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Royal Watcher's Guide to Periscope

Thursday, April 30, 2015

As the Royal Baby prepares to make his or her appearance, the excitement and interest is giving a boost to media, papers, bloggers, the fashion industry and more. One perhaps unlikely star in the #LindoWingWatch show is Twitter's new live-feed app Periscope! Launched just over a month ago, the app allows iOS users to alert all their followers (via Twitter) of their live broadcast. This might seem an amateur's tool, but this second arrival of a Cambridge HRH is a little different from Round 1, and the circumstances have made it ripe for Periscoping to take off.

In 2013, the press were allowed to set up in front of the Lindo Wing on July 1st. One of London's hottest summers on record, photographers, reporters, cameramen and more spent hours under the glaring sun waiting for Kate to come to the hospital and have her first child. There were 24-hour live feeds of the Lindo Wing door, and reporters snatched at anything to have something to say as the days ticked slowly by. Prince George was not born until the 22nd of July, but for the unhappy group stuffed into the press pens, those twenty-two days likely felt closer to a lifetime. 

In a bid to avoid the same circus, Kensington Palace changed the rules for this Lindo Wing Watch. Since The Duchess of Cambridge was due mid-late April, no press was allowed to set up until the 15th of the month. Positions are assigned, to bypass the jostling of 2013, triggered by a first-come, first served policy, and no broadcasting is to take place until Kate is confirmed to have been admitted to the hospital. 

Most of these rules are for everyone's benefit, and the media and Palace alike seem pleased with the parameters, and the more organized results. Nevertheless, fans are desperate for more up-to-the minute news, and thankfully Twitter had solved the dilemma. Enter Periscope, which has become the royal reporting tool de rigueur. One by one, press began using the app and the airwaves are now thick with transmittals from the frontline.

If you have Twitter and an iPhone, simply download the app, and you will be presented with a list of everyone you follow on Twitter who also has the Periscope app. You can then choose whom you wish to follow. When any given broadcaster begins a live-feed, you will get a little chirping bird noise to alert you a broadcast is beginning. Tune in, and presto, you are transported to the Lindo Wing for an instant update. The app allows users to interact with the broadcaster, and many of the reporters are happy to field questions from fans.  Android users have been left a little in the cold with this Apple-only feature, but if you do not have an Apple phone, I believe you can download the Periscope app to your computer. 

Who should you follow?  My recommendations...

Max Foster: (@MaxFosterCNN) The veteran CNN anchor has really nailed the whole Periscope process, delivering relaxed and fluid reports. Max fields questions really well, and diffuses the occasional royal-hater with tact and humor. As most television reporters are, Max is easy on the eyes, a fact has not gone unnoticed by more than one viewer. But, ladies, before you dump Prince Harry and change those Tumblr handles to @FosterForever, he is married, as he has injected this status into more than one commentary. Cool it, and stick with Harry... 

Tim Ewart (@EwartRoyale) Tim interviews Victoria Murphy and Emily Nash with regularity. He is pleasant and constant, and, he parries the occasional offensive tweet with good grace. Double points from me.

Simon Vigar (@SimonVigar5) Truthfully, I am not sure I am always awake or concentrating when Mr. Vigar broadcasts, but I see his name popping on my iPhone, so if you want frequent updates, he is worth a follow.

James Whatling (@JWhatling) James broadcasts in the wee hours for me, so I only catch him if I am restless, but sleepy. I know I have never given his Periscopes their just dessert, but James takes many of the most beautiful photos you see on this blog, so I am always pleased to see him pop up.

Paul Harrison (@SkyNewsEditor) Paul is still favorite in royal circles, even though he has moved to loftier reporting. He isn't on the royal beat anymore, but we all remember him fondly from the days he covered Kate and, of course, the first GreatKateWait. Frankly, if you are interested in politics, his Periscopes are still quite interesting--he is following the British elections and I am loving it!

Emily Nash (@emynash) Super cute reporter over at The Sun, Emily will occasionally do her own Periscope, but is often a guest. The girls in general haven't exactly taken to Periscope, but they often star in the boys' productions--appropriate. You are more likely to catch Emily on Tim or Max's feed.

Lastly, Jesal Parshotam (@therealjesal) stole the show tonight when he gave an after dark tour of the area around the Lindo Wing, including taking us behind the hospital to the back entrance Kate used when she slipped in at dawn when in labor with George. He showed us where the photographers are waiting, and the possible entrances the Duchess might use this time. It was really, really fun and informative. It just won hands down--the best Periscope of the Great Kate Wait.

Obviously, as soon as Kate is admitted, every journalist and photographer will abandon Periscope for their high def cameras, but I think the app will continue to be a major player in royal reporting as media will likely broadcast live all number of royal events, and importantly for us fashion watchers, the royal arrivals. Instant fashion for all!

If you are on Twitter, follow From Berkshire to Buckingham @HRHKateBlog. Occasionally, I say something sarcastic or acerbic. :)

Hopefully, we will have a new baby very soon!

Love in the Air: The Royal Wedding From Above

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It is April 29th, and contrary to what I sometimes say, or how I feel about the time that has passed, it has been four years since Kate Middleton married Prince William Arthur Philip Louis at Westminster Abbey. As we wait for the Royal Baby to make his or her fashionably late appearance, I have to say that the excitement of the Royal Wedding cannot be matched for me. I have been ODing on the soundtrack all month. I love the intimate shots of William and Kate, their happy smiles and their stolen little moments throughout their lavishly gorgeous ceremony. They succeeded in making the televised wedding of the decade into a personal and private affair, too. This year, though, I want to take a step back and see the wedding as the historic occasion that it was, and to get a sense of the majestic scope. So, this afternoon, on this joyous anniversary, I present their wedding entirely from a distance. Love is in the air...

As the princess-to-be threw a final wave at the cheering crowds, Kate, Michael, and Pippa Middleton were framed in the centuries old columns of the West Door.

Final adjustments were made to the dress, designed to look like an opening flower, as both Pippa and designer Sarah Burton arranged the pleats and folds one last time:

As the first strains of Sir Hubert Parry's triumphant "I Was Glad" began to boom through the cathedral, Michael and Kate began the walk up the aisle, which extended in front of them approximately three hundred feet!

Quick deviation, that is Mr. Security and his wife watching Kate process up the aisle!

BBC Royal Wedding

The majority of Westminster Abbey dates to the 13th century, when Henry III began the more magnificent structure we have today.  There are thousands of tombs in the Abbey, including royals across England's history as well as many famous figures.

Westminster is a Gothic cathedral, a style of architecture that emerged in France in the High Middle Ages, and spread throughout Europe. While it has many characteristics, perhaps the primary contribution it made was the use of flying buttresses. Flying buttresses enabled architects to transfer some of the weight carried by the walls to the exterior buttresses. This meant that the primary walls, which before had had to be strong and solid, could then be laced with beautiful windows. Installed with stained glass, churches were suddenly filled with colorful light that lifted the eyes, and the spirit, upward toward the divine. Very famous Gothic churches include Chartres, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, York Minster, and many more. I think one of the most breathtaking and impressive uses of the technique is at Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, where the entire chapel seems made of entirely jewel-toned stained glass. 

Even the Queen had to get a last look at Kate's stunning train as the wedding party made its way back down the aisle.

As the Crown Imperial picked up the pace of the recessional, the couple approached the door and the excitement outside built to a fever.   

The Prince was handed his hat, with his gloves inside...

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged from the Abbey into the bright exterior and paused on the steps. The crowds roared as the bells began to boom, answered by smaller churches all across London. Westminster Abbey's bells were given a full peal, "A full peal features a minimum of 5,000 different changes (or sequences) and lasts more than three hours."

The carriage procession took the wedding party from Westminster to Buckingham Palace, cutting through the Horse Guards, very familiar to royal watchers thanks to the annual Trooping the Colour, in addition to other events. 

On a number of occasions, William saluted the flag, in addition to paying his respects to the Cenotaph, as Kate respectfully bowed her head beside him.

For some, the highlight of the day was the balcony appearance and now-traditional kiss. The usually reserved William was more than happy to oblige and even egged Kate into a second smooch. I read somewhere he had a specific cameraman who was supposed to capture a great shot so William could get it framed. Did I make that up? Anyone else remember that story? I imagine it over their mantle in Norfolk. 

Ok, it is Royal Wedding Day, let's do one last shot that's a little more intimate:

A very Happy 4th Anniversary to these two crazy kids! May baby Cambridge come soon, and may they celebrate many more years of marriage!

If you don't own the Royal Wedding on DVD or don't care to download it off iTunes, where it is also available, you can watch it in its entirety here, thank you, British Monarchy Channel:

If you aren't on entire overload, I have a bonus for you. I did double-duty today, because poor Kate's Clothes needed to mark this National Holiday of Royal Watchers as well, so if you want to read a post about the Royal Wedding with an emphasis on Papa Middleton, don't miss: A Daddy & His Daughter. It is a Royal Wedding-palooza over on Kate's Clothes!

And finally, a quick #GreatKateWait update. No news. Well, some news. The parking restriction has been extended from April 30th to May 5th, and William joined Kate today at Buckingham Palace, possibly for another swim and a private lunch? Here is my revised theory as of yesterday afternoon. Kate was due late, late, late April, but they assumed it was likely she'd come a little early, so it was a safe bet to say mid-late April. She has probably just hit her due date and still hopes to have the baby without being forced to induce. I would love a May baby, but I hope the little one comes soon. 

Pastries Party the Lindo Wing as Royal Baby Speculation Mounts

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I am not trying to cause undue (happy) panic or excited hyperventilation, but there has been some action at the Lindo Wing.  Kate has not been admitted, to our knowledge, but this morning Nick Loughran, deputy communications secretary, was spotted at the Lindo Wing, and police presence has appeared to increase. Certainly, we have seen members of Kate's team pop down before over the past month, and security checks have been routine, but there does seem to be a certain excitement right now.

Of course, a stopped clock is right twice a day. This baby has to come at some point, and Kate did say she was due mid-late April. I think the common consensus is that the Duchess if likely overdue, but how much, no one knows. The likelihood that she will induce is very high, if she has passed her due-date. 

Yesterday, Niraj Tanna reported seeing PPOs near Paddington, prompting intense speculation that Kate had been admitted, but it seems that was a security test run. Still, if Kate has decided to induce, the timing might now be carefully planned.

In what was a very sweet gesture--literally and figuratively--the Cambridges sent the super-fans who have been camped outside the Lindo Wing, hot coffee and pastries this morning. I don't think they picked these up at the local Dunkin' Donuts (no offense to DD) because they looked quite gourmet and entirely drool worthy. Rebecca English of The Daily Mail confirmed that the Cambridges said they'd seen the news reports about the cluster of royalists waiting for the Royal Baby and wanted to offer a gesture that made clear they were "thinking of them." 

Royal reporters have been broadcasting live using Periscope, Twitter's relatively new live-feed app. It has been amusing and a lot of fun to enjoy their banter and camaraderie in a more relaxed medium.  It has also been a clever way of getting around the no-broadcasting rules, and giving fans the live reports most are craving after the last pregnancy's 24-hour news cycle. This morning, several reporters are suggesting they suspect the royal baby is imminent.

So, stay calm, carry on, but stay tuned! It wouldn't be a bad bet to guess Kate might be admitted today! Don't forget that year four years ago today, we were just as excited...maybe more so, as Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton were set to marry the next day!

Royal Baby Watch Update + Stylerocks Giveaway!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Good morning, good morning. The waiting is starting to get to you, isn't it? I know it is. :) Even I am beginning to wonder. In Monday's post, I confidently predicted we would have a new royal baby with us before the weekend. As the hours ticked by yesterday, I could only shake my head.  While we wait for the fashionably late HRH, I have a fun distraction at the end of this post, so hold on through our Kate updates!

Before we get to that, though, PopSugar got a hold of the entire set of photos from the Bucklebury Snettisham! Farm Park. They are higher quality than the ones we have seen, and there are some precious new shots of Kate carrying George. That little man really has grown. William and Kate are really blessed; he is just absolutely precious. Of course, we knew Kate would have beautiful babies. :) See all the pictures at PopSugar here. Can you tell they are related?

While in London, Kate has not been a hermit hiding away in KP. The Duchess was spotted shopping at Zara Home for a variety of things, including what might have been gifts for George? People reports:
Browsing the store alone for 45 minutes, Kate bought some salad servers, a plain doormat and some dark blue bath towels with rope-print detailing. "She was really interested in the blue sailor-themed display where she got the towels from before she went down to kidswear," says the staffer.

In the kids' department, Kate bought Prince George a few gifts, including a set of padded blue and white gingham hangers, some picnic cutlery and tumblers with polka dots. She also looked at some neutral white baskets that might well be for the new baby. "Those are our best sellers and perfect for nurseries," says another staffer who saw her in the store.
Kate was wearing a white and blue top (this sounds suspiciously like a Breton, doesn't it?), jeans, and high-heeled wedges. Difficult to say what wedges, but I suspect they were her Pied a Terre, rather than the Corkswoon.  As nimble as she is, I can't imagine wearing those sky-scrapers this late in pregnancy.

April 26, 1923

The Press Association ran a very fun piece yesterday about the possible birthdays of the Royal Baby and what notable occasions it could share. Today, April 25th, is the birthday of Kate's maternal grandfather, Ronald Goldsmith; the wedding anniversary of George VI and Queen Elizabeth is on the 26th of April; and, of course, William and Kate's own wedding anniversary on the 29th of April. That happens to also be Uncle Gary's birthday, but I don't know if that would make the press release.

Tip to survive the Great Kate Wait: She won't go into labor, deliver the baby, and present the new HRH on the steps of the Lindo Wing, all in under 8 hours while you slumber, or in the time it takes you to get through an appointment. When Kate finally did go into labor with George, it was just more of the waiting game! I was in Paris, and let me tell you, I got a boat-load done between the official announcement, the grandparents' visits, and, at last, the photo-call. Even if Kate has a massively quick labor and delivery, it is likely the Cambridges will follow the same procedure with this little one, as they did with George, giving themselves several hours alone just soaking it in before making the news public. This, coupled with the restrictions on the announcement hours should keep all royal watchers cool as cucumbers.

Since it is the weekend, and finally spring, and Royal Wedding month, and we have a new Cambridge baby on the very doorstep, let's turn to something with a celebratory pop: jewelry. I am sure you remember Pascale and the customized jewelry company Stylerocks. If you were on vacation, or off brewing a cuppa, when we chatted about Stylerocks last time around, I want to quickly refresh your memory before we continue to today's treat! Pascale created Styelrocks to fill a void in the jewelry business. She formed the company to provide quality jewelry with an emphasis on craftsmanship, but one that is also tailored to her customer's preferences. Stylerocks offers customizable jewelry, making you the designer, and allowing your personality to take center stage. 


I follow Pascale on Instagram and I can tell you not all Instagram accounts are created equal. I love the geometric displays the company posts. Here are their detachable earrings, several of which are very similar to some of Kate's cushion cut Kikis. As you can see, the mix-and-match options from shape and style, to metal, to stone color, are many!

As I mentioned, we have a treat today, and the title of the post has already tipped you off to the fact we are doing a give-away! Pascale asked me what I thought should be the featured item in the give-away and it was not hard for me to choose the "Charlotte" necklace, a member of the Russian Rings collection.  

Pascale has described the concept of the Russian rings: "the three rings are said to represent the Holy Trinity. But they can represent other concepts too: Past, Present, Future. Peace, Love, Harmony. There’s something about the number 3 that is truly magical. And in this ring, they represent a connectedness that can never be broken." Style rocks' range of Russian Rings pieces offer a broad variety of different shapes and styles. This video gives you some background on how the jewelry is made!

This engraved necklace comes in several sizes, the Zara (small), the Alexandra (medium), and the Charlotte (large). I asked Pascale if we could feature the Charlotte, the largest, which I like because it is big enough to make a statement, while remaining sophisticated in its simple elegance. Am I the only one noticing that all these necklaces have princess-worthy names?

Zara, Alexandra, and Charlotte

You will certainly notice the similarity between this piece, and Kate's Cartier "Trinity" necklace. Other than the eye-watering price-tag, around £49,000, we don't know when Kate got it, or from whom. It has only been described as a piece in her personal collection. 

Obviously, with Mother's Day just around the corner, (cough, cough, all you dads out there) now is the time to pull it together if you have yet to make plans for the princess in your life. Stylerocks can only guarantee Mother's Day delivery if you order by April 30th, but they will provide a customized "promissory note" if you are late to the game. Several you asked me to remind the guys around Mother's Day that a Stylerocks treat would not go amiss, and this is my official nudge! 

Ok, to the giveaway! Below, you can sign up for multiple chances to win, depending on the options you pursue. The two mandatory points are that you sign up for the newsletter over on the Stylerocks website, (if you note you came via FBTB, you will get a $25 credit toward any purchase!). Secondly, you must comment on this post with your preferred necklace length and engravings, should you be the lucky winner! Knock yourselves out, kids!  I know you are just watching a dead Twitter feed right now while you attempt to survive the Great Kate Wait 2. ;) 

I want to personally thank everyone who did business with Pascale and purchased some of her beautiful products the last time around. When you do business with Pascale, she does business with me here, and that supports the upkeep of this blog. I think her product is lovely and the concept unique, and it has been a pleasure to introduce her to you all and in doing so create a relationship that is so mutually beneficial.

Hopefully, we will have a baby to celebrate very, very soon. 

Royal Baby Watch: Kate's Time in Bucklebury & A Visit to Windsor?

Monday, April 20, 2015

I have not been following the Great Kate Wait 2 very closely. After the first round in 2013, I gambled that we had some time to loaf about during Baby Watch 2. But, Sunday morning I woke up with a start and the only thought on my mind was, "What is going on with the Royal Baby!" I am officially feeling the tension.  Kate's team came up with a great strategy to minimize the craziness surrounding the birth; I think the best rule is the no news after 10pm or before 8am. That would have been really great while we waited for George... 

We have been wretchedly stranded in times past, when Kate has disappeared, but this weekend there was a slew of fun and informative articles filling in some interesting details about Kate's whereabouts and recent past-times. No prizes if you guess that she spent time in Bucklebury this month. People had a great piece reporting that the Duchess has kept an unusually low-profile during these stays, preferring to stay in the house and away from even the friendly and protective glances of locals. 
"Kate was here for a few days in the week," a local source tells PEOPLE. "Nobody saw her around though – she must have just stayed in the house having a rest."
 My favorite part is the description of her usual modus operandi:
"You often see William and Kate wandering through the fields," adds another local.
"But Kate doesn't venture out of the house much when she's at home these days."
Sounds absolutely idyllic. I can't wait for George to join them in a darling little pair of wellies. According to @livelovelaughvr, Kate spent this weekend in Bucklebury, and was photographed with George at Bucklebury Farm Park, a favorite destination of the mother and son when visiting Mike & Carole.

It is thought she has returned to London as she enters what is very probably the final week of her pregnancy. The parking restriction lasts through April 30th, and as one royal watcher pointed out, women are not allowed to go a week past due before they are induced. While the Palace could extend the restriction, I think it likely Kate is due this week.

The Daily Mail had a thorough piece on William and Kate's home-life in Norfolk, which included a report of a dinner they hosted for friends at a local restaurant:
The couple already have a list of favourite pubs. Two weeks ago, they shared a dinner with six friends at The Crown in nearby East Rudham. William, seated at the head of the table next to his heavily pregnant wife, organised the supper to celebrate them finally moving to Anmer. ‘William and Kate have friends in Norfolk, and they enjoyed a private dinner in a dining room,’ reports a source. ‘They wanted a night out and they can do it here. The locals are very protective of them, as are the pub owners. They organise special tables out of the way of prying eyes and escape routes so they are never seen coming in or leaving.’
The article goes on to discuss William's plans, including cutting back on royal duties and focusing on his family. I think that he does plan to prioritize Kate, George, and the new baby, but given the resources he has, it is not clear to me that an involved home-life and maintaining his royal duties are mutually exclusive. Given his trajectory in the past two years, I think we will see William maintain his current workload, if not increase it. Some of this will depend upon the health of the Queen, of course, but I don't think the progress he has made will now be abandoned.

More details about Carole Middleton's help before George's birth have been emerging. Hello! ran a piece about the custom Silver Cross pram the Cambridges ordered before their first child arrived:
"We supplied a couple of extra accessories including an insect net. It was a very good summer when Prince George was born. Our head of design went to the Middleton family home and presented it to the Duchess' mom. We did a full demonstration so that the product was safe and used correctly."
Apparently, Silver Cross has now made this standard for all buggies. Yay for royals making products better for everyone. It was also interesting to note how Carole is an integral part of facilitating Kate's ability to function normally, while maintaining a level of privacy. Their intimacy allows her to take on some of Kate's work, and act as a buffer between her celebrity daughter and the public. 

Lastly, Lulu and Sarah W shared with me a photo of Kate taken while she pregnant with George. It was taken by a fan who happened to see Kate walking in her garden while visiting Kensington Palace. When she snapped a camera phone picture through the bars, a guard approached her and asked her not to continue photographing the Duchess. I have always wondered if the royals were ever visible in the gardens and green spaces that can be seen by the public. It would seem that sometimes, they are.

Pooja Siwakoti Facebook
Tomorrow is Elizabeth II's 89th birthday! It would be very fun if Kate and her baby tomorrow, and i would say the chances of a girl being named Elizabeth would skyrocket. If she does not, I wonder if the Cambridges will venture to Windsor for a birthday celebration? The Queen has taken the week off, and The Telegraph has noted that several members of her family have open schedules, as well:
The Prince of Wales, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex have also kept their diaries free, suggesting they may join her for a birthday celebration at some point during the day. 

She could even receive a visit from her great-grandson, Prince George, if the Duchess of Cambridge is feeling well enough to make the trip, or of the Duke of Cambridge has a day off from his air ambulance pilot training.
Check off another day of the Great Kate Wait. See you tomorrow!  

Royal Baby Watch: Kate's Maternity-Wear by the Month

Friday, April 17, 2015

This was a much different pregnancy from Kate's first. Although she got off to a bumpier start, once the Duchess cleared the worst of the HG, I think she was far more comfortable with the routine. Although the Royal Baby has yet to make his or her appearance, I suspect we will find she scheduled engagements closer to her due date this go around. I thought about doing a review of her maternity wear, but then I felt it would be more fun to look at her pregnancies next to each other. So, while we all are embroiled in the Great Kate Wait 2, let's look at the two side-by-side.

Month 1: November (George) and August (HRH #2)
Nada. Kate didn't actually announce until her hospitalization forced her to in December. Similarly, it was only her HG that pushed the royals to tell the world about Royal Baby 2 when Kate had to miss a scheduled appearance in early September. 

Month 2: December/September
Due to her hospital stay, we did get one appearance from the Duchess in December of 2012, as she was pictured leaving Edward VII with William by her side. 

Happily, Kate was not hospitalized in this second pregnancy, although she was carefully monitored by her doctors at home. Unhappily, her second bout with HG was longer and harder than the first, and we did not see her at all in September. 

Month 3: January/George & October/HRH#2

When pregnant with George, Kate made only one, partially-public, appearance in her third month. She visited the National Portrait Gallery for the unveiling of her first official portrait. With this second pregnancy, she re-emerged in October for a slew of public engagements beginning with the State Visit from Singapore, her appearance at the Natural History Museum (below), and the pink carpet for Action on Addiction. 

Month 4: February/George & November/HRH#2

Possibly the greater period of rest played in Kate's favor, because in her second pregnancy, she undertook far more engagements in her fourth month, than she did the first time. With George, Kate was only out once, but with HRH#2, she had at least 6 public appearances. 

Month 5: March/George & December/HRH#2

Interestingly, Kate travelled out of Britain in both her 5th months. While pregnant with Prince George, she flew to Switzerland for a wedding, and with this little Royal Baby, she flew all the way to New York, USA! 

Month 6: April/George & January/HRH#2

Maybe the arrival of spring helped during the first pregnancy, because Kate undertook more engagements in April 2013, as she saw the light at the end of the tunnel. January is usually a lighter month for the royals, and sometimes we do not even see Kate, so relatively speaking, her calendar was full in January 2014, before she slipped away for the Middletons' annual holiday in Mustique. 

Month 7: May/George & February/HRH#2

Month 7 was very light for both pregnancies. Kate only made a single (public) appearance in May of 2012, pictured, and three in February of 2015.

Month 8: June/George & March HRH#2

Her final month before withdrawing from the public to prepare for the arrival, the 8th month was light on engagements in 2013, but packed in March of 2014. Again, it seemed Kate was far more comfortable this time. Also, there was a lot more to prepare when pregnant with George.  Now, the nursery is ready, the Moses basket has already been bought, and she has a nanny. It is probably less hectic Chez Cambridge. We saw most recycles in the 8th month, including the Hobbs Dalmatian Macintosh!

Month 9: July/George & April/HRH#2

Kate disappeared after the 2013 Trooping and was not seen until she appeared on the steps of the Lindo Wing holding George--over a month since her previous appearance. Presently, the Royal Baby Watch is in full swing, as the barriers went up outside the Lindo Wing several days ago. The next time we see Kate, she'll be holding a new prince or princess. 

Not to wander down a side-street, but were you all surprised by the pieces Kate chose to recycle? She had a number of options from her first pregnancy, and we even saw her recycle within the second pregnancy closet! Several readers have asked we do a poll, but in keeping with the angle of this post, I would like to know which ensemble was your favorite, but also, which piece you would have liked to have seen get a Royal Recycle. Since we are considering everything form both pregnancies, I am not going to add them here. If you want to review, pop over to Kate's Clothes Browse page, click the maternity button, and then click filter. Once you know what you like, tweet me at @HRHKateBlog, email me at, or leave a comment. I will tally it all up after the weekend, so you have some time to think! 

Kate's Clothes Filter Option

Last item...what will Kate name the baby! I don't know. I thought that she would have a girl the first time around, and I was 100% certain the name would be Alexandra. My thinking was that Kate is very traditional, but she has an edgy, modern side, too. I think Alexandra covers both bases! I know some of you have mentioned that George's middle name is Alexander, and this does make me think Alexandra is less likely. Nevertheless, I have not ruled it out. The bookies are often right--they predicted George--and I think Alice is a very real possibility. I wondered about Mary, because I think that Mary of Teck was such a cool queen, but George and Mary would be a little too Downton Abbey-ish, no? I can't decide about Elizabeth. I could make an argument either way, but if I were forced to choose, I would have to bet against Elizabeth. I feel like somewhere, maybe not the first name, we will get a nod to the Middleton side of the family. Charlotte is both a regal name, and Pippa's middle name. Giving a girl Frances as a middle name could be a nod to both Diana and to Michael Middleton, but it might be a little too old-fashioned. I don't know. I think Kate has a generous selection of beautiful, traditional family names that could serve as a tribute to both sides. Frankly, that strengthens the argument for Elizabeth. I would love Victoria... This is becoming a stream consciousness. :) What do you think?! We haven't even considered a boy, and many think it will be a boy, but I will opine on that on Monday Funday. 

Looking forward to your votes coming in! Happy weekend! 

Kate's April 14th: Heartbreak & Happiness

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It is April 14th. Kate's last official public appearance was on March 27th when, with William by her side, she undertook number of appearances in her "cerise" Mulberry coat. Today, signs were placed outside the Lindo Wing prohibiting parking until the 30th of the month, almost assuring us that the second child of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will arrive before the end of the month. Just yesterday, new photos emerged of Kate playing with George among the haystacks of a Norfolk children's play park. The former Kate Middleton was the picture of happy and content motherhood as she cradled her adorable son in her arms, and helped him up the steep slides. Incidentally, eight years ago--I can't believe I just wrote that--eight years ago on this day, the headline on William and Kate was breaking hearts around the world, and most of all, the heart of a certain Miss Kate Middleton. It was on April 14, 2007 it was confirmed that HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Middleton has indeed ended their relationship:

The tension had been building. After graduation from St. Andrews, William and Kate had struggled to adjust to life under the intense lens of public scrutiny. With the grace period the press had granted the heir to the throne while he pursued his degree having expired, Wills and Kate were subjected to almost constant "surveillance". William, who had not planned to commit to a relationship for many years, was particularly floundering. I have never faulted William for this hesitancy. Preconceived prejudices about relationships, particularly the date at which one can or should commit, can have very strong impacts on real scenarios. Given his particularly troubled background, his reluctance to commit to anyone so young was understandable, and possibly even prudent. Nevertheless, it left our favorite, and oh, so faithful royal girlfriend vulnerable. 

The couple's appearance at Cheltenham is now iconic. Their distant body language and Kate's occasionally glum face sparked immediate speculation in the press that all was not well in the royal paradise. Regrettably, although these kinds of hypotheses are often fabricated, this was an instance when the media had picked up the correct scent. 

Over the ensuing months, Kate and William did some very obvious soul searching. In the engagement interview, Kate remarked on her time away from William, reflecting that although she hadn't been happy about it, she had grown in character and in personal strength. She certainly didn't shy from her own personal battle to remind William that she was special and worth the struggle:

Kate really poured herself into self-improvement and into PR. Never once did she shrink from the harsh limelight, as the world waited for her to crack under the pressure of her public heart break. 

Like magnets inevitably drawn together, William and Kate couldn't stay apart. Facing a future in which Kate was not a factor, William returned to woo his princess back. While her mega-watt smile during the break-up was brave, the genuine joy she exuded after their reconciliation still melts my heart:

Life is a funny thing. One day it feels like you can't go on, and a year later, you are king of the world. April 14, 2007 must have been one of the darkest days of Kate's life, but she stayed the course. Almost an exact year later, April 11, 2008, she was glowing next to her prince as he graduated from flight school:

In April of 2011, she lit up the planet in a custom gown by Alexander McQueen as she immortalized the fairly-tale romance in lavish Westminster Abbey wedding to Prince William:

In April of 2013, she was expectantly waiting the birth of her first child:

On April 14th of 2014 she was on a blockbuster tour of New Zealand and Australia with her achingly adorable toddler son and doting spouse:

Eight years ago, the world boomed with the news that Prince William had dumped his commoner girlfriend and was at last free, while somewhere, in a quiet flat in London, Kate struggled to hold her crumbling world together. Today, a sign went up outside the exclusive Lindo Wing of St. Mary's hospital, excluding parking in front of the building in anticipation of the arrival of the second child of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. 


Eight years. Today, Kate is on top of the world.  Thank goodness that after the storm comes the rainbow, after the dark of night, there is always the dawn.  xoxo, Jane

Don't forget to check out my new website, The Encyclopedia of Kate's Clothes! The Duchess's wardrobe searchable by designer, type, color, event, charity and more!