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Farewell to Anglesey: William and Kate Make Their Goodbyes at the Ring O' Fire Ultra Marathon

Friday, August 30, 2013

Although, it was not announced until the last minute, the Duchess did join William on their final engagement in Anglesey before they move away from the island that has been their sanctuary these past two years. Kate chose to stay low key in skinnies, her Pied-a-Terre wedges, a loose fitting blouse, and if not one of her favorite jackets, then certainly mine, from American label Ralph Lauren.  The two were kicking off the three-day Ring O' Fire Ultra Marathon. 

The couple chatted with well-wishers and of course many asked after Baby George. Kate told one woman that George was home sleeping.  But who was looking after the tiny Prince? His Grandmother Carole. Not just any babysitter for George! 

Kate was very relaxed, most strikingly displayed in her seemingly un styled hair.  It gave the whole engagement an air of informality, which was lovely. We have seen all her pieces before, starting with the gorgeous blazer.  My favorite picture of this jacket is from 2011 as Kate planned the wedding. She was spotted in London getting details sorted, I think she had been to a rehearsal of the choir when this was taken. Who wouldn't fall in love with this coat!

Kate debuted the blouse in Switzerland on a walk in the snow while William and others went skiing. She was beginning to show then, but the loose cut of this blouse gave no sign, and I suspect she wore it today for a similar purpose. 

Of course we have seen the jeans and wedges many times...

Several people have been wondering how Kate has snapped back so quickly after giving birth. Obviously, she stayed active while pregnant, but she surely has been watching what she eats, which even without exercise can go a long way, and you know that Carole Middleton and Antonella Fresolone were whipping up healthy and nutritious options for Kate. With all her time in the country, she had many opportunities to walk, and we know she likes to run around with the dogs at her parents' home.  Don't forget that the Middletons have a pool, so she could have gotten a lot of gentle exercise that way. She isn't back to her post baby weight, as anyone can see, that will take more time and real workouts, but she looks wonderful and healthy and is well on her way to whatever her goal might be. She looks terrific, I have to say I have been in a little bit of a lazy slump and when I saw her I was electrified. Time to get back to the gym!

In many ways, I felt that Anglesey was one of the stars of today's engagement. As the camera panned over William and Kate, the cliffs and grey ocean were visible in the background, and it was so, so beautiful! There was a lot of speculation as to why Kate made an appearance, but I don't think it was any more complicated than that it was the appropriate and gracious thing to come and say goodbye to the people and to the island.  That felt like the story Kate was telling with her very relaxed appearance--it was an intimate engagement.  William and Kate made their first stop on the tour of the UK here on this island they meant to call home, and they have now come together for their last before leaving. There is some very lovely symmetry in that. 

As is usual, the Daily Mail has lots of great photos, see them here

Dress Like the Duchess: Great Royal Style Substitutes from JCrew & Boden

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Also filed under Dress Like the Duchess:

We all love Kate's stunning style, but sometimes the price-tag is a little high, the item sells out too quickly, or perhaps it was a custom piece that was never available anyway.  Although, it is always fun to purchase the actual brand and style that Kate wore, the majority of the time we put together wardrobes that are inspired by Kate's past choices or look like something the Duchess would or has worn. Today I want to quickly let you know about some great pieces I think are good repli-Kates of the latter variety.

Today, JCrew is the source of two fabulous pieces that will have you feeling like a princess in no time. The Seville Wedge Espadrilles are great shoes to copy Kate's Pied-a-Terre wedges. She loves her Pied-a-Terre shoes and wears them often. She has them in blue and beige, in fact she chose the beige Pied-a-Terre when she left the hospital. Just like Kate's Pied-aTerres, JCrew's wedges aren't too high, so they are comfortable and practical for daily use, but still add a little glam factor. Unfortunately, although JCrew has these in both colors, they are almost entirely sold out of the blue, and close with the beige. If you are larger size, though, today is your lucky day! Click on the picture to be taken to the JCrew website:

If you are bummed because they are out of your size, JCrew has another fabulous item that will fit well into any women's closet anxious to emulate royal style.

With a color that closely matches Barbour's classic olive, similar pocket placement and detailing, the Downtown Field Jacket is a great substitute for the long ago sold out Barbour Kate sported much of last year. A little glossier than the real waxed jacket, it is classic and country chic. Again, click the picture to be taken to the website:

Kate's Dalmatian print dress on her last engagement before giving birth to George divided bloggers, fashion fans, and Kate enthusiasts everywhere. Some loved the look, others won't stand for animal print no matter what. 

If you were cheering Kate on in her daring fashion move, run on over to British brand, Boden. They have a tunic dress with sleeves and similar neckline in a lovely Dalmatian print. Because the print is a little larger and the spots are more spaced, this cold be pulled of by someone unsure if Kate's more intense pattern is doable.

Food is a Family Affair: Kate, William AND George Visit Waitrose in Anglesey

Monday, August 26, 2013

Before you get too excited... William and George stayed in the car. But, the new little royal family did stop off at Waitrose to pick up groceries.  As usual, Kate's hair looks ridiculously luscious. Glossy and full; I wish I had that woman's hair. It is just too gorgeous. I know we all want Kate's hair... 

Kate was channeling her inner parisienne with a loose fitting striped shirt, her skinnies, and the Sebago shoes she debuted on the North American tour. Despite her figure flattering move to wear the more forgiving loose cut of this shirt, she looks pretty incredible given how recently she has given birth.  Obviously, she has not shed all her baby weight yet, which no one would reasonably expect, but she looks like she is well on her way! If you didn't know who she was, you would have no idea! I imagine she will be looking pretty stunning by the September Tusk Trust Gala to which she is going! (I love that she is wearing stripes! I have a tendency to overdose on stripes myself and I now feel partially justified.)

I think it is cute that the whole family came along on this trip.  I wonder if they were coming back from something? Kate usually does the shopping on her own. She has been spotted shopping in Anglesey many times.

Reminding us how amazing her hair is:

A satisfied customer. Kate appeared to be almost clearing air as she (skipped?) made her way to her car:

She really likes to wear the purple Ralph Lauren for her store runs:

Etc, etc. She always looks effortless, relaxed, and beautiful. Hopefully, inspiring women around the globe to put just a little thought into wardrobe before striking out for any public errand, even grocery shopping. Deliver us from the pajama pants, but I digress.

Well, one question is answered, the trio has not left for Scotland...yet. I am holding out hope for the middle-end of the week. We shall see.  In the meantime, fingers are still crossed that Kate will join William on a final appearance in Anglesey before they move away!

See all the great shots at PopSugar, here

William and Kate (and George) off to Balmoral?

Saturday, August 24, 2013
I was surprised by the mixed feelings the pictures of the Cambridges drew after their release last week. Whether or not it was ever on the actual programme, it was widely reported that William and Kate would have official portraits taken before Will's return to work, so many were wondering if a photographer would travel to Bucklebury, or if they would go there, and on and on. Whether true or not, I did read that William and Kate chose not to have anyone interrupt their privacy, and so released what they then termed "family photos" as something to hold the public over until actual formal portraits are released around the baby's christening. Frankly, it all sounds legitimate to me.

The lighting wasn't perfect, and they weren't drastically different from the smiling shots at the Lindo, but I do think they are special photos of the royal couple. I loved them. I did expect more of a close up on George, but honestly, was just as happy to get fun shots of William and Kate. The addition of Lupo and (Tilly) the Middletons' dog, just added to the more intimate nature of the pictures. Lastly, William and Kate already smiled on the steps of the Lido Wing and plan to release Christening photos, so we were rather lucky to get these photos at all. If there were no formal photos on the books, I wouldn't be pleased, but of course there are. And as one reader rightly pointed out, even non-royal couples do the whole formal photo shoot, so I have no doubt those will be forthcoming.

It has been a little lonely in terms of royal news since then.  William and Kate are rumored to still be planning a trip north to Balmoral very soon. Actually, since the rumor also claims they would go toward the end of August we are pretty much right around that time now... Royal aides said the visit would be private, of course, but it is likely, but not certain, we will know when they are there. Perhaps they will be spotted at church tomorrow? Given the recent media storm, it is possible that William will want privacy next weekend, on the anniversary of his mother death, so that may be when the couple decide to retreat to the vast seclusion of the Queen's Scottish estate. In the meantime, ever the perfectly polite pair, thank-you cards were sent out to well-wishers. 

Obviously, I loved the Royal Wedding and all the various components. There is an article about Fiona Cairns in the Daily Mail today that I really, really enjoyed. She talks about the stress of making the wedding cake and all the many details that Kate wanted incorporated. Apart from the national symbols, Kate apparently chose well over a dozen different flowers and foliage to grace her cake, each with a meaning from the Language of Flowers. So, so lovely:
Although she said hello to Prince William, it was Kate who sat down with her to go through ideas. ‘She was one of the most clued-up brides I’ve had,’ says Fiona. ‘She had very definite ideas about what she wanted. The cake was to tell a story, along with the dress.’ Kate gave Fiona detailed instructions about how she wanted 17 different blooms and foliage included – each one having a different meaning or symbolism.
Fiona also made regular visits to the room where the cake would be displayed, to replicate intricate detailing from the panelling and coving. It took five weeks for her team to prepare the cake, but it could only be assembled in the two days before the wedding. ‘We were given a room at the Palace and we worked round the clock,’ she admits.
‘The others all held it together brilliantly – I was the one who got emotional at the end.’ She got to attend the wedding, but wasn’t present at the cutting of the cake. ‘But the royal pastry chef – who had made the lily-of-the-valley on top of the cake – called me to tell me when it had been cut. And she was able to report that good things were being said about how it tasted. There was just this real sense of relief.’
It was a great article, I really, really enjoyed it. Read the whole piece here. I may need to buy her book...

Kate and William to Attend Tusk Award Gala in September

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kate has announced a public appearance, for the moment it remains her first scheduled appearance since Baby George's birth. This is not just any public engagement, either, she will accompany William to the first Tusk Conservation Awards Gala on September 12th. Of all William's various charity connections, this one is perhaps one of his most prominent. William fell in love with Africa during the time he spent in Kenya during his gap year and it was here that he chose to propose to Kate in 2010. Obviously, it is continent very close to their hearts.  

Quick (perhaps almost overly detailed) video on the Kenya location of the proposal:

Segment of the engagement interview in which they discuss the proposal:

William has lent his name to one of the awards that will obviously highlight his involvement in the charity. The awards ceremony is rumored to be preceded in the evening by a reception that William and Kate will host for the nominees.  Obviously, gala, awards, receptions, nominees...all these words are making me think one thing. Stunning dress!  Something like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or even this:

These are just some of her various evening choices of the past, so I am fairly confident that we are in for a treat. Keep in mind that as William and Kate make their farewells to Anglesey, it is possible that Kate may have a public engagement there. I will keep you posted...

William referred to Kate as "Catherine" in his remarks at the Anglesey show, and the Telegraph ran a short piece today titled, "What has happened to Prince William's Kate?"  
Mandrake asks only because the Duke of Cambridge repeatedly referred to his wife as “Catherine” in his speech in Anglesey, north Wales, this week.

Before the couple married, Prince William called the Duchess of Cambridge “Kate”. Indeed, he used the diminutive nine times during their joint television interview after they announced their engagement. He didn’t use "Catherine" once.
This makes a good headline, but it was actually right after the engagement interview that they made the choice ti officially refer to Kate as Catherine. William has been officially calling her Catherine ever since. Remember the fiasco with the official wedding china? They had to break with protocol and put her initial before his to avoid WC jokes. Obviously, he has the occasional slip up. I remember I was very excited when they were flipping pancakes in Ireland and he turned to call her over to see something and called her Kate. She clearly remains Kate to William and to her friends and family, but for official records, etc, they prefer the more formal Catherine. After all, she is the future Queen of England.

William Confirms the Cambridges are Moving Away from Anglesey

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

William was at the agricultural show in Anglesey today, his first official engagement since George's birth, and he addressed the crowd in Welsh and then English.  (He told an Australian couple that he hoped to be Down Under next year, so it sounds like Wills and Kate will be heading on an overseas tour come spring. Very excited!) The full recording is below. He makes some cute comments about his little George:

It is quite a poignant address, and what I thought was a very sweet and very sincere farewell from the prince. I think we will all miss the Anglesey chapters. As William said, it was their first home together, and we enjoyed very fun and I also, I think, special royal watching moments.  It was here they kicked off their tour of the UK after the engagement:

Kate went shopping with her awesome post-wedding hair:

And of course, some of my favorite shots of all, the beach walks:

This move definitively marks the close of whole "era" in William and Kate's life and relationship. Obviously, George was part of this shift, but the move away from Anglesey, this little, bucolic, haven where they began their marriage and lived in privacy like a normal couple, also marks the end of something special.  When they were married, William and Kate made it clear they wanted several years of privacy to live like any common couple. Crazy as it is, the two years have flown by and although I don't expect these two will jump full steam into royal duties tomorrow, they are absolutely one step closer, and this special honeymoon period is over. As William mentioned, they will return and return, and I am sure that they will always look back on these years with nostalgia and warm memories. 

Oh, Anglesey and Wales. I am going to miss you almost as much as William and Kate will... 

William Snapped on a Train Heading to Stag Weekend

Monday, August 12, 2013

We are still waiting about for the pictures o Baby George to be released. It was reported in the Mirror this morning, that the Cambridges may opt out of a formal photo shoot with Baby George, and instead just release a few chosen snapshots from their private album. 

I can't say I am excited about this plan. It would be neat to see relaxed family photos, and I appreciate that William and Kate want to be a more modern couple, but sometimes it is right and good to focus on the royal and historical part of the equation. These photos are destined for the history books, so I think they should be given the formality and weight of a professional shoot. As with all news reports, we can't know for certain until the Cambridges make a move in one direction or another, so we shall see.

Speaking of moving, the whispers are now circulating that Kate and George will join William in Anglesey sometime in the next few weeks. I had thought that William left Buckelbury to return to Wales, but he actually took the weekend to join pals in Devon for a Stag Weekend. The Sun has a picture exclusive, which you can view here, of the Prince on a train heading to Devon. Now, however, he will return to Wales and take up duties again at the RAF base there, and we wait to see if Kate and George join him. 

There are also rumors that the Cambridges will then make a brief visit to Balmoral so that Prince Philip can meet George. Again, these stories could be factual, or they could be just rumors. I think they will have to think about security and privacy concerns on both these proposed destinations.

We should see pictures of George, professional or not, very soon.

William Has a Nappie Run After Polo on Saturday

Sunday, August 4, 2013

William played polo yesterday, as scheduled, at the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot. Of course we were all exponentially more excited than usual, because it was his first outing since Baby George's big day.  Harry joined his brother in the match, and their team won, as is fairly usual. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't devote a whole post to a polo game, but these are heightened times of excitement. William arrived to the match dressed down and in some bright red trainers. They look like they might match the red ones Kate wore to the Olympics? 

Here is my question. Is William almost undefeated in polo, OR when you have the future King of England show up for your charity does everyone go easy on him?  William as much as admitted his mind wasn't entirely on the game, saying he was stuck in "nappie mode" so it makes one wonder...:)
He was presented with a little polo stick for Prince George, and beamed while briefly examining it. Wills said he had to pick up more nappies on his way home, and so couldn't be too late.

Ingrid Seward, who heads the fabulous Majesty Magazine, had a piece in the Sunday Express. She hypothesizes that George and Kate will go north to Balmoral to visit Charles:
And what of Grandpa Charles? As the Prince of Wales had so little opportunity to see his infant grandson in the first few days, Kate is almost certain to take the baby Prince to Scotland to stay at Birkhall, the Prince's house on the Balmoral estate.
Also, William's close friend, James Meade, is due to be married in September. After missing the Percy wedding, I would think that Kate will be keen to make this one, but we shall see. If the couple do attend, it is by no means certain they will bring little George, but they may. 

Quick video recap:

We are still waiting on official photos to be released, and for a possible announcement of when Kate might start back into public engagements, but for the moment her calendar is clear to spend with her new son.