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Kate Hits the Court with the Kids

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kate's return to the spotlight is now in full swing. Today, the Duchess paid a visit to the National Tennis Centre to visit with students partaking in the Lawn Tennis Association's training programs. This is one of Kate's more recent charities and it is very exciting to see her undertaking events for a cause in which she has always been very invested. 


In both her past pregnancies Kate has enjoyed a few hands on engagements with kids. When she was expecting George she bundled up in wellies and a baker boy hat to join scouts in the chilly woods of Cumbria.



During her pregnancy with Charlotte, she wore jeans and a comfy hoodie to a Beaver Scout meeting in London where she participated in a number of games and group activities.  



As the relatively new patron of the Lawn Tennis Association, it was particularly fun to see her today dressed in athletic wear and out playing with the kids on the court. Simon Perry, the chief royal correspondent for People, shared a bunch of really funs clips of Kate on working through various exercises:

If we've observed it once, we've observed it a million times. Kate is so great with kids. She clearly, genuinely enjoys their company, and they always seem very relaxed with her, too.

I think the dynamic is so perfect because Kate is a really conscientious mom, and these events give us a peek into what she is surely like with George and Charlotte. Warm, attentive, and affirming. She mentioned that she needed tips to coach George in tennis, because he just "wants to whack the ball." Can't you just imagine that? I can see him just sending ball after ball, willy nilly, into the woods by Anmer Hall. 

I liked this video because it has some other angles and an interview with Johanna Konta who is currently Britain's #1 and ranked 9th overall in the world! I think her tribute to Kate's passion underscores what a great cause this is for the princess to work on.



I guessed she'd come dressed more formally, so this was a big surprise for me! Kate recycled her very popular Monreal Tuxedo track pants and wore new Nike trainers. She debuted a new label, too, tennis company PlayBrace. Her black jacket is from the company, and a perusal of their stock list suggests Kate is probably wearing one of their tops, too.


The Monreals got their first wear in Scotland at Judy Murray's tennis camp! I am sure Kate was glad for them today as she is between sizes.



Most exciting for me, though, was seeing Kate's beautiful Kiki McDonough Grace topaz studs. Kate has been wearing these since before she married William and I know they are fan favorites! We haven't seen them for a long while now. 



Last week, several of you asked about Kate's new private secretary, Catherine Quinn, who took over after Rebecca Deacon's departure. She made her first appearance today with Kate. As many of you know, Ms. Quinn has a prestigious resume that includes leadership positions at Oxford, Middle Temple, and various charities. I have mixed feelings about her appointment to the job, but I don't think now is the time to jump in on that. It's a topic best suited to "Coffee & Kate" over the weekend, so swing back then!



The verdict is a win. It's nothing special fashion-wise, but it was nice to see Kate in athletic wear, which is unusual and a treat. It was a real win because it was Kate at her most genuine, and the engagement gave us that peek at what she probably looks like on a balmy day on the court in Norfolk with her kids, or at KP. Casual Kate is always a win. She has definitely started to put on that baby weight and her face has filled out as it does with each pregnancy, and she is absolutely glowing. She makes pregnancy look so good!


I am sure it was home to candy apples and lost of crafts with George and Charlotte, who are both old enough to enjoy all the excitement of Halloween! Do Brits do the whole trick or treat, or is that just an American thing? Happy Halloween to one and all! 

37 comments:

  1. Kate was in her element and I'm glad she is feeling better. Re: Ms Quinn, she looks like a conservative and polished lady.

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  2. She was ready to get down and dirty today. She loves it. Glad to see her feeling good!

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  3. Sonja from BavariaNovember 1, 2017 at 2:42 AM

    I was so surprised to see her take part in all the exercises and activities, so glad she must be feeling much better now!

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  4. Catherine was dressed for the occasion and I think she looked beautiful---glowing.
    She clearly loves working with children, as do the two Princes.
    Couldn't help wondering if HM ever did anything like that in all the years she was patron.

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  5. She is glowing and looks very happy to be there but my eyes are burning from the sight of the track pants and shoes. Seriously there is nothing flattering about them, they were probably a very comfortable outfit for her to wear now as a pregnant woman but she has looked soooo much better in other sports activities.

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  6. Jane, I'm so interested to hear your take on the appointment of Ms. Quinn. I have to admit, I was surprised she accepted the position (looking at her past experience), but now I feel it's a good thing that Kate has a 'matured' & accomplished woman assisting her in her role. I think Rebecca was good for Kate in the first few years of her role as a duchess, but I felt that both Becca & Kate needed to grow & that the professional relationship had run its course. I can't wait to see where Ms. Quinn will take Kate in the next stage of her royal life.

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    1. I agree with you Kiwi. Ms. Quinn does look like she's just the person to move Kate into the next phase of her royal life. Positions and assignments are shifting in the BRF rather rapidly right now and are likely to shift in a rather big way within the next few years. Maybe Ms. Quinn felt she had already done so much in the business world and this was a completely different way to exercise her talents. I hope her appointment is a big win for Kate.

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    2. So good to see your post Jane. Really look forward to your weekend comment on Ms. Quinn. I must disagree with Kiwi & RobinfromCA. I think Ms. Quinn is not the correct fit for Kate. Ms. Quinn Appears over qualified for this position & makes me skeptical as to why she would accept this job? The idea of Ms Quinn carrying flowers & gifts & following Kate around seems awkward. On a fashion note Kate was dressed appropriately for this type of event.

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  7. Thanks for the update Jane!
    I loved this casual look, I thought the DoC managed to look sporty and polished. Much better than last weeks’ skinnies/blazer miss. She obviously loves working with the children and is very good with them; I think this gives us a clue as to type of Mom she is. :-)
    I am happy to see her return to public engagements; it always saddens me when I read criticism of her lack “work” on other sites, I think people often forget she is not yet Princess of Wales. There will be time for a higher profile and perhaps Ms. Quinn has been employed to provide a smooth transition (given some of the changes that have been announced from BP and CH) to that more public role. Ms. Quinn definitely has a different air about her than Rebecca Deacon.
    On a somewhat off topic note, season 2 of The Crown drops on Netflix on Dec. 8th and they have announced some cast changes for seasons 3&4; it got me wondering who they will cast for our Kate when they get to the seasons that will include her!

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  8. Kate seems to be back to fine form. Obviously, she loves these events with children and sports. I know its a casual engagement so I didn't have any expectations but I do agree with Josephine that these track pants with the thick white side strip are not flattering at all angles. They are making her look wider than she actually is. Also, I know the Nikes are cool and technically a fabulous shoe but they are making her feet look enormous. So a pratcial but not graceful look today for me.

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    1. Orange County GrandmaNovember 1, 2017 at 11:05 AM

      She was dressed to plat tennis with the kids. Did you ever think the were comfy being pregnant. Could you see her playing in a dress and heels. You would probably complain about that. Give her a break.

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    2. Im sure it is an immensely comfy oufit, OCG but, you know, she is a royal, not the mom next door, and there are a lot more flattering and attractive sporty pieces out there. I don't think her only options are this outfit or a dress and heels. Not a big deal but we do comment on fashion here. Should we not comment on her fashion choices for her entire pregnancy to give her a break? Not sure why you're using such an aggressive tone with me. Im not the only one stating this opinion here. You might be new to this blog but in general, I like most of what she wears and have positive comments.

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    3. I agree with your take, Faith. Indeed, the stripe on the side of the pant legs do Kate no favours, nor have I ever particularly liked the neon yellow waistband or its low-slung position. To me, the trainers/sneakers she's wearing feature a sole which looks too cumbersome for the sport, nor do the white/blue-grey colours of the trainers do a thing for me--why introduce yet another unnecessary (the blue-grey) element to the outfit? This casual outfit strikes me as thoroughly ill-thought-out, a hodgepodge.

      Still, it's somewhat better than the last outfit she wore (the tiresome skinnies and the rayon blazer).

      More positively, we all know that Kate likes tennis, that she's always loved going to Wimbledon, and that she interacts well with kids. This engagement brought it all together, and clearly, she enjoyed the occasion.

      I, like others, thought she looked quite healthy yesterday; she almost glowed. But looking and feeling can be two different things.

      Expecting this kid to make his official first appearance in mid-April, 2018.

      JC

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    4. I loved the camping look, totally adorable.

      This look reminded me of a gym teacher.👀😏

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    5. Anon 6:05, I like what she wore with the Scouts too. It had character and showcased her personalty, I think.

      JC, the Queen's birthday wouldn't be too shabby a day for this child to be born, would it.

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    6. Well Faith, I was thinking of the 12th-16th, earlier than the Queen's. After all, who wants to share a birthday with a close relative? As a child, my birthday was my day, and I loved that. The only other day which topped it was Christmas...followed by candy apples and Easter eggs.

      I expect this child to choose wisely, and to avoid both the 21st, or even more wretchedly, the 2nd of May--and to be a boy, no doubt named John William Michael.

      JC

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    7. I was thinking the first week of April, also a boy, and maybe the RF and HM are finally ready for another David...Michael William, or David Alexander Michael...just kidding..
      John was the name of the unfortunate royal child who spent his life in seclusion...Mary's son? George VI's brother or uncle. May bring back sad or unhappy memories for some. Just as "David" may.

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    8. April is a busy month, so this child needs to be very wise and avoid the 29th as well, JC. I do hear you and agree. Every child deserves his or her own day, although I imagine the Queen would be tickled pink to share her day with a great grandchild.

      As far as predictions go, I'm betting on a prince as well even though I would be thrilled with back to back princesses. Like anon 3:16, I think they will stay away from the name John. If this goes as it did the first two times, this baby will have the number 1 name predicted by the betting shops. Last time I looked the names running in first place are Arthur and Alice.

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    9. Weighing in on names I agree that William and Michael could be in the mix and possibly Henry. I think we can probably rule out Charles, Andrew, and Edward. I don't think David will pop for a first name in this generation (not while HM or PP are around) although it is one of Harry's names. John seems too common these days. I feel like they may be ready for another Albert (HM was very fond of her father and that was what he went by) or a Frederick, also one of HM father's names and how cute would it be to call him Freddy? My choice would be Albert Henry Michael.

      If it's a girl I would bet on Mary being part of the name. Maybe not the first name but somewhere in the mix. I would love to see her named Alexandra Mary Catherine.

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    10. Robin, I could see them using Frederick. They seem to prefer longer names and it does go nicely with George and Charlotte.

      I love Alexandra Mary Catherine! Do you think they would use Alexandra though where Alexander is PG's second name? Its a beautiful name and it would be a shame if it were canceled out on that basis. I think Alice is a major contender but, at the risk of sounding like a total kook, my gut is telling me Amelia for some reason.

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    11. Robin, I also like your choice. I am partial to both Alice and Alexandra. Also Maria, a form of Mary and one of Nanny's names, although her family call her Teresa.
      Arthur? All I can think is...Arthur Treecher and Arthur Godfrey. :+) OK- King Arthur. I think it is in Charles's name.
      I like Emma, too. if they can forgo family names with this third child.
      Could we work in Carole somewhere? If anyone ever deserved having a grandchild namesake, she is it. Catherine Carole. Call her CeCe.
      Although, I think definitely a boy.

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    12. Oh, I hope Alexandra wouldn't be ruled out by Alexander. I also like Amelia and Alice is a very popular family name. They could go for complete alliteration and call her Amelia Alexandra Alice but that might be taking it just a teensy bit too far. ;-) It would be lovely to see Carole as part of the name but they did cover both her and Pippa with Charlotte's names although nobody would consider the "Elizabeth" part of Charlotte's name to be for Carole or Kate.

      I don't think we'll see another Arthur as it is part of Charles and William's names. I hope not anyway. I don't care for the name - even though it is also my own father's name. They both also have Phillip as part of their names. I am really hoping for Henry to be in the mix somewhere.

      Has anyone noticed that most royals have four names a piece and William and Kate have chosen to only give each of their children three? Before I thought it must be some rule but now I'm guessing it was only a tradition in the past. And if you think about it, what a mouthful of names! In cases where a surname is required for legal purposes William's name would be William Arthur Phillip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor. That may be borderline cruelty! No wonder he and Harry decided to use "Wales" while in the military! lol

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    13. Anon 3:22, I know. Arthur isn't a very popular name in the States. In England, it's used widely though, and it does tick off the boxes that Kate and William seem to go for.

      Robin, I was really very shocked and, I have to say, a little disappointed that the Cambridge kids have only three names. I suppose they feel that having four names is rather pompous or old fashioned but I liked the tradition. Anyway, Im used to it now and it feels like the new norm.

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  9. Jane! A huge thank you for the return of the fun and thorough writing format of old! LOVED this post! Just like the old days:) This feels like having a good ol cozy catch up with a friend on our favorite duchess! So appreciate all the time and effort you put into this blog!

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  10. Oh so much reading this is in the old style. Casual blog is as good as casual Kate. Win for Kate and win for the blog.

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  11. What fun to have Kate back in the limelight. And, the perfect event too. I thought she looked great. I loved her outfit and her ponytail was so flattering. Great post.

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  12. Kate looks wonderful. She seems to be having a lot of fun. I always love seeing her with children, especially the scouts. I love her jacked. I don't care as much for the wide stripe down the sides of the pants, but the jacket looks good on her.

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  13. Jane, beautiful job on the photo selection.

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  14. Does anyone know if Rebecca Deacon held the title "Private Secretary" while she was employed by the palace/Firm? For some reason I'm thinking her title was "Personal Assistant," which to me carries a much lesser role than Private Secretary. I imagine Ms. Quinn's role will far surpass that of Ms. Deacon, and this appointment speaks volumes about the growing role the Duchess will take on as the family settles into their new life as full-time royals in KP.

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    1. She was Private Secretary, which is why she was often present with and listed in the court circular with Miguel Head. Natasha Archer is her "personal assistant"

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    2. 2:25,

      👍🏻

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    3. Catherine hosted a meeting yesterday at Kensington Palace to learn about maternal mental health.
      On Nov 14th she is carrying out the engagement she had to cancel when her pregnancy was announced. Announcing that 2 weeks ahead makes me think she really must be on the mend.

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  15. Kate always looks great I think, whether hit or miss. But, I read that her wide stripe athletic pants cost over 400 us dollars? If that's true, really??? I just think It's not a matter of necessity as an athlete might need, but pretention, on one who is not an athlete.

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    1. I had read they were $300, if I remember correctly.

      In my opinion, the last thing we can accuse Kate of is being pretentious. A lot of her clothes are very affordable, not all, but for a princess, a lot. And some Lulumon's are $300, the most expensive ones. So, while it sounds ridiculous, athletic wear can be up there in price.

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  16. I love your posts. I wondered why she picked those shoes as they aren't tennis "court" shoes. I am a tennis player and wouldn't feel right being on the court in a running shoe.

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  17. Shocked by William's comments on overpopulation and consumption. 😳

    I was happy to learn they were expecting a third child. And consumption?? From a royal? Hello?!? His comments sounded tone deaf and completely lacking in self awareness.

    A mirror of his Dad? Let's hope not.

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    1. Say what you will about him but supposedly Charles does work with his speech-writers to make sure his speeches convey what he intends (as does Harry reportedly) I think that's good. Sometimes it appears Will is just reading what he has been handed and often it appears he is seeing the words for the first time during the speech. Certainly, for whatever reason, this was an extraordinarily tone-deaf speech. Not only is he having a 3rd child (technically contributing to the world's over-population himself) but he uses helicopters and private jets as regular modes of transportation (& they certainly aren't always being used for "security" but more often for "convenience.") One might also believe the "kitchens" and tennis court remodels illustrate over-consumption. 

      Maybe Will just doesn't have even a smidgen of insight though. I hope that's not it--since he is approaching middle age if he doesn't have any insight and self-awareness now, it seems unlikely he ever will, meaning lots more cringe-worthy speeches to come as he advances to the throne.

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