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Kate Recycles Eponine For Out of the Blue Screening

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived this morning at the Royal College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians looking radiant in a recycle. Today was an event that could be broadly characterized under Heads Together, the umbrella organization created by William, Harry, and Kate to promote discussions about mental health, but more particularly, Kate was appearing for partner charity Best Beginnings. 


In what will be a bitter-sweet point for long-time Kate followers, Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew rather than Rebecca Deacon. You can see her above exiting the car, and here below standing in the background.  No word has been given about Rebecca's successor, but this might be a hint of announcements to come.




Today, Kate was celebrating the launch of Out of the Blue, a series of educational films produced by Best Beginnings that revolve around maternity and the mental health issues that can arise from pregnancy and early child-rearing. Not only are the films meant to aid mothers, but also to support the "support team." The films are meant to educate dads and even kids about the invisible, but very real challenges, some women face during the sometimes taxing journey of motherhood.


Kate gave a brief address to the gathered health professionals and activists who had come for the launch. Her remarks have garnered quite a few headlines.  Not to be a tease, truly, but I have a few thoughts about Kate's comments today, and there are enough of them that I am saving them for a second post. Don't get mad at me, it is taking real discipline here to refrain.


I say I was particularly struck by Kate's increasing confidence as a public speaker. It is very easy to be an audience member and I think we forget how nerve-racking it is to get up in front of a crowd and talk! Certainly there are people who are old pros, but the majority, and at this early stage in her career as a royal Kate qualifies as a member of the majority, it just isn't that easy! Maybe because I am called upon at times to be a public speaker, I really scrutinize the details. Today, Kate had a podium that wasn't tall enough for her.  Rather than being able to rest her speech and her hands on a steadying surface, she had to hold it up just below the level of the microphone. Yet, she was focused and poised and passionate in her presentation. It is one small thing, but I am really impressed by how Kate has grown as a public speaker since we saw her first remarks at EACH five years ago.


Kate did watch one of the films before leaving the auditorium with that glow that comes after a successful public performance. She was then off to visit with mothers and fathers who have benefited from Best Beginnings work. 

Richard Palmer 

I love this video by Rebecca English of Kate joining a group of parents. She sits and settles in and her face says, "HEY guys!" and then it seems she remembers the cameras and her expressions changes to, "oops, I'm a princess, better sit up straight." So, she settles back and straightens her posture. We've all been there, maybe without the scrutiny of the cameras, but that self-correction moment...It is endearing.


And one more video from Rebecca showing Kate chatting. I like this one because it is fun to see Kate interacting, but also because her knees are so beautiful! Yes, Kate, I am talking about your knees. I know, the price of fame. 


I wonder if Kate's Yoga/Pilates trainer has come up with a new pose to make sure Kate keeps fit to drop low for the kids despite her heels. Based on today's ensemble I'd name this pose: crouching flamingo. I'm going to ask my Pilates instructor about it. 


Let's chat fashion. Kate recycled separates from Eponine London today. The Duchess first wore this ensemble in March of 2016 on a visit to XLP London with William. On the whole, my recollection is that the suit got pretty positive reviews from fans. I loved it on that occasion, particularly the detailing along the hips. Kate wore a second piece from Eponine in January of this year (I can't believe it is already MARCH!) on her first day of engagements for 2017. She kicked the day off solo on an Anna Freud event and then joined William for a visit to one of Child Bereavement UK's centers. 


Eponine London is a British label created by Jet Shenkman, a mother of four who designs form her home in Kensington and has built a boutique business that prides itself on detail, quality, and beauty. I was really taken by the image of her company when Kate debuted the first Eponine and shortly after I got a really sweet email from Jet that charmed me even more. It seems to me that the label doesn't just design clothes that fit Kate well, but that the entire company fits into her lifestyle profile: gracious and thoughtful toward the individual.


Kate wore her beautiful morganite drops from Kiki McDonough today, just as she did on this suit's first wear, but she switched up her accessories from the first wear, swapping the black accents for neutrals. Today, she wore her Praline pumps and carried the Nina clutch from L.K. Bennett.  


I have a feeling these neutrals are going to put Kate afoul of some people, but perhaps with my often skewed view of accessories (I am thinking of my pass for the burgundy/red combo ;)) I don't mind this. Maybe because it seems to me that the Praline color picks up some of the pinkish red of the gingham and blends, or because I think that neutral really goes with just about anything. I'm not sure, but I am fan. I definitely am glad to see this ensemble paired with a hue lighter than black, that is for sure!



The verdict is a win, obviously. :) Often with a recycle I wish Kate would wear her hair up, but today I was happy to see it down still. Those curls were perfect and worked well with the boat neck. It was fun to see this suit get a little more activity, too. The brand new, super pressed look has worn off a little, which gave us a better sense of the box pleats and the movement. Big win all around!



There has been much talk about the security concerns surrounding this engagement. The truth is that the security concerns were almost exactly equal to the normal threat of any engagement that Kate undertakes these days. Now, that's a significant security concern, Britain has been at "severe" level for some years, but Kate didn't take a heightened risk beyond that by appearing today. The Queen's engagement was cancelled primarily because of the location--Scotland Yard! You can imagine how busy the police are and it certainly isn't a day to take a break and give tours of the facility and hand out posies, not matter how illustrious the visitor. The Queen was wise to cancel, but I think her appearance has been spun just a little as a risky choice, which just wasn't the case. That being said, because the Queen did have to cancel, Kate was in some respects the face of the BRF, conveying the royals' prayers and good wishes personally, which was a bit of a unique moment for her. I am sure you will agree she represented her family well.   

The Possibility Project London

Certainly, my condolences to all of my UK readers and most especially the people of London whose world has been turned topsy-turvy by this unconscionable attack. The civilized world joins you in distress at these continued assaults on innocent men, women, and children.  One of my friends college, a wonderful man from Scotland, posted a picture of the terrorist on a stretcher and noted that we still extended treatment to this vicious man despite his depravity. I thought it was a good point. I pray that fidelity to our values will lead all our nations through this dark day and those to be revealed, back to a world of greater stability, peace, and safety for all. 













129 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read your thoughts on Catherine's speech, Jane.

    I think Catherine has improved as a public speaker, but she is still very unsure of herself when speaking. Her voice is still very frail. I know how hard it is to give a speech, but Catherine really could use a proper speech coach in order to get better. She has improved since 6 years ago, but it's been 6 years already, she should be miles ahead of where she is currently.

    I dislike this top/skirt combo, but I actually prefer it with the nude accessories rather than the black.

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    1. I really like the royal blue Eponine better. Perhaps a little much for a cause called, "Out of the Blue." ---;+)

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    2. Anon1, that is a very astute comment and I agree. It would be maybe one step too far.

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    3. HaHa! The woman who was hosting wore blue.

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    4. Right, I'm looking for the "What the woman who is hosting wore" blog.

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  2. Really glad to see Kate highlight this worthy charity kick-off and demonstrate that she's practiced speech-making. A speech added to an event puts the media focus back on the charity rather than centered on just what Kate wore. S

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  3. I agree Kate's public speaking has improved over the years. I do think it would improve even faster if she gave more speeches, even very short ones, at her solo appearances.  She seems pretty anxious about public speaking after 6 yrs as a royal and if so, it's natural she might avoid doing it whenever possible. But anxiety tends to build up between exposures to an anxiety-provoking situation,  so the longer the time period between speeches, the more anxiety she is likely to feel. Sort of a "one step forward two back" situation that tends to be self-defeating. So far as the podium height being too low, why didn't her team take care of that in advance? I've occasionally been involved in setting up VIP visits at work (and non-VIP visits that are likely to garner public attention) and that issue is usually considered. (As well as others to make everything LOOK seamless even though it rarely is.) Is Kate's team just too inexperienced? (I'm not talking about Sophie. Presumably this visit was set up long ago.)

    I liked this suit quite a bit when she wore it before but thought there were just too many dark buttons on the front. I still think that. But I liked black accessories with it better anyway. Nude is ok (as much as I am totally over all her nude shoes), but suede? With gingham? I get that people wear suede year round now (ick) but I'd have liked nude smooth leather better here than suede. (And black patent even more. But today was not a day to wear new stuff) 

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  4. Eager to hear your thoughts on her speech, Jane! I was impressed with her delivery but what I found particularly effective about her speech was the fact that she spoke of her personal experience with motherhood and how that affected her mental health. As someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression my whole life, I was cheered and impressed that the royals decided to use their powerful platform to shed some light and break the stigma of this important issue. But I was disappointed and disheartened as time went by that their speeches on the topic remained the same bland rhetoric (that talking about your problems makes you feel better etc.) that amounts to a bandaid on a bullet hole. Telling other people that it's ok to talk about what they are struggling with is one thing but it hardly solves the problem; the stigma remains. However, the royals using their platform to SHOW people that it's okay to acknowledge inner struggles by sharing their own personal struggles is Powerful and game-changing!

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    1. Besides talking about their Mom's death, I agree their mental health comments sound canned, bland, and lacking any depth. I was also offended at the one event awhile back when Harry literally complained that rich people still suffer from mental illness, depression too. He went on and on about it. Really?? Well, of course they do. But Harry failed to see the distinction, which is money puts those suffering in such a better situation to utilize all the medicines, therapies, etc. that most don't have.

      Harry always seems like such a normal guy and his total lack of understanding about what money brings to mental health problems was breathtaking.

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    2. I think your remarks may be somewhat unfair to Harry. Since he isn't here to defend himself, I will try to explain the situation as I see it.-------Part of the Heads Together initiative is promoting availability of resources to those who don't have income.
      Lack of money is not the strongest inhibitor to seeking help-the stigma attached probably prevents as many wealthy as lower income individuals from seeking help. His mother and a few other royal family members being a case in point. Think about it-which story is more likely to run in the news-the problems of someone in the news or my cousin Vinnie? I think that interview was done during a trip Harry made to Australia. The remarks were made in a context of recent news stories. I believe it was shortly before W&H began to really open up publically about their feelings about their mother's death and possibly before they developed Heads Together, but after his Wounded Warriors work..The key has always been motivating people to seek and obtain help. If one is serious about getting help, it is out there, posh or not. The tragic aspect is that the nature of some mental illnesses causes the person to withdraw and lose trust. It is up to family, friends, doctors, nurses, teachers-those in contact- to recognise the signs and gently or not, sometimes, urge professional help.

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    3. There's not necessarily help there to solve every mental health problem. It's getting a bit tiresome hearing the 'Hey, talk about your problems; it will help!' message from Kate.

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    4. It is getting a bit tiresome for me explaining that the talking with friends is a step on the road to seeking professional help, if needed ,and that a primary goal is removing the stigma. When people only talk about something in whispers or not at all, nobody learns. I remember when no one spoke openly about cancer. In obituaries, it spoke of someone passing after a "long illness." It was only since child abuse was brought out and became a topic of discussion that victims were identified and offenders punished or, hopefully, received help themselves. Talk may seem tiresome but it is a first step of progress. Kate and the other volunteers have helped to start the conversation and many people are talking and getting help, perhaps, because of it.

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    5. You are wrong, Anon1. Money, especially Harry's level of money, changes all medical treatment.

      "If one is serious about getting help, it is out there, posh or not." - anon 1

      You simply have no idea. And especially mental illness. The stresses that come with poverty, no job, no insurance, it's a horrible spiral that effects the mentally ill even more. Stress can make their illness 1000% worse. I have a friend who is helping a family member deal with mental illness. Their treatment facility is $60,000 a month, 2 month minimum. And even most "good" insurances pay little if any for a treatment like this.

      Many people at Harry's level of wealth are so insulated by money, they can't even comprehend all the benefits, large and small, that it has brought to their life. It's not even in their realm of thinking. This is what his comments reflected.

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    6. I think these messages are anything but tiresome for people who have felt, and may continue to feel, that they shouldn't or can't talk about their problems.

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    7. Money talks, yes, but I think both W&H would trade every bit of it to have their mother with them for the last 20 years. So perhaps they should get some credit for understanding and speaking from personal experience.

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    8. Stigma is a huge barrier to some people getting help and the efforts of Will, Kate and Harry to reduce stigma are significant and positive. Talking to someone like a friend or teacher can be an important first step in obtaining professional help. But merely taking that first step or having a desire to seek professional help absolutely does not mean that help is readily available or remotely affordable - anon 1 is dead wrong on that point. Money does allow certain people to access professional help for mental health that will simply never be available for others without economic privilege. However it is equally true that being wealthy does not and can never insulate someone from the pain of life that can cause someone to need support and occasional help. Harry and Williams pain at losing their mother is no less real because they are princes. But as princes they will always have access to whatever professional help they need. Their current work is about stigma not access. It's important work but not the last word. All of those truths can coexist together people.

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    9. As Diana had access? I can see the headlines, "PRINCE WILLIAM IN THERAPY." He is seen as not competent to be a future king for the most superficial reasons. I can't imagine the media frenzy if it were known he was seeing a psychiatrist. It shouldn't be that way, but in the real world, it is. If there were photos of Kate and William at the doctor's office apparently getting their baby's ultrasound, you can bet the paps would discover and publicise his getting therapy. The idea that if one has money one always gets help is reasonable in theory but not the way things work out in the real world. Fear of what people will say and reluctance to admit a problem that is not being handled or that others might see as a weakness IS a barrier to seeking help, as real and significant as lack of personal wealth.

      The fear is just as prevalent in wealthy families as it is in lower income homes, if not more so. I know it sounds reasonable that being wealthy should guarantee proper mental health care, but in reality, it does not. A candidate for high office in the US had to drop out because it was publicised that he once got help for depression. A candidate for President had to drop out because his wife had received treatment for drug and alcohol problems. The Kennedy family had financial resources, but apparently throwing money at the problem could not save Joan Kennedy nor at least one Kennedy cousin who died from a possible overdose and one of Ethel Kennedy's daughters-in-law. Mental health advocates should have a plaque to Betty Ford in every treatment facility. She went without help for years because of the stigma attached to therapy. She established The Betty Ford Center to help those who had financial barriers; but she did have the money and yet did not get the help until it was almost too late. The same rationale, that seeking help equates weakness, has allowed children of actors and CEOs to end up suicide statistics. All these people could afford proper care. And the point is-stigma prevents accessing treatment, with or without money. Read the Heads Together site. It explains. The work certainly is about access.

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    10. I think both perspectives are true. It just isn't the case if stigma disappeared entirely that people with mental health issues who then sought help--regardless of income--would all receive help. While the UK and US health care systems are different NEITHER provides timely mental health t'ment for those already seeking help. Income still matters. Alot. But I do think trying to remove stigma is a very good thing (as Anon 1 says Betty Ford tried to do herself) because stigma may stop people of all income levels from seeking t'ment. (And for Betty Ford her higher income allowed her to continue getting legal drug prescriptions despite her addiction) But I'm not at all sure the link between the Heads Together "have a conversation" and accessing professional treatment is as strong as it needs to be. People in need of help may not go to the HT website based on the widely-reported talking points of "having a conversation" and even if they do, the website seems lacking to me. Maybe the newly hired director will improve that. 

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    11. lizzie- wasn't the new director for the WCH Foundation? There were more administrative than philosophical issues and they hired a competent professional. Perhaps both the Foundation and HT have new directors. Good point that money can contribute to causing problems as much as solving them. It takes a heck of a lot of money to feed some drug appetites. I haven't found anything about financial assistance or resources for actual therapy on the HT website yet. One, I think the focus for this umbrella organization is getting people to seek help through removing stigma-a huge need; two-I believe number of the member groups of HT that W&C have visited offer tangible sources for help, including help-lines, group therapy, and MH professionals and social workers. A number of those groups also are located in areas accessible to populations without financial resources..

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    12. I never said stigma wasn't a significant and serious barrier anon 1. I said it's only part of it. And I believe you confuse access with discreet professionals. Yes, wealthy people are able to access professional help without headlines if they find actual professionals to work with them.

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  5. Still waiting for your Ivanka Trump story, Jane!:) Pretty please???:)

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    1. Mary in Nebraska, USAMarch 23, 2017 at 10:16 PM

      Yes!! We have not forgotten,Jane. Please share when you get a chance.

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    2. Please no Ivanka Trump. It's not relevant to, and too political for, a blog about the Duchess of Cambridge.

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    3. I'm with Leslie; Ivanka is way off topic and far too divisive. Please keep this blog focused on Kate and related topics! Having this as a politics-free zone is a lot of why many of us come here. Thank you, Jane!!

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    4. Anon 8:08 and Mary in Nebraska, as you have probably guessed, I have decided not to post. I put a little explanation under a comment when it was first discussed some weeks ago. This blog needs to keep a non political and non-partisan tenor and even more importantly, as Tsipa says, that's part of what makes this blog a refuge and actually one of the reasons I started following royals--to escape every now and again from the tensions of political disagreement. Maybe even more importantly from a "business" perspective, the blog needs to stay focused on its brand, which is Kate.
      But, your comments put a smile on my face in that I appreciate you are interested in my goings on and that you seem to share my excitement. I followed Ivanka before the White House and kind of miss her website and the blog/resource she was creating at that time for young professional women, so it was a very exciting morning for me. Thanks for positively celebrating my news with me.
      And that, as they say, will be that. I do not want to discuss politics here, I didn't realize that bringing Ivanka up would ignite such an unpleasant reaction, and I want to get back to a just Kate zone so that we all enjoy this space together. :)

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    5. I'm not sure how a story about Jane interacting with Ivanka Trump and commenting on her fashion can be construed as either political or divisive. Ivanka is a private citizen who has an interesting fashion sense that we can all appreciate. I don't always agree with what Kate supports but that doesn't mean I stop coming to the blog to see her fashion choices. However, I understand and respect your decision to keep this blog Kate-focused as intended, Jane!:) But a gentle reminder to you, Jane and all readers, we not only come here to see, comment and celebrate Kate and what she wears but those of us who are long time readers have forged a "friendship" of sorts with our beloved author over our mutual respect and interest in classy women and their fashion and as such are understandably interested to hear a personal anecdote from Jane on the same subject. Everyone should be mature enough to understand that without reading into anything more:)

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    6. Sorry, sometimes I check and uncheck the wrong boxes. Appreciate the very varied comments I am getting on the Ivanka post, but really...it is put to bed. Back to Kate.

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  6. Kate delivered an excellent speech today. Both content and personal experiences were spot on. Her delivery was controlled and had some emotion in it as well. She obviously has been working with a speech coach as she has vastly improved. None of the Royals are orators. I watched Camilla a few weeks ago and she held up her notes and read much like the queen does, kudos to Kate for a very well carried out engagement.

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    1. Thank you! anon 8:09---HM Does hold her notes up, even wearing spectacles, especially when she speaks at State banquets. No podium there.The podium was not a height appropriate for Kate. I would have kicked off my heels. Ha! Actually, if she ever finds herself in that situation again, it might be better if she stepped to the side to deliver her speech.There may have been other speakers who it fit. Or yesterday's events had people gob smacked. There are extensions that can be set atop a podium for more height. Who wants to bet this doesn't happen again any time soon? Speech was well thought of. Quivery voice and podium aside, she did hit it out of the ball park-home run.Wonderful speech. It has the sound of a speech she wrote herself. That is why it sounded personal. Most royals have speech-writers. Maybe that's why she let someone else write her speeches and KP announcements in the past. I think we will see an improvement in communications coming from the Cambridges going forward. Welcome Sophie!

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  7. As a mother, I feel like that was a very personal speech for Kate. The feelings of how your identity changes in a single instance could not be more true and you can tell just how dearly she loves being a mother by how she talks about motherhood. And her honesty about the challenges all mothers face were very much her challenges as well.
    Something, I was quick to notice, and I feel you're sure to mention in your post on her speech is her swaying back and forth, subtle but noticeable. It's the "mom sway" when comforting and soothing a little one a mother does a lot of rocking and swaying and it spills over to times when your children aren't in your arms as well. I still catch myself doing it when talking to someone, or a group and my son is now 7. I think she's come a long way with her public speaking though.

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  8. Catherine was nominated for the Tuvalu Order of Merit and the Queen as approved the nomination.

    Royal.uk.charities and patronages

    Just a share.

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    1. Can we look forward to another dance? They were so charming and happy dancing with their "crowns" atop their heads.

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    2. She is nominated to get a ribbon that none of the royal watchers are ever heard of.

      I can't decide how much the Queen adores her:))

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    3. Well that ends my sharing.

      Their are obscure orders of all kinds. One only need to take look at sime of them when they are on parade.. no need to be snarky.

      Smh

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    4. Not sure how you come to the notion of adoration. How does anyone know how much the queen "adores" anyone besides maybe her husband. This order would have been recommended by Australia and it would be up to the queen to approve.

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    5. Diane, I appreciated the share, because I hadn't heard anything about this! I didn't realize the reply was snarky.

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    6. Diane- I hope you didn't think of my comment as snarky. My support of the Cambridges is well-known here since I use an identifiable moniker to set me and my opinions apart. I thought that dance, coming I think during a very dark time for the two, was an example of Kate's ability to over look her personal concerns in order to bring her best to those who had worked so hard to prepare for their visit. By the looks on the faces of her hosts around her, she succeeded. She deserved recognition just for that. I still enjoy that dance. It makes me smile. Please keep sharing, Diane.

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    7. I think 7:14 was being funny. Wow, people need to chill. What is it with this board???

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    8. There is funny and then there is sarcastic, 7:14

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    9. And sometimes light hearted comments made here are twisted around and seen in the most negative way possible.

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    10. Yes but in that case you just jump in and say, oh sorry it was misread I just meant this... Every blog I know deals with how typed words in a hurry are misread. So if just a light hearted comment or an innocent question then just pop back on and explain, no big deal, no issue, everyone understands.

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  9. Jane, I think I know what your next post will touch on, regarding Kate's remarks in her speech. I think Kate is a good advocate for PPD, she seems to have a real personal account of what mothers/parents can go through when they are faced with the challenges of new/early parenthood. Her public speaking has definitely improved over time.
    This gingham Eponine suit is one of my favourites. I agree that the nude heels bring out the pink undertones in the pattern. Her hair looks lovely.
    So happy to see her make this engagement, in light of the terrible attack in London. I pray for peace & stability too.

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  10. Third photo from the bottom--is the woman in blue behind Kate Rebecca Deacon's assistant? I wonder if she is taking on a bigger role now.

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    1. Read Jane's text. Yes and Yes. I think the situation was more likely the other way around in actual practice. At the very least, Sophie was a trainee, not an assistant. A very diplomatic (or sneaky) means of replacement. Sophie Agnew's credentials are a little beyond that of an assistant to an assistant.

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    2. I must have skimmed over the beginning text in my rush to see the photos:) I've only seen photos of Sophie during the India/Bhutan tour. I wonder how often she has accompanied Kate (and Rebecca) on engagements like this one.

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    3. Tell me everything, Anon 1--keep nothing back. Want to know more about Sophie Agnew--honestly, I was never sold on Rebecca; she struck me as rather incompetent, quite second-rate. Do you think Sophie will serve Kate better? God, I hope so!

      JC

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    4. Read Janes text anon 1 - she does not specifically mention that Sophie Agnew is Rebecca Deacons assistant so without other reference it's easy to understand that someone might ask for confirmation of the connection. I'm interested to know what credentials Sophie has that put her beyond "an assistant to an assistant"??

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    5. I think Sophie's appearance here may very well be an indication of roles to come. But no one seems to have remembered to mention (correct me if I'm wrong) that this weekend is Rebecca's wedding! It's no surprise that she was absent from this engagement when it was only days before her nuptials. Sending best wishes to Rebecca (and hopes for a glimpse of the bride and groom, Kate, Will, Natasha, Chris Jackson, and Sophie at the wedding)!

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    6. Jay and JC- Ha! Carte blanche, JC? Are you sure you know what you are encouraging..I could not find any information on Rebecca's education or Natasha's, other than some college courses taken. No degree confirmed, although I could swear Rebecca's education information has been available on the internet in the past and that she does have a degree from some college. I want to clarify that a university degree does not alone make a person competent. I do think it is helpful in dealing with the situations and people encountered in Kate's engagements. Sophie has a degree in Art History from St. Andrews University, same as Kate. Sophie Agnew has been with Kate at least since the Australia tour. She was photographed sitting next to W&C at that rugby getaway in Australia. We did see her on the hike up the mountain in Bhutan, along with others of Kate's group. She was the "Tour Secretary" and assisted the Cambridges with "admin." work during the Canada II tour. The quotes are from a Katie Nichols story (yeah,I know- it's all I could find) written at the time of the tour. She was seen carrying a garment bag on the tarmac, I believe during the India tour, but it looked more like personal luggage than what Natasha was hauling. There was a crown on the bag, but it looked more like William's logo. So maybe she was still a PA. I think her role has been steadily advancing and that she likely will be Kate's private secretary. That is a prediction shared among multiple writers.---Going back to your question, JC,a royal blog admin. actually lay the blame for embarrassing errors in some past KP communications at Rebecca's doorstep. As private secretary, she would be responsible for Kate's communications. Kate has to be able to give her secretary a job and be confident it will be carried out without the need for supervision- otherwise, why not do it herself? I had remarked earlier somewhere that I had a hunch we would not see Rebecca after the wedding and that I thought Paris might be her final tour. I have commented that her being so prominent at the recent BP reception with HM was interesting, perhaps a recognition of sorts. Rebecca has worked long and hard hours for the trio, apparently. One doesn't just drop such a person like a hot potato, especially when the person has been so closely involved in royal affairs. However, I kept thinking about my remark you responded to, JC, and I have decided it was unfair and probably unkind to Rebecca, not to mention un-substantiated. But un-substantiated is what we do on blogs, which is no excuse.---- For all I know, she has found a super job better than this one and chose to move on. For all I know, she could have merely been busy with wedding plans and Sophie stepped in. For all I know, she will accompany the two on the Germany/Poland tour in July, as it was indicated she would be in the royal pack until some unspecified Summer or Fall date. The Cambridges are also set to be shifting gears in the Fall, after William completes his pilot contract and as their royal role is set to expand---In conclusion,I too am hoping the success of this speech and engagement is a sign of times to come that may already have arrived.

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    7. Thank you for the info, anon 1! This is really interesting. I'm curious about where Rebecca's career plans will take her next. I'm not sure how good or bad she was/is at her current job. My only criticism (with my limited knowledge) is that she could have looked a tad more professional in her attire.
      I think it was the Daily Mail that referred to Sophie Agnew as Rebecca's assistant :)

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    8. Thanks for replying, Anon 1, and don't think you need to apologize for your remark. However, it would seem that you and I don't really know a great deal about Sophie--like yourself, I am aware of Sophie's educational creds; I just hoped that you knew more, since I, too, don't assume that having a degree has any bearing on a person's competence, whereas age and experience often, not always, do. And therein lies the rub; Sophie, like Rebecca, is young and inexperienced, altho, hopefully, less incompetent than her predecessor. (At the very least, she dresses better and stands back on official engagements; re the latter, in general, Rebecca does not, and far too often is featured in photos when Kate is out-and-about.)

      None of the above should be taken as a general condemnation of Rebecca, who was, when initially (some ten years ago) hired by Charles ( who pays her) to work for W&H, ridiculously young and obviously unready for the roles she was given, IMO.

      Wonder what it would cost Charles to pay Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a consummate professional, to come back and work solely for Kate. He'd be worth every pence. That, IMO, is what Kate lacks--professionals, whether it be stylists, hairdressers, or office staff.

      JC

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    9. Very gracious of you, Jay,considering I was a wee bit snitty. Ha! I hope she finds something perfect for her. She is still young. And a happy marriage. The thing is, by the way, Katie Nichol was writing for the DM when she referred to Sophie as the "Tour Secretary " and aide to the Cambridges during the Canada II tour. So, confusing, to say the least. I wonder if the correspondents read each other's stories. Or just disagree. It is fairly clear that Sophie was helping Amanda and working with Natasha initially. It is just lately that I have read the Rebecca's assistant idea. I may have missed something. I don't read around much, unless I am trying to figure something out. It is possible Rebecca has been training Sophie for the job and it appeared Sophie was assisting her . Which would technically be true. So-hair-splitting, I guess. This would make sense if RD has resigned for another job. I better quit before I get into deep water again.

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    10. Have "Ladies-in-waiting" become obsolete? Are they now called assistants or private secretaries? Just wondering..

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    11. You are correct, JC. I really know next to nothing about Sophie, but neither does anyone else that I can discover. Their staff's privacy might be guarded, both for them and for Kate's security.. Just floundering around, trying to understand. Guess we'll know soon enough. I agree some professional aides would be helpful. I'm just not sure professional what. So far, their help have worn multiple hats. I do think loyalty and friendship have been the priority so far.We may be seeing a movement toward more specialized aides --an expensive change ---Barbara, HM and, I believe ,Camilla have LIW . I doubt the term will go beyond them in the future. It brings images of royal privilege and remoteness. They are really just glorified assistants, but I have noticed them sitting behind the queen at public functions. So did Rebecca. She wore several hats, including LIW,private secretary, and general bag carrier and flower holder duties.HM has separate private secretaries, equerries, a dresser, as well as LIW.

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    12. I am curious JC that you seem to be saying Charles selected RD. I know he pays her since he pays for practically everything so far as WK&H are concerned. But it was my impression Will selected her after she worked for Harry at Sentebale and then came to Will's attention when working on the charity concert for Diana. (I can't see Charles would have been involved in the concert.) Like Anon 1, I can't find anything that mentions a university degree but I did find multiple mentions of RD having studied English at Newcastle Univ. If so, even if she did not earn a degree that does make me wonder if RD really was responsible for some of the poorly written blurbs and announcements that I've seen blamed on her in some comments. I do agree she did not have enough experience or more likely the right kind of experience for the role but I think that about some of their other staff too! (Like Jason in particular) And that may be why I assume Will chose her...he seems not to want the traditional kind of staff or older folks (of the Lowther-Pinkerton type.) Also I thought this old article about RD was interesting:

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/the-woman-kate-middleton-is-relying-on-while-william-742925

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    13. lizzie-I did read that article as part of my information hunt. I think part of the problem in running down information about royal staff is we have to rely mostly on tabloid-type sources. Reputable, respected sources don't usually deal with such information simply as gossip or speculation. I imagine, if Sophie is announced as the new private secretary ,or whatever title , KP will provide some bio information and the old standards- will print it as part of the news story-BBC, the Times etc. Meanwhile, the less known, the better for royal and staff privacy and security. The more information one knows about a person, the more vulnerable that person becomes.----About the Charles, Rebecca, and William-who picked RD. issue. I think it possible RD involved herself in the memorial, was noticed, and invited to join the group around the trio. This much has been printed but I'm not sure of the sources. ( I will re-read your above link) As JC said, they were all very young .W&H were in an especially vulnerable state while planning a memorial for Diana-perhaps similar to the emotional environment surrounding the twentieth anniversary this year and various plans WM. is involved in-the statue and other events. Hiring someone under those circumstances can be a tricky situation. I think they may have bonded over Diana.----To agree with you, lizzie, I can't imagine Charles selecting someone during those circumstances to share the most private parts of their lives.----I disagree that lack of a known college degree proves she didn't produce error-filled communications. Multiple sources trace at least some of the errors to her. She was responsible for Kate's communications. As far as I can determine, speeches, announcements and the like would go through her before the PR staff. She began to be called Kate's private secretary at some point, I believe with JLP's step-back, up from the PA title, but continued other PA-type duties, as I mentioned above. The ultimate responsibility is Kate's, of course, but she may have trusted and depended more upon Rebecca when the children started coming. I may be wrong, but I think around that time we started noticing increased communication gaffs. The confusion over Kate's engagements during her HG difficulties with George comes to mind. Of course, Charles's PR reorganization was involved at some point as well. I previously thought that a primary factor, but now I am not so sure. The needs of the children demanding Kate's time may be a factor, along with JLP's step-back in duties. As far as I know, he is still involved, just not on the former level. That was officially announced. -----I do think the couple's increased royal duties calls for increased specialisation and therefore expertise in their staff.

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    14. Have re-read the Mirror article. I did not read it recently, however, as there was a survey and I didn't realise I could by-pass it to read the story. I remember wondering who the source was at the time I first read it. Since personal family information about RD's mother was included, one source may have been Rebecca herself. A source remarked that she was perfect for the job because of being similar age, organized, and having lovely manners. I imagine current job requirements may be a bit pickier. The story actually confirms some of my remarks about Kate's relying on and trusting RD once the children arrived, as well as other assumptions I made. I have no idea of the reliability of the story.

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    15. I think we are talking about different problems in communications, Anon 1. I was talking about writing errors, such as errors in grammar/syntax that I don't think can be explained by a lack of understanding on my part of differences between American English and British English usage. Those looked pretty sloppy to me in official blurbs and in things bearing Kate's or Will's signature. It sounds like you are talking about actual information errors. Anyone can make a writing error, of course. But since it sounds like RD attended good schools (whether or not she earned the univ degree she began in English) AND some of the errors are quite similar to errors in materials attributed to Jason that were unlikely to have been authored by RD as the materials included American terminology, I think RD may have been blamed when she shouldn't have been. Mistakes in information released is a different story and I agree she probably was responsible for that problem in some cases. The worst case of that sort of communication problem IMO though (in terms of PR) was when KP said Will couldn't do anything but rest when he wasn't working for the EAAA because of flight regs. That he couldn't do royal events. That obviously had to be walked back pretty quickly and that error was unlikely to have been RD's as she would not have been working for Will then. So I hope as W&K step up they don't just hire more people. Like you I hope they hire competent people.

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    16. I was speaking of all aspects of communication, including the many "sources close." and "royal insider" remarks , some of which lead to a fire-storm in the media. Remember the "Expectations" remark? I also was referring to punctuation and spelling errors in letters and announcements, as well as several rather innocuous speeches. Those types of communication. There is no way these can all be her fault, but I believe they were her responsibility as Private Secretary. There should be a communications director to cover press and media; a secretary for private communications; someone to be in charge of diary and arrangements; a LIW type person to accompany Kate on engagements and handle personal and immediate needs-the scheduler would have contacted a source to request "lectern" of sufficient height (by the way, I thought a lectern was a smaller piece that was set on a table to hold notes, water, while the podium is a larger, free-standing piece of furniture)-the on-site person would be responsible for assuring it was in place. Someone should always arrive ahead of Kate to personally check on details, not just arrive in the car with her and hover in the background. As far as I know, RD did most of this, with some chores delegated, I imagine. I haven't even mentioned wardrobe. Those who think this is all a matter of an hour's work are mistaken.----William and Catherine are headed into deeper waters now and will require a bigger , stronger boat to carry them through. ;+]-----PS-maybe my analogy should be with a crew, not the boat.--the boat being the royal family/monarchy. Ha! And a big thank-you to those who had the patience to wade through my various and sometimes lengthy comments, whether you agree or not.

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    17. lizzie, as to why I think Charles--or his manipulative staff and wife--may have at least influenced the selection of RD, as a good choice for Kate, she met two Qualifications which would've suited HIM and his agenda: she was both cheap, because of her inexperience, and, as noted, inexperienced. (At the time, Charles and his staff were still--may still be--devoted to the rehabilitation of Camilla's iffy reputation. The last thing Charles and Camilla needed, at that point, was a competent Kate; Camilla already was up against a wall, and Kate made it worse due to her youth, looks, and clean record.)

      JC

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    18. JC @6:09, a dozen roses to you for that!!! Excellent points.

      If we consider the traditional Lady in Waiting accompanying the Queen or Princess Diana, Rebecca *was* an interesting choice for such a high profile position. I do agree with Jay regarding RD's appearance not always being the most professional.

      I won't comment on RD's professional credentials because I do not know enough about her, but I will say this ... when she was chosen, it was my impression that trust and loyalty were at the top of the list in William's eyes. And, although Charles may have had the final say, there is no way that William would have agreed to someone HE did not trust.

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    19. Thanks for your response JC. I now understand what you meant. I agree royalfan, Will would have had alot of input into hiring RD even IF Charles had the final say. (I'm not convinced but Charles might have played a role.) Interestingly as I looked back at old articles a few days ago looking for published info about RDs hiring and qualifications,  I noted RD's appearance has become less professional over the yrs. In the early yrs her clothes were not rumpled, her hair was styled, her clothing choices more appropriate IMO etc. I wonder if the move to Amner contributed to the change? Since I assume she's based in London? I doubt she has use of a helicopter for her commutes.

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  11. As a mum I loved her speech And it helped me this morning as I did the usual morning kiddie to school rush. I'm going to write from Australia and thank her as I think she gave a lot of herself this day and this speech. Wow. Powerful Duchess.
    QLD Australia

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    1. Really? I thought it gave nothing away but was like a canned speech on motherhood that absolutely anyone could have given. It was so obviously written for her. I mean, when she's talking to a group about mental health issues for mothers, she has to bring in her own experience and of course she has to say that she found it challenging too. This is just the obvious thing to say!

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    2. Yes Really Judith! It really helped me! That's the thing about life & words is for some they are nothing and for another they strike a cord & resonate! For me it was the line about overnight going from an individual to first and foremost a mother.. I had not heard it put that way but I find it blinking hard some days to have dependents - and I only just clicked when she said that. Constant giving of myself to others. It's tiring & require all my daily prayer to be good at it! Anyway she spoke with emotion & it's not easy or popular admitting motherhood is hard. Most women expect us to be and do a lot more I find career wise these days / so I think for someone like Catherine to admit challenges helps the average person struggling just a little. Love her to pieces & hope she sends me a little note back :)
      Theresa QLD Australia

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  12. Mary in Nebraska, USAMarch 23, 2017 at 10:50 PM

    I feel like we got to hear a bit of who Catherine truly is. There is strength in sharing your weaknesses in front of others. It looked like the other moms felt supported and validated. By the way, Jane, I share your admiration of Kate's knees. Mine look lumpy no matter my age, weight or fitness level. Pretty sure I can blame genetics but Kate's knees are nearly perfect! Every time she wears a pretty skirt cut right at the knee or just above, I can't help thinking how awful they would look on me. If she does have a certain yoga position that helps, I would gladly pay for instruction.

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    1. I had to laugh at your comment! My knees look fine when standing up, but sitting down, they aren't smooth and round like others. They are knobby and different bones protrude. Even as a kid, I couldn't figure out how all the other girls had smooth round knees. I would complain about this. Finally, when I was an adult, my mom said, "You get that from me, we have knobby knees." She felt too bad to tell me before! She has beautiful legs, voted best in her HS class, but our knees when sitting....:(

      I had to laugh at Jane's knees comment. Is there anything about Kate that Jane would find fault with? I seriously cannot imagine it.

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    2. Anonymous, you must not have been reading all her posts. She criticises Kate's choices regularly. However, I do believe that Jane is careful not to make negative personal remarks, or at least to balance them if she does.

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    3. Anon1 - It was a joke. As in, Jane's down to complimenting Kate's knees - what's next?!? I also think Jane said it with a bit of tongue in cheek. Yes, she meant it, but Jane also knew it was a funny comment to make. Hence her saying something like, "Yes, I'm complimenting her knees!"

      The watchdogs on here give women a bad name.

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    4. I'm not sure which other comments you have made, Anonymous. Perhaps when some disagree with a remark it is called constructive criticism or righteous indignation. Apparently, it is called "watch-dogging when someone else objects to a comment.

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  13. First and foremost I'm sending deepest condolences to all injured or killed in yesterday's terrorist attack in London and their families. Especially the American family from Utah. Send prayers for all of you.

    Fashion wise, I LOVE that Kate recycled this outfit! I of the retro style of the cut, fabric, color, and the buttons. I only wish she would have carried through with black accessories. This outfit is one of my favorites.

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    1. I'm also liking the black better.. If the buttons were changeable then I would agree with the nude ... She looks radiant either way of course but the black buttons just make me prefer the black accessories.. She looked beautiful and her hair was on point!!!! Win for me!!

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  14. Loved everything about this outfit, very positive on the speech (she's definitely more confident) and the occasion. I felt the neutrals worked. I appreciate the videos of Kate being animated and excited! When she's being more natural - here, sports games - she's so cute:)

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    1. You are so right about her being more natural and cute!! I think that's what makes her so endearing!!!

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  15. Great views as usual! You are so right with her knees, they are so perfect! :p
    I have never been a fan of the suit, for some reason people love it but I don´t feel much towards it (maybe it´s the pattern)
    In any case, I like the accessories and color combination, it looks nice overall
    Oh! and that last photo of her is superb! Excellent shot!

    Thanks for the post Jane! I´ll be looking forward for the next one with the speech comments :D

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  16. Between her poise and absolute impeccable royal demeanor in Paris in the aftermath of her 34 year old toddler's behavior and her gorgeous, powerful, vulnerable words today...all I can say is HRH has fully earned her stripes as a credible, powerful, influential global leader. I am having SUCH an IN LOVE moment with the Duchess and after today I assure you...a powerhouse has bloomed. Silvia.

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  17. The final photo of Catherine bouncing down the stairs looking full into the camera is just too adorable :)I love this suit. The black accessories win marginally over the nude for me, but I still like the nude with this. If I'd have changed anything it would've been the earrings. I would have preferred a pair of pearls earrings with the nude accessories. I think Catherine enjoys textured fabrics. We see that coming through with the raw fringe details in a lot of her clothes and perhaps that is why she favours suede shoes.

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  18. I am so over Kate's obsession with the 60s-70s looks. The blue one isn't as bad, but the other looks like Mrs. Brady. It's a tough look to pull off and this isn't doing it for me.

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  19. Great speech! She spoke from experience, so was comfortable. Previously she has been listening and learning and I always wondered if she considered herself not qualified to say too much.
    Liked the way she remembered the dead and injured of Wednesday's attack.I don't believe she ever considered not carrying out the engagement. I can understand if her security were a bit concerned, but every one else was continuing working.
    Loved this suit a year ago and love it even more with the lighter shoes and bag. The suit is very "sixties" and the lighter colour fitted the same period.
    I note that the Queen has approved her Tuvalu Order of Merit---hope that gives HM a nudge!

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    1. Well said and a loud "YES" to said nudge, Jean.

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    2. A nudge to do what? Been working 80 plus hours a week and am out of the loop?? A nudge to give Kate a family order?? I say it's way past time for that!!!!

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  20. Agree with everyone who think this was an exceptional speech on Kate's part. Really well delivered and effective because the subject matter was personal to the duchess and sincerely heartfelt as Jean from Lanc points out. Its nice to see her support this cause with strong passion and interest.

    Fashion wise I think she looked amazing. There are a handful of occasions a year when I feel she looks perfect and today was one of those. Its not necessarily because she's wearing a favorite outfit but more because the fashion gods smile down on her and it all comes together in a beautiful way. Her hair and makeup are glorious here while the nude accessories complement the springtime gingham in a lovely way. Also, I believe this is her most flattering skirt length. I don't know if the lighting is to blame but she seemed to be glowing throughtout this engagement.

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  21. Just been announced that Prince George will start at Thomas's School in Battersee in Sept.
    Not the school the media have been guessing.

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    1. But the royal writers were so sure, Jean..to the point of writing entire articles about the school and speculating on why the school was chosen (close to KP etc) I guess the media can be wrong. Ha!

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    2. Wow, interesting. I don't think St. Thomas even came up in all the ruminations of the press about this subject.

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    3. I admit that I feel bad saying this, but I do hope we have photos from the first day of school.

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    4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4346544/Prince-George-attend-Thomas-s-Battersea.html

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    5. RF - My goodness! Don't feel bad for wanting to share in George's first day and wishing him well! That type of genuine interest, coupled with good wishes for them, is what keeps the RF in business. They are not there because laws put them there, it could be changed with the swipe of the pen. They honestly serve at the pleasure of the people. William needs to understand and appreciate that or it will be gone. People like you, RF, are their bread and butter. Never feel bad for it, they NEED you!

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    6. You needn't feel bad, royalfan. Catherine took the nursery school pictures and published them, so ok in my book if something similar is repeated. The tabloids weren't too happy, however. That back pack and his interest in the mural...Thanks for the link.

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    7. Thank you, 7.57 and Anon 1. Reality check noted. ☺

      In mind, I was comparing the peacful scenario at Anmer vs. the reality of London....and reliving William's first day. I feel old all of a sudden. Ha!

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    8. I understood your mind-set, royalfan. Visions of the mob scene the boys faced darted through my mind as well. I can't see the Cambridges allowing such a scenario for George, despite the resultant tantrums of the tabloids. The day may pass quietly or perhaps with a book bag type photo at home at KP by his Mum. My daughter took just such first day of school pictures of my grandchildren. -----I can't remember the subject of this quote, but I recently read that a public person realised he did not live a typically average life, but "as much as possible" would like to do things in a normal way. I think that's all the Cambridge's hope for with their children and is essentially what William has said. I also think this twist in the future plans in the Cambridge's story illustrates that they most certainly Do have a plan. We may need to be patient and allow it to reveal itself at appropriate times.

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    9. You're a grandmother, anon 1? I thought your husband was a congressman and you weren't expected to go to the inauguration so the nanny had the day off and you were staying home with the kids. ( per FBTB Jan. 3 post)

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    10. PS I think it may have been the Pope who was quoted as making that remark. I bet he really does have "normal life" issues.

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    11. Anon 1, yes, it's quite possible that the tabloids may suffer a tantrum on George's first day. We shall see... :-) And I couldn't agree more regarding your reference to "normal" ... it's all relative, isn't it?

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    12. Anonymouse 1:08, I didn't recall anon1 saying that so checked the Jan 3 post; her comment was clearly, clearly in jest.

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    13. It clearly was not, Kaye. If it had been she would have made a comment to my comment explaining that instead of ignoring it. She always corrects untruths. For someone who clambers for proof and irrefutable sources, she should stick to one online personna. I remembered her comment because it made sense that a politicians wife would be sensitive to rumour and innuendo.

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    14. Exactly, Kaye, and thank-you. In case some didn't recognise my humor, as you did, I included a Ha!

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    15. If you're a fan of Anon 1's and read the entire thread, it's difficult to miss her humor.

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  22. Great speech and Kate looked great!

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  23. I just read about the school also. Looks lovely but far away. It is co-ed so perhaps they are thinking ahead to having the kids in the same school?

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    1. Wow I just looked it up. They are big, over 500 students and apparently there is a smaller Thomas school near KP. It appears they are maybe looking at trying to have the kids around him be from a slightly different group than his "KP" neighborhood and also maybe big enough that he melts into the background a bit more? Not sure. Sometimes you stick out less the more similar you are to others, it is tricky. The first thing that popped into my mind though was the security issues and the commute time.

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    2. Wow I just looked it up. They are big, over 500 students and apparently there is a smaller Thomas school near KP. It appears they are maybe looking at trying to have the kids around him be from a slightly different group than his "KP" neighborhood and also maybe big enough that he melts into the background a bit more? Not sure. Sometimes you stick out less the more similar you are to others, it is tricky. The first thing that popped into my mind though was the security issues and the commute time.

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    3. This school has a nursery school whereas the one near KP does not. Probably want both kids st the same school.

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    4. Having them at the same school makes a ton of sense from a security perspective - if they can find a way to secure that one location and it's co-ed they can make sure all their kids are safe.

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    5. Ages 4+ through 13. A while back there was a discussion here of whether the Cambridges would send George to a boarding school-some said they would since their friends did that-or keep him close-by at a day school. I was one who voted for day school, as they seem to want to be as hands-on as possible with their children. I think there is a good chance that Eton and/ or boarding school will not be considered until the children are well beyond the usual 7=8 years old. Boarding school for children that young seems somewhat cruel to me but I guess it all depends upon what you are accustomed to. W&C don't seem to follow all the old upper-class/ aristocratic customs.

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    6. It does, and I get all the thinking... but as a Mom of three the distance does really impact stuff, and they can have all their kids at the same school within a few years no matter what. I have three kids who went to various private schools over the years and IMHO less time spent getting to and from school is huge huge huge. I will get hung for this, but a good school is a good school no matter how they "express/state" their goals, ideals, mission statement, and frankly any of the schools they are going to be looking at are all going to be pretty close to the same at the end of the day, so go with the one that is closest:):)

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    7. I should go back to school. Battersea of course has an "a" at the end.

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    8. I should go back to school. Battersea of course has an "a" at the end.

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    9. My two cents, re choice of George's school--and, quite possibly, Charlotte's--is HIP! HIP! HOORAY! This is a choice I might've made. It ticks a lot of boxes.

      First and foremost, this school accepts both genders, unlike Wetherby and Eton--to this day; smacks of sexism, IMO. And quite unlike the schools Kate attended. I hope and think that consistent exposure to the opposite sex will lessen the obvious chauvinism which prevails amongst royal males and that George will learn to respect the opposite sex. Ditto, Charlotte.

      The school offers compulsory French, from age 4 onward; and let's face it, both William and Kate are unilingual, unfortunately. So, an important improvement, given George and Charlotte"s future "careers", which I hope will include diplomatic training, perhaps as an add-on after university, followed by a stint working at a UK embassy.

      It saves on transport and protection costs if George and Charlotte attend the same school, and means that Mum and Dad can attend parents' events for both, at the same location.

      George and Charlotte, just like most of us, can talk things over together, learn from each other--why involve Mum and Dad, when, according to their early POV, they "wouldn't understand". Golly gee, just like the rest of us!

      This school offers the hope that George and Charlotte can continue as day students until they are 13, that there won't be any far too early departure to boarding school, at the detrimental age of 7/8. Later, maybe.

      If I were advising W&K, I would suggest hiring a French tutor for both kids--exposure to French is great, but it isn't enuf to produce bilingualism. For that, both kids would need a few years in French Immersion, or, an excellent French tutor.

      All in all, I think W&K made an excellent choice--at least, on the face of it. Nor do I think that Nanny Maria Teresa is about to lose her job. Not only could she supervise homework whilst W&K are out and about, but she would be quite capable of introducing the kids to Spanish--and to Spain-- at some later date.

      To me, this school represents a BIG hats off to W&K.

      JC



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    10. I'm happy the media got put in place for its constant speculation to gain readers. Maybe Nanny can teach them Spanish. Actually, I think Spanish is spoken by more people than French is. French may be the old language of diplomacy and drawing rooms, but Spanish covers more people. Actually, though, perhaps more French -speaking in the Commonwealth.

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    11. I recall the choices made on behalf of William being viewed as refreshing and unprecedented, so it does make sense that W&K are continuing in that direction.

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    12. Correction: I meant to say "And quite like the schools Kate attended." I suppose it's possible that William, much like his grandmother, has handed over responsibility for the kids, and their education, to Kate, altho he must've approved it.

      This school strikes me as one which offers a well-rounded education, possibly lighter than the Kensington branch on the academics, but far richer on the arts and sports. All-inclusive.

      JC

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  24. This is a small celebration of the ever-evolving English language. A podium was and still is a platform on which one stands to make a speech or conduct music or etc. A lectern is a piece of furniture on a podium and speakers often place their speech notes or a glass of water on it (and if they have a fear of public speaking, it provides a certain amount of bulk behind which to partially hide or to which one can grip white-knuckled). In response to the frequency with which people have used the podium word incorrectly in place of the lectern word, several dictionaries have begun broadening the definition of podium to include a secondary meaning which is that of a small piece of furniture such as a lectern. Although this has nothing to do with what anyone wore today, it is cheering to know that we have a lively and responsive language with which to share our lively opinions about our favorite duchess, her activities, her clothes, and her accessories.

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    1. You are correct. :) Podium can mean both the raised platform and the piece of furniture: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/wait-are-you-saying-a-podium-is-the-same-thing-as-a-lectern

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  25. I love this whole look on Kate and I also think her her looks fabulous ,

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  26. Speech had a bit of a shaky start; it lost some of its power at first as it was interrupted too much by Kate looking up and down which interrupted the flow, but improved enormously after this. Who is the slim brunette that gets in the car with Kate? A possible new private secretary?

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  27. Oh, I see, it's Sophie Agnew.

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  28. She has made a sufficient number of speeches/videos about this topic now to last a while.

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  29. My love and prayers go out to all the wonderful people in London, and the UK. These horrific acts will never diminish your spirit.
    I thought Kate was terrific today, and yes, her speech making skills have improved. I loved the outfit, hair and accessories. There can never be too many speeches about mental health, and I was glad that she reached out to new mother's. A very important group, to be included under the mental health umbrella.

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  30. I have a degree in Communication Studies, which involved lots of presentations in class, and I've done many throughout my career. It is true, the more you speak publicly, the more comfortable you become doing it. After 6 years, she obviously has more confidence, but she still has a ways to go, to rise above just "reading" her speech to the audience, to actually speak to them.

    I personally went from shaking so badly that I couldn't keep a straight voice--or even put my cap on my pen after I sat down... To preparing a list of bullet points, and sub points, that I could glance at, recall what I wanted to say, then LOOK AT and speak TO my audience as though they had asked me a question. I never got to the point of being able to walk around while speaking tho.

    Public speaking takes a lot of preparation; studying, developing thoughts, writing, memorizing, and practicing before you go on can relieve a lot of the anxiety--which you should realize is mostly excitement at the benefit and impact your speech might have.

    That's the advice I would give to The Duchess, if she asked. Everyone gets there at their own speed. She is not holding back or shying away from this responsibility, she will only get better with time.

    Belle

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  31. She held the notes higher at the beginning of her talk when speaking about the London terrorist attack. This was a difficult subject and it was likely that she was less familiar with the words as they were a recent addition. I didn't notice the lecturn being too low after that.

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  32. 'lectern', that is!!

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  33. Should the lovely woman greeting Kate have worn a dress several sizes too small to try to look as smart as possible for the cameras etc?

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  34. I had to come and comment here about this.... consider it a public service announcement. I just was pics of Pips in DM. OMG. She must be losing weight for the wedding and her face looks awful! Pippa, please stop!! First, you had an amazing figure! We have all seen the bikini shots. This weight loss is ruining your face. You don't need it.

    I am seriously beginning to wonder about these girls' self image. Pip still has muscle, but any fat she had is gone. The look is not good.

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  35. Happy Mothering Sunday to all Mums. Know most of you do not celebrate today, but no reason why you shouldn't share a very old tradition.

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  36. Thank-you, Jean. Jane has written a lovely post in honor of the day. I am spending the day watching over my grandpups.

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  37. Great post! Great to see her talking the talk with mental health from mothering perspective. Also, while this speech is obviously from her own personal experience... I wonder how much ties in with the Diana perspective and what she has heard from William and Harry about the support Diana needed.

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    Replies
    1. Quite possible, Anon 7:18. It wouldn't surprise me.

      Delete

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