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Middletons Enjoy Family Lunch on Boxing Day in Berkshire

Saturday, December 29, 2018

While the Cambridges celebrated Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk, the Middletons gathered together in Bucklebury for the family holiday. Carole, Mike, James, Pippa and James Matthews, and their baby Arthur, were spotted out and about on Boxing Day for a relaxed lunch. 


I love a Middleton sighting, and it is particularly fun to see the whole gang (minus Kate, of course) out together. I am also getting very excited to have our first proper peek at Arthur. The Daily Mail has a great selection of photos, so pop on over to see them here

78 comments:

  1. Love seeing a Middelton outing! Reminds me what a strong family unit Kate was raised in and I think she is working towards that with her children. I once read an article that described successful parenting as raising children who want to spend time with each other (their siblings) when they are adults. And raising children who want to still spend time and have a relationship with their parents once the children are grown. The Middletons have certainly done that and I think it is excellent for the future of the BRF that William and Kate seem to be doing the same.

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    1. Well said, Julie. Kate is a blessing in more ways than one.

      I'm thinking that the Cambridge's may join them before the New Year.

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    3. Agree, Julie! I have always thought that Kate’s family and friends are fantastic. I am sure they will spend time together during Christmas. I would like to see some pictures of them all together but I also want them to have private time...Contradictory, isn’t it?

      BM

      By the way, very happy new year to everybody!

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    4. Very nice and true definition of successful parenting. It really applies to the Middleton

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    5. The Middleton’s really do seem like such a nice, tight-knit group. Well done to Mike and Carole. Kate, Pippa and James are lucky and their spouses lucky to have found them.

      I can’t wait to see those first pictures of Louis and Arthur playing together! I’m sure we’ll have to wait awhile, but it will still be fun! We might see those 2 cousins together before we see Harry’s little one with Louie (unless perhaps on the balcony at the 2020 Trooping the Colour?).

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    6. How is 8:03’s comment appropriate for publication?

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    7. I wholeheartedly agree anon. 8:03.

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    8. Harry’s little one won’t be in trooping the color because they don’t have a royal title.

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    9. Anon 6:48pm, it wasn't. Sorry, I missed it but have deleted it.

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    10. Okay...I stand corrected on the second part of my comment. :-) Hope they're having a great time in St Barts.

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    11. How so, Anon 7:09? Princess Anne's children do not have royal titles and they were at the Trooping the Colour many times over the years. So were many of the Queen's cousin's children over the years.

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    12. Anon 7:09
      As young child, Harry's children will be on the balcony at Trooping the Colour with their parents, unless the parents don't wish them to be.
      Once Charles becomes King, they will be HRH Prince or Princess, unless, as with Edward's children, they prefer to keep their titles as children of a Duke.

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    13. Well said Julie, it certainly does not apply to the Markles or the sussex’s.

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    14. Jean, Harry appears to be very protective of Meghan and he will be even more protective of his child . So I don’t think well see the child for awhile at trooping or in public.

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    15. Anon 11:23, Hmm, I disagree. I think Harry and Meghan seem very interested in maintaining public profiles and being seen as a happy little family furthers this goal. In the engagement interview in particular they both seemed very keen to leverage the high profile afforded to anyone connected to the BRF to further personal causes they want to support. Showing a happy growing family with cute kids furthers a positive public image. I expect we will see any little Sussex children from time to time, and believe we'll see him/her on the balcony at the Trooping the Colour at the first opportunity after 1 years old (similar to Charlotte's first appearance).

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    16. Harry pretty much said as much even prior to that. It was in the interview when he said no one wanted to be king but there needed to be "magic." In that interview he talked about having a narrow window of time to use his public platform for his causes before the Cambridge kids got older. I've not seen anything since that time to suggest after getting married he & his wife want to withdraw from public life/attention.

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    17. Also so much of these events are a tradition and I assume happy fun memories of these events as children, so Harry may want his children to be part of something he did as a kid that he remembers fondly. So what ever he and Meghan involve their kids in may indicate pretty strongly what events/activities Harry enjoyed as a child. William and Kate have to involve their kids in events regardless. Harry like all of Charles' siblings can pick and chose a bit more for their kids. The difference between William and Harrys life has been and will continue to be very different.

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    18. IMHO, Harry may be protective, but I have a feeling H&M's approach will be similar to that of Andrew & Sarah's in that the new parents will want their child to be recognized as being royal as much (and often) as possible.

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    19. Anon 2:21, I think maintaining a public profile without dragging the child into the mix is doable. I honestly don’t think we we’ll see the Sussex child(ren) as much as the Cambridge’s. The York children will be equivalent to the Sussex child when Charles became king. Since they don’t perform royal duties I think the Sussex children will follow the same path. So I think we will just see them at royal family events and occasionally at other events.

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    20. 11:15 the Sussexes haven’t actually raised their child yet so how can you make such a certain statement about their parenting skills?

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    21. lizzie...yes- however, I think the Sussexes will continue their pattern of attending the major photographed public RF events while successfully avoiding being photographed during private time. It may be that there have been private photos; but, if so, I am not aware of any publication- other than staged type private moments such as the cozy couple in the rain forest image from the tour. Personally, I found that a little TMI. I think all we'll see is those photos from accounts that the Sussexes control.
      I am not sure how they avoid violation of their private time. My speculation is that, as Charles's heir, William could secure that same privacy for the Cambridges if the 6th(?) in line can. I don't see many, if any, candid photos of C&C during private time either. I vaguely recall a photo of them exiting a yacht in the Greek Islands. The Cambridges --I think encouraged by Catherine, apparently allow some photos as Diana did. The level of intrusive security required to completely block unscheduled photos could be seen as excessive, including during trips to the airport, boarding and disembarking a plane, dining out, as well as school runs, shopping and enjoying public museums, playgrounds, and parks---I think Kate has chosen to allow some exposure for the benefit of giving her children as many typical family experiences as possible. It would require extensive vetting of on-lookers, searching of purses and bags, clearing and cordoning off areas to be visited, officers with rifles on roofs--that sort of thing. One doesn't simply hop in the car and go with the type of security required to avoid all pap and other photos. I doubt that sort of scene would lend itself to the happy family atmosphere. anon1

      It has been suggested that M&H "are on vacation" since Boxing Day but no one knows where and I doubt we will know unless they choose to reveal the location. There will likely be no pap photos, not even long-lens ones. We don't even know the exact location of their country bolt-hole-said to be near the Beckham's estate, but other possible locations have been mentioned. In contrast, everyone is well aware of the location of the Cambridge country home.

      Of course, following lizzie's narrative, perhaps Harry is trying to preserve some of the "magic" of royalty--a "familiarity breeds contempt" sort of thing. Another possibility is security concerns. Harry is not an immediate heir but there are reportedly threats involving his time in Afghanistan. Add to that possible direct threats to Meghan, seen as an unpopular addition to the RF by some. Kate was ridiculed and criticised continually but I think the tone was more superficial and whiny "mean-girl" type than with Meghan. I saw only a few comments on the KP comments section before I stopped reading that forum. The tone definitely seemed more focused and ominous to me than most Kate complaints.

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  2. It also reflects well on the children who choose to spend time with their parents. If Kate did indeed wear an acorn themed brooch it was a nice nod to her family-she was with them in spirit.

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  3. They're now in St Barts with the Middletons and James's family (including brother Spencer). Usually the Middletons have a New Years party and then go to the Caribbean late January, right? Will the Cambridges join them for a tropical New Year? Or will the Cambridges not see the Middletons at all this holiday season?

    Fun peak into how they spent the holidays! Also love seeing James Matthews be a hands-on dad!

    ~ A

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    1. Are the Middleton's (Carole and Michael) in St. Bart's too? I guess I didn't think that they were there.

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    2. You can see Carole in some of the DM photos so I’m assuming Mike is there too.
      ~ A

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    3. I thought I saw Carol in one of the pictures that came out of St. Bart's yesterday.

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    4. I have not seen any actual pictures of Carole and Michael only of James, Pippa and the Mathews family. They could be there but have not seen any actual photos.

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    5. You can see Carole in the background of some of the pics

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    6. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6538815/Pippa-Middleton-strolls-streets-ultra-rich-enclave-St-Barts.html

      Carole is wearing a black and white print top, and James' mother is wearing the brightly colored print top.

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    7. James’ mother (Jane?) looks like a fun mom just like Carole. I could see them getting along well. I also really like her style too. Both she and Carole have impeccable taste.

      Also, does anyone else feel like Carole is looking forward to having a daughter in law join the family soon? Based on her comments from her article. I wonder what James Middleton’s situation is now. Anon in CA

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    8. I guess that's Carole but it sure doesn't look like her here in the B&W

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pippa-middletons-baby-doted-grandfather-13796345

      But this article does say Carole (not Mike) went on the trip.

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    9. I thought I saw Mike in back standing by James Matthews in at least one photo. (thanks, royalfan) If not, it has been a busy time for Party Pieces and there is end of year stuff to oversee. I guess somebody has to hold down the fort.
      I think the newest directed gossip for the tab may be the Middletons aren't a perfect family. Perhaps muddying Carole and Mike's image is thought to make Meghan's relatives look better. We'll see where that theme goes. anon1

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    10. PS I just looked at royalfan's response below to Robin's baby photo comment. I think that is Michael--the shorter man with silver hair--mostly obscured behind James Matthews in those photos. Mike seems like a fairly modest man who prefers to let others take the spotlight. anon1

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  4. Orange County GrandmaDecember 29, 2018 at 9:41 PM

    Wonder if Kate even saw her family this holiday. Thought William promised Kate that they would spend every other holiday with her family. Didn’t happen this yr.

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    1. It's very possible they are spending time with her family during this Christmas break. Our family is split between California and South Carolina and it means that we don't always celebrate based on the actual day on the calendar. Some years we'll have Christmas in CA on Christmas and then we'll have Christmas in SC on the 27th. It still feels like Christmas even though it's not on the exact day.

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    2. OC Grandma, I think since being married they have only spent 2 Christmas’s with the Middleton’s - when Kate was pregnant with George and the year they took George & Charlotte to church. I think we assumed they’d do a rotating Christmas, but they haven’t.

      My guess is a Sandringham Christmas is the majority because of the Queen and Philip’s age. It’s really hard to say what a BRF Christmas will look like once both the Queen & DofE pass, so my assumption is they’re maximizing that family time because it’s most likely more limited that with the Middletons.

      ~ A

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    3. Agree. They could have celebrated with her family before Christmas either in London, at Anmer Hall or at the Middletons country home, or they may be celebrating with them in early January.

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    4. We've seen the Middleton's attending church at Sandringham so it may not be an exact rotation, but I do believe they manage to work it out. And I think Julie D is exactly right; it doesn't have to be on the exact day. What matters most is that the family does get together and, very clearly, enjoys each other's company.

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    5. The comment I posted here a day or two ago is missing. anon1

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  5. From MailOnline you can track what has been happing with the Cambridge’s and the Middleton’s. It looks like after Boxing Day, the Cambridge’s travel to the Gramdparents Middelton’s house for two days to spend the Christmas holiday with the kids. The Cambridge’s then after two days went back to Anmer Hall where they were before the holiday started. The Middleton’s grandparents took a flight on Saturday to St. Bart’s with Pippa’s and Matthews’s family to visit James’s family for the rest of Christmas holiday and New Years. If this is right, everyone got see everyone for Holidays, Happy New Year!

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  6. The Cambridges did not attend church today with the Queen. Does that possibly mean they are en route, or already in, St Bart’s with the Middletons for New Years?

    I hope so! Kate deserves a sunny vacation and it would be great family time for everyone!

    ~ A

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  7. I am shocked how much they resemble eachother (Kate and Pippa I mean) when I dont look too closely on the shot you posted, Jane! Normally I find the sisters are very different in facial feautures. Apperantly they are not! Funny how genes always shine through.

    A first born is always a huge change in life, I hope they are handling it( and sleeping) well. Eperienced and young grandmothers and aunts are certainly helpful..!

    A lot of (jealous?) people on the daily mail have commented how aged Pippa looks and I want to take a chance to say this once:
    As a woman, I am sick of being judged by my beauty and youth first.
    And I, too, needed some time to realise that this is a stupid first reaction. In a way society taught me, SO please, give it some effort and thoughts and cut everyone some slack and point out other (more important!) features of someone's life than just a "beauty" thumbs up or down vote! - This is an old topic, even on this blog, but I needed to say this out loud. I always thought Jane and a lot of fans are handling it quite well, though.

    Alice

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    1. My response … a sincere smile and a good heart is true beauty, and it never fades.

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    2. I replied to your comment royalfan a day or two ago but so far it is missing. I referenced Maya Angelou and others. anon1

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    3. Anon1 shame your (original) comments aren’t coming through! :-(
      ~ A

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  8. The photos show the Middletons and James Matthews families together for lunch for part of Boxing Day (reportedly) outside a pub. We don't know where they were the day before (Christmas), that evening, or the next day. If this is an attempt to somehow prove the Cambridges intended to spend Christmas Day in Bucklebury but had to change their plans due to The Feud--it proves nothing.

    There are some charming photos around taken at this site with Pippa smiling. I am not sure why this really unflattering photo was the one chosen to illustrate this post. I am assuming it was the first available and was used in order to be able to publish the story sooner, instead of waiting for later photos. Or possibly, that photo was the only one available for licensing. anon1

    The DM has published a muddled story about royal Boxing Day activities. The point seemed to be to emphacise that Meghan was an "animal lover," while Kate was "raring to get a gun in her hands "and go shoot grouse and ducks. Is it even duck season? The whole story was a strange combination of outright editorialising with unfavorable, comments about Kate while simultaneously qualifying the remarks, I assume to avoid royal censure or to give the illusion of unbiased reporting. For example, it was stated that although an animal lover, Meghan was neither a vegan nor a vegetarian. (Not to mention her spectacular Christmas Day leather boots.) Somewhere in the story there was a brief statement referring to keeping the bird population down. Blood thirstiness and blood sports--Kate's love for it and Meghan's dislike-- was a theme--although qualified by saying Meghan would never try to interfere in the royal tradition and that Meghan just could not stand to watch it. I am curious from whom these specific to Meghan very personal remarks could have come. I have my suspicions. I doubt this reporter would write complete fabrications. I think she has an "insider source" as claimed. The Meghan quotes and information seemed more specific than the Kate remarks. There may be a leak among assistants or other staff--which could account for an unusual number of recent changeovers. Or a royal family member could be feeding stories to the reporter in exchange for favorable considerations. Obviously it would at least have to be someone in Meghan's circle in order to have access to her private thoughts.

    With careful reading we learn the photos were taken in 2007 and 2009. There were no photos to show Kate shooting this year, the only current sighting reported is Kate on the way to the hunt lunch with PP, HM, and Meghan. There is a buried remark that Kate had actually not been seen shooting in recent years. One sentence remarks that Kate is introducing her children to the Boxing Day shoot--naming George, Charlotte, and LOUIS. It was speculated that soon Kate would buy George and Charlotte their own guns. The kindly "source" volunteered all sorts of interesting news, mostly apparent subjective interpretation---including that Kate had bought a 20 gauge shot gun. I think that tidbit was in the lead heading. We don't actually know if she bought it for herself or when exactly she bought it.
    There is more but I feel the need to gargle and shower after reading that mish-mash of garbled bits. The only explanation for the writing, which a fourth grader would be ashamed to submit, is that either a positive or negative story about Kate was written and the reporter was obliged to amend it. It reminds me of the Midwife story meant to justify Meghan's nearly constant "bump cradling," which was full of inaccuracies. That story was written by another writer than this one, I believe, which tends to indicate significant revision.
    This article literally reads like two separate stories meshed into one. I am embarrassed for the reporter who is considered a reliable royal news source by some. I read the story because I wanted to know if the headlines on google were an accurate reflection of the story that followed.

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    1. There was also a DM story that Kate and Meghan played Scrabble together after watching the Queen's Christmas Day speech. There are either moles in Sandringham, or they are purely fabricated stories. I take this rush of stories with a grain of salt :-)
      ~ A

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    2. And voila, Meghan somehow is inserted in a story which had absolutely nothing to do with her. Wow

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    3. Anon 6;58, and that is meghan’s fault how?

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    4. Anon 11:11, Why do you assume Anon 6:58 assumes this is Meghan's fault? Anon 6:58's comment neither stated nor even implied such a thing. I read it as a frustration with the writer.

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    5. I replied to A's 11:11 comment a day or two ago but it is missing. I mentioned that Scrabble is popular in America and that board games are reportedly on the Queen Christmas party agenda. I thought the story had the ring of truth but noted that that is a clever tool of tabloids to give an air of authenticity to contrived stories. Throw some well-known facts into the fodder mix. anon1

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  9. @Fabulous … I saw your response. (After 200 comments [I think] you need to click on "load more" just above the blog rules paragraph.)

    Thank you; now I understand! And it's an interesting thought..... Hmmm! I do believe this is a difficult time for William both personally and "professionally".

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  10. What are the odds that the Sussex’s will be invited to Arthur’s Christining and what are the odds that the Middleton’s will be invited to a Sussex christening? I say 0/0 odds.

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  11. Jane, I also love a Pippa (and Carole!) sighting almost as much as a Kate sighting. I hope that when Arthur is old enough and it's not too intrusive, we'll see some pics of him having fun with George, Charlotte and Louis. We may have to wait a really long time for that, since he's not royal and he's officially a private citizen. I admire Pippa because I really feel she is someone who has had to make some sacrifices in her own life and taken some unnecessary criticism in order to keep things smooth for Kate, and she has done it without complaining.

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  12. I love a good Middleton sighting as well! I can understand why they did it but I wish I had been able to see little Arthur's face without it being pixilated. Pippa looks like a proud mommy! It appears Kate didn't get any time with her family this holiday season unless it was before Christmas. The day after Boxing Day they all flew off to St. Barts. Hopefully there was some time before the royal family roll call at Sandringham.

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    1. Boxing Day was Wednesday. According to an article above the M&Ms flew out Saturday for St. Bart's. So a window of several days, not including before Christmas and after St/ Bart's. anon1

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    2. Robin, you may prefer these photos of the baby! :-)

      https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/pippa-middleton-steps-out-in-st-barts-with-her-baby-boy-see-the-pics/

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    3. Thanks, royalfan! I didn't know about these. He's a big boy for 11 weeks. I see some Middleton but also equal parts Matthews. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up resembling his dad.

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    4. As I commented above, I think that is Michael--the shorter man with silver hair barely visible behind James Matthews.

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  13. where is Michael Middleton? I hope the seperation rumors aren’t true

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    1. Haven’t heard a whiff of separation rumors. Michael was included in photos from Boxing Day family pub outing.

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    2. I haven’t heard anything about such rumors. I hope it’s not true. I do feel like he rarely accompanies the family on vacations and outings though.

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    3. Don’t confuse accompanying and being photographed 10:48. The man is entitled to his privacy after all.

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    4. Michael is in the latest photos from St. Bart's showing the baby. I think in others, too. The shorter man with silver hair, partially obscured by James Matthews. The tab story lizzie referenced may have slanted the story and failed to mention him likely because his absence would fit in with a rift. I do agree that Mike seems to be a very private, modest sort of person.

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    5. My standing opinion is that Michael is more the grounding force behind the scenes parent/spouse. Even Carole said her kids can be embarrassed by how much she chats/talks.

      I think Michael is behind the scenes operations manager for their business, he’s probably happy to stand back and let others be in a pap shot, etc.

      ~ A

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  14. Do any of you guys follow Piers Morgan?

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    1. Can’t stand the man. He seems to be mean to everyone purely to grab headlines. FYI- he was the editor of the British Murdoch paper that was convicted of “wiretapping” Kate, William, Harry, etc. They gained access to their voicemails and recorded the messages. Very, very shady guy.

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    2. om my gosh, I had no idea that he worked for that paper. I guess the term scumbag is appropriate.

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    3. Meghan met Piers for drinks before she was (officially) dating Harry. I think it reflects her nature to network. I don’t mean any of this in a derogatory manner, just making a connection. (And no I’m not saying Meghan is still friends with Piers) I admire people who naturally can network and put themselves out there like that. Sorry, feeling very paranoid to be crystal clear as I’ve been getting flack lately from people eager to misinterpret and put words in my mouth. :-)

      When I see Piers’ headlines many times they are overtly tabloid-y and I find him too opinionated, in an unnecessarily dramatic not “benefit of the doubt” way.

      ~ A

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  15. I'm jealous of the Middletons. I don't have close family bonds and I hope I can give my children a bond and childhood like the Middletons. I love that they are so close together, family vacations and quality time. I'm very glad Kate's priority is her children first. They will be strong and happy people with a childhood far away from the royal fishbowl and press. Kate is a rolemodel in that area. Happy newyear everyone!

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  16. Right there with you Jane....love to see Pippa & Carole. Thank you for posting....wonder if we will have an opportunity to see Pippa & the Middleton’s in St. Bart’s. Wish we all could go get some sunshine & warm weather. So happy for all of them.

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  17. My predictions for 2019
    1. William and Kate will increase their work load.
    2. Charlotte will attend Thomas Battersea in the fall
    3. George and Charlotte will accompany their parents on an engagement
    4. William and Kate will go on two royal tours, one in the summer and one in the fall.
    5. Kate will get a new tiara and the Royal Victorian order.
    6. Meghan will be birth to a girl named Sophia.
    7. Louis will accompany his parents on a royal tour.
    8. Princess Beatrice will get engaged.

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  18. I am just wondering if the increasing Middleton family can any longer fit the whole family in. I seem to remember that their present house had 7 bedrooms when they bought it. Just a thought.

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