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Kate Wears "Ami" To RAF Valley, Anglesey

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Somewhere, on one of my calendars, I had noted that Kate would have an event today. But, life has been busy and so it came as a very happy "surprise" this morning, when I peeked at Twitter, to discover that Kate was due to arrive at RAF Valley in Anglesey within the hour! The Duke & Duchess were returning to William's former RAF base for what must have been a bittersweet event.



After 75 years, the RAF Search & Rescue Force was officially disbanded, since the work was moved from a military duty to a private company. You probably remember some talk of this that year, because it was a shift that likely precipitated William's early withdrawal from his military life. One of my favorite memories of RAF Valley is the Queen's visit. Elizabeth and Philip made a trip to RAF Valley on a blustery April day in 2011, shortly before the Royal Wedding. The Queen had to keep a literal hold on her hat, much to the amusement of the Duke of Edinburgh:


William showed his grandparents around, and the tour included the helicopter he flew, of course. I think it must have been a special visit for him, particularly as he stood on the cusp of such a new chapter in his life. 


Today, although he moved on from the RAF several years ago, it was a morning to say goodbye to many fond memories. Kate, too, was in a reflective mood as she reminisced on her memories in Wales. Victoria Murphy tweeted that Kate said:
It was such a special time for us. It was the start of our life together, really. 
@QueenVicMirror

Kate recycled her LK Bennett "Ami" coat, which she debuted on a short trip to Denmark in aid of a UNICEF, to provide aid to a massive draught in East Africa. She has worn it a number of times since.  She likes to wear it to cold events, which makes sense given how cozy it appears. Plus, I love the pop of color it provides. 



I like the below photo because you can see Kate had snug gloves on, and Rebecca Deacon is looking very smart several seats down from the Duchess. 



Kate did something I have been hoping to see her do with this coat since the first time she wore it in Denmark! She put her hair up into a pony! The coat has a very heavy sense to it. It is thick and long and it has a very commanding, military vibe with those epaulettes and the stand-up collar. I thought that her (gorgeous) thick hair down got a little overwhelming at times. Today, she did wear her hair up, which was exciting, but it back-fired for me just a bit.


I don't think the Betty Boop hat was the right hat to wear. Kate loves this hat, and I love it, too. She has worn it a million (shameful exaggeration, but relatively speaking) times and even Carole borrowed it over Christmas. It has good angles, I thought several of the side shots today were very flattering, however, with her hair in this tight pony, I thought it made her head looked oddly balanced. The big bow doesn't help the effect.  


I scrolled through all of her hats (you can do so here) and I didn't really see anything that would have worked, so I can see why she decided to wear this. Suede was the right call, and you can only wear so many colors with this coat. Nevertheless, this might have been the day to debut a new hat.


Speaking of debuts, Kate wore a new pair of heels, if you are the type that keeps track. The Duchess was carrying her Emmy London "Natasha" clutch, so my first thought was that the shoes would be her matching Emmy London pumps, but these were shorter than the towering Valeries. They are Russell & Bromley's "Pinpoint" pumps and they come in a sensible 8cm.


As I said at the beginning, a bittersweet day, but I think it was mostly sweet. Sweet to remember, sweet to look back, sweet to consider how their lives have leapt from strengths to strengths, and how filled with joy and blessings these years have been since they started their life in Anglesey. 

62 comments:

  1. Yes, I don't think the Betty Boop was the right choice with the ponytail. Actually, I don't really like her hair up with this hat at all. I love this coat. It does have some super nice details and the color is gorgeous. However, I prefer boots with this coat as the hem length is just awkward with pumps. I might work well with a monochromatic shoe and leg as well. She did look lovely regardless.

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  2. I 100 percent agree with you! I love the coat but hate the hat! I couldn't think of a current hat Kate has that would go with that coat
    I would think she would pull out that Alexander McQueen dark blue coat she wore shortly after her marriage for this event..I think it would've been perfect!

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  3. That first photo got me wondering--is this the first time we've seen Kate cross her legs at the knee in public? I guess because the cost was so long she could get away with it, but I don't know that I've seen her NOT cross her legs at the ankle or simply leave her feet side by side when seated at an event. Not important in the slightest, but I noticed and I'm curious now!
    -TMM

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    1. Oooo! Good point! This would be a good idea for one of those new Kate's Clothes contributors!

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    2. I don't think I've seen her sit like this either. But I also don't think I've ever seen her seated in such a long garment. Other times I've seen her wearing garments cut at or above the knee-- and even with her legs crossed at the ankle, her skirt pulls up pretty far in those cases. A knee cross wouldn't have been advisable!

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    3. This was one of the first things I noticed from the photos of the event! (I've always remembered the crossed legs 'rule' from The Princess Diaries movie, and so I'll often notice what royal ladies do when they sit at royal events.) I don't think I've ever seen photos of the Duchess with her legs crossed, but my guess would be that the coat length permitted her to do so. The only other instance I can remember of a royal lady with crossed legs was Crown Princess Mette-Marit at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony last December - her coat was quite long for that event as well. Maybe it's purely a long coat benefit? I'm curious if any etiquette experts have an answer...

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    4. It's funny because I also noticed her crossed legs in this photo. Crossing at the ankles is the "proper" way or with the feet side by side. I'm terrible about crossing my legs and really have to constantly uncross and remind myself to stop because varicose veins run in my family. That being said, the reason I noticed Kate's legs crossed is because it is the first time I've ever noticed that she has some veins in her legs that are particularly pronounced in this photo. After two pregnancies, she needs to be very careful about this.

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    5. Maggie - MinneapolisFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM

      Crossing legs can't cause varicose veins, only worsen the condition. Wearing high heels a lot can cause it, which could easily explain Kate's especially since pregnancy related varicose veins tend to improve after pregnancy.

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    6. I noticed that vein also, Robin Never noticed before how pronounced it was.

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    7. As long as we're discussing Catherine's anatomy...does the fact we're never seen her bare legs crossed before compute with never seeing a distended leg vein before?
      Doubt it is a true varicose vein. Just a temporary disruption of blood flow, most
      likely. Plus-veins appear more prominent on highly muscular people. Angelina Jolie,
      and most body-builders, for example.
      Another thought-does anyone remember the scar that appeared in that area, I believe, after Kate's much discussed few weeks "disappearing" after the Aus/NZ tour? I may have the wrong leg in mind.
      Any other cardiovascular-knowledgeable Kate fans here? I could be wrong,
      of course.

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  4. I love this coat and I especially love the color on Kate. The military style really stood out and looked so appropriate on the day. I do think, however, that the matching belt isn't nearly as flattering as the wide red alligator (crocodile?) embossed belt she wore the first time. I don't know why she has abandoned that belt. Just a personal taste I guess, but I don't like matchy-matchy belts unless they tie in the front instead of buckle.

    For the accessories, the earrings were perfect, the shoes were just right (finally, something for which the suede shoes aren't too heavy), and the clutch was fine. I am 100% with you on this hat, though. I just can't seem to enjoy it no matter how it's worn but this time was the worst. The hat overwhelmed her pony tailed head. Jane, you're right, it's time for a new hat for this coat. Or . . . she could accessorize this coat with black and wear the Fairy Tale hat with it.

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    1. I agree about the belt Robin. The belt she wore in Denmark gave a more polished look.

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    2. I agree with the Fairy Tale hat, it would be a dignified color combo with the coat as well as a better shape for her pony tail.

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  5. The color really suits her and her eye makeup looks significantly improved for today's event.I agree the Betty Boop was not the perfect choice with the ponytail,but it didn't look that bad.

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  6. This was not a "win" for me. The outfit looked dowdy and quite frankly, boring. The heavy makeup is aging the Duchess, and not necessary for a beautiful 34 year old woman. She needs a stylist to guide her.

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  7. If she had worn the hat like her mother did to church, I think it would have looked more flattering since her hair was in a pony. By the way Jane, do you watch Suits on USA? My hubby and I have watched this series since it began, but now it reminds me of you!

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  8. Bittersweet day indeed.

    And I do agree about the hat and hairstyle combination; I love this hat, but it was a severe look with her hair pulled back tightly. And I may be in the minority, but I find the red and brown competing without a clear winner in the end. :) I would have preferred a black hat, bag, and boots (especially given the length of the coat), and perhaps the red belt from the Denmark engagement.

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    1. I see we're on the same page again, royalfan. I would like the Fairy Tale hat and black shoes as well - with the Denmark belt! I think Kate needs us!

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    2. Robin, we can dream.... I'd even pay for my own airfare. ;)

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    3. Do you suppose there's room for us at KP so we can be at Kate's beck and call? Because, I'm good with that!

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    4. :) I'm sure they could come up something ... even a quaint attic flat would work for me!

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    5. I'm sure an attic flat at KP is far grander than an attic flat anywhere else!

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  9. I wish she had worn the russian great coat and matching pillbox hat from the down under tour when they arrived. I love that outfit and it would have fit the military theme also.

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    1. Oh, you're so right and I do hope to see it again. What a great look from head to toe.

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    2. Good choice, Anon. 9:28! Hopefully, now that she has official duties with the RAF, we will see more of her in the military style!

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  10. oh I love the duchess outfit and the hat but hair bother me

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  11. Bravo, Jane! I agree with you, the hat made her look a little goofy. I love love love the hat but I just don't think it was positioned right. I think it looked fabulous when she wore it to the St. Patrick’s Day in 2015. That outfit is one of my favorites!
    (Quick side note, I think you have the Temperley “Noa” Coat listed twice in Kate's Clothes.) Truly a great website, Kates Clothes is! Have a great weekend!

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  12. Yeah I thought about how the Fairy tale hat would have looked better.

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  13. I would have liked the red fascinator she wore attending the Queen's Jubilee in 2012.

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  14. I'm with you Jane, this hat doesn't work here...

    Looking back at the pictures from the first time she wore this coat, I'm struck that she pretty much never wears her 'C' bracelet anymore and she used to wear it all the time...I hope she brings it back it's a lovely little token.

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    1. I would love to see her "C" bracelet with "W", "G", and another "C" charms added for William and her children. I love, love, love charm bracelets - the old fashioned kind, not the Pandora (barrel) style because you can build them to remember important dates, people, and places. (I'm not obsessed with them or anything but I do have 9 of them!)

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    2. Robin, I love the old school charm bracelets too, and completely agree that Kate should have her own. I hope she has started one or that one was started for her that she wears privately. If not, that particular bracelet would be a fabulous place to begin. I wanted to start one for my daughter a few years ago but apparently they are out of fashion and nice charms are hard to find.

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    3. Faith, I still have my first one from when I was a little girl and I treasure it. My daughter has three of them she's working on. Here is a great place to find charms:

      http://www.charmnjewelry.com

      They are out of Texas and ship fast. They have great prices for Rembrandt Charms (high quality) and almost all come in sterling silver, 10k gold, or 14k gold so you can tailor them to your budget. I look for older charms on eBay as well. I only have one 14k gold bracelet because they are super expensive. That bracelet is reserved for my major life events and things I truly love.

      A bracelet like this would be so nice for Kate and, most especially, for those who buy her gifts. She could have charms that represent her family (like a little acorn), charms that represent her foreign tours, charms that represent her charities. Actually, she could afford to commission specific charms!

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    4. Thank you so much Robin!!! You have no idea how much I appreciate the information. All my googling never brought up this company, and my jeweler keeps trying to sell me a convertible charm bracelet or those "other brands"which shall not be mentioned. This is exactly what I've been looking for :-)

      Regarding Kate, she could have the most amazing charm bracelet(s)!

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    5. I'm so glad it helped, Faith! I've always had the most positive experiences with this company. And, you're right, Kate could have amazing charm bracelets!

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  15. I quite dislike the outfit, which is weird because I like each piece separately. The coat was great for me in Denmark and at the rugby game, I love the ponytail, and I thought the hat was cute. But they doesn't work together. The hat does not match with this kinf of hairdo, and with the long coat, it makes our duchess look older to me, which is kind of sad in the place where she lived when she was younger.
    Well, not awful, but not wow. Just a feeling of "it could have been better with a slight change" (like the hat).

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  16. Love this coat. It has a rather military air, so suitable for yesterday's engagement. I also love the hat, but wonder if it would have been better with the bow at the back.Photographs taken from her left side, in my opinion seem to show excellent balance between hat and hair, which, incidentally, I like very much).
    Whatever, the over all impression was elegant.
    Interesting to note the difference of this outfit, to what she wore Wednesday. Difficult to always dress for such a wide variety of engagements---she does it very well.

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  17. I love this coat, but do prefer the other belt with it. I love the hat too- on of my favorites. I am also happy she wore her hair in a pony, but I do agree something was off. I love Kate, but I do think she is thinner than she has ever been and I think it shows in her face. I kind of think that has something to do with the hat looking a little funny on her. But overall - Kate looked great!!!

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  18. I like this coat very much and since it seems to have an orange/rust undertone, the brown accessories work. As for the hat, I agree that it was not looking its best yesterday...think it has to do with the placement--pushed forward, perhaps by the ponytail? At any rate, in shots taken from the front, the Betty Boop seems to lie almost horizontally on Kate's forehead, lacking its usual, jaunty angle.

    JC

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    1. JC, I have come to the conclusion that Kate needs the Betty Boop in black, navy and winter white. :) And I think you're exactly right about the placement of the hat. Someone (sorry, not sure where) commented that Kate should have worn it the way Carole did recently and it makes perfect sense. The higher front with the bow in the back above the ponytail would have been a nice look.

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    2. Hmm...not sure about the navy--pretty tired of that colour in general, but, in the small hat dept., black, and particularly winter white work for me. That Betty Boop, I think, was one of Kate's inspired fashion choices, altho it strikes me as amazing that a hat, worn just an inch out of place, could go from sartorial greatness to ho-hum.--By the way, I read the comment you mentioned, but on closer examination, came to the
      conclusion, based on photos of Kate, that the back of the hat has a larger rim and, hence, am not sure it would work to place the bow at the back. Kate comes under, God help her, far greater photo scrutiny than Carole; I saw only one pic of the latter wearing the hat, and that photo was taken from some distance, so if the hat looked a tad odd, no one noticed.

      Nevertheless, the Betty Boop remains one of my favourites...visions of winter white are now dancing in my head! :))

      JC

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    3. The thing with hats is once you put it on you have to look at it from all angles. This one was good from the back and the sides...but not from the front....which is kind of the most important angle. From the hat with no hair in view just made it a very harsh look.

      Now winter white...that would be stunning! Great suggestion.

      I so wish I had places to where hats like this.....

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    4. I think it might have worked with the bow in the back IF she had worn her ponytail lower. As it is, it does look a little goofy. Part of it may be though we are more used to seeing Kate with a "larger head" look with all of her hair.

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    5. I feel like we aren't seeing exactly what kind of red this coat is. In some photos it has rusty notes and in others I see more blue in it. It's a bit of a chameleon and depends on the lighting. I think, though, that the photos from Denmark and the Poppy Day fundraiser are truer because they are outside with natural light. That leads me to back away from the warm, autumn tones to accessorize and lean more toward black or tone on tone.

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    6. Regarding hat position-there is an old Hollywood film with Jimmy Stewart or
      Spencer Tracy, I think, with a scene demonstrating how hat position can reflect
      the wearer's mood, as well as fashion. It involves men's hats but it may be applicable here.
      For example, a hat worn off to the side reflects a jauntiness; straight on the top
      of the head, serious, no-nonsense; on the back of the head, tipped up, a humorous
      devil-may-care attitude.
      Betty Boop may be Kate's Spencer Tracy hat.
      I think hats, as well as jewellery, may be her way of expressing feelings and
      moods.

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  19. I agree, I love all the pieces, but not together. I think it has to do with the sides of the hat matching the collar too much: both are very straight and about the same height. This frames her face in a weird way, and without her hair to break up the silhouette it looks odd.

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  20. Which bracelet is she wearing in the photo from the event in Denmark?

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    Replies
    1. A gold chain/charm bracelet, with one charm--a gold disc with Kate's cipher on one side and Camilla's on the other. Said to be a wedding gift from Camilla, but who knows? And speaking of yellow gold jewellery, it might've been the perfect touch to wear with rusty red and deep brown.

      JC

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    2. I agree, JC. Gold jewelry would have been better choice here (with the Denmark belt). Perhaps Kate chose these earrings because of the belt buckle.

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    3. Royalfan, I think Kate might have chosen to wear the white gold earrings to match her watch--methinks she is enjoying something of a love affair with same. A worthy choice. I do think that Kate needs to expand her watch collection; at a minimum, she needs a yellow gold-plated casual watch, and, as a special treat, an expensive, modern, solid white gold evening watch, the sort which could double as a bracelet, for cocktail and evening wear.

      JC

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    4. Good point about the watch, JC. I think it's beautiful (and don't I wish!), but there have been times when it appeared too large (and casual by default) for a dressier occasion.

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  21. I have to say I loved everything about this outfit! When she wears these long, straight coats with her hair up and a hat, she just looks so pulled-together, so classic, so HER. Think the lovely forest-green Christmas ensemble, or the cream christening coat/hat/hair for Charlotte's day. I love that she wore gloves and a matching clutch, it looked cold but she looked warm and appropriate. I think her eye make up is gorgeous, she just has so much class.

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  22. I think the Red River, Butterfly, or Single Feather Beret would have been a much better choice in hat.. Not crazy about the color of the hat either.. Not with red. I don't like to say anything negative about the Duchess..Maybe I would think differently if her hair was down? It just seemed like it was too much... To me she usually doesn't do too much but this time she did. I love it all seperatly but together not too much. Still lovely though!

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  23. Could the shoes be Russell & Bromley 5th Ave? I have a pair in taupe suede + they look identical.

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  24. In the close up pictures of Kate at the reception, you can see the detailing darts at the shoulders of the coat. With Kate's hair down at the other occasions, that was hard to see. I am sure it softens the lines of the coat, making for a softer, less boxy silhouette. But there's a lot going on up there- folded collar, epaulets, darts-- you'd need a very minimal hat and I think Kate chose the least fussy in her hat collection and went from there. I think I would've chosen stud earrings because of the collar. But she looks lovely and appropriate as always...

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    Replies
    1. I didn't notice the darts, to be honest. But they do add a nice touch.

      One of my issues with her longer hair is that it "hides" her neck and shoulders (true assets in her case) and necklines on coats, dresses, gowns, etc.

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  25. What a lovely fashion critique, Hoosier! You made your points without seeming crtical.
    Quite an art.
    Refreshing to read after so many brash, rude , ungracious and unhelpful remarks-often
    coupled with a"...but she's lovely," apparently to make it more palatable.
    When did making personal remarks about someone's facial features, weight, bodily markings
    and such become acceptable? It is just plain rude. Everyone does it, it's the internet, and
    they're public figures does not excuse it.
    A true example of constructive criticism, HoosierLori.

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  26. Hoosier, I should add- your "But she looks lovely..." followed an entirely different context
    than those I was discussing.It was a summary, not an after-thought.

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    1. Gee thanks, Anon 11:23. Kate is such a lovely woman- we're all so lucky to see such beautiful clothes, aren't we? Even on my best days, I could never stack up to such elegance....

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    2. I will second that, 11:23. I know exactly what you mean.

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    3. I beg to differ-there is such a thing as verbal elegance.

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