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Prince Louis's Official Christening Photos Released

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kensington Palace has released Prince Louis's official christening pictures! There are four. The photos were taken by Matt Holyoak at Clarence House after the baptism at St. James's Palace. This first one in the garden is the most beautiful, in my opinion, and absolutely my favorite. 


It is lovely to get a portrait of just the Cambridges as a family of five, but this stark background is not my favorite look. They used a similarly sterile background for their last family portrait and it also came across as barren and just generally ugly. I hope they move back toward the warmer, outdoor family shots they once did. In every other respect, it's a beautiful shot. 


It was particularly fun to see a pictures of just the larger Wales family. :) An IG reader pointed out that Charlotte is holding Louis's hand!! 


Finally, they released a full photo that included both sides of the family. I think this photo exonerates Meghan's choice of olive a little. She blends in better than I expected--she doesn't leap out at you-- and to the extent she does not fit the color scheme, her dress's color differentiates the royals a little from the Middletons, so it works with the family split. 



It's lovely to see these pictures, and... I still love that hatband! :)

If you missed the full post on today's Wimbledon appearance, it is live here.

52 comments:

  1. I have to agree. The first photograph is lovely while the second is such a lost opportunity. How amazing the family of five shot would have been with a different background. The extended family pictures are wonderful. I feel like I did after Chrlotte's baptism. I still didn't get a proper look at Prince Louis. The photographs from Prince George's christening remain my firm favorites.

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    1. George was a bit older than both Charlotte and Louis when he was christened. That may have made it easier to capture an alert expression on his face.

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    2. Oh maybe that's why, Lizzie. Do you remember how old he was?

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    3. He was 3 months old plus a couple of days. His ceremony was in late October. It's not alot older but a few weeks can make a big difference at that age!

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    4. I actually thought Charlotte's christening pics did as good as can be expected job of showing her face and what she looks like (George's were definitely best in this aspect but it seemed to help that he was such a rambunctious baby lol plus since he was the only child at the time of his christening, it was probably easier to get good pics since they didn't have to worry about multiple kids following instructions).but even for Charlotte's pics, she was (like with George) imo very obviously angled to face front and towards the camera which I appreciated in basically every picture. I agree though I feel like I have no idea what Louis looks like - they don't seem to have tried to angle him to face forwards at all at least in these pics. I think he might be sleeping in the sitting pictures but then the standing ones when he's awake and could be moved around/held up a bit, kate is doing the looking down at him thing in both (and in all the candids from the walk into/out of the service!), so he's also situated to be looking back at her, and so up, rather than forwards. Beautiful pics but do feel like they do a much better job of depicting the baby's family than the star of the show himself.

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  2. Totally agree with you on the second photo with the backdrop. But still lovely nonetheless!

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  3. I wonder if the photographer toned down the olive green so that it would blend better? It blends much better in the photos than it did on the videos, I think.

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    1. I doubt the photographer altered the color of Meghan's outfit. I think that would be kind of a weird thing to do to the attire of a family member. I don't really see a difference anyway in the color but if there is one, I think it's just due to the difference between seeing the color indoors and outdoors.

      I agree about the bland sterile backdrop for the family of 5 photo. Hope it doesn't become the go-to background for family photos.

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    2. When I saw Meghans dress I wondered which room they would be photographed in and suspected there would be hues that would make her dress blend. I think it looked significantly more cohesive in these photos (filter or not) but I also think she could have pulled off a green that had a bit more blue in it *or* Harry should have worn a different tie that had a blue that more closely matched the tones of Meghans dress. It would have looked fine to have "shades of blue" Middletons and "shades of cream, green & blue" Walses but the mismatch within the Sussex duo still looks a little off to me.

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  4. These are all beautiful pictures. I love them all, but my favorite is of the family of five. Just gorgeous.

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  5. Kelly from TexasJuly 15, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    Agree w Maureen that I think some type of filter was applied to make Meghan’s olive blend. I still believe in the theory of a last-minute dress mishap! Second: the “stark” background appears to match the Queen And Prince Phillip’s anniversary photographs (taken by the same photographer). Perhaps they were meant to have continuity?

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    1. Definitely, the backgrounds match but the effect is not the same for some reason. The anniversary picture does not look as washed out and bland as this one does. The former is taken from a closer perspective. Maybe that has something to do with it.

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    2. I think it also has to do with the poses. In one of the anniversary photos HM is seated in an ornate chair with PP beside her with his hand in his pocket. So that pose gives elements of visual interest such as the contrast between the chair and PP's casual pose. In another they are standing but still engaged with each other and not facing the camera. In the family of 5 photo, Kate is looking down at Louis but the others are facing the camera. And in the previous family of 4 photo all were facing the camera. IMO when subjects face the camera straight on with big smiles (say cheese!), even when connected by touching each other, the backdrop can take on more importance. And that's not always a good thing. But when subjects aren't looking into the camera but are more "engaged" with each other (can't think of how else to put it--don't mean the Cambridges are disengaged), the backdrop fades away more.

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    3. That's a good point. There needs to be a picture of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with a blank background too. It would connect the photo of Her Majesty and Prince Phillip to the photo of the Cambridges.

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    4. I can see your point lizzie. HM and PP come across as more of a cohesive unit, so the focus is on them and not the backdrop. Good point.

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  6. Often overlooked, Camilla also looks simply lovely here. Muted tones, some snazzy jewelry and wide hats suit her.

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    1. That was my first thought, too! Kate, Meghan—always lovely, but Camilla looks tan and just radiant.

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    2. I adore Camilla more than words can say.

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  7. Kate is so perfect. Does she even fart

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  8. Such lovely photos!

    Catherine is totally, completely smitten with her little boy. She simply glows. The garden photo is one that William should carry in his wallet, or I guess everyone has photos on phones now. Regardless, it is spectacular.

    The Cambridge family photo has a blah background, but isn't George looking grown up with his hand in his pocket?
    And Charlotte reaching up under the christening gown with an impish smile? Just precious!

    I love the extended family photos. Carole is stunning, and as mentioned above, Camilla is lovely too, as she usually is.
    Meghan's dress looks a little browner than in the original photos. It blends nicely with the christening gown. I wonder if the photographer did some post-processing? The effect is lovely.
    I wish she was not holding on to Harry's arm- she looks clingy. She had a brilliant smile though.

    The men are handsome, the children adorable, but no one is more beautiful than Catherine looking at her baby boy.

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  9. Looking back at older photos of christenings from the eighties it seems the family was little concerned for the balance of clothing in photos for William or Harry. Especially the Queen Mother. I think they just mostly wear what they want even now. Not to be contrary at all but I'm not sure last minute dress mishaps happen all that much. Maybe we worry more about color tone than they do.

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  10. Agree with Jane that the first picture is by far the best! Kate looks absolutely radiant and the nature backdrop is magical. I don’t like the picture of the Cambridge family—it’s sweet that Kate is gazing at Louis but it looks off when everyone else is looking at the camera. Wish we had a picture of her looking straight ahead. The larger family pictures are nice. I like how all 3 christenings have their own distinct feel.

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  11. Gorgeous photos, especially the first of Kate gazing adoringly at Lois. In the second photo, I'm struck by how much Charlotte looks like Catherine. Don't all the women look elegant? Someone mentioned Camilla - I agree. she looks lovely with her tan against the cream. The blue of Middleton ladies' dresses blend beautifully with the hues of the room.

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  12. I feel bad for James Matthews. The photograph feel crowded with The Middletons. The photographer direction seems a bit yeah mess..

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  13. Another thought... does anyone else think that George favors Michael Middleton a little bit?

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    1. Mary, Absolutely! I saw the resemblance right away!

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  14. I agree with so much of what everyone has already written. I feel like I will be repetitive and copying so to speak.

    My favorite photo is also the garden photo. In that photo Louis has his eyes open and can see a little more of his face. He is a gorgeous baby.

    Kate so loves her children. She exudes that motherly love. I just know she is one fantastic mother. The polo excursion gave a glimpse into her interactions with George and Charlotte in such naturalness with lots of love. Those children are going to have great childhoods.

    I love that smile on George that we rarely get to see. So precious. Charlotte seems to be as photogenic as her Mum.

    Thank you Jane for another great post and that you share your honest and heartfelt opinions.

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  15. Actually her Meghan's dress picks up the embroidery in the cushions on the couch. I think everybody get's a brief of what range of colours they can and can't wear. It"s obviously well planned ahead of time.

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  16. I have so many thoughts on these pictures. Definitely the first picture of Kate and Louis in the garden is the best of all. But, I also feel like the "Kate looking down at the baby" pose has been overdone. The photographer should have picked up on that.

    I think this photographer missed on a lot of the photos. George looks like he's got big dark circles around his eyes and he should not have had his hand in his pocket. Charlotte should have been standing nicely. If you're going to use a formal pose with studio backdrop behind then the pose should go along. This photo would have been very cute in a casual setting but I don't like it at all as it is.

    In the Wales family photo the photog should have told Meghan to let go of Harry's arm for at least a millisecond while he snapped the photo. Not only is that also getting old, it jumps out when everyone else is standing the same way except one. I agree that Meghan's dress has had some color adjustment. It looks more brown than olive and blends better. He's also done something to Charles' face and he looks dreadful.

    Lastly, what's up with the framing of the whole family photo where James Middleton has been cut in half. Lousy cropping. You don't need that much space on the sides of a photo. Crop properly to begin with. Overall, this photographer doesn't impress me and the only picture I like is the first one with Kate and Louis. I do hope they have another family photo done for Christmas this year and don't use one of these. Something fun and outside with the kids would be much more appealing. They're too young and fresh a family for these staid images. I'm so glad Kate takes the photos for release of her own children. She's much better at capturing their personalities. I think this photographer is far to nervous in front of these subjects to construct a decent shot.

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    1. Anglophile in OhioJuly 16, 2018 at 8:15 AM

      The other places that have printed the Wales/Middleton photo have not cropped out James Middleton or left so much empty space on the left side of the photo. Jane may want to adjust her cropping.

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    2. Anglophile in OhioJuly 16, 2018 at 8:21 AM

      Jane seems to have fixed her posting of the family photo-no one is cropped out now:)

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    3. I agree with much of what you've said Robin. I think the "Kate looking down at baby" pose has been overdone. (I may feel that way because most of the pre- and post-ceremony pics we saw that day were of that sort and also saw it in the hospital photos.) But it was definitely an odd pose for the family of 5 photo. It might have worked in a photo of W&K&L alone perhaps. I'm not so sure though about the "Meghan holding Harry's arm" issue. Because of the way the photo was set up, the hands of all the others standing are hidden. If Meghan had clasped her hands in front as she did in the full family photo, I think she might have looked disconnected from the grouping. So it's possible the photographer preferred that pose. Not sure what you meant about James's placement but I'll take a guess. I think part of the issue was there were more Middleton relatives than royal relatives. The way the full group photo was staged, Carole is behind Kate. That looks fine but if the group had moved to the left (left looking at the photo, the right of those in the photo) it might have looked like Charles's family was kind of being squeezed out. I agree it's too bad George has such pronounced dark circles. He looks exhausted! Rather than worrying about changing the color of Meghan's dress (which I don't actually think was done----think the indoor light was just different) better the photographer attended to that!

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    4. MM should have had her hands by her side like everyone else. Her hand appears next to Kate's head and is distracting. That and her color choice for an outfit for an official Cambridge photo is problematic. Does she always have to be the center of attention? This does not bode well.

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    5. lizzie, the photo with James has been fixed so my first view was just a blogspot framing issue.

      Most photographers wouldn't place a group in front of a couple bright windows so he really had to flash fill which could be why Charles looks so bad and the rest of them are positively shiny. I think Meghan's hands just down at her side and not clasped would have looked much better. I'm just not sure why this photographer was chosen with so many issues a first year photography student knows about. He should be able to compose a group shot better than that and he should have an assistant for such important photos to spot the things he doesn't while he's adjusting lighting and such. The new photo of Kate and Louis by the "other Matt" is so much better. If wishes were fishes I'll bet Kate would rather have had him as the main photographer after seeing the outcome of these.

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    6. On the Charles side the people are more angled in than on the Middleton side. If the M group had presented more of a side angle, they would all have fitted in nicely. Photographing young children is always pot luck. George and Charlotte probably had their fill of being quiet and well behaved by then, after the ceremony and reception, and the photographer probably did not have time to fuss with details. Throw an infant into the mix and one is happy to get any sort of photo at all.
      I have previously stated my opinion of Meghan and her choices when posing in a group.
      The Kate/Madonna photos--well, the photographers take the photos they think will work best or be most appealing. Maybe William couldn't get enough of seeing Catherine's beaming gaze at his son. Who knows? anon1

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    7. I'm not a fan of Meghan, but I don't think her color choice or the way she holds her hands are distracting. It is a nice group photograph, and she is not conspicuous at all.

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    8. Each to her own but for me, a good family photo for an important event is one where people's differing heights are considered giving cohesiveness. No one's face is blocked, eyes are open, people are smiling without strange expressions, & there's no weird cropping. It's much less important to me that everyone stand the same way or be dressed in matching clothes.

      I looked back at photos of royal christenings. What I like about these photos is that people aren't lined up like at a bus station unlike in photos of Louise's christening. I'm likely in the minority but I liked the photos of W&H's christenings because there was a lot of variability in women's attire! That gave not only a feel for the individual women's tastes, but provided a window into history. The York sisters were both christened Christmas week so red and black clothes made sense, I guess, but the matching still looks a little goofy to me! 

      I see what you mean Robin about shooting into lit windows. But I don't think that was the photographer's fault. Will/Kate likely requested it to replicate photos taken in the same room for George's christening. (The sofa is angled to capture the the Queen's portrait now. George's were taken with the camera squarely facing 1 window rather than shooting between 2.) More important than the sofa angle is the time---PG was christened in late Oct not early July & I think his service was in the AM, not late afternoon. So window light was quite different and may have required less fill.To me the problem with circles under George's eyes is in the one in front of the grey backdrop & it is unfortunate. Also, we've been assuming the reason for the backdrop was to replicate the photos of TQ & PP. But Lord Snowden also used a backdrop at Harry's christening too including for "Madonna" poses of Diana.

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    9. lizzie, I also noticed the strategic placing to include HM portrait. I still find it a bit odd that she wasn't there. It just seems strange that with all of their resources they couldn't find a better photographer and that, since they're in a palace, they couldn't find a better backdrop sans windows. In any event it's the photo later released by the Cambridge's that is the winner! Kate looks happy and beautiful and we see little Louis' personality. A real gem!

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    10. Agree Robin. But I still think they wanted pictures taken in the same room as George's were. I think though less light was coming through those windows in the am in Oct than pm in July. (Bet anything that room faces west) If that wasn't it, & W/K weren't trying to re-create the scene from George's pictures, surely there are pictures of the Queen in other rooms! And this portrait had to be moved lower to show anyway. So it was all planned well in advance.

      I'm also sorry TQ wasn't there but since she & PP didn't go to Isla's in 2012 I'm not sure if it really is odd. Part of me wonders if her plan would have been to go only to the baptism of the first great-grandchild in each family. But she went to PC's because of the terrible PR that would have resulted had she skipped the baptism of "Diana's granddaughter" plus it was at Sandringham.

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    11. I think the photographer from George's christening once mentioned that he kinda held his breath hoping the pictures came out okay because apparently he had to get it done very quick and stuff. Also if ppl rmbr that kinda creepy black and white picture of the Cambridges that came out I think last yr as part of William's GQ interview, I know Ive read that either the interviewer or photographer said the picture wasn't originally planned, but kate was there with the kids to help set up will's photo shoot based on what she thought would be good (and so then everyone ended up just being in the picture). But point is I wouldn't be surprised based on that story too and Kate's interest in photography in general if she is the one in charge of deciding the pictures in terms of where ppl are standing or sitting, etc. With so many royals a photographer probably doesn't feel very comfortable either in terms of "ordering" them around for best picture setup. But biggest thing is-with 3 kids under the age of 5, you can try all you want but it's a bit of a crap shoot. All 3 kids cooperating to do exactly as told at the same time as one another is unlikely to happen even once, much less enough to ensure you can get a picture of that where everyone else looks good too.
      The official photographer had to do the official, traditional boring portraits. The private photographer prolly got to do the more relaxed, artsy type of pictures. Of course the latter's pictures will then appeal more every time in terms of just as a picture in a vaccuum, but thats just bc the official photographer was supposed to take "official" looking pictures, it seems. So I'm not sure the comparison is entirely fair.

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  17. I love every picture, the 5 of them against that background doesn't quiet do them justice tho.. If it had been outside or all on the couch it would've been less Sears looking imo anyway.. Meghan still stands out, she has a closet full of creams and whites that would've been a better choice but it is what it is.. I noticed Kate looked just in love with baby Louis the day of the christening, very different looks than she gave at George and Charlotte's.. Or is it just me? Don't get me wrong she looked lovely with all 3 and happy but it seems a bit different from the first two, like she has to cherish every moment bc he's the last who knows.. HM and the DoE not being there is strange to me also.. It's almost as if the heir and spare were important but Louis isn't as important to the Queen, am I the only one that feels that way about them not attending?!!? I think if you look at Kate's baby pictures they all resemble her and not the Windsor brood at all..

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    1. Sears-looking! That's exactly what it looks like!

      I don't think Kate is any more enamored with Louis than with G&C but she is more experienced as a mother and a royal and, therefore, is more relaxed. That's what it seems like to me anyway. It's lovely to see how she's blossomed into all of her roles.

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  18. Hi Jane,
    I really love those pictures, but I don't agree with your opinion about Meghan colour choise. Unfortunately, her colour is too much different from the others. I think it's just my opinion because I read everywhere that most people like the effect. Said that, The Cambridges are absolutely gorgeous!!!!
    Thank you for your posts, I appreciates all of them!
    Federica

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  19. lovely photos, have you seen the additional photo (not here on the blog) with Prince Louis laughing with wide open mouth, adorable!

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  20. We have been spoiled this week with four outings by Catherine and now the beautiful Christening photos.
    Charlotte seems an independent child, also taking baby Louis in hand, while George is happy holding daddy's hand.
    William seems well practiced at shepherding the elder children.
    A lovely and loving family/

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  21. There is actually a fifth photograph out now, with the camera looking over Kate's shoulder at a laughing Louis. I too loved the first photograph in this post, but I think this newest photograph would melt anyone's heart.

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    1. I also thought the Wales family photograph was lovely, and was struck by how much Harry and Charles looked alike - particularly around the eyes and nose. Their eyes are the same distance apart. I also liked how Meghan was holding Harry's arm. This gave it an informal feel for for me. It was also the photo that gave the best view of the bodice of Kate's dress. I liked the deep V - very feminine and flattering.

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  22. I love the hatband as well. Beautiful progression from the usual hats. Kate has been so amazing lately. Louis has brought out her confidence in such a positive way. As a Kate and Wills fan, I still am in awe at how far they have come. Their little family is complete. They waited so long for this day.

    PS, if there was any doubt before, George is Michal's twin. Amazing.

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  23. Lol-since when did everyone have to match a color scheme? Meghan looks lovely and if you lookna Camilla, Meghan and Kate as a threesome they look totally coordinated...but I’m thinking of William’s christening and Diana in hot pink with white flowers, the Queen in blue, the Queen Mother in a feathery hat and no effort to coordinate....think it’s a bit off to assume there was a color memo one had to adhere to. The only coordination we see is the Cambridge family as a set-which is super cute-but let’s limit the expectation to them:)

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    1. If Camilla, Kate, Pippa, and Carole had each worn a different, contrasting color or print, as you point out occurred in William's christening photo, Meghan's appearance would not have been so conspicuous. She was the only woman in a darker color. I doubt she meant to match the thread in a cushion. She could even have chosen to match the men's navy suits with light blue ties. They were also coordinated, as well as the women. It serves to make their appearance more of a background for the intended focal point of the photo--the newly christened prince. The same was true in the photo of the Queen and her grand and great children ,only placing her in the center also lent to the focal point. The fact is these women have consistently worn soft whites or pastels for these photos, partly to allow to stand out HM or whoever was the honoree. They have consistently dressed this way for these sorts of historic photo-portraits to the point of the color choice being customary or traditional for this group. Unfortunately, the hand-holding set Meghan apart and drew attention even more.

      I choose to believe that her consistent counter-dressing/counter behavior to the rest of the royal women is just evidence of a habit of many years in the entertainment industry, not any plot to dominate in the group. The woman is likely in survival mode. She has spent a life-time competing for a place in the acting field. It is a highly competitive field and according to her remarks in interviews, it wasn't easy.
      I doubt she means to insult the other royal women. I think she's trying to make a statement about herself. She has been quoted as stating in The Tig, her former blog, that she is "ambitious" and plans her life to "exceed expectations," which attributes,she explains, are part of the bond she shares with Serena Williams. She added that Serena has fulfilled her goal by exceeding in tennis. anon1

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    2. I think there's been some effort to coordinate color here and at Meghan and Harry's wedding. I mean, it could be a coincidence that the colors of all the outfits flow well together and complement the setting but it would be a big coincidence. I agree though that we havent seen this in the previous generations. So not a royal precedence but the wish of Kate and Meghan perhaps.

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