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Duchess Kate New Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook two public engagements in London together. Before the couple arrived at their first destination, though, Kensington Palace announced that Kate is the new royal patron of that first stop, the Evelina London Children's Hospital.  This patronage obviously falls within Kate's expressed interest in children and families, and seems a perfect fit for the princess. I think we are seeing a build-up to Kate's 2019 launch of what she has communicated will be her lifelong charitable endeavor. 

Christmas activities are everywhere and William and Kate tried their hands at a number of crafts with the children and families. As always, the little Cambridges came up, and both William and Kate remarked on how much George and Charlotte enjoy these types of pastimes. I imagine Louis will be getting in on the fun sooner rather than later. KP shared this video which features a little snippet of Kate's thank-you speech on her first visit as patron.

I am loving seeing the Annoushka pearl drops. Several of Kate's other everyday pearl earrings (the one son loan from the Queen) are cool for their connections to the royal vault, but I prefer these larger pearls on Kiki hoops that give them a little more swing.

The couple's second stop was the charity Passage, which aids the homeless in many of their different needs, including working to combat drug addiction and mental health struggles. So, again, a charity that is right in step with both William's and Kate's interests.

There were arts and crafts to work on here, too, and Emily Andrews shared this video reporting that William told those gathered that Kate is much better at the creative crafts. Not breaking news. ;) 

Kate looked fabulous today in this green L.K. Bennett, which we will get to in just a second, but in this lighting you can really appreciate the Christmas-y forest green.

A fun little video from the Royal Family Channel:

Ok, fashion! Kate tapped L.K. Bennett again today as she debuted a new silk tea dress from one of her favorite retailers. This dress is the Mortimor and is kind of the wintry version of the Montana dress. It has all the elements Kate has been obsessed with of late, including buttoned cuffs, a big bow at the collar, and, of course, polka dots. The oversized pearl buttons are the icing on the cake, and pair perfectly with her Annoushka pearl drops. 

Kate accessorized with Gianvito Rossi 85 heels and the Dora clutch from L.K. Bennett. Kate paired both these with her ensemble in Cyprus last week. I think the olive works with the darker green of this dress. I like that she is changing it up from the usual nude or black accessories. 

It looks like Kate has weaned Louis and is back with her dermatologist. Last week you could see a relaxation in her brow, and today she is even smoother. It just goes to show how moms always put babies first, even before beauty--whether it is refraining from hair dye during pregnancy or skin treatments while feeding. Given Kate's very public profile, her priorities are all the more impressive. And she was radiant today! 

Kate's Old Church Street Flat For Sale

Sunday, December 9, 2018

This morning Majesty Magazine tweeted the news that Carole and Michael Middleton have put their London flat on the market. The Middletons bought this flat years ago when Kate and Pippa moved to the city. 

For longtime royal watchers, you will remember the Old Church Street property, which featured often in the papers as Kate was photographed coming and going. Here Kate, and Carole in the background, head out to do some shopping at the neighborhood stores. 

Kate leaving on her 25th birthday, when everyone thought we'd get a proposal, or her departure for the Diana concert in 2007, are all snaps that were taken right on the doorstep of this flat. Now with the property shots online, we finally get a peek inside!

The property description gives a sense of what a nice apartment it is. The Middletons apparently bought it for around £1.2million and have placed it on the market for £1.9million. 

A fantastic and private apartment for sale in Old Chelsea, SW3

A well-appointed 3 bedroom apartment for sale in the heart of Old Chelsea. The property is offered to the market with a Share of the Freehold.

Found on a favourable part of the Old Church Street, this charming three bedroom, upper floor maisonette provides a peaceful, light and spacious home. The flat is accessed on the first floor and there is an internal flight of stairs which leads up to the second floor, comprising of a double reception room, kitchen and guest W/C. 
On the third floor there is a master en suite with a picturesque view onto Justice walk and over the chimney pots of Old Chelsea. There are also two further bedrooms and a family bathroom on this level. The front of the building faces east to west, providing lovely morning light and this continues throughout the day, as the sun beams through the reception room into the afternoon. The property is presentable but still allows an incoming buyer scope to put their own stamp on the property. 
Location information
Old Church Street runs north between the Kings Road and the Embankment and is approximately 0.9 miles from Gloucester Road tube station, and approximately 0.9 miles from Sloane Square.

I covet this dining room set and that mirror! 

I don't really know what I imagined the interior of this apartment looking like, but this seems to fit whatever amorphous scenes I had in my mind. I think the style is just the type we have seen from Kate and Carole in other areas. A mix of classic and modern, crisp white neutral colors paired with with pops of color. I really like it. It is very bright and pleasant balance. 

Is this what the apartment looked like when Kate lived there? Who knows. I don't know if the Middletons have been subletting this place, or if James has been living here. We did find out in Carole's interview that James lives with his parents "when he is not in London," so this might have been his London crash pad. 

It looks like a beautiful flat and I expect it will sell quickly. Time marching on...  :)

Sneak Peek: Kate Arrives in Cyprus in Jigsaw Trousers

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

William and Kate have arrived at Raf Akrotiri in Cyprus where they will meet with service members deployed to the island. To the absolute delight of many, many fashion fans, Kate is wearing trousers today!

The blazer looks like Smythe to me. Laura has IDed the clutch as an L.K. Bennett piece, and the shoes as Gianvito Rossi 105 heels.  I am loving this olive color way.

Perth's Fashion is guessing these trousers are MaxMara in deep blue:  As the day progressed, these were positively IDed as Jigsaw. 

This is a new-do for Kate. Her hair is half up and half down, but in the back it is like a mini-ponytail. I like the look from the from, but I am not sure what I think about it from the back:
There is also a velvet ribbon back there, which you can see a bit of in the last picture.

This is yet another hit for me. Kate looks fabulous. I love Kate in skinnies, but I agree there is a time and a place and it is nice to see trousers at an event like this. I suspect we will see more of this style.

P.S. Due to the time constraints I have this week, and as mentioned in yesterday's post, I won't be doing a full post on this event. :( 

Duchess of Cambridge at the Diplomatic Reception

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In a significant break from their recent modus operandi, Buckingham Palace permitted a rota photographer to snap tonight's Diplomatic Reception. This is such a big shift, and is further proof that the winds of change or blowing strongly at BP. 

I do think this is a continued effort on the part of the Palace to put the spotlight on the primary stars. I don't mean that in an unkind way, but Meghan has certainly shaken things up (whether you consider that a great thing, or not such a healthy thing) and the Palace, as I said they would, needs to keep the boat balanced. 

Kate is wearing a dress by Jenny Packham, and carrying JP's Casa clutch, too. We all recognize her beautiful Lover's Knot tiara and Collingwood pearl earrings, both made famous by the late Princess of Wales. 

This is a huge win. It's delicate and sparkling, which is right in line with Jenny P and Kat's usual creations, but the neckline and sleeves are a new style.  The draping gives it a softer and more romantic look, and really makes the dress. I love it so much. After several rocky choices, Kate really has hit a home-run with this one.

Today at the Christmas party and now this evening, Kate has been glowing. She looks fabulous. It was raining in London, and this was the shot James Whatling snapped of Kate and William leaving Kensington Palace on their way to BP. Usually, this is all we would get, so I feel like quite the lucky duck tonight.

This is actually a very busy and stressful week on this end, so I am not going to update the Christmas party post any further (although I will clean it up next week). I did like that ensemble. Kate could have made it trendier with a hipper top, but I don't mind the classic button-down sweater. It was very much in her style profile. You can see that post here.

Ok kids, see you tomorrow! ;)

Sneak Peek: Duchess Kate in Tartan Ensemble for Christmas Party

William and Kate have arrived at a Christmas party at Kensington Palace's Orangery. Co-sponsored with the Poppy Legion, the party is for the families of RAF service members from Coningsby and Marham who are deployed in Cyprus. 

A quick arrival video from Rebecca English:

And a second showing the couple dodging some of their fake snow as their staffers trail along in the background wearing an array of Christmas jumpers. Cue Bridget Jones soundtrack. 

Laura has IDed Kate's skirt as Emilia Wickstead's "Pris" tartan midi.

Richard Palmer reports that Kate's top is Brora. Kate has worn Brora accessories (earrings and a snood), but I don't think we've seen her wear any of the company's clothing until today. I can also see her Mappin & Webb "Empress" earrings peeking out!

Kate gave a sweet speech to the families, noting as a former RAF wife herself, how hard it was when William deployed, but also noting she never had to miss him for Christmas, as these families will miss their loved one:
And finally, a little snow ball fight on their way out:

It is a crazy week for me, but I will pop on later today to update. I am still thinking about this ensemble. I like it, but it seems like an ensemble that only Kate can pull off. More this afternoon...

Carole Middleton in GOAT For Stella Special

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Carole's second special has hit the web. This is a piece is in the Telegraph's Stella feature. It goes over a few of the points made in Telegraph Magazine, but lots more detail. It is by the same writer, but I think it is much better than the first run. Carole wore one of the Goat dresses that Kate wore while pregnant, and specifically said it was not the same dress (not a hand-me-down)!  

This is Kate in the Eloise dress while pregnant with Louis. I love how much the Middletons 

The article doesn't mention it, but Kate has worn both the Goat dresses Carole wore. This was the headline picture of Carole wearing Goat's Elodie. 

Kate wore this dress in December of last year (a month after wearing the Eloise. 

I think rather than Carole taking cues from Kate, Kate might be getting her style inspiration from Carole. According to the Telegraph:
For someone who looks self-assured and impeccably put together when she’s snapped, she’s surprisingly averse to clothes shopping and being photographed (‘Hate it,’ she admits). Like most British women, she doesn’t know what to do with a compliment. When I tell her I’m surprised that, with her figure, she finds shopping so hard, she bats back with: ‘I’m bigger round my top half than I was, so that’s why I prefer dresses to trousers and I don’t like anything tight. One of the reasons I don’t like shopping for clothes is that there aren’t enough for women my age. I know what I want, but I can’t find it. There’s a way of dressing that’s what I call “correct”.’
Run over and read this special before it is locked like the last one. This article is packed with fun details, but my favorite quote is at the end when Carole underscores how her family is, well, her family, even if some of them are royal:
'I have two other children and grandchildren and my job, and I lead a lot of my life round here, where I’ve lived for years and people knew me before Catherine’s… impact. It isn’t normal maybe to go to Louis’ christening or Catherine’s wedding, but, in the end, they’re all family events.’
If you can't access the article online, you can read it here.

Carole Middleton Does Exclusive Interview With the Telegraph

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oh my goodness! My Carole Middletons fans, rejoice! The Duchess of Cambridge's mother has done her first interview (the royal engagement statement to the press excepted)! Cute details that popped out at me--Kate texted Carole during the shoot to wish her luck; in the early days of her business, Carole was inspired by JoJo Maman Bebé; and James lives at home when he isn't in London (a man after my own heart). 

You can tell me if I am being too sensitive, but there seemed to be a bit of an edge to this write-up. It didn't feel hostile, but it didn't feel entirely sympathetic, either.  It seemed to swing between positive and something a little hard to put my finger on--but with a bite. The author gives enough detail that you can get a good picture and make your own judgment.  It's lovely that Carole did this, obviously with the Palace's blessings. The Middletons deserve to be feted a bit more, in my opinion. I think this interview is further proof of the earlier point I made about Kate having been to hidden away and too played down, so this is quite refreshing. Just like it was lovely to see Doria Ragland with Meghan at her book launch, I'd love to see more of Carole and Mike. Carole is lovely and such an example of hard work and creativity and success. The Royal Family really scored when William fell in love with a Middleton. More of Carole and the Middletons, please! 

Read the full article here, complete with great pictures.   This is not a "Premium" article on the Telgraph, i.e. it should be free. All you need to do to read it is register, which is free. 

Kate in Catherine Walker in Leicester

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Today, William and Kate undertook an engagement in Leicester to pay their respects to the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha was the billionaire owner of King Power International and the owner of the Leicester City football team. Last month, he was killed along with two members of his staff, his pilot, and his pilot's partner, when the helicopter the five were traveling in crashed just after taking off from the King Power Stadium after a game. William had known Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha for several years, thanks to his involvement in the sport, and had apparently flown with Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha's pilot relatively recently before the crash.  

If I remember the news report from the time, the pilot of the helicopter deliberately piloted the stricken craft away from the traffic that was still leaving the stadium, and nearby houses? At the least, he piloted away from the traffic. In the midst of crisis, and facing almost certain death, he was able to put fear aside and think about others. It reminds me of some of the fighter pilots who have chosen not to eject when their planes malfunction, and have instead flown away from residential neighborhoods, saving innocent and unsuspecting civilians, and died themselves. "Greater love hath no man..."

The couple met Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha's wife and two of his children, in addition to members of the Leicester City team and various representatives of the charities with which Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha's and the club were involved.

After the crash, there was an incredible outpouring from the community, and the floral tributes piled up quickly in front of the stadium.
William and Kate met with local volunteers who helped to relocate these symbols of condolence to the the lot where William and Kate paid their own tribute today. 

Kensington Palace shared this clip of William's comments today:

The football club funds a number of charitable endeavors, and in the second half of the day, William and Kate made their way to Leicester University to see some of the programs financed by the club. The university put together a great video with footage of the visit:
The royals struck a healthy balance by tempering the grief of the stadium with the impact that Srivaddhanaprabha and his football club have on the community. They also scheduled time for a walkabout with locals, so there was an enthusiastic crowd in Centenary Square anxious to meet the couple.


This is an interesting video of Kate chatting with crowds in Leicester. At first Kate remarks she wishes she could go back to being a student, but when she moves to another person in the crowd, that girl asks Kate about Meghan's pregnancy. Honestly, the way the girl asked was a little stilted (I feel like the recent headlines loom as the unspoken question).  Kate immediately kicked into gear with a pleasant quick exchange on how exciting it will be to have a cousin for George, Charlotte, and Louis. Much has been made of this clip. I am not sure what it proves. Did any of us think that when asked about Meghan, Kate would just start airing the BRF's dirty laundry in a public?? Seems unlikely. 

I saw a lot more footage from the crowd on this event than I have in a while, and I loved all the videos. This one is particularly funny. Kate says she is not good with other languages, and is determined that her children will be better, so I guess that means French and Italian tutors are in the little Cambridges' futures. 
And finally, this video of Kate noting how wintry the weather has turned. It certainly has where I am...

Kate was wearing Catherine Walker. Although it appeared new at first glance, it was a repeat. Kate was photographed wearing this on her way to a Sunday service at Balmoral with the Queen in August of this year.

This ensemble is a win for me. I know it is striking some of you as a little too girlish, but I think the real problem here is that this coat-dress, as has been the case with many of Kate's dresses over the years, is a little short-waisted. While Kate could get away with that at 29, I think now a more detailed tailoring is in order. If this were fitted better to her frame it would be hitting its high note in tune. As it is, I still liked the cozy tweed and the full skirt Kate loves so much. Today called for a somber color, but grey was a better choice than black, so she really scored in that department, too. Finally..her J.Crew hair bow is picture perfect. If you haven't jumped on fall's sweetest trend...these are still available at J.Crew!

Kate finished her ensemble off with her Cassandra Goad pearl earrings that she has been favoring so much these past few months, her Tod's block heels, and a new Aspinal London bag. You are already familiar with the Midi Mayfair, because Kate has this bag in a light lavender. Kate is a girl after my own heart. If the shoe (or bag) it in every color!

William and Kate have two events next week--the Christmas party for RAF families in London, and the visit to Cyprus the next day.  There was a report that William and Kate attended a reception this evening for the fashion industry--I will let you know if pictures surface. ;) 

Treble's "Fan Wars" Article

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Good morning! We have almost 400 comments on the last post, so I thought I'd pop on here and provide a new post with a slightly different theme to transfer the conversation to a less unwieldy venue.  I think this is a natural progression of the discussion, too. Patricia Treble of MacLean's has written a very interesting and thorough piece on the Meghan/Kate wars and yours truly was quoted among a number of fabulous and familiar names. You can find the article here

The current state of affairs is not a pleasant one, and I think it is unlikely to ease up for a long time. I don't think, however, that it is an insurmountable issue. I think the best way to deal with it is to ignore the angry voices, and to the best of your ability, continue on as usual. As distasteful as it feels, I have found that blocking the primary instigators (those I refer to in Patrica's piece) on Twitter immediately restores some peace. I have also learned to just ignore the tweets that are obviously one-sided and that ignore nuance. That's probably a good life skill to have generally. When I was little, my dad would always repeat to me a saying he learned from his mother (born in the 20s): you have to let these things slide like water off a duck's back. :) That's some good midwestern wisdom there. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article. William and Kate will be out and about tomorrow, so looking forward to "seeing" everyone then! 

[Updated with KP Confirmation] Harry & Meghan to Set Up House In Windsor

Friday, November 23, 2018

Big, big breaking news from super-star royal reporter Emily Andrews tonight. According to her scoop, Harry and Meghan will move out of Kensington Palace next year and set up home in Windsor! The couple have been gifted Frogmore Cottage by the Queen, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound, tax-payer funded renovation. Read Emily's full exclusive here

Emily elaborated on her story in her tweets, reporting that despite the fact that the 20-bedroom 1 next to William and Kate will be available next year, the Sussexes have chosen Windsor. As is often the case with royal residences, the names can be a little misleading. Frogmore Cottage is a ten-bedroom home, which should provide plenty of room for the couple, their baby-on-the-way, and some room to spare.

Frogmore Cottage
The house has served as accommodation or staff (currently split into five separate living spaces), and needs significant renovation to "return it to a luxury family home" boasting a gym and yoga studio! Don't get this confused with Frogmore House, where Harry and Meghan's reception took place, although their Frogmore cottage is on the same grounds. Read Emily's full text thread here

I think the biggest scoop of the story is the report that Harry and Meghan were initially going to move into a Kensington Palace apartment, but due to "some friction" between the brothers, are now moving to Windsor. To me this is really just confirmation of a reality I think we all knew to be the case. 

Someone asked me if this move could just be the natural course of life, rather than stemming from tension in the family. I think yes, and no. I do think (as I think you all know I think) that there is tension between William and Harry, but I think it is the most natural thing in the world for there to be tension. I think this for a number of reasons. First, I don't think Meghan and Kate get along, more on that later, perhaps. Inevitably, if there is any frostiness between the wives, the natural result is that the brothers will grow apart. By the way, this is not some unusual phenomena. I think, frankly, it is relatively common. Personalities often clash.

Second, I think now that Harry has stepped into his role as a husband and a Duke, he has truly left behind his single, party-prince days, and it is again, natural for him to seek a more prominent role. I think Harry is flexing his muscles, and pushing the envelope in areas that likely make William a little uncomfortable. William is the future king. Ultimately he will be the boss, and to the extent that any part of Harry and Meghan's message is not the message or the mode that William thinks is appropriate, there will be some tension. I am sure Harry feels he is just as much a royal as William (he is), but William knows he is the monarchy at the end of the day (he's right, too). That's a strange conundrum fraught with potential tension. 

I think that point bears repeating. William and Harry are in the strangest of positions. William is the future king, so he is like Harry's future boss, and already outranks him. That must be a little irksome at times. They have been like equals for years, but now the difference between them will be highlighted more and more. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that Meghan is not the type of personality to wear that second-tier royal status super well, and although that doesn't mean she is the source of this part of the tension (it is natural between princes), she doesn't ameliorate it. That's not her personality. 

So, I think there are two sources of tension. The first is a clash between Meghan's operating style and Kate's, and the second is the hierarchy that exists between William and Harry that, due to personalities, is probably proving challenging right now. I think when people hear "tension" and "clash" they imagine some ghastly Real Housewives of Windsor, and there is no need to run to that extreme. But, as one of you mentioned at some point in the last six months, good fences make good neighbors, and it is probably for the best that Harry and Meghan and William and Kate all can have their own space.

Saturday morning update: Kensington Palace just confirmed that the Sussexes will move to Frogmore Cottage in the new year: