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George's Swim Lessons at the Palace

Saturday, July 26, 2014

When Prince William said that bath time with George "had become quite painful" many of us assumed he meant the baby prince had an antipathy for water. This weekend is has been revealed that George has been going with his mother to Buckingham Palace regularly for swim lessons in the palace's private pool. Indeed, on the morning of his birthday, that was the royal errand the two were undertaking. (Although, I think it possible he stopped of to say "hi" to great grand-father, too.) So, perhaps George likes the water too much at bath time...

On the way to BP for a Birthday Swim
The pool is in a room that was a conservatory until it was converted to a private pool in 1938, so it has beautiful windows to let in the natural light. Staff are allowed to use the pool, but have to exit if a member of the royal family arrives--unless they are invited to stay. According to Victoria Arbiter, whose father Dickie was press secretary to the Queen, he used to swim very early in the pool before work...before Diana would arrive for her splash time. In the below photo, the glass room on the far left of the photo (BP's right) is the pool. There is another similar, but smaller room that mirrors this one on the far right, but that is the chapel, I believe.

Both of George's parents love water. Prince Charles recently passed the scuba baton to his son when he handed him the presidency of the British Sub-Aqua Club.

William Scuba Diving (via British Monarchy Facebook)
Of course, William and Kate spend more holiday time at beaches and tropical locales than any other genre of vacation destination, and George was barely 6 months old when he took his first overseas vacation to none other than the island paradise of Mustique. The sooner Mr. Georgie learns the ropes in the water, the better. 

The Buckingham Palace pool is the perfect solution to the quandary Kate would be in when finding a place to swim with George. While Kate reportedly joined the Harbour Club (Diana's favorite members only fitness club) in the run-up to her marriage, and took advantage of their indoor pool, she could hardly bring the most popular little prince in the world along to enjoy the water.  Although I am sure all members and guests at the Harbour Club--or any exclusive gym--would be polite and discreet while adult Kate professionally went about exercising or getting in a few laps, it would be hard not to stare a little at cute little George. It is equally hard to imagine that Kate could relax and let her hair down with even the most polite of strangers present. Only an entirely private pool can provide this royal duo with the seclusion they need.

To Kate's clothes....Remember the pink McQuene that Kate wore to Adelaide? I LOVED it, and I think many of you did, too. But, there were complaints that at times the hemline didn't look level.

We had pegged it for McQueen separates, but the always thorough Susan at WKW has just recently discovered that it was in fact a modified dress.  Guess what the major modification was? The hemline!

I am surprised that if Kate had it changed to level, it didn't fall perfectly even. Perhaps it was not modified at all, but I think the length discrepancy is quite marked on the original and not anywhere near as sharp on Kate. The only other possibility I see is that she wanted the length difference as modeled, but wanted it softened, which to my mind would be a mistake. It is hard to say. It remains one of my favorite dresses of the tour, though. I just love it  a million times over.

Don't forget: July 28th and 29th William and Kate (and Uncle Harry) will be in Glasgow, Scotland for the Commonwealth Games!! 


  1. I think that little prince George is a little cutie and starting to learn to swim. I bet he had a gret birthday party and got all kinds of things.

    1. Yes, I would love to see what Jamie LP brought him in that brightly wrapped gift. :) I am sure it was a lovely day.

  2. Hi Jane! Excellent post today. Thanks for sharing! Best Wishes!

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I always appreciate the kind comments!! :)

  3. Nice story about George! Probably it's hard to get him out of water *lol*. But at least he must have slept well before the party began :-)

    By the way: The McQueen belongs to my alltime favourites. It's stunning! Don't mind the hemline!

    1. Yes, you are probably right. I feel like his very outgoing and fearless personality would make him very suited to water.
      I am glad you love it, too! It was just incredible. Definitely hoping for a rewear.

  4. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the great post, such a pleasant surprise after being out hiking all day!! On another Kate blog I mentioned that maybe Kate & George took a dip in the BP pool while going to visit Grandpa Phillip, guess I was right!

    Thanks for clearing up the debate on that beautiful McQueen dress. I loved the fit, color and style on Kate but the hemline was so odd. It isn't high/low enough to truly be noticeable, it just looked like it was hemmed badly, so glad that wasn't the case.

    Can't wait til next week. My only fashion request of Kate would be to please wear some new skinny jeans, if she has to wear them. And maybe a different shirt, not the striped one again. Please.

    1. Aahh, you were totally right then; well done!!
      I think it may have been a case of too subtle a statement. She softened the hemline, but something like that either has to be done or not done, otherwise we are all left thinking McQueen produces rather laxly produced final product. Oh well, I didn't think it was too noticeable and I still loved the dress so, so much.

  5. Love the photos of them both leaving the gym. Naughty, I know, as they love their privacy but nice to see them doing usual and normal things. Both looking very fit and relaxed after a good work out.

    Kiwi Nic

    1. Yes, I am with you there. i do love a few good candids. I hope they still find the time to work out together at times. :)

  6. I too loved this pink McQueen outfit on its first outing and hope to see it again.

    Regarding Kates usage of the pool at the palace, with George in tow, I am of two minds. Certainly, getting George in the water is a great idea, but I rather think that both he and his Mom would benefit from some company, the sort that is available in one of several exclusive kiddie clubs in London. Membership is expensive, but William should be able to afford it. However, before launching into a tirade on Williams miserliness, it is necessary to remind myself that very shortly William, Kate and George may be moving far away to Anmer Hall, hence coughing up for membership at a super club in London might well be silly. Anmer Hall has a pool, and altho it is small, if it is heated--I am given to understand that Norfolk summers are typically chilly--it should suffice as a beginner-learn-to-swim locale, altho unfortunately, it won't come complete with playmates for George, nor with companions for Kate.

    I just hope that this move to the out-of-the-way Anmer Hall is a good idea, but I have my doubts. It might work for William, who apparently loves flying, but what about Kate and George? Seems to me that William is intent upon becoming an absentee husband and father--pilots who are employed by this air ambulance service work 10 hour shifts, for five days, then have three days off. If William spends these three days on royal engagements/hunting/shooting/polo/surfing with friends, where does that leave his family? Abandoned? In the boondocks, with no money?

    I also worry that William may be intent upon turning the clock back, to a dead age. Back to his grandmothers age, undoing all of the advances of his mother. Closeting his family. Ensuring that George grows up as socially clueless as his dingbat Windsor grandfather. Limiting George to meeting the children of his inherited friends, aka the van Cutsems, instead of allowing George to mix, mingle, and choose his own friends.

    As time goes on, William strikes me more and more as non progressive; he seems not to be a traditionalist, but a reactionary. If he tries to turn the clock back to the 19th Century, the Queens comfort zone--she was, at an early age, heavily influenced by Queen Mary and George V--it won't work. If that is what William has in mind, I will be first to line up at my MPs office, and the first to write to my PM demanding that Canada should cut all ties with the monarchy. It would be past time to call a halt to an institution which is, at its heart, dead and morally corrupt.

    1. Oh my goodness. What a huge leap you've taken. William has grown in leaps and bounds since meeting Kate. Wanting to keep his child safe and to give him a bit of time to grow up outside the public eye sounds completely responsible to me. William has years before he will be King. I'm sure he just wants to live a life before he needs to take on duties full time. I see nothing in his behaviour to date to support your theory. And as a Canadian myself, I am very proud to be a monarchist.

  7. What was the chapel (bombed in WWII) was re-done in 1962 as The Queen's Gallery which has exhibitions drawn from the Royal Collection.

  8. Anon- there is nothing dead or morally corrupt about the Monarchy. The Queen has integrity and the ability to adapt-- rare qualities in this world.

  9. @ Jo from USA. Complicated subject, nor am I directly attacking the Queen, mostly because she had an idiotic mother--anti education--and a complete snob. We can't choose our mothers. From her birth, even tho she had no expectation of ascending to the throne, Elizabeth was raised in a royal bubble. Not her fault.

    However, Elizabeths early childhood was heavily influenced by her grandparents, who took nominal charge of her whilst sending her parents on lengthy junkets out of country. This, I believe, resulted in Elizabeth acquiring, as naturally as breathing, the ethos of the 19th century; it just won't do in the 21st. And it would seem that Elizabeth at least attempted to pass on her belief system to William, once he was installed at Eton, so very close to Windsor. Written records indicate that poor William was commanded to show up at Windsor on Sundays, to take tea with the Queen who lovingly administered brainwashing sessions, as I see it. But it was all the Queen knew--she wasn't particularly bright, after all, and she was hampered by her own silly background.

    If William took this to heart, the monarchy is indeed dead, just as much as is the 19th century.

    Regarding my remark that the monarchy is morally corrupt, I was interrupted by an unexpected visit, and meant to say morally bankrupt, and by that I mean an absence of morality; I in no way meant to suggest that William was/is on the take, altho some others in his family certainly are. Prince Andrew springs to mind.

    The point I was striving to make is that William is doing the monarchy no favours by adopting his grandmothers point-of-view. He needs to update his, as his mother tried to do--no, I am not a diehard Diana fan, but she had a few good ideas. A move backward is just that: a move in the wrong direction.

    There is little point in disputing the Queens integrity, or lack thereof, nor her ability to adapt, or lack thereof. The truth wii out only well after her death.

    1. You seem to have very definite views of the Queen's social outlook, beliefs and moral code - do you know her personally? I don't think anyone can make definitive claims about the her "lovingly administered brainwashing" young William during afternoon tea sessions unless they were actually in the room to witness it. Those afternoon teas while he was Eton seem to me to be an involved, caring grandmother making an effort to spend time time with her grandson, particularly after he lost his mother at a young age. William is a private person and none of us watching from the outside can presume to know what drives his decisions - its mere conjecture.

  10. Goodness me Anon---how full of hate you are.
    The Queen Mother was a woman of her time, but I suspect that had you been in the UK during WW2 you would have had more respect for her.
    There has been criticism of Prince William, usually because he is accused of going his own way---obviously the accusation that HM "brain washed" him was to say the least unsuccessful.
    Princess Diana had many good points, but most mothers would have thought twice about washing the family dirty linen in public, as it was likely to prove very upsetting for her sons. away at boarding school. Their interests ought to have been paramount.
    You make serious accusations with no proof, which seems to me to be stupid beyond belief and at the very least insulting to the owner of this site.

  11. Dear Jane, Jo, Ciara and Maggie,

    I'm not sure we need to keep responding to Anonymous. I know I did to his/her first post but now it seems that every post is filled with such negative nonsense I have to wonder if it's done on purpose. If so, why stoop down to their level?

    I love a good debate as much as the next person but the posts by Anonymous are so outlandish they are almost laughable. If Anonymous simply wants to stir up trouble why indulge them? There are plenty of other "Kate" sites where this type of post is welcomed maybe Anonymous should go there, where he/she might be more comfortable with like minded people.

  12. Am limited to short replies, But: RESPECTFUL OPINIONS & DISAGREE-

  13. Everyone called it for the Commonwealth Games. Skinnies, blazer, wedges. Sigh.


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