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Jenny Packham and Hobbs for Kate as She Presents at Place2Be's Wellbeing in School Awards

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tonight was the first ever Wellbeing in School Awards hosted by Place2Be. Kate didn't have far to travel, though, as she made her way from her private quarters at Apartment 1A to the magnificent State Apartments. 



The State Apartments underwent significant renovation just a few years ago and they are sumptuous. 

Historic Royal Palaces
The King's Staircase is museum-worthy, which is good, since that is essentially what the State Apartments are:

Kensington Palace Facebook
You may recall that shortly after giving birth to George, Kate attended another charity event in the State Apartments, when she was on hand to support the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala. She wore an inky blue Jenny Packham gown with black velvet and suede accessories. 



This evening, Kate arrived around 6:30pm, as anticipated, and chatted with guests and nominees. PA reporter Ryan Hooper commented that Kate's commitment was clear as she made a point of trying to speak to as many people as she could. 



Victoria Murphy from The Mirror tweeted throughout the evening, including this shot of the Benita Refson, Place2Be's Chief Executive, waiting for Kate at the head of the stairs, Kate's arrival, and a shot where the blue of the skirt is a little more apparent:

Via @QueenVicMirror
Place2Be helps children in primary and secondary schools with a host of social issues, including bullying, family neglect, bereavement and more. Obviously, these are all areas of keen interest to the Duchess. Many of her charities work in these areas of need. Kate has been patron of Place2Be since 2013, and you may recall that almost a year ago to the day, she visited a Place2Be Forum on emotional health and mental resilience in schools. At the forum, Kate attended seminars on cyber-bullying and the damage of sexting. She even stayed longer than scheduled to hear more information:



If I may take a slight detour--Kate was pitching-in for Place2Be before she became become an HRH. On September 17, 2008, Kate was the co-host of an 80's themed Day-Glo disco party that raised money for a children's hospital and Place2Be. Good memories... Guy Pelly, Beatrice and Dave, (I just realized how long THOSE two have been dating! When are we going to have an announcement?) Holly Branson, Pippa and more were all in attendance. It was a benefit night of laughter and fun.


This was after the couple had so publicly split in 2007, and the disco wasn't the only thing glowing that night.  Kate was obviously solidly slated to be Mrs. William Wales...it was a matter of when, not if. The press knew, we knew, Kate knew...She was back to stay; the permanent, primary princess of the party. While some papers ran the pictures of her tumbles from her roller blades as a drawback for a future Queen, it showed what is still true today. Kate is easy-going and good-natured, and always willing to throw herself into events that highlight the causes close to her heart. We saw it in 2008, we see saw it tonight. 



Back to the present...



The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was wearing the Invitation Emilia blouse, by Hobbs, and described on the website thus:
Sheer elegance sums up the stunning Emilia top from our Invitation range. Black textured crepe forms a figure-flattering shape and the embroidered polka dot design lends this a little alluring appeal, making it perfect for that special occasion. Team it with a pencil skirt for a retro feel.

Hobbs Invitation "Emilia" Blouse
Kate paired it with a deep, satin-sheened Jenny Packham skirt from what appears to be the Fall 2013 RTW, which incidentally is the same collection in which her ink blue gown appeared. This marks a first, I think. I can't think of a time Kate has worn a Jenny Packham skirt. 

Jenny Packham Fall 2013 RTW

(Interestingly, when Kate attended the Place2Be forum, she also mixed two designers with her skirt and top, that time Max Mara and Orla Kiely.) 

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Kate accessorized with her McQueen belt, Jimmy Choo heels (I believe) and Temple of Heaven girandole earrings from Cassandra Goad.  The belt is the only element that confuses me a little. It seems too substantial and clunky for evening wear. A more delicate suede band that complemented the polka dots would have made me a little happier, but in all in all it didn't detract much.

Cassandra Goad/Splash

The sweetheart neckline with the sheer paneling gave the look an evening appeal, while the polka dots added a festive quality. Kate does love polka dots. We have chatted about this before, but every time she wears them, I smile. Consciously or unconsciously, she obviously gravitates toward them. 

Splash/Splash/Splash

I love blue and black together. They are two colors you were always told not to mix, which makes it all the more fun when you do...successfully. Kate is very talented at putting the two together flawlessly. 



The skirt is a similar hue to the Jenny P evening gown, which if it is indeed the 2013 RTW, would make sense. Tonight is the same color combo she did with the Packham evening gown, just with a more casual vibe:



It is a win...I was prepping for an almost miss, but I shouldn't have doubted the Duchess. She was impeccably turned out and just radiant. I always love events where Kate interacts with children. She lights up and shines. It was a great night for the Kate, the kids, and Place2Be.



William's Angry Birds Initiative and a Peek Inside KP?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014




As we descend into a frenzy of excitement over William and Kate's upcoming visit to New York City and Washington, D.C. let's take a closer look at the primary raison d'être of their visit. The couple are coming to boost the newly organized initiative United for Wildlife, of which William is President.   United For Wildlife was launched by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and is an alliance of sorts between seven major wildlife conservation organizations. They have also collected an impressive array of sport stars as ambassadors including David Beckham, Andy Murray, and Ben Ainslie.




Much of William's recent charity activity has been focused on United for Wildlife. On Monday, Prince William released a video plea for the animals that are currently endangered or close to endangered and announced a collaboration with the Angry Birds Game. A new Angry Birds tournament focuses on one particular endangered creature, the Pangolin. FYI: the Pangolin is not to be confused with the Penguin...at all. 


My own iPhone has only one game and that game is Doodle Jump, but I may now have to make Angry Birds the second game on the phone...to save the Pangolin.



To move onto a lighter topic related to this video's launch...the location. We were just talking about the designer that Kate worked with on Anmer Hall, but today we may have gotten a bit of a peek into the interior of Kensington Palace, an interior design job of equal interest that we have also not seen. If you recall, when William and Kate released their pre-tour picture with George and Lupo, It was shot from outside as they sat in a window of Kensington Palace. Below is that photo cropped on the front page of the Daily Mail, but you can see the full shot here


While it was certainly a lovely and relaxed portrait, with a creative angle, I hypothesized at that time that they may have also been maintaining their privacy. We had all hoped to get a little peek at the interior of KP, but they cleverly side-stepped the peek. You can't shoot everything from the window, though, and in William's Angry Birds video it seems we are seeing what might be an office space in the Cambridges's home. 



The desk in the background is quite unique. It is one of only three made by Linley (David Linley, the son of Princess Margaret) in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.


The first desk celebrates the 60 year reign of Her Majesty The Queen and is known as The Diamond Jubilee Desk. This desk will be auctioned later this year to raise funds for The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and proceeds will go to one of the key areas of focus supported by the Foundation.
By all descriptions, the desk is a work of exquisite craftsmanship and detail. The replica of the Horse Guards on the top of the desk has a practical aspect as well:


The building provides the main gallery of the desk which sits atop eight Doric column legs. Gold plated beading and satinwood stringing highlight the desk which houses a further nine drawers including three secret ones. For each of three desks that will be made, the marquetry depictions tell a different story.
DavidLinley.com
I am not expert enough to tell if the desk behind William is the desk for auction, or if it is one of the other two desks for his own personal use. While the prominent placement in the video could indicate it will be the auctioned piece, it could just as easily be a piece William wanted to have. David Linley is his father's first-cousin and Linley's daughter, Margarita, was a bridesmaid in William's wedding. For a fun piece on Linley and this desk, see here. Below, William and his cousin Peter walk with Margarita on Christmas morning 2006.



All in all, a meager peak, but we will have to take what we can get for the time being. Don't forget, we are seeing Kate tomorrow night as she attends the awards event for Place2Be!


Look-back: The Royal Engagement on November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The morning of November 16, 2010 dawned like any other day, but it wasn't any other day. The air was crisp with the impending winter and the capital was busy with the early buzz of holiday shoppers. Just off the Mall, Clarence House looked stately and silent from the outside, but inside was a madhouse of activity. A huge announcement was about to be made, an announcement for which the public had been waiting and hoping years. Almost a full month after their secret proposal in Kenya, William and Kate were at last ready to break the news to the waiting world. Rumors that the two were secretly engaged had been swirling for several weeks, and while engagement rumors plagued the couple since their graduation from St Andrews, this time some members of the press felt they had a little more to go on. After their return from Kenya, William and Kate had attended the wedding of close friends Harry Meade and Rosie Bradford. Rather than entering the church separately or through a side door, the couple happily swept pass the waiting photographers, smiling confidently side-by-side. Many hypothesized the two looked to be sharing a secret, and plenty were confident they could guess what that secret was:



William and Kate had broken the news in person to Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, then William's private secretary, and now one of George's godparents. The Clarence House staff had  only a matter of hours to pull together the announcement and brace for the coming media madness that would ensue. The palace broke the news on Twitter, confirming that William had asked Kate to marry him:


The press release read as follows:
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.

The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.

Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father.

Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.
Kate's life was instantaneously changed. While the day had been years in coming, the hubbub and media attention something she had been acclimating to for some time, nothing could fully prepare her for the frenzy. Her lifestyle was immediately and permanently altered as Clarence House put in a call to Scotland Yard requesting a security detail for the royal fiancée.



Once the news broke, the couple had to prep for the photo-call they would hold in the late afternoon at St. James's Palace, but more proximately, the two had to sit down with ITN's Tom Bradby for a engagement interview that would air later in the evening. Kate had chosen to wear her favorite label at the time, Issa. She stayed entirely true to her style on this pivotal day, wearing the wrap dress for which she was so well known, and asking her hair-stylist for "the usual" blowout. 




Bradby said in interviews (about THE interview) later that Kate was quite nervous, but took it all in her stride. The couple wanted to be open and share their joy, while at the same time walking that thin line between public and personal details. They both did remarkably well.



As the three worked on the interview, the world-media scrambled to get TV presenters and reporters to London. In leafy Berkshire, Michael and Carole Middleton made a brief appreaence for the press outside their Bucklebury home. 



The glowing parents-of-the-bride were visibly thrilled with the final release of the happy news, as Michael read his statement to the cameras and the world:
I would just like to say that Carole and I are absolutely delighted by today's announcement and thrilled at the prospect of a wedding some time next year. As you know Catherine and Prince William have been going out together for quite a number of years which has been great for us because we have got to know William very well. We all think he is wonderful and we are extremely fond of him. They make a lovely couple, they are great fun to be with, and we've had a lot of laughs together. We wish them every happiness for the future.
This is a raw video of the couple outside their home, giving the statement, and doing the photo-session. It is fantastically intimate view of Michael and Carole, and one we don't often get. I love the dynamic between the two. Michael is obviously an understated tease, as he obviously keeps Carole at ease with almost a bit of flirtation. He is so impressive. Carole is genuine, lovely, and chatty as she  does her best to make people comfortable. It's an awkward scenario at the best of times. These two aren't professionals, they don't work in front of a camera. People imagine it is easy, that it is no different than when a camera is not present, but it is different. Working in front of a camera is a skill and it takes practice to be relaxed and natural. That's why there are professional models and amateurs--and there is a significant difference between the two. These two both did extraordinarily well for first-timers. Bravo Mike and Carole!




By 4:30pm, the press had gathered in the lavish and imposing throne room at St. James's Palace and eagerly waited for the future Prince and Princess William of Wales to make their appearance. As the door opened, William and Kate, grinning broadly, strode into the room. 


They were overwhelmed by a barrage of high-speed cameras clicking and the flashes blindingly popping. It was just a foretaste of the world-wide hysteria to come. (See video here.) William can be pretty introverted and private about his "feelings", but every now and again we catch him. :) 



It had to have been one of the most adrenaline and emotionlly-charged days of the couple's relationship, but it wasn't over for Kate. With only months to put together the wedding of the decade, the bride-to-be had to get planning quickly. Bundled up in her iconic Kate Middleton white Reiss coat, she paid a discreet visit to Westminster Abbey. She only had a few options for the venue, and in many respects St. Paul's was probably never really on the table because of the association with Charles' and Diana's wedding, the last wedding of this magnitude in the BRF. Westminster had the upper hand from the start.



William and Kate's engagement marked a very healthy renaissance for the royal family. Unhappily for everyone, the Wales's marriage that began with so much excitement and global anticipation, publicly disintegrated, and in the process, dealt the monarchy as an institution some very rough blows. While the royals were able to mend and heal, moving forward over the past fifteen years, on November 16, 2010, there was no doubt Kate Middleton, by William's side, was about to usher in a new era for this royal family.  Westminster Abbey, with its rich royal history spanning back to its inception in the mid-10th century, was the appropriate building to host this historic wedding.  

Westminster Abbey Facebook
A day that had started so commonly had certainly been sprinkled with some royal pixie-dust. The excitement was just beginning, too, as the entire world geared up for the televised wedding slated for April 29, 2011. William and Kate were planning to release official engagement photos, the couple were to undertake a tour of the United Kingdom, and of course...what would Kate wear? Most of all, none of us, including Kate, could wait for Miss Middleton to step into Westminster and officially become our Princess! 


A very Happy Sunday and Happy Royal Engagement Day to you all! 

William and Kate Confirm They Will Visit new York City & Washington, D.C.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Get excited, America! I know you already are... Kensington Palace has confirmed that William and Kate will travel to the United States to visit New York City. While it will be cold, the Christmas season is a pretty magical time to visit New York.



The visit will take place between the 7th and the 9th of December. The couple have a packed schedule, and remarkably, will cover a wide range of their charitable endeavors and organizations. Wildlife conservation is a huge element of the trip, but Kate's work with children, and the couple's involvement with their Alma Mater, St. Andrews, are both getting time in the spotlight. Let's run through the itinerary via Kensington Palace:
The Duke and Duchess will arrive in New York on Sunday 7th December and will attend a private engagement on behalf of the American Friends of The Royal Foundation that evening.
Kate has never been to New York, so this is a very exciting trip for the Duchess. While it is relatively easy for Kate to slip away to a private tropical island, it is much harder for a royal of her prominence to enjoy crowded cities, where her celebrity-status could easily cause a mad-house on the streets. An official trip nicely allows her to promote her charities while experiencing America's largest city for the first time. 

U.S. Capitol Dome 


On Monday the 8th, William will pop down to Washington, D.C.:
On Monday 8th December, The Duke will travel to Washington DC, while The Duchess remains in New York. His Royal Highness will attend an anti-corruption conference at the World Bank to discuss a zero tolerance approach to the transportation across borders of illegal wildlife parts. This is a key area of work for the United For Wildlife consortium, of which The Duke is President. The Duke will also attend a working lunch at the World Bank at which a number of programmes in support of the fight against the illegal trade in ivory will be discussed.
While William is in Washington, Kate will be in New York on solo engagements:
Her Royal Highness will be accompanied by The First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, on a visit to a local child development centre. They will learn about how this organization fosters the healthy development of children and families by providing high-quality mental health and educational services, which is an issue strongly supported by The First Lady. Her Royal Highness will also attend a lunch, hosted by the British Consul General in New York, to celebrate the achievements of a successful British community in New York from the culture, arts, hospitality and business sectors.
William will return to New York for a reception which Kate is not booked to attend. It is unclear if she will still be busy with her second engagement, but since her second engagement is a lunch, and William has lunch in Washington, I would imagine that Kate either has something private she has planned for this time-block, or that she will simply be resting. We have seen that Kate's pregnancy has caused her to flag a little with a full-schedule, so she may need time off for their busy night.



After his reception, William will be joined by Kate again, and the two will attend an NBA basketball game. This will be a fun night for the two, but it also has charity connections, since the NBA is partnering with the Royal Foundation and United for Wildlife. 

Tuesday the 8th, the couple will undertake two joint engagements. The first is concerned with their  personal and mutual involvement with youth and inner city children:
On Tuesday 9th December The Duke and Duchess will visit a youth organisation to see the work they carry out in partnership with an inner city youth development foundation. Both organisations focus on programmes and projects that promote positive youth development and social learning. During the visit, The Duke and Duchess will learn about the wide-ranging support services on offer to young people to help them reach their potential, particularly through an arts-in-education model that supports the artistic and intellectual development of the participants.
 The second will be an engagement in their capacity as representatives of Great Britain:
The Duke and Duchess will then attend an event celebrating the wealth of British talent in the creative industries based in New York. The reception will be in association with the UK Government's GREAT campaign. The Duke will also attend a technology themed event, hosted by a New York-headquartered technology company, which will bring together entrepreneurs from both the UK and the US.
William will attend another reception for technology advancement alone, again, this seems to be a block of time set aside for Kate to rest and prepare for the final event of the trip.

William and Kate will close their visit to New York with the event to which I am most looking forward. The royal couple will attend a fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As you may know, this is a very prestigious and glamorous venue for high-dollar benefits and dress-code is usually elegant and long. I would bank on the Duchess debuting something dazzling. 
The final engagement of the visit will be the University of St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The evening event will support scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, new student sports facilities in St Andrews, investment in the university's medical and science faculties and a lectureship in American Literature at St. Andrews. 
The press release also makes mention of a visit to Ground Zero, now One World Trade Center. This isn't specifically placed in the itinerary, perhaps for security concerns.   
During the visit, The Duke and Duchess will also visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks of 26th February 1993 and 11th September 2001. Their Royal Highnesses will learn how the site, which includes the recently-opened One World Trade Center, has been redeveloped and the plans for its future.
Several people have asked why George is not going, and I think the quick answer is that this is a business trip, not a tour. The vibe is different, there are no events where he would appropriately be present. Furthermore, for a three-day trip, it would really throw the poor little guy off his schedule, and add strain to Kate as well. So, I think little Prince Chubby-Cheeks will probably be in Bucklebury for a few days. 


Kate Sets Heads Spinning in DVF For Royal Variety Performance

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I have to start this entire post by saying: WOW! Wow, wow, wow. I was going to begin by discussing the Royal Variety Performance, but this dress has wiped all thoughts beyond it out of my head. Kate stepped out of the car tonight in a brand new Diane von Fürstenberg evening gown and her hair pulled back in a glamorous up-do. I think the members of the Kate-world went briefly out of their heads before erupting into lavish praise. Which is pretty much what this blog post will be...


It seemed very, very likely that Kate would wear a new dress for tonight's performance.  The event is quite important. William and Kate were attending the annual performance as representatives of the Monarch. Elizabeth II is the usual guest, but at times a senior royal will represent her. She has traded off with the Prince of Wales in recent years. This should have been a year she attended, but instead sent the Duke and Duchess in her stead. It is quite an honor. So, a new dress is an appropriate tribute to this royal nod.


My socks are knocked off, as I have already amply expressed. Frankly, (considering formal wear since her wedding) an evening gown has not solidly stunned me like this since she attended the "Our Greatest Team Rises" in that unendingly glamorous Jenny Packham. That was her best royal evening gown of all time. Tonight is certainly a strong contender and easily makes my SuperStar-Look list.


Everything about this ensemble is picture-perfect. Her hair is luxuriously coiffed in a soft chignon., make-up and jewelry are flawlessly chosen. Hair really shouldn't be underestimated in the dynamics of this evening's appearance. Sometimes, leaving her hair loose is perfect with an evening dress, but tonight, this up-do added the needed finishing touch to make the entire ensemble gloriously explode. It also enabled us a clear view of the additional elements that give the look polish: namely these striking Kiki McDonough earrings:


Habibah Haque was outside the Palladium to see William and Kate. She told me: "Kate is so beautiful in person! No photograph has ever done her cheekbones justice. Her skin was glowing and her dress was phenomenally elegant! Her dress had a V-cut in the back and her back was so perfect! Her hair was so sleek. And William is so tall too!" Those cheek bones ar pretty fabulous in pictures, so i can only imagine! This was a pretty good appearance to enjoy live!



Reader Dawn M pointed out the similarity in style between this dress and the white McQueen we only got a hint of when Kate was driven the the diplomats' reception. Tonight's dress looked navy in the glare of camera flashes when she first emerged from the car, but is quite clearly black now that the hi-res photos are examined. I think I would have loved this even more in navy, but William and Kate are quite striking in matching black. 



As mentioned, Kate was wearing the striking DVF "Zarita" dress, which is sold out in almost all venues by now, but originally retailed at around $800.

my-theresa.com


Ok, quickly to the event. The Royal Variety Performance is an annual gala event that benefits the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund. The Monarch or a senior member of the royal family, is always in attendance. It has been taking place since King George V and Queen Mary attended the original performance in 1912, a fundraiser to build a home for aged performers. In 1919, the Royal Variety Performance, billed as such, took place as a "'celebration of peace' and, as the official announcement expressed it, 'had been commanded by the King to show his appreciation of the generous manner in which artistes of the variety stage had helped the numerous funds connected with the War'", according to the EABF's website.  It is a staple of the royal calendar.



Victoria Murphy from The Mirror shared a snap of Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife waiting on the steps of the Palladium, waiting to greet William and Kate:

@QueenVicMirror
In the foyer, William and Kate met some of the performers, including boy band sensation One Direction. This /is probably the first and last time I will have a Harry Styles picture on my blog...or my computer, for that matter, but..royal-watching is broadening. :)


As always, there is usually a joke about the attending royal incorporated into the performance. Tonight, Kate was ribbed lightly be a former schoolmate, comedian Jack Whitehall. The laughs-man made reference to his mother's disappointment that he had not married Kate himself, calling her the "one that got away." Speaking of the man who didn't let her get away, Prince William was looking pretty. darn. good. And yes, those are his velvet slippers loafers, which cause much disagreement in the fashion community. I stand with the fans. I love them.



Our favorite Parents-of-the-Princess were also on hand to watch their daughter's debut at The Royal Variety Performance. It seems Kate and Carole were in cahoots on the dress code. Flanked by the ever dapper Mike, Carole was also sporting a flattering black dress with lace embellishment.



This was an incredible appearance. William and Kate are junior/senior royals, because the Queen's longevity (for which we are all thankful) means that there is a slightly odd situation. William and Kate are pivotal senior members of the BRF, but also remain still a ways down the line of royal succession. Tonight, Kate looked every inch the princess that she is. Nights like these are a little peek into the future when they will have truly become the two most prestigious royals in the world: the King and Queen of England. Stunning, entirely stunning. A hearty round of applause to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Don't forget, one of the Dress Like the Duchess specials, Centime, is still offering the discount to FBTB readers with code HRHKate. The 20% discount is good through this Saturday, the 15th. 

Centime repliKates

The delicate silver jewelry makers have several repliKates including Kate's cipher bracelet and her Asprey charm necklace. The cipher bracelet is fantastic...but, make sure you order the lobster clasp, as my T-clasp sometimes slips off.


James Middleton Interviewed On Good Morning America!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This morning, James Middleton appeared on ABC's Good Morning America! (If you are just now popping in for your Kate-fix, the report on her afternoon appearance at SportsAid is here.) First they aired a pre-taped interview, idyllically filmed while wandering through Central Park, while passersby snapped candids, and then switched to the live studio where James and his business partner Andy Bell, were on hand to have a quick chat.

Andy and James
www.boomf.com


As I have said before, I firmly believe that Kate and the Palace have signed off on the Middleton siblings pursuing opportunity in America. If Pippa and James were causing strain at the Palace, that would cause strain on Kate, if Kate felt tension between the Palace and her family, that would not be conducive to the happy family-life we know the Middletons enjoy. While the Palace may not have been the first to suggest this, and the Palace may not be overjoyed, I believe it is an arrangement they all have been able to see their ways clear to agreeing about. 

This is supported by a relatively obvious scope to the interviews. Both Pippa and James actually revealed very little about their personal lives or about Kate and the royal family. Both interviews focused on the Royal Wedding and their emotions on the big day. In fact, they both used the same description: it felt like it was an intimate family affair. Both made reference to how close they are as a family and to Kate--phone calls and chats, etc. When asked how Kate was feeling, James deflected by just mentioning that, yes, indeed, Kate had been suffering from HG, but is now starting to recover. Not breaking news, kids. This wasn't some kiss-and-tell-all. 

They did, however, each add personal details beyond the wedding. Pippa chatted about the hubbub over her Pilates-perfect body, as well as "opening-up" on the impact of the press's negativity. They obviously have certain parameters inside of which they can be creative, and outside of which they won't go. I imagine that as long as those boundaries are carefully maintained, the Palace and Kate are on board.

I actually very much enjoyed this interview, and I am pretty sure a whole lot of other Americans (and our neighbors across the Pond) did, too; which seems to be the entire point of the exercise. James took the opportunity to declare his ambition to be the "cool uncle, the fun uncle" to George.  I laughed out loud when he said this, after all, George only has two uncles, James and...



Oh yes, Prince Harry!


I am not mocking James's here, just pointing out that one could have taken this GMA interview as the official moment the gauntlet was good-naturedly thrown. I am sure Harry will pick it up with the same happy-humor and poor Kate will spend the next 18 years trying to deal with the consequences.  His own parents would be the first to admit that George is charmingly predisposed to be a handful:



James has already shown he knows how to come up with creative fun and has made himself pretty popular thanks to a precious pet. He revealed that Kate's (and William's) beloved Lupo was his gift to the royal couple on their marriage. A detail that was actually really interesting.


I recall at the time we knew the dog was from a litter born to the Middletons, and James has an obviously close Lupo-relative as his own pet. The Princess and her sibling have been spotted walking the two dogs in Kensington Park together:

via Jocelyn Laidlaw

Both Pippa and James have received flak for what many claim as cashing in on their royal connections. I think the Middletons have been incredibly discreet and respectful of Kate's royal title and their own sudden celebrity as a result. The sad fact is that because their sister fell in love with and married the future king of England, all their lives were dramatically effected. The opportunity to live normal lives is virtually non-existent. Even if they wished to live quietly and "make it on their own" that would be almost impossible! Any kind of advancement they find could be put down to their royal connections. One of Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating books, Outliers, described the plain fact that some of life is up to us: our hard work, our ambition, our drive. Some of life is down to luck: seemingly random occurrences that put us in the right place at the right time. Decisions we can't possibly know will lead us to one of life's big moments or big breaks--finding the inspiration for a successful new business, meeting your spouse, meeting someone who will be the connection you need for an important job, etc. Even failure can lead us to the right door. How you handle the opportunities you come across determines to what extent they are maximized or wasted. We all have the right to accept what chance presents us. The Middletons are finding the silver-lining in a situation that must sometimes feel heady and other times more of a jail. I say, good on them! You have to follow the road to find out where it leads.

www.bomf.com

As to James's business, he was here promoting Boomf, with his not as famous partner, Andy. (Sorry, Andy.) The company makes personalized marshmallows and they have just now expanded to the United States.  I am entirely excited that a Middleton company has come to American, but...I wonder what exactly to do with personalized marshmallows. Do Brits eat marshmallows cold and plain? (Do Americans? Does everyone but me?) I have only ever done two things with marshmallows, I melt them over the stove or in the microwave and make figure life-changing rice-krispy treats; or, I put them on a stick and melt them over a fire for s'mores. Neither requires fancy marshmallows. So, James, I need a little more guided inspiration to take advantage of this fun business. My credit card is poised! Maybe a Pinterest board of possibilities...?



"I can" seems to be the Middleton moto...and a pretty good one it is. Best of luck to both Pippa and James!