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Kate's Mojo is Marriage & Motherhood

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I have been thinking about this post for a long time. Last week, the Telegraph ran an article about Kate with the headline Princess of Wales-in-Waiting: How Kate Got Her Groove Back which proved to be the nudge I needed to finally sit down and pen these thoughts.  The Telegraph article itself is an excellent piece that highlights the remarkable successful royal Kate has become, and I highly recommend you give it a read. The headline (likely not written by the author) bugged me, and it reminded me of the theme of a number of other articles we have seen in the past year and a half.  Many articles where the substance, not just the headline, suggested that Kate has only recently started to get it right, to get her "mojo" on as she begins to unveil more of her charitable initiatives. These other articles, and the headline of the Telegraph's otherwise great article, all push the same theme--Kate is only a successful royal to the extent she is ramping up her public engagements and exposure. I think that is all wrong. 

While all of these articles are right to laud Kate’s initiatives, and many make valid points about how successfully she has grown into her role within the royal family, the idea that Kate has turned a corner, or righted her ship, or gotten back on track is completely wrong. Kate hasn’t “gotten her groove back,” she never got out of her groove. Her life is unfolding just as she hope and worked for  all those years ago, and just as she has continued to craft it. Her grace and gravitas are not the result of a change in course, but the natural result of her own, long-standing strategy for royal life. 

Many of the articles we have seen refer back to the Duchess’s “Waity Katie” days, which if you are new to the block (or not even that new, because at this point a reference to “Waity Katie” is a serious throw-back), refer to the fact that Kate dated William for many years before they married. Some sniping socialites, and a number of tabloids and papers, too, dubbed her “Waity Katie.” All number of people were intent on shaming Kate for putting her relationship first. Kate received harsh criticism for not more aggressively pursuing a “real” career and, instead, working jobs that allowed her flexibility to adapt her schedule to accommodate William’s military commitments. To be blunt, people criticized her for obviously wanting to marry William and arranging her affairs to maximize the chances of success in that respect. 

To which I reply, so what if she did? So what if Kate fell in love with William and decided to clear the decks and make the success of that relationship her top priority? Does anyone want to raise their hand and say it didn’t work out well for her? She is happily married to her handsome prince, she has beautiful homes, darling children, and the option to pursue activities outside her home when those projects fit her family’s schedule. She has complete flexibility to pursue charitable work, aka her career, and also raise her children herself. Sounds like the dream to me. What’s wrong with setting your sights on your preferred life and pursuing it single-mindedly? 

Since their marriage, Kate has been vilified for not throwing herself into a frenzy of royal activity. Instead, in the first few years, she retreated to the relative seclusion of Anglesey to start her family. Even as the couple eased more and more into their increasingly active royal duties, Kate has been continually criticized for not working enough. Ludicrously, there are some who even cite her three children, not as the blessings she clearly cherishes, but as excuses that permit her to skirt her work commitments! (You can’t make this stuff up, I’m telling you!) 

What so many of these critics won’t accept is that Kate and William have made a conscious choice. They laid a careful plan. They have a strategy to achieve both happy personal lives for themselves and their children, and successful tenures as senior royals, and ultimately a successful reign as king and queen. We are not seeing Kate get her mojo back (which is code for finally conforming to societal standards for women working), rather we are seeing yet another stage of her strategy unfolding. This is just the next scene, with several already played, and a number of acts to follow. 

The Duke and Duchess were crystal clear that they would slowly ease into their roles, that their family would always be their first priority, and that intense, full-time work would only come in time—they have, after all, quite a bit of time—a lifetime, in fact. The Telegraph article makes this point when it notes that: 
William and Kate both insist that they drive their children to school and nursery themselves; drop-offs and pick-ups are "sacred" time, and staff know it would have to be "a very high bar" to disturb it. "She's a very hands-on mother," said one insider.
Kate has always prioritized being a wife and mother, and it is part of what has made her the smashing success she has been in the Royal Family. To repeat. We aren’t seeing Kate getting her mojo back; we aren’t seeing Kate finally figuring out her priorities; we are seeing the fruit of her strategy, the results of her game plan, the wisdom of her choices. Kate always knew what she wanted, and understood the best order in which to pursue her life plans. From her first focus on marrying William, to their decision to kick off their first few years of marriage in relatively privacy, to her slow transition to working royal, to her current emphasis on her children, Kate has always been clear on what she wanted. She has been very happy to support William and raise her family and play her part within the family. It's this sense of purpose and personal identity that has endeared her to the British people and to her husband's family. 

Today, society lauds as a chief virtue the ability to “be your own person” and “think for yourself” and “stand out from the crowd.” I have found this societal mission statement is little more than a farce. The truth is that society does not welcome those who really chart their own course and the overwhelming majority of people swim with the stream. Most who are hailed as bold and forward leaning, are only bold in the direction in which they know the majority will agree and applaud them. One of the reasons I have always admired Kate is that she truly is her own women. She really does live the life she chooses, and often she must swim upstream to do it. Since she started dating William she has made the decisions that suited her goals, and pursued the future of her own dreams, regardless of the naysayers, or the abuse from the public or media. She wanted to get married, she wanted to have children, she wanted and wants to focus more on her family than her "career." So she does. 

Today, women don’t like to openly admit they want to marry, and we are, truthfully, expected to pursue a career first, and balance family second. Obviously I have no problem with women pursuing careers, but I do have a problem with being told that we must. The reality is that it is quite counter-cultural for Kate to have made the choices she has. She has actually stood out from the crowd, bucked the system, and danced to the tune of her own tango—with her handsome prince. And society has not applauded her for it. She has been cast as lazy, vapid, a social climber, and a trophy wife. Society seems to only truly celebrate Kate when she pushes back into the spotlight, back into “career-centered” activities. But, we shouldn’t steal from Kate her sweet victory. The victory of a woman who knew what she wanted and pursued it first, despite the pressure to conform. Someone who wanted  motherhood more than "mojo," and who put that before everything else. Kate's beautiful persona today (a blend of beauty, maturity, circumspection, empathy and authenticity) are the result of her grounding in who she is and who she has always been. It's the source of her success.  Now, having achieved the life she wanted for her heart, she can--in the right season for her life plan--continue to develop her professional track. But, always on her own terms. That is what we should celebrate. 

King's Cup Regatta

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge competed in the highly anticipated King's Cup Regatta off the coast of Cowes, Isle of Wight. The regatta benefited a fleet of the couple's Royal Foundation charities. William and Kate brought their whole family to the Isle of Wight, and Carole and Michael Middleton were with George and Charlotte on a boat that tracked the race and permitted them all to enjoy the action from the sea. Louis came to the Isle of Wight, too, but he didn't come to the regatta. He must have been with Nanny Maria. The Isle of Wight is famous for being, among others things, a holiday retreat for Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their family. Osborne House is now a museum, but certainly lots of royal history in the air.

Kate arrived at the regatta wearing a new striped top from Sandro Paris that featured a busy peplum at the sleeves and hem. She was wearing her Parker trousers from L.K. Bennett that have such a nautical style, and her trusty Supergas. She completed her look with her delicate Lauren leaf earrings from Kiki McDonough. 

I loved the pop of color, and Kate's long, beachy waves, and at first that was my only focus. I do agree with those who feel that the peplum is ultimately too much for an already busy print. Paired with the voluminous trousers, the look just didn't come together for me. I don't think it was a disaster, but it wasn't a huge win. Still, her fresh tan from Mustique made it hard to focus on anything other than how healthy and glowing she looked.

She changed into more sporty pieces for the race. Those are New Balance 611 cross-trainers, and she was wearing a branded jacket and hat. Her shorts look like they are J.Crew to me, but that is based purely on the way they photograph. I have several pairs of J.Crew shorts, and they photograph a little oddly--almost as if the hem is coming in. It gives the shorts a barely discernible balloon shape when you are standing "at attention." They are great shorts, but that part annoys me just a little, and I think I see it in Kate's shorts. The star of the show, and indeed the focus of the day, became Kate's incredible legs. We know she has near perfect pins, but today certainly accentuated how toned she is. I agree with one of you who remarked that Kate's appearance today was single-handedly getting you back to the gym. Same.

Kate's legs were the star of the show for me, but Charlotte did almost steal the limelight. You have probably seen this video below where Kate and Catherine Quinn are encouraging Charlotte to wave at someone, and she ultimately stuck her tongue out rather cheekily. Kate's reaction was hilarious as she realized what her daughter was up to, and cast a look and an embarrassed laugh toward the audience as she shooed her little princess along. For her part, Charlotte clearly knew she had been naughty, and the gleam in her eye tells me she is one of those four year olds who doesn't let life get dull or slow for her parents. ;)

Some people find this behavior more charming than others. The key is that this can be both bad behavior and cute at the same time--in fact, it is cute because it is bad behavior. I am sure that Kate will tell Charlotte later that she isn't to stick her tongue out at people, which Kate should do. As Charlotte's parent, she should teach her about polite manners and how to behave with decorum, etc. At the same time, Charlotte is four years old, and she still has some years in which she can work on her grown-up manners. I am surprised by how many people were worked up about this. She is a child, children do naughty things. This wasn't terribly egregious, and her youth and saucy attitude elicited understandable delight from her elders. As with all children, she will have to be told to moderate her behavior many, many, many times before she is all polished up and ready to be an adult.

I love events that put Kate on the water. She is always in her element in these sporty environments, and today was particular special because of the inclusion of the children and Kate's parents. A wonderful day all around! 

The Cambridges Stayed at Villa Antilles in Mustique

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Emily Andrews at the Sun is reporting that William, Kate, their children, and Michael and Carole Middleton returned to the United Kingdon yesterday after two weeks on the idyllic luxury island Mustique. 

The Middletons and the Cambridges have been vacationing on Mustique for years now. The Middletons used to go every year at the end of January to celebrate Carole's birthday, but in the past few years they seemed to have made the shift to July. Although January is generally when one craves an island escape more than in July, William and Kate in the past two or three years have jumped back into royal duties in January and February, which has precluded them from joining the family holiday. The Middletons still slip away in the early part of the year, but it looks like they have shifted their Mustique get-away to better accommodate the Cambridges. The families went to Mustique in July of last year, too.

Emily Andrews can now tell us that they rented a new villa this year, Antilles, which was apparently built by a friend of Prince William's who is a property developer. This video of the villa gives you a sense of the fabulous accommodation and stunning views the royal party enjoyed these past two weeks. 

No pictures of the royals have emerged. It is possible they just weren't photographed this year, or it could be there are photos that will take some time to surface. We will have to wait and see. Emily has more details about the Cambridges vacation and great still-shots of their villa here

Meghan's Overhauled Engagement Ring

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

In the last week or so, the news circulated that Meghan had her engagement ring overhauled. Everyone had already noticed that she added an eternity ring recently, but Town & Country shared two close ups that demonstrated Meghan had her engagement ring changed, too. Whereas before the ring featured a large diamond and two small diamonds on a gold band, the band is now a much thinner and more delicate band set with pavé diamonds. I also think the primary diamond's setting has been scaled back, so it lies closer to her hand. It is a pretty significant overhaul of an engagement ring.

via Hello!
I was surprised she made such a big change to her ring so quickly after receiving it, but I don't think she was wrong to do so. It does give us an interesting peek into the couple's pre-engagement dynamic. Harry clearly didn't consult Meghan's preference on the ring, and Meghan must not have spoken up and given Harry any pointers on what she wanted, which is interesting. She is the type of woman who would have pretty specific expectations (I fall in that category of woman, by the way, so this is not a negative judgment). 

The ring, as it was designed originally, didn't really seem to be Meghan's style. When it debuted, it surprised me. It definitely was not what I expected Prince Harry to pick. The three-stone "trilogy" was very, very popular about seven years ago or so, but engagement ring styles have shifted since. Obviously when it comes to engagement rings, if you choose a style that is trendy, you can be sure it will look dated sooner or later. So, most engagement rings are dated to some extent, which is why it is very important to love your ring because you love the style, and not just because it is en vogue. But, in addition to looking dated, which I don't think Meghan would want, I also didn't think it was really Meghan's style generally, and especially not with that plain gold band. So, this switch does not shock me.

I think that if you get an engagement ring you don't love, you should change it. If you are a girl who is pretty romantic and wants to be surprised by the style your fiancé chooses, and you will be happy with his choice...great! But, if you have strong preferences, better to just speak up. Again, it is very interesting to me that Meghan hadn't given Harry some direction on what she wanted. Perhaps she thought he'd research better with her besties, or that he would design a more contemporary and splashy ring on his own? Who knows. 

I had one girlfriend who dated and married her carbon copy. These two were (are) so similar. I don't think they discussed the ring, but perhaps they did. He chose a simple solitaire diamond with a pavé diamond band. It was classic with lots of statement--right up her alley. So, sometimes just assuming your partner knows you well enough works out. 

I had another friend who was in more of an opposites attract kind of relationship and her fiancé (now husband) proposed without consulting her. She confided in me that she did not like the ring. I told her flat out she should find a way to nicely tell him she didn't love it, and get something else. But, she decided that he had chosen it and she'd learn to love it. She is still wearing it. :) 

My point is, different strokes for different folks. Both approaches are valid and depend upon the personalities of the parties. I heard from a lot of you that you would never get the ring your fiancé chose changed, and I respect that attitude. My second girlfriend above took that position, and genuine kudos. For myself, I would head the problem off at the pass and discuss the ring at some point before the proposal. As my mother told me when I was little, "men don't pop the question out of the blue. By the time you get engaged, you will have had so many discussions about marriage, and children, and finances, and's not like the movies. You won't be surprised." All I say is, make sure that in the midst of discussing the children, and finances, and talk about the ring! Otherwise you will find yourself with Meghan--paying to have your ring overhauled. 

I do not think this was a planned upgrade for their first anniversary, or anything like that. Harry gave Meghan a very thoughtful eternity band to mark their anniversary and Archie's arrival. When you have an engagement ring custom made, as Harry did, you expect it to stay the same at least for the first few years or so. This fast change, one that gives it a slightly more sparkling and modern edge, is pretty obviously a change made at the behest of the bride, to better suit her preferences. 

I am glad Meghan has a ring that suits her better, because she will be wearing it a long time!

Quick update: I am aware of Scobie’s report that Harry had the ring redesigned. I am sure Harry handled the details, but the point is that Harry custom-designed this ring just a little over a year before. I don’t think he said, “fix me up a sub-par ring for engagement photos that will go down in history, and the year after I will come back and spend a fortune redesigning it.” I think he had what he felt was a beautiful ring made, and it wasn’t entirely to Meghan’s taste, and instead of saying, “Meghan didn’t love her ring” the spin is, “Harry is a romantic, and why not add some sparkle.” My only point is, Harry didn’t set out to make a ring Meghan wouldn’t love, and Meghan was the one who made the choice to have the ring altered, even if Harry was the one who interfaced with the jeweler. My post is based on what I think is very clear happened, not the spin the Sussexes put on the story, as understandable as that spin might have been.

Prince George's Birthday Photos

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

George was born on July 22nd, but because he wasn't presented on the steps of the Lindo Wing until July 23rd, I always celebrate both days. The 23rd certainly sticks in my head, and I have to remember that George's birthday is one day before what I think of as his birthday. :) The Cambridges are holidaying in Mustique right now, an idyllic and exclusive island in the Caribbean. They released three photos of the now six year old prince to mark his special day, all three taken by his mother the Duchess of Cambridge. Two were taken at home at Kensington Palace earlier this summer, but one of the photos was taken on Mustique just this week. 

All three of these photos were lovely. I often think of tennis when I think of George and sport, because Kate has such a love for the game and it has been the sport that she has discussed in connection to George the most. But, when George and Charlotte were photographed playing around at polo earlier this month, it was clear that George has been practicing his football (aka soccer), too, so it was fun to see his interest in football featured here, a passion he shares with his father.

I also love that the England National Football Club's logo on his shirt is so prominent. The club uses a variation of the Royal Arms of England, the three lions on the shield. Richard the Lionheart is the earliest king to use these three lions on a shield, I believe, and that shield is deeply connected to British history and to the monarchy. It's an iconic shield, and I am sure that symbolism and connection was not lost on Kate when she chose how to present her future king's birthday shots. 

Finally, of course, the vacation snap. I was obviously so pleased to see the Cambridges release a picture like this from their personal holiday. I think it is important to share various parts of the future king's life, and everyone loves a good royal beach vacation. I also like that the Cambridges are owning their luxe holiday with this photo, too. That said, this isn't the best vacation snap. I think they should have gone full on holiday-vibe, rather than having him pose by this picnic table in a quasi-formal manner. It would have been fun to just do a surf shot, or a pool shot...but, hey. Baby steps. I'm on board for this progression!

Finally, did you all see this snap of William with his three kids at polo? Super sweet. Louis is such a serious little dude, just like George was at his age. 

Later this week I will be posting my thoughts on Meghan's reworked engagement ring, so keep an eye out for that post! It is already written, I just have to hit publish. Happy Birthday, George! 

Polo + Wimbledon = Better Balance Between the Duchesses of Cambridge & Sussex

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Between polo on Wednesday and today's Wimbledon outing, we have gotten a more authentic look at these two princesses more balanced and authentic rapport. When Meghan joined the family, there was a fan-created expectation that the two women would be besties. In my opinion, that seemed unlikely based purely on their interests and personalities, and I felt we saw that unlikelihood ripen to reality even before Meghan and Harry tied the knot. I don't see a real desire on the part of the royals to push Meghan and Kate together anymore. They tried that tack in the first few months, and it is my opinion that it backfired rather badly. I already mentioned how uncomfortable last year's Wimbledon appearance was, and the Christmas display of happy unity was, in hindsight, a little embarrassing. What we saw from these two events is a far more realistic relationship, and more authentic, which is good for the public and good for the ladies themselves. Let's look at polo first, and then chat about Wimbledon. 

On Wednesday, William and Harry competed in the King Power Polo Challenge. Some of you missed this bulletin, but the two princes announced last year that moving forward they would play less polo, but the polo they did play would be for big money. This is a disappointing development for fans, but not shocking. It makes sense that they'll scale back on polo as the years roll on. The result, though, is that the polo they do play is an even bigger treat for us all, and a bigger family event for them, too. 

Polo is a quasi-public/private event. Obviously Harry and William are playing for charity, but their families show up or don't at their pleasure. Sometimes Kate comes, sometimes she doesn't show. Given how infrequently William plays now, I knew that both Kate and Meghan would be there and that they'd bring their children. I do think in the last few years that polo changed from a family event where the royals knew they would be photographed, to more of public engagement vibe--or at least a bit of a photoshoot thing. That's not a criticism, it is just a function of where the family is right now with the current media mood. Nevertheless, it remains a private event, and so we see a more natural and relaxed side, even if they look a little more dressed for the press. 

One thing that was clear from polo is that while Meghan and Kate are friendly, they are not chummy. There were photos of the two women interacting--they did talk to each other, and smile and laugh together--everything seemed perfectly calm and friendly, but they obviously are not close. Meghan stood the majority of the match, and she was just slightly off to the side--just a little apart with Archie. More than a few pointed out the contrast between Meghan and Kate at this match and Kate and, say Zara, or Kate and Autumn Philips at other horsey events.  

I have said it once, I will repeat: they just aren't great friends.  Meghan has not fit into the royal family seamlessly, which is not surprising. It wouldn't have been seamless in the best of circumstances. She is a foreigner married into not just a foreign family, but a royal family. I suspect the culture shock, and the culture clash, is greater than any of us have really imagined. That is a universal culture issue that any foreign woman would face. With Meghan in particular, there are the  bumps along that way that we have already discussed, which are in addition to that base culture clash. So, the body language at polo was not out of left field, it was to be expected. This isn't to say she isn't welcome, but it takes time for people from different cultures to assimilate among themselves. 

A quick note about Archie's presence. Many were surprised to see Meghan bring Archie. Kate never brought her little ones when they were that young, but again, this really is a family thing, and if Meghan wanted to bring her baby, more power to her. In years past, we would have been thrilled to see any of Kate's little ones, had she decided to bring them along. Plus, given Meghan isn't all that warm and fuzzy with her in-laws, it was nice for her to have her own little man with her to cheer on Harry. 

It was announced at the end of the week that Meghan and Kate would attend Wimbledon together to watch the Women's Singles championship. Serena Williams was competing, and as you all know, Serena is a good friend of Meghan's, so it was natural that she would attend. Kate is the royal patron, so it was not only natural, but perhaps obligatory, for her to attend. After the decidedly unsuccessful debut of these two at Wimbledon last year, the Palace did not try to shoe-horn the two into a similar situation. 

As patron, Kate arrived early enough to greet her hosts and meet some junior players. To everyone's delight, she brought her sister Pippa, who has not attended with Kate since 2012. In usual Middleton mode, though, Pippa was still as discreet as ever. After getting out of the car, she disappeared into a side door, while Kate said hello to the Chairman of the AETLC and his wife Gill Brook (the woman in blue) and headed off to do some official meeting and greeting. There is lunch in the private club room before a match (it's described in the tennis special Kate appeared in), so that is where Pippa slipped off to, and where Kate joined her before the match. 

Meghan arrived just ten minutes before the start of play, and the three women made their way to their seats in order of precedence--Kate, Meghan, and Pippa. I frankly think that a sister-date to Wimbledon was long overdue, but it was also a very strategic move to bring Pippa. She made the party of two a party of three and immediately diffused some of the pressure to maintain conversation or smiling faces. Together, they were a more relaxed and jolly party, with Meghan able to turn to either lady. They all seemed to interact with a little more ease, and it looked like a lovely day.

After the match, Meghan left, and only Kate met the champion backstage to congratulate her, before rejoining Pippa in the Royal Box for the Men's Doubles finals.  All in all, an interesting week, which revealed a more natural rapport between Meghan and Kate, even if they aren't in fact besties. 

I'll just say briefly on the fashion--Kate repeated her D&G from Canada today. I loved it on the first wear and still love it today. That color is stunning on her, and the silhouette of this dress is just fabulous. I am a big fan of those oak leaf earrings she was wearing from Asprey London, as well as that D&G Sicily bag she was carrying. Pippa's more ruffled look was a win for me, too. Her dress was Anna Mason London and she wore wedges from Penelope Chilvers. Meghan went with Hugo Boss today. It wasn't my favorite look from her, but I did like the Wimbledon White and she looked lovely and glowing. 

Kate was wearing L.K. Bennett for polo, with a Mulberry belt and bag, and wearing her Catherine Zoraida Fern hoops and Castener wedges. That pink on her is fabulous. We haven't seen Kate in an LK Bennett midi in while (can you believe I just said that?), so it was interesting to see that the dress is now a polo choice. It was a great breezy piece for the field, and as I say, fabulous color on her and fabulous color for pictures against the green of the grass. Meghan was wearing an olive dress from Lisa Marie Fernandez. Olive definitely is one of her preferred colors (remember Louis's christening?), and although it isn't my preferred color, it looks great on her. I don't like the baggy look, but she looked very comfortable and chic. One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Being Bridget, loves tent-style dresses. I follow her religiously on Instagram, and doing so has definitely exposed me to so many ensembles with this silhouette. So again, while not my preference, wear what you love, or in Meghan's case, what felt comfortable for a day under the scrutiny of a long lens. 

Over and out kids. Kate and William will be at Wimbledon tomorrow!  See you soon...

Kate & Meghan Will Attend Wimbledon Together + Kate's Visit in Suzannah

Friday, July 12, 2019

On Tuesday, July 2, Kensington Palace announced Kate would attend Wimbledon later that day. The Duchess was scheduled to sit in the Royal Box to watch Serena Williams play on centre court, but she arrived early and slipped into the stands at Court 14 to watch Christina McHale (US) and Harriet Dart (UK).  I think when Kate comes to Wimbledon she likes to get in as much tennis as she can. It must be quite an experience to occasionally be back in the stands where she used to watch the play, after eight years watching from the Royal Box.

Kate debuted a new dress for her day out. This was a bespoke Suzannah from the latest collection. Kate has worn the label before, but I am surprisd she chose to go with a custom piece. I think of this as more of an off-the-rack label for Kate, but Pippa really loves Suzannah, so perhaps we are seeing some sister influence. Whatever the case may be, a custom piece for Wimbledon does underscore that Kate is putting real thought into her style choices and that she is looking to wear specifically styled clothes. I know some people think of the expense, but as I have noted over the years, clothes are part of her job description, and I am always pleased to see Kate developing her style and presenting creative ensembles at her various events. [Update: It's not bespoke! When she first appeared, the thought was it was customized, but apparently the consensus now is that it is indeed off-the-rack. So, I guess my initial thought was correct, this is till not a label Kate customizes. ;)]

I liked a lot about this dress, but it wasn’t my absolute favorite. I loved the crisp white for Wimbledon, and the use of lapels on a dress. I am personally not drawn to the double-breasted look in dresses, or at least here it didn't sell me. I’d generally prefer a wrap style with lapels, but the double-breasting was not so bold as to be overwhelming. The buttoned sleeves definitely weren’t a huge win for me, either. It’s just a little too frou-frou. But, fashion is fashion, and these are the types of embellishments that keep life interesting. Although the dress didn't tick all my favorite boxes, I did like it. The dress reminded me a lot of a Gal Meets Glam piece; it was very Julia Engal.

Kate finished the look with a McQueen belt (loved it!), a McQueen bag (also loved it, and very trendy), and her Catherine Zoraida Fern earrings, which have gotten a lot of wear recently. Finally, she was wearing her Gianvito Rossi Piper 85 heels.

A lot of you asked if Kate would appear at Wimbledon with Meghan, and as you probably heard this morning, she will! I think this was a damned if they did, damned if they didn't situation. I do not think that their first time at Wimbledon was a successful joint-engagement. Although there were certainly smiley photos, the overall vibe was one of awkwardness. Kate trying to be serene and warm, Meghan trying to look calm and comfortable. They each ended up looking stiff and awkward. I think they have very little in common, at best, and given the way in which they have been pitted against each other, they know every glance and interaction will be scrutinized. Hopefully after a year as in-laws, though, and weathering the various stories, they will have a more natural rapport with one another. We shall see. 

Kate's Visit to Hampton Court Garden in Sandro Paris

Thursday, July 11, 2019

It is time to do some real catch up! Last Monday (July 1st), Kate attended the opening of her Back to Nature garden at Hampton Court. Although this was not on her calendar, the opening date was public, so most royal watchers expected her to show up, and we were not disappointed.

We were not disappointed in the fashion, department, either. This dress was by French label Sandro Paris. If Kate is going to continue wearing midi dresses, this kind is my favorite—beautiful colors, attractive print, flattering cut, and youthful features, like the gathered bodice and that v-neckline. The v-neckline might have been the biggest selling point for me—you all know I like a good plunge. The v-neck really does lighten the look of the midi dress--it adds some va va voom, and even streamlines the silhouette, I think. 

Kate’s Castener wedges are not, sadly, growing on me, but they seem to be the wedge of the summer. Now I know how all of you who didn’t love the Corkswoons felt.  The Polly Petal earrings by Accessorize were the perfect accessory here. The print of the dress is quite fun, and I feel like these earrings are right on vibe. 

I don't feel like there is all that much to analyze here. Given the nature of the outside activities, a longer hemline is definitely a good call. These easy-breezy summer dresses are very youthful on Kate and they track the informality of an outdoor children's event, while still hitting the appropriate formality for a royal Duchess mixing with the public. This was a big win...Casteners notwithstanding. ;)

Archie's Birth & the Media Storm + Godparents

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Quick thoughts on the godparent kerfuffle. If you missed it, Archie will be baptized in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday. The Sussexes said that the godparents are private individuals and will remain anonymous"in keeping with their wishes." I think the obvious elephant in the room is that anyone willing to pony up £30 may view the records, and obviously any number of papers will do so, and the godparents will be known to everyone. So why refuse to release them?  I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps the Sussexes think this is a good precedent to set, and that they are drawing a line between private and professional. If that is the thinking, I think it is very obviously a bad plan. No one can ell where the line is, and rather than appearing like royals walking the thin line of public and private, they seem fickle.

Perhaps they have chosen a number of the celebrities (not exactly private people) many have speculated they might, and knowing that their choice will be gossiped about and criticized (rightly or wrongly), they are trying to play this discreetly so at least when it hits the papers they can say, well we didn't make a big deal of it. Also not a great strategy.

I don't know what the logic is on their end. I am perplexed that the Sussexes continue with a course of action (blowing hot and cold with the public) that is clearly garnering them negative coverage, even from people who had been, or otherwise would be, fans. It seems counter-productive and a little self-defeating.

This seems a good moment to quickly answer the many requests to elaborate a little about the kerfuffle surrounding Archie's birth.

To recap briefly, the Sussexes issued a press release about a month before the birth in which they said they planned to keep the details surrounding the birth of their baby private. In the second half of the release (the private notes to the press), the Sussexes told the media that the Palace would inform the media when Meghan went into labor, at which point the media could set up along the Long Walk at Windsor and begin their live feeds. The notes included operating hours for the media, and the directive informed the media they could stay 72 hours after the labor announcement. The directive also said that the Sussexes would then tell the media, when they were ready, that the baby was born. Fair enough. 

Apparently, Meghan went into labor Sunday afternoon. "Chatter" was heavy on Twitter late Sunday night (U.S. time, so dawn in Britain), suggesting that something was afoot with Meghan. It has now been reported that the Duchess of Sussex was taken to a hospital by Harry and their security team on Sunday afternoon, stayed the night (presumably in labor), and delivered her son at 5:26am local time. 

The Sussexes issued a press release on May 6th around 9am EST/2pm local time reporting that Meghan had gone into labor in the early hours and an announcement would be issued shortly.  Less than 45 minutes later, perhaps as little as half an hour, the Sussexes posted on Instagram that the baby had been born and it was a boy. Apparently this was posted simultaneously with an official press release to the media. So, to be clear, the Sussexes did not inform the media when Meghan went into labor--not even around the time the baby was born. They waited hours after the birth to say she had gone into labor and then immediately broke the bigger news that the baby had arrived.  

The Sussexes said they would do one thing, and they did another. You can't really slice it any other way. Had Meghan gone into emergency labor and the baby had arrived quickly amidst tension and worry, no one would have begrudged the couple a change of plans brought about by necessity. That did not happen. At the time, I saw lots of people brush this off, remarking that all that matters is that the baby and mother are healthy and happy. It's great that Meghan's labor and delivery were without incident and that Archie is healthy. We all hoped for as much and are delighted that nothing went wrong. That is entirely separate from the issue, which is the fact that the Sussexes said they'd do one thing, and then did another. 

What is doubly strange about this scenario is that it all could have been avoided. Although lots feel the Sussexes owe the public updates about their baby, and there is an argument in both directions on that, they chose the parameters they gave to the press themselves! They could have said from the start, "we aren't going to inform you of anything until we are ready. Once we make an announcement, you can set up on the Long Walk." That might not have been popular, but it would have been honest, and it would have presented a consistent stance. I would have supported them in that. Instead, they themselves committed to telling the media when Meghan went into labor, and then they did not follow through.

What is quite bizarre is that this behavior is self-defeating. Meghan and Harry alienated the press,   and doubtlessly irritated the senior royals and senior staff who had to play catch up and clean up.

A baby should be a slam-dunk positive news cycle for proud parents. I thought that after some difficult months of bad headlines, the arrival of their baby, at least, would be rosy and glowing coverage from start to finish--despite the fact they were keeping the arrangements private. It was amazing to me that thanks to a tangle of their own making, they turned the majority of the early coverage into a media storm of criticism.

The ultimate fall out here is that the media and the public are no longer certain that they can trust what the Sussexes say when they say it. That will take a very long time to repair. 

The Queen Passes Kate Another Royal Patronage

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Yesterday, Kate attended a photography workshop with Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society. As you know, Kate's unannounced visit marked the passing of another baton. It was announced just before Kate's visit that the Queen, patron of the Royal Photographic Society since 1952, gave the it to Kate. The Duchess's visit, therefore, marked her first engagement as patron. Given Kate's background in art and her passion for photography, everyone is agreeing that it is a match made in heaven. Apparently, Kate intends to continue her mental health theme here, too, highlighting how children can work on mental well-being by pursuing their passions.  

I often get emails asking how Kate's clothes are IDed so quickly, and the answer is that clothes are IDed in various ways. Sometimes--often in fact--the Palace releases the details to the media, and the royal reporters can then immediately announce the label as Kate arrives at an event. Sometimes we need this help, other times fashion fans ID the look even without the Palace's help. When Kate is repeating an outfit, most everyone immediately recognizes it. When she isn't, she has such a preference for certain brands, it is not hard to ID the ensemble simply by looking at it, and then confirming with the likely brand. Every now and again the Palace doesn't give any details, Kate isn't wearing a usual brand, and it can take an arduous search to finally ID. It is ironic that the Palace seems to not brief when the ID is the hardest. Yesterday's dress sparked a very involved search, because the Palace didn't give any details about Kate's dress, and she wasn't wearing anything from her usual stable of labels. 

Any time I discuss researching Kate's clothes, I like to point to the Michael Kors she wore for ANZAC Day in Australia. That piece actually stumped us entirely. It was not IDed until the label press-released the next morning announcing that the piece was one of its own. As the search was on yesterday, a number of you messaged me suggesting that the dress was a Liberty London piece, and you weren't far off. After an exhaustive search of all Kate's favorite labels, as well as labels she hasn't worn, but are in this style profile, Bethan Holt of the Telegraph IDed the dress as the Virginia Midi from Ridley London. It has been customized in a Liberty London paisley print! Susan of What Kate Wore pointed out, and I agree with her, that these tougher IDs are not usual anymore, but really quite fun!

Now we know who made the dress, let's chat a little about the style. Yesterday's look is clearly Kate's style for the summer. It was right in line with the ensemble she put together for the Cambridges' family preview of her garden. Indeed, these Casteñer wedges are the ones she debuted that day, but the dress is down the same alley, as well. Busy prints with busy designs are currently very en vogue, but I think they can confusing from a style perspective. Do they actually look good, or are we all just going along with the look because it's "in style"? I don't know the answer to that. I think this is a pretty tricky style to pull off.  I genuinely like today's dress, but I am not in love with it. 

Paisley prints are fabulous when the colors are right and the design is sassy enough. This Liberty London print is a little too small for my taste, but it has nice colors, which saves it. The bohemian design with its fluttering sleeves and ruffled skirt is soft and summery, and the fall of the fabric is very flattering on Kate. The ensemble was also a little unexpected, which is a virtue in itself these days. Usually we'd expect to see an L.K. Bennett midi with Gianvito Rossi heels and a polished clutch. As I have noted in previous posts, I have been pining for a change of pace, and Kate seems to be on a roll to do just that. I have been hoping for a trend back toward the sheath dresses circa 2011/2012, but going in this other direction is fun, too. 

These wedges have received mixed reviews from a number of you already. I like pairing this dress with wedges, and I am even on board for the ankle ties, but I am otherwise crazy about them. The suede-looking uppers aren't quite polished enough for me. Although, I wouldn't buy them myself, I do like them on Kate with this dress. Perhaps they are simply a win I wouldn't wear. 

Finally, Kate finished off the look with her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoops. These are both delicate and bold, which is probably why they are fan favorites.  

All in all, Kate looked fresh, youthful, relaxed, and down-to-earth, which is a very authentic representation of her all around.  The ensemble was a flattering and fun summer look. It's not hitting my "SuperStar" list, but it's fun, and Kate looked fab. 

What Does the Royal Foundation Split Mean?

Friday, June 21, 2019

On Wednesday, William and Harry met at Kensington Palace for a board meeting of the Royal Foundation at which they formally agreed to break it apart. The Royal Foundation was launched in 2009 as an umbrella organization for Princes William and Harry to better pursue their charitable endeavors. When Kate married William in 2011, she was added, and when Meghan joined the family last year, she, too, was added, making it The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Heads Together and the Invictus Games are just a few of the projects that the Royal Foundation has driven. Harry and Meghan will split away, leaving it The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge only. Yesterday, the Royal Foundation made the official announcement to the press. 

Remember, though, that this isn't breaking news. It is great to have it confirmed, but Emily Andrews scooped this story on the last day of May. Despite the skeptics, she has been proved right...unsurprisingly. I wrote most of my thoughts at that time, and the lawyer in me will just say that that earlier blog post is herein incorporated by reference. I haven't changed my mind on anything written there, but I have, perhaps, a few thoughts to add. 

From what I can see, the Palace is spinning this split as a natural progression, and one for which, as Richard Palmer phrased it, neither couple provided the impetus. Palmer thinks that smells fishy, and so do I. I already read elsewhere that the Cambridges initiated the split, and that the Sussexes would have stuck together longer, which makes sense. Despite their own popularity, the Sussexes do benefit from the prestige of the Cambridges' position and the Cams' international popularity, and that boosts the Sussexes' overall charitable work.

I think we can see simply from observation that this split is not a natural progression. No one denies that at some point the Royal Foundation was going to split. That is so obvious it doesn't need to be stated. What I am saying is that although it would have been perfectly reasonable to split the Foundation when Harry married, they didn't, and it does not make sense to split it a mere year afterward. The actions of the four make clear that when Meghan married Harry the two couples determined to forge ahead as a unit of four. They added Meghan's name to the Foundation and they hosted a big, splashy forum to discuss their work moving forward as a group. They even dove into new initiatives as a team. That is not the behavior of people who plan to split up within 18 months. This choice to part ways is a change of course that comes earlier than originally planned, even if not earlier than possible.

So, is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I understand and appreciate that some people feel very sad over the sooner than expected demise of the four royals' partnership. Given how badly the relationships had deteriorated, I think the split is for the best. Good fences make good neighbors, and this professional divorce might provide the relief from friction necessary to repair their personal connections.

Splitting the Royal Foundation, though, might not be enough to ease the tension. The issue is very simple. Harry and Meghan appear to be attempting to forge a path that isn't proper to their role. Meghan was an actress who was working very hard to become a star when she met Harry. The problem is, she took a part in a lifelong drama of which she can never be the leading lady. She chose that, and kudos to her. If she loved Harry, I am glad she didn't let anything stand in her way. People and relationships are the most important things in life. Meghan didn't have to marry into the Firm. Chelsy Davy, who clearly loved Harry, couldn't take the plunge. She didn't want to live her life in a fishbowl, so she walked away. Meghan's problem is the opposite. She is very comfortable with the fishbowl; in fact, she has actively sought it for the entirety of her adult life. Her problem is on the other end of the spectrum, and that is she can't advance beyond the role she has chosen. As I mentioned in my earlier post, a global Sussex brand isn't what the monarchy is about. There is no global York brand, or global Princess Anne brand. The royals who aren't in direct line play supporting roles...forever. Meghan is the Duchess of Sussex, her spouse is a popular prince, but his position in the BRF will drop, and his star will inevitably fade as the years roll on. See, e.g. Prince Andrew. The tug-of-war between the Cambridges and the Sussexes comes down to a power struggle--the outcome of which has already been decided: William and Kate are the winners. But, how Meghan and Harry finish has yet to be determined.

That is why I am skeptical this split will solve the BRF's problems. When Archie was born, Harry and Meghan not only duped the media, but from what we could gather, it looked like they left Buckingham Palace in the dark, too. If they did, their PR snafu not only alienated the media, but likely raised hackles at the Palace, too. Again, it has been reported that the Cambridges initiated the split of the Royal Foundation, which was likely precipitated by a decision on William's part that he was unable to work with Harry, and a decision by the Queen that it was time for William to step more solidly into his role as a king-in-waiting. The way Harry and Meghan handled Archie's arrival is almost certainly not the way William wants the monarchy to run, which is very obviously the right reaction. So long as the Sussexes are running the ball without direction or input, we are going to be in for a bumpy ride. I hope sincerely that they take a breath and reevaluate. They will be happier and more successful in the long run if they stick to the age-old royal playbook.

Kate Debuts Elie Saab at Ascot; Will She Wear An ES Evening Gown?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

In May, Kate attended one of the Queen's garden parties wearing a beautiful, bespoke coat from Alexander McQueen. I thought it was objectively lovely, but found it too "buttoned-up," for lack of a better word, for a garden party. (BTW, it would have been much better for Garter Day) I pointed out that garden parties are better suited to floaty and feminine pieces. At Ascot yesterday, Kate the Great came back with a dream ensemble that fit that bill to a T. 

As the carriages carrying the royals swept onto the course, it was revealed by the Palace that the Princess was wearing Elie Saab. Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer, and his ultra-luxe evening gowns have made his label a mega-brand. He specializes in gorgeous feminine pieces, usually with intricate beading, clever appliqué, and geometric structuring. I love Saab, because although he is a creative genius, he doesn't feel the need to get weird. High fashion can go off the rails pretty quickly, and he has yet to succumb to that ridiculousness. He creates timeless and breathtaking pieces that always flatter and delight. Elie Saab is worn by many royals in the Middle East, in addition to European royalty, and many of us have been hoping that Kate would join the ranks. Good to see her do that with these lovely separates. 

At the end of the day, we all want Kate not only to wear our favorite label, but to wear an evening piece from the label. That is especially true when the label in question is famous for evening wear, as Saab is. Happily, as soon as Kate wears one piece from a label, the likelihood that she will branch out to evening-wear skyrockets, obviously. 

Kate first wore Roland Mouret in 2011, just after her marriage, and even though the brand doesn't make appearances all that often, she wore an evening gown from the French designer in 2016.

Gucci got its first big debut with the tweed mini in 2017, and Kate followed that debut up with a pink evening dress in February of this year. 

Still, there are other labels we have loved and hoped for evening pieces, and have yet to see one. Most prominent in my mind is Oscar de la Rent and Carolina Herrera. Kate has worn suit separates from Oscar de la Renta, and a number of pieces from House of Herrera, but we have yet to see an evening gown from either label. Similarly, D&G is a label you'd think she might explore for evening wear, but no luck thus far. To be fair, I never think of D&G for evening gowns, but there are options...

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing D&G

Kate already gets her beading-fix with Jenny P, so I wonder if Elie Saab would tempt her given her strong loyalty to JP. We shall see. 

Princess Kate wearing beaded Jenny Packham in India
Bouncing back to yesterday's overall look... Kate wore a customized Elie Saab blouse (IDed by Laura at UFO No More) and a matching skirt. She carried a new clutch (also by Elie Saab) that featured metallic striping across the front, and paired these three pieces with new metallic Gianvito Rossi pumps that complemented the silver embellishments on her blouse, skirt, and clutch. Her hat was a huge hit with me. It is a Philip Treacy--the same style she wore to Trooping in pink, but this time in blue. This hat is flawless. It has decent depth across the head, and just the right size brim.  It does make me chuckle a little. Even on the day she debuts Elie Saab, Kate is still a creature of habit. This ensemble was a big win for me. It was very exciting to see a new label, and an interesting designs. Ascot continues to be a super-win for fashion for Kate. 

Kate Needs an Update to Her Closet After Garter Day 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Recently, I have been taking stock of my wardrobe. I still have clothes I was wearing when I was 22, despite the fact that my style has (or should have) changed. Professionally, I have worn suits exclusively for the last few years, so I am looking into alternatives to the suit... Do I want to wear jeans and a top to evening parties, or should I inject some more spice into my after hours look? Long story short, I am thinking of switching up my fashion a little. Throwing out some of those clothes from my twenties, and updating my closet to reflect who I am today. Why am I babbling on about my wardrobe? Guys, it is time for Kate to give her closet an update. Let's talk about that right after I give this quick promotion of the day.

Yesterday was the annual Order of the Garter ceremony. The Most Noble Order of the Garter was instituted by Edward III, one of England's most powerful monarchs, who reigned over a golden age for the island kingdom. He launched this order of chivalry in 1348 (some dispute the exact year) and it has become the most prestigious order of chivalry in the English speaking world. 

I did get an irritated email one year from a Scottish reader who pointed out to me that the Order of the Thistle is also a prestigious order of chivalry and of equal rank to that of the Order of the Garter. She was absolutely right on that point, and I meant no disrespect to the Order of the Thistle, or Scotland. In addition to exalted or exclusive, the word prestige includes the idea of notoriety, and I would say that the Order of the Garter is better known around the world. But, certainly no offense meant to the Order of the Thistle here! William is a member of that order, too, and we have seen the Duke and Duchess at the bi-annal ceremony. Hopefully we will again, soon.  

The Duchess of Cambridge at William's investiture to the Order of the Thistle in Scotland, 2012

The King of the Netherlands and the King of Spain were both inducted into the Order of the Garter yesterday as honorary Knights, which is why they (and their wives) were at the ceremony. As I say, Garter Day is pretty well-known, though, so I am going to get right to fashion, which is what captured my interest yesterday. 

Queen Letizia and Kate via Casa Real

Let's start with the good things.

I loved the black & white theme. White looks so good on Kate generally, and the black really adds a very crisp and polished look.

That hat! The "Lion Tamer" from Lock & Co. is an old favorite and still looks fabulous on Kate. It's big enough to carry a day like Garter Day, but not overwhelming. It also always provide a faultless wear--you can't mess up the angle, as can happen (and has happened) on some of her berets and perchers. It's just an awesome hat. 

The flare of the peplum. You don't see this in a lot of pictures, because Kate kept her arms by her sides, but when she walked down the stairs and held the rail you could see that the peplum of the top had a real flare. I liked that a lot. It injected some personality into the coat.

The accessories. I love those Prada cut-out heels, Diana's pearl Collingwood earrings, and Kate's black Muse clutch. All fan favorites for a reason.  

The not so good. 

The Peter Pan collar. You all know I love a Peter Pan collar, but even I am tiring of it a bit. At this stage, I feel she has overdone it, and frankly, it came off as too juvenile yesterday. Order of the Garter is one of the most prestigious days on the calendar, and she had two of Europe's most glamorous Queens at her side, too. The day called for more va va voom than a Peter Pan collar. 

Not to give you whiplash, but while the Peter Pan collar was too youthful, the piping down the front of the bodice was super stodgy. Yikes. So, this coat was running in both directions.  

Catherine Walker is a royal staple. Diana wore CW, and Kate turned to the label often in her early years to lend her new wardrobe a beautiful touch of sophistication and gravitas. But, lately the designs have been a bit cookie-cutter and frankly a bit off. This isn't the first time that Kate has worn a CW and we have looked at it and loved so much about it, yet found it wanting in some way. Axing the Peter Pan would be a good first step, but I'd encourage a break from the label altogether for a bit. Branch out, try bolder profiles, and come back to Walker down the road a little. 

Kate needs to take stock of her wardrobe and ask, where am I persisting in certain styles because they are timeless and I look fabulous in them, and where am I in a bad rut? And then she needs to start to add some pizazz back in. At the end of the day, as Garter Day is full-color reminder, part of royalty is the pageantry, and the royal wardrobe falls in that category. Yesterday was a bit of a dud in my book, sadly. 

The Cambridges will be at Ascot today, so stay tuned for an update on that. 

New Talk That William "Dined Alone" With Rose Hanbury

Saturday, June 15, 2019

First of all, if you missed my first detailed discussion of the affair rumor, that article is can be found here: Did William Cheat on Kate With Rose Hanbury? [Spoiler: absolutely no evidence at the moment that he did]

Now, to today's non-update.  The Sun ran an article on Rose Hanbury that is getting a little traction--not a lot to be honest--but enough. Right now, if you read the article there really isn't anything of substance there. It claims that Rose's marriage to David Rocksavage is not a particularly happy one, which if true is unfortunate, and says that Rose is a little blue over the cooling of her friendship with the Duchess of Cambridge. If there was a falling out between them, this would also be a natural reaction--it is natural to be sad that your friendship has cooled. 

There was, however, an earlier version of the article that included a paragraph in which "a pal" said that the cause of the rift stemmed from two occasions on which Rose joined William at Anmer Hall for dinner while Kate was away. That just sounds weird, but we will go with it for the moment. The paragraph noted that Kate was aware that the two were dining together, and didn't mind the platonic friendship. This paragraph has since been removed.

Much has been made of the removed paragraph, but I think it is a nothing burger. First, let's take worst case scenario--that it is true Rose and William dined together twice (weird), with Kate's knowledge, but that it precipitated a cooling between friends. So what? Adult men and women who are married to other people, shouldn't be dining with each other while their spouses are away. It is recipe for disaster. If you think that's a silly stance, see the average divorce rate, or just about every couple in Hollywood. If you want a stable, happy marriage, you work for it, and you protect and defend it. That includes not putting yourself in a position that could create trouble. Maybe they did dine together on a few occasions (weird), and maybe Kate and William gave it some thought and decided, you know what this isn't a great idea. Perhaps after a bit of reflection they decided a little space was needed. No crime there, just mature adults steering the ship away from the shoals. 

Perhaps Rose's marriage is on the rocks. I have no idea if this is the case, but briefly for the sake of argument, let's assume that it is. Perhaps, in the course of one of these supposed dinners (weird), she confided her unhappiness to William. Perhaps he realized that given her situation, he needed some space, because he can't be the shoulder she cries on. Maybe Rose herself realized given her situation (again, we are assuming for skas of argument), she shouldn't be turning to a married man with her problems. Either party could have realized that lonely and unhappy men or women shouldn't spend time alone with people married to others! We could go on and on. I won't walk through all of the scenarios, but you can in your head. There are multiple possibilities, none of which include impropriety by either party, in which the Cambridges and the Marchioness of Cholmondeley decided that wisdom counseled space. (P.S. there are also plenty of scenarios that explain a break-down of their friendship that have nothing to do with marriage or relationships)

Some people poo poo the idea that even married people need to be careful and guard their hearts and emotions. There is a silly fantasy these people like to perpetuate--the farcical idea that adults have super powers that permit them to control their emotions and feelings by rational choice. It's a laughable absurdity, since these sophisticates who want to claim there is no problem do so in the face of overwhelming statistics to the contrary. 

If Rose and William dined alone, it would be a bad idea at the best of times. I think it sounds pretty weird, and I am skeptical, but whatever. Married people just shouldn't do that.  But, if Rose's marriage to David Rocksavage is on the rocks, it is a particularly bad idea. Any one of the three could have recognized that and decided space was the best course of action. And they'd be right. 

So, that's the first possibility--that the story is true. But, since that paragraph was pulled, the more likely possibility is that it is not true. Papers pull paragraphs like this from stories when they get a notice from an attorney that reminds them that unfounded speculation (that is stories without any actual proof or person willing to stand behind the story) is actionable. I suspect the Sun pulled the paragraph because "the pal" didn't actually know anything at all, and while the Palace might not bother with any number of other silly stories that are backed up by "a pal," when the story is of this nature, they do. This type of unfounded speculation is very damaging to the lives and reputations of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley and both couple's children, and lawyers tend to lay the law down awful quickly when these are the stakes. 

When a paper pulls a paragraph like this, it does not lend credence to the information, it detracts from its credibility. It suggests that the paper couldn't actually prove the statement and had to get it down fast before they had a legal proceeding launched. Keep in mind that if/when reporters are able to substantiate this rumor, the major papers will run it. It won't be an obscure article from a staff writer, it will be front page by the prominent royal reporters. Until that time, it isn't on the front page because no one has any evidence. And as I said in my first article, with respect to the charge there was an affair, you really do need to assume nothing happened until it is shown definitively that something did. If you don't, it says nothing about William and everything about your lack of character.