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Duchess of Cambridge at the Diplomatic Reception

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In a significant break from their recent modus operandi, Buckingham Palace permitted a rota photographer to snap tonight's Diplomatic Reception. This is such a big shift, and is further proof that the winds of change or blowing strongly at BP. 


I do think this is a continued effort on the part of the Palace to put the spotlight on the primary stars. I don't mean that in an unkind way, but Meghan has certainly shaken things up (whether you consider that a great thing, or not such a healthy thing) and the Palace, as I said they would, needs to keep the boat balanced. 


Kate is wearing a dress by Jenny Packham, and carrying JP's Casa clutch, too. We all recognize her beautiful Lover's Knot tiara and Collingwood pearl earrings, both made famous by the late Princess of Wales. 


This is a huge win. It's delicate and sparkling, which is right in line with Jenny P and Kat's usual creations, but the neckline and sleeves are a new style.  The draping gives it a softer and more romantic look, and really makes the dress. I love it so much. After several rocky choices, Kate really has hit a home-run with this one.


Today at the Christmas party and now this evening, Kate has been glowing. She looks fabulous. It was raining in London, and this was the shot James Whatling snapped of Kate and William leaving Kensington Palace on their way to BP. Usually, this is all we would get, so I feel like quite the lucky duck tonight.


This is actually a very busy and stressful week on this end, so I am not going to update the Christmas party post any further (although I will clean it up next week). I did like that ensemble. Kate could have made it trendier with a hipper top, but I don't mind the classic button-down sweater. It was very much in her style profile. You can see that post here.

Ok kids, see you tomorrow! ;)


140 comments:

  1. why do people think that Kate has only worn the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara for the last few years. She wore the Lotus tiara once but then never again. Anyone have a theory? Is the CLK her only tiara now? If she has access to others, I would have thought she would have worn them by now.

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    1. I assumed it was favored because of the Diana connection. But supposedly Diana didn't really like this tiara because it gave her a headache....

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    2. The Queen doesn't lend tiaras out much. Diana only had one on loan the whole duration of her marriage, Sarah only got one tiara, Sophie only got another after 6 years of marriage and that's because she attends far more tiara events than any other Royal as she and Edward do most of the big European events.

      I don't think we will see a variety of tiaras for Catherine until she is Queen. Or maybe if Camilla is more into sharing tiaras.

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    3. I'm ready for another tiara I think. Love this one, but one can't have too many tiaras can they.

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    4. I think we will see more lending when Camilla is Queen.

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    5. I guess I'm in the minority here, but I don't object to seeing this tiara again. Frankly, I was stunned to seeing it so early in Kate's "royal career". It does remind people of Diana and I suspect this makes William happy.

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    6. I honestly think it’s creepy if William wants his his to be too ,icy like his mother. My husbands mother died just before we married and I constantly have to find the line between honoring her & having our own distinct relationship. Diana was a wonderful wo,an but if she was alive i doubt William would want a copy cat.

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    7. There is nothing creepy, that tiara belonged to the Queen and not to Diana. It is clear the Queen doesn't lend easily. True for tiaras, and for other pieces of jewellery, which is a shame considering that she has a huge vault. Does she ever lend a broch? ( except for the country thematic ones on tour) At least she wears the brooches herself. Usually when she lends something it is a piece she has almost never worn. How amazing would Eugenie's wedding tiara be on Kate? Or the halo on Sophie? It is one of the things I don't really like about the Queen, amazing as she is in other respects. I hope Charles/Camilla is more the sharing kind.

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    8. I don’t think it is a case of not sharing as much as that the Brits go for a signature tiara. Except for the Queen each royal lady has a signature tiara that she wears to most events. Unlike the Sweeds who share all around and the Danish ladies who don’t share but rotate their own collection.
      My biggest complaint is that I wished the Lotus was Kate’s signature since I think it is a better tiara to wearer match.

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    9. I'd like to see Kate in the Lotus tiara again too. When she wore it for the China state dinner her hair was styled with a deep side part with a large "swathe" of hair dipping down on one side. Now that her formal hairstyles show more of her forehead, I think the Lotus would look really good on her.

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    10. @ Anonymous and lizzie: Yes to the Lotus Tiara! That is my favorite tiara Kate has worn and I'd love to see her wear it regularly rather than the Queen Mary's Lover's Knot. I think it suits her better and it would be nice to have a tiara that hasn't had as much exposure as the Lover's Knot on regular rotation.

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    11. I'd still like to see her rewear the Halo again. I think it would be interesting to see it on her with a different hairstyle under different circumstances.

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  2. Woo hoo! I love when they allow pics! A bit tired of the Lovers Knot, but the dress is nice. I would love a wow color like the red gown she’s worn a few times.

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    1. Anglophile in OhioeDecember 4, 2018 at 5:00 PM

      I don't think strong colors are ever worn by the ladies of the BRF for the diplomatic receptions-only the State banquets.
      Kate has always worn white or a very pale color to this event. Tonight the Queen is in white with an gold embellished overlay, Camilla is in white or very pale color.

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    2. Hello there,
      She did wear red in 2016. It was a repeat from the Chinese state banquet.

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    3. Anglophile in OhioDecember 4, 2018 at 6:57 PM

      Thanks, Anon23, I stand corrected. I thought Kate had only worn the red dress to the Chinese State Banquet. I do think that was less usual though.

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    4. No worries. I did comment elsewhere on another site to you that maybe she got a reprimand for it :-D

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    5. Replying to myself here, because the more I look at Kate’s dress, the more I like it. I’m slowly changing my mind.

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    6. Looking at previous pictures (not that there are a lot) the all white thing seem to be fairly recent.

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  3. I love this dress, too! So cool that we got a chance to have a look inside :D

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  4. Modern day Cinderella gown!!!! Looks spectacular

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  5. What colour is this gown? Is it white, ice blue or grey/silver? I think my eyes are going bad...

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    1. My vote is for a very light ice blue. But if we're told it is some other color, I won't be surprised! It is hard to tell. I don't think it's white though. There's a hint of SOME color.

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    2. I’m glad it wasn’t only me that found it hard to tell! I’m with you in thinking it’s a very light ice blue. Seems to be her favourite evening gown colour!

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    3. Light grey I think .. She looks extra glowy today. So glad they released the pictures - about time !

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    4. It reminds me of the Amanda walkway gown she wore to one of her first events so I'm voting gray family rather than blue family. She looks lovely but I do wish she would expand the tiara/earring options. Remember those amaaaaazing sapphire earrings she wore with the dust ruffle erdem?

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    5. I remember those earings. And a sapphire tiara would have been lovely. Too bad the Queen doesn't give her the opportunity.

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous! Regal in every regard! Happy holidays!

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  7. She looks amazing! Methinks the Queen is intentionally trying to give a little more of the spotlight to Kate. She is truly coming into her own as a queen-in-waiting.

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    1. If she was trying to do that she would have given her a different tiara. I think the Queen, at Charles insistence, is modernizing a bit more with photography allowed at this reception and more video of the RF itself (Queen of the World in August) since long since past.

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  8. Can I ask what your tweet meant about Meghan giving a reading at the Van Straubenzee Memorial meant? Why shouldn't she have?

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    1. I thought it was a little odd, yes. I'd love to know what she said. Maybe there was a theme or some connection that made her a more natural choice to give an address.

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    2. I found it a bit odd because she didn’t know him. She read Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson. I’ve copied the text below...

      Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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    3. I just read about it; I also find it odd, making a speech about someone you did not know where the room is full of people who did not him?

      BM

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    4. I am sorry, writing with my phone and autocorrect changing words! I meant to say

      Making a speech about someone you did not know when the room is full of people who did know him?

      Sorry for spamming with comments :/

      BM

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    5. Anglophile in OhioDecember 4, 2018 at 5:52 PM

      The Duchess of Sussex do not make a speech-she did a reading. She may not have known Henry but she certainly knows Charlie and Thomas.

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    6. The author of that piece, Marianne Williamson, is American. Maybe that's why she was chosen to read?
      -TMM

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    7. Could it be that the Duchess of Sussex was asked because she is professionally trained and is a friend of the living family?

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    8. I found it odd as well but she had to have been asked to, unless she wanted to for some reason and Harry muscled in. It’s pure speculation at this point.

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    9. I find it less odd now that I have learned she read a poem. Tess saw a program that confirmed it was not a speech.

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    10. Sorry, I think it was odd. I also think Harry most likely arranged it so Meghan did the reading. I don't quite understand why (as she is reported to have said) she & Harry thought it was an especially appropriate reading for that occasion. But, of course, I do not know much about the young man who was being memorialized.

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    11. At first I thought it was weird but when I saw that she was one of a few people doing fairly neutral readings (it wasn't specific to the young man) it seemed less weird.

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    12. Anglophile in OhioDecember 4, 2018 at 7:18 PM

      William and Harry have been close friends with the Van Straubenzee family their entire lives. Their mother was friends with the family, they went to school with them, they were groomsmen for Thomas's wedding and Harry was best man at Charlie's. Tom is one of Charlotte's godparents.
      William and Harry are patrons of the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund

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    13. Harry also managed to bring up Meghan's "work" with Indian feminine hygiene. I put "work" in quotes because she visited, learned about it and came back and wrote about problems facing girls and how it affects their chances for an education. One visit to India, one article does not "work" make.

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    14. I think it's a matter of Harry using the opportunity to put the focus on his wife, similar to thje Invictus speech. No more, no less.

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    15. Rosman what would constitute “work” for you?

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    16. royalfan - I completely agree with you.

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    17. Again if Harry wasn't so impulsive and took a step back and evaluate his and meghan situation. I'm a firm believer that if they took a little time this year with engagements with the sole focus of "learning.'they wouldn't have so much bad mojo lol. Right now Harry is coming across as very insecure and trying so hard to "sell" meghan. He's really doing a disservice to her there's nothing wrong with taking a step back and listen and learn. I get from Harry that he thinks a happy marriage and life for his wife is too make sure that she's happy at all times if that quote "what meghan wants is "what meghan gets" is true that's a dangerous way to have a marriage. There not my favorite couple but I hope in the new year there's a better balance for a royal life for them. Btw Jane I've been looking at your blog since Kate gave birth to George but never commented

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    18. Lovely to hear from you, JJ. Thanks so much for following the blog all these years. That makes my day! :)

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  9. I found my Christmas party outfit!;)
    I'm a bit tired of that tiara but Kate looks regal. I actually like the white dress.

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  10. Love it! She looks beautiful and super pincess-like!

    I would love to see her wearing a tiara with her hair down; maybe not on an occasion such today but maybe if they attend a dinner when visiting another country. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for me if they toured Spain? We always welcome guests with tiara receptions ;)

    What a success today! She has looked amazing in both engagements but, more importantly, extremely happy!

    Looking forward to tomorrow...

    BM

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    1. BM-- I would LOVE to see her wear this or any other tiara with her hair down...would be divine! Do you live in Spain?

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    2. Yes, north of Spain! Our royal family is not as interesting for me as the British one :) But I am happy we always get tiara events when a president or another royal family comes to visit!

      BM

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  11. What a treat that they released photos from inside! I agree with everyone who said they wish Kate would wear a different tiara- with so many beautiful ones in the BRF, it would be fun to see some variety. Kate’s dress isn’t a win for me- I’m not sure why, but it just doesn’t wow me- I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I still enjoy looking at all the lovely pictures!

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    1. Anon 5:55, I agree about the dress. Obviously, she looks fab, but it just doesn't do it for me. I mentioned on IG that I much prefer the McQueen she recently wore to the State Banquet. That was much more of a wow factor for me. Please don't roast me people!

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    2. I'm with you guys. This dress isn't thrilling me either. It is pretty, sparkly and etherally princessy but not necessarily all that stylish or sophisticated. I have a feeling it's much more impressive in person than in photographs. It must be light reflecting in an impressive way. For me though, it's a pretty dress that isn't doing Kate any favors. Perhaps, it would be more striking on an ingenue type. Little girls would love this dress.

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  12. My random comments:

    Holy cow! She looks incredible. The dress is drop-dead gorgeous.

    I love the sparkles and twinkle on the dress. Very festive.

    I love tiaras. I love the Lover's Knot,but like others have said,it would be nice to see some of the others come out of the vault.

    The Queen and Camilla were stunning also.

    It was a great day for royal watching.

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  13. The gown looked so elegant, the color sparkling and she looks lovely in the tiara....I have read other comments wishing Kate would wear a different tiara...one has to admit it (Cambridge tiara) really looks wonderful on her. The updo looks great, I feel if she wore her hair down it would look too heavy as Kate has very thick lovely hair.
    On side note, also found it extremely unusual for Megan to give a talk at a church service for a late friend of Harry’s & Williams whom she did not know. It would seem more appropriate for someone who had known this man to speak. Megan being a former actress might have felt this was an easy part for her to deliver.

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    1. Why allow a comment like this that is clearly intended to be disparaging. ....” an easy part for her to deliver” is meant to imply her intention is suspect. It’s certainly not simply a neutral observation/opinion.
      It was a reading for a memorial fund. It is not required that you know the person only that you support the cause. It is not at all unusual. I have attended many charities that were established in someone’s memory where people read scriptures, poems etc even if they didn’t know the person. I have also given readings in that capacity. Also, clearly through Harry; Meghan knows the family. One of the ways you keep the memory of a loved one alive is by allowing those who didn’t know them to be included in the ways that they are memorialized. I’m sure Harry has shared his memories with his wife and perhaps Henry’s family has too.
      Also, if you look at the website for the charity. One of their specific aims is to address the lack of hygienic resources that inhibit children’s progress. This is an area that Meghan has been involved with for years so surely she felt a connection to the work.
      Meghan delivered a reading in support of the work the charity does in Henry’s memory. Harry spoke about Henry and his family.

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    2. Through that lens it does make sense. It is a benefit in his honor. So she could be doing it to support that charity. I think it just seems like it’s still a memorial which makes people kinda scratch their heads like why would someone give a reading at a Memorial for someone they never met. But if it is indeed for charity for husbands friend then it makes more sense.
      And I think this is something that she had to have been asked to do by the family of charity and she clearly enjoys public speaking. (This is not a negative, but she has to enjoy it because she has done it an awful lot. When it is even kinda unusual to do it. And done it very very well)

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    3. Thinking about it as a charity event (which, after so many years perhaps that is the controlling vibe), does change it for me, that's a good point.

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    4. Sorry, it still seems a little odd to me. It would also be odd to me if Kate, even now not to mention 7 years ago, was speaking at African conservation events or at memorial events for deceased friends or relatives of Will's she'd not met. It may be there is a connection between this event and Meghan's advocacy for increased availability of sanitary pads, as a previous post suggested. But to me, it still comes across as Harry pushing behind the scenes to have Meghan on stage and if so, I think that's a mistake. I also thought it was kind of odd she gave an IG speech during the tour. I think Meghan has alot to offer but maybe attend the first year, speak the next?

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    5. Completely agree, Lizzie.

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    6. I think Harry had Meghan speak because she is a better public speaker than he is & so he chose her to speak “for him.” I think he hides behind her skirts & let’s her take the heat for doing the things he wants her to do. Don’t forget Cressida is an actress too. Harry is drawn to women who will play a certain role in his life.

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    7. I totally agree with Lizzie and Faith.

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    8. Maybe I misunderstood but wasn’t it a caroling event hosted by the foundation created by W&H in honor of their friend to raise money for children in Uganda? I also thought that H’s speech at the end was an appeal to assist with the Uganda mission. So yes, I think it was a charity event, not a memorial. Totally appropriate for M to do the reading. Someone posted a copy of a letter written by W and included in the program, discussing all the work the Foundation has done.

      On a different note, K looked fabulous at both events today!

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    9. @Lizzie - I agree that Meghan has a lot to offer, which is quite exciting, but easing in is rarely a bad idea. I read an article about Michelle Obama's interview with Good Housekeeping in which she said...My biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything. I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work. I think it’s okay – it’s good, even – to do that...And this is actually the advice I would give anyone starting a new job. Take time to get to know the business, your colleagues, the branding, etc and then begin making changes.

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    10. Lizzie and Faith, I agree as well.

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    11. Henry died 16 years ago nd the memorial fund is legally a charity in the UK so yes this event was a charity do rather than a memorial by the close family & friends

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    12. She's a trained and seasoned speaker, and she speaks well. But I'm curious to know, does she have to give a speech at almost every event they attend? I'm in no way trying to silence Meghan, and I, too, think she has a lot to offer, but maybe she needs to strike a better balance with the speeches. I was also puzzled by the IG speech. I thought two speeches on the tour would have been fine; three was overkill. Just my opinion though!

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  14. I think the color is Ice Blue. The Duchess of Cambridge looks lovely. She is in her element when she dresses up for these tiara events. I am glad the British royal family is allowing pictures. It has been one of my pet peeves about them. The Swedish, Spanish and Danish royals have always allowed pictures of their events, but not the British! At least they are now moving into the 21st Century. By the way I don't think it has a thing to do with Meghan. I really don't believe Meghan calls the shots in the royal family even though it seems many want to believe so.

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  15. Wow! Not usually a fan of Jenny Packman's evening designs but this is a clear winner. It's such a delicate and beautiful (but simple, not overly-designed) gown! Truly princess-worthy and a nice balance between too young and or too matronly.

    I don't mind Kate using the same tiara, I think it has a strong "Princess of Wales" connotation to it and Kate wearing it so often helps make the association in the public's mind that even though she's the wife of the heir's heir, she's still a future Princess of Wales and a high-ranking royal. Although I'm sure Kate probably wears it because we all know she loves pearls and loves sticking to her favorite accessories :)

    Big thumps up to Buckingham Palace for finally allowing a photographer! :O

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  16. She looks stunning. I love this dress and, for me, Jenny Packham never fails the Duchess in the evening wear category. She's so princess-y without being a big meringue. This is a very confident woman in her role. Glad BP is sharing!

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    1. "A big meringue" 😄😄😄😄😄
      That cracked me up. I knew exactly what you meantb and I agree 100%.

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    2. LOL @ the meringue comment. It is a valid concern when weating these gowns i imagine.

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  17. In a word...GORGEOUS!!

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  18. I am thrilled we finally have pictures from inside. The BRF used to be a lot more generous with pictures but it seemed to greatly closed ranks in the 90s after the whole War of the Wales' mess. I'm glad it looks like they are being a bit more open again and I hope we will continue to get pictures from events like these. It makes me wonder how open they will be when William is King.

    Catherine looks beautiful. I'm so glad we got to see this gown full length as it is stunning. She's wearing Queen Mary's Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet too. I'm also surprised by how much I like the Queen's gown.

    I would like to see a new tiara too (Lotus tiara is my favourite!) but the Queen doesn't lend out tiaras much. She is so generous to Catherine with other jewels from the Vault that I doubt she minds however. ;) We will see decades of different tiaras on Catherine in the future

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    1. Sunny, I read somewhere that Kate is on very good terms with Angela Kelly, who is in charge of the Queen's jewels, and who allows Kate to borrow what she wants, but I imagine there are still some guidelines for what she's allowed to borrow. A change of tiara would be wonderful; however, as Anon from LA's points out, Kate perhaps wears it because of its strong symbolic "Princess of Wales" factor, which I can understand.

      I don't care much for tonight's gown. It serves the purpose I suppose, but, for me, there's no wow factor. It reminds me of the red gown with a re-work of the neckline and shoulders. I think, however, that tonight's gown is an improvement on the former, which I really did not like. So, in my view, today's outfit was a hit, but tonight's is a miss! On to tomorrow!

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    2. Kate looks beautiful! And I'm so happy to see these photos and not just a car shot. Wise and appropriate timing.

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    3. Agree royalfan. It's about time proper photographs for this event were released. I always thought photos from this were not published because of some sort of diplomatic sensitivity but I guess not.

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    4. I'd wonder if the photo release is related to BREXIT also.

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    5. Faith, fingers crossed that this was the first of many more to come... :-)

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    6. Lizzie, I'd be curious how the photo release could relate to BREXIT. It may be true. I just could not think of a reason pre coffee.☕

      Royalfan, hope so! It would be so mean to make it a one time occurance.

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    7. Just a guess Faith. I could be wrong but as I understand it, the guests are members of the Diplomatic Corps and international ambassadors. Photos are a way to show the world that despite BREXIT, the UK will continue as a player on the world stage. Athough the reception is a royal event rather than a purely government one, with a constitutional monarchy, technically it is still "Her Majesty's Government" I believe. I realize the Queen doesn't wield power as an absolute monarch does, but I believe government officials still swear allegiance to her. And she is obligated to support government actions. And after the referendum, that's BREXIT. But I'm an American and sometimes we tend to see politics everywhere so maybe I've got this all wrong. But I do suspect the reason we saw photos wasn't just to showcase W&K (although showing W&K [and C&C] certainly may have been ONE of the reasons.)

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    8. The Queen is head of State. That is why she hosts the diplomatic reception. Ambassadors are accredited at St James. I don't know who decides if pictures will be taken, I suppose BP not foreign affairs.

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    9. I agree Lizzie that the photos had more to do than highlight the Cambridge’s but I do think that showcasing them was a reminder of how deep and stable the Windsor bench is

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    10. Makes perfect sense post coffee, Lizzie. I don't think you are wrong. There has to have been a very good reason to adjust protocal after so long, and this checks all the boxes. Yes, very wise move on the part of the BRF.

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  19. This is not going to be a popular opinion but to me it seems that there is a bit of a concerted effort to push Meghan to the foreground. Today's poem she read (was it really necessary - none of those people who have been around for years could do a poem reading? ) along with Harry's speech where he talks about Meghan - it seems a bit strange. I mean, she *just* arrived on the scene, or it seems to people who have been watching the royals for years. What is the hurry to keep bringing her up? Why must she interject herself into all situations? It just seems too much too soon. I would wager a fair amount that this is the source of the "Meghan doesn't understand hierarchy" sentence that was in one of the previous articles on the Sussex-Cambridge feud. That came from Katie Nicholl who seems to sometimes come out with Cambridge specific news.

    Even Michelle Obama, wise woman that she is, said very pointedly that Meghan shouldn't feel that she needs to be out there and do a lot. I just don't like what I am seeing and I just fear that it's going to end badly. If I were Meghan I would take a few months to quietly slip into the background, just observing various people and learning their ways. Harry, of course, is a goner. Can't rely on him to show her the ropes.
    Oh and Piers Morgan came out with a Meghan-bashing article where he literally calls her a social climber. Ugh.

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    1. I made a comment elsewhere that I’ll pretty much repeat here...

      I don’t know if this is the best move for Meghan. I have the utmost respect for Michelle Obama, but I don’t know that “secret” meetings with wife of the ex-President of the United States is really going to endear Meghan with the British people. Especially with all the other bad press and the fact she’s not been working lately from what we know. It almost seems like she’s been hiding. And then with this reading of a poem at the caroling event almost seems like someone is trying to shoehorn her in, kind of like the Invictus speech. I want her to succeed, really, but it seems like it’s being managed in such a bizarre way. But this is a Kate blog so I’ll just stop right there. :-)

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    2. *Harry* wants Meghan out front which is why she is. Either he’s a total weakling or he’s putting his wife in the role he wants just like William does. Everyone wants to cry oh poor Harry instead of acknowledging his hand in everything that has happened since he started dating Meghan.

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    3. Rosman, it was clear to me from the engagement interview (and the Royal Foundation Forum) that Meghan intends to be as vocal and visible as possible. Harry is doing everything possible to make her happy and I think the road ahead will not be the smoothest for them. It's too much too soon and this suggests an unwillingness to understand or accept her role within the RF. In this case, I think Michelle Obama's advice was on the money. Will it be taken? I don't believe so.

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    4. Rosman, I think Harry is pushing Meghan to the forefront because he wants them both to be equal in status to William and Kate, and he has the perfect ally in Meghan, who, as Royalfan argues, also intends to be as vocal and as visible as possible. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic will play out within the constraints of the hierarchy that obtains in the BRF. In the conversation swirling around about the tension among the quartet, it has been claimed that Kate had met with Meghan a few times to explain the system to her, but it did not go down well with Meghan. If this really happened, why was it left up to Kate to explain this to Meghan? Shouldn't this have been her husband's responsibility? Perhaps, as they say, Harry has always been peeved by the idea of William's higher rank in the RF and now sees this as his opportunity to exploit the situation, hence his maneuvering of Meghan to the front on every occasion.

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    5. royalfan - not only will it not be taken, but details of "secret" meeting with MO are being "leaked" bit by bit. Every detail down to the last conversation is finding its way into the media. She is *that* media-driven. I have to say I am gobsmacked. I thought Megan was a smart woman. This is just dumb. Not realizing that you don't know everything is just stupid.

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    6. Anon 11.11- no I think this is all Meghan. Harry is simply the puppet in her hands now.

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    7. I don't know why Harry had to speak about Meghan at the carol concert. He was promoting her at the event last night and it wasn't about her. I want to like her and I want her to be successful but I think things are not being handled well.

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    8. Please stop. This is getting so tedious. Just gossip and speculation, and it's boring.

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    9. I like reading you all because I do not have access to everything that is being published!

      Michelle’s piece of advice has also been reported here and I found it strange that KP itself confirmed that Meghan met her privately. Why do they comment on private events? I guess it is because she/they think it is fantastic to be associated with the Obamas...

      While their fans believe that Harry constantly praising and contenting Meghan in his speeches and behavior is related with how in love he is and how he protects her, this is having a negative effect on many others (me included). We get he loves her and she is the protagonist in his life but she doesn’t need to be the protagonist everywhere else.

      BM

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    10. BM, I think KP had to comment to make it clear that she was there in a private capacity because although they are no longer in the White House, the Obamas are still significant figures on the global stage and KP wanted to make clear that the Duchess of Sussex wasn’t meeting Mrs. Obama in any kind of official capacity.

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    11. Rosman, do you think Harry was behind the meeting? An "I'd like you to meet my wife" sort of thing? And confirming the "private" meeting adds a check mark to Meghan's royal resume?

      By the way, your last sentence @12.31 is on the money.

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    12. 11:11, I understand your point, but *is* it all Harry's idea(s), or is he being *made to feel* as though he needs to do this to keep his wife happy? My own answer to this question would start a hearty debate. :-)

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    13. Royalfan I think it’s a combination. I think Meghan likely generates many of the specific ideas for what she can do to be front & center but I also think that Harry chose her because she could/would embrace that role. I think that Harry is less happy being in the Cambridge shadow than some might think he is and so chose a spouse that would shake things up on his behalf. I also think that Harry is somewhat insecure - he’s been left by many important women in his life, starting with his mother, and so is probably doing anything and everything he thinks will keep this woman by his side but since he appears to be somewhat impulsive and emotional in his decision-making the outcome ends up being a bit of a mess.
      Anon 11.11

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    14. 11.11, I think that's a pretty fair assessment of the situation.

      I've always believed that Harry was happy and relieved to see William is in the hot seat, but I'm beginning to wonder...

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  20. I think any shake up that Meghan has caused is a good thing. It's not like she's evil and trying to undermine Kate. I'm sure she understands her place in the royal lineup. But she has a huge platform now and it seems she wants to use it for good such as empowering woman and helping children. And I thought Harry was a "primary star." I don't think people should feel threatened by Meghan because she's a strong woman. Kate is just very different, more in the traditional mold, which I also think is a great thing. I think Kate is perfect for her role as Queen-to-be. I so look forward to watching her grow. --J

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    1. J - if you join a new place of work and don't take time to learn the ropes you will eventually fall on your face - correct? What is happening here is that Meghan is not taking time to learn how things work in the RF and GB. She thinks that she doesn't need to learn. That never ends well. Humility goes a long way in life. I am not questioning her good intentions or even her qualifications or ability. I am questioning her judgement.

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    2. I don't think people feel threatened by Meghan. Only IMO pushing her constantly forward, be it her wish or Harry's or a combination of both does her no favours. She looks out of place. I think their strategy is not a good one. If they are starting to use private events and friends to make her shine, if she has to force a meeting with Michele Obama...

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    3. I don't think people feel threatened by Meghan at all. I think she has created resentment by coming in as the brand new person and trying to do things her own way without, first, sitting back, learning the ropes and then functioning as part of a team. The way she has approached certain events or handled some things has seemed self promoting/ self serving even though that may not be the case. She can't come in to the BRF with an American approach and expect that to go well. She needs to learn British attitudes and their way of doing things which is quite different.

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    4. I do agree with Rosman's, Anon 1:48's and Faith's thoughts here. "Feel threatened by" is not the way I would describe it; perhaps a better description is that people are being turned off by the approach/strategy.

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  21. There has been a lot of discussion about Meghan & how she's approached her role in the Royal Family. She wasn't a well-known actress outside the U.S. until she started dating Harry. From everything we've seen of her, she seemed to be in it for the visibility, glamour & wealth that she would have never gotten as an actress. She's close to 40 & she knew that Harry was her ticket out. So I think Piers Morgan is right when he says that she's going to milk this for everything she can. She been playing on this biracial, path-breaking activist narrative & the US media & her fans aggressively push that narrative even when there is no cause for it. I mean that when Harry issued that complaint that she was being subjected to "racism & abuse" he basically gave her fans to term any kind of criticism as "racism" & she feeds that narrative to suit her purpose. I think the Royal Family made so many allowances for her because they were worried that she might play into that racism if she doesn't get her way in things & plays with harry's insecurities, dependency & infatuation to her advantage. She's engaged in many questionable things in terms of breaking protocol but some of her actions are more about keeping the limelight on her whether or not the action is itself appropriate, like this poem or reading at a service for someone she doesn't even know. It just looks odd and frankly, desperate. Then there are these claims that the British press are "out to get her". Nobody is out to get her. What she doesn't get is that the British Royal Family isn't a bunch of Kardashian-like celebrities & being stars of the show is not why they exist. She comes across as entitled & arrogant & I think the palace sources who've leaked instances of that make her afraid that her narrative will break apart. Lately American press have claimed that she's benign hounded like Serena Williams for being an "angry, black woman" for speaking up but this is again creating a narrative she wants. Frankly, the British Royal Family cannot win this no matter what. She played this made-up racial discrimination aspect & will milk it for all she can. She got quickly pregnant because she knows she'll always be connected to the Royal Family even if they divorce. It's not like her eggs would have disappeared in 1 year or more. Women have babies in their 40s as well. Look at Sophie Wessex. It's impossible to remove the monetary aspect from this. America media claim she was rich before marriage but that money is hardly much for a celebrity living in America. So money, wealth, jewellry, celebrity, worldwide fame, access to unimaginable luxury is obviously something she wanted to get from this marriage. I can't imagine her getting access to world politicians & global superstars the way she is now, before she got married. So I don't think she's in it for long-haul because we've seen way too many instances to believe otherwise. And it's sad, because she is seen as symbol of hope & aspirations for so many girls and women of colour that if an actress like Meghan Markle could marry a prince, so can they. And it's sad because we can do with as many female role models as possible, but she isn't one of them. The reality is far more bleak & heartbreaking that we can imagine. And there is no smoke without a raging fire.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. For all the effort and thought you put in to this comment... You could've done something better with your time. This is just guess work & speculation.

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    3. Anon 1:49, I will admit that I’ve been out of the royal watching arena for over eight months. A hurricane and a sick mother have consumed me. I haven’t followed Meghan closely, but I can say that some of your opinions mirror my own except for any speculation of divorce. It’s not fair to say Meghan only married Harry for fame and fortune. I don’t have the answers, but time will surely tell. I do wish them the best, and I am trying to give Meghan a chance. She isn’t my favorite royal due to many of the same reason others have stated. I’ve been with this blog from the beginning, and Kate is my girl; she always has been. A genuine soul in her position is hard to find. Jane, I love that you allow honest dialogue on current royal events. I have been enjoying reading and catching up on the royal family since Meghan’s debut.

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    4. I have watched Meghan's move into the royal family closely, and disagree that she has "created a narrative" around being a woman of color. She is a woman of color; this is simply a fact. It is not a narrative to move through your life as yourself. Harry released a statement calling out racist press because there was LOADS of racist press. It is impossible with Meghan to really separate her race from any of the criticisms about her because as much as one individual might think "I am in no way influenced by this" everything we know of her and her life in the BRF is what is told to us--by the reporters who cover events and how they choose to frame them (the quotes they choose, the descriptions they give), and we cannot always parse out their biases or intentions. Is it frustrating as all get out that you can't say you don't like Meghan's pants without being called racist? Yup. But I also don't think you can say her race has had no influence on coverage of her. She is seen as an interloper for any variety of reasons (race, citizenship, career, age, previous marital status), those qualities have caused you to call her a social climber, milking it for all its worth as she reaches "old age" that you also claim is not old enough to need to get pregnant just yet because you know all about her personal fertility. That's an awful lot of vitriol towards someone. Especially as in all that rant, you never gave an example of one way she has broken protocol or made herself the star of the show.

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    5. It's mostly Americans & US publications who are pouncing on this racism aspect because it helps sell papers & get clicks for the website. You don't marry into an institution like the Royal Family thinking "you're going to change the world". That's not what they're for. It's not "vitriol" when it's true & they're harsh realities to come to terms with. And a person would have to really no nothing about protcol and royal rules to claim that she hasn't broken any rules or made herself the star of the show. There is also no ambiguity in the fact that she got pregnant extremely fast, given how short their association has been. Had she known Harry for longer even outside marriage, it wouldn't have been so surprising. But it's a terribly harsh reality that when a person see's the kind of wealth & privilege she has suddenly seen, it's natural to want the comforts and privileges that come with it. My friend is a US citizen, 34 years old and she works in the US entertainment business. Even though she's not an actress, she said that if she had been in Meghan Markle's place, and a prince wanted to marry her, she's drop everything & move across continents in a heartbeat because the entertainment business is hard for women, even non-actresses, especially those close to 40. It's a bitter reality of how the show business works. My friend made these observations about actresses' earnings in cable tv shows & Meghan couldn't have been rich enough to fund the lifestyle she aspired to have. There is nothing wrong with aspirations and wanting to move up in life. It's the inaccurate projection of things & entitlement that has made Meghan's attitude & behavior off-putting. What with the tiara drama, chapel's musty smell, dress fittings..etc.There isn't any smoke with fire and I suspect that there are many more incidents that have happened behind closed doors that people don't know about. Making excuses for Markle doesn't serve any purpose & neither was I wishing divorce upon her. But like many have pointed out in their comments, it's less likely that these things Markle is doing, especially so early into the marriage & even before it,indicate that it will be difficult for her to stick around for the long haul. And as for the individual who wishes divorce upon me, well I wish you well & I hope that Jane notices it & removes it. Personal attacks on other users is unacceptable. If you want to be like those teenage girls & young women from the US who obsessively follow the American celebrity circuit, stick to Twitter with your insults. Don't mess up royal blogs for those of us who have followed European royals for longer than you can ever imagine. We have civil conversations here where we agree and disagree with each other & have been doing so for years. It's because of "fans" like you who've just discovered that royalty exists & your trawling through Wikipedia for knowledge, the entire nature of discussion & conversation has been polluted over the past year, for royal bloggers & journalists alike.

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    6. I will say quickly that I don't think anyone should fault a 37 year old for getting pregnant as soon as possible after she has walked down the aisle. I expected nothing less and I wish Meghan a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.

      I didn't see the remark about someone wishing divorce on you. That is out of line, and I will find it and remove it, but not today. I'm under the gun today and I won't be online much. But, I will get to it tomorrow afternoon.

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    7. Jane Barr, so it’s out of line to wish divorce on a commentator but not out a line for a commentator to wish divorce on Meghan?

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    8. Jane Barr, so it’s out of line to wish divorce on a commentator but not out a line for a commentator to wish divorce on Meghan?

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    9. I have posted several times that people shouldn't wish divorce on Meghan and Harry. I don't know what you are referring to, I assume you have a basis for this accusation, but I don't have time to investigate tonight. I will look into this either tomorrow evening or over the weekend. If I missed an inappropriate comment, it will be deleted. If you are exaggerating or misstating someone else's comment, no action will be taken. Have a good evening.

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    10. Jane, here is the comment where the user posted anonymously, wishing divorce upon me & it's presumably the user who found nothing wrong in her comment. It's the first comment in this chain:

      "Anonymous December 5, 2018 at 7:45 AM
      it’s really rude of you to wish divorce on an couple who don’t even know, I hope your marriage breaks down."

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    11. I deleted the comment. Sorry I missed that. It came in after I wrote my little comment asking people not to bring up divorce, so I should have held it. Apologies.

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    12. The original commentor on this thread wished divorce on Harry and Meghan. Why isn’t that deleted?

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  22. I think Meghan very much does not understand or appreciate her place in the royal family. I think that is why she is unpopular (and believe me -she is) and I think there is a very rocky road ahead

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    1. Anon 4:50,I totally agree with your comment,I think Meghan is in for a rocky road ahead if she does not change her attitude.

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    2. You know I have a philosophical approach to this, the way royal family is structured it breeds human conflict why because we are humans. Human civilization has evolved and our thought process is trying to aspire to this notion that a man or woman earns what he earns based on his achievements and no one is special just for being born. Apply this to the royal family why should Charles be the next king, if I can vote I would make Anne queen, nothing against Charles I just admire Anne more she is most like her mother, but alas Charles is next in line virtue of being the eldest. Royal family exists on this simple point we are special because we are born, think about that for a second and apply this to yourself what if you are a business family and you are not the eldest to inherit but you are more talented and deserve it more but your older sibling is made CEO wouldn't you be pissed off.

      Sorry digress I get confused when I read stuff like Royal Family is a business like any other, No it is not because they follow different rules just to exist. I think this issue runs deeper, this is a family that still practices women have no power (Anne even mentioned this in an interview) unless they are the next queen consort in waiting like Camilla and Kate, or queen monarch like the queen herself because women don't inherit royal titles, which means Prince Louis is the next Duke of York ahead of Princess Charlotte. We have already decided Prince George is the next king, why what if he doesn't want to or is just a terrible prince but no decision made regardless of what the boy wants.

      There was a time when Royalty was not exposed to the public they might meet the commoners but they didn't befriend them and try to be one of them, the more you want to be like everyone else the more you are exposed to changes in the world. William and Harry grew up in a much different world than Queen Elizabeth did where even difficult sister Margaret didn't dare to speak against her sister. Harry loves his brother no doubt but you have to wonder how much of this routine of you will walk behind me and sit behind me gets tiresome, can there be true brotherly love if always you are made to feel less important because you are second born. This is something Meghan can never understand, Harry is starting to revolt and he grew up in this institution imagine how can an outsider come to terms with this thought process. But it doesn't matter if the Royal family can survive Dianna they can survive Meghan but saying that I don't think all this will continue in perpetuity one day it will end.

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    3. Agreed. I've said this before: Meghan wants to be Princess Diana-like, but failed to realize Diana only had the freedom to do as she liked and become the sort of influencer/voice she did once she DIVORCED out of the BRF. I think Meghan had no idea how restrictive being a royal can be.

      It's not easy for modern (especially American, speaking as an American myself) women to adjust to this. We are used to saying whatever we like, not the usual British reserve, and not the inability to intervene in politics when you're a royal.

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    4. The latest article by Emily Andrews would have been shocking but we've had enough indication of the way things are behind palace doors. It's only sad that now there will be at least one innocent child involved & for the baby's sake, I do hope both Meghan & Harry realize the path they're going down on. I can't see the BRF letting things happen the way they are. And let's not forget that Charles dislikes attention & importance being taken away from him & that compounded his issues with Diana. If Meghan Markle thinks she can pull another Diana without consequences, she's highly mistaken. The most intriguing comment from that article was a courtier commenting that Meghan is aparrently smarter than the royal family put together & it's consistent with the observations of others who also believe that she's hooked on to Harry deep with the emotional blackmailing & with the crying victim of racism angle.

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    5. The latest article by Emily Andrews would have been shocking but we've had enough indication of the way things are behind palace doors. It's only sad that now there will be at least one innocent child involved & for the baby's sake, I do hope both Meghan & Harry realize the path they're going down on. I can't see the BRF letting things happen the way they are. And let's not forget that Charles dislikes attention & importance being taken away from him & that compounded his issues with Diana. If Meghan Markle thinks she can pull another Diana without consequences, she's highly mistaken. The most intriguing comment from that article was a courtier commenting that Meghan is aparrently smarter than the royal family put together & it's consistent with the observations of others who also believe that she's hooked on to Harry deep with the emotional blackmailing & with the crying victim of racism angle.

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    6. I've been royal watching for too long to dismiss what appears to be "tidbits of reality" that are consistent with the big picture. I absolutely believe that William attempted to have a brotherly chat with Harry about his relationship with Meghan and the long term implications. I also believe that Harry was/is vulnerable and defensive and needs to learn on his own.

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  23. It's been fun watching Kate through the years she has really come into her role. It's about time the queen/charles showed some pics for this reception. Kate really looks beautiful but I know it's not favorite opinion here but Kate loss too much weight she should kept some weight on. It's probably why I like seeing her pregnant she looks great with a little weight on. Imo

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  24. How lovely Kate looks - the draping and bodice seem a little Victorian without the big meringue (as RobinofCA describes it) skirt of that era. I love it, and the beading on the fabric is so delicate and beautiful.

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  25. Kate's in trousers today!!!! Love it!

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  26. For sure this a huge win, tris is one the most beautiful gown that Kate has, she is realy faire taile pricess im full mode. Only time will say if Meghan's impact will be good ou bad, in many ways I think could be good, if palace administrate carefully, she's a hurricane and her family, except her mother, it's lot of thigs to palace to deal, to be true I can not see Meghan for a long time in the British Royal Family, I think she has a strong and daring personality, I see this woman, modern and independent, who is in shock with the real protocols and how this family represents, not if she changes her actions in the name of the feeling she has for Harry, if it continues like this, she will get tired of this life quickly, it is my opinion, but it will happen or not just the time to confirm.

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  27. How romantic. The Queen, her daughter in law and her granddaughter in law. All in pale colours and all looking so regal. This is the stuff of fairytales.

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  28. I love this gown on Kate. It reminds me of Kate in the early years. Someone at another royal fashion site stated she had a friend who attended this evening. She said she is struck by how dainty and delicate Kate looks in person. The attendee said the gown was white. I think she looks lovely.

    There have been comments recently about Kate and her level of confidence. I wonder if it stems from a couple of things. Perhaps, she has completed the family she has always wanted, and after three difficult pregnancies with HG, and a beautiful new baby boy, Kate can enjoy the children with her husband. Also, Meghan has come on the scene and Kate is probably aware that it can have some choppy waters. Perhaps, Kate is reassessing her own journey with the BRF and has come to the conclusion she has done a good job.

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  29. GORGEOUS BEST GOWN ALL YEAR FINALLY A NEW GORGEOUS GOWN LOVE HER IN WHITE WISH SHE WORE HER HAIR DOWN AND LONG WOULD HAVE LOOKED FANTASTIC. THIS IS PRINCESS PERFECTION AND TRUE KATE STYLE BEAUTIFUL SHE NEEDS TO WEAR MORE NEW CLOTHES AND GOWNS THAT FIT HER TRUE STYLE LIKE THIS. LOVE THIS GOWN.

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  30. Jane, I am so sad about the turn all of this has taken. I'm not a fan of Meghan. I actually think she's not good for race relations, because I believe she is not a person to admire. It's not about her race, divorce, the career as an actress (Grace Kelly, anyone? She was an actress too!), or her modest upbringing. There are many actresses out there who are good, genuine people. Many women are divorced, simply because two people could not live together as man and wife for life. Many have parents who were not wealthy. But I myself know black and biracial women who would run circles around her as duchesses or princesses. They have innate dignity and grace. They are also strong women. They are independent women in a very real sense-- much more so than Meghan is. Jane, you have been more than fair to Meghan on this blog. You have been kind. But this blog is about Kate. It is called "From Berkshire to Buckingham." I think fans of Meghan could start "From Suits to Sussex," and that would be fine. Go for it, Meghan fans. Just don't criticize those who don't bring Meghan into every conversation. Find your own beautiful space.

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    1. I do not care for the strong banter that has gone on recently. One of the reasons I have been reading for years is due to Jane's wonderful, informative, well written blog and a general sense of civility when I come here to enjoy the charity, reason for the engagement, the fashion and the jewelry. While some of this is superficial, it is a nice escape and a view to a world very different from my own.

      I enjoy watching both Kate and Meghan. I see Kate as a senior seasoned member of the BRF and Meghan as a new colt trying to get her footing. I have noticed over the years, many new married royals seem to go through a breaking in period where they face criticism. Prince Daniel of Sweden, Chris when he married Madeleine, Princess Sofia of Sweden, Diana when she first married Charles to name a few.

      This is not meant to be political, but with the recent passing of President Bush 41, I was reminded of the letter he left on the desk of the incoming President Clinton. It had been a hard fought political battle and the two later became friends. The point I am trying to make is that Pres. Bush left a letter stating that he was rooting hard for the new Pres. Clinton.

      I for one, am rooting hard for both Kate and Meghan.

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    2. Lovely comment anon 3:44, I love it when people respond positively to negative comments.

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  31. Kate looks lovely and appropriate as always. I am just a bit underwhelmed by this dress. Jenny Packham is too safe for me on Kate. I know this is not the occasion to wow, nor is it in Kate's inclination to do so when in the presence of Her Maj and the Duchess of Cornwall. It's pretty, the beading is very nice, and I am grateful that it isn't ice blue. But for me, it's meh. The teal Jenny Packham is the best rendition of evening wear I've seen on Kate. I much rather see a Roland Mouret or Alexander McQueen ( or Temperley for that matter) on her in the evening. I would've been standing on my chair cheering if she had worn her ivory Roland Mouret to this event, but I knew our Duchess wouldn't dream of being so cheeky. I could also see this dress being used for an appearance at the opening of Parliament when her time comes. She looks lovely, but again, I wish for something a bit more...

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