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Decembers with the Duchess of Cambridge

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Do you remember when William took Kate ice-skating at Somerset House? I was thinking this morning of how busy and bustling Christmastime is. It is a season filled with shopping lists, preparations, holiday parties, and family get-togethers. Just like the rest of us, the royals have busy work schedules as they attend a variety of charity events for their various patronages, but also with family and personal outings. Before Kate was a Cambridge, we only got to see her in a private capacity. On a chilly night in 2007, surprised skaters at the Somerset House ice rink realized that Prince William and Kate Middleton were expertly zipping around the ice with them!  The Sun reported on the couple's night out:
The smitten pair skated to classical music in front of 200 others - and held hands at one point as they glided across the ice.  A source said: "It was very romantic and they seemed keen to keep to it very low key.  "They danced for about an hour and both of them seemed pretty good at it. They'd obviously done it before."

By all accounts, the rink at Somerset House is absolutely lovely, lit by twinkling lights and torches and headed by a giant Christmas tree, it seems like a perfect December date-night.

Somerset House
Just a few days later, the smiling couple were pictured leaving a club they frequented often at the time, Boujis. Kate was all in black wearing a lace dress and velvet jacket. She completed her ensemble with opaque stockings and her signature black boots.  



Christmas is also a big time for movie releases and Kate and William like to sneak out to an occasional flick. In December of 2009 William, Kate, and Harry went to the London premiere of Sherlock Holmes and were snapped leaving the theater through a back door.


William and Kate kicked off the festive season early in 2010 when they announced mid-November that they would marry. Fans were delighted when Kate accompanied William on what was her first public engagement. The couple attended a charity gala in Norfolk at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular on December 18th. This was just a teaser, though, for the holiday seasons we have now come to expect and enjoy so much! 


Once Kat Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge, everyone's Christmas season shifted. Since her marriage, Kate's calendar has been busy each December, and the season boasts some of the public's favorite appearances. In 2011, we got two glitzy appearances. Kate and William double-dated with Charles and Camilla as they attended a Gary Barlow concert at the Royal Albert Hall together on the 6th of December:


Kate really wowed us later that same month when Harry and William escorted the new princess to the Sun Military Awards, aka The Millies. Kate was wearing a strapless black, velvet dress that hugged her figure to perfection and echoed the dress Diana wore to her first outing as a royal fiancée. 


In 2012 Kate missed the majority of the holiday excitement thanks to Prince George. Kate was suffering from the severe illness she gets when pregnant and cancelled almost all of her public engagements. She did manage to make it out ever so briefly to present at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards where she wore an unusual green McQueen:


In 2013, Kate was back on a busier holiday schedule, attending several charity events and recycling two favorite evening gowns. (This was also the Christmas that Kate debuted the pale blue McQueen we have only seen in car shots.) On December 5th, William and Kate attended the Mandela movie premiere. Kate very successfully recycled her white Roland Mouret:


On the 11th, Kate recycled her Temperley "Amoret" dress at the Natural History Museum for a showing of the Alive 3D movie. 


In 2014, the Cambridges really added sparkle to December by traveling across the Atlantic to New York City for a whirlwind visit. Those exciting few days culminated in one of Kate's most glamorous events to-date. Kate appeared on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dressed in a sweeping Jenny Packam gown, and literally dripping in emeralds:


Kate and William returned to Britain to spend some private time with George. The couple took their son to Thursford in Norfolk to visit Santa  and Kate took George to the Winter Wonderland near their Kensington Palace home. This year we didn't get an evening gown in December, but our October was pretty packed with glitzy events that made up for it. We did get to see Kate wear a new tiara, and for many, a favorite tiara, so I feel it has been a very exciting Christmastime indeed. We have only to guess what Kate will wear on the walk to St. Mary Magdalene on Christmas morning. Will it be a recycle or a debut? Any guesses?

72 comments:

  1. How fun, Jane! I have never seen the skating photo before! They even tried to be slightly incognito with Kate wearing a baseball cap. It seems she does that when trying to have a lower profile.

    The photo of them leaving the Sherlock premiere...is William wearing a purple velvet jacket? Or is that lighting playing tricks on us? I have only see Kate wear those shoes at this event - they look like a low cut bootie, don't they?

    Hopefully December's in the future continue to feature Kate debuting fabulous jewelry, either from royal family vaults, or ones that were privately gifted (i.e. wedding gifts).

    6 sleeps till Christmas Day!

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    1. Anon. 12:09 - Our family counts in "sleeps" too! How fun to see someone else use the term! We should be keeping an eye out after Christmas for possible new gifted jewelry!

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    2. How fun! I think that's what we did growing up, and it has carried on :-)

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  2. Fun article, Jane. I hadn't seen the pictures of them skating before, so it was a real treat.

    It's been a wonderful year for the Cambridges with the birth of Charlotte and both of them becoming even more involved with their royal duties, balancing those with family and for William, his work as a pilot.

    I hope we see Kate in a new coat and hat (or at least a new hat as she really didn't get a chance to wear many this year). I suspect, though, that she may have gone through her closet and decided to recycle as she has re-worn past outfits for the last 5 or 6 appearances (I've lost count now).

    Looking forward to seeing all of the royals on Christmas Day.

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  3. Great article, Jane! Ice skating is a perfect pre christmas activity. We have a chrustmas market with an ice rink on our town square every December and I love the atmosphere. I read on bunte.de a few days ago that Carole took CCharlotteon a local 'arts and craft' christmas market in buckelbury and had her strapped to her belly in a lanyard (but there were no photos taken).

    November and December seem to be THE months for royal gala/ballgown appearances which I love :)
    I think the short black + white dresses from both 2010 and 2011 are so pretty, if they were still available and not too expensive, I would buy them (especially the one from the Gary Barlow concert)!

    I wish Kate'd recycle the aubergine/plum coat and hat from her 1st christmas as a royal, definitely one of the (if not the) best colours on her! But my guess is that for Dec25, she'll probably wear sth new.

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  4. Fun! I was in London at Christmas time last year and also went to Winter Wonderland and to skate at Somerset, though I must confess I took a look at the crowd and then the prices and turned right back around, having never made it onto the ice. It's a gorgeous place, I don't think any rinks here in the US give any competition except a few in NYC. I had never seen the ice skating photos either, so thanks!

    I would put my bet on a Christmas recycle, but we'll see!

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    1. Lord, please, no more recycles! And no brown for Christmas morning either. YUCK!

      People want to see something new.

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  5. Do you think those booties from the 2009 movie premiere are the same ones she wore in NYC?

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    1. Good memory, Courtney! I searched their NY arrival and they look like they could be (very likely) a match! That would also explain why in 2014 they were a UFO...they are probably several year old, and I guess since she usually wears Aquatalia booties we've been thrown for a loop!

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  6. Wow! You chose beautiful pictures, some of which I've never seen and I love when that happens. I think we will have a new outfit just because there have been so many recent recycles. However, if she were to recycle I think it would be the 2011 aubergine.

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    1. I am with you Faith on this! But she could totally throw us off by recycling the Hobbs "Persephone" green coat that she wore on St.Patrick's Day in 2014.

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    2. Yes, that's true! I forgot about that one.

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  7. Great idea for a unique approach to a Kate Christmas, Jane, with photos I have not seen
    before.
    Is that the back of a young Mr. Security's head I see in the Sherlock snap? How long has he been around? I wonder if he's single? I'm thinking of the nanny, of course. There seems to be some match-making/pairing off going on in Cambridgeland.Just a thought.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing...is that Mr. Security way back in 2009?

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  8. Thanks for the fun look back! I wonder why she's never recycled the black velvet dress. I hope that "unusual" green McQueen is permanently retired. Or maybe remade into something else. We certainly can see how her hemlines have changed from a youthful, single 20 something to a royal mom of two. She's really a classic and I love it! It strikes me every time I see the photos from NY that I love that Jenny Packham and I love those emeralds - I just don't love them together. That dress is somewhere between blue and green, depending on the light, but those emeralds shout that it is more blue. Since sapphires may let it shout that it is green maybe some rubies, aquamarine, or just plain diamond earrings would be better. Ooo, or pink sapphires! I love pink sapphires! Maybe a gift from William to recognize Charlotte's first Christmas?

    I'm betting on a recycle for the Christmas walk to church. I think Kate is very aware of the fact that when she wears a new outfit it takes the medias attention away from everything else. Since this is a family event I think she will try and detour the attention to The Queen. I think she is so very blessed to be a young mother without yet being the Princess of Wales. So much more flexibility while her workload isn't quite so demanding. Their whole Cambridge family benefits from that.

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    1. Hmmm, I wonder if she knows how stunning that black velvet dress was, and knows she has to be very careful how and when she recycles it (?). Perhaps all the comparisons to Di's show-stopping black dress scared her off a bit(?). She'd probably also need it altered, because I think this was still her newlywed phase when she was extremely skinny and very muscular. While she is tiny still today, I wonder if the waist would need to be altered - I'm sure they have these things in mind when designing a bespoke dress, that one day it may need to be slightly altered.

      Thank goodness I'm not the only one thinking that about the Packman and emeralds!! Yes, I love them separately, but could never understand why she chose to pair them together. I guess the teal color is a bit tricky when you're trying to pair it with gemstones, but the emeralds are too light and too green.

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    2. I actually like the emeralds with the inky color of the dress. It wasn't matchy but complimented it well by brightening up the dress. Also, I thought the structure of the emerald earrings was just what that particular neckline called for.

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    3. Faith, I love those emerald earrings too and the beautiful bracelet. I just didn't like them with this dress. Emeralds are one of my favorite gems and I would love to see her wear these again - maybe with the black velvet dress! Wouldn't it be fun to have the job of helping with her wardrobe?!

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    4. My understanding was that they were at a benefit dinner for St. Andrew's in NYC (at the Met) and the school colors are blue and green. Thus the emeralds with the ink-blue dress.

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    5. Diane ~ good insight, a consideration I didn't know to consider :-)

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  9. Uhh, now I realize what great change has happened makeup-wise after the engagement. The early Boujis pap shots show some very bad taste in eye make-up in my opinion..She looks way better now. I also think that the reason her eyes looked so tired on that shopping picture last week was because she did it by herself. On official engagements she looks so much better - she sure isn't letting someone come in just for make-up every single day, when there is none, is she?

    Alice

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    1. I think she does her makeup most days. She did her own makeup for the wedding.

      I think that shipping day was a one off. I have many weekend days where I need to run errands and I use minimal makeup. Not my normal routine. It changes my look too. But hey it is a weekend. I am running around town. I don't feel I need to be made up and probably look tired or older or paler. I do hahaa

      Maybe that was Kates thing too

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    2. I've seen the term "one off" used several times recently. Being American, it's not an expression I'm familiar with. I've tried to figure out the meaning from context, but cannot quite figure it out. Can anyone explain it for me?

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    3. bristowmom, a one off is something that happens just that one time or very rarely. It's kind of like how we say in America, once in a great while.

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  10. Reason for shorter hair explained here:

    http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/hair/a13318/kate-middletons-hair-stylist-reveals-why-she-went-short/

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    1. Is Richard still her hairstylist? I remember she changed hairdressers shortly after being a newlywed, I believe, and then didn't some speculate she now employs another hairstylist?

      Regardless, I think his reason makes a lot of sense!

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    2. I'm guessing he is still her stylist or he wouldn't get away with making statements about her hair to the media.

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    3. True, it just always surprises me when someone speaks out. I wonder if the Cambridges (or their office) pre-approves public interviews - it's helpful to their loyal, talented service providers to get some publicity. A delicate balance, I guess.

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    4. I saw Richard Ward the day after HRH revealed her new bangs this summer (which he's confirmed several times that he cut), and while there I heard him accept an offer to go on a show to talk about the Duchess' bangs. The way he put it was that he can talk about why someone would want to get bangs and how to get bangs like that, but he COULD NOT talk about the Duchess herself.

      I mentioned that it must be difficult to tread carefully, and he said that he of course needs to protect his client's privacy, but that he's still a businessman and has to be able to promote his work. My impression is that he leverages the publicity as much as is reasonable without actually discussing Kate - and that he doesn't have oversight or seek royal permission to do so. If Kate's back seeing him (which we know she is), there must be a lot of trust already...and very likely a non-disclosure agreement the size of Big Ben!

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    5. Her original hairdresser WORKED for Richard's salon. That hairdresser did her wedding hair and for several years after. Then he wanted to start his own salon and they had a non-compete agreement so, he could no longer do Kate's hair. Richard then took over doing her hair.

      I think her hair has never looked as good as when the original hairdresser did it. Someone mentioned the other day that her hair doesn't look as shiny and bouncy as before. That was her original hairdresser! (Some blamed age and pregnancy. No, it is method and application from the stylist!)

      I wonder if once the non-compete is done, if she will go back to him. Some say she won't do that to Richard, big slap in face, but I don't see it like that. Time will tell!

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    6. I don't see it as a slap in the face either. Women change stylists all the time. If someone isn't measuring up, then it is time to leave.

      I do remember talk about Pryce talking too much about being her stylist, so it may be more that she doesn't want to go to someone who was cashing in in the connection.

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    7. She left James Pryce because he was trying to use her name to promote an American tour he wanted to do after he accompanied her on their North American tour.

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    8. 8:52

      Pryce went out on his own and couldn't service any of his former clients' from Ward's salon because of their legal agreement. Ward started a slander campaign against Pryce because he was so mad at him leaving.

      I don't believe he used Kate, I think that's untrue gossip. He gave her full, luxe, gorgeous hair.

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    9. ANON 10:51

      Ohhhh,to be YOU! LOL I have always thought that when I travel to London, I will go to Kate's salon and have my hair done! haha

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    10. Frankly, I do not care who cuts her hair, but it would be nice if he/she kept their mouth shut...it's good taste and judgment 101.

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    11. Agree can not believe Ward opened his mouth, but maybe he does not cut her hair:) This is when I become wary of what I read. I would need to reread the article to see if he actually took credit for the hair or was in reality just commenting and then it was all slightly rephrased for the article. Her hair did look much better when in theory Pryce was doing it, in short she probably needs a new stylist and colorist. However, take what I say with a greain of salt as I am one of those who has kept going to my same person long since it was obvious she was not doing the best of jobs for me:) ali

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  11. I think that is Mr Security .... great spotting. If you check out "The" wedding video of Kate and her father walking into the church you will see Mr Security standing in the front row with whom ,I am sure, is his wife. They are both grinning from ear to ear. Love this post thank you Jane.

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    1. Dy-we will have to find someone else for Nanny, then. I remember that shot. Weren't
      they seated near the Middleton family? In a very good position, as I recall.Happy faces.

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    2. Yes we will! Who knows what will be round the corner in 2016.Christmas Greetings to you.

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    3. She probably doesn't want a husband! She's a career gal. Not that I'm saying career driven women don't get married but married life is not for everyone.

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    4. The nanny?!? Bless her, but that is kind of a mean statement. I don't think they would make a compatible pair and I think you already know that.

      Maybe the nanny is happy and isn't looking. Maybe the nanny already has someone. Good grief!

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    5. Ooh what is Mr. Security and his wife wearing? I want to look them up in the photo!

      Were they maybe incognito for security purposes? If he has been escorting them both for years, and back to their dating days, it would be very nice to invite him. Like how their former PR is a godparent - he would have had to choose William during the breakup, but obviously they feel affectionate for how he cared for them.

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    6. Dy 01:25- Thank-you! Greetings to you, too.I just thought they had a lot in common.
      They both have security training and seem devoted to William and Catherine, but I was really just thinking of two of Kate's assistants (that we know of)who have paired up
      with other entourage members.An attempt at a lighter moment.Day dreaming.No harm
      intended.

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  12. Awesome job! Thank you for sharing Such a beautiful Lady

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  13. Looking back at the older photos is like rewinding to the early stages of her destiny. I recall thinking to myself, "this is a special young lady...she has *it*".

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    1. She definitely had the "it" factor. I think that's why we were all so sad when they broke up. Finding a "Kate" out there isn't that easy. Thank goodness William realized that and no wonder Harry is still looking. I'm still crossing my fingers that over a family dinner some night he and Pippa will be zapped by a fairy godmother and have a fairy tale ending. Ah, if wishes were fishes...

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  14. My guess is that she's going to wear the Reiss houndstooth this Xmas morning. It's clearly a current favourite and she might want to minimise the discussion around what she's wearing that morning by recycling something she's recently worn. There's also something quite Christmassy about houndstooth...

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    1. "Minimize the discussion"??? Why ever for?

      Without talk of her clothes, she's a big yawn. Diana knew that in order to bring attention to her causes, she could use the attention for her style and leverage that into her causes.

      It is a two-way street. Smart people see that. Do the clothes AND the causes!

      The causes by themselves aren't enough. She isn't Mother Theresa or some great humanitarian. You must give people a reason to watch, once they are at the table, you have their attention, educate them on the causes.

      Kate is missing this by not upping her style game. She is listening to Will and the palace no nothings.

      It is like when Will didn't let Kate come to his charity event that was hosted by Ralph Lauren. When RL heard Kate wouldn't be coming, he wanted to back out as the main sponsor, but it was too late. This doesn't put more "light" on the issues, it simply dulls the whole event.

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    2. I'm between Georgia and Anon 8:02 on this. While many do comment on Kate not wanting to detract from the cause or event, clothes are powerful. That is why a working woman can, if she so chooses, leverage her appearance with clothing and aesthetics. They can be powerful. However, it isn't wrong for Kate to do what she is.

      Good insight, Georgia. I wonder how she would dress up the Reiss houndstooth. Typically she has been in seasonal colors, or like last year had a scarf added. Maybe a striking hat to make it a bit more "festive" or dressy?

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    3. I'd dress up the Reiss with a red dress underneath and maybe put a belt on it. That would be festive!

      I do not agree that Kate has not upped her style or that she is missing anything. The family walk to Christmas services is not about Kate. The Queen should never be upstaged. If Kate has learned anything from William it's that his family was jealous of Diana and treated her horribly as a result. Kate has been very diplomatic. And, once again, it must be pointed out that she is not yet Princess of Wales. Her husband is not next in line and they do not have the same responsibilities or resources Diana had. They also don't have the same work load so it's not necessary for her to spend that much on clothing. The economy is also very different now than it was in the 80s for Diana. All of these things are, I am sure, taken into account by Kate and William. They are not oblivious to the rather tenuous hold the BRF has on its own future.

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    4. Robin, I do agree with your sentiments. There's a far bigger picture here than a single outfit or even a closet full of her clothing.

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    5. I agree about a tenuous hold but... Kate dressing amazing isn't going to hurt the queen. Will and Kate are the future of the monarchy and the RF needs the attention they bring. They have been a shot in the arm for the RF. Part of that is Kate's looks, clothes, etc. if anything, I think the queen is forever grateful that she can die knowing finally that the future looks much better for the RF because of Kate. (Charles and Camilla were enough to give the queen nightmares, I'm sure!)

      They certainly have the resources!! More than Diana and Charles had in the early years of their marriage. The Duchy didn't make as much back then as it does now and the early 80s were very financially hard for Britian as a whole. Will and Harry are each worth at least 100 million from their inheritance. They are loaded. Almost twenty years is a long time to grow their pots of gold.

      (That's one outcry about Anmer Hall.... Charles' was paying for the repairs. Something about helping a young couple get a start in life. Before their office changed their tune, it was laughable. W & K are loaded. Like real money loaded.)

      Diana couldn't help the love and attention she garnered from the public. She was a very different kind of person than had been in that family.

      I don't think Kate should be faulted for looking beautiful or wearing gorgeous clothes. That's part of her "princess" job title!! Hope she wears something new and amazing Christmas morning!! xo

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    6. I completely agree anon 3:15.

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    7. Anon 3:15, I do not disagree with you...far from it. However, as good as Diana was for the Firm, and as much as they have benefited from her many contributions, they resented her. I agree that the Queen must be happy about the future ahead thanks to this young couple, but I don't think Kate would have the warmest and fuzziest relationship with her father-in-law and his wife if she turned it up a few notches.

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    8. My thoughts exactly, royalfan. I remember the big kerfuffle when Diana had her hair done differently for the opening of Parliament one year. You would have thought she was planning the Queen's demise the way the media pointed to a public upstaging of Her Majesty. All over an updo!

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    9. Anon 3:15
      Where do you get the information that William is worth £100 million?


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  15. There are reports that Kate hates her "mom hair".

    Told ya!

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    1. Where did that rumor come from?

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    2. I find that really interesting. I have seen all the rage mags saying this but I need to point out that she had the fringe and she cut the fringe a second time. So it is not the bangs. All of these 'articles' comment on the fringe versus the length.

      I suspect we will never know how she really feels. I love the "friends say Kate hates her hair and wishes she had not cut it". Oh tosh! Nonenjoy if her friends would ever comment on her hair...or any matter.

      Aha! Giggling

      DB

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    3. The first cut of the bangs was a very long layer. The second cut was much more dramatic and I think a shock for her in how it turned out. They can't be compared.

      We will certainly know if she likes this hair by whether she grows it out.

      Women that have beautiful hair like Kate, it becomes part of their identity. I know from experience (personal experience with amazingly great hair) that she loves her hair. She is probably in utter shock when she sees the new pics.


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    4. DB

      The cuts were VERY different, one has nothing to do with the other IMO.

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    5. I have had my share of different cuts over the years. When I am bored with one, I make a change.

      If Kate does grow it out, it does not automatically mean she hates it. It means it's her hair and she can do as she pleases.

      Why is there such a strong need to have Kate hate her haircut? Rather sad!

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  16. Oh I know the articles when you read them are often not based on any one specific comment or observed event but always, "friends say she loved her long locks, and probably the Queens pressure to look more professional influenced her to try a new hairstyle and now friends say she regrets cutting it" or some even more convoluted wording that 99 percent of the rags magazines print. I am always fascinated to read the headline and then find the article simply full of words like it is "assumed" or "friends think" etc etc.ali

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    1. I would say at least half the readers here hate her hair. Not surprising to think she does too.

      Royals are known to drop info through "friends" all the time. Maybe she is embarrassed with how it looks and wants everyone to know she hates it too. Ever get a bad haircut and say to people, least they think you like, "I hate this hair!" Maybe Kate is publicly saying this.

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  17. Oh I have no idea how she feels about her hair.:) I am not a fan:) I was just commenting on the way gossip mags write articles:) ali Oh I would love to know if your comment about the Royals dropping info through friends is accurate? I have never heard this, why would they bother and how would one ever know for sure? ali

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  18. Hmmm... Not buying it, Anon 8:22. The opinions on her haircut may be mixed, but Kate would have to be very insecure indeed to go to such lengths to explain or defend a haircut in the manner you suggest. She is a mature and dignified young woman and I cannot imagine this much drama over a haircut.

    And guess what...she may love it! :)

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  19. RF-

    Not insecure, just aware of how much people talk about her hair, her clothes, etc.... What type of blog is this one?? Stands to reason Kate would want to communicate her feelings too. Certainly nothing undignified or immature about her doing so. Girl talk, plain and simple.

    Since you like her hair, not a big issue in your mind. Those of us that hate her new hair would understand her need to talk about it.

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    1. Doubtful she would be having her friends let it be known how much she dislikes her hair. I take those mags with a stiff bourbon .... half-truths.

      I suspect those that do dislike her cut are more than thrilled to find something to justify your dislike LOL. However as an observer of this blog many who are really eating up that she hates her hair and that the photo was photo shopped are the same people who have typically said 'oh tosh' to other articles those very same rags have written.

      I say who knows if she likes it or not. I think she must since she let the fringe be cut twice. Also I am not a professional photographer but that photo cannot be photo shopped. Look at her right leg. If Charlotte was not there originally why on Earth would her leg be at that angle? It wouldn't be. No one would stopped in that position unless they had a baby on on their knee....

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    2. Stoop.....not stopped
      Oh autocorrect you are such a thorn in my side

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  20. Isn't hate a rather strong word for a haircut?

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