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The Royals Arrive in Oslo for Day 1 of Royal Visit Norway

Thursday, February 1, 2018

William and Kate left Sweden early this morning and flew to a veritable winter wonderland. The royal couple's jet touched down on a snowy tarmac this a.m. where Prince Haakon and his wife Princess Mette-Marit waited to greet their British guests on the first day of Royal Visit Norway. 

KP
I have no idea how this plane landed on all that snow, but it shows northerners are hardier folk than Americans... Kate emerged from the plane wearing another Catherine Walker coat! Talk about a fashion streak. Someone on Twitter pointed out that this label uniformity is not entirely unlike Pippa's honeymoon of all Kate Spade. Anyone remember that? Pips took something of a 'round the world tour for her honeymoon and she wore Kate Spade after Kate Spade ensemble. It was great--no complaints--but you do notice that sort of thing.  


This coat is in that military blue we love so much and looks so good on Kate. I particularly like the high, notched collar. I will say I found it just a hint on the shapeless side, but she has worn a number of more fitted coats, so it provided variety.


The couple were taken to the palace in Oslo where they were scheduled for lunch with the King and Queen and other members of the Norwegian royal family. My heart went pitter-patter when this picture came across the wire. Underneath the Catherine Walker coat, Kate was wearing a new SĂ©raphine maternity dress that has me swooning. Today was such a fashion fiesta.

KP
The dress has all the little embellishments I love, from the ruffled collar and cuffs, to the lace bodice, Empire waist, and swinging skirt. 


This is the label's Marlene dress and is currently listed as out-of-stock, but my understanding is it either hasn't been released or will be re-released. Your blogger has not been as checked-in today as she should have been... In any event, past, present, or future, this dress did or will retail at about $250. I think it is picture perfect. 


After lunch, the royals toured a nearby sculpture park named after Princess Ingrid Alexandra, the second-in-line to the throne. Who thinks George will be opening sculpture parks at 14? It's interesting to see how differently the European royals conduct their business. 


Just as she did in Sweden, Kate swapped her Tod's heels for cozy boots and fur accessories for a walkabout. Today she was in a brown fur stole and Cornelia James fur-trimmed gloves. She also let her hair down from its earlier chignon, to frame her face. This is such a brilliant tour strategy and she looked marvelous. 


I applaud William for his pop of color, but that scarf looks oddly tied. It kind of looks like it's staging an uprising up there or something. 



Below might be the best video of Kate in a crowd that I have ever seen. First of all, the resolution is quite clear, but more substantively, she is so warm and charming. She is well-spoken and has thoughtful comments to make, and she really gave this fan some real time. Obviously Kate can't do that with everyone, and William comes along right at the end and hurries her up, reminding her she needs to keep moving, but it was sweet on all counts.



The royals then made their way to MESH, a working-hub for entrepreneurs and start-ups. They got to try out the fun gadgets, including this reMARKable tablet that Prince William seemed quite taken with. 

KP
Who doesn't love the occasional virtual doodle?



Among other things, Prince William also got to take a virtual bike-ride through St, Andrews, the town where he met and fell in love with Kate (good start to the Valentine's Day month, eh? ;)):




The final event of the night was a formal dinner in honor of the Cambridges' visit, and if your heart has cried these past few nights as Erdem crucified more than a few fashionistas sensibilities, tonight the Princess was back. This pale pink gown is by the reigning royal of Kate's closet, Alexander McQueen.


This dress is just what we all needed to soothe our sartorial souls. It features a fitted bodice and flowing skirt with a diaphanous cape covering the shoulders and blending in with the back of the dress. The cape element might not have been my first choice, but it adds a pep to the dress. It is something we haven't seen on Kate before, and tours are a good place to step out of usual groove, so I liked this a lot.


Perhaps the best element of gown, the embellishment that pulled it all together, was the crystal and pearl beading that added sparkle (without going overboard) and gave structure, if you will, to the bodice. I thought this was a very well thought-out and well-designed maternity gown. Well done Sarah Burton. Erdem, pour yourself a stiff drink and don't get too down in the dumps...time heals all wounds.


The Duchess accessorized with a Jimmy Choo clutch and diamond earrings (loaned from the Queen) we've seen a number of times. She paired them with another familiar loaner, a bracelet from the Queen, and wore her Cabrina scallop pumps by Oscar de la Renta. This whole ensemble was a big hit in my book. It does not surpass the Jenny P at the Met, but it's pretty close.


Finally, as is relatively customary, William and Kate gifted a portrait to their hosts in Oslo. This is a picture we haven't seen before, but it is clearly from the same set from which the Christmas picture was chosen.

Simon Perry
This is an unusually intimate pose for a formal picture from William and Kate and I absolutely love it. Obviously. ;)


Until tomorrow! 

131 comments:

  1. I always love your posts Jane. They are always an added bonus when we see Kate out and about!, especially during tours. I think Kate has really hit her stride this pregnancy. Pregnancy wardrobes are SO HARD! Unless you’ve been there you don’t really have a complete understanding of the struggle, but it is so incredibly hard to dress a bump and feel and look good. My hat’s off to Kate because she has been nearly flawless this whole pregnancy. Third times a charm, right? This McQueen is amazing! So classic and elegant! Love love love

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    1. Thank you for your very kind and understanding comments about the struggle to dress a baby bump. I think people can often overlook that in their desire to see the next "sensational" outfit choice. This pink is so pretty on her, I enjoy the beautiful soft flowing fabric, and the cape gives it a lovely regal look fit for a duchess. What has struck me throughout the tour is the amazing energy Catherine has for someone who is 7 months pregnant and the enthusiasm with which she has thrown herself into the many activities.

      I have been wondering though how William has managed against the extreme cold with his barely there hairstyle. I keep looking at his head and thinking it must be freezing. I'm sure that's why the scarf is staging an uprising! Offering a bit of help to the frozen upper regions!!
      ~Mo

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    2. Yup, you said it! I think she definitely nailed it with all of her fashion choices during this pregnancy so far. This tour has been great to watch.

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    3. ~Mo, LOL! His poor head must be cold :(

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    4. It might be a struggle when you don't have money. But if you can go to DG or McQueen and ask to create your new gown I don't see a struggle at all. Just don't go to Erdem. Thats clear.

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    5. Mo, I was thinking the same thing! William's scarf is trying to get as close to his bare head as it! lol!

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    6. Even with money and designers, the trouble really is the constant inconstant changes...difficult to predict exactly what will grow when and what else will shift with it and women’s clothing is to the eighth of an inch tailored (or smaller!) in all three dimensions not just “in-out”. The postpartum dressing is even harder I think for similar reasons...everything moves around and changes in less than predictable ways and there is less delight with the shape. If nursing, things aren’t going to settle down to non-procreation mode for many months/years. The same size does not equal the same fit. The shapes change too.

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  2. I saw her lovely pink outfit described as "matronly" today. Good Lord - first of all, so what? - she is in her mid-30's (not elderly by any stretch of the imagination, but not a sweet young 20-something) and she is 7 months pregnant. If that combo doesn't make one a little "matronly I don't know what does. Secondly, however - I don't think it is in the slightest bit matronly, in fact I think it is very pretty and very suitable. And 10,000 times better than the last two evening outfits she has worn. matronly forsooth!

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    1. It reminds me of old movies...the diaphanous layers, cape, pastel, beaded collar, etc. I did think, looking at the group picture, that K and the lady in washed silver (?) vs the ladies in colors...the age groups would have been flipped 30 years ago. I think of my mother’s wedding pictures wi colorful bridesmaids and both of my grandmothers in diaphanous pastels. I suspect it looks ”matronly “ more to women of that generation, the same as K’s midi florals. We all tend to see “youthful” in terms of our own youth.

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  3. The Duchess does look lovely, but I too think the pink outfit is very matronly and more suitable for a older woman. Her jewellery with this outfit is beautiful.
    The evening wear has been very disappointing. I think she really needs a stylist how can give some much needed guidance.
    Up until now apart from the lovely green coat that she wore in Stockholm , which looked beautiful, it fitted well and the cut of the coat was spot on, the day outfits have been very lack lustre.

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    1. The Duchess , I agree, was glowing, but I have to agree with you on the evening attire. For me it was too diaphanous and too pastel . I feel the daytime ensembles have hit it out of the park, each one perfect, but the evening wear has continued to be a struggle.

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    2. All the daytime outfits have been great. In several she doesn't even look pregnant. Shows you what a good design and personalized tailoring can do. The evenings have been a fail. Including this goddess dress. Yes she is so beautiful. But the dress just adds volume. And the cape is a sad detail that the embellishment saves. But overall it looks like the muumuus that Hollywood wore in the 1960's. Or those diaphanous honeymoon sets. All she needs is an Elizabeth Taylor turban. She just looks like she's doing dress up in her mother's clothes. Except that Carole would never wear it. Oh well if she's happy and William's happy that's all that matters.

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    3. I think there is a general misunderstanding about what the word diaphanous means. It does not mean full, or flowing, or large - it means sheer or translucent. The cape on this evening gown is diaphanous but the dress underneath certainly is not.

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    4. When I was pregnant I favored more maternal, less revealing clothing. My taste in clothing was much different. Noone asked to borrow my mother earth tent like dresses that I felt looked just heavenly. I had to remind myself of my pregnancy clothing as I found myself growing critical of Kate's evening selections. In retrospect she may wonder what she was thinking. She's just feeling maternal and modest with her high necklines and her cape. But it's been tough to observe. I need an Erdem break.

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    5. Anon 11:21, true and in person and in some photos that was clear and the gown looked better. But I am still in the camp of the bling is not good, the cape is not good and it is not a very attractive design on anyone:):) The skirt style with a fitted top yes. The way it was done, no. Many of us have referenced the 70's, but it was not attractive in the 70's either. Sorry to be so harsh, but to me this is way more off than either of her Erdem gowns.

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    6. I am so confused, what dress was pink please?
      I looked up Definition of diaphanous:

      1 : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through diaphanous fabrics a diaphanous curtain
      2 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal painted diaphanous landscapes
      3 : insubstantial, vague had only a diaphanous hope of success

      So I see how it can be used to talk about a filmy dress with movement. It has several meanings :) I LOVE her gown and cape and all of it! Erdem who?

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  4. This pink gown and the bespoke white tweed sheath are the two best looks of the tour. Her other evening looks were horrendous, IMO. Also - enough with the high necks and dust ruffle sleeves, does Kate have a fascination with the 1970's? This whole trend is awful, so aging to everyone - fussy, frumpy, not elegant in any way. The blue lace under the shapeless blue coat, ugh - it looks like something you'd find in the back of a bad thrift store. I do not get it! The fur hat - so dated. Again. 1970's-early '80's - just so Falcon Crest, or Dynasty. But the pink gown is exquisite. Miss that first pregnancy wardrobe!

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    1. The high necks and ruffles may not be what you like but they are very on trend right now. Fashion recycles itself every few decades so that's where we are. The best thing about this time around on the bell sleeves (BTW bellbottoms are also back) is that they're not brown or orange. Now that would be the 70s. The color of that awful Erdem from the first night in Sweden, now that's 70s. Hideous mustard-y gold - blech!

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    2. She has to have many outfits for all different occasions. If she only wore pared down outfits with little variation it would be boring. When she is not pregnant she has such a great figure that she can wear many silhouettes. Thank goodness she doesn't wear only pencil skirts and plain sheath dresses or boring pantsuits.

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    3. I think the high necks were because of the cold weather. I thought the dress were perfect for winter.

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  5. I think from the very very first engagement (flipping pancakes was it?) that Kate has done such a fantastic job, has been so warm, and has done her job better than many many people could have done it. BUT there is something about these last few months where she has transformed from new Duchess to future Queen. Much more than the way she dresses or even the number of engagements, it seems to be a confidence from within. It is quite amazing to see. I've always thought she just had *it* that made her so perfect for this role but she is just getting better and better with time. I am not a Brit but if I was I would be so proud to have her as my future queen.

    As for the fashion - win win win! Everything was just gorgeous and luxurious today. That evening gown is incredible. She looks like an ethereal goddess. On the arm of the King with a gorgeous flowing gown- what more could you ask for (the lovers knot? ;) jk!). For me, this tour will go down in history as one of the best.

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    1. I’ve enjoyed this tour immensely, as well! It’s nice to W&K spending time with the Swedish & Norwegian royals. & Kate is growing in confidence...I wonder if Catherine Quinn has had something to do with this transition, since William has become a full time royal?

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    2. Actually, the pancake flipping was shortly before their wedding, in March, 2011. It was unannounced for security reasons..in Belfast, I believe.
      I think the Australian Embassy condolence-book signing and the St. Andrews visits were early on--November-December, 2010. If I recall correctly.

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    3. Yikes! It was following the New Zealand earthquake. So sorry, Aussies and Kiwis.

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  6. What a great way to redeem the evening wear on this tour. This is one of my favorites on her. The slight blush tone in the dress really highlights her beautiful skin and it looked SO good on her. Great movement and detailing. Ahhh. My heart is soothed.

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  7. Wonderful post, Jane! What a beautiful winter wonderland Norway is at the moment. I love this McQueen & it’s great to see Kate trying different things sartorially. She looks so cute in the Alpaca fur hat! & she spoke really well to the woman who gave her the sweet gift. The intimate official photo of W&K was the icing on the cake, with Kate’s hand resting on William. I wish they could be a bit more affectionate in public, but maybe they want to keep that side of their lives private & to themselves.

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  8. Thank you Jane! I have been waiting to hear your thoughts!! The SĂ©raphine dress is by far the nicest outfit of the tour - love love love it!! Not the biggest fan of the evening dress, it doesn't seem to sit quite right, but it is overall very pretty.

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  9. Kate looked just gorgeous the whole day. The crowning moment being the McQueen. A true queen in the making. She was just magnificent. Great post Jane.

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  10. Hooray! The gorgeous fashion has returned. I absolutely love the evening gown. Fabulous. And I thought the day outfit, and its slight alteration with the addition of the hat, hair alteration and shoe change, was lovely. It stuns me that the style that was demonstrated today can be so different to the unusual choices from the last few days, and their evening attire in particular.

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  11. Love this dress and the jewellery she wore with it.
    All her day wear has been lovely and I haven't disliked the two Erdem dresses as much as most people. Perhaps I was lucky, I first saw the yellow one on BBC TV News when the colour was much softer.
    This has been an interesting tour, as the Norwegians in particular, seem to have given it all the trappings of a state visit. In both places they all seemed so delighted to see each other.

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  12. Kate looks elegant in that gown.By no means her best gown look,but for a pregnant woman she looked near flawless.

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  13. I have a fondness for warm, stand-up-and-be-counted collars on cold-weather coats, so this blue Catherine Walker gets a thumbs up from moi. Hope the designer threw in a matching fabric belt--it would make the coat very wearable, post-pregnancy.

    Heads up, lizzie! Did you note that William actually wore the flag today?

    But onto far greater matters...the evening gown. What do you get when you cross a superb gown by McQueen with an extremely pretty 6 month pregnant Brit? Answer: With a little help from Greek diamonds (Kate's borrowed bracelet), you get a Greek goddess!! This gown strays into the territory of sartorial greatness; I find myself forgiving Kate's two previous Erdem mishaps.

    On a more serious note, I was quite taken by the warmth of King Harald's greeting, echoed by his court and the official photos released. My astonishment that, in all of these photos, William and Kate were given pride of place (centre stage, with the Norwegian Royals flanking them) was only surpassed by watching Kate enter the official dinner on King Harald's arm...ahead of William, who escorted Queen Sonja. I see now why the Norwegian king is so very popular with his people. Seems to be a great guy who puts simple courtesy ahead of protocol.

    JC

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    1. Your last paragraph-I have had similar thoughts and have been puzzling over the difference between the Swedish treatment and the near State visit welcome the Norwegians gave the Cambridges. "...puts simple courtesy ahead of protocol." That's it. That's the answer. Staying at the monarch's home; the 80 year old Queen along for a stroll in the park; the top level banquet. I am now on team Norway. I have never seen Mette-Marit more beautiful. And Ingrid Alexandra...my goodness! What a charmer. They all looked so well put together. I am surprised the warmth of their greeting didn't melt the snow.
      I agree on your fashion commentary as well.
      In fact the only thing I would dispute is the six month bit--are we to see a pregnant Kate at M&H"s wedding? Risking an unscheduled baptism of sorts if she were to go into labor? I can't see a two week's post natal Kate attired in a maternity outfit either. She is entering her eighth month, not just judging from appearance--otherwise, the wedding date makes no sense. (I had to find something to pick on, JC)
      But--great comment, JC. Thanks for solving the puzzle for me.

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    2. I love both of these visits. In Sweden it looked like four great friends getting together for a fun visit. Both couples in direct line to the throne but neither of them there yet. I love it!! In Norway there is a warm relationship but a little more formality which gives us the feeling of a state visit and all the glitz and glamour that goes into that. I also love the involvement of 14 year old Ingrid Alexandra. She seems so poised and Kate visited with her quite a bit. I think both visits have been a huge hit!

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    3. You know, I got the feeling that King Harald does consider them family (Isn’t he the Queen’ 2nd cousin?). For him, his British connection is still real. This showed in various ways, the gifts (to ”Kate”), the speech where he called them family, his warm welcome in general. I think the Norwegian royals saw this as a long-overdue family visit rather than a formal visit by relative strangers.

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    4. I think that Norwegian doesn't belong to the EU....UK is not a problem...
      I doubt that the Swedish will be good friends, Sweden thinks that UK is old fashioned....I Europe we are seeing things very different...

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    5. Dating pregnancies is easier if you think in weeks rather than months. As a former midwife, and mom of 3 myself, I have always used weeks. My guess is that HRH is between 30 and 32 weeks pregnant with an EDD of around April 8th. That would still be almost 6 weeks before the big wedding which is plenty of time for her to feel and look her best.
      As for the Norwegian connection - King Harald's father Olav was a first cousin to the Queen's father George VI. So he and the Queen are indeed second cousins. For a while the royal house of Norway was very high in the line of succession to the English throne because of their descent from the youngest daughter of King Edward VII. But they have dropped down a lot as newer generations have been born.
      https://www.britroyals.com/succession.asp

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    6. anon 1, I've gone back-and-forth on the date of birth; she looks further along than a bare six months--but this is her third pregnancy and her stomach muscles can only take so much stretching....I sincerely hope that Anonymous Feb 3, at 10:11 AM is correct, because Kate's gonna need as much time as she can get to look and feel good for the May 19th wedding.

      And I rather agree with Anonymous Feb 2, at 12:10 PM. CP Victoria, and to a lesser extent, her husband, do tend to dismiss British Royals as too old-fashioned, but, the joke's on them; the Swedish court strikes me as the most conservative in Continental Europe whereas the Norwegian court, led by King Harald,strikes me as light years ahead of both British and Swedish courts.

      JC

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    7. JC, I have looked Victoria up and I can't find her in so weird clothes as in this time. Black tights, humongous trousers, a opened skirt...
      It's a bit peculiar, in my opinion.

      Anon 1210

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    8. 6 weeks after birth is not plenty of time! If she manages to feel and look good, she will be a supermum! I don't think Harry and Meghan have considered her when choosing the date of wedding. Other than being sure the baby would be born, I don't think they gave a though about how Kate would look. A sister may have been careful about that, a brother in law doesn't know nor care...

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    9. I expect that part of your, comment, Anonymous February 4, at 5:31 AM, "the opened skirt", referred to what Victoria wore to the Fotografiska Gallery on Jan. 31st. And it was certainly "peculiar".

      If I were a psychoanalyst, which I'm not, I would say that Victoria was staging Rebellion, Part II--anything to annoy Daddy--because that outfit verged on the deliberately outrageous. As for King Carl XVI Gustaf, in every photo I saw, he looked like a real sourpuss; possibly, William and Kate simply wandered into the midst of an ongoing SRF feud.

      JC

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    10. JC- I have tried to avoid belly watching and due date talk. In the end, I gave my two cents anyway.
      A few thoughts:
      That belly is all baby.
      Abdominal muscles do not stay stretched out after childbirth if one maintains a proper post-partum exercise routine (barring any unusual pregnancy/birth trauma such as Zara may have experienced). There is that relaxer enzyme that is activated but a lot can be done to tone other abdominal muscles. If there is any royal who is least likely to let her abdominal muscles go to flab, Kate is it. Uterine muscle is involuntary and can't be reconditioned in the same way. Nursing one's infant, if only for a short while, helps stimulate the uterine contractions that tighten up that muscle. Kate nurses her babies. Initially, those contractions with nursing are so strong they can be quite painful.

      Finally, belly watchers might be confused because she is likely wearing a type of what is now called "shapewear" at times, and at other times--in looser clothing, she is not. It helps bring the uterine contents back into the pelvic rim so that any pooch due to relaxed muscles is overcome. However, last 4-6 weeks nothing much restrains the pooch. In my day we called them girdles and no OB who valued his reputation would fail to encourage his pregnant patients to wear one. There were foundations specifically made for maternity use to prevent harm to the baby. They gave welcome support and relief to one's aching back and supported the abdomen as well.

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    11. From your lips to God's ears, anon 1 ! And like you, I'm all for Team Norway. Wonder if W&K might now be inclined to exchange the Alps for the Norwegian slopes...altho I HAVE read that skiing in Norway is very, very expensive. But...if it would keep the paps at bay, possibly worth it.

      JC

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    12. I think there is some kind of tradition/royal history associated with their usual...Verbier? I think Andrew and family have a chalet and maybe others.
      I think the only thing that would keep the paps away from W&K skiing in Norway is if they had no expense accounts.
      Is it more private?

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    13. Probably not more private in the area immediately surrounding Oslo, anon1, but, being a resourceful individual, I've scouted out other Norwegian ski resorts, and, oh man, some resorts are truly fantastic, offering standard amenities for kiddies, including ski lessons; plus skating, dog-sledding, reindeer sleigh rides, various types of expeditions to search out the Northern Lights and more....The complete Winter Wonderland experience!

      JC

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    14. JC @12.12, me thinks the family scenario as you described was not limited to this occasion.

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    15. Sign me up, JC! I am packing...

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    16. Interesting observation, royalfan. Any idea as to the root cause?

      JC

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    17. JC, the king is no stranger to scandal (just Google...) and it's my understanding that Victoria is VERY popular. Shades of...?

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    18. Gotcha, ROYALFAN. I do wonder how long it'll take for certain royal houses to fully realize that a) they can't get away with bad behaviour these days; b) and to accept and internalize the obvious: people don't like marital cheaters, and don't forgive it since it signals an utter lack of integrity--and it's the lack of integrity which counts. Doesn't seem to matter how many royal duties they take on to compensate, since everyone recognizes they're doing it only to improve their image.

      JC

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  14. The elegant McQueen gown is fabulous and perfect for this stage of pregnancy and the SĂ©raphine dress is a gorgeous maternity dress, empire waists are flattering when the bump can‘t be hidden anymore. The blue Catherine Walker coat looks matronly, it should have been shorter.

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  15. Anyone see what the other gifts they exchanged were? I saw a photo but couldn't quite make them out

    Loved Kate's pink dress!

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    1. The Norwegian royals gave W&K a framed photo, some books, and some Norwegian sweaters.

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  16. Thought the blue coat was very pretty. The blue dress just fine. The evening wear moved beautifully but I actually did not like the bling on the shoulder or the design of the cape.

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  17. I thought Kate looked so striking descending down those jet steps! Loved the Seraphine dress. While I’m usually not a fan of the fur hats and gloves on the Christmas morning walks at Sandringham, I think they look great and spot on for a snowy backdrop in Norway. Beautiful Alexander McQueen gown. And, yes Mo, I’m sure William was ready for the final wardrobe change so he could wear a hat on the outing to the ski jump.....brrrr. Thanks, Jane, for another round of royal tour posts! Happy weekend

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  18. While I have not thought her evening gowns have been very flattering on her at all, her day choices have been perfection. It does appear that this pregnancy may be more challenging for her. I do hope she can get some rest and have a beautifully healthy end of her pregnancy. Back to the fashion .... What I love most about the Duchesses style is that she embraces her soft feminine style and wears them with unapologetic confidence. I get so tired of cookie cutter, trendy celebrity fashion. Catherine has a beautiful sense of self and an understanding of her role in the Royal family.

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  19. This is indeed a Winter Wonderland! Beautiful.
    And I absolutely love Kate's evening outfit.
    She looks really happy in those photos, I'm glad that she feels well.

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  20. I was waiting for your take on yesterday's Norwegian fashion. The whole day was a win for me! Catherine Walker has done some lovely pieces for this tour and Kate's pairing with the faux fur makes it look so luxurious. The coat does have a little less structure than the others but the collar makes up for that. Besides, at some point during pregnancy it's very difficult to find things that don't bind. The dress underneath was perfect. Kate's love of lace and ruffles so much better carried out and a proper maternity dress as well.

    I love the evening dress. So very princess-like! The tiara may not have been on her head but the embellishment at the neck made up for it. The cape had me a little unsure as well because in some pictures it makes Kate look bigger than she it but in motion it is gorgeous!

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  21. This cape Alexander McQueen is the best evening ensemble she has worn to date (since she married!). I am usually disappointed with her evening gowns but this one was just stunning. Bravo bravo bravo.

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  22. What a wonderful tour !!! I loved their visits, the incredible crowd that was waiting for them everywhere... I loved Kate's outfits (I liked also the Erdem dresses), and her pink dress, whaouh !!! Kate was just gorgeous, a real goddess (I dreamed to see Kate with a cape) !!! And I loved the time spent with royal families !!! They seemed to get along so well ... it was a pleasure to see them together !!! I agree with you, Kate changes and becomes a beautiful future queen !!! (sorry if my english is far from perfect, but I'm french...)





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    1. I really think she needed a crown with her evening cape dress. Something was missing. The dress appeared a bit matronly to me. But she certainly looked happy. Good for her.

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  23. I have never commented before and I may be wrong but I am positive when I watched the video of Catherine chatting to lady in the crowd that when she handed over the jumper for the new baby Kate said “ it will keep HER warm “ may be my listening skills and I apologise if I’m wrong !!! On another note thankyou for a fantastic blog I read every day

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    1. Ya I heard “it will keep her warm” as well.

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    2. It totally sounds like she is saying "her!" Also, this might be "controversial" but I don't like how William tells her to keep walking. I understand there's a schedule but he could have just gently touched her back, and she would have understood. Or maybe he was saying it for the benefit of the onlookers. I don't know.

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    3. Can you provide a link to where you heard this so clearly? It looked to me like she was handed a ski cap instead of a jumper and I couldn't hear what she was saying. The clip I saw was on the DM site. As for William, it didn't seem like he was hurrying her along but he did pull her closer to him to pose for a photo for several in the crowd. It's rare to see them do that. I think they both enjoyed this tour immensely.

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    4. She must have been referring to something for Charlotte. Kate wouldnt reveal the sex of her child if she knew it to a stranger.

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    5. At first I heard "him" and then I heard "it"

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  24. Some years ago I read an article about an informal meeting of the benelux, scandinavian and spanish royal families. The "crown prince/princesses" generation met somewhere including the children. I do not know if they still do it, but it is widely known that some of them are close friends. I hope that William and Kate will join this group - W&K, V&D and H&MM seem to be very fond of each other. And in my opinion it would help them to have friends in the same position as they are. Of course Kate is more famous etc. pp but she is still in the same position as Mette Marit/Daniel/Stéphanie (to be precise: will be). And one day she will share the same fate as Letizia or Maxima. Her job must seem crazy on some days ...

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    1. I never knew these royal families got together but I love the idea of W&K joining in. The camaraderie during this tour has been wonderful to see! Kate seems to really have embraced her position since becoming a full time royal with William and her confidence shows. I wonder if mentoring Meghan has made Kate realize that she really does know what she's doing now.

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  25. I think there was a similar moment on a walkabout before George was born. People were convinced the baby would be a girl. Something to do with a onesie? (am I imagining this?)
    Sometimes it takes awhile to work up the courage to comment; but I am glad, whatever prompted your commenting now :+).

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    1. This comment (12:21) was in response to Anon 12:47.

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  26. Serena Williams wore a cape recently for her Wedding.........interesting tour clothing collection some highs & lows. Cold temperatures & pregnant provides extra challenge! Kate looks fresh & happy........love Williams long coats & Scarves. Yes the red one looked a bit odd :/

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    1. I love Serena, but I would not look at her for any clothing advice. She is gorgeous but dresses in her own unique way.

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    2. Serena’s cape dress was McQueen too!!!

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  27. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. Every last bit. I don't love the Marlene dress, but it is absolutely appropriate. Love the military blue coat and fur...the brown looks so rich against the blue.

    I 1000% adore the McQueen soft pink gown + cape. Now that was a regal look if I ever saw one on her. I don't get people's obsession with assuming anything modest and classic as matronly? The duchess is about to be a mother of three, and she is a lot closer to 40 than 30...does every single gown have to be form-fitting? I think this could be one of my Top 5 ever.

    My maternal grandmother always loved the BRF and she subscribed to Majesty magazine my whole life and would pour over the images with me as a child and we'd chat about every single last detail. She absolutely loved Kate from the get go and would always talk about how she hoped she and William would end up together. She passed away in 2008 and never got a chance to see how this relationship developed, but if she were alive, she would die seeing this pink gown. It actually reminds me of the gown she wore, with a cape, for my mom's wedding, except her chiffon cape only covered down a bit passed the elbows. She was almost 50 at the time, so significantly older than Kate is now, but this look will be impeccable in 20 yrs time.

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    1. I absolutely agree with you, Stephanie. Modest and classic is not synonymous with matronly. Kate looks elegant and beautiful and so much like the princess she is. This dress is definitely in my Top 5 of maternity wear!

      I love the memories you have of your grandmother sharing her love for the BRF. It's too bad she didn't get to see the beautiful wedding. I shared with my daughter, who is William and Kate's age, when she was a little girl. She grew up, married a military man who is now a wounded warrior. He competes at Invictus and now my little girl who grew up with me showing her photos of Diana has pictures of her and her husband with Prince Harry. Who knew what time would bring?

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    2. I agree with you as well; I do think Kate often looks matronly and ages herself, but the McQueen is far from that! It's classic, gorgeous, and special.

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    3. This McQueen gown is stunning. She is covered up quite a bit but it's in such a beautiful structure and with such gorgeous details that it totally works. I would wear this gown in a heartbeat, and I'm not even pregnant, so it's a masterful dress that can work on many body types. Love it.

      The blue coat looks like a huge blue tent to me and could definitely have used a brooch and another fitting. I'm also not a fan of the fake fur cuffs at the wrists and around the head, so I'm hoping she ditches this trend without spending as much time on it as she did the Sledges (remember those?). I think after the McQueen, her best looks have been her casual ones.

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    4. To answer your question from my perspective (and I am in my late sixties), the matronly issue has nothing to do with form fitting. It is about staid outfits, plain styling and hemlines that are neither here nor there; below the knee but not midi. And styles that women a generation or more ahead of Catherine would wear. And lastly there's the notion of what is "queenly". I think that people often forget and measure Catherine against a notion of what is appropriate based on Queen Elizabeth. Starting out Elizabeth dressed contemporay to her age group. But somewhere in the 1970's she got stuck and didn't evolve. Now, there is no style generation between Elizabeth and Catherine. Diana might have fulfilled that transition and Camilla certainly does not. This is a problem. I saw nothing wrong with Catherine's hemlines, but if news reports are true, the Queen requested longer hemlines prior to the Australia tour. I believe people are quick to measure Catherine against Letizia and Maxima because they are current Queens only a decade older than Catherine and are more stylish, creative and interesting in their attire. This happens whenever Catherine dresses like an old lady. Catherine may be more British and conservative than these two, but still it is fair to create a "queenly" standard by these two because they are contemporaries. Then another style icon-always at the top of the list of best dressed Royals is CP Mary of Denmark. If she can avoid dressing older than her age, so can Catherine. I want Catherine to feel free to dress to her taste, and not to feel pressured to dress "to her station" because it is a false standard. I know people are swooning over the pink McQueen gown. And I do think Catherine looked regal. But I also thought she looked 30 years older than she is. To me it looked like a caftan and visually added volume where there wasn't any. Her bump was emphasized, but the real issue was addind width to each side. If you look straight on at the coats worn this trip, she has a waistline. A good design and tailoring would meet all the criteria: look regal and be attractive. What is it some posters called it? The disappearing traveling baby.

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    5. The fur at the wrists is not cuffs. It is the Cornelia James glove trim, which serves a purpose other than decoration--it is an effective means of warming.

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    6. Lolo, you are right in my opinion. Another problem for me is her hairstyle. It could really help, when it would be fitting to her age.

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    7. Lolo, I see what you're saying, I just disagree. I'm 36 myself and I personally feel that the current zeitgeist is very trendy, bells and whistles, and the Duchess is a total breath of fresh air in the direction of professional, modest, ladylike, and timeless. I take A LOT of cues from her being that I am in her age range. Your thoughts about Letizia and Maxima as being more 'stylish' than Catherine sort of leads me to believe that you and I are quite possibly on different planets in terms of taste--which is OK. Maxima and Letizia are gorgeous and dress great, but I wouldn't call either of them fashion icons. They both dress way too trendy. But I digress...I'm not going to argue. I see your point.

      Mary of Denmark on the other hand reminds me of an older version of Catherine, so there is that. I personally will continue to look up to Catherine for fashion cues and appropriateness. I think it is highly lacking in today's society, so I have the utmost admiration and respect for her to sort of go against the trendy grain. Anyway, that's all I have to say:)

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    8. An interesting viewpoint, Stephanie, and one I agree with. They each have different styles. I don't think one is "more" or "less" than another.
      I think Catherine throws in a trendy feature from time to time-the midi look, the bell-shaped sleeve. I do like that she often chooses the classic which is called dated or aging by some. The style has endured through time and that is why it is classic. The fact that older, more classically-dressed women follow the style is equated to dressing like an older woman. Well, yes it is. Some older women in the public have learned, for one thing, to wear classic, rather than trendy, currently fashionable outfits for photos that may be viewed years in the future. Photos of Princess Alexandra often present an elegant, timeless woman. That may be what Catherine is going for.

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  28. I have loved this entire tour! Kate has looked so happy and beautiful and she and William seem to be enjoying each other’s company as well as the other young royal couples.
    Her day looks have been spot on, in my opinion. I love her in fur hats, and these gorgeous Scandinavian winter settings are perfect for that look. She has done the casual events fabulously, especially the hockey on the first day. I didn’t mind the oxblood Tod’s with the red and white houndstooth, but loved them with the dress underneath. Not sure what she was thinking was the Erdem’s....I’ll leave it at that! ;-)
    The pink McQueen....gorgeous. She looked so regal. I just felt she turned a corner in terms of embracing her status; maybe it’s the fact she and William are taking on more now that the Queen and DoE are stepping back? I don’t know, it was just a feeling I had.
    In terms of baby Cambridge, I think we are going to see an early April appearance based on her previous pregnancies and the May 19th wedding of PH & MM....we know she will work hard to be in great shape by then. :-)

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    1. Linda, love your comments. I do think because Kate probably realizes what another big adjustment having another child will be along with their added responsibilities as the Queen and Phillip do a bit less, I think she was trying to really relax and enjoy being a couple. Until your kids are pretty old if you do not have some real distance between you and them it is very hard to relax. I do not know if William recognized all this but I am betting Kate and Victoria and Mette-Marit understood all this.:):):) Adding a third child

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    2. Thanks Ali. :-)
      An exciting year for all of us royal watchers; weddings and babies galore!
      Thanks Jane for your excellent blog, I look to it everyday.

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  29. The seraphine was the star of the tour no doubt. It fit properly, wasn't tight when she sat, didn't pull or crease. It was incredibly flattering, mainly because it was cut properly for a pregnant woman! She would do herself a lot of favors if she embraced this more.

    I personally think everyone is over rating the McQueen. If Erdem hadn't provided such horrors, I don't think it would be as liked at all.

    I think it swamped her, way too much material like the Bond Packham. The cape was a bridge too far, and she just looked like a blob frankly. A deeper v with embellishment, high waist, sleeveless or sheer sleeves would have been better.

    Her casual wear in the snow was best, on the first day and last. Just looked cozy and adorable and very natural.
    Her stylists and designers are doing her a terrible service right now. If it was my sister I would be crying for her, they're making her look 20 years older and shapeless. Think about it, i know they are in very different positions, but if you didnt know them, would you guess Meghan and kate were same age in the side by side McQueen pics?
    I'm very afraid she's being forced to be something she's not and could really suffer for it, as Diana did. Thankfully kate has a better husband.

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    1. Meghan wears different styles because of her body type.

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    2. You mean the side by side with Meghan looking like one of Kate's female RPO's?
      There is no point in comparing the two as they have completely different BRF roles ahead in future and have different life stories in the past. I think the BRF is lucky they are so diversified-they should be seen as complimentary, adding to each other's accomplishments, not subtracting.
      I think it is regrettable when the media succeeds in pitting the two women against each other and I think that side by side McQueen photo is meant to do just that.

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    3. I knew mentioning Meghan was iffy because people can't have civil discussion without losing their minds.
      Nowhere did I pit these Women against each other. I made a tiny point in a much broader comment that kate is almost always styled much, much older than her years. For a young gorgeous woman in her 30's it's ridiculous. IMO. And we always say here "she's not next in line" so why do we say nothing when she gets dressed like a dowager? She has DECADES before she has to look like this.

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    4. Anon 8:30, you're assuming we all feel that Kate is dressing too old for her age or that she looks like a dowager. She doesn't ever "have" to look any way but how she feels comfortable.

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    5. It is simply a matter of taste. I think Kate dresses in a feminine, soft way, that for me is a youthful way of dressing. I think the professional, working woman look sported by Meghan is more aging, as it would be perfect for a 50 or 60 old executive. I don't see it as youthful. In fact Meghan's look is a Brigitte Macron look IMO.

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    6. Anon 7:55/8:30 I agree totally! You explained the situation perfectly.

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    7. And that makes sense for Meghan because she was a professional working woman. I think it will be very interesting to see what she wears for the type of day visits we see the other royal ladies attending. I'm thinking she's going to discover that something too tailored will not accommodate the hands on type of visits. I do think, however, that she will wear trousers more often than we've seen in the past.

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    8. Actresses hardly dress in professional business attire. Having said that I think she is going to wear pants, midi length skirts and boots for most of her engagements.

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    9. Please note anon 8:30 (7:55?) I said" ...when the MEDIA succeeds in pitting.." What exactly did my comment say that indicated I was losing my mind?
      anon 9:22

      Anon 6:59--point in fact, the black pantsuit--it is typical of the attire the 50ish Catherine Quinn wears in her duties as Kate's assistant. A fact.

      Anon 8:30-Look back at the outfits Emma and other female RPO's have worn, notably the short-haired brunette also seen with Kate at times. Black or dark pantsuit and white blouse. Meghan also wore a black pantsuit with a white blouse. They dress alike.These are objective facts.
      Saying Kate looks frumpy, for example, or words that indicate too old for her age are judgments or personal opinion.
      There is a difference and I think that is why some object to the remarks.

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    10. 2:11/9:22, I agree!

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    11. 11:50, show business is called that for a reason - or if you are in it they just call it "the business." Actresses don't just show up in fancy clothes on a red carpet or in their on screen attire. Behind all of that are business meetings with managers, PR people, lawyers, contract negotiations with studios, endorsement deals, to name just a few. People like Julia Roberts didn't get where they are by just standing there on a red carpet and looking pretty. Someone like Meghan, who hadn't reached A-list status, work harder. Behind the scenes for a red carpet appearance actresses and designers are hustling each other for that all important "who are you wearing" question. It's a business and sometimes a really ugly one.

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    12. I think it is unlikely that actresses dress in conservative business attire very often.

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    13. RobinfromCA - hear, hear. Actresses absolutely spend most of our time in the art and BUSINESS of acting, not glamming it up. There aren’t photographers around for most of that, though.

      Anon Feb 6 3:14 - if the #metoo movement did anything, surely it demonstrated how very careful actresses must be to project a serious, business-like, conservative image in any situation where we’re not directly in front of cameras (and often when we are). We dress pretty conservatively the majority of the time.

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  30. I listened to that tape 5 times because I was convinced she called the baby "him" but eventually I decided she said "it" which is either really really smooth on her part, or they have no idea as to the gender. Lovely little chat though.

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  31. I agree that Kate is probably due in early April, and will have time to recover before the May 19 wedding. Overall, the choices have been good, with the exception of the horrible print Erdem evening gown. I agree that the blush McQueen gown is one of the best ever. The day coats have been good with the green and blue coats being my favorite. The dark plum one washed her out or it's possible she is just tired. Both out door sporty looks were good. Well done, Catherine Walker and HRH Catherine.

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  32. Loved the Seraphine and the walkabout wear; thanks for including the video, Jane!
    The flowing soft McQueen with it's cape isn't generating the same love from me. I think it's a beautiful example of a pregnancy evening gown, but I'm just not warming to it - something's off with the neckline + cape, the embellished bits look positively 80s - I think the hair could've gone higher up (and someone mentioned a tiara; yes, I think that would work great with this dress). I'm more pleased with this than the Erdems, and Kate looks healthy and glowing... But I'm not loving this dress as much as the popular vote:/

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  33. The looser Walker coat seems like it would be more comfortable when you're pregnant, but that might just be me. Adored the Seraphine dress. She's still giving me the Jane Eyre vibe when she wears her hair in that over-the-ear-bun hairdo. It makes her look older too. The McQueen was pretty but I wasn't crazy about it. I bet it was super comfortable though. (I was all about comfort and loose clothes when I was pregnant.) -J

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    1. J.-I think we will see that looser coat (I thought you said "loser" at first ;) )...I think we will see that blue coat again in the next few weeks. She may have planned to use it in the final weeks of pregnancy and bought it to allow room for growth. The baby (and Mum) put on most of the weight the last two months.. I seriously doubt she will appear at the shamrock event. It is an outdoor, public event ( which is not the same as Princess Madeleine's appearance at an indoor, private function shortly before birth) and away from London and the hospital. Not without bringing along her doctor and a mobile delivery room. I think also that many attending would be concerned and focused on Kate rather than the shamrock ceremony.
      She usually goes on leave a month before the expected birth time-she likely will take leave the first week of March or earlier. Not long now.

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  34. Regarding the gown with the cape: Charlotte Casiraghi wore a similar stye and she is younger than Kate. She looked fantastic too. Casiraghi wears couture to formal occasions. I think some people aren't familiar with or comfortable with designer collections.

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  35. I am afraid all the evening dresses were a big 'no' for me. I felt the Grecian style dress entirely swamped the Duchess. I feel that McQueen has gained more praise than warranted simply because 2 Erdem dresses were so poor.

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  36. I took another look at the photo of the walk in the park. I think it represents at least one motivator for Catherine Quinn's acceptance of the job. She is walking a few steps behind FOUR once and future Queens-(if she were playing poker it would be a winning hand): a present queen consort, two future queen consorts, and a future queen regnant. And two future kings. This will be the pattern of her working life at home and abroad. And the travel--most expenses paid. a nice side-benefit.
    I don't think Ms. Quinn is awe-struck by royalty particularly. On the contrary, she seems quite comfortable in these situations. And just think of what that royalty brings along with it. Proximity to power-Prime Ministers and Presidents.
    I'm sure another draw is the opportunity to continue her skills working with international charitable efforts-especially to be in on the growth and development of the Foundation's children's mental health efforts. I would imagine she isn't just along for the ride and to hold Kate's purse on this tour. She likely has organisational meetings with her counterparts in other countries.
    Instead of her new position being a step down in her career as some writers insist, I think it is the highlight and culmination of the pattern of her entire professional experience.

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    1. Agreed. This was NOT a step down for CQ, and to suggest otherwise reads like yet another attempt to undermine Kate's role and responsibilities.

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    2. Hear! Hear! royalfan. The latest is that Catherine's maturing in her role over time (and coinciding with William's taking on more royal responsibilities) is a direct result of Ms. Quinn's efforts. Now, the only praise Kate gets from some commenters is immediately followed by giving credit to Ms. Q. (or to Meghan) If so, that would make Kate a very quick study indeed, as the private secretary has been in her role only a few months.
      I think to place Ms. Quinn in the mentor role is to vastly underestimate her many talents. I believe the Queen and to a certain extent, Sophie, serve as the true royal role models. I think she was hired with the Foundation work in mind as well as her ability to appear and act on-point and appropriately in an environment of royals and world leaders and their staffs.

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    3. So you're suggesting that we can delete the "magician" bullet point from CQ's resume? 😉

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    4. HA! ...That and the Fairy Godmother one, royalfan. Her resume is pretty full as it is.

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  37. Thank you Jane for all you do. It must be draining to moderate comments sometimes. I appreciate that you don't allow comments in poor taste or with questionable language.

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  38. Agree - all evening wear were fails

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  39. I thought the colour of the McQueen evening gown was lovely. However, I too think the gown was a little over-rated. But, I think the King of Norway would, and did, find Kate and her gown enchanting. A very happy man escorting the Duchess. Adorable. I wonder if Kate will have some of these garments remodelled after the family is completed. Given her penchant fro recycling, some gowns, particularly this one, could be stunning worn in a slightly different way. I noticed that many here mentioned that the McQueen seemed to drown her, but I suppose being 6/7 months pregnant tends to enlarge the surface area of the fabric. If the dress was more fitted, and perhaps without the cape, and the addition of some sparkling jewellery from the Queen's vault, I think it would be an absolute knock-out.

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  40. Is tomorrow here yet, Jane?
    Hopefully, just busyness, not flu. I've had it. It isn't fun.

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    1. Oh, I hope so too, anon1! It took us six weeks to get over that flu and I'm still carrying cough drops around with me in case a sudden coughing fit strikes.

      Wherever you are, Jane, we miss you! And, for the record, I loved the plum coat!

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    2. Robin, sudden coughing fits! Sleeping, eating-one never knows. What a relief to hear your description. I thought I had some kind of fatal disease. :+) Truly, the sickest I remember being and I've been hospitalized for respiratory ailments in the past. Now, only ventilator patients are in-patients it seems.
      Horrible business. Please don't have the flu Jane!
      PS Loved the purple/plum coat. The coats were all great.

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    3. We've had a real epidemic in CA of this flu with several deaths. Let's hope the CDC gets the flu shot serum right for next year because this was a real disaster this time around. I'm carrying antiseptic wipes around everywhere I go because I couldn't take my bottle of hand sanitizer on the plane. We're also eating Airborne dummies three times a day. Hope you're 100% soon!

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    4. I didn't think about traveling,Robin. Glad you are being careful as airplanes or notorious for spreading germs.
      I think I am up to 75% of what I was pre-flu. Very frustrating trying to pay catch-up.

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    5. Hope you feel better, Anon1. I have not been following regularly during the last few days and am doing some catching up on my end as well .

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    6. Thanks, royalfan!

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  41. I don't usually get concerned when a post is delayed as I know that you are busy Jane. But this time around I have felt concerned. Whatever is causing the delay I sincerely hope that all is well with you. Don't rush if you need time but please know that I am thinking of you and wishing you all the best.
    ~Mo

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    1. I am so sorry! I am well, but I did have a minor little crisis on this end that took my mind off the blog a few days. I will finish the tour post tonight as soon as I am home! So sorry for the delay and the silence!!

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    2. OH! There you are! Please disregard my post above. Hope the crisis is resolved.

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  42. Oh I love that beautiful evening gown! A real fairy tale. Evenings like this one are the reason I follow Princess Kate. I love being in awe and imagining how she must be feeling. She's a perfect princess!

    Kristine

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  43. Good grief. You can't please everyone. I adore the diaphabous, goddess gown, but I also liked the blue Erdem and thought the "gold" Erdem was likeable because it was so interesting and looked imminently touchable. I bet the feel of the soft, shiny silk and the plush velvet were the deal breakers for Kate.

    I agree with any comments that Kate has really blossomed recently from new Duchess to future Queen, and that there's a new inner confidence, like he identity is from within and no longer an external persona. Good timing for this transformation to coincide with Meghan's arrival to the team: hopefully it guarantees no competition, but all collaboration and collegiallity.

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