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Kate and Her Fashion Queens: Who Is Queen in Kate's Closet? Guest Post Link Here

Thursday, February 27, 2014 for From Berkshire to Buckingham

Happy Thursday! I keep thinking it is Friday... :( As of now, Kate has nothing on her calendar (tour excepted), but I really am assuming that she will be at the Irish Guards in March, per usual, so keep your ears up for that announcement. Speaking of the tour! I have written a guest post all about Kate's style evolution and a little bit about what we shouldn't expect on the tour. Krissi over at Thoughtfully Dressed asked if I would write a guest post, which I have never done, but was super stoked to try! Krissi is a very talented stylist, a gorgeous woman, and best of all a very, very kind person. I was Googling looking for her blog, and I stumbled upon a guest post she had written about her fashion philosophy on someone else's blog. (I know, a lot of guest posting happening in this post, but stay with me.) I was really astounded that this beautiful woman had ever been bullied or told she was not lovely. I was struck by her resilience despite negativity as a child, her positive attitude, and how perfectly she has proved any naysayers wrong. It reminded me of the story of another person we are all very fond of around this place: Kate.  So, I was very excited to write the guest post, and I hope you enjoy reading it over at her blog, Thoughtfully Dressed, and enjoying her wonderful content, as well!  

Pippa Gives First Speech: WACL at the Savoy, London

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kate gave her first public speech sometime ago, but tonight her sister Pippa got her first crack at the podium when she delivered the keynote at a dinner for Women in Advertising and Communications London. 
Women in Advertising and Communications, London (WACL) has been in existence since 1923. It currently consists of 130 of the most senior women in the UK’s marketing communications industry, drawing its membership from advertising and digital agencies, media agencies/owners and the marketing industry.

The event was held at the Savoy in London, and from the pictures I believe it was in the Lancaster Ballroom. The hotel describes the room:
The Lancaster room is the largest of The Savoy’s banqueting rooms. It has a completely clear floor space with no obscuring pillars, perfect for dancing. Uniquely for London it also has its own stage. Named after the Duchy of Lancaster, this is one of London’s prime spots for grand receptions, weddings, conferences, luncheons and dances. The Lancaster Room is often used in conjunction with the adjoining Parlour Room. Designed by RenĂ© Sergeant after an 18th century Parisian salon, the Lancaster Room officially opened in December 1910. Anna Pavlova danced here as part of the entertainments at a costume ball held a year or so later, and it soon became the venue of choice in London.
It is an absolutely beautiful room, and appropriately named. The Savoy is actually named for a medieval palace, The Savoy, whose white, crenelated walls sparkling along the Thames, and lavishly decorated interior, made it the most beautiful castle in London at its time. It was the primary residence of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, and housed many of his priceless tapestries, paintings, and other treasures. During the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, the Savoy was sacked by the angry mob and burned to the ground. John never rebuilt it, but the land remained part of the Duchy, and when his son Henry Bolingbroke usurped the throne from his cousin Richard II, the Duchy of Lancaster was joined to the Crown estates. 

All the tweets I have seen describe the event as a complete success. I hope we can glean further details about her dress at some point. Perhaps there will be an article in the Mail with pictures of her arriving. The dress looks lovely!  Several weeks ago, rumors were swirling that Pippa and Nico had split, but they spent a romantic get-away weekend in Edinburgh just this past weekend, so we can safely assume that all is well for the moment. 

Dress Like the Duchess: Princess Cruise Leopard Print from Comptoir des Cotonniers

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kate Christens Royal Princess Cruise Ship

So, Kate's leopard print coat dress garnered very strong mixed reviews when she christened the Royal Princess cruise ship as her last public engagement before giving birth to George. Animal print does seem to be one of the most divisive fashion questions, and we were not deprived of many heated opinions. If you hated it, run now. If you loved it, perk up your ears. 

French clothes company, Comptoir des Cotonniers has a few pieces in their spring collection with a print that is very similar. I have loved everything I have tried on from this brand. My French teacher tipped me off about their great clothes and in a stroke of absolute serendipity when a rain storm struck me in Paris, Comptoir des Cotonniers was the convenient store offering cover. They can be a little pricey, but great quality! This particular animal print isn't an exact replica, but if you really loved Kate's coat, you could make these pieces work for you. I will say that I don't love/love the way that they styled their models. Those boots. Don't try them at home. I am serious. Do not attempt. 

Last week, right after the event with the Queen, it was reported that Kate was spotted at a church on Sunday, February 16th in Mayland, Chelmsford where she stood up as godmother to the son of a close friend from St. Andrews University. Quoted in the story from The Express, the minister mentioned that he got the impression that many of the congregation on hand for the christening were from St. Andrews. This would explain why no one snapped a photo and shared it on Twitter, which is unusual. A closed circle of friends and school chums will have a greater sense of privacy. Kate was accompanied by her husband William and of course, George, who reportedly behaved very well throughout the service.

Other than that, there is no real concrete news on Kate. I suspect she is prepping for her tour and relaxing with George and her family. I don't expect to see her in any official capacity until March, when we will no doubt see her at some St. Patrick's Day event, as well as other engagements. Check out Comptoir des Cotonniers if you are looking for that leopard print, though! Styled a little more classically, these could be super fun and do a certain justice to Kate's Princess Cruise look. You have at least one option. I can't help you with the helicopter. Sometimes, you have to be the real thing for all the princess perks...

Kate Waves As She Walks To Board Her Helicopter Leaving Southampton

The Duchess Meets The Queen: Kate Co-Hosts Reception with HM and Meets Helen Mirren

Monday, February 17, 2014

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These in-house events can be very frustrating since it often takes a minor eternity to get a single photo. Kate was at BP this evening to co-host a reception with the Queen and Princess Michael of Kent for stars of the stage and screen. (Speaking of the movie The Queen, I always hear "stars of the stage and screen" just as Roger Allam says it to the Queen Mother in that movie.) Thankfully, this time around someone snapped a photo of Kate in the car on the way in. Her hair was down and she appeared to be wearing the red McQueen from the Thames River Pageant, which we also suspect she wore to the Queen's Christmas lunch. 

Kate heading into Christmas Lunch 2013
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This dress is not what I expected. I thought for an evening reception at Buckingham Palace with the Queen you would wear a floor length gown, but most of the stars were showing up in knee length and so it seems the dress code was in fact not that fancy.  This is a beautiful dress and can never fail to be a hit. I loved it when she wore it in June of 2012, and it is lovely this evening without the red topper and with dark, contrasting accessories.

William and Kate Arrive at the Thames for the River Pageant in June 2012
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William saw Helen Mirren just last night the BAFTA when he presented her with her award. ,Helen Mirren is of course renowned for her excellent portrayal of the Queen in the The Queen. He quipped, "perhaps I should be calling you granny."  Cute. Mirren mentioned this to Kate who laughed with the actress about the moment. I am sure it was very fun for Kate to meet Mirren, who did such an incredibly detailed and powerful rendition of her grandmother-in-law.

Kate also would have gotten to meet current British heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch, aka Sherlock Holmes, who was doubtless on better behavior at BP tonight than his charming, but socially awkward screen character has been in the past. Click picture for video:

In more Kate news, she was photographed last week walking in Kensington Gardens with George in his pram, per usual. Not per usual, she was wearing spandex yoga pants and a knit vest of some kind over a turtle neck, and white scarf. Not something we see...ever? She looked ready to get sweaty as she pushed her baby son in front of her through the park, at one point walking a small distance from him to throw something in a trash bin. See all the photos at PopSugar by clicking here. You can see Lupo is along for the workout as well. 

Do you remember when Kate was spotted shopping at Zara Home after George's birth? She was wearing a new necklace that was difficult to make out, but it seemed to me at the time that there was a little baby figurine. It has now been confirmed that Merci Maman sent this personalized necklace to Pippa as a gift she could give to Kate, which is evidently what happened. We haven't seen it since, and I rather wonder if we will see it again now that it has garnered publicity as what seems to have been a free piece? Kate has worn free pieces before, but as a general rule royalty try to avoid that sort of thing. Perhaps Pips sent a check?

Valentine's Day: Kate Opens ICAP Art Room at Northolt Highschool Wearing Blue LK Bennet Sheath Dress

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kate ensured we all had a Valentine's Day treat when she planned her visit to Northolt Highschool today to open up another Art Room. Kate looked great today, from tip to toe. The balance of probability was that she would opt for a new piece after her recycle at the National Portrait Gallery and she did indeed debut a cornflower, or as described "snorkel blue" LK Bennett dress. For a brief moment I thought it was the blue Stella from the NPG, but we got a new look.

Duchess of Cambridge in Erdem

I really liked it! The notching and layering add interesting dimension to an otherwise very streamlined style. With the little notches on the sleeve and structured body, this dress was very reminiscent of her 2011 style, particularly her Erdem pieces on the North American tour in Canada. It reminded me very much of the taupe Reiss dress, as well. Kate has an excellent eye for interesting details that  make even a very simple dress stand out.

This is not Kate's first working Valentine's Day. In 2012, their first Valentine's Day as a married couple, Kate visited a school in Liverpool while William was serving an overseas tour of duty in the Falklands. Not a worry-free Valentine's Day by any stretch. Although the Duke purportedly sent flowers and a card to make up for his absence, there was no short supply of Valentine favors and love for Kate. 

Duchess of Cambridge on Valentine's Day 2012

William was much closer to home this year, although still doing his part to help out, as he joined Harry to help sandbag in Datchet, Berkshire very near Kate's parents' home in Bucklebury. I find it a little romantic for Valentine's Day that his coat's color is almost a perfect match to Kate's dress. Despite his good work, Kate will be chiding her husband tonight for his uncharacteristic lack of sang foid with reporters. In answer to a question from a camera man, he threw back a sarcastic and lightly caustic, "You could come and help instead of throwing cameras around." This comment will do nothing to help his relations with the media, which is always strained as it is. He clearly has never forgiven the press for their involvement in his mother's harassment, and possibly her death. Hiding his bitterness has been a battle he struggles with and often loses. 

In recent years, I am sure the appallingly invasive photographs of his new wife sunning topless have only helped to entrench this bitterness, although in fairness to the British media, they were not involved in that debacle. William has found very little good example from his father whose bad timing and snide comments have embarrassingly landed him in hot water in the past. Remember his "horrible people" comment on ski holiday? All in all, let's hope William learns from his cool, calm, and ever gracious wife. Because the question that begs to be answered after William's comment is, if you didn't want media coverage to raise awareness, why are you there? William may bear a billion grudges against the press, but he needs them. 

Back to Kate. She went low-key with her recent-favorite pendant necklace and a new Cartier watch. I don't recognize her earrings, either. At first glance they look like the yellow Kiki McDonoughs, but they are clearer than that, so I think Kate may be trotting out some new swag today. We haven't really seen her since her birthday, so any number of these pieces could be birthday gifts from family. Speaking of new swag, I reported on this on my Instagram account, but at the NPG Gala Kate was wearing a new ring tucked in next to her engagement ring and wedding band. 

I believe she is wearing it again today. Perhaps Tiffany's endless commercials are getting to me, but it reminded me of their celebration collection and I am convinced it is a present from William to commemorate George's birth, despite the fact it is only surfacing now. Her engagement and wedding rings are so special and symbolize her intimate union with William. I think a ring for George would be the appropriate and logical addition on that particular finger, but obviously, this is pure speculation.

James Whatling/

I was happy to see Kate carrying a clutch today. As we have discussed in the comments, it is always helpful to have something to do with your hands. She looked great today! That blue is perfect for her hair color and skin tone, and speaking of her hair--well done! It was perfectly styled in luscious layers that framed her face flawlessly.  In fact, her hair looked almost exactly the way it did in the days after her wedding when she was photographed in Anglesey. Gorgeous, gorgeous. This was a wonderful Valentine's Day visit!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! I hope everyone indulges in chocolate hearts and iced sugar cookies!

Kate Pairs Priceless Diamond Necklace with Ink Blue Jenny P for the Portrait Gala at the NPG

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Like a rare champagne, Kate sure knows how to make herself exclusive. She has been quite the limited edition over the past few months, so this evening's event was hotly anticipated. Kate hasn't been seen officially since Christmas Day, and this is her first public engagement of the year 2014. The Portrait Gala at the NPG was billed as a "black-tie with a little sparkle" (see their sparkly stairs) so I was trying to go though my head the possibilities for what she might rewear. Since it was her first big event, I was hoping for a new number, but she recycled her ink blue Jenny Packham from the 100 Women in Hedge Funds event at KP last October. Time certainly has flown. I eliminated this dress from my list of possible rewears because I thought she had worn it too recently, but obviously the Duchess was of a different mind. Although I was hoping for a new piece, this was a dress I very much wanted to get a second crack at, so if she was going to rewear, this was the one to rewear. 

Sparkly stairs into the NPG for their Portrait Gala
Photo Twitter via @QueenVicMirror

When she wore this to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds the lighting conditions were not ideal and I didn't feel like we got to see the full beauty. Tonight certainly gave us a much better look and it is as gorgeous as I imagined. The better light revealed the multi-dimensions of the design so much better! Before, you could see that the skirt was prettier than the low light was able to show. Tonight, the first reports from the frontline said the dress she was wearing was green. With the flash bulbs, it does have almost a hint of deepest blue teal!

Kate Recycles Jenny P at Portrait Gala
Kate has always had a penchant for these gorgeous flowing evening gowns, and for good reason. She always ends up looking like a veritable goddess in them. The dress is heavily reminiscent of one of Kate's greats, the Olympic Our Greatest Team Rises dress, also a Packham creation. It is pretty clear why Kate keeps coming back, these two are entirely on the same style page. To my mind, this stunning dress remains one of my favorites from Kate of. all. time. Gorgeous! 

Kate at Our Greatest Team Rises Olympic Black-Tie Event
Proving that this isn't, however, just a style influenced by Jenny Packham, but genuinely a style we have seen Kate turn to many times, the flowing skirt also brings to mind the BAFTA McQueen. This dress with which real royalty stunned America's stars was a fantastic success.

William and Kate at the BAFTA gala in Los Angeles
Or even further back, one of my all-time favorite Kate Middleton era dresses, the gun metal Issa. There are other examples, but I think the point stands, Kate loves these flowing fabrics.

Kate Middleton in Issa at her charity event for Starlight in September 2009
Alan Davidson
Given the addition of sparkly in the dress code, Kate had to add some bling to give this beautiful, but classically understated dress, a little pizzaz. The lucky accessory turned out to be the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace on loan from Her Majesty the Queen. The necklace was a wedding gift to the Queen, but interestingly, was a gift that she got to choose herself. The king of Hyderabad, which has since merged with India, (I had to Google that one) left instructions with Cartier to allow Princess Elizabeth to choose what she wanted from Cartier's collection, and she chose this necklace and a tiara she has since broken down for other pieces. Wonderful royal blog The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor as well as A Tiara a Day both have posts on the tiara with peripheral details about the necklace. I thought this necklace was perfect. The shape flatters Kate's bodice flawlessly and itself is quite arresting, but also beautiful. Necessary components of fine jewelry. Again, Kate has picked a piece with possible significance and import. The Queen wore this necklace often in the earlier days of her reign and for formal portraits as well. Kate is the future queen, and I don't think it is a stretch to say that like princesses of the past, she tells a story with her fashion pieces.

Family Jewels: Kate in the Queen's Nizam Hyderabad Necklace
As a patron, Kate has been a regular at the National Portrait Gallery, including in July of 2012 and when pregnant with George last year. Kate's visit in 2012 saw her debuting a priceless Cartier necklace of her own, the $80,000 stunner with rings many thought were reminiscent to the Olympic rings. You can't really see it in this picture, but it's a cool shot of the location...

Duchess of Cambridge at the NPG in 2012

Pregnant with George, Kate promotes the Art Room at the NPG in 2013
Kate was exquisite this evening. This was a dress that deserved a recycle and my gosh did it shine. The black velvet around her waist matched perfectly with the black pumps peeking out from under the dress, the juxtaposition of the dress's subdued elegance with the lavish sparkle of the diamond necklace, it was all perfect. The one reservation I have this evening is the hair. Neither her recent straight style, nor her world famous waves, these curls look just a tad home-cooked and a little too beach-girl for for the evening. I would have preferred an elegant updo as we saw at the Olympic event to give her ensemble the perfect, polished finish. But, if there is one thing we know about Kate, she is a woman who dances to the beat of her own drum, so she will wear her hair long when she wants to wear her hair long. Her make-up was lovely, she looked rested and perfectly tanned from her recent holiday in Mustique, and it was so fun to get back into this swing of things this year with a floor length evening gown. This was a very strong start to her series of engagements. Can't wait to see her again on Valentine's Day!! 

Happy Monday! Champagne & Le Chameau Launch

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone! I am so excited because we are galloping up on three different engagements that the Duchess of Cambridge will be undertaking! The 11, 14th, and 17th!  While we wait a brief 24 hours more for her first engagement I wanted to quickly let you know that I have--with no small amount of trepidation--launched a personal blog! Just from my experience writing this blog, which has a very narrow (and so easier) focus, it was hard for the first few months to refine what would happen in this space and how it would all work. Champagne and Le Chameau is in that early awkward stage, like a gangly teenager stumbling through high school. Hopefully, after some hits and misses it will find its niche. If you have a high-tolerence for random, check out Champagne and Le Chameau at  I expect it to be quite radically changed four months from now, but I welcome your company along the way. I have also joined the addicting Instagram where I will blend posts from the personal blog with From Berkshire to Buckingham, handle jbarrstyle.

Can't wait to see you all here tomorrow as Kate attends the NPG Gala. Big question: will she go long, or will she go short? :)

Movie Review: Diana

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I have been dying to see Diana, so I was thrilled when I saw it was finally out on iTunes on Friday night. After all the critics panned it so badly, I was prepared for a really terrible hash, but I was so happily surprised. I thought it was quite good! There were the obligatory moments when they overplayed the romance. Naveen Andrews definitely stared deeply into Diana’s eyes a few times too many. We get it, you’re in love. The story was very narrow without much character development on screen. You had to bring along your own knowledge of Diana and the surrounding issues with you. It really was a very focused story. I would have liked to have seen more of her public life incorporated, but I guess we all know that drama.

The real Hasnat Khan gave a very damning interview on the movie. He claimed the entire movie is based on gossip. Since Diana is dead and Hasnat didn’t give any input on the movie, it stands to reason that much of the film would be based on conjecture. But, this movie does not claim to be a documentary. Movies are an art form and as such there is an element of interpretation and creative license as a filmmaker attempts to highlight and bring about his particular vision. Historical fiction, which can be an excellent tool to teach, operates on similar principles. Collect as many facts as are available, research your subjects to the best of your ability, and create a reasonable narrative.

Watts was the star! She overcame the obvious drawbacks--her age and her lack of Diana's stature--and she did an incredible job portraying the inner turmoil of the late Princess of Wales. Diana is and will continue to grow as an historical figure. Movies and books will be produced and written to tell the various aspects of her history. This movie may not have been word for word accurate, but Diana is dead. No one but Diana can be Diana. No one can play her perfectly, and frankly an entirely accurate blow by blow of their personal life is not necessary to make the point this movie made. She was in love with Khan, she was often conflicted and internally tormented in her personal life, surrounded by privilege, she was lonely and deprived. 

I thought it was good. I felt the isolation, unhappiness, and desperation raging in Diana despite her superstar exterior. I felt the claustrophobia created by the aggressive media attention, and ultimately was overwhelmed by the terrible finality of her death. This was a tribute to Diana, a part of her story that she deserved to have told. It gave me greater appreciation for the difficult life of the People's Princess. 

No Harm, No Foul from Kate Over Mustique Pictures & Has Kate Been Ordered to Lower Her Hemline?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I am a little backed up with stories here. I wanted to give Mustique its own post, but now I want to update on a few random stories.

A Lose Lose Position, Apparently: Kate and the Paps

Kate is back in London after her tropical holiday. The paparazzi photos we all enjoyed so much, and you may view here in great detail, if you have not already done so, were published, it has been noted, without a peep of complaint form Kensington Palace. (P.S. That links to new photos provided from PopSugar, more than were in Hello!) Apparently, the royals can never be right. You would think that we would be happy that they didn't complain, but no. No people are complaining that Kate didn't complain. I am not joking. You can't make this stuff up. The Telegraph reports:
The Duchess's silence appeared to be at odds with past objections to "private" photographs of her taken in public places, and raised the question of whether she is exercising "image control" rather than protecting her privacy, legal experts said.
Basically, the royals aren't going to go to bat over over paparazzi photo published. That is a good thing! No one wants that! Rather than image control, I think this is a simply a situation where they fully expect the shots to be taken. If they complained it would be ludicrous! It isn't image control, it is where is the very wavy line. If someone had snuck into the bushes and taken long lenses into the private gardens in Bucklebury, I think KP would be squealing pretty loudly, even if the photos were gorgeously bucolic and full of family love. The Telegraph article notes:
Yet only last week, the Palace had asked newspapers not to print photographs of a grumpy-looking Duke of Cambridge getting off a train at Cambridge station.
Kate doesn't jet to Mustique every week, contrary to what many naysayers would have you believe. If they can stop the photos of William commuting to Cambridge, or at least lessen them, they put a damper on those very frequent opportunities. Not to drag this entire argument out for too long, as most of you know, I have a pretty lenient view of pap shots, but I can understand that the palace will selectively and strategically complain about the photos they deem overly intrusive or that they feel could set a damaging precedent. That seems fair. This is a cold-war. A friendly one I hope, but the  paps push a little, (and don't kid yourself, you are with the paparazzi 90% of the time) and the palace pushes back a little, and the line keeps moving back and forth while pretty much staying in the same spot. Not every foul they call I have agreed with, but certainly I can see a logical pattern. One thing I will not be complaining about is any time the palace chooses not to complain about pap photos. Gosh. 

Now, the bigger question...were Mustique beach photos taken?? Those I think would garner complaints from the palace. We haven't seen them yet, but those shadier shots usually take a little longer to surface, but historically always have. That is the far bigger battle, and may be one reason the royals are presently keeping their powder dry. So, we wait... 

Is the Queen Demanding Kate Dress On the Older Side? 

This one is fun! The Mail reported that the Queen has ordered Kate to lower her hemlines and perhaps add a little more jewelry jazz to her repertoire this upcoming tour. To this end, the Queen has purportedly assigned Angela Kelly to help Kate curate her wardrobe for the tour.  The big question: is this true? It has been my experience that although many of these stories are elaborated upon, there is often a little truth somewhere. The headline is a waaay dramatic, but a lot of the content probably has some merit.

We have heard the "lower your hem" line before. Remember the Epsom Derby? And...Kate kept wearing her preferred length. Phew.  It is quite likely that the Queen mentioned to Kate that a few of the wind's blustery intentions can be thwarted with well-placed weights, but given how those weights wouldn't really blend well with the lighter fabrics, I think it is more likely Kate will just think ahead and wear something more structured for potentially windy tarmacs. 

Although the Queen may like to see a tad more glitz, it isn't so much Kate's wardrobe that would need the upgrade, it would be the event. Kate always rises to the occasion for a fancy event, and although her personal style is more low-key, we have plenty of examples of the princess looking quite regal. Hello, Royal Glamazon:

I highly doubt the Queen has asked Kate to change her style, since Kate already hits the perfect middle ground between young and hip and classic royal. I believe that Kate did get "princess lessons." I think she was taught how to walk, how to keep better posture in tall heels, how to enter and exit a car, etc, etc. She may be planning to step up her game a little for "down under," and she probably will bring a little more help. Remember when she wore the wrong dress to that island party because someone switched out the dresses at the last minute? Ouch, bad headlines. It also remains to be seen if she will change anywhere near as much as The Mail reports. Last tour it was more along the lines of twice a day, not four... we shall see. Lots of questions, all of which will be answered in April.

Speaking of, William's reps are touring New Zealand now doing some advance recon as they prepare the tour, itinerary, and no doubt, security. This show is coming fast!

Hello! Snares Another World Exclusive With Photos of Kate and George Heading To Mustique

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thinking back over the years, UK Hello! has always been my most faithful of friends when it comes to awesome royal exclusives, and even in the age of online news when I frankly buy almost no tabloids, they remain the bastion of cool news in print form. I am thinking back to the pictures of Kate at the wedding in the red dress. Man, that was so exciting when they published those. The whole wedding album they had when Zara and Mike sold the rights to their wedding, the palace wasn't pleased, but the rest of us were pretty stoked. Or, the set of Kate on the Thames when she was training for the dragon boat race. It wasn't confirmed that the couple had gotten back together, and I, for one, still had my heart in my throat about the whole situation. In more recent years they published the photos of Kate as the Duchess of Cambridge skiing with William and her family, and now they bring us the smiling Duchess emerging from her plane toting the charming Prince George of Cambridge for her family vacation in Mustique. Gold star to Hello! They are da best. 

You can see from the pictures that they are disembarking from a commercial jetliner and are then seen to transfer to a smaller plane for the flight to the small island of Mustique. The pictures corroborate Hello!'s report that Kate and George seemed to be traveling fairly incognito, and discreetly left by a more forward staircase before airport security escorted them across the tarmac to their waiting connecting plane. Carole, Mike, and Pippa are thought to already be in Mustique, so it fell to Kate's brother James to accompany his royal sister and the future king, as he chivalrously carried Kate's bags. Although, Kate's security team was obviously in tow, there was no sign of any further help, so it was be a very intimate and natural family gathering indeed. 

I was struck by something when I saw these photos. Everyone seems to be wondering why we don't see Kate as often? Maybe she is feeling blue? Maybe she is unhappy? Maybe...maybe, she is enjoying being a mom? Obviously, her priorities have taken a huge shift since July of 2013. I think we can see that just from these photos, in addition to all the other logical and natural evidence to which we might point.  In 2012 she arrived in wedges, skinnies, and relaxed but kind of cute boho top, and she jetted out in a really chic ensemble with a jacket that had some kind of piping. I can't remember the label.  This year it looks like she tossed on the same old RL Breton top (which I like just fine, by the way) and wore her skinnies and those comfy plimsolls. Pretty relaxed. Obviously, practical too, as she toted a significantly larger baby George like a super adorable sack of potatoes. She is beaming as she exits the 777 jet. She isn't thinking about cameras, she hasn't tucked him safely into a baby carrier so she can walk along side looking pulled together and glamorous. She is casually dressed, toting that little guy herself, contorting herself into some of the odder shapes we do when balancing a chubby cutie, and she is looking down. Down at George, smiling as his little head as she watches as he adjusts to the Caribbean climate. She is entirely caught up with him. I think this cover, in one picture, answers all the questions people are asking. Why haven't we seen her much? George. She is happy. She is a mom. And she is enjoying this very, very special time as her baby grows like a weed. Seriously, can anyone believe how fast he went from a little bundle in her arms to this very full-figured child? It's crazy. Kate is in a sweet place, she has never looked emotionally healthier or more content, and nobody is going to steal this time. Bravo.

Kate Jetted to Mustique with George

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I certainly don't usually say I told you so, but I am so giddy with excitement from the news that I can't help it. It was confirmed yesterday that Kate did indeed fly to Mustique last week with her young son George, joining her parents, sister, and brother on their annual tropical holiday. Prince William remained in Britain where he is studying at the University of Cambridge. In reality, I wasn't that clever at all in predicting that Kate would go on holiday. They always go, I am sure it is a highlight of the year for the tight-knit family, and given there are only three children, Kate's absence would have been felt pretty keenly.

Cambridge University

What reason would there be for her to stay home? It would be an unhealthy relationship indeed that demanded a partner not take a delightful holiday because the other was too tied up to get away. Kate and William can and no doubt will sneak away together in a few months, but he can certainly survive without them for a week or two. Besides, I still hold that the 8,000+ mile trip just to reach Mustique was a good dry run or him before the trip Down Under in April. 

Crystal waters and white sands of Mustique

Kate did join William in Anglesey with George after she spent a secluded few weeks at her parents' home in July, so this may not be the first time that George has technically been to a beach. Actually, in all technicality this isn't George's first visit to Mustique, either, but he didn't get a chance to get his delicate little four-month fingers in the sand the last time around. I expect this will be a better trip for mommy and baby. There is no better island than the extremely exclusive Mustique for the future king of England to kick off a lifetime of beach getaways. 


Chi Magazine
I am thrilled that Kate went. This holiday for royal watchers is a real staple of the old days, and it is nice to have some things stay the same. Although, with a gurgling little George along, it is impossible not to admit that some change is certainly a blessed thing!