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A Momentous Remembrance Sunday 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Of all the annual events on the royal calendar, Remembrance Sunday is without a doubt the most somber. Every year, the senior royals gather at Whitehall for a ceremony paying tribute to the fallen who have, throughout Britain's history, protected and defended their homeland.


As reported earlier in the autumn, this year saw a seismic shift as the Queen announced she would no longer lay the wreath on Remembrance Sunday. Instead, Charles would take her place and she would watch from the balcony with her spouse Prince Philip. The announcement caused considerable shock to the public when the decision was released, but today it seemed to be particularly difficult for the Queen. Her Majesty, generally quite stoic, was pictured with tears on her face as she played the spectator in an event she has almost invariably been the lead for over fifty years.


Prince Philip has been enjoying retirement at Windsor Castle and Wood Farm at Sandringham, but he returned to the City for this very important weekend of remembrance. He too, showed signs of fatigue as he leaned against the wall of the balcony for support.


With Philip and he Queen on the balcony, our usual cast of characters was shuffled. Camilla, who usually stands with Kate and Sophie, took her place with the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh. Kate and Sophie were joined by Princess Alexandra.


The Duchess of Cambridge is always immaculately turned out for Remembrance Sunday and today was no exception. She chose a black wool coat from Dolce & Gabbana with a neat and slim double-breasted closure that featured the large buttons she has been preferring recently. 



Kate carried a clutch that hasn't been positively IDed yet, and wore the Oscar de la Renta Pearl Sun earrings she debuted in Germany. She recycled the Philip Treacy hat she first wore to William's passing out Parade at Sandhurst, and recycled for Remembrance Sunday in 2012. 


Perhaps most interesting was Kate's hair, which she had styled by curling in the ends to create the illusion of an elegant bob. This was very unusual and I really liked it. Getting her hair off her shoulders and keeping it more controlled was a good idea with this hat, but this mix of chignon and bob made it a really striking look. 


As I said at the start, Kate doesn't really go wrong with Remembrance Sunday, and she looked picture perfect today. This is probably the most momentous Remembrance Sunday in a long time. Pictures and video from today will feature in historical accounts in the future as a turning point in the Queen's reign and, of course, a beginning for Charles. As the Queen steps back and Charles slowly moves forward, Kate and William draw closer to their future, as well.   As the inevitable complete transfer has been invisibly drawing closer, today certainly made it all very visible, both for the royals and those watching. I think it must have been a day of significant introspection for all of the royals as they contemplated the past, faced the future, all while paying tribute to generations of fellow Brits who also did their duty, played their parts, and passed the torch of responsibility to a new generation.





97 comments:

  1. Touching moment of Queen passing the baton. I'm sure Charles was more than ready!

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  2. I so enjoy your posts, the different photos you choose together with your analysis of the circumstance at hand, is always a good read, and often educational about many things Royal, and British. You have a gift in your writing, creating a ‘moment’ for me as a regular reader but seldom poster. Today’s post certainly acknowledges the poignancy of the history we are observing, and the changes underway, but always thoughtful, and mindful of place and significance to royal life. Thank you for your efforts.

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  3. This is awful, she looks like she stepped out of a 1940’s movie and not in a good way. Ugh. I barely recognized her in the first picture. πŸ˜’

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    1. Haha when my husband looked over at my phone he said “she looks old.” I guess that look is really aging her for some people. In general I think big hats that block her forehead tend to make her look older than usual.

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    2. To toss it out there, it’s my opinion the last few years that she has been using Botox and fillers. When you’re pregnant you shouldn’t use these. I feel whenever she is pregnant she looks aged and my guess is that we’re seeing her “natural” face, as well as exhaustion from the HG (sp?) that she battles. Once the baby is here and she’s done breast feeding I think she’ll look “younger” again. This is very common these days with how many women use these anti aging products and how young women are using them, so this absolutely is not a criticism or insult :-)
      ~ A

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    3. I thought Sunday's look was one of her best at this event. I loved her hairstyle, the coat is really nice and I've always liked that hat. She definitely said future Queen to me

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    4. Yes, she does look like a future Queen to me, too. And I think she'll make a stunningly beautiful one, too.

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  4. Phenomenal post, Jane! Have really been enjoying the return of your chatty blog posts! Well done! Have missed this!

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    1. Hear, hear. Chatty posts are the best!

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  5. I agree. I have no idea what she's thinking half the time in terms of her look lately. If I didn't know who she was, she could easily pass as a 50-year old woman in these pictures. I continue to be disappointed and I just don't get it. She has all the money and all the resources in the world at her disposal, not to mention good looks, yet it's like she's deliberately trying to look old and matronly.

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    1. People keep saying Kate looks older and even in her 50s but really, compare her with Sophie. Sophie looks good but she looks like a woman in her 50s. Kate does not.

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    2. Clare, I don't mean to harp on your initial comment whatsoever, as you are entitled to whatever opinion you like. However, I just want to mention one thing I've noticed about the Duchess and perhaps other royals, and why they always stand out. Yes, they have plenty of money and plenty of resources to inject, lift, tuck, add, glam it up, etc., but they are not celebrities, nor do they probably care to be. Sure to us they are celebs of sorts, but from my understanding their roles are to be in some sort of service/awareness, not impress.

      What I appreciate about the Duchess is her ability to always look appropriate for the occasion, and modest, which is practically unheard of today. She's not 50, nor does she look anywhere close to it. She looks like a 30-something wife and mother who takes care of herself but doesn't overdo it. I'm 36 and take a LOT of cues from how she carries herself in any given situation. Though all eyes are practically always on her, she manages to never actually draw attention to herself.

      Anyway, just my thought...no judgment on yours:)

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    3. Stephanie 10pm - I think the Duchess does inject, but you shouldn’t when you are pregnant. So I think when she is pregnant she isn’t injecting, plus she’s sick, so she looks her age/older than she did 4 months ago. I agree that quite often she puts her priorities other places than say the Kardashians and she doesn’t invest as much in always looking *perfect*. She doesn’t enlist all the nannies to dedicate herself to her appearance and I appreciate that. I think she’s a relatable example of someone with money and means but someone who tries to juggle it all. I also think we forget the times she stuns us and wows us - when it’s her place to she will knock it Out of the park :-) (e.g. tours, movie premieres, etc.)
      ~ A

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  6. I loved Catherine’s look today! So pretty and elegant. Her hair was beautiful and very well done! Nice to see something a bit different. Lovely!

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  7. Orange County GrandmaNovember 12, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    People today was not the day to focus on Kate’s dress. This day was to honor the men and women who served and still serving their country. But no most of you had to put your focus on her dress. And some IMO was very nasty towards Kate
    Yes you all are entitled to your opinions but not to be nasty.

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    1. I agree. She always looks appropriate and beautiful. The focus on looks should only be if she looks appropriate and respectful. But this blog is about her life & fashion. Others seem to feel it's okay to publically criticize her & even get really upset if she wears something they don't like. How about everyone gets back to enjoying Kate following-- or else quit following her. You might want to check out Queen Letzia's style if you are looking for a royal fashion star to follow. She may have the style you'd like better.

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    2. I couldn't say it any better than Jennifer in Canada. This is classic Jane talking about classic Kate. Dynamite combination.

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    3. What an unfair comment! Many people here have been following Kate for years and have the right to be honest about their changing opinions or to muse out loud and they don't deserve to be ordered to 'enjoy' anything! If you yourself do not find joy in reading the blog or the comments, perhaps you are the one who should reassess the hobby? I do not find anyone to be 'nasty' here, nor do I think it's fair to assume that your interpretation of written internet comments as 'really upset' is necessarily correct. Frankly, I doubt there's a single person who gets truly upset by Kate's clothes but there are quite a few who enjoy a discussion with content and a fair debate. Their method of following Kate is just as legitimate as your undying fandom.

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    4. Thank you anon 2:28. This is a blog about Kate and the events and causes she supports and participates in. We are reading about the event through the lens of Kate followers and have a right to comment on her as well as the event. Nasty, no. Opinionated, sure :-) I’m sure most (if not everyone) here are grateful for those who serve/have served to protect us. We can do both.

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  8. It’s almost shocking to see the Queen up there in the balcony crying and standing next to her husband while he leans on a wall for support. I’m not very old myself and am American but the Queen of England is such a constant in even my own life. This was just such a visible reminder of the passage of time.

    I prefer classic and matronly Kate to “trying to incorpate a trend or match pieces and failing to do it” Kate, which I think we see too frequently. This is a look that will still be beautiful in forty years when people look back on it. I actually really love those earrings and I applaud a change to the hair. If she’d had last nights ringlets with this I would have given it two thumbs down but as is I agree that this is a win.

    Her clutch has been identified as an Emmy piece that costs about $500. I wonder what drives her decisions about when it’s time for a new black clutch. I think for these big important events she has been debuting new and well coordinated accessories, often with new clothing, to make sure she’s nailing it and I applaud that too, though her clutch collection must be about to warrant its own closet at KP.

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    1. Own closet? Seems to me the clutches are close to needing their own room! ;) 

      I think the overall look is lovely but I would not have paired a white trimmed clutch with this coat in Nov for a somber memorial service. I'm also not a fan of lots of brass buttons but that's just me.  

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    2. lizzie, I think the trim on the bag is gold, but I agree that a solid black would have been a better choice.

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    3. You are probably right Jay. I had seen the closeup of the new clutch on WKW and the trim looked white & the text called it white. But that text has been struck-through and "gold" inserted. 

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    4. Anon 8:31- I agree on your thoughts regarding seeing the Queen and DofE. Sobering. A life of service and having to make the choice to slow down. Good for people to see past her stiff upper lip. We can only imagine the exact thoughts she had, but for me the tears spoke volumes.

      As for the clutches, good point! Hahaha. Maybe clutches are Kate’s weakness ;-) Which is funny to me since she doesn’t seem to have a large purse collection.
      ~ A

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  9. I think she looks so beautiful here--love her hair styled this way. Also that hat! My only criticism: I think the buttons make the coat look a bit festive. Perhaps fewer buttons and/or less shiny ones?

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    1. I thought the shiny buttons added a military flare

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    2. I agree with Anon that I think the buttons added military flair BUT maybe the festive-ness you see could make it a great Christmas Day or Christmas lunch recycle(?) :-)
      ~ A

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  10. That last photo is really lovely- she looks like a queen there. Makes me hope that someday (maybe when she's older), she will wear her hair that length. She looks so dignified.

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  11. I got scared when I first saw these pictures. I thought Kate had gotten a drastic haircut. I'm glad to learn she was sporting a faux bob, not a real one. The coat is nice. I don't care for most of Kate's hats, but for some reason, I do like this one. I also like the gloves--the little bows are cute!

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  12. Maybe one of the few but I absolutely loved her hair! She looks poised and elegant!

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  13. Love the whole look, the coat, the hat, and the hair. She looks beautiful, very Queen-like.

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  14. High sugar content warning: I cannot decide what I love more...the hair, the hat, or the coat. She looks beautiful and regal.

    I feel bad for PP here, and surely the Queen must have some private thoughts behind her tears.

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    1. I feel the same regarding PP it may have been hard for his pride. I wonder if we’ll ever see him with a walker or if he will just go into permanent seclusion... Still amazing to see him that well for his age!
      ~ A

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    2. Should it happen, I truly hope that the public never sees him with a walker. :-)

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  15. A very poignant day, and a reminder that time passes for us all. A beautiful tribute to the veterans. Kate was elegant and right on target with her outfit.

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    1. I thought that Kate really looked queenly. A+++

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  16. Beautiful, respectful post. Heartbreaking to see the Queen and Prince Philip looking so vulnerable and frail but something I think we all have to get used to. The side view picture of Kate is great, you have such a talent for finding interesting, different photographs. Thank you for a very enjoyable blog.

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    1. Ugh, agreed. Seeing photos of the older generations like this always makes me wonder if by that age they are aware of time and the imminent end of life. I'm sure they are on some level, but I wonder how it must feel. I understand it was Remembrance Day, but I wonder if that wasn't the only thing looming in the Queen's thoughts at that moment. Perhaps it's a bit morbid to think but it often crosses my mind on momentous occasions if that particular event could be the last for anyone really, not just older folks.

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  17. This entire event this year is so touching. Watching the reins pass to the next generations is bittersweet, but appropriate, and some might even say overdue. It's truly incredible how long the Queen and Prince Phillip have been able to keep going in full capacity, just astounding. On the fashion front - Kate looks incredible. Just incredible! The hair is gorgeous - I hope she does this look again, it made that hat look new. The coat - wow, what a perfect fit and look for the day. Her makeup- stunning. Everything is perfect, she looks every inch a modern Duchess. I loved her velvet coat yesterday too - the length was so perfect - it's always exciting when she wears a knee-length hemline or just above, as opposed to those midi lengths which look cute sometimes, but if worn too often drag a whole wardrobe down. But these latest two looks are fantastic! I'm so glad she's feeling better! :)

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    1. It is amazing that the Queen and DoE have been able to function as well as they have into their nineties. Incredible gene pool! I was sad to see them on the balcony today until I read your comment. How lucky we have been to have them as we have this long!

      Agree with your positive comments regarding Kate's outfit. This is a great look. Very elegant and polished. I think the militaryesque buttons are a nice touch and like how she's ecboed their gold tone with her earrings and purse. Glad to see the "heart hat" again as I have always liked it. I feel she looked the most comfortable and confident she has ever looked at this event.

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    2. Faith-she did give us a preview of Queen Catherine.
      I had thought the design resembled the outline of a butterfly. She has another hat with the butterfly theme representing hope, re-birth, and the cycle of life. It sounds like a stretch but we have seen that she does indeed pay attention to the message she is presenting, although sometimes not in as fashionable a mode as some would prefer. I also think the brightness of the buttons ("almost too cheerful") in contrast to the all black mourning look of the other royal ladies gives a bit of hope for the future, which she does represent, more than the others. The fact that she carries a child completes the image.
      This is one of the memorable times during her royal life she touched all the bases. As Jane said-this day and those photos have a sure place in the history books and I think she assumes this classic look for such times. Not surprising for an Art History major.

      There are many others. The second Canada-tour blue arrival outfit...

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    3. I have come to the conclusion that Kate's retro looks are my favorites. They suit her quite well and it accentuates her natural poise and grace.

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    4. I agree with other replies to Diane's post, and to Diane's. This was, IMO, by far Kate's best look yet on Remembrance Sunday. Loved the coat, loved the hairstyle, and although I've never been particularly keen on this hat--it seemed to me to be a size too large for her head--this time 'round, either it sat just a bit farther back, showing more of her forehead, or Kate's lovely hairstyle balanced it nicely; I liked it.

      I have only one minor quibble with this ensemble, and that's to do with the gloves. I simply don't care for the bows at the wrist, or with the material. Lightly lined black leather gloves would be more sophisticated.

      As others have said, we've been given an early glimpse of a future Queen Catherine. In the short term tho, I rather hope that she won't actually cut her hair into a bob; that would leave Kate with fewer styling options...and she has too many years to go to get stuck into any one style...she should be free to experiment now.

      JC

      P.S. Does anyone know if the polling organization, Opinium Research, is reliable?

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    5. Makes her look old before her time.

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    6. Anon1, I think the "passing the baton" speculation is inevitable under the circumstances. And we can speculate about age and/or health factors until we run out of cheesecake and coffee and still not know the whole story.

      Regarding the equerry laying PP's wreath, well, perhaps this was Philip's preference. He's a proud man and maybe he would rather *tell* his equerry to do it than *ask* his son just yet. Who knows; he may feel more in charge this way, rather than having it appear that Charles is taking over for his old, ailing father. Is the bottom line the same? Yes. Do we all validate from time to time? Definitely.

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    7. JC, I may be way off here, but I wonder if Opinium was written by the same genius who put together a warning email about my bank debit card. If you could see the spelling and punctuation, you would understand. :-)

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    8. Faith I don’t mean to be morbid but I don’t think it’s an incredible gene pool for QueenE and DofE....I think they’re both a testament to science and the importance of new experiences, constantly meeting new people, etc (neuroplasticity, etc) that has kept them sharp and active as long as they have been. They have outlived so many family members. Honestly, I think they are a great example of what is key to aging well. Plus, they have both been physically active their whole lives and probably eat pretty good diets.

      Although, this summer People magazine reported the Queen has a few cocktails a day....perhaps that is a secret to a long life, too ;-)

      ~ A

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  18. Thought the photograph of Kate with her eyes closed looked absolutely stunning. This outfit showed off her lovely neck. I really do not know what people are expecting of her, but for me this look was perfect for the occasion. I too thought she looked poised and elegant and a credit to have in the Royal Family. Can I point out that the Queen is not the Queen of England, but the Queen of the United Kingdom.

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  19. Catherine looked so poised; elegant; beautiful and every inch a future Queen.
    Yesterday seemed to point to the end of an era, with all the younger royals accepting what the future holds for them.
    I was shocked to see how frail the Duke of Edinburgh looked--on his last public engagement he looked so fit.

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    1. I too am shocked by the rapid decline of the DoE. I'll have to Google it as I'm not sure but I dont think it was so long ago that we saw him looking well. Maybe he's been ill. Even so, he is doing well to attend and stand for the ceremony given how frail he appears. Incredible sense of duty and service.

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    2. I fear this possibly last act of devotion, combined with his appearance the evening before, may have taken a huge toll .
      The thought did flit through my mind-what if Charles's taking of the Queen's place prompted the Duke's appearance to keep his wife company on the balcony? Not the reverse? It would seem to fit in with the general flow of the past months.
      Both he and Princess Alexandra appeared too ill to be there . She, too, leaned against the wall. Yet both maintained their dignity.

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    3. I doubt Prince Philip's appearance has anything to do with Charles taking over for his mother. Prince Philip would likely only miss Remembrance Day if he were too ill or dead. This is a sacred day in the UK to honor the dead of World War I on the anniversary of the day when the Armistice was signed.

      Just because he's retired from official appearances in his charity work does not mean he isn't going to continue to appear at events like this if his health permits. He's got an incredible sense of duty. I agree with Jean from Lancs, this is sadly the end of an era.

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    4. I believe you mis-interpreted my comment.
      BP announced a month ago that the Queen had asked Charles to stand in for her this year so that she could stand with Philip on the balcony. It was not that the Queen was ceding her duty to Charles. It was because of Phillip. However, coverage of Sunday's events almost unanimously made the story that she was passing the baton and barely mentioned, if at all, the original reason given for HM's appearance on the balcony-to keep Phillip company.
      This simply did not make sense to me. I think it could have been a graceful way of explaining the situation, without actually saying that, for whatever reason, she was giving up the duty she has performed since 1952. However, I think he could have been seated at the sidelines with the dignitaries. Or on the balcony with Timothy Laurence or next to Catherine, as he was at the concert. Or Camilla, for that matter. If the only reason she did not place the Wreath of State is Phillip was too ill to stand that long (but he actually did--on the balcony) there were multiple solutions that would not involve Charles taking over the Queen's duty . I think something else was going on. Either it was also the Queen who was not up to the task herself, whch is quite possible, in view of her fairly restricted Diary at this point; or there truly has been a sort of behind the scenes changing of the guard.

      The question never was whether or not Phillip would appear-of course he would show; it was only where the Queen would be and why.
      And yes, it is an end of an era if you accept the news reports that the Queen is passing her baton. But that was not the reason given by the Palace. Far from it.




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    5. That's not at all what you said in your original post so I didn't misinterpret anything. But I do think you are misinterpreting the Queen's actions.

      She did not say she would have Prince Charles take over the Remembrance Day duties so she could stand beside Philip. This is part of her transition. She's passing the baton and it's been going on for the last several years now. The Prince of Wales has been standing in for the Queen at major conferences, head of state meetings, and important ceremonies held overseas for a long time now. The only exception, as I recall, was the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. She did attend that and I believe Philip did too.

      If the Queen had not wanted to have Charles take over Remembrance Day, she'd have been the one placing the wreath and Philip would have been right at the Cenotaph with her. She's planned this apparently to help her son prepare to be the King. Despite what the media says about him, the Queen and Prince Philip want him to be a successful King. I think that is poignant and very much like her to plan things and carry them out.

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    6. I just re-read my 11:32 comment. Although the thought that Phillip's BALCONY appearance was for the Queen (not hers for him) was the meaning I intended-not a question of his appearance at the event at all, I apparently did not word it clearly enough. I can understand how the meaning was misunderstood. The thought flitted out as fast as it entered. He was clearly too ill to be there at all. As it was, he needed to be somewhere a doctor and necessary equipment could be literally around the corner and he could step back into the building without making the fuss a departure near the monument would have made. That makes sense. And it makes sense to me that his wife would want to stand by him as much as possible in his remaining days.

      People have placed great significance on Elizabeth's words about service spoken as a princess on her 21st birthday when she was five years from becoming Queen and her Father was still very firmly King. Her commitment to serve has been transformed by the press and has become a quote repeated nearly every time her monarchy is discussed. What she had in mind as service-she worked on military vehicles during the war just a few years before that remark-whatever meaning, there is no going back now. It has been set in stone. It is in this context that I cannot accept that she could not have placed the wreath and then gone to stand by Phillip. It would still have been an eloquent gesture of devotion to her husband, while still performing her duty. Her whole life has been duty first, self and family second.
      When the announcement that she would be with Phillip on the balcony for the whole ceremony was originally made by BP, Phillip had last been seen standing tall and able to joke and converse. Even, given his deteriorating appearance now, I don't think that was the reason she did not place the wreath. It wasn't just her wreath, as has been publicised; it was the Wreath of State.
      I also don't understand why Charles was allowed to place two wreaths, one for himself, and William was not. Why have an equerry place Phillip's wreath when William was the most appropriate as next-heir to Charles? He could have placed Phillip's wreath and then come back to place his own--just as Charles did.
      An equerry? Makes no sense at all to me.
      And William, Harry, and Andrew side by side simultaneously placing wreaths? What kind of message was THAT supposed to send?
      Something's afoot.

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    7. I don't see how your not being clear about what you are saying is the fault of others when they take you at your word. It's not possible to misunderstand that. As for the rest of it, I think you've got the wrong end of the stick on all of it.

      The wreath placement is done according to protocol. You can Google that.

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    8. The change to placing the wreathes in threes started last year, said to be shortening the length of time HM and the Duke ( and many of the former soldiers)were standing in the cold, so I suppose the same thing applied this year.

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    9. From personal experience with loved ones, it is sad to watch how quickly age and frailty can catch up with seniors. With anyone, but particularly those older than us, we have to maximize every moment we can so we don’t have any regrets :-)

      ~ A

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    10. What were the other groups of three? Was the service actually significantly shortened? Probably not by more than 10-15 minutes. I can think of a number of parts of that ceremony that could have been tweaked to significantly shorten the standing around in the cold time that made more sense than changing the wreath-placing.
      I need to go back and check. I honestly don't recall William, Harry, and Andrew walking side by side at that ceremony last year. Regardless-it is still an interesting grouping. Why not Anne, Edward, and Andrew together, following Charles? Then Harry and William. I believe Anne was allowed a solo placement, that may be one reason.

      Apparently mine is not the only memory lapse-no one seems to recall the BP statement that HM would appear on the balcony this year to stand by Phillip and had requested Charles to place her wreath.(the Wreath of State. The only one with that honor)

      Google it The media is spreading this pass the baton type slant and the internet has picked it up. BP mentioned nothing about that. It was presented only as a concession to Phillip's condition, not a permanent ceding of duty. It is not quibbling. There is a huge difference in meaning and intent between the Queen wishing to stand by Phillip, (who could not stand down at the Cenotaph but apparently stood on the balcony) compared to the Queen relinquishing one of the most significant duties she performs. There is absolutely no credible reason I can think of at this moment that she could not have placed the wreath and then quietly gone to join Phillip for the rest of the ceremony.

      Some royal reporters constantly remark on the engineered information the palaces put out and sometimes make up their own explanations for the facts that don't fit. I think it is just as dangerous to assume that all motives of the power players are altruistic and not apply simple logic to a situation.
      I don't think the Queen means to give up up anything. I think she is as steadfast and resolute as her predecessor, Elizabeth I was...determined to go out in full power, refusing to abdicate or consider a Regency .Giving up overseas tours and some of the UK visits is one thing; a role as close to the heart of the monarchy as this was...quite another .
      If she stood on that balcony only out of affection and respect for her husband, why can I not find one photo of her even looking his way , let alone a smile, a look of concern or touch on the arm? In contrast, we have a photo of Kate showing concern for the Duke , as she sat next to him at the concert.

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    11. That's interesting about the wreaths. I didn't realize how frail she was becoming. I hope when Charles becomes king he changes the rules and makes a provision for retirement. At his age, his reign will be short in comparison to hers so I can see him staying on until he dies, but I was thinking of William and Kate who are both so healthy and fit.

      They will assume the throne likely in their 40s, maybe early 50s. They could retire by age 80 and let George take over. That way, he would still be young and fit himself and would have about 30 years on the throne before he reaches 80. And it would be a retirement, not an abdication. Since the new rule would not be "until death," there would be nothing to abdicate.

      The old rules were predicated on a monarch having a short life because back then people died at such young ages in comparison to the life span of today. It made sense that they would rule until they died.

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    12. One final comment from me...Ha! After an afternoon of internet-searching, I am nearly screen-blind.
      Jean, I reviewed the 2016 Cenotaph ceremony. The BBC commentator offered that William, Harry, and Andrew had all seen active service. They did walk together last year. That would explain the rationale for that grouping but not a credible reason for grouping to begin with-at least not the standing in the cold one. Princess Anne also appeared in a group of three last year. However, the length of time for the entire royal wreath presentation was mere minutes. Having the two groups of three split up singly could hardly have added enough time to matter to them or to the veterans. It did serve to highlight the presentations by HM, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles, who approached the Cenotaph singly.
      I also noted how close the royals stood to the entrance of the building I believe held one or more of the balconies the royals stood on. It is the door through which they entered the area. HM could easily have slipped out without a fuss to join Phillip, assuming the plan was announced beforehand. He was indeed too frail to remain at attention as he had in 2016, even for that brief time. I can understand why he viewed from a place less in the spotlight and not requiring standing at attention. I also understand HM's wish to not let him remain alone on the balcony without her.
      Was it last year, 2016, when the Queen fell ill with a worsening "cold" shortly afterward, as well as the Duke? She finally had to alter some of her Christmas routine and was out of sight, except for a video, for at least a month. Could that be related to the change in Remembrance Sunday routine?

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    13. Actually, serving until death removed a monarch was a reflection of their being ordained by God and He only could remove a monarch. "The Devine Right of Kings." This is a foundation of the monarchy which is clearly noted both in the history of the monarchy and the ritual of coronation. It is the basis for the Anointing with Holy oil. If Queen Elizabeth truly believes this, she could not possibly abdicate.
      Of course, many monarchs left the throne by other than old age or other natural means. But the idea is that the royal line is sacred. To "change the rules" would mean destroying a foundation of the monarchy.

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    14. I believe it was also said that last year the Queen found placing the wreath (even though it had been designed to be lighter for her) and then walking backwards down the steps to be difficult. She shouldn't be performing duties that are difficult or even dangerous to her physical well being.

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    15. She really shouldn't be doing things she can't physically manage anymore. She's been transitioning to the time when she won't be able to carry out her duties by handing over more to Prince Charles every year. She won't be doing the wreath laying again or overseas conferences or tours. She's given up many of her patronages and handed them to the younger royals, too. It's very sad to see her becoming more frail and doing less. I think she's been a very good Queen overall.

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  20. Echoing so many of the comments here- our Duchess looked so right on the balcony. I always enjoy seeing the family come together for these occasions. Hope the Queen and the Duke can enjoy a quiet couple of days now to rest up for the holidays. May we lift up our prayers for all those who have served and continue to serve their country and keep their families in our prayers, too.

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  21. Loved this. Kate does always get it right on Rememberance Sunday, but some appearances (the banana-curl Temperley year, for example) and standouts and others (butterfly hat year) are not. To me, this was a standout.

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    1. I agree. Kate always does get it right for Remembrance Sunday. I loved this outfit and I love that she used this hat again. It really goes so well with this coat and that hairstyle. It looks so good on her.

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  22. Kate was perfect for this day of celebration... Lovely, elegant, a real future queen !!! And her hair with this hat, really beautiful... Perfect !!!
    The photos of The Queen and The Duke are very emotional...

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  23. The difference in style and taste on this blog always surprise me. So many think Kate looks matronly, while I look at those pictures and think, that's a future Queen. Shrug, to each their own. For me this is an amazing look. Love it from head to toe.

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  24. Dear Jane,
    it has been 5 years since I am reading your blog. However, I have never posted a comment. Il will try to do it now. I would like to tell you how I like your blog and share my admiration for you wonderful work. I am very impressed by you devotion and the quality of your articles. I enjoy the fact that you publish candid photos. I really like to see the Duchess in her daily activities and not only in her formal engagements. Those candid pictures are rarer than they used to be, but they emerge sometims ans it is nice to see them.
    Thank you so much for working so hard on you blog and provide your readers with better insights about ehr duchess’ life.
    Best regards
    Montaine

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  25. It's funny to think that the DoC follows blogs/press just as we follow her. She has taken a page out of Amal Clooney's book here - and bravo - the hairdo looks fantastic. Very fresh. My only grip is that the hat is too heavy in form and construct for her (it was true at the first wear and true now).

    Separately Jane ... I saw an earlier note from you that you didn't love DoC's new hairdo. I personally love it on her. It freshens her up, and she is pulling it off marvelously.

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  26. I find myself agreeing with ROYALFAN...I love Kate in retro looks! They do suit her perfectly. Love the hair and the entire look. My heart goes out to HM and her husband....transitions coming right and left from this point...hate seeing him so frail and HM tearful. Charles has spent a lifetime waiting, though. Jane, your blog is wonderful!

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    1. I remember my Mom using hair foundations and gadgets to shape her hair-do. There was something called a "rat" and a padded ring she would wear around the crown, with hair pulled up and tucked in around the device- think Bette Davis in" Now Voyager." or "Dark Victory." There was a plastic ring she could form a sort of "page boy" look with--which is what Kate's style reminded me of, more than a bob. I usually think of a bob as being turned up at the ends. Maybe not. Does anyone remember June Allyson and her perennial pageboy hair style?
      I enjoy retro Kate, too. I prefer to think of it as classic, not retro or matronly.

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    2. I'm with the retro fans as I love this look too. I agree with you, anon1, that this looks more page boy than bob. Either way she looks lovely and it's nice this length of hair gives her some different options.

      It did seem an end of an era with HM on the balcony. I will say, however, that for the first time I thought Charles looked "kingly" which is a relief because I've worried about the monarchy under his rule. I'll still never see Camilla as a queen.

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    3. I think Charles is up to the task and perhaps more than ready. Theater actors and sports competitors are warned of the dangers of over-practice. I think he may be about to move past his prime. I just do not want the Queen to be forced into a Regency, even though it may realistically be the better option. I ponder whether this present situation is a result of her slowly releasing her hold on her duties or rather, a removal of them one by one from her grasp. I think her years of service indicate a graceful exit. Not a hook. Perhaps her tears just got to me.
      A Regency is a compromise between continued full reign and abdication. I think it would still involve amendment to the Act of Parliament. She is neither mentally nor physically incapacitated to the point her status would warrant a Regency under present statutes, as I understand them. I am thinking of a" mad" Hanover king whose reign did result in Regency and George VI, had he lingered much longer. There are accounts he was up and about the evening before his death in his sleep, following his pain injection. Elizabeth herself was in a similar situation with her Father as Charles is with his Mother. (I see a possible trigger for those tears here) In fact, she had taken over a world tour he was to have made.
      The other condition, youth, certainly does not apply.

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    4. Robin, I took another look at Amal Clooney's hair-do that Kate's was supposedly modeled after. It is clearly a bob and has up-turned curls. Kate's is a page-boy-turned under.

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    5. True Anon 1 but the Telegraph aricle from Feb 2016 featuring Amal showed lots of other women with faux bobs that were turned under. I agree Kate's probably not copying Amal but this kind of updo for longer hair has been around for years as this article clearly shows. I wish Kate's hairdresser was a little more "up to speed."

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/hair/amal-clooneys-truly-fabulous-faux-bob/

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    6. It's definitely not a page boy. That's got a boxy look to it like Donna Reed used to wear in the 50s. This is a turned under bob. Lizzie is right, this style has been around for many years. It was very popular in England during World War II.

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    7. Yes it was popular in the 40's in America as well.--that is why I referenced June Allyson. It was called a pageboy then. I wore the style as a girl in the 60's--called a pageboy then as well. Google the image of a royal attendant once called a page boy. Same hair-do. It is where the name originally came from.
      Perhaps it is called a "turned-under bob" now.

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    8. Ha! Text under a Hollywood hairstyles post on Pinterest describes June Allyson's hairstyle as a "pageboy BOB." Maybe we are all at least partly right. There does not seem to be one definition of pageboy hairstyle, or bob, either .
      The styles called pageboy go from a turned under pixie look to a shoulder length style, such as Toni Tennille wore. The origins go from males in 1900--'to females in the 1950's and source from a model named Page to the style a page boy wore. The style is credited to several hairstylists. It includes the Beetle's haircut. Most have bangs.

      I still think June Allyson also wore it in late 1940's movies. And Kate's hairstyle was not exactly the same as Amal's. It is really as much like some of the styles called "pageboy." It isn't a matter of anyone copying someone or being "up to speed."

      The terms bob and pageboy are open to interpretation. There is no one correct answer. You can show me photos of one source and I can show other photos and explanations that would seem to counter it.

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    9. Kate's hair has been pinned under, not cut. Pinning the hair under was popular in England in World War II.

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    10. I'm not sure I could accurately describe the difference between a pageboy and a bob. I always thought bobs were shorter in back but that may not be true. (And I've seen June Allyson's hair referred to as a "pageboy-bob" too.) Regardless, when I said the hairstyle Kate wore (& Amal's version) had been around for a long time, I meant the many different pageboy/bob looks *created by rolling up longer hair.* The rolled up style is also a bit reminiscent of how N. Kidman's hair was styled in The Others horror movie set in WWII England. As the Telegraph link showed many women have worn this WWII rolled up look in the last few years.

      My "up to speed" hairdresser comment I stand by. Kate's hair whether long or at this shorter length has always offered lots of styling possibilities. For ages we hardly ever saw Kate with her hair up. It was worn down and that's fine but the beauty queen blow out with curls went on for a long time. Change ups seemed to involve obviously roller-set long Bo-Peep ringlets. I don't think that was ever a good look for Kate. Then there was a run of solidly structured low buns. The first ones were nice to see, some looked lovely with hats but there was never much variety. And low buns can be aging. Then a run of  pinbacks including a few with chip-clips. But look at all the positive reaction to the slightly different faux bob style! 

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    11. Ah! I understand what you meant now. Not the style but the method of forming the style. Pinning versus cutting and curling under. Well, the result looks like much the same style, doesn't it?

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    12. I agree rolled or pinned under looks very similar to a shortcut that's curled under but it can be quite different the next day! And IMO that's the value of the rolled under method (& most updo methods)

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    13. Ladies, regardless of the proper terminology, Kate looked super chic and classy. Every inch a future Queen. πŸ‘‘

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  27. I rarely say this but she knocked this one out of the park. If you don't recall past remembrance days, she would be seen giggling with Sophie which I always believed was immature but perhaps was just not noticing cameras were clicking away. She finally got it right this year.

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    1. With Sophie, as Sophie was smiling, too. WKW has some photos showing some of the balcony ladies enjoying lighter moments this year, too. I was relieved because one included Princess Alexandra who had looked ill and leaning against the wall in another photo.

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  28. Somewhere on this thread someone mentioned the plans for the future re: Elizabeth's Remembrance Sunday role. The royal reporters said that the Palace made clear that the Queen wasn't just taking this Remembrance Sunday off. She won't lay the wreath ever again. She has passed the duty to Charles.

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    1. Yes, that's what I read also. And she has also said that if she lives to be 95, then she wants the Regency Act to take effect which means Charles would effectively take over all her duties and she would essentially be retired, but without saying she has abdicated or that he has officially succeeded her. But there would be no more red boxes, no more Jubilees, etc.

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    2. I ran across an interesting article from today by Ingrid Seward when I was looking for the official palace press releases for the statement the Queen has said she will accept a Regency when she is 95. I was also trying to find one of the stories I had earlier read about the Queen's choice to join Phillip this year on the balcony. All I could find this time regarding the balcony/ceremony decision was an oblique reference given by a palace source in an unrelated story. There was absolutely no indication that it was not done due to Phillip's condition or that she had given it up for all time.

      There are official press releases and there are leaks or information a reporter credits to a royal source or "palace insider"---which could be anyone from Camilla to the Master of the Hounds--or "those in position to know." There is also reporter speculation and outright fabrication. Oblique or uncredited reports about a royal outfit or favorite flower are one thing; reports about a monarch's future role quite another. Significant statements should only be credited when reported by named, credible sources. It is one thing to say the Queen will join her ailing husband and quite another to say she has permanently and for all time given up a duty as iconic as her leading the memorial at the Cenotaph.
      This article by Ingrid Seward reminded me of the popular remarks from the media during the aftermath of Edward's sudden departure from the Royal Marines after four months. It was not only a reminder to not believe everything I read in the papers; it was also an eye-opener in several areas. One reason credited to royal family sources was that Edward said he had no hope of fitting in because he was followed around by a "policeman" and could not go into town with the other fellows. On the other hand, a named source elaborated on information that Edward had been bullied and teased .This last was from a former headmaster of Edward's who had received a long letter from Prince Phillip shortly after the Marine episode. I will not repeat the reason given for the teasing. I believe this illustrated my point that things are not always as some would have us believe, especially when it comes to the BRF. There is the story for public consumption and also sometimes a quite different story to be told.

      I read multiple articles in looking for more information and I hope I have not mixed what was from where. I believe the Seward story was fairly lengthy, citing sources such as former school masters and nannies by name as sources. She also gives a glimpse of the difference in the way HM approached raising her two younger children-what she referred to as her "second family" because there was such a space between them and her first two. The rumors and reports by media surrounding her decision to completely keep Andrew out of public view for a year-there were no christening photos, for example-the speculation included some rather scandalous stuff. None of which proved true.

      It is an interesting read. If factual, I have not been giving Elizabeth credit for being the hands-on parent that she reportedly was. The second time around. Even then, as was expressed, she saw no difference between family responsibilities and her royal duty.
      One could almost think this article was a rebuttal to those who say she is giving up.

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  29. Where are the photos of Kate at the Hornsey Road Children's Centre Engagement in North London on 14 November, 2017?

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  30. She should accept the regency now, imho. It's like when you have a nice cake and you keep going back for seconds and thirds. My Mum always said, "Leave something for others." She should leave something for Charles. He's getting quite old, too.

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  31. I like her outfit. She's beautiful and dignified.

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