Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Very Bucklebury Christmas

As we won't be seeing William and Kate at the Sandringham service on Christmas morning I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what I expect Christmas with the Middleton family will involve. I expect the Cambridges have already arrived at Kate's parents' new £5 million Georgian mansion in Bucklebury, Berkshire.



Michael and Carole Middleton purchased Bucklebury Manor earlier this year and according to an article from The Daily Express the family will be enjoying their first Christmas there this year. It is a beautiful property, which boasts seven bedrooms and eighteen acres of land, its own tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with its own park and views overlooking the beautiful River Pang. No doubt the family will enjoy a long walk with the dogs before Christmas lunch.


The Duke and Duchess and the Middletons will most likely attend the Christmas Day service at their local parish church of St Mary the Virgin. The Palace has requested the media respect the family's privacy so it will be a very different affair to the Sandringham Christmas service where the royals are greeted by a large media presence and locals during their walk to Church.

Wikipedia

I received a copy of Pippa's book Celebrate as an early Christmas gift this year and I have to say despite the negative reviews I have really enjoyed reading it. There are endless easy to follow recipes and tips for all occasions with party planning tips to guide one through any event. Pippa has a wonderfully warm and personable writing style. It is a book I will get a huge amount of use from particularly during the festive period. The book also gives one an insight into the Middleton family's Christmas which Pippa describes as 'blissfully calm' (with thanks to the lovely Dash from British Royals).



In 'Celebrate' Pippa's ideal Christmas menu includes starters such as pear, walnut and Roquefort salad. A traditional main course of roast turkey, gravy, bread sauce and cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, honeyed carrots and parsnips and pigs in blankets and stuffing. Dessert is Christmas pudding and brandy butter or Chocolate Yule log.

Pippa Middleton 'Celebrate'

From reading 'Celebrate' one gets an insight into how fun Christmas in the Middleton household is. Games are played after dinner including 'The Chocolate-Box Game':

'Find a tall chocolate box (or an empty cereal box) and stand it on a clear area of floor away from any furniture. Players take it in turns to lift the box using just their teeth, with only their feet touching the ground. Once everyone has had a go, tear a few centimetres off the top of the box so that it stands a little lower than before and play another round. The box continues to get smaller and smaller until it is just a flat piece of cardboard and only the most flexible and controlled players are left in the game'.

                                                                                                            Pippa Middleton 'Celebrate'

Each year Mike Middleton dresses up on Christmas Day, one year opting to wear an inflatable sumo wrestler costume much to the amusement of his family. I wonder what he'll choose this year? :)


Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter


Then of course there's the presents! Last year William reportedly gave Kate a pair of Kiki McDonough 18 ct green amethyst earrings. Kate wore them to the Christmas service and they have become a firm favourite of hers. I wonder if the couple will receive a lot of gifts for the baby this year?


I always enjoy seeing contemporary artist Alison Jackson's take on the Royals. I love the Lupo lookalike :)

Alison Jackson

You can view many more photos on Alison's website.

Alison Jackson

The evening time will most likely involve a classic movie such as 'White Christmas' and the Downton Abbey Christmas special (William and Kate are said to be huge fans of the show), mulled wine and a box of chocolates. Reportedly extended members of Mike's family will be spending Christmas in Bucklebury this year. So, it seems Christmas with the Middletons will be very similar to millions of families such as yours and mine. A traditional day to enjoy with family and friends.

Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012 ITV

I know a lot of people were surprised and dismayed at the couple's decision not to spend the day with the royals but if any of us were to put themselves in their shoes, sacrificing a private family Christmas is a big ask. Following Kate's illness, I do think it is a very understandable decision as Sandringham would involve five outfit changes and it is a very formal affair. I hope William, Kate and the Middleton family have a happy and peaceful Christmas!

I'd like to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas filled with happiness and lots of laughter. I'm looking forward to spending the next few days enjoying the festivities with my fiancé and my family. Thank you all so much for following the blog this year. I really am blessed to have so many lovely readers who take the time to check in every day and share their thoughts. I appreciate it so much and look forward to 2013 which will no doubt prove just as interesting as this year with the arrival of the Royal baby :)


56 comments:

  1. Dear Charlotte,

    Thank you for another wonderful post and a year of speedy great updates!

    I hope that you have a lovely time over the festive period.

    Best wishes to everyone,

    PPx

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  2. Lovely post, Charlotte. Thank you. And a very Merry Christmas to everyone. :)

    I hope William and Kate enjoy a peaceful and warm holiday with her family.

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  3. Charlotte,

    As 2012 begins to wind down we just want to say how thankful we are for your commitment to giving us the latest on the service, contributions, and efforts that William and Catherine give to Britain, the Realm, and the world in general. We see so much of the negative side of life in the media that it is refreshing to have a positive upbeat commentary on the good things that are happening in the lives of these leaders. You have a gift for the reporting on the interactions of William and Catherine in uplifting yet amusing ways. Thank you and keep these good articles coming.

    Best wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year, and a most positive and productive academic year.

    And, as we approach 2013 may William and Catherine have a healthy, happy baby with a sweet disposition. John and Joan in Tennessee.

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    1. Thank you all so much for your kind words and lovely Christmas wishes. I do think it's important to always remain positive and see the best in all situations. With so much negative reporting I try to see things from William and Kate's perspective.

      I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

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  4. Simone from Germany23 December 2012 20:31

    Hey,
    glad to hear William and Kate spent Christmas with Kates parents. I'm sure it'll be more relaxing for them!!
    Merry Christmas Charlotte :)

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  5. Sarah from Calif.23 December 2012 20:36

    Oh my gosh Charlotte that was such a beautifully written post. I actually got a bit teary. Now I'm going to get Pippa's book despite any negativity. They really are a lovely family. I made a chocolate Kahlua cake and everyone ate it already! Ha I have always wanted to make a Yule log.
    Thank you for all you do creating this wonderful blog:) It has been so enjoyable. Thank you to your fiance too. Wishing all in the world a very Merry Christmas! Peace on earth and good will to all!
    By the way. love the twinkly Merry Christmas;)

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    1. You're all so lovely and I am so thankful for the readership here. It has become something of a community here and reading the comments is something I love.

      I do think Pippa gets a hard time and unfairly so. She does come across as a lovely person trying to forge a career whilst remaining respectful to Kate's position and she clearly adores her family. I read a chapter earlier today where she described bringing her parents breakfast in bed with Kate and James and I just thought how nice it is for them to spend Christmas together. At the end of the day, family is more important than anything else. Something we are all reminded of at this time of the year x

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    2. Sarah, I got a bit emotional too, Im not exactly sure why!!!Love the pictures you have posted of Pippa, Kate and their lookalikes!!;-))I agree, Charlotte's fiance also deserves a big THANK YOU :)Love this post and update, and a Merry christmas to all the readers!!

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    3. So many touching comments tonight, a massive thank you from myself and my fiancé. x

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    4. Hello everyone. I'm definitely going to havealook at Pippa Middleton's book. Looks inspirational and easy enough to maybe take a few ideas from. Might be a good Christmas present next year. I can think of a friend who would like a copy.
      I tend to read a lot of books about the royal family, Diana included. I've found a very good one recently. Diana - the life of a troubled princess. In depth interviews with people who really knew Diana sothere's a lot in the book thatwas new to me. I got a few extra new copies and put them on Amazon in case anyone would like to read some new information on Diana, William's lovely mother.

      Lots of good black and white photos of Diana and her young children Wills and Harry. This book digs deep into Diana's character and there is a lot of new material here. The author interviewed Sarah, Diana's sister, which is particularly illuminating. If you would like to see the book on Amazon:
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aag/main/ref=olp_merch_name_2?ie=UTF8&asin=1845132521&isAmazonFulfilled=0&seller=AR4KF6WKGSR0L
      Just let me know if you're not happy with me showing you more good Diana books on your blog. I'm wondering whether I can try to publicise your blog a bit more. It's a better quality blog than anything I've found so far in England. Regards

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  6. Ana B. from Brazil23 December 2012 20:38

    What a lovely article, Charlotte!
    I completely understand and support their HRH's choice of spending Christmas with the Middleton family this year. Her family is very important to both of them, and should not be left aside.
    Thank you for this amazing year and perfect coverage on our dear Duchess! It is a pleasure to follow your blog! I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
    Hugs from São Paulo :)

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  7. Every expectant mum likes to be with her mum and dad ona holiday and be taken care of! Perfectly natural to put hersel , her baby and her own parents first this year. Merry Christmas to The two proud parents to be from theUSA! Susan in utah

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  8. Merry Christmas Charlotte. You really do an amazing job writing this blog, it's my favourite website and the first one I check each day. Have a great holiday :)

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  9. Happy Christmas Charlotte! I hope it is a wonderful few days for you!

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  10. Happy Christmas Charlotte! I hope it is a wonderful few days for you!

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  11. Theresa, from Paris23 December 2012 22:28

    I wish you a very merry Christmas, dear Charlotte !
    Thank you for your fun and lovely blog, always so interesting to read. Your hard work is a delight for us. It is really fun to be with you and all the other readers to share our thoughts about the Duchess.

    To all the readers from around the world I wish a peaceful and very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year 2013 ;-)

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    1. A wonderful sentiment thank you Theresa :)

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  12. Thank you Ms. Charlotte for this great blog. I have enjoyed reading all the great stuff on our Duchess & her Prince. I can'gt wait until 2012 to see what the Duchess is going to do and how she will do being a pregnant mommy to be. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

    Also to all of my friends on this blog I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

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  13. Thank you all so much for the Christmas wishes x

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  14. Jane from New England23 December 2012 23:37

    Dear Charlotte: What a lovely post with wonderful photos of the Middleton's new home and parish church. It is the quintessential English village! So idyllic. I hope they all have a lovely Christmas. And thank you so much for your hard work in providing such interesting pieces on the young royals this year. I look forward to what is to come in 2013. A very Merry and blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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  15. Okay, can somebody explain to me why people say Kate is going to both Bucklebury & Berkshire. In the post it says Bucklebury, Berkshire, so I'm wondering if it's like here in America we have cities & states, but just with different names? I'm just curious as to how all of this works.

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    1. Kate, Texas, USA24 December 2012 06:00

      Bucklebury is a village in the county of Berkshire. You have the country of England that is divided up into 83 counties. Within those counties are towns and villages. I guess it is somewhat like our cities and states. Hope this helps. Charlotte or someone from the UK could maybe explain it better. :)

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    2. Perhaps Kansas is more simplistic but in the US many states have a larger region between a city/town/village and a state. Berkshire is the larger region.

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    3. Kate- That's what I figured, thanks for the help!

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  16. Merry Christmas Charlotte! Have a wonderful and restful holiday. Thank you for all of your work on this blog. I really enjoy you and your posts.

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  17. Another thoughtful, informative, touching post, Charlotte! Thank you so very much for all your excellent writing, all the time and the extensive research you put into your wonderful blog! You've given your readers around the world a lovely gift all year long. We're so lucky to get to read you!

    Have a beautiful, blessed Christmas celebration, Charlotte! Hugs from Minnesota. :o)
    Julie

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  18. Canadian Friend24 December 2012 03:27

    Merry Christmas, Charlotte! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog.

    I so enjoy following the Duke and Duchess from the place you create, full of respect, positivity and compassion for the tremendous task they are undertaking.

    I hope 2013 brings great happiness to you and your fiance.

    May we all enjoy the excitement to come as the Cambridges welcome their baby and continue to lead the monarchy to new achievements.

    Happy Christmas and all the very best in 2013!

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  19. Merry Christmas and thank you! Your blog is a bright spot in my day.

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  20. Charlotte, at this season, many, many thanks for persisting through the trials earlier this year and coming back better than ever, with your wonderful blog. I know I speak for your readership when I say we truly enjoy it so much. Life as been tough with a lot of losses for me in the last year or two, and I'm sure I'm not the only one of your readers in that situation. Following William and Kate through your blog is a lovely treat when things get difficult. So a super big thank you from a wet California and hopes for a Happy Christmas for you and your fiance and a New Year full of great Kate news for all of us!

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  21. Dear Charlotte, earlier I tried to post on my android but no luck, so I am at my PC to see if I can post a thank-you note for all your diligence in getting us the absolute latest on Wills and Catherine! You do a lovely job and before I look anywhere else your blog is my go to site for all the latest in news, photo's and anything related to these 2 royals! I do hope for their sakes that the more cozy atmosphere of being amongst Kates family will give them a much needed respite from the media!! And by the way...........a blessed and merry Christmas to you, your fiance and both of your families! From what you posted about Pippa's book I get the feeling she is going to be quite a hit in the book stores not just in Great Britain but world wide! Thanks for telling us the real story not the negative nonsense from those who are probably jealous of her! She seems like a hard working and intelligent young and upcoming lady!!
    Blessings Charlotte fron Denver, Colorado

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  22. Kate, Texas, USA24 December 2012 05:49

    What a wonderfully sweet post! Charlotte, thank you for your gift to us in your wonderful blog. It is such a commitment and I am so grateful for all your hard work. You are always so positive and uplifting in keeping us informed. I am already looking forward to your wonderful posts in 2013!

    I am glad Will and Kate will have a low-key holiday with her family. I pray they can relax and enjoy. Hopefully the media will give them some privacy. I shutter to think of all the paparazzi that might descend on Bucklebury. I will miss seeing what beautiful outfit Kate will have donned at Sandringham, but am happy for them to have a quiet Christmas. 2013 will have so much excitement with the arrival of their little one!

    I pray all of you have a wonderful holiday season. Charlotte, thank you again for the excellent job you do! I hope the best and relaxing holiday for you and yours. You deserve it! Merry Christmas!

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  23. I hope the media leave William and Kate alone to enjoy their low key Christmas. Hopefully, it will be more relaxing for them than the formality of the royal Christmas at Sandringham. Thanks for all the posts Charlotte, have a wonderful Christmas.

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  24. Tank you for saying nice things about Pippa's book. I was astonished by all those bad comments... I did not buy the book, but I think I will, I am sure it is a very good one, in the fragments we read she looks brilliant, plain and clear. It's a hard job, sometimes, living in the spot like this. Sorry for my English, I am from Italy. Merry Christmas!

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  25. Dear Charlotte!

    It was such a wonderful year with your lovely blog! You are so good and did a really great job! Always very informative, very lovely but never indiscreet (or somethin like that). I enjoy reading your posts! Keep up the good work!

    I wish you and your family a merry christmas and a happy new year!!

    Thank you so much Charlotte!!

    Many greetings from Germany!

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  26. Dear Charlotte & all Readers

    May your Christmas be filled with joy and peace and cherished memories and boundless love.

    Best wishes from Poland !

    :)

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  27. merry christmas, charlotte!

    thank you for all the effort you put into this blog! i know it's been tough keeping the blog going this year. hopefully, 2013 will be smooth sailing.

    i'm keeping my fingers crossed for a kate sighting this week!

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  28. Lisa Bellingham,WA24 December 2012 16:59

    Merry Christmas Charlotte! Thanks to you for maintaining such a wonderful blog. It is one of my favorites and front and center on my Mac's home page!

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  29. Dearest Charlotte, this blog is a source of enjoyment and information for all of us! Thank you for that and for all your commitment. Have a wonderful holiday season! Rachel.

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  30. I just had a thought... Imagine the turnout at the Middleton's parish church this Christmas! :)

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  31. I'm very grateful that so many of you took the time to send greetings and I really look forward to following Kate and William with you in 2013 :)

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  32. Dear Charlotte, happy holidays to you!! Thank you for offering this terrific space to all of your readers! Your diligence is impressive and each of your posts is not only thorough, but creative and with a lovely personal touch!

    Again, many thanks for everything! Best of wishes to you and all your loved ones this holiday season and for the incoming 2013!!

    Silvia

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  33. I just found a link with more pictures of the manor and the interior. The property and the grounds are stunning but at only 3 bathrooms in the entire house it sounds like it might be a little uncomfortable.
    http://thesteepletimes.com/opulence-splendour/to-the-manor-born/

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    1. Kristin, San Francisco27 December 2012 17:11

      Thank you, IP, for the link - it is a New Year's present for me as I love the country manor and cottages...I knew if I was patient long enuf, a link would post - thank you kindly!!!

      Charlotte - a very big thank you to you for all you do for us, love the pixs, and the extra goodies you thriow our way here and there!
      Happy New Year to all!!!

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  34. Merry Christmas Charlotte and your fiance! Your blog has been a blessing when I have had a bad day. I am happy that William and Kate are at her parents house for it sound like it will be low key but fun as well. Just what the Dr. Ordered. I wish everyone who post on this site a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013! Robin South Bend IN, USA

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  35. I adore your blog, and it is on my favourite lisr on my homepage too.

    Have a lovely Christmas Charlotte x

    Siobhan

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  36. Thank you for your blog. It is always respectful and informative. You must put a lot of time into it and we are grateful!

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  37. merry christmass everyone ... im happy everyone had been very festive in terms of charlotte that had a private i dont hope that they will had a private christmas

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  38. Bea (in NY now)25 December 2012 16:05

    Merry Christmas!!!!!
    Merry Christmas Charlotte :) I enjoy your blog very much, thanks for your work.

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  39. Merry Christmas Charlotte to you & yours. I look foward to reading your blog in 2013. I check in every day as I admire Kate & Wills so much. They are the future for the royal family and it couldn't be in safer hands. I do hope they enjoy a lovely peaceful time with the Middletons. Next year will be busy for them.. Thks for all your hard work & dedication in 2012. Mary.

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  40. Merry Christmas Charlotte.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog this past year.
    It's a Christmas present in its self everytime I find a new post from you.

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  41. LKC in South Carolina27 December 2012 14:50

    Another big thank you from the States. It is so nice to be able to come to a place where everybody adores Kate even if on occasions we disagree on small things. I too often think her make-up is too thick and the eyes too dark, but that is, over all, very minor. I love everything about her!

    I was actually glad to see what she wore on Christmas Day was so normal. So what if the clutch wasn't an exact match? She was in church for a very special reason and that reason was not what her outfit looked like.

    I also was SO impressed with the Queen's speech aired on Christmas Day. I am new to royal watching and I don't think I realized what a poised and skilled speaker she is. I was very impressed and her dress looked exactly right for the occasion. The UK is in good hands!

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  42. I so enjoy your site and the tireless way you keep all up to date on lovely royals. Your comments are kind and yoru coverage as complete as it can be. Your site is always a first stop.
    Christmas - perfectly normal for a young couple with two sets of in-laws to switch off homes for holidays and I'm glad to see these two young people sharing families and occasions. -Queen's speech a delight!

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  43. What a wonderful blog... I was fortunate to find via HuffPost. It's so lovely to see such thoughtful and caring feelings for Kate & Will. Wishing them & everyone a very Happy New Year!

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  44. What a wonderful blog... I was fortunate to find via HuffPost. It's so lovely to see such thoughtful and caring feelings for Kate & Will. Wishing them & everyone a very Happy New Year!

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  45. Thank you for your wonderful blog, I enjoy it very much. Duchess Kate has never put a foot wrong in my opinion, always behaving perfectly. She has been brought up in a very loving family and this has helped her no end in her Royal duties. I wish I had had parents like hers, it stands you in such good stead. Kate is a lovely woman, dresses beautifully and is a true asset to the Royal Family. Her posture and manners are second to none. Kate has true grace. I am sure Prince William and Duchess Kate will be wonderful parents and wish them all good wishes for the future.

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