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The Queen's Pre-Christmas Lunch 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Today the Queen hosted her annual Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. This is the day she welcomes members of the extended royal family to toast the season with her before she travels to Sandringham for her private family celebration.  The guests are always snapped as they arrive and depart, and today was no exception. 


William drove his family - Kate in the passenger seat, and George and Charlotte in the back seat with Nanny Maria - to the palace in the family's Range Rover.


Excitement was high to see Harry, who in years past has sometimes hopped a ride with the Cambridges. This year, he chauffeured his beautiful new fiancé to the palace, instead. Meghan eschewed a coat, which allowed us to get a peek at the £300 Self Portrait dress she wore to her first family gathering at Buckingham Palace.  


Kate was wrapped up in Zara's "Long Cloth Cape," and her GOAT London Eloise dress, and added a little fur stole to add some glamour. 



You can see the dress peeking out here:

Embed from Getty Images

This holiday lunch was marred (just a little) by the clamor of royal watchers who are pitting Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cambridge against each other. Today's unjust and deliberately deceptive suggestion was that Kate never smiles when arriving or departing the Queen's Christmas luncheon, and only did so this year to compete with Meghan Markle. This is either jaw-dropping ignorance, or deliberate deception. Although Kate has been in the back seat with the children several years, she has been smiling in the front seat many times.


This coming royal wedding is hugely exciting, and although not everyone will love Meghan as they love Kate--and vice versa--we can all appreciate the couple's joy and celebrate that happiness. Yet, some bad apples are attempting to use the passage of time (and the presumed short memory of the fans) to suggest that somehow this celebration eclipses the excitement the world enjoyed when William and Kate got engaged, or the warmth with which the royal family welcomed Kate.


Just as Meghan was welcomed today to Buckingham Palace, Kate also attended her first family Christmas luncheon as a royal fiancée on December 19, 2010.  She did not spend Christmas at Sandringham because Prince William was still serving at that time, and took the Christmas shift so that daddies could be home with their children. Spinning Kate's absence at that 2010 Christmas as if it was somehow a snub is ludicrous. 


Today's latest Meghan v. Kate is both tedious and destructive. One thing is certain, Meghan won't appreciate this misguided support. No one wants to be unwillingly set at odds with a future sisters-in-law! This is a time when Meghan is looking forward to smoothly transitioning into her new life. An artificial score between her and the super-celebrity Kate is not something she'd thank anyone for. I hope we can all enjoy the excitement of Harry and Meghan's wedding (to whatever extent you are invested) and leave the petty and preposterous comparisons aside. 

28 comments:

  1. But it is not only the "fans" doing it. Media is reporting it as fact when they know for a fact it isn't true. For example that so called reporter richard palmer. He started it with his tweet. I really don't know what they are trying to do or maybe i do. They are trying to start a rivalry because that will sell newspapers. By the way how charlotte changed she is a big girl now. Cutie pie.

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    1. I don't disagree with what you've said anon 5:45. But as with other current events one can also argue the media is only providing what sells (and in this case, sells mostly to people who could be called fans.) So I don't know that we can say the "competition" between Kate & MM is mainly media driven, not "fan" driven. It's both. I do agree with Jane it's often not helpful but I think it's quite understandable it's happening. After all, W&H have been compared to each other all their lives, just as the Queen's four children have been. And PG & PC are often compared to each other even by posters on this site (with no evil intent, at least not IMO.) So it would surprise me if MM & Kate weren't compared. But there are all sorts of ways to compare...Some things I've seen have been silly, some mean-spirited, & others based on downright inaccurate info (like the question of royal Christmas invites.)

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    2. I am sure the royal writers are well-aware of the reason Kate and William did not attend Sandringham 2010. Some of them wrote about it back then.

      It seems very close to deliberate fact-juggling to me. The question is Why? What motive for this? Over-reaction to tales of ugly stories-an attempt to right a wrong, perhaps? That would be the most generous guess. However, I have seen no such efforts to right the wrongs inflicted on W&K. They do come to Camilla's defense often and vehemently.

      Republican leanings? That would be a case of biting the hand that feeds them, but it is an idea that some in certain groups like to toy with. I guess it could make them seem more objective if their positive reporting of royal events for their day job is balanced by criticism in "private" social media accounts.

      There have been more retirements announced on royal staffs. With Prince Phillip being portrayed as too old and ill to place his own wreath a short time ago and now showing up bright-eyed and bushy=tailed with Harry, the royal scene is a minefield to navigate. More so than usual.
      None of this excuses--I'm going to say it---"Fake News," no matter how many clicks it gets. Integrity used to be a goal of news writers.anon1

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    3. I have to agree with you anon1. They want to sell papers so they have to make up stories that seem scandalous. After all, there are only so many pictures to go around and once you've seen them from one source why would you buy another paper to see the same thing - unless there is some controversial story to go with it? Yes, it is media and public driven because the bottom line is what matters to the publishers so if the public stopped buying the really awful papers the market would change. It's all supply and demand.

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    4. 100% agree with anon. Media is driving this. They have a vendetta against the Cambridges because William is stand-offish with them. They don't jump to his defence the way they do with Camilla because Camilla is super nice to them, and they like Harry because he's fun, and now with Meghan- she's media friendly of course - they'll have more material. This is just another way for them to bash The Cambridges, and all they ever did is be reserved and private therefore, one might argue, boring.

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  2. Jennifer from the southDecember 21, 2017 at 6:35 AM

    So I think it’s rather unfair to blame Richard for all of this. Yes a rivalry sells, but Richard’s tweet was not untrue. He said that Kate often turns her head to avoid being photographed, and she does. Case in point, leaving the staff party last week, Kate clearly didn’t want to have her picture taken. Yesterday, she was more willing, which is a good thing. I think Kate hasn’t waved before, although I could be mistaken. Kate smiles usually every year. On the way in yesterday I don’t think she smiled. She looked stressed or maybe like she was having a pregnancy off day, or like a pregnant lady who needs to eat. 😂 Leaving she looked like she was in a much better mood, which is when we got the smiles and wave.

    Kate is too smart to have a feud a la Diana and Fergie. She has played the game too long and too well to let anyone come in and ruin what she has built. Will Kate and Meghan be super bffs? Maybe not, but I guarantee they will be friendly and Kate will be nice and Kate will avoid the drama like the plague because she is too focused on what she’s won to risk losing it all.

    Although what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall for private conversations with Carole and Pippa!!!

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    1. I think there's a huge difference between a paparazzi-taken staff party (which is entirely private) to a luncheon with the Queen, which welcomes press photographers. Kate has always smiled in the latter. She has also waved to fans before.

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  3. So often in the past Prince Harry has been in the front passenger seat, so today it was clear for Catherine.
    Some of the things printed in the last couple of weeks have been ridiculous--we all remember that William worked in 2010, so Catherine stayed with he family. If I remember correctly that was the year the "News of the World" hacked her phone
    There seemed to be a lot more young children this year. Hopefully Meghan was considering some of them as her wedding attendants.
    The engagement photos are beautiful, bur the cost of the dress is mind blowing.
    Cannot get over the change in Princess Charlotte--she seems to have grown up since they took the Christmas card photos.

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    1. On the note of having more children at the Queen's lunch this year: I think it's the usual number. Actually less because Mia and Zara and Mike were not in attendance. And the "children" from years past look so grown up now! Lady Louise and Magarita Armstrong-Jones are practically little ladies now!

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    2. I like your point that Kate isn't sitting in the back with the children this year and there is more opportunity to see her smiling and interacting with the people gathered. They also had Nanny Maria with them so Kate didn't need to give full attention to the children by turning her head toward them. The press between now and the wedding seems as if it's going to be painful to watch.

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  4. Always amazed by how people manage to ID clothes even if just the teensiest tiniest bit is visible.

    Charlotte looked a lot more grown up compared to the pictures from Germany.

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    1. Charlotte is a little darling. Many have pointed out that her appearance changes so much as she grows older. Some say she looks exactly like Eugenie from yesterday's photos.

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    2. I still think Charlotte looks more like Granny Carole.

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    3. I am absolutely terrible at noticing if children look like their parents/grandparents etc. but
      even I have noticed that she has changed. I'm so curious to see her on her first day at nursery.

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  5. Thanks, Jane, for even setting me straight on the facts! I hope you're going to have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing your blog on the 25th! Karin

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  6. I think comparisons are ok and we all do it. We might say someone is shy, while their brother, uncle, whoever, is outgoing. There is no malice. And Kate and Meghan are very different, have different backgrounds but also have parallels (commoners marrying into the BRF), so it's interesting to see how they each navigate their new roles. But I can't stand when comparisons move into snark territory, as in Kate only started smiling because of Meghan, or Meghan wants to upstage Kate, or Meghan was invited to Sandringham before Kate (which I'm glad you pointed out was not really the case). Personally, I imagine Kate is thrilled to have someone take some of the spotlight away from her so she can enjoy her pregnancy (and life) a bit more in private, as she never seemed to care much for the attention.
    I think Kate will be completely unfazed by the press trying to pit them against one another, and I doubt she will go out of her way to quell any unsubstantiated rumors. After all, she has been in the public eye and the recipient of not very flattering press coverage for over a decade, and has never acknowledged any of it or put a foot wrong. Hopefully Meghan will follow suit. Harry is the one I'm worried about, he does seem to be a bit more emotional and vulnerable to bad press.

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    1. Well said, Dani. I think William and Kate are actually relieved that the spotlight is not solely on them and the kids anymore. Seven years is quite a long time. Even Diana (who in moments of her life courted the spotlight) was so excited to have Fergie join the fold so she could get some down time. Of course that didn't last. I think the royals need to be grounded in themselves and in their core family and friends to withstand all this media and outside nonsense. Kate certainly has it in her and let's hope Meghan does too.

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    2. Initially, I believe Diana was thrilled and relieved to have Sarah join the RF. Finally, she was not "alone" in the Firm. But Diana took the media comparisons to heart and in trying to please she only made things more difficult for herself. Eventually, she felt betrayed by Sarah and kept her at arms length.

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  7. Some of these pro Meghan users on twitter can’t express there supposed support and admiration for Meghan without taking shots at Kate. To them Meghan is the Other to Kate and she can only be viewed in that context. Also look at this accounts closely and a lot of them espouse anti British sentiment. I’ve always maintained that Kate has become a lightning rod for critics who don’t want the UK to succeed.Why on earth would Meghan welcome that kind of support online? You can’t call yourself a monarchist if you don’t wanna see Kate or Meghan succeed in their public life.

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  8. Harry and Meghan do seem to be a bit more relaxed and open to the public compared to William and Kate. I think that people are genuinely happy and excited by this. There is nothing malicious with people being happy about and commenting on this new direction the couple are taking.

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  9. Thank-you Jane for saying "Enough is Enough." Or cut the crap (can I say that word here?)
    And thank you Dani for your thoughtful comment. I also think this may be harder on Harry and even William than it is on Kate and Meghan. It is often harder, I think, to stand by while a loved one receives such treatment than to be a target oneself. It has echoes of what their Mother faced. As you said, William has been dealing with this personally for years but Harry is newly besotted and has not had years to ease into this with Meghan. He and/or his PR team seem to be controlling access to Meghan quite well so far, however. We see her when he wants us to see her, yet crumbs and tidbits of non-photographed sightings filter through. anon1

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    1. I agree that William and Harry will take this more personally than Kate or Meghan. Face it, girls are mean, and Kate and Meghan know this and will let it roll off a little more easily than the men in their lives.

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    2. Oh, without a doubt W&H will find it more difficult. They will feel helpless as they realize how impossible it will be to protect the ladies from it.

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  10. It looks to me like Kate is growing out her hair and that makes me happy :-)

    This is always a fun event, especially to see the kids!

    ~ A

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  11. Princess Charlotte is adorable! :-)

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  12. I’m surprised that you would even bring this comparison of Kate with Meghan to light yet again on your blog!

    Instead of repeating what those media trolls are inaccurately spouting, focus on what we fans of yours come to your blog to do: Read about Kate!

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  13. People are crazy. I'm positive neither think of the other when they are getting ready for an event such as this one. Kate is a practical woman, and Meghan isn't dumb. If anything, I'm sure they are relieved to have someone to share the burden with!

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