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Sandringham Christmas Day 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

It's the most wonderful day of the year (for so many reasons! ;)). Today, the Royal Family marked Christmas as they attended church at St. Mary Magdalene. The annual walk to church has become a significant tourist event, with numbers skyrocketing when Kate joined the family in 2011. This year, with Meghan Markle making her first walk, it was a doubly exciting morning. 


Richard Palmer remarked that fans who'd gathered to greet the royals got better pictures than many of the professional photographers, because their positions provided a better (unobstructed) angle. The picture above was snapped by Karin Anvil and I think almost every outlet is running it. Talk about a Christmas exclusive.

Neither couple attended the early morning communion service. This created some confusion on IG, but there are two services on Christmas day, a "dawn" communion service, and the midday service where there are hats and more finery, and much waving. William and Kate have attended the dawn communion service a few times. I think once George arrived, they determined that two church services in one morning was too much. I think George and Charlotte have other plans for this morning hours. The two went in 2011 (Kate's first Christmas with the royals), and again in 2013. It is a more intimate event and we only get photos from a distance, but I do love it, and hope we see them attend in the future. 


Whenever the couple are at Sandringham for Christmas, though, they certainly attend the big midday service and participate in the family walk, as they did today. The Cambridges and Harry and Meghan made the smart move to arrive as a group. It provided a beautiful photo-op for the media and fans.

KP
Meghan Markle chose a camel-colorway for her debut and I thought it looked fantastic on her. Her coat is Sentaler, (in some pictures you can see the brand's signature ribbing on the sleeve) and I particularly love this hat with its bold twist on the side.

KP

Unfortunately, this video crops Kate out, but the two women were standing next to one another and gave a simultaneous curtsy to the Queen.

Here is a nice, albeit quick, video of the four walking out of the gates toward the public:



The entire family was beaming, and although the Queen arrived, per her habit, by car, I think everyone was delighted to see the Duke of Edinburgh enjoying the brisk walk with his grandchildren. 

KP
After the service, the younger royals spend time mixing with the crowd before their walk back to the house. Here is a video of William and Kate saying hello to those gathered after church:
As predicted, Kate wore an entirely new ensemble, choosing this tartan coat from Miu Miu! I love how bright and Christmassy this coat is, and it is short enough that it shows off Kate's legs, but not so short that we have a Dreaded Moloh repeat. ;)



Kate wore a new hat, too, that has yet to be IDed, the Sumac style Alpaca fur hat from Lacorine, Kiki McDonough earrings, and her Tod's shoes. She carried her Bayswater clutch and the flowers gifted to her by kind fans who had gathered in the cold on Christmas. 


We haven't seen these Kikis in a while. Kate debuted them in Ireland at Hillsborough Castle while wearing the Cinnamon Bun topper. ;)



In her Christmas message, the Queen looked back at how far technology has come since she first began broadcasting her annual message. She sent thoughts and prayers to the victims of the terrorist attacks that have plagued Britain this year, and those who suffered in the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower. She made mention of the new family members who will join the family in 2018, and highlighted activity in Commonwealth. You can watch the message here. 

Meghan is the new family member, so there weren't as many pictures of Kate this year as we usually get. It's a little disappointing, but I think it is pretty natural, and I understand why the cameras were clicking just a little more in Meghan's direction. I am sure we will rebalance as people acclimate to Meghan's arrival. Meanwhile, Kate was absolutely glowing today. Her coat with black stockings and pumps made for the perfect Christmas ensemble. This was certainly a huge Christmas win! 


Thank you for all the lovely Christmas messages. It's been delightful to hear from so many, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones! This carol is sticking with me a lot this Christmas season. Peace to you and yours.

He bows his head, “There is no peace on earth,” [he] said,
“for hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

198 comments:

  1. Mary from ManchesterDecember 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    I loved Kate's coat. Seems a bit pricey though for a coat. I wasn't expecting that price tag. But loved the whole look with the hat the black tights and the Tod's shoes. She looks very healthy and happy. William looked good. He seems to have shaved his hair close. It looks good. I can't believe Meghan Markle stuck her tongue out. I saw that on the Daily Mail.

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    1. I really doubt Meghan was sticking her tongue out at anybody. She was probably moistening her lips--perhaps they were chapped due to the cold.

      I think my vote for best outfit today goes to Autumn.

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    2. William's hair is cut very close...it does look good, but I'm just a little sad he appears to be losing more hair than ever! The shorter cut suits him.

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    3. Autumns hat was so festive Jay! Lady Louise is also looking so confident these days - I thought she outshone the York girls

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    4. Anon 5:04: Yes, Lady Louise looked lovely too! Anne as well. Sophie looked pretty in pink. She must have been cold without a coat and gloves.

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    5. Lady Louise is all grown up now! She looks chic. I thought it quite unfortunate to have Meghan caught with her tongue out. It is unsightly. She will learn to pull her lips in to moisten them if that was the intention.

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    6. I’d love to know more about Autumn’s outfit. From the small photos I saw she may be one of the best dressed!

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    7. Mary from ManchesterDecember 26, 2017 at 10:32 AM

      I loved Autumn's coat. And the way she coordinated her girls, their coats were lovely, too. A perfect note. Really well done.

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    8. Yes, I thought Autumn and her girls looked lovely.

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    9. I like how the trim on Autumn's coat matches her hat and dress.

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    10. I agree, Jay, Autumn and her daughters were best dressed this year! I thought Kate and Meghan looked great.......just wasn't a huge fan of Meghan's hat...I think I would have preferred it to not be so rounded and sit so far down on her forehead. Always a fun time to watch the royals!!

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    11. Mary from ManchesterDecember 27, 2017 at 3:35 PM

      I would have liked to see Meghan in Christmas colours. Maybe a plain red or red plaid, with a black hat.

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  2. I love it when Kate wears citrine earrings!

    Merry Christmas Jane!

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  3. Merry Christmas, Jane!

    I think Kate looked fantastic for their Christmas morning walk. I love the tartan coat and imagine she will get much use out of it on future visits to Scotland. Everything she wore was perfect for a chilly Christmas morning walk to church.

    I think Meghan was wise to choose a rather drab color so as not to be seen as competing with any others for her first outing with the family - especially after the controversy surrounding the price tag on her dress for the engagement photos. I love the twist on her hat but I don't love the shape of her hat. A little too helmut-like for me. The twist is brilliant though.

    Lastly, oh how HM and Camilla clashed in their color choices! I hope they don't stand next to each other for family photos. Yikes! Can't believe how vibrant PP still is at his age. That's a pretty amazing amount of energy for a 96 year old man!

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    1. Prince Philip still has that sparkle in his eye! He is amazingly energetic for his age :) It was great to see him joining in with the others on the walk. I agree about HM & Camilla choosing very bright (& contrasting!) colours...they were both very bold, but I prefer the Queen's orange shade. She stood out the most to me (& so she should!).

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    2. Merry Christmas to you, Robin, and all who are celebrating.

      Robin, I liked Kate's look too, very much, and really love these hats on her. They frame her face very nicely and always seem to give her a youthful glow. (My impression, anyway.)

      And I thought Meghan's outfit was a good choice for her first Christmas with the RF. Certainly safe and appropriate.

      Regarding HM and Camilla, well, I did anticipate that Camilla would want to be seen given the focus on H&M. Sort of like, "they may be young and popular, but *I'm next*!

      Ideally, it would have been appropriate for Camilla to wear a much lighter/neutral color today to allow the Queen to shine. (Yesterday, for example, Sophie was dressed in red and black when she arrived at church with the Queen, while HM was in pale grey). Now that's an example of 'C' for coordinated effort vs. 'C' for clash!

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    3. I agree, royalfan, that Camilla needed to back it off a bit. I love the color she wore but totally inappropriate to wear when the whole world knows HM is going to be in a bright saturated hue and that her dressers have stated that she wears them with the specific purpose of being seen by the people. Tsk, tsk, Camilla, you know better.

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    4. Humphrey's GirlDecember 26, 2017 at 1:55 AM

      I thought Camilla looked great. I much preferred her outfit to the queen's. It had a lovely slightly Russian/wintery feel to it which works well for Christmas. The queen's outfit was an absolute horror. Yes, it was beautifully cut but no-one should wear that colour and the epaulettes didn't work for me.

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    5. I've no problem with Camilla wearing such a bold colour. She'll be our next Queen (consort). I also think it speaks volumes that she rode to church with Her Majesty. The focus may be on the young ones, but after casting away the celebrity, the Monarchy is a traditional institution with a defined line. I think she will take on an even more prominent role as the Queen gets older, and then Kate after her.

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    6. Do the more senior (I don't mean older) members of the BRF wear brighter colors? The more senior, the bolder the color? Other than for HM, I haven't noticed a pattern among the women.

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    7. Mary from ManchesterDecember 27, 2017 at 3:37 PM

      I've never seen the Queen in that orange at Christmas. It was very autumn like, not at all Christmasy

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  4. Is that the black colorway of the fray hat she wore last year? Love the entire ensemble! And her hair I looking fantastic

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  5. I loved Kate and Meghan walking together. Priceless.

    Merry Christmas!!🎄

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  6. I spotted Mr Security too! Kate looked lovely. Merry Christmas to you Jane. It is now boxing day in NZ as I write this still in my PJ's recovering from festive activities from yesterday. Enjoy your day.

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  7. I have to say that I'm underwhelmed by both ladies. There is something about Kate's outfit that I cannot quite put my finger on. I like the cut and shape of the coat but there is something there that seems a bit off. Not sure if its the hat or what it is. However, Kate did just look glowing. Once past the terrible illness she gets, pregnancy seems to suit her very well.

    Im disappointed in Meghans ensemble. I really do not like any of it. All aspects - hat, coat, boots - seem to wear her and not the other way around. They all look too big and dwarf her slightly. I would have like to have seen a deeper brown. Tan, I think, can be a bit casual looking. Love her earings though. Beautiful. They are something I'd love under the chrissy tree.

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    1. I adore those earrings! Her petite frame did look a little swamped by the coat, boots and hat. But I liked the combination of colours...it was quite a subdued look for a first Sandringham appearance.

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    2. Maybe what you're noticing with Meghan's clothes "wearing her" isn't that they're ill fitting but that she is much more petite than most of the other women. Walking with the Cambridge's and Harry she gets swallowed up - even with heels and a hat. With her first few outings under her belt I think she'll slim down her outer wear by doing what Kate does now - buttons down the front instead of something you pull across and tie with a thick belt. Winter clothes are tricky. I agree about her earrings, and I'd love to have her purse! She needs to help Kate in the purse department!

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    3. So agree, Robin, about Meghan helping Kate up her handbag game! I loved the handbag she carried in Nottingham on her first engagement.

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    4. Meghan's Bags are way too big and impractical, not good for meet & greets! She will need to reduce to smaller sizes like Kate's if she's going to receive Flowers etc........agree her clothing is to big, baggy & chunky I'm sure she'll refine this too as she gains more experience. Loved how Kate was looking out for her and seemed like Kate was instructing her with the bow to her Majesty in the Car :) Sweet.

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    5. Kate’s coats + Meghan’s bags - perfection

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    6. Maybe that will be Meghan's "thing" in the family. Like HM is always in those bright colors (which look spectacular on her) maybe we'll all be waiting to see what handbag Meghan is carrying! I also loved the one she carried in Nottingham, Kiwi Gal. I take that one in a minute!

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    7. Humphrey's GirlDecember 26, 2017 at 2:11 AM

      Kate and Meghan each have their own styles. I love all the little clutch bags Kate deploys and I think they are less intrusive on an outfit for events. I love Meghan's Chloe bag but it stands out and is out of place, I think. Same with the Strathberry in Nottingham.

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    8. If I were in their position I’d use a bag like Meghan since I prefer handles over grabbing a clutch. It can’t be that bad of an idea since that is what HM does too!

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  8. Loved both women’s attire! And love the Christmas peom. Merry Christmas, Jane!

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  9. Both ladies looked beautiful! After watching some of the videos, Meghan looks a little terrified! I think she is overwhelmed by the formality of everything! I’m sure she will ease into her new role.

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    1. I noticed how nervous she was, too! But I thought she handled herself very well...she interacts will the public/other members of the royal family in a friendly manner, so I think she'll be fine.

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    2. I thought it was endearing that you could tell she was nervous!

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  10. Meghan has a lovely sweet smile. Despite her experience in the public eye, she was probably very nervous. She can't win with the haters amongst us - if she wears shimmer and frills like she did for her formal pictures than she's inappropriate, but if she covers herself from head to toe in brown them she is too drab. I feel bad for her and hope the endless snipping from the media and public doesn't mar a happy time of her life.

    I think thy both look great, but am not fan of the huge fluffy Cossack style hat.

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  11. Ridiculous amount of money spent on a coat like that. I can't imagine the budget she is gonna throw out of the window when William becomes the king.

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    1. Was it your money?

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    2. Humphrey's GirlDecember 26, 2017 at 2:05 AM

      How much do you think the queen, Camilla or even Sophie 'throw out of the window'?

      Kate does a good job of mixing high street items into her working wardrobe but this Christmas walk has become a high profile event at which she is expected to wear something spectacular.

      It was quite noticeable that she has dressed down in a previously worn (and presumably much loved) Hobbs coat when attending church at Christmas with her own family on two occasions. Kate wore the same coat again to go Crathie Kirk when at Balmoral.

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    3. Humphrey's Girl, I agree. Kate has made a point of recycling the brown Hobbs coat when she has been photographed in Bucklebury at Christmas. I think Kate always strikes the right balance between high-end & high street clothing & Kate dresses appropriately for her position right now.

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    4. 9:37,

      Hilarious comment! 😂👏🏻

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    5. KiwiGal, absolutely agree. Kate has conquered the happy medium strategy and it will serve her well going forward.

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    6. Buying the same types of clothes in every colour of the rainbow or having made tons of badly tailored bespoke pieces is for me money thrown out. I can't see any happy medium strategy at all, just look at the end of the year's stats and where she is again, and the amount she spent.



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    7. Jane, do you have any idea what the added "&#39" to both Humphrey's Girl and my name is all about? Some weird aberration? anon1

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    8. I don't see it on your name. On the backend, I always see that corruption with any kind of punctuation, but it comes through on this side clean, so my guess is it is a temporary Google glitch. Let's see how it develops.

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    9. Thanks, Jane. Not a secret code, then? ;+)
      It was on one of my comments further down.anon1

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  12. I thought Kate looked great! I loved the jacket and hat and I think boots would have looked great with the ensemble also. Meghan looked great for her first Christmas at Sandringham and it is the first time I saw her look a bit nervous. Its hard for her to win it seems because too much glamour is condemned but her brown is too drab and dull for some. I hope she stays true to her own fashion choices, because I think they are well put together and suit her. She is still transitioning from her private person fashion to royal fashion, so not everything will be Kate perfect yet.

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  13. Merry Christmas Jane. What lovely photos of all of them. Such a beautiful feeling of love all around. Love the ladies outfits, the four look terrific together. That first picture is a beauty.

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  14. Thank you for the beautiful carol, Jane! Both Kate & Meghan looked fantastic today :)

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  15. I'm sensing people took exception my use of the term "drab" to describe the color of Meghan's coat and hat. I will admit that I don't like browns much at all - even on Kate. If it's not leather I'm just not a fan. However, what I guess I should have said, so as not to offend the over sensitive, was that Meghan was wise to choose a "muted" color so as not to attract any criticism. Seems there is no way for any of us to avoid that rabbit hole. I did feel sorry for her when she was surrounded by veteran royals and had to perform that curtsy. As an American, unless she took ballet, she's probably never curtsied in her life before Harry came along. Now she's had to do it with cameras trained on her. She looked quite unsure and a bit frightened. Glad they are staying at William and Kate's place where the atmosphere is undoubtedly less formal and more relaxing. More fun as well with the little ones to share in the excitement!

    From what I saw, Sophie had a new coat as well. I really wish the photo coverage would have been more balanced. Bea in her trainers was a disappointing sight. I missed seeing Zara but it appears they're in Australia.

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    1. Beas trainers were absurd and anyone trying to claim Meghan is messing up “BRF dresscode” just needs to point to the York girls.

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    2. For what it's worth, Robin, I do recall you not being a fan of brown when Kate has worn it. I understood exactly what you meant, and agreed that it was a good choice for her first Christmas appearance.

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    3. Regarding Beatrice and her trainers, oh my. Especially since I don't think she ever wears the same pair of shoes twice. There are sooo many comfortable choices that would have worked better.

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    4. Since it was to the more casual first service (the one the ladies don't dress up for) Beatrice wore the tennis shoes, I don't see why there was a problem.

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    5. If Meghan isn’t supposed to wear jeans to a sporting event how is it ok for Bea to wear trainers to church with the Queen Anglophile? I think it’s tacky even if Bea wasn’t a blood princess.

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    6. Regardless of the level of formality, Beatrice is the Queen's granddaughter and i would expect a bit more than trainers. If she can dress to impress for personal occasions, she can do so out of respect for her grandmother. If comfort was a consideration, surely she has access to flat shoes or boots...? The white soles of the trainers stuck out like a sore thumb.

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    7. I have to agree 10:13. Even if you're not attending with the Queen trainers just don't wash when you know, a you pointed out royalfan, the girl has dozens of pairs of other shoes. If you don't want to wear heels there are so many other options. Maybe she didn't want to get up and go to the early service but Andrew insisted and she drew the short straw.

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    8. royalfan- just a word of appreciation for your steady, reliable presence here and elsewhere. You don't back down when you take a stand and you don't flatter and fall in line just to get approval. I support you as a commenter although we don't always agree. That is what makes it fun.
      I don't know if my message has come through to you, but I do agree with you and I do try to let you know.
      anon1 aka...

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    9. I feel the same way as anon 1, royalfan. Hope you are ok. Hugs.

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    10. Thank you, Anon1. I appreciate that. And you're correct; I'm not a believer in using saccharine. :-)

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    11. Faith, I just saw your comment when I replied to Anon1. I'm sending a hug right back at you! If you're as cold as I am today, we could both use one! Brrrr.... :-)

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    12. I'll take it:) Beyond freezing here....

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    13. Likewise and me thinks we're in for a very interesting winter in the NE. :-(

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  16. I thought Kate’s hair looked pretty and she always looks wonderful when she’s pregnant. I didn’t love the coat as she styled it- I saw a picture of how it was styled on a model (it was worn unbuttoned with a sweater and black, cropped pants and short boots) and I loved how chic that styling looked.

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  17. I can't believe you like Kate's coat Jane. When I saw them I thought, oh no, too moloh!

    I thought it was terrible. Like the old tartans Camilla wears, very old lady-ish. I didn't like the fit, again she should go for proper maternity coats, the double breasted looks ill fitting. It was just garish more than anything, the tartan, the brassy buttons looked cheap. I was very disappointed.

    I like camel, but Meghan seemed overwhelmed by her coat, like someone said she is petite compared to the others. I really liked her hat.

    This was a big fashion Miss for me, Sorry but nothing memorable about it.

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    1. Kate's styling made it look like that, I think the coat is great but wasn't styled properly. Kate styled it like Camilla which yes, gave it the old lady vibe. 70year old Camilla or even the Queen actually could wear that exact outfit at her next engagement and not look a bit out of place. That's how you know it's a fail.

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    2. Completely agree Anon!!! Thank you so much for saying exactly what I think, on every point! :)

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    3. If the Queen or Camilla chose to wear this coat it would be an extremely unflattering choice for them. It would not suit them at all.

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    4. 8:14, I agree. I believe Camilla has worn tartan skirts with solid, coordinated jackets. Definitely the way to go for a fuller figure gal.

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    5. I think styled this way it could be successfully worn by a much older women. But it also is a style that could be worn by Charlotte in a couple of years. Seems classic although the designer may have intended it to be worn differently & in an edgier way.

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    6. For this event wearing it unbuttoned with a turtleneck sweater and pants (as shown in the ad) would not do. It would be too informal. Double breasted coats look better buttoned in my opinion.

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    7. Do I detect a hint of irony, royalfan? Tartan-full figure? Cutting the figure in half with a jacket instead of a long, smooth line?Such diplomacy. Are you sure you aren't British--or Canadian? For at least two years I was convinced you lived in London.

      Lizzie- By a much older--SLENDER woman, perhaps. Kate does seem to put her stamp on her fashion choices. I think it could be a message saying, " Yes, Ma'am. I'll play the royal matron. But I also intend to have a little fun with it, too." My latest take on why she stops on the far side of being perfect at times. anon1
      Or there was a memo--Go Big Or Go Home? Kate, the Queen, and Camilla obviously got the memo.

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    8. I agree anon 1 that some plaids can be tricky for larger women. But I still think the overall coat style especially the way Kate wore it could work for a woman (or girl) of just about any age. While it looks very nice and the bell sleeves are cute (although probably not too warm in windy weather), there's nothing very "special" or "new" about the overall style...women's and girls' double-breasted, velvet-collared plaid coats with shiny buttons & military flair have been around practically forever. And that's fine..Kate does seem to favor classic styles. I remember when she wore the light blue lace-trimmed zip-front C. Walker dress. I thought it looked nice but some thought it looked "too matronly" because it also could be worn by a much older woman. But that's part of what made it a classic like this coat.

      I agree anon 10:34 Kate could not have worn the coat in the "edgy" way as styled by the designer. I also agree double-breasted styles usually look better buttoned. Kate's blue and red double-breasted Philosophy blazers were also shown by their designer worn unbuttoned paired with trendy (capri length) trousers. I did not care for those blazers. Even though they were quite expensive (around $1000 each as I recall), the fabric and cut made them look like cheap boxy dept store polyester to me. But the general style of those blazers---double-breasted with gold buttons-- was pretty classic and nothing "new" either regardless of how they were shown by their designer. It seems though when it's not a new style, designers have to *do something* to make the design look new, unusual, cutting edge, trendy enough to justify their prices! "Workmanship" can only go so far as a selling point. (And that's often iffy even with designer stuff. For example, I don't like the prominent horizontal white/grey line at the hem of Kate's coat as it is not showing evenly all around & for that price...)

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    9. Anon1, I realize, but believe it or not, I do think that some of the suits Camilla wears work well for her. Far better than some of her coats and formalwear. That "cut" gives her some definition. IMO, of course. :-)

      Lizzie, the ad for the coat does give it an edgier flavor, but I'm with 10:34 here and I prefer it buttoned up.

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    10. My favorite look for Camilla is the navy blue outfit she wore to her brother's funeral. I'll never forget the expression on her face-soft and vulnerable-nor Charles's gentleness with her. anon1

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    11. Yes, blue is a good color on her.

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    12. Some sources called it black and white. It had a small print that resembled polka-dots at first. I went back for another look. It was navy in good light (and on my screen) and the design was perfect for her figure. It looked like a two-piece, a skirt and top of the same fabric. Her hat was even attractive and modest, by Camilla standards.
      I thought it was tacky to photograph her during such horrible circumstances--but I guess it was technically a public place. And I was glad to see her looking so good and pulled together so well, considering. And it was good to see and read of Charles's taking such care of her. They were holding hands. The whole scene was tucked into the far reaches of my memory to bring forth when I sometimes focus on the darker side of their relationship. I think SBS did a great disservice to Charles and Camilla when she attempted to elevate them by lowering Diana in the public eye. However it was motivated, I think it back-fired. anon1

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  18. I don't know why some people think Meghan will help Kate have more "fun" with fashion. I don't think it gets much more fun than tartan...unless it is hearts, petals, or polka dots--all of which Kate has worn, with a few skulls tossed in for whimsy.
    I think Kate looked wonderful. Someone must have helped with the kids and let her get a good night's sleep. It is good to see her look so rested and well. Also, the Duke of E. What a class act! Both he and the Queen need not open their mouths; their actions say it all. Quietly, without grandstanding.
    Louise looked the nicest I have ever seen her. Mum finally let her grow up and she is turning into a rising star for the RF.
    I think Meghan had the right idea. I feel both she and Kate stayed true to their basic styles. Meghan does remind me of Faye Dunaway in this outfit. Someone mentioned it and I found a photo of her under "Faye Dunaway-beret" in a light-colored coat with large collar and self, tie belt and dark over-sized beret. I think the outfit is her style . She just needs to refine it. It may be she is losing weight in anticipation of her wedding, as many brides do. If she had purchased the outfit six months ago it might not fit as well now; she seemed at least ten pounds heavier then, at least in Suits. I am glad to see she has been able to hang on to a sense of self during this foray into royalty. I was hoping she would.
    I thought Bea was giving her the stink-eye, but maybe not. Maybe that's what made her nervous. Ha! ! She is giving Harry's arm a workout, but William has a pretty firm grip on Kate's hand as well. And Harry seems ok with it. anon1

    I love that you don't shy away from your spiritual side, Jane. It is one of your qualities I appreciate the most. Speaking of being true to oneself...

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    1. Good eye on the Faye Dunaway look! You're right! I never watched Suits so I have no idea what her weight has been but most royal brides lose weight before the big day. I think it's honestly the only time I thought Kate was too thin.

      It's always so hard to tell with Bea. However, their father has ingrained a sense of entitlement into those girls that she, more than Eugenie, seems to have embraced. The more people who join the family the further down the line they slip. Once Meghan and Harry have children they slip another rung on the ladder. As Charles wants to pair down the monarchy I think the York girls better have a good backup plan. Zara & Mike seem to have struck exactly the right balance.

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    2. I already wrote a longer reply to you Robin but my computer blanked out before I finished. I thought the power had gone out. Turns out, someone had decided it was time for an update and the comment was lost.
      I agree about Zara and Mike. They seem to keep it real. I do think it is difficult for their business acquaintances to overlook the fact that Zara's Granny is the Queen. That is bound to enter into their interactions at some point. princess title or not.

      Right. The more Charles's family expands, the harder it will be for Andrew and family to maintain a role in the royal family. I wonder if there is any way Bea could assume the Duke of York title after Andrew? HM is Duke of Lancaster- and since male primogeniture has been eliminated in the succession. Otherwise, the family will lose the title and it will revert to the Crown after Andrew. Unless he marries soon and has a son. I won't rule out anything in the royal family at this point. anon1

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    3. Interesting speculation, anon1. I think HM only has the "Duke" titles because she is the reigning monarch and owns all titles not bestowed on others. The new law does make it interesting to see what will happen but I cannot see Charles giving any titles to Andrew's girls. I think the title will just return back to the monarchy until such time as Charles, or probably William, has an heir to pass it along. The titles seem to lay dormant for a long time. Isn't it rumored (only a rumor so far) that Harry will be given the title Duke of Sussex? It's a title that hasn't been held since the early 1800s.

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    4. Ramblin' Rose AKA anon1December 28, 2017 at 12:55 PM

      Maybe not Charles, but I could envision William restoring the title- or some title. I sometimes wonder if Andrew's reported manipulations in respect to his daughters' position might involve this uncertainty of the loss of the title? Hopefully, the Queen has a few plans in mind for them.

      I actually think Harry will become an Earl, with the Duke of York title held for him as the Duke of Edinburgh title is reportedly planned for the Earl of Wessex.

      The York daughters may have married and received their own titles by then. I don't know how that works for female royals marrying commoners, with the new laws of succession. Will they now receive a title that can be inherited by their children? Maybe they are too far down in the pecking order. I know Anne was not given an additional title upon her first marriage because of the existing laws regarding daughters of monarchs having inheritable titles. I think all of Queen Victoria's daughters married foreign princes and assumed their husbands titles for their children.

      I did not realise that was the reason she was called the Duke of Lancaster. I thought it was because historically that was where much of the monarch's income comes from. I don't think it is held by the Crown as other titles that have reverted (Duke of Windsor, for example) If it were just another title reverted to the crown it would be available for Harry and I don't think it has even been mentioned for him. It is identified with the Monarch. She makes visits as the Duke to the area; in fact, that was where she was scheduled to be when the concert attack happened. She was wearing the Lancaster insignia brooch during the hospital visit and later that day did travel on there. At least, that is my humble, inexpert recollection. anon1

      Is there a Duke/Earl of Warwick or is that open? Wouldn't that be an exciting title for Harry! Such a rich history.

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    5. I can't believe that Andrew would lose his title. Anne and her husband declined a title when they married bc they did not want their children to have titles & there are no titles that do not revert to the Monarchy. The monarchy is the source of all titles.

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    6. I was referring to what happens after Andrew departs this Earth. If it doesn't pass to Beatrice or a future son, the York title will not be carried on by that family. They will lose it when it reverts to the Crown.
      It may be a popular online story, but receiving an inheritable title was not originally Anne's choice, although she may have agreed with it. This regulation started when daughters of monarchs were married off to foreign princes; not only did their children assume the standing of the husband/father, but it also insured that a son born to a foreign prince did not also hold a British title.
      I believe some research about the difference in title distribution between a monarch's sons and daughters that was in effect when Anne first married might clarify the subject. It did for me. Sons could receive inheritable titles; daughters could not. Unfair, but true. Princess Royal is not a title that can be passed down but it is the title HM gave Anne. If Anne really wanted to forgo a title she would not have accepted that title either. It makes no sense that Anne seems to revel in her royal position and duties but thinks that life is not good enough for her children.
      If you can give me an example of a daughter of a British monarch who received an inheritable title upon marriage, I will believe you.
      That was the point of my discussion of the future place in the RF of the York daughters.
      At this point, there is no one in the family to inherit the title. Inherit means Andrew would be deceased. I did not say Andrew will lose his title. The family will. I mused that it would be nice if a daughter could inherit titles and expressed a hope that HM could come up with a plan for them. I think she would, but I agree-Charles may not.
      Lady Louise-- Earl of Wessex? Now that change would bring the monarchy into 21st Century for sure. anon1
      And just think how it would have changed the plot of Downton Abbey! Of course that was due to an entailment that prevented the estate being separated from the title, but still...Lady Mary as the heir, the future--Earl Grantham. No need for Matthew. No pressure to produce a male heir. The mind boggles. aonn1

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    7. I don't know how they keep all of the specific rules straight. While I was researching I found this website:

      http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/resources/titles-and-orders-of-precedence/

      The answer about the York girls seems to be: "The precedence of women is determined, before marriage, by the Rank and Dignity, but not by the Office of their father." If I interpret that correctly they would always receive the respect of their rank as a royal princess but not a title.

      Reading the article also made me wonder why we don't see Marquess/Marquis used more often. Head spinning!

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    8. Robin, I was interested in any changes in protocol/tradition that might come about as a result of the elimination of primogeniture in the laws of succession. Which was passed before George was born, I believe, in case the heir should be a female. I think the changes may just effect the monarchy and the succession and not titles for the other royal family members. Except that marrying a Catholic thing. I haven't read it yet but the language of your reference indicates it refers to the previous law.
      I was also wondering about the possibility of inheritable titles for women conferred upon marriage, not before. The key word being "inheritable." By Rank I assume it means in the order of succession. Not by the Office of their father might cover the daughters of Princesses born to a foreign father.
      OK Head spinning!

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    9. It truly does boggle! I don't know how the elimination of primogeniture changes this - if it does. I think it only changes succession to the throne and not titles bestowed by the monarch. Maybe? I learned something else while reading. Remember when we were discussing that Kate has to curtsy to the York girls when William isn't present because they're royal by blood? It seems that the only reason this happens is because they are the "grandchildren of the sovereign." Once Charles is on the throne they become "nieces of the sovereign" and, as such, the wives of the sovereign's sons will outrank them, royal blood or not. No wonder Andrew's knickers are in a twist!

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    10. A-ha! Good point, Robin! A plus side of Charles becoming King. I can't think of many occasions during which both Bea and Kate would appear without William also being there.
      I bet they will be minimal. Bea curtsey to Meghan. Hello!
      Something I missed or over-looked reading that article (after which I had to watch an episode of I Love Lucy to unclutter my brain and clear my palate )---do two women of equal rank curtsey to each other? The Duchesses of Gloucester and Kent? The way the order of precedence is set up hardly anyone is equal.
      I feel sorry for the poor ladies at the bottom of the heap. I wonder if the royals follow the order when in line for the ladies' room? HA! anon1

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    11. Robin, I didn't realize that. Ohhh, boy. And forgive my attempt at humor here, but will the hats become more creative as the years go by? ;-)

      Anon1, inquiring minds want to know ... which episode of I Love Lucy?? :-)

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    12. royalfan-sorry to be so late in replying. I have been unable to access comments again since Sunday and sometimes not even the blog itself.
      Lucy...The bon bon assembly line followed by the Vitametavegamin one. I especially appreciate that one because I knew a few devotees of a certain "tonic" who swore by its powers. ;+) Does anyone recall Hadachol? (not sure of the spelling) anon1
      I can review those in my imagination by now. No need for the DVR.

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    13. I am envisioning, in future, a requirement that hats be checked in at the door prior to weddings. anon1

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    14. Robin--the whole Order of Precedence would have to be chucked if primogeniture were eliminated across the board. The whole thing is based on male/husband supremacy. anon1

      By the way-somewhere here I challenged someone to come up with an example of a female royal's being given an inheritable title upon marriage. (with Anne and Eugenie in mind) Princess Margaret Rose's husband became the Earl of Snowden (not Margaret), which title was recently inherited. I was reminded of this with the Christmas church walk which featured Margaret's family.
      The Princess was a sister of the monarch, not a daughter, as Anne is. I don't know if that matters. At any rate, the marriage did not last. If Mark Phillips had been given a title it would have been awkward...

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    15. PS- ironically, now that I am back on the comments, we will likely go over the 200 mark and my comments and the replies, if any, will never be seen. Including this comment. HA!anon1

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    16. A good dose of "feel good TV", Anon1. :) And I hadn't heard of Hadacol, but Googled it to learn that it was a vitamin supplement with 12% alcohol. Yikes!

      And I am trying to imagine "Four Weddings and a Funeral" without hats and it makes me sad. ;-)

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  19. Both ladies looked lovely. Kate beautiful pregnant and Meghan sophisticated and so happy! Harry is the one who needs to can that short unflattering coat and buy a nice overcoat like William's. The whole fam looked well and happy.

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    1. Yes, I didn't like Harry's coat...William's is much better. But I liked the grey shade on Harry! Just the length was off.

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    2. I liked both the boys coats. William's is gorgeous, more traditional, and looks warmer but Harry's is fashion forward and the hand stitching is beautiful. It looked nicer when he wasn't walking with his hands in his pockets.

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    3. Harrys coat is gorgeous but I did not like the length, shorter is OK I just think Harrys was not proportioned well for his body type.

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  20. I look forward to Kate's Christmas look and thought for someone five months along she looked youthful and fun. Megan has a confident sense of style--I love her choice of one color dressing here. I hope she inspires. Other female members who opt for goofy two-toned coats, frilly hats, and brocade forties inspired dresses would do better follow Meghan and keep it simple.
    Louise looked very pretty and I liked her percher.

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  21. I thought Kate looked splendid with the festive coat. It is common to wear striking colours, with the Queen and Camilla standing out precisely because of their status. But I especially love that William and Kate stayed a little bit with the crowd after the service. My aunt was amongst the crowd at Sandringham and I was told many were sorely disappointed that most of the royals, Harry and Meghan included, barely spent time with them and walked straight back to the big house. William and Kate stayed the longest and they made a few fans happy.

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  22. I loved Kate’s coat! Even though it is clear purchased in a larger size to accommodate her pregnancy I hope we see it again. That said, I wasn’t the hugest fan how it was styled. Granted I know it was super cold but I think they way it was styled skewed a bit more mumsy than fashionable. Maybe if she wore a smaller black hat and boots? I love how the model was styled with it but I know pants and wearing it open are not options for that day for Kate! I also thought that, in the face, she looked more like her old days as Kate Middleton, than as the Duchess or Cambridge. Has anyone else ever noticed those facial differences? Maybe it is that she has a couple more pregnancy lbs on her or maybe it is the makeup.

    I thought Meghan looked pretty. I was surprised by the brown but it wasn’t disappointed. I would love to know what was under that coat! The boots looked great with the coat but since they were a more bulky over the knee style the are harder to style classy when you can see them. I was super curious to see how she pulled that off.

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    1. There was a picture on DM in which you can see that she was wearing a calf-long velvet dress :) Depending on my computer/smartphone it looked brown or red (like red wine). I assume it was dark brown because with her boots it would look terrible in red :)

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    2. I read on one Meghan fashion blog (forgot which one...still learning them) that it was an I identified burgundy velvet.

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    3. I love reds & browns together, especially if the red is a darker, non-pink red....somehow that combination looks "organic" & less "predictable" than pairing all shades of red with black.

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  23. Kate's coat was festive, but I'm not the biggest fan; to echo another commenter, the large plaid is a bit aging to me. Her hat, though - tres chic. She looked glowing & happy and I always enjoy seeing her and William holding hands as they do the Christmas walk:)
    I rather like Meaghan and, like Robin from CA, am just not the biggest fan of browns. I thought it worked for her for today's appearance. I imagine she's a bit overwhelmed right now, but I must say I loved seeing some video footage of William, Kate & Harry talking to her pre-curtsey; it looked as though they soothed her nerves a bit.
    Merry Christmas Jane! Thanks for a great year on the blog!

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  24. Merry Christmas, Jane! I simply loved Kate's look here, and I think you're right and that things will balance out soon with coverage returning to Kate a bit more post-wedding.

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  25. Merry Christmas everyone!:)

    First the positive things: i love how happy Kate looks and think it was sweet how Kate and Meghan interacted. I loved the scene (on DailyMail) where all four of them were standing on the steps and explained Meghan what she had to do.

    IMO Kate outfit was a miss. The hat is too massive for her and the dress. Normally, I love these kind of coat-dresses on Kate. But the colours of the dress are too grey and washed out. If the colours would be stronger i would lie the dress much more. I think the outfit is too dark and "grey" for Christmas, but the cut and style (gold buttons etc) are a win :)

    On Meghan (you can skip it if you do not want to read about her):
    She looked a little bit frightened - but who would not? :) I think her outfit was a win but her hat was a little bit too big :)

    Has somebody a recommendation for a blog about Meghan? I would love it if it would be like Janes blog. Some pictures, some information and an opinion about the outfit. I looked on meghansmirror but it is more like a "how to dress like meghan"-blog :)

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    1. Hi Anon, I agree with most of what you said - though I didn't mind the colors of Kate's coat, I thought it far too "xmasy". So often royals seem to dress too literally for the occasion. The Red and black Santa look often seen on Kate and others is ugh imo - and this coat falls into that category for me. In this context it's like a wrapped present, complete with gold buttons and a black fur hat - just way too much. I am glad to see a shorter hem on her, her legs are beautiful, and unlike others has her legs covered, so a shorter hem is appropriate. I miss the old Kate days, before big fur hats and ill fitting coats. I would like that coat in a different look - totally dressed down over a turtleneck and distressed jeans and boots - that would be cool, but this is so matronly and dated. Meghan IMO looked beautiful, agree about the hat - such a beautiful hat, but she seemed to be swimming a little bit in that big coat and hat - but she still looked better than anyone else. LOVED Meghan's boots!!! Wish she'd not chosen a brown purse on top of all that other brown, but oh well. They all looked beautifully happy which is the best thing of all! :)

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    2. meghanmarklereview.com is a favorite of mine,not only the clothes but also her work etc. are being discussed.

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    3. Meghan's coat looked sloppy with the bunching of fabric at the waist and the over sized collar. The hat did not really flatter her at all. She does not look her best with her hair pulled to one side.

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    4. Why is it that the people with nothing ind to say never sign their names? Own it!

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    5. Disagree on the coat. Thought the coat looked wonderful, I was not a huge fan of the hat but it worked just fine, did not even notice her hair, so to me her hair was fine.

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    6. I started following this blog and from berkshire to buckingham because of the excellent fashion discussions. Back then kate was knocking every single look wayyyy out of the part and it was so exciting! A couple of years ago Kate's style took a major slip she's IMO never recovered from, and so my opinions on the fashion are not as glowing. I don't sign my name because it seems like others view the blog as nothing more than a gush fest, no matter what and if anyone says anything about not liking the fashion, they are jumped on and insulted. I love to talk about fashion, and I love Kate and Meghan, and Will and Harry - so my opinions on their style is nothing personal. To avoid feeling personally hated for my opinions I don't put my name out there. Cheers! ;)

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    7. Anonymous 12:06 - I am in complete accord with you. I like and follow the Royal Family, with Kate having been my particular focus. I enjoy fashion as well, critiquing the outfits, and indeed learning from the hits and misses, and others comments. I too prefer to remain anonymous as it actually hurts my feelings when I comment and people take any critique of Kate as a huge insult. I am very excited about Meghan and her style as I am hoping that it ends up being a little more fun to follow. Kate has settled in to a safe, rather conservative and predictable style, which to be honest, is not that much fun to follow anymore. Meghan has started off with a bang - absoulutely loved the engagement dress - hoping it continues... Happy New Year, ladies!!

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    8. I also started reading this blog because I found Kate's fashion awesome. I am more used to it now but still think she has awesome moments and is one of the best dressed person on the planet. I also like her, or what I learn about her, a lot. I am not attracted the same way to Meghan's fashion. If I didn't read this blog, I wouldn't be searching frantically for more pictures as I did with Kate at the beginning. Kate brought classic feminine and pretty dresses when everyone was wearing business attire. It was a pleasure to witness and to copy. With Meghan, I don't have the same fun. I don't covet the large coats, long shirts and knee high boots. She looks nice of course,but that's it.

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    9. I stay anonymous because of my job; I don't want/need my pupils & colleagues googling me and finding my hobby; I prefer to keep my affection for Kate a place of private fun.

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    10. Anon 10:18pm, a number have expressed similar reasons for staying anonymous, and I fully support you maintaining your privacy! I hope you feel welcome to stay anonymous here.

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    11. The color of MM's coat was fine, but the style of the coat was too casual for this event. It looked like an ill-fitting trenchcoat. The boots looked odd too.

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    12. So she was too formal for her engagement photos and too casual for a cold walk to church. Poor thing just can't win. I thought he coat and boots looked far more appropariate that Beatrice's baggy and saggy gray sack and casual booties.

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    13. I don't think the engagement gown would be a better more formal outfit for walking to church...

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    14. Beatrice's unflatering outfit doesn't make Meghan's choice any better.

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  26. My unadulterated thoughts--just a creative way to say I've been busy, with little time to read previous comments--on this year's Royal Xmas Catwalk:

    Someone really should've reminded the Queen that this wasn't Hallowe'en, but Xmas, and that, perhaps, pumpkin and black were a tad off-point;

    Whilst I liked Kate's hat very much, the grey version she's worn before looked better, methinks, and as for Meghan's hat, can't say that I'm keen on this cross between a hard hat and a beret (Kate had one, much like it, in deep green; happily, it hasn't been seen after its first wearing.) Conclusion: Hard straw hats are to be avoided at all costs, even if this means a staged rebellion by younger members of the BRF; in fact, I'd encourage them to fight for a NO HATS policy, thereby saving money that could be better spent on purses, gloves, boots, and other prettier, and more useful, accessories.

    Loved Kate's earrings with this coat-- I'm not sure how to describe the coat; did she purchase it in a larger size, hoping to accommodate her growing bump, or did she have it altered, to suit her expanding shape? At any rate, it did have an on-season flavour which I enjoyed.

    Onto another point: What is it with certain BRF members who generally underdress for the weather? Sometimes, they get away with it, but not this year; Sophie must've been frozen and Harry would've been cutting it close. And does William have something against lined leather gloves? The only member of said family who looked warm on the 25th was Kate; maybe she's prepping for the frozen wastelands of Norway and Sweden, this coming Jan.-Feb.

    Seriously, aside from her misbegotten hat, I thought Meghan won the style stakes altho Kate WAS at a singular disadvantage, given her pregnancy, and even so, I would've given her a clear second place. And, very oddly, I'd give third place to William, despite his missing gloves.

    The Queen was a total miss for me, and as far as Camilla is concerned, and in keeping with the season of goodwill to all, the less said, the better.

    Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and to throw a little Disney dust your way, May All Of Your Dreams Come True!

    JC

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    1. 😂 hahah on the Camilla comment!

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  27. I thought it sad that only the direct heir’s family was displayed in the photos during the queen’s address. I think at least one picture of everyone would have been nice. Perhaps a family shot of the queen with all her children or one with the great grands. This seems to have Charles’ handprints all over it and looks petty.

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    1. Eve in MassachusettsDecember 26, 2017 at 9:55 PM

      I agree with you. There is that photo of the Queen with all of the great grandchildren (with Mia holding her purse) that could have been used, but It was taken last year, so maybe not fitting because this address is about 2017. It did bother me to see just George and Charlotte....In the past I got more attention than my cousins and it caused a rift. And I needed them in my life! Now I make an extra effort to reach out to them, perhaps George and Charlotte will be raised to do the same, no matter what foolish grownups do!

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    2. This was an official address from the Queen to the Commonwealth and the photos displayed focused on the people most central to the monarch. I think the photos selected were appropriate for the setting and purpose of the speech. Charles (and Camilla), William (and Kate) and George and Charlotte are the future of the monarchy; the rest are supporting players and will be pushed farther to the sidelines when the Queen passes away. The Queen is elderly and that passing of the torch is sooner-versus-later now; reinforcing continuity and supporting some of the messages within her speed itself, it makes sense to focus the attention on the future key players.

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    3. There's only so many photographs that could be fit into the scene and given Prince Phillips recent retirement from official duties Im not surprised they are focusing on a smooth succession. I wouldn't be too alarmed by the limited focus of the photos chosen this year.

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    4. ANONS and EVE-I think that photo message from the Queen triggered both the musical chairs aspect of the " who will ride next to the Queen" fiasco. (apparently, Sophie was the intended choice) and the disruption of the original walking pattern obviously meant to be HM's four children leading the way as a team. I think the Queen's intention may have been to downplay the succession stresses and encourage a little peace and family harmony for this one day, at least. It was not to be. Charles moved ahead. It would have been a nice family depiction of the generations. The younger four kept together in unity. This gives hope for a future of cooperation instead of competition among the senior royals.
      .
      I truly believe ,if this traditional walk is stage-managed, the Queen was trying for a story of family unity and ended up with "King of the Mountain." If you've ever seen that game played by a boisterous group of youngsters, you will realise how it brings out the primal survival instinct in the players. anon1
      I am interested in seeing what HM's next move toward balance and unity will be and how it will be countered.

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    5. While it was an official address and Charles et all are the heirs, the whole family is the RF and a nod to include the others in one or two pics would have been the appropriate, kind, and loving thing to do. People do not want to see discord in families. And it would have made Charles look kinder.

      Could you imagine, years from now, William only putting up pics of George and his family? Neither could I. Kate would have a fit IMO. This is the same thing.

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    6. Respectively anon1, I have not seen anything except speculation as to who was to ride with the Queen. But maybe I missed a Palace quote.

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    7. Yes, in the future I can envision William putting up only pictures of his family - and their respective families, especially George as heir. As the immediate family of each heir grows and expands, things shifts so the center spotlight focuses on them and the immediate family of the sitting and/or prior monarch fades to the outer parts of the stage or into private life. It's the reality of the process, part of the continuity and stability of a centuries old monarchy.

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    8. I never saw anything about who would ride with the Queen either. At first I was surprised at the choice of just George and Charlotte on the desk with the two of HM and PP. But, in hindsight, it may just have been about what looked best for the TV cameras. The photos off on the side table featured many other family members in various settings but something other than a posed photo on a simple background won't show up well on TV. George and Charlotte's photos were close-ups and it was very easy to see who they were. As to the photos of HM and PP, I wouldn't expect anything less to be on her desk. If you look at design magazines you'll notice the same bouquet of flowers being moved around to make the camera shot balanced or have something that pops. I think HM's desk may simply be a directors choice for good framing.

      If the intent was to show the people that the monarchy was in good hands, best to do it with the great-grandchildren than with the unpopular Camilla or create the illusion that HM prefers W&K over H&M, a circumstance with which I'm sure she is already aware the media are trying to create.

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    9. Not only I can perfectly imagine William only putting pictures of Georges, but I am sure it is going to happen in the (very) distant future. I am sure he will still love his other children and their family quite as much, but it is not about acknowledging family ties but rather looking into the future of the institution. I don't think the other children will feel slighted, they know it is the way it is.

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    10. Ali, you're correct about there being speculation, but I don't believe it's completely without merit. This was the outfit that Sophie wore to accompany the Queen to church on December 24th. And although you cannot see them clearly in this photo, she was wearing boots.

      https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article11748131.ece/ALTERNATES/s1227b/Christmas-Eve-church-service-Sandringham-Norfolk-UK-24-Dec-2017.jpg

      If she dressed this way to ride in the car on the 24th, it does seem odd that she would choose the outfit she wore on Christmas Day if she expected to walk.

      It has been suggested (yes, speculated :-) that there was a last minute change of plans with Charles wishing to have his wife ride with the Queen while he lead the way on foot. In light of the fact that H&M were to be the focus of the Christmas Day appearance, this possible explanation does make sense. In all honesty, I did wonder what order they would walk in this year and, in the end, both C&C were spared hearing the crowd call out for H/M/W/K. Speculation? Yes. Possible? Very!

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    11. Regarding the photographs displayed during HM's Christmas broadcast ... she highlights photos to send whatever message she wishes to convey in any given year. And with the purpose of the broadcast in mind, I also believe that less clutter in her immediate surroundings keeps the focus on her message, as it should be. Frankly, if I look at the photos on her desk this year, I see her wedding day and the youngest heir (and spare) sort of like bookends with many, many images in between. Does this make sense? I do hope so! :-)

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    12. I hope I am wrong, ali.
      If there had not already been a number of last-minute substitutions and jockeying for position over the past year or so, I would have assumed HM chose to ride with Camilla instead of Sophie, since the Duke was walking--with Sophie's daughter, by the way. Her son was walking with the Queen's sons, including his Father, and the Queen's daughter. Sophie was near the rear and not accompanied by either her children or her husband. That alone should indicate something was off. It still does not explain the harshly clashing dresses the Queen and Camilla wore nor the indoor outfit Sophie wore to walk from the house to the church when everyone else was bundled up.
      One of these circumstances could be explained but it is hard to rationalise all of them occurring at once. anon1

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    13. I was perplexed when I saw Camilla pop out of the car with HM; traditionally it has been Sophie. Then when I saw Sophie’s coat, hmmmmm, not very warm for a walk. I liked it, but I thought it would be more appropriate for Easter.
      I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a message about precedence.
      Loved Kate’s entire look, she looked radiant and festive. I liked William’s closely cropped hair, may as well embrace the balding!
      Meghan is beautiful and I liked the color combination, but I feel her coats (the engagement one included) overwhelm her small frame. Maybe something slightly more tailored? Harry in a brown overcoat would have complimented her camel/rust look better.
      The Phillips Family rocked it out of the park!
      Happy New Year everyone! Trying to stay warm here!

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    14. Perhaps Sophie was trying to make the point known she was expecting to ride. Seems kind of petty to me if that's the case. But even if she HAD expected to ride, I would have thought she'd be wearing a coat. She wore a coat when she rode with HMTQ to the morning service on Sunday after all. (And has in other years when riding to Christmas services.) While her dress has been described by some as a "coatdress," as I've said before, in American terminology at least that just refers to the style of the garment. The term doesn't mean it's a garment suitable to wear as a coat in cold weather. I can't find a photo now but thought she was wearing a dark coat when walking to the early service. It's just odd.

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    15. I do not think Sophie was doing anything. Who knows what was going on. But she has always been pretty direct. I do not believe for one moment Sophie was "trying to send a message". Sorry, I have no idea what was or was not going on fashion wise or family wise or political family wise, but I frankly think most of this speculation is not even very logical.

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    16. Lizzie, my guess is that it was THE coat Sophie picked out especially for Christmas Day. A bit out of the box for us perhaps, but not so crazy in her world if she did so under the assumption that she would only have to deal with getting into and out of a car. And one equipped with a royal blanket. ;-)

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    17. RF- Was it an actual coat? As in she was wearing a dress underneath?

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    18. Lizzie, I cannot answer that with certainty. The material looks heavy, yet the "coat" is snug and I do not see even a hint of a dress in these photos.

      http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/sophie-wessex-december-25-2017?family=editorial&phrase=sophie%20wessex%20december%2025%202017&sort=newest

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    19. It did look like a dress to me royalfan, not a coat to be worn over a dress. That's why it seemed even if riding (with a royal blanket ;) she'd also have worn some sort of coat or wrap. She usually has when riding to Christmas services including looking pretty bundled up this yr on Christmas Eve morning. I'd think inside the church might be chilly too.

      I just looked at a SW blog...this is supposedly the garment (in a different color) https://erdem.com/en-gb/kristen-coat-dress-yellow-olive-green-pf17-7318yhj.html

      Sure looks like a dress to me & it is from the pre-fall collection so that timing doesn't say winter to me nor does the sleeve length.I think it would have looked more seasonal & more coat-like styled with bracelet length sleeves and worn with longish gloves.

      Here is the same material as Sophie's in a dress. https://www.matchesfashion.com/products/Erdem-Kamila-floral-jacquard-midi-dress-1157072?qxjkl=tsid:38929|cgn:QFGLnEolOWg&c3ch=LinkShare&c3nid=QFGLnEolOWg&utm_source=linkshare&utm_medium=affiliation&utm_campaign=us&utm_content=QFGLnEolOWg

      A material suitable for a sleeveless evening-type dress, while perhaps "heavy" (as jacquard usually is), isn't likely to be "winter coat" material. So while I liked the dress (very rare for me with Erdem!) it still seemed to me an odd choice to be worn anywhere in December (if outdoors even briefly) without a coat.

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    20. I lost my first attempt here - user error, not blog error.

      The Sophie/Camilla/car issue could just have been something as simple as Camilla needing to ride at the last minute because of a sore back or some such ailment and Sophie didn't have time to go back in and find suitable outerwear. One thing we know about HM is that she is punctual to a fault.

      Erdem shows Sophie's coat with a matching sheath which she probably had on underneath. I thought she looked lovely. The Phillips family are the ones who really hit it out of the park though. Those little girls in those adorable red and blue coats that went so perfectly with Autumns. From the Kate book of coordinating the family clothing for public appearances.

      Does anyone think Meghan saw the photos and said next year we need to coordinate better? Brown and gray - not a winning combination. Once they're married she'll probably feel more comfortable saying "You're not going to wear that!" ;-)

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    21. Well, Lizzie, Erdem does refer to it as a coat dress, so I guess it's both! :-) And after taking a closer look at the photos of Sophie and the fit of this piece, I'm inclined to believe that she was not wearing a dress under it.

      Robin, Autumn and her girls looked wonderful! It reminded me of Diana's occasional attempts at coordinating her coat with William or Harry when the boys were very young.

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    22. Robin, LOLOL. Or........Meghan could always get one of these for Harry. Charles is quite fond of his, isn't he? ;-)

      http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/prince-charles-camel-coat?family=editorial&phrase=prince%20charles%20camel%20coat&sort=newest

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    23. I'd not seen Sophie's garment shown with a matching sheath Robin & wouldn't have thought a dress could fit underneath. But I'd not found her coatdress in this color anywhere online. Like I said though I do like it but it seems "bare" because of the shorter sleeves.

      Probably right about H&M! I also think light grey isn't the best color for Harry anyway.

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    24. Robin, and others, I totally agree (and stated above) Harry and Meghan clashed and I think Harry in a brown overcoat would have coordinated better with Meghan (and looked better than the gray on him!). I bet you are right, next year we will see a more complementary look! ;-)
      I also thought the Phillips Family looked great.
      I started posting with a consistent name a bit ago. I think it helps people to respond to me specifically and to understand my perspective (since I am from the States). For the most part, I find the banter here fun and interesting; I thank Jane for doing a great job monitoring the responses and removing anything that may be offensive. That being said, it is sometimes risky to post an opinion if you are easily offended. I just keep in mind it is difficult to interpret tone within text and don’t take things too personally.
      Happy New Year!
      Still cold here.... :-(

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    25. LOL, royalfan! No, not that one! Hideous coat! Autumn's family outfits were reminiscent of Diana matching her boys to each other and then coordinating with them.

      Lizzie, you're right that Harry's best color isn't grey. His ginger coloring makes some color ways difficult for him to wear but his blue eyes sure pop when he wears navy. Fortunately, Meghan's coloring compliments his so they could coordinate some beautiful family outfits! She will up his style game after the wedding.

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    26. Great attitude, Linda! It will be fun getting to know you.
      Now I want to go watch "The King and I." anon1
      -10 C. here this AM.

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    27. :-) Me thinks that Charles and Harry could look to Prince Philip for some fashion inspiration...

      Earlier today...
      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/the-princess-royal-and-the-duke-of-edinburgh-arrive-at-st-news-photo/900014032?#the-princess-royal-and-the-duke-of-edinburgh-arrive-at-st-mary-in-picture-id900014032

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    28. Guess who rode with the Queen? anon1
      I checked the tabs for a photo. A great deal was made of the absence from Sunday church of certain younger royals. Not one word that C&C apparently gave it a miss as well. One way to avoid a choice. Ha!
      Sophie looked smashing, by the way. Black and white checked coat.

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    29. Yes, Anon1, I saw the photos and thought Sophie looked very pleased to be seated beside HM. And I agree regarding church attendance; the younger generation is accused of not appreciating tradition (or the age of their grandparents), while Camilla attends on Christmas Day and spends the rest of the holiday out of sight with her children and grandchildren. Not a word.

      Do you ever wonder what future Christmases at Sandringham will look like?? ;-)

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  28. I don't know what it is, but seeing William and Kate and Harry and Meghan just warmed my heart. I think perhaps it's happiness that they are both with the women they love, and we all do deserve happiness - I think all four are in for a lot of that.
    Kate still always pulls my eye, she is always smiling and it draws one in, I will be more mindful about smiling more in my life

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  29. I do not think Charles had anything to do with the photos in this broadcast. I think the setting was lovely and appropriate.

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  30. Kate looks great but the hats of minor royal women were really terrific!

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  31. Saw the report of the Christmas walk on TV, But I haven't managed to get to my computer earlier--Visiting family using the room where I keep it.
    Catherine looked Lovely--loved the outfit and she was glowing.
    Not as keen on Meghan's coat; too much bulk around the waist, but that was really not important: four smiling faces, all holding hands was enough.
    Prince Harry was guest editor this morning on the "Today" BBC Radio programme and he said they had a lovely Christmas, especially staying with William and Catherine and chasing around with the kids.
    I see some people are questioning the choice of photographs near HM during the Christmas broadcast. There was her wedding photo and the one taken for her 70th anniversary and there were photos of George and Charlotte. I am sure all HM's Gt Grand children are loved equally, but these two are the future off the monarchy.
    When a direct heir marries, the next question is always children. The marriage seventy years ago has produced three more generations in the direct lone--hence the selection of photos.

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    1. I think that Her Majesty was trying to convey continuity, from oldest to youngest in the direct line, thereby avoiding any message of favouritism; and, let's face it, that table was too small to accommodate her entire family.

      I believe that's what you were saying, Jean, and if so, I agree.

      I didn't catch anything Harry had to say, via radio or TV, over the Holidays. Apparently, he and Meghan DID stay with W&K, at Anmer Hall, then.--I've wondered before why Harry wouldn't have chosen to stay at Anmer Hall over the Xmas period, altho the choice might not've been his. It might be an excellent idea, going forward. After all, Sandringham is full-to-bursting, Harry may become William's trusted advisor, once W assumes the Throne, and any kids H has might well prefer Xmas at Anmer Hall, over the Queen's at Sandringham House--or that Charles runs--. W&K would probably host a kid-friendly Xmas, right down to permitting highchairs and booster seats at table, so that parents and kids could enjoy the festive season together.

      Does anyone know when the Queen instigated TWO church services on Xmas morning? (which she expects overnight guests to attend). Quite nearsighted, IMO.

      JC

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    2. JC, I honestly don't know, but I do find the two church service tradition interesting. Perhaps someone will chime in and share ....

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    3. I don't know about this situation but having two services Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve) isn't odd to me. Lots of churches do it where I live (& not only on major holy days.) Other people attend that church besides the royals & some may find an earlier & less formal service better for them. I don't know if the CoE has days of holy obligation where folks are "required" to attend & receive communion. But if so multiple services would make sense for that reason too. As to whether HM requires her overnight guests to attend both services, that's kind of a separate question.

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    4. The Queen takes communion at the first service and it is more private, I believe. I don't think the second service offers communion. I assume those who wish to partake would attend the first service.anon1

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    5. That makes sense. Thank you Anon1.

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    6. It's common in the CoE to have an early communion service and then a more family friendly (but still communion) service later in the morning. The earlier service might be more traditional in terms of the editions of the bible and prayer book that are used too.

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  32. I don't think Charles chose the photos either. This is the only speech the Queen gives during the year that is personal. I think the photos are just part of the message.
    If Charles had chosen there would most likely have been a photo of him and Camilla on that table next to the Queen. anon1

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  33. I wonder why meghan doesn't free her hair from under her coat collar. It doesn't look groomed or am I missing a fashion statement?!

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    1. So it’s no flying all over the place and in someone’s face

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. This look, Kate knocked it out the park. The hat is to die for, I love the entire ensemble, minus the shoes, but how brave of her to walk down in heels.

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  35. Usually Kate keeps it rather low key when she's with the Royal Family en masse. I really expected her to rewear the Moloh coat she had on the year that she was pregnant with Charlotte. But she surprised me with a rollicking good tartan Xmas coat!!! I loved her fur hat too. Simply festive and glowing. Of course, I was also interested in Meghan's look too. She looked appropriate and very Meghan, what little I have seen of her. I will be interested to see how the California girl stays true to herself fashion-wise and yet blend well with a much more conservative taste in Britain. I don't think I realized how petite she was until I saw the four together (what a happy picture!!! Diana must be beaming from above!) I liked the Queen's and Camilla's look too. Royal watchers used to comment that when Diana wore pink or red, that she was in high spirits. Based on the bight hues of Her Maj and Cammy, I'd say the family was having a very nice Christmas!!! Cheers to us all for a fabulous 2018! Thanks again Jane for all you do for us ( I have always enjoyed your writing and picture selection)!!!

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  36. Since we follow fashion on this site, here’s my take... the hat on the Duchess, was it faux? If not - it’s a no go. The coat is spirited and it really gave her great coloring. She looked so happy and healthy and that is wonderful to see! I’m not really a fan of fashions that will likely only get one wear, but hopefully she’ll modify this one and get more use out of it to justify the investment. Meghan looked very pretty and tailored but was just one step short of hitting the “royal” style that would have been more befitting her future role. I felt like she need a scarf (maybe burgundy and then she could have trimmed her hat and accented it with the matching burgundy) draped over one shoulder and possibly a lovely brooch, to make the outfit more appropriate for the occasion and the company. It will be a process for Meghan to develop her elevated style, just as it does for all royals, and I look forward to her merging of Hollywood and the royals. She could pull off a Jackie O style beautifully!!!!

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    1. Anon 3:28- If the description of & sources credited for Kate's hat are correct, then no, it's not faux. It's made from alpaca pelts, as in animal skin + hair. I wouldn't wear it for that reason. It just seems wrong to me to wear animal skins & fur these days when alternatives for staying warm & protecting our bodies exist. *However*, the upscale companies supplying these kinds of fur hats do claim "humane" practices are used and that pelts are harvested only from animals that have died natural deaths during the bitter winters in the Andes. (Esimates are that at least 10% of a herd dies each winter from the rough conditions with many being young) So animals aren't intentionally killed for this kind of fur. While I sure wouldn't want to bet slaughter for alpaca fur never occurs, because alpacas can produce a great deal of valuable wool during their 20+ yr lifetimes, I expect slaughter isn't the main way pelts are acquired.

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    2. For those concerned about real fur don't forget that the "faux" alternative is generally a synthetic fiber and so it's creation/production destroys the environment those alpacas (and we all) live in. So maybe Kate's real fur hat is more "humane" in a larger context than some might give her credit for.

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    3. Interesting point, 12:28. Especially since this particular company only uses the fur from an animal that died naturally.

      Delete
  37. Regarding using "Anonymous" as an ID.

    My main complaint with that is I and others who use a consistent, unique to us on this site pseudonym are held responsible for the history of our comments and must either defend our opinions or endure censure while Anonymouses get by with making repetitive, critical remarks, without the possibility of being held responsible for previous comments.
    Another reason is it is just plain confusing trying to follow a conversation consisting of numerous comments by Anonymouses, without being able to follow who said what and respond accordingly.
    Finally, unless a commenter gives his legal name or offers specific identifying information---age, occupation, location/ISP-- which can be used to pinpoint anybody if one has the fancy tech equipment-- WE ARE ALL ANONYMOUS, WHETHER WE USE A CONSISTENT PSEUDONYM OR NOT. Our friends, associates, and family will not be able to ID us. That is not a valid reason for using the anonymous "handle."
    I think there is a use that can be considered understandable: some commenters may have life situations that are so restrictive to in- person communication that blogs are their only means of contact. Commenting alone requires as much energy and effort that person has to offer. Using a consistent name would mean that person might have to explain a comment- a further effort. I think blogs have commenters whose only outlet perceived as available is a blog. It sounds as though I am talking about prisoners in a jail and in a way I am.

    There are also those anonymouses who have no difficulty with in person communication but who use blogs to indirectly express general dissatisfaction with their lot in life but don't want to be held accountable for their criticisms.
    I think the second type is easy to spot but I worry that the isolated commenters will not get the support they need because they use anonymous and we can't get a sense of who they are from reading their comments. There is one commenter here who actually uses a name who has recently communicated a need for an orderly world that is what it seems to be on the surface. I see that trend and will be careful to make my replies to that person, if any, accordingly. I hope that explains what I am getting at.
    This is my second, much revised attempt at this discussion today. I hope it is understood. This blog IS real life, for some more than others perhaps; we can't hide behind anonymity and say it is all make-believe anyway and who cares. anon1

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    1. I respect having the choice, but I do agree with the points you've made. Good and bad, ha! Personally, I prefer having a "conversation".

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    2. royalfan- we have engaged in many of those throughout the years. Greatly enjoyed. anon1

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    3. Likewise Anon1 :-)

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    4. I prefer to know with whom I'm communicating as well. Having been on the receiving end of very pointed criticism from anonymous posters who can call me by name but don't return the favor has occasionally made me take a break from posting. Whether I always agree with what someone may or may not say it's always nice to "know" who said it. I look for the comments from royalfan, anon1, Jean from Lancs, lizzie, JC, and ali because I know where they're coming from. I appreciate some of the newer gals using their names as well. Besides, it's fun to wonder, for example, what royalfan is going to think about a pair of shoes or have Jean share with us what's in the court circular or how something was covered on tv in the UK. I also think that people who use a name, be it their own or a consistent handle, tend to be kinder in their comments. And, let's face it, sometimes it just looks like the same person is arguing with themselves. Just an opinion.

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    5. Robin-

      The last thing long standing named commenters are, is “kinder” in their comments. Ha!😒

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    6. Casting my vote for names/pseudonyms. Names make a thread easier to follow and more interesting. I tend to read the comments of certain people a little more closely because they seem to be more knowledgeable or simply because I enjoy their sense of humor and/or writing style. Always good to see a new name pop up as well :)

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    7. I was, as I said, just stating an opinion. But thanks for anonymously calling me out by name to make a snarky comment. You proved the point perfectly.

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    8. Robin - I have my own reasons for choosing to stay anonymous, but agree with many of your points and do look forward to seeing your posts. And I do think a consistent handle at least makes one think twice about his/her tone and perhaps at times that makes one choose to be kinder than s/he would be behind the veil "anonymous" can offer.

      Anon 9:01 - You just illustrated her point.

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    9. Actually, 9:01 was illustrating the hypocrisy that so many named commenters have on here. We are constantly bombarded by their clamor to rid this site of anon. And in their doing so, they always try to sound superior. Please.

      This is a blog. Get over yourselves.

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    10. Anon1, thank you for your thoughtful remarks that show your empathy and understanding of those, like me, who are in life situations that you have described. And thank you to lovely Jane who welcomes anonymous contributions. I do agree that there is a greater sense of community when we can attribute comments to a name, and it is fun to drop in and wonder what you, Royalfan, JC, Robin, HoosierLori, ali and all the others have to say! You describe perfectly the challenge that I have...my world has become so small and this blog and a few others (Order of Splendor, Queen's Jewel Vault, HRH Countess of Wessex, the Court Jeweler and What Kate Wore) have created a group of reliable internet "friends" that are a part of my daily life. While some may think it rather odd (and sad) that this is so, the truth is that when one is isolated (for whatever reason) these places are important touchstones that help one remain connected. You are correct in understanding that the "effort" is part of the issue; when every. single. thing. in your primary life interactions requires explanation, defense, regret and apologies then even such a simple thing as an anonymous comment is a slice of welcome freedom.

      As someone who came to royal watching through my DNA (my grandmother, who emigrated to the US from Eastern Europe as a teenage orphan, named her only child after the Queen, and, when as a widow applied for a home mortgage only to be told she couldn't get one as she was a woman, responded, "if a woman can reign over Great Britain then I can get a loan" which she did get!), I am thrilled to indulge my hobby with such a stellar group.

      Like many, I was a huge Diana fan and her loss I still mourn. While she had her frailties, she really was a game changer for not just the royals, but around the globe. Seeing her sons grow into their roles has been a joy. I think that the Duchess of Cambridge has managed to be the wife, mother and royal that will serve well the monarchy as it transitions over time. This is a long game and she seems to have a very clear understanding of priorities.

      So, during this holiday season please know how grateful I am for the lovely, safe place that Jane and this community have created. Thank you. Sam

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    11. It might be best to agree to disagree on this. In the Christmas and holiday spirit. :)

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    12. 19:52, I am an anonymous commenter and do not see hypocrisy in the named commenters. I understand it is easier for the sake of conversion to have a name and I like following those conversations. I also dislike when an anonymous calls a named poster by her name and doesn't sign the post. I also agree that some anonymous posters are sometimes rude, I don't know if it is because of their anonymity or simply because this is the way they are. I feel very welcome to post anonymously and will continue to do so for many reasons but I am grateful to those who provide interesting conversations.

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    13. Welcome home, Sam.
      anon1

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    14. Thank-you, anon 4:07. I knew Jane had a reason for allowing anonymous comments and I understand why now. anon1

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    15. Sam, thank you for sharing that tidbit about your Grandmother. She must have been a very special lady. It made me smile! Sounds a bit like something MY grandmother would have said. :-))

      A safe and happy New Year, ladies.

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    16. Sam, I hope this is always a safe place for you. Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman!

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  38. Thank-you, royalfan.

    And thank you, Robin, for reminding me that I come here primarily for fun and new ideas. I know about two things for sure in fashion-the rest is just my 'druthers. I think Kate is a remarkable young woman with a commitment to family. I believe the Cambridges are a wonderful experiment in the new royal family. George's facial expressions are endlessly entertaining and Charlotte--oh, my goodness! that girl is a corker and will require every ounce of patience and will-power her parents can muster in the coming years. She has aspects of her Mum and Granny Carole but the spirit and determination of a long line of very strong-minded BRF women is evident--from the view I have seen reflected in media and family photos and the words of her parents.
    Back to the point... I also enjoy communicating with a known personality rather than the blank wall that anons sometimes seem to me.
    Like royalfan, I think there needs to be an anonymous option. I just wish it would not be exploited at times. anon1

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  39. I fear that Ms Markle is going to permanently upstage Kate, which really upsets me.

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    1. This is not something I worry about; post wedding, as time marches on and William and Kate take on more and more central responsibilities, they will always be center stage. I agree with many other posters who have said William and Kate are probably relishing this time where they get a little break from the intensity of constantly being in the spotlight.

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    2. I think it's only because she's new. Fergie was the focus in the lead up to her wedding as well but she didn't eclipse Diana in the long run.

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    3. Meghan will never upstage Kate. Kate is soon to be Queen Consort and mother to a future King. The spotlight on Harry and Meghan will dim while William and Kate will only intensify.

      I feel a little sympathy for Meghan. On most the blogs I have read, she is not given a fair chance to prove herself at royal life.

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