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Anmer Hall: Are the Cambridges Moving or Not?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Headlines are meant to be attention grabbing, but they can also sometimes be just a tad misleading. This morning, the big headline was that yesterday's story about Anmer Hall was false, the Queen isn't paying anyone to move out. When you read a little more, though, it quickly becomes evident that it is not so much false as nuanced. He is still moving out.

Anonymous sources, which are always to be taken with a grain of salt, claim that the Queen has not paid the current tenant to move out, BUT, it does appear that he will indeed be going. So whether he is being compensated financially, or in some other way, the point still remains the same. Everything indicates that William and Kate plan to make Anmer Hall their home in the next few years, and to accommodate this, the family living there now will vacate years in advance of their lease agreement. 

Anmer Hall Plans via Lebanon Times

The Cambridges certainly won't, however, be moving in next week, given the extensive changes that royal aides have already submitted to the council and which have been approved. Anmer Hall was obviously being selected for a royal VIP when the plans showed rerouting entrance gates, privacy trees to thwart long range lenses, and renovations that will make room for security personnel. EDP24 reports:
...aides submitted a planning application for major alterations including re-routing the drive to the property, which is currently accessed via the track leading to the tiny village church, converting outbuildings into accommodation for police bodyguards and a new garden room and pergola.
Council officials agreed the plans without any debate. Unlike planning applications from members of the public wishing to extend their properties, the Royal application was only made avalable to callers in person at West Norfolk council’s offices.
Work on the house is expected to take some months. Already hundreds of new saplings have been planted along the Sandringham to Anmer road, which leads past the hall, to screen it from public view.
Just like the project on their KP apartment began months ago, we have a long wait for the Anmer property to be ready for the Cambridge family, but I think it is very clear that this show is now on the road. The tenant is moving his business and from all reports will himself leave not long after, and then the workmen will get busy. I think the next moving truck that pulls up after that will be carting Prince Georgie's crib and Kate's closet in the front door.

Cambridges to Move to Anmer Sooner than Later, William Plays Polo This Weekend?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Anmer Hall

There has been much speculation about when Kate and William will move to Anmer Hall. Well, it looks like they will take over the house a lot sooner than expected. The Daily Mail confirmed today that the Queen has paid the current tenant of Anmer Hall a generous settlement to move much earlier than his scheduled 2017 lease.  I am not terribly surprised. William and Kate, both now in their thirties and with a new child they want to protect from the media, are no doubt anxious to move into permanent places they can really settle into and make their own for the foreseeable future.  

Kate Shopping in London Before Her Wedding

They need a London residence, which they will soon have at Kensington Palace. The 20 room apartment will certainly serve as their permanent London base for a long time, and we know from her many shopping excursions that Kate has been hard at work decorating the many rooms, which will no doubt be beautiful.

Kate at her parents home running with the dogs

Nevertheless, we also know that William and Kate really favor the country lifestyle and are no doubt anxious to also have a place of their own away from the city.  It seems they have been very happy in Anglesey, and the fact that they immediately left London for her parents home in Bucklebury underscores their craving for the privacy and pace of the country.

Christmas at Sandringham 2011

Anmer Hall is located on the Queen's Sandringham Estate. Like Balmoral, Sandringham is privately owned by the Royal family and is where they traditionally spend their Christmas holiday.  One interesting aspect of this move could be that William and Kate can find a compromising ground for Christmas. Traditionally, the Royals gather for the holiday, but last year William and Kate spent their Christmas with the Middletons. Bucklebury is too far from Norfolk for them to see both sides of the family on Christmas. If they have a home on the estate they might be able to have their cake and eat it to. With the Middleton family visiting them, and making it to the Royals Christmas morning and celebrating with Kate's family in the evening? Who knows. It will be interesting to see how they continue to handle incorporating Kate's family. 

Mike and Carole Middleton at Balmoral

Speaking of the Middletons, The Telegraph ran an excellent article yesterday on the Middletons and why they are good for the Monarchy. I was very excited to be included in the piece, but I do not praise it for self-serving purposes alone--it is very well written and very interesting even for the most dedicated of Kate Middleton fans. Why We Should All be Grateful for the Middletons.  If I am not mixing people up, the author, Julia Llewellyn Smith, has also written a book on Graham Greene and his travels. Greene is the author of some of my favorite books--after Evelyn Waugh, and if you too find this classic British author remarkable, you may enjoy looking this book up: Traveling on the Edge: Journeys in the Footsteps of Graham Greene

Mini Cooper released a little tribute to the newest Royal. At first I was a little taken a back--it is right on the edge, but I have now decided that it is cute. Hopefully you do, too:

Prince William committed to play a charity polo match in Berkshire this weekend. Reports says he would like to honor his commitment, but we will see if he stays in seclusions with Kate and George, or if he does indeed end up playing. I hope he plays. Of course. :)  meanwhile, Prince Charles says that Baby George will probably end of with the nickname Georgie. Again, cute!! 

Housekeeper Antonella Fresolone Arrives in Bucklebury to Help the Cambridges

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sun has an exclusive picture of William and Kate's housekeeper, Antonella Fresolone arriving by car in Bucklebury, where she will no doubt help the Middletons and Cambridges with housework, etc, so they can fully relax and enjoy their time with Baby George. See the picture and read the article here

The UK Express is reporting that William will rejoin the Blues & Royals in London after he concludes his RAF posting in Anglesey near September. This is certainly a possible choice, since it would allow William to be close to his new little family and to possibly take on more royal engagements in the Capital--fingers crossed.  As yet, this has not been confirmed, but you can read the full article here.  

It is Sunday, so the papers are teaming with various stories. The Mail reports that the Wessexes will visit the Middleotn home to see George...We shall see. Other news outlets are saying that Prince Philip, who will head to Balmoral in August, won't see Prince George until October, since it would be hard for William to slip in a visit to Balmoral given he has taken up all his paternity to leave.

If I may say, it seems unlikely to me that IF he wanted to, William couldn't get up to Balmoral. Given modern transportation, all he needs his few days off shift to fly north for a brief visit, but it could be too much hassle with a baby. Again, time will tell.

This piece was in the National Post and I thought it was very, very good.  It is an honest assessment of the rising popularity of the monarchy. It isn't too long, enjoy the read:

The Cambridges and the Crawleys: William, Kate, and George, Matthew, Mary,...GEORGE!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

William, Kate, George
When William and Kate visited Los Angeles after their marriage, they met Jessica Brown-Findlay, aka Lady Sybil Crawley. They told her that they were big fans of the show and were eagerly anticipating the second season. Who wasn't? Wills and Kate are human after all. It isn't just the common folk who huddle around the TV every week to see what happens next for the Crawley family. 

Matthew, Mary, George

I haven't been following a lot of Downton news since it is summer, but I am very excited to see that Matthew and Mary's baby is named George! Although, we don't need to marvel too much at fate. It isn't as if they both named their sons Aelthelred. George is a very traditional, British name and was quite popular around the time that Downton is set and still is today within the Royal Family. Apparently, George Crawley was named after George V, and obviously preceded George Cambridge since the filming must be almost wrapped up, if not concluded by ow. Still, I think it is super, super awesome, and I can't help but think that Kate will enjoy it to. When fall rolls around and everyone cozies up to the tube with a cuppa, Kate will enjoy the heir of Downton matching the heir of Windsor. I will tell you what. Between George Crawley and George Cambridge, the name George is going to absolutely skyrocket in the charts. Heck, I might name my future little dude George at this rate...

Séraphine has released details on how Kate got her maternity wear, and what she purchased. Apparently an assistant called and ordered a catalogue for Kate to peruse. Once she had chosen her items, they placed the order and asked that nothing extra be sent in terms of freebies. Just a hassle to return. Séraphine also mentioned that some of the items were specifically for nursing, which seems like a little more information than they ought to have divulged, not that anyone doubted that Kate would nurse. I always wonder if Kate goes back to these stores that release statements on her purchases. I suppose when the next Royal Baby rolls around we will find out---too early to be thinking about that, though. In any case, on the website they list four "As Worn by the Duchess of Cambridge" dresses, but we have only seen two of the four, unless I have forgotten or missed something. If I were Kate and had been planning to debut the others in a few weeks, I would be very, very irked right now.  Even if she is just wearing them around the house, I am not sure the website should be saying she has worn them when no one has actually seen her wear them. 

When Will We See Prince George (And Kate!) Again?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Now that we have all seen Kate and William and baby George, we want to see them again! It is expected that the couple will have an official photo call with Prince George right before William goes back to work after his two weeks of paternity leave. I would be surprised if we see anything until those two weeks are up. This is the most privacy the couple can expect with George...maybe ever? We haven't really met him, we have seen pictures, but no one has gotten a chance to see any great shots of his features or seen his personality in action. 

Diana and 6 month old Prince William 

As a royal, he will continue to be photographed and the world will watch from a distance as he matures and grows until everyone will feel like they know him, just as we all have a sense of William's personality and now Kate's.  But, for the moment, George is all theirs, and I don't think they will be keen to end that any sooner than they have to. Two weeks will fly by pretty quickly!

Queen arrives at Balmoral. via Daily Mail 

Meanwhile, Her Majesty has flown by private jet to Balmoral. I have a complete obsession with Balmoral. The summer into fall holiday seems too idyllic, I LOVE the moody highlands, the Barbour jackets, the bucolic surroundings. I want to unpack my heavy scarves, heat some tea, and watch Downton Abbey just thinking about it. The Queen is no fool, she loves her yearly holiday in Queen Victoria's favorite castle. Balmoral is the personal property of the Monarch, which makes it even more of a retreat, I would think, and with over 50,000 acres (around 20,000 hectares) she has plenty of room to enjoy the freedom. 

When the Queen returns from her holiday at Balmoral, we will probably then see the christening of Prince George, although, I hope we will have some Kate sightings before then!

Prince George Heads to Bucklebury to Visit the Middletons

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This is quite a late post--I can't always get enough internet--or power, apparently--while on vacation, to blog. But, I was able to follow a little on my phone and saw the announcement that Baby Cambridge is officially George Alexander Louis. I LOVE it! Obviously, I think they had already named him when they left the hospital, but I could be wrong. I also think it is nice that they only chose three names. I am a big fan of tradition, but I don't mind shortening to three. It can be a little overwhelming. 

I thought they would stay at Kensington Palace for the first two weeks. All those stories that they would go straight to Bucklebury? Well they did!! They left the Lindo Wing and returned to KP where, as I suspected, Kate's siblings showed up to see the baby, as I am sure they were dying to meet him. The Queen came to visit the next morning and almost directly afterward, the Cambridges left for an "undisclosed location" which turned out to be Bucklebury! They were photographed leaving KP smiling and waving, a protection officer driving, William in the passenger seat and Kate with George in the back.  I was very surprised when they waited just long enough for the Queen to stop by in the morning to greet her grandson, before they booked it to Berkshire.

Well if there was anyone in doubt about whether William truly enjoys his in-laws, I hope that has been dispelled. Clearly, if William is willing to spend his first two weeks bonding with his little family AND his wife's parents, they all get along extremely well. We always kind of knew this, he seems to love spending time with them at their home, holidaying together, including them in big events, etc, but this is certainly the ultimate signal. As mentioned earlier, though, the Middletons really expanded when they moved. They have 18 acres, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. Although, I doubt Kate is ready for tennis just yet, I can imagine she might take advantage of the pool in this heat. They certainly have plenty of room to relax, enjoy the country, and have more range of movement safe from prying and/or curious eyes. 

We can't see much of Kate, other than she is obviously happy and can't take her eyes off her little prince. She is wearing a Séraphine maternity dress and those gorgeous Givenchy sunglasses. I think the polka do dress from the magazine was also a Séraphine.... 

Harry made headlines by saying he hoped that William knew how expensive he is as a babysitter and that he would teach Prince George to "have fun."  Hahaha, as Kate sees imaged of Vegas flashing threw he mind, I wonder if she is telling William that Pippa might be the better speed for a babysitter. ;) We all love Harry, but my gosh, the Monarchy can only handle one every few generations... 

More great photos of these two (I mean THREE!!) leaving KP at the Daily Mail, here. One thing is for sure, we will always know when the Cambridges are in Berkshire, the security description is intense! 

Well, we will probably hear from our favorite royals in a few weeks after they have gotten some alone time. Although, you never know what may pop up... 

Kate Wears Bespoke Jenny P to Introduce Her Little Prince to the World

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ugh, the wait was so excruciating. I can't believe I made it back in time to see the Cambridges emerge, and am so thrilled that I did. We waited, and waited, and heads moved by the door, and we waited...I realized that I wasn't so excited to see the baby as to see Kate! Which, actually, isn't surprising. What was she going to wear? How would she look? Would her hair be super styled? Up? Down? We waited and waited.  Finally the doors opened and out they came!

A Cambridge Prince...Still Nameless.

The baby looked to be squirming and I was screaming at one point. We couldn't see much, but I completely believe he is adorable. Kate was wearing a flattering blue Jenny P. Oh Jenny P, she really is the go-to girl for Kate--she is a favorite here at From Berkshire to Buckingham. The dress was light and airy, and gave her plenty of room to move, while also providing her shape. She looked great. The dress was bespoke, so my wonder is...Did Kate color coordinate for a boy and if so, did she know the sex? Or did they make two, one pink one blue? It is possible, given how good she looks in blue and how she clearly favors blue that she chose blue and that's how the cookie crumbled. I really don't think they knew the sex of the baby... Kate LOVES those polka dots, though. I have never known a woman to love polka dots so much. 

These two look completely in love with their little prince.

The hairdresser was there, as mentioned earlier, and she obviously decided not to over style, which was a good choice. Her hair looked neat and lovely, but relaxed and not over curled or blown out, which seemed easy and normal. As usual, the perfect middle ground.

The two looked so happy. Kate carried the baby, which I was pleased about, and then handed him to William. By the way, the real breaking news should be that William DID NOT wear his usual trainers. Haha, I missed them! What's a dressed down William without the trainers? 

I will not go on and on about the couple's interview. William took most of the questions and even cracked a few jokes. He was pretty charming. The couple went back inside to put the baby in a carseat and then they came out to the Range Rover that had pulled up. William brought the carseat around and put his son in the back with Kate, and he took the driver's seat, making a little joke to the press and waving at the staff before they all drove away.

A little video:

Earlier today, after the Middletons visit, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall did drop by to visit, as well. Obviously a good move, given the conspiracy theories that would pop up with only a Middleton appearance. Clearly, William and Kate had no desire to make it a media circus, though, and there were no other visitors. I am sure KP will be busy with well-wishers over the next few days.  

I expect that they will enjoy this time at their home at KP for William's two weeks of leave, and then when he heads back to Anglesey, I think Kate will go to stay with her parents for a while. 

Still waiting on a name...will it be George?

My favorite picture of Kate from today:

[Update] Michael and Carole Visit tHeir Grandson, Prince (unknown) of Cambridge

Well, there has been some exciting activity at the Lindo Wing. Michael and Carole Middleton dropped by to meet their first grandchild, a prince, and the future King of England. So, so cool. When I watch the royal wedding I always wonder what emotions were going through Michael's mind as he gave his daughter away, already an emotionally loaded moment, but also as an English man to see her marry the heir to the throne, become a royal and know that her path will one day lead to a crown. SOOOO amazing. Now, he visits his first grandson, with such huge historical ramifications. I love, love, love it. Look at Carole's smile, she is one beaming and beautiful grandmother! That's an Orla Kiely dress, a label Kate has worn several times with much success.

Meanwhile, it has been back and forth on whether Kate's hairdresser was or was not at the Lindo Wing. I don't think she was earlier when first reported, because she just recently showed up, along with a woman carrying a carseat and a suitcase--presumably with clothes for Kate, William, or both. Whether this means they are about to leave or are prepping for the night and the morning to come is unclear. 

When the Middletons emerge, they will make a statement.  Update will follow...
[Update]  I don't think the Middletons were properly briefed. Carole seemed a little nervous, who wouldn't be, and there seemed to be confusion on where to stand and whether they were going to stay anything or not. She did take a few questions, but answered each one with an adjective, not a lot of detail. "he is beautiful." and "It is all coming back." As I say, they seemed unsure, so I don't think they were briefed correctly. Video will follow later tonight. I am off for the next few hours, so I may very well miss the steps scene, but I will post later tonight after I watch the replays.

Have fun!

The First Born of the Duchess of Cambridge!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The future king of England! Long May He Reign Over Us! The official proclamation was awesome. I will link later!

Her Royal Highness is Safely Delivered of a BOY!

It has been placed officially at Buckingham Palace. Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge has been delivered of a boy!

It is a mad house at Buckingham Palace! This is, too, too awesome.

William may make an appearance tonight, we shall see. They are shouting it out right now!!


Born 4:24pm. It's a BOY!!! Over the moon about this!!! I thought it would be a girl, but boy, did I want a boy!! albs 6oz! Waiting for Buckingham Palace plaque. Will they name him straight away??

[Update 4] Kate Has Been Admitted to St. Mary's in the Early Stages of Labour

It is absolutely confirmed that Kate is in labour at St. Mary's! In the early dawn hours, around 6am, a the convey from Kensington Palace arrived at St. Mary's. Prince William drove with Kate to the hospital surrounded by their protection officers. The Clarence House announcement makes it sound as if she has gone into labour naturally and not that she is being induced. Further updates will follow...obviously...

[Update]  KP has confirmed that Kate has gone into labour naturally, so she was not induced and that everything is progressing well. They checked in through a side door around 5:30am is the word I am hearing now.

[Update 2] KP Did NOT confirm that the labour came naturally, so she may have decided to induce. Someone rightly speculated a few days ago that they would probably prefer to get Kate into the hospital under cover of darkness to avoid as much press as possible. Kate's pre-dawn admittance seems to suggest just such a plan and could point to this being the royals choice and so an inducement. On the other-hand, it could be natural and they just got lucky. Right now, all speculation. She was completely settled in and had seen her doctor before it was confirmed she was actually there, so they are doing their best to control the situation.

[Update 3] Good morning, United States, Canada, etc, etc... If you were up last night or woke up, you already know, but if you are just tuning in, the DAY HAS ARRIVED. Here in Europe it is already halfway through the day, and thank goodness, too, since it is about a million degrees out. So far no more news, and frankly it is very unlikely that we will hear anything until the birth is officially confirmed. Charles and Camilla are in Yorkshire and after they were asked about the situation they said they know nothing and are waiting to here.

Earlier this morning, right as the news was breaking there were conflicting reports of when exactly the Duke and Duchess arrived at the hospital. First reports said 6am, then some said 5:30am, and even some said 5am. Now, there is speculation amongst the reporters and photographers that the royal protection officers may have done a dummy run earlier before Kate and William followed. Given how high tensions are on this royal birth and given the tight security, that does not seem entirely impossible, particularly since the hospital is saying around 6am is when Kate actually checked in.

Rumors began circulating shortly after, but Kate's admittance was only confirmed after she had settled into the Lindo Wing and had seen her doctor. If all these things are true it seems to point to a natural birth at best or possibly she is being induced, but either way a calm situation. If the police had time to do a test run, that means it was not a "mad dash" as some have reported. Again, respecting Kate's current condition, they have not released whether this is natural or induced.

[Update 4]  Well, I hope the next time I update it will be to tell you that the labor is over and delivery has happened!  What has happened since I last updated. Earlier this afternoon William's aide was seen entering the hospital with Marks and Spencers food supplies. Maybe for William, maybe for staff. I think it should be noted, and actually one of you pointed this out in the comments as well, merci beaucoup, that the two photographers who saw Kate entering the Lindo Wing at a side entrance chose not to photograph her, and I have to say that is a real class move. As you all know, I believe the royals are pretty fair game, but sometimes one should use one's sense of decency. Just like the photographer who snapped her topless should have taken the high road and NOT taken those horrible photos, I applaud the two who gave her privacy at this exceptionally personal time. Bravo, kids, bravo.

It is sizzling here in Paris, and I hear it is even worse in London, so I definitely tip my hat to all the waiting photographers. Apparently it is a level three heat warning in London, and the weather reporter at this moment is saying it will be a pretty muggy night.

Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, returned to Buckingham Palace today from her weekend in WIndsor and many are crowding around the Palace to await the official word that will be posted, per tradition, outside when baby Cambridge arrives. I am so, so happy that the reigning monarch will be in residence when the news breaks. There is something so special about this extraordinary Queen being part of this special and historical day. She must feel so proud and so happy. A woman, so steeped in tradition and dedicated to her institution, this is a big, big day.

Really, there hasn't been much news. We wait and we watch. I find the PUSH updates absolutely vulgar--those will not happen here. I do not speculate where in the birthing process the Duchess of Cambridge may be.

Loving the Daily Mail's headline:

When Will This Baby Watch Be Over?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wow, well, I had a sense that Kate might not have her baby until a little more toward the end than the beginning of the month, but I did not see this coming. What a wait!!

The Telegraph has recently reported that Lindo Wing patients say the hospital doesn't let mothers go much beyond a week before they induce. I have been told, by a reputable source, (my mother!) that in general doctors don't suggest letting a pregnancy go much beyond a week because once the baby is fully developed the mortality just goes up the longer they stay in. I think we can say with almost 100% certainty that the baby will be here before a week has passed. I really think that Kate was probably due the 17-19 and so we will see Baby Cambridge before the 24th. I could be wrong, but that is where my money is, folks, and I think you will all agree it is a safe bet. ;)

Otherwise, they really, really stretched it when they said mid July... Which is not be saying they lied, just commenting that it would be a stretch, which I think is allowed. 

Middletons Call 999 to Rescue Lupo

Friday, July 19, 2013

Well, it is almost time to call it a day, but the most interesting news was that a photographer lurking close to the Middletons' home heard someone calling "Lupo" and then the scream of a dog in distress. His fears were confirmed when it was revealed that the animal rescue had been called to the home because a pet dog on the property had gotten his head stuck in a gate.  Whether it was in fact Lupo or not can't really be known, given the Middletons have more than one dog, but it just adds to the drama of these waiting days.

Poor Lupo, hopefully the little scamp has learned his lesson. This must have happened yesterday, since we are all pretty sure that William and Kate decamped, although to where is still unknown. There just isn't much more to say. We wait, and watch, and wait, and watch. 

Kate and William Leave Bucklebury, But Does it Mean Baby?

All reports currently are that William and Kate have left Bucklebury. Although, that set off a bit of an optimistic spasm, there has been no increased security at St. Mary's, so as of right now it appears it was a scheduled departure ad not the start of the excitement so anticipated. It is Friday afternoon, which seems like a logical time to go somewhere. Perhaps they have headed to London to see friends this weekend, or perhaps, as hypothesized, the due date has just recently been passed. (I kind of think of July 17th as mid July, and if the baby comes late that could put us off more than several days.)

Police outside St. Edward's When Kate was Hospitalized for Acute Morning Sickness.
It sure is starting to look like the Duchess of Cornwall may have been overly optimistic. :)  Unless something happens soon, I consider Friday the end of the week.  A Telegraph article claimed that certain nurses at St. Mary's hospital were told the due date was the 19th, which is by the way still mid-July to many minds.  Read the whole report here

Anyway, tension are high and royal reporters are speculating while trying to remain calm. Why would Kate leave Bucklebury at the height of Friday traffic? One correspondent claims he was near KP and heard a helicopter land although he admits it could be anyone on board.

I don't know! Perhaps she feels it starting and decided to go back to KP before heading the hospital, maybe this was planned. One thing is for certain, with every passing day the odds just get higher that TODAY is THE day.

All Quiet at St. Mary's

Again, as of right now, no increased security, which means no Kate.