Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Royal Christmas 2014: Kate Glows in Autumnal Hued Moloh

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It is interesting that some of our favorite annual events on the royal calendar are not actually public engagements at all. When Kate christened the Royal Princess in her last public engagement before George' birth, we saw her again at Trooping the Colour. The Christmas morning walk is similar, and slowly evolved as locals came to wish the sovereign and BRF a Happy Christmas. It is a lovely tradition and very gracious of the royals to embrace the spirit of goodwill toward all by happily interacting with the gathered fans.  This morning, that spirit of happiness and goodwill was even more thoroughly on display as Kate's family joined the royals at St. Mary Magdalene for the Christmas morning service. 

With the completion of their stunning Sandringham mansion, Anmer Hall, William and Kate can finally have all of their loved ones around them at Christmas. I was worried that the twisted ankle that kept William off yesterday's soccer pitch, might hinder his walk to church, but thankfully that was not the case. William's wide, bright smile this morning certainly indicates that the holiday has been progressing well.

Carole, with Mike by her side, looked snug in Really Wild Clothing's Pelham tweed coat, while not far behind her, Pippa and James followed.

Kate was autumnal today, in warm goldens and rich browns, colors she pulls off so well with her natural tan. We do not see Kate wear coats this long often, the Katherine Hooker that was shortened for her appearance in Anglesey was one of the longest, but today might take the prize.

Katherine Hooker pre-altertaion 

Despite the similarities in style, this piece is Moloh, as IDed by a What Kate Wore reader. It is a very flattering length for pregnancy, and I was surprised that I really liked it! Hobbs has a relatively large selection of these longer coats and I have mused more than once if Kate would wear a hemline that low...and how it would look. The answer, it appears is, great!

Underneath, Kate may have been wearing the Hobbs Animal Shirt dress that she wore under her blue Matthew Williamson in Wales. I don't love the dress, but we didn't really see it, so it wasn't a factor in the overall appearance. She finished her ensemble with her lovely Betty Boop hat from Lock & Co., a new scarf we have not seen, her Catherine Zoraida Double Leaf Earrings, and her Valerie pumps from Emmy London, and, of course, a radiant glow.

The one drawback of the Cambridges staying at Anmer rather than with the Queen was that they were not present at the first church service. One of my favorite parts of the Royal Christmas is the private communion service. The early morning sunshine and sometimes even light fog still hovering over the meadows, makes for really beautiful shots. Obviously, it also gives us two entire ensembles in one day. A very Merry Christmas all around, indeed. Perhaps, this year's absence was due in part to Kate's pregnancy and the excitement of their new house. I imagine them drinking coffee and possibly opening presents with George, before preparing for the main service, but I hope that they will be present in the future. 

Christmas 2013
Kate told well-wishers that George would have made far too much noise in church this morning, but I suspect he also would have been a handful on the walk, and hampered his parents' ability to properly thank and interact with the well-wishers.  Of course, I continue to believe that they are carefully guarding him from overexposure, as they attempt to control media coverage of their children. The couple did take George to a lantern lit service at Anmer Church this past Sunday, which he enjoyed by all accounts.  
@ChristinaFaulk1 Twitter Feed
This is certainly the happiest royal Christmas yet. We got our cake and ate it, too, and more importantly, William and Kate got their cake and ate it, too. It is very healthy to see that they have balanced their holiday, making it possible to adhere to royal tradition and expectations, while not shutting out her family. Today, it was thought that Kate and William further broke with tradition and returned to their own home for a sumptuous Christmas lunch with the Middletons.

Despite this, I am sure they paused to watch the The Queen's Christmas message. Her Majesty stressed reconciliation this year, recalling, among other things, the Christmas truce of 1914. There was very little mention of her family, as has sometimes happened in years past, but the short address is well worth the watch:

Kate, Carole, and Pippa would have had something else very special on their schedule for the night, and that would be Downton Abbey's Christmas Special--the true conclusion to Season 5. All the Middleton girls are fans, and I think this is a show that even William, Mike, and James would enjoy. I imagine George was put to bed and some mulled wine was shared on this cozy Downton Christmas night.

Downton Abbey ITV

There have been some headlines about Kate's weary face this morning, but to me she looked lit from within. Any drooping lids are probably due to a late night with Father Christmas and, thankfully, her very creative mother Carole. All of whom, I am sure, put together quite the surprise for George.

Thanks for popping in to royal-watch with me. It was a very special Christmas and hopefully, one of many shared celebrations in the future. I hope you are surrounded by warmth and love tonight. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!



  1. Love post & Merry Christmas, Jane!

    I think it was breaking with protocol to simply have the Middletons (an in-law family) at the private ceremony. The Queen makes quite the effort with the Middletons, since the wedding. I too am glad William & Kate can make boundaries with BRF to balance both families. I'm just surprised they didn't attend the communion, but it's a part of compromise.

    The dress was very reminiscent of pre-engagement coats Kate wore, which was a nice surprise! I'm just selfishly sad that she didn't debut new jewelry from William.

    Overall, lovely day!

    1. Perhaps instead of using the phrase "breaking with protocol" we should use "starting a new tradition".

    2. Is the second church service a private service? I thought the first service was private, the one Will and Kate skipped, but the second one is public. Anyone know for sure? I was surprised that Will and Kate skipped the brunch at Sandringham after the service they did attend. It was discussed in the Daily Mail. That is huge. So, basically they only attended one event out of three on Christmas day. I would think a better compromise would have been attending the brunch and then having a meal with the Middletons for dinner. I think Will and Kate can't stand most of the royal family and they make a point, at every opportunity, to show that distaste.

    3. I really think Kate may still be having a little trouble with Hyperemesis and therefore needs a little time to get started in the morning. That plus a little child may have prevented the private communion service attendance.

      I really disagree with Anon 7:31PM. You statement about Will and Kate not being able to stand most of the royal family and making every effort to show their distaste is quite harsh. They could have gone to Buckleburry for Christmas, or not gone to Christmas Eve celebrations or church at all if they really wanted to avoid the family. To the contrary, I believe they were trying to balance two sides of the "who do we spend Christmas with this year" dilemma so BOTH families were included.

    4. Evabach-
      When you consider that Will and Kate's only interaction with the royal family on Christmas Day was the church service which was attended by the Middleton family too.... You realize they spent all Christmas Day with the Middletons, but shunned the royal family events that wouldn't include the Middletons... that's strange... Most of us split holidays and don't drag one side of the family to the next side.

      I think it is great they have a house on the Sandringham estate, but I thought the purpose was to split the holidays. they clearly did not split them. They took the Middletons to the one public royal family event and then ditched the two private royal family events.

      It was tasteless and rude IMO. You can't expect all the perks of being a royal and not accept the obligations too.

    5. Anon Dec 27 12:50pm did you hears it's believed the Cambridges celebrated on Christmas Eve at Sandringham with the Queen? The Queen has many things scheduled on the 24th that include a gift exchange and a formal dinner and family games. It's my understanding the press believes the Cambridges celebrated with the Windsor family on the 24th. The Queen believes Christmas Day is more of a religious day. While we can think they could have swung Christmas lunch with the Queen, and Christmas dinner with the Middletons at Anmer it is neither here nor there. Personally, that would be too many large meals for me. If the Queen thinks they are rude or tasteless she will deal with it how she sees fit.

    6. Where was this reported? I see Hello Magazine reported this, but I hardly think they count as a good source. I don't think the Queen can say very much to Kate and William. They are the future of the Royal Family and can pretty much write their own rules, to a degree.

    7. It has been reported in other sites they were at Sandringham (DM and Express). Hello magazine is just as reliable as many others. WHERE has it been reported that they did not spend Christmas Eve with the Queen. However, if they spent last year with Williams family, then why can they not spend this year with Kate's family. I feel they came to a great compromise for both families. I also think that the Queen is still in control and if she had not agreed with this plan - it would not have happened. She still writes the rules.

    8. Thank you, Eva. Anon 10:14am, no need to argue. If you don't like how they celebrated the holidays this year, I hope it doesn't bother you so much that you can't get a good nights sleep ;-)

    9. Eva,
      The Queen is 88 years old. She no longer writes the rules. Everything is slowly being transferred to Charles. Even the PR is coming out of his office now. No one is going to ruffle Kate and Will's feathers, they are the great white hope.

      I think it is silly to assume that everything must be approved by the Queen or Charles, etc. Just because you are a member of the royal family doesn't mean that you don't have free will. We hear "the queen approved" etc. simply to continue the charade that she is omnipotent. I think Will and Kate planned Christmas as they saw fit for their family.

  2. All the ladies are stunningly elegant. I love Kate's hair and Pippa's hat. Did the Middletons walk with BRF from Sandringham to the church, or did they join directly in the church ? It seems to me that this is two different situations (in a protocol way, of course).

    Thank you for your awesome work during the whole 2014, Jane, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will be glad to come to the blog next year (and I can't wait to start watching Downton Abbey. Seems to be a wonderful show !)

  3. I was disappointed that Kate wore such an autumnal outfit. The coats and hats she wore in 2011 and 2013 were much more appropriate to the season. She still looked wonderful today, but the coat seemed rather drab.

    A saw a video of the family emerging to walk to the church and the Middletons were not with them, so Kate's family must have met them at the church.

    1. I agree with you, Anonymous. I loved the outfit, and I'd love it if the scarf were ever properly identified, as it's gorgeous, the look had hardly anything festive about it. Block colour brown is certainly not what springs to mind when you think about possible Christmas looks!
      Also, about George's "overexposoure"...Well, he hasn't actually ever been seen in public on UK soil, apart from when leaving the hospital and very few paparazzi shots, so my humble opinion is that this really isn't a valid justification.
      I'm all for not taking a child so young to a church service, where he'd possibly been disruptive, but he could easily have made an appearance on the walkabout, even a brief one.
      It's not a good thing to keep the third in line to the throne so shut away and secluded. People actually need to see this child every once in a while, and sort of "get to know" him and be able to relate to him if he's to be a well loved sovereign in his own time. Prince Charles and Princess Diana used to have plenty of family photoshoots and scheduled appearances for William and his brother, even when they were very little. Even the Queen with Prince Charles did so!
      If think the Duke and Duchess would do well to take a leaf out of his parents' book and let George be seen in public a bit more often, or risk him being a sovereign his people don't relate to and, ultimately, haven't got much affection for.
      Also, no Christmas Day lunch with the Queen and the Royal Family? Well, I'm perplexed, let's just leave it at that. Catherine can (and does) spend a lot of time with her own family, they really could make the effort one day a year. It almost seems, in this and other instances, as though they want the perks of being members of the Royal Family without the duties.

  4. Kate looked absolutely very healthy and beautiful. Loved everything, coat, dress, shoes, hair, hat, earrings, and gloves (does that cover everything :). I so love it when there is PDA between the couple (what a good looking couple). I would bet they simply are so happy to be living close by at Amner Hall, not needing to stay over night anywhere except in their own country home (perfect for her entire family and for little gorgeous George). I am so glad too for the nod so to speak to the Middleton immediate family members for their invitation to that church service. It seems so appropriate at long last since they are a close knit family and are an important factor in the lives of Kate and William.

    Thank you for an outstanding take on this event. Appreciate all your postings. Hope you had a Happy holiday with your family, Jane.

  5. The Middletons did join the service but not the walk.. which to me is not starnge at all.. Where else could they have gone to a service? They did not go "with" the royals.. they were present at the service. I personally am happy for W&K that they are able to combine both families.. However in all honesty I hope they don' t break with much more traditions.. especially when they move higher up in the ranks and are able to dictate their own "protocol"

  6. Love the coat and the hat---would just like to see tall boots with that length of coat.
    Thank you for taking time from your own Christmas Jane, to bring this report. I saw most of it on TV yesterday, without, of course, any info on clothes.
    Seems that by giving Catherine and William the house almost next door to Sandringham, she has made it possible for them to be with both sides of their family the chance to be with them at Christmas
    I just had pride yesterday, that the main story on TV news was the Head of State of my country and her family walking (or driving} to church

  7. Initially, I disliked this coat as I find brown rather drab. (My mother, a social worker, often said that brown was the colour of poverty.)

    However, as better pics, with better (non-tinted) lighting emerged, I quite liked it. It was a lighter, livelier colour. I do wish, tho, that Kate had worn different gloves, maybe leather, picking up the orange/red flecks in the coat or the orange lining of the coat, creating a splash of colour.

    Thank god Kate had the coat shortened--the original Moloh coat was ankle length, which exponentially increased the drab factor. Shortened, and seen in honest lighting, this coat gets a two thumbs up from me. It has a lovely line. But I do think that Kate should shy away from brown, an iffy colour, worn unsuccessfully by most. And, the last coat Kate wore by Moloh was, IMO, an absolute disaster; remember that blue-grey, too short, wrinkled thing she wore in Scotland when pregnant with George? A total fashion miss.

    I am happy to see that Kate had the chance to spend Xmas, in part, with her own family. Fair play--it shouldn't always be THE ROYAL WAY. Establishing a few new traditions, whilst dismissing a few older ones, is par for the course for a lot of us, and represents progress, while hanging on to the best of the past. To wit, if it is true that William and Kate took George to visit Santa Claus...lucky George! Who could begrudge that? a Grinch, I suppose. And who could sensibly blame James Middleton for stepping up to the plate, taking Williams place at a soccer/football game--and I DO think it possible that William and Harry were shoved into this, which apparently raises money for some charity, when both were single; but William is now both a husband and father and maybe he thinks that his Christmas Eve is better spent with his own family, and maybe he wants out before this game becomes another established royal tradition. Makes sense to me. Regarding the two church services the royal family attends on Xmas morning....While I wouldn't go so far as to call it ridiculous, redundant might work, especially if he wishes to establish English/British traditions, as opposed to German. Why on earth shouldn't William want to spend part of Xmas morning with his wife and kids, opening stockings and presents before attending one church service at 11:00 a.m.? (Methinks the Queen insists upon attending two services because she lacks the desire or imagination to change from Germanic customs to British. Germans apparently open their gifts on Xmas Eve, just like our Queen. So with time hanging heavily on the morning of the 25th, and given that she really can't organize a shoot on Christmas Day--imagine the outcry-- she insists that the adults and older children march off to church TWICE, saving the shoot for the 26th.

    Food for thought?


    1. The opening of presents on Christmas Eve isn't a German thing but a Danish one brought into the family by Alexandria

    2. Queen Alexandra.

    3. JC. I believe the first service is a private communion service for the Royal Family. Perhaps it has a special meaning to the Queen as a way rememberance and thankfulness to God for the year that has past and to pray for help in the coming year. Also a private way to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ which is after all what Christmas is really a celebration of. They are two different services and therefore not at all "redundant"

    4. The Duke and Duchess have a church on their doorstep, so maybe the attended a Communion service there.
      I don't doubt that in future years, there will be photographers around that Church.

  8. Several thoughts about a variety of things I've read around the "royal" websites...
    I wouldn't expect the Middleton's to walk to church with the family and I bet they didn't expect to either. In spite of what many people seem to think, they do not appear to be at all pretentious or social climbers. They know their connection to the royal family is due to their daughter's marriage and they are not so presumptious as to feel they should intermingle. That said, they certainly have every right to attend the public church service and I find it nice that they attend church on the day that celebrates Jesus' birth.
    Second, I didn't expect to see George either. Traditionally, the royal family doesn't include the babies in their walk, or public observance of Christmas. William and Harry were several years old before they joined their parents in the service. James still has not put in an appearance, nor has either of Peter and Autumn Phillips' daughters.
    Third, I adore seeing William and Catherine holding hands, when William shows his protectiveness by keeping his hand at her back, and all of their other public displays of affection. I also like seeing Catherine's obviously good relationship with Charles.
    Fourth, I know this is a blog about Catherine but am curious as to whether anyone knows why Zara and Mike were absent. Perhaps another couple breaking with tradition to establish their own routines with the non-royal side of the family?
    Finally, Jane you do a fabulous job with the site. Such well thought out articles along with great pictures. Thank you for your efforts and Happy New Year.

  9. Lovely post - thank you Jane.

    George did attend a church service - at Anmer on Sunday. Many UK papers had the story from a mother whose young daughter "helped George with his lantern, and he blew her a kiss". So he isn't locked away from the public, he just doesn't make public appearances yet.

    And speaking of public appearances - Trooping the Colour is a public appearance/event but it never appears in advance in anyone calandars except HMQ and (sometimes) the C-i-C taking part. Public appearances are in the Court Circular and becomes an official event for those named

    This church service is a private event as Jane said. Lovely tradition watching the BRF interact with people, esp children. Apparently some had been there since 06:00. That means in the dark! And Norfolk is COLD. Rather them than me!

    Thanks again Jane.

  10. Kate looked lovely! I'm quite jealous of the all the luck her family is showered with now. I know Carole and Mike worked hard to get to where they are now but I'm sure they never imagined one day they and their children would be related to the royalty and invited to spend some time at church with the Queen herself! Life can be so beyond what we dare to imagine!

  11. @ Kathy. My understanding is that Mike, Zara and Mia were in Australia, due to a request on the part of one of Zaras riding sponsors, Rolex, for her presence at some sort of sailing? event.


  12. @ Skippyboo. It is a German custom to open gifts on Christmas Eve; however, I have no idea when this custom was introduced within the royal family--I simply assumed that Victoria and Albert initiated it. Nevertheless, the point I was attempting to make was that this is a foreign custom, not British.


  13. Im with the few posters who like Kate's ensemble. It's an interesting coat with a nice line and some beautiful details such as the orange lining. To me, it has a luxurious old world feel. I would have liked to have seen the ankle length on her with different accessories and boots. I feel that she could get away with a more period look on a Christmas Day walk to church.

  14. My vote for best-dressed Royal this season goes to The Princess Royal for the green ensemble she wore to church on Sunday. Second place goes to the Queen for her vibrant outfit on Christmas Day. Kate was lovely, as always, but a bit boring. I preferred these other two.

    1. I agree with the outfit the Royal wore today - beautiful and classic. But really loved the white/cream/gold coat and hat the Queen wore today. As for Kate's outfit for Christmas, I thought it beautiful and classic as well. She achieved what I think has been her goal - not to take the spotlight off the Queen any more than she already does by being Williams' wife.

    2. Yes, I sometimes wonder if Kate purposely works to avoid detracting from others. If so, I think it's very admirable. And I agree that the Queen's outfit today was also lovely.


The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!