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Return to the Roots: FBTB's Future

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I started writing From Berkshire to Buckingham in April of 2011, so it has been chugging along for over four years now, which is a little hard to believe. I have been astounded by the growth of this site, and, of course, very gratified by it. In addition to my interest in royalty, I love travel and people, so it is a delight for me to pop by my Google Analytics every now and again and just browse the geographical dots. At any given time I see check-ins from all over the globe, and I muse about your far-off countries (or nearby states) and hope you are well.  As I write this, Ludhiana, India is on; Durban, South Africa; Clisson, France; Virginia Beach...;)  I don't know your names, or your faces, but I "see" you and I appreciate that you are here!  




In 2014, I gave a tremendous amount of attention to my "royal work" and poured significant energy into FBTB, and in the latter half of 2014, built Kate's Clothes.

August 2015 has, however, seen me take on a huge "project" in my personal life, which has forced me to reorganize my commitments and my time management. Inevitably, my blogs--which are very time-consuming--had to be included in this inspection and reorganization. I struggled much of the summer trying to decide whether it was time for me to let go of these spaces as my life transitions. Now that la rentrée has arrived, I have come to a decision.

The problem is that I really love writing FBTB. I love writing it for my readers, I love writing it for myself, and I just didn't want to give it up. I started thinking about why I blog and what I want from the blog, and where I see the blog going in the future. I realized that to keep this space alive, I have to go back to the roots, back to the source of my motivation.

Royal watching has always been my little escape from the grind and for four years From Berkshire to Buckingham has been my retreat space. I come to the blog to sink into an alternate world, to write and design, and to present engaging and entertaining material which essentially distracts and pleases. I began this site to share my interest in Kate's life, my admiration for her beauty, and my passion for the history behind her role as a princess. I wanted to more fully participate and enjoy the fairy tale with those who were equally "starry-eyed." This site is an unabashed indulgence in princess-watching.

It follows that FBTB is not a space for clinical discussion of the roles of the royal family juxtaposed against the needs of the world, or to contrast Kate's clothes budget against the needs of children starving in 3rd world countries. The majority of my life is consumed by attention to and study of many of these issues. I appreciate there is a more serious life reality, from conflict in the Middle East and the plight of enthno-religious minorities, to political tension and turmoils at home. But, this space is where I take a break, and I hope you do, too. We are here to break from whatever troubles you, whatever worries you, whatever weighs on you throughout your days. Here it is la vie en rose. Here we think about castles and history, tea and scones, designers and dresses. 

I want to make sure the focus stays there. Both in the content and in the comments. The comment section has reflected the organic and evolving nature of blogging over the past four years. Its flavor is in constant motion. In the last few years, we have tended to talk more about Kate's work ethic or the way in which she balances motherhood and her role as a royal. I have always welcomed these topics. I am not disturbed by controversy and I have a pretty thick skin. At the same time, though, it has been the cause of more than several disagreements and a few--not many--unpleasant moments.

Part of this is due to the anonymity of the cyber-world. We have some people who come to comment simply to cause strife in our little kingdom. It can be hard to tell who is a good fairy or a bad one until the plot is pretty fully developed, and by that time we have often taken a bite of the apple and descended into comment chaos. 

So here is what I have decided. We are going back to the basics. I want to talk about fashion, which is the primary focus of the blog anyway. In fashion I welcome all comments, as always, charitably expressed. Do you love the dress? Do you hate the dress? Does it remind you of your aunt's sofa? Does it make you think of Marie-Antoinette? Has Kate changed her style recently? Did she wear that color as a tribute to her hosts? Why haven't we seen Kate wear Ralph Lauren in public much, even though she seems so fond of the label in private? And on, and on, and on. That's the fashion side.

As to Kate's personal life, this is where I am going to tighten it up a little. I want to muse about her day-to-day. I want to know if you think she invited neighborhood children to George's party, or kept it strictly family & friends. I would love to hear if you think she juices or if that was just an urban legend. Where will she vacation next, and why?

Topics we will no longer host at From Berkshire to Buckingham, or elements that will disqualify an otherwise great comment:
  • The state of Kate's marriage. Kate's fidelity or William's fidelity. It is a very serious thing to wonder if a marriage is having trouble, and it ought not to be done unless there is significant evidence to support it. Even then, better to quietly confide one's concerns to a close friend than to muse publicly. No comment, no matter how perfect in every other respect, will be approved if it suggests (or wonders) if William is unfaithful to Kate, or if Kate is unfaithful to William, or unhappy in her marriage, or any such twist on that theme.  
  • Whether Kate works enough. Still off-limits.
  • Any abusive or foul language. I have no tolerance for it and I won't approve a comment that includes it.
  • Any attack on a fellow reader, or their opinion, which is an extension of their person in this forum. (And law school lingo begins to creep in...) "JaneDoe, that is just an idiotic remark." or "JaneDoe, I wonder how anyone could hold such an absurd position." Let's be honest, you might as well say, "JaneDoe. You are a moron." You can think that, you just can't say that out loud. :) This has actually been a big issue in the comments section, and some of you may be doing it without realizing, so be aware as we move forward that this will disqualify future comments. Instead, if you don't love JaneDoe's perspective, please address the facts. "I think that is an interesting point, but I see it a little differently. I think..." Do not address the person's motives for writing. 
  • I am also tightening up the comments about other members of the royal family. People say things online that they would not say sitting around a living room with a teacup in hand. We will extend a general rule that all subjects of the blog must be discussed as if they will sit down later this evening and read every comment. Please word your comments accordingly, i.e. with kindness and thoughtfulness to their feelings. 
  • If I approved a comment it does not mean that I agree with it, but it does mean that I found it fell within the rules by enough to go live. Please do not play the umpire. I am the final arbiter, and if you are unhappy with my decision, avail yourself of my readily accessible email and tell me why I am wrong. An email means that I can actually address your objection to you. If you write an anonymous post, it is likely I will simply delete it and keep moving, no matter how much I would like to point out to you why I made the choice.
Most basically, be kind. Be polite. Interact in charity. If you are upset, cool down first. If you want to smack someone down, pause and wonder if you'd say it to their face (and be honest about that!). Even if you decide you would say it to their face, don't. Assume the good in others at all times. Always read a comment with the kindest spin. Be kind even if you feel someone has been unkind toward you.

I think that sums up the fruit of my reflection over the past few months. I know that many still want to have these more spirited discussions, and so I am excited to say that I have a new project I hope to launch toward the end of the month that might give you an outlet for a little more real-time discussion on topics that are not as welcome on the blog. So, keep a weather eye out for that! Details will follow.

In conclusion, I thought perhaps that I could not balance the blog, but I have found so far that it has been--as it has through more than a few valleys over the past four years--a huge comfort in its continuity. I don't have as much time as I once did, but it seems more than ever it fulfills its early purpose, and I look forward to the days I can sneak away to blog here. So, I will continue to write, and when I have time I hope to wade into the comments more, and I look forward to moving forward with a little more clarity.

This week, we will continue the "Who Will Kate Wear" series by looking at designers Kate likes, but hasn't tapped as much for super formal wear. 

115 comments:

  1. Thank you for choosing to continue to write the blog - my husband follows fantasy football and this blog is part of my "fantasy princess" lineup!! FBTB is a lovely little escape!

    Lisa from Dallas

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  2. I'm so glad you are continuing the blog, Jane! I so enjoy reading it and going back through the archives. It's a lovely diversion. Thank you for all your hard work!!

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  3. Beautifully said as usual Jane. I must admit my heart was in my mouth as I read thinking "please don't quit the blog!!" I thoroughly agree with your rules of engagement, I want nothing more than for this site to say as a sanctuary from the rest of the stress and harshness out there, where we can just read and talk about this lovely girl who captured our hearts and watch her continue to blossom into an extremely challenging role, with pressures the rest of us can't even guess at.

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  4. For awhile I was certain you were going to tell us you were ending the blog. I am so relieved that I was wrong! I love checking in on Kate through your blog and would truly miss this if you stopped. I love your "rules" - all very reasonable and they will ensure this remains a bit of escapism for Royal fans.

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  5. I am so, so glad you have opted to continue this blog. Your writing style is eloquent and beguiling. You have created a fan for life in me with our shared interest in HRH and the remainder of the royal family. Thank you for all your efforts. They are truly appreciated.

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  6. Jane..I totally applaud you and support you in this "refocusing" of the blog.

    First let me say...I am relieved to hear that you are not discontiinuing the blog as FBTB is by far my favorite I share in your love of all things Kate and always look forward to reading your unabashed enthusiasm for Kate's latest satorical choice. (or constructive and positively presented critiques.)

    Second ...like you I follow this blog as a respite. As a working professional my days are long with real life challenges and stresses and getting home and logging into FBTB is my escape. I love fashion. It is my hobby. It is what I enjoy. So features with background information about designers Kate has worn are informative and fun for me. I also love to hear what other readers like and dislike in terms of Kates outfit choics.

    Thirdly I have no interest in participating in any conversation that speculates on the role of Kate and the royal family. Is this a discussion worth debating....absolutely. But not what I come to FBTB. See previous point.

    Fourthly..I have even less interest in debating about the state of Will and Kate's marriage. The anomity of the internet seems to have given, us, as a general population license to say things without being accountable. Needless to say that is dangerous and damaging and I would like to participate in a blog that holds itself to a higher standard than that.

    Jane...I wish you all the best in your law studies. You have a tough couple of years ahead of you but it will very much be worthwhile. Know that those fans of FBtB who share you values and interests will still be avid readers. Also know that we understand you have a very demanding schedule and so don't feel obligated to get a post up within minutes of a Kate siting. I might go to other blogs to see the pictures and get the "facts" of what she wore. But I will still always come to yours as it is your "viewpoint" that I am most interested.

    Best of luck with your studies and I look forward to many more enjoyable posts!!

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  7. As ever Jane, you are so gracious and eloquent. I love your comment criteria and I wish the world used it as an everyday approach as well. I love this blog, your perspective on Kate is uniquely informed and again, gracious. I'm so glad you're keeping on with it, I know how time consuming blogging is, I had one for over five years called "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" (you can google it if you want to see it) :). I finally had to give it up because it took too much energy and I had other writing to do. For now I'm so glad you've found a balance that includes the blog, I know all of us Kate fans are so grateful for your efforts! Looking forward to the new project too! (and don't you wish we saw more of Kate these days? Can't blame her of course, but I miss her!) Cheers!

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  8. Oh Jane I am so happy you decided to continue this great blog. You would be truly missed.

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  9. Very interesting and reflective post Jane. I always think it's good, in any area of life, to remind ourselves what our "mission statement" is, why are we putting time and energy into something? So kudos for figuring out your mission statement on this blog!

    I've read your posts for the better part of a year, but only delved into the comments section recently, during summer downtime :)

    What I've found frustrating is the irrational, split personality side of the comment section at times, which leads to awkward discussion. I hope you will try to stick to the decision that ugly attacks on other members of the BRF are just as inappropriate as attacks on Kate or the Middletons. After all, the Queen, Charles, et al, are William's family, her in-laws, so very much part of her "new" family and more importantly her children's family.

    I understand this is an unabashed Kate fan site. But it was strange that people who would pounce on anything untoward said about Kate, didn't bat an eye or react at quite offensive comments made about the Queen or others. I also thought it strange that you would post some of these offensive comments, when I'm fairly certain they would never be published if the focus was Kate, or even Carole Middleton.

    I brought this up in a comment in the previous post, which I think you decided not to publish :) But all Kate fans should realize that ugly comments made about William's family would offend Kate as much, if not more, than anything said about her personally, or the Middletons.

    People are free to have different opinions on a variety of topics, and I hope that can be respected. I've had fun chatting with you all! But an ugly tone or hateful attack is counterproductive, to say the least.

    I truly enjoy the discussion and look forward to your next blog project. As I've said before your work on Kate's Clothes is outstanding, you clearly have the fashion angle covered. I'm wondering what ground you'll cover next...

    Claudia :)

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  10. I am so happy you are going to continue blogging! I too find royal watching/blog reading a little escape and you do such a fantastic job!!!

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  11. I am so glad to hear that you are continuing on with FBTB, Jane! I hope we can all go back to our roots as commenters, too. I too use this as a form of non-fiction escapism - after a long day at work...or during a long day at work ;-)

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  12. Yikes. When I read that you "....didn't want to give it up..." I thought you were preparing us for bad news. Thank goodness that is not the case! :) Yes, there is enough stress in life and FBTB is nice place to get away from it all and indulge in a subject we enjoy. Thank you, Jane, and good luck to you.

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  13. My first time to comment (after years of reading) to say "Brava!" Perfect post and perfectly reasonable expectations. I followed several Kate blogs and then had a baby and, with much less time to devote to Kate blogs, chose yours as the sole one to continue reading. It was and continues to be simply the best. Thank you for all the time, thought, and consideration you give to this lovely little corner of the Internet.

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  14. Hallelujah!!!!
    I enjoy your blog -writing style, comments, fairness of responses to commenters-, and am pleased that you will continue to blog.

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  15. Sounds like a good plan for you and the blog. And great for me, too! Thank you.

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  16. Hi Jane,
    As all those who commented before and I bet a lot more people than will comment later I'm truly happy that you will continue the blog even facing the challenges of law school. FBTB has been one of the quiet corners to turn to for a relaxing and entertaining but most of all highly valued time to myself since I found your blog. It's good to know the little corner will be there for me to enjoy in the future and I hope that the blog will remain to be a little bit of that to you for a long long time to come.
    As for your rules: I applaud them wholeheartedly!
    Sara Bee

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  17. Thank you for continuing the blog! I thoroughly enjoy reading it and appreciate your effort, expertise and energy!

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  18. I'm so glad you choose to continue. I would have missed you! I'm happy to see the new rules and hope this blog can be a respite for you as well as your readers.

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  19. Thank you Jane, you are a very decent blogger. I love to read FBTB.
    Old Friend

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  20. I don't comment often but I have always enjoyed the blog. I am glad you are continuing to post. My participation in other forums has decreased due to an increase in nasty comments and I was afraid that this blog was going to follow. But hopefully not. Your rules are clear and reasonable. Thank you! And best of luck with your studies. I remember those years clearly even though several decades have passed
    Mel in Northern Ontario

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    1. Hee hee, I have three kids, the last a senior in HS and just starting that journey, the middle working on a PhD...he is busy busy.ali

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  21. Always a fun escape from the grind! Thank you for continuing. I don't often comment but enjoy reading different, respectful points of view from all around the globe. Love to you all from Houston, Texas!!!

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  22. I would be so sad if your blog ever stopped!! Out of the several Kate blogs I follow, yours is my favorite :) And I readily agree with your comment rules!!!

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  23. I am so glad others(especially you!) see following Kate as an escape-it has been sheer enjoyment to be a Kate watcher here. Use your delete button with joy, and may law school be a happy challenge.

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  24. Thank you so much for continuing this wonderful blog! I have enjoyed reading it for years and never posted a comment until today to express my gratitude. I will continue to excitedly await every new post.
    - Faithful Reader

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  25. So glad you are continuing! May peace be the rule. B.

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  26. I am not a blogger but to save your sanity after one "please do not post this way" I would just block the person. I realize how hard this is as the spamers/trolls/ just want to ratchet things up so post under different names. You can set your account up to block posts based on repeated phrases, you might bloch an OK person but usually they will private PM you to ask why. So I would not worry. Just set up your auto blocks and you should be good to go. Those who are up to causing issues will not listen to what you have to say. It is just too easy. I enjoy these blogs as an escape. Also I like my blogs to focus on different things.Fashion, jewels, updates on events, political, stuff or complaints:) but they are a lll different. ali

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  27. Jane,
    I've been reading your blog for a couple years now but have never commented. I am glad you have decided to continue with the blog because I would very much miss it if you did not!! Following Kate is an escape for me as well, a distraction from my regular job (a stay at home mom to a very rambunctious toddler). I follow Kate for the fashion but mainly for the history, a facet that you flesh out so well (and also because I'm nosy, who doesn't wonder what royalty gets up to in their free time??). Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for putting together such thoughtful, well researched and written posts. I look forward to finding snippets in the day between nap time and laundry to read them!
    Laura

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  28. Whew! Along with everyone else, I thought you were going to chuck it all in and leave us! I am very happy that you've decided to continue with FBTB as it is my favorite Kate blog. I have to sheepishly admit that I've allowed myself to be drawn into some of these conversations about a couple of other members of the BRF (well, one, actually) and I will now repent and apologize.

    On the bright side - it is September and the long month of the royal vacation is over! Hopefully we see Kate soon with the shining smile of one who has had a good bit of R&R as a restorative. I am heading off to Jolly Old England in the month of October so, fingers crossed, there may be something terrific published on her calendar that will give me the possibility of a sighting. Of course, I would post it here first!

    While we wait, I have a question for our British friends. Is it customary to register for a china pattern when you get married in the UK? If so, do we know, or have a good guess, as to whatever William and Kate have as their pattern? Or do you think that there are so many fantastic sets available that they can just borrow from the royal collection when needed? British bone china is so wonderful I can't imagine not wanting to have as many sets as possible. Yes, I am a confessed dish-aholic.

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    1. Robin this is a fun question. Hope someone knows. Ali

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    2. Hi Robin - it was customary many moons ago :) but I'm not sure the younger set have an interest in or even need for it these days, and probably only in the more aristocratic circles. Most young couples probably want more practical gifts!

      I don't know anything about William and Kate's but apparently it's not British! I did a quick search and there's a Wall Street Journal article you'd probably like. They were gifted Herend China from the Hungarians at their wedding, which is popular with the BRF. According to the article Princess Diana was a fan, and it goes back to Queen Victoria! So knowing how they like to follow family traditions, it wouldn't surprise me if that's at one of their homes :)

      Claudia

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    3. Yes! Their Herend pattern is Royal Garden and it was created specifically for them based on the old Queen Victoria pattern. If my memory serves me right, it is a floral/ butterfly pattern in greens and purples.

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    4. Oh, thank you Claudia and Faith! I just looked it up on Herend's official site and it's lovely. If you've never seen any Herend china in person, it is delicate and gorgeous. I think the only more delicate I've ever seen is Belleek, which is almost see through. Here is a link where you can see William and Kate's china created especially for them.
      http://www.herendusa.com/DINNERWARE/Dinnerware+Patterns/Royal+Garden

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    5. It is almost too beautiful to use Robin - almost :-) I especially love the special touches such as the sculptured butterfly handle on the teapot lid and handles on some of the serving pieces. The chargers are just lovely as well. I hope they use the set.

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    6. Thank you for posting the link, Robin. The china is just lovely. And the butterflies reminded me of the Emma Bridgewater pattern designed by Kate. Formal vs. informal, yes, but there is a common theme. :)

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    7. I'm sure the party planners in Kate, Carole, and Pippa will love building gorgeous table settings around these!

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    8. P.S. Diana collected Herend figurines and I believe some were on display at Althorp. And if anyone recalls the photo of Charles and Diana in front of the fireplace at KP, the large rooster on the mantel was Herend. I've always been fond of the fishnet pattern. Very unique.

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    9. I do remember that Diana collected Herend. I always wanted a bunny with the fishnet pattern but I never got around to purchasing one.

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  29. I have never commented, but I read your blog everyday and I love it! When you say "Royal watching has always been my little escape from the grind" I totally agree with you and I think all your loyal readers are too. I think you are doing a great job and I am very happy to hear that you are continuing it! So I decided to write to you only to say THANK YOU!

    Ps. Sorry for my english!

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  30. Jane, I'm so grateful and relieved that you'll continue From Berkshite to Buckingham!

    I understand that there's a lot going on in your life at the moment and thst you probably have more important things to do than write a post, but you should know that whenever I see that there's a new post on FBTB, this really makes my day :) I love readong your blog, you always seem to express what I was thinking but couldn't phrase properly.

    I'd love to focus more on the topics you suggested! I mean, who doesn't love talking about fashion? ;) I hope we'll sooner or later hear stories about George's playdates - woth neighbour's kids or with Emilia Jardine-Paterson's son Leo?

    Good luck with your studies, I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I'm looking forward to any of your posts, it's always like my 'time for me'-time to read about fantastic Kate and write a comment.
    And you were right - it's so interesting to chat with all those people over the world about our common interest: Kate

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  31. And Mr Security? We can make appreciative comments about him? Love your blog. Pleased you are still continuing.

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    1. How could ANY comment about Mr. Security be other than appreciative??

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    2. Agree ,Kaye.Hope we see him popping up again soon : )

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  32. Carmen, The NetherlandsSeptember 2, 2015 at 4:18 AM

    Thank you for continuing this blog Jane, I always look forward to reading your lovely posts!

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  33. Well said! I heartily support the theme of "just because you can say/do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD". Maria V

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  34. Thank you for going back to the basics. I love your blogg and find a solace in it away from my hectic(ish) life. I do not care about royal family as a person as I am not English nor that interested in general. But I LOVE the fashion in that world that is far away from Hollywood glitter. It is hard to find that elsewhere and that is why I am happy yo chose to continue it.

    Regards from Sweden.

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  35. Yaaaay for continuing the blog!!! I don't know what I would do without it. I have a three year-old; your posts keep me going from one nap/playdate/play-doh explosion to the next. I don't think I could survive in a world where we only focus on the serious issues and never have a little escape once in awhile. Yes, we all watch the State of the Union address, but shouldn't we always follow it with a great episode of I Love Lucy or Seinfeld? Something to take the edge off! Your blog definitely does that for me, and many others. Thank you for continuing to write, even as life gets busy!!!

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  36. I especially liked your comment re "my passion for the history behind her role as a princess."

    I also am fascinated by UK history, and love how it plays out in palaces + tiaras!

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  37. I must say that by paragraph two I thought you were throwing in the towel too. So glad to see that you are not and have found a way to balance blogging with your busy life as I know it is a labor of love for you.

    Absolutely fine with the refocus on fashion which is the main reason why I pop by anyway. Im curious to know what you have decided regarding unofficial photos, if you will publish them or provide links to them anymore.

    I will say that Ive been confused as to how comments passive aggressively or aggressively, for that matter, skewering other posters have been allowed under your guidelines and considered fair
    play. Of course, the new mission statement should curtail that.

    I get the escapism element of this blog and understand that is why most of us are here. I would like to point out that when discussions do get lively and gritty (not nasty and mean), I think it is because you've got a bunch of intelligent, well informed and interested readers. Put a bunch of smart inquiring minds together who express themselves well and sometimes controversy will inevitably pop up. At times, its been a pleasure to talk with people here who challenge me and make me think.

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    1. Very nicely said Faith, and I quite agree. I have enjoyed the healthy, vigorous debate in recent months. I personally don't mind anyone expressing their opinion on any topic or even individual, as long as the tone doesn't get too ugly, and a few times recently I think comments crossed the line.

      It made me wonder about an increasing "double standard" of sorts, people pouncing on any negative comment or speculation about Kate, but not when it was directed at other members of the BRF, or even other posters. And I wondered what Jane's thought process was for allowing it, but came to the conclusion that maybe with new projects at hand she wasn't reading the comments as closely as before? But since I only have a newer frame of reference I wasn't sure.

      Also, great question about the photographs, I would also like to know what she's decided :)

      Claudia

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    2. Glad to know you are having the same train of thought Claudia :-)

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  38. Thank you for providing me a little escape every once in a while. Your comment expectations are reasonable and very clearly stated. I will have to say that after reading them I was a bit sadden...isn't this the way we all used to treat one another seemingly not too long ago? Maybe this will give people pause to reflect how our society has deteriorated in this department and make a change...starting here at FBTB. -Joan from Ohio

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  39. Well Said!! for awhile I thought you were going to be ending the blog and I was having a heartattack. I always love your posts!!

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  40. As most have commented I was bracing too for bad news; this too has been my release during a break from school and a small escape from my typical Mom duties. Thank you for all you do...this blog is amazing. A true asset to us royal watchers.

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  41. Jane......

    You mustn't abdicate. Never ever.

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  42. Thank you, Jane. We need you. And trust me, in law school, you'll need us too.

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  43. Thank you so much Jane. I know that this must have been a tough decision for you, but making time for a little fantasy land will make the intensity of your studies a little easier to take. I can see already that this "back to your roots" stance is going to mean new commenters that maybe haven't participated so much in the past because of the angst sometimes entrenched in a post. This blog fulfills my need for a little vicarious living through the life of a princess not born to the role, but choosing to embrace it with all of its pros and cons. It's been rather hard to be a Kate fan of late and I look forward to having a place to go where that is the main thrust.

    So glad you have decided to keep going. We will make you glad you did.

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  44. Jane, Thank you for your intelligent view and sane head. I really enjoy your blog and your reasons for writing are exactly mine for reading. I rely on your ability to find beauty. My only concern, is that over the past 18 months (and granted there has been a pregnancy), Kate has turned to plainer and longer clothes. She seem to be leaning toward clothes made by Angela Kelly for the Queen. This is distressing. Will you have enough to work with?? Will we have to admit that being a princess can be a very rural, quiet experience with little insight? I very much like her presence and ability to shine, but that is hard to do so far away from urban areas. I hope she (and you) continues to surprise us. Thank you from California, warmly,

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  45. Yay! Your blog is my favourite for Kate-watching - I love hearing your opinions and funny comments :) Hope you can keep it up for many years!

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  46. Oh for a moment there I was so worried you were going to 'abdicate'! I love this blog and genuinely view it also as a little escape - please don't stop. Thank you for all your hard work, don't ever think it's not hugely appreciated!

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  47. Thank you for continuing to write this blog. I like your plan to go back to "basics". Looking forward to reading your next post about the Duchess.

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  48. You almost seemed to be channeling Alfred Hitchcock with this post...will she or will she not continue? I know the demands of law school are tremendous and will only become more difficult, and I am grateful you have chosen to soldier on. Your rules are perfect, the time you will have to sort through all the comments will be short, and you really have undertaken a great deal. Wishing you all the good fortune, success and peace you may find. It's a great blog, and I am so happy you are continuing.

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  49. Eeeek! You scared me! I was so worried you were shutting down, and this is, by far, my favorite Kate blog. I love your opinions and your writing. :)

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  50. YAY!!! I'm so relieved that you decided to keep the blog going!!! I love it and check it almost daily! Yours is my favorite of the Kate blogs! It is a sweet escape and I appreciate your insight. Thank you SO much!

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  51. Very thoughtful words. I think what struck me most was "Interact in charity." Very inspiring. Thank you!

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  52. Love it!!! Thank you for keeping up with my favorite blog, and thank you for keeping it a fun escape. I do love your introspective opinions.

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  53. Very thankful you are continuing your blog - you are my go to place for Kate news!! As readers I'm sure we don't say it enough but thank you for all your efforts in keeping FBTB going strong!

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  54. I know this is way off topic but since we just saw the anniversary of Diana's death, I had some thoughts, and am curious what the rest of you think.

    Her island at Althorp got some press coverage - again. I always thought that site was an odd choice for her, and wondered if William might move his mother in the future?

    I know this is a touchy subject for many families, but I can't imagine William or Harry like the idea of someone else in charge of their mother's grave. When Charles Spencer dies, his eldest son takes over. Would they be ok with a cousin running their mother's final resting place? Althorp will be his property so by law he'd be free to do as he likes. (I always thought Diana herself would be appalled at people being charged to visit her grave) If nothing else, William & Harry may want to protect their mother from opportunists in future generations.

    Thoughts? Or am I so far off topic that Jane has already hit "delete" ?!!
    :)

    Claudia

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    1. I was a little disappointed to see the "natural" state of Diana's grave. As the mother/grandmother of future monarchs I think it should be cleaned up a bit. When William is king he can do what he wants and I have also wondered if he would leave his mother's grave there. I have always wondered how they buried her on such a small island when the chance of water seeping in would be so great. Is that morbid? My emotional brain said "Good. Let her have some peace." My practical brain said "Will that work?"

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    2. Claudia, I admit to being unsure what to think before I had the opportunity to visit Althorp, but I was very please with the exhibit and thought it was all in good taste.

      As for the decision to bury Diana on the island, I suspect it was a combination of the following factors: the Spencer family "reclaiming" her from the RF; providing a safe and secure burial site; and giving W&H the opportunity to visit their mother's grave in complete privacy. I do understand (and shared) Robin's emotional vs. practical thoughts, but Diana did love water and the island makes it possible for people to pay their respects from a respectable distance...and "space" was not exactly abundant in her life, was it? Just my two cents....

      I hope it's okay to paste this link, but there is a wonderful hour-long documentary on "Secrets of Althorp - The Spencers" on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlLQuupOr9g

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    3. Don't feel bad Robin, you're not the first to think that! In fact it sparked quite a number of conspiracy theories, particularly among the locals, many of whom still swear she's with her father at the local church.

      Frogmore would be the obvious choice, it is open to the public for only a few days a year I believe, so would still give William and Harry ample private time on their own.

      I would not be surprised if they moved her after the Queen's death, I would be quite surprised if she stayed at Althorp.

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    4. I think many of the issues surrounding Diana's burial, personal belongings (like her wedding dress at Althorp), etc. Stem from WandH being so young when she died. I personally think some of these issues will change as time goes on.

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  55. TY FOR STICKING WITH THE BLOG AND I AM SORRY CERTAIN COMMENTS HAVE CAUSED TO CHANGE A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU COVER BECAUSE YOU COVER THE BEST AND THE MOST EVEN MINDED OF ALL OF THE BLOGGERS I BELEIVE. AGAIN THANK YOUU FOR NOT QUITTING THIS BLOG AND I HOPE IN THE FUTURE YOU CONTINUE TO ENJOY IT AS I DO...

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  56. Jane, I found your lovely blog when I was going back through some Royal Wedding coverage before my own wedding :) Thank you for all the time and care you take to make this a happy corner of the internet, plus I feel like I almost always pick up some fun historical tidbit from your posts. I'm so glad to get to keep following along with all of you :) Also - Kate's Clothes is amazing!

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  57. relieved that you are continuing! your blog is by far my favorite on the subject.

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  58. Jane, I love this post! I think I will start commenting more, because I've been a lurker of blogs like this for years. Also, I do read some of the forums that talk about those off-limit topics. But I completely get where you're going in wanting your blog to be a positive, relaxing thing and I respect that. I have enjoyed reading FBTB for years and look forward to participating more as time goes on.

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  59. What lovely clarity you have provided on the rules of commenting on your blog. It has been disheartening to read the overly direct comments between commentators and has been keeping me from adding my comments as well; I come to your site for some light-hearted down time. Thank you for your continued efforts with FBTB

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  60. Jane, I'm so relieved that you're going to continue the blog - those were an apprehensive few minutes! I, like so many of your other fans, truly appreciate the insight and consideration you put into the posts, as you see beyond the designers and dresses into the life behind them. I absolutely agree with the new rules you've laid out, and I agree that the focus needs to be supportive of Kate and the BRF, but I for one do hope that you continue to grace us with your own theories into Kate's behind-the-scenes - I won't miss commenting on that, but I would miss your brand of fleshing out the stories behind the style. :-)

    Very best of luck with law school! And thank you for continuing to share with us - I follow other Kate blogs as well, but yours tops the list for craft and thought. It's always a pleasure to see a new post from you.

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  61. I have tried to publish this early this AM, but my Google Account is not allowing it - So I will try this way:-) Hopefully it get out there

    OH Jane, when I first started to read, I found myself holding my breath thinking "oh please no..." Thankfully it turned into a "...YES!!!". This is the only blog that I can go and not get the constant negativity so it is the only one in which I will participate. So maybe a little selfish on my part, but THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity.

    From one who went to graduate school a little later in life ... All the BEST WISHES in Law School!! May this continue be a little respite from the hectic world of studies.

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  62. Jane, I adore this blog and am so glad you're keeping this little oasis of escapism alive;) thank you for FBTB and all you do, and don't let law school distract you too much;) congrats to you & happy 4th anniversary!:):)

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  63. I was so nervous throughout this entire blog because you talked about having so much on your plate and needing to assess your time management and what to give your attention to. I was so afraid you were going to give up the blog or only write posts occasionally. And then at the end you said you have a new project that will be coming out at the end of the month. So while I am very happy that you are continuing FBTB and have more in the works, I also feel very envious of your time management skills. You are a force to be reckoned with. The fact that you have taken on something as big a law school and are still making time for something you love and are passionate about and happy doing shows that whatever you do with your law degree, you will be very successful at it. Thank you for the continued time you put into this site. It's very much appreciated.

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  64. "I come to the blog to sink into an alternate world, to write and design, and to present engaging and entertaining material which essentially distracts and pleases."
    We come here for that, too. Thank you for keeping it that way and returning to it. Thank you for being able to see that, even before some of us were.
    much love
    Alice

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  65. "Most basically, be kind. Be polite. Interact in charity. If you are upset, cool down first. If you want to smack someone down, pause and wonder if you'd say it to their face (and be honest about that!). Even if you decide you would say it to their face, don't. Assume the good in others at all times. Always read a comment with the kindest spin. Be kind even if you feel someone has been unkind toward you."

    You write so beautifully, Jane. If more people followed these rules, not just for commenting but all the time, the world would be a much better place. Thank you.

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  66. Hi Jane, I've been following your blog for about 2 years and have enjoyed every article you have posted. You really do have a unique perspective on Kate and everything associated with her. Just a little suggestion, I hope you don't take all the comments too seriously, there's all sorts of people out there so don't take it to heart :)

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  67. Well said! I love your blog, please keep writing. I appreciate how much hard work you put into this effort.

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  68. Jane, I couldn't agree more - this is a place to escape the grind of a stressful job in global public health (I've tuned into your blog from all around the world!) - and when it moves from that into mean gossip and unpleasant comments it really detracts from my (and apparently your) real aim.

    When I can't shut off my mind at night I occasionally point it toward Kate's fashion choices and general happy musing about her cute family and drift into relaxing territory and though that sounds a bit crazy that's the territory where I'd like to keep Kate. I realize she has real worries and lord knows I do too but there is no part of me that wants to focus on those things and I love having a zero stress hobby of royal watching! So thank you! I would be happy if you posted literally every single day but I'm rooting for your success in law school so I'll take whatever we can get :)

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  69. Jane, do you know the best part of your confession in the last post? Except for the fact that we are relieved we will „not walk alone”... That almost everybody, finally, has an identity and that the infamous „anonymous” seems to vanish. You have taught a wonderful lesson about dedication and honesty. Thank you!

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  70. Beautifully said! Couldn't agree more.

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  71. Lovely, Jane. Drama is so unpleasant.

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  72. Thanks for taking a stand on behalf of civility.

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  73. Lovely lady ....
    Lovely post ....
    Lovely blog ....
    Makes me happy and smile :-)
    Simone

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  74. The Duchess is to visit the Anna Freud centre on Sept. 16th---children's mental health

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    1. Thank you for the information, Jean. :)

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    2. Wonderful news!!!!

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    3. Not on September 16, Kate will visit it on Thursday, September 17 :)

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  75. Thank you Royalfan for the link to the documentary about Althorp. I loved it - so interesting and what a beautiful part of the country. I'd love to visit one day but its a long way from Australia!
    Thank you also to those who gave information about the Herend china - what a discovery for me, it really is lovely.
    And thank you to Jane for a wonderful blog - you have such a gift for writing.

    I have been a keen fan almost from the beginning but have only recently started to read the comments section, and have found even more of interest thanks to the knowledge and opinions your contributors share. Even with recent more ''robust'' comments, it remains an interesting section, unlike many where there is just downright ignorance and rudeness.
    Perhaps your lovely gentle style of writing ''rubs off'' on your readers Jane....
    I do hope your Return To The Roots approach works well for you and that you are able to continue combining your law studies and the blog. It would be a sad day indeed if you had to stop. All the very best - LC

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    1. You're welcome, LC. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was excellent. :)

      And I do agree with you about comments.... Over the years, I learned from other followers of the royals and have enjoyed interesting, sometimes lively, discussions. With Jane's ground rules firmly in place, I believe discussion can coexist with civility.

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  76. Congratulations Jane on law school and best wishes for your studies!!!!!

    I hope all your readers read the part were you say this is a fashion blog and posters are allowed to say they don't particularly like an outfit that the duchess wears. I haven't posted since Princess Charlotte's birth because the minority of us who did not like the DoC's leaving the hospital dress were pretty much slapped down by what I now refer to as the self appointed "Kate Police". Everybody was respectful in why they said the dress wasn't a home run but we were called "Kate bashers" , "Kate haters" and told that this was not the blog for us because we were being negative. I remember one poster asking for you to delete several comments. They were all published so I assumed that you thought that it was ok for posters to go after other posters who did not express 100% blind adulation for the DoC. I feel bad to this day that I did not stand up for myself.I hope when you say that we should all approach the comment section with our rose tinted glasses on that that does not mean tolerating being pushed around.

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    1. Hey there! First, thank you! I made it to Friday...again. No more Torts for three days. ;)
      Second: um, yes, you should stand up for yourself, but hopefully, the situation (you needing to stand up for yourself) won't come up again. Rose-tinted glasses really means that if you secretly don't like Kate at all, maybe this isn't the place for you. Certainly, I still welcome politely expressed opinions on Kate's fashion choices. She is Kate the Great for a reason, and I genuinely think she is practically flawless. Every now and again, though--as you know--I think she misses. I will say what I think (for the most part ;)) and I welcome you to do the same. I will try to be more careful in not allowing people to slap others down. It is a tricky line, because someone certainly can disagree with your fashion analysis, but as you say, we don't want Kate police in general. I really hope that the community is patient thoughtful as we move forward. I don't feel like a ton has changed, but I will be tougher in turning down content I think poses a potential blow-up. I think that is detracts from this space, and frankly it is very draining for me. I know I can't keep the blog up if I am putting fires out on a regular basis, which was a major motivation for me to write this post--I want to keep the blog going, so we all have to play nicely. :)

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    2. Jane, I completely agree with your take on it. The "secretly don't like Kate" point in particular..

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  77. Jane I absolutely love your blog, I follow from Canada I adore all things Kate and wish her the best always, she is managing so much and does it so beautifully in every way, the Royals are very lucky to have her on board. Thank you for your recent guidelines -- I too view your site as a little indulgence of happy thoughts and positive energy in a world of negative information. I refuse to read posts that make up gossip about her marriage or her supposed issues with other Royals, why can't we have a few minutes here and there to just admire a person. We aren't pretending the difficulties of the world don't exist, we are just taking a brief break to a sunny place. I think you have a great balance, thank you.

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  78. Jane, I am so glad you have decided to continue. I love both your intelligent and common-sense approach to writing the blogs and monitoring them. I also appreciate that you are realistic about why we are here--for fun. Good luck in school! I'm in a doctoral program myself, and I call Kate blogging my "guilty pleasure." I'm not changing the world by being fascinated by what she wears, but it's a source of enjoyment in my life. And we all need to have parts of our lives that "fill our cup" and make us happy, so that we have the energy to face the more important things. Basically, Kate watching is a form of self-care for me, and this blog is my favorite place to go for that. I especially like that instead of just reporting what she wore, you include your comments and opinions. From one grad student to another, thank you for this fun space and the work that goes into it! --Sarah

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  79. I'm very happy this blog won't shut down, it's a source for Kate watchers and royal life fans. I hope you won't drop some interesting in-depth focusing you made about some extra-fashion contenta, eg the Commonwealth or other topic. Good luck for your law studies

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  80. glad you will continue blogging looking forward in these blog our family begin bigger

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  81. I'm so glad you are continuing the blog. Your "rules" are more than for FBTB though. They would serve us well in all aspects of our lives. What an honor this site is to Kate, William and their families. I wish there would've been something like to to 'rein people in' for Princess Diana. Keep up the good work and blessings to your new "project".

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  82. Thanks for continuing with the blog, hope you continue to get as much joy in it as we do with every post. First time posting, longtime reader, Carol.

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  83. I love your blog and am thrilled to hear you will be able to continue this wonderful site that so many of us enjoy. For me it is a quick daily escape from the day to day drudgery. Thank you for all your time and devotion! Hugs!

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  84. So happy to hear that you will keep delighting us with your articles! The beginning of the article sounded like you were preparing to disclose sad news, what a relief!
    I love your writing style, your views on fashion and your comments policy. More blogs should follow such rules!
    Looking forward to reading your articles on Kate's great return :-)

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  85. I'm so happy--and relieved--to hear that you will be continuing this blog (you scared me for a moment or two!). I don't watch much television, other than some news shows, so I think of this blog as my guilty little pleasure... a little escape from all the serious stuff that's going on this crazy world of ours today. I used to follow some other Kate blogs as well, but yours is pretty much the only I read anymore. I love your style of writing, Jane. I also think this is a beautiful-looking site (kudos to your designer!). Readers’ comments are always interesting on a blog or website, but I’ve found myself skipping through the comments here in recent months because of all the negativity. I'll just never understand why some people insist on being so downbeat and downright rude about everything! I think the new rules you have instated are good ones and long overdue. I look forward to reading your future posts. Also, the very best of luck in your studies!

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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)gmail.com.

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!