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[Full Post] Kate at the Netherlands State Dinner

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The winds of change are blowing at Buckingham Palace! Last night the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and other dignitaries for the State Dinner honoring King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. 


There were two interesting shifts in Kate's world last night. The first was the talk of the town, and that is that Kate has been awarded the Royal Family Order. According to the Palace, the Queen bestowed it on her in November of last year and she wore it to the Diplomatic Reception. To be clear, this is our first confirmation that she received it.
I remember rumors briefly circulated last winter, but no confirmation. To refresh your memory, below is a picture of Kate on her way to the reception in 2017. When she rides in the couple's Bentley, she sits quite low, so we couldn't see anything from one angle. There is a picture from the opposite direction (see here), which shows more of the dress, but her left shoulder is obscured. I think we all concluded from this shot that she didn't have it, and I must say it must have been placed perfectly to avoid this snap, if the Palace's comment is to be believed. 


For those of you scratching your head over the commotion, the Royal Family Order is an honor bestowed on female members of the British Royal Family, solely at the discretion of the Queen. It is an honor that recognizes service to Her Majesty. The brooch/pin (can you tell I made that title up?) is a miniature portrait of the Queen painted on glass (it used to be on ivory, but obviously William's work fighting the illegal trade of ivory made it untenable to continue to produce ivory honors). The portrait is surrounded in diamonds, topped with a Tudor crown in red enamel, and mounted on a yellow ribbon. Kate will only wear this at very formal events. 


I noticed some chatter about whether the Queen will give this honor quickly to the Duchess of Sussex, and I think that is highly unlikely. Because of the Queen's age, and other factors, it might be given to Meghan faster than it was given to Kate. Even if that turns out to be the case, I think the Queen and the Palace will not be keen to bestow the order so quickly on Meghan after waiting some years to give it to the future queen. Which moves me to the second shift we saw last night, and that is access and spotlight. (Sidenote: check out her nail polish!)  The Palace permitted far more photos to be taken last night, and then highlighted Kate's appearance at the party.


When we watched the China State Visit in 2015, there were limited pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We had fuzzy screen grabs from the procession into the dining hall, but no full length, high resolution images to ooh and aaah over Kate's dress and jewelry. In fact, the only reason we got the photos we did get, was because Kate was seated next to President Xi Jinping.


Just last year, for the Spanish State Visit, we again only had the grainy screen grabs from the royals' formal entrance. Because Kate was not seated toward the front for that event, we didn't get any lovely photos and relied on the screen grabs that zealous fans pulled from video of the dinner. Not very satisfying, if you ask me.


Last night, it was like night and day. Press Association had lots of lovely photos from the processional, which was obviously the Palace's decision to permit shots of the Duke and Duchess. Kensington Palace social media accounts all featured the pictures of Kate, but the Royal Family's account also seemed intent on highlighting the Duchess of Cambridge, which it certainly didn't do for the Spanish or Chinese State Visits. 


I don't think there can be any doubt that as Harry and Meghan sparkle and shine, the Palace is also positioning the Cambridges to inch a little more into the public spotlight in a formal way. I have mentioned this before, but the royals have to balance and prioritize the hierarchy of the monarchy, and last night we certainly saw them moving some of their pieces on the chess board. (I love William's slippers!)


As to the fashion... First the icing. Kate wore the Lover's Knot Tiara again, as I suspected she would. At least for the time being, Kate has clearly made this her signature tiara. As the future Princess of Wales, I think it is most certainly a nod to Diana, who made the tiara iconic. Kate loves pearls, too, so it is the perfect mix of royal wow and personal preference. 


Kate wore a new necklace, and when I say new, I mean new to her. This stunning diamond and pearl piece is a necklace that the then-Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, commissioned Garrard to make for his bride, Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.  The Queen Mother used to wear this often. I love that Kate has been rolling out such gorgeous pieces from the Queen's collection at these big ticket events. Kate is wearing the diamond bracelet she has on lone from the Queen, and carrying a Jerome C. Rouseau clutch.


When I saw the screen grab that first came out from the video, I was very excited. I think Kate looks fabulous in the mermaid silhouette, and wish she'd branched out toward this sooner. This looks like a super elegant and chic evening gown.


When we got the high-resolution images I was a little less enthsued, I will admit. I like the ruching, but I don't like the asymmetric ruffle. That felt like just a little too much in an already busy gown, and I think there was too much fabric in the ruffle. Nevertheless, this is still a hit for me. I suspect more photos from other angles would have also helped this dress.


Most of all I am glad we got a break from the simple Jenny Packham gowns Kate has turned to for several of the Diplomatic Receptions. She really should be pulling out the stops for these evening affairs, and last night's gown (like the stunning Marchesa from the Spanish State Visit) fit the bill. I hope she keeps it up! I will also say that Kate is still a young woman, and she should try again to wear her hair down for some of these white-tie affairs. Wavy tresses would have gown well with this form-fitting look.





Prince George is on half-term break, and the Cambridges have been in Norfolk at their Anmer Hall country estate. Tuesday afternoon, William, Kate, and Louis flew by helicopter to London for the State Banquet. They were pictured arriving at the field by Kensington Palace. I think Kate was wearing her dotted Whistles, but I am not certain.  




A post shared by Kate Middleton Blog (@fromberkshiretobuckingham) on

This morning, they were pictured heading to the helicopter to fly back to Anmer. Doesn't Louis look like George, even from this distance? What a cutie! I can't tell what Kate is wearing, although I think that William is carrying the Sandstorm Kenya bag the Cambridges use often when traveling between London and Anmer. 



The Cambridges have a joint-engagement next Tuesday. In the meantime, back to Harry and Meghan's tour!

P.S. Some of you have written me pointing out that the comments are getting cut-off on one of the posts. Blogger has trouble handling more than 200 comments per post, and you all are at 238 on that thread. I suggest moving the chat to a new post. I tried to switch us over to another chat platform several years ago, but people didn't like it, so we went back to the Blogger. This is sadly one of the downsides. 


223 comments:

  1. Yes - those pawns are definitely moving! With Meghan joining the family I'm sure there must have been some longer term strategic discussions about how to position the members, and that it's been an opportunity to showcase how experienced the DoC has become and push her a bit further forward into the Senior Royal spotlight. There's so much attention on the BRF this year; good to capitalize on it to every extent possible, and use it for some evolution as well.

    I'm not a fan of the dress. Great color, horribly busy and nothing exciting about it. It doesn't rank in my Top 10 Evening Gowns. BUT! Love that she's using some pieces from the royal vault. Question: shouldn't she have some of her own crazy, amazing jewels from the wedding? I can only think of one time that we saw any (the rubies with the black velvet McQueen dress years ago). How come she doesn't bust more of those out?

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    1. I’ve been wondering the same thing! I think she clearly loves jewelry so why don’t we see her big pieces?

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    2. I wonder about this as well - with Kate and also Meghan, it feels like a VERY different time than Diana, and I assume that the gifts were much different. I don't remember reading much about this (could very well be forgetting) but I wonder if the Diana "generation" is the last to receive such very extravagant gifts for weddings and visits.

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    3. I think the difference in the wedding gifting is a combination of things. First, I think you're right, Shelby, that things in the 80s when Diana got married and much more extravagant. Also, Diana was marrying the Prince of Wales and their wedding was a state occasion with royalty, presidents, and diplomats from all over the world. The royal families from the middle east gave very expensive jewelry as gifts which, during these times would be highly inappropriate.

      William and Kate had a very large wedding with some foreign dignitaries in attendance but it was not officially a "state" occasion. I'm sure the gifts were more along the lines of silver picture frames, etc., because, in reality, how much more opulence are they going to need when he becomes PoW and then King? I'll bet they have some cool artwork and such in their private home(s) that came from other countries.

      Meghan and Harry had a private wedding (as much as that's possible if your grandmother is the Queen of England) and there were no foreign dignitaries in attendance. So unless the Clooney's or one of the other celebrities at their wedding gave them fabulous jewels I don't think we'll see anything like we have in the past.

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    4. I disagree and believe Kate did receive some spectacular jewelry as wedding gifts, she just hasn’t worn them as much in recent years. I wonder if it’s because she is to be Queen Consort and she’s wearing more royal vault jewels to reflect that.
      The evening she wore that beautiful black velvet gown she wore diamonds & rubies that were a gift. I believe the diamond & emerald jewelry she wore in NY to the St. Andrews gala was believed to be a wedding gift. I can’t remember what the pieces were, but I thought she wore a stunning set (earrings?) that we had guessed were a gift from the Middle East due to the stones used.
      I do agree this generation is receiving less than past generations, though. Princess Anne, in her youth, received a diamond tiara for christening a company’s ship. The Queen received a tiara from her parents for her 21st birthday. The York girls have never been given a tiara, to my knowledge, as blood princesses, from their dad or the Queen.
      ~ A

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    5. I think the first time we've ever seen a tiara on one of the York girls was Eugenie at her wedding. Since they aren't really working royals and don't attend state occasions they don't really need them.

      The Mouawad ruby necklace and bracelet Kate wore I always assumed were on loan. I suppose they could have been a gift but nobody was saying a word if it was. Maybe from a family member? Hard to tell since we didn't get the photos of fab wedding gifts the way we did when Charles and Diana married.

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    6. Using Jane's Kate's Clothes website for reference, here are some of Kate's look that we believe include pricy, stunning pieces that were most likely wedding gifts from foreign royals/dignitaries:
      - http://www.katesclothes.com/outfit/baftas-2017-kate-middleton/
      - http://www.katesclothes.com/outfit/baftas-2017-kate-middleton/
      - http://www.katesclothes.com/outfit/william-harry-kate-millies/

      ~ A

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  2. I HATE this dress! Kate looks beautiful but this is one of the ugliest dresses I've ever seen! The material looks cheap, and the color is not flattering! Kate would look good in a paper bag but I really wish she would have done a more regal, clean, and simpler look. The jewelry was the statement and imo the dress should have been simple to compliment it

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  3. In general, I liked this dress and didn't mind the ruching at all, nor the skirt at the bottom; however, I do wish the blue was a deeper tone--altho I noted that in one of the pics above, the dress seemed to be just that! And I remain unconvinced by the length of the skirt; was it really necessary to make it so long and trip-worthy?

    The tiara and earrings I love, and surprisingly, altho the necklace is heavy, I rather like it--and I'd like to see it without the three dangling pearls, which apparently are removable, just for comparison's sake; might make it less "fussy".

    Of course, nothing really mattered beyond the fact that, for the very first time, Kate was wearing the RFO! I could barely take my eyes off it. I liked the way the ribbon was arranged, and I liked that the frame appeared to be smaller than some wear--less overpowering, but still quite visible. Very nice, altho I can't resist saying: and well past time!! Do wonder why the Queen looks so young, tho, given that the miniature portrait is supposedly new--why not make it more realistic, given that Kate has always known a much older Queen? Utterly delighted, none-the-less, for Kate.

    JC






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    1. I see what you mean JC. But while Kate's RFO, in a sense, was made for her (because of the glass) to me it wouldn't really make sense for every order to be "customized" with a real-time portrait of the monarch. It seems that would/ could create almost a coded "order of orders" as in the younger the picture the more historical the service, the newer, the more recent. Or a ranking based on perceived portrait quality (not to mention the awkwardness that might ensure if a monarch experienced rapid physical changes due to age or accident.."time for a new picture Your Maj. You've got lots more wrinkles and big jowls now.") And while the grounds for awarding the order are entirely up to the reigning monarch and in a sense it is a "personal award," it was my impression the order still represented service to The Crown, not necessarily service to a person of X age. Also, do you know if orders revert back to to monarch if a recipient dies? I thought I had read that somewhere (although I'm sure ivory ones won't be awarded in the future anyway.)

      I'm glad Kate got the order. Personally I don't think it was awarded all that late if she received it last fall. People point to Diana and Camilla receiving theirs sooner but both of those women were full-time senior royals the minute they wed. Kate was not. And it's really only since Will ended his air ambulance career last year that he (& to some extent Kate) became "full time." If reports are true, Kate received her order less than 6 months after that.

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    2. Yes, lizzie, I too have read that RFO's revert back to the monarch if a recipient dies. (Can't blame 'em for that, given the diamond frames!)

      And I see what you mean, lizzie, re the portrait, and it offers some advantages to keep all RFO pics alike: no interfamilial squabbling (Hey, I want an updated look too!) and no need for the Monarch of the day to sit for a
      new artist either.

      As to why I feel that it was past time for Kate to receive the Order, I am inclined to believe that it was both the Queen/Charles's desire to keep W&K out of the limelight to permit the continuing rehabilitation of his reputation and Camilla's, AND William's desire to keep on flying which translated into far fewer engagements for the Cambridges. It suited W, his father and stepmother to a tee. But it left out Kate and resulted in her taking an unnecessary beating in the Brit tabs for laziness. My thinking is that Kate did what was asked of her, moved to the coast of Wales (the middle of nowhere}, then to the Sandringham estate (again the middle of nowhere), and kept her mouth shut. To my way of thinking, this translates into time served; Duty Done. That's where I'm coming from.

      JC

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    3. I understand the case you are making JC. I don't know though if W&K were intentionally kept hidden--some of their trajectory as a couple also seemed related to Will's choices and his reluctance to become a full-time royal (or a married man) any earlier. But I can see why some think they were held back & I can't rule that out. But I don't know that Kate would have objected to living away from London (Wales, Norfolk) anyway. If she is a country girl at heart, and we've certainly been given that impression, she might have preferred those locations to the fishbowl of London. And when they did "move back" to KP last year, Will said before they came back they had considered having Kate stay in Norfolk with the kids while he commuted for his royal work vs relocating as a family. So I'm not sure living in the country would qualify as a service to the monarchy re: the RFO. But since we don't know the crieria QEII uses when she decides to give her orders, it's hard to say! I just didn't think it was absurdly late & found the argument Kate shouldn't have had to wait longer than Diana or Camilla less than compelling given the different roles the women took on. I also didn't assume giving birth should "count" as a service to the Queen.

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    4. lizzie, there are many things about the BRF that we'll never really know much about; that's why people got so excited about Diana's collaboration with Andrew Morton and her Panorama interview. She gave us a glimpse into same--and it wasn't pretty. So unless Kate decides to pull a "Diana", we'll be left in the dark for the foreseeable future. Sure, maybe Kate is a "country girl" or maybe that's simply Royal spin, but I do think that Kate is a "family girl" who would've preferred to live closer to Bucklebury, as London is. It's also virtually next door to her sister.

      I hadn't heard that W made that remark, re Kate remaining in Norfolk, but methinks that would've been a mistake--for several reasons, but particularly for the children's schooling. London has a great deal more to offer in the way of education and urban kiddie entertainment than Norfolk, and these children need to grow up with some degree of sophistication rather than being raised in a royal cloister.

      JC

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  4. Great job, Jane! I think you did a good job of breaking things down.

    My opinions from yesterday remain unchanged. I LOVED this look - I only think the hem should have been shortened a bit so it didn't drag, but otherwise I LOVE this. I also love the significance of the dress colour and the necklace - the Queen wore a dress of a similar shade on a visit to the Netherlands decades ago, and the Queen Mum wore that necklace on a visit to the Netherlands.

    Now that it's been pointed out, I do agree that the Queen acted on the RFO due to the timing of Harry's engagement. Although the logical part of me wants Charles to treat his sons & daughers-in-law equally, as parents *should*, I do hope that Charles carves out that William and Kate are part of "succession planning" and are being groomed.

    ~ A

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  5. I also should mention the photos of William, Kate and Louis are adorable. They look like a normal family (although in many ways they aren't normal). It's also sweet that they took Louis with them as I'm sure many with access to nannies would leave the baby behind (even if she's breastfeeding she can have stored milk from pumping). She didn't want to leave her baby behind, which also probably made things a little easier for the nanny/nannies.
    ~ A

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    1. I was thinking same thing. There is a nanny yet Kate in her true motherhood chooses to bring little Louis along to an important dinner. So sweet and so motherly. Down to earth family at its best.

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  6. I love the dress, I can hear the taffeta swish from here! You are so right about the chessboard-the Cambridges are gearing up to provide the regal dignity, while the Sussex family give the common touch.I think this is why the queen looks so pleased all the time-she is leaving things in good hands.

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    1. I agree, I like the dress, too. The fabric looks luxurious, like a wedding gown material. Kate wore it beautifully.

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    2. I,too love this dress. If you look around this style seems popular at the moment. After all, there are only a certain number of things you can do with a dress. As for being like an 80s prom dress, I cannot remember that in the UK proms were then popular and it was around this time when so many young people of my family were leaving school and going off to Uni.
      I had only one fault to find--the dress was too long at the front.

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  7. Oh please Emma it is not the ugliest dress.

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  8. I thought the dress was quite unflattering- too long, 1980s-style prom dress, over-emphasized Kate’s very slender figure in a way which wasn’t flattering. I also wish she’d try a new hairstyle when she wears her hair up!

    Kate is a beautiful young woman, but I tend to find her style a bit fussy, especially the gowns she’s worn to these tiara events. I thought Máxima was stunning- she can really pull off the big jewels and the evening gown looks- she just seems to always have a very regal presence, something I think Kate is still working towards. I know many find Kate’s recent appearances to be more regal, but I guess I’m in the minority in that I don’t see that regal presence (yet?). Especially at these type of events, where someone like Máxima is there- it just seems to be a striking contrast in terms of poise, confidence and overall presence. I realize Máxima is a queen, is older than Kate and has been part of a royal family longer than Kate, but seeing them at this event together really highlighted these differences to me.

    This is a lifetime role, so I expect Kate will continue to evolve and gain confidence as she moves up in the Royal hierarchy.

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    1. I think Kate is somewhat hampered by her rank being under Camilla’s. She can’t shine as brightly as she could because she is not the next consort. I believe when she is the Princess of Wales we’ll see her transition fully.

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  9. This gown reminds me of her choice to the 2016 BAFTA awards. I didn't like that choice. This gown is very pretty from the waist up, but gets too fussy/busy from the waist down. The mermaid look elongates her silhouette too much. But, of course, she still looks amazing!

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  10. I like the dress when I see photos of Kate's torso...but I think it's just a bit too much when you see the whole thing. The color looks beautiful on her, and I love when she takes the jewels out for a spin! How special it must be for her to wear such heirlooms.

    I was wondering where Charlotte and George were when I saw the photos of W&K with Louis. I guess attendance at Charlotte's nursery is a bit flexible...or, perhaps they have a break at the same time as George's school. I love that they're able to spend time at Anmer and pop down to London for events.

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  11. I love the dress and the jewelry so much. I agree with you Jane in all the points that you estate. HM is remembering the British crownds who is in order to inhirited the throne and they efforts deserve respect and recognition. Ana from RJ.

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  12. I like your comments and you seem to be in the minority who liked the dress.
    While I agree that Catherine has never looked more regal, the bottom of the dress is not of my liking (I have never liked the mermaid skirt) but the top is oddly nice!
    I think this is a great step towards making the Cambridges more into the spotlight, they should take as an example all the other Royal Houses
    One step at a time!

    Thanks for all!

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  13. Jane: I’d be interested in your take on the inevitable change from royal matriarchy when Charles takes the throne. I don’t think Camilla will be a force (I could be wrong!) although I do believe Kate could/will be. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Queen were so strong in shaping the modern monarchy. What will it be like to have the focus on a man?

    I believe William will be more willing and/or able to share the spot light with Kate and I believe she has a spine of steel. I don’t think Camilla has the same standing.

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    1. The Queen Mother was widowed fairly young and lived a very long life so it seems like her influence was great but, in all actuality, she was a Queen Consort to her husband King George IV but she never reigned. This is why, even though she was also a "Queen Elizabeth", she didn't have a number designation after her name. Queen Elizabeth l (1558 –1603) and Queen Elizabeth ll, the current reigning monarch. HM the Queen Mother was given that title to avoid confusion between her and her daughter. All that being said, I think the strongest influence the Queen Mother had on anybody was on Charles so it remains to be seen how he will be seen as monarch. Then there is the Camilla factor. She reminds me of a line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: "The man is the head of the family but the wife is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants."

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    2. OH MY GOSH! I referenced My Big Fat Greek Wedding and then my brain connected the bridesmaids dresses to Kates! Oh, no, no, no. She can never wear this dress again!

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/213850682284070538/

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    3. Thank you for the reply! I think it will be interesting to see how Charles rises to the occasion. I agree with you about the wife being the neck.

      I think Kate is more of a force in her own marriage than Camilla is in her own.

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  14. I loved the red gown from the China state visit - to me, it looks young and elegant in a sophisticated way.
    The pale blue dress here was a good try, but I would not want to see it again. It has lovely elements but the whole just does not work for me.

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  15. Does Kate have faint tan lines from a swimsuit top-?

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  16. The colour and the mermaid style is flattering, but the ruffle spoils the whole dress, even the rose/medallion? on her right shoulder is too much. The silhouette should be kept simple with all the ruching. IMO all her last McQueens are disappointing, the dresses at the royal weddings were just simple variations of former dresses and this one is a miss.

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  17. Wow, my post went away while I was typing. That's odd! Anyway, I think the flying back and forth with the baby for the state dinner is significant in that it shows they are their own family who are comfortable in their own skin and who carry out the duties expected of them. They do it with style and grace while also trying to give their children a normal life at home at Anmer. I think Kate wearing the family order and some of the most stunning pieces from the vault are a symbol of her confidence and her rank within the senior members of the family. Other than her occasional sartorial stumble - which this one teeters toward - she rarely puts a foot wrong. She's the epitome of a well raised English girl from the upper classes and one can't argue with her comportment. She does the crown proud. Now, she needs to stop trusting McQueen quite so much because it doesn't always go well. Jenny P is her best evening "go to" for that flowing quintessential princess look.

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    1. Robin, I think you are right. I much prefer her JP evening gowns to McQueen.

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    2. Beautifully stated, Robin. Amen.

      May I just add that I wish Kate would experiment with Catherine Walker gowns. Her daytime looks have been impeccable IMO.

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    3. I vote for JP too. I can't say I've seen many C Walker evening dresses but that's a possibility too. I really don't like McQueen much for evening these days.

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    4. Wait So woman from the middle class can’t be elegant?

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    5. No, that's not what Robin said. She described Kate accurately, as a young woman from the upperclass. You have to add more to interpret her comment as even remotely suggesting that these attributes are exclusive to the upper class. I am commenting here, because there have been a number of comments like this, where someone reads a comment and then adds all sorts of potential additions, none of which are actually in the comment. I have to stress again to readers and commenters that that kind of guessing is not the right way to approach the comments if we are all going to have pleasant conversation.

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    6. royalfan, I was curious about the Catherine Walker evening wear after you mentioned it so I popped over to her site to take a peak. The only thing I could find were some archived pieces but Kate would look beautiful in most of them.
      https://www.catherinewalker.com/category/archive/evening/

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    7. Catherine Walker was Diana's go-to designer for evening wear and Diana looked gorgeous every single time. Diana's evening wear was wide-ranging in materials, silhouettes, accessories, etc. while Catherine's clothing has come to be quite predictable and sometimes quite lacklustre. While many don't like Kate's Erdem choices, I prefer them to McQueen and Packham: they are interesting and provide 'texture' to a very monotonous wardrobe. I would like to see Kate wear more off-the-rack designs and less bespoke clothing. McQueen is known as a cutting edge brand yet Kate's clothing is diametrically opposite to this. She needs to trust the designers and perhaps make small tweaks to their collection – it is only at that point that she will fully exploit the talent of UK designers (and others) and fully capitalize on the amazing figure that she has.

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    8. Maybe once Kate is Princess of Wales she will have more of the luxuries Diana had. I know Diana used to have fabrics and drawings of gowns brought to her at KP and she would mix and match and work with the designers. I don't think Kate is at that place yet. I think she does make tweaks to suit her because the McQueen runway shows have some of the most hideous clothing ever made and I admire Kate for being able to see beyond that and find something appropriate - if not always a favorite. I look forward to seeing where her style will go once her budget grows - although William is known for being a bit more ... um ... frugal than his father.

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  18. Yesterday I was so disappointed with the dress, mainly because of the material. Today seeing a good resolution close photo I suspect the material is actually very delicate and probably looked sophisticated in person - I myself have a piece in such type material and it looks very good. Unfortunately it photographed terribly...

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  19. I'll try to comment, but I'm on a train right now and oftentimes, my posts wont go through while commuting.

    I think this dress is tacky. Kate is absolutely stunning and regal. She oftentimes strikes a great balance between dripping in jewels, and maintaining an effortless, streamlined, glamour. This look is horrible. From the tightness of the gown (yes it is a hair too tight), the taffeta, and the mermaid silouhette it's more trendy than what I would hope a future Queen would wear.

    Ive really liked some of the changes that I have been seeing with Kate, but there are other things that I think she's struggling with stylistically. I think she's getting into the territory that so many women often go...they go with something because it's different and they want to push the envelope, but that doesnt mean that it is the right choice. Sometimes a million dollar dress can look worse than a one hundred dollar dress.

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  20. I am so disappointed with this dress. It reminds me far too much of the 80s. I think its too busy and I really do not like the fabric. However, Kate herself always shines. Her choice of jewellery is beautiful and she herself looks fantastic.

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    1. 1980's? More like 1880's to me. The look highlights her Victorian necklace. This was a HUGE recognition of her status as a royal. It almost took way from the RFO. In fact, it did.
      The tiara is a little more modern than the necklace. Take a look at royal women's evening fashion in the 1880s. I really think that is what she was going for. The trumpet style emulates a bustle/ train. I could see Alexandra as Princess of Wales in this dress. It also reminds me of the elaborate Worth gowns of that time.
      The Queen and Camilla generally wear white non-descript-style outfits, which is a great backdrop, along with plain black, for showcasing jewels. Only I don't think they would wear black to white tie royal events. Maxima nearly always is perfection for State occasions.
      The red China State visit gown could not have been more different but many criticised that dress, too. She might as well suit her fancy.
      I really doubt Catherine chose the Alexandra wedding necklace. I think I wrote about that in the first post. Other than the Queen's choosing it for Catherine for this occasion, it is also possible Kate had her dress design chosen already and HM's dresser chose a style of necklace to complement it. However, I think that necklace is much too important historically to loan it without at least the Queen's direct approval. (considering the Camilla connection as well) The loaning of the Hyderabad and ruby necklaces convinced me that Kate has had little choice in royal jewels, other than her wedding tiara.

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    2. Obviously, I have come to see things differently since my comment on the dress/necklace not going together in the last post. I have reconsidered. It's called "learning." Ha! I wasn't sure why until I did some further reading about Alexandra's style after I made the above comment.
      I found the blog "Castles and Coffeehouses" especially helpful--the one that features Alexandra's style. It shows the frothy, wedding cake dress she appeared in when the necklace was debuted; however, next it displays the make-over of the dress Alix ordered after the wedding. It was only slightly full. The skirt was completely covered in ruching with a train/bustle area in back that flowed from the waist, as I recall. I think Mermaid styles flow from lower in the skirt. Even the neckline of Alexandra's redone wedding dress is reflected in Kate's gown.

      As the blogger explained, Alexandra liked her dresses "sleek and simple." (simple compared to contemporary styles) I feel sure this is not only the gown she would have preferred to wear on her wedding day--I think Kate or the designer of her dress must have been familiar with that re-done version. I also think Kate must have known some time in advance she would be wearing Alexandra's necklace and informed the people at McQueen. That necklace is simply too important to be loaned as, for example, a simple pair of pearl earrings. It is on the level of the diamond bracelets that have personal history with Queen Elizabeth. That necklace was meant to be show-cased.
      I am so glad she went with the redo style of Alexandra's gown instead of the original dress that was typical of wedding dresses of the era--voluminous petticoats and ruffles.

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    3. Completely agree anon 1. Given the history of this necklace, imo, the Queen or someone within the palace requested that Kate wear the necklace for the dinner and McQueen designed the dress expressly for it. The dress is too much of a perfect backdrop for the jewels to have come about any other way.

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    4. Faith 2;43- you made my day. :+) I am so glad someone else sees this. I was afraid I was imagining it. I really respect your opinions so this meant a lot to me.
      I can't find that blog site where I saw the re-designed Alexandra dress. There are so many royal Alexandras! I did find a picture of the dress with ruching on a page headed "Alexandra wedding dress. (most of the photos are of Princess Alexandra of Kent) It really made me sit up and take notice. I couldn't believe the similarity---and then it all made sense to me.

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    5. Lol, well, maybe we are both imagining it but I don't think so.

      I've seen the photograph you're talking about and the similarities are uncanny.

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    6. Anon 1, is this the photograph? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/567172146792126500/

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    7. Faith-7:12 AM--YES!!! That is actually the remake of the original gown. You can see the original with the full, garlanded skirt on the same page on the lower right, with the Groom, the Prince of Wales. Also---The Necklace. My theory is that her future MIL, Queen Victoria, had input into the garlanded dress, which wasn't at all Alexandra's style. Also interesting to me in the second photo--her headpiece reminds me a great deal of Sarah's wedding head dress,--or I should say, Sarah's reminds me of Alexandra's headpiece.

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    8. Yes, that's exactly the style of Sarah's floral headpiece. Sarah loved the history of Queen Victoria and her family, so I'm wondering if this was the direct inspiration. Also, I wonder if Alexandra had a tiara under her's.

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    9. I wondered that too, Faith. It certainly looks big enough. Beatrice was the name of Victoria's youngest daughter. I believe she stayed home with her mother and never married. I hope her namesake finds her mate.

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    10. Anon1, I will add another "I agree" to this thread. I was well aware of royal fashion during the 1980's and I would never categorize this dress as fitting in. Let's subtract some generations from that, as you suggest. :-) The dress has a vintage vibe (nothing new for Kate) and was, IMO, the perfect "setting" for the jewelry.

      I also agree with you ladies regarding's Sarah's wedding tiara and flower combination. Me thinks the connection is not a stretch. ;-)

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    11. Thanks, royalfan. I feel vindicated. Ha! I wasn't joking about a sartorial nod to Alexandra's wedding dress and time being a planned setting for Kate's presentation of the reappearance of her wedding necklace. That piece has so much meaning to the Queen and others on several levels--add to that the significance of HM's loaning that piece Kate. The timing! Exquisite.

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    12. You ladies are so smart - I completely agree that this is nod to Alexandra. Makes me want to begin reading the comments on these posts again.

      Delete
  21. I know this isn't a Mette Marit site but since many of us are royal watchers I thought I'd mention that I am saddened by her recent diagnosis of pulomary fibrosis. My sister in law is a pulmonologist and tells me she has only had a handful of patients survive more than 5 years. Hopefully, where MM is much younger than the typical PF patient and has access to the best care, she will do better than most. It will be difficult for her children.

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    1. Oh, Faith, I hadn't heard this. I am very saddened by this news as well. I like Mette Marit and pray that she will have a much longer life because of the things you mentioned.

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    2. I agree, Faith. It is very sad. The fibrosis or scarring is only evidence of an on-going disease process. She mentions "treatments." Her prognosis also depends, I think, on what the under-lying illness is.

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    3. Robin, I like her too. No one wishes a diagnosis like this on anyone but especially not for a young woman with relatively young children. I hope she responds well to whatever they can do for her.

      Anon 1, I don't have any medical background and have never heard of this condition. In speaking with my SIL, I understood it to be an autoimmune disease that is progressive with no cure except to treat the symptoms for as long as possible but I could be wrong. On the positive side, most patients are elderly at diagnosis with advanced scarring, so hopefully she has more of a chance to live better and longer. At the very least, I suspect she will have to limit certain kinds of engagements and the frequency.

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    4. Thanks for the news Faith. I'm sorry and hope for the best for her.

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    5. Mette-Marit put out a statement. Apparently her care will limit but not exclude her usual work .I do have a medical background but my focus was cardiovascular disease. I think some of the underlying issues include auto-immune effects where the body actually attacks itself as an enemy. I could be wrong, but pulmonary fibrosis/scaring can result from other illnesses, including Tuberculosis and emphysema. It almost sounds like your SIL could be describing Scleroderma. That affects tissues other than the lungs. One's face takes on a rigid appearance. (still going on memory and dated information here.) I have been retired almost ten years and may need to brush up! So much has been learned and discovered the past ten years.

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    6. I was tying and poof, so here I go again... I was very sorry to hear this news. Mette Marit seems to be a very down to earth lady and I admire the family dynamics. Fortunately, she has access to the best medical care and will deal with this within a loving and supportive environment.

      I believe she was/is a smoker and I'm wondering if it contributed to her health issues.

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  22. Great post Jane! I've been so busy lately, that I just get my news and don't think about it too much, so I completely missed how this state dinner presented Kate in a different way. Thank goodness you're on the ball. I think you're correct in all your thoughts about this and agree that the Cambridges are being moved into a more important ceremonial role. Exciting to witness.

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  23. I enjoyed this entire look. I feel she goes with themes at these state dinners and last year she went with a lacy look - which I felt was meant to invoke Spain. This look to me was right out of the movie The Age of Innocence. From the hair, to the jewels, fabric on the dress. Is this dress a winner on it's own - not really, but as an entire look - yes.

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    1. Oh, I can see that! The look was very "classic"- some said old-fashioned/dated, but I see what you mean about it being more historical.

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  24. Kate does indeed do the Crown proud - ever classy. In terms of fashion, she does her best. I loved every single piece of jewellery here individually, but sadly, the jewellery wears her instead of the other way around. That dress is far too busy to complement the jewellery; i wish it had simpler lines to allow these heritage pieces to shine through; to me this is a hodge-podge failure. Alternatively, keep the dress and simplify the jewellery. I really wonder if she (or her stylist) think though the overall elements of an outfit ... le sigh. She needs a professional stylist in order to lift her game.

    But all this is not significant when one sees how
    gracefully and quietly she gets on with the job. Bravo for that.

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    1. It would seem she was emulating Alexandra's style while debuting the first appearance of her wedding necklace since Elizabeth the QM died. If this is the case, the style, especially the ruching ,neckline, and back interest of Alix's revised version of the gown, was appropriate and a tribute to Princess, later Queen Alexandra--who is also Prince Phillip's ancestor.
      Considering the number of times the QM appeared in this necklace, it must have special personal meaning for the Queen in addition to the historic value.
      PS if you think Kate's dress was too busy for the necklace, you should take a look at the original version of the dress first worn with that necklace. Now THAT'S busy.

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    2. I have a difficult time with the idea that Kate had a dress made that was supposed to resemble Queen Alexandra’s wedding gown (revised wedding gown or original). I feel that may be reading too much into Kate’s dress. If Kate DID have McQueen make her a dress modeled after queen Alexandra’s gown just to honor the necklace she wore, we are in for some interesting outfits as Kate continues to wear more and more historical jewelry.

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  25. Queen Maxima had the right balance; sorry, ladies, DOC missed the mark. :( I loved the individual parts better than the whole. Also, side note, her hair style looked matronly.

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  26. The dress is too long. It's not pretty in movement. On the video Kate looks loke she is strugling to walk with it. She doesn't have enough grace in walking.

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  27. Regarding royal order: age at which received. (sources: Marlene Koenig and Majesty Magazine.)
    Princess Elizabeth...George V order....a few months old
    George VI order...age 10. She made her first solo engagement at age 17
    Princess Margaret Rose...1952, approximately age 22
    Princess Anne.........QEII order....1969..late teens
    There have been a number of circumstances surrounding the bestowing of the order throughout the history of its existence. Obviously, years of royal work is not a constant basis due to the age at which some were given. As far as I could ascertain, no one other than Kate has been accused of not receiving the order due to lack of engagements. It was obviously not considered a prerequisite prior to Kate. "Service to the Queen" can include supplying three heirs or any number of factors. I think the idea of "earning" the order or not as far as doing engagements are concerned has been used by the popular press and others-- unaware or in spite of the facts-- as an excuse to criticise Kate.

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    1. anon1 I completely agree with you! I feel like Kate being a stable and loving wife to William, as well as focusing on raising 3 heirs in a stable and loving environment, is critical to the continued survival of the monarchy. Those children need to be grounded and resilient, which makes them more relatable to the public while living a life of privilege, and that starts at home, especially during the formative years. I also think William wants/needs a wife who is available to support him, which is fine as every relationship has differenet dynamics, and I think she's done a good job of that.
      A

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    2. I agree with you both, anon1 and ~A. I also think Kate should have had the RFO much earlier than this as she continued to support William and become a valuable member of the family. We have speculated that maybe HM was waiting to let Charles give her his but as time has marched on it was an important move to make. I think it does designate her status as one of the most senior of the royal family. As a woman she falls in rank only behind HM and Camilla so it was odd that lower ranking members of the family (sorry if that term offends some people but it's how their world works) like Sophie, who I adore, was wearing one where Kate was not after 7 years and 3 kids in. Now, just to stir the pot, when will she receive the GVCO?

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    3. So well said! You have great insight into character & foresight for future generations. You said what I think so well!

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    4. robinfromca,
      Sophie got her’s earlier because she got married earlier and she is the queen daughter-in-law. Kate is the queen’s granddaughter-in-law.

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    5. It will stir the pot even more if Meghan turns up at next years diplomatic reception wearing the RFO

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    6. A- and Robin..Agree...it's more than just birthin' the babies. It is what happens after that counts.

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    7. Kate has the honor of being the first "granddaughter-in-law" to receive the RFO since Queen Victoria gave one to her grandson's, later George V, wife-- later Queen Mary. There really is no pattern or standard to the bestowal of the RFO through the decades. We need to consider, however, that it is unusual for a Monarch to have a grandson heir old enough to marry. This is at least partly due to the longevity of both Victoria's and Elizabeth's reigns.

      I don't believe the wife of a second son of the heir to the throne has ever received a RFO, especially when the first son has heirs. (technically, George was a second son but his elder brother died before he could marry--his bride was to be that same Mary.)On the other hand, Charles could be King (hopefully not yet) by the time of the next Diplomatic Reception. He seems quite fond of the couple and might gift Harry's wife with the RFO himself. As far as I know, there are no rules. Not even a consistent pattern. So, who knows? At any rate, I don't see any reason for its causing "pot stirring." It has always been a very private matter between the monarch and the recipient.

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    8. Interesting take, anon1, because Sophie was awarded the RFO as the wife of the (then) fifth in line to the throne. That must set some precedent. Even though she is daughter-in-law of the monarch (so was Sarah but she never received one - not surprisingly but still...) and Kate is the granddaughter-in-law, Kate is married to the heir presumptive and Sophie is married to the son who is now 10th and, with the birth of the Sussex baby, soon to be 11th in line to the throne. I think Kate should have had it sooner but it goes to show that it is totally at the whim of the reigning monarch.

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    9. The Sophie situation baffles me too, Robin. Maybe it was given because she appears as a representative of the Queen at so many European white -tie functions where orders are worn.The BRF has a certain image to maintain.

      I truly think that HM is especially fond of Sophie. The many stories and that interview Sophie did that revealed the close contact she and her children have with HM by living on Windsor grounds seem to back this up. Poor Sarah. Maybe it's not too late? If she and Andrew remarry...

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    10. I absolutely agree that Kate is a huge asset to William and the RF as a whole. And I admire and respect the Cambridges' approach to family life. Although I understand the feeling that Kate should have received the RFO earlier, I do think it's possible that the Queen held back because it would have generated more criticism of the Cambridges' "part-time" status. But in the last year many things have come together and it was about time. :-)

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    11. ...it was the ideal time, royalfan. And Alexandra's necklace was icing on the cake. Perhaps the exclamation point at the end of HM's statement.
      I am now wondering who else has the RFO stowed away, awaiting a white-tie opportunity. When is the last time Sarah attended a royal white-tie function?

      Just a thought to entertain myself with. ;+)

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    12. I will share my thoughts on the relationship that Sophie appears to enjoy with the Queen, and the recognition she has received from HM.

      Sophie and Edward's courtship began in 1993. She was four years younger than Diana and was aware of the marital issues of both C&D and A&S. And, as Edward's girlfriend, she would have been keenly aware of the Firm's "position" on all of it. It is my belief that she set out to be the anti-Diana (and Sarah to a degree), just as it is being suggested that Meghan is intent on being the anti-Kate. (Different reasons behind it, but the same goal...success as a royal bride).

      Sophie was well aware of what ruffled feathers behind palace walls and she was determined to star clear of any of it. And, apparently, she succeeded. Does anyone recall the Queen's reported comment that Sophie is "the sort of girl you wouldn't notice in a crowd." It was meant as a compliment, but just consider the implications... :-) (NOT that it applies, but imagine if HM said this today about Meghan, for example? The feminists would march down The Mall and camp out in front of BP.)

      I also suspect that E&S would have married prior to 1999; I believe their plans were postponed when Diana died in 1997. (Just as Eugenie yielded to H&M).

      Also, until recent years, it appeared that Sophie was content to have a very quiet profile. Although her comments (upon her 50th birthday, I believe) that she wasn't aware of the impact of fashion on her role, was, IMO, difficult to believe given her PR background and "time on the job." Of course she understood the impact of fashion and the visual aspect of her role; but it wasn't until the stage started to become a little more crowded that she suddenly didn't want to remain in the background. And I don't fault her, but I never believed her explanation for the newfound fashion awareness. But to be fair, I do believe that Sophie and Kate enjoy an uncomplicated relationship today because Kate has negotiated her entry into the Firm with class and humility and continues to deflect attention rather than showing any indication of wishing to absorb it.
      It's also significant, IMO, that Sophie was part of the picture when Princess Margaret's health was declining and during the QM's final years. From her courtship days, Sophie embraced the Firm's private lifestyle and she and Edward spent their weekends with HM. Naturally, a bond was created and, ultimately, Sophie filled a void left after the deaths of Margaret and the QM in 2002.

      Finally, another possible reason for the Queen's recognition of Sophie is that she does genuinely like her and has wanted to honor and perhaps "make up for" the fact that Sophie will always be overshadowed by other senior female members of the RF.

      My two cents... :-)

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    13. I enjoyed your two cents, royalfan! I do think HM has a genuine affection for Sophie. I never thought about the connection between the deaths of Margaret and the Queen Mother but I'm sure a closer bond was probably developed then. I also think Sophie benefitted greatly from the shift in attitude after Diana's death. The previous perception of a rather cold family, all in the name of privacy, was laid bare and there were some adjustments made by most of the family. I've always liked Sophie but I never saw her as the anti-Diana though. In fact, I thought she resembled Diana quite a bit at the time of her marriage to Edward. Not just the blond hair and blue eyes but her haircut was certainly a Diana cut. I think she and Kate enjoy a friendly relationship because neither one of them wishes to steal focus and they both have a deep respect for the institution into which they've married. I think the most "alike" female members of the family are Kate, Sophie, and Zara. It seems to show in the candid photos we see of them laughing and chatting.

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    14. I had not thought of the effect of Sophie's presence after the deaths in 2002 either. And, after all, who was left? Diana was outspoken at the end, disgraced and gone; Anne had re-married; Sarah well... I don't think Camilla was on the favorites list yet. I'm not sure when her cousin Margaret Rhodes passed away. Apparently they were quite close. Sophie was on site, ready and apparently willing and able to fill in the role of family confident. I have trouble thinking of anyone with a PR business being meek and a back-ground-dweller by nature. On the other hand, one is usually adept at "getting along" and letting the client shine.
      It has been reported that the Queen is close to her dresser but there are some family situations one does not confide with the help. Let's face it. When you survive to your eighties and nineties it is a mixed blessing. Friends and family are lost.

      Robin, I remember reading conjecture at the beginning of his relationship--once it was known publicly-- that Edward was attempting to capitalize on Diana's continued popularity. Sophie's early photos do have a close resemblance to Diana and much was made of it at the time.

      Royalfan--that "girl in a crowd" remark. If the Queen said it I bet she wishes she hadn't.

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    15. I don't remember ever reading that Edward was trying to capitalize on Diana's popularity but I heard that he always had a slight crush on Diana and that they got on well. Either way, there is no denying the resemblance between Sophie and Diana in the early days.

      I don't believe Margaret Rhodes died more than a couple of years ago but I could be wrong.

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    16. You're right Robin. Margaret Rhodes died in Nov 2016 so I'm not sure that affected the kind of long-term relationship HMTQ has with Sophie. It's also been reported Sophie likes to ride as does HM. Perhaps SW developed that interest to be anti-Diana-- I don't know how we'd ever know but it is certainly true Diana wasn't a rider. It's also been reported Sophie shares an interest with HM in military history. Don't know if that's true either. But it's also possible maybe Sophie just isn't much like Diana other than sharing a slight physical resemblance when younger. Certainly by the time Sophie married Edward she had lived as a fairly independent career woman, something that could not be said of Diana when she married Charles.

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    17. Robin, I do agree; without a doubt Sophie benefited from some of the lessons learned. Sophie and Edward dated (even lived together) for years vs. months in Diana and Sarah's case.

      Anon1, I never read anything about Edward and Diana's relationship, but I do recall seeing images of them enjoying a humorous moment or two during family gatherings. And I totally agree with your reference to "getting along and letting the client shine".

      Lizzie, perhaps Sophie is a country girl at heart and this would have helped to facilitate her acceptance into the Firm.

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    18. Royalfan, Sophie had to close her PR firm, after her wedding, because she was caught using her marriage to the BRF as a selling point to potential clients. Then she abruptly closed it down and focused on Royal work. I’m not disagreeing with what you say, I just think we need to know she didn’t seamlessly have no drama like Diana/Sarah. I think the Queen, learning from past mistakes, nipped it in the bud quickly and forgave it.
      ~ A

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    19. ~A, I do agree, especially with your last sentence.

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    20. I went back and re-read some of the press when Sophie had her "scandal" and the only thing Sophie was guilty of was commenting on personal views about politics and members of the family. None of them were nasty or rude, just her opinion. It seems, and The News of the World (who make the Daily Mail look like The Wall Street Journal) had reporters pretending to be wealthy businessmen so who knows how they asked questions to extract comments they could twist. From what I could discern, the only person they actually had on tape was Sophie's really creepy business partner. I mean, she wasn't exactly nude sunbathing while some multi-millionaire, who was not her husband, sucked on her toes.

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    21. Thanks for the reminder of what Sophie's "scandal" actually involved, Robin. If that were to be repeated today by another member of the family I'm sure it would garner negative press, but would likely not be a "scandal." A repeat of Sarah's toe-sucking, topless, pool frolicking behavior with her lover while Princess Bea played close by would probably still be a really big deal. (And I like Sarah but her judgment frequently leaves alot to be desired.)

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  28. Great post, Jane. My comment on the previous post never showed up so I'll try again. I agree with those who say the DoC looks incredible. This look is a huge WIN for me. The blue/grey of the gown not only showcases that stunning necklace but also makes Kate's skin appear luminous. As for the cut and 80s vibe, well Kate's completely en vogue since the biggest trend on the 2018-19 European Fall/Winter runways this year was -- 1980s inspired silhouettes. Lastly, the gown shows off her amazing figure and makes her look so regal.

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  29. It is strange.... I don't like the dress very much, but Kate looks like such a princess with the jewels, the taffeta, the royal order, the neckline, the updo, that I just love the look overall. She looks like a classic beauty!

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  30. Im afraid I don't really like the dress either. the top half is nice but the V shape down the bottom with the skirt is just so 80s. The oolour is very flatering on Kate, though. The jewellery is fabulous but I think with the huge tiara and substantial necklace it is just too much and a bit ageing on Kate. Or is she just tired? the tiara she wore to the Chinese state dinner complements her frame and size so much better. Queen Maxima on the other hand is elegance itself.

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  31. I am just wondering when Kate becomes the princess of Wales will she be attending more functions were a tiara is required?

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  32. I thought this article about the DoC in Vanity Fair was very interesting. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, Jane!
    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/10/kate-middleton-comeback

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    1. I just read this article and I think it has really captured just exactly who Kate is and what her role is. Well done, Vanity Fair!

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  33. Terrific post, Jane! I am beyond happy to see that Kate has received the RFO-- we can only guess as to what goes on behind the scenes, and the sacrifices she's made, but everything we HAVE seen has been phenomenal. She represents the royal family fantastically.

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  34. I read the article too, and I think it speaks fairly to the essence of who Kate is. I see her as one who doesn't seek the limelight but who knows what she wants for her family, what she wants to achieve, and is steadfast. I think Kate embodies that quietude and stability, which the BRF will definitely need in the years ahead when, ultimately, there will be more than one changing of the guard over a short period.

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    1. Gracious comment, Wecy, and I concur.
      Kate not only does seem not to seek the limelight, she may avoid it at times. I am thinking particularly of her speeches. I think the test of a charity/humanitarian speech is the take-away: is my first impression--"How great she is!" or how important her topic is. When I reflect on it am I thinking first how clever she was or how much those children need help, for example. It is a matter of focusing outward yet living one's ideals. Tricky business.
      If Kate seems to have renewed confidence, which the article's author mentioned, I believe, it may be- as I have stated here previously-the result of her finally being able to and choosing to live her ideals more completely. She was straddling two different worlds and now she has more or less thrown down the gauntlet. This is who I am. Come and get me if you will.

      If she seemed timid at times, other than as an expression of humility, it may have reflected a fear of doing the wrong thing. Once one gets past that- confidence can grow. However, there is confidence from not caring about others' opinions and flaunting them by one's actions versus showing respect for others' wishes but choosing to follow one's ideals. A fine but important line.

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    2. I agree, Wecy. I think it's interesting to note that the whole world is seeing the change in Kate's confidence and not just those of us who watch her more carefully.

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    3. I agree Robin. I have seen it in multiple places. Catherine's grace and confidence is evident.
      The Duchess has an amazingly important and powerful role. She is partner and helpmate to one future monarch and mother to another. I think (of course I don't know) that she sees her job as one that makes sure that the future kings are happy, healthy, and supported in their tasks. She seems to take her job very seriously. I think (again, I don't know) that her job as wife and mother are most important to her, more than her eventual job as Queen Consort. Although she will do a fabulous at that also.

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  35. Have any of the veteran royal watchers read anything about Charles' latest biography that will be released on Nov 1st ahead of his 70th birthday? Sadly, it appears to be more of the same self pity and finger pointing in an attempt to gain sympathy and understanding, with Diana taking quite a hit. What a wonderful gift to his sons.

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    1. I haven't heard anything about it. What's it called? Prince of Wails?

      I had finally reached the point where I just didn't care about him anymore instead of loathing him. Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water...

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    2. Jeepers. I feel the same way about this, guys. Why does he keep the melodrama going? This makes him look petty and self important. He should just let go of the past and work hard with Camilla, so that we can tolerate instead of dislike him. If he thinks this is going to sway anyone who liked and followed Diana over to his version of the truth, he's delusional.

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    3. If you rewrite history enough times it will be believed??

      Sadly, it speaks volumes about the man's priorities if he could continue to subject his sons to these attacks on Diana's memory. If he wanted to rehabilitate his image, the best way to accomplish it would have been to make the boys his number one priority after Diana's death. He should have been seen to teach them the ropes as Diana has done. Instead, he was concentrating on introducing Camilla into the fold. And we wonder why William gravitates towards the Middleton's? Really?

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    4. Is that the Penny Junor (spelling?) book?

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    5. Anon1, it's Robert Jobson's : "Charles at Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams."

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    6. Royalfan, he's really dragging his two boys through the muck, isn't he. I was so surprised he felt the need to rehash and revise all this again. I feel that a lot of people had let it go and were tolerating C&C because they work hard. This will just stir up ugliness again and hurt him in the long run imo. Also, from the excepts I've read, he just comes off looking spineless to me. You know, " look at me, I'm such a victim".

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    7. Yep, I read it too, and thought that this book might well translate into an unusual spectacle: that of the subject making a fool of himself! Given the review, it would seem that Charles is determined to remind us that he's a selfish, spineless navel-gazer, totally egocentric.

      Whatever Charles was trying to accomplish, and I suspect it was nothing other than to revise history via putting down his first wife and their sons, it merely served to remind me of his flaws.

      JC

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    8. anon1, I never trust anything Penny Junor writes. She's been a Charles suck up since before he and Diana even appeared to be having trouble. We know now that the trouble was there from the beginning but Penny Junor is definitely on the Prince of Wales figurative payroll. Two years into the Wales's marriage when Diana was the most beloved figure in the world Ms. Junor was writing articles about poor Charles and how his wife overshadows him and makes his important work less important. Like Diana wasn't doing any thing important as well.

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    9. Ladies, I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised, and it proves that Charles still feels threatened by Diana's popularity...21 years after her death. He'll never enjoy the popularity he desires, but he could be less unpopular if he stopped subjecting his sons to these attacks on their beloved mother.

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    10. It's pretty low to trash someone who is no longer around to defend themselves, let alone the much loved mother of your two sons. Why can't he show just an ounce of class and say that it's sad it turned out the way it did but it did give us two wonderful sons. He is completely incapable of taking the high road. Watch out H&M if you put too many eggs in the Charles basket because he's likely to stomp on it and break every shell.

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    11. In a way I have compassion for Charles - it speaks volumes that as an adult he still has many insecurities and cannot lead by his actions alone. It shows me that be probably hasn’t sought out support, possibly through therapy, to get perspective on his childhood, failed first marriage, and how to parent during grief (Diana’s passing). As an adult he’s accountable, which is why I have compassion that he seems incapable of that. I think we assume since he’s rich and was raised being spoiled (which he probably still is) gives us less compassion, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be damaged and traumatized like any other human. We just have a responsibility to recognize that and to try and heal to reduce passing along those negative impacts. Sigh.
      ~ A

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    12. I have not read the material but assuming Charles did say what's being described, I agree he shouldn't have. But no matter what people generally think of him, I do think we need to remember that he was pretty restrained in what he said publicly about Diana in the period after the divorce and has been restrained since her death. And I think he did the best he could when she died (going to Paris with Diana's sisters, returning with the casket covered by the Royal Standard) I think he was terribly hurt by the many recent public statements W&H made about Diana. (If one didn't know better, based purely on those statements one would think they were orphaned when she died.) And I'm old enough to remember that W&H certainly seemed very close to Charles both before and after Diana's death. Even Diana said he was a good father to them. But I think Charles has been hurt by the recent rewriting of family history that largely omits him. And he knows younger people won't realize it's been rewritten. I also think there has been tension between Will and Charles for years for other reasons and it's not clear to me that Will's children know Charles at all. That's no excuse but I think it's what's going on. So I agree with much of your take ~A.

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    13. Lizzie, he's been "restrained" by undermining Diana's memory and condoning it when others have done it on his behalf, including his darling wife?

      I don't think W&H attempted to rewrite history; I believe they wanted to set the record straight.

      Diana gave hmm credit for being a good father and I believe she meant it at the time, but I think she would revisit this opinion given the unnecessary and avoidable hurt he has inflicted on his sons since her death.

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    14. Point taken. But much of what has been rewritten/set straight involves the period Diana was speaking of, not what's happened in the last 20 + years since her death. I'm also not sure Charles should be held accountable for things Camilla has said, any more than any other spouse is responsible for their spouse's utterances. Could it have been a plot between C&C for her to say things? Sure, anything's possible but I'm not aware he's condoned anything (unless remaining silent = condoning.) I guess I've just missed all the awful behavior from Charles *after* Diana's death. (Of course we all saw plenty of awful behavior during the marriage from both parties unfortunately.)

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    15. We don't like to speak ill of the dead, and because Diana was young and naive, we hold Charles to an even higher standard. I've said this before on this blog - Charles & Diana are/were both VERY DAMAGED individuals from young ages. Trauma isn't just abuse, and I would label both of them as being traumatized. Put two individuals like this together and they brought out the worst in each other. One example is Charles had absent parents and went from nannies to a brutal boarding school; Diana's mother left the family, and Diana's father remarried a woman who wasn't nice to the children.
      All families are complicated and I think we have to give the family a little grace. Many families have dealt with getting married for the wrong reasons, toxic marriages, bitter divorces, betrayal, a parent(s) dying, thinking a parent wasn't available enough, etc. This family has all of these family issues that are viewed under a microscope.
      If William hated all of this so much he could give up his title and move to the country with his family (or maybe move to a different country). However, he'd have to give up his income, his homes, etc. And he isn't doing that. William is now an adult who CHOOSES this life and to for now live off of his dad's money. William isn't a victim.
      ~ A

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    16. As a Diana loyalist I have to say that whatever was rewritten in the past 20 years since her death helped most of us come to know and acknowledge that she was a flawed individual and made many poor decisions. But she was a 19 year old sacrificial virgin to the crown and Camilla was in the background pushing the buttons from the get go. Diana's husband never loved her and she knew it from early on even if the rest of the world didn't. She had absolutely no guidance upon entering her role as Princess of Wales, what it would entail, and how to go forward so she made it up as she went. Then they didn't like how she did it. Sure, Charles had an absentee mother and cold, duty driven father. He also has three siblings who don't seem to be quite so whiney about it. He was also the darling child of the Queen Mother. Diana always knew that she could have her children taken away from her and, by many accounts, Philip never ceased to remind her of that. But she's dead now so for Charles to keep trying to prove he was the poor put upon future king who suffered at the hands a someone who really had no rights or privilege when it came to the important things is pretty dang petty. He's a small little man and he's married to a puppet master. So, while I've been trying really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt after quietly doing all that hard work, what Charles has really succeeded in doing is to make me realize that I was right about him all along. He's learned nothing from the past. His main concern is still for himself and his "darling wife." Gag.

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  36. Did anyone hear the news that Harry and Meghan are leaving the KP office? What are your thoughts on this. Not sure it's a good thing.

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    1. I had not heard that, Faith. I'm not sure what to think. Will and Harry DO have vastly different roles to fulfill now and as time marches on their roles will diverge even more. So in some ways it makes sense. When Harry was unmarried, had just gotten out of the military, and to some extent, was at loose ends, it was natural for him to be part of a kind of public "trio" with W&K. But even knowing W&H are close, I never thought that that would last so far as their public personnas went. And I never thought---no matter who Harry married--that the four of them would then form some sort of public "quartet." And it's hard to imagine any other two brothers (in the public eye, royal or not) and their wives sharing an office/PR team. I guess whether this is a good idea partly depends on WHY this is happening, if in fact, it is happening.

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    2. No! What palace intrigue. Is it confirmed?. I assume Charles will take them under the Clarence House wing. I have noticed and commented about what seemed to me to be an increasing preference for and elevation of Harry and Meghan over William and Catherine. Partly from a comparison of the amount and quality of the coverage of the two couples. I hope this means William will have some control over KP PR now.
      Faith, are you sure KP office will continue to exist? Perhaps W&C also will be handled by CH? That is how Charles's sons were managed before. Best case scenario--both couples break away from CH control. It may have been a long time coming, with the wedding/pregnancy statement the last straw.
      Guess I will have to wait and see.

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    3. It's not official but Roya Nikkhah tweeted that she has the exclusive on it in The Sunday Times tomorrow. According to her, the brothers plan to split the KP office into two separate courts.

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    4. If this is true I think it's another PR error. The press is already trying to pit the two couples against each other with ridiculous comparisons and stories of rivalries. I would think that staying together in the office of the official residence of both couples would serve them better. If it is true it seems to have Charles written all over it. Heaven help them all when he is king. God save the Queen!

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    5. I don't know. I think it is a good thing to split the households, although I do believe it is coming sooner than anticipated because there is a growing tension between the two couples. Perhaps the majority of that tension is only the PR tension managing the popularity, but perhaps there is personal tension there, too, but I think the way things are headed, a split might be for the best.

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    6. Jane I totally agree with you. I’ve noticed the tension between the brothers for a while. H&M’s popularity needs to be managed and I’m sure the palace wants to reign them in. They will not allow them to be more popular than W&K.

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    7. I'm not totally surprised by this news even if nothing has been confirmed just yet.

      I don't know if there is any personal tension between W&H, but without a doubt the PR behind H&M has been quite different than W&K's (at the same stage of the game). In W&K's case, the approach was a very cautious and understated one and I think it was partly due to William having commitments aside from royal duties and mostly because of Charles' need to stage manage the popularity factor and not allow another dreaded eclipse.

      In H&M's case, the PR machine has been quite active since the engagement was announced, with a diary to match. The palace needed to be seen as being behind the relationship since it was somewhat short, especially given the long distance factor. And considering their ages, and lessons learned from W&K, it was important for them to be seen as hitting the ground running. It's also my feeling that Charles wants to capitalize on Meghan's heritage; it's totally in line with his wish to be seen as the Defender of Faiths. So if he benefits from their popularity, it will be tolerated.

      Personally, I believe it's a good idea for W&K and H&M to have their own offices where they can make their own decisions and reap what they sow. And let's face it, not only is there a difference in rank, but there is (and most likely will continue to be) a huge difference in the way the couples approach their royal duties.

      At this point, it's quite understandable that H&M are enjoying their share of popularity, but I wonder how their approach will translate long term. I am no prude, but I do think they need to tone down the PDA. And before anyone jumps on me for this, I am well aware that times have changed, but let's consider other foreign royals in this age range or a professional couple who runs a business together.... How would it look for them to walk into every business meeting while holding hands as if they were on a date? If their chemistry is truly fantastic, God bless and may they live happily ever after. But it's my opinion that *this* level of PDA is better suited to private time. Most importantly, toning it down would make their engagements less about them.

      In comparison, W&K conduct themselves in a manner that shows an understanding of their current and future roles. The chemistry is there, but they are not showcasing themselves as a loving couple first and foremost. Their approach to the line between public and private has staying power and is on the money, IMO.

      I do believe we are in for some interesting royal watching in the years ahead.....

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    8. Lizzie, I think the why is the pivotal question. If separate offices are needed because KP is swamped handling both brothers whose roles are becoming vastly different, I inderstand. If it's due to a difference in vision of how to go forward, I'm concerned.

      Anon 1, in reading the article, it seems that W&K will retain their offices at KP while H&M will be forming their own elsewhere. Maybe H&M do not plan on staying at KP and will be moving offices for convenience sake and logistical reasons?

      Robin, I think it's a PR error as well. What poor timing considering all the comparisions and power plays being built up by the media right now. This news is playing right into the current divisive tone. Imo, W&H will be stronger if they appear to be united rather than divided, even if it's only an illusion.

      Jane, I see your point that a split of the households is inevitable. I'm taking notice because the talk is coming so soon after the wedding and during the tour especially. I thought there might be tensions but decided I was imagining things because its not overt. If true, this is sad because the boys have been so close all their lives.

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    9. Agree about the PDA, Royalfan. A little of that goes a long, long way. And it's not professional IMO to make the people you are meeting feel like voyeurs!

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    10. Royalfan, I've been hoping you'd weigh in. Agree that these are interesting years ahead. I've been a little upset by the PR on IG coming out of KP. Really, they do seem to be promoting the Sussexs as a celebrity couple rather than a royal couple. The difference between the PR for the two couples is noticeable. I'd be interested in knowing if the couples are making the desicions in how they are presented or it's coming from somewhere else. I just feel that 2 separate offices will spark competition and comparisons by pitting brother against brother but maybe letting the chips fall as they may, is the best way to go at this point.

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    11. Faith very good points. I think it is highly likely that the couples are making the decisions in how they are presented. I think the Queen has stepped in, thus the reason for the separate households announcementand and there would be more control how things are being presented. I kind of think certain people rellish the spotlight. The next few years will be very interesting. It’s just my thoughts.

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    12. Faith, I agree, KP PR has been endlessly promoting H&M as a celebrity couple and I think that is coming directly from the couple. I think it is going to have a negative impact later. They should be promoted as a royal couple, not celebrity. I know I will be crushed on here for saying this, but I have noticed Harry’s demeanor has changed before he married and more noticeable after. It seems like I could feel a rift between the brothers just by how standoffish Harry looked when he was with Wills. I could be wrong. Seems like they both want to be celebrity royals.

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    13. I'll jump in with you anon 1:13 and put a statement out there that will get me crushed right along with your but, it was always apparent that W&H have been a very close team. Enter Kate and then all three of them became a very close team. The next factor added in was Meghan and, BAM!!, all of a sudden there is tension and an apparent rift between three people who have been very close for a very long time. Kate also got along very well with Chelsea and Cressida. If the tension is a real thing I think the only one who can repair it is Harry but that would necessitate him reigning in his behavior (wouldn't be the first time) and that of his wife, as well as how they act together. The PDA is getting old and royalfan is right that it's unprofessional. They can hold hands all they want on their own time but give it a rest while on duty! I worry about what's being whispered in his ear about not always being second or why shouldn't he be featured as much as his brother? I'll also go out on a limb and state that if they (the family or the grey suits) do tell Meghan (and Harry) to stop acting like the star of the show it will be very telling about how much of a "true love story" this is and if she can do it or if she bails. I love Harry but I worry about this relationship.

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    14. Faith, I absolutely agree that H&M are being promoted like a celebrity couple and the only logical explanation appears to be that it is their choice. Otherwise, why would the same office treat them so differently? It was my impression from early on that Meghan appeared to be somewhat of a dominant force in the relationship and the PR seems to back this up. And yes, separate offices will pit brother against brother, but I believe this would happen anyway because the couples have such a different approach to their duties.

      Anon 1:31, I too believe that the celebrity-like exposure will hurt them in the end. Regarding standoffish moments between W&H, I did notice particularly tense faces at Prince Louis' christening. And, on more than one occasion, I have caught moments where Meghan has looked a bit irked when the RF appeared together on formal occasions. I think she thoroughly enjoys solo engagements and joint engagements with her husband, but she is less than thrilled when the reality of rank enters the equation when they're all together.

      However, I do not believe that both brothers want to be celebrity royals; I think William and Kate have been very careful to not step on royal toes as they build their foundation for the future, and here comes Harry (and Meghan) disregarding the rules of the game. (Including self-promoting "insider" responses that were directed at her father and step-sister). And, yes, internally, there are rules to be followed.

      Ohhh, Robin! What's your favorite color? I'll buy you a shiny helmet to protect you from being crushed. With Harry in mind, I hate to agree, but I think you absolutely nailed it! Harry is smitten and is doing everything in his power to please Meghan, even if it is not in his own (or the Firm's) best interest. Personally, I don't believe she married him with the intention of confirming to the RF's expectations; I think she married him with the intention of showing them how it's done. I worry for Harry too.

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    15. I agree with everything you said Robin!

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    16. I see this differently- rank within the BRF is everything and Harry grew up knowing his role is to support his brother. It would seem out of character for him to suddenly decide that he wants to outshine William, when he’s been raised to understand he needs to support his brother. I don’t think Meghan has as much power behind the scenes that many have attributed to her- she’s smart and it would seem to be a disastrous course for her to try to goad Harry into pushing himself ahead of William. I see W&K and H&M and two couples with different roles and different personalities- Harry has always been the more touchy-feely of the brothers, so his hand holding doesn’t seem out of character. I’m also not bothered by the hand holding- if they were hugging/kissing each other while they were out doing their job, I’d agree it was inappropriate.

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    17. No desire to crush you Robin-- plus I agree with aspects of your comment! But while I also have some qualms, I still am not completely sold on all you've said. First, Kate getting along with Chelsea & Cressida when they were Harry's girlfriends is a different matter from getting along with someone--anyone-- who became Harry's wife years later. Second, I may be wrong but I believe Chelsea broke up with Harry after attending W&K's wedding. So Kate would have known her as Harry's girlfriend while she was William's 20-something girlfriend, not his wife, much less his wife of many years and the mother of his children. Outlooks and perpectives change after marriage and with age. Third, while they may not be true, the internet was full of stories (& not only from the DM!) that Kate did not want Harry to marry Cressida & actively discouraged him from making up with her after the last breakup. Reasons ranged from jealousy (in part due to the Isabella connection) to feeling she was a poor fit.

      As I said in another comment, I never really expected the trio to morph into a quartet when Harry married, no matter who he married. I know--as well as any of us can really know anything about them-- W&H have always been emotionally close. But being close to a sib doesn't always translate into working well together/joined at the hip on a day to day basis forever. (While W&H as royalty ARE joined together in ways other brothers are not, the Queen's children were also bound together, especially before Charles had children yet they seemed to go their separate ways long before their mid-30's.)

      My main feelings at the time about the trio's work were twofold: 1. Harry was tagging along because he was at loose ends after the military and 2. I wasn't sure the IG takeover by the Foundation was a good thing. (Apparently some charities haven't been entirely happy with the Foundation's "umbrella".) Many photos taken during the heyday of the trio showed Kate between Harry and William not leaving an obvious "place" for another female to join the closed system. (As I recall some here commented on that.) From the outside it seemed the dynamics included: Harry & Kate frequently giggling & flirting with each other (*absolutely nothing illicit* but flirting nonetheless), Kate as a maternal figure to the two "boys", Will "teasing" Harry and throwing him under the bus regularly. Realistically those dynamics could not continue if Harry married, no matter who his wife turned out to be. It also seems to me that the life of the trio was actually pretty brief. When W&K first married they were in Wales and Harry was in the military until 2015. So I think the infamous "trio" as a public entity existed for about two years at most. I saw it more as a useful transition phase rather than something meant to be permanent but unfortunately lost.

      Even when long-standing family dynamics have included the "throwing under the bus" of a sib, it may be hard for the sib's new spouse to adjust to that. ("I can criticize my spouse but nobody else better do it, including his family!") Sometimes the new spouse knows the sib is actually hurt by the bus-throwing behavior and feels obligated to try to defend him/her. It may be the situation is more extreme with Meghan for a host of reasons.

      All that said, it doesn't really surprise me that W&H might want separate teams. Their roles are diverging and now that he's married and expecting a child, Harry is no longer just the goofy, tag-along little brother. And as I've said before the current team hasn't done a great job anyway for either Will or Harry IMO. But like you I do have some qualms especially after some of the recent tour PR. To be fair though, more staid royalists also expressed qualms about some of W&K's early tours.

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    18. Robin - happy wife, happy life! I don’t see Harry rocking the boat with Meghan anytime soon, as newlyweds and she’s carrying the baby he’s wanted for so long.
      ~ A

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    19. I’m not a PR expert, but I wonder how much it would hurt to give Harry & Meghan the first year of their marriage to have all this hype. Let the public consume the new royal. Let them have their pregnancy and birth announcement. Make the Cambridge’s not seem jealous or superior. Then start to fade H&M back and really re-emerge W&K as the clear next step for the monarchy. I don’t think the Cambridge’s should sit back, I just don’t think there should be an obvious power struggle - just appearances that everyone is doing their own thing. For a year ONLY.
      I also think since Meghan is American, being that her culture has VERY short maternity leaves, and her craving for the spotlight, I suspect her mat leaves will be very short. So PR wise there won’t be that step back we’ve seen Kate take, so H&M’s popularity will have to be actively managed in line with W&K’s.
      ~ A

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    20. A 6:27---"...our little bump." Harry in New Zealand

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    21. I so agree with almost everything. I think H is enjoying all the attention and I also suspect that he has been convinced that he does not have to be after his brother and that he deserves the ‘fame’ as well. They are loving the celebrity treatment they are getting and they are helping to be viewed that way. The speeches at the Invictus Games were at least shocking to me...first the microphone thing as if they were presenting the super bowl and then, why did she make a speech? It is not her project, I just really don’t understand many of the things that are happening. Maybe it is because I am Spanish and I have a ‘foreign vision’ of the topic but I feel that Harry has always been permitted so much and forgiven for everything and I don’t find it fair. I mean, his brother also lost his mother and has lived a normal life so all the ‘poor sad orphan boy that has finally found love’ the fandom is creating is in my opinion a complete sh**.

      As for the PR, don’t you find it embarrasing the overexposure of their interactions with children during the tour? There is at least one picture everyday about it. Concerning the PDA, I don’t like it. The official picture with the blue dress both hand in hand and M holding her bump is more than ridiculous, not to mention the hand holding during a military parade. I really hope someone in the BRF makes them understand this. They are working, not on a honeymoon so all the romantic walks need to stop.

      I think in the end time will tell and put everyone in their place and this is a ‘long distance race’ in which W&K attitude is by far more intelligent but in the maintime an unnecessary tension is being created.

      BM

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    22. BM, I totally agree about the bump-holding. I'm thrilled for them, and I hope they are truly happy, and also I could handle a few photos of her without her holding her belly on official royal business. That's sort of just my general body-touching perspective - I think H & M could tone it down while doing official things and still be far and away the touchy-feeliest royal couple around!

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    23. I made a comment early on in the tour about Meghan's putting her hand up to cover her face instead of reaching in a protective movement to the baby when a ball was headed toward her in a game. Since then it seems that there is a lot of bump cradling going on. It is possible she is just beginning to feel movement from the baby. I saw one photo of the couple where there was bump and hand holding with them looking delighted and surprised. I wondered if she had felt a particularly strong kick. Despite the excitement of her pregnancy I do think she should avoid holding her belly in official photo portraits with leaders of the host countries. This has happened several times.

      The hand holding I am conflicted about. Maybe inappropriate in a military event. I get the feeling that the clasping of each other's hands sometimes is more an act of mutual support than mate affection or PDA. Sometimes they seem to be hanging on for dear life. When we first saw them together I got the feeling Harry was being protective of and guiding Meghan. Now it feels mutual to me. This tour is a big deal. We have seen recently that one unfortunate comment or action can ruin a career. Although, as BM said, Harry has been forgiven a great deal and it seems very few errors that William makes are either forgiven or forgotten--still, the possibilities for things to go south in a hurry was always present on this tour. Remember Meghan's reported abortion rights comment in Ireland?
      The first big tour following a huge wedding and now a baby--all in less than five months. Maybe the hand-holding wasn't so bad.

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    24. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who noticed the "bump holding" thing. It seems contrived. Here's where to focus the camera guys!

      11:10 #1, The usage of the term "our little bump" was Harry's way of not saying the word "pregnant" which his grandmother finds a "vulgar" term. It's not but he is respecting her.

      lizzie, you are right that the "trio" wasn't as long lasting as it seems to have been. But it was such a supportive and happy group of people and it's a shame if that camaraderie goes away. My husband has four brothers and they jibe each other all the time. It's all good natured and we sister-in-laws get as big a kick out of it as "the boys" (as they're known when they're together) do.

      11:10#2, I have to agree with you in questioning why Meghan made a speech at Invictus. I would much rather have seen far more photos of Harry interacting with the athletes than of Meghan holding onto her bump or his arm. Harry's work is more important than celebrity appeal.

      royalfan, I think something in a nice Tiffany Blue. ;-)

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  37. Here's a link to this new and interesting development, which I heard about earlier today.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/princes-harry-and-william-to-call-it-a-day-for-their-double-act-3pq5h0xgc

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  38. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
    and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell
    someone!

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    1. HaHa! anon 1:52.I know there is a message in there but I am not sure what it is. ;+)
      Hope your daughter is ok
      Maybe not so far off topic.

      I am starting to see all sorts of parallels to a few of the topics here. Harry being the child being promised an ocean...

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  39. Anon1 I have noticed the increase in elevation of Harry and Meghan over Will and Kate too and can’t figure out why? I think that is a huge disservice to W&K. I for one, if the story is true, am glad that William and Harry will be going separate ways I think it should have been done sooner. In recent months I have notice a little tension between them. They need to have their own offices. They both have different roles. I think Harry needs to be on his own to learn how to manage his own office and charities, his own boss 😊

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    1. When people here speak of the "elevation" of H&M I'm not always sure what is meant. Other times/places where comments on that subject have been more explicit, "elevation" seems to mean H&M are taking on royal duties, making appearances, making speeches, going on tours, etc. at a different rate than W&K did as newly-weds. But the situation is so different for the two couples (e.g., ages of ALL members of the BRF, Will's RAF work when he and Kate married to name two) that such a comparison really doesn't make sense to me.

      When the "work shy" issue came up for Will & Kate, some were quick to claim they weren't "allowed" to do more (even though it certainly seemed there was more than enough royal work to go around) because Charles was jealous. I'm not sure I ever bought that argument as an explanation for their level of visibility. But those who did buy it seemed to think W&K were being treated unfairly because they were deliberately kept out of the public eye. Now it almost sounds like people are concerned H&M aren't currently being subjected to the same unfair treatment! That doesn't really make sense to me.

      I think the differences in the visibility of the two couples partly stems from the fact that since H&M's wedding until a few weeks ago, Kate was on maternity leave. We've all defended her right to take a leave but one consequence of taking leave from work (leave of any kind not just maternity, by anyone, royal or not) is that the workplace doesn't stop during the leave. And, in fact, it may change a lot during the leave-taker's absence. Other employees necessarily step up to take on new duties, there may be new employees, group dynamics change, etc. And there's just no way to avoid that.

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    2. Elevation meaning preference of couple over the other, more prominence. Again no need to talk about W&K being work shy. You have made your feelings known about that and need to move on from it.

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    3. Lizzie how do you know if there was enough work to go around. That’s is something you have had issue with them. They also are raising a family at the time and family should come first but seems like it W&K are severely criticized for putting family first. They were not officially full time royals and William was also working. We will never know unless we are actually work for the palace. But just stop with the work shy narrative again.

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    4. It’s clear as day that W&K are being subjected to different treatment than H&M. Why doesn’t it make sense.

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    5. How do I know there was enough royal work to go around Anon 10:10? Obviously I don't know--that's why I said it "seemed" there was enough.  Here's a few reasons I think that:

      1. A number of royal patronages do not receive royal visits even once a year.
      2. Elderly members of the BRF, including cousins, have been carrying out the bulk of the engagements for years.
      3. During his interview *several years ago* Philip said he wanted to slow down/retire but needed others to be willing to work.
      4. There are many good, non-political causes that do not receive royal attention.

      My comment addressed the possible different ways W&K & H&M have been treated & possible reasons for those differences. First, the label "work shy" didn't originate with me & WAS a real PR problem (Anon 10:10; 10:16) to the extent Will addressed it in an interview. If the discussion is about how W&K have been treated since marrying vs how H&M have been treated, that label IS one of the elephants in the room. It's a label I'm sure many people (including HMTQ & Charles) would prefer H&M not acquire as a couple. H&M made no secret of their desire to start a family quickly, so IMO that made it even more important they get off to a quick start in their public work if they were to avoid that label. And just as some have hypothesized Kate was treated differently to avoid some of the "thrown in the deep end unprepared" Diana issues, Meghan may have been treated differently because she followed Kate. In other words, a pendulum swing.

      Anon 10:16 noted since since having children W&K have made a choice to be at home with them and defends their choice. IMO whether that's a defensible choice given their roles really isn't the point in a discussion about the "elevation" of H&M. If W&K decide to lessen their public appearances--for whatever reason (& we're told members of the BRF manage their own calendars) then it doesn't make sense to say it's unfair if someone else is willing to make public appearances! (And the discussion isn't about just "someone" else like Anne, Camilla, Sophie or Edward, it's about H&M, or more likely I suspect, just Meghan) That's like saying if I choose to work part-time for a year because that's best for me for personal reasons, it's not fair if a full-time junior colleague wins a high-profile award during that year.  Similarly, if Kate goes on leave, it's not reasonable to expect H&M will be kept less visible until her leave is over (especially since her leave happened to include the "high PR" time of their wedding.) That's not to say Kate shouldn't have taken leave but if there are consequences (most likely temporary if there are any at all) that somehow means Meghan received favorable treatment *at Kate's expense.*

      Delete
    6. I think there are plenty of reasons that H&M may be subject to different treatment. A few of them: their older age & Harry’s lack of non-royal day job, their lower rank in the BRF hierarchy (W&K will have long-term focus whilst H&M need a boost to get launched so they stay relevant in the future), the older age of other members of the BRF including Philips retirement from public duties, sibling spats between Andrew & Charles about their children’s place in a slimmed down BRF, BREXIT. I think it makes a ton is sense for them to split households. I don’t think it makes a ton of sense to spend time obsessing over the different treatment and feeling defensive on behalf of the Cambridges - they will be fine.

      Delete
    7. Since anon 2:50 AM directly addressed the comment to me ---HaHa! I will respond, despite the fine remarks above. ;+).
      This shift to emphasis on Harry started before Kate's decreased activities due to childbirth and newborn issues. She was still going like gangbusters, including making a tour in her third trimester of pregnancy. By the way, since she had her last engagement about a month before Louis was born and started making public, royal-related appearances less than a month later (April 23 to May 19) I would hardly say she was out of the picture during this time. Also, William was keeping the Cambridges current by traveling the globe and the UK making appearances for the Queen during the time of Kate's reduced activity.
      As I have said before, the contrast started around the end of 2016---it was reflected partly in the amount and quality of the coverage given to each couple by KP Twitter, given equal number of engagements per individual. For example, there would be 6-8 posts or more-including both pre and post event coverage-- for a Harry event compared to perhaps 2-3 for William's events-which were often significant and/or involving multiple events per day. At the time, I concluded that KP just thought Harry's activities more appealing for whatever reason. Who wants to read about meetings with heads of businesses when Harry is out and about promoting Invictus with some rather interesting people doing interesting activities.

      Once the question of Charles's becoming next Head of Commonwealth or not arose-- the position does not automatically come with the role of British monarch--BP/KP/CH went into full speed ahead with Commonwealth activities and associated activities. Harry was made Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. His Invictus trip to Sydney was greatly expanded into a South Pacific tour of countries needed for Commonwealth and other support. I doubt all this was coincidence. Of course, London's being the site of the Commonwealth meeting added to the equation. Throw in the increasingly unraveling progress toward Brexit and the falling apart of previously favorable trade and diplomatic sources, as well as Charles's reportedly shaky relationships both within the BRF and otherwise--(China?): it became obvious that a quick fix was needed.
      We are seeing the culmination of this now. How long the resultant euphoria from the tour will last is an unknown. It needs to be extended and prolonged and most likely will be boosted by additional, related activities by the tour couple.

      In short, anon 2:59 AM, Harry and Meghan appeal to a young, hip, diverse segment that needs to be cultivated. William and Catherine, although taking initiative with some forward-thinking projects, represent the more conservative, traditional group-- the group usually represented by the Queen and her cousins.
      I think all that is a part, only a facet though, of the promotion of H&M, but a significant one.

      This is my personal view based on factors I have gleaned by reading a number of contrasting reports. I have always said-"Time will tell" And it has...everything from "is Kate pregnant?"
      to "will Harry marry Meghan?" Time told. I think the evolution-the what and when-of palace politics will become known in time but we will likely never know all the whys and hows. We can only speculate, based upon the information we Do have.



      One of the most timely and helpful acts Harry has done for the UK and the BRF is marrying Meghan. I need not cite what has followed.

      PS I don't think one needs to be rude or aggressive when replying to a fellow commenter. One can be confident in one's opinion and persuasive without being unkind or crass.I also think it is unnecessary to ridicule or make a joke out of another's comment. Sometimes by doing so one reveals ignorance. I certainly hope I neither ridicule nor laugh at another's ridicule of a comment.

      Delete
    8. I like coming on this blog because I like reading the objective comments but to be accused that my comment reveals that I’m ignorant is the last straw. I will find another blog where I can leave a comment without being accused of being ignorant. Have you do a fabulous job with this blog. Thanks.

      Long time reader.

      Delete
    9. anon 6:08. Who did you ridicule? What comment did you make a joke of? I don't understand why you feel my remark referred to you. Since you comment as Anonymous, it can be difficult to know which comments you made.
      However, if you were the anon who used descriptive terms such as "obsessive" and "defensive" --that is attacking the commenter, not the comment--which is what anon 6:08 complained of. No one is threatening to leave because of those personal references.
      Please continue to comment, Anonymous.

      Delete
    10. I'm confused. Firstly, I didn't read anything objectionable or aggressive in 2:50am's (who I also assume is 6:08pm) comments nor anything showing any ignorance. Secondly, our regular anon1 doesn't usually capitalize her name and she usually posts as anonymous but signs at the end. Please don't go away 2:50/6:08, I think there is something rotten in Denmark.

      Delete
    11. Anon1 2:27 was I, for real, Robin. My 10:33 PM comment probably wasn't up yet when you made your 2:38 response to anon 6:08/2:50.
      Thanks for the defence, Robin. Let me be perfectly clear--I was NOT referring to anon 2:50. I understand now why anon 6:08 got that impression (if anon 6:08 is also anon 2:50.) I appreciated and respected anon 2:50's comment addressed to me and took the time to reply to it (as did many others before me).
      I put the making a joke of a comment remark in a PS and separated by space to avoid association with my response to anon 2:50. Obviously, it didn't work. (if anon 6:08 is indeed anon 2:50.)

      I am often blocked from the comment section and sometimes from the blog itself, probably by my security. It is picky about a lot of things, including invasive advertiser cookies. Sometimes I am prevented from commenting on a thread until many others have commented and everyone has mostly lost interest and moved on. That is why I tend to have my say as much as possible when I do comment because I never know when I'll get another chance. In the past, it was sometimes several days or more. I wasn't quite as persistent then. Ha!


      To make a long story longer, my PS was a rather passive-aggressive response to a couple of responses to one of my comments way up thread. I should have prefaced my PS with"...and another thing..." Fill in the waving of pointed finger. My feelings were hurt, just as I imagine anon 6:o8's were. I felt I was being laughed at for a theory/opinion which was later backed up by others, including graphic references. That is where the "ignorant" remark came from. The jokers obviously did not have all the facts when my theory was dismissed as not believable.
      Perhaps it is time for another of my sabbaticals. :+) My family is visiting Tasmania soon. Perhaps I'll hop on the ferry with them.

      Delete
    12. Ha! anon1, I am still confused. I can't find the original comments where you weren't taken seriously but I know they're up there somewhere. I thought it was odd that you were dismissed by some. Meh, their problem, not yours.

      Delete
  40. I believe everything posted was very logical. But, think on this, what
    if you wrote a catchier title? I mean, I don't wish to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added a title that makes people want more?

    I mean "[Full Post] Kate at the Netherlands State Dinner" is a little vanilla.
    You might look at Yahoo's front page and note how they create news headlines to
    get viewers to open the links. You might try adding a video
    or a related pic or two to grab people interested about what you've got to say.
    Just my opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you work for Yahoo!? Because I find their headlines sensationalized and unprofessional. We love Jane just the way she is. We know she posts the best photos and videos available and her writing style is wonderful. She's not lacking for readership.

      Delete
  41. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading properly.
    I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show
    the same results.

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  42. I think that it's speculation that there istension between them. They seem to be supporting Harry significantly. For example with the children in the H&M's wedding. I think there is a distinct style difference. William and the Queen's people took steps to slow down any potential out of control waves of adulation after their wedding to keep things more stable. They could have capitalized far more on her youth and beauty but they really slow walked their emergence.
    I think Charles had a hand in it as well but more to the real tamping down of their welcome in to a higher spotlight as the potential for more healthy but threatening affection for William, Catherine and subsequently their children became clear in the British public. Think it still threatens Charles. I think William prefers his great grandparents style of royal parenting and his grandparents style of public relations.
    William and Catherine's style is steady on and I think it will remain this way even as any greater popularity or promotion of his brother's relationships happen. Having a baby and a new marriage in the storm of a public eye is challenging.
    William and Kate seem deeply secure at their core which stands out in their public work together.

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    Replies
    1. I agree grtlk. My impression is that W&K have done a lot to make Meghan welcome.

      Delete
  43. If there is any elevation of the Sussexes over the Cambridges it is because the Duchess of Cambridge has been keeping such a low profile lately (with good reason) while the Sussexes are out and about doing a fabulous job in the South Pacific.

    Maybe its just logistically difficult to juggle 4 different people with varying duties and interests? And maybe there is a preference within the office for one couple over the other? We really don't know despite the best speculation.

    I wish people would stop looking for drama and dissent.

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  44. Why would there be a preference over one couple or the other. It’s hierarchy. H&M are sixth in line, W&K the future king and queen consort.

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    1. A *personal* preference. Sometimes humans don't get along. Maybe The DoS is actually a moody mare? Maybe the DoC is impossible to to work with? We don't know. We don't need to know.

      But it simply seems like a pre-emptive move, because the Cambridges will be moving up and out at some point in the not too distant future, and now seems like a good time to do it. Rather than in the hurly burly of an accession.

      ..and I do wish people would stop harping on about their place in the succession. That is important in the future but TODAY what is important is people like the Sussexes who can take the load off the older generation, especially the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Sure George and Charlotte and Louis are higher up the line of succession but apart from cute appearances in various weddings, they are hardly carrying out public duties. And I imagine their parents want it to stay that way for at least another 20-25 years!

      Delete
    2. Margaret the place in succession is very important right now. That is the reason for the move.

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    3. Well honestly, I think it's a lot more precarious than that. The line of succession is what it is currently, but that doesn't mean it couldn't change. To protect the monarchy, you've got to give the people what they want. What if, 20 years from now, The Queen is no longer alive, Charles is King, his relationship with WK is strained, however his relationship with HM is close, and they are still extremely popular? Which is basically kind of the situation we have now. Would Charles, thinking about his own reign coming to an end bump WK for the more popular HM? It could happen and I think this split is a preemption.

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    4. You don’t get the hierarchy at all. Charles would never push HM to front and center, king and queen Harry is the second born. William is the first by birth and that is the way it works. Maybe wishful thinking on your end.

      Delete
    5. No it could not happen. Just like the Queen would not pass over Charles and Camilla for William and Kate no matter how unpopular Charles is. The sucession of the heir is the foundation stone of the monarchy. So unless the monarchy is abolished or William steps down, Charles will take the throne after QEII, William after Charles and George after William. The throne is not a popularity contest with the winner being a favored child.

      Delete
    6. If you check KP’s official twitter and ig there are A LOT of comments saying exactly this..that something may happen and in the end HM could be king and queen. They are calling her the people’s princess and see everything she does /they do as revolutionary and a change for the better, this including for example bending to talk to a child (which we have seen Kate doing forever). The fandom has become this dillusional. And the coverage the official accounts is doing is helping since they always portray them as loved by the crowds. They have even posted videos of how many people were willing to see them, has this ever been posted? Or is it that nobody shows up to see W&K?

      My point is, how this situation can be seen as normal and ideal by PR? The ones that need to be promoted as to gain recognition are the future heirs, if they keep permitting that they are presented as boring and lazy they will end up with a King and queen that are not appreciated by the people just as happens here in Spain where the queen is not loved at all.

      I personally don’t like the S, I think they are the new Brangelinas. This tour has been more about them, their romance, the super stylish she is with constant clothes changes than any other thing. And what about her doing all those speeches? I of course find natural she talks during her engagements but was the talk at the Invictus closure necessary? They are consciously trying to protrait themselves as modern, cool, in love, feminist, stylish...and PR are helping them at the expense of the C.

      I don’t think that splitting households is going to fix anything because although the engagements that the C will undertake are going to be of bigger “importance” people are not interested in that. Imagine they meet 5 different prime ministers on a row...how is that going to compete with a super cool lunch with multicultural women at your house’s Garden with your husband looking at you as if you were a god on earth and your mum coming just for the picture?? The problem is not having different PR but allowing some type of engagements that are SO public appealing to a couple that is not the important one in terms of continuation.

      BM

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    7. There may be lots of comments on some sites saying the Queen will "choose" Harry to succeed her but she doesn't have the power to choose her successor. And for years there have been stories she would choose Will over Charles. She couldn't do that either.

      Delete
    8. The line of succession is very, very important in their world and to think it isn't is naive. The fact that primogeniture has recently been revised so that a female who is first born isn't displaced by the later birth of a brother, the order of birth is still very much in place. As much as people may wish HM would pass up the far less popular C&C and go straight on to W&K - and now the absurd notion that they would both be passed up for H&M - would weaken the monarchy beyond recognition. Those who are royalists expect to know who their future monarch will be and watch them grow into that role. They expect the tradition and, while less than it used to be, the pageantry that goes with royalty. If the BRF, or any other monarchy, just started choosing willy nilly who would be next then the stability HM has worked her whole life to establish would be gone in one shot. One doesn't have to look too far in the past to see that, in the long run, the more staid and traditional family members are who the people want in leadership. Princess Margaret was the cool, hip, fun sister with a more socially flamboyant lifestyle. I don't think you would find a Brit from that generation who would have wanted her on the throne instead of Elizabeth.

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    9. Harry is 6th in line. It's a long way down the list. Parliment and the constitution are in charge of what comes next. They may send Charles packing if he violates the tennants of his role but I doubt anyone is thinking to put Harry on the throne when he has only recently matured under his older brother's wing from naked dancing in Las Vegas to being a married guys now.

      Delete
    10. Also HM doesn’t get to choose who the next monarch is- if there was ever a situation where the next in line to the throne was going to be removed/skipped, Parliment would be the one making that decision. This discussion is interesting because it highlights one of the concerns with a monarchy- the person best suited to the job may not necessarily be the one who gets to be the king/queen- you get the next in line, even if that person might not be the best for the job.

      Delete
    11. BM, I agree with you. But you cannot win popularity only with PR, and excess of PR will have a negative effect at the end. Like you said, the queen of Spain,young, beautiful and stylish has never had half the the popularity of her wrinkled mother in law. Surfing on looks and celebrity is not the way to win people's love. I am not worried about William and Kate, they are doing fine. They didn't foster the personal adulation they received. They were clever and realistic to know it was not about them personally.
      IMO, Harry has a weaker head and Meghan is too full of herself to understand that any person that Harry had married would have met with the same curiosity. She seems to be the kind of person that makes everything about herself. The awakening will be difficult. As for the fans commenting on KP twitter, the way they write, most of them are ignorant uneducated people.

      Delete
    12. Anon 3.05

      Good to know you are someone who is not ignorant and uneducated. If Harry and Meghan give you so much grief why do you waste your time commenting on them. Branding people you disagree with, and saying weaker head, ignorant, uneducated, full of herself weaken your argument if there is any.

      Delete
  45. As a Spanish reader I find everything that is happening strange. I used to follow KP’s ig and if you compare the then and now you can clearly see the different way they are treating one couple over the other. Just check at the style of pictures posted, while the S are being pictured as in love and praised by the people always waving and being pictured with people, the C have boring pics.

    I saw a video before that I found totally inaproppiate for an official account: they video was supposed to thank Australian for their welcome and it started with a close up of H&M hugging. Is this what an official account should post?? I think they are over exploiting “how in love they are” because they know the new fans are only there looking for romance and so, the account gets more likes and popularity but in the end the strategy is not working well. If you read the comments most of them are only to praise them and point how not in love and not super fashion K&W are and many are asking for H&M to be next king and queen.

    My question as a foreigner is whether the super popularity of the S is real in the UK or if it is only abroad, since many commenters are american. If it is happening in the UK as well the PR are to blame because it is a nonsense to present as more working and likeable a couple who, as the years go by, will be unimportant (unimportant in the sense that they could resign their positions and nothing will happen in the big schema of things).

    BM

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    1. BM I so agree with you. Something is going on at KP right now and it seems like they want to change the narrative. Maybe it is Harry that is telling them to put him and Meghan front and center and KP is taking his orders. I’m not trusting KP PR motives right now. They need to be reigned in now before it gets worse.

      Delete
    2. KP is a PR nightmare! Where is the supposedly wonderful Catherine Quinn? She seems to do next to nothing and hasn't had a positive impact where Kate is concerned at all. It's all fine and well to have the behind the scenes meetings - and necessary to actually know what you're supporting - but some positive PR would be beneficial when the press is intent on causing problems between the Cambridges and the Sussexes. If I were William I would fire the entire PR department and start fresh.

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    3. OMG Robin, do you read yourself sometimes? What should CQ do? Drag out Kate to do more, she does what is told, not more not less. Positive PR articles worth nothing if there is nothing to back up those (meaning work).

      Delete
  46. I don't think pr is an indicator of popularity. Harry and Megan probably also want to get to choose the angle of their presentation. I think few Britons during austerity are excited by the cost of the Sussex lifestyle in pictures to date nor the lavish housing on the tour. Nor the stories of rehab in KP for them next to William and Kate after the expense of the security at their wedding and the moving of the older members of the household.
    For example the cost of the engagement dress was clearly frowned on by many and the contrast at some tour engagements of the formality of the Duchesses attire vs. Prince Harry's is a continuation of a less appreciated by a wide British public style theme. I think the Sussex household is interested in a different narrative than the Cambridge team which I am not judging just seeing in their work.
    William and Catherine made a clear decision to not capitalize purely on their relationship or their children's images together as much as is practical. I think the Duchess of Sussex has a different bend in terms of how she sees control in the way information is shared and Harry is her partner now. I don't know that romance is the only thing that is exciting about the Sussexes. Having a member of the royal family that has a wider range of experiences both as a woman working in her industry into her almost forties and who is not white is incredibly valuable for the institution to widen it's lense. A day to day member of the house who has a completely new outlook and connection to others in the community who have never been represented is powerful.
    Irregardless of Megan's personal and professional experience it's clear she relishes the clothing and the spotlight. She probably is used to having her own independent representative dedicated to her image making that consults with her alone. This would be a big thing to adjust to in her new life if she feels they cannot be represented as they wish together with the Cambridges. I think Charles's struggles with his past and inability to move into being King is more the danger factor for the institution. In the video of his garden party for his birthday obviously the Sussexes were asked to be there but were also quickly dispatched by aids when an aspect of their style rankled. Charles can be fickle in his affections.

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    Replies
    1. grtlk ---(does that stand for Great Lakes?)
      I think you're on to something. Her useful background and experience carries with it her habit as an actress of having controlled press, with her own generous input. It certainly seems like a reasonable explanation for the split. I also think the bad press M&H got for the timing of the pregnancy announcement was a motivator to act. I don't think that was the initiation of the split but it must have fast-forwarded it. The irony is--I doubt either H or M got to choose the circumstances and timing.

      Delete
    2. The fact that the DoS was an actress means that she spent her adult years up to now promoting herself. That's what you have to do in that business. If you don't get out there and portray yourself as the biggest and best thing that ever happened, you don't work. In Hollywood, nice guys definitely finish last. Now she has to step back and try not to step over lines that are centuries old to do something that is completely against everything she's done for 20 years. Right now she's new and she's going to have had a wedding and a baby all in a year's time. She's married to Harry who has always been a sentimental favorite. After that it will all be a "been there, done that" scenario. In my mind it still remains to be seen if she can stick this out for the long term. If she gets back into the public eye too soon after the baby is born the very fickle public will start complaining that she's not as good a mother as Kate and the tide will turn - again - and it won't be the last time.

      Delete
  47. Jane, I just saw on Instagram that you've written a post about this latest news and may/may not publish it. I hope that you do, with the comments disabled. I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts on what you have seen as a growing tension between WK and HM. I've seen it as well.

    I know a lot of people may not agree with my comments, but I'm writing as someone that can only look at things from the surface a lot of times. Due to work and life commitments, I can't dig deep into a lot of Will and Kate, and as a result, I think that makes me more sensitive to picking up little observations with WK and HM. My little, surface level observations tells me WK have been worried from the very moment the engagement was announced. I also think that the engagement was probably the driving force of Kate obtaining her RFO.

    I get that WK are the future King and Queen, and I believe the Queen is trying to do a lot to continue to elevate WK, but some of the actions that WK seem to take after HM do something publicly comes across as passive aggressive.

    I'm also going to say that I think this decision is coming from WK camps, and not from the Queen or even Charles. WK are work shy, which I think really did bother the Queen. Perhaps most importantly, WK have not had the best relationship with Charles. I think HM are much closer to Charles and that could spell trouble for WK in the future. So this is the move they make.

    Deep down, I really wonder how much of the tension is between H and W, or if the tension is really mostly between K and M? I don't pay much attention to Will, but I do know the rumors about his temper and somewhat bratty behavior. BUT, it always seemed like Will generally enjoyed the company of his SIL. I never got the impression of there being tension between H, W, and M. It also never really seemed like Will wanted any of the responsibility of being the future King and it didn't seem like this changed much after the engagement. Sure he took on more duties, but I never thought he really wanted to. So would this equate to a tension between H and W because HM are popular and that makes Will look bad? Is it a situation where even though Will doesn't want the job, he still wants his brother to stay in his lane?

    I don't know, this is all confusing, and there are so many questions. Clearly though, something is going on and the solution at this moment seems to be splitting the courts. Whatever is going on, I hope splitting the courts is the best solution and resolves the problem. Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised if eventually HM end up in the US.

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  48. All we can do is assume. But I can tell that your comments were more geared toward Kate being the problem, especially when you mention that William gets along with his SIL? How do any of us know that. Also, mentioned the workshy narrative again. I’m sure they discussed their plans with the queen and if she approved it then why that accusation, exactly how the press wanted to change the narrative to and people believe it hook line and sinker.

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  49. I'm going to be one of the few who loves the dress.. However she'd look great if she changes up tiaras some!!

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  50. My fairly random comments. Take 'em with the proverbial grain of salt.

    I liked the dress. I thought it was more old school Hollywood glamour and not so much 80s prom.

    Catherine is beautiful, no matter what.

    Queen Maxima's tiara was divine. Now THAT'S a headpiece for royalty. Holy moly.👑👑👑

    I hope we see more jewels on Catherine. Just imagine what is in Her Majesty's jewelery box!!! I love sparkle!

    I think the Sussex PDA is a little much. At first I thought Meghan was hanging on to Prince Harry for security. She was nervous about doing the right thing - understandably- and being in contact with him was a comfort. Now it's just... I don't know, just overboard. We know they're in love, give some of it a rest.
    The Cambridge's are obviously in love too. Just watch the looks they give each other...sigh... But they're not all over each other.

    I think Meghan has the potential to add a LOT to the family and the monarchy, but she needs to rein in her ego. She doesn't have to be front and center at every event.

    Catherine has a quiet elegance. She's dignified and gracious. I'm a total fangirl.😍 In my opinion she has the qualities she will need to be a calming, steadying role model and influencer, much like Her Majesty. In these tumultuous times, her demeanor is and will be what is needed in a leader. I think she comes by it naturally. She's is simply a gracious lady. Around here, we would say she is classy.

    The establishment of two courts was probably inevitable. Much like Prince Charles and the Duke of York, the young princes have different jobs and will need different help and support in doing those jobs. I hope both courts do the best they can for the Cambridges and the Sussexes.

    Meghan is learning her role and her job. They are really two different things. I think she's probably very good at the job part. She seems to maybe not understand her role. Sooner or later, like it or not, she will come to terms with precedence and hierarchy. The BRF has had norms in place for centuries. Some of them are not going to change. They just aren't.

    I was surprised to read that Queen Letizia was not particularly liked. I don't know why. She has fabulous style though.

    Just my rambling thoughts tonight.


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  51. The dress looks plastic

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  52. Hello
    This is totally off topic, but I was looking at the blog posts from Kate and William's Down Under tour (2014) in light of the Harry and Meghan Down Under tour, and was immediately struck by how this blog as a community has grown. I became a regular visitor mainly as a result of the 2014 royal tour coverage provided by FB2B; as well as that, I became a fan of Jane's chatty, humorous commentary. For example, at the time of writing this comment, there were 183 comments generated by a post about a fairly common royal appearance, whereas back in 2014, the more popular posts generated a healthy number of responses but nowhere near the number posted now. Even though I don't comment a lot, I love reading all the comments- the sweet ones and the controversial ones. Above all, I think this community has developed due to Jane's fair moderation and inclusiveness. Nat B

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    1. Thanks, Nat. :) I feel very lucky to write this blog and have so many of you still dropping in to royal watch as a community!

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