Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Kate's Mother's Day Speech

Sunday, March 26, 2017

On Thursday, Kate gave a speech to promote mental health awareness for mothers and introduce the Out of the Blue film series of the same theme. Many have hailed it as her "meatiest" presentation yet, particularly applauding Kate's admission that she has found motherhood daunting at times. I was very moved by the mothers who commented on this blog attesting to how meaningful and supportive Kate's comments were to you. Those are the best accolades Kate's speech could get--feedback from real parents who felt uplifted and affirmed by her words.

On a secondary level, however, I was struck by a growing assertiveness from the duchess in this speech. Kate has been a predominantly silent figure in the decade she has spent in the spotlight. In the entire time she dated William, we only heard her voice once, and that was by chance. Kate has been something of an enigma, and inevitably we have all have projected a variety of assumptions and personal preferences onto her smiling image. Her early speeches and interviews have been scripted and sweet, further entrenching her cotton-candy image. But, as Kate speaks more, a window begins to crack open into her actual personality. Who she is and what she really thinks. 

In her Best Beginnings speech I heard support and encouragement, but I also heard a relatively private woman publicly stand her ground on a fundamental issue of contention between her choices and the public's complaints. It was just a hint of the "does Kate work enough" debate. Kate almost directly addressed the criticism that we often hear--that she can't claim to be a busy mom, because she has access to nannies and staff that many women cannot afford. Kate said:
Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge-even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not.

I heard a lot of things in Kate's speech, but most of all I heard her claim the right to her role and reinforce that she isn't going to shift under pressure. She defined that primary role not as global ambassador or charity patron or even princess, but as mother:
You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.
Kate's image has been sketched by her smiling still shots, which might have conveyed a more biddable personality than is the reality. Both in her choices on speech topics and even more in the candid conversations she has with fans, to which we are increasingly privy, a much stronger and self-directed persona is emerging.

For those who followed Kate when she was dating William, we already have had the hints of Kate's tough core, and certainly we have seen her presence and strength in the stressful and upsetting moments she has had to tough through in public, like the day she spent touring in South East Asia as topless photos of her were published in France. We have inferred this strength despite her silence, but with the Best Beginnings speech, I think we might start to see more of Kate asserting herself vocally. 

Kate's direction as a mother has been evident, too, in the way the Cambridges have raised their children. While Diana wanted to give her boys a normal upbringing, she didn't quite achieve her goal. For the moment, it seems that Kate is coming about as close as possible to an average childhood for her tykes. The couple's retreat to the country in the early days of their family life, Kate's strong bond with her family, and the average messy play days George clearly enjoys with his mother and grandmother, all attest to Kate's laser focus on providing a carefree and happy childhood to both her little ones. 

On Friday Kensington Palace made a surprising announcement. Prince George will not attend the prestigious Wetherby in London, where both his father and Prince Harry were pupils. The press and public alike were sure that George would begin at the newly opening Kensington location, but instead it has been released that he will attend Thomas's Battersea, a co-ed school that is a full half hour drive from KP. I am confident that this is due in large part to Kate's influence on the decision. 

Kate had to address her own advantages in her speech, but she didn't have to approach the speech in the way she did. She could have discussed the challenges of parenthood and highlighted the greater difficulty of those without nannies. Instead, she claimed equality with other parents, which is not to say she doesn't appreciate that she has more help than some, but that at a fundamental level being a mother cannot be outsourced. She has the same expectations and burdens as the next mom, and as much of a right to fulfill her role in the best and most involved way she can. Kate noted: 
Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. 
Nannies can't take on those burdens of love and worry, joy and exhaustion for Kate. Only she can love George and Charlotte with the all-consuming passion of a mother. Only Kate can feel the complete pressure to shape and raise her little ones to their full potential. Motherhood at its fundamental level belongs to Kate just as much as it does to every other parent regardless of social class or privilege and she clearly has no intention of giving that up. 

A Happy Mothering Sunday to Kate and to all mothers. You are absolutely irreplaceable and very literally make the world go round. Thank you for all you do to raise up a strong and healthy society. 

Kate Recycles Eponine For Out of the Blue Screening

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived this morning at the Royal College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians looking radiant in a recycle. Today was an event that could be broadly characterized under Heads Together, the umbrella organization created by William, Harry, and Kate to promote discussions about mental health, but more particularly, Kate was appearing for partner charity Best Beginnings. 

In what will be a bitter-sweet point for long-time Kate followers, Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew rather than Rebecca Deacon. You can see her above exiting the car, and here below standing in the background.  No word has been given about Rebecca's successor, but this might be a hint of announcements to come.

Today, Kate was celebrating the launch of Out of the Blue, a series of educational films produced by Best Beginnings that revolve around maternity and the mental health issues that can arise from pregnancy and early child-rearing. Not only are the films meant to aid mothers, but also to support the "support team." The films are meant to educate dads and even kids about the invisible, but very real challenges, some women face during the sometimes taxing journey of motherhood.

Kate gave a brief address to the gathered health professionals and activists who had come for the launch. Her remarks have garnered quite a few headlines.  Not to be a tease, truly, but I have a few thoughts about Kate's comments today, and there are enough of them that I am saving them for a second post. Don't get mad at me, it is taking real discipline here to refrain.

I say I was particularly struck by Kate's increasing confidence as a public speaker. It is very easy to be an audience member and I think we forget how nerve-racking it is to get up in front of a crowd and talk! Certainly there are people who are old pros, but the majority, and at this early stage in her career as a royal Kate qualifies as a member of the majority, it just isn't that easy! Maybe because I am called upon at times to be a public speaker, I really scrutinize the details. Today, Kate had a podium that wasn't tall enough for her.  Rather than being able to rest her speech and her hands on a steadying surface, she had to hold it up just below the level of the microphone. Yet, she was focused and poised and passionate in her presentation. It is one small thing, but I am really impressed by how Kate has grown as a public speaker since we saw her first remarks at EACH five years ago.

Kate did watch one of the films before leaving the auditorium with that glow that comes after a successful public performance. She was then off to visit with mothers and fathers who have benefited from Best Beginnings work. 

Richard Palmer 

I love this video by Rebecca English of Kate joining a group of parents. She sits and settles in and her face says, "HEY guys!" and then it seems she remembers the cameras and her expressions changes to, "oops, I'm a princess, better sit up straight." So, she settles back and straightens her posture. We've all been there, maybe without the scrutiny of the cameras, but that self-correction moment...It is endearing.

And one more video from Rebecca showing Kate chatting. I like this one because it is fun to see Kate interacting, but also because her knees are so beautiful! Yes, Kate, I am talking about your knees. I know, the price of fame. 

I wonder if Kate's Yoga/Pilates trainer has come up with a new pose to make sure Kate keeps fit to drop low for the kids despite her heels. Based on today's ensemble I'd name this pose: crouching flamingo. I'm going to ask my Pilates instructor about it. 

Let's chat fashion. Kate recycled separates from Eponine London today. The Duchess first wore this ensemble in March of 2016 on a visit to XLP London with William. On the whole, my recollection is that the suit got pretty positive reviews from fans. I loved it on that occasion, particularly the detailing along the hips. Kate wore a second piece from Eponine in January of this year (I can't believe it is already MARCH!) on her first day of engagements for 2017. She kicked the day off solo on an Anna Freud event and then joined William for a visit to one of Child Bereavement UK's centers. 

Eponine London is a British label created by Jet Shenkman, a mother of four who designs form her home in Kensington and has built a boutique business that prides itself on detail, quality, and beauty. I was really taken by the image of her company when Kate debuted the first Eponine and shortly after I got a really sweet email from Jet that charmed me even more. It seems to me that the label doesn't just design clothes that fit Kate well, but that the entire company fits into her lifestyle profile: gracious and thoughtful toward the individual.

Kate wore her beautiful morganite drops from Kiki McDonough today, just as she did on this suit's first wear, but she switched up her accessories from the first wear, swapping the black accents for neutrals. Today, she wore her Praline pumps and carried the Nina clutch from L.K. Bennett.  

I have a feeling these neutrals are going to put Kate afoul of some people, but perhaps with my often skewed view of accessories (I am thinking of my pass for the burgundy/red combo ;)) I don't mind this. Maybe because it seems to me that the Praline color picks up some of the pinkish red of the gingham and blends, or because I think that neutral really goes with just about anything. I'm not sure, but I am fan. I definitely am glad to see this ensemble paired with a hue lighter than black, that is for sure!

The verdict is a win, obviously. :) Often with a recycle I wish Kate would wear her hair up, but today I was happy to see it down still. Those curls were perfect and worked well with the boat neck. It was fun to see this suit get a little more activity, too. The brand new, super pressed look has worn off a little, which gave us a better sense of the box pleats and the movement. Big win all around!

There has been much talk about the security concerns surrounding this engagement. The truth is that the security concerns were almost exactly equal to the normal threat of any engagement that Kate undertakes these days. Now, that's a significant security concern, Britain has been at "severe" level for some years, but Kate didn't take a heightened risk beyond that by appearing today. The Queen's engagement was cancelled primarily because of the location--Scotland Yard! You can imagine how busy the police are and it certainly isn't a day to take a break and give tours of the facility and hand out posies, not matter how illustrious the visitor. The Queen was wise to cancel, but I think her appearance has been spun just a little as a risky choice, which just wasn't the case. That being said, because the Queen did have to cancel, Kate was in some respects the face of the BRF, conveying the royals' prayers and good wishes personally, which was a bit of a unique moment for her. I am sure you will agree she represented her family well.   

The Possibility Project London

Certainly, my condolences to all of my UK readers and most especially the people of London whose world has been turned topsy-turvy by this unconscionable attack. The civilized world joins you in distress at these continued assaults on innocent men, women, and children.  One of my friends college, a wonderful man from Scotland, posted a picture of the terrorist on a stretcher and noted that we still extended treatment to this vicious man despite his depravity. I thought it was a good point. I pray that fidelity to our values will lead all our nations through this dark day and those to be revealed, back to a world of greater stability, peace, and safety for all. 

Au Revoir, Paris! Kate Wears Carolina for Rugby & Farewell

Saturday, March 18, 2017

At the conclusion of their event at the Trocadéro, William and Kate were driven back to the Ambassador's residence where they changed and made their farewells. The couple were headed to their final event of the visit, the Wales v. France rugby game at the Stade de France, but they would leave directly from the game to the airport. 

Tom13637 Instagram

The coupled thanked their hosts in the courtyard and Kate was given a little parting posy. I love the staff with the cameras in the background. No Carson around to frown. :)

Duchess Kate's Morning in Paris's 7th and 16th

The second day of William and Kate visit to Paris kicked off this morning with a number of stops at some of Paris's most popular and iconic destinations. For those who were concerned yesterday, Kate arrived at Les Invalides, their first stop this morning, wearing a Chanel suit, bag, and belt. France was very adequately represented. :)

Hôtel des Invalides 

Les Invalides is in the 7th and sits close to the Seine just south of Pont Alexandre III. Its golden dome is very photogenic when the sun is shining, but even on an overcast day like this morning, the building is an impressive and even imposing structure. 

Built in the 17th century by Louis XIV to care for veterans, it now also houses a number of museums, including Musée de l'Armée documenting some France's military artifacts, as well as the tomb of Napoleon, among other things.

William's Fair Lady at the "Embassy Ball"

Friday, March 17, 2017

Some twenty odd years ago, young Kate Middleton played Eliza Doolittle in a school play. The video of her dressed as a working girl and singing about her dreams of a better life has charmed fans around the world. Tonight, life imitated art, as little Kate Middleton now "is a princess" and descended the stairs at the British Embassy in Paris dazzling like the transformed Eliza on the steps at the Embassy Ball

Of course, Kate, unlike Eliza, really is a princess, not just presumed to be one by Zoltan Karpathy. Which is why tonight, as she and William prepared for dinner, the royal standard fluttered in the breeze over the Hôtel de Charost alerting passing Parisians of the special guests:

In the courtyard below, a stream of celebrity guests made their arrivals, including Jena Reno and Kristin Scott-Thomas.  Kristin Scott Thomas rather embodies the theme of the night. She is British, (born in Cornwall) but she traveled to Paris at 19 to be an au pair and "never came back."

Sporty Kate Wears Bespoke McQueen to Les Voisins Reception

After their welcome at the Élysée Palace, the Cambridges made their way just a short distance down the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to Hôtel de Charost, the Residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, where they were billed to attend a reception celebrating the launch of Les Voisins (the neighbors), a year celebrating the links between Britain and France. 

The reception brought together "young entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, musicians and other selected guests" to support the continued ties between Britain and France.

Cambridges Welcomed at Élysée Palace

Bonjour tout le monde! The Duke and Duchess and of Cambridge went straight from their lunch at the Irish Guards to the airport, where they boarded a chartered plane and flew to Paris! According to Rebecca English, Amanda Tucker restyled Kate's hair in her signature waves before the couple deplaned. The royals were chauffeured from the airport to the Élysée Palace; the schedule was tight and Kate remained in her bespoke Catherine Walker from this morning. 

The Élysée Palace is, as you know, the official home of the French President, and has been since 1873. It is located in the 8th along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Kate doubtless enjoyed her drive to the Palace, because the street is lined with some of the most expensive designer boutiques, some of which she wears, as well as beautiful hotels and the diplomatic buildings of some of France's closest allies, including the residences of the ambassadors of the United Kingdom and the United States and the Canadian embassy. It is a very beautiful road and frankly more fun to walk than the nearby Champs-Élysées. This is the Palace from air; it is an impressive compound in the heart of Paris. The big courtyard is particularly convenient for welcoming foreign dignitaries and heads of state in real style. 

A bevy of the French president's staff gathered to watch as the royal convoy of Range Rovers rolled from the narrow street into the gracious and wide private courtyard of the Élysée Palace. President Hollande greeted the two on the steps and they posed for the official photos:

Hollande showed the couple around the Palace, including the lovely terrace where the trio stood and chatted briefly in the late afternoon sunshine:

I am so happy that although Rebecca is leaving relatively soon, after her many years working for the BRF, she was still on the job for this first trip to Paris. She looked lovely today in the courtyard wearing a navy ensemble and carrying an Anya Hindmarch clutch:

Because Kate just showed up in her third ensemble of the day, I have to speed this post up, so you are spared a lecture on the interior décor, but suffice it to say, it's all I can look at in this picture...even with Kate in the frame.

via Rebecca English Twitter (re_dailymail)

This is the best part of the post, so if you were skimming, slow down. Kate, William, and Hollande were sitting together chit-chatting in their sumptuous neoclassical works of art. First they were speaking in French, (interestingly, there is much debate about how much French exactly the couple speak) and it seems that Hollande decided to change the pace, which he did, not just by switching to English, but by saying to William, "So you were in Verbier this Sunday?" I kid you not. To which William responded, "Yessss." This is one of the reasons I like William. He had the grace to smile and laugh. He nodded and said yes, and then he waggled his eyebrows at Hollande as if to say, "and look how that turned out." 

I am surprised that Hollande would bring it up. He must have been briefed about the headlines. I don't know if he was trying to smooth it over--if you can talk about your weekend in Verbier while sitting in the gilt drawing room of the Élysée Palace surrounded by reporters, it can't have been that bad--or perhaps it was some naughty French humor popping up. Hollande himself is no stranger to the tabloids, and his scandals landed him international covers when he was photographed sitting on a scooter being chauffeured to his mistress's flat. The mistress of his mistress, but I digress. It was complicated, but let's just say you'd rather be William with an embarrassing dance video circling the web than Hollande with his scooter headlines. The exchange in many ways turned out rather sweetly, because Kate got this smile on her face when William answered, "yesss" and then he turned to her, bright as a cherry, and they exchange a fleeting look in the language that is unique to every couple, as she moved the conversation along for him. Still with that lovely smile.


As the Cambridges left they both had that smile that says, "OH MY GOSH I can barely hold in my comments until I get in the car!!!!!" I had a good laugh, so maybe Hollande wasn't so naive in bringing it up after all. :) From a PR perspective, this is gold.

Several have mentioned in the comments on the post from this morning's St. Patrick's Day that the velvet trim is deep green not black. I agree after zooming in on this morning's pictures, but perhaps more importantly, this afternoon's shot seem to clearly be deep green. Perhaps even better than black!

Finally, there were some initial comments that Kate should have changed for her arrival in France, and at first I agreed, but after looking through more photos and considering the fact she had two more outfit changes this evening, I think sticking with this bespoke piece was the right move. First of all, it is gorgeous; it is a great coat dress to travel; and it fit really well, to my mind, in the scenery of the Élysée Palace. The military style, the velvet trim--I thought it really blended with French aesthetic. Best of all, we had instant gratification for a recycle with a new hairstyle. For myself, I did prefer this with the hair up, but I enjoyed seeing it both ways.

Ok, kids. One down. Two down, two to go. See next for a recap of Kate's cocktail ensemble. 

Kate Returns for St. Patrick's Day 2017

This is an unusual year, because St. Patrick's Day has collided with the Cambridges' first official visit to Paris, and the excitement for that trip comes as close as imaginable to stealing the 17th's show. Nevertheless, today is one of the most anticipated royal events of the year, and Kate didn't let Paris entirely steal the thunder by arriving this morning at Cavalry Barracks wearing one of her most striking St. Patrick's Day ensembles yet!

Via @BritishArmy
Prince William has been Colonel of the Irish Guards since his appointment in 2011, shortly before his marriage. According to the Telegraph at the time, he is the first royal colonel, although Her Majesty the Queen is, of course, the Colonel-in-Chief. William had a number of uniforms he could have chosen from for his wedding, and he picked the red Irish Guards. A good choice to complement Kate's white dress that happy morning, and it gives the Irish Guards an extra boost of royal connection.

via Kensington Palace

To catch you up on the Irish Guards controversy, (because you need more drama this week, right?) the Duchess debuted at the Irish Guards in 2012. A royal for less than a year, she flew solo on that morning because Prince William was serving in the Falklands. When I wonder what gives St. Patrick's Day its special excitement for royal watchers, I am torn between the worldwide enthusiasm for St. Patrick's Day in general and the fact that on her first engagement with the Irish Guards, Kate was so picture perfect and darlingly flirtatious. Maybe both! It is still one of my favorite events:

Whatever makes it such a popular event, Kate has accompanied William every year of her marriage, except for last year. The princess didn't appear last St. Patrick's Day, and it caused a real stir among fans and royal watchers. When the couple announced they would spend the 17th and 18th in Paris this year, I was disappointed with the conflict to St. Patrick's Day, but delighted when it emerged they wouldn't attend before flying to Paris!

A real fan favorite today is the Irish Wolfhound and Irish Guards mascot, Domhnall. Kate always pins a little sprig on Domhnall who is generally impeccably behaved. According to People, Domhnall's prep for the morning began with "three (boneless) chicken thighs for breakfast and a five mile walk." No wonder he is well behaved, that would leave me looking just like this, too:

via Kensington Palace

The morning always concludes with a toast in the officers' mess and lunch. In year's past, Kate has been pictured sipping on creme sherry, but today the beverage of choice looks to be Guiness or some similarly dark beer. It is a rare sighting of the Duchess of Cambridge indulging in a pint:

Don't forget the snap with the soldiers, with the Cambridges posing circa 1818. I jest, there is only so much you can do with a formal shot like this, but today when I looked at everyone lined up I could suddenly see it in sepia in a history book.

via Kensington Palace

Let's talk fashion.  Kate chose to go bespoke, which is always exciting and almost invariable, as it should, produces a really stunning ensemble. This coat is by Catherine Walker and looks like it is partially patterned after one of Kate's most successful coats to-date, the red military Catherine Walker she wore to deplane in Wellington, New Zealand.

Perths Fashion has also tracked down a product photo of another Catherine Walker jacket which features a similarly double-breasted closure and the sumptuous velvet trim on the collar, cuffs, and pockets that I love so much. 

via Perth Fashion

Overall, this coat draws on chief elements that made (for me) her velvet McQueen such a big success. The coat is very snugly fitted in the bodice and then it gracefully flares in an a-line silhouette. Kate has a really beautiful figure, but some of her coats, even the ones I love, can obscure it a little. These lighter "coat-dresses" really do her full justice.

Kate recycled her hat from Christmas 2015, which I call the Green Poinsettia Hat. I thought at first this was new, because all of my pictures today are taken from Kate's right side, but when she wore this at Sandringham in 2015 almost all my photos are from her left side.  

The different perspective really makes a difference! I thought this was a cute topper when she first wore it, and it is another success today. The Duchess is wearing her Monica Vinader Siren earrings and  sporting her signature chignon, which appears to be secured by one of Kate's subtle and discreet hair nets. 

via Kensington Palace

Kate is also carrying a new clutch. It appears she has broken from her usual suede clutches and chosen a glossy fold-over in a crocodile print:

The verdict is a grand slam. I love the forest green contrasted with the black velvet detailing. As mentioned, these impeccably tailored coat-dresses are so elegant and polished. Kate looked very regal and statuesque standing at attention next to William. This event has nothing to do with the Paris trip, but it does get me very excited for whatever Kate has neatly packed in her trunks for the next two days. 

According to Rebecca English, Sky correspondent Rhiannon Mills asked a Palace spokesman if there was a comment on William's time in Verbier, and was "genially" told that William is looking forward to visiting Paris.  No matter where you fell on the opinion scale regarding Verbier, I think we can all agree that William would have preferred his enthusiastic club dancing to stay private, so today had to be a little awkward. Providentially for the Paris trip, I think this morning cleared the air. It was impossible that there not be a small element of embarrassment this morning, but now William has his first public appearance post-Verbier out of the way, Paris won't have to absorb that impact. A better time for everyone!

via KP

Rebecca English reported that William and Kate are flying to Paris by private plane. The couple's first stop is the Élysée Place to meet with François Hollande and then a black-tie (I think black-tie) reception and dinner at the British Embassy. I stayed up way too late last night reading through your fantastic responses to the survey, and will continue today. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in! See you this afternoon!

My soundtrack today. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Virtual Coffee Date with Jane

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Good evening all! I am so excited for tomorrow I am having trouble focusing on other stuff, like work, and so I wandered back to the blog to see what is up with the royal watching world as we get all primed for tomorrow. I have been thinking for a while that I should get to know my readers a little better, at least for those who care to share, and tonight I am presenting you with a little questionnaire that I hope many of you will fill out! As you will see, it contains a mix of questions, some obviously geared toward giving me insight to make the blog better, and some just random fun fact queries, like...what is your favorite book?

The questionnaire is anonymous. It doesn't require a sign in, so just like when I see the little towns checking in around the world I don't know who you are, I won't know who you are from this either, but it will give me a better idea of who I am talking to each time I sit in front of my keyboard and start tapping away. I hope you participate, and can't wait to see you tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day and PARIS!

Follow this link to the questionnaire. 

The Problem With William's Verbier Lunch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What a day! To start with, I like William a lot. Anyone who has read this blog, even intermittently, knows that I am a big fan of his. And you all know that I firmly believe the Cambridges’ marriage is rock solid.  Nevertheless, that does not make this weekend ok. William has learned a hard lesson today, proving that no matter how savvy, every now and again we all take the occasional tumble and add a notch to the belt of life’s tough lessons that lead us toward that blessed goal of aged wisdom. :)

There were competing stories this afternoon surrounding the facts, with one source claiming that William and his friends lunched with two blondes and another claiming that they lunched with two blonds plus those girls’ boyfriends. I have communicated with royal reporter Emily Andrews, whose paper had a reporter in Verbier investigating, and she has confirmed that the boys were not at the lunch with the royals. The pictures seem to corroborate that. It was the royal party and these two jet-setting blondes.  The boyfriends, while in town, were not at lunch.

Video of Prince William Dancing in Swiss Ski Resort

Well it was a messy Monday for the royals' public relations department as news broke that Prince William spent the weekend in Verbier where he was photographed partying it up over lunch with a 24 year old who works in hospitality at one of the resorts.  This morning the headlines featured full sized photos of the young woman (Sophie Taylor, who modeled for Chadwick for a time and seems to have a penchant for topless shots) in various stages of undress juxtaposed against small insets of the royal party drinking and eating with her at a ski slope restaurant.  To be clear, the photos of Ms. Taylor were from her social media accounts and from previous vacations, not from this trip...obviously. Hopefully obviously.

Via Emily Andrews Twitter

Kate Recycles Kors for Afghanistan Memorial

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Today, the royals gathered for a memorial at the Horse Guards to pay tribute to the service members and civilians who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts that have spanned more than twenty years.  Both members of the Royal Family and leaders of government were on hand for the solemn tribute that preceded the unveiling of a new memorial. 

As senior royals, William and Kate stood in the first row, separated from the Queen only by Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. (I am sure the PM and Secretary were surprised to discover they had married without realizing it...sorry. ;)) Here Kate beams as the Queen arrives and William completes a respectful bow to his grandmother. It is sweet to see the obvious affection between these three.