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Kate to Decide on Malta, William in Scotland, and the Queen Braces for Scottish Independence Vote

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As hypothesized in late July, the Cambridges did not got to Scotland in August, instead they spent the majority of their time in Norfolk readying their house for their move and now it turns out, Baby #2!  Nevertheless, now that is is September, one of them has headed to Balmoral as is their custom. William arrived in the north on Thursday and spent the weekend with his grandmother and father. They were shooting Saturday, and although I am sure this partially is the annual visit that William likes to make to Scotland, Balmoral and his family,  it is also timed before the upcoming referendum. If Scotland breaks away, it will be very hard for the Queen.

Grouse Hunt Near Balmoral September 20, 2013
We are just days away from the Scottish Referendum. In case you were not aware, on Thursday September 18th, the Scots will vote on whether or not to remain a part of the United Kingdom. This is a big, big deal for Britain politically and for the Queen personally, and frankly it will also have quite an impact on the geopolitical landscape worldwide. Poll numbers are very close and no one knows which way this will go. 

Crathie Kirk, Scotland September 22, 2013

This past Sunday, William was at Crathie Kirk with his grandmother. The position of the monarch is one of political neutrality, a neutrality that the Queen is very careful to maintain, nevertheless, she made a significant gesture on Sunday morning. The Telegraph reported on the extremely unusual move on the part of the Queen:
She normally walks in and out of the small church from her car, while on holiday at nearby Balmoral Castle, without talking to bystanders.

But before she left the kirk on Sunday, a police sergeant invited members of the press waiting 200 yards away to come up to the church to see the royal party depart.
There is no direct transcript of her comments, but...
Asked what the Queen had said to the group, a woman who asked not to be named, replied: "She was lovely and said she hoped everybody would think very carefully about the referendum this week".
Lastly, a photographer on hand impressed upon the unusual nature of the occasion:
Donald Stewart, an experienced photographer who covers royal visits to the kirk, said the last time he could remember being invited to photograph members of the royal family walking out of the building was on the first anniversary of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. He said it was a very unusual invitation, and the kind of thing that happened “once or twice in a generation” on special occasions.
Meanwhile, Kate has moved from Kensington Palace in central London to the leafy quiet of Bucklebury where her mother is caring for her. I take from this that Kate must be feeling at least marginally better. Camilla Tominey even reported that it has been suggested to her that Kate may still go to Malta as scheduled.

Honestly, no matter what the Palace intimates, there is no real way to know until they announce tomorrow.  The press office can be very coy. To go to Malta she would have to be feeling remarkably better, and it is possible that the Palace is suggesting she might still make it to guard her privacy as she continues to be ill.  On the other hand, she may very well be feeling very improved.

Christmas Morning 2012

When they release the decision tomorrow that will be exactly two weeks since her pregnancy was announced. Looking back to her past pregnancy (as we have before) to get a sense for this one, Kate was driven to present at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2012 and stayed for a mere 45 minutes before going home two weeks after her hospitalization. She didn't look 100% that night. Assuming that they were forced to announce almost immediately last pregnancy, but that they were able to keep her sickness quiet for approximately a week this time, she has that under her belt already, which means we are closer to the Christmas appearance she made at church with her family in Bucklebury. How well was she feeling that day? She didn't press release about it, so we don't know, but she was popping into a petrol station for crisps a few days later.

If she is in Bucklebury now and William is in Scotland, she must be feeling just a tad better and honestly if she were fully incapacitated beyond any hope of moving, it would be impolite for her not to cancel with a little more warning. My conclusion: she does feel a little better, she doesn't want to cancel Malta and she is holding out and hoping. If Kate had a really big gala event in London, rather than Malta,  I would guess she would go. But, traveling over 1,000 miles for two fully scheduled days of public engagements seems dodgy at best. I will be the first to cheer if she is well enough and goes ahead as planned, but I still think the likelihood is small. I hope I am wrong. 


  1. Is this some PR move to wait til last minute? I'm highly doubtful she will go, and shouldn't keep ppl wondering

    1. I don't think it is a PR move, but if it comes through the press office it is calculated because it's politics. (Politics not in the sense of party, but simply of maneuvering) If she already knows it is out of the question then they must be stalling for another reason: precedence, privacy, shifting schedules for William or BRF member who will take Kate's place, etc. There is reason beyond just making us wait and wonder. I guarantee you.

    2. Hi Bonnieux,

      I have read, on some very credible sites, that the communication between the BP/KP press office and the royal reporters is at an all time low. I think it's kind of ridiculous that Kate wasn't pulled from this trip as soon as the pregnancy was announced, with her replacement to be named later. Even if she was feeling a bit better, she probably should be home resting not jetting off for two full days of engagements. As long as she wasn't spotted out shopping, I don't think anyone would have any problem with it. Also, it seems rude to her hosts in Malta to keep them waiting until 3 days before her expected arrival.
      I've said it before and I'll say it again, the problems with the BP/KP press office are reflecting poorly on the D&D of Cambridge.

  2. I do hope she's feeling better! I would love for her to be able to go to Malta, but I know her health and the health of the baby are the most important things right now. I wonder if maybe she and William could travel together and William could take some of the engagements. This would lessen her load and allow her to attend some engagements if she is not well enough to attend all of them. Whatever happens and whatever she chooses to do, I hope she's getting better.

    1. Me, too! I think she must be feeling just a bit better, but it would be so fun if she could make it to Malta. I agree, though, they will do what's best for her, which is the right thing to do. Can't wait to know tomorrow!

  3. Hope in the end she's well enough to go. The Malta trip would be hugely significant, as her first solo trip on behalf of the Queen, and on the 50th anniversary of the independence, so my gut feeling (for what it's worth, obviously!) is that she'll be trying to go if she's feeling even a little better. Anyway, in a few hours time we'll know for sure!

    1. Agree on every point, certainly. It is a big deal and it must really be hard to cancel. I really hope that she pulls it out for our sake and Malta's sake. I frankly believe that at this point in her last pregnancy she could have done this trip, so the big question her morning sickness any worse this go around? And that I guess is what we will know tomorrow. :)

  4. Awww! Even though she is an adult woman, has more than one home of her own, she still goes to mom when she is feeling unwell. I think it's cute, but still a bit surprising. Especially that she now has George. I'd rather my mom come visit me and help a bit, instead of sleeping in my old bedroom at my parent's house. I have my own home and that is now where I am most comfortable. Does she not get a lot of privacy at it more to avoid staff?

    I'm surprised last week William would be saying he wants to get home to see Kate, then go to Scotland for four days. Makes me think it was more out of obligation to The Firm regarding Thursday's vote.

    As for Malta, I doubt she can sustain two busy days. My guess is another family member would go. Or would it be possible someone like William would accompany her? That way if she can only make a portion of the engagements, or needs to leave early, he can still fulfill all obligations?


    1. Well, a couple of things. They sold the home that Kate lived in as a single woman. Their new home, purchased in 2012, is a larger manor house that they then kitted out to fully accommodate the Cambridges as well as a royal security entourage. It was clear that were equipping themselves to host their daughter and her family very comfortably. I believe they have a complete guest wing, and you can bet your last penny it is beautifully decorated. Kate probably helped... So, in terms of comfort, she has plenty of it at their home without coming into a room with her old fan-crush posters on the wall. :)

      I think she has more room to allow George to play in the garden, I think they can move about the village and the locals aren't tweeting photos, etc. I think it is more relaxing. Kate loves the country. :)

      I don't know. i really have very little to base a guess on either way. The Palace says she still wants to go and we know she was feeling better by this time last pregnancy, so that gives me hope. But, it's a tough two days and she has been very sick, which makes me think no. But, honestly it could go either way.

      I hope she goes! :)

    2. I know it's the internet and things can be lost in translation, but honestly I'm a bit taken aback by your response to Kate staying with her parents. I do know it is a home the Middletons purchased after the wedding, and that it was renovated to ensure the Cambridges could visit with their security (and presumable a nanny). I also believe any Middleton lady would have great taste in decorating.

      I was speaking from the perspective of your parent's home always being "home", but the home I have created with my husband is now my #1 place where I feel most comfortable. And no, my old room does not have fan crush photos on the walls. My mom redecorated it as a guest room, and it has a large screen TV and a small sitting area (it's a decent sized bedroom). And since the nest is empty, I'd have my own bathroom. And my parents even have a huge backyard that my dog LOVES. So while I am still very comfortable at my parents home, and I've been known to go off and nap during a visit, I would still rather be in my house.

      I just also think it is safe to say ANOTHER possibility is she probably gets more privacy IN the Middleton home than she does in KP, where there is staff and I'm sure to some extent where business is conducted.

      :-) Just an open discussion.

  5. She won't go there, Harry will do it :/

  6. Hi Jane,
    I think Kate's illness has been less serious than the first time : I know HG is often more and more serious, but this time she would have been looked after earlier.
    The first time maybe no one in her entourage knew what it was (I have a child, and I've never heard of HG before), and she certainly was very dehydrated when she came to the hospital. But now she knows, and she certainly knew she had great risk to be ill again, so she would have been looked after very early, and not become as dehydrated and tired than two years ago.

    So, the fact that she is in Bucklebury is either that the vomiting is away and she only needs a little rest before going to Malta... or she's still ill and doesn't want to stay alone in KP while William is not there (and I agree it certainly was a duty for him to go to Balmoral and to leave Kate alone, but i think it's a good hint that she's better now).
    I'm sure she will go to Malta if she can.

  7. Lovely post!:) Thank you for the update on our favorite royal! I think it will be just about ten days tomorrow not two weeks since the pregnancy announcement though, right?:)

    1. You are right. I was confusing Dec 3rd announcement of George, vs Sept 8 announcement of Baby #2. Lazy calendar work. :)

  8. Love reading your blog Jane, it's so well written!

    I don't think she's gonna go. For me, Kate going to Bucklebury is a sign that she's nesting, getting some rest - and not going anywhere soon. I would do the same same thing in her shoes - if you're in a position of having been picked to represent your country abroad, you really want to be at your best with no surprises. The timing is just unfortunate in light of her commitments...and as many have already said, I don't think they thought it would happen so quickly.
    This delay is (as you mentioned), a symptom of a disorganised BP/KP press office. If she was/wasn't going, they really should have announced by now, but for some reason (and as you say, there definitely is a reason), they couldn't get it together to have committed one way or the other in decent time.

    Then there is that referendum happening today. Gosh, if Scotland decide to leave, I will feel so deeply for the Queen. She loves loves Scotland, and it puts so much up in the air. Busy times.

  9. Seems to be an exciting week. There's a lot of linking-up.
    Well, I hope Kate is able to visit Malta and maybe take William with her in case she feels worse again. That would be my choice if they ask me ;-)

  10. If Scotland secedes does it mean Kate will lose her title of Coountess of Strathearn?

  11. Great breakdown. Thanks so much!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  12. Have you seen these: so cute!!!


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