Saturday, 11 November 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge Joins a Host of Royals for the Festival of Remembrance

The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and a host of other royals for the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.


The Duchess was greeted upon arrival.


In only one of a handful of appearances since his retirement, Prince Philip was by Her Majesty's side tonight. Philip's presence is a testament to the importance the Royal family places on honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


The Duchess was seated beside Prince Philip and Prince Andrew.


Other members of the Royal family present included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy. William and Harry were not in attendance this evening - both attended separate rugby matches today.


Of course, today is Armistice Day, which adds another layer of significance and solemnity to the proceedings. Ninety-nine years ago today armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.


The Royal British Legion's annual festival commemorates those who have lost their lives in service of their country. It takes place on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, with two performances on the day - a matinée open to members of the public and an evening event for members of the Legion, their families, officials and royals. The event has been held at the Royal Albert Hall every year since 1927. Her Majesty has been patron of the Royal British Legion since 1952, only missing two festivals in the many years since.


This year's festival will mark the following anniversaries: the centenaries of women's service in the regular Armed Forces, the Battle of Passchendaele, the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the birth of Dame Vera Lynn. And also the 75th anniversary of the Second Battle of El Alamein and the creation of the RAF Regiment.


The Royal Fanfare was played by State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.


In 1917, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) became the British Army’s first all-female unit. 100 women from HM's Armed Forces past and present took to the stage to celebrate the centenary.


Emeli Sande, Tom Odell, Melanie C, Alfie Boe and Lesley Garrett performed alongside the Queen’s Colour Squadron and the Band of HM Royal Marines.


The event was hosted by Royal Albert Hall president Jon Moynihan and Air Marshal David Walker, president of the Royal British Legion.


Performer Alfie Boe backstage. As mentioned earlier, the one and only Dame Vera Lynn was honoured. Widely known as "the Forces' Sweetheart", the English singer and actress's recordings were enormously popular during the Second World War. Alfie performed one of Vera's songs.


Below, Vera Lynn visits a munitions factory in 1941.


The audience stood to support and welcome bereaved families.


The hymn 'O God, Our Help In Ages Past' was sung.


The poppies fell silently on to the heads of those who are serving.


God Save the Queen brought the Festival of Remembrance to a close.


For this year's Poppy Appeal, the Royal British Legion is asking people to 'Rethink Remembrance' by recognising the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community, past and present. "By wearing a poppy, you aren’t just remembering the fallen: you’re supporting a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need our support. We asked some members of our Armed Forces community what the poppy means to them. To us, the poppy is not only a symbol of Remembrance, but also of hope. While we will never forget the sacrifices of our past heroes, we will also wear the poppy for our Armed Forces community living on today."


To coincide with the appeal, lines of the renowned poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ appeared in iconic locations across the UK. The poem was written after poppies bloomed on the battlefields of the First World War, despite the death and destruction around them. It’s that life force growing in the most difficult of circumstances that connects the poppy with a message of hope. By re-creating John McCrae’s poem in seven locations the Legion aims to bring ‘In Flanders Fields’ into modern-day consciousness.



As always, incredible and emotional stories from veterans were shared. Hearing Tom's account 'I Remember My Friend' was incredibly moving, and so much so, I wanted to post it on the blog tonight. As many of you will know, when veterans return from conflict, it can be desperately difficult and painful to recount the horrors they endured and witnessed. At 99, it was very brave of Tom to recall his experiences in the war.


Tom's story:

'Tom Boardman became a prisoner of war when British forces surrendered to Japan in Singapore in 1942. Tom, now aged 99, volunteered for service in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1939 and was detailed to go abroad in 1941. “We sailed from Liverpool in early March 1941 and did a few days travelling across the North Atlantic towards America,” says Tom.
“Then we struck due South and went across to Freetown, West Africa - the hottest place I'd ever been to. We didn't go ashore but after a few days there we went South to Cape Town where we had a weeks’ leave. I was with Les Day, my best friend at the time, and we shared our days out together.” After Cape Town they headed for their final destination of Singapore, via Bombay and Colombo.
“Of course in 1941 there was no war out in Singapore and we were very pleased to arrive there at the beginning of May, eight weeks after leaving Liverpool,” says Tom. It seemed heaven on earth because there was no rationing and there was as much food as you wanted. However, little did we know what was on the horizon.” In December 1941 Japan joined the war, with British Commander Lieutenant-General Percival surrendering in February 1942. We were taken prisoner of war and were taken up to Changi district,” explains Tom. The area was barb-wired off and we lived there from February to October. In October they started moving us from Singapore up into Thailand with a promise of better camps. The trip from Singapore up into Thailand was made in cattle trucks without any sanitation and one meal a day. It lasted four days and four nights and it was a horrendous trip.
Tom was one of thousands of Allied prisoners who built a rail link between Bangkok and Rangoon. “I spent 12 months building the railway in horrible conditions, with horrible food and the accommodation was horrible,” he explains. We used to get rice and a spoonful of sugar for breakfast at the crack of dawn then they would bring out rice in containers slung onto bamboo poles at lunch time. Then we would get back to work until we'd finish the task of the day - anything from building an embankment, to building a cutting, to building a bridge or series of bridges. As you finished a section you moved onto another section and started working to meet up with a camp further down or higher up the railway. If anyone misbehaved they had what they called a metre stick. It was a metre-length of bamboo which varied from 1-2 inches in diameter and if you misbehaved you got beatings with it - that was a daily occurrence and there was no respite from it.” Whilst in captivity there were various illnesses and diseases that afflicted the thousands of prisoners, such as Cholera, Dysentery, Malaria, Beriberi, leg ulcers and amputations.
The railway was completed in October 1943, after which Tom was put on building air strips. The last airstrip that was built was at Phetchaburi, and was finished at the end of July 1945. “The war finished as far as we were concerned about the 18 August because we were unaware that peace had been called and the Japanese had surrendered,” says Tom. Within days Dakota planes were flying into this airstrip we had built and flying us in groups to Rangoon where we were rehabilitated. I arrived back in England on 8 October 1945 a free man and very grateful for it. I arrived home in Leigh in the early hours to be reunited with my wife who I had married in 1940. Luckily I survived the hazards,” adds Tom, “It was a grim life and I consider myself very lucky to have got through it, and especially to have survived so long.”
On Remembrance Sunday, Tom always thinks of his friend Les, who never came home. “My life is full of remembrance of the war, and not a day passes without me thinking about it,” he says. Les Day is the one person I really think about. I was with him all through the war days in Singapore and into captivity. I moved into Changi concentration camp with him but unfortunately he didn’t survive. I think it’s not just a case of remembering in November. For me we should remember every day and every month, and that’s what I try and do.”

It is the Legion's biggest fundraising appeal of the year. If you would like to donate please click here for more information.


It is the third consecutive year the Duchess has attended the performance. Below we see her arriving in 2015 in a black Dolce & Gabbana dress, and in 2016 in a Temperley London coat.


The Duchess chose a beautiful new black velvet coat by Catherine Walker tonight. The piece is a bespoke version of the Caressa Jacket (with thanks to Laura).The Caressa is described as "The structured, nipped in silhouette with a gentle flick at the hem contrasts beautifully with the full skirt. Jet, glass and silver Swarovski buttons lend a further eye-catching dimension oin this black silk velvet jacket".


A closer look at the swarovski buttons.

Catherine Walker

Kate accessorised with Princess Diana's Collingwood Pearl earrings. The Duchess has worn them several times this year. Kate also wore a lovely large poppy, set against her black velvet coat, it was very much the focal point.


Kate carried her black Magid clutch.


It was another terrific performance, and as I type this closing paragraph it has just concluded on BBC One. The combination of stories from those in the forces, to touching performances, emotive musical selections and personal stories from bereaved families reminds us every year of the sacrifice so many have made. There were glimpses of the Queen looking delighted and taking in every moment of it.  The recording showed Kate on a number of occasions and she seemed very relaxed and at ease. We don't usually see her at events with the Queen and so many members of the Royal family without William. It was good to see her attending regardless, and taking her place as a senior member of the Royal family seated beside Prince Philip. A strong turn out by the Royal family during such commemoration events is important. If it is uploaded to YouTube, I will add it here.

We'll see you tomorrow morning for Remembrance Sunday events. 

90 comments:

  1. I was sure we'd have a repeat tonight so I was pleasantly surprised to see a new look. I find this velvet Catherine Walker coat much more appropriate for an evening event than last year's Temperley coat. The swarovski buttons pop, but I like the the large poppy is really the focal point of this look. I wish in the United States we had such a powerful yearly statement for Veteran's Day (or Memorial Day for that matter) as the poppy appeal.

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    1. I am also in the states & I fully agree with you on your last statement Anne.

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    2. I am in the states and agree with both Anne (Texas) and azgirlcoyote.

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    3. We used to wear poppies on Veteran's Day here in the U.S. Of course, I'm older but I do remember the poppies.

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    4. I still buy poppies every year from a member of the VFW. It does seem like I see fewer places offering them for a donation every year.

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    5. I agree & I'm an American too.

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    6. Caroline in Montana14 November 2017 at 16:36

      The American legions and VFW clubs still offer these poppys every year. they just have less members so it seems less wide spread. I am a member of the women's auxiliary and they need more younger members.

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  2. Sarah Maryland USA11 November 2017 at 21:44

    I do like the outfit but do not like her hair this length. Grow it out Kate and get it blown out circa 2011 and 2012!
    Also, who at KP thought it was a good idea for William and Harry to miss this event to watch rugby? I mean my god have some common sense. At least Kate was smart enough to go. Although I am not happy about the fact her calendar is still empty for the month of nov. past the 14th.

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    1. I'm with you Sarah. Grow it and blow it! Otherwise gorgeous.

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    2. Her calendar is not empty, they just haven’t announced her engagements yet, as they usually don’t. KP said that she was going to do several visits out of London now that she’s feeling well. Apparently, these were canceled due to HG.

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    3. As an American I find it odd that non British citizens would be so critical of the schedules of the British royal family. We have plenty of American leaders to scrutinize. What on earth does Melania do with her time?

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  3. I love this outfit on Kate. Classy and stunning. Pretty hair too. She has a healthy glow, and glad to see her feeling better. Thumbs up all the way around!

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    1. Absolutely agree with your comment. I am loving this look.

      And may I just add that she is holding her own without William at her side. Go Kate! :-)

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    2. rf. No small feat, lol, as she is sitting next to Mr. Pleasant himself, Andrew. (no offense to Andrew)

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  4. How lovely she looks. I think the coat is gorgeous. This is such an important event and I'm glad to see how well attended it is. For me, the honor goes first to my grandfather who served in France with his brother in the First World War. Next to my father served in the Second World War, along with most of my uncles. Finally to all who served and who continue to serve now. Live On.

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  5. I love her hair this length. It was too long before; this is elegant. Love the Catherine Walker coat. Good point about William and Harry, but who's to say? They do other things.

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  6. RUGBY?!?!?!?!??!

    I cannot type what I am thinking about rugby, but I have decide I am going to learn to crochet poppies. I recently learned to knit by watching Youtube and I can now make dish cloths - moving along to crocheting a poppie is my next challenge.

    Kate looked good, but the Queen looked fantastic - I admire her so and I hope to replicate her poppies. England does far better at honor their military that we here in the USA.

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    1. Tammy from California11 November 2017 at 22:57

      Lynn: you hit the nail on the head! We do VERY LITTLE to honor our service men and women. I love how the UK does it.

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    2. The Queen does look great. I thought for a hot second the Queen and PP were holding hands in the pic above and did a double take. Alas, it was not to be. As I would expect at a serious event...or any event for them.

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  7. William and Harry continue to be disappointing. I'm glad Charles will be the next king.

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  8. What a lovely Rememberance to those who served.
    Kate looked beautiful. I loved the look & texture of the velvet coat & swarovski buttons.
    HM looked splendid, too. The photo with Kate looking at the Duke's facial expression needs a caption.

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  9. Hello to all! It has been a long, long time since I last submitted comment on this lovely blog, but I have been reading and following it almost daily. Again, Charlotte makes this place incredibly interesting, informative and oh so British.:) It really is a pleasure to read it.
    Now to Kate. I have to admit what triggered me out of my passiveness is sheer frustration with her hair! Good God I just really hate this haircut and this lenght! I cannot wait for it to be long again! Not that Kate minds what I think, haha. Other than that it is wonderfull to see her, off course!
    Greetings to all!

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    1. At first, I liked the shorter length. But now, I miss her long hair, too :(

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    2. Lovely to see you Marija!

      I agree with you and Kiwi Gal on the longer hair, very much so :)

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    3. I love the coat very much. I love the purse. I like the Collingsworth earrings and love their provenance. I don't like the three together.
      I would like to have seen a purse and earrings that complimented the coat more. But at least she was there. She still looked lovely though.

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    4. Count me in on the hair as well! :(

      I think this coat is lovely though. I like it much better than what she wore the other two times. The cut and design of this CW is chic and elegant while the velvet and sparkly buttons bump it up to evening wear status avoiding the severity that all black can often have. Nice surprise as I thought it would be a recycle tonight.

      Glad she chose to attend although William could not.

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    5. Just to keep things interesting, count me on the other side as really liking Kate's hair this way. ;-D

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    6. I don't think her long hair is practical if she is active with her kids. And since she spends most of her time with them the shorter hair makes sense.

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    7. I think her hair would look a lot better without the big curls blow out - it looks dated to me and I think it would look more stylish on the straighter side. Not sure who is doing her hair these days, but I just think it's just not as stylish as it was circa 2011/12. Just my opinion :)

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    8. As a general rule, I prefer hair be up(either partial or full) updo for events like this. It just seems to end up looking more polished overall. I have definitely seen it done well, but not recently by Kate. And it's sad. A partial updo would have shown off the earrings so well.

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    9. I agree Melissa in LA. It’s not the shorter length that’s the problem, it’s the ringlets. If she had it blown out straight I think it would look great.

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    10. I agree with you, Marci! I was tired of seeing Kate overwhelmed by her hair.

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    11. I think her hair needs to be shorter. Just a little shorter. I would love to see it a lot shorter, a la Queen Letizia's bob from a couple years back but that won't happen so I would love to see it a touch shorter than she has it and with a style. Whether it is a long bob or she grow is out and does it pre-kid style. She just needs a style.

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    12. I'm on Team Shorter Hair. =) Given her faux bob at the Service today, I think it shows she'd look fabulous in a shorter cut. I'm surprised she kept her hair shorter for so long anyway, as she tends to cut it a bit shorter (several inches or bangs) then immediately lets them grow out. But I do think she'd look great in a true bob (Spain's queen did this a year or two ago).

      I thought it was reported that Kate disliked velvet, although I know she has worn a velvet coat early on in her marriage (paired it w/ leggings at a charity event for children as I recall---w/ finger puppets if I remember correctly). Very well could be a false report or she decided to give velvet another go. I thought the Queen's dress was FANTASTIC!

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    13. I, too, would love to see Kate with a short bob. Although she does rock styles like this.

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  10. I love this elegant velvet coat, and no one can say the poppy isn't visible! Kate looks lovely and chic. It was terrific to see Prince Philip escorting Queen Elizabeth, who looks so pretty. I salute all veterans, past, present and future. Brave men and women with their own stories to be told. I do agree with Sarah Maryland, William and Harry were I'll advised to skip this event. On a personal note, Happy 34th Anniversary to my beloved husband, Joel, and thank you for your service.

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    1. Tammy from California11 November 2017 at 22:56

      Happy Anniversary Tedi!!! Please thank your husband for his service- from one service family to another! XOXO

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    2. Spelling check grrr@#%*\ - ill advised!

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    3. Teri, congrats to you and Joel! Hope you had a lovely anniversary dinner.

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    4. Thanks so much Jo, we did have a wonderful evening.

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    5. Congratulations, Tedi! 💐

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  11. Beautiful all around. Thank you for the post Charlotte so well put together.

    My grandfather lied about his age and joined the Lancashire Regument in 1891 and was shipped off to South Africa to fight in the Boer War. He never spoke of it, suffered from frequent bouts of depression throughout his life. My grandmother’s brothers (at least one of them) joined up in Ireland during World War I so that he could escape grinding poverty. Saw a lot of exhibits about that whilst I was in Ireland. Three of my grandfather’s brothers joined up in Dundee. One died one week before Armistice in a French field hospital of the Spanish flu. His wife never remarried, his daughter, a baby when he died, spent her life looking after her. My father was an “in between” age and so wasn’t conscripted during World War II but worked in munitions. One of my Lithuanian friend’s father was taken by the Nazis and forced into the Army. Her mother was sent to Hamburg as a slave laborer. She told us that when she knew the Allies were coming she and several of her friends hurried to where they knew the Americans would be so that they wouldn’t be under Russian control. They already knew what Stalin was doing. Another friend’s father died of war-related injuries when she was 10. Dh’s father served in the Pacific and came home a moody, bitter, man. Dh served as a medic during Vietnam. He never talks about it but I watched his face during the town parade this morning (we live near a military base)—his jaw was clenched so tight it was white.

    So, yes, it is too bad that W & H weren’t at the Festival. But Harry has done so much “boots on the ground” work with the Army both in his own service and with wounded warriors, I wouldn’t think of criticizing him. And William has risked his life time and again in whatever way he could.

    So much as I choose to, on this day, not discuss the hubris and stupidity, the imperialism that tried to paper over slaughter with glory, I choose not to criticize people who are doing far more than I to honor the victims.

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  12. Tammy from California11 November 2017 at 22:55

    Her Majesty looks absolutely stunning tonight! The velvet topped dress with the diamond brooch and multiple poppies coming out: just elegant and stunning! Her stylist (I can't remember his name but know he won an award) could probably be the best I have ever seen. He knows just how to style her and at 92, that's saying something! Just wonderful!

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    1. The Queen’s dresser is a woman named Angela Kelly.
      From wiki:
      ‘’Angela Kelly, LVO, is a designer, dressmaker and milliner, who has served as Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to Queen Elizabeth II since 2002.’’

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  13. Firstly - The Rugby. Although today is 11/11, the main remembrance event is Remembrance Sunday. For the whole of the country, apart from the few hundreds in the Albert Hall, the main event is tomorrow. Yes, we hold 2 minutes silence but generally people then get on with their day.

    William and Harry not only attended as Patrons of their rugby teams, they also spoke to people involved in other charities such as Core Coach and Injured Players. The matches had their minutes of silence and everyone paid their respects. Last year Harry went to the Rugby and missed the Festival and no one said anything. This is just the tabloids having a rant!


    Personally I love the Festival, always cry and sing the hymns. It is so very British.

    I thought Catherine looked lovely although tired. Apparently William mentioned at the rugby that he was v tired as the children had kept him awake.

    She looked elegant, very polished and “grown up” - Im looking forward to seeing her tomorrow.

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    1. Thank you, Anon 23:14, for explaining about the more important event, Remembrance Sunday services. It puts the tabloid howling into perspective.

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    2. Here in my small part of Canada, we’ve been having a bit of controversy in our churches about whether or not it’s appropriate to have a Service of Remembrance on the 12th. Several senior ex-members of the military are very much against it, so it looks as if we’ll have World Peace as the theme instead, which is fine too. But I shall miss the rituals such as the names being read, etc.

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    3. Forgot to mention how much I love Catherine in the black velvet coat. She looks really beautiful. This is my favourite of all the coats that she has worn.

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    4. Anon 23:14 thank you for your post. My friends in Ottawa Canada did see the cenotaph ceremonies this morning at 11 o’clock. I looked them up on CBC.ca. I also saw that the Australian and NZ Prime Ministers had a “modest service” at their hotel in Da Nang where they are attending an economic summit. There was also a service at Martin Place in Sydney and in Canberra.

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  14. Kate looks good. I like the movement and evening'esque style of the dress. Her hair, meh. I mean, nothing extraordinary about her look I do think it is amusing that every photo of her initially seemed to show her looking tired/bored/uninterested. I am sure those are not her actual feelings but just randomly timed snapshots.

    It does not bother me that William and Harry are not there. Harry has never gone(or so I read) and Charlotte mentioned that Kate and William have only gone the last few years, so I am not sure why it's such a huge deal that they were supporting other patronages the same night. We don't actually know why it was planned that way and there might be very good reasons that we don't know(networking, influencing/soft diplomacy for someone at the game, William's schedule for other matches) but we all assume the worst.

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    1. Sunny in New Jersey12 November 2017 at 01:42

      Regarding William and Harry’s non-attendance at the Festival tonight: For all we know, perhaps what happened was that the Royal Box holds just so many people and, with the boys elsewhere, other less Senior Royals could attend the Festival in the Royal Box. William and Harry may not have chosen to be absent. Instead, they could have been allocated elsewhere, so others had an opportunity to attend. Remember also, the Royal Family has a strict Protocol for who/what/where and carefully choreographs who stands/sits/walks in what position at each public outing. Look at the photo of the entire group, and the front row in particular — Prince Andrew, Kate, Prince Philip, the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla. If William and Harry were there, the whole group would have to be reshuffled. Andrew would probably have to be in the second row. What if he balked at having to sit in row 2? Etc, etc... Perhaps her Majesty wants the chairs a particular distance from each other, so that you can’t just add a couple more seats, squeeze in a couple more people and call it a day. (Lol!) The logistics with the Royal Family can be daunting.

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    2. Sunny in New Jersey12 November 2017 at 01:43

      Regarding William and Harry’s non-attendance at the Festival tonight: For all we know, perhaps what happened was that the Royal Box holds just so many people and, with the boys elsewhere, other less Senior Royals could attend the Festival in the Royal Box. William and Harry may not have chosen to be absent. Instead, they could have been allocated elsewhere, so others had an opportunity to attend. Remember also, the Royal Family has a strict Protocol for who/what/where and carefully choreographs who stands/sits/walks in what position at each public outing. Look at the photo of the entire group, and the front row in particular — Prince Andrew, Kate, Prince Philip, the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla. If William and Harry were there, the whole group would have to be reshuffled. Andrew would probably have to be in the second row. What if he balked at having to sit in row 2? Etc, etc... Perhaps her Majesty wants the chairs a particular distance from each other, so that you can’t just add a couple more seats, squeeze in a couple more people and call it a day. (Lol!) The logistics with the Royal Family can be daunting.

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    3. Yes! Gert's Royals' twitter feed did a count of chairs and current attendees and with W/H, there would not have been enough chairs. I am sure if it was pushed, it could have been addressed but if some can be elsewhere, then that works.

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    4. I see this as a great opportunity for Kate to shine on her own. And she did! :-)

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    5. Queen of the South12 November 2017 at 08:06

      I also find it interesting that everyone assume that William and Harry chose not to attend. Apparently Harry wanted to attend last year and was told there is no space. Quotin Gert’s Royals
      “I think part of the reason Prince William & Harry weren't at the #FestivalOfRemembrance is lack of room in the Royal Box.
      The most we have seen is 16 royals attend. Each year someone has sat out.

      17 Royals and 16 seats:
      In 2017, Prince William absent
      In 2016, Duchess of Gloucester absent
      In 2015, Charles & Camilla on Tour

      Before 2015, William & Kate did not attend, so there was not a shortage of seats.

      (W/ Harry & Future wife 19 Royals and still 16 seats)”

      One can argue that the future king should get a ticket but if I was William I would not hate it if one of the Queens cousins that have attended every year had to give up their ticket for him.

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  15. I do like Kate's coat, but kinda wish it was the short version as worn by the model with a skirt. I liked that, too. The crystal buttons are beautiful. The big poppy taking center stage is very appropriate. I don't care what length her hair is and I don't care if William or/and Harry aren't there. The royal family is very well represented. (At least they are not on vacation!)

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  16. Charlotte, your Remembrance Day posts are always so beautifully and touchingly written. Every year I tear up reading these posts. Thank you so much! This is such an important thing the Royals do by attending this event.

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    1. Thank you for the history you included, Charlotte, and especially for emphasizing the realities of war.

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  17. I was hoping for some black velvet, as I fell in love with the black velvet Goat dress. This coat is absolutely stunning and appropriate for the event. Kate looks lovely, and she is representing her part of the Royal Family. William and Harry are taking part of official engagements as patrons of rugby teams, not casually watching rugby. I think we know by now that William and Harry take military engagements and support of the armed forces very seriously.

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  18. Love Kate's coat - not so much the hair - it's starting to look a dated to me. I do think the Queen looks amazing! What a gorgeous dress on her - she looks fantastic...hope I look that good in my 90's :)

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  19. Why is Prince Philip scowling in that one picture? He is a hoot.

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    1. Looks like he sneezed...or is really enraged about something!

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    2. Don't know. But Kate was keeping an eye on him.

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    3. Yes, he looked very frail at Whitehall, so I can see why she was keeping an eye on him. Poor thing.

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  20. Is it just me or does Kate look a lot more "pregnant" than she did in her earlier two pregnancies? With George and Charlotte she was well into the second trimester but didn't really show. But here she really is looking very pregnant, in a good way. Fuller face, defined baby bump ...

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  21. Yes, Melissa, I agree. The Queen looks fantastic. Thanks, Charlotte; you are really good at what you do.

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  22. Kate looks lovely. I wish we did more in the US at a national level to honor Veterans Day. In our small town, we honor local men and women who served in the military. We had a very inspiring ceremony on Friday.

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  23. Kate looks beautiful. It's almost as though she wittily corrected last year with velvet instead of twill, Swarovski instead of boring buttons, poppy large and visible, hair under control, pretty makeup. She looked vibrant, and I'm glad she sat in a prominent place.

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    1. I share your opinion, Patricia I. Plus, HM looked just incredible!

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    2. Princess Anne was also especially elegant.

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  24. Haven't commented fro a while but I have been keeping up to all your posts Charlotte. You are doing a wonderful job of keeping us informed. Thank you so much for your service to us. I love all the details and effort you put into this blog. Bravo. Love everything and in my humble opinion Kate looks lovely and Her Majesty is superb as usual. It was nice to see Prince Phillip out as the Remembrance service is important to him. Once again keep up the good job you are doing and know that you are highly appreciated

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  25. Julia from Leominster12 November 2017 at 11:11

    Thank you Charlotte for an excellent write-up.

    The story Tom Boardman's tells truly brings out the almost unimaginable horror of the war - of all wars. Even men who came home were often never the same again. It's so painful to read about.

    On a lighter note, I confess I'm a fan of Vera Lynn, grew up hearing her music and have her discs - especially A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Lili Marlene. She looks amazing for her age and was always beautiful. The sort of patriotic music she sang is so out of fashion in our cynical age but I'm still moved by it.

    Kate looks lovely in her coat - I hope she can use it again after her pregnancy. I do like her hair shorter (and we can see the poppy which was very large this year) because it looks very professional. She did have a time managing it when it was long and now there is far less tossing and touching.

    I do feel William at least should have been there - being at a match is - that was lost anyway - was not as important - and he was there for fun. He could very easily have sent them a message of support or done a before or after visit. But there are a finite number of times that three generations - the monarch, the next in line, and the next heir are together - even though he has done other work for the forces - it isn't just for the forces -but for his nation - where so many families have a story - past or present to tell of relatives. It connects the long term future of the monarchy. William doesn't have as much connection with other members of his family - and for years missed this festival - so that continuity is important to my thinking - Harry less so.

    I'm sure the seating could be managed - there was ample space.

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    1. I feel that today's Cenotaph ceremony was much more important than last night's--W & H standing shoulder to shoulder this morning, in their regimental dress, laying a wreath while his grandmother and grandfather poignantly look on. And although William probably enjoyed the rugby, he was there in a suit, officially meeting and greeting before and after. He was also there in his official capacity as a Patron and to meet those who are working with charities that are part of his initiative (sorry I don't have specifics right now.) He also met with the Australian team, the Wallabies, the Australian link being important as the UK looks to the Commonwealth while Brexit slowly unravels.

      Vis a vis the long-term future of the monarchy, this has not been a good week for either the Queen or Prince Charles. The Paradise Papers scandal (off-shore investment meaning the rich avoid taxes) has hit both the Queen and Prince Charles and brought forward calls for a return to the old way of managing royal money. The Independent also published a rather embarrassing letter from Prince Charles to Laurens van der Post (from 1986 when he was still old enough to know better) which does not put him in a good light at all. And then there was Richard Palmer's tweet about Royal popularity. William and Harry are way ahead of Charles in terms of popularity and William is way ahead of Charles in terms of whom the country wants to see as next King. You could say this makes it all the more important for William to appear side by side with Charles. I see it in the opposite--give Charles his spotlight with his mother, in as many positive events as possible, on his own. He needs it.

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    2. Julia from Leominster12 November 2017 at 15:54

      This is not the place I can discuss my feelings on Charles' comments except to say that I'm disturbed less by a stupid thing he said when he was old enough to know better thirty years ago - than how it will be used today when the problem is worse than ever. Where one party has been particularly affected and their leader declined an invite to meet the Israeli PM - targeting one small country - but I'll say no more for I want no controversy on this blog.

      The Paradise Papers may sound worse than they actually are - many people have investments overseas and may not know what their advisers are doing - but it highlights that the royal family are not 'many people'. Their position and privileges are unique and they can't do what other wealthy people may be doing, even if it cost them more. It's to be noted whilst the queen does pay income tax now, voluntarily - there are many tax burdens including inheritance she doesn't face. Hopefully lessons learnt, and there will be changes amongst royal advisers.

      I will say I don't agree with you on Charles and William. It's worth remembering much of the problem for these feelings came from Camilla and her silly, silly biography's timing and a severe mishandling of the Diana anniversary. Whether those feelings will last in hard to say - Camilla is openly unpopular and many people are annoyed by Charles but people also accept the status quo.

      But when William does something like go to a match (which most people, sports supporters or not, see as amusement) it doesn't bring favourable attention to Charles. What it does do is add one more reason to say the royal heirs following the queen are weak and out of touch with the nation. It actually hurts Charles - you might say giving less attention to his presence than to William's absence where if both attended the focus would be on where it most belongs - the queen. This is something I've been saying for years in multiple situations and one only now the royal family seems to be realising - that having the younger members out of sight isn't increasing attention to Charles - who made his decisions and is paying for them - it is harming and weakening the whole institution which of course affects Charles the most - who at best will have a caretaker monarchy as people (who are young enough and even want a monarchy) wait for William.

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    3. Julia, will it surprise you to learn that I agree with Jo's point here? :-) don't get me wrong, I do understand your point. However, I do not believe that situations like this make the younger Royals look weak. The Queen and Prince Philip were in attendance along with the direct heir, with Kate standing in for William. This is not the first time that all senior Royals were not in attendance, so I do not believe this reflects badly on the younger generation (alone).

      In addition, I believe that Charles is even more sensitive today regarding his popularity and image than he was while being married to Diana. And with good reason... He is 30 years older and has Camilla at his side. As I have said before, if he was threatened by Diana while he was married to her, imagine how he must feel now when one or both of his young handsome sons make the headlines... or if Kate appears on the front page? And with an expected engagement announcement in the near future, there will be even more of this for Charles to deal with. William and Kate have been cautious and respectful in my opinion, perhaps far more than has been deserved especially given some of the continued antics from CH. And I ask this with a grin on my face... I wonder if Harry and Megan will be as cautious? Something tells me it's time to stock up on popcorn.........

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    4. I agree, rf. And I do think that William and Kate have been conscientious where Charles is concerned. As for Charles not wanting to be overshadowed. Imagine this. You are a man (work with me here, lol) and you are trained to be and want to be king when the time comes. Strong leadership yearnings and inclinations. You are (sadly) closer to that than before and up pop William and Kate into the limelight. Not only that and now the sensation of Harry and Meghan is looming large and larger every day. All when your long awaited rise to the throne seems (sadly) closer than ever. But really, who is paying attention? Who cares? Charles, for sure. He is only human after all. And until Diana, he had been quite the sensation prior to her. So I think there is something to your point on that rf. As for Harry and Meghan beating around the bush about things? Not likely. :) But then Harry is not next in line after Charles either. So, rf, I will join you with hot buttered popcorn with a hint of cheese and/or some almond biscotti with a glass of milk and lots of prayers, hoping for the very best. 🍿🥛🙏

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    5. I agree, Jo. I think both William and Harry attending those games was the politically correct thing to do on more than one level, otherwise the boys would have been at the Remembrance Ceremony. That it was a sport they each enjoy was just a perk of those particular duties. And again, more photos of the boys and Charles, the Queen and Charles, etc. a must.

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    6. IMO, SG, if Charles embraced some of which he feared, he would be more popular. Does this make sense? I'm referring to JFK's attitude regarding his wife's popularity, or being verrrry (and publicly!) involved in W&H's preparation for their future roles. I could go on, but you get my drift..... :-)

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    7. Julia from Leominster13 November 2017 at 10:56

      We can agree to disagree. Whilst I don't expect to see William and Kate attending the opening of Parliament much as I would wish it - that is an event where Charles will take centre stage, as well as other engagements with the queen, here he was literally at the far edge of the group. Camilla was even cut off in most photos.

      So William being present wouldn't make less attention to Charles in this case. William being at a match brought more attention to himself - of the wrong kind.

      Yes, William is doing more although how aware the public is of that is hard to say. But I always feel there is a priority of engagements from important ones to ones like premieres and matches that will mainly be seen as enjoyable for royals. Here, I believe priority meant attending the festival - remembrance events being one of the most important areas for the royals.

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  26. I don't think that W & H going to the rugby showed that "the royal heirs are weak and out of touch with the nation." First, I haven't seen any stats as to how many people watched the Festival of Remembrance on telly. As opposed to millions of people around the world stopping what they were doing at 11 o'clock for two minutes' silence. As both Harry and William did at their respective stadiums later in the day. And as they did today at the cenotaph.

    Quoting from People.com: "During a poignant weekend for the U.K., as those who have died or been injured in wars are being remembered, Harry met volunteers from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC), which is the official match-day charity at the England game. The organization builds and maintains the memorials and preserves records of those who perished in WWI and WWII around the globe." Further on in the same People article "And, at half time, William [chatted] with local Coach Core Apprentices, who are learning to be role models and mentors in their communities, under a mentoring program devised by William, Harry and Kate Middleton to create more sports trainers in the 16-24 age group. It is part of the royals’ drive to use sport as a way of bringing about positive change, especially for young people." On Thursday November 9th William attended a black tie dinner, with hundreds of guests, at the Imperial War Museum in aid of the Defense National Rehabilitation Campaign, or DNRC. Quoting from Daily Mail Online: "The DNRC is a campaign to raise funds to build the new Defence rehabilitation establishment, which will be a £300million successor to Headley Court, which closed earlier this year. The rehabilitation centres aim to 'repair the seriously wounded' who have returned home from battlefront with the aid of physio and cognitive therapy." William gave a speech at the dinner, part of which was quoted in The Daily Mail "'When completed next year, the DNRC will be a world leading centre for rehabilitation. It will provide pioneering treatments. It will give the brave men and women of our armed forces access to the very best rehabilitation facilities on offer, anywhere in the world. You will all agree with me that they deserve nothing less.'"

    I felt the need to bring forward these quotes because they show that William did far more this past week than simply go to a rugby game. (For the record, he also attended a charity gala dinner on Monday night in aid of The Children's Trust where he made a speech about social media. And he conducted investitures. And had meetings with various businesspeople at KP per the Court Circular.) I think Charles is quite happy that William and Harry are operating in their sphere. They can bring a personal element to many events that he can't because of his age and his own interests. As he said he would, William IS becoming a "full-time royal" and one that is bringing drive and energy and his own particular style to the job.

    Still SG, I agree that more photos of C, W & H together, with their families, would help make Charles as King a lot more palatable. Charles' popularity grew after Diana's death whenever photos were posted of him with W & H, whenever he mentioned them, whenever he admitted his concerns as a father.

    Apologies to those who feel that this blog should only be about Kate. I have finished my spiel :)

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    1. Julia from Leominster13 November 2017 at 10:59

      A very nice write-up. William is doing more - it's just a pity you have to go looking to find mention of it - which is often the case for royalty these days but the difference is some like the queen, Anne, and even Charles, have a reputation formed for hard work so it's assumed that they're carrying out duties - whilst William doesn't have that yet and needs to develop it.

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    2. All you have to do is read the newspaper to find mention. I am not a newshound but there it was.

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  27. I like the coat but her hair didn't work tonight looks like a wonderful event and God bless all who served we will always remember your service and sacrifice.

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