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Duchess Kate's Stunning Visit to the Imperial War Museum

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Is it time to finally cover Kate's Wednesday (Oct. 31st) event at the Imperial War Museum? I know, it is. Let's jump in. This year we (as a world) are marking the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I. World War I was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, with some estimating a high death toll of over 16 million. In the run-up to the anniversary next Sunday (Nov. 11th), Kate made an unannounced visit to Imperial War Museum on Wednesday. 


The first few pictures that filtered in featured Kate outside viewing the poppy installation. I don't know if these were prevalent before the incredible Tower of London installation
in 2014 (this type of installation, not poppies generally :), but that was my first introduction to them.


They are so gorgeous, and Kate was smart to wear a similar blue to the blue she wore to the Tower. It just makes those poppies, well, pop.

KP Twitter
Kate's visit was a surprise one. It isn't terribly unusual for Kate to have an unannounced visit every now and again. It keeps security tight and permits her to stop into a museum, as she did on this occasion, without shutting the place down entirely. Can you imagine the thrill these patrons got?

Imperial War Museum
The Duchess was visiting to tour the museum's World War I galleries, and particularly to view documents from the archives about her great-grandmother Olive Lupton Middleton and Olive's three brothers. Tragically, the three Lupton brothers were killed in the war, one in 1915, the next in 1916, and the third 1917.


Kate got to look at a variety of documents about her relatives, including various letters the brothers sent home from the front lines. It must have been a remarkably moving experience.


She also saw one of the tragic telegrams that announced that Francis Lupton had been killed.


Kate's great-great-grandfather received this letter from the Keeper of the Privy Purse on behalf of George V, in which the king, through his representative, expressed his condolences at Mr. Lupton's extraordinary sacrifice and loss. It's hard to imagine that level of grief. 


As is always the case with war, there are stories of great tragedy, but also of hope. Kate saw her great-grandmother's registration card and learned about life in Britain during the Great War. Happily, Olive obviously survived and the rest, as they say, is history.

KP Twitter

Switching gears to think about fashion! Talk about asked and answered! I did a Canada 2016 look-back in September on Instagram, and so many of you wrote in talking about how much you loved this blue Jenny Packham dress and wanted to see a repeat. If your memory is rusty, Kate wore this perfectly tailored dress for her arrival in Victoria at the start of the Canada 2016 tour.


Sometimes these high-profile formal ensembles can sit in the closet for a long time before they get a rewear (and to be fair, it has been two years), but it was super exciting to see this get a second wear. It is such a flattering dress, it deserved another wear. Here is one of the few snaps with her hair pushed back, so you can see the collar of the dress and the poppy brooch she was wearing.

Imperial War Museum

That is the Women of the First World War style, currently on sale in the Poppy Shop here. It has a very special message this year:
100 years on, The Royal British Legion have created this special brooch dedicated to the memory of the courageous women who served and lost their life as a direct result of the First World War.
The brooch is beautifully packaged in a floral design box. Each brooch comes with a certificate commemorating the life of a woman who lost her life as a direct result of the First World War. These names are recognised by CWGC as women serving in the auxiliary units during the First World War.
Designed exclusively for the Centenary year, this stunning brooch adds a vintage feel to the classic two petal enamel poppy. Plated with a gold tone and hand finished with brilliant baguette crystals, this charming brooch is the perfect way to support The Royal British Legion.
This ensemble was a huge win. I love a recycle where the dress is styled differently, and so it was fun to see this dress with loose hair and no hat. Kate was in magnificent shape for the Canada 2016 tour, and seeing this JP again just underscores Kate is back at her peak. Inspirational, perhaps literally as well as figuratively, but inspiration whichever way you take it. ;)

Imperial War Museum 
Kate debuted a new Mulberry clutch, the Amberley, and wore her Praline pumps by Gianvito Rossi. You can see her sapphire and diamond drops peeking out in most photos. It is fun to see a new Mulberry clutch! We will have to wait and see if she buys this one in every color, too. :) 


This week the dry moat of the Tower of London is filled with flickering candles paying tribute to the lost of WWI. It's a remarkable installation for this 100th Anniversary, and this video from the air is stunning.


I loved, loved, loved this event. The engagements that commemorate the fallen are always very special, and something about Kate's beauty mixed with her regal gravitas as a princess evolving toward a queen, gives them such a special touch. 




See you all on Thursday for William and Kate's appearance at the Tusk Awards!!  

107 comments:

  1. This must have been a poignant event for Kate. To lose three children is beyond horrific. Kate looks luminous. There is something about her after Louis - it's like she is more beautiful than she has ever been.

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    1. Rosman, I think Kate is very happy to be a mother of three. I suspect that this is exactly the family life that W&K wanted.

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    2. I agree with both of you. The last photograph is particularly lovely. I haven't seen it anywhere else.

      Rosman, l would be interested in exchanging email adresses with you if like. I could ask Jane if she would be willingly to give you mine via email.

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    3. I agree about that last photo, Erika. A great image to leave us with.

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  2. Surreal comes to mind when I imagine being in Kate's shoes on an occasion such as this.


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  3. Hey! I spent the entire week thinking, where is Jane? Is she going to write about this? Where is her article?
    And then I remembered that maybe law school might be keeping you busy!
    This was such a simple yet poignant event!
    I had exactly the same thought you did regarding the dress' color, it really pops out in the middle of the poppies.
    Thanks for sharing all these photos! There are some I have never seen and the last one is superb!

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  4. This is a lovely post. Kate looked so gorgeous and those poppy installations are stunningly beautiful and say so much. How touch it must have been to see records and photos from her own family history.

    My grandfather fought in WWI and my dad in WWII. I hope we never forget the bravery and sacrifice of those men and women. They fought and served with honor and pride. If you have never read Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain I would highly suggest it. It is a biography of Vera who, as one of the few women admitted to Oxford University, abandoned her studies in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services. She served in many places including on the Western Front. By war's end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. If you want a true feeling of what WWI was really like this book will draw you in. When you read it you will understand why Remembrance Day is celebrated in a far more reverent way in Great Britain than Veteran's Day is here in the US. It's quite a shame we don't remember the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month here as we should. It affected an entire generation the world over.

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    1. Lovely, pertinent comment, Robin.

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    2. Agreed. Thank you for putting that so well, Robin. I will certainly check out the book - I have been reading the Maisie Dobbs novels by Jacqueline Winspear for a year or two, and they've really deepened my understanding of WWI's impact. Granted they're novels, not non-fiction, but she put a lot of research into them, and like you, she had a large number of relatives who fought in both world wars. I look forward to learning more.

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    3. Robin you are correct that in the US we don't do WWI & WWII commemorations the same as they are done in Europe. I can think of a few reasons why.

      1. While we lost a great number of people in both conflicts as well as in more recent ones (& more in the Civil War than the US lost in WWI & WWII combined) WWI & II battles were not fought on our mainland (although we do continue to recognize Pearl Harbor Day as that was an attack on our country.) But unlike in Europe, our mainland cities weren't devastated or occupied. While there were blackout drills during WWII, we didn't experience actual air attacks. That's not to minimize our very real military losses or the real and enduring fears US civilians must have felt. I remember my mom talking about seeing the small banners most houses had in their windows with a blue star for each family member actively serving. (I have the banner from my grandmother's house for my dad's WWII service.) And, of course, far too many blue stars turned to gold. And I remember many older family members talking about the celebrations and church services on V-J Day and V-E Day. But it was different in Europe and continues to be different to this day.

      2. Since the mid-1800s the first Tuesday in November has been Election Day. That makes a multi-week commemoration in early November kind of difficult, at least every other year.

      3. Having ceremonies at 11am on November 11 does happen (particularly in Washington DC area) but since there are 4 time zones in the US, *as a nation* we aren't all going to pause for a moment of silence at the same time. (I may be wrong but I think the UK has only one time zone.) And as time has passed, Veterans Day in November has evolved more into a day to recognize the sacrifice of *living veterans* whereas Memorial Day in May recognizes those killed defending the country. That's true where I live and true according to the VA. https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetday_faq.asp

      When I was growing up we did wear poppies but they were usually made of a kind of stiffened/waxed paper. I believe they were sold by the DAV. I don't think I ever saw the more permanent pins, at least they weren't common. But we didn't wear them in November but in May for Memorial Day.

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    4. That's true that we didn't have a battle on our homeland but here on the west coast there were regular blackouts during WWII because they were afraid of sub attacks. I have a friend who was born in Wyoming because she's Japanese and even though her family owned one of the biggest strawberry farms in Watsonville, they were moved to an internment camp during the war. My mother was in High School during WWII and all of her uncles and cousins were in the war. She remembers doing without a lot of things because of the war effort, we have a ration book from then, and my grandmother and everyone in their small town planted a victory garden. I fear that when that generation is gone there will be an even more casual remembrance. I haven't noticed - at least not here in CA (no surprise) - that Memorial Day gets any more attention. To most it's just a signal that summer is coming and it's time to get the boats in the water over the three-day weekend. It makes me sad.

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    5. Tsipa, I love the Maisie Dobbs series! They are well researched and a good intro to some of the realities of the war through the format of a novel!

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    6. Thank you for the book rec, Robin. Definitely will look for it and pick it up!

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    7. The best book l have ever read about WWI is Goodbye to all that by Robert Graves.

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    8. Robin,
      The young men who did make it home from WW1 married and produced children just in time to fight WW2. I have always thought the saddest thing was to see the names on the village memorials, which too often are the same---both here in the UK and in Germany.

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    9. Another good series set in WWI is by Charles Todd. Main character is Bess Crawford, like Maisie a nurse. First book is Duty to the Dead.

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    10. Tsipa and Robin, interesting that the two of you are Maisie Dobbs fans. I'm always looking for a new mystery series. This has been on my list but a few people discouraged me because they felt they weren't well written and were predictable. I'll definitely give the books a try now though.

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    11. Jean, I agree that those village memorials are so sobering when you see family names and the dates tell of generations lost. Tragic.

      Helen and anon 10:31, thanks for the book recommendations. I'm always looking for a good read. I'll put them on my TBR list - which should take me a couple of decades to complete!

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    12. Anglophile in OhioNovember 8, 2018 at 3:07 AM

      I agree with the idea that the horrors and sacrifices of WWI are far from our collective memory here in the US and WWII is receding rapidly. My father was one of 5 brothers that served in WWII-One didn’t come home, he’s buried in the Netherlands. But all of them are gone now.
      My mother has memories as a teen of ration cards, metal gathering for the war effort, blackout curtains but of course experienced none of the immediate realities of war such as the Blitz in Britain.

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  5. Thank you very much, Jane, for your work - it's always a pleasure!

    Kate the Great . :-)

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  6. I loved this dress (& the hat!) when Kate arrived in Canada and hoped we'd see the dress again. I still like the dress but think it looked better with her hair up so the collar showed all the way around and seemed to somehow balance the slightly puffed sleeves. With her hair down it seems to be kind of an ordinary blue dress. Perfectly nice, but not *perfect* as it was in Canada.

    Still don't really like the shoes though :)

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    1. I hadn't noticed the shelves in Canada, I think my eye was drawn to the coleat and of course the hat. I like the shape of the shelves very much and also that the repeat is so different.

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    2. lizzie--this is a rather "out there" idea. I have shoes I wear when my feet are swollen or I will need to be on my feet an extended length of time. Could that possibly explain her wearing shoes she has worn frequently?...well broken in. It is not just the wearing of a nude/beige colored shoe; she seems to give one pair a good run instead of switching from one to the other. Comfort over perfect image.

      Also. I sometimes get the impression that when she seems to be trying to highlight a dress or piece of jewelry or other element, she wears shoes that don't clamor for attention and that recede to the background. I certainly did not see her shoes first; but, then, I am not a shoe person.

      I did notice her shoes and bag with that Paris tweed dress. I sometimes have trouble remembering the details of that dress but I have a vivid image of the shoes and purse.

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    3. You could be right Anon 1. Maybe they are comfortable. I do remember those shoes from the first wearing of this dress. For me, they were quite noticeable (& didn't recede at all) because the first look was of Kate walking down the steps of the plane carrying Charlotte in one arm & holding George's hand with the other hand (while Will walked down the steps alone right next to her---Super Yikes!) At that time it seemed Kate had been on a "run" of many different pairs of "nude" shoes with different outfits for awhile. (And several folks had commented about that.) I know, as many many posters have said, that color can elongate the leg but IMO even though it is often considered a "neutral," nude/tan/light brown doesn't really go with everything. And IMO blue shades can sometimes be hard to mix with tannish shades. (I thought the same thing about another favorite dress--the blue and white Taj Mahal one.) Plus, that color shoe can give the look of "Barbie" feet/tiptoe walking. And in Canada the hat made the outfit pretty dressy and to me, tan suede shoes just aren't dressy. So that's why I remember them. Plus I loved the outfit in Canada so I looked at details.

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  7. Beautiful post, Jane. And as Rosman mentioned above, a very poignant visit for Kate. She does look more beautiful since the birth of Louis.

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  8. She is fantastic! And the dress too, I like her in that style of dresses, they suit her body perfectly! I like how she recycles, she always makes the clothes seem different. And her hair looks beautiful lately.

    Two minor “dislikes”; enough with the nude shoes, they are perfect for many outfits but I am starting to find them boring. I would also like to see her with some other styles of shoes, just for a change.
    And also she should improve the way she stands, I guess that meeting people shorter than her may influence that but if she stood straight her presence would be even more imoressive than it already is now!

    BM

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  9. I feel this look is lovely, perfectly appropriate for the occasion and her position, the fit is great, and Kate looks fabulous in it. Job well done. I like that she has a signature style -- sophisticated and elegant. I would like even more for her to bring some unique elements into that style a bit more often. For example, the boucle tweed dress had a depth of texture and a lively swinging movement to it. I feel that a few more of those looks would be refreshing.

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    1. The Chanel from Paris? I loved the whole look. There was also a white boucle(?) from the Scandinavian tour I would like to see again. A gray wrap dress from the early months before George. The last two were worn while she was pregnant but I think they are adaptable. So many beautiful outfits.

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    2. I meant the Erdem boucle from the V&A engagement. Although it could have worked with fewer highlighted details, it was refreshing to me. I googled the Chanel you mentioned (lovely stripes) and the white boucle maternity dress from Scandinavia (gorgeous simplicity) and the gray wrap dress (clean and simple yet interesting texture, with a neckline to spotlight a pretty necklace) and I see we are on the same page. :)

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    3. I liked everything about that Erdem and how she styled it. And I am not usually an Edem devotee. I like POW plaid. I had a simple dress of that fabric in College--circle skirt, 3/4 sleeves, round high neck, princess style lines in the bodice. ( a fabulous fit)
      Thank-you for taking the time to understand my comment, Anonymous 12:48.
      ...the page being Kate's finer fashion moments?
      I do like simple, clean lines. I also think those outfits were particularly flattering for her. I think a textured fabric and/or multiple decorative details demand a simple, uncluttered line--no handkerchief hems or peplums or multiple layers. I think that may be the problem with many Erdem designs...but also their signature.

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    4. That is the only Erdem I've ever liked on her and it is fabulous!

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  10. One thing about this post being delayed--it gives us something cheerful to start the week with.

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  11. Dare I say she looks even better in this dress this time around? It's truly one of my all-time favorites and her confidence radiates. I loved this engagement, how amazing for her (and us) to see Middleton family history and a tie to the monarchy--clearly Kate's family is important to her and I love that it very much remains a part of her identity.

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    1. I thought the same thing regarding looking even better this time. The total outfit in Canada was one of my all time favorites, especially because I loved the hat. But this time she looks a bit thinner than in Canada so the dress seems to fit perfectly. She obviously has great genes, but she must also really work out. How else do you explain looking that great after 3 babies?

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  12. PS..what I meant by "cheerful" To me, that final image of Kate represented hope. Kate is looking up with the most glorious light shining from within.

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  13. Blue also sometimes represents "peace."

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  14. Worth the wait to see this post on a dreary Monday! Thank you!

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  15. This is a nice, simple and elegant daytime look. The color is beautiful and Kate’s hair looks great, too. I really like this dress a lot more the second time around. I did not care for the hat or the severe hairstyle she wore in Canada. She looks so much more natural and youthful this time. And the “Weeping Window” poppy display is stunning!

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  16. Jane, your link to the “Poppy Shop” proved a £30 diversion before I got round to reading the fashion part of the post! I already have a centenary poppy brooch which I’ve been wearing with pride over the past couple of weeks - now a couple more items of sparkle will join it, and in aid of a great charity. Thank you for highlighting it.

    On a non-fashion note it was interesting, as a Brit, to read Robin’s post that we mark Remembrance Sunday, and Armistice Day (it’s rare they coincide), more reverently than Americans seem to mark Veterans Day. I’m in my 30s and have childhood memories of taking part, as a Brownie, in Remembrance Sunday events. As an adult, I can’t imagine not falling silent for two minutes at 11am on 11th November. Two minutes is nothing, when so many fell silent for eternity.

    I shall head to the Tower after work tomorrow to see the candles. When the poppies were there in 2014, I read a suggestion that you should imagine a young man standing behind each one. Talk about really bringing home the scale of loss.

    As for Kate and her fashion, well, it’s “wow” pretty much all the time lately, isn’t it?!
    Kx

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    1. In my many trips to London I have only been there on Remembrance Day once. Several days before the 11th I got my paper poppy from a vendor on the street and wore it with pride and humility the whole week. I was moved by the two minutes of silence. Imagining a young man standing behind each poppy in that beautiful Tower of London display as you suggested brought tears to my eyes and I only saw it in pictures. So, on the 11th we will be one of a very few homes in our neighborhood to hang our flag out and I have sent cards to the Veterans in my life. As the poem says: "Lest we forget."

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  17. Simply love this shade of cobalt? blue on Kate; she has another such, a form-fitting full-length dress/gown, with cutouts in the shoulders that I liked too--maybe by Roland Mouret?--which brings me to another point: I also like Kate in form-fitting dresses, in general, a lot more than I like many of her fit and flare stuff, some of which are simply juvenile, IMO. Anyone remember that very flattering full-length evening gown she wore a few times in her early years of marriage, the cream with silver stripes? It was form-fitting and off-the-shoulder.

    So, yep, I still like this blue Jenny Packham, but, as lizzie has mentioned, I prefer it when the the pretty collar and neckline are clearly visible, and I so enjoyed it with the hat she wore in Canada, which seemed to give it an an added edge.

    I wonder if Kate still has that lovely red fit-and-flare cocktail dress, by Preen, like this Packham, first worn in Canada; I'd like to see that again as well. Might I suggest a mini corsage to replace the diamond maple leaf?

    Lastly, I hope that Kate has neither disposed of these dresses nor that, like Princess Anne (poor woman; no dress sense), she doesn't save them for a rainy day, twenty or thirty years hence.

    JC

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    1. I love this dress too and the first wear is in my all-time top 10 for her. However, I love that she changed it up for this appearance. It wasn't really a hat occasion and the dress still served it purpose perfectly.

      Like you I love that red Preen! I'm thinking that, instead of the maple leaf, one of HM stunning brooches would be terrific. Maybe this: http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-queen-mothers-ruby-and-diamond.html

      Or this: http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-flower-basket-brooch.html
      (I have a real thing for flower baskets for some reason.)

      Princess Anne was never much for clothes as she would rather be on the back of a horse. I don't think we have to worry about Kate pulling out one of these dresses in 20 years. (I hope.)

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    2. I love the Queen's flower basket brooches too, Robin. Otherwise, the pink tourmaline flower brooch is my favorite, followed by the Prince Albert sapphire brooch. I find diamonds boring. Ha!

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    3. I really hope to see a re-wear of the teal Jenny Packham, worn to a 2012 Olympics Pre-event at the Royal Albert Hall, I think, one of these days. That was one of my favourite Kate evening dresses.
      Kx

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    4. It is a lot of people's favorite. The back detail is gorgeous. I actually did not see the back until later.

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    5. From your lips, Kx...

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    6. Haha, indeed!!

      I was at the theatre this evening and did sneak a look online in the interval - couldn’t quite believe my wish had come true! Hurrah for the re-wear...and proof they read this blog?!
      I know, I know, she probably planned the outfit just a little more than two evenings ago but it’s nice to dream :-)
      Kx

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  18. This post is fantastic, Jane. Such a tragedy that three brothers were lost from Kate's family, and how wonderful that a descendant is there to honor them-- with that descendant someday to be Queen. So, so respectful of Kate to recycle a dress for this occasion.

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  19. As far as Kate's legacy goes, from a historical perspective this is the most important public appearance Kate has made as DOC. She's nicely attired but that is the least of it.

    To be blunt, when I look at those poppy displays--representing lives lost--I think "testosterone drain." How would Europe be today if the fittest, bravest souls had lived to produce new generations instead of giving the ultimate sacrifice on a battlefield?

    And so George, Charlotte and Louis must understand that they are descended from brave, selfless people on their mother's side. (So is the newborn son of Pippa and James Mathews). As for Dad's side, the kiddos would probably have to go back to Elizabeth I to find equal bravery from an ancestor on a battlefield, the voice that says 'I am here, I will fight with you to the end if it comes to that."

    I see a lot of commentary on Kate-watch websites that focuses on celebrity with disregard for royalty, a trend probably started by the late Princess of Wales, who was not university educated. The DOC can set the record straight, and should. Kudos Kate, you come from a great family.

    Grace

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    1. George VI, Gt grandfather of William and Harry was a naval officer during WW1 and was Mentioned in Dispatches during the Battle of Jutland.
      An Uncle of mine served on the same ship.

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    2. Grace, you’re absolutely right that the Cambridge children have brave ancestors on the maternal side, but (like many of us here) they clearly do on the paternal side too.

      The Duke of Edinburgh, William and Harry’s grandfather, was a naval officer in the Second World War, also mentioned in Dispatches, I believe. Some details of his service have actually only come to light in the last few years: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/dec/28/monarchy.davidsmith

      Given their roles in UK life, I am sure Kate and William will ensure their children are raised with an awareness of their personal, as well as national, history.
      Kx

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  20. Erika, that I sent my email address to Jane - can you please email coordinate with her?

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    1. Rosman, the email address Jane sent me does not work. She sent you mine. Did you receive it?

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    2. Never mind! I figured out what was missing. It worked.

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  21. Gorgeous colour, fantastic fit and all round lovely look for Kate.

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  22. Gorgeous. As Jane said, it totally brought back "Kate Magic." She really looked spectacular. Her hair, her figure, that gorgeous tailored fit. My only ongoing issue? HRH needs to start using strong retinol on her forehead...every night, consistently and aggressively (along w/ moisturizer and during the day w/ sunscreen at daytime). There is NO reason why a woman in her mid 30s should have such deep, deep furrows. None. (And readers in their 20s: take sun damage seriously and take care of your skin NOW). Sylvia.

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    1. Kate has a very mobile and expressive face. There is only so much retinol can do, if you keep creasing your forehead!

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    2. I think it's more genetics. I spent a LOT of time in the sun, I'm from the southern US and a child of the 80's-where sunbathing was a right of passage, and I didn't get forhead creases until my mid-40s.

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    3. I know a woman who had a really deep forehead wrinkle in her mid-20s - and she started getting wrinkles in high school. Some things are just genetics. It's the same thing with getting grey hair. Young people aren't usually supposed to have grey hair but my great-aunt was completely grey by the time she was 17.

      One of my biggest annoyances with commentary on Kate is when people make fun of or insult her for having wrinkles. Some commentary on Kate's wrinkles is particularly disturbing because it insinuates that if a woman has wrinkles she's somehow a bad person and/or worthless. Ironically, that type of commentary on Kate's wrinkles - at least what I've seen on Twitter - usually comes from Meghan stans who claim to be feminists and support women yet insult Kate for having wrinkles.

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    4. I agree there could be other contributing factors, but as someone raised with a dermatologist always warning me about skin care, Kate did break two major commandments of good aging-prevention. She smoked, which is very damaging to your skin, and she tanned often, which is also a major stress to skin. I haven't seen Meghan fans mentioning Kate's lines. That is just nasty, in my opinion. It's life moving forward, but I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out they are (as a general matter) appearing a little prematurely. I don't think Sylvia meant her comment in a bad spirit. I think Kate is off her skin routines right now (maybe botox or something else), because she is nursing. I suspect these lines will be a little less visible once she weans Louis. In the meantime, I always put my SPF on with my moisturizers each morning! ;)

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    5. I find her forehead refreshing! Maybe it is because I compare her with my queen’s face (Letizia) which has become quite unnatural.

      I have seen many comments by HM’s fans criticizing Kate for her wrinkles. They say she is old and aging like a banana, then they add she dresses like a 50 year old. The same about William, talking about his lack of hair and that he needs a transplant. I personally find comments about physical appearance disgusting, I wonder what they will say in a couple of years since Harry is losing hair too...

      Anyway, I find WK a very attractive couple! They are tall, stylish, kind, warm...and the way they conduct themselves is fantastic so a couple of wrinkles mean nothing to me.

      BM

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    6. Thank you, Jane, That is correct, I did not make that comment in a mean-spirited way and I made sure I expressed my admiration for the stunning beauty of the Duchess, both natural and hard earned through exercise. She puts in the REALLY HARD work, which is fitness and eating well and in a careful manner. All I'm saying is–I hope HRH picks up on the simpler routines of sunscreen and moisturizers MATTER. She is a stunner and no, I'll say it again, there is no need for women in their mid 30s to have deep furrows if they are image conscious (and peeps, retinol DOES go a long way at that age). Thank you all. Sylvia

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    7. She does have a few creases in her brow but she still looks lovely. In retrospect she probably sees photos of herself spread all over and wishes she hadn't damaged her skin but hindsight is always 20/20.

      I wish I'd had the advice you were given, Jane, but we were a different generation of beach going Californians who used to grease ourselves up with baby oil and lay in the sun all day. Sunscreen didn't advertise an SPF factor, it was called suntan lotion and each brand bragged about how much more tan you could get with their product. For example:

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/252272016596662592/

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    8. I had mo idea Kate smoked! Do you mind telling me how we know this? I’m fascinated as she and her family are so health conscious.
      Thanks!

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    9. You can waive off this comment if it’s not appropriate but does it look as if she’s filling out the top part of the dress more this time around? Do you think that is attributable to nursing?

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    10. 3:23am: I have followed Kate from the start, and that was relatively common knowledge back in the dating days.
      3:24am: Yes, I think the consensus is she is still nursing. That probably helped with the wight loss, too. :)

      Delete
    11. Oh my god, I am shocked she ever smoked - I don't know why, she never struck me as a smoker - she seems so health conscious and virtuous. Sure we all dabbled with it a bit back in the day but I would be so surprised if she still smoked - highly doubt it.

      Delete
    12. To my knowledge, she had abandoned it before her wedding, but that she smoked on and off throughout her twenties. I cannot imagine she still smokes.

      Delete
    13. I read an article that some people saw her smoking in France before her Southeast Asia tour in 2012. I think she completely quit after she had children. But who knows, she could smoke in her own home.

      Delete
    14. There are photos of this event and other events giving her a tired, aged appearance. However, others show a refreshed, youthful Kate. The final photo in this post is an example of the latter. Same Kate. Same engagement--different lighting and angle.
      Note the lighting in that photo. From above. (and within)
      Any former Girl Scouts here? Remember telling ghost stories in the cabin at camp after lights out? A favorite ploy was to hold a flashlight underneath one's chin with the light pointed up. Scary shadows and lines.
      It is the reason why actresses with influence insist on certain lighting. It can make the difference between haggard-looking and fresh. Remember the ethereal, natural lighting from above in the cathedral at that wedding? That was carefully planned. Time of day, dimmed house-lighting, perhaps a spot-light.



      Agree her skin routine may be off. Usually she has a few gray hairs, too, when on a nursing routine. Also, I agree about weight loss sometimes being a side-effect off nursing. I lost thirty pounds on six months. Being a dairy queen takes a lot of calories.




      Delete
    15. I think in Europe, smoking is some what glamorous. I visited Switzerland this summer with my family and people were smoking everywhere in the streets. Also a lot of European royal’s smoke. I have to admit my excitement about Kate and the other European royals died down when I found out that they smoke.

      Delete
    16. PS Are we counting dimples as lines and wrinkles?

      Delete
    17. I disagree with those who fault Kate for her forehead "wrinkles". Her body has gone through a lot in the last five years. Re: horrible morning sickness with three pregnancies, sleepless nights a plenty with all of her children. She is a hands-on Mom who feels the impact of raising three children under a huge spotlight. Come on, give her a break. Those are life lines - she looks amazing.

      Delete
    18. Anon 10:59, smoking is not at all glamorous in Europe! There is even discussion in many countries to completel ban it from restaurants. Switzerland is no indicator since it is not even part of the European Community. Imke

      Delete
    19. I am from Switzerland, believe it or not, smoking is not considered glamorous at all :) and believe it or not, it IS part of the European Community, even if not being part in the European Union. A lot of Europe and exchange with Europe going on here, yep!
      Funny how a country can have such a misleading image to distant people :)

      Delete
    20. I can't speak to other countries, but in France, smoking is very prevalent in my age/generation. I don't know if it is glamorous per se, but it is widespread and accepted as normal. That is obviously shocking to American sensibilities, where the tobacco industry has been regulated into a corner, and smoking is taboo in many respects.

      Delete
    21. Didn't Will and Harry both smoke too? And supposedly Harry quit before his wedding?

      Kate could still be nursing and not using all her usual skin treatments right now. I think she looks fine regardless. (NOT directed to anyone who has commented on this particular thread but sometimes I think SOME people expect her to look 20-something forever! :) I suspect genes do play a role in her skin/tendency to wrinkle & they probably also play a role in her slim build. That doesn't mean good and bad habits (healthy eating, smoking) won't have an effect.

      I did notice Kate had less gray hair during this pregnancy/probable nursing period than her last two, Anon 1. While pregnant with George and Charlotte grey roots were definitely visible at times. I thought we had discussed here that she was using a plant-based hair dye that apparently she didn't use during earlier pregnancies. (Henna with indigo maybe?) Or maybe I read that somewhere else.

      Delete
    22. I brought up vegetable dyes that might be safe (here or elsewhere) but I think that was with Charlotte. Henna tends to give a reddish cast to hair. I don't see that now. She was showing more gray hair early on with Louis. Maybe she's plucking them out. ;+)

      Delete
    23. Henna does give a red cast but apparently it can be toned WAY down or even eliminated if combined with indigo. What I see that's different this time is the lack of visible roots that could be seen with both PG & PC--something plucking wouldn't help. So it seems she's doing something different this time.

      Delete
    24. I saw a commercial on TV last night that featured something called root sprays. I thought it might be a pesticide. Ha! Apparently for hiding growing out dyed hair. Might it work for gray growth?
      PS "...plucking..." ;+)...joking!

      Delete
    25. Anon 4:58: What is the difference between European Community and European Union? Switzerland is only part of the European Economic Area.

      Delete
    26. Members of the Union have, among other things, the same coin (Euro) and a common Parliament where certain affairs are discussed. There are also several comisions, for example a country’s budget needs to be approved by a comission.

      European community means, for example, free circulation among countries (I don’t need a passport to go to Sw) but they are not involved on the common economic affairs.

      BM

      Delete
    27. lizzie! look at the photo above of Kate bending over to look at documents on the table. I see silver threads amongst the chocolate brown. They also catch the light in other photos.
      The answer is---she does not have gray hairs because they are silver now. ;+)

      Delete
    28. I can't see them Anon 1 but I'll take your word for it. But that still argues for a different dye method to me. Ordinary permanent dyes that cover grey (& Kate has a lot) don't leave single hairs as pretty silver threads (wish they did!) And they do leave a very obvious sharp divide visible where hair is parted between dyed hair and new growth with grey. Maybe the root powders/sprays you mentioned would cover sufficiently in that kind of photo (without turning the scalp an off color) but I kind of doubt it. Think they are likely good enough for ordinary use/ casual encounters but a photo of a part in bright light? I don't think so!

      Delete
  23. Catherine is on a fashion roll since coming off maternity leave!
    She looks better than ever - beautiful, fit, and self-assured.
    I don't know what she did during her leave, but it worked!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I found this old Vogue erticle about Kate and William firth royal tour :
    The Duchess of Cambridge came, she saw, and she conquered North America on a nine-day tour of Canada and California, but whether rowing crew, visiting a hospital, meeting and greeting, or attending the black-tie BAFTAs, the former Miss Middleton was perfectly outfitted for each and every occasion....
    In a time when most public figures are trying to push the envelope and shock and awe with their outrageousness when it comes to fashion, the Duchess of Cambridge is bringing an understated elegance (not sexy) back, while still managing to dress in a way that men clearly appreciate. She never wears pieces that befuddle the boys, like gladiator sandals, rompers, or platforms. Instead, she’s the rare creature whose look appeals to men, women, and the fashion industry alike. She shops where regular girls shop—Topshop, Reiss, Whistles, and L.K. Bennett—and wears looks that regular girls wear—wrap dresses, shifts, and skinny jeans. She’s pretty—but not intimidating; she looks like someone we could be friends with. Of course, she also wears Alexander McQueen and Erdem, but even when it’s “designer” it looks like “her”—the shape, the length, the neckline, the sleeves (she’s a one-woman endorsement for the comeback of sleeves!). Even at the BAFTA awards, her McQueen dress wasn’t a recognizable runway look—it was streamlined and modified by her. She repeats looks, too, which is both endearing and, in the midst of a difficult financial landscape, respectable. And she supports her hometown houses, boosting morale by working tirelessly yet tactfully to promote British labels while traveling.
    Above all, she understands that flirty, feminine frocks are always pretty and never fail. She keeps her accessories simple and pulls off a look that’s straightforward yet somewhat normal. Not normal in a banal way, but normal in a way that it’s empirically attractive and universally appealing. Sure it’s safe, but stylishly refined: exactly the right way for her to dress. She’s not alienating anyone—and no one is going to misunderstand her look. Her approach sends a powerful message that is stylish, thought-out, and position-appropriate—suggesting the best about British public life and decorum.There’s no subtext or hidden agenda when it comes to the Duchess of Cambridge’s style, and it’s refreshing that an aesthetic like this is finally having a well-deserved moment in the limelight.

    I thought it interesting, 7 years later

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    Replies
    1. Great article, I believe the same could be said today!

      Delete
    2. Wonderful article and still so true. She is exactly right for her position as a senior member of the royal family.

      Delete
  25. royalfan--I am looking for that video. I only go to a few royal sites (and just comment here now) so it should turn up. However, I suspect you are much better at chasing stuff down. :+)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. royalfan-I think that video of live coverage has been edited and rather obviously so. We see them up to the last person before the boarding stairs. She is ahead of him in line. He is engaged in animated conversation with a previous official. Some views show her turning toward him and placing her hand on his back. Then the film resumes showing them half-way up the stairs or at the top of the stairs or even reverts to stills. I did see one video that shows them at the bottom of the stairs but not one shows them greeting that last person in line--who might have been a flight crew member. It seems they would still have greeted that person. At least one video of that departure has been removed from U-tube.
      I noticed this same sort of editing of the wedding. Between the live telecast and the subsequent airings some footage of crowd response had been edited out.
      It is possible I have the wrong departure but I don't think so. I know I saw it and it is confusing that it has disappeared. I am sure the more prominent celebrities and public persons have the influence to employ this sort of PR maneuver. I am not seeing a conspiracy here. ;+)

      Talk about re-writing history, though. Ha! These days it didn't happen unless it is on the internet or pictured somewhere. (RFO anyone?)

      Delete
  26. Jane, I hope it's okay to post this. I think it fits in with a conversation some of us were having so I thought it may qualify...

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/11/08/uk/meghan-harry-wedding-documentary-scli-intl/index.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So is Charles’ documentary ALSO going to be about them?

      If news are true and M’s mother goes with them to the church at Christmas I think we could undoubtedly conclude that something strange is happening...

      BM

      Delete
    2. Thanks, royalfan.
      Speechless here. (At least briefly).
      Do you mean the Charles "support" remarks or the "promising not to meddle" story? What I am seriously concerned about now is how qualitatively and quantitatively the birthday film will present his other son and family. Kate is making engagements left and right now---available for birthday interviews. If she is marginalised in this biopic I don't think I shall be able to contain myself. ;+)
      Charles planned the details, including the Doria hand-holding? That was not spontaneous? As Camilla is being directly quoted, we don't have to guess who the source for the article was.

      Was there ever anything closely resembling this half year of hype in the follow-up from W&C's wedding?
      All I can say is--Charles should have paid for the wedding. First featured in "Queen of the World" and now in King of the World. He gained a lot of PR mileage from his performance at the H&M wedding. Even I, as Camilla said, was "touched." That event has turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving.
      As Meghan once said of W&C's wedding, "Pomp and circumstance" indeed.

      Delete
    3. I dunno, BM. I would kind of like to see Doria again. If one can't break a few protocol rules at Christmas, when can one? I doubt she would be in the royal parade to church. I think it possible that Sophie's Dad and perhaps others quietly take seats in church before the Walk and leave just as quietly after. Probably not Sarah, though. Who knows? As you indicate, strange things are happening. I think we are definitely seeing the lead-in to Charles III (IV?) or whatever king name he decides to use. Phillip? What a way to honor his Dad.

      Delete
    4. Given Sarah’s recent reentrance into the fold I’m not surprised that Doris might get some invites that hadn’t been publicly given to in-laws historically. The trend in the BRF at the moment seems to be leaning towards including rather than excluding & it’s probably helpful for the people joining the BRF to have that support (like Diana didn’t have).

      Delete
  27. Very interesting, Royalfan,thank you! They seem to want to make a point, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I promise this comment relates to the Post topic, if somewhat tangentially. ;+)

    Remember last year's Cenotaph ceremony? The Queen remaining on the balcony while Charles laid her wreath and an equerry lay Prince Phillips? We were offered the explanation that HM wished to keep the health-challenged PP company on the balcony and for this reason would not be placing the Monarch's wreath that year.
    I scoffed in disbelief and noted later that Phillip had appeared shortly thereafter relatively hale and hearty.
    Guess who will be on the balcony looking on AGAIN this year---no Prince Phillip in sight--THE QUEEN. And who will be the honored one to lay the wreath? PRINCE CHARLES. (according to Royal Central)

    I realise that later stories/comments said, well, HM is fragile and can't bear to be out in the elements. Ha! She has no trouble getting out and about on the extended grounds of Balmoral and I understand HM still takes a turn or two around Windsor Great Park on one of her ponies, usually
    daily.

    PS sorry about the exclamations and capitals. It's been that kind of week. I am trying to distract myself. ;+)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember the Palace saying the Queen was just keeping Philip company, but I did note in my post last year, and will again this year, that the Palace *did* say that HM would never lay the wreath again. She had relinquished the role to Charles for good. That was part of the shock, I think. She said never again.

      Delete
    2. I think there was a hypothesis offered in some comments **posted here** that HMTQ didn't want Philip left standing alone on the balcony. (That was before his hip replacement & at one point he was leaning on the wall for support as I recall.) But I don't think the palace ever said anything like that. And, IMO, it would have been a very odd thing for the palace to say (even if it HAD been true. Typically announcements didn't/don't paint Philip as "frail" or "needy.") I recall the announcement being along the lines Jane describes as a permanent passing of the task to Charles. I am sure it was intended to be replete with symbolism...passing a bit of the torch. But even from a practical standpoint--- HMTQ still being active outdoors in private at Balmoral wearing "country" shoes and clothes-- that's quite different from a very public ceremony in dress clothes/shoes on hard pavement for a ceremony that involves a heavy wreath, steps, and stepping backwards down those steps.

      Delete
    3. Yes, the backwards stepping and heaviness of wreath were also offered as explanations why HM would not lay the wreath in 2017. I do wonder, however: If it was established that this was simply the way it would be from now on, why the need for all the explanations? It also illustrates my belief that news is often so twisted, bloated, expanded, scrubbed, and just plain spun these days no one can remember what was read where and when it was read.
      I will pause now for a trip to Googleland.

      By the way, an equerry could easily do the heavy lifting. Or as someone suggested last year, I think, a lighter version of the wreath. I don't think heaviness of the wreath is an indication of sincerity of feeling.
      I believe Charles actually looked over his shoulder as he backed. Which kind of defeats the purpose of backing away. Those are not realistic excuses.

      Delete
    4. Maybe not. But do share what you find in googleland. As you've often pointed out to me, what is reported isn't necessarily what was said. In those cases we were discussing KP but I think that's true for BP too. I doubt BP offered the reasons I did (like the wreath's weight) I'd be surprised if reasons were given at all. Frankly that's been my criticism of KP---bad reasons given when no reason was required!

      Delete
    5. Back from Googleland. I have been circling the tarmac for hours. Ha! Blocked from comment section and sometimes the blog.

      Telegraph 11-12-17

      Hannah Furness

      "Announcing the decision last month, Buckingham Palace said the Queen wished to be by her husband's side on the balcony and had asked the Prince to lay the wreath instead."
      I think further Googling to find the original BP statement will likely reveal that PP was to stand on the balcony last year due to his ill health preventing his active participation in the ceremony. Of course, the "never again"
      aspect could have been included but I could find no record of it. In fact, I got the impression that this was a one-off. I think we may have had two competing sources of information-BP and CH. That may explain the multiple statements and explanations.

      Delete
    6. Anytime, lizzie. I have more...

      The Guardian 11-11-17 "...Taste of Kingship For Prince Charles" (anon1-from the headline)


      Note:-I selected this source because I have had great respect for this forum for accuracy and lack of bias. The article I am quoting from challenges that opinion. As the headline and photo captions would suggest, the transition, "never again" theme is partially supported. However, I had the feeling in reading the body of the article that it was created by a committee amongst great conflict of viewpoints: first, the reporter, then CH reps influence, then BP influence, and finally editorial review and headline/ caption writing. It ends with "the watching public" being the ultimate decider regarding the interpretation of HM's balcony appearance and Charles's wreath duties.
      Well, the "watching public" can only decide, for the most part, based on information they are fed by the media/Palaces. Thus, the headline in conflict with BP statements.

      Excerpts from the article--
      'Palace (anon1-BP) aides are highly sensitive to any suggestion transition is under way (anon1- note the headline) and said the Queen's withdrawal stemmed from her wish to accompany Prince Phillip, who has officially retired, but wanted to attend the event as a spectator." (anon1-thismay or may not imply a single event, 2017, not a forever change)


      "However, the watching public will see it...tensions (between) Buckingham Palace and Clarence House over handover of duties."

      I think the memory of reading this article in 2017 was probably the original basis for the comment I made above that it was a one-off and that there was likely conflict between BP CH over Charles assuming the monarch role.
      This whole past year or so, in my opinion, has been a matter of Charles increasingly aggressively improving his public image (and his wife's) and positioning himself, using whatever resources were at his disposal- including his immediate family. His campaign to be named Head of Commonwealth was just part of this positioning. The Queen is still very much alive and still Head-so, why now? I assume the thinking was that the Conference was conveniently in London and most vulnerable to Charles's influence.
      Whoever is doing CH PR needs to step over to KP...or perhaps they already have for the H&M promotion. The two roll-out scenarios are quite similar, in my opinion.


      Delete
    7. That does give a slightly different flavor to things Anon 1. Re: the CW-- Perhaps it was Charles pushing but I suspect that was just fine & dandy with HMTQ. I think she knows that would not be something best dealt with after her death. Succession is a done deal but Head of the CW isn't.

      Delete
    8. Agree about the Q agreeing --she literally did publicly, verbally endorse Charles, now that I think of it. It was thought a very unusual step for HM. The CW choice of Charles was vital for the British monarchy. There must have been a possible threat to his future role in the CW and otherwise.

      Delete

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