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Kate & William Visit the Taj Mahal on Final Stop of Tour

Saturday, April 16, 2016

As I mentioned in the last post, this tour was planned with a glittering start (the Bollywood gala) and what was sure to be an iconic finish, with this visit to the Taj Mahal before the royals flew home to London. As the Cambridges are just a few weeks shy of their 5th wedding anniversary, it seemed fitting that they visit one of India's most famous monuments built as an architectural ode to love.






The Taj Mahal is a tomb which was built by the then-Shah in the 17th century for his favorite wife who had died in childbirth. It is a magnificent structure and features breathtaking interior decoration. The theme of powerful rulers building tombs for their beloved wives is not entirely unique. Pharaoh Ramses the Great built a stunning tomb for his wife Queen Neferatari which is considered the "Sistine Chapel" of Egypt. Nefertari's tomb is unusual because the walls were all painted white before the paintings depicting her life were applied and it has remained well preserved over the centuries making it an especially visually striking tomb. The Taj Mahal is above ground, but also known for its fully white exterior.  



This visit, of course, carried some baggage with it, too, thanks to Diana's trip to the Taj Mahal in the 1990s. By now, everyone is familiar with the photo of the princess sitting by herself on the bench projecting sad isolation. The picture of the two on the same bench was sure to be one that would run worldwide, and be placed next to the shot of Diana for decades to come. So, the pressure on this event felt a little higher than usual. The two were clearly mindful of the import these pictures would have and clearly had thought out coordinating ensembles, to perfection I might add.




William and Kate's relationship is thankfully the antithesis of their predecessors and brought a certain closure, I think, to the sadder associations Diana left here. In this video from Rebecca English, Kate and William are ascending stairs and Kate lags just a hair behind thanks to her heels. William's reaction is just one small example of the new and happier royals touring India this year.  




Kate did not disappoint in the fashion department, choosing a beautiful white and blue dress from Indian-American label Naeem Khan. Khan was born in Mumbai and infuses his designs with inspiration from his birthplace. This white and blue on Kate was just striking and I have already heard more than a few claim it is the best dress of the tour. The photos of the couple in front of the Taj Mahal are gorgeous, but I particularly love the ones with the green of the grass around them.  The crisp white and blue really pops against the green.


Thoughtfully, Kate wore the earrings she purchased during her hike to Tiger's Nest yesterday, which cost her just £6. The Duchess rarely wears jewelry she is gifted and generally knick knacks that she purchases disappear, too, so it was a lovely gesture toward the people of Bhutan and India for her to wear their local jewelry.



This morning I pulled out Dickie Arbiter's book On Duty With The Queen and reread the chapter in which he recounts the tour of India that Charles and Diana took. The tension in the couple's marriage was near breaking point and they undertook a tour of India which ended quite badly. Oddly, the couple split for the majority of the tour, with Charles undertaking engagements on one side of the country and Diana on another. According to Arbiter, Charles was unwilling to join Diana at the Taj Mahal, although he later admitted it was a mistake not too. Her lonely photo, that became the image of her deep unhappiness, was the unfortunate result.



Regrettably, this was not the last disaster on the tour. Not long after Prince Charles played a polo match in Jaipur at which Diana was to give the prizes. When Charles received his, rather than kissing Diana as planned, he turned to walk away.  Immediately thinking better of it, he came back for a kiss, and that is when Diana, at the last moment, turned her cheek, snubbing her spouse in front of the world's media.



It is tough to look back at this all, and not hard to understand why this visit carried some scars for William personally and the royal brand.  I think that is why they have ended the tour here. It is the finishing touch on a visit that has once again highlighted how wonderful these two are as a couple and stressed how bright the future of the monarchy is in their hands.


William and Kate were spotted in a hotel bar having a drink before their flight home to London, where they will doubtless head straight to the Middletons' Bucklebury home to share their stories and gifts, show the many pictures, and hug and kiss their little ones.

It has been a colorful and remarkable week following William and Kate through India & Bhutan! I very much enjoyed it and thank you for joining me--and for your patience when some posts were a little late. ;) 

132 comments:

  1. Best dress of the tour IMO

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    1. I agre, today best Kate in years. Very interesting post

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  2. Thank you for your excellent coverage.

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  3. While it certainly has ethnic elements, I think the blue and white dress overall is more "old-style" Kate than new "boho-style" Kate. Despite often liking boho styles myself, I like this old-Kate dress best of just about everything she's worn on this tour (although now that it's ending, one can see the "heavy embroidery on a lighter background" look was a tiny bit of a repetitive look for the tour.) I would have liked this dress even better with navy or even white shoes. I'm just not one who thinks nude heels go with absolutely everything. And since the expected-to-be-iconic seated photo was planned months in advance, I'd have liked it better if the dress was an inch or so longer. But those are very minor points.

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    1. Lizzie, I bet the recycle of this dress WILL include navy shoes. (And, yes, Robin, most likely they will be suede). :))

      But it's funny that you shared your thoughts on nude heels not going with everything. This trend of adding nude accessories to various looks become popular in the last years of Diana's life. And I admit to having a difficult time looking past the accessories which, in my mind, often appeared to be out of sync with the certain outfits.

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    2. I do agree about the white or navy shoes working better than the nude but they do go with William's pants awfully well.

      Best dress of the tour and absolutely perfect for this location. A really flattering cut and design, especially from the back.

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    3. I think the beige pumps were intended to match William 's trousers. This pics have been carefully studied to Project an image of a merry couple.

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    4. Ah, royalfan, I'm going to have to set aside my suede aversion in favor of anything other than suede pumps! ;-) I do think navy shoes would look better than the nude but I'm not a fan of white shoes (except on little girls) unless they're a sandal of some sort.

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    5. Agree, Robin, with the exception of white shoes for wedding dress.
      How about the navy blue McQueens?

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    6. Definitely with the exception of wedding shoes!

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    7. Robin- I appreciate your feelings about ladies white heels but in a climate with boiling hot humid late springs/summers like where I live (southern US- but an area northern enough to have 4 distinct seasons with fall leaf color and winter snow) they don't seem out of place between Easter and Labor Day to me.  And guess what? I don't think there is such a thing as white suede! Of course, until this tour I didn't think there was such a thing as suede evening shoes or suede sandals either---in any color, for any season, for any reason---so I could be wrong about truly white suede too!

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    8. No white suede! I could get on board with that! ;-)

      It sounds as if you live where my daughter lived before her military hubby's new assignment moved them to south Texas! I'm in CA so, stereotypes aside (or not), we do pretty much wear flip flops year round. I have dressy ones, casual ones, beach ones. I actually own about 10 pairs of heels, the same in flats, and about 25 pairs of flip flops. However, I do have white strappy sandal heels!

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    9. I'm trying to get my mind around" dressy flip-flops." ha!

      I learned in the 1950's- 60's one never wore shoes a lighter color than the hem of
      one's dress. ( actually,I think the word was "gown" not dress.) This was something from sorority protocol, so who knows the reason for it.

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    10. Anon..I've never heard that about the hem except on this site but I wasn't in a sorority. Still Kate's hem does have some white in it. My druthers would still be blue shoes though.

      Wow Robin 25 prs of flip-flops?

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    11. I've always heard the rule about shoes not lighter than the hem as well. No white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. Of course, we also wore white gloves to church which has completely gone by the wayside for everyone except HM!

      I know the flip flops sound extravagant but I do have them in almost every color! Those that are leather or patent leather and bling are the dressy ones. :-)

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    12. Ha! Lizzie ( my Grandmother's name, by the way) the word "gown" should give a hint how
      old the advice is.
      Agree blue shoes. I thought the McQueens, but they Are suede.

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  4. Seeing these images of W&K made me choke up a bit earlier today. Previously, I had described it as a "reset" moment for the BRF, but seeing the reality of it went far beyond what even I had anticipated.

    The image of Diana (alone and unhappy) is in stark contract to this very happily married young couple. Diana must be beaming at the reality behind these images. What her life was lacking, William has in spades, thanks to Kate.

    I was also pleased with the statement released by KP because, once again, it showed William's love and respect for his mother.

    Kate's dress was perfect, William looked handsome, and their body language said it all (and it usually does!). :) What a perfect ending to a five star tour!!

    And we thank YOU, Jane. :)

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    1. I agree that the stark contrast between the two visits was quite poignant for those of us who followed Diana. As I recall, Charles went to play polo instead of visiting the Taj Mahal with Diana. According to some, he refused to go with her that day. And, after this tour, he went to Italy on a vacation to paint while Diana went home to the boys. As much as I'm sure Harry & William respect their father, they learned exactly what kind of husband NOT to be from watching their parents. William has obviously taken this to heart in his choices and behavior. Diana must be so proud of him.

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    2. Charles held a speech in fromt of business people in Bangalore. He did NOT play polo.

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    3. Sorry, the polo was on a different day where he played polo and then the unfortunate "kiss" took place. By all accounts from their former employees, Charles refused to even consider making time in the schedule during the planning stages to visit the Taj with Diana. Dickie Arbiter said he had ceased caring about appearances which is why he forgot to kiss Diana when she presented the trophy and, by the time he thought better and turned back, she wasn't much interested in preserving those appearances either.

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    4. It was just a mess all the way! I do not find Diana's photo particularly meaningful. The meaning has all been added on after.The marriage had ended and been empty for both of them years before the India visit.

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    5. No, he didn't forget to kiss her, as the story goes. She planned all along to avoid his kiss.

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    6. Not according to their press secretary who was there. He said Charles took the trophy, walked away, thought better of it and turned back. Then Diana turned her head. I think I'll take the word of someone who knew them and was there over speculation about what Diana may or may not have planned.

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  5. This is the designer I was so hoping Kate would wear on this tour - wish granted! It is, by far, my favorite dress of the tour and I hope she keeps Naeem Kahn as part of her "go-to" designers from now on. His gowns are breathtaking and I would love to see her in one of those as well.

    This is such a nice new memory to associate with the Taj Mahal. Too bad there was scaffolding up but that can't be helped. What a wonderful way to celebrate 5 years of marriage! Kate's thoughtfulness in wearing the jewelry she purchased and was gifted really says a lot about her character. Wouldn't you love to peek inside her bags and see what treasures she is bringing home for the children, her parents, and her siblings? Maybe they will share some of those gorgeous scarves that have been presented to them!

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  6. This dress is in the top three for this tour. And this certainly was my favorite tour in their five years of marriage. I felt that the Temperley black and white gown, Tory Burch gown, and the red McQueen from the first day we're all showstoppers.

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  7. Thank you for a great coverage. A lot of work for you with uni going on as well.

    I love this dress. Has to be my favourite for this tour. Just looks so nice, crisp and with clean lines. Would be great to see if there are any pictures of them at the bar to see what she would have worn on the plane perhaps but Im sure she changes once on board. Lets hope there is not a big drought of Kate once she is back home. I know the kids come first but I'd like to see her out a bit more.

    KiwiNic

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  8. Lovely dress and Catherine looked beautiful. I thought the nude heels looked wonderful and also thought the length was plenty long enough. The dress looks so good from both the back and front and rely shows off her figure. William looked very nice also, a gorgeous couple.

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  9. Wow, this is my favorite too. Not only is the dress gorgeous on its own, but on Kate, it looks amazing. With her tan and hair and sunglasses and fantastically handsome accessory, she looks just gorgeous. I am so sad to see this tour over but what a wonderful tour it was. The love these two have for each other is amazing. Wouldn't be surprised if baby Cambridge #3 made an appearance in 9 months :) They do love having babies after their tours!

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  10. Thank you for your wonderful coverage!! As always, it is the best and worth waiting a bit longer for. :-))

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  11. Jane, you have done an amazing job! Thank you for the way you juggled everything to bring us the royal tour. I love Kate's dress and the way her and William coordinated their look for these pictures. I can only say, however, I was a little disappointed that there was not the teeniest hint of a PDA in the shot on the bench. It would have been so nice to see him slip his arm around her waist or shoulder, or perhaps a little hand holding...something!!! IMO this would have been the ultimate antithesis to the Diana photo and could have been laid to rest once and for all. Just my personal opinion.

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    1. Laura, we do see PDA and the hike (yesterday) was a perfect example. Although they were aware of photographers, it wasn't quite like the photo-op at the Taj Mahal. What did shine through today was the chemistry between them. IMO, had there been the PDA some hoped for, W&K would be criticized for "trying too hard" or "acting for the cameras".

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    2. I agree with Royalfan. Any more PDA would have looked forced, staged, because they knew the whole world was watching. This was perfect as it was.

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    3. Knee to knee and thigh to thigh-I'd call that big-time PDA.
      And that clip of William pausing briefly on the stairs to allow Kate to catch up-
      What a contrast to the old way, with the spouse kept behind. A thousand-word picture. Thank-you for that, Jane.
      Also it was the sweetest, most subtle PDA.

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    4. I have to agree with Laura. I think a little affection would have been a natural reaction to being in that location. Instead they look very stiff and formal in the photos.

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    5. Two points in response to the calls for PDA...

      First, the visit to the Taj Mahal was not intended to be a statement about their marriage any more than the other engagements during this tour. While the significance of the Taj Mahal is understood, W&K visited as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and NOT a celebrity couple who wanted to make the most of the publicity potential.

      Second, do you see PDA between Charles and Camilla, Ann and Tim Laurence or Edward and Sophie? I think W&K's conduct in public as perfectly appropriate, AND quite refreshing actually. Enough to be true to themselves, yet mindful of their current and future roles in the BRF.

      I also happen to be a believer in time and place, and sometimes the more PDA you see displayed, the less real it is.

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    6. Agreed royalfan! Well said as always 😊

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    7. Agree Royalfan.
      Ali

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    8. Absolutely, royalfan. The other thing to remember is that the Taj Mahal is also the tomb of the shah and his beloved wife. Appropriate behavior in the appropriate place.

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    9. How can they be seen as "stiff and formal" with big grins on their faces?

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    10. He had more than one wife. I sometimes wonder if this wasn't part of Diana's message to the RF via the press-as well as the image of her being so overwhelmed by the
      specter of the Palace.
      In her heart of hearts, I sometimes wonder if Diana acknowledged that BP was at least as
      much to blame as her husband.The Taj bench appearance could be seen as a statement about the rigors of the Palace and protocol more than slap in the face to Charles.
      Not very grown-up behavior all around, it seems to me.
      William and Catherine are trying to be adults while those around them play King
      of the Mountain.
      And then maybe Diana was weary after tramping around the monument's gardens and
      thought, "I'll just have a little sit-down and catch my breath." Someone snapped it
      and then years of speculation and miles of print followed.
      I think W&C's need to clear the air and a family healing could have been a consequence of the press and public's take on the meaning of a photo, more than
      Diana's sending a message. Arthur Edwards probably knows the reality (and may
      have written about it later-but I imagine Diana knew a useful tool when she saw it
      and allowed the story to snowball)
      It's Monday morning and the tour is over. Please forgive an aging fan for her
      rambling rhetoric.

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    11. Diana said herself that BP or "the men in the gray suits", as she called them, were involved in the problems. Maybe not to the extent of Charles's (who should have given up his mistress who was, by the way, married to his "friend") involvement but she said she felt that she was much maligned by them. Charles was desperate to prove his worth and the "royal machine" was desperate to help him at any cost.

      I do believe, however, that the media has spent a couple of decades putting their own spin on this photo when the only facts we know are that Charles didn't want to go (after saying he would bring a future wife there), Diana went, the press followed, the standard tourist picture was taken, and when the separation was announced the stories began. Charles did say later that in hindsight he should have done it differently.

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  12. I think Kate looked beautiful throughout the tour, but I think this dress is my favorite. She must have a very strong sense of self and an inner confidence in order to deal with all this scrutiny. I can't imagine handling it.

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  13. In the last picture, what are the round white patches on her legs?

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    1. I think it is some sort of artifact or reflection Anon. Or could be water droplets in the sunlight. It's nothing on her body for sure because the same dots appear to Will's side in pic #6 and to the side of Kate's body in this one.

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    2. Water drops from the fountain in front.

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    3. Good observation, lizzie 9:12. I didn't connect the two.

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  14. I'm one of the people who think this is the best dress of the tour. I appreciate the efforts of Kate and her team when it comes to satorial choices. This dress was perfect for this location.
    I am curious Jane, how do you know that Kate rarely wears jewellery she is gifted? This is not a slight, but a genuine question. You seem to have these little details that us mere mortals love to know but rarely find out ourselves.

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  15. Thank you for your excellent coverage Jane. Well worth waiting for. I loved this dress, but I don't think I could say it's my favourite because there were many choices that I liked very much. I think the point for me is that so many of her choices were perfect for the event, whether I'd wear them or not. So she gets A+ for the choices she made this tour.

    I'll bet she's tired. Maybe she should ask her mother to look after her for a few days!

    Thanks again Jane.

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  16. I had hoped all during the trip Tha Kate would wear a design by Naeem Khan. I was so excited to see this beautiful dress and hope she will one day wear his evening gowns as they are so exquisite! Thanks so much for this wonderful blog. It has been a fun week!

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    1. Me too! I hope one of his gowns makes it into her wardrobe at some point!

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  17. This dress is sensational and looks magnificent against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal and its grounds. Kate and William look delightful together today, and yes, this will be an image we will see for decades. I hope Kate wears this dress again. It's suitable for many occasions and it suits her extremely well. Well done, Jane, on all your tour coverage. It's been a pleasure to read your blog every day this past week. Thank you for finding time for it amidst your busy schedule.

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  18. Feel sad it's over :-(
    Lovely coverage Jane - thank you!
    Oh .... And you're worth waiting for :-)
    All the best with the studies
    Simone

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    1. It was wonderful, wasn't it Simone! Good to see you posting again.
      another Royal Fan

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  19. I am so glad William is wearing pants with a better fit. His others are just too baggy. Much as I am into dresses that are flowy this one is really nice for that pencil for. I thought Jane with your schedule you were quite timely. Thank you.

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  20. First and foremost,a big thank you to Jane for her regular updates on this tour.Good luck with the studies.
    Overall,this tour was short.I had wished that William and Catherine had visited South India.Also,I had wished that Catherine had given a speech.This tour doesn't beat their Austrailia/New Zealand tour,which I consider their best tour to date.My favourite day of this tour was Day 3.
    Fashion wise the Duchess wore nice outfits.The ones making it into my all time favourites list are the Naeem Khan dress,the Alice Temperley gown(the more I look at it,the more it grows on me and my likeness of it has turned into love for it) and the Desdemonda Temperley.
    Tbh,there was only one dress that I flat out disliked and that was the cream Emilia Wickstead.The flaps at the chest just ruined an otherwise fine dress.

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    1. I have to agree with you on the Emilia Wickstead. I kind of hope she stops wearing this designer. I don't care for her style.

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  21. Thank you for all your hard work. Such great writing (love your voice!), well-picked pics, interesting insights. Silvia.

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  22. Hi Jane
    It is the first time I am commenting on your blog that I am following up for quite some time now.
    It was a very nice coverage of this Tour. I always like your comments.
    Good luck for your studies.
    All the best
    Emma

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  23. Thank you Jane for all the beautiful posts you write for us :)

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  24. Lovely dress and one we will probably see again.
    Find it difficult to decide which I like best, because everything she wore fitted so perfectly to the engagement.
    It has been so an interesting week especially in Bhutan.
    Thank you Jane for making the time to write these reports when you are so busy with your studies.

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  25. In terms of sartorial excellence, I thought this Tour outdid all others (of hers). I liked just about everything and loved some. No complaints here from that point-of-view. And William looked spiffy on occasion too. It would seem that Kate's stylist may be his, as well.-- I am guessing here, but I think that both he and Harry both were, until recently, dressed by someone on their fathers staff who chose to dress them in a very conservative fashion, often saving time and trouble by purchasing the same shirt or shoes, but in different colours, without taking into account their own preferences. If Natasha is now styling all three, I hope that she wouldn't take the same route, and would instead expend more effort in ensuring that the two young men didn't look like a set of twins. At any rate, Williams new clothing is more in keeping with his own generation, IMO.

    I do hope that W&K hit it off with the King and Queen of Bhutan, especially since it seems likely that when William becomes King the same man will still be King of Bhutan. And it would appear that he is open to change, and could prove to be a positive role model for William; I really don't expect Charles to do much more than tinker a bit with the system as is. It will take someone more dynamic to bring in what I think the British monarchy needs if it is to survive. And, as an aside, I thought it was a lovely gesture, on the Queens part, to gift Kate with a pretty pendant necklace, a Buddhist symbol for wisdom and compassion.

    All in all, I enjoyed this Tour; Bhutan lived up to expectations, IMO. India, well, its been visited a great deal by various members of the BRF and lost a bit of its lustre for me; so often, these tours repeat itineraries of the past. (Conservation, Done. Slum kids, Done. Taj Mahal, Done. Rubbing shoulders with deep pockets, Overdone, by both Charles and Andrew. Etc.) A bit more creativity in planning wouldn't go amiss.

    The best thing about this tour was seeing Will and Kate out and about, together, altho it was a very busy schedule, altogether reminiscent of workaholic Charles, with the result that some engagements seemed cut short, and that, by the time W&K went on an early safari at Kaziranga Park, both looked exhausted, or so I thought. Its crazy to take a red-eye, land, and go flat out, all day and all evening too, for the first 72 hours. I suspect that W&K could use a few days off, just to catch some shuteye.

    JC

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    1. I hope they do take some time off after this. But, if it goes more than a few days people will start to complain again.

      Bhutan was such a wonderful, colorful part of the tour. Unforgettable and all I hoped it would be! I do believe, however, that W&K focused more fully on the children in the slums by taking the unannounced tour and interacting with the kids themselves. I also greatly admire William's desire to focus on the women's issues in India. This part of the tour didn't seem cookie cutter BRF style. They are the breath of fresh air in the family that Diana tried to be but was limited by her husband's petty ways. William will be a wonderful king.

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    2. Hey, Robin. Someone's going to complain and nit-pick if they do engagements and complain if they don't. Might as well take a rest. I can't believe HM family will
      let her birthday slide by without at least a family dinner. And maybe watch the tv special together. I have a theory that some of HM 's children took exception to Catherine's being featured in the first film. It's not a generational divide or Charles and
      Andrew would not have appeared in it.
      Probably no pictures, though, for the family events.W&C anniversary and then the baby princess's birthday-possibly pictures then. Barely time to unpack and settle in with the children. I imagine Nanny Teresa will be ready for a break.

      There are enough photos from the tour for now, anyway.

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    3. Agreed, just take the break W&K! :-)

      I was surprised Edward and Anne weren't in the special but, otherwise, it seemed fairly rounded. Charles, Camilla (cough), Andrew, Beatrice, Eugenie, William, Kate, Harry, and Sophie.

      I only mentioned photographs because I read that HM was having pictures taken with the family for her birthday. You're right though, there is a big anniversary and a first birthday coming up! This is a big year for the Cambridge family!

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    4. Hey, Robin(fromCA), know what I think would make for a great 5th anniversary celebration? W&K taking themselves--unfortunately trailed by PPOs--to a terrific restaurant in London. Just the two of them, and no pics. Would be nice tho, if the hoi paloi--thats us--got to hear about it, maybe by another patron who happened to be there, and backed up by the owners, discreetly, when questioned by the tabs.

      Regarding William, and your view that he will make a great king, it is possible, but only if he is quite different from Charles. This approach would necessarily mean that he doesn't buy into the current Royal Program, that he won't be satisfied by towing the Establishment line, that he will buck courtiers--quick solution: fire them--and that he is truly willing to take risks. That is a tall order for anyone, and would take a remarkably able man. In the meantime, as I have said before, he is caught between a rock and a hard place--or, between an Edwardian Queen and an amoral father. Pretty tough1

      I sure hope he manages it, tho; and we may glimpse some signs of it once he becomes Duke of Cornwall, provided, of course, that he also garners the income from said dukedom that his father has enjoyed for decades.

      So many Ifs are involved! If his mind and his heart want to really change things, I don't envy him, not at all. If his mind and heart aren't set on such a path, then I would both expect and hope that the monarchy would become a thing of the past, hapless and hopeless.

      JC

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    5. 'I really don't expect Charles to do much more than tinker a bit with the system as is': don't underestimate Charles!

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    6. JC, when the time comes, I believe William will be a very good king. IMO, a lot of the criticism of him is unfair because it is based on the premise that he has complete control over his life/role. I'm sure he wishes!

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  26. Lovely!

    Do we expect to see them again on Thursday for the Queens birthday, or will that just likely be pictures released?

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    1. I'm guessing all of the photos that were taken with various members of the family will be released on Thursday. The Queen seems not to want a big fuss made. She has nothing scheduled in her diary for Thursday. Her official birthday, Trooping the Colour, will probably be a bigger deal this year than usual. Although it's hard to get bigger than the parades, fly overs, and general celebratory moods that usually prevail!

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    2. On Thursday HM is doing a "walkabout" in Windsor and in the evening the Prince of Wales is hosting a family dinner party at Windsor Castle.

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    3. That's the perfect way for her to celebrate!

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  27. Sonja from BavariaApril 17, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    Best dress of the entire tour IMO!

    The dress is so beautiful and adding some extra length was just the perfect move. Blue and white is great on kate (reminds me of the Jäger dress for a sailing event - anyone else?) The pattern is really pretty and the silhouette is great for kate. It highlights her slim waist while also making her look just the right bit curvy. And great that she wore the earrings from bhutan! Well done, your royal highness!

    Oh, and has anyone noticed William's shoes? I love them, a nice change!

    This tour was very successful, and so different to Charles and Diana's unfortunate one.
    It was good that they posed at 'her' bench. The people will always love diana, she is an icon.
    When I once asked my grandma (a die-hard fan of royals, especially the older generation) what she was doing when she found out Diana was dead, she started crying because almost 2 decades later, she was still so touched by the thought of her tragic death. She also told me that she watched her funeral on TV crying almost all the time through it.

    I hope that William (and Kate who never got to meet her mother in law, unfortunately) found visiting the Taj also a bit 'healing' for himself.
    The photos of this happy couple on the bench are so lovely and significant.

    Jane, thanks a lot for covering this whole tour despite your stress at law school. I love reading your thoughts on Kate's fashion and life.

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  28. Looks like she had her hair done on the plane over to the Taj!

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  29. I love this dress. She looked so elegant and beautiful. I was thrilled with the choice as I too hoped for a dress by Kahn.

    I pretty much loved all the choices on this tour. Some more than others but over all it was a fashion hit for me.

    I also became somewhat weepy seeing these pictures. I recall very well the marriage of the Wales and how very clear it was that the marriage was over. So to see this deeply in love and happily married couple sitting there in that bench was deeply felt. I also am in the group that thinks PDA would have been overkill. We saw lots of PDA on the hike. We also in my opinion see PDA in the way they always look at other. They talk with their eyes all the time. Their body language says it all. Love lives in the Cambridge marriage.

    I am distressed that already there is an article that is circulating on Twitter about 'what is wrong with the Cambridges and a rather dull tour'??? Not home 24 hours and the machetes are already out. SMH

    At any rate it's been so much fun. I loved every single morsel of it. Thank you Jane for giving us these wonderful posts 😊

    Hope we don't go into a long period if no Kate. The birthday celebrations are coming up and so we will have that of course.

    I am sure the Middleton house was full of screaming "Mummy Mummy Mummy" and "Papa Papa Papa' this morning. Always nice to come home after a great trip 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, it is distressing, but consider this... I just glanced at the reader comments in a DM article about CP Mary. Apparently, she is "not aging well" and "looks smug". Sound familiar? The similarities are too obvious to expand upon. :)

      And I hope W&K are enjoying all the cries of Mummy and Papa... They've earned every bit of it!!

      Delete
    2. Why are the press so quick to tear down and so unwilling to build up? I think they would sell just as many (or even more) papers if the headlines were about how successful the tour had been. The only conclusion can be that it doesn't fit into their agenda.

      I'll bet Mummy and Papa were probably just as excited as the kids!

      Delete
    3. Robin, that is the million dollar question.

      Would positive coverage be an admission that the press was unjustifiably harsh in the weeks leading up to a successful tour? Are they continuing to punish William for being determined to protect his family and do things his way? Does drama and negativity sell more than positive stories in an increasingly indifferent society? Is it a question of being for or against the monarchy? Is the press (and some "fans") holding them up to reality star expectations from an entertainment perspective?

      Perhaps it's a bit of a tossed salad.

      Delete
    4. I have gotten the feeling with some of the coverage the media is trying to "blackmail" Will and Kate. They want the old "photo calls" and when they say "jump" and for Will to say "how high". Because they didn't know in advance about the couple meeting their gentleman "fan" in Mumbai they are accused of micromanaging the tour. Because they wanted to climb the last leg of the hike up the mountain in Bhutan to have some alone time they trotted out the old theme "the "taxpayer not getting what they are paying for" so as some said in a previous post they were forced to stop and talk to the reporters on the way back down. Even though the Cambridge's gave them the photograph they wanted it was not enough, just because the couple wanted to spend some alone time touring and learning about the site without the huge entourage the media is crying lack of access. To me it just points out again and more and more that William is right to distrust the media. I am not sure it is William who is trying to control the media, but the media trying to control the Cambridge's either way it is a loss for the public.

      Delete
    5. I think the tossed salad is the answer. And, William and Kate holding to their values is their answer. I think they're doing splendidly! If one side is crying "more" and the other side is crying "less" then they must be right on track.

      Delete
  30. I like the Naeem Khan dress very much. I thought it was an appropriate choice, classy crisp and feminine. I would love to see Kate wear some strappy sandals with these shift dresses. A nice high heeled strappy navy or white would have looked lovely although I'm not averse to the nude heels she wore. I also enjoyed the thoughtful touch of the Bhutan earrings...and what a perfect match!
    This is not my favourite tour dress though. I choose the red Beulah poppy dress. Unlike you Jane I think the design of the poppies adds to rather than detracts from the dress. I love the sleeves. I know that some don't enjoy this type of sleeve but I think they make the dress romantic and feminine and the subtle poppy design adds to the whimsical romance of the design.
    On an aside form the fashion, one of the first things that I noticed in the Taj Mahal photos is that the columns are undergoing a restoration. I felt that this was a lovely touch of symbolism. William and Catherine in their very happy union are bringing restoration to a family that has endured unhappy division and breakdown in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  31. On Sunday the "Daily Mail" had a rather nasty article, counting the cost of Catherine's outfits for the tour. No harm in that you might say, but though acknowledging that several of her outfits and accessories were "recycled" they still counted the price of them originally--even the boots which are about 10 years old and the earrings, most of which we have seen before.Strange that they never count the cost of jewellery worn by HM--huge every time she goes out, or of the Countess of Wessex and all the other ladies, all of whom wear expensive jewellery.
    At the garden party to celebrate HM's birthday, William stated that though the Queen was his Grandmother, she was also his boss---which I took to mean that what they do--or don't do, is by order or agreement of the Queen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Counting the costs of recycled clothing and items she had even before her marriage is low. Did they give her credit for the things she wore that were off the peg and affordable to everyone? Or the fact that she wore a pair of earrings she purchased for £6? The Daily Mail is a joke. If she'd worn all H&M they would have complained that she was cheap and not worthy to represent the country.

      Delete
    2. Jean, I do agree with you. Believe me! IMO, articles like that target a particular audience; they eat it up and feel justified for feeling the way they do about the Cambridge's.

      Also, you are exactly right about William's reference to the Queen as "boss". It was a relatively simple statement, but the implications were pretty clear.

      Delete
    3. One more thought to add here... Given the Queen's birthday celebrations, I continue to find it interesting that the press remains somewhat obsessed with the Cambridge's while not paying much attention to C&C. Although I do understand W&K's appeal (without a doubt), the avoidance of "the inevitable subject" is interesting.

      Delete
  32. Good points, Jean 7:30

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we have our answer to how the press will respond to W&C's increased access
      to them. They appear to be using it against the Cambridges. Poor move by the media, in particular the "royal correspondents," who had a free trip to India as well, by the way.
      The difference is, few seem to count the cost of what the writers have done.

      The photographers did a spectacular job, although they had some pretty spectacular
      material to work with. Maybe in future the no photographs at the sacred monastery rule
      will ease so they can return to capture it, although I doubt great hoards of clicking, snapping shutters will be allowed to disturb the peace for the monks or visitors.
      Since the trek trail was open to hikers, I imagine W&C wanted to keep the other hikers' experience as private as possible, given the
      large press pack.
      There was a huge photo- op at the Taj Mahal. I don't understand the complaints-but
      considering the source, maybe I do.

      Delete
  33. I generally love everything about Kate and hate to add to any negative scrutiny, but does anyone else wonder why she doesn't do something different with her hands? If she's not holding a clutch to her waist then she's holding her hands at that level. It just starts to look like she's uncomfortable, when of course we all know she doesn't need to hide anything about her figure. I wish she could relax her arms and shoulders a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at the pictures and videos from Bhutan. The King and Queen and William all hold their hands in the same way. The Queen of Bhutan walks with her hands in the same way Kate does. I think that is the way they are trained.

      Delete
    2. No worries, Kat. :)

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/princess-diana-wearing-a-suit-by-fashion-designers-versace-news-photo/52114586

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/princess-diana-prince-harry-prince-william-and-prince-news-photo/52119357

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/prince-and-princess-of-wales-and-prince-harry-with-prince-news-photo/52111574

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/princess-diana-with-journalist-and-television-presenter-news-photo/52103341

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/princess-diana-in-melbourne-attending-a-state-dinner-at-news-photo/52117731

      Delete
    3. Kat

      That is a valid point and question. I hope one day she will be comfortable enough to let herself go.

      Copying pictures of Diana is not an answer to that I think.

      Delete
    4. Not the answer so much as proof. Royalfan could have included photos of many,
      many royals, statesmen, and other frequently photographed people-all standing in
      the same position. Do they all lack confidence and need to "let themselves go?"

      It's understandable to make an inaccurate assumption. We've all probably done it and yours seems
      a sincere concern. The important point is to gracefully admit when one has erred.
      No disgrace in that. It is the intent behind such comments that concerns me.

      Royalfan, I imagine, and others, are fed up with the vindictiveness of the
      campaign against William and Catherine in the tabloid media that creeps into stories written by otherwise well-respected writers.

      Part of countering that barrage is to fire back reality checks and to demand
      varification of their statements and so-called facts.
      There has been a blurring of fact/opinion.
      There really is a difference.
      Also, all opinion is not created equal. In this world of condemn first and
      retract later (if ever), unfavorable remarks disguised as "constructive criticism"
      are seen by some as being as acceptable as favorable remarks.
      That theory works only if the destructive remarks can be proven beyond all reasonable
      doubt.
      Being unfairly accused is probably one of the most soul-destroying experiences
      humans can bear. This fact is not lost on those who are intent on character
      assassination.

      Delete
    5. If they keep their hands folded either in front of them or behind them it deters unwanted advances. Some people don't have a great sense of personal space and think it's OK to reach out and touch anyone - especially when crowds are gathered. This is why royals and many celebrities hold themselves the way they do. It would be a security issue as well because, if you're Mr. Security, and someone reaches out to touch the person you're responsible for then something injurious could happen. It protects all involved.

      Delete
    6. Correct, 9:26, my response was more of a nullification than an answer. I could post similar photos of Sophie, Maxima, Letizia, Mary, and even Michelle Obama. Surely, no one would suggest that MO is not completely comfortable in her own skin.

      Delete
    7. 9:26, my apologies, I have been multitasking, but not very successfully, I'm afraid. Earlier, I posted a reply to you before I addressed the rest of your post.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you about the current tabloid campaign against the Cambridge's. And, IMO, it is fueled by receptive readers who eat it up and give it an additional nine lives. I am all for "constructive criticism" and I have been known to enjoy a hearty debate or two :) but too often what is presented and defended as **constructive** criticism can, in reality, be very destructive. This recent tour alone was full of examples where the Cambridge's were accused of the worst case scenario, and people were ready and willing to embrace each one.

      Sadly, the internet contributes to this problem. In William's day, when a photo of him and Harry was released, fans would buy magazines and people who weren't interested would keep walking. Today, a photo of George and Charlotte is released and it leads to discussions about where an outfit was purchased and the negative impact on the British economy, or whether Charlotte was photo-shopped into the photo. It can boggle the mind. The bashing/bulling potential is enormous. The internet is a wonderful thing, but it's only as good as the intent behind using it. MY two cents.... :)

      Delete
    8. Exactly, royalfan. The Internet can be used for good or evil and it's the person at the keyboard who decides which it will be. It has also become a way to stand back anonymously and bully people.

      Delete
    9. Thank-you for using correct English. (...of him and Harry.) ha! People seem to want to use the subjective when the objective is called for. Pet peeve. Sorry.

      I'm afraid my talley on the subject exceeds way more than two cents -if Jane charged us per word, I would be bankrupt.
      I know I post as an anon but I think my opinions on the subject are known.

      I think there should be a mandatory five minute pause between typing a comment and
      publishing for commenters-with a bail-out option.

      The press need to grow up,some of them, and start thinking beyond their paychecks.

      I also think if ever there was a time for HM to consent to a candid, but subject-
      limited (the family) interview, now would be the time. It seems like she's been
      leaving some of the family dangling in the wind and I don't think she means to do
      that. William made a magnificent effort, but it's time for her to come out from behind the curtain, a la Wizard of Oz. Even after William's making several unequivocal statements,
      people are spinning whatever meaning is convenient. If the Queen says: I want
      William to prioritise his family now to create confident,well-loved future RF
      members and leaders; if he wants to work as a volunteer pilot, good on him;
      William will take on more royal duties as and when I see fit;Catherine is a loved and valued member of the royal family and we are lucky to have her" (HM said something like this about Sophie circa her 50th ) William made all these points in his interviews,
      but apparently it didn't penetrate some media walls. If the Queen says it publicly,
      end of discussion, except in some circles that don't acknowledge her right to reign.

      By the way, where is Toto-er, Lupo? I miss him.

      Delete
    10. Exactly, Robin. Exactly. :)

      2:37, perhaps it would be nice if the Queen gave an interview, but I don't see it happening. And, ironically, this too would be twisted like a pretzel. Can you see it now? The Queen, at 90, has never done this, but obviously she felt the NEED to do this because [fill in the blank]. You get my drift, I'm sure. ;)

      What I suggested, more than once, was for Charles to make the simplest impromptu statement while doing a walkabout. Imagine if he was speaking to someone with a child and said, "I'm very proud of my sons". Or perhaps, "My daughter-in-law is an amazing mother to George and Charlotte." Short and sweet, but major impact potential.

      Delete
    11. I feel that although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge work enough,they do not go the extra mile with their work which is why they are being increasingly criticised.Considering the power of their high profile and comparing them to other royals,such as Harry,Anne,Charles and Sophie and the Cambridges appear unimpressive.
      Their job may be a highly unusual job,but just like other jobs,the Cambridges may be doing everything technically right but for promotion extra effort is required.

      Delete
    12. roalfan 9:06- I see what you mean about The Queen's Interview. She relies on very controlled, pre-fabricated ,read from script speeches. You're right. It won't happen. I'm not sure about the twisting part. I haven't paid that much attention to
      her Christmas speeches and whether they are dissected.

      I do believe Charles has done just that. Maybe not recently.The trouble is he has made other remarks that
      have been so much more quote-worthy and exploitable. ha!

      Delete
    13. Candice 12:29- Interesting observations.
      Harry, Anne, Charles, and Sophie do not have infants and pre-schoolers at home.
      That is the reason given by William for the Queen's and Charles's approval
      of the current plan. Correct- Average Worker doesn't get a choice.(including me in my working Mum days) William Was given the opportunity, as are others with inherited
      wealth. (yes, royal families have private legacies) There are countries where there is no elite (on paper) and children are put in
      State nurseries as infants. Some of those countries may be surprising.
      But this is England and the UK. That is the Reality of the situation we must acknowledge, if we seek to understand.

      Did you miss the parts in William's speeches where he says 1)HMTQ decides about the handing out of duties; 2) he is ready with to accept more duties.

      The list of the offical and RF activities he has engaged in in just the last few months is long.


      We must not forget-for William to be "promoted" he must first lose a loved family
      member-something else he said. How many "regular," "normal" jobs require that? Usually in family-run businesses they just retire. No comparison.

      The duties of senior royals are not comparable to the average worker's, no matter
      how much some attempt to fit them into the mold. Square peg;round hole situation.

      By the way-I agree: TRH's do not go an extra mile-they just went about ten thousand.
      Not to mention visiting a children's mission in a slum, during a terrorist threat to
      their lives-personally.

      Delete
    14. @Anon 8:32 a.m
      Hi there!I don't understand the part where you say that in order for William to get promoted he must lose a family member.Are you saying that the only way for William to generate positive press is when a loved,dear one of his dies?Is there no other way?
      I see that we're going to disagree on this one,but when the Cambridges visited the slum,the engagement was the first of it's kind.You mention terrorist threats.All the royals face them.I'm not discrediting the engagement.They don't go an extra mile or more than an extra mile with their charity work,the numbers show that.I can give examples if you want.
      William says that he's ready to accept more duties and I don't doubt him,but saying that alone won't translate in good press.That will happen after he carries them out.
      The press publishes what the public will agree with.You say that Sophie,Anne,Charles and Harry don't have infants and preschoolers to take care of home.Absolutely correct.But the press won't cut the Cambridges a break b/c of this,due to the Cambridges not particularly vibrant past working history,unlike the afore mentioned royals.Oh and the press is mad at the Cambridges b/c of how they are restricting media access.I feel for the Cambridges here.They get a raw deal with the press.I don't criticize Kate for not working prior to her marriage.But,I'm looking at it from the general public and the press's point of view.
      I believe that my comment was a mixture of my personal views and the point of view of the press,therefore resulting in lack of clarity.I neither side with the press nor the Cambridges in this situation.

      Delete
    15. The immediate context was jobs and work. " Their job may be a highly unusual job, but just like other jobs....for promotion extra effort is required." Promotion in that context means advance to the next level, not "create positive press." For William to advance to the next level in the RF ,POW, his Father must die first and vacate the job or vacate the job by promotion to king. For that to happen, his Grandmother must die. Resigning, retiring is not an option. HMTQ has made that clear.
      You kinda switched horses in mid-stream there.

      Delete
    16. 7:55, my reference to twisting had to do with the idea of the Queen speaking up (more directly) for W&K. Somehow, someway, it would be twisted into an "aha!" ... she "realizes" they need help, etc.

      But I'm not aware of Charles making a recent statement... Did he? I will apologize if he has done so. :)

      Delete
    17. Candice, it's true that W&K are not the first or only royals to be faced with terrorist threats, but my goodness how about giving them a bit of credit for the strength of character is takes to smile and carry on with enthusiasm and grace? I am troubled when the perks of being a member of the RF are discussed, even exaggerated, yet the downside is easily dismissed.

      Also, there is an article in the DM this evening that is nothing short of character assassination directed at Kate. Consider what the Cambridge's have done in recent weeks.. The pre-tour engagements, the successful tour, participating in the Queen's birthday celebrations, new photos of the children, hosting the Obama's with even more photos shared with the world. And yet the media treats Kate in this disgusting manner. Nice reward, eh?

      If this doesn't prove that W&K need to stay true to themselves, I'm not sure what does.

      Delete
    18. royalfan-Blogger just ate my reply to you. Usually I find Blogger is justified. ha!
      Short version-I don't think recently.I had expounded on my reasons why this
      might be.

      Delete
    19. Talk about a tease! :) "I had expounded on my reasons why this might be."

      Delete
    20. @Anon 2:28 p.m
      I can see that my choice of the word promotion was wrong here.What I meant by promotion was getting promoted by the press.
      @royal fan
      I certainly consider the downside of being a royal.And yes the way William and Kate smile and carry on is admirable,but so do most of the other royals.It is not unique to the Cambridges alone.Because of this the media who doesn't play fair will not change their tone.IMO the Cambridges have handled their job well,but they have not been exceptional.That is why if articles full of exaggerated praise start appearing I would not agree with them.
      Can you please send a link of the DM article?I can't find it.

      Delete
    21. Candace, the article was in the DM, and probably easy to find if you wish to read it. I was disgusted by it and it's not something I would add fuel to... I'm sorry.

      Delete
    22. Ah,yes well that is very low from the DM.Bringing up something so randomly that SUPPOSEDLY happened several years ago.

      Delete
  34. The print or embroidery is a bit busy in front of the fantastic architecture. Needs block colours or a single colour.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Now we know what gift W&K gave to the royal couple in Bhutan...they had a beautiful red rose cultivated and named the Queen of Bhutan. What a lovely gesture.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3548184/Prince-William-Kate-present-Queen-Bhutan-new-variety-rose-symbol-bond.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The color is beautiful, Robin!

      And I couldn't help but notice the photo of the king holding his son. What a proud father he is!

      Delete
    2. The more I learned about them the more I really liked them. He does look like such a proud father! I also loved that, even though in their culture he could have more than one wife, he has denounced the practice and said that Jetsun would be his only wife. Good man! She looks like she is very sweet.

      Delete
    3. The King sounds like a very fine man indeed. I respect and admire his decision.

      Delete
  36. Off subject but I just saw a pic of stamps with the Queen, Charles, William and GEORGE! OMGOODNESS

    ReplyDelete
  37. I hope it's okay to post this...

    Here is the photo of the Queen with Charles, William, and George. Oh, the smile on his sweet face!!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3548712/She-s-Queen-castle-s-cheeky-rascal.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it great? I believe this was taken last June. I suspect more will be made available soon. George looks adorable. He is a big personality already! He is beaming! I believe he just knows he is going to be KING 😀

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing this, royalfan! How absolutely adorable is little George?! I'll bet he's smiling at his Mummy!

      Delete
    3. Last June, Diane? I wondered why he could still fit into that outfit. ha!

      Robin-that explains the big smile.

      Delete
    4. Yes LOL

      Hey now they posted pics of the Queen just now with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Taken after Easter. She is holding Charlotte ❤

      Delete
    5. Diane, George does appear to have quite a personality, and he will need it as time goes by. ;)

      Robin, that was my thought as well (he's looking at Kate!).

      Delete
  38. Here is a lovely interview with William on the BBC. The interviewer asked some of the tough questions as well, such as being called "Work-shy William" and other things.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36086872

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you, Robin.That's the Witchell interview. I do think he kept rephrasing questions William had already answered and going at him again when he didn't
      get the answer he wanted. I realise this is a oft-used tactic, but I think Witchell
      would have done better to let a subject drop instead of antagonizing William.
      Could be my imagination, but I thought I detected a bit of steam wafting out of
      HRH's ears. Good luck on getting another interview anytime soon amongst the royals
      Word gets around.

      Delete
    2. He did seem to use that tired old trick of rephrasing the same question but William was quite impressive in his calm manner of handling it. He was able to make it very clear that he and Kate are not at the top of the heap and so they, with the full support of HM and Charles, can focus on their family. I don't think Mr. Witchell got his wish of getting William irritated enough to just come right out and malign the press for their tactics. Well done, William!

      Delete
    3. Robin 1:31-Huzzah! Agree! Agree! And very aptly summarised, Robin.
      And Huzzah! William. You kept the lid on it.

      Delete
  39. Here is an article where Naeem Kahn talks about The Duchess wearing his design. Nice little blurb!
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fashion/79064911/fashion-designer-naeem-khan-talks-duchess-taj-mahal-dress

    ReplyDelete
  40. More beautiful photos!! :)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3550750/Three-poignant-portraits-released-mark-Queen-s-90th-birthday.html

    Beyond sweet. I also like the one of the Queen and Anne. It has a warmth that the Windsor's haven't always been known for. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, there is a warmth there that doesn't always seem to exist. Maybe because Philip wasn't there?
      The photo of Zara's little girl holding the Queen's handbag made me chuckle!

      Delete
  41. Alejandra RamírezApril 21, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Great post! Great tour! Great day! Great dress! it was perfect!

    Thank you so much Jane for all your hard work! Love reading your posts and comments (and seeing the super upper high-definition and huge photos!)
    Mega Congratulations! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi
    If Kate was wearing a black lace dress it was the black Dolce & Gabbana lace dress and if it was a black grown DF Zarita Lace Gown.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Please give Kate a break. So many of you treat her as if she isn't good enough to be married to William. He followed his heart and
    thank God for that.

    Maybe some of you should follow examine your own hearts. Harry may never find a wife at this rate. No one wants to be judged so negatively all of the time. God bless William and Kate.



    ReplyDelete

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