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Kate Christmas Shopping at Peter Jones + Christmas Plans

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kate has already recycled the Reiss houndstooth coat, but this time in private as she stepped out to do some Christmas shopping at John Lewis in Chelsea on Friday, December 11th. Kate toted her own bags, as is pretty usual. It looks like she was stocking up on home decor for the festive season. She was carrying a bag and holding what looks to be a beautiful, checked tablecloth under one arm. 



Flanked by her PPOs, Kate was carrying her favorite grey D-Styling bag from Tod's and wearing what appear to be her Half N Half stretch boots from Stuart Weitzman. That turtleneck peeking out is likely the same we saw her wearing on her day trip to Scotland. Kate is wearing stockings and appears to have a relatively short skirt on. You can see 25 pictures of the outing here at the Daily Mail. 


Just a few days ago, on the 10th, Carole and Pippa were spotted packing gifts and pink wrapping paper into the back of their Range Rover as they completed a bout of holiday shopping. I think we know two little youngsters who are going to be happily spoiled this December 25th. You can view more photos of the Middleton ladies here.



Several of you have been asking what I think the Cambridges will do for Christmas. Will it be a Sandringham Christmas? Will it be Bucklebury? Will they repeat last year and have the Middletons up to Norfolk? I think that William and Kate will want to celebrate this very special Christmas at their home. William told a reporter this was George's first Christmas where he understood that gifts would be coming and apparently, he is super excited! Discussing the upcoming holiday recently, William remarked:
"We'll watch George try to tackle his presents as he tries to unwrap them. It's a very different experience at Christmas, having a family of your own," William explained. "It'd be nice if we got a white Christmas because we haven't had one in many years."
I think William and Kate will want to host Christmas at Anmer. It really is the perfect balance for them, because it enables them to celebrate the traditional Christmas with the Queen and the royals, but they also get to spend it in their own home with Kate's family. I suspect the whole party will remove to Norfolk after Kate's December 15th engagement. 


Taking it with a grain of salt, Us Weekly reports that the Cambridges have put up a 9-foot tall Christmas tree at Anmer and were decorating it on the 5th. I have no doubt a house of that size can handle a nine foot tree and I have no doubt that George got to help decorate. I am sure putting a tree up in his living-room was a cause of significant excitement. The story goes on to say that Kate was shopping in Norfolk for Christmas decorations on the 24th of November:
[George] accompanied his mom, Duchess Kate Middleton, 33, to nearby Fakenham Garden Centre, where she picked up a battery-lit star, a roll of gold gauze, and a mini pre-strung tree. “George wanted everything he saw,” says a staffer. “Kate let him choose a couple of ornaments, including a felt penguin.”
We will see shortly, but I think the Middletons and the Cambridges will head to Norfolk. Possibly we will hear they visit Thursford again and will likely be seen out and about as they settle in and enjoy the final, exciting and joyful days before the holiday. Christmas traditions are so important, I think, to celebrating well. I think the Cambridges are beginning to build those traditions in Norfolk. In so many ways, Anmer Hall gives William and Kate the best of both worlds. I think that is where they will be. Remember how James joined the annual Christmas eve football match last year? The families get on so well, and the more the merrier.



Finally, and again with apologies to James for a post several months ago announcing the demise of his relationship, the princess's brother and his girlfriend Donna Air were spotted enjoying an evening out with friends in Chelsea, also on the 10th. It was a busy day for the Middletons! You can see more pictures here. I love Donna's sweater! 


We will see Kate again on the 15th and then it will be a waiting game to see where the family decides to settle for Christmas. Do you think we will see them at Anmer again, or will they break and celebrate a Bucklebury Christmas?


111 comments:

  1. Really Publishing Paparazzi Photos?

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    1. You must be new to the blog! So, first of all welcome, and second of all, yes. I have a long-standing policy of posting and sharing pap photos of the adult royals. I always have, I always will. I have to say with some amusement that I have gotten my fair share of emails attempting to shame me for publishing them, but I remain irritatingly unfazed. :) I have written several long posts on the subject, and you can find those if you click on the About page on the top bar.
      Pap shots of the children are something I am still evolving on and I have not made up my mind entirely on what I think. You will know as I work it out. :)
      Again, thanks for popping in!
      Jane B

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    2. No problems here, Jane :-)

      ~ A

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    3. 100 percent agree with you Jane. Thank you for not being one of the hundreds of hypocritical bloggers who shamed people who posted the George and Charlotte pic and are now posting these new ones!

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    4. If not for pap pics, we would never see these people! I like to see where my money is going!

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    5. Rubbish comment.

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    6. agree, anon 7.28.

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  2. Thanks for the post :-) I love these kind of photos!

    Messy hair, don't care! But her eye makeup is done to perfection. I think she's conscious that she's still on Princess duties, even when shopping on personal time - she seems to quite often wear dresses or skirts when out doing personal shopping. Not that she can't be in jeans, I just think she steps it up a bit. Whereas I shopped today in jeans and a Lululemon top :-\

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  3. The coat and boots with black turtleneck are a great combination. This photo points out how much the fringe and shorter hair style is just not for Kate. She so looks so much older. I agree that Anmer Hall is where they will spend this year's Christmas and many more to come. It is where many awesome memories their children will cherish.

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  4. Don't forget that Kate and William always attend Her Majesty's Christmas luncheon before departing for the holidays. That is typically the last Thursday or Friday before she leaves for Sandringham, so we should see them on the 17th or 18th.

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  5. I was hoping we would see some holiday shopping pictures. Thanks for writing a post about them. I love it when photos such as these pop up.

    These photos have cinched it for me though. Don't like this coat without a belt. Looks like a shapeless raincoat. She shops frequently in short skirts. I think its a staple of her personal wardrobe, along with the skinnies.

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    1. Without the belt, it looks unpolished.

      Shop Girl

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    2. Yes, I think so too.

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  6. I saw the link to the DM in the last post and did not realize Jane already had a post up. :)

    Initially, I was surprised to see her in this coat vs. a slightly more casual off duty coat, but it does make sense since it minimizes the impact of the photos.

    Regarding Christmas, I too believe they will spend it at AH with the Middleton's. The location does make it easy to accommodate both sides of the family. And what fun they will have this year with George! I could almost picture his expressions?!?

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  7. I love Donna's sweater too! Do you think Lupo is in the picture with them? Or maybe James has his own dog from the same litter?

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    1. Apparently the Middleton's breed this type of dog, so it's anyone's guess! With Kate in London at KP, I doubt it's Lupo. My guess is James has his own dog.

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    2. I have read that James has a dog from the litter too!

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    3. I believe Lupo was a gift from James to Kate and William to mark their marriage. To my understanding, James kept Lupo's sibling, and that is the dog he os often photographed with. Remember once James and Kate walked their sibling dogs in KP park? It was cute. :)

      The picture is on this post. I never updated the post, which I should have, but it was most definitely Kate and James.
      http://fromberkshiretobuckingham.blogspot.com/2012/06/kate-at-park-and-cinema.html

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  8. I do like the coat! I do notice that she looks tired. Typically I don't see this when others mention that she appears tired. Today she does but she has had a very full week and toss in Christmas planning and that makes for a pooped person. She is always beautiful in my opinion.


    DB

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  9. I hate to say this and I know people will be mad at me but I think the Duchess looks awful in those 25 pictures. I am a devoted Duke and Duchess fan and have been since they where at school together and truly believe they are a great couple and wonderful parents. BUT Catherine please do something about your apprearance in public....

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    1. It is her weight. She literally has no extra fat to plump up the contours in her face. As we naturally age, our faces thin out. Being underweight (and overweight too) makes this process more complicated and the aging becomes more pronounced.

      On top of that, her natural genes make her age rather badly. Pippa, who I think is a very good weight, looks much older than her age. I think they both get it from Carole.

      Mr. Middleton has the high check bones and rounder features that age better. Kate has this from him, but is so thin, there is no fat there to support the features and fill them out.

      We all age differently. Kate's a very pretty lady regardless. This is the way she will age, in the public eye. I hope people don't comment on it all the time. It isn't going to change. Unless she runs around with tons of contour on her face and always has good lighting, pictures of her will remain either very good or very bad.

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    2. I second Anon. It is her weight, her genes. And above all, the amount of photoshopped pics we see of her. I blame this as much as I can, giving us a false picture of her.

      I think she takes better care her skin nowadays, no more fake orange tan, I heard she was a smoker too. I think she kicked that too. But time goes by, nobody can avoid that.

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    3. Sorry anon, but I do not agree with you. This was not a public appearance. She looked better than most running out to do some shopping. Everyone wanted her hair shorter and that is what happened, but this shorter hair is more difficult to put up into a ponytail. We also do not know what photo shopping was done to make her look older. She was probably not aware of being photographed, so she was more relaxed and more like the rest of us in the same scenario.

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    4. I have to jump in to defend Kate on this one, Katie. The majority of the pictures of Kate--particularly the ones on this blog--are not photoshopped. Official pictures released by the family are often photoshopped, but that is par for the course on official photos. But, the ones taken by almost all royal photographers are must definitely not photoshopped. She is THAT gorgeous. :)

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    5. Jane Barr I respectfully disagree. We always get non-photoshopped pictures of her and then the photoshopped ones. Dailymail and the royal photographers definitely photoshop their pictures. There are always two versions that I can source and we all know that bloggers put up the photoshopped ones.

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    6. Actually Jane, pap shots are manipulated too, even celebrity ones here in the US. Whether taking out a few forehead wrinkles or adding light in some areas, this is very common for pap shots. Kate has several chicken pox scars on her face. These were seen a lot before, then puff, gone. The press knows what sells and they respond by tweaking pap shots, very common.

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    7. Well, I know a little about photoshopping myself, I have to say. :) I appreciate that magazines, etc often photoshop (without permission from the source, usually) but I must repeat that the majority of Kate's photos, on this blog at least, are not photoshopped. Lighting is altered sometimes, but that is not "photoshopping." I have discussed this directly with the photographers and I can see for myself when sifting through sometimes hundreds of photos from multiple angles. Lighting, cameras, and angles play a huge role in how people look in a picture.

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    8. It's a shame that some of the official Testino photos of Kate have been photoshopped, or technology used in the process that changes her face considerably. (which amounts to the same thing)

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    9. Not to be rude but I think that it is disingenuous to say that photos of DK are not altered. We have seen many times that DM first puts up the non-altered ones and then the ones that have been enhanced. You may say that they alter the lighting, Jane, but the end result is that the photos look significantly better afterwards. The pictures of DK that we are used to seeing are a much more enhanced version. No wonder the real ones are a shock. She is still gorgeous though but her skin could use moisturizing.

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    10. I asked two of them on Twitter, one of them said he doesn't alter anything. The other's answer was ambivalent. Testino's photos were crazily photoshopped. Maybe the rest is touched here and there.

      But let's be honest Jane, you always choose pics where she looks gorgeous, don't you.

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    11. Anon 10:24...it isn't disingenuous, because it is true. I have no idea about the Daily mail, because after I have sifted through 200 pictures of a single event, I don't run over there to look at their photos, but I am saying, that the photos I use are not photoshopped. Light is sometimes enhanced on the images, but they are not photoshopped. I won't belabor the point, but the majority of the photos I use are not photoshopped.
      Katie, yes, absolutely. I always try to choose the photos that catch her at the best angle and enhance her natural beauty. I mean, a lot goes into why I choose a photo, and sometimes I will pick it for ancillary reasons, but yes, if I see a photo that has super unflattering shadows or something, I won't buy it. We all have bad angles and bad photos. I hate to see and photos of myself, and I try to pick photos Kate would be pleased with.

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    12. I have avoided this discussion, but I do sense a bit of "gotcha" in the photoshopped vs. not argument. The insistence that Jane's (or good photos of Kate in general), are photoshopped is telling, especially given the apparent willingness to proclaim the shopping photos (where Kate does not look her best) as the real deal.

      I would love to be in a football stadium and ask the men how many of them would object to seeing Kate at the breakfast table. And...how many of them would object to seeing Carole 27 years later. Obviously, different strokes for different folks, but I do not believe too many of them would find the images offensive.

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    13. Well put, royalfan!. Proving once again that women dress to please other women because, in most cases, the men would not nitpick every single detail of every single line on someone's face and then try to find more faults than are actually there. It's an unflattering view of ourselves but this discussion surely seems to bear the truth of it out. Kate is beautiful. Photoshopping (whether applied or not) doesn't change her lovely smile, pretty eyes, or fabulous hair. IF there is photoshopping done by certain publications did Kate ask for it to be done for some vane reason? Did she ask for the photos to be taken at all? No to both so who cares! Would Jane lie about using photoshopped pictures? Another no - why would she? BTW, I think Carole looks fantastic. Genes, schmenes.

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  10. She is too young to look that old. Eat something, Kate. You are too thin and it makes your face look awful. Ten pounds would give her back her beauty.

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    1. Weight does make a difference, but at the same time, she didn't grow old over night. We've seen many photos of her lately where she looked very good (including the day before these were taken).

      Makeup makes a huge difference when you're used to seeing someone wear it and then suddenly you see them without it.

      And, IMO, these photos prove that hair does matter. We all age; at 30 we don't look the way we did at 20. At 40 we don't look the way we did at 30, etc. She is no longer the 20-something g/f of Prince William. While I agree and appreciate that there is no "rule" about what has to be done with hair at any given age, style and length do make a difference. It's one thing to pull it all back and run out the door at 23...it's a little less forgiving at 33. Just as the long hair was dragging her down, this look is harsh and unforgiving.

      She's not old; this is reality. Add two children and stress to the mix, and even more so. :)

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    2. I do not think at this age her weight is the aging factor. The women I know diid not loose that skin tone typically till after their hormones decreased in their late 40s and especially post menopause. She is not to that under 90 pounds weight were you see the haggard facial appearance. Her make up might actually accentuate her lines and maybe too much tanning when younger. The women in her family all seem to age poorly around the eyes, may just be the genes.

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    3. Sorry but this is not "reality" for someone in their 30s, she looks in her 50s!

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    4. I agree that this is not normal aging for a woman in her early thirties. I happen to think it is weight related though. She looked perfect at Charlotte's baptism. I think that is the weight that is correct for her height and bone structure.

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    5. She also isn't "working", she's doing personal errands, so she isn't intentionally smiling the whole time. Sometimes our facial expressions or mood do a lot to how we look. This wasn't Kate "on" to greet the public. If we had seen her face light up over something, I'm sure we would say in that photo she looks much better. :-)

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    6. Errrr.... 90 pounds??? I am about her height and we would almost be dead at 90 pounds! Certainly in a dr's care at the least!

      I think Kate is in the low 120s. At her weight, that will effect her face as it ages. She needs to add some good fats to her diet and a few carbs.

      Pippa has a killer body and looks so much healthier body wise than Kate.

      Kate must literally barely eat a thing to maintain that thinness on her frame. I am 5'9" and weigh 135-142. And I can wear a small, size 4/6. I couldn't imagine trying to be as thin as she is, she is very, very tiny.

      I have no hips like Kate, but she is..... Really, really small. Even models are bigger than her.

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  11. hmm jane love the shot the duchess is human after all she enjoys being in shopping and grocery I love donna air sweater middleon loves to bread I guess my though they will be Christmas with the royal then vacay in 27 or 28

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  12. Wearing this coat a second time in a row proves she loves it as much as most of the rest of us do. I love the way she wears it with the collar up and sans belt! It took me a minute to put my finger on what was really missing in her look and it finally dawned on me - no earrings! I don't care for the messy updo, that's just my preference, but it wouldn't stand out as much if she had worn some earrings. I have to agree with those who say she looks very tired but, honestly, getting ready for Christmas with a toddler and a baby at home is exhausting. Pair that with public appearances and fancy dress up occasions that go long into the night and anyone would be tired. Then the photographers capture your every move and expression. Like Anon. 3:07 said, my shopping has been done in far less stylish apparel so she looks fantastic for a day out shopping! Yesterday I was out in my jeans and a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Of course, I was shopping in Disneyland but, still...

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  13. Oops, I forgot to weigh in on the Christmas festivities... Given that it's always far easier for children to have Christmas in their own home, I'm going to guess they'll have Christmas at Anmer. Since they are the only grandkids/nieces and nephews on the Middleton side I think they will all celebrate together at Will & Kate's place. Christmas services with the Windsors first, of course.

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  14. Interesting that she repeated the coat so soon! Her legs look mighty thin.

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  15. I really LOVE this bag!
    I saw someone on another website suggesting that it was a pack of cigarettes peaking out of her bag. I can't believe that at all, she has 2 little kids and isn't stupid! But I looked at close-ups as I zoomed the pictures and it may be due to a bad quality on my mobile phone, but I can't really recognize what it is. What do the others think?

    I was never one of those people who said that sje was too skinny or looked too old or tired, but in these photos, I can see it. Of course, this could br because she hadn't had her hair and makeup done by a stylist and wasn't smiling for the crowds and cameras as during an official engagement. Nobody really looks that great when out shopping in a hurry with a messy bun :) but out of these 25 pics, I only liked one or two in which she was smiling a bit so you could see her cheeks again. I think she isn't underweight at all, she has a sporty and healthy figure, but if she gained just some pounds, her face would look fuller, softer, younger and prettier. Hopefully, she'll gain some weight over christmas and advent as we all do because of slots and so on :)

    My bet is also on Anmer Hall, just like last year.

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    1. Hi Sonja: I don't know what the box in her bag is, but it is most definitely too large to be a packet of cigarettes. It is a hefty sized box along the lines of a chocolate box. Since she is carrying the tablecloth, my bet is that its something from the store and could be anything from a boxed set of Christmas-themes cheese knives to an expensive ornament. It's pretty hard to say without walking through Peter Jones and looking for the same packaging, but I would say it is most definitely not cigarettes. She did smoke once upon a time, but I can't imagine she still does. Although, that is my American attitude coming out. I know it is a more accepted thing in Europe.

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    2. Thanks a lot for your quick answer, Jane! I also can't believe that she could be smoking, considering the health risk for her little children and herself - Kate is not stupid :)
      Well, I share your attitude on smoking.
      BTW, is her Tods bag still available?

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    3. Her teeth would not be so white if she smoked---whatever you (or the dentist) does, smoking stains the teeth.
      Trying to decipher what she is carrying in her handbag, in my opinion, really is a breech of privacy..
      Mrs. Middleton was reported as having given up smoking--remember the chewing at William's Passing Out Parade at Sandhurst.

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    4. No. Looking into her bag would be a breach of privacy. Speculating on what is inside is just that--speculation. Just like speculating where they will spend the holidays, whether Carole Middleton gave up smoking, etc.

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    5. Hello Jean from Lancs: Julia from Leominster (writes on another Kate blog) wanted to pass on birthday congratulations to you! Regarding your comment about Kate's white teeth; I think it would probably be possible for modern techniques to whiten her teeth even if Kate did still smoke.

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    6. While I believe her teeth are still her teeth, I will toss it out there that things like veneers exist, too :-)

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    7. 8:41....

      Best comment ever!! "...I believe her teeth are still her teeth..." LOL That had me laughing!! I know what you meant, but SO FUNNY!:)

      It was reported that Camilla got veneers before marrying Charles, but they kept the shape of her original teeth. Aside from her age, probably because of the smoking.

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  16. I will be stunned if she smokes. Stunned. But people are only human. I see James' gf with a ciggie in her hand in the pic above.. Hmmm... I don't know... Very European of them....

    Maybe that's how Carole stays so thin? Carole doesn't look like the workout, fitness buff that Pippa does. Maybe Carole smokes? I know for certain that Camilla does and Charles hates it. It is talked about all the time, there have even been pics.

    I guess it is possible... Hmmm... Would we think her less perfect if she did? ๐Ÿ˜

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    1. It's interesting; I believe that a packet of cigarettes were seen in her bag when she was going out with William? But, correct me if I'm wrong, no one has reported that she smokes/has smoked? Yes, there are still a fair few smokers here in the UK, although many people are also very anti-smoking. Models, in the past, have said that smoking helped them to keep their weight down.

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    2. Speculation is really in over drive. In all the years she has been in the public eye, I don't believe she has ever been caught smoking. Given her supposed interest in organics and health I doubt she smokes.

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    3. A lot of people take up social smoking in their young party days. She may have had the odd cigarette during her young party days. However, I also agree it is doubtful she has ever been a "smoker". Whatever the case, I believe these days she is probably smoke free.

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  17. Harry smokes, not sure about the others.

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  18. I'm sorry for starting a big discussion about members of the Royal family & middletons who smoke or don't, I hadn't intended that.
    I had never had the idea that she could carry a pack of cigarettes, I just read it on another site and xouldn't really recognize what it really was in the photo. I am sure Kate doesn't smoke, I was just curious because it could have been cigarettes in her bag -even if this is very unlikely - (and I didn't want to invade her privacy by trying to decipher what was in her bag)... I'm afraid it came off in the wrong way, apologies again.

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    1. No need to apologize, Sonja. It is a valid question. Kate used to smoke, and supposedly gave it up. I personally think smoking is very unhealthy and that it is bad for your skin, bad for your hair, bad for your teeth, etc. I think it is very, very unlikely that Kate still smokes. But, as has been pointed out, some members of the BRF still do, as does Donna Air, etc. I think there is not much of a privacy invasion when the box is sticking out. If Kate had something she was intent to keep private, she would have pushed it in and zipped the bag closed.

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    2. Agreed, Jane. I was actually surprised to see her purse wasn't zipped up and that something was poking out. Her shopping bag didn't seem packed, and she could have asked them for a second bag. So it isn't wrong for people to be curious when she didn't try to cover it up - just like the tablecloth.

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  19. Kate needs a better moisturizer, that would make all the difference. Her skin looks parched. Also amazing how much better she looks smiling than expressionless, a lesson for us all!

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    1. Her problems go deeper than her skin. It is the planes of her face, sunkness, hallows, more than cream can help. Although I agree about a new skin cream. She has deep, etched wrinkles in her forehead that I have noticed. Maybe a laser treatment to get rid of those?

      I have fought oily skin my whole life. And my mom always said that I would age well. And now it is so true! Finally, something good from it!:)

      Plus, we look at this from an American perspective. I am in my 30s and have had a dermatologist since I was 13. We, myself included, are obsessed with how we look. While Kate clearly works hard on her figure, she probably has a more European view of looks and aging. Yes, they are thin and chic, but they are less critical of aging and just being human as far as looks go.

      The lady who wrote Sex in the City, the column behind the show, said that if you are normal looking, go to Britian, they'll think you are beautiful! But if you are beautiful in Britian and come to the US, we will think you are just pretty.

      Kate has a great life, even if she looks 10 years older. She is very lucky.

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    2. Gosh! This is a bit rude! (I, for one, like the 'English Rose look')

      'The lady who wrote Sex in the City, the column behind the show, said that if you are normal looking, go to Britain, they'll think you are beautiful! But if you are beautiful in Britain and come to the US, we will think you are just pretty'

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  20. Theres no doubt that Kate looks desperately tired and colourless in these shopping pics. However, I don't know why, given that she looked pretty good just the day before. Negative photoshopping? Lack of make-up? Who knows. I do know that, apparently, both Apt. 1A at KP and Anmer Hall are understaffed--each has a housekeeper, and one nanny, who travels back and forth with the family. This means, in effect, that Kate would necessarily have to pitch in--both homes are huge, and with only one nanny, who probably works a standard 40-hr week, Kate is on from 5pm-9am on weekdays and covers all weekends. Maybe, she's simply worn out--in which case, I would advise a quality massage and facial, say every two weeks. (And lest we forget, Kate experienced two difficult pregnancies in her thirties--lot easier to bounce back in your twenties.) So many unknowables.

    As for Christmas...well, I always suspected that living at Anmer Hall was, in part, a way to rein Will and Kate in, to prevent them from spending a year in Bucklebury alternating with a year at Sandringham for Xmas. I do hope that Kate's family will be willing to comply with what seems to be *The Royal Way*, in the knowledge that every second year (apparently) they will get to spend Christmas Dinner with Kate, William, and the kids. Makes a refreshing change from the way HMTQ celebrates Xmas Dinner--where little kids are not permitted to dine with the adults--
    so much for family, eh?

    So...I really hope that Kate's family will spend Xmas Day and share Xmas Dinner/Lunch with Kate et al. That William and Kate DO NOT eat Xmas Lunch with their kids but with the Queen. Such a family travesty.

    Maybe, this could be annually alternated--not that it would do the kids any good, in the bad years, without their parents. But, if necessary...if HMTQ insisted....

    JC

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    1. The nanny works more than 40 hours per week, especially with 2 kids and traveling between 2 houses. Remember how it was reported that she is devoted to her job and that is her life?? These royal servsnts all work over 40 hours a week. They are tough jobs. When it was reported that W & K were understaffed, the point being made wasn't that Kate had to take up the slack. But rather that their small staff was being overworked. When the requirements for their "driver" came out, they were huge. I think their age and lack of taking guidance prevented them from understanding how much time these jobs really required. If you have never cleaned and cooked a lot, you might not realize how much time it really takes. That, coupled with wanting a small staff for privacy, can be a recipe for a very overworked staff.

      I don't think however that Kate is taking up the slack. They had housekeepers at college when they lived together and on that island when it was just them. Kate might like to cook on occasion, but she has plenty of help.

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    2. Not sure what you mean JC. Your paragraph at the end basically days you hope they share it with the family and kids but then you say you don't? Confused. What do you want them to do?

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    3. Anon 3:38 I agree on the staff probably being overworked, and it being a result of wanting a small staff, but a lot of tasks and responsibilities.

      JC ~ the housekeeper duties include walking Lupo, feeding Lupo, and many other tasks. Reading the job description I couldn't believe everything they wanted one person to do.

      I think with Kate's royal duties, time to prepare for royal duties, making decisions for her family, fitness and grooming, time with her children and husband, etc, I believe Kate isn't picking up slack with household responsibilities. That isn't an insult to her, it's that I believe her life is too busy.

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    4. Do we know they do not hire outside non staff to come in and do clean up of the house twice a week, or an extra grocery shopping service etc. For two homes the size of these two I would bet they have much more help than shows up on the official help list. Even for my smallish 2800 sq foot home we have a garden guy that comes in every other week and hire outside tree people for major work two times a year. Also have a window and gutter and sidewalk cleaning service, a house cleaner every other week, send my dogs out for grooming, send my clothes to the dry cleaner. Buy pre made foods at the grocery store, eat out a bunch etc etc. I suspect they have lots of independent contract help for yard and house cleaning and shopping stuff on a weekly basis. I would still be tired from dealing with the stuff you have to deal with for properties that size, their is always a furnace going out, a window leak, a room that needs painting, curtains that have a spot, a coffee pot that is not working, and with two homes you double that stuff, plus all the Royal duties, dealing with one set of Grandparents and two sets of parents, and tons of cousins, aunts,uncles and nieces and nephews, plus friends.

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    5. @ Anon, Dec 13, 6:35PM--Sorry, I screwed up; I meant to convey the idea that, at the very least, every second year, William, Kate and their children would hopefully get to eat Xmas dinner/lunch together and that it was too bad that they might not be able to do it every year.

      @ Anon, Dec 13, 3:38PM Try reading this book: WILLIAM & CATHERINE Their Story, by Andrew Morton, published in 2011, soon after Will and Kate were married.--Yeah, I know; Morton isn't going to win the Nobel for Literature, but, as anyone who has ever read DIANA Her True Story knows, Morton is a man who delivers the truth as his sources see it; hence, he can't be dismissed out-of-hand. The clear conclusion I reached was that when W&K lived together as uni students, William played Mary to Kate's Martha. SHE did the work. And I remain unconvinced that that has changed in the intervening years. (The way I see it is that he is high maintenance and Kate, low maintenance, whereas both Charles and Diana were high maintenance--never works.)

      I find it VERY unlikely that Nanny Maria Teresa works 24/7. Google Norland nannies--fantastically well-trained and very well paid. VERY. They don't work 24/7, altho I think that Kate could *trade* blocks of time with nanny--e.g.Kate might give nanny an afternoon off if she agrees to work of an evening. Norland nannies are no longer slaves, not even for the BRF. They are staff, with well defined parameters of the number of hours they work and for what price. This seems reasonable to me.

      @Anon, Dec 13, 6:53PM I couldn't believe it either when I read the list of housekeeper duties. Bloody ridiculous, isn't it? Then, I remembered Morton's book--according to it, William demanded much
      the same of Kate, back at uni. Whilst perhaps not spoiled rotten like Charles, I rather think that both he and his brother would expect first-class treatment from staff and wives--people seem to forget that once Diana died, there were no checks on the BRFs influence, particularly in Williams case--he alone was invited/ordered to show up at Windsor Castle on weekends when a student at Eton. Harry, the spare, apparently escaped.

      JC

      P.S. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas--and may all your wishes come true.

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    6. JC, I agree with your assessment of Andrew Morton. Just because Diana is gone does not mean that he doesn't have very highly placed sources. I don't believe, however, that there is an injustice between what William asks and what Kate does. Kate grew up in an affluent family but wasn't surrounded by servants who, because of the very fact of her birth, gave way to anything she wanted. William was. I'm sure the Middletons had house help, as most upperclass people do, but I'm sure it was quite a different experience. And, you're right, with the equalizer Diana provided for the boys gone, the rest of the Windsors took over the education. William was groomed by the Queen but I think his association with Kate and her family has helped him quite a bit. It will continue to happen over time and I'm sure he will be a very modern King when the time comes.

      As for Nanny Maria, I'm positive you're right about her having a specific outline of her duties, time off, salary, and anything else that goes with employment. We must always remember that the royals are just humans like the rest of us. When Kate became a princess she didn't start sneezing sparkles out her nose. I'm sure she does work schedules out with Nanny Maria and I'm sure her mother and her sister help out when available and needed. As for the overworked staff...Charles is known to be quite the penny pinch so William's stipend is probably pretty tight for staffing both residences. I don't believe, however, asking someone to care for the dog is an overburden. Really, how long does it take? And I'm sure the grounds at both residences are cared for by those who work for the Queen. They are her properties.

      Last but not least, wishing you a very Merry Christmas too!

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    7. How long does caring for a dog take? Well, considering the housekeeper is responsible for a 10 bedroom house, yes, adding dog duty is a lot. Plus there was childcare mentioned, grocery shopping, special clothing care, cooking, the list went on and on. IT WAS A LOT. That house could easily handle two full-time housekeepers.

      The nanny will not have set hours. She is there to help when they need her, that's why she is live-in. I am sure she has so many vacations days, etc. But does she stick to a 40 hour work week? No.

      She was hired for her devotion to her families, to be available at a moments notice. If you read about staff for the RF it is eye-opening. These people devote their lives to this type of "service".

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    8. A Life in Service: Like 'Downton Abbey'!! People sadly died with 'their boots on', no retirement.(many couldn't afford to retire)

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    9. Robin from CA: Kate's family were middle class, not upper class. I doubt they had 'house help' as you have suggested.

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    10. Anon, UK

      I remember seeing Mr. Middleton mowing the lawn a day after the royal wedding! I thought that was so cute. Regular people, financially secure, but regular people.

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  21. So did anyone happen to notice that the bottom of Catherine's new coat was still tacked on the kick pleat when she debuted it at her visit to the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies? I just happen to notice it on this video: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3358698/No-wonder-Kate-looks-shattered-Two-young-children-three-official-functions-week-Christmas-shopping.html#v-962526939648246497.

    I just tried on the Reiss Rubik Houndstooth Coat at the Bloomindales store in Chicago over Thanksgiving. It was as beautiful in person as it is in the photos on our beautiful Catherine. Kick pleat tack and all, she's lovely. Watching the video just made me smile as it is something I've forgotten to do a time or two.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't notice it until you pointed it out but it's nice that she makes the same mistakes all of us do no matter how expensive our clothing is or is not!

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    2. Thanks for pointing that out. Actually, I have wondered before: I assume one doesn't leave the stitch there?! (to keep the pleat neat)

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  22. See, now I love this coat more; I like the monochrome look.
    Kate looks like a mother of two children under 3. I think the all-round-eye eyeliner she wears ages her face a little.
    It looks like an Amner Christmas! How lovely that Kate & Will have worked that out. I imagine both the Middletons and the Windsors want time with George & Charlotte:)

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  23. Oh, and a comment: as someone who is generally a non-smoker, sometimes you slip - during times of stress or what have you - and one is generally not proud of those slips. All smokers know smoking is bad for your health, smelly, etc. I doubt Kate smokes, and if she does or did, it's not really our business. I think her age shows here because she's wearing black, tired, has had some sun damage from tanning, went through two harsh pregnancies and has two kids under two and... It's the holidays. Back to the clothes!

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  24. Any idea about the grey handbag she is carrying on shopping outing? Love the color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bag is identified with a link in the article

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  25. Valerie Grace Haven from the USDecember 13, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    Do you have any pictures of the enterier AH? Please share if you do! Yes, I think they'll be there for Christmas this year and the rest of the Middleton clan as well.. The pap shots of the children are probably going to be on case by case basis.. As long as they aren't chasing and or putting them in danger to get the pictures I say go for it! I know you've said you have struggled with it before and I, as I'm sure many do, stand behind you! Thanks again!

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  26. Love Pip's sweater! Anyone hear where it is from?

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    Replies
    1. Pip? That is Donna not Pippa. It is a great sweater.

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    2. No, when Pip is shopping with Carole. She has on a coat sweater.

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    3. Ahhhh... forgive me

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  27. Wow, I'm kind of surprised everyone is thinking that Kate looks bad in these photos - I think she looks pretty normal for a mom of two! She probably didn't feel the need for a full face of makeup just to run some errands. And it might have been a rough night for George and Charlotte, who knows. As for the smoking issue, we get so many pap pictures of Kate that if she smoked, we would probably know it by now...that, and the box seems just too big (to me) to be cigarettes. Anyway! Thanks for the post, Jane - I'm glad to see that Kate puts things to the last minute just like I do, ha!

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    1. Don't know if anyone read this, but this is a great article. And VERY fitting.

      http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/dec/14/daily-mail-is-cruel-and-childish-about-the-duchess-of-cambridge

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    2. Royalfan ~ I saw this...but how are a lot of commenters on this blog different? A lot of us have been cruel about how bad she looks. Critique fashion, beauty tips, etc, yes. We need more pro women attitudes :-)

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    3. Anon 8:37...valid question. Perhaps it comes down to intent.

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    4. I think the intent is just an honest reaction. I don't think people are being mean. I think people are shocked by the pictures. I know I was and I am actually concerned for her.

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    5. Intent indeed. That was a catty woman making catty remarks. :-p

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    6. I too have been very disturbed by the critical comments of Kate regarding these pap photos. I also think its cruel and childish to comment about her skin, her face, body frame all while disguising it as "concern" for her. She is a lovely woman who has done nothing but fall in love with her prince, revive the BRF, bear two lovely children, and given all of those she meets during her engagements the thrill of a lifetime. I have to say I think it's crappy. Fortunately, Jane doesn't allow very much of it here and I do think the posters on this site do admire Kate - it's just the constant "advice" about how she should live her life that bothers me. Glad to see that someone is taking the Daily Mail to task about their coverage. Kate is doing very well in my view and I wish her and her family a lovely Christmas Season. The same to all of you here. I do enjoy your comments and look forward to visiting this community every week. Happy holidays to everyone. Thanks for all that you do Jane. I know how hard law school is and I hope that you have a lovely Christmas break yourself.

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    7. I think there is real concern for her. If a family member looks really bad, do you ask them if everything is alright? Yes. People care about her.

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    8. I think there is real concern for her. If a family member looks really bad, do you ask them if everything is alright? Yes. People care about her.

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    9. Jane in Canada, AMEN. I totally agree.

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  28. About her weight, I think is one of those things you have to respect, some women prefer to be curvy, some prefer to be thin. For me to go to the gym every couple of days and do God knows how many squats seems totally normal, but to eat 800 calories a day seems insanity. For Kate is probably the opposite, her beauty goal is probably to look like those very thin models. It's a matter of point of view, beauty is relative.

    If you ask me I think is a poor choice, I'm only two years younger than Kate and I think she looks about 10 years older than me. But I know MANY women in their 30s that think just like Kate, starve themselves to achieve that "15-years-old-body" believing that make them look younger, but in reality it makes them looks older.

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  29. Brand new rumors going around about Harry and Pippa dating. They seem to resurface every once in awhile and, no matter how fun it would be for the rest of us, I'm sure it's not true. She and Nico just broke up and Harry has been in Africa. Must have been a slow news day for OK! magazine.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure it's fiction, but wouldn't it be fun?? I could almost see the engagement headlines...Carole strikes again. Ha! :)) Harry should be so lucky.

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    2. I think it would be fab!

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    3. You're right...Harry should be so lucky! I have never understood the horrible things people say about Carole. I think the people who say these things are just snobs who don't like that William married a commoner so it was obviously some sort of conspiracy. Rubbish!

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    4. Actually I do not think it would be a good idea. Hard on both Catherine and William and Hard on Pippa and Harry. Those dynamics get very tricky very quickly IMHO. :) ali

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  30. Poor Harry; it seems no woman wants the spotlight that being his wife will entail. Would Pippa want to play 'second fiddle' to Kate, though (if she was married to Harry)? People have reported that Kate & Pippa are tremendously competitive. I feel sorry that Pippa's relationship with Nico Jackson didn't seem to work out, hoping for a reconciliation, I thought he looked delightful; although perhaps his personality belied his looks.

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    Replies
    1. I don't see the sisters as competitive, never heard that. They seem really close, with their mom too. And if Pip was with Harry, I think that would be fine. I am not a jealous person and really don't view it as second fiddle. Yes, Pip would never be queen but Harry is as royal as they come w/out being King. All the perks, half the pressure.

      I would love to see both sisters be Windsors!!!

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    2. They were reported as being very competitive when younger.

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  31. I think poor Kate might well be exhausted, mentally & physically. Unlike Diana, she didn't grow up with staff, and prefers to do things herself.

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  32. I had another look at the photos, and the dark circles under Kate's eyes can clearly be seen. However, when my sister saw the Queen (in person), she informed me of the massive amount of make-up that she was wearing, so perhaps Kate wears very heavy makeup to disguise this during her public engagements. Unless we have seen her 'in the flesh' it is hard to know. The quantity of makeup (& foundation) used not so obvious in photographs.

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  33. Kate does have a slightly 'hounded' (or 'stressed') expression in some of the photos on the Daily Mail website, with her mouth slightly open. Gosh, would anyone here like to fulfil her role? (with the endless press/public speculation/intrusion etc?) Will Harry manage to find a bride, who will have with an undefined royal role, (as Harry is just 5th in line to the throne) but with all the intrusion/limitations the job entails?

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