Monday, 29 September 2014

Kate to 'Resume Engagements Next Month', Would You Like to be Kate? & L.K. Bennett AW14 Coats

Hello dear readers, we hope you're having a great weekend!

We begin with apologies for the lack of posting on the blog over the past week, as an unexpected family event came up. We'll be remedying this with an additional post over the coming week and thank you all for commenting with news on interesting articles and sharing your thoughts as always!

What's been happening in Kate's world over the past week and most importantly how is she doing? Following a very difficult three weeks suffering with Hyperemesis gravidarum, it would seem, thankfully, the Duchess is on the mend and beginning to recover.


A Palace spokesperson told the Mail Online:

'There will be engagements in October and November. We just haven't announced them yet.'

The news follows the same pattern as Kate's first pregnancy. The Duchess began to take on a few engagements here and there once her health had improved and it would appear that is very much the plan this time round. There have been no confirmed sightings of Kate out and about as there usually would be and that would suggest she's still convalescing at Kensington Palace and her parent's home in Bucklebury.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Prince Harry attended the wedding of childhood friend Victoria Inskip on Saturday. Victoria, who wed Robert Davies-Jones is said to have taught Harry to play video games. Kate was noticeably absent from the celebrations - a wedding I think she would have liked to attend - meaning, while the announcement of engagements is clearly encouraging, she isn't out of the woods yet.


The happy couple.


We'll more than likely hear about the engagements closer to the date.

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

We often see Kate's name associated with polls, be it in praise of her glossy locks or elegant style. Now, Newsweek Europe has commissioned a survey containing some surprising and not-so-surprising points on the British public's attitude.

Newsweek

Newsweek's article shares the results:

'Astonishingly, only 1% of female respondents wish they could be Kate. A staggering 89% of women have no interest in being Kate even for a single day.
 Meanwhile, among male respondents, only 6% wish they were married to Kate and - even more surprisingly, perhaps - only 6% wish they were dating Kate. (Imagine the answers to these same questions in 1984).'

When asked what interested them about Kate, her views on parenthood received 13% of the vote, her clothes 6% and make up 1%. Below we see responses from female participants in a pie chart.


Newsweek

When the results were shared on twitter, they prompted some pretty heated responses from those who still ardently believe in 'the fairytale'. Following Diana and Charles' very public marriage breakdown and the years that followed, I  doubt very many people still believe in marrying a prince and happily ever after... William and Kate have a strong marriage, unlike his parents, however, if I were asked, would you like to be Kate? Without hesitation I would answer not for all the Alexander McQueen gowns and tiaras in the world (and you all know how your faithful scribe feels about tiaras). 

Kate's role comes with so many different elements one might find undesirable: the lack of privacy, constant media intrusion, public scrutiny (only last week we had many comments questioning whether or not Kate was suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum and if the pregnancy was planned to avoid the Malta trip). Every element of her appearance is discussed, critiqued, praised and criticised each time a photo emerges. It takes a strong personality with plenty of support from friends and family to get through that. Of course there are many perks to the role too, the opportunity to make such a meaningful impact for charities, living in a palace, though I for one would certainly not like to be in Kate's shoes. How would you have voted? Would you like to be Kate?

Other poll results found only 21% of voters believe Kate has a lot of influence over her own life while 25% think the Duchess plays an important role in the Royal family.


Newsweek

Prince Harry was chosen as the most popular member of the British Royal family, Her Majesty second and William and Kate third and fourth respectively.

Newsweek

From a list of nine successful women, Kate ranked as the second-highest role model for women, with only Olympian Jessica Ennis ranking higher.

Newsweek

What are your thoughts on the poll results? Do you agree with them? You can view them in their entirety here.

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

We do love seeing old photos of Kate we haven't previously come across and I was very interested when Anna from My Small Obsessions stumbled across two candids of the Duchess taken in December 2011 by a fellow shopper who was also searching for presents for the festive season.

Pinelopi

The Duchess who was accompanied by a royal protection officer looked effortlessly stylish in her L.K. Bennett Darwin Jacket and Aquatalia Booties, and carried her Mulberry Polly Push Lock Bag.

Pinelopi

Fans of Kate's L.K. Bennett Darwin Jacket will be interested to hear the piece remains available in brown and black for £795. Crafted from luxurious shearling, with feminine seaming and a nipped-in waist it's a great Autumn/Winter piece which works with jeans and boots.

L.K. Bennett

These candids very much reminded me of the festive season, which is not too far away now!

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

Speaking of L.K. Bennett, I was browsing through their website the other day and noticed a fabulous selection of Autumn/Winter coats are now available and they have Kate written all over them. Below we see the Bette Double Breasted Peacoat.

L.K. Bennett

The Heidi BouclĂ© Coat comes in red and burgundy for £475 and taps into the textural trend the brand is embracing for AW14. We also see the Portia Jacquard Cocoon Coat in navy.

L.K. Bennett

The stylish vibrant mustard Perugia Cocoon Coat with dropped shoulders and upstanding collar is a versatile piece and could be something Kate would choose to wear with jeans when out and about. It also comes in a great ballerina pink colour.

LK Bennett

Two new shearling coats have been created for this collection - the dark-navy Brooke Shearling Coat and the grey mink Casper Shearling Coat.

LK Bennett

The Jules Double Breasted Coat, Hayley Luxe Belted Coat and Wessex Mac are well crafted pieces which would work for a number of appearances. The brand has produced a great collection of wearable, comfortable and chic outerwear again this season.

LK Bennett

Those interested in the new season can receive a 20% discount by entering AW20 at the checkout.

L.K. Bennett

With engagements scheduled for October and November we can expect to see the Duchess wrapped up in a stylish coat such as those shown above and her Aquatalia Rhumba boots. I'm a big fan of Kate's style at this time of the year.

Aquatalia

Next, we'll be continuing with our Kate Loves posts :)

Monday, 22 September 2014

William Wraps Up Successful Malta Visit & Exclusive Claudia Bradby 20% Discount for Readers

Prince William wrapped up his brief but highly successful Malta visit yesterday with a series of interesting engagements and great quotes. The day began with an Independence Day service at St. John's Cathedral in Valletta.


As the itinerary was planned with art history graduate Kate in mind the visit included a viewing of some of the works of Caravaggio - the artist Michelangelo Merisi, born in the town of Caravaggio.


The artist was the first great representative of the Baroque movement. It was something the Duchess was said to be immensely looking forward to, but no doubt she'll have the opportunity to see them again.

Wikipedia
Afterwards, His Royal Highness visited the Agenzija Zghazagh (Agency for Youth), a government agency which runs a number of initiatives for young people. Supporting young people is one of the primary goals of William, Kate and Harry's foundation and incorporating that in overseas visits has been important to them.


As he spotted a group of teenagers huddling over the table football he couldn't resist joining them.


The Prince chatted with child care student Janet Desira, 17, about George and exams. More from the royals' official website:

'His Royal Highness joked: "You can come and babysit for me", and he held out his arm to show how high George stands, adding "He's very busy, they're very hectic at that age".
 Janet told him why she had chosen child care, and His Royal Highness asked: "Are there lots of exams, are you good at exams? I'm so-so". And then, referring to his upcoming helicopter studies for his air ambulance job, said: "I've got to do 14 exams by Christmas".

Next, William headed out to enjoy some sunshine at the main square in Birgu, a town across the harbour from the capital Valletta. There, he went on a walkabout during which he revealed Kate was "feeling a little better" and said he's been keeping her updated and sending her good wishes.



This is a simply adorable photo!


William then enjoyed a scenic tour across the Grand Harbour. Interestingly, the small craft St Angelo he travelled in, was also used by the Queen in 1949 when she took in the same tour. Little details like this demonstrate the level of thought that goes into these visits.


It is stunning visually.


Kate's right-hand woman, Rebecca Deacon, accompanied William on the boat tour and throughout the day. Below we see her wearing her very popular Somerset by Temperley dress.


It was a hugely successful visit for William and he appeared to thoroughly enjoy it. When will the royals return to the Queen's beloved Malta? Reports are surfacing claiming plans are underway for a historic trip including all four heirs next year. More from the Mail Online:

'The Queen is planning to make a major foreign visit to Malta next year - and bring her three heirs, including toddler Prince George, with her, it can be revealed. The historic family trip is being mooted for next November when the sovereign, who will be 89, attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting for the first time since 2011.

This certainly looks like a very interesting date on the royal calendar, if it goes ahead.

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

Our next topic should prove a special treat for the jewellery fans among you. Our friends at Claudia Bradby Jewellery have kindly offered an exclusive 20% discount for blog readers:

20% discount with the code HRH20. The code is valid until Midnight on Wednesday UK time.

As royal fans know, when Kate was working as an accessories buyer for Junior Jigsaw, Claudia's designs caught her eye and she approached the jewellery designer which led to a collaboration resulting in the design of beautiful pieces, including the £66 Kate Silver and Rose Quartz Earrings - featuring silver and rose quartz charms - and the £60 Kate Rose Quartz and Silver Necklace. Both of these items look particularly striking worn together.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia thoroughly enjoyed working with Kate:

'Her vision was quite simple and classic. She was so straightforward, warm and bright that I remember thinking William was lucky to be going out with her.'

Kate wearing a piece she designed with Claudia - the striking Camellia Necklace.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia is renowned for creating timeless and elegant pieces, specialising in pearl jewellery. Her designs extend far beyond pearls, and in recent collections we've seen her vision in new and exciting pieces. For Autumn/Winter 2014, Claudia's new collection of silver and semi-precious stones offers the ultimate in everyday glamour. From the beautiful Eclipse Collection we see the Double Eclipse Silver Earrings and the Eclipse Silver Bracelet.

Claudia Bradby

The lean and contemporary Eclipse Silver Necklace and Eclipse Silver Hoop Earrings are excellent transitional pieces, taking you from day to night.

Claudia Bradby
The Winter Wonderland Collection features exquisite hand-cut grey moonstone, lustrous freshwater pearls and textured silver hoops.

Claudia Bradby

With the festive season just around the corner (yes, it's almost that time of year again) Claudia has launched her first ever gift set - a fail safe for Christmas Day.

Claudia Bradby

The £75 set is presented in a monogrammed gift box and includes a pair of pearl button studs complemented by a pretty pearl necklace.

Claudia Bradby

New Season Pearls offer classic and hand picked molten pearls, perfect for layering and wearing with other pieces in your collection to add an individual twist.

Claudia Bradby

 The Bella Heart Charm necklace is a real treat and perfect for women of all ages. It's particularly eye-catching when worn with the matching earrings.

Claudia Bradby

To mark the birth of Prince George, Claudia designed two commemorative pieces: the Acorn Pearl Necklace - inspired by the Middleton family crest - and The Heritage Charm Bracelet. Both are wonderful gifts for new mothers and of course royalists!

Claudia Bradby

As the Duchess often demonstrates, a pair of trusty pearl earrings are the ultimate accessory to polish off any look. Claudia has a multitude of these to suit every taste. Below we see the Couture Pearl Stud Earrings, Alexandra Pearl Drop Earrings and the Baroque Pearl Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Hollywood leading lady (we know her better as The Queen) Dame Helen Mirren is a huge fan of Claudia's pieces and was recently photographed wearing her Constantine Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Looking at the beautiful pearls reminded me of Downton Abbey, which returned to our screens last night. William and Kate are said to be huge fans of the show.

ITV

A reminder: the discount code is HRH20 and is valid until midnight on Wednesday. With thanks to Claudia Bradby Jewellery for sharing this discount :)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Prince William in Malta, Tells Crowds Kate is 'Feeling So-So'

According to royal reporters on the ground Prince William's solo visit to Malta is proving to be a huge hit.


The Prince is undertaking a two-day whirlwind tour in his wife's stead. Accompanied by Kate's private secretary Rebecca Deacon and adviser Sir David Manning, William was all smiles upon arrival. As Kate's right-hand woman Rebecca would have played a huge role in planning and preparation for the trip; it seemed prudent for her to join William.


The visit was expected to be Kate's first solo trip abroad, but became unlikely following the announcement Kate is pregnant and is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. The Duchess consulted with doctors before finally deciding she was too unwell to go. How is Kate feeling now? When asked William replied the Duchess is 'doing so-so, a bit up and down at the moment'. He also spoke of Prince George "Malta might not survive George. There are too many nice things here".


William apologised to the crowd: "I'm sorry you've got me instead of Catherine". Looking at this photo I think they were pretty pleased :)


The Palace said William is "honoured" to represent his grandmother for the visit, which marks the 50th anniversary of the island's independence from the UK. Malta holds a very special place in Her Majesty's heart, as she and Prince Philip enjoyed many happy carefree months there when Philip was stationed with the Royal Navy.


Clarence House shared images of crowds in Valletta awaiting William's arrival.

Clarence House

There was a fantastic atmosphere and according to onlookers everyone was incredibly excited to see William.

Clarence House Twitter Feed
William enjoyed chatting with locals and at one point said, "Sorry I'm chatting too much".


William's first port of call was San Anton Palace where he will be staying for the duration of the visit. He met with the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.


Planting a tree at San Anton Palace.



The Prince viewed a re-enactment of an historical event - the inspection of the fort and garrison by Grand Bailiff of the Order of the Knights of St John.



Next, he travelled to the National Library where he viewed historical documents, including letters from kings Henry VIII and George II, and the original citation awarding the George Cross to Malta.




Among the treasured objects, The Prince saw the 'Piae Postulatio Voluntatis' bull of Pope Paschal II. It is considered one of the most important pieces conserved in the Archives of the Order of Malta at the National library. This 900-year-old parchment documents the official recognition by the Holy See of the of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.


The British Monarchy Flickr

Prince William gave a speech and spoke of Kate:

'While I know that you were not expecting me until a few days ago, I must admit I feel honoured to be able to represent Her Majesty in a country so beloved by her.
 Catherine has asked me to say how very sorry she is that she couldn't be the one to pass on The Queen's greetings to you all. She was looking forward to coming here, and I know she hopes very much that she will be able to visit in the future.'

Later, Prince William attended Independence Day Celebrations at Upper Barrakka Gardens

Wikipedia
It was a memorable evening set against the backdrop of the Grand Harbour.


Day one of the visit has been tremendously successful so far. The Maltese are very pleased to have William there, and as expected, he's doing a splendid job representing Her Majesty. It would, of course, have been wonderful to see Kate there. One imagines it's a visit she would have enjoyed and will be sad to have missed out on.


From William's own words, regarding his wife 'feeling so-so', there's no doubt the Duchess made the right decision.

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

Our other topic today concerns a wedding William and Kate were expected to attend. Yesterday the couple's close friends Charlie Gilkes and Anneke von Trotha Taylor said I do at the stunning Carlo V Castle on the seafront in Monopoli, Italy.


While William was preparing for his Malta trip, Prince Harry flew over for the big day.


Kate's family were there too. Below we see Carole and Pippa Middleton with Pippa's boyfriend Nico Jackson and James Middleton's girlfriend Donna Air.

Mic Borrollo Twitter Feed

Pippa chose a beautiful pink and purple dress by Tabitha Webb which looked splendid on her. It would have been very interesting to see what Kate would have worn.


We'll be continuing our coverage of William's tour tomorrow!