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Royal Baby Watch: Kate's Time in Bucklebury & A Visit to Windsor?

Monday, April 20, 2015

I have not been following the Great Kate Wait 2 very closely. After the first round in 2013, I gambled that we had some time to loaf about during Baby Watch 2. But, Sunday morning I woke up with a start and the only thought on my mind was, "What is going on with the Royal Baby!" I am officially feeling the tension.  Kate's team came up with a great strategy to minimize the craziness surrounding the birth; I think the best rule is the no news after 10pm or before 8am. That would have been really great while we waited for George... 



We have been wretchedly stranded in times past, when Kate has disappeared, but this weekend there was a slew of fun and informative articles filling in some interesting details about Kate's whereabouts and recent past-times. No prizes if you guess that she spent time in Bucklebury this month. People had a great piece reporting that the Duchess has kept an unusually low-profile during these stays, preferring to stay in the house and away from even the friendly and protective glances of locals. 
"Kate was here for a few days in the week," a local source tells PEOPLE. "Nobody saw her around though – she must have just stayed in the house having a rest."
 My favorite part is the description of her usual modus operandi:
"You often see William and Kate wandering through the fields," adds another local.
"But Kate doesn't venture out of the house much when she's at home these days."
Sounds absolutely idyllic. I can't wait for George to join them in a darling little pair of wellies. According to @livelovelaughvr, Kate spent this weekend in Bucklebury, and was photographed with George at Bucklebury Farm Park, a favorite destination of the mother and son when visiting Mike & Carole.

At the Bucklebury Farm Park in 2014

It is thought she has returned to London as she enters what is very probably the final week of her pregnancy. The parking restriction lasts through April 30th, and as one royal watcher pointed out, women are not allowed to go a week past due before they are induced. While the Palace could extend the restriction, I think it likely Kate is due this week.  



The Daily Mail had a thorough piece on William and Kate's home-life in Norfolk, which included a report of a dinner they hosted for friends at a local restaurant:
The couple already have a list of favourite pubs. Two weeks ago, they shared a dinner with six friends at The Crown in nearby East Rudham. William, seated at the head of the table next to his heavily pregnant wife, organised the supper to celebrate them finally moving to Anmer. ‘William and Kate have friends in Norfolk, and they enjoyed a private dinner in a dining room,’ reports a source. ‘They wanted a night out and they can do it here. The locals are very protective of them, as are the pub owners. They organise special tables out of the way of prying eyes and escape routes so they are never seen coming in or leaving.’
The article goes on to discuss William's plans, including cutting back on royal duties and focusing on his family. I think that he does plan to prioritize Kate, George, and the new baby, but given the resources he has, it is not clear to me that an involved home-life and maintaining his royal duties are mutually exclusive. Given his trajectory in the past two years, I think we will see William maintain his current workload, if not increase it. Some of this will depend upon the health of the Queen, of course, but I don't think the progress he has made will now be abandoned.



More details about Carole Middleton's help before George's birth have been emerging. Hello! ran a piece about the custom Silver Cross pram the Cambridges ordered before their first child arrived:
"We supplied a couple of extra accessories including an insect net. It was a very good summer when Prince George was born. Our head of design went to the Middleton family home and presented it to the Duchess' mom. We did a full demonstration so that the product was safe and used correctly."
Apparently, Silver Cross has now made this standard for all buggies. Yay for royals making products better for everyone. It was also interesting to note how Carole is an integral part of facilitating Kate's ability to function normally, while maintaining a level of privacy. Their intimacy allows her to take on some of Kate's work, and act as a buffer between her celebrity daughter and the public. 

Lastly, Lulu and Sarah W shared with me a photo of Kate taken while she pregnant with George. It was taken by a fan who happened to see Kate walking in her garden while visiting Kensington Palace. When she snapped a camera phone picture through the bars, a guard approached her and asked her not to continue photographing the Duchess. I have always wondered if the royals were ever visible in the gardens and green spaces that can be seen by the public. It would seem that sometimes, they are.

Pooja Siwakoti Facebook
Tomorrow is Elizabeth II's 89th birthday! It would be very fun if Kate and her baby tomorrow, and i would say the chances of a girl being named Elizabeth would skyrocket. If she does not, I wonder if the Cambridges will venture to Windsor for a birthday celebration? The Queen has taken the week off, and The Telegraph has noted that several members of her family have open schedules, as well:
The Prince of Wales, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex have also kept their diaries free, suggesting they may join her for a birthday celebration at some point during the day. 

She could even receive a visit from her great-grandson, Prince George, if the Duchess of Cambridge is feeling well enough to make the trip, or of the Duke of Cambridge has a day off from his air ambulance pilot training.
Check off another day of the Great Kate Wait. See you tomorrow!  

Royal Baby Watch: Kate's Maternity-Wear by the Month

Friday, April 17, 2015

This was a much different pregnancy from Kate's first. Although she got off to a bumpier start, once the Duchess cleared the worst of the HG, I think she was far more comfortable with the routine. Although the Royal Baby has yet to make his or her appearance, I suspect we will find she scheduled engagements closer to her due date this go around. I thought about doing a review of her maternity wear, but then I felt it would be more fun to look at her pregnancies next to each other. So, while we all are embroiled in the Great Kate Wait 2, let's look at the two side-by-side.

Month 1: November (George) and August (HRH #2)
Nada. Kate didn't actually announce until her hospitalization forced her to in December. Similarly, it was only her HG that pushed the royals to tell the world about Royal Baby 2 when Kate had to miss a scheduled appearance in early September. 

Month 2: December/September
Due to her hospital stay, we did get one appearance from the Duchess in December of 2012, as she was pictured leaving Edward VII with William by her side. 



Happily, Kate was not hospitalized in this second pregnancy, although she was carefully monitored by her doctors at home. Unhappily, her second bout with HG was longer and harder than the first, and we did not see her at all in September. 

Month 3: January/George & October/HRH#2

When pregnant with George, Kate made only one, partially-public, appearance in her third month. She visited the National Portrait Gallery for the unveiling of her first official portrait. With this second pregnancy, she re-emerged in October for a slew of public engagements beginning with the State Visit from Singapore, her appearance at the Natural History Museum (below), and the pink carpet for Action on Addiction. 



Month 4: February/George & November/HRH#2

Possibly the greater period of rest played in Kate's favor, because in her second pregnancy, she undertook far more engagements in her fourth month, than she did the first time. With George, Kate was only out once, but with HRH#2, she had at least 6 public appearances. 


Month 5: March/George & December/HRH#2

Interestingly, Kate travelled out of Britain in both her 5th months. While pregnant with Prince George, she flew to Switzerland for a wedding, and with this little Royal Baby, she flew all the way to New York, USA! 


Month 6: April/George & January/HRH#2

Maybe the arrival of spring helped during the first pregnancy, because Kate undertook more engagements in April 2013, as she saw the light at the end of the tunnel. January is usually a lighter month for the royals, and sometimes we do not even see Kate, so relatively speaking, her calendar was full in January 2014, before she slipped away for the Middletons' annual holiday in Mustique. 



Month 7: May/George & February/HRH#2

Month 7 was very light for both pregnancies. Kate only made a single (public) appearance in May of 2012, pictured, and three in February of 2015.



Month 8: June/George & March HRH#2

Her final month before withdrawing from the public to prepare for the arrival, the 8th month was light on engagements in 2013, but packed in March of 2014. Again, it seemed Kate was far more comfortable this time. Also, there was a lot more to prepare when pregnant with George.  Now, the nursery is ready, the Moses basket has already been bought, and she has a nanny. It is probably less hectic Chez Cambridge. We saw most recycles in the 8th month, including the Hobbs Dalmatian Macintosh!



Month 9: July/George & April/HRH#2

Kate disappeared after the 2013 Trooping and was not seen until she appeared on the steps of the Lindo Wing holding George--over a month since her previous appearance. Presently, the Royal Baby Watch is in full swing, as the barriers went up outside the Lindo Wing several days ago. The next time we see Kate, she'll be holding a new prince or princess. 




Not to wander down a side-street, but were you all surprised by the pieces Kate chose to recycle? She had a number of options from her first pregnancy, and we even saw her recycle within the second pregnancy closet! Several readers have asked we do a poll, but in keeping with the angle of this post, I would like to know which ensemble was your favorite, but also, which piece you would have liked to have seen get a Royal Recycle. Since we are considering everything form both pregnancies, I am not going to add them here. If you want to review, pop over to Kate's Clothes Browse page, click the maternity button, and then click filter. Once you know what you like, tweet me at @HRHKateBlog, email me at princesskateblog@gmail.com, or leave a comment. I will tally it all up after the weekend, so you have some time to think! 

Kate's Clothes Filter Option

Last item...what will Kate name the baby! I don't know. I thought that she would have a girl the first time around, and I was 100% certain the name would be Alexandra. My thinking was that Kate is very traditional, but she has an edgy, modern side, too. I think Alexandra covers both bases! I know some of you have mentioned that George's middle name is Alexander, and this does make me think Alexandra is less likely. Nevertheless, I have not ruled it out. The bookies are often right--they predicted George--and I think Alice is a very real possibility. I wondered about Mary, because I think that Mary of Teck was such a cool queen, but George and Mary would be a little too Downton Abbey-ish, no? I can't decide about Elizabeth. I could make an argument either way, but if I were forced to choose, I would have to bet against Elizabeth. I feel like somewhere, maybe not the first name, we will get a nod to the Middleton side of the family. Charlotte is both a regal name, and Pippa's middle name. Giving a girl Frances as a middle name could be a nod to both Diana and to Michael Middleton, but it might be a little too old-fashioned. I don't know. I think Kate has a generous selection of beautiful, traditional family names that could serve as a tribute to both sides. Frankly, that strengthens the argument for Elizabeth. I would love Victoria... This is becoming a stream consciousness. :) What do you think?! We haven't even considered a boy, and many think it will be a boy, but I will opine on that on Monday Funday. 

Looking forward to your votes coming in! Happy weekend! 

Kate's April 14th: Heartbreak & Happiness

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It is April 14th. Kate's last official public appearance was on March 27th when, with William by her side, she undertook number of appearances in her "cerise" Mulberry coat. Today, signs were placed outside the Lindo Wing prohibiting parking until the 30th of the month, almost assuring us that the second child of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will arrive before the end of the month. Just yesterday, new photos emerged of Kate playing with George among the haystacks of a Norfolk children's play park. The former Kate Middleton was the picture of happy and content motherhood as she cradled her adorable son in her arms, and helped him up the steep slides. Incidentally, eight years ago--I can't believe I just wrote that--eight years ago on this day, the headline on William and Kate was breaking hearts around the world, and most of all, the heart of a certain Miss Kate Middleton. It was on April 14, 2007 it was confirmed that HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Middleton has indeed ended their relationship:



The tension had been building. After graduation from St. Andrews, William and Kate had struggled to adjust to life under the intense lens of public scrutiny. With the grace period the press had granted the heir to the throne while he pursued his degree having expired, Wills and Kate were subjected to almost constant "surveillance". William, who had not planned to commit to a relationship for many years, was particularly floundering. I have never faulted William for this hesitancy. Preconceived prejudices about relationships, particularly the date at which one can or should commit, can have very strong impacts on real scenarios. Given his particularly troubled background, his reluctance to commit to anyone so young was understandable, and possibly even prudent. Nevertheless, it left our favorite, and oh, so faithful royal girlfriend vulnerable. 



The couple's appearance at Cheltenham is now iconic. Their distant body language and Kate's occasionally glum face sparked immediate speculation in the press that all was not well in the royal paradise. Regrettably, although these kinds of hypotheses are often fabricated, this was an instance when the media had picked up the correct scent. 


Over the ensuing months, Kate and William did some very obvious soul searching. In the engagement interview, Kate remarked on her time away from William, reflecting that although she hadn't been happy about it, she had grown in character and in personal strength. She certainly didn't shy from her own personal battle to remind William that she was special and worth the struggle:


Kate really poured herself into self-improvement and into PR. Never once did she shrink from the harsh limelight, as the world waited for her to crack under the pressure of her public heart break. 


Like magnets inevitably drawn together, William and Kate couldn't stay apart. Facing a future in which Kate was not a factor, William returned to woo his princess back. While her mega-watt smile during the break-up was brave, the genuine joy she exuded after their reconciliation still melts my heart:


Life is a funny thing. One day it feels like you can't go on, and a year later, you are king of the world. April 14, 2007 must have been one of the darkest days of Kate's life, but she stayed the course. Almost an exact year later, April 11, 2008, she was glowing next to her prince as he graduated from flight school:


In April of 2011, she lit up the planet in a custom gown by Alexander McQueen as she immortalized the fairly-tale romance in lavish Westminster Abbey wedding to Prince William:


In April of 2013, she was expectantly waiting the birth of her first child:


On April 14th of 2014 she was on a blockbuster tour of New Zealand and Australia with her achingly adorable toddler son and doting spouse:



Eight years ago, the world boomed with the news that Prince William had dumped his commoner girlfriend and was at last free, while somewhere, in a quiet flat in London, Kate struggled to hold her crumbling world together. Today, a sign went up outside the exclusive Lindo Wing of St. Mary's hospital, excluding parking in front of the building in anticipation of the arrival of the second child of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. 

@_mio

Eight years. Today, Kate is on top of the world.  Thank goodness that after the storm comes the rainbow, after the dark of night, there is always the dawn.  xoxo, Jane


Don't forget to check out my new website, The Encyclopedia of Kate's Clothes! The Duchess's wardrobe searchable by designer, type, color, event, charity and more! www.KatesClothes.com



New Pictures of Kate Playing With George at Snettisham Park

Monday, April 13, 2015

Good-Morning! We have a really fun surprise today. Kate and George are pictured in this month's New Idea magazine playing at Snettisham Park in Norfolk. Similar to the Bucklebury Farm Park, they have lambs to feed, and "hayrides" that tour visitors past the various deer and animals that live at the park. These photos were found and shared by British Heir Monarchy. I have posted a few of my favorites, but you can see the full album at the Facebook page here.



George looks so much like Pippa to me. I have noticed it before, but the resemblance does not appear to be fading. It is amazing! The article said:
Witnesses tell New Idea that George--without a hint of shyness--made a beeline for the sandpit, drawn by not only the prospect of a toy tractor to ride, but the company of a clutch of girl playmates. 
So, maybe there is a touch of Uncle Harry there, too. :) The piece goes on to discuss how George was quickly the center of attention and that Kate urged him to interact and play with the other children. I imagine that these frequent trips to the farm parks are both for the two to enjoy the animals and activities, but also for George to meet and mingle with other youngsters.  Kate encouraged George to match animal noises. 
"It goes clippety-clop, clippety-clop," she prompted him at the sight of the horse. A beaming George threw back his head and squealed, "Neigh!", and the other children laughed in delight. 
I think he is a little prince who relishes an audience. 



The mystery here is, who took the photos. My initial guess was a long lens, because the quality is relatively good, but Kate and George do not seem aware of the camera. or do not seem to care.



I asked Niraj Tanna, and he said he thinks they are cellphone shots:


If that is the case, it opens up an entirely new question. Who could take so many clear phone snaps, so close to Kate and George and not be waved off by the three PPOs she had in tow, or catch irritated looks from the Duchess? It's a heated (but friendly) debate! It may just be Kate is used to being photographed, and recognizes it is almost inevitable in a situation that this. Maybe it was a child/teen the PPOs left alone? Snettisham Park shared the photos on their Facebook page, which surprised me. Certainly a different response than Bucklebury Farm Park's reaction when a photo surfaced of Kate there...

2014 Visit to Bucklebury Farm Park


Kate stayed warm in a quilted jacket from Barbour, I think. Kate has worn is before, and I think it is an early version of the Quilted Beadnell. It is almost identical to their current Beadnell, although the flaps on the pockets are rounded on Kate's, and squared on contemporary versions. Also, Kate's coat has tabs at the back, but I can't determine tabs on the new version. Most other elements are the same. The coat also comes as a waxed jacket, which is also very similar. If you have more info, definitely weigh in!

It seems she is wearing a gingham blouse under the coat, and of course, she wore her olive Le Chameau boots and put her hair in a pony. Hopefully, we will see George very soon, on his way to visit his new sibling! 

Kate Spotted Driving Her Range Rover With Prince George

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hello all! I am playing hookie from Kate's Clothes, where I should be working to fix spelling errors and grammar. Gosh, do you know about that around here! ;) Hey, sometimes, it truly is autocorrect!  During the April tour last year, my Mac kept changing absailing to assailing. I double-checked a million times, and still my sneaky computer posted that post with "assailing" for the world to see. Humility...it is bitter medicine, as my Pilates teacher would say. On to Kate the Great! A new candid has emerged and I loved it so much I had to dash over and share.





Ashley at Kate & Pippa Style found this on Instagram. It was just posted today, although the man, who says he snapped it from his office window, took it last week! That prompts the obvious question, what took him so long to post? Boys. But, better late than never.  This is such an awesome shot, particularly as you can see Prince George looking out the window behind Kate!

I love all photos of Kate where she is doing something normal, so this was such a fun shot! We don't often get snaps of Kate driving herself, but it is so charming to see her, like any mum, at the wheel with George-Cutie-Pants in the back seat. This made my day--I hope it makes yours, too!

Ok, this was a short post, but I should be back tomorrow with something a little more in line with our normal fare. The new site has definitely thrown my schedule a little, but balance will be found. Thanks for your patience here and over there! 

Introducing The New Website: Welcome, Kate's Clothes!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In January, I promised you all a special surprise that would be released on the Duchess's birthday, and as several of you noted in the weeks following, I didn't come through on that promise. I am so excited today to say that the surprise is at last here!



I am launching a brand new website dedicated to our favorite Princess. A year ago this month, William and Kate were just starting their tour of New Zealand and Australia. In the long (wonderful) days that followed, sleep deprivation and perhaps too much coffee, made my brain a little fuzzy at times. While I can usually recognize any piece Kate has worn, in addition to knowing where she has worn it and when, I was having some memory lapses that month! I realized that as time marched on, it would be harder and harder to remember everything precisely.  Kate's Clothes is a tool I needed to build to keep track of everything the Duchess has worn, and I decided, why not share it with everyone? So, we made what I think of as a bit of a playground for those of us who really love to know the little details about Kate's fashion. As my creative outlet, and the forum in which I can interact with all of you, From Berkshire to Buckingham will always remain my "flagship." I won't be giving up the ship. Nothing has changed here.


You will notice that the website is not entirely polished in every corner. There are some glitches we are still working through, and I have been a little underwater on this end, so not all her ensembles are fully loaded. But, I decided that rather than wait any longer, I would get this out so you can start using and enjoying it. Besides, today is April 9th, which is the day Henry V--one of my favorite kings-- was coronated. I thought it was as good a date as any. Make sure you follow the new website on Facebook here, on Twitter here, and on Instagram here.

Without further ado, why don't you pop over to Kate's Clothes and get squinted.

The Great Kate Wait; Racholly Disc Pendant; THE Surprise!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Good-evening! I am going to buzz through a few comments here, because as you will see at the end of the post, I am a bit preoccupied tonight with that surprise I have been promising, but first... The Great Kate Wait is underway, although, not with quite the intensity that we saw in 2013. Before George's birth, the media began the stake-out in the very first day of July. In an attempt to lesson the tension, the Palace has prohibited the vigil to begin until mid-April. Tomorrow, Kensington Palace will brief the media (and the rest of us) with more particulars. Hard as it is to believe, we are just a little over a weekend away from mid-month. Baby Cambridge #2 is getting close!


Recently, Rachel of Racholly Jewelry contacted me about some of her repliKate pieces. The jewelry market really has a lot of different options out there for those who love the Duchess's style, which is why I was particularly intrigued by the piece Rachel had chosen to repliKate. She has recreated Kate's disc pendant from the youth barbecue in Canada. I don't think a lot of people think of this piece. That one event was the only time we have ever seen the necklace and there are no details on it. We don't know who made it, how long Kate has had it...nothing. 



I think it is a piece that falls by the wayside in Kate's busy jewelry box. Rachel sent me one of her necklaces and I wore it for a day, and I really liked it! Kate seems to like jewelry with trinitarian symbolism, and there is a certain mystery around this necklace. Why had we not seen it before, or since? Where did she get it? Who gave it to her? While I don't know Kate's personal connection to her piece, I thought the necklace from Rachel was flattering, just bold enough to make a statement while remaining relatively understated. 


I wore it with a simple black jersey (an Issa inspired repliKate from Banana Republic) dress and a plunging neckline. The gold against the black really made the necklace pop. Racholly offers several other repliKate pieces, but I certainly can wholeheartedly recommend this one

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Ok. Last topic to discuss... In January I promised you a surprise, a promise it has taken me months to make good on, but at last, I am able to say that, for better or worse, the surprise is at hand. The project is a new website, which I hope you will absolutely love (in keeping with the theme of this post--expectations met and exceeded?) as much as I have loved creating it.  



Depending on how late I stay up tonight, we will be launching earlier or later tomorrow--pray my coffee keeps me strong! :)  In the meantime, follow the new website on Twitter here, on Facebook here, and on Instagram here so you don't miss a moment when we launch tomorrow!  Can't wait; see you then!!

xoxo, Jane