Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge Shows Off Her Green Fingers & Exclusive Azuni 25% Discount!

The Duchess of Cambridge visited Robin Hood Primary School this morning to celebrate their work with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening.


Kate was greeted with beautiful flowers.


The RHS Campaign for School Gardening, now marking ten years, inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The RHS's work with schools has shown benefits for children's physical and mental well-being, and building life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication.


The visit combined two of Kate's passions; working with children and the outdoors.


A crowd of eager gardeners awaited Kate.


Kate chatting with a group of children about their interest in gardening.


The campaign is all about 'Growing Skills For Life', it's also a wonderful way to encourage children to unplug and spend more time outside.


I'm very much in favour of the fact the campaign runs throughout the entire school year.This time of year is simply perfect to get creative using items from the garden for the festive season.


I don't know about you, but this decorated pine cone makes me think....it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.


During the visit, the Duchess received a briefing on the RHS nation-wide campaign and heard about the benefits of learning outside from Robin Hood Primary School.


Kate then joined children in activities in the outdoor learning area and sensory garden.


Time for a spot of gardening.


Robin Hood Primary School has developed a whole-school, progressive outdoor learning curriculum with support from the RHS. Children have access to a range of outdoor classrooms in the woodland setting including a purpose built Outdoor Learning Area and Sensory Garden.


The Mail Online reports:

'She sat next to chatty little Charlie, six, and Innaya, five, as they planted spring bulbs including tulips and daffodils. ‘Morning, have you got your warm coats and gloves on on now? That’s a good idea,’ she said. She was handed a pair of leather gloves and knelt on a mat to join the youngsters planting out. She put on her own pair of black leather gloves and picked up a potato peeler to have a to herself, asking the children what bugs they had seen in the Palace so far. ‘Woodlouse and wiggily worms?’ ‘Lucky bugs to have such a cool place to sleep,’ she said.'

This outdoor learning gives children an opportunity to explore, consolidate and develop their knowledge and understanding of the ever-changing natural environment. The activities are created to inspire their curiosity, stimulate their senses and through challenging, yet achievable tasks using various real tools and natural resources, bring learning to life. Sessions aim to encourage and inspire children to develop their personal, social and emotional skills through participation in tasks and activities that are both challenging and achievable. Helping to develop their emotional intelligence, empathy and communication enables children to manage their emotions effectively.


The Duchess saw Bug-ingham Palace.


Kate admires 'The Palace'.


Kate whitting wood.


All that gardening called for a warming cup of tea.


During a speech Kate said "I've got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood and I'm sharing that with my own children George and Charlotte".


A video from Catherine Wylie.


Kate's speech:

‘Thank you so much for having me here today. It's been lovely to meet all of you and thank you so much to all the children who've shown me what they've been doing in their gardens. It's really inspiring and exciting to see what you've all been up to.
I've got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood, and I'm sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, at the moment.
And I'm really excited about what you're doing here and taking inspiration from that in the school environment as well. What you have created here is really so special. Hopefully you'll have lots of memories of your time here in the garden, looking for insects or planting bulbs. And I really hope you remember these special times for the rest of your lives. But thank you again and good luck and happy gardening for the future.’

Then it was time to cut the cake...


Anyone feeling peckish?


The Duchess said goodbye to the children.


The Mail added: 'Sally Spires, the school’s outdoor learning co-ordinator showed the Duchess round and said: ‘She was incredibly warm and interested and understood the idea of using outdoor learning to promote the development and mental health of young children. She clearly enjoys it herself and said how much she enjoys getting her children out in the garden with their toys and dinosaurs.’


Kate sported a selection of casual go-to pieces for the outing.


She wore her trusty Barbour Ladies Waxed Defence Jacket. The military inspired jacket is described as "Traditional Barbour wax, in a versatile field jacket. Flattering and easy fit. Perfect for outdoor adventures. 100% cotton Barbour Tartan lining." Kate has had the piece since at least 2012. It originally retailed for £199 before selling out. There are very similar Barbour jackets available at Nordstrom.


Underneath, Kate wore her black Temperley London Honeycomb Tunic. The signature honeycomb textured knit runs up the extended cuff and over the wide polo neck.

Temperley London

Kate wore her Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots.


And accessorised with her Kiki Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

It was a lovely engagement! Kate thoroughly enjoyed herself and seeing her interact with children is always a highlight.

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The Duchess was photographed again in the afternoon leaving Kensington Palace with Carole Middleton. You can view photos on the Mail Online. With thanks to the UFO No More team, it looks like Kate wore the ZARA Checked Coat.


At present, there's nothing announced for Kate's Calendar, although I expect that to change shortly. I'm hoping we'll see the Duke and Duchess at the Diplomatic Reception which takes place in early December.

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Also today, the lovely folks at Azuni London emailed me to offer blog readers an exclusive 25% discount for the next three days. To avail simply enter HRH25 at the checkout. Azuni offer Free UK Delivery and Free International Delivery on orders over £100.


Of course, we came to to know the brand in 2012 when the Duchess wore their Aqua Chalcedony Kate Earrings. The £29.50 pair remain a bestseller several years later. Described as "Fusing an elegant briolette cut gemstone suspended from a textured coin stud, these are treasures designed for the contemporary goddess." They make for an excellent gift!


The earrings are available in a selection of stones including Amethyst and Lapis.

Azuni London

Azuni London founder Ashley Marshall started his career as a chef, working in some of London's top kitchen's before taking his talent and flair for experimenting with unusual textures and stones to South America where he immersed himself in Native American culture. His unique approach to design developed during his travels followed by three years of study at Sir John Cass Jewellery and Silversmithing University in London Azuni has grown from strength to strength with a host of well known faces including Kate choosing pieces from the affordable brand. You can find out more about Ashley and the background of Azuni here.


With the party season ahead, the much loved Delphi collection has been updated with glistening gemstones in deep winter hues. In the image below, we see the stunning Rose Gold and Lolite Teardrop Necklace, the matching earrings and bracelet


.


The Five Stone Bracelet is a beautiful piece. "A dazzling Azuni Treasure for the modern-day Goddess. . The bracelet measures 7 1/2" long, has some adjustment, and is delivered in a lined drawstring pouch and branded tote bag." Below, we show in in Silver, Aqua and Labrodite and Gold, Black Onyx and Lolite.

Azuni

The Twin Stone Earrings and Diametric Necklace make for a striking pairing.

Azuni 

The Simple Gemstone Bracelet is Silver Lolite blends a divinely cut Iolite Gemstone with a Silver Plated finish.

Azuni

New sparkling necklaces include the £28 Druzy Necklace. "Return to the Elements with our Sparkling Druzy Pendant Necklaces. Comprised of tiny clusters of glittering mineral crystals that have formed deep beneath the surface of the Earth, these radiant beauties will add Stone Age sparkle to any look." 

Azuni


Azuni

Items are delivered in Azuni's signature pouch.

To view all of Azuni's treasures click here. A reminder to avail of the discount enter HRH25 at the checkout.

124 comments:

  1. Kate looks beautiful!

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  2. Nice engagement! Kate is great with kids as always and she's into gardening so a good choice. Love the "bug-ingham" pun!

    Classical casual Kate! Always her best looks, mainly because she looks like "her" in them, if that makes sense! Good choice for today's activities! That turtleneck looks so cozy! Nice to see she still has those ones!

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    1. I so agree about the "Bug-ingham" Palace--I just found that to be so cute but also truly curiosity-inspiring, because it made me think (even as an adult) about what the world is like from a bug's perspective--the space, the earth, tunnels, and about how important bugs of thousands (millions?) of varieties are for the environment. It teaches the kids to value insects, which is really wonderful.

      And it is wonderful to see Kate's way with kids paired with the RHS program--there is so much attentiveness, respect, genuine curiosity, and fun in her communicating with kids. It is a great pleasure to watch.

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  3. Nein...again the black skinny jeans...
    As it seems she has put on some weight those trousers are beginning to look badly on her legs with all the wrinkles. Ask myself how she can close the button with the growing belly. Don't understand why she doesn't buy maternity clothes with all the money at her disposal. The rest of the outfits is ok for me...seems she will spend time outside?

    However, she is doing quite a lot of engagements and think it means she's feeling quite good at the moment!

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  4. Nein...again that black skinny jeans...

    As it seems she has put on some weight those trousers are beginning to look badly on her legs with all the wrinkles. Also ask myself how she can still close the button with the growing belly. Don't understand why she doesn't buy maternity clothes with all the money at her disposal. The rest of the outfit is ok... Seems she is going to spend time outside during this engagement?

    However, she is doing quite a lot of engagements and this probably meams she is feeling quite good at that stage of the pregnancy.

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    1. I know some women who use a piece of elastic to fit and close the button and they needn't to buy a lot of new trousers.... However as you said she has no money trouble...(as far as we know..😊)

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    2. There are very comfortable maternity skinny jeans - I used them and found them more comfortable then other maternity trousers. I guess kate is using them too.

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  5. Charlotte! Is maintaining your blogs a full-time job? Not being sarcastic..I’m genuinely asking! It seems like in the last couple weeks, every time I look, there is a new post! And you’re so thorough that you must spend some quality time on each one.

    I think it would be cool if, when things slow down and you can do a “Kate Loves” post again, if you did one about your blog. Like what inspired you to start, things you learned about the process, how you put together a post, what it was like to see a community coming together around your blog, how you’ve maintained such a positive community, challenges, etc.

    I’m not too familiar with the blogging world but I think it would be interesting to learn a little about some of the work you do on the posts that I read all the time.

    PS. I love those boots Kate is wearing today. They’re one of my favorites.

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    1. Natalie, that is a great idea.💡
      That would be such a blessing. Charlotte, I truly hope you will give it some thought. :) That might just turn out to be the best "Kate Loves" yet. And that's saying something. :)

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    2. I agree with Natalie in MD. A post about what inspires you and how you do what you - that would be interesting. I've been reading your blogs (this one and Mad About Meghan) for quite a while and they are always well-written and well-researched. Thank you for what you do!

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    3. That sounds like a great idea. Definitely one for a future post :)

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    4. It would be so great to have a post at some point about your experience blogging, Charlotte. I am amazed and inspired, as others have said, by how quick AND polished your posts always are. That is a total FEAT!!

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    5. An excellent idea! I'd personally enjoy hearing how you decided to start the blog, what media/palace connections you've made, and when you initially started following Kate.

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  6. HOw quick! Thank you and I already looked at the Daily Mail online site for more pictures. I love HRH dressing like this. She looks gorgeous and fresh and comfy. These more casual styles are much more age appropriate than the sometimes matronly dresses e.g. yesterday. Maybe it is a Bristih or royal thing, but I somewho feel a look to queens of Spain or the Netherlands might help to refresh matters.

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  7. Oh i love the duchess looking in sport wear but she looking good planting and i love she has a green thump

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  8. 👒Oh my. What an amazing project. And, yep, the pine cone does make it look like Christmas. :) 🎄
    So cute, as is the pumpkin coach. Isn't that clever.
    But the "Bug - ingham Palace" takes the cake (and that looks pretty good also). I hope the Queen gets to see the photo of "Bug - ingham Palace" I truly do. :)
    Where is this school? (If you say Nottingham I will be so excited, lol.) Eve, Helen, they have a school named Robin Hood Primary - Robin Hood, lol. Can you believe that?
    Kate did look lovely as usual but a little tired. Big hug to her. :)
    Btw, what does the expression "feeling peckish" mean? I don't have a clue.
    Again, this project is quite amazing.



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    1. Feeling peckish means feeling like snacking. Are you american? It’s such a British phrase which my family being British uses. I don’t currently live in Great Britain but sometimes I forget that some slang is really only used in Great Britain.
      It’s kind of cool that this blog draws readers from all over the world who admire Kate :)

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    2. Feeling slightly hungry....😉

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    3. And when you're feeling peckish, what a lot of us crave is something 'moreish'; which means naughty things (like boxes of rose and violet chocolates for Julia) that you simply can't stop eating!

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    4. Oh. Thanks you guys. Cake. peckish. It all makes sense now. I'm becoming more British by the day (with a little help from friends. :)

      (I am from San Diego, Mali.) And I love our International community too. :)

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  9. I love her jacket and tunic!

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  10. Kate really seems in her element with children and a more casual engagement. Love her casual look, have always loved the sweater, jacket and boots....so a nice repeat! In one of the videos you can see Ms. Quinn in a very similar silhouette as Kate! The Bug-ingham Palace is pretty cute, but the chatty little boy whittling is adorable!! Couldn't help but smile listening to him. Gardening is such a great environment for children to learn and like to hear that Kate is sharing that with her children. Kate looks lovely, although I would prefer a side part for her hair (minor quibble), overall a very nice engagement. cc

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  11. She looks lovely, I love to see her in sporty wear.
    I was missing Kate and I'm so happy to see her doing so many engagement during these days. I'm glad she's feeling much better.
    Has she done something different to her lips? They seem different today and they also seem different yesterday. I'm just wondering, no body shaming here :)

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  12. Hello! I was reading comments on yesterday post and I felt the needing to write mine here.
    I'm really sad because of lots of comparisons people will going to do between Kate and Meghan. I know that's something that comes natural, but I don't think they're really kind.
    I read lots of people online comparing Kate shyness to Meghan natural way of speaking in public and, as a fan of them both and as a very shy person, I have to say this really makes me sad.
    I know lots of people do not like shy people, someone like Kate could easily seem posh when she's just shy instead.
    People need to know that everyone is different and the most important thing is to be proud of who you are (just like Meghan said).

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    1. Caroline in Montana30 November 2017 at 17:18

      Not picking on you, but I am really hoping we can be over this conversation. this is a blog for kate, there is another for meghan. there is no need to point out they are different in every post. this comment was better suited to the last post as this needs to be put behind us and not dragged out all the time. sorry, but im here for kate, not to talk about meghan.

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    2. Thank you Caroline! For those of us who do not follow all of the royals, we come to this site to keep up with Kate. Charlotte does an amazing job keeping us up to date, and it is fun reading the posts from others.

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  13. Maggie - Minneapolis29 November 2017 at 13:44

    Seems like the kind of engagement that is a perfect fit for Kate - outdoor things + doing things with children - so that's definitely great! This outfit is very "Kate", and it really is perfectly fine for the engagement. Do think the sweater and jacket don't work together for some reason - I'm not sure.,...the sweater seems to be a little more of a cozy style whereas the jacket is a little more sleek and,....different (can't think of a great word lol). But it's all quite appropriate so whatever.
    Also it's good to see her get some quick, simple speaking practice into a pretty easygoing and laidback environment. I've noticed that today, the quick statement to the press yesterday, and her previous full speech a few weeks ago have all been the most I've been to able understand all her words without having to look at text. So that's great to see! Yay improvement! I do hope she starts working on putting like....any emotion/inflection into her speaking bc it's rather monotone. Honestly the speech opening the conference last month was much in terms of articulation, as I said, and even her flow a bit, but I literally got too bored bc of the monotone to finish listening to the whole thing, and ended up giving up halfway through to just read the rest. For example Harry looks down at his speech text quite a lot and all that head bobbing isn't the most professional, but I do appreciate the feeling he puts into his speeches. This seems esp imp today, bc she's mostly addressing kids here, right? Like I know she has to say things for the adults too, but she really needs to be at least using some regular inflection in her tone or preferably being even more expressive than usual bc of all the kids. She is quite slow and monotone while speaking today in a way that makes me think most of the kids must have tuned her out pretty quickly, even accounting for their inevitably short attention spans already. I'd be shocked if they were paying attention tow the end when she was talking to them specifically. I know she must still feel nervous, but heck she's addressing the age group she always seems the most comfortable with at engagements, so I wish that had come out a bit more in the public speaking here. Esp given that one of her strengths is communicating with children. I honestly had the same issue with her mental health video that KP released after the pregnancy announcement, that was supposed to be entirely directed at children, but to me did not sound like the way adults speak to children, including Kate in more candid situations. But still, the only thing that can help is more practice so I'm overall just happy that she got some more of that today!

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    1. Hi Maggie! I felt, looking at the video, that putting her all the way up on that verandah did her no service. There she was with all the little kiddos so far away, I couldn't tell whether she was supposed to be addressing them or the teachers. As a substitute teacher and also a former Toastmaster, there was so much wrong with the way it was set up from an "engagement" point of view. They probably felt that if she were down on the same level as the kiddos they wouldn't be able to see her but I think, if she were speaking to them, she should have been in in the centre, with them gathered around her. I have developed hearing issues and I have problems now with a lot of accents unless I am around the people quite a bit. So I couldn't catch most of what she said. It was all so formal and stiff.

      But, you know, I have watched principals and teachers address children in assemblies and such here in Arizona and New Mexico and she addressed them exactly like most principals and teachers address them in a group. The speakers feel they have to get through the speech quickly because children have the attention span of young puppies. It's something that has to be"done"--the address--but honestly, one on one and small group encounters are SO much more effective and that is where the Duchess is in her element. As regards the mental health video--sadly today children just don't listen unless there is video accompanying it and even then it's the video they watch. Yesterday I was teaching 3rd graders about estimation in Math. They were close to me in a circle, I used a white board, I gave them examples that made them laugh, I asked for some to try it themselves--golly, I did everything I was supposed to do. But afterward as they did worksheets and I walked around the room, I found 5 of the 20 had obviously been somewhere else during that whole 15 minutes because I had to completely re-teach the concept to them! It was like they had never HEARD of estimation! Sigh. A teacher vent.

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    2. ��Hopefully, CQ will, after she gets closer to Kate, give her the coaching she could benefit from in all the areas you mentioned. It is a privileged platform and needs to be optimally utilized, and speaking like you mean it and are happy to be there is the place to start. She is amazing and a beautiful person but this is one area she needs to really address (along with getting rid of that aging middle-part, lol). She is going to be giving a lot of speeches. It is part of her job and communication is key. It needs to be the best. I so hope someone has the courage to broach to topic with her. Second best is not good enough. She has the ability to do better. yay, Kate. :)

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    3. ��is what the emoji was supposed to be. :)

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    4. Okaaay. The emoji was an old fashioned microphone. :) This is getting personal. lol
      Time to stop the emoji thieves. lol

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    5. Maggie - Minneapolis29 November 2017 at 20:18

      I agree really with everything yall have said, both Jo in Arizona and surfer girl. But omg not gonna lie lolol the thing I suddenly felt the urge to emphasize agreement with especially - ironically the least important thing yall said - is the needing to get rid of the middle part! :P warning: I am about to go on a rather long and shallow rant about hair - and I know it's not that important, but sometimes it's hard to not have strong and admittedly-irrational feelings/desires to rant about something unimportant anyways :P

      obviously she looks great for a woman in her mid-thirties in the midst of her third pregnancy (and also just post-third bout of HG) in five years - that I cannot deny, but there are still certain laws of geometry or something that even princesses cannot avoid when it comes to middle parts being unflattering haha. Or hell at this point I'd be happy with any change... I dk, is it just me or has her hairstyle been almost exactly the same everytime she's appeared in public since the HG subsided (except like one ponytail early on I kinda rmbr and of course remembrance Sunday)? Even her evening and daytime hair has felt much more similar than it usually would be - the more formal evening occasions may have had a little extra polish and care, but still fundamentally the same exact styling as her day hair to me. It's always some waviness from basically top to bottom for the hair that frames her face on either side, and then the back hair being more flat and straight until near the bottom where a layer of curls/waves begins. Also no volume at the crown like she used to have before when styled, and of course, the dreaded middle part. Really I would be fine with the same style every day if it was bc it was more her natural hair and she did not want to have big styling sessions before all her engagements. But she is sticking to one same thing that clearly requires some careful styling and controlled of her hair! So if you are gonna put in the effort and money, then why not change it up even a bit from to timeee. I really don't know why but I just got so "mad" when I saw her hair today, despite realizing just how silly I'm being. Just feels like even her usual wavey blowout style with the longer hair never looked quite so similar every time to me. Maybe it's the serious lack of sleep lately from starting residency not that long ago lol...
      But alllll I'm saying is c'monn even just switching up the part bw center and side occasionally, or just not doing the curls once or twice or tying it all up or trying a half up half down style once with the shorter hair...all not that hard, esp when she's clearly not just sticking to one style bc she wants to start wearing her hair more natural to spend less time on it from now on or something, bc shes obviously still getting it very much styled, so in that case don't get keeping it so much the same. You'd think this would be easier now anyways bc they live more centrally and not Norfolk. Alas.

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    6. Surfergirl, you always have such lovely comments and I agree with your assessment. Kate seems like a warm and nice person (and pretty too of course, haha). She does have a few areas she needs to address though like public speaking...and going back to her 2011/2012 fashion style! She's still young that she can pull off most of those looks (except the ultra skinny jeans, those have to go). My feeling is that she relied a lot more on her own intuition and her mom's during those early years and now she seems to be leaning on Natasha Archer (or whoever) for fashion tips. My advice to her - trust your own intuition, you were doing it right before!!

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    7. thanks, 21:50. I would so like to see Kate pick up on the 2012 fashion vibe, as would many here. :)

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    8. Maggie, don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I really, really get frustrated about the middle part. Like I have said before, not everyone can wear a middle part, regardless of the trend. I think it ages Kate considerably and in those days when she is tired it really accentuates that. Side part much better. Simple, yeh? :)

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    9. Congratulations on the residency, Maggie!

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    10. Caroline in Montana30 November 2017 at 17:25

      Maggie, i have to admit to a good laugh at you picking on Kate's speaking voice and then using the word "like" out of context more than once. how my mother hated that - can i go like to the mall, with my like friends, probably like after school?! LOL she would not respond to me until i could use a full sentence without inserting the word "like" into it, but then again, i was a Teenager. was a hard habit to break and i still laugh when i hear people do it:) to each their own i guess:) lol

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  14. What a fantastic school and how much fun must it be for the children to attend school there. My son went to an 'informal' alternative public school that combined grades and used themes for teaching (like one grading period was about Appalachia so a folk group came in to teach the children folk songs and dances, I brought in my quilts that I had made and the teacher showed how the quilt blocks related to Math using fractions, and so on).

    It must have been such a fun event for Catherine to attend too. She is so comfortable and empathetic in her interactions with the adults AND the children.

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  15. I like her sweater/tunic a lot. I was thinking that I should knit something like that for myself. Doesn't she have the same tunic in cream? (I remember a holiday in snow)

    CU Amy

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  16. She enjoys visiting the same as children.

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  17. Emmaline in the US29 November 2017 at 14:47

    This seems like such a fun event for Kate! And I have to say, her Temperley turtleneck would be one item I would LOVE to add to my closet for winter.

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    1. I really love those sweaters and am glad to see her still wear one of them! They're simple and basic, but with a twist! And look really cozy!

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    2. I would love that sweater! She looks amazing and seems to have enjoyed her visit with the kids immensely.

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    3. I also would love a sweater like that!!

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  18. Great to see her today and interacting beautifully with the kids. Catherine looked casual and appropriate today and I agree that her speech was another good bit of experience for her. It seems she still gets a tad nervous, unsurprisingly but the more opportunities she gets and practise I'm sure she will overcome this, or manage to relax her tone a little at any rate. I sometimes get the impression that's she's sometimes nervous of blurting out the wrong thing - gosh who could blame her when we scrutinise her every moment in public and the world's press are listening in.

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  19. I just love the little baby bulge you can start seeing now...!!!!

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  20. I think she looks super chic today (in a casual way haha), even with the dreaded black jeans that we're all rather tired of. I love her turtleneck sweater, and I usually despise turtlenecks! This one looks comfy and warm, though. I also love her hair today.

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  21. The little ones are so precious and love seeing Kate interact with them. I loved all the details too, the decorated tree, the cake and the Bug-kingham Palace. It's a good way to get children involved with gardening and the outdoors - something many of us grew up with (although my mum always said she enjoyed the work and I enjoyed the results!) Today, so many children have busy working parents, or live in flats and can't roam outdoors freely the way we did, it's good the RHS is realising that and creating programmes to introduce it in a school setting.

    I too was puzzled why they had the children so far away when Kate spoke. Her speaking remains uneasy but this new uptick of engagements should help. Leo, who's had much public speaking experience, (and who, if I may boast a trifle, was brilliant at it and didn't mind in the least - unlike Julia, who still shudders) pointed out to me when I actually made him listen to Kate's last big speech - poor soul - and also look at Harry's - that he believes the close reliance on written text with the looking side to side, is a technique employed by the royal family, that members aren't to vary from, so that there are no mistakes in content - one supposes particularly important for them. Because this is a stiffer way of doing it, a lot of practice to make it look as natural as possible will be important.

    Everyone knows my opinion on saggy jeans but no complaints here - because she's wearing what everyone wears to garden. I like the jeans with the black top and the trusty Barbour - my goodness, I see I'm imitating Charlotte -those two words go so much together - so I'll say loyal Barbour. I like that look better than the flashy red jackets although I can see why the colour can be necessary to be seen.

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  22. Public speaking is something I have had to do professionally (appearing in court). I have two things to say about the duchess's speaking voice: (a) she has a tiny problem with breath control; singing can help with this; and (b) I wonder if she lacks confidence in her accent; I have often heard people who want to sound more Oxford mangle their vowels in the way she sometimes does. This is not intended as a criticism; accents are fluid. Consider how her husbans has flattened his; and compare the Queen's accents in the sixties and now. But if one has a little underlying social insecurity, it often comes out in the vowels. There was a very sweet example of the opposite in the recent video of Prince Harry and Ms Markle. He pronouned "privacy" in the nirmal Englush way; then a few sentences later, she pronouned it in the American way, and immediately after, when he ipused the word again, he pronounced it as she had done. I interpreted that as the most delicate tactfulness on his part. There was no question of ibsecurity, just simple niceness.

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    1. Cecilia. been trying to get Claudia's Twitter link for you. Charlotte. Do you by chance have that and could you list it here?

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    2. Hi Cecilia, thank you for your very interesting thoughts. I have a terrible ear for languages and/or music, and want to try to understand better--what does it mean to "mangle" vowels when someone is trying to sound more Oxford, and what does it mean to flatten vowels, as William has? Does he do it to try to sound *less* Oxford?

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    3. Sorry about the bad editing.

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    4. Thank you for your comment, Cecilia! I very much enjoyed reading it.

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    5. First: thank you for your interest in helping me find Claudia's blog, surfer girl. I am sure it will happen somehow. (Do you live in California, Cornwall or Portugal, by the way?) Second: it's hard to explain exactly what I mean by mangling vowels. I use the word to describe the way in which some people waver between different vowel pronunciations when they are trying to fix on the sound they want. (At least, I suppose that is what they are trying to do.) Some people describe the old fashioned quintessentially upper class British urban accent, with its high-palate, sharpened sounds, as mangled. But I don't. Those sounds are simply the native wood-notes of a particular group. (Actually, the very topmost people, the landed and well-established ones, have never really sounded like that, except perhaps for a very short time in the forties and fifties.) I think the Duchess's difficulty is that she is not secure enough in herself to be able not to bother. Which is such a pity, as she is obviously a member of a very particular group; and she has no reason to fear that people of goodwill will dismiss or disparage her. Third: what I call flattened vowels involve less tension in the upper and middle part of the mouth, and sound more relaxed. (I speak as a person with No Qualifications At All in the formal description of language, by the way.) Sometimes they are accompanied by glottal stops, or partial ones - a different sort if relaxation. Heaven knows why the Duke does it. It doesn't really matter why. In fact none of it matters except in the mind of the person speakng. And that is really what I am getting at. The Duchess speaks as if she feels that she is having to make an effort. (That could be why her voice tails off at the ends of sentences, too.) If she could believe that it doesn't matter, it would all be easier for her. That's why she should just let go and sing. Here endeth the lesson. So sorry to sound sententios and prescriptive.

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    6. you are welcome. :) That's San Diego, Californiia.

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    7. Cecilia, that's a really intriguing theory and I daresay you could very well be correct. I went on a long comment in the last thread on why she seems so reticent. And what I said sort of ties in with your last point - if she could dig deep a bit and try to understand why she holds back it would help.
      royalfan - I did read your comment and I think you are stretching a bit. I don't completely disagree with you - I do agree that she knows her "place" so to speak so she won't try to outshine anyone or really tap into her popularity. I also agree that Kate does have a good handle on what is required of her role. But her current speaking skills are far from a point where Charles will be quaking in his boots. You really are stretching here :)

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    8. Hi Christen, good to see you again after some time, interested in the same comment! 🙂I was wondering whether you were OK.

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  23. I loved Kate's outfit today and I loved watching her interact with the kids. She clearly loves the wee ones! I also am super excited to see a pretty decent bump now...it's so darn fun watching it all unfold. I also love that Kate is nervous because it shows her genuine-ness. She really makes an effort to make others feel heard and acknowledged and I love her for that and for watching her choice of cute clothes! Thanks for the post!

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  24. I LOVED this engagement. The kids are so cute !! I love small children..
    Kate did brilliantly and I was *so so* happy to hear her speak without a written aid of some sort. Good for her ! These are the kinds of engagements that I personally enjoy the most.

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    1. Hi Rosman, I did notice in the video that Kate had a little note card that she tucked back into her pocket once she was done speaking. Probably just little reminders of points she wanted to touch on. I do hope we continue to see her make little speeches or sound bites about the various charities she visits, it would go along way in getting these organizations the recognition they deserve and need.

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    2. I agree Lauri. If she does one or two sentences each engagement she would also get good practice.

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    3. From some of the comments it seems that Kate did a great job at not being obvious with her notes!! cc

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  25. Tammy from California29 November 2017 at 16:29

    This will go down as one of my favorite posts. The video of her chatting with the kids was so authentic, it's the first time I have seen and heard her be- probably as close to what she is when in private- as we will ever see. Her interaction with kids is so sweet. To me, she also looked like she was feeling good today.

    I love that sweater and am glad she wore it again.

    On a side note, when I hear sweet little kid voices with an English accent, my heart just swoons.

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  26. Lovely, cozy engagement. Planting bulbs, making bug homes and christmas ornaments, tea and cake.... What's not to like.

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    1. I agree - a great engagement. The Bug-ingham Palace made me laugh out loud :).
      One thing puzzles me: in some pictures Kate's hair looks much shorter than in others - e.g. the difference between the 3rd and 4th pictures shown above is really big. Is it just because of how the hair is "spiralled"?

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    2. I noticed that too, Zora. I think her hair is shorter in the front and curled more tightly. In the photo where it appears longer, she does have the front ends tucked behind her ear. For one recent engahement, Rosman and I noticed that her hair appeared quite a bit longer in the back. We felt she was wearing extensions or a fall because the hair was actually two different shades. Not sure if that is going on here.

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    3. Thanks, Erika!

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    4. Sometimes curls do weird things.. I feel that maybe the back hair doesn't hold the curls well enough ? I don't know.

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    5. That may be too, Rosman.

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    6. You're welcome Zora:)

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  27. Love this casual outfit, it's suits her perfectly. Kate looked beautiful. Love her natural conversations with the kids, she seems very relaxed in that environment. People, who have met and spoken with her, always comment on her warmth and charm.

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  28. Under the "Kate enjoying the Palace", you can see in the photo below that in the distance to the left, CQ and that same young woman as previously.

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  29. Kate looks beautiful, radiant, happy and healthy, perfect.

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  30. Maggie - Minneapolis29 November 2017 at 19:10

    Must say I'm rather disappointed with the content of today's speech. It's so broad and vague that she could give literally the exact same speech at any engagement that has anything to do with the outdoors and for whatever reason, for ex like.. To speak at event about the health benefit of growing your own fresh produce or something lol. Heck, she could give almost entirely the completely same speech for a cause completely unrelated to the outdoors too, and keep 95% of the speech exactly the same bc it lacks even some basic specificity to the focus at hand. Like could still say the thing about it being relevant to the lives of Kate and the kids - just replace the word. 'outside' with the new topic. Also fine to keep the stuff about being inspiring too since there's no reason or example given anywhere in the current speech for what is done to be inspiring and so could be used to describe anyone. Seriously all she would have to change is one word in the whole first paragraph, (replace "garden" w/ new thing), all of 2 words in the second para ("garden" and "outside"), and finally just a few more in the third like replace the thing about planting bulbs with whatever the new people do. That's how easily almost the exact same speech could be given for something totally different! Imo that's when you know the speech is pretty bad and indicative of poor effort and very little time or thought being put into learning what the organization does and how/why they do it beyond the fact that it involves being outdoors and Kate likes spending time outside.
    This initiative just has such a fantastic and unique reasoning for promoting something already becoming increasingly rare esp for the younger generations they are targeting, and I think many people wouldn't think to consider some of the important benefits of gardens that this initiative is seeking to maximize, but Kate doesn't say anything even remotely about what they are trying to achieve in the speech, or heck any spec details about how they try to achieve it, which would shine a light on the stuff she says is inspiring so other people can find it inspiring too if they hear or read her words.
    Also instead of just randomly throwing in one sentence vaguely referencing a childhood that involved being outside and is now being emulated for her own kids with no details or followup, she could maybe give some detail/examples of what particularly she and the kids like doing outdoors/garden-wise, with emphasis on why they like doing those things (said in a way that echos the principles of the project she is championing). Otherwise the way it is now feels to me like trying to do only the bare minimum for having a speech that meets the basic template for a good royal speech in these situations, ie needing to explain a bit why she is interested/cares about the issue.

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    1. Kate was speaking to a bunch of primary school kids, for goodness sake! I thought her warmth was lovely, and she hardly needed to deliver a long essay on gardening and mental health. It was a nice short talk, geared to the attention span and the activities of her listeners. Good job.

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    2. But that is Kate for you. She is so afraid of revealing her personality that she speaks in banalities all the time. I don't want to ruffle feathers because already in the last thread I had a bunch of people jump on me for suggesting that Kate try to examine in therapy why she is so reticent.. So I feel like I need to really measure my words, but honestly, everything she says is so general that it is trivial. I am quoting one of my professors who used that against one of my papers once. .. ha ha .. So I am also capable of trivialities, but the challenge is to rise beyond that.
      I am hopeful that CQ can lay down some higher standards for her. One's progress is directly proportional to the aspirational levels one is given .. no ? Dean of Oxford is no joke.. she knows excellence.

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    3. You did see that her remarks were made to a crowd of young children and their teachers standing in the cold?

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    4. Caroline in Montana30 November 2017 at 17:51

      Maggie, she was talking to a bunch of Children! not giving a lecture at a college. I think its easy to find a bunch of things you don't like about her and expound on them, much harder to find any you do like about her or things you think she does right and especially to actually acknowledge them as they don't seem get the desired feedback.

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    5. Rosman - perhaps you need therapy to understand why you bully a woman on a blog. If you don't like her, her manner of public speaking or how much she reveals of herself, why comment on a blog that is in many respects a fan blog. I find that odd.

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    6. Anon 20:58 the only bully here is you. Calm the heck down and go troll other sites. Please.

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    7. you are such a nice person, Rosman.

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    8. Why thank you surfer girl. Right back at you.

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  31. Loved everything about it. I love to garden so I am interested. It's nice to see Kate get down and dirty with the kids. It comes naturally to her.

    I think she looks great. Although she is in skinny jeans, these are appropriate to the engagement and work perfectly. I also think they look crisper and sharper than the other ones, not so faded.

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  32. I absolutely love the pictures! Great engagement. Truly adorable with the tree and the bug palace.
    I love love love this outfit! Even me, the hater of the black skinny jeans, thinks they look ok here. Love that tunic with the jacket. Love the centre parted hair tucked behind her ears. Love the extra fullness in her cheeks, she looks so healthy and happy. I covet those boots!
    Perfectly turned out for this even, in my opinion.
    Her public speaking could use some work, but at least she wasn’t looking down at notes this time :)

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  33. Reading through the post about this engagement, I couldn't help but think it would have been a wonderful joint engagement for Prince Charles and Catherine. I know he is quite fond of gardening and Kate seems to enjoy the more casual, outdoor engagements with children. We see so much of the younger generation doing engagements together, but I'd love to see some more multi-generational engagements in the royal family - They're the most fun for me.

    The bouquet was one of the most stunning I've seen Kate receive, but I guess I should not have expected any less from the Royal Horticultural Society. I love the sweater with honeycomb texture and would like a better look at the Zara checked coat.

    Please, Please, Please don't let me wait till 2018 for another tiara sighting! I hope William and Kate attend the Diplomatic Reception (even if we just get arrival photos, I'll take any tiara sighting I can get).

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    1. I agree that it would have been an ideal joint engagement. The Firm isn't known for them, but it *would* have been ideal. And I so enjoyed seeing her interact with the children. She's so natural at it. George and Charlotte are very lucky indeed!

      And I'm loving Kate's sweater!! It goes well with these jeans and boots.

      Also, I think she had the advantage of height and being seen when she was giving the speech.

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    2. Anne I agree with you about the bouquet!! It was beautiful, as was the picture of Kate holding it. cc

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    3. Caroline in Montana30 November 2017 at 17:55

      You have made me curious! do they do pairings like that for joint engagements? say if you paired William and Camilla? or Harry and Kate? or in the future Meghan and William?? I could see Kate and Meghan as the women together but I figured they just stuck to the couples or the boys and their father? I do like it when the trio does their joint engagements, but its never just Kate and Harry, right?

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    4. Caroline, we've seen Kate with the Queen; Kate with the Queen and Prince Philip; Kate with the Queen and Camilla; and Kate with Charles. Have I missed one? Help, please... ;-)

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    5. Kate has done at least one engagement with Charles and Camilla and several with the Queen/the Queen and Prince Phillip. Kate and Harry did attend the closing ceremony of the Olympics together without William I believe. The Queen, Camilla, and Kate visited Fortnum & Mason together in 2012 (which was the engagement I had in mind - I would love to see Kate, Meghan, the Queen, and Camilla do a similar engagement together!)

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden1 December 2017 at 09:49

      Not often Caroline. The Swedish royals do it quite often! And I really like it. I think Harry and Kate has done one event together. Something during the olympics. I would love if the british royals did it more since it shows a family unity that is missing a bit with the brits. But different ways for different families is OK as well!

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  34. Kate's last three engagements have all been excellent although all very different she has appeared to have enjoyed them all and I liked the way she was dressed for all three engagements.
    What has been so good for this one was the microphone was near enough for one to hear quite a lot of what she was saying to the kids when interacting with them giving one a little insight into the real Kate So often people who have been in contact with her on these engagements all say what a lovely warm person she is.
    She is at her best with this type of event I remember how totally relaxed she was when she visited that farm in Gloucestershire a few months ago and surprised the organisers how hands on she was with the animals joining the children in all their activities. I hope it won't be too long before she has other engagements.
    Yesterday the mystery young lady accompanied her in the car & there was no sign of CQ but CQ was at the Royal Command Performance today they were both with her although CQ was closer most of the time in fact there were some nice photos of CQ smiling and appearing to enjoy the event. I do feel the mystery young Lady should be identified by KP as she would seem to be an assistant PA neither CQ or her assistant are as obtrusive as RD was one feels that Kate is now her own woman and appears more confident.

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  35. I love her shorter hair but the styling has been so hit and miss - I think today is a hit! The loose waves really suit her. I hope she keeps it this length. I was looking at some older pictures on the blog recently and the super long hair made her look quite young I think.

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  36. From Cepe Smith on twitter:

    Two engagements for Duchess of Cambridge CC 29/11

    The Duchess of Cambridge this morning visited Robin Hood Primary School, Bowness Crescent, Kingston Vale, London SW15, to celebrate Ten Years of the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening.

    The Duchess of Cambridge this afternoon convened a Roundtable at Kensington Palace with experts in positive parenting and early years support.

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  37. Yes the duchess last three enagement was all good and nice personally she way to connect to other peoplwsand she good intercting with the kids and she listen i though it would be great idea.if she would joint enagement with her father imlaw The duchess really seems to enjoy outdoor enagement she good listener and good with interaction with these kids

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  38. I really enjoy the out doors and gardening. Being there, for me, would be sooo much fun. The Duchess of Cambridge gave a speech and yes, she is getting better. The more she does public speaking, the better her confidence, her passion and delivery will become. Thanks, Charlotte; a great post.

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  39. i love when there is video of her with children. She seems to easy and natural with them, which is wonderful. she knows how to engage them and get them talking. and their answers are funny. and her speech part today was ok. it was more relaxed than her statement the other day, but it seems like she's not totally comfortable with that sort of thing (neither am i, just to be clear. i get it. but at the same time, it's a big part of her role). it seems she does better without having to memorize a script or official statement, though i still think a little more practice could really help her (like to eliminate the unnecessary use of "um" and "and" and maybe just get a little tension out of her body language).
    someone posted about thinking a joint engagement with Prince Charles would have been great, here, and i think yes, but also no. it's good that she went on her own. she shines so well that way. if she is going to be with someone, i always hope it's Harry, though. it seems like they are always up to secret mischief and makes me think of going anywhere with my brother. i hope we'll continue to see that in the future (maybe she'll get up to mischief with her sister-in-law a well... poor william :-P )

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  40. One of the things I've noticed about Kate and public speaking is that she seems to be going for an extremely old-fashioned British accent, which makes her sound slow and with a flat, deliberate cadence. Both William and Harry have a more modern, brisk speaking cadence. I actually really wonder why Kate wants to speak that way since none of the "young royals" have that particular accent.

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    1. As I suggested above, I fear that she has a little insecurity about her background. It is a pity, because no one blames her for it; but it appears that cruel remarks were made in the past about her antecedents, by people who ought to have known better. As you say, it is very clear that she is not speaking with an accent that she has made her own. It is sad. She should practise singing her speeches. Listen to Prince Harry sweetly copying Ms Markle's pronunciation, simply to be polite, I think.

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    2. The funny thing is that Pippa's and Carole's accent seem perfectly comprehensible to me. And Michael's and James'. I wonder if they ever tell Kate to relax and not worry about these things.

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    3. It is easy to say relax and do not worry, nobody cares how you speak. That's simply not true. She is constantly scrutinised, and is caught between two opposite critics, the public and the RF. The conversation around her apparent timidity and the causes of it reminded me of a very negative school my children went briefly to.A very elitist and strict one where the pedagogy was based on repression and negative comments rather than on encouragement and positivity. It did not take my children long to become unsure of themselves and shy. We did not send them to therapy, we changed school. The problem for Kate is that she cannot change her environment.

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    4. Funny you should compare Kate to your primary school aged children .. sort of shows how people think of her. Also validates my point completely.
      All of us face criticisms in life. The key is to learn and develop from them. Children obviously need to be protected but once you are an adult you don't/can't find that protection.

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  41. Caroline in Montana30 November 2017 at 17:59

    As for today's fashion, I really really like her jacket and her sweater, the collar adds a nice detail. It goes almost without saying that those are some awesome boots, although they could use a polish. But, sorry here it is again, those awful skinny jeans, are just well... awful! lol. what I wouldn't give to see her her in a nice fitted pair of Levi's, sigh. :)

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    1. First of all, skinny jeans suit Kate very well and suit a great many other people also. So I don't agree they are 'awful'. Why do you think so ? Second, I don't understand what Levi's do that skinny jeans don't ? They are both jeans, right? Or am I missing something. I am not always a fan of jeans for engagements but how would Levi's be different? I confess I don't know because I have never worn them.

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    2. Hmm I think people are pointing out that Kate's skinny jeans (the black ones she's worn for years) are now sort of faded, ill-fitting (they bunch up at the knees), don't really have a nice color (I would LOVE to see some classic indigo-dyed jeans), and generally are an odd repeat considering her multi-thousand pound dresses, that she clings to one pair of skinny jeans that are looking the worse for wear.

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    3. I see, Ivy Lin. Normally I would agree but in this case I think that worn out jeans were okay for all that mud and dirt.

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    4. They’re not all the same, several different pairs have been identifies over the years. Also, currently she would be wearing maternity skinnies. There was a pair identified when they visited New York, for example.

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  42. Maybe she has been getting lessons from Professor Henry Higgins. :)

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    1. Bad advice, in that case. ;) We really have moved on. On another topic - do you look at the BBC News website? (We do, because we prefer not to have a television.) There is a sweet picture of Prince George's handwriting, as shown by Prince William to Father Christmas in Helsinki.

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    2. Thanks for mentioned about Prince William Cecilia! And I love how he said that he hoped Harry would stay out of his fridge now :)

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    3. Thank you for sharing, Cecilia. Adorable!

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    4. Thank you for sharing, Cecilia. Adorable! I wish Kate could have gone on this tour with William (imagine George and Charlotte meeting Father Christmas).

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  43. Cecilia. Well. I dare say. Excuuuuse me. lol

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  44. I cant help but feel a bit sorry for Kate, she seems very insecure and she needn't be she is lovely

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  45. I agree, Nina. I think Kate is a lovely person in all respects. Now, after assimilating into her new life seamlessly, married six years, three children (including an heir and a spare), I hope she starts to let her hair down a little, relax and enjoy the journey more and more. I know that with having three small children that's might take a concerted effort, but... :)

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  46. Candids of Kate: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5136373/Low-key-Kate-snapped-Kings-Cross-station.html

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  47. I saw the article on THE SUN with Kate and her mom out and about. Glad to see her enjoying herself after such a long illness. She looked great and cute as a button with her hair in a ponytail and her checkered Zara jacket. She seems so relaxed and happy these days. Pregnancy is becoming to her.

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  48. I wanted to comment on this engagement even though it’s a few days past. I thought this was a fun activity for Kate to be involved in with the children, she very much seemed to enjoy herself as well. I do hope she took a photo home of “bug”-ingham palace. Perhaps, she could give the Queen a photo for Christmas or maybe George and Charlotte could create one for her. It really was too cute.

    One thing I did not like was the location of the speech she gave from the deck (porch?) - she felt so far removed from everyone. Personally, I would have had her stand on a step or 2 down and then had the children and teachers form a horseshoe around the steps. It would feel & look more inclusive to me. She doesn’t always seem like the most comfortable public speaker and things like this would leave no question as to why - you need eye contact to really pull your audience in and being that far away - it can’t be easy.

    As far as what she was wearing - this has to be my favorite “Casual Kate” to date. It was casual enough to look comfortable but not too casual that you don’t look appropriate for the location/activity. I’m torn on the pants, they are starting to look a little snug but if she’s comfortable in them - I’ll give her a pass since she’s pregnant.

    It’s wonderful to see her out and about - she looks good considering the start she had to this pregnancy. Hopefully she is feeling better every day.

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  49. I wanted to comment on this engagement even though it’s a few days past. I thought this was a fun activity for Kate to be involved in with the children, she very much seemed to enjoy herself as well. I do hope she took a photo home of “bug”-ingham palace. Perhaps, she could give the Queen a photo for Christmas or maybe George and Charlotte could create one for her. It really was too cute.

    One thing I did not like was the location of the speech she gave from the deck (porch?) - she felt so far removed from everyone. Personally, I would have had her stand on a step or 2 down and then had the children and teachers form a horseshoe around the steps. It would feel & look more inclusive to me. She doesn’t always seem like the most comfortable public speaker and things like this would leave no question as to why - you need eye contact to really pull your audience in and being that far away - it can’t be easy.

    As far as what she was wearing - this has to be my favorite “Casual Kate” to date. It was casual enough to look comfortable but not too casual that you don’t look appropriate for the location/activity. I’m torn on the pants, they are starting to look a little snug but if she’s comfortable in them - I’ll give her a pass since she’s pregnant.

    It’s wonderful to see her out and about - she looks good considering the start she had to this pregnancy. Hopefully she is feeling better every day.

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