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Carole Middleton: Dressing to Rub Shoulders with Royalty

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Today we are going to speak about a very, very special person. A remarkable woman for whom I have so much admiration and respect. This could describe Kate, but it is Carole were are focusing on this morning.  She is a woman with "true grit" but beautifully packaged in style and grace, and powered by a calm, quiet, and powerful presence. Carole Middleotn, perhaps even more than her often maligned daughter Kate, has patiently endured some pretty nasty slights from press and public alike over the years. Despite it all, she is a massively impressive success story. 



One of the most delightful and through accounts of Carole Middleton is the comprehensive piece written by Julia Llewellyn Smith for The Telegraph on the occasion of George's birth. While I may seem biased because Ms. Llewellyn Smith interviewed me for the piece, all JB quotes aside, it is truly a great overview of the Middleton matriarch and gives a very thorough overview of the woman who went from an airline stewardess to the grandmother of the future king of England, laughing familiarly with the Duke of Edinburgh at Ascot, and taking tea and birthday cake with Elizabeth II herself. I highly recommend you read it if you have not already.  In so far as Carole raised Kate, instilled in her many of the principles and standards by which our favorite princess operates, and supported and advised her daughter  throughout her stressful and at times touch-and-go relationship, it is fair to say that this woman played a major role in the success of her daughter, and by extension her family. She has much  to be proud of. Since our focus here is style, let's pause and take a moment to admire Carole's equally impressive sartorial touch.

Needless to say, dressing for your daughter's wedding is always an event (I imagine) but, when your daughter is marrying the most popular heir to the throne of the most powerful and prestigious monarchy left in existence...well, that ups the style stakes. Significantly. Carole rose to this challenge and was absolute perfection in this soft blue coat-dress ensemble by Catherine Walker when her family took center stage on April 29th. 


As any fan of her daughter the Duchess knows, Catherine Walker was a French-born designer, whom Kate has worn on a number of occasions. 

Kate Cambridge Wearing Catherine Walker (Not and exhaustive example.)
SplashNews.com

Both Middleton ladies, however, tip their hat to a previous princess when wearing Ms. Walker. Diana made Catherine Walker a (fashion)household name when she continuously patronized the label during her lifetime. 



It was a smart move to wear designer royalty, but also perhaps a tribute to her daughter's mother-in-law...even if that mother-in-law was in-absentia. Carole accessorized with very elegant neutrals and a beautiful Jane Corbett hat.  She easily held her own with the two most senior ladies of the realm:


The stylish mother-of-the-bride did not miss a beat when it came time to choose her evening attire. Carole turned to a Middleton favorite for this event. Temperley London got the nod from both Carole and Pippa for an evening that included cocktails, dinner, and dancing at Buckingham Palace...closing the night in the early hours of the morning with a fireworks display. 


Both Pippa and Kate wear Temperley often, and Kate has worn various pieces from the label, turning to them for everything from evening-wear to stampede attire, albeit western-wear fit for a princess:


Perhaps Kate got her thrifty side from her mom, because Carole recycled the Temperley dress for the Red Cross Gala in November of 2013:



It isn't just when an estimated 2 billion people around the globe will be watching, however, that Mama Middleton gets it right. She is pretty much as consistent as Kate choosing winners again, and again. She also resembles her daughter in returning to certain labels for certain genres...or perhaps whenever it is a royal event. Carole again wore Catherine Walker and Jane Corbett for her grandson's christening in October of 2013. Although this coat did get mixed reviews, I liked it very much and found both the colors and the paneling to be very flattering:


While Carole had been attending Ascot before 2011's Royal Wedding, once her daughter was raised from Miss Middleton to HRH Princess William of Wales, the Queen issued the couple an invitation requesting they join her at Royal Ascot. The carriage procession entrance and the royal box are certainly a step-up from the normal milieu, and the Middletons arrived in the 4th coach from the front. Carole was wearing a beautiful neutral ensemble with lace detailing and a sweeping, wide-brimmed hat:



I have to say, I take a rather delicious, albeit uncharitable, delight in the anguish and gnashing of teeth that no doubt ensues from those individuals who throughout the years have taken swipes at Carole Middleton. Which is one of the reasons why I love moments like this. Carole, enjoying an afternoon at Ascot in 2012, giggling away with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. (I guess we see where Harry gets it...)




Closing off this installment with one final horse sporting event, I could not leave out her summery and winsome appearance at the Epsom Derby. I really loved this ensemble. Carole favors structured for these more formal events, but in this case she added this soft chiffon and it was a lovely success. Brown and delicate pink, and the light jacket were the perfect combo for a more relaxed afternoon at Epsom:




Not all Carole's clothes are identified. If you can identify any piece that I have not, please pop into the comments share your wealth of knowledge !

Part II on Carole Middleton and her style coming soon... 

49 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I am a fan of Catherine's style, but am closer in age to Carole, which makes this very relatable! Very happy to see it.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I apologize for my delayed response. :)

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    2. So nice to give Carol the credit she deserves, not just in fashion but her gracious poise and impeccable composure from Mother, wife and grandmother of England's future King. Brava! England should be proud.

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  2. Lovely post, Jane! I've always felt that Carole is so unfairly criticized. She seems such sweet, gentle Mum and Granny:) that second photo of her and Prince Philip is my favorite!:) she looks so delighted though somewhat scandalized by his joke hehe!:)

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    1. Haha, that photo set is so cute. They clearly get on well.

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  3. You have to hand it to Carole Middleton. Smart, hardworking and stylish. Despite my dislike of her "fussy" hat at the wedding, I loved her coat and the evening dress. She teaches women what is appropriate, but sartorially on point for ladies in their 50's. Take a note from that Kris Jenner!

    Carole does not try to pretend she is one of her daughters. She seems to enjoy her role as a mother, handing out sage advice, bringing family closeness to multiple generations, all the while dressing the part. Good for you Carole Middleton.

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  4. Fantastic! That's the funniest article I've read in ages. Well done.

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  5. Thank you! Nicely done. I always thought Carole had great style, and clearly the mother influences the daughter.

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  6. Carole is beautiful and elegant. I love her clothes and style. I wish Kate would wear wide brimmed hats like her mother. Thank you for the wonderful post, Jane. Looking forward to Part II.

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  7. Oh Jane, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! What a wonderful post!! I read Julia Smith's article, loved it!! I so agree, the Middleton's are truly a breath of fresh air for the British Monarchy.

    Gosh I remember the wedding day like it was yesterday, while of course the bride was gorgeous, the mother of the bride hit it out of the park. The style and cut of that coat, sublime, the color fantastic, true perfection all the way around. And what a lovely nod to William's late mother choosing one of her favorite designers. The picture of Carole standing with the Queen and Duchess of Cornwall after the wedding was the best for me. Just three women, together talking about a wonderful wedding. I can't even imagine what was going through Carole's mind at that moment, standing with her Queen now an in-law, casually discussing the children's wedding. Can you imagine? And the dress she wore for the reception, it was perfect on her and I loved her hair style that night. I don't, however, think the second wearing looked as good. The long necklace just didn't work with this dress and her hair looked like it looks any other time, this dress definitely calls for an updo.

    The christening outfit was not my favorite. I think the angle of the hat throws it off for me. The way it angles up in the front just doesn't look right to me but that might be the angle of the photograph too. Also, I just didn't care for the panels in the coat. But I just noticed that she is using the same clutch that she took to the wedding, Nice touch. I love the 2011 Ascot suit, very chic. She certainly has the figure to wear these slightly fitted dresses/coats/suits. Do you know Jane, did the Middleton's ride in the carriage procession this year? I loved seeing her laughing with Prince Phillip, it looks like Carole really charmed him. It's great to see how comfortable the Middleton's seem to be around the royal family and vice versa. I don't think the families of other royal wives have been so lucky.

    I'm going to sign off now as I am starting to ramble on and on. Again, thank you so very much Jane.

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    1. Lauri, I also believe that Carole re-wore her suede pumps from the royal wedding to Prince George's christening!

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  8. Hi, Jane,

    Thank you for this very interesting post.

    Carole is a pretty impressive lady. I can see why some people might be intimidated and might make fun of her and/or be snobby about her life just to try to mask their own insecurities.

    I think the photos with Prince Philip are telling-I don't think he suffers fools gladly so to see him respond to her so good naturedly probably means she is quite a charmer.

    Jane- can you shed any light on this question-why won't Kate wear more wide brimmed hats? She would look stunning in any of the hats which Carole is wearing in the photos in your post. You would know much better than I do but I can only think of one or two occasions where she has been photographed in a picture hat.

    I have never really thought that Kate looks like her mother but I can see how she might look more like her as she ages-not such a bad fate!

    Really enjoy your blog!

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    1. Hi RMJH,

      Here are my thoughts as to why Kate doesn't wear wide brimmed hats very often, I think the wide brim would make it more difficult for people to see her face. The hat she wore the Zara and Mike's wedding covered one whole side of her face and that just wouldn't do for one of her charity engagements or royal family event where large crowds are eager to get a glimpse of the Duchess. I agree that she would look stunning in any of these hats but I don't think she'll be wearing one any time soon.

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  9. I don't understand why Carole Middleton is the object of such criticism from the people in England. What has she done that is so injurious to people? I think she and Michael have both been the epitome of discretion. And to those who say she's trying to act royal, they need to be reminded that some events were on the Middleton schedule before Kate and William married. And for their appearance at Ascot, or during the Jubilee or Wimbledon....well, they were invited by the Queen or they wouldn't be there as part of the royal procession, or in the royal box. If people are upset about her success in business, well they are just jealous. She apparently recognized an opening for a business need and people liked the product enough to make purchases sufficient to make them successful and wealthy. What has happened in this day and age where success is to be scorned? And concerning her clothing, personally I find her style to be perfect for a woman her age and body type. I wish I had her figure. I'm much too old to try to emulate Kate's style - although I love almost everything she wears - but I'm close to Carole's age and her style is certainly something to copy. Thank you Jane, for this nice write-up. Well done.

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    1. Hi Kathy,

      I think a large part of this issue is due to long held traditions and thoughts. It was long believed that the Monarch was divinely chosen to rule and so was almost a demigod. And those with aristocratic blood were actually thought to be "better" then someone without. It seems as though there was a sort of caste system for 1000+ years, you were born to a particular station in life with no chance of bettering yourself, in fact you would never have even thought to better yourself. That's the way it was and you accepted it. These beliefs have been held for 1000's of years by all classes of people and unfortunately are still held. to some extent, to this day.


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    2. Hi Lauri,
      Are you filling in for Jane while she is on holiday? I am glad, you are doing a great job. I really enjoyed this post, since I am a big fan of Carole. She has raised a wonderful family and I like others do not understand the hatred and disrespect shown toward this family.

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    3. Hi Anon,

      I hope I didn't seem to presumptuous by answering this post. I just read an awful lot of historical books and the cultural aspects always intrigue me.

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  10. Okey-dokey, here goes. I cannot help with the ID of Carole's wardrobe...but I can state my views on same. Firstly, Carole shone on Kate's wedding day; in my humble opinion, she outshone both Camilla and the Queen. However, she is inconsistent in her fashion choices; that red outfit she wore to the races, and that horror of a hat, was a bummer. Ditto, the christening outfit. Overall, IMO, Carole has no taste in hats, aside from the hat she wore to the wedding.

    Conclusion: Carole probably paid someone to guide her thru the two outfits she wore on April 29, 2011--her best. Left to her own devices, she's more-or-less hopeless, and should, in no way, attempt to influence Kate and her wardrobe. Kate has better taste, altho she is still a work in progress. Never mind that Kate has been inducted into the Vanity Fair fashion Hall of Fame; Kate can, and I believe will, do much better in future--she has already surpassed (I speak off their first three years as Royals) Diana, Princess of Wales, despite her non-aristocratic background.

    On a related note, Kate is not married to a rich man--William is wealthy, but far from rich; oh the irony! So much for social climbing; I have never yet heard of a social climber willing to wait 15 years, which is when I expect the Queen to shuffle off this mortal toil, to cash in. Kate probably shops on the High Street and at Bicester Village because she HAS to; William is not the most generous of men, after all.

    Beyond that, I would add that Mike and Carole Middleton should never have permitted their daughter to marry William, nor should they have encouraged the romance, without setting up a substantial trust fund for Kate. This is off-topic, but it has annoyed me for some time. Her parents should have seen the need to provide Kate with financial independence; apparently, all they saw was a launching pad for their two younger kids, who are doing their level best to make money via Kate. Disgusting.

    I would welcome responses and opinions which may vary from my own. JC

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    1. Hi JC,

      I have to agree with you about Carole's hat choices. The one at the wedding was perfection but since not so much. I don't care for the way these hats sweep up in the front. It looks like she got hit with a gust of wind and it pushed her hat up, to me it's just a weird look.

      I think Mike and Carole subsidized Kate's income greatly while she was dating William. During that time she only had two jobs, both of which wouldn't have been very high paying. They did buy an apartment in London for her to use and more than likely gave her some sort of clothing/travel allowance. However, I don't think William is all that stingy, Kate has some wonderful jewelry that she has received before and after the wedding. For example, the $75,000 Cartier necklace she wore before the Olympics, who do think had that kind of money? William. And I'm sure that Kate will be remembered in her parents wills. But one thought I've always had is, if Kate was dating the mechanic at the local service station would her parents have been okay with her lack of jobs and waiting 8 years for a proposal? I wonder if they would have subsidized her then? Just a thought.

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    2. I'm with you on the hats, ladies!

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    3. Hi Lauri,

      I agree with you about her hat choices. Kate has a better style if I might say.

      Your idea that Kate is dating a commoner and waiting for him long years, well, LOL, I am sure you know the answer to your questions. It could be a totally different story. I am sure her mom played a huge role how this relationship turned out.

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    4. I think when you are financially solid as a parent you help your children, regardless of who they are dating. If your child is doing something they really enjoy, but does not pay a lot- of course you would subsidize your child. Because Kate was dating William and the royal/non-royal events she was invited to required a different dress code over the same events a mechanic may be taking her to.There are a lot of down sides to marrying into the Royal family. Parents who are financially successful may not be so keen on that kind of stressful and pressured life for their child.

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    5. Being in a long relationship just because one is royal does not indicate opportunism. I know many women, commoners i very long standing relationships- 8-10 yrs before they have actually married. They loved their partner and wanted a future with them. Just because William is in line to the throne- could be a major deterrent for many. A lot of freedom is lost and the hierarchy is stifling.

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  11. Hurrah and thank you for this piece. I am a great admirer of the Middleton family. They seem to me to have at all times conducted themselves with dignity.
    I cannot agree with Anon 1:08am--.that they saw Catherine's marriage as a launching pad for their younger children. Opportunities were offered, not, in my opinion, sought and they have been subjected to what one can only describe as hatred.
    I do agree with the statement that William is not rich ---we do not know what was left after two big chunks of tax----estate duty when Diana died and Capital Gains Tax when he inherited at 30---bearing in mind that much of Dina's estate would be jewellery and other belongings and interest in the UK over the last 6 years or so has been negligible, but that is no reason why the Middletons should have to subsidize them.
    If William was not in direct line to the throne he would be comfortably off---doing what he loves, whilst Catherine would be free to care for her child without being considered lazy. Dressing for royal occasions is expensive, which is why they have help from Prince Charles.
    Thanks for a most interesting post. Hope you had a lovely holiday

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  12. Actually William is more careful about money than Kate. Quite like his father. You can notice it especially during their last visit to The Tower. That was William who showed his great astonishment about the price of the poppy. He exclaimed it was lots of much money. Kate tried to calm him down and smooth things over. So I think she deals very good with their budget but she has some " our female weaknesses". I think some of her nice clothes and gifts are from her parents. They are rich and they don't have to save money. They don't need much money for themselves. Her mother knows Kate's taste and size so I think she shops for her. I think it's cute her mother still cares about.

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  13. Carole has been a successful business woman in addition to raising three ambitious children. Why is she criticized by some? As Diana's siblings stayed in the background, Carole obviously encourages Pippa to accept many opportunities that come her way and they come by way of being Kate's sister. Do you not think that Pippa asked her mother about the Matt Lauer interview? Carole must have thought it appropriate.
    She also must have supported James's idea to push marshmallows, with no nutritional benefits, to the public. It's all about money for that
    family. They may dress well but they do whatever is necessary to gain monetary and social status. That's why some people don't respect
    them. It's not "royal" behavior.

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    1. I agree! Kate is royal, Pippa isn't. She's been conducting herself with utmost dignity.

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    2. Kate can afford to be royal-- it meets her needs for money and status. Pippa is still pursuing both -- to make a success of her life and meet her mother's expectation. She doesn't really have a choice, since she hasn't met a Mr. Right through whom she can achieve those things.
      This is why I think the Middletons are not rich as some have come to believe. They are well-off, but not rich enough to provide a trust fund for any of their children. I think once Kate got married, and they no longer needed to subsidize Kate, they were able to pull all their funds together to buy their new mansion. That's why the rumor that William paid for the mansion with his inheritance is pure fiction. In buying the mansion, they indeed became Upper Middle Class with their own money. And with Royal ties and privilege education, that makes them solidly Upper Middle Class on par with the Camerons. That was Carole's lifelong dream and she has achieved it through hard work and determination. Many people, especially Americans, will admire her for the personal qualities that make her success possible. Others may be uncomfortable with her methods in winning William. Still others, particularly the Brits, may deeply resent her for involving the Royal Family, especially their future king (by implication themselves), in her strategy.
      The conflict here is that the middle class values of the Middletons, which I suppose we all share here (work hard to better yourself, invest in your children, seize opportunities for yourself and family, etc.) are all aspirational and thus focus on the self and therefore not royal values, which are other-focus.
      With that in mind, I'm going to say that although Kate's deportment is dignified, since William prefers a middle class lifestyle (do what makes you happy) with the Middletons to a Royal life of duty (God, Queen and Country),
      I cannot say Kate is Royal. To become Royal, Kate would have to leave her middle class life. William clearly doesn't want to do that. At least not right now.
      I'd be very curious what readers here think, but I've only just discovered this site and I'm 5 months late on this thread. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


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    3. I think it is only fair they are able to use some of the opportunies available to them. Since when does anyone who wants to make something of themselves, does not appropriately use the doors that open to them. With all the scrutiny Kate's family endures just because her daughter married William, deserves something in return. They are constantly under a microscope by random stranger and publicly criticizing & scrutinizing their every move and outfit. I can not imagine they would deliberately choose a lifetime under microscopic scrutiny and constant critique, all for the occasional elbow rubbing each year with the Royals.

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  14. carole's grey suit with lace is also from catherine walker

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  15. http://www.catherinewalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Seine-e1348144461955.jpg here is a link to image of it, you have to go to Catherine Walker Archive section to find it properly

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  16. Hi Lauri. Thanks for your considered response. Re the $75,000 Tiffany necklace...just a thought, but I suspect that it was a gift from said company when William and Kate toured California. (Tiffany backed Williams polo match there.) If I am correct, all William would have had to do was to pay the duty--far less than the cost of the necklace itself--in order for the necklace to become Kate's, as opposed to becoming part of the Crown jewels, under the control of the Queen. That Kate has only worn it once is probably down to the negative response she received when she did wear it.

    I note that you are from Ca (Carolina? California?) If the latter, you may have a better view of the likelihood that Tiffany may have been so generous; as for myself, I can believe it. And I can't wait to see Kate wear that lovely necklace again. (To Kate: helpful hint; try wearing it with a high collared back sheath evening gown.) JC

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    1. Hi Anon,

      You might be right about the Necklace but it's from Cartier. It could certainly have been a gift from them but then it would have shown up on the yearly report when the royals disclose all the gifts they have received. Either way Kate has been sporting some expensive new jewelry lately, her new watch alone is $6000 and her two new necklaces are about $2000 a piece. William might be stingy in other areas but I think he spoils Kate, like every good husband should:):).

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    2. Also consider Prince Charles could be helping out, as its been rumoured before. Also who is to say the Queen has not bestowed the odd piece of jewelry to Kate, as well as her parents- there are birthdays and Christmas. I received lovely jewelry from my parents and grandparents. Why not Kate.

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  17. What a great post ! I didn't like Carole that much at the beginning but as you say, if she raised Kate to be who she is, she deserves praise if only for that. I changed my mind when I realised that it must take a very special woman to remain just yourself in such a dignified environment. I love the photos of her with the Duke of Edinburgh; we often forget the Royal family has a wicked sense of humour and they must also appreciate someone who doesn't ape them. I think Camilla, who is a free spirit as well, must have welcomed her arrival too. "A fresh start" blog (ex Silver Bunny).

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    1. Thank you so much for changing my URL ! xx

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  18. Warning . . . harsh opinions coming! Skip this post if you don't want to read the cynical musings of a Middleton-skeptic!

    Okay, so that's out of the way :-) Let me start off by saying that there are certainly some aspects of Carole's life and personality that I admire . . . she's clearly a successful, hardworking woman who enjoys what appears to be a lovely, close relationship with her husband. On the other hand, I've always had the feeling that she encouraged, or at least enabled, Kate to mold her entire post-college life around being available for and attractive to William. As a few folks have pointed out above, would Carole and Mike have financed Kate's life while Kate took the odd part-time job or two, worked out, shopped, got her hair done, and partied/vacationed with her boyfriend if that boyfriend had been a regular blue-collar worker? Their decision to coddle her like that throughout her twenties have led, in my opinion, to Kate being wholly unprepared for the rigors of a full-time royal workload. They are to be commended for providing Kate and William with a blueprint for a happy family life, but Carole and Mike Middleton were able to combine their family life with working hard as well, and I think they could have done a bit more to instill the latter virtue in their eldest daughter as well.

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    1. It's not only about Kate. They "spoil" their children that way. They have lots of money and they want their children have time to make theirs minds and to do what they want, not to do what they have to. They want their children get the best from the life. I don't approve living on somebody cost but Kate seems to have no objections. She just takes what she's given (money, privileges) and gives her charm, smile and comforting. She is like a lovely, cheerful child, not taking care about the mortal things, daily worries and I think William loves it in Kate the most. She's a sun for him. There were too many tears in his life already.

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    2. Whitney,
      You've just described any rich child with a trust fund, but you are right, Kate's parents provided the opportunity for her to be William's girlfriend. They graduated in 2005 and William went into the military - so for 5 years he worked on that career, while she kept herself in shape and shopped. 2010 is when William took the job in Anglesey and they moved into together. Both of them living off parent support. William is not exactly a bread winner - they weren't coping on his salary. His money is "family money" too.

      Now about that phrase "rigors of a full-time royal workload"... Who makes the schedule of the royals? They themselves do. They do as much and as little as they please. Saying hello to people and collecting flowers and gifts isn't something you have to train for. We are all born to the task. Kate also will not be tending to the governmental aspects of monarchy like the Queen currently does - that will be William's responsibility. There is nothing difficult about being a royal consort - the point is, you don't work. You have staff that work for all aspects of your life - nanny, housekeeper/cook, private secretary, accountant... and then occasionally you show up out in public to cheer on the people who don't have all that stuff. Nobody ever married into the royal family so they could "work".

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  19. I'm about to read the piece you linked above but just wanted to say I've always been a fan of Carole's. She chose a good man to marry, raised a close knit family and built a successful business. To me she is the definition of someone who seem to have it all and deserve it too. I only wonder what us up with James. He seems a bit of an odd one out.

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  20. I'm about to read the piece you linked above but just wanted to say I've always been a fan of Carole's. She chose a good man to marry, raised a close knit family and built a successful business. To me she is the definition of someone who seem to have it all and deserve it too. I only wonder what us up with James. He seems a bit of an odd one out.

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  21. I'm about to read the piece you linked above but just wanted to say I've always been a fan of Carole's. She chose a good man to marry, raised a close knit family and built a successful business. To me she is the definition of someone who seem to have it all and deserve it too. I only wonder what us up with James. He seems a bit of an odd one out.

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  22. Laurie from Ca. I stand corrected; having looked it up, it is a Cartier piece; however, I still can't quite shake the notion that not all of the jewellery seen on Kate recently belongs to her--altho I am pretty sure that her new watch and her eternity ring/fancy ring guard do, just because she wears both constantly. I do think that, from time to time, she borrows stuff from her mother, especially earrings--but what do I know? As with most things re William and Kate, I am in the dark.

    Re your speculation as to whether Mike and Carole would have been as supportive of William and Kate had he been a blue-collar worke I can only speak for myself, and my answer is NO. I have, over time, come to believe, correctly or incorrectly, that Carole is a greedy social-climber, but that Mike is not. Just as I believe that Kate is not, but that Pippa is. Ma Middleton seems to be something of a mafia capo--she runs the show, possibly to the extent that she was willing to throw her eldest daughter under the bus, in much the same way that 30 years earlier, Earl Spencer threw his own daughter, Diana, under the same bus. All in the name of status, in gaining a grandchild who would one day be monarch, and to hell with their daughters personal happiness.

    I know that I would never permit my daughter to consort with a male member of the British Royal Family--if necessary, had I been Kate's mother, I would have transferred her out of the University of St. Andrews and into a respectable university elsewhere, far away from William.( Upon graduating from Marlborough College/high school Kate had great marks, better than Williams and much better than those of Harry and Prince Charles; she could easily have been transferred away from St. Andrews.)

    To put this into perspective, I am wealthy, altho not rich, and I have a daughter of marriageable age. But I am not British; the British obsession with class frightens me--it seems to harken back to a dark era, when female children were chattel.JC

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    1. Yours is an interesting post, but it presumes that Kate is completely under her mother's thumb and has no mind of her own and no willingness or ability to make her own decisions. Not very respectful of Kate in my opinion. I am a mother to two late 20's boys and I certainly wouldn't dream of not "permitting" them to consort with the woman of their choice. And they certainly wouldn't let me interfere that way.

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    2. I think the point is that without Mommy and Daddy subsidizing the relationship, it would have greatly affected Kate's ability to be William's girlfriend. Kate working a job - would mean not being free for William whenever he wanted to see her and Kate being expected to live on that salary as most 20 years old do - meaning she would not have the finances to travel and spend on wardrobe as she did. These decisions had to be consciously made within the family to allow the children to travel in royal circles - all those fun vacations with the young royal set had to be paid for by someone. I appreciate Anonymous' point that male members of the Royal Family do not have the best reputations when it comes to being faithful to their wives - however I also think that William might be like that teetotaler who shows up in a family of alcoholics because he sees and experiences how damaging their behavior can be to the family. William may not roam.

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  23. Happy to have found YOU!
    Adore the whole family.........keep me informed!They truly are a lovely lovely family!

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  24. Jane from Canada. I fully appreciate your point-of-view. My kids, one boy, one girl, are inclined to go their own way, as well. But they aren't British, and seemingly neither are your two sons. Our kids have not been raised under a rigid class structure. Further, I question the wisdom of shipping kids off to boarding school--who then really raises the kids? And we have to take into account the profound effect of forcing Kate, via boarding school, to learn to negotiate between classes, from her working class mom to rubbing shoulders with gentry to marrying an heir to the throne. (I have some small knowledge of this. My mother was born working class, worked her way thru university, then married a lawyer who came from a wealthy background; she had to deal with the snobbery that entailed, and it wasn't easy. I can only imagine how hard it must be for Kate, in Great Britain.)

    So maybe I get a little over-excited about this marriage between two people of non-equal social status, and maybe I tend to take it out on Carole. Given my personal experience, I would still have moved my daughter as far away from William as possible; but Carole lacks my perspective; she has never been the child of a marriage of social inequality; I have, and altho I was automatically accepted--go figure--my mother never was. She died when I was 15, her firstborn; perhaps if she had lived another 20-30 years, she might have triumphed.

    Under the circumstances, I am mightily inclined to give Kate two thumbs up, and to wish her the best--it can't be easy to be accepted into the idiotic aristo class in the UK. JC.

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  25. Hello Jane! I've been a huge fan of your site for a while, but have just been quietly enjoying. This is my first comment, and it's for the lovely Carole Middleton. I think she's a dedicated mother, savvy business woman, and an impeccable dresser. She's just like any mum, loving her children and finding the delicate balance between wanting the best for her children (which may or not be dating a Windsor) and wanting them to be happy (following their hearts). I applaud her composure and steadfastness, as well as her daughters. I don't think I would be so composed over some of the attacks Kate has surely heard about her mother and vice versa.

    Thanks for all your insightful commentary and delightful commentary Jane!

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  26. @ Maggie Aug 15 5:54am. I think you may have been responding to my post, so here goes. Like yourself, I don't think Mike and Carole should be supporting the RF financially; I do think that they should support Kate financially--that is, given her crazy position, it would not go amiss had they set up a trust fund for KATE. She would benefit, both financially and emotionally/psychologically from same. It would enable her.

    I would be the first to admit that Mike and Carole have, in one way, come thru for Kate; they helped her thru her HG and gave her--and William and George--a place to stay after George was born, but it was on THEIR terms, they were in control. They offered comfort, but without independence. To be independent, Kate needs money--crass but true. Money to enable her to buy an ice cream for George, a coffee for herself, a new tie for William, a private wardrobe--her public wardrobe is clearly the responsibility of the RF--etc. As things stand now, Kate is completely dependent upon her parents generosity and that of William and his family. Not a good place to be. JC

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