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Kate Takes George & Charlotte to Houghton Horse Trials

Monday, May 30, 2016

Kate spent her weekend at the Houghton International Horse Trials with close friends the Meades. The Duchess was spotted at the equestrian event near her Anmer Hall home on two consecutive days. She brought George and enjoyed the relaxed festivities which included not just the riding, but also a charity cricket match for Walking with the Wounded, a charity with which Prince Harry is very involved.  [Update] According to the photographer who took the pictures of Kate and her family, Helen Mathias, the first day was sunny and lovely. On Saturday Kate was pictured in her Tori Ralph Lauren:




Apparently, on the second day the sunshine broke through and Kate turned to her Ralph Lauren "Tori" Breton top and olive trousers and flats. The Duchess is even sporting an animal print headband! Here she is pictured above wiping little George's face while one of William's very best friends, James Meade, relaxes in the grass beside the two royals. The Duke also made it out. This sweet image of Prince William and little George has also surfaced.



The second day is pictured below, where the Princess is accompanied by (it appears) Nanny Maria and possibly Charlotte. [Most now believe the little girl is in fact the daughter of the Meades.] The below photo was taken and shared by Lou Grey Cashmere & Designs. The owners of the boutique who had a stall at the event said that Kate brought Princess Charlotte. I can't see the little princess in the photos, but I always tend to believe the eye-witness account. 


I am unsure which Barbour this is. It looks like her "Defence" which we have seen on many occasions, but the buttons are missing here. Perhaps they are just blurred due to the poor pixilation? It may, however, be a new version. I'll update when I figure this out.



The photo suggests overcast skies and all the women are in jackets of one form or another. [This was confirmed to be Sunday] Kate wore her Le Chameau wellies and a Barbour jacket. Unusually, the Duchess pulled her hair into a casual chignon, possible because of the threat of rain? 

Le Chameau Wellies

As a close pal of the prince, James Meade goes way back with Kate. Below a much younger James and Kate stroll the cross country course at the Badminton Horse Trials on May 4, 2007. At the time, William and Kate had just had their traumatic and very public break-up. It was nice to see one of William's friends remain loyal to Kate as well, and I am sure it was a crucial point that solidified his position in the royal inner circle once the two reconciled.  



Kate missed James's wedding, which took place in September of 2013 while Kate was still taking time away from the public eye after the birth of Prince George. William was an usher at the wedding, however, and many of the couple's circle were present including Jecca Craig and Pippa Middleton:


James is one of Princess Charlotte's godparents and he lives with his wife Laura near Anmer Hall where they are doubtless some of William and Kate's best and closet companions. 


James's brother Harry--another close friend of the royals--was competing in the horse trial this weekend and also played the charity cricket match. You probably remember Harry better than James only because it was at Harry's October nuptials in 2010 that William and Kate demonstrated they were ready to be more public with their romance. Their bold and beaming entrance into the church signaled to photographers and royal watchers alike that Prince William and Kate Middleton were ready to make an important announcement, and indeed the news of their engagement was released only a few short weeks later.  



Prince George must have had a ball at Houghton. In addition to watching the beautiful horses fly by as they navigated the course, there were a variety of other attractions. According to the Lynn News:
As well as the main horse trials, with its cross country course set out across Houghton’s rolling parkland, other equestrian events included show jumping, dressage and Pony Club classes, with competitors from all over the country and a large number of more local riders.This year was the event’s tenth anniversary and the organisers had stepped up the focus on family entertainment alongside the horse classes. There were more than 70 trade stands and, for the first time, a vintage zone staged by Britain Does Vintage.
The Pony Club sounds like it would be right up George's alley, but Prince William said recently in an interview that Kate won't George on a horse just yet, despite discreet pushes from Her Majesty herself! The grounds alone would have provided a picture perfect day. In 2008 Houghton Hall was considered to play the part of Brideshead for the film adaptation of the British masterpiece Brideshead Revisited--my absolute favorite book--but lost out to Castle Howard.


This was a very fun surprise to end the holiday weekend. Prince William competed in the Audi Polo Challenge this weekend, as he does most years, and I was disappointed that Kate did not make an appearance. This certainly made up for that. It also gives us a peek into the private and quiet life the Cambridges lead when they are away from London. With an intimate social set, plenty of sunshine and grass and fresh air, it isn't hard to see why they love to flee to the country and spend their days in Norfolk. You can expect they will hold onto this ideal lifestyle for as long as they possibly can. 

41 comments:

  1. In the very first photo you can see pink pants peeking out beside George. Perhaps that is Charlotte holding Nanny Marie's hand?

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    1. I don't think so Alex Hanna. That leg looks much bigger than a one yr old leg. Right?

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    2. I was about to make the same comment. It seems to me that George is holding hands with Charlotte whom is holding hands with the third woman (not Nanny Maria) and the four are walking abreast.

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    3. Alejandra RamírezMay 30, 2016 at 10:13 PM

      I was going to comment that exactly!
      Great post Jane! Love the background information! :D

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    4. I agree with Diane, that pink tight-clad leg looks too big for a one year old. Could the child be James and Laura's?

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    5. I don't think that is Charlotte either. Possibly the daughter of Laura Meade who is pushing the stroller??

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    6. Laura and James Meade don't have children yet

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    7. I believe it is the daughter of Harry Meade and next to her is his wife Rosie. That does not look like Maria.

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    8. When I first saw the photo I thought that was Pippa. If Charlotte is not there, then I think it also cannot be Nanny Maria, who would have had to have been home with Charlotte.

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    9. Great powers of deduction team!!

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    10. Although I understand the questions regarding the size (age) of the little girl with pink tights, if I look at the birthday photo of Charlotte (taken outside, and standing) it does seem possible...

      And as far as Nanny Maria is concerned, I do believe it's her in the photo. The face, and familiar hairstyle and navy jacket point in that direction, IMO.

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    11. I don't know royalfan. That leg is as meeting George's hip. Unless Charlotte is as tall as George it's hard to think it's her.

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    12. If you look at the leg we are talking about it looks like her knee was raised when the picture was snapped. That may be why the leg looks larger than a year old child. Just a thought.

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    13. I don't think the pink leg is Charlotte's for the reasons mentioned. I think she was at the event only one of the two days. Plus in the photos Kate took not too long ago it appeared that Charlotte was still depending on support to walk. I am sure her walking skills have advanced alot since then but I am not at all sure she would be steady/strong enough to hold hands with George when walking over potentially rough ground. She might be able to walk that way between two adults who were watching her but not with a no-doubt-excited, wiggley almost 3 yr old holding her hand on one side (assuming Georgecis holding the hand of the mystery child) At any rate that child looks almost George's size...

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    14. lizzie, I agree, in the photos earlier Charlotte was barely walking. I had kids walking at 9 months but they were still unsteady for quite a bit, especially on a grassy lane. Agree, Charlotte was probably only there one day so Kate could focus on George for one of the days.

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    15. too me none of the ladies look like Nanny Maria.

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  2. hmm love too see prince george growing he seem he growing seem princess charlotte in pram

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  3. James' wife Laura is in the top photo pushing the stroller.

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  4. https://twitter.com/OnAnAdventure william and george picture at the trials

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  5. I wish she would wear more updoes at her engagements. Look more put together and comes handy in case of wind and rain.

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  6. William must have been there on Monday. The polo appears to have been Sat. and Sun.
    I don't suppose it will be long before we see Prince George on a pony; as a future King he has to ride. Another 20 years or so, he will be riding along the Mall to Trooping the Colour.
    Not much fun, is it, when you are three and there are some things you have to do, whether you like it or not.

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  7. I don't think that looks like nanny Maria at all, but I might be wrong. I also think the pink stocking girl looks older than CHarlotte's age. Laura seems to have an empty stroller, do they have a girl that age?

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  8. Love these!! There are also a few floating around of Princess Charlotte! Hope you get to see them :) They seem like such a sweet family!

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  9. Sonja from BavariaMay 31, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Several new photos surfaced, including cutie charlotte on Kate's lap!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BGE-QA5Rqq3/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BGE_esWrPk9/


    There are more, just search for the #katemiddleton on instagram :)

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    1. Thank you Sonja from Bavaria 😊

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    2. Thanks Sonja! Such adorable pictures and that little Charlotte is getting cuter by the day! What a beautiful family!

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  10. Daily Mail has great new pictures from the horse trials

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  11. They do have envious lives.

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  12. It does not appear that James and Laura Meade have any children. Whereas Harry and Rose have two...daughter Lily born about 2012 and Charlie born Jan 2014. Harry delivered his son as too late for mid wife. I think that is Rose Meade rather than Nanny Maria. Perhaps someone can copy and paste link from Bath Chronicle related to the two Meade children. It is always so nice to have candid photos of the Cambridge family..so much more meaningful and real.

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    1. I think the woman is Rose Meade too. She has a bit of an olive complexion and dark hair which the woman in the photograph appears to have. So if she has a three or four year old daughter, that may be the child in the pink tights. That leg does appear to be long pointing to a slighty olderchild than
      PG.

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    2. Yes I agree. I said that on another blog LOL. It's Rosie I think and probably her daughter holding hands with George? Laura has no children as of yet. I think perhaps as others have stated that Kate took Charlotte the one day as the entire family was there. This day was just Kate with George and her girlfriends and their children.

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    3. I just posted elsewhere that if I had not Googled Rosie Meade, as was suggested, I would swear it is Maria. Call me crazy, but I do see a resemblance.

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    4. On there is a resemblance royalfan. I see it! I just thought the pink leg was too big for a 13 month. Plus the height of the child was same as George. Anyway the really wonderful thing regardless of who, what and more who is ~ we got some wonderful pictures of the Cambridges just having fun and being a family . Which is lovely!

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  13. well there I nice photo in daily mail

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  14. What a fun surprise to see them out and about over the weekend. If I were them I would never want to leave the peaceful countryside surrounding Anmer either!

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  15. After some confusion--mine--I agree with Jean from L re the timing of the polo games; saw the pics and articles in the DM on both Sat. and Sunday--it seems, c/o Victoria Murphy (Mirror, May 31), that W,K,G&C attended the horse trials together on Sat. morning after which W flew by helicopter to Windsor/Coworth Park for a game of polo that afternoon. Am unsure when K&G attended separately--think Murphy suggested Sun., again with the Meades. If Charlotte was with them, possibly with Maria, I saw no pics. The horse trials, as I understand it, ran for four days, probably from Sat.-Mon. Monday might be the more likely day for K&Gs visit, if Maria was back on the job then, and able to stay at home with Charlotte, BUT remember that long letter KP loosed to public and press asking/warning the press not to publish any photos of G&C when with Maria or Carole? I don't think the same applied when the kids were out and about with either parent. Sooo...Charlotte might've been there too, in Maria's care--just out of the pic.

    And thats as far as I got.

    JC

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  16. The blonde lady on the far left may be a police detective? I wish Kate would retire the striped tops! She wore a wider variety of clothes in different body silhouettes when she was out and about before she was engaged.

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  17. Photos like the one of James Meade walking with Kate at Badminton always make me wonder if the whole split thing was staged to try and get the press off Kate's back. She was escorted about town by a number of his circle including some very close friends which seems odd in the wake of a genuine split.

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    1. I admit to having similar suspicions. And the Prime Minister chiming in on it was a bit over the top too, IMHO.

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  18. was in that wedding the couple make first entrance together? do you think their already engage hat time but remain it to themselves?

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