Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Royal Christmas 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The royals have walked to church. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined senior members of the British royal family today for the Christmas morning service. The two couples walked together to St. Mary Magdalene, and in contrast to last year, we got lots of fabulous photos.


This is a great video of the two couples and Charles leaving the gates of the estate and walking the last stretch of road up to the church.

And a fun video of the them emerging from the church. Kate looked quite commanding and regal this morning. Her streamlined silhouette helped, but that aura of authority she has taken on since she remerged after Louis's birth, is still going strong. I think she has really embraced her future queen consort role thanks to the addition of Meghan to the family.



Kate always gives the crowds lots of love on Christmas, and this year was no different. The Cambridges mixed with Norfolk locals and were as charming as ever. 

Kate has continued her penchant for "variations on a theme" ensembles. She has ordered the same style from Catherine Walker on multiple occasions, and for Christmas this year she had her green St. Patrick's Day coat made in a red colorway. She also dropped the hemline a little, which gives her an even longer and leaner silhouette than ever.


This Jane Taylor hatband is winning in every category for me. Kate's other hatbands have been quite tall, which might be what has some of you shying away from the fan club. This one has a more subtle outline and from the front or side could have been a low pillbox. I also love the color and the cute detailing at the back that completes the circle. So, unlike the other headpieces she has worn, this is more hat than hatband, and the greater subtlety makes it a little more sophisticated than her other hatbands have been. I already liked the general hatband look, but this more mixed piece is an even bigger hit with me. A+!


Kate finished off her ensemble with her beautiful Asprey oak leaf earrings and a brooch she has worn a few times over the years. I have seen some speculating the brooch is a loan from the Queen, but I wonder if it isn't a gift from her family. It features a large golden oak leaf with delicate little acorns made of, I think, small pearls. She first wore it to a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2012...


And she wore it again in 2015 for Christmas at Sandringham. It is exquisite. 


The Duchess of Sussex wore Victoria Beckham from tip to toe. She caught some flak after her tour for not wearing enough British labels, so it was a nice gesture on her part to fly the British flag on Christmas. I hear all of you who want to see her wear more color, but I am wearing a very subtle black and brown animal print today with a black sweater, so I don't know that I can judge her on this one. ;) I am wearing a burgundy bow in my hair, though....



There has been a lot of speculation about the Cambridges' decision to spend Christmas at Sandringham rather than in Bucklebury. I am among those who think this was a change in plans, and not the original arrangement. Meghan has been the subject of some punishing media headlines over the past month, and I think the family decided that a united front on the holiday would be in everyone's best interest. 


Again, there is a bizarrely prevalent idea that tension somehow means that the Cambridges and the Sussexes can't be civil to one another, let alone attend an event in a group and look composed. Obviously, families all over the world function under varying degrees of tension and disagreement, and the Windsors are no different in this respect. I thought this was a pretty successful display of unity. The girls worked overtime to chit-chat like old-home week and the resulting pictures are full of warmth and Christmas cheer. 

Hubbard
I expected nothing less than the full battery of togetherness, although I will say the boys got mixed grades on this. I don't think the event does anything to change the reports that all is not rosy in private, but it is a nice antidote for the front pages of the papers. This picture taken by a local has made the rounds:

@at.home.with.harriet
This is a video that shows the exchange:


I know this isn't the narrative everyone wants, but at the end of the day, I think this Christmas walk was very obviously a choreographed photo-call to generate positive PR (nothing wrong with that). It doesn't prove the papers are wrong, it just underscores what I have been saying all along, which is that families can have internal tension without internally combusting. The Christmas walk accomplished the goal of generating positive photos, and I am sure that they all went back to the main house and enjoyed a wonderful Christmas luncheon together. But, I don't think the press, public, or the royals themselves, are under the impression that a happy holiday erases the problems of day-to-day life, or the friction that can be generated in the ordering of a modern monarchy. What today did tell us is that the royals can push forward despite their differences, and that's certainly a good Christmas message. Speaking of messages of unity, the Queen had a similar theme in her annual address:



I had such a hectic run-up to this holiday (thank you for your patience on late posts), I have hardly had time to slow down and soak in the silence and the reason for the season. I hope you all have had a chance to do that over these past few weeks, and that today has been filled with family, fun, and much love. I am going to catch up with you all this week. ;) The Queen mentioned that 2018 has been a year filled with centenaries, and last night was the 200th anniversary of the debut of the sublimely beautiful "Silent Night," so that is my chosen carol for this year's post.


Silent night, holy night
Son of God, oh, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth


 A Merry Christmas to you all, wherever you are in the world!

330 comments:

  1. Two duchess and William get along but I can see the distant between two brothers. I wonder if I was wrong or not

    ReplyDelete
  2. I must one of those “odd” humans who are not BFFs with their sister in law. We can go for months or even a year without saying a word to each other. And we’ve had our sharp differences in the past, each of us standing their ground. I honestly don’t see why these ladies (especially Meghan) are expected to be superwomen. They hardly know each other. Then there’s this insatiable desire for chaos and drama that keeps this “feud” narrative alive. My Lord!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 5:11 I agree with what you are saying. Where I see this as being slightly different is that Harry and William rely on their families/role in their family for their housing, income $, etc. They also HAVE to come together several times a year - much more than many inlaws have to see each other. Harry and William will have Charles as a connection, but I wonder what will happen to the entire family unit when the Queen passes.

      An example I have is that my husband's grandma never spends Christmas with her whole family - she celebrates with her different children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren throughout December, and they all live in the same city and don't travel during the holidays! Whereas the Queen has almost her entire family under her roof EVERY year for Christmas and she has a strict schedule. I doubt on Christmas Eve someone can say "sorry, Gran, we're not going to help decorate the tree. We'll be popping over to a friend's house, but don't worry we'll be back in time for games later on". Whereas most families I know are used to people popping in and out as they meet different obligations/social engagements, whereas I don't think you could do that to the Queen! :-)

      ~ A

      Delete
  3. Love Kate's "hat" with that wonderful detail in the back! I also think she looks so fabulous in this coat in part because the waistline seems to be in the right place, for once. Still not a huge fan of mixing red and burgundy but not a deal-breaker.
    I think Meghan seems to be a truly lovely woman, notice when she put her hand on Kate's back she was also pointedly ignoring the calls of "Meghan" from the public, smart move. I also wish Harry would purchase a full-length overcoat, along the lines of William's....looks less boyish IMO. All in all, a lovely presentation of a united Royal Family.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kate & Meghan are very sweet together :) I do think there is tension between the brothers, though. They all looked really good; I liked both of the coats that the duchesses wore. Meghan looked a bit cold without a scarf or wearing her gloves. I think she may get hot while she’s pregnant. Very cute photos from the walk to & from church...thank you, Jane, for the updates! Hope you & all FBTB readers had a lovely day x

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I think she has really embraced her future queen consort role thanks to the addition of Meghan to the family." I'm confused as to what you're trying to say here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Danielle, I am confused too it seems like the author of this blog is trying to say that Meghan is only worthy because she brought kate out of her shell.

      Delete
    2. Danielle, you posed the same question on FB, and I hope my reply was satisfactory.

      Anon 6:06: you just made that opinion up out of whole cloth. I neither said nor implied anything about Meghan's worth. It is this kind of free-association that is absolutely destroying reasonable discussion in the royal-watching community.

      Delete
    3. Well if you make remarks that contain a slight sarcastic or snarky undertone. People will speculate as to what it might mean.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, that's not a good excuse to just make things up. I didn't make a snarky remark, and I did not leave any massive ambiguity for your to interpret. You didn't interpret, you put entirely new words in my mouth. I can't help if you read in bad faith, but I don't have to pretend that your biased perspective is somehow justified by my post.

      Delete
    5. Well I beg to differ, ever since Meghan came on the scene I have noticed your commentary on H&M have been a little snarky especially if things don’t favor William and Kate. It’s obvious that you are biased towards Kate, and it’s a Kate blog so it’s makes sense. So they way I Interpreted your Meghan comment has nothing to do with bad faith, it has tondo with your history of blog posts and comments about Meghan and Harry.

      Delete
    6. My comment was not made in a sarcastic fashion. It was an entirely serious (no ball hidden) reflection that Kate has a new aura of authority now that Meghan has joined the family. That isn't even a negative comment about Meghan--although, I don't shrink from criticizing Meghan if I feel justified in doing so. It is a straight forward remark that now that Kate is no longer the new kid on the block, she has a new sense of ownership in the BRF. You don't have to agree, but don't try to pretend that I am being sneaky or underhanded or biased. It was a legitimate opinion and I didn't play around expressing it. Anything beyond that is your bias and I don't have to take ownership of your skewed perspective.

      Delete
    7. I interpreted Jane’s comment quite differently. I’ve been pretty vocal about not really liking Meghan but it’s hard to deny that Meghan joining the family has shaken up the monarchy. I think Meghan’s addition has shaken up Kate in a good way: it’s made her fully embrace her role in the family. Meghan will never even get close to the throne but having someone who seems to be a sort of social-climber/very aspirational (to put it nicely) and attention-seeking has likely made Kate realize how important it is that she be noticed and make a greater effort in her role; she will be queen one day and so it is important her people see her and meet her.

      -E

      Delete
    8. My interpretation of Jane's remark is that, and correct me if I'm wrong, Kate was the newest member of the BRF for a long time. That would naturally make you feel as if you still had so much to learn from all the others. As Meghan has joined the family and Kate sees her with a newcomer's perspective, she realizes how far she has come in the past seven years and it has given her more confidence. She's experienced, has given birth to three lovely children, and knows exactly where she's going. It shows in the very way she carries herself. It's natural for anyone. Someone new comes to work in your office and all of a sudden you're the one with the answers instead of the questions.

      Delete
    9. I agree with Robin - that's how I interpreted the statement as well. I adore both duchesses as well. I also adored Kate's ensemble (the headband trend is growing on me!) and thank hand for the extra look are the brooch - could the acorns mean it's a Middleton gift? Meghan looked lovely as well, and I liked William's scarf. Sad to not see Camilla! -op

      Delete
    10. Robin--that is exactly how I interpreted the initial comment also, so well put. That sort of perspective can be gleaned from almost any situation, anywhere in the world. When you've been sort of the new kid on the block for sometime and a newcomer arrives it almost forces you to shift your own self-perception and often adds quite a bit of confidence. Plus, I want to add that although DOC was new to the BRF, the entire British lifestyle is something she's had experience with her entire life. So, perhaps observing Meghan, totally new to every aspect, quite possibly could have been a major reminder for DOC, like, 'Ok, I'm good, I've got this."

      Delete
    11. I work with children and it is something we see often. If you give a child the role of showing somebody new the ropes they often feel more confident in their own role and develop a new ownership of the organization. So I am in no way surprised that the addition of Harry’s wife (it would probably have happened whoever Harry married) have given Kate a new confidence.
      But it does make me think that contrary to current believe Kate actually take a stronger role in mentoring Meghan.

      Delete
    12. @Anonymous 8:45, define a social climber. Then relate that definition to Meghan. As far as we know she had a career and made real money before Harry. She was ably taking care of herself, paying her own bills etc. I cannot say the same about the other lady, not that it matters at all. She achieved her goal of marrying a prince. Good for her. Very nice woman but she really didn’t have anything of her own and her husband has defined her to be frank. So maybe you people need to re-think your social climber crap.

      Delete
    13. Oh Jane, I am one of those that really like both duchesses and all things royal Γ‘nd love your blog. When I read that remark my heart sank because I could see how it could be read in a negative way. I did not like the remark and thought it unnecessary...the last thing us royal lovers want is any more stuff that can fuel extra negativity. It was suffice to say Kate is more confident and sure in her role and hey it could all be because of a great long break and motherhood and the family stepping up and it might have nothing to do with Meghan.

      Furthermore, I get what you are saying about the tensions and their normality and not necessarily being a family train smash, but gosh, it's Christmas and if the positive media outlets such as your blog still keep pointing out that tensions remain etc, then how can we hope the bad media to stop and how much more difficult it becomes to restore relationships if the world creates even more pressure around the issue?

      Delete
    14. I also found Jane's sentence confusing, but unlike anon 6:06, i thought it strange Jane credits (as in praises) Meghan with Kate's finally found confidence, streaming, in my opinion, from hard earned experience and 'know how' of many years under press scrutiny, doing this job (with no defined description, she not really applied for), building strong partnership, having 3 children in 5 years and deciding what she really wants to do with her life and role she has... Let's not forget she was 20 when she fell in love! Hardly anyone has it all figured out at that age, but most of as have a room and time for errors, that Kate did not... But then Robin's explanation really makes sense. So Jane's original sentence definetely was not against Meghan, it's all in the eye of the beholder...

      Delete
    15. HI Lize (and probably others who are observing this thread and thinking the same thing ;)), I guess I want to push back against the idea that people can't make any comments that could be taken negatively. My remark was entirely free of any kind of negativity toward Meghan, yet it was cast as a negative remark. If my point was not clear, I would have been happy to explain it to anyone who asked, but instead someone tried to essentially push me into avoiding Meghan entirely. My perspective is that some people go around the internet and anywhere they find any remark about Meghan that is not very explicitly positive they shut the comment down by criticizing, as happened here. My policy on this blog when I come across such a comment is to either not approve it or to publish it and defend the comment myself. The simple fact is that if the comment was not clear, anyone was free to ask for clarification, but the immediate negative interpretation is really just an attempt to discourage remarks about Meghan. I don't like that when I see it elsewhere, and I don't allow it here. The only way to never say anything that could ever be taken in a negative light is to say nothing at all. I think I have made clear over the last year that whether I agree with others or not, I am not going to adopt a draconian comment policy here, and frank discussion is welcome. I don't believe people should have to tip-toe around a topic for fear they will be ostracized or silenced if the opinion isn't acceptable to others. I don't think that (Christmas or not) my job as a blogger is to create a purely positive (even if false) space to royal watch. This blog is where I have always shared my honest opinion with readers all over the world, and enjoyed hearing their honest opinions (sometimes in agreement with mine, sometimes opposed) in reply. This is a community of royal watchers, it isn't an extension of KP's press team. I think many of us are here to discuss and debate what we are seeing play out. I think that conversation should always be done respectfully, but respect does not mean you can't have an opinion and express it forcefully.

      Finally, I'd just circle back to the origin of this dispute--a remark that really wasn't about Meghan at all, used to tell me (and others reading the comment) they shouldn't talk about Meghan or they'd be scolded for negativity. The first introduction of negativity was added by the reader, it wasn't in the original post. I neither praised nor criticized Meghan in my comment.

      I plan to continue blogging as I have always have, which is honestly and with good humor. I won't triple check the post for content that maybe, might, possibly be capable of being read in a negative light by someone primed to see the negative, because we all know that what that really means is that I would have to leave Meghan out entirely. I think that's the goal of some, and I don't plan to play along.

      Delete
    16. The way I read it was along with RobinfromCA’s interpretation. Maybe because that’s how I personally see it too. It is helpful when you’re no longer the newest kid on the block.

      Delete
    17. I have read, and loved, this blog for a very long time. I agree with RobinCA, in no way was Jane being mean-spirited toward Meghan; that’s not Jane’s deal. And while she (Jane) clearly doesn’t need me to defend her as she writes eloquently with well thought out points, I felt compelled to add my support.

      Delete
    18. Jane, I completely appreciate and support what you do here and the manner in which you do it - not that you need it:) I can't find any other Kate blog around that isn't, as you say, "an extension of KP's press team" - perfect analogy btw- allowing a wide range of thoughts and opinions which happen to be interesting. Everyone saying the same stuff all the time is totally uninteresting.

      I've been royal watching for years and have never come as close to quitting the whole thing as I have this year due to the attempts by other readers to shut dowm conversations, insert negativity where there is none and make online life as unpleasant as possible. A lot of people either do not seem to know how to or want to conduct discussions, and there seems to be a pervasive fear regarding crtical comments/thoughts/opinions which is really disturbing. Are we all supposed to be homogeneous unthinking robots spewing unrealistic niceties all day?

      For what it worth, Jane does not allow OTT criticism of Meghan. I know because she hasn't published several of my comments that have been heavily critical. Really, she is very even handed and fair toward both women on this blog in both her posts and in running the comment section.

      Delete
    19. I was also taken back by that comment in Jane's post. However, I gave it some thought, and put it into the context of the Jane I have come to know through this blog. I still wasn't sure what she meant but decided to suspend my opinion until I did. I at no time thought it reflected poorly on Meghan. That would indeed require a convoluted stretch of thinking.

      My initial thought was the opposite. I thought credit was being given to Meghan for Kate's confidence--that Meghan was more or less teaching Kate the ropes- which didn't really compute. ( I don't think Kate's poise and gracious manner is new at all--which requires a quiet confidence, if you think about it.. I think it is partly a matter of Catherine Quinn's encouraging the basically humble Kate to stop hiding her light...ironically, a theme of the poem Meghan read at the memorial. I also think the "life-long project" Kate has been working on has helped her see her role beyond that of wife and mother to future monarchs- an impressive responsibility itself.)

      The new kid on the block effect probably explains why so many oldest children in a family seem more confident and responsible than younger ones..sometimes to the point of bossiness. George and Savannah come to mind. George went from dependent only child to mentor to Charlotte. I can't imagine Charlotte's putting up with George's tutelage for long, however.. Or George tolerating Savannah's bossiness much longer. The oldest are literally looked up to from the beginning. It was and is Kate's role in her birth family--I think this is more of a stimulus to Kate than being a royal insider. She probably slipped into it easily with the new arrival. How and how long this was accepted is another question.
      In my incarnation as a teacher I also have put the shy student in charge of being a "buddy" for the new child. It is remarkable to see the shy one blossom. So-maybe I can understand Jane's remark in that light,too. We all have our personal reference points. We just need to do reality checks from time to time.anon1

      If the following comments are inappropriate I hope they can be edited without deleting my whole comment:

      I think Jane is generous to give serious consideration to the second comment- 6:06- It seems like what I call a hit and run one-liner anonymous attack whose purpose seems to be to incite dissention. This one was looking for a fight. Unfortunately, Meg has become a rallying point for the wandering malcontents...any focus and complaint will do as long as one gets to release pent up anger and hostility. If such commenters truly cared about Meghan as a person instead of as a cause they would just stop it. They are bringing negative thoughts toward Meghan by association with their caustic comments. I do think Danielle was just asking Jane for clarification, not challenging what she said. Jane may have been able to tell by the timing and FB remarks etc. whether or not Danielle and 6:6 were actually the same person. That would make a difference. anon1

      Delete
    20. Thank you Jane. I onestly love your blog even because we can express our opinion. In many blog comments are not shown just because you don't write only positive things, even with the maximum respect. Can I have an opinion and express it? Here I can and please continue like this!
      Federica

      Delete
    21. Anon1, you nailed it!" If such commenters truly cared about Meghan as a person instead of as a cause" I think that's what is happening and why discussing Meghan is so disagreeable.

      Delete
  6. Neither of their outfits are really to my taste, but they both look nice. I don’t know about a feud or not, but I just hope they’re all getting along this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  7. First Happy Holidays to all!

    Catherine looked lovely today. It might have been a photo op but she seemed genuinely at ease and happy. Meghan too. Like Jane said every family has tension but hopefully these pics depict a family that can work through them. As for the brothers I am not sure I saw them interacting enough today to say they were at odds. I am sure they have had differences before and will figure it out.

    As for the fashion, I thought both ladies looked lovely. Lots of comments about Meghan all in navy. Let’s face it she likes the darker colors but she wears them well. People say she should change it up. I agree but if that is her thing so be it. I could also say Catherine wearing the same outfits in different colors is as boring as Meghan wearing black or navy, but again that’s her thing and she always looks lovely. I think they both keep it interesting and am already looking forward to the next time we see them.

    One question, in the video of them coming out of the Church, Catherine doesn’t have on her gloves yet and it looks like she isn’t wearing her sapphire ring. I am assuming she isn’t wearing it because of the gloves. Is that normal? I freaked out at first thinking she had lost her ring!!!
    ~kjm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She clearly IS wearing the sapphire ring you can see it in the getty pictures.

      Delete
    2. Anon 5:33--I agree with you about the brothers. I watched a few different videos from the walk to Mary Magdalene's and searched and searched for some clue of discord and personally found none.

      I honestly feel like there is no major beef between William and Harry, aside from perhaps just sibling rivalry which seems to exist at every life stage, as I was so lucky to experience some with my only and younger brother over this Christmas holiday. I make a statement, he throws a tantrum, then I remind him I am the eldest, then he suddenly acts totally normal, and now I am up in arms because he's worked my last nerve. It wouldn't surprise me if what's going on between the boys is more of that. Perhaps it has something to do with Harry possibly making grand promises to Meghan and then pouting when he doesn't get his way. But I definitely get that younger brother who throws a fit when he doesn't get his way sort of vibe from Harry. Exactly the same as my brother. And oh so annoying. Anyway, just my thoughts!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous who asks about social climbing. Kate became William.s girlfriend very young. So her career path seemed to be this one. Obviously Meghan did other things - she got Harry way later. All of her boyfriends were rich. She married a producer who tried to help her career - I know her ex husband personally, he used to promote her on his facebook.

      Camilla

      Delete
    4. Dear Camilla,
      Yes I know about the previous husband being in the tv industry. She’s also been in the tv industry for a while. Was she supposed to have dated poor men to make people happy? Would you be ok if she’d dated poor men? And Harry made a choice to date and marry her. He wasn’t forced. Kate also did the same thing. I read that they even broke up (or she got dumped) at some point. But decided to hang on to him. Is she a social climber too? She was a commoner before joining the RF.

      Delete
    5. Well considering Kate & Pippa used to be referred to as the Wisteria Sisters some people agreed with you 9:16. Was it ok for people to be snarky about Kate because she wasn't following the same path that Meghan was before her marriage?

      Delete
  8. Commenting first on the outfit, Kate is spectacular today! I LOVE the headpiece, I really really love the hairdo and the length and tailoring of the coat make her look so tall and sophisticated. She is such a vision when she goes out of the church! And I agree with you that her new ‘attitude’ is at its best now! She looks like the boss when the Queen is not around, doesn’t she?
    One minor dislike, I wish she took some risks with her lipstick sometimes...today’s colour wasn’t my favorite.

    You know I am always going to comment on William ;) but isn’t he handsome with that coat and his purple scarf? I hope there is a good picture of them both together today, what an attractive couple! And they are fantastic when talking to people, looking forward to getting more short clips from the people standing outside the church.

    I don’t think that what happened today is going to stop the feud narrative. It was clear they would be walking together and talking because they are polite people, was anyone expecting something different? The PR operation got good shots of the girls being friendly to one another but none of the boys (there are in fact bad shots of the boys contributing to the tension story) so I guess it hasn’t turned out to be as successful as could have been...

    BM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with all of this. Catherine looked so amazing especially when she stepped out of the Church. Every shot she is such a commanding presence. William looked very handsome today too!

      I agree they were always going to put up a united front today of all days so I doubt the gossip will stop. The women certainly did their part today but can't say the same for the men. Not surprised as the brothers are both known to be sulky man-babies at times and I'm sure Catherine has had to keep the peace between them on numerous occasions!

      Delete
  9. These poor people. Since when is the British tabloid media so believed?! I hope so very much that they do not read the papers, Twitter, etc. (Kate and Meghan, especially). Every family, even the BRF, has tension from time-to-time. That does not mean they dislike being together or can’t be friendly for a few hours (at least it’s that way in mine). They looked lovely, and seemed to enjoy each other’s company. Wish it could be left at that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Autryville-it just proves my theory that if an idea is repeated enough times people will start believing it without concern for factual basis. (Madison Avenue--advertising-learned this a long time ago. So did propagandists and politicians.) If the case for a feud-"War of the Waleses" were taken to court, an eighth grader could defend it just by knocking down the circumstantial evidence, bit by bit. Rumor. Hearsay. Unsubstantiated. Unnamed sources.
      I'm sure there are the normal disagreements and occasional hurt feelings that families experience.
      But anything to support the extent of the media hype? No. Since when do we believe British tabloids? Good question. At one time their stories were good for a laugh or a snort but were never taken seriously. At least not by anyone who took the time to think it through. You'd think the number of times this story has been amended, reversed,and extended would give a clue that it is hype.The problem is--they throw enough real stuff out in other stories to lend credence to the click bait.
      My worry is that- as Harry obviously reads some of this stuff and is likely already on the defensive about his wife, this tabloid nonsense will act as a catalyst to blow up any normal day-to-day tensions. I fear the tabloid stories if kept up long enough and augmented by social media may actually cause the destructive tension between the two families that the tabloids are promoting now. anon1

      Delete
    2. Yes but the tabloids got it right with Diana and Charles, and Andrew and Fergie among others. Back in the day, we all thought that what the press was insinuating was rubbishy rumours but it was all true. Over the years I have found that if a story keeps cropping up, there is most likely a basis of truth to it.

      Delete
    3. Autryville, I love your post and completely agree with you! I try (and am pretty successful) at avoiding gossip articles about tensions and dramatics that may likely not even exist. Every family goes through tension, drama, and relational shifts, and It's okay to chat about it, but to just read utter lies and harp on that is just silly, imo.

      Delete
    4. I think part of the reason why this narrative is believable - but not necessarily true - is that it plays on scenarios that most people have experienced in their own live and are projecting on the royals.
      New in-law causing tension - check
      Cultural differences - check
      One brother giving another brotherly advice about a new girlfriend that offends - check
      Bridezilla - check
      We don’t actually know that any of this happened but it would not be strange if it did.

      Delete
    5. Anon 11:21 - I agree with you. The tabloids have often gotten it right in the past. The might embellish or get some facts wrong, but I too tend to believe there is some degree of "nugget of truth" at the center when the storyline keeps cropping up.

      Delete
    6. anon11:21--superficially, the tabloids were finally vindicated. My point wasn't whether there is some tension now; it was the part the media play in the evolution of that tension.
      It is like watching a track race, predicting the winner, and then tripping the contender.Of course your prediction will prove correct.
      Which story will glean the most readers: peace and harmony or scandal and intrigue? In the media race scandal and intrigue will win every time.
      Where there's smoke there is fire...which could be a warming hearth or a conflagration, if more fuel is added to the flame.
      Those examples of the press "getting it right" existed before the internet age and before the drive for click bait. It Was, however, a time of massive eavesdropping and listening in on halves of conversations. Now "sources" likely give opinionated accounts of overheard conversations taken out of context and the tabloids base a whole click campaign on this "evidence."
      I also wonder, if the couples in the past had been left to solve their own problems privately,-whatever the final outcome... I wonder how much the tabloids exacerbated normal tensions for them. This is exactly what concerns me about the present situation. The press built Diana up and presented her as competition to Charles. She admittedly loved Charles and was committed to the relationship. Charles said he tried to make his marriage work initially. Jealousy from the icon the press made of Diana beginning with their engagement was a major factor, I believe, in the end result. He needed to be told he was still top dog and there was conveniently someone else handy to reassure him. The media play on human weaknesses. Royals are human. The difference is-their weaknesses become the subject of worldwide discussion.

      I believe in ethics in journalism. I think the tabloids are often unethical and bear some responsibility for the fall-out from their manipulation of opinion. Imagine what might have been the outcome if that reporter refused to air Diana's grievances; if that writer declined to publish her complaints. That was apparently what turned Charles's parents against Diana and the marriage and made any reconciliation impossible.

      Now the question is--how much responsibility should tweeters and commenters bear for what has become an alternate form of journalism? William has tackled this issue by placing the responsibility on the corporate forum operators to police their sites in the fight against bullying. There have also been lawsuits won, forcing blog owners and commenters into court. anon1

      I must stop now, as I have run out of analogies and metaphors. Ha!

      Delete
  10. I think that green outfit from 2015 and the aubergine one from her first royal Christmas walk are my favorites. The brown and russet tweed from when she was pregnant with Charlotte, I think, gets honorable mention. I include the whole outfit and general look with each, not just the coats.
    I do like the Russian tiara/ballet dancer/Duchess of Windsor hats, too. They are an improvement on the perchers and disks. The new style sets her apart from the other royal women and enhances her lovely face, accenting her bone structure and eyes.
    I wish Meghan would stay away from tams and berets. I don't think they flatter her facial structure. After I saw her in a broad-brimmed hat -that was it for me. So elegant.
    Thanks for sharing your holiday with us, Jane. Love the music, as always. anon1

    PS your outfit sounds classy, too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Emmaline in the U.S.December 25, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Absolutely agree, Jane. The detail on this hat band is spot on for Kate! I also love seeing a glimpse of Isla and Savannah Phillips in the background of several pictures with Peter. Does anyone know if this is their first year attending? Can’t wait to see George and Charlotte join the crew one day.

    Happy Holidays, all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy holidays!

      I know Savannah attended last year, not sure about Isla.

      Delete
    2. Savanna and Isla attended for the first time in 2016. Savanna was 5 then so I thought George would make his Christmas walk debut this year.

      Delete
    3. I have a feeling that we won't see George for a while - he seems shy, and I am guessing (hoping?) they'll wait until Charlotte can come too - that way George will have a "job" to look after his sister. Pure speculation:)
      --OP

      Delete
    4. I expected K&W waiting a couple of years longer to bring the kids than for example Peter Phillips. For the more junior royals walking to the church is very much a private event in front of a huge crowd. For the senior royals it a big part work and interacting with the crowds.
      The moment the kids join them they have to juggle mommy/daddy mode with working royal mode. I think that would be easier when the kids are slightly older.

      Delete
    5. OP, I think it's very possible that G&C will appear together for the first time. There would be less of a spotlight on him and he'd be able to share the moment with his sister.

      Delete
    6. Agree with anonymous 12.15, the walking to the church involves a lot of interaction with the crowd and that can be crazy for the kids, especially for George who seems to get shy when he knows he is being watched. Naturally people would want to greet them or at least say hello so I guess they are going to wait a little bit before exposing them to that. Apart from that, I never thought the children were going this year because of what is going on. If they wanted to present the so-annoyingly-called Fab Four the children would have broken that image because, naturally, K&W would interact with them and not with the Sussexes and bye bye strategy!

      BM

      Delete
    7. I agree with royalfan & also think that having the Phillips girls get. Few years experience under their belt will also help - they clearly have a familiar relationship with the Cambridge children and can add even more “normalcy” to what awaits George on his first Sandringham walk.

      Delete
    8. I also think they will wait until next year so Charlotte and George can attend together. It will be easier for George if Charlotte's with him and it is the same age as Savannah and Isla who started attending at 6 and 4. Mia will be 5 next year and she will probably start attending too so then all the Cambridge, Phillips and Tindall kidde crew will be together (good luck to their parents lol!)

      Delete
    9. George and Charlotte went to church for Christmas at Bucklebury so I think they are either being kept away because the queen thinks they are too young or to protect them from the crowd at such a young age.

      Delete
  12. Glad they played the unity card. I think Meghan OD’d a little in showing affection but other than that, Catherine was, as usual, perfect from top to bottom.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think Kate looked like absolute perfection today. I love this coat and hat. Catherine Walker and Jane Taylor - classic looks that will last for years and the color was so festive. She really has embraced her role as future Queen Consort. HM looked so pretty today. I hope I look that good when I'm in my 90s!

    I have to say that William, Kate, and Meghan all did their part today but Harry gets a fail. He always appears grumpy these days. Ever since the tour he looks as if everything offends him. I hope he doesn't turn into Prince Andrew who is perpetually ticked off because he had the misfortune not to be the first born. If Harry is upset because of headlines or criticism against Meghan he isn't helping the situation by being a jerk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, he does seem different, a little cold even and I hope everything is Okay. I don't want to see him upset with anyone or anything. I hope all is well with him, Meghan and their baby.

      I will agree with you that Catherine looked absolutely stunning and took my breath away.

      Delete
    2. I hate to say, but I feel the same way about Harry appearing so grumpy and on edge. For me it's been for longer than the tour, it's been since right around before their wedding, or possibly soon after. From what I see, and I might have it completely backwards, but he regularly appears to be in a perpetual state of losing his shit. Even some of the glances he gives Meghan make me wince.

      Delete
    3. I don't think Harry was emotionally prepared for marriage (and perhaps not to anyone). Don't misunderstand me; I do believe he wanted a partner and family for a very long time now. But I do not believe he was fully prepared for what was to come.

      Dating is easy and comes with a natural high. An engagement is announced and wedding preparations are made...an even higher high. But then reality sets in and two people have to settle in and live a new day to day reality. And in this case, it's a very challenging reality made more difficult given a short (and long distance) courtship, moving to another country and accepting (or not) new customs, and doing it all on a ROYAL scale. That's not easy, to say the least.

      For reasons Harry had little or no control over, the media's honeymoon phase was rather short. I don't think he was fully prepared for the in-law baggage that was to come. I'm sure there was some "explanation" regarding his not meeting her dad and no one other than her mom qualifying for a wedding invite, but all of it combined is a harsh reality that Harry cannot possibly relate to. He wouldn't be human if he didn't have a question mark or two floating around in his head, especially as he is about to become a father.

      I also question how sensitive Meghan is to her husband's baggage (wanting desperately to please her and have her accepted as his wife) and whether she is reassuring him … or adding to his irritation. The nicest way I can say it is that she comes across as somewhat high maintenance; it's been pretty clear since the engagement interview that she had/has a clear vision of what she wants and expects,but there was no evidence of what she would have to learn and adapt to.

      I think it's reasonable to believe that William had concerns over the speed of the relationship and wanted his brother to take time to get to know her and fully understand what was to come; advice that William was in a very credible position to offer given his own experience. I also think it's reasonable to believe that Harry wanted no part of it and was even more determined to move forward. He may have done so, but now he's faced with the reality of said determination.

      Yes, it's all speculation of course, but when you connect the dots we've been privy to so far, it does begin to form a bigger picture.

      Delete
    4. I agree with you about Harry, he seems to have like a permanent angry expression lately.
      Have you seen the video of what happened after the Queen’s car left? Kate went to talk with the crowds, William was talking with the priest, the rest of the family were chatting at the stairs, Andrew left and Harry and Meghan were on their own like not knowing what to do? They afterwards approached the priest as well but it was a strange situation...

      BM

      Delete
    5. royalfan - Your comment about "in-law baggage" - The Windsors come equipped with a good bit of baggage themselves. They are dysfunctional enough to give the Markles a run for their money. Also, you seem to be projecting quite a bit onto Meghan. Sigh.

      Delete
    6. JTQ, I understood royalfans comment differently than you did. She was not comparing the Markles and the Windsor’s - she was talking about *Harry’s* ability to deal with in-law drama in the context of *Harry* not being fully prepared for marriage. Maybe instead of trying to judge and police royalfans opinion you could share with us all what your different opinion is?

      Delete
    7. BM, I have to check the video... :-)

      JTQ, I have never denied Windsor baggage. And above I made a clear reference to Harry's, did I not?

      Delete
    8. Anon 8:40, JTQ has every right to criticize royalfans comment, and it was a very respectful criticism it want rude at all. It’s obvious that people view comments differently and they have a right to express it without being rude.

      Delete
    9. Anon 8:40: First, this is a blog for discussion. You're trying to reframe my comment as "judging" or "policing." Nope. It was, and remains, a flat-out disagreement with royalfan's statements.

      Second, let's look at the actual quote I took issue with: "I don't think he was fully prepared for the in-law baggage that was to come." Ummm...the Windsors have baggage in spades. Sordid family drama is FAR from "a harsh reality that Harry cannot possibly relate to." Harry has a black belt in baggage, and I'm sure is well-equipped to deal with it by this point.

      Third, Harry is a grown man. Pitying him as a dupe ("I'm sure there was some 'explanation' regarding his not meeting her dad") is patronizing and dismissive. Also, the quotes around "explanation" imply that the explanation wasn't complete, truthful, or some combination thereof. And royalfan would know this how? Not to mention "...now he's faced with the reality of said determination." Again, royalfan is speculating about poor, hapless Harry here. That's royalfan's prerogative, but it's fair game to disagree with him/her.

      Finally, royalfan seems to have an animus against Meghan based entirely on speculation (the snide quote marks around "explanation" and "I also question how sensitive Meghan is to her husband's baggage...and whether she is reassuring him … or adding to his irritation. The nicest way I can say it is that she comes across as somewhat high maintenance.") So I repeat: sigh.

      Delete
    10. Very much agree with you, RoyalFan. Well stated.

      Delete
    11. JTQ, very much agree with you about these snide comments against Meghan and the “poor Harry” narrative. Some people just jump to blaming the woman. Anon CA

      Delete
    12. Royalfan: yours is the most coherent and sensible analysis I have ever read about Harry and Meghan.

      JTQ: you get angry because people say you "police". Well, that's because Royalfan said her opinion calmly and with reasoning, and you just dismissed her view as 'projection'. These days projection is used as a way to silence opponents, even when the opponent has largely shown arguments to support her observation without anger or other kinds of negative emotional involvement.

      I have been reading Royalfan's comments for years, and she has a history of being very reasonable. Never felt any spite coming from her.

      Camilla

      Delete
    13. Royalfan, I completely agree with you. Science shows that the chemicals released during a new relationship do the same thing to the brain that cocaine does - it creates a "this is the best EVERYTHING ever!". Best kiss, best hug, butterflies over the smallest things, etc. This usually lasts up to 2 years max (if you're lucky). They've been together for over two years now (since summer 2016). The dating/engagement/wedding excitement is over, plus the chemicals have subsided and the relationship is now viewed through a "normal" lens.

      I have too been wondering if Harry's increasing grumpiness is either him (1) not getting his way in the politics of the BRF, and/or (2) the reality of his relationship setting in.

      Since Harry has shown, and has admitted, his stubborness I don't think he would easily admit to anyone, he may even have a hard time admitting it to himself, that maybe he didn't enter the relationship with much of a logical outlook. Lots of people enter marriage in a whirlwind and there can be various outcomes - basically what I'm saying is they aren't unique in that, they just have different circumstances/pressures than the average person.

      ~ A

      Delete
    14. JTQ, if you prefer to put the most negative spin on my comments (and I did state that I was speculating), perhaps we should agree to disagree.

      Bottom line: I must be looking at a different man. If he has the blackbelt you referred to and is as well equipped to deal with everything that has happened during this past year, I am not seeing it. And it seems that I am not alone. IMO, the behavior/demeanor discussed in this thread is not indicative of a man who is consumed with joy within thirteen months of getting engaged, married and looking ahead to fatherhood.

      Thank you, Anon 10:58. :-)

      And, Camilla, thank you so very much. Your support means a lot, especially since you have followed the RF for some time. (I do try to explain where I am coming from and always welcome equally reasoned objections/debate.)

      ~A, no agreement from me. :-) And me thinks your last paragraph, in particular, is on the money.

      Delete
    15. JTQ- I also agree with your comments.

      Delete
    16. Royalfan and JTQ: I so enjoyed reading both of your thought-out comments. I want to just thank you for doing your best to express your opinions and comments to each other with reason and calm. Regardless of who I agree with more, you have set a good example of politely disagreeing and sharing differing opinions - fun to read! Thanks ☺️

      Delete
    17. Well said Royal fan. There is something amiss with Harry and it has been evident for a while- shame to see such a change

      Delete
    18. Royalfan--wow, what you've surmised about Harry (and Meghan) is just about the best summary I've read about them. Of course the variables are subjective, but sort of the main psychological nuggets make perfect sense.

      Delete
    19. @~A ***No argument from me***

      Autocorrect :-(

      Delete
    20. JTQ, I am going to flatly desagree with you. Having"baggage" does not help you to cope with more of it, quite the reverse. IMO, Kate brings a very welcome stability and her experience of a happy and loving family and that was something William and the RF sorely needed. IMO all the ugliness of Meghan's family and the way she adds to it herself by ignoring her father is not something Harry and the RF needed. As you say, they have baggage. To me it is a potent argument for not adding more. They may not be in a position to frown on Meghan's dysfunctions but the RF and the UK do not benefit from them.

      Delete
    21. JTQ - I agree as well. I think Harry's so-called grumpiness lately directly relates to the negative press and over-the-top innuendo directed towards his wife. Considering his difficult relationship with the press w/r/t his mother, it wouldn't surprise me if he felt frustrated and angry over what has been going on. I think speculation that he is regretting his marriage or that he's a weak-willed dupe of Meghan's is unfair to both of them.

      Delete
    22. JTQ, dealing with your own family's baggage is incredibly different than dealing with another family's baggage. Harry has a lifetime of navigating the Windsor ways & even then he has admitted he found it challenging (In referring to his own statements about how he didn't deal with Diana's death and so sought professional help) - so if he he hadn't mastered his own baggage then it seems unreasonable to me to expect him to be equipped to handle whatever other dysfunction is thrown his way. I see a distinction between judging someone's baggage and being able to functionally navigate it. Harry might be sympathetic to the Markle mess but that doesn't mean he is skilled to handle it.

      Delete
    23. Well this is an excellent thread to prove that commenters of this blog are better than the average royal fans ;) able to discuss and argue and discuss again without personal attack. If only everybody could to the same! Thank you Jane for having created a community where disagreement is allowed and respected.

      I tend to agree with Royalfan and frequently like her comments because they are well explained and reasoned, she may be right or wrong but she always gives an explanation for what she says. I enjoy reading her and many other frequent commenters here.

      Although we disagree with the causes it seems obvious to everybody that Harry’s humour is strange lately, to say the least. I find all your guesses possible and credible and it may be due to a combination of the factors you are discussing: he may be unhappy with the press but most of the bad press is coming from his in-laws and his wife relationship with them so what did he expect? Did he think the press would not take advantage of such an ‘interesting’ material? He has the right to be angry, yes, but some of the criticisms towards his wife could have been avoided if they had handled things differently.

      BM

      Delete
  14. Feud: For what it's worth I said on this blog when these rumours first surfaced if there is a problem it is between William and Harry and the distance maintained between them and absence of interaction between the brothers today in all the pictures and video have further confirmed my thoughts.

    I don't think Catherine and Meghan will ever be friends but I think they get on OK and are cordial with each other when they have to be and then get on with their respective lives like so many in-laws. From what we've seen of Catherine's personality she is a very kind and easygoing person, happy and secure in her life and role so I don't see her even wasting energy on a feud. People want to pit women against women but in this instance they are looking at the wrong halves of each couple. I do get the feeling William isn't that keen on Meghan either though.

    Fashion: I loved Catherine today. Loved the hair down with the halo headpiece with the lovely bow at the back although I am still a bit disappointed it wasn't a pillbox hat like I thought at first, love the flattering and festive red coat, loved her gloves, loved the matching accents of her gloves, shoes, cuffs and hat. Loved the acorn and oak brooch top bring a bit of Middleton with her to Church and add some twinkle to her outfit. A future Queen indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg, I can just picture her rocking some Jackie'O pillboxes!! I'd love to see her wearing modern Jackie'O styles!

      Delete
  15. I actually think that William and Kate were planning to spend Christmas in sandringham all along, mainly because of the queen and prince Phillip’s old age. Victorian Arbiter a respected and well informed royal reporter said that there is no way William and Kate will spend Christmas in Norfolk just to ease feud rumors, even she said it was because of the queens old age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely agree, anon 6:50. Thanks for including the back-up from Victoria. And I agreed with royalfan that Carole's mentioning spending Christmas with her family-which some are using as proof that there was a change of plans-- did not necessarily mean just December 25th. There is a long school holiday. Plenty of time for all the relatives. I could believe the Cambridge's changing plans if Prince Phillip was not doing well but not for some tabloid-created feud. anon1

      Delete
    2. I agree - even more, I do not think that we will ever again see the Cambridges spend Christmas Day anywhere else but with the Queen. It would seem a bit off I would think, since they are pretty senior royals by now.
      Tidefi

      Delete
    3. Another thought: at first the tabloids used the fabricated idea of W&C spending Christmas in Bucklebury to prove there was a feud. Now we are to believe they are spending the day with the Queen as proof there is a feud--which required the alleged change. There was no reliable information to support either destination so how could there be a change. What happened was reliable information became available that sided with the Queen version. This required some back-tracking and spinning by the tabs.
      Smoke and mirrors. anon1
      PS what it is reasonable to assume and what is in fact the truth may not always be the same. This is how some of the writers build their case. It sounds reasonable. Therefore, it must be true. It is a matter of logic. A conclusion built upon false premises. The conclusion follows from the premise yet the conclusion is false because the foundation is false.

      Delete
  16. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and thank you, Jane, for interrupting your holiday to keep us up to date.

    On the fashion front, I liked Kate's outfit as much as I did the green one. CW really suits her and I love the classic style and tailoring. Meghan's outfit was very nice and I have no issue with classic navy. I did, however, think it looked odd that she was walking with her coat unbuttoned (v-neck included) and carrying her accessories like she was walking from the front door to a waiting car. Meanwhile, everyone else is pretty much bundled up (royal style, lol) as you would expect on a formal walk to church. The vibe for me was similar to Eugenie's wedding day.

    My take on today's appearance: it was a good dose of royal PR for the sake of the Firm. W&H didn't pay too much attention to each other while K&M get an A+ for good old fashioned female diplomacy. (William looked as though he was enjoying the day, but Harry looked somewhat agitated and I base this on viewing two pages of photos on Getty's site.) I also thought the hand on Kate's back gesture was a bit much and I say this because it's rather clear that they are not besties and it's not like Kate needs the reassurance.

    Some may agree and others will disagree, but that is my take on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree the hand was a bit much. The English are not a tactile people unless we are very close to the person and Catherine and Meghan clearly do not have that type of relationship. However Meghan is American and an actress so she has very different skinship boundaries and she was playing her part in the PR offensive today so I guess she thought it was the thing to do.

      Delete
    2. Hey Royalfan,
      I agree with you and loved everything you wrote!

      Delete
    3. RoyalFan and Sunny-- Great and interesting commentary. I also thought the hand gesture was a bit much although I am American and I have used this move dozens and dozens of times for different reasons, which I just wanted to share.

      In my work, I have to get people very comfortable with me very quickly, and upon sensing their energy, I will often use both hands to shake their hand, or shake their hand and touch their side arm. Or, possibly gently lead them using the same gesture as Meghan. My true intention is to provide somewhat of a sense of servitude and submission. But again, my job requires me to get people to feel comfortable with me quite quickly and never in a condescending way, so the touch allows me to be on their level...not sure if this makes any sense. On the other hand, if you view this from a different perspective, perhaps psychological, I am actually trying to take charge, albeit in a passive aggressive way, and maybe even topping from the bottom, so to speak. So it sort of serves two purposes. One, I hope to get on their level and get them to trust me quickly, and two, I need to be able to direct them and not the other way around.

      Just wanted to throw that out there.

      Delete
    4. I agree, the hand was too much. It didn't look so bad in the still photo but in the video it is clear that Meghan is 'steering' Kate through the gate, in other words taking a lead which feels wrong.

      Delete
    5. :-) Thank you, Morgan.

      Sunny, my shorter and blunter take on it is that it was a picture perfect moment.

      Delete
    6. From what we have seen of Meghan she seems to be a very tactile person. I didn’t attribute any hidden meaning to her putting her hand on Kate’s back. Did it make for a good photo opportunity? Yes, of course, but I didn’t take it as anything sinister. The entire walk of the royals to church every year is one gigantic photo opportunity anyway.

      Delete
    7. She did the same thing to Eugene before getting into the church, she was even more touchy than with Kate. I guess she wanted to make clear she gets along with everybody and she thinks that touching people proves that. It is cute in picture but strange in video.

      BM

      Delete
    8. @Stephanie Moran and Louise london: Totally agree with your points

      @royalfan: Indeed it was ;)

      Delete
    9. I think Meghan uses touch to connect and demonstrate warmth. It looks a little out of place in a group of Brots but I don’t think it’s nefarious, just American. I also think she was going into “project warmth” overdrive to make up for her grumpy husband who seemed to be having issues with several of his family members.

      Delete
    10. Sorry, Anon 8:28 but I'm an American and I find the "guiding touch to the back" quite iffy. As I said in a comment on this blog a few years ago, even when Will does it with Kate sometimes it makes me cringe. Not always, but sometimes... sometimes it looks tender, other times not so much. Those other times to me it looks more like Will is pushing Kate to leave an event quickly so it looks like a controlling gesture. Perhaps it's a gesture that's ok with the two of them within their marriage. If so, that's fine but it still *looks* controlling to me.

      In a professional situation with no marital/familial relationship between the toucher and the touchee, mid to lower back touching is VERY off-putting to me. While touching the back of a professional colleague isn't the same as touching some front parts of the body, in a way it's an even more insidious personal invasion because unlike a frontal "assault," it comes with no possible defense. (One can anticipate/duck frontal touches.)

      I did find it quite weird when Meghan did it with Kate. And I don't really don't think that particular gesture is an "American thing" at least not where I live. I agree Meghan might not have had an "nefarious" intent, but I don't think it's a Yank/Brit culture clash. And I hope she stops doing public "back touches" except with her husband (and even those shouldn't be constant IMO. 😊)

      Delete
    11. Honestly, i think it is all PR as well. It just seems like Meghan was trying to curve the bad press about her and the hand on the back is a great way to show how sweet Meghan supposedly is. Everything with her is so calculated. So, i just see the hand gesture from Meghan as knowing the cameras would capture it and then she would get some good press. Meghan loves the photogs.
      -CK

      Delete
    12. We're going to have to agree to disagree Lizzie because there must be regional variations in what Americans do. Some people are very touchy and don't think anything of it while others might feel more like you do about touching. A Californian and someone who works on humanitarian projects (where you need to make quick connections with people who might not speak your same language) is usually going to fall on the "touchiest" end of the spectrum in my personal experience. - 8:28

      Delete
    13. I agree with you there are probably regional differences, Anon 8:28/7:19. But "guiding back touches" aren't the same as forearm touches or two-handed handshakes. I know the latter two are done in US business situations, usually to take charge and influence people/situations. And they are typically considered acceptable. (Plus, research has shown they can be an effective manipulation to ensure compliance.) A mid/lower back guiding touch or rub is different to many people in the US, not just to me. (I'm from the south where we are also viewed as "touchy" people--maybe not as much as in some parts of southern CA, but touchy.)  But rather than being typical business behavior/non-verbal manipulation, back touches are the kind of thing that gets reported to HR! (And I sincerely doubt a defense of "I touched X to be polite" would work.) Those touches are often viewed as either domineering/controlling or too intimate, in part because the touch comes from behind and can't be anticipated or avoided.

      I know it was reported Meghan told palace staff she is a hugger and a toucher because she is an American. What I am saying is that hugging & touching people (especially in business situations or when one is in a supervisory position) is far from the universal norm in the US. (Remember MeToo? That wasn't *only* about truly criminal touching & behavior.) And so often Meghan's behaviors are described as stemming from her American upbringing rather than being aspects of herself as an individual and her own preferences re: her public personna. (Harry and Will differ greatly on the "willingness to publicly hug" dimension & so clearly in their case it's not an effect of a "British upbringing.")

      As I said before, I thought it was an odd gesture for Meghan to make towards Kate and towards Eugenie. Of course, none of us know if the touches were welcome. And none of us can know what Meghan intended to convey. The touches may *not* have been intended as dominance take-charge behavior although they could look that way. But *at best* to me they looked like "reassurance" behavior much like when Meghan rubs Harry's back in public. Somehow I doubt "Queen Consort in Waiting" Kate or "Princess of the Blood" Eugenie felt in need of reassurance on Christmas Day from a new member of the family. So it just seemed decidedly odd and out of place.

      Delete
    14. This whole hand on the back scenario reminds me of a video at one of the world leader conferences. More recently, in the Oval Office. Actually, I have seen it many times in situations where power and who has it is the underlying theme.
      I think there was a well-aired Presidential debate sequence involving one candidate ushering another, followed by the ushered one's returning the gesture--entering stage areas and exiting doorways. While it is true the gesture between beloved spouses can signify affection, the guiding hand on the back is otherwise almost a universal gesture of dominance, seniority, or even deprecation. Even when used simply to hurry someone on there is a feel of--I am the one who is in charge here.
      The only time I have observed the gesture used without the appearance of dominance is at awards ceremonies when a dazed recipient stumbles toward the wrong side of the stage to exit and is gently guided toward the correct one by one of the lovely ladies in gorgeous gowns. And yet--the guider is in the superior position of being the one with information.
      Here's another--it is sometimes used with the elderly or children, of course, as a guiding hand or expression of affection. The Michelle-Queen interplay was interesting to me. In returning Michelle's hand on the back, was it the Queen returning an affectionate gesture or the Queen making a guest feel at home? Or even asserting her own position. I tend to go with the returned affection based on the hesitant manner in which HM put her arm around Michelle's waist. This tableau was hotly debated, including on this blog, I believe. The thing is--we had seen Michelle make this gesture a number of times, including in her official role. It seemed like an expression of her personality. I had never seen the Queen do this before. Nor Meghan in the context of a royal function with anyone other than with Harry or perhaps a child. Someone mentioned with Eugenie--which is interesting to me, considering the baby announcement mess and apparent Andrew/Charles ongoing rivalry. Would Meghan have placed her hand on Anne's back? The incongruity may have been why some have reacted so strongly to what was so brief--blink and you would have missed it. A still image (made from the video most likely) captured the moment for posterity. It was strangely out of context.

      I am having a hard time coming up with an example of two people who regard each other as complete equals engaging in this usually symbolic behavior. It can be used affectionately, true, but there is always the question of why one is the guider and the other the guided. "Age before Beauty." "You first; No, YOU first," followed by much apparenly good-humored laughing. We've all witnessed these scenes; if we are honest with ourselves, there is usually an aura of one-up-man-ship. In that example, who is the most gracious. anon1

      PS I'm with lizzie and others on this.

      Delete
    15. CK, what wrong with calculating your every move? If you like being spontaneous go for it. Dont dictate everybody else.

      Delete
  17. I understood that as meaning the Kate feels more grown up, or more of a veteran, now that she’s not the newest member to the royal family. Nothing to do with Meghan’s worth or value. Just that Kate’s position has changed a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  18. (1) Kate looks STUNNING!!!! (2) Kate & William weren’t holding hands! Why?! Don’t they always hold hands on the walk? Made me wonder if William was feeling uncomfortable with the publicity stunt?

    Is Kate not attending early morning communion anymore? I don’t think I saw any of those photos this year...

    I do agree this was staged and that the girl’s worked extremely hard to give the media/public good pics. The photo that Jane references above as making the rounds, Harry doesn’t look happy at all.

    I’m sad that they didn’t go to Bucklebury and hope they do next year! It’s a more family oriented Christmas, for all ages, which I think is better for memories. While I love the Sandringham walks, knowing the kids are at home without their parents makes me a little sad.

    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hand holding pictures are normally from the less formal early morning service. But I don’t think the Cambridges has attended that service since they started spending Christmas at Anmer instead of at the big house. This could be purely logistical, as it would require Traveling up and down to the nig house. Or maybe it is just a case of getting small children ready for Christmas day. They could also spend Christmas morning having a more kid friendly Christmas on their own with the kids.

      Delete
    2. Anonym, 12:24: Hand holding after the main service last (!) year. https://www.elle.com/fashion/celebrity-style/a14474191/kate-middleton-norfolk-christmas-outfit-2017-photos/

      Delete
    3. Anon 12:24 - see the below link that Jane wrote last year. She said that if we get early communion service photos they are at a distance, and the service is at dawn where the lighting would be very different.. You can also see that when they were walking holding hands. But, I will admit, maybe they don't hold hands every year, but they have FREQUENTLY held hands on the Christmas morning walk to church.

      http://fromberkshiretobuckingham.blogspot.com/2017/12/sandringham-christmas-day-2017.html

      ~ A

      Delete
    4. Yes, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't (hold hands on the morning walk to church). Given the PDA that H&M are known to demonstrate, I can appreciate W&K refraining for fear of it turning into a silly "expert analysis" scenario in the press.

      Delete
  19. The queen looked amazing. Kate looked lovely.Meghan looked okay but I'm so tired of the navy go for emerald green or sapphire blue maybe even white. The rest of the family looked nice. Clearly the family hear all of the tabloids cause we got staged PR friendly smiles from the duchesses of course we wasn't going get mean girl vibes from them. But it looks like there's tension between the brothers no interaction from them at all. I hope it's get better for them they don't need to be the next charles and andrew

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kate looked magnificent today, and I personally loved everything about her Christmas ensemble. The Queen looked wonderful as well.

    You mentioned how commanding and regal Kate looked today, and her aura of authority. In your opinion, what are some tips and tricks that Kate uses to emit such an air?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Am I the only one that felt bad for Prince Charles? Without Camilla to walk with him, he looked like he didn't know whether to walk in the front by himself or walk along William. I wish he had walked with the Queen or one of the Fab Four had walked with him.

    I was really disappointed with the outcome of this photo op. I thought they would be able to play happy families a lot more successfully than they did. The Fab Four looked uncomfortable and their smiles were strained at best. Really proud of Kate and William for trying their best. They looked tired and must have been sad to have to do the Christmas walk to quiet down rumors when it looked like their original plan was to spend a quiet Christmas with the Middletons' and Matthews'. Regarding the fashion, I love Kate's coat but more importantly, her hat! It's so pretty and super flattering. I only wish she had gone with opaque or nude tights.

    Also giving props to Meghan for doing a good job in playing along and wearing something safe and appropriate (although I wish she had closed her coat, the open coat makes her look really wide, which even when pregnant, she isn't). I wish Harry had towed the line a little better. He smiled here and there but looked nowhere as happy as last year. In the videos, you can see Meghan had to keep him from wandering off. More than anyone, he should know how important it is to show a united front, but Harry is known for showing his heart on his sleeve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prince Charles looked so awkward and like he was chaperoning them. I think the reason he walked with them was to present this whole Wales family united front but he couldn't walk with just one of them because then the narrative starts Charles favourite is so-and-so! They really should have asked another member of the family to walk alongside him. Camilla has had this cold for a while, I hope it's nothing serious.

      Delete
    2. Charles did look awkward. I don't understand why he couldn't just ride with the Queen. Was anyone with her? He accompanied her to the last State opening of Parliament. Surely he could have kept her company for the church ride. Maybe Andrew or Anne would have objected. Jean, can you explain this, please? anon1
      Such a point was made of saying Phillip was well, although he missed church. I wonder if the opposite is true. Perhaps the luncheon and trip from Windsor and then to Sandringham was too much for him. I remember when the Queen had a "heavy cold" and missed church but was said to have attended other activities. She was not seen in person in public for at least a month. I digress. My point was--maybe Phillip had to give up church at the last minute with no time to consider alternate plans.

      Delete
    3. Anon from LA I agree with all you said.

      It’s sad to think the brothers aren’t getting along.

      I’m worried about Prince Philip.

      Thank you Jane for your lovely blog! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

      Delete
    4. Andrew travelled in the car with the queen. I thought Charles looked fine with his family. He and William were in the same line of vision. Future kings together.

      Delete
    5. I do hope that it is not the case that Prince Phillip is unwell- if this is so,it could also explain Prince Harry's demeanour.

      Delete
    6. Andrew was with the Queen. I think there's major tension between the Yorks and Sussexes and there seemed to be an effort to make sure the Yorks were properly accompanied (like Autumn walking with Bea rather than her own husband and children so that Bea wouldn't have to walk alone or tag along with the Brooksbanks).

      Delete
    7. Andrew accompanied HM (I saw it in one of the videos). I found that interesting for two reasons: first, given some of the post-royal wedding (Eugenie's) debates both here and in the media. And, second, because of a video I watched recently which outlined the efforts being made to have Sarah accepted in the royal fold...and perhaps even on a permanent basis. ;-) Time will tell.

      Regarding Charles, I do think it was important for him to walk with his sons to complete the picture they wanted to present. And if this was his "wish", it makes even more sense that he accompanied his sons and daughters-in-law.

      Delete
    8. Oh, and I do agree about PP, Anon1. I did note his absence given that he could have accompanied HM in the car (rather than walking as we've seen him do for decades). I don't want to think about the implications. :-(

      Delete
    9. Prince Phillip used to lead the family walk and in his absense Charles probably felt it felt to him. Under normal circumstances the Cambridges or Sussexes could have walked with him, or maybe the duchesses followed by the boys. But that would have just fueled the gossip.
      I thought it was very thoughtful of HM to ask Beatrice to accompany her in the car on the way back. Bea is now the only unmarried adult in the family and as somebody who is in the same position I can tell you that it can be very painful to be the odd one out.

      Delete
    10. Thanks everyone for the info. (I still miss Jean's input...:+)
      anon 5:22- Good point. And didn't someone say Bea rode back with the Queen and Andrew more or less trailed off the scene? I have to say, although the timing situation was tricky, I do think Eugenie and Jack should have had their due share of the afterglow after their wedding. I understand why they Might be still upset, which would spill over to her parents. I also can imagine that this situation, if accurate, would be awkward for Harry, as the untimely (for E&J) announcement of his happy baby news seemed to set off this domino effect of apparent bruised egos and hurt feelings. Hopefully, this situation did not cast a pall on the Queen's party--but there have been worse downers.

      Delete
    11. Royalfan - did you see Sarah's Christmas cards that she sent out? A couple photos included Andrew, but one photo was of ONLY Andrew. I'm a hopeless romantic and hope that with time they'll be able to officially be together and possibly remarried <3
      ~ A

      Delete
    12. The Phillips family seemed to be a de;inerate buffer between the Sussexes and the York’s, and in one video I saw you can see the Brooksbank go right past the Sussexes to mingle with the crowd & then totally ignore Harry’s attempt to wave at them. I think the Andrew & Bea rides with the Queen were her attempt to give the Yorks some of the attention they deserve this year.

      Delete
    13. ~A, you made me look :-) and I'm beginning to entertain the idea of A&S getting married again. Although I don't believe it would happen in PP's lifetime (similar to C&C and the Queen Mother).

      Delete
    14. ~A, here's the video :-)

      https://youtu.be/XKdgqfQwADo

      Delete
    15. @AnonymousDecember 26, 2018 at 1:51 PM
      I agree with your comment about Princess Beatrice. It can be very uncomfortable and awkward being the unmarried one so I really liked that Autumn walked in with her and she accompanied Granny back.

      Delete
  23. I've read.all the comments and gave nothing new to add. Nevertheless u just have to chime in to say that I thought Kate was absolutely beautiful today. THAT is why I follow this blog!

    Merry cChristma, Jane. I especially loved your choice of Silent Night, and I had no idea it was 200 years old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha-ha! Bristowmom..if uniqueness were the qualifier for comments there would probably end up being about five comments per post. anon1

      Delete
  24. (Merry CHRISTMAS. I saw my mistake after hitting "publish". So embarrassing.)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I do enjoy these videos to see the "behind the scenes" of the BRF. Eugenie and Jack are so cute and Jack seems to be very comfortable with everybody already but like Kate he dated Beatrice for 7-8 years so he has got to know the family over the years. Princess Beatrice seemed to forget she was going back with the Queen at first! Kate and Anne seemed to be chatting up a storm about something. Charles and Anne too. Savannah is such a character. There were also some cute pics of Uncle Mike Tindall playing around with Savannah. Wonder why Viscount Severn didn't have a coat? He looked so cold. There was also some cute interaction between him and Sir Timothy too. I'm surprised the protocol police didn't notice Meghan's little etiquette faux pas when shaking hands with the clergy at the bottom of the stairs: ladies do not remove their gloves to shake hands.

    Harry is certainly getting his comeuppance for all the years he spent making fun of William's hair, isn't he? His balding is happening at an accelerated rate. It is almost completely gone at the crown now. I think his balding is going to be worse than William's because it starts so far back. He is just lucky the edges and front have hair still but you can see even that is thinning.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think they both looked fantastic. Truthfully, I am graviting to Meghan’s look today... I know it’s navy but that whole ensemble is very much my style. The delicate jewelry and the boots and the coat with the sweater dress. Hat is not my fave but it all works.
    Kate’s look however screams regal, she looks just perfect. I would probably not choose it for myself. But she stands out in a good way. She is the one who your eyes go to.
    I think they probably stunted a bit, but I truly think that the rift is between the brothers. The wives I think are just along for the ride in a way. They could take or leave each other. I think that Harry wears his heart on his sleeve and probably takes any criticism to heart. I think right now he feels the world is out for his wife. But I think the brothers would never go the route that Charles and Andrew did and that the media is escalating this as well

    ReplyDelete
  27. My random thoughts:

    My house is still & quiet. The chaos of the day is over. I'm grateful for this blog & the followers of it for a friendly place to chat about royal fashion. So thank you, Jane, for providing this space, and thank you all for making the space a fun place to indulge in royal watching. However you celebrate (or not) this season, I hope you have a wonderful, love-filled time.

    Okay. I'm a little unhappy with the boys. They seem to be somewhat grumpy, and I think they need to get over whatever is bothering them. Harry in particular is coming across as snarky & a bit of a jerk. I hope I'm wrong, but any "tension" among the young royals appears to be testosterone fueled.

    The ladies, on the other hand, seemed delightful today. They may not be BFFs, but they certainly know how to behave with class & grace. Yay Duchesses!!!

    Their chatting & overall interaction probably won't put an end to the ridiculous tabloid gossip, but it was a master class in gracious behavior. Staged or not, Catherine and Meghan were stellar examples of how to act today.

    I'm guessing they actually get along fairly well. Maybe not super close, but I don't think there is any real animosity.

    Catherine looked fabulous. I loved the color and I liked the length. I sometimes wonder about her tendency to have multiples of her outfits, but this particular coat just suits her. Her willowy figure is perfect for the coat.

    I go back & forth on hatbands,I haven't really made up my mind about them. Today was a solid win though. The quasi-pillbox look was totally chic and stylish in my book. The bow on the back just perfection. I just loved it.

    Meghan looked great too. I'm guessing her hormones were running wild for her to keep her coat open like that. I was very hot during pregnancy too, so I feel for her, bless her heart.


    The Countess of Wessex also looked simply stunning. Great coat in a fabulous color. Catherine & Meghan get the most attention, but Sophie every bit as stylish to me. She's always elegant.

    Lady Louise is looking very grown-up!

    Isla & Savannah were adorable.

    Eugenie, Beatrice, Autumn, & Anne were fabulous in bright jewel colors.

    I wasn't crazy about Her Majesty's ensemble. It was a very rare miss for me. Het brooch was perfect, but that pink trim was just too much.

    I loved her speech though. The message was totally on point for everyone - Americans, Britons, royal or not. It was a message the entire world needs to hear and heed.

    Wishing everyone pav peace and joy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I enjoyed & agreed with all of your thoughts. I thought the Queen looked lovely but the pink trim was a bit much. & Sophie was stunning...she gets more beautiful as she gets older.

      Delete
    2. When I was pregnant, I felt like a furnace! Pregnancy hormones are really something.

      I got a kick out of QE's hat, but suspect I'm in the minority. I figure, if you can't wear something over the top in your 90s, when can you? :)

      Delete
    3. I loved HM's ensemble. That soft grey with her silvery hair and that pop of color was so pretty on her.

      Delete
  28. I have always wondered if Kate does her own hair when she stays at Sandringham, or if she brings her stylish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I'd never be able to put that look together!:)

      Delete
    2. I can't remember where I read it, but I heard that the Queen allows for her, Camilla and Kate to use her hair stylists for Christmas Day. Personally, those 3 ladies always have the best hair, while the rest of the royal ladies look like they did their hair themselves. Not in a bad way, just not that perfectly coiffed 'do that a stylist does. I just remember reading the article and thinking "poor hair stylists who have to work Christmas Day!", then realized they are probably away from home for about 2 hours which isn't so bad, I guess...
      ~ A

      Delete
  29. Merry Christmas Jane. Lovely pictures you shared with us. They all look fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I thought everyone looked great today....Kate looked outstanding....William even looked a little "hipper" than norm with his scarf...liked Meghan's ensemble much better this year....and I prefer Harry in a darker overcoat than a gray. They all looked beautiful!

    When it comes to "the tension" I'm just not buying into it. I think both couples live such different lives and probably get along just fine. The mags and papers started the ugliness to sell their product and so many bought into it because we aren't seeing the two couples together that much except for royal family outings. Charles and Diana and now Camilla....Andrew and Sarah....Anne and Tim....Edward and Sophie.....very rarely did or do you EVER see those siblings and spouses together unless an official Royal Family event. I think everyone needs to go watch Princess Eugenie's wedding on YouTube and watch Catherine chatting warmly for sooo long with Harry (and Harry has to sit there and then it goes Meghan next to Harry) and Meghan leaned forward having a pleasant, chuckly convo with Zara and then with Princess Anne.......there was just NOTHING there as far as friction. And I think the choice to go to Frogmore was definitely Harry wanting them to have more privacy.

    While I may not agree with Jane on the tension aspect, you can never call her biased....or having a "tone" or an "agenda" towards Meghan.....she has been nothing but fair. And anyone looking to stir the pot needs to go find a different blog. SLH



    ReplyDelete
  31. Anyone know why Camilla wasn't present?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Where was Camilla? I thought she left on Dec 26th to go spend time with her family

    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has been sick with a bad cold

      Delete
    2. Ah, okay, thanks!
      ~ A

      Delete
  33. Merry Christmas, Jane! Thank you for this lovely post on the royals at Christmas...a most wonderful time. I thought both of the duchesses looked beautiful as did all the royal women (and men for that fact). I did immediately notice, however, that Harry especially but William too (to some extent) seemed strained and was not overtly trying to mitigate those undertones of tension. The girls are either just fine or really good at covering it up. Perhaps a bit of both. I'll admit that it breaks my heart a little to think that Harry and William could have anything devisive between them. I've always felt so comforted that they had such a strong bond and were walking this royal journey together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were on the same path for a while Laura but they are at that point in their lives where their royal journey diverges (as it was always going to). Strong bonds can be comforting but they can also lead to chafing & I think that the tensions we are seeing are the growing pains as the boys become men.

      Delete
    2. Harry warmed up to Kate from the beginning. He went out of his way for that family, tagging along being the happy fun uncle and brother in law every step of the way. If William is unwilling to do the same for Harry then he has every right to dust his feet and walk away (for good if needs be). He’s a grown man who has just started his own family. He doesn’t need William. It’s great to get along but it’s 2 way traffic. I totally support his stance if any of this circus is true.

      Delete
    3. I'd also like to point out that the Middletons really embraced Harry and included him occasionally. I feel it was such a shame that the Middletons weren't invited to the Sussex's reception, meanwhile Oprah and George Clooney were...I think that speaks volumes about Harry, not fighting to have a surrogate family invited. Especially since they welcomed Harry & Meghan to Pippa's reception, which in a way was generous because the "will Meghan attend or will Meghan not attend" was taking up a lot of media attention at someone else's wedding.

      Which also reminds me of another wedding Meghan took the attention away from...cough cough open jacket for a barely visible bump...but I digress ;-)

      ~ A

      Delete
    4. Anon 3.33, I do not believe that Harry did any more than he wanted to do with/for W&K. The trio certainly appeared to get along very well, with Harry and Kate acting like brother and sister. And I strongly believe that W&K were prepared to be equally supportive in return. Before you dismiss them as being unwilling to do so and suggesting that Harry doesn't need them, ask yourself what changed?

      Delete
    5. And William does not need Harry.

      Delete
    6. ~A, thank you for expanding on the subject. All good points!

      Delete
    7. Anon 3:33 I think it can also be interpreted that Will and Kate were incredibly inclusive to Harry. Involving him and making sure he wasn’t ignored or lonely. They could have easily taken a view of “it’s us against the world now” and left Harry behind. Will could have made things revolve around Kate and their marriage but they didn’t. They kept the pda at bay so he didn’t appear quite so “third wheel.” He was blessed to have them until he found Meghan. They were incredibly gracious.

      Delete
    8. A, you don’t need to invite someone to your wedding just because somebody invited you. It was Meghan’s wedding too not just Harry’s so Meghan has a right to have her close friends at HER wedding. Regarding the cloony’s Meghan was pretty close to Amal before the wedding so inviting her would make sense and George was there because he is married to Amal. And Meghan can wear her coats however she likes, she is not going to button her coat just to please you.

      PS. If people don’t like the way Meghan acts or dresses just don’t follow her, she is not going to change just because you guys don’t like her. Since when does not liking somebody mean tearing them down at every chance you get.

      Delete
    9. If you want the royal trio back then that means Harry should never get married. There is absolutely nobody that can fit right into a threesome who have a long history and are pretty close. If Harry get’s divorced I guarantee a second wife willl not ease right in.

      Delete
    10. And don't ypu think that there may be reasons William acted differently? We are talking about different situations with different people. Or you think William had to just "return the favour" no matter what?

      Camilla

      Camilla

      Delete
    11. A
      Oh I remember that in my opinion I rather felt that pippa and her now husband felt pressure to invite her for fear of blacklash. It reminds of today's wedding world and the 'plus ones' for singles. There shouldn't be pressure to give plus ones if the relationship ain't that serious. For harry and meghan I believe they should did something that evening together than grabbing headlines about harry leaving early to go get her and that car pic.

      Delete
    12. And it wasn't just Meghans wedding either 10:31 so some of the guest list was of course going to represent Harry's social set of which the Middletons most certainly are & Meghan will absolutely be at several family milestone events with them (like Louis christening). I find it immature to assume that one doesn't have to ever think about or acknowledge the effect of ones actions and choices on others.

      Delete
    13. Anon, 10:31 I strongly disagree with you. You DO have to invite someone to your wedding if somebody invited you and you accepted and went to the wedding. Not doing so is simply bad manners. If you don't want to invite someone to your wedding, don't accept the invitation. It is not only manners it is decency and honesty. If you are not friends enough to invite, don't get invited and profit from the invitation. I feel strongly about it. Harry and Meghan were both invited to Pippa's wedding, they both went to the dinner. It was a very nice gesture to include Meghan who was at the time only the current girlfriend.

      Delete
    14. Where I live everyone on the ceremony guest list is invited to the reception. But if a chapel is quite small, it's possible to invite people to the reception who weren't invited to the ceremony. (Pippa's church seated only 130 but 350 were invited to the reception according to media reports.) Where I live that's rare. And neither of those things was true for H&M's wedding. I believe they invited around 600 people to the ceremony but only 200 were invited to the evening reception. (And even with a list of 600, even some of Harry's relatives such as Lady Amelia Windsor were NOT invited to the ceremony.) So with a reception limit of 200, 2 out of 3 ceremony invitees *weren't* invited to the reception. It really didn't surprise me at all that the entire Middleton family plus Pippa's husband weren't among the 200 in the select evening group. (And honestly, other than Pippa's wedding & the attendant drama about whether Meghan was or wasn't actually invited to either the ceremony or the reception, I've not seen any reports of a real relationship between Harry and the Middleton family over the years anyway.) It was also reported Chelsy D, Suits co-stars, & Sarah F (all invited to the ceremony) didn't make the cut for the evening party either.

      With Pippa's wedding, even though the reception guest list was longer than the ceremony list, it was reported her uncle Gary WAS invited to the wedding but was NOT invited to the reception. So guest list decisions for both affairs were quite unusual in my experience. However, I don't necessarily buy into the notion that if you attended the wedding of A to B when single, if you EVER get married you must invite A&B. Relationships do change often in unanticipated ways, and as only 1/2 of the engaged couple, you aren't the sole decision-maker re: the guest list.

      Delete
    15. Helen, I strongly disagree with you. People have different types of wedding. Some have small and some have big. I was invited to a wedding 4 Years ago. Back then the bride and I went to college together and were pretty close. Now we aren’t close at all because we went are separate ways after graduation. Who knows how close or apart we will be by the time I get married. Meghan and Harry’s reception was for close family and fiends only,maybe there guest list didn’t allow more people. Also, like I said before some people have small weddings to fit a tight budget so inviting everybody who invited you is not practical.

      Delete
    16. It seems like people are forgetting that we don’t actually know what the relationship dinamics was when Kate was introduced to the family. Anon 3:33 talk about Harry warming up to Kate immediately, but we don’t actually know that (it might be true but it also may not be). We didn’t see Harry and Kate interact until Kate has been in the picture for years.
      It is unfair to compare Kate’s interaction with the family 6 months after her wedding to that of Meghan. Kate had the luxury of getting to know the rest of the family without the world’s eyes on her. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were similar tensions in the family when William and Kate started to be serious about each other, but as everybody got to know each other things settled down, as they would do again.

      Delete
  34. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some family tension, but think reports of it are overblown. Familial relationships change over time, especially with seismic shifts like marriage and children. But my hunch is that things will calm down. William and Harry have always had a tight bond, and that doesn't go away overnight. Surface winds might fluctuate, but there's a strong and deep current underneath. In general, I'm tired of all the focus on drama!

    ReplyDelete
  35. FASHION
    Kate: Loved, loved, loved Kate’s look. The color(s) were beautiful and suited the holiday. I liked the headband/hat and am thinking she may have her hair done on Christmas Eve and has to deal with it herself Christmas morning? We have often seen it
    pulled back on Christmas morning. Loved her gloves and shoes! She did look a bit tired to me, which would be understandable since Christmas Eve at Sandringham is probably a late evening and I heard William say the children were up at 5.
    Meghan: She looked lovely and appropriate, though I am tiring of black and navy. Is that the same coat she wore to Eugenie’s wedding? Maybe it was too tight to close now!
    Eugenie: I loved the coat or dress or coatdress? Slightly ill-fitting, but was a win for me.
    Autumn: I loved the color, not the high/low thing. Just a personal preference.
    Sophie: Great color, she pretty much nails it lately. Seems she has found her style and what looks good on her.
    The Queen: I was a bit puzzled, it looked springy to me, her look on Sunday was, in my opinion, more Christmas-y. Still she looked lovely.

    FUED:
    In my opinion it’s more a William and Harry thing. There has been much change in the family dynamic this year and I think they will find their “happy landing” place in the future, but it may take some time. There is a structural pecking order at KP and William is at the top of that heap, that order is becoming more and more important with each passing month.
    Someone mentioned they hope William and Harry don’t end up like Charles and Andrew; I feel the same.
    I don’t think Kate and Meghan will ever be best friends, but they don’t have to be. Princess Anne has never felt the need to be close with any of her sisters-in-law but everyone appears to get along in public. Diana and Sarah were close for awhile, but that fell apart.
    Hopefully all the negative press will die down soon.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Adored Kate's look today. Such rich, sumptuous colours for the festive season. Actually, I thought the mulberry accessories and the red worked quite well because the the velvet of the collar, pockets and buttons appeared mulberry. The hat was gorgeous. I'm loving this style of fascinator/hat, and I agree with you Jane, this is my favourite so far. It looks so lovely from the back in many of the photos. And yes, the longer hem makes Kate seem even taller. William looked great with the scarf, but he has definitely upped his game of late. Meg looks stylish and warm in her boots. And, I think both ladies made a sterling effort to dispel the rift rumours. I imagine William and Harry thought it was all just a "bit of stuff and nonsense". They are never going to be fully on board with the publicity/press side of their jobs given their history. But I think William is pragmatic, Harry a little less so.
    Hats off to the gorgeous in-laws - Mike Tindall, Jack Brooksbank and Autumn Philips - who smiled and waved genuinely, and warmly wished people merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree that Kate's outfit looked especially stunning from the back. Very elegant and graceful! William did look great with his scarf. Wondering if it was a Christmas present.

      Delete
  37. For Meghan to touch Kate on the back like that either indicates that they are very close, or it indicates she feels more powerful than Kate. I do not mean to sound super formal but you do not just touch someone on the back like that. Somewhat patronizing, even if well intended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, runnergirl-I just used many words to express what you said so well in two sentences. ;+)anon1

      Delete
  38. But to be honest, this blog (plus many other similar ones of “real elegant British royals” would be boring if Meghan is removed from the narrative. She really keeps the discussions alive thus generates a lot of negativity in the process. It’s kind of a cascade that has benefited a lot of bloggers. You’ve got to give that lady the props.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan has certainly generated interest, but frankly Kate has always generated plenty of interest and debate, here and elsewhere. If she hadn't, this blog wouldn't be here. :) I don't say this with malice, I think it is a dispassionate fact, Kate can't really be eclipsed. So, the idea that royal-watching would be boring without Meghan has already proven to be false. Meghan is certainly an interesting twist to the story, but she is just the latest iteration of an ongoing royal-watching saga. This current "tension" hoopla is a chapter, not the book.

      Delete
    2. You must be new here. This blog has been around a long time and it has been anything but boring.

      Delete
  39. I really like this look on Catherine. I notice that she has gravitated toward a vintage 40's/50's style, as has been mentioned in the press, and she carries it off beautifully. I love the silhouettes of the 1940's especially, and it is such fun to see a public figure like the Duchess of Cambridge put them to use again with such elegance! She seems to have a flair for historical fashion, perhaps her Art History degree showing through?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely!

      I adore a vintage silhouette and Catherine looks positively stunning when she wears the look. I think that's why this hatband looks so good on her - it has a 60s vibe.

      Delete
  40. Catherine always looks so beautiful and happy. She was a Psychology major before she switched to Art History, you know? She is a talented artist, but originally pursued and still has an active interest in Psychology. Meghan is beautiful and happy as well, she is on a mission to promote women, and feels strongly that women should support each other. Both are in their late 30's now, highly educated, and accomplished.

    These are not 20-something sister-in-laws having immature petty fights. They are mature women who certainly walk-the-walk of their passions. And this is the reason I don't believe any of the Tabloid's "anonymous source" or "paid former staff" reports of tension between them.

    If I were in William or Harry's shoes, I'd look a bit disgruntled too. Meghan's character is publicly under attack. Their Christmas has been overshadowed by all of the above. Their private family dynamic has gone public with plenty of negative embellishments. Just like their mother Diana.

    Belle

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jane, you are right on target with your interpretation of the day. (First of all, Catherine looks beautiful and queenly. She's fantastic.) I think that it doesn't do the BRF any good to have friction between siblings and sisters-in-law on public view, and William and Kate are trying to project an image of peace in the family. But I believe it's another story behind closed doors, and I am indignant for both Kate and Eugenie that Meghan took complete advantage of their good breeding. She put her hand on the back of both of them when that would be the least welcome thing she could possibly do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an odd comment, why would putting your hand on somebody else’s back imply taking advantage off? And your breading comment is disguising. Just because Meghan is not born a royal doesn’t mean that she can’t be a polite, elegant, sophisticated woman. Putting your hand on somebodies back is very polite thing to do and it has nothing to do with breading. People keep saying that not liking Meghan has nothing to do with her race but your comment about breeding says otherwise. Attacking Meghan because of her race, family, heritage and upbringing is pretty racist to me and it’s disgusting.

      Delete
    2. I’d love to know how you know that Meghan touching Kate and Eugenie was not welcome?

      Delete
    3. Breeding?? Really? What is that supposed to mean?

      Delete
    4. Oh good lord, stop with the race-baiting, Anon 7:02. I immediately interpreted the comment on breeding to be about British (and a certain social strata of British with lots of etiquette norms) versus Californian-American — and this Californian Amercan was not offended in the least. If you immediately heard some insidious racial tone to it, that’s on you. And it is tiresome.

      Elizabeth A., oh to be a fly on the wall behind palace walls, eh? Different story indeed.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous 7:02: How on earth could that comment I made be considered racist? You're assuming that "good breeding" means white? That's not the case, but I'm sorry if you think that it is.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous 8:16, I'll explain my comment to you as well. I have no personal knowledge of how they really felt-- it was total projection. If it's true that Meghan announced her pregnancy at Eugenie's wedding, I would not want Meghan's hand on my back if I were Eugenie. If it's true that Meghan had an issue with Charlotte and a nanny at the fitting for the bridesmaids' dresses, I would not want Meghan's hand on my back if I were Kate. That's all. And I'm American, so in general I'm used to people touching others.

      Delete
    7. I understand what you mean now. I just don’t agree with you. If these things happened and if Kate and Eugenie were offended by them, and if apologies were not given or received, then they might feel as you stated or they might not.

      Delete
    8. It's a reference to having been taught a certain set of manners, as in someone who has acquired certain social skills is "well bred" - it's a very common and innocent term (if some might find it slightly snobbish).

      Delete
    9. Elizabeth A. Your comment about breading has massive ambiguity to it. So associating it with racist undertones is not totally Insane.

      Delete
  42. Kate looks lovely. I like the red coat, and I especially love that she's experimenting with new hats. I've always been partial to the hat-bands myself. I love the way they frame her beautiful face. Plus, does her face look fresher? I know everyone was talking about forehead lines, and now she is looking much smoother. The change is so subtle, but she looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, we've talked before about how we think she (conservatively) has facial treatments...my guess is botox and fillers. I noticed her face looks "fresher"...less forehead and smile lines. My guess is this is a sign that she is done breastfeeding Louis and she could now start injections again. I am all for women doing what makes them feel confident, plus she chooses a natural approach, so all the power to Kate :-)
      ~ A

      Delete
  43. Jane, in the spirit of Christmas I want to say brava for your work and commitment to your readers. Also I’m a huge Meghan fan (probably even more so than Kate), and I see nothing critical in your commentary but also nothing wrong with critique! I agree with you the addition of Meghan has done a number on the RF.

    I do have a question: I’m wondering to what extent you think the duchesses outfits are collaboratively planned. People often comment on their clothing as if it is chosen without any input or approval (the claims to breaches of protocoll, the matching, etc.). I’d venture to guess there are numerous staff involved in their wardrobe choices. Anyway, I’m curious to know your thoughts on this, as someone who has been royal watching much longer than I!

    - Dani

    ReplyDelete
  44. Just a comment about Meghan touching Catherine -

    From my southern, American point of view this was no big deal. I don't think Meghan meant anything by it at all. Down here we touch each other all the time.

    For example -
    A few days ago my husband and I went to visit one of my students who had missed a couple of days of school. He had never met the child or her mother, but the mother greeted him with a hug anyway.

    It's just what we do.

    I don't know if Californians are as touchy as Texans and southerners, but I really don't think Meghan was trying to be controlling or patronizing or anything else. She was just being American.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Loving the red coat on Kate, altho I'm not a fan of the burgundy accessories. Question, and this one may be completely off-the-wall: Could this be the same coat Kate wore upon her arrival in New Zealand, somewhat reworked? (changed buttons, trim added to the collar) I know it's a stretch but, on the other hand, wasn't that coat by Catherine Walker--you know the coat I mean; Kate was wearing it when she stepped off the plane carrying baby George. It only struck me when I saw the back of the coat--the pic showing Meghan with her hand on Kate's back. It occurred that this coat didn't look to be of winter-weight.-- Whatever the case, I thought she stole the show at the Annual Royal Xmas Catwalk on the 25th.

    Second place goes to Isla Phillips--love HER coat, too!

    Third place? That's where I'm stumped, but if push came to shove, I'd choose Meghan; her leather boots were to die for and her hat, as hats go, added a sophisticated note.

    At the risk of being branded a heretic--not that I'm worried about taking a very unfriendly tour of the Tower, but I do wonder how much it might cost an infuriated Royalist to hire a sniper--I'm not crazy about the Queen's apparel, spring-like in both weight and colour. Of course, the Queen had only to walk between car door and church door, severely cutting down on her chances of catching a chill.

    And speaking of catching a chill, Camilla's excuse for absence today, I can't help but recall Prince Philip's various absences and how they neatly dovetailed with family turmoil. Could Camilla be doing the same?

    JC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt Camilla was absent because of the turmoil. I think she really is sick as she also missed the BP Christmas lunch. I'd prefer she's just avoiding but unfortunately I don't believe that.

      Delete
    2. Camilla cancelled a few engagements due to the cold. It’s cold and flu season. People get colds and a person with a cold has no business around a 92 year old monarch and her 97 year old husband.

      Delete
  46. Observation: Since Meghan joined the royal family, Catherine appears to have oriented her wardrobe to a more traditionally regal look as if to demonstrate her status within the family – here I'm referring to: puff sleeve dresses, hatbands (faux-tiara), longer skirts, use of more of Diana and the Queen's jewelry (these stand in stark contrast to the classic modern look that she had adopted during her tour of Germany/Poland). When comparing her Christmas outfits, three are winners: 2013 (the Alexander McQueen tartan), 2015 (the green coat pictured above), and last year's Miu Miu plaid coat. This year has been that of repeats – same coat/dress in a different colour (Meghan's wedding, Eugenie's wedding (Trooping the Colour), RAF celebration (a blue version of what she wore to Meghan's wedding and Charlotte's christening), this coat being a "twin" of her green Catherine Walker coat. I hope that this coming year, Kate diversifies her wardrobe and experiments since she has the ressources, time and figure to do so. While I normally love Catherine Walker – mostly because of the gorgeous outfits they made for Princess Diana –, I find the repetitiveness to be rather lacklustre and this design emphasizes her long-waisted/short-legged figure.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Observation: Since Meghan joined the royal family, Catherine appears to have oriented her wardrobe to a more traditionally regal look as if to demonstrate her status within the family – here I'm referring to: puff sleeve dresses, hatbands (faux-tiara), longer skirts, use of more of Diana and the Queen's jewelry (these stand in stark contrast to the classic modern look that she had adopted during her tour of Germany/Poland). When comparing her Christmas outfits, three are winners: 2013 (the Alexander McQueen tartan), 2015 (the green coat pictured above), and last year's Miu Miu plaid coat. This year has been that of repeats – same coat/dress in a different colour (Meghan's wedding, Eugenie's wedding (Trooping the Colour), RAF celebration (a blue version of what she wore to Meghan's wedding and Charlotte's christening), this coat being a "twin" of her green Catherine Walker coat. I hope that this coming year, Kate diversifies her wardrobe and experiments since she has the ressources, time and figure to do so. While I normally love Catherine Walker – mostly because of the gorgeous outfits they made for Princess Diana –, I find the repetitiveness to be rather lacklustre and this design emphasizes her long-waisted/short-legged figure.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Observation: Since Meghan joined the royal family, Catherine appears to have oriented her wardrobe to a more traditionally regal look as if to demonstrate her status within the family – here I'm referring to: puff sleeve dresses, hatbands (faux-tiara), longer skirts, use of more of Diana and the Queen's jewelry (these stand in stark contrast to the classic modern look that she had adopted during her tour of Germany/Poland). When comparing her Christmas outfits, three are winners: 2013 (the Alexander McQueen tartan), 2015 (the green coat pictured above), and last year's Miu Miu plaid coat. This year has been that of repeats – same coat/dress in a different colour (Meghan's wedding, Eugenie's wedding (Trooping the Colour), RAF celebration (a blue version of what she wore to Meghan's wedding and Charlotte's christening), this coat being a "twin" of her green Catherine Walker coat. I hope that this coming year, Kate diversifies her wardrobe and experiments since she has the ressources, time and figure to do so. While I normally love Catherine Walker – mostly because of the gorgeous outfits they made for Princess Diana –, I find the repetitiveness to be rather lacklustre and this design emphasizes her long-waisted/short-legged figure.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just got a quick look at the walk to Church on Christmas morning, but with a full house and cooking, didn't really have the time to comment.
    Life back to normal today.
    Thought Catherine looked beautiful--the coat fitted so well and I loved the hat. Everyone had made the effort to look their best.
    Can't help wondering if Harry and Meghan were staying with William and Catherine as they all curtseyed/ bowed to the Queen as she was leaving the Church---surely if they were actually at Sandringham House , they would have seen HM before leaving for the Church Service.
    There have been rumours of rifts in the Royal Family for several hundred years (before that they just killed each other off}. Now I rather suspect they are pretty much like all other families--they get on well with some members of the family and less well with others. It would be a pity if there was disharmony between William ans Harry as they have always been close and Catherine always seemed to have encouraged that. Meghan will possibly take longer to settle in as it is a much bigger change for her and there is the added early pregnancy--rather a lot in a short time.
    The newspapers just want a story--true or false.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Im not trying to add fuel to the fire but did anyone see the DM today? There is a short video up of Meghan turning to speak to William and he clearly ignores her and fumbles with his scarf. Usually, I don't pay attention to the DM and only look at the pictures but this caught my eye. I guess the video could have been doctored but it looks authentic to me. The article is suggesting that the tension is between William and Meghan.

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you think your comment should have been approved, but it did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!