposition.

In the end, though, only one thing counts, there is only one "poll" that has the final say: the votes. On election day, the only thing that matters is who gets out of bed and takes the time to swing by their polling station. That's the only reality that matters. Additionally, polls themselves can be interpreted to suggest all manner of things that a dispassionate observer could see were not even moderately present in the actual data. Let's look at the results. Newsweek reports:
Astonishingly, only 1% of female respondents wish that they could be Kate. A staggering 89% of women have no interest in being Kate even for a single day. Meanwhile, among male respondents, only 6% wish they were married to Kate and – even more surprising, perhaps, – only 6% wish they were dating Kate.
There are a lot of adjectives here that suggest negativity, but in fact, none of this is astonishing. Many of the women who read this blog (and are huge fans) have declared they would not trade places with Kate. People who understand what her lifestyle entails often find the prospect of enduring the same public scrutiny, daunting, at best.  As to the boys, I cannot for the life of me understand why this is shocking. The only men I have ever known--in my entire life--who have even been conversational on Kate beyond being able to say she was the pretty girl who married that prince, were men who had to know about her because of my rather intense interest. Furthermore, unlike, say, Megan Fox, I would find it rather odd for a man to want to date Kate. She isn't a Hollywood starlet projected as a sex-symbol. She is a woman who has been in a pretty monogamous relationship for over ten years, married three of those, with a child and pregnant with a second. I don't know, I am not a man, but don't you think that would be a little weird? Conversely, while I like William very much and think he cuts a fine figure in a sharp suit, I don't think I can say I have ever wanted to either be married to him or to date him. Phew. Let's move on...
“Which of the following things, if any, are you interested in regarding Kate?”, the following answers, among others, came back: her views on parenthood – 13%; her clothes – 6%; her make-up – 1%.
Again, sounds striking at first, but then one is left lightly perplexed. Anyone who knows me can attest I am not entirely a math whizz, but even the most cursory of casual glances leaves the mathematically challenged of us feeling we haven't quite a 100% quorum here. 13 and 6 makes 19 and one more equals 20, so...what is the 80% that women do care about? Obviously, there were other answers and it would be nice to see those, since Newsweek only reported answers with very low interest levels. Or, as the paragraph could be meaning to suggest, a possible answer was "I am not interested in regarding anything about Kate"! If the majority voted none, is it not even more possible that the they didn't poll a very relevant sampling of people? The fact is, plenty of people know little about Kate beyond she is a royal. All sorts of people have no interest in her at all, and I am the first to admit this. It's a big world and there is more than enough room for massively popular people of whom similarly massive segments of society know little and care even less. If, indeed, the polling sample was comprised primarily of people who never cared in the first place, I would argue, and reasonably, too, that this casts a different shade on the breaking news that Kate's popularity is shrinking. How can one's popularity shrink with a group of people who never held you in high esteem to begin with?! 
By chance, the survey was conducted on the day of the announcement of the Duchess’s pregnancy. And yet when asked which of that day’s news stories they were most interested in, the public rated the news of a second royal baby fourth – only 7% being “most interested”. This figure rose among 18- to 24-year-olds, but only to 9%. Ahead came the Scottish referendum, then Isis and the Ebola outbreak.
Again...misleading, much? If you were asked any day of the week what was more important, the royal baby or the future of your nation; a royal baby or the spread of a deadly virus; the royal baby or the shocking abuse of men, women and children: beheadings, rapes, and mutilation at the hands of ISIS, what would you answer? Gosh. I hope it is not the royal baby... Is the supposition that fans of Kate are also entirely disconnected with no sense of balance or the broader picture?

I am not going to march through every line item here. I would get bored, you would most definitely be bored. The point I am trying to illustrate is that a poll is a useful tool, you can learn a lot from a poll, you can get a sense of many things--but sometimes what you learn is more about the poll than the actual topic. They are taken, they are framed as they were in this article, and a conclusion is drawn that you are meant to assent to because they have just thrown a lot of numbers and facts at you. Let's return to the political analogy.

When you are handed poll results, you have to sort through all the accidental elements, straight to the heart of the matter. A poll is a supposition, a semi-scientific bet. The question posed to you as the campaign manager is...what is the reality? Who is going to be right on game-day? Kate is my candidate. The polls say Kate's star is fading, but I have not noticed the public backing up that claim. What the poll says isn't relevant, I want to know, is Kate selling? Are the crowds still frenzied, are the fans screaming, are the front covers stacking up, are the dresses selling out, is the Duchess trending on Twitter? Kate's election day is everyday the public is interacting with her, and everywhere revenue is being generated based on her popularity. You can poll anyway you want, those numbers don't lie. Just like election night, the numbers will decide the game.

If Kate were my candidate and I was handed these poll results I would wonder a few things. Looking at it the way you have to look at any poll, who paid for it? Newsweek Europe. I already know the likelihood of a bias of some kind is essentially guaranteed, so why the bias? I have theories, but do they matter? Not really. In the end I don't care, because it doesn't matter.

You are reading this blog post right this second, you and thousands of others all over the globe. At the end of the day, Kate is selling, in big big way. People magazine just released their top 10 cover celebrities, which is a bit of a status symbol. Diana, the most famous woman on earth in her lifetime and an enduring iconic figure today, holds the title, William--who has been on the scene far longer than Kate holds third, and Kate trails him closely at 4th:

In fact, despite what they preach, Newsweek seems to know which side their bread is buttered. Kate has been their cover girl at least three times since her marriage!  Apparently, despite their screaming headlines of doom, Newsweek knows the truth and is playing this poll for profit.

Newsweek Covers

Newsweek is cashing in on the very star power they salaciously claim is on the wane. I bet the profit margin spike was well worth the absurd headline. Well done, PR boys, well done. Friends, if Kate were my candidate, I'd be telling her to powder her nose and prep her acceptance speech, because she is going over big tonight. If Kate were my candidate, we'd easily be over the finish line first.

Comments on this post are more than welcome, but please remember that we have dealt extensively with Kate's "work-ethic" on this blog, you are welcome to see the discussion here, but that conversation is not currently being hosted and any comments reviving that topic will not be published. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Lastly, very exciting news about the Singapore State visit. See Kate's Calendar here for an update on a possible appearance!

Have a lovely weekend! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kate Cancels America's Cup Engagement and Rests in Bucklebury

Unfortunately, we have some updates on the lovely Kate. I say unfortunately, only because the news is not positive. As I hypothesized on Monday, Kate had more stealth engagements waiting to be cancelled or completed based on her health.It was announced today that Kate would not be making an event she had on her calendar for this Monday with Sir Ben Aisnlie and America's Cup in Porthsmouth. (pictured below with Sir Ben Ainslie in Greenwich, post from that event here)

More disappointing than the fact that the Duchess cannot make this event is that she obviously remains quite unwell. The hope had been that she was in the final stages and might be coming out of the worst of it, but the preemptive cancellation seems to suggest Kate is not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel just yet. That being said, medical experts say that hyperemesis gravidarum peaks around 9-13 weeks, so Kate may be getting toward the end of the worst. 

Today, it was also confirmed by People Magazine, that Kate has retreated to Bucklebury with George for some TLC at her parents' home. A source was reported to say that Kate is "not at all well, the poor thing" and:

"When you're ill, the place you feel most comfortable is at home with your mum, isn't it? When she's there, Kate can just relax and sit on the sofa and not have to worry about having to deal with all the staff and everything else that comes with a big palace full of rooms," the source also said.

I think it is more than just the "drawbacks" of Kensington Palace, which as one reader has pointed out, is her home, but the positive aspects of her mother's care. Kate obviously finds something comforting in her family's country retreat, after all, she did not remain at Kensington Palace after George's birth, but left immediately for Bucklebury. It is not surprising that now, debilitated by her illness, she returns to the leafy village for a few days rest. 

Real Estate File of The (Middleton) Manor, Bucklebury

With William working hard to study and complete the 14 tests he must pass before Christmas for his Air Ambulance training, Kate needs close family to give her love and attention at this most vulnerable of times. The quiet village of Bucklebury is the perfect place for her to get away and, not to put too fine a point on it, suffer in private. My heart is bleeding for her right now. 

New York, if it is in the planning, is not necessarily off the table, if it is planned for late November. Kate could very well be feeling much, much better by that time, but I am disappointed to say this seems to put the kabash on the State banquet. Unless she makes a pretty fast recovery, it seems we will be waiting a little longer for a tiara event.