Thursday, 12 January 2023

The Waleses Carry Out First Engagement of 2023!

Hello dear readers,

A belated Happy New Year! I hope I find you all rested after the festive period. I had the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and take a breather from the online sphere (something I highly recommend). As we make our way through January, we look ahead to what promises to be a historic year with the Coronation of the King. Following a month's break for Christmas, the Prince and Princess of Wales carried out their first engagement of 2023 with a visit to the North of England, beginning with a stop to officially open the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The Wales family enjoyed Christmas at Sandringham before returning to their Windsor Home, Adelaide Cottage. We didn't see the usual photos of Kate and William joining family members and friends for church to coincide around New Year's/Kate's birthday. Perhaps they rang in 2023 with the Middleton family in Bucklebury or sojourned abroad for a break? Kate celebrated her 41st birthday on Monday and yesterday George, Charlotte and Louis returned to Lambrook.

To coincide with Kate's birthday, the Telegraph's Gordon Rayner penned a piece which offered a glimpse into 2023 for the Waleses. The biggest surprise? Despite reports to the contrary, there are no plans for a spring tour. With the Coronation merely months away, we would expect to see senior members deployed across the Commonwealth, but instead we'll likely see a tour later in the year. Rayner reports the couple will instead "deepen their bond" with Wales.

There are, however, significant plans for later this month when Kate plans to unveil "a substantial new initiative" in her early years work. A source said it will be a "big moment" for the Princess, which she "hopes will get the country talking about the importance of child development".

The Prince and Princess arriving at the new state-of-the-art hospital.

The couple received cheers as they walked inside.

The new Royal Liverpool University Hospital opened its doors before Christmas, replacing the old hospital which served the community for over forty years.

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The hospital is the biggest in the country and meticulously designed to enhance patient care and experience. It holds 640 beds (40 of which are critical) and is home to one of just five Infectious Disease Units in England.

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Per the hospital's website: key elements of the new build include 18 standard wards, each with 28 single rooms with ensuite facilities, 18 state of the art operating theatres, for both inpatient and day-case surgery lists and more areas for patients and families, including a 10th floor 200 seat restaurant facility with panoramic views of the city, outdoor spaces, courtyard gardens and a spiritual area.

"The new hospital design promotes efficiency and accessibility, with physical barriers avoided where possible. Digital signage screens and a wayfinding app will make navigating the site easier. Its innovative design maximises natural light -- all patient rooms have access to natural daylight and views, with more than half having city-wide views of Liverpool," according to the NHS website.

The Liverpool Echo shared an insightful piece outlining the state of crisis within the NHS despite the wonderful news regarding completion of the hospital:

'The city's new hospital has opened at a time when the NHS is facing its biggest ever crisis. A number of doctors working inside the new hospital also believe the new building is not helping what is a national crisis. A number of them recently wrote to Trust bosses to robustly question the decision to move to a new facility that ultimately has fewer beds than its predecessor.

Of course decisions around hospitals and health crises are not in the remit of the Royal Family. They are not policy makers and have not taken decisions over funding or management of the NHS to lead it to this point. Prince William and Kate Middleton will meet and thank healthcare staff working in the hospital today for their herculean efforts during the pandemic and the current unfolding crisis - for some this will be warmly welcomed.

But what the visit should not do is distract from the reality of what our hospitals and those working in or being treated in them are facing. Once the Prince and Princess leave the Royal and leave Liverpool, those same problems will remain.'

The couple spent time with nurses and staff they previously spoke to via Zoom during the pandemic in 2020 and asked them how are they doing amidst ongoing struggles in the NHS.

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William and Kate with volunteers and staff.

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Kate stopped for a moment to use hand sanitiser.

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Several members of staff requested selfies and the royals gladly obliged.

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Roya Nikkhah reports the selfie requests continued to come thick and fast.

Olivia William reporting live from the hospital tweeted: "Sylvia, 81, who had an appointment at the hospital managed to speak to Will. She said to him: 'Keep going Will, scousers love you.' To which he replied: 'I will do.' She said she couldn’t believe she managed to speak to him."

Olivia noted one woman who met Kate remarked afterwards: "I've never met someone so beautiful in my life."

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Scenes in the hospital before the couple left.

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Afterwards, William and Kate travelled to Birkenhead to visit Open Door -- a mental health charity supporting young people in Merseyside.

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The couple arriving.

Described as one of Merseyside's "most progressive and dynamic independent charities", Open Door is one of the largest providers of talking therapies in the North of England and was delighted to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in the 2019 Honours List. The team strive to "shape change" by applying "innovation and creativity" within everything they do.

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The charity's team on their work and approach: "ODC is primarily a collection of young adults driven by the desire to create an organisation that is designed by young people, for young people. One that really understands and reflects the perspective of being a young person in these modern times. We are built upon lived experience across all staff, Peer Mentors, Trustees and partners. Working from a position of knowledge, compassion and trust. Along with a deep understanding of the lived experience of poor mental health and the skills, knowledge and interventions needed to change it right now."

The Princess opted for a mix of navy and green (in fact, both she and William coordinated) in British brands.

The Mirror reports:

'When meeting individuals at the hospital - including healthcare workers, patients, and other staff - Prince William was heard jokingly telling one person that their outfits were the result of morning "chaos" over their wardrobe.

When one woman exclaimed, "you're matching!" to the pair, William appeared to say: "Yes I know, it was slightly like wardrobe chaos this morning."

The woman then insisted the outfits were "coordinated", to which he replied: "Coordinated, exactly!"

Kate sported her double-breasted black watch tartan Holland Cooper coat. The piece is described as: "This longline sophisticated wool coat has a more-relaxed silhouette than some of our super-fitted tailoring. Perfect to layer with a classic tee or styled with our super-chunky knitwear. Made from the finest UK woven wools, this coat has been hand cut and proudly made in England."

Below, Kate wearing the piece at Westminster Abbey last month.

Kate wore Cefinn's Eva Wool Knit Maxi Dress in navy. The brand, founded by a former prime minister's wife, Samantha Cameron (considered one of the most chic First Ladies of No 10), includes a number of designs perfect for the Princess. The piece is available in limited sizing here.

The £290 piece is described as:

"Neatly blending comfort and style, rib-knit dresses are having something of a moment this season. Enter Eva, our hero shape, which is designed in a heavy (non-mulesing) merino-wool blend. This form-fitting style has gentle shaping through the bust and waist before falling into a flared skirt. The funnel neck, blouson sleeves and pleated shoulder detailing add interest to this one-stop daywear staple".

The Princess carried her forest green Mulberry Amberley bag.

Kate accessorised with Princess Diana's Sapphire and Diamond earrings.

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And completed the look with her Gianvito Rossi navy suede pumps.

Admin Note: This is not the venue to discuss Prince Harry's memoir or the forum to dissect strained relations in the Royal family. Any such conversation would render moderation impossible, move discussion away from the core topic of this blog - Kate, and only serve to add to the toxicity which has already swamped social media and multiple websites.

A reminder: If possible, please sign your comment with a moniker; it encourages a sense of community and greatly assists me in dealing with trolling. Thank you for your understanding on both matters. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the royal year to come!

122 comments:

  1. What a nice treat to enjoy with my morning coffee. I love that they color coordinated! So sweet. Thanks Charlotte!

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  2. These are not Princess Diana's earrings, we had mystery solved last year.

    DP

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  3. I absolutely love them.So poised and beautiful!

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  4. Happy New Year!

    This is a good first outing for the year. Have they been to Open Door before? The name is familiar, but I might be mixing it up with another support charity.

    I love that dress, especially with the belt. It's like my platonic ideal of a wool dress.

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  5. Kate's dress is extremely attractive (I love the sleeves) -- excellent choice to start the new year. Regarding no tours, I know they have had tours with one or two children and I know they have her parents and their nanny to take care of the kids if the children stay home, but I would guess that they prefer to not leave their usual home life after the children started a new school, moved, etc. I honestly don't see a problem with that.

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    1. Allison, I consider myself a big fan of the Waleses, but here I totally do see a problem. Especially with the social climate and recent events, the monarchy needs to be up and running nonstop. They have to be outdoing themselves all the time. And the Waleses - being the backbone of the monarchy- should step up. The kids are no longer babies. They have plenty of vacation time and I am sure that a tour could potentially be planned e.g. during a spring break or over a portion of it. The fact that the Waleses consider kids' school days off mostly family days off is not a general rule and honestly, a great privilege. Too great of a privilege if you ask me, one that is not sustainable at all. I totally understand the need to have a stable family environment but at this point this has just become a plain and void excuse for not doing enough.
      More days like yesterday please! W&K look great. Love the Cefinn dress. Their energy is radiant and this is where their power is - connecting with people, raising their spirits, meeting people and listening to them, bravo.
      P.S. I love Kate with long hair.
      Ella

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    2. Ella, I have to agree with you, too! I'm completely wishy-washy about how much the Wales should work, and I do believe a visit is what is needed for work. They have staff to do research -- they should be seen. I'm glad it's not my decision because I keep fluctuating between little work and a lot of work.

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    3. I think with their new home, new school, new status and new jobs (William has to take over the running of the Cornwall estate now, as well as establish himself in Wales), not to mention recent family issues, the family have a lot of different things to plan for. Kate has also indicated she will be launching the next initiative in her Early Years work this Spring.
      Then, the Coronation will be in May. Perhaps they decided foreign tours should wait until after that event.

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    4. I feel like there has been a pattern since QEII death, where they have continued doing a stretch of time heavy in engagements, then a stretch of time laying low. We will see if that remains sustainable

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  6. Need to add that I like how Kate is wearing the dress but do not like how the sleeves are worn on the model at all. :)

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    1. Anna from France12 January 2023 at 19:01

      I had the same thought ! :) Very beautiful on Kate but not really on the model.

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    2. You’re right. I too like the sleeve much better as Catherine styled it. If they did have wardrobe chaos as William said, let them do that more often. They look relaxed and happy ( kids are back in school, ha ha.)
      - Karen in Virginia

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  7. I like this winter look and love the family co-ordination. On the foreign tours, I expect there's a protocol to observe with a new reign, so as you say, no official tours until after the Coronation. More visits in Wales and Cornwall seem a good alternative.

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  8. I loved how they coordinated with the blue and green hues. They book look lovely and Kate, as always, looks radiant!!! I am so excited to what this year has to come for them both!!! πŸ’™πŸ’š

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  9. Kate looks amazing, I love her entire look and that she and William coordinated. It's great to see her back at work and hope this is the start of some great engagements this year!

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  10. Thank you , Charlotte. Your post was lovely and informative. I greatly appreciate the parameters you've placed on comments.

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  11. I’m very much looking forward to learning more about Kate’s new early years initiative. As a mother and former first grade teacher, this is an important topic to me. Thank you Charlotte for your beautiful post today.
    ~ Jolie from South Jordan, Utah

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  12. Valerie in Arizona12 January 2023 at 18:01

    Lovely engagement and as always a lovely summary :) I love that coat and the Black Watch tartan. The Black Watch tartan is similar to one of my family's (Campbell) tartans except that the Campbell has a white and a red stripe in it. I bought a shawl many years ago in Edinburgh and wore it to the Gathering of the Clans. So every time I see Kate's coat it reminds me of seeing Prince Charles (as he was then--oh wait, no he was called the Duke of Rothesay whilst in Scotland) when he visited the Gathering. First and only time I've ever seen him in person. Thanks again Charlotte! Valerie

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  13. I like this outfit a lot and I am also pleased to see the hospital opening. I sometimes think they overdo it with their emphasis on mental health, early years, sport and the environment (the latter = Will) and think a broad range in addition to their personal interests is important.

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    1. I’m hoping that over the last few months, some of PP and HM’s patronages were being sorted among the remaining working royals. Assuming that happened(fingers crossed), we should have lots of variety in the next year. I have heard nothing along those lines but also, I can’t imagine patronages held for years by royals just being cast aside.

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    2. I think they see the RF as a whole, with each member concentrating on specific subjects so as to be more efficient and reach as many as they can. For example animal charities are well covered by Camilla and Anne. This engagement, opening an hospital is business as usual, not specific to them but they have added engagements in their own fields.

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    3. I think with a slimmed down RF their will have to be some culling of patronages as it would be a massive workload for the rest of them. Sue in WA

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  14. Glad to see the new year of engagements under way. This is very much a standard "uniform" look for the Princess, a midi dress with a nice coat and suede heels, and of course it was suitably subdued and professional-looking for a visit to a hospital. I do like the tartan coat, as I've said before, though I prefer rather more fitted silhouettes. The green bag is lovely -- great shade.

    On the other hand, I find Cefinn's designs just a little "mumsy" for my tastes and despite trying have never been able to find one that works for me. That's been rather a disappointment, because I always admired Samantha Cameron's style, but what looks good on her just doesn't light my fire when it's draped on MY body.

    As for Prince Harry's memoir, I couldn't comment if I wanted to. I've become so sick of the non-stop, virtually hysterical and four-walled media coverage of the Sussexes that I've been desperately avoiding it recently and have no intention of reading the book. Enough already!

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  15. I love Catherine's long hair, especially with the side part. I hope she doesn't cut it. But William, please get a new pair of shoes.

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  16. Lovely outfit and a wonderful start to the new year. But I'm a little bit disappointed that we didn't get a new picture or even a thank you message on twitter for her birthday wishes.

    Do we get an overview for 2022? I like to scroll throw all the events and have a short reminder what happened. I still forgot about some events after a few month and that a lovely throwback.

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  17. Anna from France12 January 2023 at 19:13

    For the past few days I have been watching the blog wondering when the Princess of Wales will be back to work. :)

    Great to see Kate and William coordinated, even though I would have preferred something a little more colorful. Kate has beautiful hair for a few months, always with beautiful hairstyles.

    I don't understand why they can't do one tour in the spring and another in the fall ? Don't they have a busier schedule because they have become Prince and Princess of Wales ?

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    1. wishiwereinlondon13 January 2023 at 01:00

      First, an invitation has to be issued for a tour, then the British government and the King have to agree to the tour. It is not up to just The Wales to decide go overseas on tour.

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    2. I agree with wishiwereinlondon. And would add it is not up to them at all. The King is making official visits to France and Germany.

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    3. Anna from France13 January 2023 at 12:05

      Thank you for your answer. I didn't know the tours must be on invitation.

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    4. Oh dear! I hope the lack of invite, especially during a coronation year, is not indicative of waning interest in the BRF. Are we certain the Wales have made themselves available but simply there has been no interest to invite them?

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    5. I can confirm there is no shortage of requests from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for visits by William and Kate. Certainly over the autumn I was told there was a strong expectation for a spring tour. I'm not entirely sure what happened. As Prince of Wales, Charles did an enormous amount of touring, not only due to the late Queen's advancing age, but through the decades. I hope we'll see the same with William and Kate.

      I do think it's incredibly important to build a bond with Wales and take on several patronages there. A spring and autumn 'Wales Week' seems wise, perhaps coinciding with half term breaks.

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    6. I agree Charlotte, I think The Prince and Princess of Wales should concentrate on Wales and Scotland. As future King and Queen it's very much in their interests to keep the kingdom united. SπŸ˜„

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    7. The Coronation is in Spring. Perhaps they are waiting until after that to launch foreign tours.

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  18. Great first engagement of the year! I love this tartan coat and think it is one of my most favorite and like it paired with this dress. A very professional look for Kate. Loved the enthusiasm of the hospital staff and particularly the exchange between William and Sylvia and think 'keep going' is solid advice.

    As a firm believer in a good foundation, I very much like that William and Kate will 'deepen their bond' with Wales as a start to this coronation year. My mantra for this year is "gratitude is the attitude' and I will be working on being grateful for what I have, and for each day and what it brings. I heartily second Charlotte's suggestion to disconnect from the toxicity of social media and search only for what is healthy and positive for your life and mental well being.

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    1. I really like your mantra, Rosebud! :)
      Great engagement, the new hospital looks impressive. The Waleses didn't disappoint - interested in people, warm, dignified.
      Thank you for the post, Charlotte! and Happy New Year, everyone.

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    2. Thanks Zora, and a very Happy New Year to you as well! :)

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  19. I agree I think they should broaden the range they support - families struggling to feed and heat also animal charities desperately need support . In addition they should visit different parts of the UK all to often it’s Scotland , London , the north , wales and Cornwall . Very rarely Norfolk , Suffolk and the south east . Can’t remember the last time Kate attended an event for EACH

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  20. Catherine looks great. I love the coat and dress. William looked very nice also. What a nice way to start their 2023 engagements. Ali

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  21. Great post and love to get the insider update on plans. I’m very much looking forward to the events of this historic royal year!

    As for the fashion, Kate looks fantastic in this dress and wears it way better than the model. I had a little chuckle at the first photo with their matching body language…same angled waving hands, same open mouths, same left foot forward….love it!

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    1. Jennifer, I had the same idea about their matching body language :) And I have always loved how they both "talk" with their hands!

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    2. Ditto that on their matching body language Jennifer and Zora! Love that they are so in sync.

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  22. Nice to see that everybody in the hospital went out to meet them. They were all so happy and excited to see the W, the cheering and applause. I think this is what some people don't get about monarchy. It's not about the W giving money to the places they visit but recognizing and supporting on behalf of the country what people are doing.

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    1. Agree, too! American's fail to understand the constancy and stability provided by the RF. Surely, they are not perfect; however, the stability remains. It provides a sense of heritage and constancy through tumultuous political, social and environmental events. Who in the US was reaching out to health workers, normal citizens (Hold Still) like W&K were during the pandemic?

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    2. Anon 17:02 Thank you for your comment about the monarchy. I don't understand it but then maybe I do. We don't have "heroes" in the US. I think of the civil rights hero John Lewis who is now gone. The Kennedys were heroes but also such flawed individuals. The monarchy is a nonpartisan group that totally supports the UK, etc., and I can see the value in having continual cheerleaders. As the coronation nears, I hope to hear more. I truly have no criticism -- I like to know how others feel.

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    3. I'm sorry, but Americans do NOT "fail to understand the constancy and stability provided by the monarchy". After Queen Elizabeth's death, a great many American commentators remarked on her always-reliable presence and the great void her death had left. I heard a number of private citizens, including some quite staunch republicans, make a similar point. A monarchy would not suit the American polity or traditions, but that doesn't mean that we are incapable of appreciating the benefits in some other nations.

      There were quite a few individuals and organizations reaching out to healthcare workers in the US during the pandemic. No nation handled the stresses and strains on those workers perfectly, and they have all, including the UK, suffered the consequences. But many people did their best to be as supportive as possible. No one couple, royal or not, could possibly have met the need in any country, as British healthcare workers will tell you. I've certainly heard that from a few British doctors I know.

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    4. Very well said Vittoria and I completely agree. No one nation, nor group within any nation could come even close to meeting the demands and stresses brought on by the pandemic, but for those who did step in to help and to show their support, those efforts are not insignificant by any means. We know that sometimes meaningful change is slow and the coverage of William and Kate highlighting the healthcare workers was much needed visibility to an already broken system, and it needs to continue post pandemic.

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  23. Very nice surprise to see W&K out & about today. They look so well-coordinated. Love the tartan coat. Thank you, Charlotte, for your time on this blog. Missouri Girl

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  24. The new hospital looks to be a wonderful addition to the Liverpool community. The architectural firm that I work does a lot of healthcare work and we have also incorporated courtyards when requested by the hospital owner. A lot of times they are referred to as respite spaces or healing gardens. Especially nice to have green space available to patients and staff when the hospital building itself is in an urban area. I'm a little surprised at the lack of face masks in a hospital setting though.

    I love the tartan coat and am happy to see it make another appearance. The dress looks comfortable and classy.

    Border Terrier lover

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  25. While I have admired and enjoyed both your blogs for a long time, Charlotte, and have appreciated your diplomacy and professionalism as you walked a tightrope between them; I am no longer interested in this one's principle subject. That's in spite of your excellent research and captivating writing which has kept me reading well beyond my interest's expiry date. That disinterest has been growing for some time now, long before the death of the Queen and the recent revelations concerning the British Press and the Royal family.

    Why wouldn't I simply stop reading without mentioning it? Well, two reasons.
    One: You shouldn't be left without the compliment to your exceptional work.
    Two: Because in the light of recent and irrefutable facts which have come to light about the relationship between the royals and the press and the toxicity of the same, I perceive silence to be consent (which it still is under the law). I do not consent, which is merely the final nail in a coffin of my growing disinterest. That's all.

    Best regards from Philly.

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    1. Philly, I want to thank you for all your support over the years, you will be missed. It's been incredibly sad (on both blogs) to lose familiar names. Please know, I deeply appreciate the support from each one of you.

      I've been quietly working on a project with an eye toward bringing the royal community together (Not Wales or Sussex related). I hope to have news in the coming weeks.

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    2. Ooh, that's intriguing! I can't begin to imagine what you will say/do.

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    3. Thank you ABCD, I cannot wait to share it with you.

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    4. Philly, you will be missed as your perspective has always offered some good point/counterpoints of view which have lead to some good discussions. However, I would disagree with silence being perceived as consent, because in law, the general rule "is that silence does not constitute acceptance or consent." But I do very much respect your opinion and right to that opinion. Looking forward to your new project Charlotte, it sounds interesting!

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    5. It sounds wonderful!!

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    6. I so admire you, Charlotte, that whatever you do to create harmony, compromise, peace, and community will have my wholehearted support. I haven't been able to comment as often as I did in the past, but please know I love your blogs. All of them.

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    7. Dear Philly, Thank you for putting into words what I could not. I too am stepping away. I've been here from the beginning & have so many fond memories of sharing so much & so many milestones with you all. However the sadness & the reality, as I now see it with this institution/family is just too much..... the joy is gone for me. I said a bit more on the other blog....

      I wish the family & all of you well & especially you Dear Charlotte!

      Thank you for everything & for being so incredible! This is an historic year & I know you will cover it splendidly!.....

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    8. Becca, I am so sorry to hear this. Could you and Philly please email me at hrhcatherineblog@hotmail.com

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    9. Becca in Colorado13 January 2023 at 22:34

      I agree, Philly and Becca USA. The joy is gone for me, as well. I largely stopped commenting over the last year or so but feel it’s time to step away for the reasons Philly so excellently spelled out.

      Thank you, Charlotte, for all of your truly incredible work. You have my absolute admiration!

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    10. Becca, if you have a moment, could you please email me?

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    11. Marci, thank you for your comment!

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    12. Becca, yours were some of my favourite posts. So joyful and uplifting. I went to MAM to read your post. I have also read the book. It is very sad.
      I had another reaction on seeing Kate and William yesterday. I believe they don't want to impact the people they meet, the causes they highlight with their private grief. Once, I lost a very dear friend, was told about it in the morning and had to organise a business reception in the afternoon. I remember the strange feeling. You keep going, not allowing yourself to think and I overdid it. I was extremely jovial and smiled too much. It must be so difficult to be in public at the moment for them.
      Dear Becca, know you will be missed, please keep your warm and spontaneous personality that you so generously shared here.

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    13. Very sad to read Philly and Becca in Colorado and Becca USA will be leaving. I will miss your posts terribly. I really do understand your sentiments. I didn't want to come on and comment on Kate's clothes in this climate it's all too sad a situation in the RF right now to pretend everything is alright as Kate and William are doing in these photos. However seeing you all will be leaving had to come on and say goodbye and thank you for your posts. Thanks Charlotte for always trying your best in difficult times and for your great posts.

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  26. I am amazed by Kate's resilience and how well she copes in times of stress. I believe she manages by keeping her composture and concentrating on the people she meets. She lives the moment. A great example of fortitude.
    Those visits are very uplifting, people seemed very happy to see them and for health workers it is a way to feel they matter, even if the RF has no political power, the fact they highlight them can only help.
    Kate looks lovely, charming and radiant. I like the dress and the coat is beautiful.

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    1. I agree Natacha, Kate does exude a quiet resilience that is enviable. I read this article in the NY Times and thought it interesting, thought I would share.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/13/style/kate-middleton.html

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    2. Thank you Rosebud, very interesting

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  27. I love Catherine's long hair. Especially with the side part. I hope she doesn't cut it. But William please buy a new pair of shoes.

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    1. Kate looks absolutely stunning today, but sorry, Maggie, I disagree about the long hair. I recently saw a photo of Kate with shorter hair and liked it better. The long hair drags things down. My vote would be 3 inches off and those gorgeous curls. But either way, she is stunning!

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    2. Donna, when I see slightly older photos of Kate with shorter darker hair, I remember how perfect she looked (in my opinion). It must be a personal preference of Kate's to have the longer hair, which everyone is entitled to have. I'm glad she wears it to please herself. (But it would be so beautiful just a bit shorter! :) )

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    3. I also love the side part! She’s been doing that more recently since the end of 2022.

      Rachel

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    4. I'm afraid I have to come down on the side of shorter hair. In my view, the Princess's hair would look vastly more polished and professional if a few inches were lopped off.

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  28. I love Holland Cooper outfits. The coats are heavenly. They both look great and it’s so nice to see them out and about. I really like the dress with its fun sleeves. Thanks Charlotte and Happy New Year! Sue

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  29. The Prince & Princess of Wales are such a class act, honest, humble, and authentic; always a pleasure to see the good & compassionate work they do for crown & country!

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  30. Wonderful to see the Royal couple at this event. The Princess looks lovely, I particularly this coat and its great to see it reworn again. The Maxi dress looks fabulous, she wears this beautifully. Catherine looks very elegant and what shines to me, is her dignity and inner strength.

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  31. Great to read a new entry on the blog, Charlotte! And thank you for setting a clear boundary for the comment section. I don’t comment here often but I’m a long-time reader and follower of both blogs. I appreciate and respect the hard work you put into each entry and also the professional manner you have upheld over the past few years as the news from the Royal Family has become increasingly difficult to manage. Thank you for continuing your blogs during this time in the social media age when it would probably be easier to just shut the whole thing down. I’m looking forward to your coverage of this historic Royal year! Cheers!

    Lauren (RunLauren from Twitter)

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  32. Sincere thanks to those who left very kind words with their comments. It's a lovely start to blogging this year.

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  33. Susan in Florida13 January 2023 at 00:31

    Nice to see them out and supporting healthcare. I do look forward to what the Princess has in mind for her early years project. I really like her coat and green bag.

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  34. This is a lovely post and they did an amazing job, today. I hope the hospital helps many and I’m sure their visit gave a boost to healthcare workers who have been going through it these past few years.
    Grace under pressure is a skill that not everyone has. In the US, we have many, many, many celebrities, but none of them carry off calm and regal quite like this pair.
    Well done to them.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  35. Wonderful to have you back, Charlotte!!

    I love this coat (I am a sucker for pretty much any wool coat though) and particularly like the dress with the sleeves pushed up, less with them down. I spotted the color coordination right away, it made me smile!

    Rachel

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  36. So good to see them about. Thank you Charlotte for this lovely post.

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  37. First look of 2023 is amazing, just the right touch of glamorous and efficient. It feels like the Princess is countering the press with a business-as-usual attitude. After reading your blog for years, I can safely say her style has evolved so much, like a butterfly going through metamorphosis.
    Will you be doing a 2022 fashion review for this year Charlotte?
    May we all have a fab 2023 :)

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  38. I absolutely love her outfit but I must confess it's the pop of pink in her lipstick that caught my eye first. It looks beautiful on her. Does anyone remember her wearing a pink instead of more neutral colors in the past???

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  39. Lovely to see the Wales's out and supporting the hard working hospital and Mental health staff. I like Kate's outfit smart casual and polished as we know she does well, my only change would have been the shoes I think I would liked to have seen a shoe with a block heel and her hair tied in a pony tail. Sue in WA

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  40. That was a nice to kick off the year. I think K gets the best out of the dress. The outfit fits into her new „professional/business“ work uniform but isn’t as harsh in silhouette as others have been.
    I will say that I am not too sad about the idea of no tour. I actually think that HMTK should do most visits to other states, while the Walses should be more present in the UK. While it would fit in easier with children in school, I also think it fitting if the aspirant to the throne puts in the effort to prove himself to the people he is about to represent in the future. Spending significantly more time in all parts of the UK would be a good first step.

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    Replies
    1. Just a few comments from Annette NZ.
      The Monarch has constitutional duties to perform in UK which cannot always be easily delegated to other family members, whereas in the Realms and Territories Governors - General or Governors represent the Sovereign in this important role. Long distance travel can be extremely exhausting, especially as one grows older. It takes many hours to fly to the southern hemisphere and jet lag is a real problem. That was why Queen Elizabeth preferred to travel on the Royal yacht for longer distances and eventually gave up overseas travel. Overseas tours to the 14 remaining Realms and Commonwealth countries are crammed with events to justify the expense and are definitely not a relaxing holiday. Queen Camilla feels the heat in some countries and has recently pulled out of attending some overseas outings with her husband for this reason. In any case, crowds turn out more for younger family members. Most of the working members of the Royal family are now well past retirement age leaving only William and Kate with perhaps Edward and Sophie stepping up. Harry and Meghan will be sorely missed in this area and no doubt William was upset about this, as he and Kate will have to leave their school age children behind in UK more often.

      Delete
  41. Happy New Year, Charlotte! It’s so wonderful to have you back and thank you for the wonderful post. It sounds silly to say it now, but I was a little afraid you might not want to continue with this blog after everything that has been going on and focus on the other. I know it hasn’t been easy as of late. Please know that your beautiful coverage of Catherine and the causes she supports is always exceptional. In my opinion, all journalists should learn a thing (or ten!) from your work. I want you to know that we all recognize the amount of time and effort it takes to research, write, and edit these blog posts and it is much appreciated. Seeing the Prince and Princess out and about again is wonderful. Whenever I see them together I immediately think what a great team they make and I love it when their body language matches. It’s a sure sign of two people who have a very special relationship, one that is not just the result of many years together, but also from weathering many storms together. I look forward to what 2023 brings for them!

    Kim from Saratoga

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    Replies
    1. I join my thanks to yours Kim, you said it perfectly

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  42. Happy New Year, Charlotte! May 2023 bring you as much joy as you provide us! What an inspiration William and Kate are and how they show of grace, fortitude and the ability to “ carry on”. We all have family issues but thank goodness not on a global level.
    I noticed for a while W&K are allowing selfies, as are other members of the RF. I believe, and I may be wrong, but I like to think this was done with HM blessings as it was started before she passed.

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  43. Hello Charlotte. I've been reading your blog for years now, without writing any comments (because I'm not very at ease to write in English, I'm sorry). I really appreciate your work, always precise, well-sourced, on time, professionnal. And you always choose beautiful photos :) We don't have any equivalent in France (I have to say 'Dans le boudoir de Kate Middleton' is pretty good). Thank you so much :)

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  44. Charlotte, I'm afraid Becca in US may not get on the blog to read again, so would you please tell her that I'll miss her. We used to always agree and then we verged a bit. It sounds like we are more aligned now but my feeling is that if you (Charlotte) see things of beauty, I need to support that. I am H&M 100% but I am also Charlotte 100% -- I would like Becca to know that. You are supporting beautiful and historic and worthwhile people, places, events in the UK, and I am always along for the ride.

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  45. I agree with other commenters that your blogs are the absolute best in covering the royals with grace, charm, and dignity. Thank you.

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  46. Dear Charlotte, I found your blog long ago and have loved it ever since! I have favorites (Catherine and the kiddos), and strong opinions about the current imbroglio, and was very worried by your lengthy break. πŸ˜‰ I had to comment here, however, because your evenhandedness between the two blogs is remarkable! I hope you don’t stop covering Catherine. On a side note, having dealt with a seriously damaged family in my in-laws for over thirty years, and being wrongly accused of things, the “truth” is that you will never know the whole picture if you only listen to one side.
    Thank you again for how you do what you do so well.

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    Replies
    1. So well said! "Recollections may vary" for sure.

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    2. Well said Desiree!

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  47. Catherine looks lovely. And poised and happy, which speaks volumes. I'm never going to buy into or comment the "This camp vs. That camp" and
    "I'm not going to read this anymore " mentality. I think that's childish. Dissention and division are for those in the know. None of us, not being part of the Royal Family, could ever know the details. I'll stick with fashion and engagements.

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  48. Thank you for the covering! But I have to admit that I'm exhausted by the media coverage for last few month. If I see Catherine in public I'm not feeling joy anymore - I think of drama and toxicity (social media and press).
    So I think I'll stop reading news about the royals even if I was a huge fan since the weding of W&C. It was a "princess dream" and the reason why I became interested. I would have loved to see all 4 but now it's like a bad soap. I hope you still find joy and I wish you the best.

    - Nina

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  49. Thank you Charlotte for your post. I wish you and our whole community all the best in 2023.

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  50. My admiration for Kate has only increased over the past few months! I was married the same year as Diana. I remember the ongoing drama and Diana being on every magazine cover. Kate has handled her position perfectly. She has done her job with great dignity and hasn’t fallen into the celebrity trap. Kudos to Kate!

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  51. Charlotte! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. I'm so happy for this little space you have created and will continue to check in. I'm super excited for the new project and can't wait to be a part of it. I know this probably hasn't been a great experience for you lately but appreciate your posts always.

    I haven't been active as much here for quite some time but I do check in and probably always will. However, to be honest, some innocence has been lost here that will never come back and that happened years ago, not just last week when the book was published. Nevertheless, thank you for everything Charlotte! You are the best.

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  52. Hi Charlotte! Don't worry, I'm still reading!
    :-)

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  53. Thank you all for your comments X

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  54. Thank you for keeping on Charlotte. Looking forward to the project you are working on. So appreciative your work.

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  55. As the years roll by, I appreciate the commitment of the Wales towards the organizations and issues that make a difference in this world. In this celebrity-driven media environment, their stolidness may not be as magnetic, but the impact of their work and the differences it will make, even if only in one life, is beyond measure.
    Thank you Charlotte for your steadfast approach, it is so valued and appreciated. With very best wishes for a wonderful 2023.

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  56. I have to say, I really liked the dress and coat combo until she took off the coat. The sleeves on the dress are a no-no for me.

    I also love a good “they’re just like us moment” and Kate reaching for the hand sanitizer was it for me.

    Considering we’re coming off holidays, kids are getting back into routine and all the family stuff - they looked good. I’m looking crazy after just holidays and returning get to work - I can’t imagine adding on the rest!

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  57. I understand the holidays, but it’s now 17 days into the new year and they’ve done one engagement? I’m American, so not my money, but do the British people wonder what they’re paying for? I anticipated more engagement after the passing of the Queen and instead it seems like less.

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    1. Kate is out and about today.
      I don't mind about the number of engagements. I think they don't need to be always visible and the work they do goes deep, the engagements are only the visible part.
      But I must say, they should have gone to King's Constantine funeral. I think the BRF as a whole is often lacking in that respect. They very seldom go to european funerals , weddings and such. And they should. I think William and Kate could change that attitude, which is almost disparaging to other nations. They missed an opportunity on Monday.

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    2. I agree particularly as William is the godson of King Constantine - very poor that they did not attend

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    3. I would’ve loved to have seen them at the funeral, but I’m sure they have their reasons for not attending. We just aren’t privy to them. Sue

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    4. Actually what makes me sad is the media gave that so much attention and it deserved to be on the deceased and his family! Sue

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    5. Sue, I didn't know the media had given it so much attention. All negative spinning I suppose?
      What I am trying to say is this, and it doesn't reflect on William, more on the BRF/British government. When most other countries send heads of State, the King's sister and a cousin that would have been there on her own capacity anyway seems a bit off-hand considering the effort made by every country/ RF to be represented at the highest level at the Queen's funeral. Even so, the BRF was represented for King Constantine, which often hasn't been the case. An example,Queen's Fabiola funeral : lots of RF, even the Empress of Japan made the journey and no British Royal could bother. Those kind of things may seem trivial but they do matter in international relations. Goodwill is built on little things.




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    6. I agree with you Natacha on all points. I am not bothered nor overly critical about the number of engagements as there is so more to their involvement with their charities than just the engagement, but I completely believe, and agree that Monday was a missed opportunity. There is such a shared history between the BRF and the GRF by their connection to Prince Philip, that a larger royal family presence would have gone a long way in showing their respect. I was moved by what appeared to be a very personal and emotional funeral. I hope William and Kate take note, especially as you said given the level of representation by other countries at the Queen's funeral.

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    7. I'm the anon that wrote that some of the innocence of following them has been lost in recent years and will probably never come back. I get really conflicted on the number of engagements they do. Part of me thinks that they have to be careful to not outshine Charles and Camilla, I also think that they do have young kids, but they're not babies anymore and have help, and then, there's a part of me that really thinks they just don't want to do more.

      So I don't know. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I do still like them, and don't think a lot of the criticism is valid, but I'm starting to think some of it truly is. They could be doing more, in spite of the fine line they have to walk. I'm so torn.

      East Coast Anon

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    8. I think they usually lay low until after Kate's birthday. They are also grieving their grandmother's passing still. I'm sure the holidays were very hard. They did the public grieving but they need time to process through the loss privately and guide their children through the loss. Also, they just moved. Those are A LOT of changes on top of new roles. And these two always seem to put on a happy face an focus on others. They are pure class! I'm sure there is also a lot of thought going into how to handle public accusations within the family. It is extremely hard to go out in public when anyone criticizes (I know from experience) but the hurt is so much deeper within ones own family. Praying for this family!

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  58. Happy new year Charlotte! It is always a joy to read you. Love to all Monia (France)

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