Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Duchess Spends Halloween with Tennis' Future Stars!

What does the Duchess of Cambridge get up to on Halloween? Kate spent part of the morning with a group of children attired in tennis gear (no, they weren't trick-or-treating dressed up as Andy Murray or the Williams sisters) for a decidedly non-spooky engagement at the Lawn Tennis Association.


The outing marks Duchess Kate's first solo engagement since the pregnancy announcement - a clear signal she is feeling much better and allowing for the return of appearances scheduled in advance. We last saw the Duchess two weeks ago when she joined William and Harry to attend the graduation of more than 150 Coach Core apprentices. With George on half-term break, it's believed the Cambridges spent last week ensconced in their country home Anmer Hall or with the Middletons in Bucklebury before returning to London over the weekend to resume duties.


It is the first time Kate has been accompanied by her new private secretary Catherine Quinn. Ms Quinn took over from Rebecca Deacon earlier this month, bringing a wealth of experience to the role.


An arrival video from Simon Perry.


Avid tennis fan and player Kate took over the patronage of the Lawn Tennis Association from the Queen last December. The organisation's mission is to get more people playing tennis more often, and part of its role is to govern tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man by acting as guardians to promote and safeguard the integrity of the sport.


Upon arrival, the Duchess received a briefing from key representatives of the LTA on its latest grass roots activities and high-performance objectives.


Then, it was time for something fun as Kate took part in a Tennis for Kids session.


The LTA-run programme introduces and teaches young children aged five to eight years old how to play and enjoy tennis.


High-Five.


A look at the Duchess in action.


The successful progamme has seen 20,000 children participating this year alone. With excellent feedback from parents and plans for expansion, I wouldn't be at all surprised if our future Wimbledon champions are honing their skills early whilst having plenty of fun. A nice element of the activity saw children receive a free tennis racket at the end to encourage them to continue playing.


The Duchess met some of the UK's top junior talents as well as members of the training team including coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists who discussed what it takes to be a top junior player.


Kate asked for tips on coaching George.

Simon Perry Twitter

The Duchess with tennis star Johanna Konta. Speaking about Kate, Ms Konta said: “It was good and fun. She’s lovely, It was great to see her passion for tennis and that she was here to learn about these great programs being run by the LTA. Every little girl and almost every boy wants to meet a princess and it got them very excited.”


Kate chatting with Paralympic medallist and Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Champion Alfie Hewett.


Finally, the Duchess met some of the Coach Core apprentices who led a tennis training session. The Coach Core scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to take young people aged 16-24 with limited opportunities and train them to be sports coaches and positive role models and mentors in their communities. Coach Core has been working with the LTA over the last 18 months to identify employer partners and additional training opportunities for apprentices around the UK. In turn this helps the LTA target new workforce and participants in diverse communities around the UK.


As mentioned earlier in the post, Kate's last engagement with William and Harry celebrated the graduation of Coach Core participants, and it's important to note the scheme's links across areas of sport and with organisations the royal trio are involved in.


The Duchess received flowers and posed for a photo before leaving.


Kate selected a casual and sporty look for the day.


Kate's new black jacket is by British tennis clothing brand PlayBrave.


The garment features the distinctive logo on the sleeve.


The £129 Clarice Track Jacket is a premium quality track jacket cut to allow layering and freedom of movement.

PlayBrave

More on the background of the brand:

'PlayBrave was first inspired by the icy chill of the Lake District in the peak of winter. Despite the conditions, our decision to wear considered, clever layers separated us from the elements, leaving us to enjoy the scenery freely, in warmth and comfort.
But it was a different story altogether back at our tennis club; the head coach could hardly swing his racket thanks to the bulky items he was wearing to stay warm and dry. We realised then that the world of sport was missing something: all-weather sports gear, designed to be layered without compromising your game.
Today, our business partners include The Queen’s Club, St. George’s Hill, Stoke Park and The Hurlingham Club  – some of the finest clubs in the world. Our garments can be worn for various sports and we’re working hard to offer something a little bit special - a cut above the global sportswear brands - for people who don’t want to wear the ‘mass market uniform’, and who relate to our philosophy. PlayBrave is a privately owned British company.'

Kate brought back the Monreal London Side Panel Track Pants she wore in Edinburgh for a 'Tennis on the Road' event with Judy Murray. Kate teamed them with a white Nike Baseline Top and Asics Gel Solution Trainers.


The slim-fit Tuxedo pants have inbuilt shorts for lift, support and to add layer of opacity. Concealed pockets and side panels are flattering and leg-lengthening, while the elasticated waistband and invisible ankle zips add comfort. They’re made from high-flex luxury performance jersey and feature monochrome panels with a contrast neon yellow waistband. Middleton Maven notes they remain available on the Monreal London website for $345.

Monreal London

Laura quickly identified Kate's new trainers as the Nike Women's Air Vapormax Flyknit Running Shoes.


The $190 trainers are described as: "With a reinvented cushioning system, the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Women's Running Shoe delivers a lightweight, bouncy ride for a gravity-defying sensation underfoot and Flyknit fabric for a snug, flawless fit." They are available in several colours at Nike, Finish Line, Nordstrom and Six 02.

Nike

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings.

Kiki McDonough

And wore a poppy.


Kate was very much in her element today and appeared to have a wonderful time. She adores tennis and clearly enjoyed getting stuck in and playing with the children. It was great to see how much she has improved over the past couple of weeks - there's a considerable difference in photos from today to those taken two weeks ago at the Coach Core graduation. Hopefully Kate's pregnancy will be smooth sailing from here on in. We also saw Kate's private secretary Catherine Quinn make a stylish debut; she's undoubtedly going to prove an invaluable addition at KP. What do you think of Kate's sporty look? There's something rather eye-catching about those Nike trainers...


************

We also have news of upcoming engagements for the Duchess. Next Tuesday, 7 November, Kate, will attend the 2017 Gala Dinner for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF), held in the Orangery at Kensington Palace. During the gala, the Duchess, who is patron, will attend a reception to hear more about this project and the work of the AFNCCF from those who are closely involved in the charity. Kate will also meet with some of the charity’s service users, including families who have benefitted from the work of the organisation. I imagine this will be quite a glamorous event calling for either a cocktail dress or a gown.

The following day, 8 November, the Duchess will attend the Place2Be School Leaders Forum on Mental Health. The Duchess will open the conference and join delegates at the forum as they consider the key issues and latest thinking on the role that schools can play in tackling mental health problems early in life. The Duchess has attended each of the two previous conferences hosted by Place2Be. Below, a look at Kate's Calendar for November, including Remembrance events.


In Heads Together news, the Mail on Sunday reported William, Kate and Harry's Royal Foundation has applied to trademark the hashtag #stopspeaksupport. It is understood the social media slogan will be used to encourage people to seek help with mental health problems.

Last but certainly not least, William attended the Pride of Britain awards last night, celebrating Britain's unsung heroes. He presented two special recognition awards - to the Grenfell Community and to Manchester Medics. He was joined on stage by young people who were injured in the Manchester Arena attack. He said: "The courage and spirit Manchester showed is a huge example to us all". The full awards will be broadcast on ITV on 7 November. If you can, I encourage you to watch. It's an amazing event filled with inspirational stories of courage. A memorable moment from the night came before the show when William met adorable five-year-old Suzie Cash who won a Pride of Britain award for calling 999 when her mother collapsed. I promise this video will make your day :)


A very Happy Halloween to you all :)

83 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden31 October 2017 at 11:58

    So very nice to see her feeling better again! It must be such a relief for her (and the family!). And extra wonderful to see her so in her element. Kids, sport and comfy clothes is a perfect first solo event back for her :) Wonderful all around!

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    1. So agree :) She always looks great in casual/sporty attire & I love that this engagement combines two of her passions: engaging with youth & tennis! It's also nice to finally see Ms Quinn on duty...I like her blue blazer :)

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  2. Sporty Kate!
    Great to see her playing tennis with the kids! And it seems the worst period of her HG passed after the first three months (or probably medication helps a lot) and she is able to do more engagements.

    Interesting to spot Ms Quinn in the background.

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  3. She looks great! I'm due with my third in May and I think my baby bump is about three times bigger than hers! I'm so glad she is back doing solo engagements.

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    1. LOL, congrats on your third! I swear Kate doesn't look pregnant at this engagement...she amazes with her figure & how quickly she gets back into shape after her pregnancies!

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    2. yes. congratulations on your third child. please keep us apprised. :)

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    3. She certainly does look fantastic....
      My third is 6 months old already...and my body not back in shape yet...how in the world does Kate do it?!? πŸ˜«πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ she’s amazing...and beautiful!
      @Mrs T: good luck with the pregnancy!

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    4. I'm laughing here, Carryn, that your body is not back in shape with your third baby now six months old. My third child is 38 years old and my body is STILL not back in shape.

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    5. @Laura πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸ»
      I think us girls are hard on ourselves...Guess we should just be happy as we are-we can’t all be Duchesses! πŸ˜‰

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  4. Thank you Charlotte for posting that sweet video of Suzie and William! It did indeed make my day! I thought Catherine Quinn looked very elegant in that purple jacket and black turtleneck.

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    1. I agree, I was very impressed with Ms. Quinn's debut. She looked very poised and professional.

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    2. Jo - I agree with both of your comments. Hopefully William is at home training George and it will be interesting to Catherine Quinn in the role. I noted the flats and ankle slacks.

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  5. Those are some bada** looking trainers, by the way!

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    Replies
    1. They do look like they mean business, Kiwi Gal. :)

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  6. So very nice to see Kate again. yay. She is definitely in her element and glowing. Getting children involved in sports is, to me, an integral part of their mental health initiatives. Also relieved to see Catherine Quinn with her today. I hope she doesn't feel like a tag-along, lol. It must be quite different for her in that respect. Who was the young woman who greeted Ms. Quinn upon arrival? Nice that they provided that liaison for Ms. Quinn.
    Not dressed up as "Andy Murray or the William's sisters", lol. Cute, Charlotte. :)
    Mrs. T, you and Kate are not alone. :) There are others here expecting also. Nina, and ......? I know there are others. yay. very exciting. :) We need a list. :)
    DKB babies. :)

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    1. P.S. So, if you are expecting a baby and follow DKB, please let us know? I know some of you have mentioned that you are expecting before. Please remind us. It would be heart-warming and fun for us to follow along with ya'll and Kate. We could provide TLC and support along the way. We could see whose baby bump is bigger and wining an inch. :)
      And whether you all think Kate is carrying twins or not, etc. And, give big welcomes to their arrivals. ❤️
      Just a thought. :)

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    2. Patricia ont Canada31 October 2017 at 16:38

      I was wondering the same thing. Who was with Mrs Quinn? Could it be an assistant or something. She is with her thru out the emgagment.
      So very nice to see Kate back and looking better than ever.

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    3. I’m due in 3 weeks. With my third little girl.

      Such a great engagement for Kate. She’s a great example of so many things!

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    4. I'm pretty excited to be following Kate again! My daughter is a couple months older than Charlotte and then I have a son in between. I think we are done after this, our third. I'm curious if Kate and William will keep going!

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    5. My money is on this baby being their last!
      I read an article ages ago where one of Kate’s friends said she had always wanted three children-coming from a ‘big’ family...but I can’t see them having any more children with all the royal duties/engagements etc.
      just my opinion!!!

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    6. Lydia. Thank you for sharing. :) yay.
      Hope you are getting some sleep. It can be cumbersome at that stage. Please let us know how it's going. Do you know if your are having a boy or a girl? Have you picked out a name? Done the nursery? (If you don't mind my asking.) :)

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    7. wow. Mrs. T. I am sure you can totally relate to what Kate is going through with George and Charlotte. lol. You too are one busy lady. Do you know your third baby's gender? Do you have a name picked out? Do you have the nursery already set up. I imagine you do. :)

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    8. Sorry, Lydia. You did say third little girl. πŸŽ€
      I need to slow down in my reading. Do you have a lot of pink in your house?

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    9. Orange County Grandma31 October 2017 at 19:20

      Patricia ont Canada. I was wondering too who was with Ms Quinn. The same young lady was in the car with William last night. Check out the photos at GettyImages.com. I believe the photo is on the first roll top right.
      It sure is not Kate.
      Kaye sure looked good and happy to be out and about.

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    10. SG, I’ve always enjoyed your comments, along with many others who frequently contribute here. This is my third girl. We are ecstatic! She is my rainbow baby. I had a loss last year after having two girls previously. So it’s really exciting for us! I won’t do a nursery. I cosleep (safely, with a bassinet), and so all of baby’s things are simply in a (darling) little wardrobe in our bedroom. I’m not a great decorator. I’m also very minimalistic. One of the biggest reasons I follow the Duchess is to indulge my wildest dreams. Simply put, I embrace my non-creativity and admire others for theirs. I also admire Kate’s progression becoming royal. She’s come a long way, and has a long way to go. It’s inspiring to see.

      Oh and the fashion is pretty fantastic to follow too!! Not to mention Charlotte’s absolute talent running this blog!

      PS.... I’m humongous. Feeling great, just tired and swollen. The good stuff. Oh and.... We like the name Natalie.

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    11. Thank you Lydia, and I am enjoying your comments as well. :) I'm sorry for your previous loss. (My husband and I experienced that also.)
      It sounds like you have everything well in hand.
      Glad you make time to visit here. We'll have to invent a shorthand when your daughter arrives. lol You will be even busier. Your bassinet, and a small wardrobe sound so sweet. Sometimes it is best to keep things simple. :)
      I agree with you about Kate. She and William were made for each other, in my opinion. And she is growing into her position elegantly I think.
      And, I remember feeling humongous. :) (Hadn't thought about that in awhile.) On the day our son was born, my husband had to tie my shoes as we were getting ready to go to the hospital. There is no way I could reach my feet. lol
      Natalie is a beautiful name. :) Keep us up to date as you can. Hugs and God Bless.X :)

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    12. (Mrs. T, I totally understand if you don't have time to answer right away, lol.) :)

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    13. Patricia ont Canada1 November 2017 at 02:37

      Thank you Orange county grandma. I did check out the pictures it does look like the same person. She must be an assistant or something. Either way very nice to see Kate back at it looking good.

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    14. I just had a baby girl on Oct 3. She is my third behind my son (4) and daughter (2). Not a lot of sleep around these parts lately. :-)

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    15. Isn't it Sophie Agnew, the personal assistant's assistant? She's been around for a while....

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    16. Congratulations, Jenna. πŸŽ€ Thanks for sharing.
      Oh my. You must be busy. :) How are your son
      and daughter adjusting to their little sister so far?

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    17. @Jenna-congratulations on your newest little bundle!!! πŸ’•
      And just wanted to say-I know the feeling about not much sleep!
      I have two boys and a 6 month old baby girl- and on the nights that she actually sleeps well-the boys will have a bad night! πŸ˜‚
      Thinking of you! 🌸

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    18. Surfer Girl, hard to follow along in comment section. We are going to be surprised this time. We have a boy and a girl so we have everything we need for new baby! No nursery yet. We will be putting my son and daughter together in one room in January so we have a nursery for the new arrival!

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    19. Me in Vancouver. I am pretty confident that that is not Sophie Agnew. I do wonder though whatever happened to Sophie.

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    20. As an expectant granny, I hesitated to join this thread. However, I just saw five month ultrasound pictures, with very clear portraits of the little one's face, and I had to share. So exciting!

      I also want to express sympathy with the new mothers who are undergoing pre-baby fatigue and post-baby sleep interruptions. These too shall pass, but they do seem endless at the time, I know. I wonder whether Kate's conference considered the effects of sleep problems on maternal mental health, and whether recommendations will emerge for dealing with the resulting work and family disruption.

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    21. Patrica1. So glad you decided to comment. Grandparents count. :) Experience can counsel and comfort. :)
      Boy or girl? You saw their face. Awesome. :)

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  7. She looks so lovely. It is amazing to see smiling Kate who is playing with children and she has a fun.

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  8. Charlotte - France31 October 2017 at 13:51

    Regarding HT's hashtag's copyright... What's the point of copyrighting a hashtag if you WANT people to use it online to discuss mental health?! This organisation is truly a trainwreck.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden31 October 2017 at 14:27

      I dont think it's that kind of copyright. More that it's tied to a cause and can't be used for other causes, I assume?

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    2. So it can not be used on goods or in advertising by others. The RF organization can use that phrase on items they sell for raising funds for various mental health programs and for identifying groups events as part of the foundation. Mugs, hats, tee shirts fund raising galas, marathons,etc. Anyone can use copyrighted materials if you do not claim they are yours and you are not benefiting from them monetarily. I have friends and relatives that write and copyright their material. So if they post a cartoon on their blog with a copyright I can share that with my friends but I can not use it to make money etc. Someone else can pop in but that is my understanding. It is very important to copyright phrases like that. All non profit and for profit company's copyright their catch phrases, cancer, heart etc.

      Delete
  9. Thank you for that video. It did indeed make my day!

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  10. She must definitely be feeling better for such an active engagement. It's also one that lies directly in her interests, so she's probably feeling extra comfortable. It's nice to see her choices of active wear. I'm sure she lives in those while at home and off duty. You can't tell she's pregnant at all today!

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  11. Glad to see Kate back in action. It looked like a fun enagagenent. Kate seemed very relaxed, comfortable and confident. Even just her stance while talking to people didn't seem quite a formal as she sometimes does. I love that she is wearing a poppy in anticipation of events next month. I feel like it's a very 'aware of her job' type of thing.

    Sidebar-Ms Quinn, can you make sure to get Kate a pair of pants like you are wearing? They would be exactly what she needs when she wants to wear skinny pants.

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    Replies
    1. Queen of the South31 October 2017 at 14:53

      Wearing a poppy this week (and next) is not really optional for her. She would have been publicly flayed if she did not.

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  12. Had the same thought...
    Would like to see Kate in that kind of trousers for an engagement!

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    Replies
    1. Gentle reminder (with a grin) about language differences: pants in Britain = underpants in America! Pants in America = trousers in Britain . . . Just so we're all on the same page!

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    2. Great suggestion re trousers. Perhaps a pai will appear next summer or fall, after Baby Cambridge arrives and life settles in to a new routine.

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  13. Replies
    1. Those are the exact trousers/pants that I think we have all been wanting added to Kate's wardrobe for how long now? lol So cool that Ms. Q wears them right out of the gate. πŸŽ‰

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    2. Not me:). Not a fan of those trousers.

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    3. Agreed ali!Especially with flats. I'm a bit taller than Kate and love a good ankle pant, but they have to be tapered and I would never wear them with flats, since it can get dowdy (in my opinion), fast.

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  14. She does look much better than even a few weeks ago. Glad she appears to be on the mend. A very cute tennis outfit and looks comfy. I play tennis and would wear those pants and jacket. Great to finally see her new assistant.

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  15. It's good to see that the Duchess is up to doing engagements like this. Ms. Quinn looked very smart. I loved the video of Prince William and the tiny hero.

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    1. Zora from Prague31 October 2017 at 17:32

      Ditto, Marci, in all 3 points. And thank you for the pants/trousers dictionary entry! :)

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    2. Thank you, Zora from Prague, and you're welcome! I forgot to answer Charlotte's blog question: yes, I did like Kate's outfit for today's engagement.

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  16. Tammy from California31 October 2017 at 15:51

    Wow, Ms. Quinn looks like she means business. She looks really on top of her game and if only going by how she presents herself- I'd say she will definitely be a valuable team member!

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    1. Who knows if Ms Quinn will influence Kates wardrobe. I think Kate has quite her own style but who knows?! And she is not her stylist.

      Yes, she looks very business like!

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    2. My thoughts exactly! Isn't it funny how much you can glean just from am quick glance at her appearance.

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    3. Liz. So true.That is exactly why it is so important for Kate to have a real stylist. :)

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  17. It was great to see the Duchess of Cambridge looking so relaxed and healthy. I’m sporty so I really liked her appropriate attire today. Thanks, Charlotte. I also admire the courageous little girl, interviewed by Prince William, who called emergency help for her Mom.

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  18. Kate looks fabulous and totally in her element. I loved the videos of Kate and the children. Happy that she is feeling well enough to get back in the swing of things. It was lovely to see her.
    Thanks Charlotte for that wonderful video of William and Suzie. How sweet was that, just adorable. William was so engaging with her.

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  19. So lovely to see Kate out and about! I have a probably stupid question - Kate obviously gets a briefing about what to expect at these engagements so she knows what to wear, right? So for this she wouldn't show up in a dress and heels and be expected to play Tennis.

    Thanks Charlotte for the speedy post as always. :)

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    1. SarahBeth, this is from Charles and Diana's day, but I don't think too much has changed. The joint planning of royal diaries is covered at the beginning and at 12:59 you will see Diana being advised on some of the details you are wondering about... :-)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjCbAVx5sjM

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    2. royalfan thank you for sharing this video! What a wonderful glimpse at Diana and her boys. I do hope that William and Kate are memorializing moments like this with their children. The royals' visits entail much more than just showing up. cc

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  20. So happy to see the Duchess looking so much better. Perfect first solo outing for her. Loved the video of Prince William, so warm and natural.

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  21. I'm glad that Kate is feeling better and it's nice to see the happy faces all around.

    Sidebar: this may be my age showing, but I do like Ms. Quinn's polished and conservative style.

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    Replies
    1. Zora from Prague1 November 2017 at 21:47

      + 1, royalfan - I share your feelings about Ms. Quinn's style! :)

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    2. I'm glad I'm not alone, Zora. :-)

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    3. Caroline in Montana5 November 2017 at 18:27

      I agree about her style! And I really think she makes more of an impact, makes it all look more adult and official than before, no offense to Rebecca!

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  22. Thoughts and love to all my friends in my beloved hometown of New York City.

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    1. I'm so sorry Tedi, my thoughts are with all New Yorkers tonight.

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    2. My thoughts and prayers join with others. πŸ’

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    3. My daughter's 8th grade trip is to NYC in the spring and I'm having serious misgivings about letting her go. Its very easy for something like this to happen there and for lives to be changed in a split second.

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    4. Erika, I wouldn't blame you one bit.

      I have been watching the news on and off throughout the day and wonder, when will we wake up.

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    5. It's a hard call, royalfan. I don't want my children to live in fear and stop doing things but they need to be protected as much as possible. I'll have to watch to see if things escalate or not.

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    6. Erika, I do understand...

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  23. And Williams conversation with the little girl...awwww ❤

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  24. Hmm the duchess looks great Hmm looking great

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  25. Hello,

    As we have discussed before, this is not the place for political discussion. The thread has been deleted, my sincerest apologies if comments which were non-political were deleted in the process.

    Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Charlotte.

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