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[Updated] George & Charlotte Make Christmas Church Debut

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Today, for the first time in 30 years, the Queen was not well enough to travel to church at Sandringham. According to the Palace, Her Majesty has a heavy cold that has demanded the energetic monarch take it a little easier this year. Over a hundred miles away, in the country village of Bucklebury, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in a motorcade of Range Rovers at St. Mark's (with Kate's family) for Christmas morning services. They brought two very special little royals who were ready for a very big first Christmas in front of the cameras. 


There was a lot of disappointment among fans when the Cambridges announced they would forego a Sandringham Christmas, not because we begrudged them family time with the Middletons (indeed for many, this was an exciting change of pace) but because of the worry we would lose our Christmas morning treat--our annual photo set of Kate decked out for Christmas! Instead, I think the couple calculated their Middleton
Christmas for "professional" as well as personal reasons. 


I fell firmly in the camp that approved of the plans for a Middleton Christmas, and the silver lining is that I think we got better pictures today than we generally get at Sandringham. At Sandringham, Kate and William can get lost in the milieu of other royals on the walk in and out, and many shots are obscured. This is the first year that George and Charlotte have accompanied their parents to Christmas service, and perhaps this change of locale was very deliberately planned. Surrounded by their immediate family and in the quieter setting of Bucklebury, the little Cambridges were not overwhelmed on their Christmas walk debut and were also more visible to the professional cameras and therefore to the public. This was no less of a formal photoshoot than any we get at Sandringham and deliberately allowed us all a beautiful view of this picture perfect family. The Cambridges didn't release a Christmas photo because they planned to give us the shots live on Christmas morning, and wow did they deliver! 



Pippa's fiancé James Matthews joined the Middletons for this Christmas and perhaps we are also seeing a dry-run of the upcoming wedding photos? St. Mark's is where Pippa is set to marry James on May 20th of the very fast approaching 2017. I am hopeful that we will get shots of the lovely bride along this very walkway, as well as her famous sister. I don't think the Middletons will try to cut off all photos, and just as we get snaps from many society weddings at country churches, I expect photos of Pippa's wedding.


Let's chat Christmas fashion. Kate wore her Hobbs Celeste which has already had one Christmas outing (2012 in Bucklebury, no less) as well as a number non-Christmas appearances (Valentine's Day 2012 & Visit to Grimsby in 2013) and most recently to church while staying at Balmoral in the fall of 2015. Kate jazzed it up this morning by adding a fur stole which gave it a punch of luxe that I really loved. FoodFashFit has suggested this is from ASOS and I agree. The faux-fur stole retails online for £10 and comes in this perfect burgundy to match Kate's coat.


Kate made a similar move with her DVF coat for Remembrance Sunday, by adding the embellishments to the cuffs of that piece, which was a comparable success. Cheers to Kate for finding ways to glam up her recycles in '16.


Under her coat, Kate was wearing what appears to be a black, knit turtleneck dress. I'd guess it was her Séraphine, but I think at her current size that maternity dress would swamp her. In this photo you can see the skirt peeking out from the coat. The Duchess recycled her wildly popular Tod's fringed pumps first worn with her red Carolina Herrera coat in Canada in September and she carried the Bayswater clutch in burgundy. Charlotte carried a stickier accessory--a Christmas candy cane. 


Carole was wearing a cape and it looks like the royal grandmother has her arm in a sling, while the bride-to-be wore a plaid coat and a scarf to keep away the morning chill. It looks like Pip's coat might be a Moloh coat. The plaid is similar to Kate's Dreaded Moloh "Workers" coat. [Update--Really Wild confirmed to me it is their Downton coat from several years] I think Pippa is also wearing Aquatalia's Rhumba boots, but I'd need a better side view to be sure.


While the Queen is likely all bundled up at Sandringham as she fights through her cold, I am sure these pictures of her beaming grandson and precocious little great-grandson will put a smile on her face.


The Cambridges will return to Middleton Manor for the usual Christmas festivities. If you look closely, Kate (final picture of the post) is wearing a little band-aid on her thumb, so perhaps she has been prepping Christmas luncheon a little too enthusiastically. :) William told us this month that George has already been sneaking under the tree opening some of his presents in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so I wonder if the two Cambridges have already had a preliminary run at the gifts before their trip to church.




Much has been made about the relaxed and normal Christmas the kids get to experience with the Middletons, but I cannot imagine that the family does not break to watch the Queen's Christmas address as they would at Sandringham, and in fact as many families do all across the United Kingdom. As I write, her address has not hit the royal YouTube yet, but once it does I will pop it right below. In the meantime, you can watch it here


Speaking of the Queen, although she did not walk to Sandringham, The Duke of Edinburgh did, as well as PoW, Prince Harry, and others:




The verdict today is huge, huge home run. She hit the spot by adding the fur stole and the gorgeous Tod's with the trendy block heels. I loved her hair, which she wore long, but straightened out. It was a very polished and glamorous look. 


As usual, Kate color-coordinated her little family to absolute perfection. Her children could not have been more darling and with her handsome husband, they make an enviable (in the good sense of envy ;)) family. All around, a perfect Christmas morning. 


A very Happy Christmas to you all! I started writing this post while it was still dark out, but now the sun has risen and the pouring rain from an hour ago has left grey mist that is appropriately Christmasy. It is coffee-time, and perhaps I will take a page from George's playbook and peek in these stockings before the rest of the house wakes up. ;) Happy Christmas to you all! 




213 comments:

  1. It is funny how all the royal blogs are now using pap photos because every single one but yours claimed they would never use them again after KP put out that hysterical letter last summer
    So bravo to you for actually continuing to celebrate the freedom of the press while other blogs went and attacked and insulted photographers for doing their job

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    1. I don't understand what you are implying. These photos are definitely not paparazzi, but from accredited media from Getty, PA and others. Sky News was also there. So yes, the press was allowed to cover their church visit. I think it's a smart decision from the Cambridges.

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    2. Yes Susan, royal reporter Richard Palmer also covered it with some of his video footage and pictures for Express.

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    3. Yes, reporters like Richard being send lend weight to it being known that the Cambridges would be there. I wonder if KP tipped off certain media outlets about this. It was very choreographed (not fake, just strategic), and really there is a benefit to having respected reporters there, as opposed to long distance paps hiding out.

      ~ A

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    4. The "Daily Telegraph" was the first to have it on line and"Sky" were very quick.
      Neither could be called "paps".
      I had guessed that they intended to take the little ones to Church--a good place to start with fewer crowds and there had to be a reason for no pre-Christmas photo. I have said before --don't always jump to criticize, until we have the full story.

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  2. Thanks for the post, merry Christmas! Very glad we got shots of the Cambridges. But I don't think this makes up for a holiday card. - holiday card is a purposeful gesture to friends and family wishing them well at this time of year and updating them on you. It is a lovely gesture when other Royal Families release these photos, sending their well wishes to the general public. It would set a dangerous precedent indeed for the Cambridges to use pap shots of them in place of such a purposeful gesture. Especially when they object so heavily to unauthorized pictures of their children. Unless I am missing something and these photos were released by KP? p.s. Definitely hope the faux fur i.d. Is correct!

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    1. These are not paparazzi photos, but pics from PA and Getty Images and other accredited media.

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    2. Ok, thanks for clarifying. To me, though, I still don't think allowing the media to take pictures of them makes up for a Christmas card. Just my personal opinion. I wish them well and hope they, and you all, have a wonderful holiday season.

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    3. (Sorry if this is a double post, not sure whether my other went through). Thank you for clarifying. My personal opinion though is allowing photos to be taken of them does not make up for a lack of Christmas card. I am glad to see the photos, they look lovely, but it is not the same to me. I wish them, and you all, a wonderful holiday.

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    4. Heather they had respected, reputable reporters there. We weren't aware of this level of planning in advance, but I think they tipped off certain media outlets. I think we, the public, weren't prepared for this level of legitimate coverage. Some reports that normally cover Sandringham were sent to Buckleberry instead :-)
      ~ A

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    5. I think this was a nicer treat than a single image on a Christmas card. Also, just because they did not release one to the public, doesn't mean they did not send out Christmas cards.

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    6. That was my thought, royalfan. I'm sure they sent personal Christmas cards even though they didn't "officially" release a photo to the public. I think the fact that the Cambridge family walked way ahead of the Middleton family is proof enough that they were giving the photographers a chance to get their Christmas morning photos. I would far rather see this and we got to see the kids as well!

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    7. @Robin @Royalfan, well it is great that apparently the majority of their fans feel that way. Merry Christmas to all. And thanks again to Jane for the blog, I always pop over here for the latest Kate news.

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  3. Bah! Humbug!
    Don't listen to them, Jane.
    If those photos were not at least anticipated by the family, I'll, again, eat my tiara.

    Kate and family looked relaxed and serene- nothing like the upset on their faces in the 2012 photos, with Kate so ill. I'm sure they found the photographers intrusive at that time.
    Thank-you, Jane, for sharing your pictures and your holiday with us.
    One Word...GORGEOUS!
    And I hope the Queen is soon on the mend. I agree-those pictures would brighten any mother's heart, whether great or grand.

    ps was there a Sandringham walk? I am just barely awake and a little puny today and a bit behind on events. Taking my coffee intravenously, Ha!
    Steady rain here too yesterday, but the sun is out and shining brightly.

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    1. anon 1 reporters that normally cover Sandringham were at Buckleberry. I think KP/Buckingham were strategic with this, and we just weren't aware :-)
      ~ A

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  4. Wonderful post - Merry Christmas Jane! Thanks for this!

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  5. Thank you so much for the beautiful post to wake up to!I agree, this is a more subdued way to introduce the children to the Christmas morning ritual.My opinion only, but I think there is some effort not to step on Charles' time in the spotlight as he moves to take on more of his Mother's duties.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and thank you for all you do!

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  6. Merry Christmas Jane! Couldn't agree more with all your observations. K&W spending Xmas at Bucklebury allowed us to see pics of the kiddos which would never have happened at Sandringham as Royal children only start participating when they're older. And the many shots of George and Charlotte are a much greater treat than a single Xmas card could provide - I do hope for once the naysayers will be satisfied :) I love Kates hair like this - straight and sleek is a very chic look and wish she would do it more often. The burgundy fur stole and heels added festive glamour and I love how the whole family had coordinated burgundy accents - Charlottes tights and hair bow, Georges shorts, even Williams tie! We couldn't have asked for a better appearance to end 2016 with. Thank you for all your hard work - you have created a truly special corner of the Internet and it's given me any hours of pleasure. Enjoy the holiday break and happy new year!!

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    1. It's a much shorter walk than Sandringham, too! Perfect for toddlers.
      ~ A

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    2. Totally agree. I sincerely doubt that George and Charlotte would have been included in the walk to church at Sandringham. Children tend to be older and more predictable before they are allowed to attend with the rest of the RF.

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    3. I noticed at Sandringham, James Vscount Severn at age 10 attended for the first time, but so did Savannah and Ilsa Phillips both who are much younger. I wonder if they attended because the Queen did not, which would lead me to wonder if the Queen is the one who doesn't want the younger ones at church until they reach a certain age.

      Also notice Catherine isn't carrying her clutch when leaving the church. Did anyone see who might be carrying it for her?

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    4. Kathy, I believe this was James' third appearance on Christmas Day. Please correct me if I am wrong...

      Regarding the Queen, I believe it has more to do with the child's rank in the Firm, but it is NOT my intent to make this sound terrible. As I stated in another comment, the higher the rank, the more attention he/she receives. A distant cousin can have a bad day, but George and Charlotte cannot.

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  7. A perfect Christmas is right!!! The shoes go great with this coat!! And the kids are adorable as always :)

    Merry Christmas!!!!!

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  8. These are not paparazzi pics. They were taken by PA photographers. Will and Kate were fully aware they were being photographed.

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    1. No need to eat my tiara, then?

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    2. No need, anon 1. Have chocolate instead!

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  9. What a gorgeous family. They all look happy and relaxed, and I am so glad that they are with the Middletons this year. The pictures are beautiful, and thank you Jane, for taking time away from your Christmas to post this for us. Merry Christmas.

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  10. Now THAT is how you wear a belt!

    Merry Christmas to all.

    So once again Kate has inspired my. I love this stole...it is festive, in the perfect color and a great match. I might have to find one for myself!!

    What gorgeous photos of all. I am in total agreement Jane. The lack of release of a Cambridge Christmas photo, the photo of the Queen and PC, and now these photos are all deliberate, planned and coordinated. Whether these are pap shots or released by KP officially, the royal press team knew they would happen and it was all part of the plan. There was enough information released ahead at f time about where the Cambridges would be spend Ng Christmas that the media knew where to find them. The Queen is a smart lady and one of the most successful monarchs in history. She is in a difficult position at the moment. Trying to get the spotlight to shine on PC but at the same time feed the public demand for the youthful Cambridge's is a fine balancing act. This is all well planned out. I highly doubt Kate and Wills make decisions in isolation, whatever their personal views.

    I wish my sincerest best wishes for a quick recovery to HM and my heart goes out to Zara, Mike and family.

    Jane ...thank you for all you do. I hope you get a chance to rest and enjoy your holidays.

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    1. I highly doubt this was planned and coordinated like you think. Why on earth would the Queen want the Cambridges to pull focus from herself and her family at Sandringham? If this had been planned, the William and Catherine would have brought George and Charlotte to church at Sandringham with everyone else.

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    2. It was planned--for reasons of security! Things are hairy in Europe--I highly doubt they want four generations of the royal family in the same public place at the same time. Good heavens.

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    3. Oh wow Rebecca, good thinking 99! I hadn't even thought of that. Interesting. It was a good way to introduce the little ones though, less formal. It will be an easier and seamless tradition this way. William and Kate know what they are doing.

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  11. A very merry Christmas to you Jane!!! Feeling so grateful for our little royal family, and for all of the hard work and passion you put into this site! What a Christmas treat. I am so happy they were in Bucklebury this year, I have missed seeing the Middletons! Kate looks INCREDIBLE. The colors are so rich, so classic, the proportion of everything is spot-on, and those shoes! When she gets it right, she does it like no one else. Her Christmas ensembles and both Christening ensembles have all been complete and utter home runs. What an elegant woman. Carole looks like she's having fun, and Pippa looks great too! James is always looking at the camera. :)

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  12. Merry Christmas. Love your work Jane. It's boxing day here in NZ we are all recovering from a day of fun,food and family.

    Kate's wee family are delightful.

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  13. Happy Christmas to you too, Jane! This is such a lovely set of photos and, I agree, Kate hit it out of the park with her ensemble today! They all looked just spectacular and that little Charlotte is so precious. They are such a happy extended family group.

    I hope all of you are having, or have had, a wonderful Christmas!

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  14. Adorable. The "royal blood" must be very special indeed. I wouldn't dare to attend any church service with my 2 years old. Unless that service would be 15 min long :)

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  15. I would guess that Kate is wearing the Seraphine Vanessa (black turtleneck dress she wore in NYC) dress under her coat. Having tried that dress on myself, I can tell you that it is very fitted and hangs close to the body, so it wouldn't be too loose for her. The picture where the bottom of the dress is visible looks just like the material the Seraphine dress is made of as well.

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    1. I totally agree. In fact I wore my seraphine dress last week and I am the smallest I have ever been and it clung really tight. You'd never know it was a maternity dress. I was wearing it when I was overdue and I was huge!

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    2. Yes, you would never know it is a maternity dress. One of the benefits of Seraphine's dresses is that they can be worn before, during, and after pregnancy. The styles don't scream..."this is a maternity dress." Rather, they are designed to accommodate the changing figure, throughout each trimester, before pregnancy, and beyond. Thus, the Seraphine Vanessa dress is a garment Kate could wear, whether or not she is pregnant.

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    3. I think it's telling she was wearing a maternity dress. She has plenty of other dresses she could've worn. She knows people pin down exactly what she's wearing too.

      I was wondering if we were going to get a Christmas pregnancy announcement, but then Zara's heartbreaking miscarriage was announced, making it more appropriate to wait.

      She must be a few months along, probably won't be able to hide it much longer.

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    4. Also, the last TWO times she's worn this coat, she's been pregnant.

      I think she's trying to tell us something without making a huge announcement because of Zara's recent loss.

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    5. I really DO think she is pregnant too. Not just the alleged maternity dress. Not at all. Her face changed as did her figure, fewer official duties sinc returning from Canada and the special glow...
      And being at Mum's for Xmas like during George's pregnancy...

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    6. I'm not getting more from this coat than a clear signal that a recycle would keep the potential fuss over a "competition" with Sandringham to a minimum. Carole's and Pippa's coats were also far from fire engine red.

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    7. I get the impression she simply favors this coat for the times she wants to be comfortable. She wore it at her last Bucklebury Christmas and also at Sandringham. Same thing with the Seraphine dress - it may be an incredibly comfortable dress that she throws on when she'd rather being wearing her pajamas but knows she needs to be photographed for a global audience ;)

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    8. Of course Kate COULD be pregnant but I'm not seeing the "unmistakable signs" some are seeing in her clothing choices. (And I'm just not into studying her abdomen :) If she is pregnant, maybe she doesn't have HG this time. But it doesn't seem to me that she's "disappeared" since Canada. She's had as many engagements as she has had during many other "unpregnant" 3-month periods. I doubt given her health history and the ability today to engage in "family planning" she would have gotten pregnant before the Canada tour. So unless she got pregnant on the plane on the way home she'd be barely 3 months along. So I don't know that Zara's loss has delayed a planned announcement. Her face does look fuller in SOME photos but she might have gained a bit of weight after the stress of the Canada tour was over. Or she may have had some facial work done as she has likely done in the past. But time will tell!

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    9. You can get pregnant in early October (so actually post-Canada tour) and be 14 weeks along by Christmas - 2 weeks later than many people announce. They spot you a couple of weeks during which you weren't *actually* pregnant when counting how many weeks along you are (thus implying you got pregnant in late September when it was really early October). I know because this happened to me with my latest kidlet ;).

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    10. The moment of conception is hard to pin down but I'm not sure that approach (counting from the last period) is universal among all OBs. But at least I know my math wasn't off...I couldn't see how
      there could be 14 weeks between Oct 1 & Christmas! But I think I now see what you are saying, Am.

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  16. Happy Christmas, Jane! A beautiful post about a beautiful family. I was speaking with family in Kent this morning and it was warmer there than here in Northern California! :)

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    1. Not surprising! We've had some unusually cold weather here!

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  17. Would suggest that it is in fact the Helen Moore faux fur burgundy collar, not ASOS - quality looks too good for ASOS

    Helen M

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  18. These photos made me very happy! What a bonus for Christmas Day...definitely makes up for no official family Christmas card this year.
    Everyone here looks fabulous...I want to steal Kate's stole ;) Loving her straighter hairstyle and her accessories are perfect!
    Have missed seeing the Middleton's all together too...looking forward to Pippa's impending nuptials next year & fingers crossed for some beautiful pics :)
    George and Charlotte are little cherubs! Hope you've had a joyous Christmas Jane & to all the readers here, have a safe & happy New Year x

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    1. Does anyone else remember Sophie's feather "boa" neckpiece?

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    2. I teetered between "You go, girl!" and "What was she thinking?" I think it was at a Trooping.

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  19. Am I the only one that seems to think she may be pregnant? That would explain a lot..No Christmas card, a mistake no matter how you look at it IMHO, this dress, etc..I guess time will tell.

    Regardless Kate looks fantastic!! Prince George, Princesses Charlotte, and Prince William all tie in and match perfectly.Pippa and James look wonderful as well of the rest of the Middleton family.. No Donna Air though?

    I do wonder though, when members of the Royal family visit different places or I should say before they go to visit do the RPO's go first to make sure it's "safe" like the Secret Service do for the President? Do they have snipers and other plain clothes officers in the crowd etc or is it just their normal RPO's that stay a " safe" distance away and out of most pictures, like Mr. Security?

    I was very sad to hear of Zara's loss and right at the holidays as well.. I do hope she is being well looked after, along with the Queen... Merry Christmas everyone!!! And Jane thank you for all of your hard work!! I do hope you'll have time for a best of 2016 list!! This and her 2011 Christmas outfits are my very favorite!!!

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    1. I don't think she is pregnant. Being pregnant at that early stage I wouldn't risk carrying heavy toddler (Charlotte) all the way to the church. I think William wouldn't approve that either - he would rather have carried her by himself.

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    2. I don't understand why Catherine being pregnant would explain the Cambridges not releasing a Christmas card or photo.

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    3. With Kate glowing and carrying a toddler in those heels, and her illness history, I doubt she is pregnant!
      ~ A

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    4. Yes I wondered about Donna Air too...you never see her with any of the Middletons which seems strange when she and James have been dating so long. So sad about Zara's loss she seems the most down to earth of the "young" female royals to me and I had the pleasure of meeting her once..she was truly beautiful. Is it just me or did Kate seem a little self conscious about her hair? It seemed like she had straightened it herself in the absence of her royal hairdresser being around?!

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    5. I think she's DEFINITELY pregnant. And you can carry a toddler in heels while pregnant - I've done it!!! You're pregnant, not disabled ;). You can carry up to 50 pounds safely (or more, if you already do so regularly).

      I think we were going to get a Christmas pregnancy announcement, but then Zara sadly had a miscarriage. I think we'll get a Baby Cambridge #3 press release in a month or so instead now.

      The red and green dress she wore out with Wills and Harry was VERY loose on her, and side angle shots seemed to be concealing a bump.

      She won't be able to hide it much longer soon!

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    6. Maybe...but who knows:):) We could spin all this speculation anytime over the last 18 months. She looks the same to me, but always has during her last two pregnancies, she just does not show till pretty along:):) They have a boy and a girl that may be the end. I love big families so I hope they have at least three and maybe four or five:):)

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    7. IF she is indeed pregnant, she could be approximately eight months along when Pippa is married. Probably not what she would have chosen. To me, the telltale sign is whether they are scheduled to go on another major tour in the next year. But as we all know, not all pregnancies can be timed around other life events.
      Back to the coats...huddling in the minority who find the fur collar hideous.
      At least the rest of the coat is lovely. I think Charlotte wore the best coat of the day, with the Middleton ladies (who I do not typically find pleasing in their fashion choices) honorable mentions.

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  20. Happy to see Pippas fiancee joining the family for church. I had a suspicion his participation in the family Christmas might have something to do with the Plan to spend the day at the Middleton family home and it warms my heart to see Carol & Michael extend a warm welcome their newest (if slightly less famous) son-in-law. The Middletons seem to do such a nice job maintaining whatever sense of normalcy they can given that 2 heirs to the throne are part of the family!

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    1. Agree, harder to include him in with the Sandringham lot at this point.

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  21. This was a great way--very gentle--of introducing both George and Charlotte to what I deem as The Royal Christmas Catwalk, with far more people on the sidelines and, of course, far more cameras and much more noise.(What a way to spoil Xmas, eh?) I hope that George and Charlotte are given the same consideration as the Wessex children; that is, that won't be expected to partake of said Catwalk before their 8th birthdays. And never mind DUTY, instead put the best interests of the child FIRST.

    Another thought is that it looks as if Nanny Maria Teresa had Christmas off--no need for her to attend, after all, not with all of the Middletons gathered, ready, willing and able to lend a hand. Very nice to think that Nanny might be spending the Xmas holidays with her own family.

    I cannot think of a single negative thing to say about the Cambridge's decision to spend Christmas, 2016, in Bucklebury.

    Re fashion, I really liked the coat Kate wore with the addition of the faux fur collar--better than the original, noted that William was finally wearing a pair of pants which were a good length, not to mention that he seems to have acquired a new--to me, at least--navy topcoat. As ever, George was well turned out--loved his coat, but think that Charlottes navy coat was a bit of a downer.

    Merry Christmas all who write on, or read, this site !

    JC

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    1. I speculated a post or two ago that Maria would have Christmas off. If the Middletons raised 3 kids on their own, surely with the whole clan they could manage two toddlers. Especially with the kids attending the service I believe Maria was home with family. Win-win for everyone! (Including Sophie who, in the nicest way possible, was the star female in today's Sandringham walk!)
      ~ A

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    2. Merry Christmas, JC.

      These photos were better than I could have imagined.

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    3. JC couldn't agree more. I was thinking the same that spending Xmas with the Middletons allows Nanny Maria time off over the holidays. At Sandringham with the high level of formality and many events where children are not included W&K would need her around to help with the kids. I suspect they will continue to alternate Xmas with the Middletons going forward. So nice to hear only positive comments. All the negativity about things like not releasing a Xmas card when they only did it once (last year) AND we got many more live pics of the kids is wearing. With all the terrible things going on in the world I do hope people can find it in their hearts to give each other more room and kindness

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    4. Ciara, agree with your very lovely post:) ali

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  22. The first time I looked at this post I was on my way out the door to church myself. Now, upon further review, I've noticed a couple of interesting things. First, the rumor of Harry not being at Sandringham for Christmas was false. Second, HMTQ is not only wearing the same dress she wore in the new photo of her and Charles but that photo is very prominently placed in her Christmas message. In the biography of HM by Sally Bedell Smith it is pointed out that these things are definitely coordinated and set up for maximum effect. Since the death of Diana and the public's reaction to how the BRF handled it they started paying more attention to public opinion and they actually have enlisted a polling company to keep abreast of public opinion of the family. I would highly recommend reading this book as it's the closest you'll ever get to an "official" biography of HM. The author has actually met HM on social occasions, and HM gave permission to the author to interview palace insiders and also gave her permission to quote from personal papers at the Queen Mother's Castle Mey.

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    1. I don't think HMTQ is wearing the same dress as in the photo with Charles, but they are very similar! Both dresses are lovely.

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    2. During the Queen's Christmas message, she mentioned the anniversaries of the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince's Trust. The camera panned to the photos of Philip and recently released Charles and Queen photo. Those were the only 2 photos in the room where it was taped. So they were there on purpose because they were part of the speech.

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    3. The Charles and Queen photo is very much a message.

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    4. Thanks for the heads up, Robin--Sally Bedell Smith is actually the last--as yet known--IMP book on my reading list. And happily for me, one of my best friends is a librarian who goes to great lengths to find my requests--inter-library loans. Generally, if I really enjoy them, I then go on my own search to acquire them--one of my favourites is: The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown, very well written and chockfull of substantiated references--its basically my go-to Bible when it comes to the BRF.

      JC

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    5. I think you'll enjoy it, JC. It's very candid and gives great insight into how much work is done behind the scenes to prepare for visits in country and on tour - not to mention the preparation for the weekly meetings with the PM. Always knew she was lacking in the warmth-as-a-mother area. Disappointed in how she reacted to Diana's problems but, then again, only hearing Charles the Whiner's perspective. New respect for HM in her work ethic, schedule, and intelligence. My opinions of Philip and Charles remain firmly in the negative - not to mention the Rottweiler. HMTQ actually learned a lesson from Diana and had the courage to make major changes in her strictures after her death.

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    6. How is calling Camilla "the Rottweiler" remotely acceptable? If someone called Carole or Diana that I can't believe the comment would be published.

      Delete
    7. Robin, I do agree; the Queen *has* learned lessons from the past and I firmly believe that she supports William's desire to enjoy a more balanced life. Perhaps it's a combination of her own regrets and the lessons learned from the Charles and Diana years.

      Delete
    8. 1) Robin did not make up the name "Rottweiler" Diana did
      2)How is that different from "Work-shy Kate" or "Waity Katy" etc.
      "Airmiles Andrew"
      None of the epitaphs is particularly friendly or gracious and all were formed years ago,
      but since they still are used in media (well some forums) it would be difficult to
      exclude them on a blog without setting a censorship precedent.

      Delete
    9. Wow. I don't remember seeing names like "Workshy Kate" or "Waity Katey" used on this blog. Guess I haven't been reading it long enough. I do however remember some posts being deleted for being perceived as "unkind" to Carole. So there IS censorship Anon 1 (but its obviously appropriate for a blog owner to be able to do that...I'm not disagreeing with Jane's right.)

      Delete
    10. I completely disagree anon 1. "Rottweiler" is an unkind and nasty nickname. Nasty nicknames applied to anyone (BRF or not) are in bad taste. The fact that Diana used a nasty nickname for Camilla is no excuse to repeat it. And perhaps you call refraining from using nasty names for members of the BRF "censorship"
      but I see it more a matter of manners and civility. It seems completely at odds with the valuable work W&K do about bullying and mental health. To be clear I am not questioning Janes discretion to let the comment go live, just Robins choice to use it in the first place.

      Delete
    11. lizzie- my words were:" they are still used in media (well some forums)..."
      I did not say here,although I think the work-shy moniker has been mentioned.

      Delete
    12. I can understand thinking the use of " nasty " nicknames as matter of manners and civility. I wouldn't tie it at all with bullying and mental health. In fact civility is sometimes more a kind of hypocrisy than of kindness. Mental health is built on sincere relationships, not on a false civility that doesn't allow you to express your anger and revolt. I think calling Camilla the rottweiler was a way for Diana to preserve her mental health. And for the generation that was interested in her, there remains the fact that she was more than unkind, cruel,to Diana ( whatever the motives, circumstances, responsibility... The result is the same). And she never was "punished" for it, she flourished and is flourishing.So I think calling her the rottweiler is for Robin and others a way to express their frustration. Anyway, I don't know who coined the term, but it is well found: she definitely looks like one!

      Delete
    13. Wow. I'm shocked by these comments. Are we grown women? Name calling is nasty whether the person is despised or not. I think Camilla and her downfalls can be discussed without resorting to this sort of negativity. Posters here scream foul when one single criticism of Kate is published but this is ok?

      Delete
  23. Merry Christmas, Jane and all the other blog followers! I noticed that Kate and Charlotte walked behind William and George both going into the church as well as coming out. Is that protocol that they must walk behind the heirs or just the way it happened to work out? I'm thinking that this is not an official royal engagement so it may just have been a respectful nod on Kate's part. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is protocol. You'll notice that PP always walks a short distance behind HM. It's not usually quite as far as W&K were this morning but I suspect the pace of the toddlers, as well as the photo ops, dictated the distance.

      Delete
    2. I noticed that to Laura! There is a video of the arrival where can see Kate and Charlotte wait for William and George to walk around the car and take the lead. Of this is Royal protocol, i am surprised they used it in such á family setting.

      Delete
  24. Today was absolutely fantastic! Much more than I think any of us could have anticipated!!

    I am still saddened that they did not release a Christmas photos, I think it would still have been a smart move to. But it's very obvious to me that they were very strategic in how they choreographed their entrance/exit of the church. They wanted to give photographers the opportunity to see their family. So for that I give them credit.

    Such a stylish, well-coordinated family. I think Michael was beaming and so attentive to his entire family. He seems like the strong, silent type and looking at how his family is growing (William, grandkids, James the fiance) I think he could not be more pleased. The Middletons have had to compromise and sacrifice for the BRF, but it pays tenfold when the Cambridges make a decision like they did this holiday season.

    I love seeing the entire Middleton family grow, expand, and be happy!

    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ugh, someone came in and commented about how you can carry a toddler when pregnant. It was sent to spam and I was trying to approve it and accidentally deleted it. So sorry. I know I am the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not the worst at all. Just human like the rest of us.

      Delete
    2. Hee hee no worries, it was me, and when a post does not appear I tend to just let it slide and move on knowing all sorts of things can happen. ali

      Delete
  26. I think having her "beaming grandson and precocious little great-grandson" with her at Sandringham would put an even bigger smile on The Queen's face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Queen lives just down the road from Anmer Hall. Plenty of opportunities. Right now,with HM being that old and that ill, I doubt a rambunctious little boy is just what the doctor ordered. Without sufficient rest a "heavy cold" can turn into pneumonia, especially if there are other health considerations.

      Delete
    2. The Cambridges hightailed it out of Anmer Hall as soon as the Queen got to Sandringham. HM is only there part of the year during winter; she doesn't like there full time or nearly full time the way the Cambridges do.

      Delete
    3. HM is there until after February 6th. It is also well know that William meets with her often and has done do since a very young age.

      Delete
    4. anon 1, I too thought about the possibility of a "heavy cold" turning to pneumonia in someone HMs age. It can be a worry. I'm sure she also doesn't want to expose more people than necessary to her germs - especially little ones. A bit of a subdued Christmas this year with HM being sick and Zara's sad news.

      Delete
    5. The Middletons and adult Cambridges were in fairly subdued attire, perhaps respectful of the recent loss in the royal family. Certainly no bright reds or brilant royal blue we saw at the Sandringham church walk.

      anon 9:09- When the Cambridges are at KP, the Queen is usually at BP. I think a little research will prove they don't actually reside at Anmer mostly full time-90%?
      More likely,most of their time at Anmer coincides with HM 's stay at Sandringham.

      Delete
    6. Anon 1 George is enrolled in preschool in Norfolk several days a year so clearly the Cambridges spend (not insubstantial) time at Anmer when the Queen is not at Sandringham.

      Delete
    7. Maybe the women's attire was chosen because of Zara's miscarriage but I doubt it. Kate wore the same coat she wore to Christmas services there in 2012 and Carole wore a brown coat in 2012 vs a black cape now. Most likely the attire was chosen to fit in at this particular church. (With the cape chosen perhaps because Carole's arm appears to be in a sling?) While "partying" might appear in bad taste now for adult members of the BRF joyfully celebrating the religious meaning of Christmas (even with brighter clothes) surely isn't.

      Delete
    8. Only several days a year? Ha. Actually, we have no idea when or for how long George actually attended nor do we know how often the children remain behind with Nanny Teresa.I think this vagueness may be encouraged for security purposes. They seem to bring the kids along to KP, except during tours and away days. We do know some of the dates the Cambridges were both away from Anmer and staying in town at KP. It should be fairly easy to substantiate.
      I believe the nursery school was a year ago. There is no information to indicate George was re-enrolled last Fall, after summer break. Things have changed. At any rate, KP is reportedly their London address, while Anmer more weekend and holiday as their schedule has filled in.
      Lastly, if HM wanted to see George, you can bet she would make her wishes known. I
      doubt William is going to turn her down.
      Arrangements were supposed to change in 2017. KP will be their actual prime residence, as well as the official one. They will use Anmer as HM uses Windsor Castle, when in town.

      Delete
    9. Carole and the theory that her arm is injured because it was beneath the cape- my theory:
      Maybe just cold hands? I have seen a photo with her right arm under as well as one with her left one under the cape. Reversed image? She is seen shaking hands with the vicar after services with her right hand in one photo. Then I came on one, I think before the service,with her left arm under.
      I let my imagination wander into reasons an arm could be in a sling. Some include major surgery and I prefer my cold hands theory.
      Another theory-perhaps a quick change going on underneath the cape? As shy girls did in gym class at one time.
      Another theory-wouldn't it be fun to mess with everyone's tendency to leap to conclusions? Switch arms to see who catches on?
      Oh! the possibilities.

      Delete
    10. Several days a week not a year - that was a typo. Regardless when William was working flying helicopters they were spending more time in Norfolk than the Queen was at Sandringham. It's not a criticism of the Cambridges to acknowledge they spend a lot of time at Anmer. There are also photographs of Kate flying back to Anmer after London engagements.

      Delete
    11. Another cape hypothesis...if the nanny wasn't present but somehow outside the photos (which honestly IS possible), maybe Carole was carrying the bag of stuff under her cape that most moms need when taking young children somewhere...wipes, kleenex, a spare diaper for real emergencies, distractions to encourage quiet behavior in church, etc because not much could fit in Kate's clutch. And even Kate wasn't carrying her clutch in later photos so maybe that was under the cape too!

      Delete
    12. I agree with Lizzie's theory that Carole is holding a small bag of the essentials you need to survive a church service with the young children. I have two children the same ages and never go anywhere without a few key supplies ;).

      Delete
    13. I like your suggestion, lizzie.Very gramma Carole- like. :+) A little like Mary Poppins,too There was also no Rebecca in sight. I'd like to think the help had the day off.

      Delete
    14. Good pt about whether Rebecca was there anon 1. I had thought it was likely that a personal assistant really would not be needed during a private family Christmas (vs a nanny.) So while I thought it was possible the nanny COULD have been there (perhaps already in the church) I'd not given thought to Rebecca assuming she was off. Hope they both had several days off for the holiday!

      Delete
  27. Question: would you wear a floral scarf with a plaid coat? I am not insulting Pippa at all, and she does have a unique fashion-sense compared to Kate's. I don't think I would, which is why I was surprised to see Pippa do it. It may grow on me; it may be something I experiment with. What are your thoughts?
    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting question. I also raised a eyebrow at this scarf with this jacket. Mixing patterns is totally acceptable in the fashion but IMHO tricky to do well. I must admit, I rarely do it because I am not good at it. I think they say you should try and pick two patterns that do not compete with each (a small print with a larger print) and some how complement each other (for example in complimentary colours). Rules aside at the end you have to stand back, look at the bigger picture and say " do these two patterns work together??" In my view... it is hard to do.

      For me...Pippas combination of scarf and coat does not quite work. I can't quite put my finger on it. But just looks slightly off. Maybe the flowers in the scarf are too bright compared to the more muted colours of the coat??

      It is a good question and I will be interested to hear what other readers have to say.

      Delete
    2. Pattern mixing is a tricky thing. I was also a little surprised at the floral scarf with the plaid coat but as I've looked at it since, it seemed to work for her.

      Delete
    3. What looks off to me is not the pattern mix but the colors. The scarf appears to have a brown background with light blue flowers that are close to a light teal. The gloves look black.The boots look brown. Maybe all that could be mixed but the coat looks grayish blue and pure grey. I really don't think all those colors mix harmoniously.

      Delete
    4. The scarf itself is pretty, I think. Perhaps a gift? I've worn some pretty strange outfits that included a gift.

      Delete
    5. Lizzie think you are right about what does not work. I wonder if it was a Christmas present that she wanted to wear ASAP for the sake of the giver. I have often done that:):) without worrying about the actual fashion sense:)

      Delete
    6. Laura & Robin ~ I agree with you; it seemed to work for Pippa! I think that is her personal sense of style coming out. It's always been a bit off-beat, but she's consistently shown that it's what she likes. I can appreciate seeing art in fashion through someone else's eyes.

      Lizzie ~ yes, maybe it is more the colours and less the patterns. In close-ups I could see the gloves are indeed black, and the tights/boots are brown. And, yes, perhaps if the floral blue was more of a blue found in her jacket it would stand out less.

      ~ A

      Delete
    7. I also wonder what the colors looked like in person rather than on camera/monitor. Kate has more experience than Pippa does figuring out how colors look to the eye vs when photographed and even she has her color mid-matches from time to time.

      Delete
    8. I am not anonymous 12:41. Somewhere in cyberspace there is a clone for me. Ha!

      Delete
    9. What did work on Christmas Day was Sophie Wessex's outfit. She looked lovely! Great dress, great hat! I noticed Kate did not have to wear a hat to attend church at home. I kind of missed that.

      Delete
  28. They all look wonderful, relaxed, and happy. Love this color on Kate. Her hair is perfect and I like that she seems to be using more color on her lips.
    Wish there were more photos of Carole. She looks like she has styled her hair differently and she looks lovely as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wishing there were more photos of Carole too. I love her style!

      Delete
    2. I have long-wished for a Carole Middleton blog - her style is usually great! Sometimes she and Pippa go a little garish for me, especially Pippa, her proportion is often totally off, but mostly Carole is a style inspiration for us 50 somethings! As for Pippa's scarf/coat combo - for once I think her proportion is pretty good for her height, etc, but I don't care for the pattern mixing and the scarf seems too light for the season/occasion. Almost a summery scarf with a winter coat. Not terrible, but not great. And does it ever bug anyone else how James is such a dandy, and always looking at the camera? Such an attention hound. But I do love his and Harry's beards. I think Pippa's fiance would rock a beard too!

      Delete
    3. A Carole blog is such a great idea Anon 9:19!

      Delete
    4. At least James isn't cloying and grinning and nearly flirting with the photographers.( remind you of anyone ?)
      He has a steady gaze, almost as though he is taking their measure and letting them know he is watching Them.

      Delete
    5. No anon 1 I have no idea who you are talking about

      Delete
    6. True, his gaze is steady - and who is the cloying, grinning person btw - I honestly don't know who you mean - but it still comes off as a bit 'I know you're looking at me, go ahead, take a long look." A bit vain. :) And Jane - is there anyone out there who could do a Carole Middleton blog that you know of? I know you don't have the time, but maybe someone you know who knows a lot about the family history, etc? Just wishful thinking. :) Cheers and HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!

      Delete
    7. We should collectively come up with a way to distinguish the two "James" who will be mentioned a lot going forward ~ anyone have ideas? J-Midd vs J-Matt. Any chance Pippa & James will become "Jippa" in the press?

      Delete
    8. Anon 7:20, unfortunately for fans, Carole isn't out enough to justify a blog dedicated to her. It would hardly be viable to try and keep such a space open. I love the Middletons and try to write about them whenever there is a sighting, but after thinking about opening a Middleton blog, I determined to just give them a page on this blog, because they just aren't "active" enough to sustain a blog.

      Delete
    9. Jippa....LOL :-)

      Delete
    10. I thought the same thing, Jane. I would love if we saw Carole out and about more but she just isn't there enough to dedicate a blog. I love that when she is out you cover it for us. On the other hand, I'm happy that their privacy has somewhat returned to them. They are, after all, just ordinary citizens who have a daughter married into an extraordinary family.

      Delete
    11. James One and James Two? My brother married someone with the same name as our sister.
      I use the middle initial with the wife. eg-Susie and Susie Q. :
      Maybe one is Jim or Jimmy. I kinda doubt that, though.

      Delete
    12. anon 7:20. Just think about it, recalling photos in cars, groups, church- one time actually turning around and going back toward the photogs for another grin and a wave. I bet royalfan can guess. If not, I will completely retract
      the remark. ha!

      Delete
    13. Yes, Anon 1, royalfan has a very good idea. And the evidence is out there if you ever follow a royal event on Getty's site. Can you imagine the Queen doing this? Ha! ;)

      Delete
    14. Care to share your inside joke with the rest of us? Who on earth are you talking about?!

      Delete
    15. I must be totally dense, I still can't guess who you mean! Please tell! :)

      Delete
    16. Jane, thank you, it's too bad about Carole not being out enough for a blog, but good on her for maintaining her privacy. That is inspirational in its own right. :)

      Delete
    17. royalfan 9:32- saved from retraction. The Queen? I imagine her thinking, "I'm smiling this once; if they miss it, it's their problem."
      James? When the Duke of E dandies up and looks at the camera, it's called handsome and distinguished. Prince Michael-same. But a Middleton? A dandy and playing to the camera.
      It's all perspective, but it amazes me,royalfan, how many people see their opinions in such subjective matters as a proven fact and refuse to consider other viewpoints, no matter the evidence.

      Delete
    18. I think its an issue of age differences..not because James is a Middleton. Behavior from a late 20s male no matter who he is will be viewed through a different lens than behavior from someone much older. Often youth has an advantage from that difference but maybe not here.

      Delete
    19. They are talking about Camilla, everybody.

      Delete
    20. So lizzie-if it's a young man, he's "vain" but once he's 50 or so he's not vain?
      That's the word that was used. Prince Michael and the Duke, being older, are not vain? Even just a little bit? Ha!
      And I think a 30 something man can look both handsome and distinguished. Those are the words I used. Think of George Clooney at 35. :+)

      Delete
    21. How incredibly unkind

      Delete
    22. Yes anon 1 that's what I meant (you compared PP and James Middleton, not me :) ..and I do think there is a tendency to see that behavior in younger men as vanity including Clooney!

      Delete
    23. When I first brought up James and his dandyness, lol, I wasn't speaking of whether he was a Middleton, or how old he was, but merely that he has a slightly cocky attitude, IMO. his little moustache, his printed jeans, his velvet loafers, and the fact he's always looking at the camera, makes him seem vain. Not that others don't either...many if not all of the royal men - with the exception of Wills and Harry - are awkward in front of the camera.

      Delete
    24. Yes. Unkind. I would think one would have to know someone personally in order to determine vanity. I've encountered shy persons who were labeled "stuck-up" by people who had no personal interaction with someone who was simply uneasy in public.
      Diana, on the other hand, knew the person she (reportedly) labeled .

      I am so glad I have this blog where, most of the time (excluding some random commenters ) I can enjoy a good discussion without having to wade through constant
      Middleton-bashing. At any rate, that is officially not an approved form of entertainment on this site. I do imagine Jane has to filter through some of it.

      It almost seemed as though some repetitive critics had finally realised their remarks were hackneyed so they latched on to the Middletons as scape-goats.

      I don't intend to respond to any anonymous one-liner hit and run comments to me any time soon, so don't waste your time baiting me.

      Delete
    25. I'm not a fan of Camilla's at all but it might be nice if we don't refer to her as a breed of dog. Diana had a huge ax to grind with the woman and had the license to call her whatever she wished. Decades later on a fan blog from people who had nothing to do with the situation it sounds tasteless
      and juvenile.

      Delete
    26. I must have missed a comment about Camilla. I am jumping in to agree with those requesting we keep this respectful. I will be more careful approving comments, and I ask that we close the discussion on Camilla on this post.

      Delete
  29. Carole looks hot! ;) Love her hairstyle & the cape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yuck, have to say, but to say Carole looks "Hot" rubs me the wrong way. She is very attractive, but to me to say any female, at any age, looks hot is rude. ali

      Delete
    2. Possibly the word has different connotations for some. My interpretation of that comment in that context is she looked youthful and attractive. The confusion in meaning points up the
      ways facial expression and tone of voice, body language can augment a meaning, as well as general context.
      I wouldn't want to tell HM she looked "hot," but I wonder if both she and Carole would have a smile over it.

      Delete
    3. Yes anon 1, that's what I meant when I used the word 'hot' - that she looked young & attractive for her age! Don't know if I'd use that word for HM though...might be a bit disrespectful, but I'm sure her & Carole would have a giggle to themselves.

      Delete
  30. You're so right - this looked very much thought out and even choreographed! I wonder who did the choreography? Clearly Kate waited for William to go first into the church with George and then the rest of the family stayed a fair distance behind. I can't imagine how they would have discussed that together and came up with the plan - over breakfast for example?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine the conversation around the breakfast table went something like "They're all ticked off that we didn't release a Christmas photo." "Why don't you walk several paces ahead of the rest of us and give them their photos. Then we can have a peaceful Christmas after."

      Delete
    2. Sorry suspect it was simply who goes first, the distances between are just how long it took to get out of the car and start moving. No big conversation or planning needed.

      Delete
    3. I was speaking (typing) tongue in cheek. But, they are different from our family. We wait until everyone has piled out of the car and then walk in a clump together so I do imagine that there was a thought of letting the press get their pictures.

      Delete
    4. I agree that the Cambridge family seemed to be arranged for convenience of the photographers. Perhaps a sign of times to come in press relations.
      There were multiple cars that pulled in one by one, explaining why some would be exiting the car before the ones to follow.
      Really not a mystery or contrivance. I agree with Robin-there is a simple explanation.

      Delete
    5. Perhaps attempting to avoid the photo op debacle from the tripping when George made his balcony debut?

      Delete
  31. Judith, maybe everybody's PAs got together and then emailed instructions, including color coordination for photos (as in the official christening photos)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Until now, I thought this coat was burgundy or perhaps a reddish-brown shade. I didn't realize that it was just brown, without any red in it. Whatever color it is, the coat really suits Kate. She looked lovely. I especially like her hairstyle. I wish she would wear it straight more often. And this is the first time that I am seeing any resemblance between Charlotte and Kate. It looks like Charlotte may grow up to have her mother's luxurious head of hair!

    Thank you, Jane, for all the love and hard work you put into this blog. I've enjoyed each and every post.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This one? :)

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/06/16/article-2658933-1ED1E7B100000578-37_964x927.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have always loved this coat on Kate- every time she wears it she looks great in it! I think she looks her most beautiful and most confident with the kids beside her. What a treat to see them this Christmas. Hope we all have a more peaceful and happy 2017! I hope Zara and HM will feel better with the love of family around them this week.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Charlotte's hair has grown a lot since we last saw her--is it my imagination or is it becoming more golden?
    The Middletons are such a close family and Mr. Middleton walking at the back, shepherding them all into church.
    I note that Peter and Autumn Phillips took their two little ones to church. The younger generation seem to be ready to do thing differently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed both of those things too, Jean. The little ones at Sandringham and the lighter color of Charlotte's hair. I love the closeness of the Middletons.

      Delete
    2. Correct, Jean, but I believe the more "distant" members of the firm have been including their children in the Christmas Day walk to church for a while now. I just cannot see W&K doing it at this stage due to the massive attention factor involved. For example, one of the Phillips children can act up and it will be laughed off within 24 hours. On the other hand, if George or Charlotte have a fussy day, folks may be tempted to call Child Protective Services and/or send W&K to counseling. :)

      Delete
  36. Jean, I had the very same thoughts. Her hair is definitely growing and starting to look a lot like George's colour.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Here's what I don't understand - where are the rest of the parishioners? Going in the church or coming out? Are they lined up in advance and the royals come in before the service? Like the children's gathering in Canada it all seems very scripted. I did not notice the people in attendance at the party in Canada stopping to talk and mingle with Will and Kate and their kids. As one would talk and mingle with other party attendees. It seemed that the party was one giant photo-op and this has the same sort of feel for me. The church photo in - I think - 2012 when Kate was sick had pictures of the Middletons and WK coming out of the church with the other church goers.
    Please tell me if I am mistaken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know when HM attends church they go in last after everyone else is seated and then they leave first. Maybe this is what happened here too. I would imagine that having them walking out (especially with little ones) mingled in with the crowd would give their protection officers nightmares.

      Delete
    2. I believe it was a combination of security and respect. It would make sense for everyone to be seated before W&K arrived. It's also quite possible that the photographers were asked to respect the privacy of the other parishioners and limit photos and videos to W&K (and their family).

      Delete
  38. They would be the last to arrive and the first to leave. As at Sandringham, you never see the parishioners. At the party there is plenty of video footage around where William and Kate are talking to other people. Also remember we only saw an hour of that engagement where reporters were present, so of course it is presented for global consumption.

    ReplyDelete
  39. You do not see any other churchgoers arriving with the Royals at Sandringham either. They may ask the other churchgoers to arrive 15 minutes early for security reasons. Not sure about when they depart from the services if the other churchgoers have already left or leave a few minutes after. ali

    ReplyDelete
  40. William and Catherine and the rest of the Middletons parked to the side of the church and went in on a side path. The main way in is through the lych gate---but I suspect the other parishioners entered earlier.
    Certainly at Sandringham, the regular parishioners have passes to get into the Church at Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I keep looking at those pictures. Despite George's rubber-faced antics, I think Princess Charlotte stole the show.
    I wonder if she's whistling in that photo with her little mouth pursed? My grandaughter had an expression like that at that age.
    Some of the stories report she tried to stick her candy cane in the ground. When she is coming down the stairs it almost looks like she is trying to use it like an actual cane. Her grandpa Charles uses his umbrella as a cane at times. Perhaps she thought of that.
    The very prctical George simply used the candy cane for its usual purpose

    A static card photo would not give us the peek into their characters that these photos and videos have. And,although Peter and Autumn's girls are young, they are at least several years older than the Cambridge children- I doubt we would have seen them in a Sandringham walk.

    There were criticisms of their taking communion. My understanding is that they just accompanied Kate to the rail, rather than being left in the pew. Actually, it would just
    have been George, as Charlotte and others were in a separate area doing crafts. The canes were meant as part of an object lesson-one I doubt interested the kiddos much. Ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you hear those criticisms anon 1?

      Delete
    2. I've not read criticism so Id like to know too anon 1. The Telegraph reported both children took communion and the craft session occurred later but there was no criticism printed. Certainly it is extremely rare (probably pretty much unheard of in my experience) for children that young to be given communion as they are incapable of understanding its meaning. A snack eaten in church its not!
      So if it happened it seems quite odd. (Parents take turns going up in many churches so one can stay with the children...seems there were enough adults in the family there to do that)

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/25/prince-george-princess-charlotte-attend-first-ever-christmas/

      Delete
    3. Good question, lizzie. Not in the Daily Mail. It was in a comment section. I've only read The Telegraph, which is a little vague on some detail:-the younger children left mid-service for crafts, but was that before or after communion? If after,why were they kept in the service, if not to take part in communion? They sang two hymns and then communion?
      Usually that's a very adult, sacred time. Apparently Charlotte went to a "nearby crèche," but what was the timing on that;Charlotte left, George stayed. Maybe I need to re-read the story, but the information seemed a little sketchy. One would think,with an inside source,
      the article could have been more co-hesive.I bet he isn't invited to Pippa's wedding. :+)
      So, I have questions, too.

      I also read Hello Magazine and one other blog comment section, so the criticism was likely in one of those. My tablet won't take a full charge and keeps quitting on me,
      so running it down will take awhile.

      Delete
    4. So the "critisicsm" comes from tabloids and random blog comments... I no longer believe you when you get upset about tabloids or sketchy news sources anon 1 since you continue to repeat them here.

      Delete
    5. The Telegraph and Hello are tabloids?

      Delete
    6. In my (Catholic) church we have "children's church", with Bible story, songs, and a simple craft, during one of the Sunday masses, but not on Christmas Day. The ages are 3-7. The kids exit about 10 minutes in and return after communion. I think Charlotte would be too young to attend at a "craft time" unattended by a parent. The candy canes could have just been in a basket for kids to take as they exited church, a cute idea.

      Delete
    7. The Telegraph story said the canes were used by the vicar to illustrate a story.

      Delete
    8. Although there are questions about the true origins of candy canes they are frequently used to represent Jesus..the "J", the shape also a shepherd's crook, the white for purity..so this vicar's use would not have been unusual.

      Delete
  42. Young children and babies or anyone not confirmed can go up and receive a blessing from the Priest, just not take the bread and wine. Maybe it is different in the U.K.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like that probably is what was going on, anon 6:07.The communion story is more controversial and could serve to off-set the beautiful images the Cambridges gave us.
      This good-news/bad news format seems fairly common.

      Delete
    2. Jean from Lancs is correct. The children would not have received communion but they would have been given a blessing. The account I read stated that it was curious that the children were taken to a
      communion service when they were not
      old enough to participate. That is
      ridiculous though as families have
      always attended communion services
      with all their children for generations. I simply assumed that the reporter was religiously illiterate.

      Delete
    3. That must have been the account I read, anon 11:36.

      Delete
    4. Finally ran down the communion critical comment, at least one. It was in the comment section of a popular Kate blog. The commenter was a known republican-leaning, Independent-quoting pseudo-monarchist who expounds volumes of tacky remarks about the Cambridges and I should have just ignored it, considering the source. I have since stopped reading those remarks.

      I will be more careful in my reference citing going forward.

      Delete
  43. This is Anon 6:07 PM, I forgot to sign, Ali. I was referencing the Episcopal Church in the US which is part of the Anglican Communion. The Church of England is the "mother" Church of the Anglican Communion of Churches.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I will be in minority, but for my that fake fur did absolutely nothing. It made the whole outfit look cheap. I am all for not killing animals to get their fur, it is so unbelievably cruel. But there are different levels of quality for the fake ones. This one is and looks cheap. I would much have preferred the coat without the cheap fur. Also, brown and red is not a winning combination.

    Nonetheless, they are a lovely family and a good looking one. Can't quite understand the rationale for respecting the stiff rules of not dressing boys in long pants till they are 10, in particular when Diana and Charles did not apply it for either William or Harry. Whatever floats their boat...

    Back to the Middletons, both Pippa and Carole looked washed out to me. Perhaps on purpose, but clearly nothing remarkable about their outfits. Rather disappointing.

    Sophie 's dress looked festive (but no coat?? when even the gents were wearing overcoats?). But that headpiece, what was she thinking? Looks like she borrowed it from Beatrice or Eugenie.

    Autumn Phillips looked most appropriate. And it was nice to see their kids there for the first time. I think Peter is doing a lot of great work and gets no recognition. And Autumn has been quietly supporting him. Very realiable and dignified family.

    We all hope her majesty will recover immediately. I think she is an absolutely amazing person, second to none.

    Happy new year everyone!

    Royal fan in Northern Ontario

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charles and Diana did dress the boys in shorts when they were very young for holidays and special occasions. It is not a rule but a traditional style choice which Kate obviously prefers.

      Delete
    2. RFNO, there are some very famous photos of a Charles photo-op, showing William and Harry
      going to school. Both are in short pants. Also, Diana with the boys in short pants. I believe it an upper-class tradition, as has been pointed out here previously. It has nothing to do with boat floating. :+)
      Re: the ladies' attire. As I suggested above, all three women were modestly attired.
      "Nothing remarkable" may have been the point. Kate was in a multi-re-worn coat.
      Clearly, the stars of this particular parade were meant to be the little prince and princess.
      Also, if it had been reversed and Catherine had worn red with Carole in a bright royal blue, with Pippa in a brilliantly- colored red hat,while the Sandringham ladies had dressed quietly and modestly, I hate to contemplate the cries of "Insensitive! Tasteless!"

      Delete
    3. Anon 1, what an excellent point about the hue and cry if the fashion choices had been reversed.

      Delete
    4. So true, anon 1. If the Middletons and Kate had chosen bright and festive clothing they would have been accused of trying to steal focus from the Sandringham family members. Nobody knew HM would not attend until that morning so it proves to be a very wise and sensitive decision.

      I would love to see Sophie's hat from Christmas morning from a different view. The lace design went perfectly with her dress and she looked lovely. For all we know the dress was made of wool and she wouldn't need a coat. Especially since she is "of an age" where one gets very warm, very often. A few years older than Sophie, I haven't worn a coat for about thee years now unless it's bitter cold. Trust me, walking from a heated room to the cool air outside is a great relief!

      Delete
    5. Images of Diana and Charles with William and Harry as young boys:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/photos-princess-diana-never-seen_us_5771997ce4b0dbb1bbbbafed

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161628/Not-day-goes-I-dont-think-Mummy-Prince-William-describes-grief.html

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161628/Not-day-goes-I-dont-think-Mummy-Prince-William-describes-grief.html

      It is how upper class little boys in Britain are dressed. Diana and Charles certainly dressed the boys the same way George is dressed. Sadly, we never got to see how Diana dressed a little girl but, since Kate's style is very classic little girl (and how I actually dressed my daughter) I would imagine it would have been pretty much the same.

      Delete
    6. Yes, a very traditional choice ... William and Harry as little boys...

      http://67.media.tumblr.com/ebe309d663f11c73aef398473d1c1a5b/tumblr_nroxu54WwF1uy7fejo1_1280.jpg

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/55/79/40/5579408e8a4ce7f05ff5e1b18bbf2ab6.jpg

      https://www.google.com/search?q=william+and+harry+little+boys&biw=1600&bih=737&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZt5Xyu5jRAhWL24MKHbwbDSQQsAQIGQ#tbm=isch&q=william+and+harry+little+boys+shorts&imgrc=iwGs9kXYP6VciM%3A

      http://i.amz.mshcdn.com/o9enaosUSMSjz-X4dQLztO68lA8=/fit-in/1200x9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F235536%2FGettyImages-52103752.jpg

      Delete
    7. Robin, I laughed when I saw that you included the pictures of W&H. Great minds, eh? :-)

      I think that the Middleton's go out of their way to stay below the radar and the Christmas day outfits are proof of it.

      Regarding Sophie's dress...she road in the car with Prince Philip so going without a coat wasn't difficult. And the fabric of the dessert appears to be heavy and, likely, warm.

      Delete
    8. Royalfan, we do think alike! And it proves how often the boys were dressed this way that we didn't duplicate one photo! :-D

      Delete
  45. The children would be taken with to the altar with Mum or Dad, but would receive a blessing not Communion.
    Prince George must have taken his coat off in Church as it was fastened on the opposite side when he came out.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Has there been any word on HMTQ? I hope she has recovered and enjoying her time at Sandringham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she is still at Sandringham, but up and about and feeling better and better. That isn't a huge update from Christmas Day, but it is more recent than Christmas Day. Royal reporters are hoping she attends New Year's Day services at St. Mary Magdalene.

      Delete
    2. Wishing her a speedy recovery. So scary at her age to have anything that could move into her respiratory system.

      Delete
  47. For lack of anything else to discuss . . . what dress would any of you like to see Kate repeat this year? My vote is for the JESIRÉ SHAWL DRESS! Maybe with some red accessories this time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good one. And red accessories would be good. Frankly, I'd like to see anything above the knee and age appropriate.

      Delete
    2. Robin, it is a bit of an" embarrassment of riches" situation for me. There are so many.
      I guess we could limit by season, event,indoor/outdoor, pregnant or not, etc. Still..the choices are mind-boggling. The shawl dress Is nice and red would be great. She has some fabulous red shoes and hats.
      Perhaps Kate in the palace with a teacup. Ha! Anyone one play the game "Clue?"

      Delete

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