Wednesday, 19 December 2012

William and Kate Attend The Queen's Pre - Christmas Lunch + Office Party In Notting Hill

William and Kate kicked off the Christmas festivities with a lunch hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace today.

Roland Hoskins/Daily Mail

Royal fans waited outside the Palace to catch a glimpse of Kate who arrived with a detective, a few minutes after Prince William who was driven in with Viscount Linley. Sources said it was more than likely because they had come from different venues.

Richard Palmer Twitter

The Queen's pre-Christmas lunch is one of the few occasions where immediate and extended members of the royal family are all gathered together. Guests at the 40-strong lunch included Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, the Duke of York and his daughters, Princess Anne, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. It is the third consecutive year Kate has attended.

Daily Express/Johnathon Buckmaster

Kate and William left smiling in a land rover after two hours.

Wenn

The Daily Mail story is here and includes more photos including other royals arriving.

Daily Mail

Kate appears to have worn the black fringed black coat from the couple's dinner date at Lou Lou's with a burgundy dress and accessorised with her Heavenly Necklaces pearl earrings.



We are still awaiting an announcement from the Palace regarding William and Kate's Christmas plans. I will update the post as soon as it is officially confirmed.


Victoria Murphy Twitter


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In other news, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance at their staff Christmas party yesterday afternoon. It was an unexpected appearance for the couple who were joined by 27 of their staff at local London restaurant chain Bumpkin in Notting Hill. A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The Duke and Duchess attended a private luncheon today.' No photos were taken as it was a private event.

Bumpkin

It was a low-key affair and guests enjoyed the traditional Christmas Menu which costs £30 for three courses including a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding for dessert. Mulled wine was served after the meal but naturally Kate stuck to soft drinks.

Rebecca English/Daily Mail Twitter

William and Kate hired a private room for their staff, appropriately called 'The Queen's Room' for its large, framed portrait of Her Majesty. The room is described as an impressive banqueting haven ideal for lunch, dinner parties and cocktail functions.

Bumpkin

Bumpkin shared a look at their Christmas table via their Facebook Page.

Bumpkin Facebook

Those of you who enjoy traditional Christmas pudding will appreciate a look at this :)

Bumpkin Facebook

A restaurant source said Kate looked the picture of health. More from the Daily Mail story:

'The Duchess of Cambridge was looking the picture of health. William and Kate enjoyed a leisurely lunch with 27 members of their household. Bumpkin is a group of country-in-the-city-style restaurants serving rustic British food.
It seems even the Royals attend office Christmas parties - although it was a much more sophisticated affair, without all the usual drunken antics and revelry'.

Kate wore a blue and white floral dress with a smart matching jacket. I expect Kate quite possibly wore her Emilio Pucci or Smythe navy blazer for the luncheon.

Aled Davies Twitter/Canadian Heritage Flickr

When I heard Kate's dress was a blue and white floral print, I immediately thought of the chiffon Erdem Kate wore for the Eden Hall reception in Singapore. Kate's dress is a modified piece from the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection and seems the most likely choice from her wardrobe because the silhouette of the dress would accommodate a small bump unlike other items in Kate's wardrobe which are very fitted. It is also entirely possible Kate opted to wear a piece we haven't seen before.


It is wonderful Kate is feeling well again and enjoying the festivities. 

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 Hamleys toy store have created wonderful Lego imitations of Kate, William, Harry and Charles. No doubt many of you will be spending plenty of time in toy stores this week, though I'm sure it's unlikely any of you will be taking these home with you for the kids :)

Trip Advisor

76 comments:

  1. LKC in South Carolina19 December 2012 15:41

    What a treat to stop back in and find this. VERY happy to hear Kate was able to attend the luncheon and I just pray she illness has passed.

    Great job, Charlotte.

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  2. I'm wondering why William and Kate arrived in separate cars. And she did not seem very excited.

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    1. She's in a car! Do u expect her to be bouncing up and down with excitement!!

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    2. She wasgoing to an office party. How excited can one be over that?!

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    3. @Anonymous 13:44 She was not going to an office party, she was attending the Queen's Christmas lunch at the Palace.

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    4. I stand corrected, Pauline.

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  3. Sarah from Calif.19 December 2012 15:59

    It all looks very festive!! I have never had Christmas pudding looks yummy. Whoever made the lego Kate William and Charles must have the patience of Job. So wonderful Kate could get out with William for some holiday cheer. Hope she still rests and doesn't over do it.
    Charlotte I thought I read on the post that they would be attending the Christmas church service, is this still something that is up in the air? (a maybe)

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    1. Hi Sarah.

      Thankfully Kate seems to be feeling better but the Palace still won't confirm if they are spending Christmas in Sandringham or not. Another day or two I expect.

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    2. Kate, Texas, USA19 December 2012 16:47

      Sarah, I thought the same thing....patience of Job. Looks amazing! The time that goes into doing such a task!

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    3. Sarah from Calif.19 December 2012 19:30

      Yes I put a Robin Hood Lego set on my son's birthday cake years ago and that was a major tackle. I noticed Harry is in there too!

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  4. Theresa, from Paris19 December 2012 16:13

    Wonderful !!! The Duchess must really be feeling better to attend three events in several days. Hopefully her illness will be milder than feared a few weeks ago.

    Great post, Charlotte : it is fun to see the inside of the restaurant. Seems really lovely ;)

    PS Princess Beatrice seems very happy these days. I wonder whether she will announce her mariage next year ?!

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    1. Now another royal wedding would be lovely :)

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  5. Kate, Texas, USA19 December 2012 16:44

    Great job, Charlotte! I am so happy Kate is out and about again and hopefully enjoying the holiday festivities. She looks like there was a bit more color in her cheeks than at the BBC awards. William looked cheerful too! Hoping they could enjoy this special time with family. I would imagine this is the first time the Queen has seen Kate since announcing the news.

    The pictures from Bumpkin's was beautiful! Must have been a lovely lunch. I have never had Christmas pudding, but it looks yummy!

    Thanks again for the wonderful post! Continuing to pray that Kate will feel well and that she and William can enjoy the holidays. Praying also for that sweet baby to continue to grow strong. I will be waiting to hear if it's Christmas at Sandringham or Bucklebury!

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    1. Charlotte, Please educate US folks about traditional Christmas pudding. Is it a type of fruitcake? The picture looked yummy--and festive, too. And I hope Kate ate a lot of it, now that she is feeling better!:)

      In Britain, is the word "pudding" synonymous with our "dessert," meaning the sweet course at the end of a meal? Or is it more complicated than that? In the US, pudding is a type of dessert, specifically a sweet custard made with sugar and milk and eaten with a spoon. I think this may be one of those little idiosyncratic differences between UK English and US English--like chips, which you call "crisps." And your "chips" are our "fries." Please enlighten me. I think the differences in language are fun!
      Lynn

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    2. Kate, Texas, USA20 December 2012 23:31

      Lynn, I agree!!! I was in England this summer and loved picking up on some of the UK English. You mentioning chips made me crave some delicious pub fish and chips. Maybe another trip across the pond is in the near future....

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    3. I crave fish and chips, too, in an English pub--on a rainy day--with a glass of ale! The ones served in "pubs" here don't taste half as good. I'm longing for a trip back, too, but for my family the recession is not over yet (regardless of what the US media say). Wouldn't it be awesome to be in London when the royal baby is born?!
      Lynn
      Georgia
      USA

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  6. I am so happy to hear that Kate is feeling much better. I hope she doesn't have any more episodes of sickness.

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  7. 27 members of their household? Does that mean 27 people work for them? I thought they were a "normal" couple with Kate caring for the home while will worked.

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    1. Ana B. from Brazil19 December 2012 20:02

      Hi, Anonymous! I think the 27 people who work for them are not housekeepers, but PR officers, bodyguards...

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    2. Pretty sure the "staff" refers mostly to the office workers who handle their PR and schedule and correspondence. I think in Anglesy they only employ a cleaner.

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    3. According to Clarence house website, prince Charles employs 161.1 full time staff. 134.9 staff supports Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry in their official duties..... So this 27 I supposed are those that are working for William, Kate and Harry. That is not a lot as compared to Charles and Camilla.

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    4. The announcement said 27 of their household staff. Household staff means exactly that. Office and protection are not household staff.

      I like Kate, but I was blown away by 27 household staff in London. I suppose the parse on that is Prince Charles pays for them so they aren't technically William and Kate's, but to put it out there that they're so normal and have that much staff is really hypocritical. I'm very disappointed.

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    5. Of course it's not a lot 'compared to Charles and Camilla'. Charles and Camilla do hundreds of engagements each every year and Charles runs a business and the largest charity in Europe. C&C's staff corresponds to the amount of work they do and all the responsibilities they have.

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    6. Details about what consistutes a Royal Household are on Wikipedia. Just input Royal Household.

      As ANA.B says it is not domestic staff.

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    7. 27 staffs for Will, Kate, and Harry, that 9 people per person. They do not have domestic staff. They have office and protection staffs. You can go to the Prince of Wales website to see the break down differences and you will see that they don't have domestic staff as of yet.

      I don't know why the press said household staff, since they don't have any. Rebecca, Jaime and company are not domestic.

      Last year all three of them share 9 staff http://addison.ceros.com/trh/ar-2012/page/1 Since this summer they hired more people to work for each individual person. That means that Harry, Will, Kate each have there own individual Private secretary, etc.

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    8. Thanks CP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Households_of_the_United_Kingdom

      And do people not get the +1 invite?

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    9. Keep in mind that while they're living at Kensington, they have the KP staff, housekeepers, footmen, butlers, cooks, etc., to attend them too, which aren't counted as part of "their" specific household. I don't think it's hypocritical but just an example of how the Palace PR "spin" doesn't quite match up to the facts, i.e. the tale that's been put about as Will and Kate being "just like us" and taking care of themselves, doing things for themselves instead of having servants, shunning a large staff, etc.

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    10. The Palace never said anything about staff at KP, they just said there wouldn't be any in Wales. And of course people decide to run with that and said they wouldn't have any at all which they never said.

      And since they only live in a 2 bedroom cottage now in KP, they don't have housekeepers, footmen, butlers, cooks, etc.

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    11. @anonymous 20 Dec 20:49

      Charles has more people working for him than the Queen. That has been written about and documented for years. It's nice to see THE QUEEN and PP get on a train as they head to Sandringham.

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    12. @anonymous 20 Dec 20:49

      Charles has more people working for him than the Queen. That has been written about and documented for years. It's nice to see THE QUEEN and PP get on a train as they head to Sandringham.

      Delete
  8. Wow what a great morning. Seeing that the beautiful Duchess is feeling better broughta smile to me today. And let's not read anythign into the fact that William & his Duchess arrived separatly today. It sounds like he was maybe doing his Christmas shopping or maybe he had another early day engagement he needed to attend to. But they left together.

    I just hope the Duchcess is not doing to much that it will set her back later. But I am sure William is making sure she is ok doing all these engagements. It will be nice to see them at the Queens for Christmas but only if she is feeling good.

    Thanks Charlotte for another great post.

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  9. I hope you will get better pictures her hair and makeup look gorgeous. hope she is feeling better and thanks for the article :)

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  10. yay, kate is out and about again! good to hear that she is feeling better, and participating in events. i'm sure she must have felt terrible missing those 4 engagements which were big charity fundraisers. i wonder if there are talks about how to make it up the donors who paid big bucks to attend a event with will&kate; maybe a smaller event in a few months?

    i wonder if the coat is the one she wore to a dinner with will a few months ago, the one with the little frill along the edge, which was never identified (afaik)?

    i was surprised to hear the lunch for their staff numbered 27 ppl! i thought they had a v small staff?

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    1. Theresa, from Paris19 December 2012 18:12

      I expect the "staff" is also those who work for their charities : secretaries and so on. And maybe the people of Prince Charles' office who help as well...

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    2. Since it has been officially announced that they have a very small staff, I tend to believe the official announcement. (This is because the price of not being truthful, and then it subsequently being found out, is way too high).

      So if you consider that long-standing security people or possibly spouses of current staff were included - I think the number would quickly add up to 27.



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    3. I would think 'staff' also would include their immediate security detail and social secretaries. Typically the house-hold staff is 'treated' to a different holiday celebration - but hard to tell - this is a VERY modern couple who will do things their own way.

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    4. Everyone: No, the announcement said "27 of their household staff". It means exactly that. Secretaries are "their office" and protection are police employees

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    5. Household staff does not mean cooks and maids. Check the British Monarchy website. :)

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    6. No it does not bluhare http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalHousehold/RoyalHouseholddepartments/Overview.aspx

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    7. I'm sure their offices also have housekeeping, like many business, school offices have janitors

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  11. Dear Charlotte. I found some better photos at daily mail maybe you can link to them from your site or post them with their credit to daily mail?

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    1. Hello, I already linked to both the Daily Mail and the Daily Express :)

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  12. Lovely to see her, Kate seems to be in good spirits. Perhaps planning already a quiet Christmas in Berkshire, with Will and the Middletons, without all the formalities at Sandrigham...? :) I think it would be the best option for them, given her condition in the past few weeks!
    Hugs from Portugal
    Z.

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  13. Sarah from Calif.19 December 2012 19:23

    Separate cars I'm thinking he came from work and Kate hopefully from home after abit of rest.
    Woulld it be to much to ask for a traditional English Christmas pudding recipe from anyone in England?

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    1. I join Sarah in hoping for a recipe. Thanks!
      Lynn
      USA

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    2. http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/r/xmaspud.htm

      has a video on how to do it. The measurements will be British.

      Good luck.

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  14. Ana B. from Brazil19 December 2012 21:05

    Hello!
    It is so nice to see Catherine's feeling better! I'm glad she's had a quick recovery...
    I'm quite shocked right now... I've been reading DM's article about the Christmas party and people can be very rude towards the Duchess.
    People are claiming she didn't/doesn't have HG because "there is no way she would be able to attend so many events these days if she actually had it".
    People should be happy for her, but I guess just because she is gorgeous, happy, rich and a royal she is not allowed to be lucky.
    I hope you're having a awesome week :)
    Boa noite! (Good night!)

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  15. Charlotte,

    Can you explain what Christmas pudding is? It looked beautiful. Thank you!!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, no problem!

      Christmas pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served on Christmas Day (December 25) as part of the Christmas dinner. It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or plum duff,[1][2] though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit. Despite the name "plum pudding," the pudding contains no actual plums due to the pre-Victorian use of the word "plums" as a term for raisins.

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    2. See, that's why I love this blog, you can always learn something, especially about english culture :)
      Z.

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    3. Kate, Texas, USA20 December 2012 23:28

      Thank you Charlotte!!! I just saw you are going to post a recipe. I am so excited!!!

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  16. Thanks for the update and photos. Good eyes to figure out she had a burgundy dress on under the black coat from only the car photos! I doubt being her first child at 12 weeks she would even have any 'bump' at all. Everyone develops differently however. Know I felt bloated but no bump at all for the first 3.5 months and in clothing no one could tell still at 4 months - but my waist was larger so like you said, some of those form fitting things will soon start to not fit. She surely looked very thin and no bump last Wen night at the sports awards. That green gown was very un-forgiving to any bump or weight gain. In fact it's common to loose weight with what she is going through. Just glad to see what looked like a true deep smile. She has some oomph seems to have done 45 mins Wen (sans getting ready and travel to and from), then the staff party and then the 'grannie's' luncheon today too...

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    1. Sarah from Calif.20 December 2012 15:13

      Hi beachgal, I agree we probably won't see a baby bump for awhile. A lot of first time moms who are as healthy and fit as Kate would not even start showing until the 5th month. (unless she has twins) I too always felt a bit bloated so wearing things not so tight around my stomach was helpful.

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  17. It's lovely to see her smiling. I hope she and William enjoy the holidays.

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  18. I was in London last week, and took a photo of the 'Lego Royals' too!

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  19. im very happy that duchess finally doing well.... and find any word for who the spending christmass the middleton or to the royals

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  20. I was just looking at the pictures Charlotte posted and had to laugh at the first picture. The beautiful Duchess was lookin gat William with a very sexy look in her eyes. It says it all, IMO just how much she loves her man. Would love to see the expression on William's face though.

    When you saw her in teh car going into the Palace she did not look very happy, then you saw William looking out the window of the car he was in like he was looking for his Duchess. Just great photos that tell's it all.

    Thanks Charlotte for posting such great pictures of this very beautiful & loving couple.

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    1. Pauline, the look on her face made me wonder what William said to her. Perhaps it was a private joke about something someone said or did at the lunch....don't we ALL have moments like that after family gatherings! :)

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    2. Royalfan- We sure do have those people who say or do the dumbest things. I just loved the look she was giving William. It was sexy and a just like the looks she always gives him, the I Love You look. It just brought a smile to me.

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  21. Wow! First picture looks weird.don't hate now for speaking the truth.

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  22. Sarah from Calif.20 December 2012 21:47

    Such a predicament to go to mom and dad's or spend time with the in laws. Trust me I don't say that lightly have gone back and forth for many years. Now my kids are having to make those choices too.
    Have yourselves a Merry little Christmas!!!!!

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  23. We're expecting an announcement on William and Kate's Christmas plans tomorrow and in the post I will include info and a recipe for Christmas pudding :)

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    1. Jean from Lancs21 December 2012 10:54

      Just to caution our US friends--no good making Christmas pud for this year as it has to be made well in advance.

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  24. Kate, Texas, USA20 December 2012 23:27

    YEA!!! I am looking forward to the announcement and the recipe!!! It's such a beautiful picture, so hoping to try it here for our Christmas.

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  25. Kate, Texas, USA21 December 2012 00:39

    Charlotte, a US news station just announced that the Queen will break with tradition and that the Middletons have been invited to Sandringham for Christmas. Not too sure if this is true. Any word?

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  26. Just read in one of the Brit papers that the Queen has issued a formal invite to Michael and Carole Middleton to join the royals at Sandringham for Christmas, the first non-royals to be invited. Can't recall the exact wording but, to me, it seemed a not-so-subtle statement that Kate and William WILL be joining the royals for at least part of the Christmas celebrations. William might be able to make some of the decisions but he's still second in line to the throne and Granny's still The Boss. I suspect that Kate being up and about and out in public is, in part, a move to build her stamina and strength for the holidays at Sandringham.

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    1. Wow, that would make quite a statement about Catherine and William's ability to influence the queen! Even Diana's family was never invited, and they were actually longstanding "friends" and associates of the Royal Family--equerries and ladies-in-waiting and all that stuff.
      Lynn
      USA

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    2. William has certainly stepped up and made sure that Kate's experience as a royal wife is very different from that of his mother, and it is POSSIBLE that the Middleton family will be included in some way. However, I take those stories with a grain of salt because, unfortunately, the papers like to portray Kate's family as social climbers and set them up to be criticized.

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  27. Hi Charlotte,
    as I'm travelling home for Xmas I don't know if I will be able to check the updates on the blog in the next few days, so I want to wish you Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year :)
    Z. from Portugal

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    1. Oh thank you very much Z. How very thoughtful! Wishing you and your very family a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year :)

      For those of you wondering about William and Kate's Christmas plans. The royal reporters are a bit perplexed at the moment, the Palace are being helpful but something is delaying them and it seems a decision may not have been reached yet. I will let you all know the moment anything is confirmed.

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  28. Like everyone else, I am thrilled that Kate is feeling well enough to venture into the world, even for short outings. I hope she continues to improve swiftly.

    As for the pre-Christmas lunch: I wonder if she is wearing the burgundy dress that she wore under the aubergine coat for her Newcastle visit or the red dress she wore under the long Reiss red coat for the Copenhagen visit last year. The photos don't offer much detail, but it's fun to speculate.

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  29. Sarah from Calif.21 December 2012 23:03

    While we are all waiting for the latest news I'll sing to you all.
    "Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree how lovely are your branches...
    Ha my husband just was singing "let it snow let it snow let it snow" (Bing Crosby I think) ...funny it doesn't snow here.

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    1. @ Sarah from Calif... If your hubby had to shovel it, he'd probably pick a different song. ;)

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    2. It's nice to see Kate out and about and looking healthy and beautiful as usual.

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    3. Sarah from Calif.25 December 2012 05:25

      royalfan..ha ha that was a good one. Do you have snow for Christmas? We have had rain a lot but today Christmas the weather was beautiful.

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