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Princess Charlotte's First Birthday Photoshoot

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Norfolk has been a hopping place for a photo shoot recently. Just after her mother unveiled her debut appearance for prestigious fashion magazine Vogue, photos of Charlotte from her 1st Birthday photo shoot were released by Kensington Palace to mark the little princess's birthday tomorrow.


As with previous shoots, this set was snapped at Anmer Hall in Norfolk by the Duchess of Cambridge herself.  Charlotte is featured in four separate photos that capture her at play and in a more serious and thoughtful mood, which seems to be a hallmark of Kate's babies. Charlotte's expression in this photo in particular reminds me of her brother George.




Charlotte is a remarkable mix of Windsor and Middleton. Although she looked thoroughly Windsor on her grandmother's lap in the photo taken by Annie Leibovitz, these portraits reveal a more balanced baby. I see shades of both families. 



Fans are excited to see that another member of the family made it into this photo shoot. Loping about in the background while Charlotte plays is the family's beloved dog Lupo. Kate's spaniel hasn't been seen for a while now, but I think that is simply because we didn't get many polo outings last summer and now the couple have moved from Anglesey, where paparazzi shots were a little more usual, they have more privacy at Anmer. Lupo was supposedly in the original Christmas photo as well, but when the picture was cropped, he was cut. 


As always, Kate has done a beautiful job, but I think this photo set is her best presentation yet. Kate has experimented more with the "props" and the location, photographing Charlotte on chairs, next to chairs, and in variety of moods. The change of scenery is really nice, and this action shot in the garden is an especially fun deviation. At first glance it seems Charlotte is wearing the same little dress, sweater, and bow, but if you look a little more closely you'll see that she is wearing a pink colorway and a blue one! This bodes well for the future--we have many darkling little ensembles to look forward to. 


Charlotte certainly has grown since we first got a glimpse of her on the steps of the Lindo! I was so thrilled that morning when they announced that Kate had had a little princess. I was so ready for little dresses and ribbons and bows, and we have not been disappointed. Although the Cambridges have been careful to keep Charlotte out of the public eye, I hope this year, as she gets a little more ambulatory, we will see more of her, and I suspect we will! If the royals follow the same pattern they did with George, this summer will have fun surprises. 


I am really interested to hear who you think Charlotte resembles! When she was born I thought she was every inch a Middleton/Cambridge, but recent photos of her suggest she heavily favors the Windsors and particularly the Queen, but in today's set I thought we saw a little more Middleton peeking through, although I still think the Windsors have the stronger influence. What are you all seeing?!

Happy Sunday! I will be blogging about Kate's Vogue cover shortly! 

60 comments:

  1. Jean from LancsMay 1, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    What weekend---first the photos of Catherine and now Charlotte, both so beautiful.
    The top photo of Charlotte appears to be leaning on a bed with a pink cover.
    To me she looks like George, but in different colours, brown hair and those big almost navy blue eyes.Her eyes sparkle like her Mummy's.
    Mummy being the photographer, produces great pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Diane from BostonMay 1, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      I thought the furniture in the first photo looked like a chair with a cushion. Because of the pink cushion and the pink rings on the chair back, I wonder if the photo was taken in her nursery? Mostly neutral colors in the rest of the room, which seems very Kate and is incidentally quite trendy! Such an adorable child, and I agree we can really see a strong resemblance to her big brother now. Those cheeks! Such sweet photos.

      Delete
    2. Jean and Diane Charlotte is leaning on a chiavari chair with a pink seat cushion.
      ~ A

      Delete
  2. I do think she strongly resembles the Queen as a baby, it will be nice to see if that changes as she grows up. Looking forward to your commentary on the Vogue photos - I've already put in my order with a friend who is currently visiting the UK, we won't get them here in Canada for another month.

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  3. Kate's love for her daughter shines in every photo. I'm glad Kate shares so many of her own pictures! Charlotte doesn't seem to have a frivolous nature, and I am excited to see what being "close in line to the throne" will look like for her when she is an adult. Maybe a doctor in the royal family? That would be so fun!

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  4. What a truly nice surprise on a Sunday morning! :)

    It's a lovely set of pictures and I do agree with you, Jane, about the experimentation aspect. IMO, Charlotte is a mix of William and Carole. I see his nose and cheeks, and her eyes and ears.

    And pardon the silly pun here (it's early :-), but I am tickled pink to see Charlotte dressed in blue (also). Blue is my favorite color and I've never been one to think little girls need to be dressed in pink 24/7.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the 24/7 pink on baby girls and my favorite color is pink! It used to be so difficult to find clothes that weren't pink for little girls but it's much better now. I have a new granddaughter due this July and I've found some adorable clothes (yes, already, it's compulsive) in gray, yellow, and a pretty apricot color. With each grandchild I arrive with a suitcase full of clothes and a brand new, grandma-made quilt.

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    2. Sort of a Mary Poppins Grandma. ha!
      Love the picture you brought to mind, Robin.Such lucky, lucky babies.

      Delete
    3. Robin, then I am in good company. :) The colors you selected for your new granddaughter sound lovely, especially the apricot. I recall seeing photos of Victoria Beckham's baby girl (a few years ago) and I really liked the way she dressed her. Gray was a popular choice and she looked adorable.

      Delete
    4. Mary Poppins Grandma - I love that!

      The newest quilt will be in gray, pink, and a pretty pale aqua. My daughter chooses the nursery colors and then I am tasked with finding the fabric. I need 9 fabrics for the pattern I'm making and I only have 4 so far. Wish me luck!

      Delete
  5. Jean from LancsMay 1, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    With her beautiful blue eyes, I hope she wears a lot of blue.

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  6. In earlier pictures I thought she looked like Catherine as a child, but in these she looks just like a brunette George.

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  7. Hello Jayne,
    I really think she looks like a mix of Carole and the Queen! But she is definitely becoming more Windsor as the months go by! I thought she really had the look of her Aunt at first!
    Best,
    Sophie

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  8. Good morning Jane. I think Charlotte is a mix of Windsor and Middleton. In the "Annie" photos on Queens lap, she looks exactly like Great Granny. In Kate photos you see the mix. Either way, she is adorable. Kathy

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  9. I think both George and charlotte look a lot like Kate as a child. Delightful pictures

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  10. All these wedding anniversary and birthday posts gets me thinking... If I get started right away, I could prepare and chill the Prince William cake in time to serve it after dinner tonight. But where is the recipe, Jane?
    —Craving Tea & Chocolate.

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  11. Sonja from BavariaMay 1, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I think these photos are so adorable! I love that we could get a glimpse of Lupo, I'd love to see clear photos of him, too.

    Charlotte has an adorable collection of pink dresses and cardigans, and I think pink dresses are one of the cutest things about baby girls ;) however, she also looks lovely in blue, ot matches her eyes!
    And those bows are so gute, but her hair looks as if it was too fine/thin for them to stick properly (the same problem I had)

    I think she looks different in every photo, it is so hard to tell whom she resembles! She clearly has Williams eyes. Kate's beown hair, although it is getting lighter so maybe she will still become a (dark)blondie?
    I think she is an equal mix of Windsor and Middleton. Maybe a bit more Windsor than George? I don't know, more like the Queen? I'm really really curious how George and Charlotte will look later!

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  12. Cute photos of Charlotte. I do not think she will be blonde. I am assuming a light brunette with some red developing into Catherines hair color as she gets older. I see a fair amount of Prince Charles and William in her.

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  13. Lovely shots by DoCam. I think Charlotte has a good deal more Windsor in her than Cheeks does. I think the shape of her eyes are Williams; her nose is her mum's, and her
    mouth reminds me of the Windsors. It will be fascinating to see how she changes in the years to come. I love that she has her mum's dark hair and her dad's blue eyes. What a treat!!

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  14. A poster on another blog likened recent weeks to a pinata that just keeps on giving BRF treats and I have to agree. Wonderful photographs of such a cute little girl.... and there are so of many of them.

    She looks so much like her brother now. Sorry royalfan :-) , I don't see much of Carole Middleton. I think she has PW's eyes, although the color is not as blue a his. Im wondering if she will end up with hazel/blue eyes.

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  15. To me, the most striking thing about Charlotte is that she has her grandmother, Diana's, big blue eyes. Other than that, I think she does look more Windsor than Middleton. If you look at baby pictures of Princess Eugenie, I think there is a real resemblance and Eugenie today looks a lot like the Queen Mother did at a similar age:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/royal-baby-photo-album-gallery-1.1406858?pmSlide=1.1406854

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  16. Regarding the photos we have so far seen of Charlotte, I come to a few conclusions, the first being that Kate takes better pics than the professionals. I thought the group photo with the Queen was particularly godawful; the guy hied to take those in the Alps was the best.

    Given that Kate's pics are terrific, and given that this means Kate owns the copyright, I would hope that Kate continues to do this and ditto, re George.

    Charlotte changes with every set of pics I see, so I think it best to say little, at the moment. I do think she has beautiful eyes, blue like the Windsors, the size and shape from Kate and Mike--and altho its too early to be sure, theres an outside chance that she may wind up with Diana's, lucky girl!

    JC

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  17. I think Charlotte looks very sweet. She looks like both sides of the family to me. I agree blue sets off her eyes...think a blue-toned violet would too.


    I do think though since these seem to be not necessarily posed but certainly planned photos (with the possible exception of the outdoor one) versus unplanned spontaneous "snapshots" more attention to the backgrounds would be good. Even with a shallow depth of field to blur the background, the window behind Charlotte is distracting, especially in the photo where her hands are on the pink chair. Since the light isn't illuminating Charlotte's face (nor was the window in the background illuminating George and Charlotte in the earlier pics) and there appears to be natural light from other sources, close the drapes temporarily on that window maybe? Or move the chair? The sofa pillow with the strong design and red elements that appears close to Charlotte's face could have been moved too (especially since it looks like the wicker chair may have been placed there for the shoot) Since W&K apparently  prefer not to use professional photographers often (and I think that's fine) some more careful attention to backgrounds would be good IMO. In other cases, some pics might benefit from cropping. Cameras these days are pretty goof-proof in terms of exposure, blur, red eye, etc but not for aspects of composition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anything else she did wrong? She is not a professional. She is a loving mother taking photos of her daughter. Give her a break n

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    2. I thought this was the comment section of the blog Anon so I commented. I know Kate isn't a professional (although she did release her travel photos a few years ago) Maybe others don't think some of the backgrounds are distracting and that's fine. But I do think they are distracting especially since we've seen others shot with a background window. Charlotte looks much more relaxed than she likely would with a professional and that's good. But these don't appear to be "casual mom snaps" either. (And it has been reported Kate studied photography during her university work and the press has represented her as more advanced than an amateur)

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    3. Kate is definitely more advanced than the typical amateur photographer but I disagree that these backgrounds are distracting. Kate photographed these in a style currently termed Bokeh which means that she set her aperture so that items outside the depth of field will blur. This is very specific photographic style and she does it beautifully. It's not always that easy to accomplish and, when shooting photos of children, it's almost always a preferred method. It's not easy to get them to stand still or do what you want them to do where and when you want them to. I'm guessing she shot dozens of photos (which we can now do thanks to digital photography) to find the perfect set. The photo with the window in the background provides a natural back lighting which is also quite a skill. She filled the light perfectly so Charlotte is not in shadow.

      I tend to think that, since we are also trying to look beyond the baby to see a hint of the Cambridge home, we are paying too much attention to what else is in the photo. Charlotte is the subject and she has been captured beautifully.

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    4. Lizzie - I'm a new anon - I appreciate your attention to detail and your opinion. I think your comment is very insightful.

      Delete
    5. Robin--Thanks for the info. I knew blurring the background to make the closer item or person "pop" from the background is done intentionally. I like it but did not know the name of the technique. But when the background involves a bright window, blurred or not, that tends to draw the eye. Same with the bright red and brown pillow since just about everything else in that photo is white or pastel (Charlotte's face & cheeks, clothes, the sofa, the chair, the other pillows, the rug)  I see another poster mentioned that pillow as distracting too. 


      I agree Kate has artistic talent. But the backgrounds...I expect as a mom she may be so focused on her subject she doesn't notice (plus its her house so she may not notice those background details as much since she sees them every day.) But these photos seem to be planned in the sense that I doubt as a 1 yr old Charlotte always looks so clean without a hair out of place and no "nap face." It also appears W&K won't use professionals often. So I just hope the backgrounds are considered more as time goes on.

      And thanks "new anon"!

      Delete
  18. These photos are adorable! In the first one she looks so much like George and in the second one she looks so much like Carole. I'm not seeing the strong Windsor resemblance everyone else seems to see at this point. I hope she keeps those beautiful blue Spencer eyes. With Kate's brunette hair and Diana's blue eyes she has the potential to be a real knockout! I love that Kate dresses her in traditional little girl's clothing. Charlotte is quite the little cutie and her Mummy is able to capture her in a natural way that a professional photographer could not.

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  19. She is so sweet and cute--I am over the moon with excitement!! She looks every bit like "a joy from heaven" as her Daddy, Prince William stated. Such beautiful and adorable photos. She seems a pro at posing but then having a mother whom her self is so very good at the art of photography, and whom makes it look so easy, really helps.

    I am just loving how much the Cambridge's have shared with us via photo the progress of the growth of both their babies. I am already looking forward to photos of George for his upcoming birthday.

    Big huge thanks to Jane for being so quick out of the gate with this most--much appreciated.

    All the best.

    RW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JC, I suspect rather than setting up a scenario and placing Charlotte in it, Catherine
      may have kept the camera handy and snapped when a good shot happened. She seems
      to have gone for more natural,personality-revealing views rather than aesthetically-pleasing ones-although, I thought they were beautiful.
      Besides, have you ever tried to photograph an obviously determined one year old who
      likely slows down for no one? That push-wagon photo is amazing. I have to say-that's one I would not want to share with a sometimes cranky press and public. But I'm so
      glad she did.
      It was great catching a glimpse of Lupo.

      Delete
    2. actually, my 7:49 comment was meant for lizzie 3:34. I don't know why I get lizzie and JC's comments confused. Sorry, JC.

      Delete
    3. Apology accepted, Anon 1, but since, you asked--altho not myself--yes, I have tried to take pictures of my own children at the same age, and it isn't easy, nor did my attempts match those of Kate; they sufficed as a family record, but I certainly wouldn't want to publicly show them, and invite criticism.

      I do think that Kate has one or two photo courses under her belt, but, even so, to meet and match the professionals out there speaks volumes to me about her native talent. And considering that these will form part of history which most of the world could see--takes bravery!

      JC

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    4. JC 5:38- somehow the historical significance hadn't sunk in on me; but yes, she is brave
      and apparently confident.
      And think of all the photographer's fees she's saving the tax-payers. ha! Top professional photographers don't come cheap.
      Princess Charlotte is definitely a Queen in the making- whether on a throne, in a courtroom, or in her family home some day.

      Delete
    5. I, too, would love to see Charlotte in a profession of her own choosing. (Ditto, George.) But it won't happen, given the snails pace of change which occurs within the BRF. They have already fallen at least one generation--in some cases two-- behind all other European royal families. Quite sad that they seem to lack the insight needed to correct this.

      Time for them to get over themselves, wise up, and prepare for a future which could easily go one of two ways; kinda a *to be or not to be* scenario:will there be a monarchy or not, in another 20,30,50 years? I truly believe that republicanism is growing and flourishing in the UK, and I do wish that William would get his head out of the sand, face it, and ensure that his children are fully prepared for either eventuality. That, of course, would include that both children be given equal billing, that each succeeds in school, that each goes to university, that each be permitted to choose what course of study and at which university they wish to attend, not necessarily in the UK. William needs to be a much better father than the one he got stuck with--assuming, of course, that he gives a damn about his kids or the monarchy--in that order. Kids first, monarchy a distant second. That would resound with the public, but the Queens way, no, her ideas are far too archaic; they don't cut it in this century.

      Bet you didn't expect this response, eh? I could go on, but best I stop.

      To sum it up, I hope that both George and Charlotte are given the chance, and the means, to pursue their own dreams, to become whatever they want to be, and to find the guts to reject the monarchy, if that isn't what either wants. And hey, it aint bad out here!

      JC

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    6. IMO.. Kate did another fantastic job with this set of pictures!! It must be exhausting to get just the right pictures... Wonderful job Kate (and Jane too of course),!! Classes or not she's a great photog....

      Delete
    7. PS.. If you'd like a piece of history for yourself simply Google the address to write to Wills,Kate,Harry, Charles, the Queen etc.. You will get a response and most of the times a picture of whomever you write to our send a birthday card, anniversary, congratulations, etc.. Ie if you were to send a congrats card to the Queen on her long reign or bday you'd get a response letter from Buckingham Palace and one of the Annie Leibowitz (sp) pictures, most likely of the Queen and her great-grandchildren... You WILL get a reply!!! I love buying them cards!!!;)

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  20. It's fun to watch how their little baby faces change and grow. And amazing how one day Charlotte looks Middleton, then Windsor the next.

    In Charlotte's early months, I saw Carole and Pippa in her pics. Since the snowy pics I see Windsor, especially her mouth and cheeks.

    The 2nd pic on this post, I think looks remarkably like William's pics at the same age. And the one where she's pushing the cart she looks like the queen at that same age.

    Eventually she will just be Princess Charlotte, with a look all her own.

    Belle

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  21. Here's my two cents on whom she look like - I think she and George have a lot of
    Spencer influence,especially Earl Spencer. It isn't all Windsor- Middleton.
    Those who think she resembles Carole -that is not the Middleton look.
    Although, I wonder if she spends a lot of time around her Gan-gan. Charlotte sure has
    HM's facial expressions down pat.

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    Replies
    1. I was thinking about the Spencer influence myself, anon. It will be interesting to see if that dominates as they get older. Also, I agree about expressions . Often children really don't resemble certain relatives but they appear to because they have copied their expressions.

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    2. ..like that old saying that married couples begin to resemble each other over time.
      I'll never forget my two-year-old grandaughter's flashing a very adult facial
      expression I'd seen on my daughter many times. They are little sponges at that age.

      Delete
    3. Exactly:-) It will be interesting to watch these children grow up.

      Delete
  22. It's actually not that Kate has experimented more with props, etc. in this set of photos. It's that little babies can't do anything other than being propped up in a chair, as Charlotte was in previous photos. I thought the photo from when Charlotte was much younger, in the chair with the stuffed animal was fabulous and inspired. You usually don't get that much from a photo of a child that young. Now that she's moving around and climbing on chairs and pushing toys, those things will show up in the photos with her.

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    Replies
    1. And babies are so much happier having their picture taken if they aren't told to stand or sit still so you get way better photos.

      Delete
  23. Alejandra RamírezMay 1, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Lovely photos! :D
    Really like your comments about who she resembles! :p

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  24. Just delightful... a mix of them both I think.

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  25. Thank you for taking the time to write these lovely posts. You have great insights and a beautiful way of expressing yourself (I've quietly read your blog for quite a while and have noticed how your own writing prowess has evolved, as beautifully as the lives and poise of the subjects you report on). I don't know what's more beautiful––-Princess C. or the pictures themselves. HRH is truly becoming a fantastic photographer. I am so taken by the images (frankly, I like them more than the ones on Vogue!). The Vogue appearance, though, was brilliant. Fine time. British. Vogue. Centenary. HRH is also nearing her mid 30s, the "peak" of youthfulness (yes, there are gorgeous women in their 40/50s/60s, but for fashion/"glamour" purposes, mid-30s is it, that's the standard whether we like it or not). She's an established member of the Family, has produced an heir/spare (also part of the expectation/duty, however else we might feel about it), and has truly earned gravitas. As you mentioned, doing a cover shoot earlier would have been "kardashian-esque." Anyhow, thanks again. Your blog is wonderful. Silvia

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    Replies
    1. Silvia 9:33-enjoyed reading your thoughts and concur-especially with the lovely words
      about Jane. (our admin.)

      Delete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. It's interesting, Kate has released so many more photos of Charlotte. We had so little images of George. She loves showing off her girl. In all reality though, Charlotte looks like her father, William. It's just that simple. George looks like grandpa Michael Middleton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe George is too much a moving target. I have three grandkids (and a 4th on the way - yea!) and the current youngest is close to George's age. It is seriously hard to get a picture of that kid! He never stops moving! I think the last really good photo taken of him was when he was still an infant and not running all over the place. From what we've seen and heard about George, Kate may have the same problem!

      Delete
    2. Hi Ari,

      I agree that she releases more pictures of Charlotte than George. But my theory on the reason is different from yours. Some pictures of Charlotte have not been very cute. (OK, most pictures of her have not been cute.) EVERY picture of George is perfection. When you follow a stunner like George, the bar is high. So, Kate being a proud Mom, wants to show everyone that Charlotte is cute too and she releases extra pictures to prove this.

      I think these pictures of Charlotte are much better. But the one of her smiling... she looks like Carole and Pippa, with their worst features exaggerated. I can see why, from the wrong angle or without a lot of light, her pictures can be iffy. Plus baby pictures sometimes aren't very flattering. And again, George was so perfect, everyone was expecting a George 2.0 in Charlotte.

      Kate just wants everyone to see that her daughter is cute too. Takes a few extra snaps to prove that.

      Delete
    3. That's a really good point Anon. That's a really good point.

      Delete
    4. I think, that with all things royal, Kate is finding her footing being a mother and photographer.. So, it may seem like we are getting more of Charlotte but if you think about it we got the ones of PG on the Australian and New Zealand tour and PC hasnt been on tour.. Maybe it's more even than it seems or maybe it's Kate trying to strike the right balance with both children and it's just taking some time for her to develop as photog and new mum.. Just my two cents..

      Delete
    5. I recall reading that Diana was anxious for Harry to not feel "second best" given the fuss that surrounded William, and I suspect W&K are, and will be, equally conscious of this with Charlotte.

      Delete
  28. I hope this link goes through properly and you can see the photo. This is Diana as a baby around Charlotte's age. Charlotte has a lot of Spencer in her!
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/483785184949210552/

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    Replies
    1. She does! Thanks for the link Robin!

      Delete
  29. I totally do not see Carole or Pippa in any of Charlottes's facial features. She is definitely a Windsor. At 6 months she looked like the Queen. Lately she looks more like William, but I feel William is a mix of Diana and Charles at least when he was in his adolescent years he was. From the nose down Charlotte and George have similar noses and cheeks. But George is much better looking due to his bigger shaped eyes, which makes him more of a mix of Middleton. I'm not so sure about Charlotte's eyes they seem to be a bit of mix of the Queen although not so close together. As a baby William's eyes IMO were not attractive, but as he got older they became gorgeous and more like Diana's. For now I think Charlotte resembles the Queen and William. However, later it could change and her eyes could end up resembling Diana's,(though for now I don't see it) I disagree with Robin in the pictures of Diana at the same age, I do not see Charlotte at all for now. But that could change in the future with her eyes. However, for now she bears no resemblance to Lady Di.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Charlotte definitely has William's nose (likewise for George).

      http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2013720/rs_560x415-130820120215-1024.will.ls.82013.jpg

      But I do see Carole's eyes (look at the skiing photo) and ears.

      http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Carole+Middleton+Royal+Ascot+Day+3+lygO_0My5Iml.jpg

      And I think BOTH George and Charlotte are beautiful. :)

      Delete
  30. I see more Middleton than Windsor in both PG and PC.. Both are adorable and I think unique in their own way!!! Love the pictures!!

    ReplyDelete

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