Monday, 6 February 2017

It's Oscar de la Renta for Guild of Health Writers Conference

For their second engagement of the day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a Guild of Health Writers conference focusing on mental health, which is being supported by the Heads Together campaign.


A look at the Duchess arriving.


The Guild of Health Writers is an independent membership organisation representing many of Britain’s leading health journalists and writers, and encompassing the whole spectrum of health and wellbeing. The Guild was founded in 1994 to promote high professional standards and provide good quality, accurate health information to the public. It covers everything from innovative medical science to complementary therapies and lifestyle issues. The Palace described the engagement as "an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to engage with members of the Guild of Health Writers working in print, online and broadcast media on Heads Together and its ambition to create millions of conversations on mental health in 2017".


The theme of the conference is 'The Anxiety Epidemic'. The experts discussed why anxiety and related mental health problems are now reaching epidemic proportions, how they can best be treated and also measures aimed at reducing the scale of the problem.


The event was held at Chandos House in central London. The Georgian townhouse was built by Robert Adam (the most prominent architect in Britain at the time) from 1769-1771. For over 130 years Chandos House was home to such notable residents as the Duke of Chandos, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the Countess of Strafford, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and finally the newspaper tycoon Sir James Gomer Berry, Viscount Kemsley. For a period in the 19th century Chandos House was also used as the Austrian Embassy. The first resident ambassador was Prince Esterhazy and for the next 25 years the house was the scene of entertainment on the most lavish scale. He left the embassy in 1842 and was succeeded by various ambassadors until the lease on the property expired in 1866. During the Second World War the Grand Staircase had it's ceiling and skylight bombed out. Thankfully it was convincingly restored before ownership passed to the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), who acquired Chandos House for the first time in 1963.


Chandos House was used by the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) as a hotel and events venue for members until it was sold in 1986 to finance the refurbishment of the Society's headquarters at 1 Wimpole Street. Unfortunately the house was then left unoccupied and neglected, so much so that it was placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk list. The Howard de Walden estate saved the house in 2002 by purchasing the lease, and identifying the RSM as future tenants. Howard de Walden agreed to refurbish Chandos House and to restore the Adam reception rooms as required by English Heritage. Finally in 2005 Chandos House reopened after a £5 million restoration. Today, it serves as an elegant events venue suitable for conferences, weddings and training seminars. There are seventeen bedrooms and six function rooms available to hire.


By design each room at Chandos House offers something different to guests, whether this is an Antonio Zucchi ceiling painting, carved Sienna Marble fireplace, Victorian Waterford Crystal chandelier or gilded mirror. The Terrace Room, with its large striking Venetian windows, adjoins the Garden Terrace.


The couple listened to presentations from four experts on the conference theme including Paul Farmer CBE, CEO Mind; Dr James Davies, reader in anthropology and mental health at the University of Roehampton; Claire Kelly, Co-Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project; and Jacqui Marson, chartered counselling psychologist, bestselling author and former war reporter.


William and Kate met members of the Guild along with leaders and representatives of the Heads Together charity partners.


William met Louise, who is running the marathon for Heads Together and her boyfriend Ryan; both spoke tonight about mental health.


In an impassioned speech, Prince William talked about how he, Kate and Harry are working to break down the barriers around mental health: "At the moment, on average, it takes a sufferer ten years to admit to a problem. That means that what often starts as a fairly minor issue becomes something serious and medical after time...but talking can lead to help."


Simon Perry reports:

Addressing key health journalists in London, the prince outlined what he called the “journey” that he and Kate and his brother Harry have made to put mental health at the forefront of their public work.
“Mental health was the great taboo. If you were anxious, it’s because you were weak,” the royal dad of two said at the Guild of Health Writers event. “If you couldn’t cope with whatever life threw at you, it’s because you were failing. Successful, strong people don’t suffer like that, do they? But of course – we all do. It’s just that few of us speak about it.”
“It was suicide, a subject that is so often hidden,” he said. “The suicide rate among young men in this country is an appalling stain on our society. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 in this country. Not cancer, not knife crime, not road deaths — suicide. If one of these other issues took so many young lives, there would be a national outcry. This silence is killing good people.”
William added, “For Catherine and Harry, their journeys to Heads Together were different: Harry predominately through his work with veterans, and Catherine through her work with children and young families. But their conclusions were the same — that mental health needed to be brought out of the dark and de-stigmatized.”
Their hope is to create an atmosphere where the issue can be discussed openly. “On average it takes a sufferer 10 years to admit to a problem,” William added. “This means that what often starts as a fairly minor issue becomes something serious and medical after time. Silence can kill; but talking can lead to help and support.”

There was also news on the next stage of the Heads Together campaign.


The Duchess wore a skirt suit by the one and only Oscar de la Renta. The look comes from the Fall 2015 Collection (with thanks to HeavenLM on Twitter). We have been hoping to see the Duchess debut a look from the iconic brand for some time now. Kate's ensemble comes from Peter Copping's (Oscar de la Renta's handpicked successor) first collection.


More on the background of the Fall 2015 Collection from Vogue:

'De la Renta and Copping were to have worked side by side, but de la Renta's death, just days after Copping was appointed last October, prevented that. Copping left a type-written note on each seat: "I am immensely proud to have been chosen as the creative director of Oscar de la Renta," he began. "Unfortunately things did not go according to our plans and I never had the chance to work with Oscar, which is something I deeply regret."
Instead of learning by doing, Copping leaned on people who had worked with the late designer: his longtime sales director Boaz Mazor, former team member Carolyne Roehm. "We shared a lot of common territory," Copping said at a preview. "The sort of woman we appreciate, and going beyond that, gardens, homes, all of that sort of thing: We speak the same language.'

The Three Quarter Sleeve Tailored Jacket is rendered in a wool blend and features a pointed collar, dual breast pockets, and a pleated, flared hem. The ultraviolet tailored jacket originally retailed for £1,722 before going on sale for £861 and selling out.

Oscar de la Renta

The matching Full Pleated Skirt is rendered in a wool blend and features a full shape with box pleating and features a back zip. It retailed for £1,014 before going on sale for £386.

Oscar de la Renta

A closer look at the suit.


Several readers have correctly suggested Kate may have worn the suit for the Queen's Pre-Christmas luncheon.


Kate accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress earrings.


And carried her black suede Mulberry clutch and wore her trusty Cartier watch. The earrings, clutch and watch are all the same as earlier today.


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If you're just joining us, click here to view today's earlier post. William and Kate attended 'The Big Assembly' where the importance of kindness was discussed and the Duchess gave a speech. Yesterday, the royal trio got their running shoes on for a fun day with Heads Together runners. You can view that post here (it has been updated with info on Kate's Sweaty Betty / New Balance trainers).


Finally, as you may know, Her Majesty became the first British monarch to reach the Sapphire Jubilee today. The Queen has reigned for 65 years, since the tragic passing of her father. The Telegraph reported she is spending the day in "quiet reflection" at Sandringham. No doubt her father will be very much in her thoughts as it also marks 65 years since his death. Buckingham Palace reissued a portrait by David Bailey, taken in 2014 and showing the Queen wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding gift.


What do you think of Kate's first outing in Oscar de la Renta?

222 comments:

  1. Wow -loving this. Amazing colour - suits her beautifully 😀 Linda

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  2. I love this suit. The color looks great on Kate, and I really like the length and fullness of the skirt. A huge winner in the fashion department and for such a special cause.You can tell they are sincere and dedicated to their work. Thanks again for the great pictures and remarks!

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    1. Alejandra Ramirez7 February 2017 at 00:28

      Me too! I am surprised at how much I love the suit!
      At first I thought it was too short, like mid thigh but then it's the style that made me look at it that way
      It's so youthful and professional at the same time!
      Super mega excellent choice! Love it!
      One of her best looks so far!

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  3. Rebecca - Sweden6 February 2017 at 21:00

    Anxiety.... a topic that hits close to home. As some of you know, that is the exact demon I am battling... And as they say, it really is an epidemic. And I doubt it's just that "people were tougher back when". I think it is high time to take a good look at our society, and this event is a great start.

    A great speach by William. Such harrowing statistics. And as he said, all in silence....

    Very interesting that this organization is not just a mental health and phsycologiaclly focused group but a group focused on general health. It's very nice to see since physical and mental health often is divided into two differently valued areas, while in reality they are different things on the same spectrum. So very nice that the focus of the event was on mental health!

    I'm sure there were very interesting and educational speeches at this event and I hope William and Kate got some more meat on their bones out of this event.

    Also, thanks for the history of the building! Great that it was saved and fell back into use with the same organization!

    Very pretty colour and look. And I like the sleek look with the tights! She is really on a separates roll nowdays! She looks great in it and I hope her next phase will be mixing and matching some of them!!

    A clear theme and similar clothes today. Might have been better to wear them on more separate occations but both looks are pretty.

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    1. Fiona - Australia6 February 2017 at 21:26

      Strength to you Rebecca 💕

      This outfit was a bit of a hit for me unfortunately but I'm sure everyone doesn't love what I wear everyday either! Ha

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    2. I love your comments Rebecca. I'm so glad silence is being identified as a hindrance to healing. Isn't the Queen's portrait stunning?

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    3. I always enjoy your comments, Rebecca, as others do here also. Thank you for being so open & sharing your struggles with anxiety...I think it is reaching epidemic proportions, unfortunately. I'm so glad William, Kate & Harry are championing this cause to destigmatise mental health issues & to end the silence, which tragically can be a killer.

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    4. Courtney from NC7 February 2017 at 02:57

      I really feel that the speeches from today were wonderful. Suffering in silence makes things so much harder. People are so much more open to discussing my difficulties relating to my multiple sclerosis than my anxiety. There should be no shame in either condition. Starting a true, open dialogue about issues shrouded in shame and silence is just as important as medical research. Having people around you that understand what you are going through, or at least try to understand, makes it just a little bit easier. I hope and pray that this is just the beginning for Heads Together and that other countries are able to follow in the same vein or even partner with this group to create a unified initiative throughout the world.

      I love her outfits from today and even the look from yesterday. I am hoping that she will begin to mix and match as well, Rebecca. The top from the red Spagnoli would look amazing with a pencil skirt or a really well tailored pair of slacks.

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  4. Sarah Maryland USA6 February 2017 at 21:14

    Like the suit but not the hair.

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  5. I'm trying to figure out why I don't like this ensemble! The Duchess looks beautiful, but for some reason I find this look quite lackluster. Maybe the color? Perhaps it is more suited for a day-time event?

    I am so grateful that they are normalizing the conversation on mental health. I have a family member who suffers from mental illness, and talking about his situation is hard due to the stigma. I feel it is something many people struggle with (to varying degrees) and when it is severe, it is heartbreaking to experience and to witness. More conversations need to be had on how to prevent, treat and communicate about mental illness. I'm very grateful to the Duchess for having this as a patron cause.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden6 February 2017 at 21:27

      Exactly. Mental health is such a wide thing. It can range from temporary anxiety over an essay, mild depression after a death, general anxiety disorders and all the way to mental illnessess. It's a wide spectrum and almost everyone suffers at one time of their life of a more or less temporary mental health issue. So it is such an important issue to destigmatize!

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  6. I just noticed that her eye makeup looks different. I like it better this way, she looks younger and not so tired.

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    1. I noticed that as well. Less liner on the lower lid. I also like it better :)

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    2. You're right, the eyeliner looks less dramatic than usual.

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    3. Really? I noticed the upper lid has more of heavy, cat-eye line.

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  7. I suspect this is the mystery outfit from the Queen's Christmas luncheon.

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    1. That was my first thought also. Certainly seems very similar

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  8. Loving the new eye makeup...perfection. She looks fantastic. Like the color of the outfit, but the shape...eek.
    I am also loving how she and William are both really stepping up to the plate and taking their royal duties seriously.
    Britain you are fortunate to have them.

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  9. Zora from Prague6 February 2017 at 21:47

    From running race to meeting schoolchildren and then people writing about mental health... well done! It's really good to see the connections, the continuity, the context - all three words start with con- meaning "together with"! It seems significant for this topic - not handling anxieties and all kinds of mental problems alone but together with other people. Let's hope the efforts continue to bring a lot of good.
    What a beautiful house. It would have been such a pity if it had been left neglected.
    I like Kate's look, especially the jacket, and her makeup.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden6 February 2017 at 22:12

      What a very clever and deep comment. (And also linguistically so!!)

      Very wise, Zora!

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    2. What a treat to have your linguistic analysis, Zora! Thank you. We need more "con-" words in our lives, don't we all? Context, congratulations, confluence, consanguinity, containers full of concern, etc., etc.

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    3. Zora from Prague9 February 2017 at 21:41

      I concur, Marci :)

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  10. I like the combination of events today. Obviously, they did not plan the events, but I appreciate the engagement with kids plus a focus on mental health with the experts. If it was just a day with kids, that would be great. But connecting with expert communicators in the health field will (hopefully) open doors for getting a broader and more detailed message out. Rebecca is dead on. Mental health and physical health have the separate challenges but to completely divide and ignore the influences they have on each other would be problematic. It's great to see this group that will communicate both.

    In terms of the outfit, I also agree it's a 'meh'. I love the color. The top is fine, pretty basic like her other suit tops, but there is something about the skirt. Maybe it's that it seems so full while the top seems pretty streamlined? I'm not sure. I think I would prefer the skirt with a solid sweater and a great necklace or scarf. I think someone online, maybe at 'What Would Kate Do' thought this was actually a repeat of what she wore to the Christmas luncheon. Certainly looks like the same color.

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    1. I like the suit, but I think the box pleats would have looked better if they were made into knife-edge pleats instead of spreading out soft and full. What do you think? The other obvious change might be to make the skirt a pencil skirt and wear it on a day when she hadn't worn the red suit. In any case, she looks professional and, as always, attractively appropriate.

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  11. What a great way to round out the day: first, an engagement with children and now an event talking about mental health with adults (specifically, anxiety). I, myself, have gone through therapy for anxiety; even here in the US, everyday stresses that lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns are only just now becoming de-stigmatized. There are still those I've come in contact with that think going to therapy is taboo, but I can speak from experience about how much it helped to talk and work through it. Talking through issues like anxiety and depression is incredibly important, even if you're only experiencing light symptoms. It's refreshing to see the young royals attempting to take big strides with this issue in the UK. Bravo to them on a day of wonderful engagements.

    I like Kate's look alright, but I agree with previous comments that it doesn't stun me, for some reason. The color is bright, the bit of peplum on the jacket is adorable, and I love the cut of the skirt, but I'm just not blown away by this. I do like Kate's hair and am glad to see she's still been sticking with the sleek and smooth curls. I would also like to see this outfit with an updo.

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  12. OK, it looks like I'm in a minority here, but I'm afraid I really don't like the style of the skirt in tonight's outfit at all. For me, skater-style skirts are great on much younger women, but Kate is now in her mid-thirties and I think she should stick more to the pencil skirt look she wore really successfully this morning. I know people often say she dresses too old for her age but this skirt, for me, is too young a style for her - she's not a young, free and single 20-something anymore.

    That said, I absolutely love this colour on her! Just like the Queen, she looks great in it. Ever since she wore the fuchsia pink maternity coat (which I thought she looked so radiant in) I have been hoping that she would play with that shade more in her everyday wardrobe. It's really great to see her zapping the colours up a bit more often in 2017 so far - she really suits them.

    It's also great to be seeing them more often lately! January and February have been so tough in past years for followers like us that it's really exciting to think we have more appearances and more patronages to look forward to! I hope you're not going to be too snowed under trying to keep up Charlotte!

    I love that so many of their events recently have been focused on mental health - it really is a hugely important cause, and anything that can help to reduce bullying, intolerance and loneliness can only be a terrific and very helpful thing in the troubled world we're living in at the moment.

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    1. Helen, I'll join your minority. That huge skirt and in the heavier wool fabric absolutely envelopes Kate's lower half. Her legs go from looking like they have some shape to being to little toothpicks poking down from that mass of magenta wool. Skater or A-line skirts are more flattering on women who have some shape, who have some hips and a derriere. Kate's boyish figure does well in pencil skirts and skirts and bottoms with closer tailoring.
      I love the color of this ensemble, I feel like it would have gone better with a black wool pencil skirt and black turtleneck, then some bold magenta accessories.

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    2. I agree about the style. It is too girlish to me which she certainly prefers. But her focus is on the engagement and not on her clothes as always!😀

      Love the colour,reminds me a lot of Christmas.

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    3. Yeah I was thinking the same thing. The skirt seems too young for her now--a pencil style would've suited her better. The color is pretty. But as someone mentioned, it does seem more like day-wear, yet her heavier eye make-up is more appropriate for a dressier evening look. I thought it was nice how William sort of matched his tie to her dress color.

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    4. I will jump in with you all. I couldn't really pinpoint why I did not like it but you have articulated it well. I like this dress in theory but not on her. I also like the color in theory but not on her. Which is strange because I always prefer her in jewel colors. She looks fine, but I agree that Kate is so petite that sheaths and simple cut dresses always make her stand out while slightly flare-ish dresses tend to overwhelm her. Anyway, between the dress, the slightly washed out hair, mismatched lipstick I would say that I don't like this look as much as her morning look.

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    5. I agree with you Rosman that I can't really say why, but the suit didn't impress me except for the color. I noticed the fashion model's skirt is longer, and I think a little more length (mid-knee) would have helped Kate. I see that there is a ton of fabric in the skirt, and I'm suggesting more fabric, but the fashion model is very small, and the additional length helped the overall look on her. Erin Andrews of the UK tweeted that HMQ is still in control by replaying last year's Trooping on the balcony when she told William to stand up; William was stooped talking to George. So, I don't think Kate will veer away from protocol to wear the snappy shoes with this outfit that the model did. Maybe the black tights were to hide the shortness of the skirt some if, in fact, protocol also says lower the hemline? The shorter skirt definitely made the outfit look too young for Kate. She still looked beautiful, and I say again, I loved this color on her. Katherine USA


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  13. Very stylish ensemble - beautiful color, but perhaps not the most flattering hue on her. I thought the makeup was a little harsh looking, but the quieter hair is very attractive. Nice to see her wearing something quite different! Can't wait to see what she wears to th BAFTA's....

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    1. Anon 22:07 I agree her makeup was harsh looking. She seems to lately skip the eyeliner on the bottom, or do a light shadow to look like eyeliner on the bottom lately, and it looks like tonight she skipped the bottom liner and just did mascara, so to make up for it she did harsh thick winged liner on top. I don't like it at all. Way too thick and I don't like winged eyeliner in general. I also agree with Helen h 22:04, while I love this bright color, I don't like the skirt at all. An Aline would look nicer with the peplum top.

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    2. Do you think a different shade of lipstick would have sold you on the color of the suit? I don't think the peachy pink shade she wore was the best choice. Something with a bit of purple in it ( a magenta or fuchsia) would have provided some continuity between her face and her clothing.

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  14. Love this Oscar de la Renta on Kate. Perfection!

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  15. Thank you, Charlotte, for the comprehensive, informative posts over the last few days. Such a pleasure to read.

    It seems like the Heads Together campaign is making great progress. The campaign is doing such thoughtful, substantive work: the stories you pointed to, Charlotte were very poignant. I found it especially brave and moving that journalist Mark Austin was able to write so candidly about his misconceptions of anorexia and misunderstandings of his daughter. His story showed so well how the feelings of helplessness and consequently frustration and even blame can be very strong when loved ones or friends are dealing with mental illness, but also how those feelings can be dealt with and processed.

    I think William, Kate, and Harry are to be commended for choosing a cause that does not have an easy, clear-cut path to solutions and success (as might be easier with, say, fixing broken bones or putting stents in blocked coronary arteries). Because mental illness is often a chronic disease, difficult to live with, difficult to understand, and difficult to treat, it is similarly a difficult cause to promote. And they are doing a fantastic job.

    I very much like Kate's choice of outfits. I am wondering if she is trying to move more towards wearing past-season pieces at events like these to minimize the "Kate effect" and maximize the focus on the cause as opposed to her attire. ... Which make me all the more excited for the BAFTAs and hoping she will pick something new and not a repeat!!! Though doubtless she will look gorgeous no matter what...

    A huge and heartfelt thank you to William, Kate, and Harry for the Heads Together campaign!

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  16. I love the royal purple color of her outfit,, she looks pretty and the dress is appropriate for an evening event. Chandos House looks like a lovely piece of heritage in central London! The portrait of HerMaj is simply stunning,,,,XOXO

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    1. Agree! The color of the Oscar de la Renta is magnificent and nice to see her in a different type of silhouette.

      The Chandos House is a beautiful building and HM is stunning in that portrait.

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  17. I really like this outfit. I have been waiting for Kate to wear Oscar de la Renta (I selected a dress by the designer in one of our previous posts) and think she looks lovely.

    Agreed this is probably what she wore the to the Queen's luncheon - and hopefully we now know.

    It's a suit combination that is fun and festive - perfect for a party. I'm glad to read all of the recent posts. It appears that TRH are beginning to build out their mission.

    One more thing, what a lovely portrait of the Queen. May she continue to be in good health.

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  18. Thanks Charlotte for all your hard work. It is very much appreciated. Loved both of her outfits today. I am so grateful that the conversation on Mental Health is continuing.

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  19. I wish Kate would sit down with A) an actual, professional stylist, perhaps from British Vogue (as Diana did) or from one of the fashion houses (McQueen or Packham) and let them speak freely about her style and her look and give her some tips and tricks and let them update her look; and B) a makeup artist, again from Vogue or Bobbi Brown or Lancome, and let them update and redo her look a bit.
    She is a pretty woman but it just seems like she's adrift sometimes or unable to move from the look she had six, seven, eight years ago.
    Today is a perfect example, the red suit and that whole look was a hit for me. She looked pretty and professional, the suit was perfect, it didn't overpower her.
    Tonight, a miss. She needs to scrape about a pound of eye makeup off, it is tremendously aging, especially given her pale complexion, and not flattering.
    The color of the suit is a hit, she wears these jewel colors SO well, but the skirt is so wide and, in the color and with wool, it just overpowers her bottom half AND makes her legs look spindly, even with the black tights and shoes.
    She looks terribly thin and VERY pale and she's been this thin before, in the weeks and months just before and just following the wedding, but then she was indulging in spray tans, which at least add some contour and color. A friend's grandmother always said "five pounds takes away five years," and it's true. But minus that, a spray tan helps to add some feature and color.
    I've a feeling she wore the jacket piece of this suit with some dark bottoms for the queen's luncheon, I can't imagine her strolling into the gathering in that huge flouncy skirt.
    I like the ensemble in theory but it would have looked better on Kate if she'd had some alterations made.
    A better look would have been the magenta jacket over a black pencil skirt or even a bespoke magenta pencil skirt to match the jacket.
    The photo of the queen is stunning and I'm so glad that the Palace mentioned what I have always thought was overlooked - she was extraordinarily close to her father and she, her mother, Margaret and her father, were a very close and loving family, given the times and their social position.
    She knew her father was ill from lung cancer when she boarded the plane, with Philip, in January, 1952, (coincidentally, Lord Chandos, the colonial secretary, was one of those on hand to see the princess off, along with the king). To be informed by telegram, albeit it was Phillip who broke the news, that he had died, must have been heartbreaking for her in itself. I can't imagine how bittersweet it is for her, to be celebrated for the longetivity of her reign, yet to do so on the day when her beloved father died.

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    1. Elizabeth, you and I are obviously on exactly the same wavelength - I agree with every single word you said!

      I think Kate has such a slender, petite frame that anything even vaguely fussy or big in the design of clothes ends up swamping her. When she sticks to simpler shapes and does all the talking with the colours or a little bit of texture, that's when she looks a million dollars. I totally agree that a black pencil skirt with the magenta jacket would have worked so much better for her today. I know it would then have been a similar look to this morning, and I agree with Rebecca that I'm not sure I would have worn the two suits on the same day as each other, but at least it would have suited her figure better.

      I also agree with you that her make-up is starting to need a re-vamp. Her eye make-up especially is looking too heavy lately. As you get older and the skin around your eyes starts to get a bit more crepey, you just can't stick with the same look you had in your twenties anymore - it doesn't work. If, as the rumours have it, she was taught by a Bobbi Brown artist to do her own make-up, then she needs to go back and update the look for her slightly older self.

      I don't mean this post to sound terribly critical of Kate - I love following her and can't wait for each new appearance. I've loved everything she's worn so far in 2017 with the exception of tonight's skirt, so this is very much a blip for me. I guess I'm just wishing she could iron out the few remaining blips!

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    2. I, too, have been watching "The Crown." I wonder at times when the script varies from news accounts at the time. Something about her exact location when hearing the news-several versions of that. Probably the version most convenient to staging,available resources etc. was used. The scene of HM singing show tunes while accompanied by his daughter Margaret on piano with family and friends looking on- just a few hours before his being discovered peacefully passed away during sleep in his bed. Really? For one thing, just hours from death and post-op lung resection? When he had been shown in coughing spasms and gasping for air. Then belting out show tunes? Even suspending disbelief...I had also read that he had a hefty dose of morphine injected just before his death. History is difficult enough to sort without making it into a television series. I am enjoying it as fiction based loosely on fact, but certainly not to be seen as a documentary.

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  20. A sublime photo of the queen in her sapphire suite of jewels......congratulations on 65 years, Your Majesty!

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  21. Cute suit...interesting to see that both suits were similar in style, I love this shade of purple on Kate! I enjoyed reading William's speech, you can see how passionate him & Kate are about this cause.
    Chandos House is so beautiful, I loved the story of it being restored & being saved from the brink.
    The Queen looks repslendent in those sapphires, we are lucky to have a reigning monarch who has fulfilled her duty with such humility, dignity and grace.

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  22. I'm not a fan of this silhouette at all- it would not be flattering on anyone! This color is not my favorite either- it does nothing for her skin tone. She looked beautiful this morning- I love that red suit and the way she had it tailored into s skirt.

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  23. These 3 events have been terrific and well done. So glad to see mental health taking a front seat. Would love to see that more here in the US, as well. Loved the red suit this morning (a favorite, I admit) and great color tonight. Will's tie coordinated very nicely, too! Looks like she even added a bit of lip color tonight, which isn't very common for her. Gorgeous portrait of the Queen - nice to see that re-released. Thanks for the great coverage!

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  24. I think the jacket is too short for her torso. As a result there seems to be a disconnect between the jacket and the skirt.

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  25. She looks gorgeous in the purple. Thank you Charlotte for posting this. I also love that beautiful shot of Our Majesty in that blue outfit with her beloved father's gifted jewels. Long Live the Queen!

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  26. oh I love the duchess coat im so glad she really step up personally in the morning and evening and yesterday she so elegant and posh as ever thing I notice Meghan is out again she wearing a ring that media believe given her prince

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    1. Is that the ring on Meghan's right ring finger in the photo of her with the flowers? What does it mean when you wear a ring on that particular finger, is that a 'friendship/commitment' ring?

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden8 February 2017 at 08:05

      The ring was a "false alarm". Some speculated it was an H, it was not :P

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    3. I hope that Harry and Meghan aren't staying tucked away at Not Cot all the time. I hope that they are spending as much time as possible with William and Kate, Eugenie, Beatrice, etc. as possible. The more they do that the sooner they can tell if they are going to work out as a couple.
      Maybe even a family lunch with the Queen. Meghan's at Kensington. Hope they maximize the time getting to know the family to see if it is going to be a good fit. Totally pragmatic, I know. :)

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    4. It seems that the "Kate effect" is happening with Meghan now. What she wears and is photographed in sells out, apparently. There is now a "Meghan effect". :)

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    5. Oh, so it's not a 'promise' ring from Harry, as some articles have stated? Talk about a "false alarm", Rebecca! LOL
      It was only a matter of time before a "Meghan effect" started, surfer girl :) I did notice her & Harry love their beanies, maybe they make them feel as if they're going around incognito & people won't notice them as much.

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    6. I think you may be right about that Kiwi Girl. :)

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    7. lol, spellcheck decided you should be called "Kiwi Girl" rather than "Kiwi Gal", Kiwi Gal. The ever-ongoing debate about Kate vs. Catherine must have gone to Sir Spellcheck's head.

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    8. Haha it's fine, surfer girl, spellcheck must be overloaded due to all this discussion over names ;)

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  27. Nicole from France7 February 2017 at 11:09

    not very keen on the "ballet dancer" look, especially with such a thick material, and should I be La Renta staff, I would not be very proud of the top button of the jacket, which does not fit properly !!
    regarding anxiety, of which so many of us suffer at different stages, the world we live in and the amount of negative informations seems to me one of the reasons it gets epidemic , and I am always distressed to see so many children exposed to such things, allowed to watch TV and 24/24 informations channels, to see that so many parents discuss in front of youg children of difficult matters and/or family problems . It is of course very difficult to make a balance between what we have to tell children so that they do not feel excluded of hard situations (which can also lead to anviety and mental issues) and the need to make them feel secure in a loving family ! it is good to see young people such aas K & W getting involved !

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  28. I love the retro feel of the suit and the color is gorgeous. But I admit to wishing Kate had worn her hair up; the collar and shoulders, combined with the peplum, is a lovely retro look.

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    1. Julia from Leominster7 February 2017 at 16:48

      As I also below, I think an updo would have made a large difference, taking this suit out of cute and girlie into a more sophisticated look. I love Kate in suits and love the colour. I would like to see a haircut soon too - not short - just more shaped.

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    2. I'm with you on a haircut, Julia. Something shoulder length with long layers...sophisticated, fresh and versatile.

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    3. Agreed about the haircut. Really liked what she had towards the end of 2015 and think it suited her much better.

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    4. Sorry Ladies, I love her hair this length:):) Especially love the side "bangs" no longer evident. I would love her to keep this length and play with highlights and layers.

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  29. Is there a chance she is pregnant again? Her face looks the same it did when she was pregnant with George! :)

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  30. I love this outfit, especially the shirt. Not so much the color, but I appreciate her choice of different hues of red for those engagements, as it is the color of love.

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    1. oh please I wanted to write the sKirt

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  31. Oh my Lord who cares about Oscar when you have the Queen in those sapphires!! Wow.

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    1. :) They are stunning, aren't they? I vote for more tiara and crown jewel events!

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    2. Hee hee, Pretty incredible jewels. But this style will not carry on, and will need to be reworked for a new generation. But the quality of the stones...WOW.

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  32. Catherine looks fantastic, and it's such a relief that she isn't in a dowdy, shin-length, buttoned at the wrist and neck outfit! She's youthful and has a stylish figure, but I sometimes feel like she's being directed to "cover up" to such a matronly degree in her other outfits...she wears cute clothes like this Oscar with class, I think she should more often feel comfortable to do so. I'm curious if I'm the only one who feels this way?

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  33. It has been very interesting to read people's thoughts on the skirt of the purple suit. As someone who has seen de la Renta worn out and about to engagements, benefits, even on the streets, in NYC for many many years, it is interesting, because the short-ish, flared, pleated, and/or ruffled skirt (both skirts and in dresses) was very much a classic signature de la Renta style, worn by ages 19 to 90. Very popular among older socialite women in New York, and looks great on some and not as great on others. ... I think (though not sure this applies to Kate's wearing here) there comes a time when a designer's particular style is so classic/iconic that everyone wants to wear it, even if it doesn't look so good on them. At least that has definitely been true with de la Renta in NYC.

    I also think that ever since de la Renta passed away in 2015, the house has never produced designs of the same quality, they just don't feel/look like authentic de la Renta (well, in some sense, they aren't). I think the house is trying to maintain the de la Renta feel (eg the skirt style) but not necessarily always successfully. Of the post-de la Renta's passing away pieces, this purple suit has *more* of a true de le Renta feel than a lot of what I see. Perhaps Kate's team (if Kate or one of her stylists is reading this... :-) hehe) would consider looking into vintage de la Renta pieces designed by the man himself...

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  34. What did rhey do to the Queen's eyebrows? Strange, and she looks so beautiful otherwise.

    I like the color of the suit on the model, and that color would have looked better on Kate. It also would have been nicer for Christmas and Valentine's Day. I can imagine she wore her Christmas fake fur in the car with this suit.

    I do like the athletic attire Kate wore for the training session. Very nice.

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  35. I'm always interested in people's views of the look, although rarely say anything because as long as she's not out in her pyjamas or wearing jeans that look painted on I don't really care what she wears. That being said, I do wonder why "youthful" is such a compliment. She's a royal duchess. I would think dignified yet chic would be the ultimate when she's out on duty. I also think you can do that without looking like a dowager grandmother, and be on point with fashion. It comes back to the fashion icon thing. I don't think Kate is. She has good taste for the most part, but she is not a fashionista, at least in my eyes.

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    1. I do not think that she sees herself as a fashionista either. The media and public want to portray her as one because what she wears still manages to sell out in record time and that is good for the fashion industry. Case in point, the jacket worn on Sunday, quite pricey, available on a number of websites when she arrived and a few hours later - sold out.

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    2. Carole said that young Kate was never so interested in clothes, am I the only one remembering this?

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    3. I have been guilty of using "youthful" myself bluhare :) But I think I mean it as looking professional, sophisticated and yes dignified, but still age appropriate. I don't want her to look like she's 25, but she often goes too far in the other direction and ends up looking quite matronly.

      Now, Diana did too in the early days! But that's what's odd to me, Kate's early years were smashing! It's what confuses me when I wonder is she really into fashion or not?

      I still think it's the influence of tweedledum and tweedledee, the two supposedly in charge of her style and hair, who in my opinion do her absolutely no favors. Case in point, this hair and styling of an Oscar de la Renta suit. They need to go.

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    4. Julia from Leominster7 February 2017 at 16:44

      Actually, not selling so quickly as late. I don't think some of her new looks from last year have been as popular. I looked to buy a couple when they went on sale, but decided against, although I was tempted by the Bennett dress.

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    5. Paola - yeah I think that the narrative that Kate is not into clothes is a bit of historical revisionism going on by Carole and family (as much as I adore the Middletons). They are trying to do the same thing with her name - insisting that they called her Catherine before her marriage, when clearly most people called her Kate, including William and her friends, and as the video shows, extended family members.

      As Julia says below Kate clearly likes clothes, and always has, in the same way that most women like clothes. She also likes to shop - the same way most of us do. There is nothing to be ashamed of in that. That does not mean that any of us wish to be a fashionista. It just means that we like pretty things and dress up. That is all. Not sure why Carol goes to the extent that she does to deny it. Kate has always had good understated taste. What you would expect from a well brought up girl from the suburbs of London. She has never been flashy or "iconic" and has never wanted to, I think. But that doesn't mean that she bounces around in overalls either.

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    6. What are your sources for the Carole quotes about her daughter? Since her marriage.....I do think Kate/Catherine may have initially gone for the glitz and fashion-centric view but altered her approach when it was obvious her fashion choices became the news instead of the event she was promoting. Maybe the hope is that eventually she will blend into the background more. She seems to have made some progress. None of the many people involved in events who comment about her visits have mentioned her outfits. It is her kindness, knowledge, and interest they talk about. Perhaps we, her "fans," are guilty of projecting our versions of the proper princess onto her. By the way, if your spouse had made it known that you prefer to be called Rosman, but we decided to call you Ros instead- what would that say about our respect for you and your opinions?

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    7. annie the source of my quotes are Carole herself. She said it to a young fan at Wimbeldon a year or two ago. There is a video and the video was uploaded to the now defunct tumblr katemiddletons. This was more than a year ago.
      As for your second question I think that I am missing the point of it. Of course if she wishes to be called Catherine everyone should do so out of respect for her. However, I don't think she has ever said so. In fact on two occasions she has said "call me Kate". You do notice that this is the "Duchess Kate" blog?
      Secondly, even if she is called by Catherine today that does not negate the fact that people called her Kate in the past. That was my point. I did not make a statement that she should be called one name or other. Merely that everyone called her Kate in the past.
      Are you trying to pick a fight with me because your tone is a bit strange Lol.

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    8. Lord not the name debate again! ;) Charlotte addressed this recently, she was referred to as Kate in official press releases, by William, and when often asked, she herself has responded "Just call me Kate".

      AND in the official royal wedding website published by St. James it said "Miss Middleton uses both names equally, and she has never expressed a preference for either Catherine or Kate since her engagement to Prince William. Catherine is the name that Miss Middleton grew up with in her family, and Kate is the name that she tends to use in a work context".

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    9. As someone who has shortened people's names, I will say I only do it to people I like. Like Rebecca. When I'm playing around I call her Becks. I may call Courtney Court one of these days, unless she swears like a sailor about it, in which case I won't. :)

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    10. awww, c'mon... someone shows up in Oscar de la Renta and we're suppose to think they are not interested in fashion? How do these clothes end up in her closet?! Alexander McQueen just sending over their leftovers?

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    11. Yeah, I agree. A bit strange. Long night and longer day. I think the "..why Carol goes to the extent that she does to deny it." was what set me off. It was the first I'd heard of that, but perhaps we read different sources. I could discuss the just call me Kate stories, which was brought up a few posts ago. I could never find a sourced quote during that Belfast appearance with William in March, 2011. There were quotes with named sources from three or four women, but not one that quoted someone who quoted Kate saying that. Yet, several mostly tabloid news outlets ran with the story , probably because it fit in with the middle class girl marries Prince angle. I have no doubt that Kate might have modestly said such a thing five years ago as a yet to be married young woman. Or even today, if she felt it could make someone with her more comfortable. But William has asked that she be called Catherine out of respect and I never heard her object to it. He may even be looking toward the day when she will hopefully be Queen Catherine and not Queen Kate. Better to pick a name now and stick with it. I imagine he will be William IV.... Those home movies no where have Carole calling her Kate, nor Michael. I believe CH was in charge at the time of the Northern Ireland visit. And had no comment, although CH supposedly confirmed the remark. The other time was an out of context quote during the Princess episode which I refuse to dredge up again. I always felt that continuing to refer to her as Kate, especially Kate Middleton, is a continuation of the air hostess daughter with coal-miner roots spiel that is really a transparent attempt to more or less put her in her place. I am referring to the use of those names in supposedly legitimate news stories within the body of the article, not the click-nabbing tag-lines. I have noticed a gradual shift toward more use of "Prince William and the Duchess" type usages........Certainly a case of over-reaction on my part. I do apologize. :+]

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    12. So much of our personal preference in clothing is based on our personal experience. With few exceptions, nothing is inherently "young" or "old" about a particular style. I know many people hate the midi length because they date it to the 60s and 70s, but the fact is, midi dresses and skirts are all over fashion shows and magazines and stores--including those targeting younger women. As for Kate's de la Renta skirt today, Queen Letizia also wears variations on this look. Like Kate, she's more likely to appear in a pencil skirt, but I didn't have to look hard to see her in a full skirt, whether ballerina, pleated, or gathered. Look at these images as examples: https://tinyurl.com/gn98ybj
      https://tinyurl.com/goxzehu
      https://tinyurl.com/hgmcrj6
      And I've never heard it suggested here that Queen Letizia dresses "too young."

      As for the eye makeup, I'd like to suggest that we consider the lighting. I think Kate chose that style of makeup because this was an evening event, and the light in general was darker, warmer. In the close-up photos, her skin tones are being washed out by the brightness of the flash, creating a more stark contrast than viewing her live would give. You can see hints of this by comparing her skin tone in photographs from a distance inside to those closeups. Or look at William's skin tone in the group photo with his skin tone in the still from the video just below it. Giving his speech with the lighting for the professional video, his skin looks several degrees paler.

      I say all this to point out that the photographs we see do not necessarily represent exactly what was seen by the people present. Usually they don't. Add to that variations caused by filters and individual screen monitors (we've all seen photos of the same event where a dress looks different colors in different images), and I don't think it's wise to be too absolute about how Kate's makeup looks at a particular event. If she did her evening makeup to look flattering under the intense light from the cameras, the people talking with her would not be as impressed with her appearance.

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    13. Rosman, I think that Carole meant "my daughter has never been a fashionista", in her short dialogue at Wimbledon. No revisionism at all, just the truth. Kate, or Catherine, herself told that she didn't want to be a clothes horse, and it's clear that she likes dressing down. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3878276/Alexandra-Shulman-says-Duchess-Cambridge-not-clothes-horse.html

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    14. I have never understood this name-game debate. Afterall, she is still a daughter of an air hostess and she will be when/if she is a queen too. I can’t count how many times I read here how normal, down-to-earth human being she is. I don’t think she cares. I don’t care if she is Kate or Catherine, I am more interested in her path and how she uses her role to make a difference. Because, that is what she promised…

      I suppose all the royal reporters are not good enough source for some. Heck, such is life!

      About that she is not interested in clothes, come on, why people want to rewrite things, I could go on and on about why she loves/prefers clothes and shopping. But there is nothing wrong with that as someone stated above, women love shopping, it is a pleasure we all enjoy,or a lot do. We at least know that she loves something other than colouring.

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    15. Paola Carole said "At your age Catherine was not interested in clothes". No middle aged lady belonging to the class that Carol aspires to be a part of would be caught dead using the word "fashionista" and who knows what she meant. We only have the words she used.
      As for liking to dress down I think that most women prefer to dress down most of the time but also like pretty things and dressing up a few times a week.. no ? I love to get dressed for work but on weekends I am totally an overalls kind of person. I think that maybe Kate is the same.

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    16. I'm not sure what official royal wedding website published those remarks, but I will point out that 1) it apparently was a quote from St. James, which was about the same as saying it was from Charles. I seriously doubt he would have promoted his wife being known as Cammie, no matter what she was called pre-marriage and by her family and, by the way, there was also an official 'No comment" response from CH in March, 2011 regarding her name; 2) It is now post-marriage and a time of increasing official duties. William has since the wedding made his preference known that she be called Catherine officially and/or in formal use. The tabloid press will continue to promote the use of Kate Middleton and forms of address that do not acknowledge her marital status and position. Those royal writers who insist she doesn't mind being called Kate are probably correct-she has consistently and modestly not promoted herself. If people feel more comfortable calling her Kate, she's not going to put herself forward. However, those same royal writers also have been known to make derogatory and sometimes false statements about her. It's a bit like asking a man if he hit his wife and he replies, "She let me do it." They should have enough respect for the monarchy that William's request would be honored....I will say again that my dislike of the use of Kate without title in a formal, official setting, including news articles about her, does not extend to the informal use of Kate in blogs such as this one. However, I do notice that headlines and taglines of blogs that still use Kate Middleton tend to be rather harshly and unfairly critical of Kate ..I regret that some may feel I am expounding too much on one subject, but I think the issue is not as "fluffy" or superficial as a few seem to indicate and the subject has ramifications beyond a simple "what's in a name" consideration. Besides, this comment forum has known lengthy arguments. It is a common occurrence here and I only hope my opinions are equal to those of others. :+]

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    17. Thank-you Becky 03:51 for a well- reasoned, stated, and documented analysis of criticisms of Kate's appearance.

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    18. Paola 04:48-I appreciate your clarification of what Carole actually said, at least the part that was recorded-I think people forget that we are no longer speaking of the pre-marriage and motherhood Kate, not to mention,pre- Duchesshood. There has since been a marriage, a title, and increasing royal responsibilities. That was then; this is now. I also remain concerned that tabloid remarks have become the accepted fact without an attempt at times to question if what was said was actually true in the first place. This irresponsible bandying about of information and the alteration of stories to prove one point or another has become a major issue of the internet age and a concern for those who can see a projection into "1984" and 'Brave New World" status.

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    19. annie, I don't want to wade into an argument about this but I will point out that Paola wrote what she thought Carole *meant* while I wrote what she said. On video.

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  36. (I write this while watching the New England Patriots celebration parade on TV - YAY, Patriots!) Anyway, I like the suit, it's different for Kate. Very appropriate for the occasion. I like this better than the red suit from earlier in the day. I remember liking the red suit when she first wore it after the engagement, but I feel like it's getting a little tired now. I like the change in her eye makeup, too. Less heavy on the bottom lid and more on the upper lid, that really enhances her eyes. It is fine for an evening event.

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    1. Julia from Leominster7 February 2017 at 16:44

      Congratulations Pam on the success of your football.

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    2. Thanks! It's been fun.

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    3. Having been a Pats fan from childhood (and a native New Englander) and now living in a part of the country where the only other Patriots fan I know is my brother--and he lives in another state--thanks for being excited, Pam. The few times I have mentioned the game here, people have not look impressed with my excitement. Then they've said some colorful things about out team. I've learned to show my appreciation for the win only when at home.

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    4. That was an amazing game. I have watched and re-watched the winning touchdown, trying to figure out how in the world the ball carrier kept going when at least two big players had a hold of him trying to stop him. Talk about pure grit. 😊Where he got that extra momentum is nothing short of a miracle I think. I am so glad I got to watch that. Major football history made there.

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    5. The whole last quarter was amazing, actually.

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    6. Becky, I am not a native New Englander (I grew up in New Jersey), but I've lived here for over 20 years, and the one thing that has impressed me since living here is the intensity in which New Englanders love their sports teams regardless of how well they are doing. In 1995 when I moved here, as you know, the Patriots weren't the same winning team that they are now, it had been 10 years of not even making it to the playoffs since their 1985 Super Bowl loss. And it had been over 70 years since the Red Sox won a World Series. But New Englanders still loved their teams just as much then as they do now! There is a sense of pride, loyalty and belonging in New England, that I never experienced when living in other parts of the country.

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    7. Congrats Pam on the win but know that as a Falcons fan, they will #RiseUp again. :-)

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  37. I love this suit on her. Great color and very classic, ala Audrey Hepburn. She looks wonderful. Ali

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  38. The history, pictures and entrance to Chandos House with all the pretty flowers is what I believe stole the show. I was wondering if anyone knows whether the flowers above the entrance are baskets or pots?? I believe it's great when some history and culture is included regarding a building or venue where an engagement is held. Thank you.

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  39. What a great couple of days.
    Sunday's event received plenty of coverage and the photo of W,K & H racing was in quite a number of Papers & on the T.V. so Heads together received a considerable amount of publicity and W,K & H clearly enjoyed themselves. I liked Kate's ski jacket red really suits her.
    The Place2be engagement I felt was outstanding. Kate once again looked lovely in that suite it fits her so well I wish she would go back to the classic outfits she wore before she had George there was barely one that wasn't good.
    The content of Kate's speech was excellent there is no doubt the lovely family upbringing she had has been instrumental in her taking on these charities and Kate is improving in making the speech. I was also very impressed by the children who took part on stage. It seemed to be a very well run school It was nice the way William took back stage but supported Kate as she is the Patron they clearly get on well.
    I was not very keen on Kate's outfit for this event. I liked the jacket & colour but the skirt did not suit Kate like others I felt it was not suitable for a 35yr old more suitable for a 19/25 yr old and I wish Kate would put on a little more weight it would make her look younger.
    William gave a very strong passionate speech on a serious topic and quite rightly highlighted the stigma that is associated with mental illness. With the pressures of living in today's society I am sure most people get anxious from time to time but for many it becomes a serious issue but they are afraid to talk about it I hope people will take note of what the Young royals are trying to do.
    I must admit I do have concerns about William. There have been times when his speeches have been over emotional the first was after George was born when he spoke of the destruction of wildlife a very worthy cause , then when he joined the Air Ambulance his acceptance speech suggesting that after 2 years he might be able to continue with less time for some years thankfully he has seen sense. Once again in Vietnam he was somewhat over the top on that interview. He is clearly a very emotional man possibly inherited from his mother I hope leaving the Air Ambulance will take some of the emotional strain away. I would think Kate has quite a hard time and she I think will find it harder living at KP than William will.
    I hope Kate really sparkles at the BAFTA's

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    1. Sarah Maryland USA8 February 2017 at 03:29

      I completely agree with you... Kate looked her best right after she had George and Charlotte because she had a little more weight and it filled out her face
      I hate talking about weight but sometimes I do worry about her (but not nearly as worried as I was during the summer of 2011)
      I share your concerns about William. He reminds me too much of Edward viii when I want more of king George vi lol

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    2. I actually think it's good that William is allowing himself to show the emotions he honestly feels--I sometimes think that he and Harry suffered more over their mother's death than they might have if they'd been allowed to express their emotions more--but then perhaps we would not have seen them take on the cause of the normal expression of human emotions and mental health. If William inherited a more emotional nature from his mother than from his father, I think it's a good thing. :-)

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    3. Amen, Marci. I couldn't agree more.

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  40. I think the date is off and the above comments are from the sixth. The timing seems strange, even considering the time difference between the blog clock and US time.

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  41. First, it's a nice group of engagements the last few days, they all seemed in good form and, as others have said, they deserve a lot of credit for the attention they're bringing to mental health issues. These are incredibly worthy causes and breaking the stigma is crucial.

    However, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think they need to add some variety to their calendar. It's one of the reasons tours are so popular and get so much play. Some "lighthearted" events, even promoting a fun British business or attraction. The relay was fun, and I loved the photo of William & Harry, but I thought they missed an opportunity to play to the press a little and the audience on the other side of the lens. But I'm nitpicking, it was still the best of the bunch.

    When you keep doing the same cause, so to speak, at repeat engagements, it's hard for any one event to break through and get the attention, it becomes white noise. If they spread them out a little more, added variety, they would stand out better. They would actually get more attention for something they are so passionate about.

    When correspondents are at the point of thinking they could just refile an old story for a new engagement,the message is in danger of getting lost. The public has a lot of info and news coming at them all day every day, you need to always look for a way for your cause/message to break through. Marketing 101.

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  42. Julia from Leominster7 February 2017 at 16:41

    First of all, so happy to see the couple at this conference and agree with Rebecca, I hope they learn much from it. I still would like William speak more in depth about the difficulties of speaking out about mental health and ways to help overcome that, and train people who may have friends and family members they want to help but don't know how to reach out. We've had excellent suggestions here in posts past. He still sounds a bit glib. Royals don't tend to go into issues deeply but since he, Kate and Harry have made this "their" subject, and a good one it is, I expect more from them.

    Mental health issues can certainly arise in close families as well as troubled ones but since Kate's speech was at Place2Be, I thought it was on target since troubled families are whom they're addressing. She has said enough about her own happy family though, no need to rub it in further from now on.

    As for the fashion, I love this colour on Kate and it works well at night.

    The style is very girlie and I agree with those who don't prefer that on Kate, although it is a style she seems to very much like and as Christen - who coming from sophisticated New York, observes - it is very much a de la Renta day look. I agree following his death, (and he was a man who did so much for others, so I'm pleased to see Kate embracing his house) the looks haven't been the same - sadly that happens more often than not - I see it at Walker especially, also Valentino and the French designers.

    I do like the jacket of this suit and think one solution to the I-miss-my-uni-days-so-much look would have been to wear her hair up. Perhaps when it reappears. Having watched Kate from well before her marriage, I think she adores clothes, and chose that area for the one job she briefly held (she could have chosen art.) But I do think she is trying to lose that image. She has never been a fashionista though - her style is quite traditional which is fine.
    But just delighted to see the royal couple at this event and hope their diary continues to fill.

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    1. Julia I agree with everything in your post here.
      It is funny you bring about the bit about "her own happy family" because I have also noticed that she tends to do this in her speeches. I have wondered why she does that.
      But then I came about a speech by Melinda Gates who talks about providing access to contraception to women in India, and she also begins her speech emphasizing how lucky she was to be able to plan her family while many women are not.
      So that lead me to think that it may be a stylistic speechwriting technique that was taught to Kate.. to acknowledge your own privilege when speaking about a cause.

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    2. Rosman, Excellent points. I also have heard others of "privilege" use that technique, or frankly many of us when addressing issues that while we may have some familiarity with are not first hand experiences in our lives, think talking to parents who have lost a child.

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    3. I agree, Rosman. When you are coming from a position of wealth and power, it's really a good thing to engage with your audience to either let them know you understand, or that once upon a time that was you.

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    4. In all fairness to Kate, bringing a personal perspective/correlation into it is a fundamental component of effective speeches, regardless of the speaker' socioeconomic status, and it is what many here have desired of Kate to incorporate in her speeches. Mental health issues are as germaine to the wealthy as they are to others. No one is exempt.

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    5. Kate's parents were listening and were supportive to her when she experienced bullying, for example.

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    6. Kate's parents were listening and were supportive of her when she was experiencing bullying, for example. They, no doubt, also gave her much valued support in dealing with the media, etc. during William's courtship and also during her adjustment/entry into the royal family.

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    7. sorry for the duplication. the first text scrolled away again mid-paragraph. obviously Charlotte was loading texts as I was writing.

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    8. William and Kate have current empathy for many situations even now when it comes to the challenges of parenting, for example, and to keeping things real in what is often a surreal environment while the world watches your every nuance. Harry is doing an excellent job in reaching out like that also, sharing his experiences to help others. Again, beauty from ashes. Amazing.

      Delete
    9. Is there some reason why my reply to Claudia was deleted, addressing her remarks about lack of variety in the engagements and that a correspondent could simply file the same story each event? Engagements including a foot race at a practice for a charity marathon, a visit to a children's hospice with Kate's side by side art activities and conversations with family there, a well-received speech by Catherine at a school promoting one of the HT charities, and attendance at a health writer's conference, resulting in a well-received speech by William. Same story filed for all those? I'm not sure of what the actual criticism could be regarding quality of activities.

      Delete
    10. Rosman, well put and I agree that if you are speaking to an audience on a social subject that you feel passionate about it is great to acknowledge that while your life was different and you haven't experienced the same situation, you can still emphasize because you realize how valuable your experience was and how devastating it can be if you don't have it.

      It gives you and your audience a common point of reference to connect to and to grow from. It makes them feel you are talking with them instead of at them.

      Delete
    11. Hello Annie,

      Yes, I think that was the comment with "people always finding something to complain about". I thought that was an unfair generalisation of the posters. People are largely making a real effort to improve things around here and I don't believe they are looking for a negative angle.

      Delete
    12. Not to exacerbate this, but Annie I assure you I am not always looking for something to complain about, not at all my nature. You are certainly free to form whatever opinion of me you like, it's the trouble with online forums as opposed to in person discussion, people ascribe an identity, voice or personality to someone that may be wholly inaccurate.

      The point I was making is that in *my* opinion, I believe they need to add some engagements that have *nothing* to do with HT or mental health. It will help add variety in their calendar and then make the HT news stand out a little more. I compared it to tours, where there is variety throughout. As I said below, William delivered quite a breathtaking speech that got little coverage, because I believe it was bad timing, bad message management, the efforts had been diluted by that point.

      Again, that is just my opinion and assessment, others are certainly able to disagree and we can all have a civil discussion without name calling or presuming ill motive on the part of another.

      Delete
    13. Julia from Leominster8 February 2017 at 18:50

      I see the remark about contraceptive a little different as that is something that can be provided for others. In a sense, Kate was saying that's what Place2Be is doing for the children, but it isn't quite the same.
      The thing is Kate has said this multiple times. It's a bit like saying, I've not had cancer in my family but I'm working to support MacMillan to a group of cancer patients. Most people wouldn't think that remark is really necessary even if true. I wouldn't say to a homeless person I was helping - well, my family is quite well-off...but I'm trying to help regardless.

      I do think personal remarks are nice and helpful to a point but there's always a fine line between that and appearing to brag about your good fortune, and I believe Kate was on the edge here.
      And she clearly wasn't speaking of her family supporting her through bullying. She said quite openly she hadn't experienced any real childhood trauma - so that wasn't her intended context. If it had been, she could have said as much. It's unclear how much Kate was really bullied - she's hinted at it, but the main reason she switched preps seems to have been to go to a coed one.

      Delete
    14. No offense, I have never perceived Kate as a braggart or anything close to that. That someone does is mystifying to me. Personally, I don't think her comments in anyway even remotely resemble bragging, quite the contrary. I had never heard that she changed schools for coed reasons. The only reason that I had read about that was that she had been experiencing bullying that had actually caused her some trouble with asthma. Since she has supported anti-bullying, I personally think there is more substance to the bullying aspect of the transition. I wouldn't expect Kate to name names and give specifics on the bullying. That, along with not being a braggart, is not in her make-up either.

      Delete
    15. I don't like the use of the word 'brag' in the context of Kate's speech Julia--it is pejorative even if that isn't what you are saying directly. There so often seem to be these little zingers and digs in comments here. Charlotte, you can delete this comment, I really don't care since this really is the last time I will be looking at the comments section. Since reading a book by a cyber psychologist on cyber behavior and how it so often brings out meanness and generally lowers civility, I am more and more realizing the best thing to do is just read your blog and avoid the comments. You may think that people are "trying" to be nicer but to me it is just plain mean to pick someone apart, dig at their childhood and family, analyze their intentions, and criticize their efforts. I would really be afraid to be friends with some of the people on here--what on earth would they say behind my back?

      Delete
    16. Admin 16:33- respectfully, I did not write that. Perhaps it was in another comment you deleted, not mine.

      Delete
    17. Claudia, I did not say that. Admin is mistaken and I regret you were told I did say it. I argue and complain as much as anyone here. I would hardly accuse someone else of this. Perhaps Charlotte was very busy and another commenter's remark got confused with mine. In my 15:39 comment I outlined what I actually said. I know comments have been deleted several times in error, according to Charlotte.

      Delete
    18. I agree, SG. I don't see it as bragging; it's more about establishing credibility and by that I mean if you advocate the importance of something, it does help when you have some experience with it.

      Does anyone recall Princess Diana's speech on eating disorders? She started it with, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have it on very good authority..."

      Delete
    19. Annie,

      I can't recall exactly how it was phrased but it was definitely about readers finding fault no matter what the number of engagements etc and it was definitely left under 'Annie'. Unless it was another Annie?

      Delete
    20. Valerie, you will be missed. I detest the zingers and digs also and there have been many of them from various people over the years. As with meanness in general, they are always totally unwarranted and very unnecessary, in my opinion. They are often from people who insist they like Kate and the Monarchy and that makes all other conversations there quite dubious to me at best. I continue to contribute in an effort to support, when possible, William and Kate, who are, in my opinion, very nice people doing very good things. The comments section has been improving but the meanness tries to re-surface from time to time. Not fun. Enjoy the blog. Adios, Valerie. :)

      Delete
    21. So often on this blog it is mentioned that critique is for the benefit of Kate so that she can succeed in her future and present role. Yet I don't see how the necessity to constantly undermine the Middletons will help in this regard. Also how does labelling Kate as a braggart help her. She is proud of her upbringing and good for her for letting us all know that. By all accounts, she is a very down to earth lady and this does not only come from people who have anything to gain from saying so.

      Delete
    22. "I've always been very fortunate, and never experienced [fill inn the appropriate word]" is a classical rhetorical device - it shows benevolence, even kindness (!) towards other who have experienced the very thing. That way, she manages to brush off any suggestions that a) she is involved because of personal issues, and b) any assumption that she had anything short of a happy childhood.

      It's a tricky device - because anyone saying this might come accross as too perfect, too groomed, too polite - and therefore not quite credible.

      I think Julia is very much at the money; sounding glib might be the very pitfall here. But the cause is a great one.

      Heidi

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    23. And we're off. It was nice while it lasted everyone.

      Annie, I totally believe you said that. You've said various iterations of it before.

      I post my opinion of Kate, and if people don't like it, that's their prerogative. I don't post it so Kate will see it and improve; that's a bit egotistical, don't you think? I post my opinion because I can. I rarely snipe about other posters; when I can do you can bet that someone has said something personal (almost always about a poster) I find objectionable. Yet the uber fans dig at people all the time.

      And we're back on the treadmill. I so wish people could accept this for what it is -- a forum to post our opinions. No more, no less. No one is going to change anything. So if you get tired of me posting my opinions, let me be clear that I'm just as tired of you complaining about it.

      Delete
    24. Bluhare and others, for the sake of Charlotte and her lovely blog I want to jump in here. I hate to see people bemoan the state of the comment section when it's really one or two bad apples spoiling the cart.

      Annie, you asked if your opinion was as valid as others. Of course it is, but in the interest of discussion, an informed opinion is helpful. You charge in and berate and attack me and others, derailing a conversation, with no basis in fact. I know this because you've done it to me several times, on topics that are easily googled and verified.

      You apparently weren't aware that the British Monarchy had an official royal wedding website in 2011, for the benefit of 8 million Londoners for starters. But instead of taking a moment to find that out, you charge in and presume it's questionable that it even existed. You did the same thing to me in a conversation about Rosemary Kennedy several posts ago, saying books I mentioned must have been attacks on the Kennedy family, even though one was written with the COOPERATION OF THE FAMILY AND THE JFK LIBRARY! Easily googled and verified.

      It makes for incredibly frustrating dialogue. As if I were to jump in repeatedly throughout the comments and insist that this de la Renta suit was actually a Burberry design, and every time someone said "I like she's wearing de la Renta" I jumped in with "well I don't know if it's de la Renta it seems she'd be wearing British Burberry to me" - I'd imagine countless people would loudly respond "Ummm.. go look it up!"

      People comment on different topics at different times, and Charlotte, the gatekeeper, has said repeatedly she welcomes the discussion. I see a lot of civil discussion here, and often disagreement, whether people are sharing fashion opinions or comments on W&K's public, royal roles. I leave much of the fashion talk to others :) and I like to discuss how they're evolving in their roles, press relations etc. I know others hate that and would prefer we all stick to fashion!

      As Charlotte has said, and bluhare reiterated, people are mostly sharing different, but civil opinions here. Charlotte writes based on the facts that she knows, the designer Kate's wearing, the number of engagements she's done, how she's communicating with the press, and readers post their opinions on that. If any of us don't like another's opinion, just don't engage! Move on. But please stop complaining just because you don't SHARE that opinion. And please, please, don't attack the facts without checking them out first.

      Charlotte, you do an amazing job! I love stopping in when I can and enjoy a good discussion, and I so appreciate your work on not just the blog post, but in managing the forum and accommodating our discussions. You deserve many more thank yous than we probably give you :) You are an incredibly talented and professional young woman!

      Delete
    25. I think meaning evolves from one's mind-set, Heidi. It will appear gracious to some and elitist to others. I have no doubt how readers of The Independent would judge her remark. ;+]...I agree: it is a common device used in speeches. The meaning is tied to the personality and habits of the speaker, as well as the listener. I think Kate is basically a kind, unassuming person, as has been demonstrated many times. Therefore, I take her meaning to say that , although she was lucky in her family circumstances and does not presume to fully understand....One thing that irritates me is hearing a remark such as," Oh, your grandmother passed away? My dog just died. I understand just how you feel." Then the story becomes about the speaker's trials.( I think it is ok for one to THINK-oh, I just lost my dog and I know how I feel...in an attempt to find empathy...--but don't SAY it)

      Delete
    26. Admin-my concern was that Claudia obviously thought that you were saying she , Claudia, was ALWAYS looking for something to complain about. Which I certainly did not mean or say.

      Delete
    27. Quickly stopping by to say that I understand where everyone is coming from and think that all of you have valid points. I think I have an idea that would bridge everyone's points.
      Firstly, I do not think that Julia was saying that Kate is a braggart. No one would say that. But her phrasing sometimes puts her on the edge and can easily be misconstrued. I have often noticed this myself.
      What would help, I think, is if she follows up her sentences with one extra sentence like the following:
      "Without the support of my family I would not have had the opportunity or confidence to do many things in my life". I think that what was implicit in Kate's speech (but should be explicit) is the acknowledgement that without the privilege she may not be standing here right now - if you read Melinda Gates' speech she actually explicitly says that without access to contraceptives as a young woman she would not have been able to accomplish all that she did. Kate does not .. she leaves it as I was lucky but everyone is not. Something of a void here. Just that one missing sentence puts everything in a different light.

      Delete
    28. Nicely put Rosman:)

      Delete
    29. Julia from Leominster9 February 2017 at 23:50

      Nicely, put Rosman.
      It's not my feeling that Kate is a braggart but I have felt that there is a "I'ms such a lucky girl" aspect to her speeches and it is a theme she has used more than once. In the previous post, I praised her appearance, her much improved speaking style, and the overall content of her speech - just saying I wish she would find a slightly different opening approach, perhaps simply saying she feels its important to use her position to full advantage to help others.
      Because a loving family is something Kate - and Julia - have been fortunate in having but not something that can be gifted to others. This doesn't mean at all I'm sorry she has such a wonderful family - just the opposite - but most people don't address helping others by distinguishing themselves openly from them. That can be implied.
      Much depends on how we see Kate. I admit I don't see her as a friend and don't treat her as I would my friends. I see her as a mature woman of thirty-five, a public servant and a representative of her nation. With no wish to get into politics, not the subject of this blog - I treat one of Kate's speeches no differently than I might one of Theresa May's. If there is an area I feel could be improved, I will say so.
      I don't see constructive criticism as a negative thing and I define constructive criticism as something that can be learnt from and improved on. I have faced it often and willingly in my professional career. I have also critiqued the work of others and try to balance positive points with areas for improvement that still leaves their work their own. Teachers do this every day - giving someone a C with an explanation for how they can improve their work is in my opinion, better than an undeserved A because sooner or later, students are going to have more expected of them. The same is true of Kate. She will be offered unique privileges but a huge amount will be expected in the future. Bot every person wants a life as a public figure but Kate, after ample time to consider it, chose it.
      I consider myself extremely fortunate too - no one could have had better parents or a better husband with his own wonderful family. But whilst reading this blog, I've seen comments from many here who haven't had that good fortune and who have dealt with the issues they have been faced with, with courage and honesty. I've felt enormous empathy for their troubles and pride in their efforts to address these. So although I may be more fortunate, I don't see the need to always say so and only did here to highlight that most of us don't say that.
      Personally, I would miss the comments section because it highlights to me the important work William, Kate and Harry are trying to do on mental health. It also gives me the opportunity to see how others feel - and I believe that is extremely important, even if I disagree. I shut my ears to no one, although if others are here just for a pleasant time, I certainly respect that.
      I expect the trio to get better and better at it. I think their position will shine a positive light on areas that have too long been in the shadows - and my hope is there public forum will be used for as much specific help as it possibly can be.
      Part of my feelings for the comments has also been that we can move on from any issues we disagree with. There is always something new and everyone's opinions differ for each event. I hope that will be true here too.

      Delete
  43. Well done Kate and William on the engagements over the last couple of days. The continuity and causes they are supporting are wonderful and it is so important to continue to focus on mental health. You can definitely tell the campaign is having a real impact in this area. Her speech was by far improved in content but wish she would start to memorize them a bit more and rely less on the notes.

    Kate has looked wonderful over these 3 engagements. Loved the ski jacket with the elbow patches, that was a great touch. Loved the red suit every time she wears it. Such a classic piece and red is gorgeous on her. Liked that she has straighter hair that was not as bouncy but more streamlined. I love the color of the Oscar suite, loved the jacket, only semi liked the skirt but that is a small quibble.


    Overall a great couple of days and engagements. 2017 is off to a wonderful start and hope to have the momentum continue into the next coming weeks.

    Congratulations and condolences to the queen on her Sapphire Jubilee. Love the portrait.

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    Replies
    1. Sarah Maryland USA8 February 2017 at 03:25

      My worry is the schedule for the later half of this month looks too blank! Hopefully they announce something soon! I hate that they have a good week full of engagements then disappear for another week
      I want it to be more consistent

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden8 February 2017 at 08:08

      No need to worry about that yes Sarah :P Events are usually annouced at most 2 weeks before (unless it is an event that begins it's publicity earlier.)

      Delete
    3. I think, like Charlotte said in the post, that they will probably go on a family vacation for a few days towards the end of the month and that might be why it is blank.

      I do wish for another announcement soon because their engagements have been spot on as of late and 2017 has been really well balanced so far. But we will see. There's always the possibility to have an unannounced engagement as well.

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  44. Lynn in balmy SC7 February 2017 at 19:52

    I am really, really trying to focus on the wonderful purpose of all these events, but this latest outfit, to me, make Kate look like an inverted tulip.

    It's the skirt. I do not like the skirt although I do like the color and I like the jacket.

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  45. The color is spectacular. Kate should wear more purple, fuchsia etc. It had a definite Audrey Hepburn look, and although Givenchy was her first choice, she did wear de la Renta, most spectacularly at the 1989 Council of Fashion Designers Awards at the Met in NY. I loved the very charming and talented Oscar de la Renta. Sadly he left us too soon.
    What an elegant venue, and thanks Charlotte for the background information on Chandos House.
    Congratulations to Her Majesty for 65 remarkable years of service to her beloved country and people.

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    Replies
    1. They have certainly shone a huge spotlight on mental health issues. Kudos to them.

      Delete
  46. The events of the last few days have been great and I have enjoyed reading. I will agree with others that I like the color of this suit and while I think it is rather interesting, I don't think it is that flattering on Kate- I think it looks too youthful on her and it didn't seem right for an evening event. I do always look forward to seeing what she'll wear to events and I always love seeing something new and different. In this regard, kudos for her for trying a new designer and something a bit different. As always, I enjoy every blog post and reading lots of comments.

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  47. I've been scrolling through to see if anyone else mentioned this about the jacket. Yes, I absolutely agree! The jacket looks much too short for her and so it hits her strangely. But I love the color!

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  48. Hello!

    Regarding the name debate, the reporters were discussing it on Twitter recently.

    The lovely What Kate Wore tweeted: "I believe @RE_DailyMail & @byEmilyAndrews may have also reported hearing her say "call me Kate" at engagement(s)."

    Rebecca English replied: "Yes we have, many times."

    And Emily Andrews: "I've heard W calling her Kate on several occasions."

    What Kate Wore also tweeted: "Concur on the use of 'Kate.' @QueenVicMirror has heard her tell people: 'Call me Kate.'"

    And the lovely Victoria Murphy: "Definitely, I have heard it from her myself she is happy with either."

    Source: https://twitter.com/RE_DailyMail/status/824931156521054208
    https://twitter.com/byEmilyAndrews/status/824931811230937089
    https://twitter.com/QueenVicMirror/status/824926043505049600

    I have to say, I honestly don't think it's an issue for Kate! :)

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    Replies
    1. Julia from Leominster8 February 2017 at 10:32

      KATHERINE
      Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing.
      They call me Katherine that do talk of me.
      PETRUCHIO
      You lie, in faith, for you are called plain Kate,
      And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst,
      But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom,

      To me, William always sounds stiff and pretentious when he calls her Catherine. In their first interview, he didn't. Of course, someday she will be Queen Catherine but being called Kate isn't an intimate nickname like Lilibet or one created by the public like Di. So, in the wisdom of another Will who didn't mind being called that - for he often punned it, Kate I will continue to call the lady.

      Delete
    2. Harry calls her Kate also, doesn't he?

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    3. This is real life. Not a play. I find repeated comparisons of Kate to The Taming of the Shrew offensive and quite revealing, by the way. (and I use Kate because that is what she is called here)It is a request and he asked nicely. Queen Liz, Queen Lizzie? both recognized shortenings/nicknames for Elizabeth. Lizzie opened a new hospital today? It sounds disrespectful, demeaning, and ridiculous, doesn't it? Duchess Cammie? I'm sure her brother or some family member has called Camilla Cammie. That doesn't mean non-family members need to do so. As I said, many respected news sources have chosen to address Kate more respectfully. I find sources that tend to constantly criticize her also tend to use Kate and Kate Middleton, thus by-passing her marital status and position.

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    4. Annie I'm honestly curious (not challenging you!) when did William ask for her to be called Catherine? I always thought - maybe assumed - it was a KP bungle. I wasn't aware William had made a statement. I've been under the impression KP staff made far too much out of it, as royalfan pointed out once, BP would never issue a statement saying "call her Anne or Annie" :)

      And the statement that was posted on the PoW's official wedding website back in 2011, which would have been approved by William & Kate, says she's fine with either.

      William called her Kate repeatedly in the engagement interview, and I personally think they maybe then tried to pull back from it because of the Waity Kate (was that it?) tabloid name.

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    5. If HM or Camilla had said please call me Lizzie/Cammie that would be fine. But they haven't. Kate has said it's OK to call her Kate so why are your knickers in so much of a twist over it? Kate herself has said it's fine!

      Julia, annie not withstanding, I like that you bring a little Shakespeare onto the blog!!

      There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Hamlet, Act II

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    6. Oh Julia and bluhare!

      Thank you so much for the literature. I appreciate them soooo much. I haven't read any Shakespeare for a long time now. Must go and check the bookself out.

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    7. Julia from Leominster8 February 2017 at 18:39

      There's a fine old tradition of finding wisdom in Shakespeare although all are free to disagree with the bard. (Brilliant quote Bluhare.)

      I believe he was speaking of pretentiousness - and that's what I'm speaking of here - the pretentiousness and affectedness of William abandoning a name he himself had used and was in wide usage before Kate's marriage. I have a feeling she herself may realise how affected it sounds to use Catherine.

      If Camilla had an established nickname - it would be fine to use it - and I made note of the distinction of the queen's nickname being a childish personal ones. Other royals of the past have used nicknames however, Vicky, Victoria's daughter and Alix, Queen Alexandra. Or for that matter, why are we calling Catherine's sister Philippa Pippa?
      If Kate had never used the name or if we were calling her Cathy or Katie - that would be one thing - but this is a name she herself used in the past. As a granddaughter of a Catherine always called Kate, everyone here is free to call me Julie (although that would mix me with another Julie here) or Jules. It has happened and I don't mind.

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    8. Do you know that Shakespeare was born in Sicily? It's a legend of course, but I find it rather intriguing. The name Shakespeare is the perfect translation of Crollalanza, an old Sicilian name... and some of his best tragedies are set in Italy... Verona, Venezia. Who knows... https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2012/apr/25/why-shakespeare-is-italian

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    9. I believe she probably has always used a mix of both names, but she has always signed her name as Catherine. The recent video shows when her uncle calls her up he first says Catherine and then says Kate. There was a thank you letter written to Wimbledon long before her marriage, and it was signed Catherine. I don't think pretentiousness enters into the equation here. Fact still remains her given name by her parents is Catherine Elizabeth.

      Delete
    10. Zora from Prague8 February 2017 at 21:47

      Yes, Paola, and in Winter's Tale, in addition to the kingdom of Sicilia, there is a kingdom of Bohemia too - that's where the ship wrecks - but, unfortunately, we have no sea here in reality! :( :)
      Just a note about names Kate/Catherine. I don't like it when some papers call her Kate Middleton. They shouldn't ignore the fact that she married Prince William (which happens to be the only reason why they know her and write about her). On the other hand, when William calls her Catherine, I don't perceive it as stiff or pretentious - it's the proper form of her Christian name and it's very beautiful. (I suspect that this is similar in many other languages - one "proper" form=Katerina, Catharina, Katherina; one more familiar form - Katka, Kätchen, Katia). The more familiar form is more common inside a family or among friends, or, I think, it can indicate that the people who use it do so because of affection ( just like when Bluhare calls Rebecca Becks :) which creates the friendly atmosphere I've always liked on this blog.) I would understand it in this way, rather than a sign of disrespect. I like it when she is called Duchess Kate, I think it's really good: Duchess Catherine sound too formal and it's a bit too long, and with the title present, her status is acknowledged. But here on the blog most of us refer to her as Kate and I think it's a sign of fondness (although I remember that at first it seemed inappropriate to me and I used "the Duchess" instead - it took me a while to get used to "Kate" but the nice general feeling of being among Kate's fans or "friends" who wish her well helped a lot. :)

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    11. There is a long standing tradition of nicknames in the RF: Willy, Georgie, Niki ( Keiser, King and Tsar)correspondence before WWI comes to mind. But they used their official names and titles on official documents . I don't think it is pretentious to insist her official name is Catherine versus the more colloquial Kate. It is simply a question of context.

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    12. The name escapes me, but there is a theory that a member of the aristocracy who spent time at Court actually wrote many, if not most of the plays and sonnets attributed to WS.The evidence is impressive. There is too much invested in Shakespeare's authorship to convince a serious study. Just thought I'd throw that in.

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    13. Claudia et. al. I am as tired of this as others no doubt are. However, as long as you wish to argue with me, I will continue to reply-hoping that my replies will also be published. In short-That Was Then, This is Now. She is married, a mother, and a Duchess, as well as five years older. As I said, Kate has demonstrated humility and kindness many, many times. She would not contradict someone who felt comfortable calling her Kate. It is not a matter of presumption. It is simple manners and respect we show every other member of the BRF, as well as the European royals that are so affectionately mentioned at times here. I have given a rational argument why and how "Kate Middleton" continues to be used and how those "Just call me Kate" stories originated before their marriage in a single, undocumented tabloid story that was picked up by many other outlets. Thus, we have "numerous sources" verifying the story. - and that the stories since cannot be pinned down. I think it has become a matter of writers' lore, passed around and agreed upon with rather shifting origins.It doesn't really matter because times have changed. She isn't going to demand to be called Catherine by non-family members or others of the public. Up to now, William has only stated his preference. I wouldn't want to be around Charles and Camilla if someone actually did call her Cammie. I will provide proof of William's preference, (other than the obvious one-it's what he calls her himself officially and what she answers to-what he or family call her privately is none of our business)WHEN you and your co-commenters provide non-tabloid proof and source of the March,2011, Just Call Me Kate quote. It is the five year old tabloid rumor that most subsequent stories are built upon. I addressed the fact as well of who was in control of all W&C publicity at the time. I am still waiting for non-tabloid source for that statement you call a PR gaff-again, made supposedly in March, 2011. ...Good point, Julia, about Pippa. That was obviously her family nickname and she is still called by that name, at least in the press. I'm sure when she becomes queen it will be Queen Phillipa, not Queen Pippa. ;+)

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    14. bluhare, re: your reference to my knickers. I'm not wearing any. Ha!

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    15. Kate may be okay with both "Kate" or "Catherine", but the key is how/when is the former used. "Kate" can be seen as a familiar and affectionate reference, but it can also be seen as an attempt to minimize her status. When I consider some of the mean-spirited stories from the courtship days, and some of the persistent references to Carole's family and professional background, I understand the references to "Catherine" as it became clear to the world that she was in William's life to stay.

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    16. royalfan, I think this Kate/Catherine issue is way beyond what's in a name. I can quote Shakespeare and the Bible, too, when appropriate-not deR, that French guy, sad to say.I have been known to quote Churchill, however. I digress-what was the topic? oh, names. How about " The power of the pen is mightier than the power of the sword?"( Loosely quoted) Words and names do matter. History is littered with alliances formed and enemies begot with the utterance of a word. Especially in the days when "spinning" has become a whole art form. There is likely a college degree offered in how to say what you want to say without saying it and then deny you meant it. Agree-Kate may be ok with being called Kate- she's a very British girl and doesn't like to cause a fuss-but I will never be convinced that the use of her name by the press has not become a tool to reach William and/or to put Kate in her place. It can also be a means of showing a source's respect for her. I conclude my name remarks with two thoughts: what she is called by her family and close associates is not our concern; every other BRF member is referred to by full Christian name, if not also title. William has been known as Will and Wills amongst family for longer than Kate has been known period. Yet I don't see frequent references to him as Wills by royal writers. So family useage and familiar nicknames are not excuses.
      That is my final word on that particular subject for now (WHEW!) However, I don't promise to stop commenting on the use of language and words and the distortion thereof as pertains to press coverage of our heroine. royalfan, I apologize for using my reply to you as a jumping off point.

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    17. Annie I'm honestly not looking to argue with anyone! And I'm not sure what the March 2011 incident was so can't provide proof for you, I was really just asking you, or anyone, what the William statement on calling her Catherine was, since I wasn't familiar with it. I wasn't demanding proof from you, and even said, "I'm honestly curious, not challenging you!"

      In my comment I was referring to William in the engagement interview and Kate's own words as recently as last autumn.

      But again, my last comment on this, I think the best source is the British Monarchy's official royal wedding 2011 website. We know from William himself that he and Kate were very much in control of wedding plans, in his interview he said when he was handed a list of guests he went to the Queen and said "we don't know these people" and she told him "rip it up" and so he did. So I imagine he and Kate approved the information on the Royal Wedding website as well.

      It said, and feel free to google yourself, "Miss Middleton uses both names equally, and she has never expressed a preference for either Catherine or Kate since her engagement to Prince William. Catherine is the name that Miss Middleton grew up with in her family, and Kate is the name that she tends to use in a work context".

      So it's much ado about nothing I think, to keep the Bard theme going ;) If she doesn't mind, why should anyone else?

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    18. Annie, I do agree that the pen is mightier than the sword. And thanks to the internet, this force is even stronger whether the intent is good, or not so...

      Claudia, I think there is a difference between Kate (or any person) saying "call me [Kate]" vs. her being referred to simply as Kate or Kate Middleton by the press. We don't see headlines referring to "Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles", do we? She is referred to by her title, despite having a far longer and more familiar history as CPB.

      Princess Diana was known for dismissing formality and saying, "Please call me Diana," but it was HER choice. This, in my mind, did not give everyone carte blanche to call her Diana and forget that she was a princess and future Queen.

      Kate being on record as saying "call me Kate" or stating that she goes by both is understandable, but I would not expect to see an invitation, letter, or initial one-on-one contact with her to be quite so familiar. Perhaps I would not feel as strongly about this if not for the press digs at Carole Middleton and the references to coal mining or air hostess. Without this part of the equation, I might be inclined to buy into it being affectionate or more familiar given her time as William's girlfriend.

      Sophie and Edward dated for quite a while as well; I am not aware of headlines referring to The Duke of Wessex and Sophie Rhys Jones. On the other hand, these two are not destined to be king and queen behind a less than popular Prince and Duchess...................

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    19. Royalfan I agree on the last name comparisons, but that's a completely separate discussion and one I didn't enter into at all. You can clearly see from my comments that the only thing I offered input on was her first name, the Kate v Catherine discussion, whether she preferred either or was offended by either.

      For the record, while I do see "Kate Middleton" online I have not seen it in a British newspaper headline or used in a photo caption.

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    20. Understood Claudia, but I do believe the two are related and that's where I was coming from. :-)

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  49. It's interesting to see how different nationalities bring a different judgement about the skirt: I am Italian and I love the skirt, and also some French people: I am following another blog, Dans le boudoir de Kate Middleton, a French one, and all the comments are very positive about the skirt. In your Blog instead, Charlotte, a very international one but with a large majority of British, American and Australian posters, the shared taste seems different.

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    1. That is really interesting Paola to see the cultural differences across countries.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this, Paola. I agree, it is very interesting. I have one question for you, if you please. I went to look at the Dans le Boudoir blog--my French is comme si comme ca, not great :-) One comment I read was the one below (while Julia and bluhare here very wittily quoted Shakespeare, a commenter at Dans le Boudoir--Hortensia on Feb 7 re the de La Renta suit--quoted La Rochefoucauld:

      C’est un début d’année très “première de classe”. Ça n’est pas un défaut en soi, bien sûr, mais comme le dit notre cher Duc de La Rochefoucauld : “Celui qui vit sans folie n’est pas si sage qu’il croit”. Héhé, nos moralistes savaient envisager la sagesse avec beaucoup de sagesse, c’est-à-dire avec un p’tit grain de folie.

      What does "premiere de classe" really mean? I know what it literally means, but the comment seemed to suggest that the fact that the de la Renta suit was "premiere de classe" was not a very good thing-- that the classic(?) style of the suit did not mean a fault/"defaut" in Kate. What exactly was meant there? I do understand the La Rochefoucauld quote, which I quite love.

      Apologies Paola, and to everyone, that this is a little bit tangential. The cultural differences in perceptions of Kate are just so intriguing...

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    3. I guess it means Too perfect, like the best student in a class who never goes outside of the lines. Do you see, in her opinion this outfit is classically perfect but it needed some special and original touch Kate - or Catherine - missed.

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    4. I guess it means Too perfect, like the best student in a class who never goes outside the lines. Do you see, in her opinion this outfit is classically perfect but it needed some special and original touch Kate - or Catherine - missed.

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    5. Thank you so much Paola, that makes complete sense, and a thought-provoking perspective from Hortensia at Dans le Boudoir. In this case, the bold and playful purple color maybe is a bit of a unique Kate touch, but I do think there are other looks that may have seemed "too perfect" in a way. But definitely the "too perfect" concept feels more French than British or American. The unique French "je ne said quoi" in their fashion and way of life :-)

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    6. Yes Christen, Hortensia missed "je ne sais quoi" in Catherine's outfit. A "grain de folie", "un pizzico di follia" we can say in Italian. In English I don't know, google translator says a grain of folly. But who knows what Hortensia intended? Maybe a foulard or a different, colorful clutch? Or a special jewel?

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    7. This is the first time I can remember that I'm actually going to go find a blog written in French! My French is not particularly good, but I'm giving it a go as this is really interesting.

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    8. I like all of your ideas--a foulard, unique clutch, or special jewel. I did notice that another person at Dans le Boudoir mentioned that she thought the purple outfit was missing a "bijou"/jewel.

      The whole topic of Kate's jewelry is also interesting to me... Much of it (and of course the pieces from the Royal collection) are gorgeous, but I have in the past, prior to this conversation, found myself wishing she would go out on a limb a bit more with her own unique jewelry pieces. I myself especially love antique jewelery, so I may be a bit biased. But I would love an occasional unique bijou from any period. On reflection, I do feel like her Mappin and Webb earrings/necklace are a little too "premiere de classe" but that doesn't mean they would not work with the right dress/blouse/scarf, etc...

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    9. Go for it, bluhare. I would love to hear what you think!

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  50. Rebecca - Sweden8 February 2017 at 09:58

    I just listened to Williams full speech (here: https://twitter.com/heads_together/status/829265408410734593 )

    I had just read snippets before. What a great speech! This was the kind of outlining and deeper speech I expected at the evnet the trio held recently. Very well done, and well written. Many important points, some background and some information on going forward (such as expanding and telling more later in the year).

    I recomend you all to watch the speech!

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    1. I agree, Rebecca. What an excellent speech. William has experienced years of emotional trauma, has overcome those and he has compassion and position to help others now. Beauty out of ashes.
      Amazing. 💕

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    2. Rebecca I absolutely agree and that's what I was getting at in my previous comment. It was a powerful and frankly quite pointed speech (especially for a royal) but I think was delivered at the wrong place and wrong time. And at the end of the string of engagements, instead of kicking it all off at that "unveil" event. It didn't get as much play as it should have.

      As I've often said I think they need a staff shake-up, this was either poor advice or poor "management" of the events. They have an important message they want to deliver, they need smart, savvy people who know how to accomplish that, and yes, know how to use the press to your advantage. Staff who will look at the press relationship as "business", not with the personal baggage that William et al can bring to the relationship.

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    3. It was truly excellent. In fact, I think it's the best speech we've heard since the inception of Heads Together. Very powerful, well written and delivered impeccably.

      If anyone hasn't seen it, the video is in the post :)

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden8 February 2017 at 15:36

      Oh, I must have missed it in the post. I often comment rather early so in later readings/scrollings I sometimes miss new stuff added :P

      And I agree, it was splendid and I hope a sign of things to come.

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    5. I agree. This is the kind of thing they should be communicating. He really did a nice job with it.

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  51. Zora from Prague8 February 2017 at 21:13

    William's speech was really great, I've just watched it, thank you, Charlotte, Rebecca and others! I also didn't notice it was in the post. Perhaps the fact that his job with the Air Ambulance is finishing has added to how important the topic has become for him: it gives him an opportunity to go on helping people, just in a different way, plus his experience from the job means an "added value".

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    1. I agree Zora, especially about the added value of William's job.

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    2. ditto, on the value of William's work experience Zora and Royalfan (and his military experience and training, I might add also.)

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  52. Loved the color, and the jacket of the suit, but that skirt....just say no! Short and flippy is just too little-girly. Especially with the black tights. The sheath skirt of her red suit is a perfect look for her. I dont know why she seems to favor those stiff, ultra flaired skirts, especially on her coat dresses. Its not a good look for a woman in her position, especially if she wants to be taken seriously.

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  53. What a wonderful speech William delivered. So well thought out, written and delivered with authority and compassion.

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    1. Absolutely. I honestly don't understand some of the criticism of him given the causes he is so willing to embrace.

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    2. Kate and William both made excellent speeches. His was quite professional.

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  54. Love your blog Charlotte! This is my first comment. Do you think it's odd all the work is about HT now?? do other royals do this?

    Are they going to london marathon?

    Mera

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  55. Jennifer from Canada9 February 2017 at 19:10

    I enjoyed the three engagements for the varied voci they were: the first, a fun sporty, casual connection with those who are carrying the HT message through the medium of the marathon. Fun PR, and light camaraderie between the young Royals; the second, with Kate's speech, a more business like appearance, connecting with kids at school with positive messaging for those who will grow up using more and more tech communication modes, and championing kindness and compassion in interpersonal communication and care; and three, the evening event, with professional communicators where William' speech was on point with HT details. Seems to me they are building their messages complimentary to the forum they are in. Simple and light in the sporty casual arena, child centred with children, and business like with the professional communicators. These three events seemed to highlight their style for tackling varied events, different audiences where they are present. As observers beyond the room, I don't think they deliver their content primarily to move us along, rather they are growing it in a planful way, as they talk more and more to different groups staged more personally at that level and forum. If an accurate analysis, their strategy is brilliant. We are but eavesdroppers learning from the inherent PR. Repetition of key messages, and building content is effective strategy. Just hard when we are there at all the events through the lens of many, and we're impatient for the next bit. Perhaps the criticisms can be reframed as such! But for the topic they're championing, also important to not leave anyone behind. Mental health and mental wellness is such a broad topic, for all age groups and severity of concerns and illness. Starting where they have, as non professionals, to engage the agencies they have, supports them in many ways as they go forth on this I would think! The opportunities are many for multiple years as they grow this. I'm looking forward to seeing how this early beginning onfolds.

    On a fashion note, Kate looks lovely in jewel colours, and can wear just about anything elegantly. I did like this outfit, upbeat for what can be a heavy topic.

    Charlotte, thank you for the blog, I'm a regular reader. I enjoy the context you bring to your posts.

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    1. Thank you for a very interesting analysis, Jennifer.

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  56. Rebecca - Sweden9 February 2017 at 20:36

    Guys, just the post before Kate advocated kindness. This is not a skill just needed in children but in all of us. And it's not always easy. We all get annoyed, we all judge. That is being human. But I think kindness is also human. And like all things, they can get trained. So could we please try adding more kindness? (That does not mean there is not kindness now, or that there is meaness. Kindness, like love, is one of those things that can never be overdosed on). Kinder to the royals, kinder to eachother.

    That does not mean no discussions and no critique. Just maybe kinder ways of phrasing them, or kinder ways of reading them. A part of kindness is not assuming intent and giving people a chance to explain. It's kind to assume that William and Kate are doing things out of kind and good reasons. It's kind to assume that a poster is having good intent. Assuming those things make you kinder in your response.

    That does not mean that you should not question things or people. Ofc you should. Kindness should not be mixed up with naivety.

    And just because you see someone in the comments that you don't think is kind does not give you permission to be unkind back. Being unkind to someone does not reflect them, it reflects you.

    I think all of us want this to be a good place, and I think it is. But I also think we are humans that get our emotions rattled, that get annoyed and that get tired of stuff. So training some kindness can only help :)

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  57. yep. we seemed to have almost totally ignored the message of "the k factor" and have instead taken aim at the messenger.

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