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Coffee & Kate: New Tour on the Horizon

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Well, it is Saturday and I have my coffee and am ready to chat about Kate! Snag your a.m. addiction and let's get started.  This morning there are a few fun stories and rumors that are of interest to us all. Yesterday, Emily Andrews shared more details on the rumor that (so long as Kate recovers sufficiently), the couple will undertake a fall tour/trip!


According to Emily, who has a very strong track record reading the royal tea leaves or ferreting out the inside scoop, William and Kate will "visit Norway and Sweden next month after Prince Harry visits Denmark." As I pointed out when Kate's pregnancy was announced, there is plenty of time in November, when Kate will almost surely be well again, for the couple to travel. We saw it when Kate was pregnant with Charlotte and I am very confident we will see them off on a visit again despite this pregnancy. That's the best news! On the other side of the spectrum of life...


The Palace announced this past week that the Queen has asked Prince Charles to place the wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in her stead. HM has been laying the wreath almost without fail for many decades, so this is quite an announcement, but even more so because according to Rebecca English, this is not just an off year. The Queen has determined never to do it again. In a series of tweets, Rebecca English pointed out that the ceremony is quite long and that there is a real wind tunnel... Ultimately, though, this is not the first concession the Queen has made to her age, although it might be more dramatic than some we have seen. I do not think that she will ever abdicate, and I don't think any serious royal watcher believes that either, but age has a way of doing what it wants, and I think it was Richard Palmer who said he'd heard that Charles's aides have been told to sharpen up on the law/protocol surrounding regency, should it come to that.  


Ricocheting back to more positive news! Rebecca Priestley (Deacon!) was invested in the Royal Victorian Order last Wednesday. Appropriately, William presented her with the honor at the event which took place at Buckingham Palace. I love the photo above because of the look she is giving William. She has worked for William (and then Kate) for over a decade, and been intimately involved in some of the happiest as well as many of the darker and more stressful events of the Cambridges private and professional lives. That creates a bond of real friendship. 


I am trying to think if there is anything I wanted to tell you all that I have forgotten. Oh, there is a special edition champagne honoring Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey!). That's not exactly Kate-related, but somehow champagne and Downton are always relevant to everything in my mind... Kate loves Downton, so maybe William should buy this to celebrate Baby3 in April. OOhh! I just remembered. Emily Andrews also said that Kate is about 13 weeks along and they expect an announcement soon, likely providing an April due-month. Kate doesn't do due-dates, but they should announce a general timeframe. I knew there was something I was forgetting! :)



In the Downton vein, if you are in the U.S., there is an extraordinary Downton Abbey exhibit opening in New York that permits you to tour the sets and see the costumes from our favorite show. It is supposed to expand to other U.S. cities--I am guessing Chicago and Los Angeles at least, maybe somewhere south like Dallas--but at the moment they haven't released other stops. Check it out here; if you are a fan, it looks fantastic. :)

I am out of coffee and on my way. Happy weekend, all!

31 comments:

  1. Jennifer from CanadaOctober 14, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    Lovely newsy post. Thanks Jane

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  2. Thank you Jane! It was really lovely to see the photo with Prince William and Rebecca Priestley, a well deserved honour!

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  3. happy weekend to you as well and thank you for the interesting news tidbits!

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  4. Good morning, Jane!
    Loved my coffee w you :)
    It's good to see Kate feeling better. Hopefully she wiil join Will on a mini tour ♡♡
    I love her pregnancy styles and glowing smiles
    DenverDeb

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  5. Good morning Jane, hope you are well and thank you for this post! So my thoughts:

    1. Happy Kate will be able to go on tour but I'm really disappointed that they are not going to Denmark. Ever since the summer rumors of a Scandinavian tour I was hoping for a Norway, Sweden, and Denmark tour similar to Charles and Camilla's Scandinavian tour in 2012. Oh well...at least they've already met Fred and Mary.

    I am so excited for Sweden!!!!! Besides Kate, Victoria and Madeleine are my favorite royals. I love when they meet other royals. I've always wished that William and Kate participated in the European weddings and got to know and become friends with other royals. And the Swedish couples are closest in age to William and Kate so it would be nice if they became friends. If they take George and Charlotte they need to do an engagement with all the Swedish kids. Can you imagine George, Charlotte, Estelle, Oscar, Lenore, Nicholas and Alexander all together? So many royal babies would be cuteness overload.

    2. My first thought when I read about the Queen and Remembrance Sunday went to the balcony arrangements lol. The balconies are pretty small and seem like they only fit four people (Usually Camilla, Kate, Sophie, and Tim). So the Queen, Prince Philip, Camilla, and Kate. And Sophie and Tim moved to another balcony. I'll be sad if Harry and Meghan get married and we won't get to see Kate and Meghan standing together. I know, random but we'll see where everyone stands.

    3. I like Rebecca but I'm glad she is gone. Kate's new secretary seems very qualified and experienced and seems like someone who will be able to prepare Kate better for engagements than Rebecca did.

    I love Kate but it's been almost seven years and she is still a terrible public speaker. It's embarrassing that in seven years she still reads her speeches and never memorizes a single sentence.

    She needs to improve on her speaking in general. From the couple of interviews she has given she is not very articulate. I think after seven years she needs to be more vocal about her charity work. And there are times when she's at engagements that she'll say something really shallow, like the time the little girl asked what was the best part of being a princess and her answer was something about how she was very well taken care or something. I don't know if she just gets really nervous and speaks before thinking but sometimes her responses are not the best.

    I honestly think she needs to put in the effort and practice more. When she got engaged there were so many reports that she was working with a voice coach, taking media training, learning royal protocol, that she was learning Welsh and a bunch of stories of all the hard work that went into becoming a princess. Clearly none of that was true. There was no grand transformation from 2011 Kate to 2017 Kate. I think it's time to see an improvement, I hope her new secretary can help.

    Sorry for my rant but I hate to see Kate criticized and when it's legitimate criticism I can't defend her.

    5. I have never seen Downtown Abbey, I hope is goes on Netflix some day so I can finally see it or does anyone know if there is somewhere where you can watch it?

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    1. It's on Amazon Prime :) I've been re watching with my daugter.

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    2. 1. The Cambridges have met Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel during the remembrance services in Belgium in 2014. It was supposedly behind the scenes but reported on at the time.

      She did have a voice coach, Anthony Gordon Lennox who died recently aged 48. He helped her with her vows and has helped other public figures with their speaking.

      As to her not improving, I highly recommend checking out her last public speaking roles this year, as both show considerable improvement in her breathing and reading of her speech. She also gave a well-received short interview for the Wimbledon video which shows her at her best-light hearted and informal. Some people criticize her reading of speeches, but most of the royal family do read speeches as written, including HM, who has a very clipped delivery format even after 70+ years of public speaking.

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    3. Dear Priscilla, loooooooooooooove your comments! It´s pretty much what I would say!
      So I shall comment in your comments:

      1. They should have a Royal Baby Playdate! It would be wonderful! Sweden is for me my favorite monarchy ever! Such a great family!

      2. Maybe The Queen and Prince Philip will be watching from one balcony by themselves and the rest will be as usual, OR Charles and Camilla are going to be on the ground, leaving enough room for Sophie and Catherine to be next to the Queen and Prince Philip

      3. Great opinion about Rebecca. It will be very interesting to see how Catherine will change with an aide who is older and more mature in the Royal Business, maybe this is a step towards becoming a senior Royal? Still Rebecca did a great job!

      Thanks Jane for all the bits of info! It makes a great topic for discussion

      Speaking of bits, Emily Andrews tweeted: ¨¨ I hear that despite Suits being in talks for an eighth series, #meghanmarkle has told bosses she won’t do it. She’ll finish next month. ¨¨
      Mhhhh, maybe she leaving due to Harry or maybe personal reason? Somewhere I read that she was contemplating for a while to retire, maybe the romance speed (sped?) up the retirement?

      Thanks a lot! And Great Job to all!

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    4. If Kate doesn't improve in the areas of your concern, can we assume it wasn't Rebecca Deacon's fault and that is just Kate? I think it's a little much to blame RD for all that. Kate is ultimately responsible and she seems to not feel there's a problem or, after all these years, we would have seen a change.

      I agree with much of what you said, but my point is, that's just Kate. The princess comment really got to me too. It was her same response about William looking after her too. I think talking about all the wonderful people you get to meet as the princess would have been a good answer. But, I like Kate, so I don't try to expect more from her than is there. She's no superhuman, a deep person, etc. I do think she's kind, a great mom. I don't think she pushes herself except for fitness and health. She enjoys an easy life and isn't going to exceed many expectations. But she has a lot to offer. Enjoy that and don't look too deeply.😜

      And no, I'm not trying to give Kate backhanded compliments. I just think her faults are hers and not because of RD. Kate is not Carole Middleton. Now she would have been an amazing, kick ass princess! Kate's amazing, just not as badass as Carole!😂

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    5. I’m wondering how well we would do with public speaking with so much scrutiny. How can you say it’s totally Kate’s problem. That’s like saying we blame ourselves for the lives we have. Maybe we should ask Kate
      personally why she is such a horrible public speaker and why she doesn’t care. I think if the queen does not have a problem with it, then why blame Kate for not fixing it. Geez, why are we so judgmental and think we know Kate personally

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    6. I agree on one thing: IMO Kate has no personal ambition. She is no centre stage person, and I like it. But IMO she has worked a lot, learned a lot, has taken a lot of pain and changed a lot to please the RF. The RF, not the public... Regarding her speeches, her delivery has improved and her accent has changed, clearly a result of hard work. As I like speeches to be speeches, not one man shows, I like her approach.
      I think the RF could have made better use of her qualities, her warmth and intelligence. But she has done impeccably what was asked of her.

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    7. @Priscilla, re Kate's public speaking ability, I would definitely agree that she's not a natural, but she HAS improved, somewhat, over the years. I do think that a public speaking coach would be a very good idea--and, it would build her confidence, but...I am inclined to give her a bit of slack, for two reasons: one, I doubt that qualified coaches were a dime-a-dozen in either Wales or Sandringham, and two, who's gonna pay for it? As far as I can tell, Kate is flat broke.

      Dunno if you've ever heard any of the early "speeches"(really just short remarks) William and Harry delivered, but they were pretty bad. It takes practise for many--and often a little help. BTW, once Diana realized that the BRF had hung her out to dry, she hired a speech coach, Peter Settelen, in 1992--she was aware of her lack of natural ability, and had both the independent means and the locale--London--to do so, altho she still stuck to her written notes.

      JC

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    8. Unfortunately, Catherine just seems to become more confident with public speaking when she has become pregnant and ill and having to take a lot of time at home. That has now happened three times.
      However, her forte seems to be talking one to one, when many who have spoken to her, confirm how good she is.
      Speaking "off the cuff" might seem very good, but for direct heirs and their consorts it is a minefield---people see everything as interfering in politics, which is a no/no.

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    9. None of us can know what the Queen thinks of Kate's public-speaking skills nor can we know what kinds of efforts Kate has made to improve. I think she has improved in the last yr or so although I still have some trouble understanding her accent. (I'm an American but can understand other members of the BRF without difficulty.)  It's obvious (to me) Kate is pretty anxious when giving a speech and sometimes it's painful to watch. While of course I don't know, my suspicion is that beyond the coaching for the wedding, Kate hasn't had much continuing help on this. (I think Will would spring for the costs if she asked :) And I would guess it's *partly* because it's possible for her to avoid having to give speeches very often and she may have a desire to avoid the initial anxiety coaching probably elicits. It's natural to avoid things that make us anxious unless and until they simply can't be avoided any longer. Isn't that when most of us make efforts to get over our fears? A person who has to fly only once a yr is less like to work on getting over fear of flying than someone who has to fly twice a month for work. And someone who lives in the desert probably doesn't spend time working on her fear of the ocean.

      I agree speaking "off the cuff" is risky. I'd just like to see her give a prepared speech without having to look down at her notes even when delivering greetings to the audience. And I'd like to see her not hanging onto the podium for dear life. That was starting to happen but if Kate doesn't have another speech event until well after baby #3 arrives, I expect we'll see some rebound anxiety.

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    10. It's like the slightest clink in Kate's armor, we want to pin on someone else. Why is that? Rebecca doesn't control what comes out of Kate's mouth.

      BTW, the RF as a whole isn't known for their intellect. William's the first to go to college and it was at a so-so one. They are here because of their birthright. Let's not put grand expectations on them.

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    11. A so-so college? St Andrews?

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    12. Yes, anon 1:29.

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    13. First place in Scotland, third in the UK( after Oxbridge), in the top 100 worldwide in all rankings, in the top 50 in some of them, 6 Nobel prizes, first in the UK for student satisfaction...

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  6. Let's hope Kate can make the Sweden Norway trip! Can you imagine all the great photos? Would especially like to see Will and Kate hanging with Victoria and family.

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  7. The reports may be correct about an upcoming trip but when has Kate travelled abroad for work purposes when pregnant? Everyone seems to be acting as though this would be normal for her so I must have forgotten the past trip(s).

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    1. One visit in particular that comes to mind is her trip to New York while pregnant with Charlotte. I’m not sure if there were other trips, I’m afraid...

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    2. While pregnant with Charlotte, she and William visited the USA. Can't think of anything for George.

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    3. Thanks anon and Edythe. Even though I'm in the US I completely forgot about that trip. I think it wasn't very memorable to me because it was so quick, W&K went in different directions, and then there was the awkwardness (at least to me it was awkward) about the hot pink outfit at the 9/11 memorial. (I seem to remember the outfit was explained as fine because it wasn't an official visit to the memorial---and much of the visit didn't seem very much like an official trip to me.) 

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    4. :-) I, too, had forgotten about their visit to NY.

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    5. She also went to Mustique a month or two after announcing her pregnancy with George after she was in the hospital the forst time with HG.

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    6. Kate also went to Mustique in late Jan., 2015, when pregnant with Charlotte; George and Nanny Maria Teresa accompanied her. The occasion, I believe, was her mother's 60th birthday celebration.

      Of course, going to Mustique isn't the same as going on tour, and it's quite possible that Kate will accompany William to Norway and Sweden, but may not attend every event on the schedule, as per their visit to NYC.

      JC

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    7. The visit to New York was in December, wasn't it? Later than the Norway Sweden tour. She was very healthy in NY, I hope she can manage the tour in November.

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    8. She was supposed to go to Malta when pregnant with George, but she was too ill and William went instead.

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  8. The Downton Abbey Tour is currently in St. Augustine, Florida until January 4.

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  9. Catherine is out this morning, dancing with Paddington Bear on Paddington station.

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  10. I think the Queen hands out awards and honors both politically and merit-based--for example honors given to visiting dignitaries. Timothy Geidt was awarded a Peerage, following the recent royal staff shuffle. (I thought he was already Sir Timothy so my source may be incorrect-possibly a Knighthood initially?) I think expediency and promotion of good will sometimes enter into the award decisions. Although, I think anyone who sticks it out with the Royal Family for ten years, as both RDP and Geidt have, deserves at least a medal and maybe a nice pension. Ha! anon1

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