British royals walk to church on Christmas

British royals walk to church on Christmas

I hope everyone had a great Christmas or normal Friday. I ate Chinese food – because nothing else was open – and it was delicious. Before the British royal family tucked into what I would assume was also a delicious meal, they made their annual walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate. Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, joined the Queen, Prince Charles, and the rest of the family. Unlike the last two years, Kate and William did not hold hands.

I don’t have much to write about in this article other than what people wore and “Hey look, this person”, but I do want to bring up the media coverage of the walk this year.

I’ve thought for the last two years that it must suck for the royal reporters and photographers – especially the ones who have families – to have to go to Sandringham and work on Christmas. Well this year I guess most of them decided the royals weren’t worth it because my Twitter feed was pretty silent Christmas morning. It seems like most of the regular photographers were not there – Chris Jackson was there (of course), as were some others, but Mark Cuthbert, Tim Rooke, James Whatling, and Mark Stewart were all missing (basically the ones who have been upset with Kate as of late). There were a few royal reporters there but the regular ones from the Daily Mail and Express were missing (they may have sent junior reporters to cover it for them, though). I know the cell reception is not so great at Sandringham, but it’s always odd to me when my Twitter feed is doesn’t blow up when Kate is out in public (and that near silence has happened several times this fall).

I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this (why wouldn’t they want to be home with their families?), but it is odd to me (especially considering the coverage from the last two years) and there is nothing else to talk about so I thought I’d bring it up. What do you guys think: pointed message or simply choosing family time over work?

Kate added a new green coat to her collection (this is her sixth or seventh): the Sportmax green long belted coat ($1,895). The coat comes with a belt, but Kate couldn’t leave well enough alone and decided to add one of her own, which I don’t like (but at least it’s not that horrible McQueen one). Underneath, Kate wore a Great Plains Cezanne floral dress which she has in another color and wore in 2013.

Sportmax green long belted coat

Kate added to her hat collection with a new hat which the Daily Mail claims is by Lock and Company. I don’t mind the flower (which looks like a poinsettia to me) but Kate really needs to stop with the flying saucer hats (she’s worn several this year). Kate wore her trusty Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Oval Drop Earrings, her Aquatalia Rhumba boots, and carried her favorite Mulberry Bayswater clutch.

Kate decided to surprise us by repeating a brooch we only got a tiny glimpse of in 2012 during a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Buckingham Palace: an Oak Leaf and Acorn Brooch.

Kate’s family coat of arms has three acorns with two oak leaves each (symbolizing the three kids and the fact that they come from Berkshire), so it would make sense if this brooch was a wedding gift inspired by Kate’s family coat of arms. But that is pure speculation.

I really like that Kate wore a brooch – it gave the outfit at little pop; whereas the outfit would have been a bit boring and plain with out the brooch. I hope Kate wears more brooches in the future; they’re a great way to add a little something extra to an outfit, especially if the outfit is a bit boring and plain.

Is it bad that I don’t hate this outfit? It’s very Kate, very reminiscent of outfits she’s worn before, but I like the addition of the brooch and I’m glad she chose a more festive color than last year’s brown.

Kate's oak leaf and acorn brooch
[Special thanks to Anna]

The Queen popped in red, which I love, but that fur, though. I dislike the fur. Also, HM didn’t wear a brooch. What’s up with that? Kate wore a brooch when she usually doesn’t, and the Queen didn’t wear a brooch when she usually does. Huh.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wore a grey coat she’s had for a while, but made it interesting with the addition of her Diamond Moth Brooch.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. I hate both their shoes, but I love the color of Eugenie’s coat.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex wore a dress coat from Suzannah and a hat by Jane Taylor. It is weird that I think Sophie looks like a snow bunny? The outfit is grey, with fur, and the hat looks a bit like bunny ears from the angle this photo was taken.

Sophie walked with her kids: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. This is the first time James has attended Christmas church service. Louise made her first appearance in 2011 when she was eight, and James turned eight earlier this month.

If we are judging by the Wessex kids, I would expect to see Prince George make his first appearance at Christmas church service in 2021, and Princess Charlotte to make her first appearance in 2023.

Prince Harry and his Ginger Beard with a basket of flowers.

Prince Philip and Princess Anne. I like the color of Anne’s outfit, though it seems too cheery on her. Anne is not cheery.

There was a morning church service which most of the family attended, including Harry, but Kate and William skipped. And it looks like the Middletons did not attend the Christmas church service like they did last year.

Here is a link to the Daily Mail which has a lot more pictures, and below is a video.

The Queen’s annual Christmas message aired Christmas Day and all I can say is vocal inflection is so important, especially when making what are supposed to be lighthearted or humorous comments.

The Queen talked about Christmas trees, her upcoming birthday celebrations in 2016, and the addition to the family of Princess Charlotte (though HM does not mention her by name). HM also talked about Malta, the anniversary of the end of WWII, and mentions the world having “to confront moments of darkness this year”. You can read her speech here or watch the video of her speech below.

It’s always interesting to see which photos HM chooses to be in the frame for her Christmas message. In 2013, HM chose photos of her father, her mother, and the four generations photo from Prince George’s Christening. While in 2014, HM chose photos of her father and her mother.

This year, HM chose three photos: A casual photo of her and Philip; a wedding photo of Charles and Camilla; and a photo of William, Kate, George, and Charlotte from Charlotte’s Christening. So the present monarch, and three (possible) future monarchs (plus spouses and an extra kid). HM also wore an aquamarine brooch that used to belong to the Queen Mother.

Queen's Christmas message 2015

320 thoughts on “British royals walk to church on Christmas

  1. I loved Kate outfit and god does she know how to wear hats… she looks marvellous. I agree that the fur on the queen’s red coat just doesn’t work but the coat I love. The two princesses… no words. Just plain ugly. I still remember them from the wedding and when they were compared to the two sisters from Cinderella πŸ™‚ Harry really needs to shave, ASAP, but I still love him, I mean how can you not love the guy… as for Sophie. She really does look like a rabbit. πŸ™‚

    1. Kate’s hat and hair did look beautiful. I agree about Eugenie and Beatrice. They looked terrible. Although I liked the color of Eugenie’s coat, it does not fit her well. Beatrice just always looks so sour and stuck up. I do wonder why they have such horrible shoes on!

    2. No,no, no, no Harry is not allowed to shave off his beard for at least a year!! I am currently loving it on him but will probably tire of it in a year or so, so it stays until then!

      1. You really like him with the beard? I’ve always strongly disliked it on young men, don’t know why it’s supposed to be so “in” right now even in Hollywood…

        1. I think it depends on the guy. Some guys look better with a beard (like Chris Pine), but some men look better without a beard (like Brandon Routh).

      2. +1 Love the beard. It’s different, like he’s embracing this new time in his life, and wears it well; groomed and not shaggy or like the Duck Dynasty guys. Happy belated Christmas Lauri! I hope you had a great one in CA. I still miss when I lived out there but we had the balmy weather.

        1. Yes to a nicely cared for and trimmed beard.
          No, most definitely no, to a beard that looks like there is a family of birds (or animals) living in it.

    3. I truly like Anne’s coat and boots. The hat belongs to different outfit but I appreciate it’s creativeness. Kate’s outfit reminds me of Scarlet from Gone With The Wind story or maybe this is her show biz attitude on the way to church service. The combinatio of green hat and green coat is poor; different shades of color and texture clash. Coat is too heavy and the belt gives some kind of shortish look while the hat is sophisticated. Her boots also clash with her gentle appearance of her head shot with exposed neck and bling. Quine sporting another bright colored coat. The little creative nuances which very coat introduces are making me grin. It is what it is, she is not gowin to change her way now. Sophis children’s shoes belong to somebody else? Louis boots are giant and the boy looks like he is planning to run when you look at his shoes. I also can’t erase the images of the two princesses outfits from the wedding- another grin, they seem to be very confused fashion wise.

      1. Lol- Kate posing as Scarlet! Although Vivian Leigh would eclipse her in a nanosecond. I actually like Sophie and the kids, and was glad to see Louise dressed differently. She’s cute. As KMR noted, Sophie does look like a fluffy bunny, but she’s tastefully dressed and I’m biased in favor of rabbits. The Yorks definitely wear whatever they want without personal help from a stylist, but the colors aren’t bad on them; shoes are another story and thank goodness no stag-headwear. The fascinator days are over. Kate’s brown hat from last year was very successful. They should all take the tip and go in that direction.

        1. I was going to take a break from commenting–but had to comment on this one. I am not a big fan of Kate’s green on green outfit. Also, her belt is almost up to her bra. I do know that the coat was supposed to be made this way; I feel Kate needs to get over placing her belt so high to make her legs look longer because the look is awkward. She needs to embrace her shorter legs and longer torso; she seems to put her belt so high on so many outfits–and it cheapens the look. I think her peter pan hat/saucer hat is just really meh. I am meh on the outfit together; it is boring–but that’s sort of Kate generally as of late. She seems to be dressing more mumsy these days. I really thought she dressed well when she first got married to William. She looked fantastic on her first North America tour. I think she needs to go back to that that look; she looked younger and fresher.

          Oh and Princess Anne, yes, I agree, she looked great! Loved that coat and the brown boots. I am usually not a big Anne dresser fan though I am a big fan of her work ethic; I think she looked very pretty.

          As for Sophie, I actually liked her look and thought she looked regal. I loved her shoes! They were different and not boring; I liked how they had a pointier look. She stepped up her shoe game IMO. I did find out that the fur on her jacket was faux fur–so that’s good. The hat was ok–but I just loved the color of the coat (the boucle white/grey was just beautiful). I think her being placed on Vanity Fair’s (I believe?) best dressed list was totally well earned. She probably dresses the best in the BRF these days. Her work ethic is outstanding as well. It’s too bad she doesn’t get more exposure for her work because she, like Harry, is one of the stars in the BRF. While I love Aquatalia boots, I really didn’t like Kate’s boots; they were super slouchy and looked like she needed a new pair.

          Honestly, I loved how HM looked. Though she didn’t wear a brooch, she just stood out and looked so so regal. She had a lot of fun with that outfit; she rocked it and you could tell she loved it. The red color was fun–and the fur was fun too. It was different and I liked it!

          The York girls looked ok–but I agree Eugenie’s coat was very pretty. That blue shade really looked great on her; she looked pretty and it totally complimented her. I actually liked their shoes–they were different.

          I wasn’t a fan of Camilla’s look. It was just meh for me to; I don’t really like her coat.

          Prince Harry’s beard needs to stay; he looks so handsome with it. It gives him a very distinguished look.

          As for the photographers, KMR, I think you are really onto something. I do think they just were so over this event because the Cambridges have been totally ignoring the cameras as of late. Kate used to always smile and wave–and now she ignores them while going in. Also, she only allows her photographer into her events–and it was bound to catch up to her sometime. They need the media because without it, they will become increasingly irrelevant…so having her own photog allowed into her events was a bad move IMO.

          1. Hi Runner, hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Agreed about Kate’s styling, and she needs to get back to the earlier days when she wasn’t so blah. KMR has definitely picked up on the media brown out that W&K can look forward to in 2016. It will be interesting to see how things go on the wonder trip, and how the media will cover.

          2. Hi Sunny! I hope you had a merry Christmas too! Yes, it will be interesting to see how the photogs handle the India tour, given what happened during Christmas. If there are fewer photos of the tour, people will certainly lose interest. Interesting times, indeed!

          3. Sadly, I’d be shocked if the photographers all didn’t go to India to photograph the Cambridges. I wish they wouldn’t, but I also understand why the must – the demand for pictures of them is huge and all that not going does is ensure that a few photographers have even more of a monopoly over pictures of them. Maybe I’m wrong about this but like…see this Christmas for example. Many of the main photographers didn’t go, yet weren’t there still plenty of pictures of them taken and released? How is this hurting the Cambridges? I’m not a media expert so I honestly don’t know – does less photographers decrease the chances of Kate or William making the front page or the news at all for a major event? I don’t see how it would. I feel like until the reporters are willing to write negative articles, the Cambridges will be just fine.

          4. Agreed Maggie. As long as money is attached to selling photographs of W & K, the media will be lining up to take them. And until the critical mass of royal reporters become more analytical of royal behaviour, there is absolutely no reason for W & K to alter one iota of their lifestyle and work ethic. They have a free ride all the way baby.

          5. I agree with you Maggie and Jen, but thinking about how the media will edit the stories. You’re right that pictures were released from this Christmas walk, but it doesn’t pay the bills, and the India trips does. It’s important that Kate look great and no unflattering pics of both are published. I think the media will overall cover India positively, but will post unflattering pictures because W&K can’t control all the stops and there are always awkward moments. They can print it for all its worth and it’s a great way to get back at Will for his control issues. Or, not playing up the positive moments but focusing more media stories on the negative. We’ll see.

          6. Sunny, I totally agree. They will leave many photos of Kate without photo shopping–and everyone will be wondering if she is sick, pregnant, etc…They will also try to catch any embarrassing moment i.e. Kate’s dress flies up exposing us all..Because they are not treating the photogs with respect, they will publish far more unflattering photos that they would usually either leave out or photo shop heavily. Sure, they will make their money (the photogs), but on their terms. HM always said the monarchy needs the media far more than the media needs the monarchy…

          7. Sophie’s shoes – to die for. Absolutely in love with that style of heel, and that biscotti color is the new nude. Goes with everything and I love it.

          8. I’ll be interested to see how many photographers and reporters go on tour with them to India. Richard Palmer had talked before about the cost to the papers of sending reporters on those tours, and I’m sure it must cost the photographers a lot too (I don’t know if they have to cover the cost themselves or not).

            And Maggie, there actually weren’t as many photographs this year at Christmas as there have been in past years.

          9. KMR – I hear that there were less pictures, but I guess my point is, for the general public that doesn’t read blogs about Kate, all the Cambridges need is one picture to make the front page. Yes, the serious followers are disappointed by less pictures, but the Cambridges don’t need to cater to them, only to the public at large, who will have no idea if there’s less pictures since all that matters is whether they make the news and whether they make the front pages of the news. Do less pictures affect the Cambridges’ ability to do that?

      2. Well picked with the colour mismatch on Kate’s hat and coat. I have viewed the photos on my phone but waited until I could see on a computer screen. The coat is green with a yellow undertone and the hat is green with a bluey undertone. Have them match tonally or wear a different colour but this close but not close enough mismatch doesn’t work for me.

    4. At the risk of being a Yorkie apologist, which I guess I am at this point, why do you think they are ugly? This is a genuine question.

      I ask because the media has done such a disservice to these two girls since they were teens and i’m always surprised that the public simply follows whatever the media says about these girls or forms an opinion fashioned by the media eg that ‘ugly step-sisters’ meme at Kate’ wedding which was cruelty at it’s finest.

      the media frequently and straight out says they are fat, ugly and gruesome – seriously!! Articles have been known to start with those words as the description of them before it says what they are doing. Imagine you are a pre-teen and your bikini pics are posted in a national newspaper with an attendant article calling you fat and ugly and gruesome.

      Fast forward several years and several articles along those lines, including articles congratulating you on not bbeing a fat bloater anymore, articles still describe you as gruesome and compares you to the ugly sisters of a ddark fairytale and the public jump on that.

      Asthetically speaking they aren’t ugly at all with or without photoshop, yet people insist that they are. Why?

      Th media bullying of th girls *is* shameful and I guess I don’t understand why people can see through what the media does with regards Harry, Kate, William AND Camilla YET can’t see the straight out bullying of the Yorkies and actually adds to it.

      1. I just think that they are. No bullying intended here. I just look at them and can’t say they are good-looking. Their fashion choices don’t help to conceal this either. Maybe some appropriate elegant shoes (you know, not some shoddish shoes that frankly look like something an unsophisticated teenage girl would buy with her first pocket money and would then regret buying for the rest of her life) , a more flattering coat, no hats that they just can’t pull off wearing, make-up and hair style that would actually put their feautures in a better lighting… I genuinely think they could be pretty because I see some potential. But it’s heavily hidden. To be absolutely honest that’s how I see it.

        1. In other words it’s their style choices you hate and or find ugly, but not them.

          That’s an interesting explanation for such vitriolic words.

          I’m not saying they are beauty queens, but it seems to me ‘Ugly’ as a description of their physical being is extreme if all you object to is their style choices because that means if they styled themselves in a way that you approved of, then they would be beautiful/pretty.

          1. Herazeus, You misunderstood me. I said fashion choices help a lady to look her best but that they don’t work miracles. Yes fashion would help them look prettier, no it wouldn’t transform them into beauties. They aren’t. Plain and simple. Maybe as somebody mentioned below they’re actually cute in person but in picture I can’t say they’re good-looking. Although I agree that the press has been terrible about them, that is just unfair.

          2. Also vitriolic words? You asked me something, I answered honestly and straightforwardly. No venom intended in my words. My apologies if you thought otherwise. :))

          3. Herazeus: Yes you had misunderstood. I didn’t say that they would have looked beautiful/pretty if they had chosen clothes that I would have approved of, only that better fashion choices would have helped them improve their appearances. Key word being improve. But I have already explained my point of view thoroughly. Also I tend to become perhaps a bit too passionate about certain subjects and when that happens I just don’t sugarcoat my opinions and I’m very straightforward: that the explanation to my so called vitriolic words. The reason as to why I think they’re not good-looking? They just aren’t to me. Full stop. Yes, again, they could effectively conceal their unactractiveness. They only underlined it in this context IMHO. You can’t expect me to share your opinion as I can’t expect you to share mine. I was just trying to answer your previous question honestly and I came across as harsh, cruel and whatnot. Sorry for that. We might agree on something else in the future who knows. Anyway I respect your opinion even if I don’t share it.

      2. I think they are both pretty girls. I would even call Eugenie beautiful. I think that it stems from the media’s hatred of Sarah and Andrew. Their work record doesn’t help and neither do they sartorial choices. The girls are in between a rock and a hard place. IMHO, they aren’t quite private women but they are blood princesses who need to serve. And they don’t look like the “cookie cutter” princesses that the press want.

        1. Yes, I think they are pretty girls as well, especially Eugenie as Rhiannon said. I also agree with Rhiannon that it mainly stems from the hate associated with Sarah and Andrew these days. It’s really too bad that they are being hung out to dry for their parent’s sins. I like their outfits. Both princess, IMO, looked lovely. I did think Eugenie’s coat was especially lovely–and the color of that coat just popped. I like their shoes as well. They are different and not just some LK Bennett nude court shoes or black suede Jimmy Choos….

          I also think it’s a shame that their work is not highlighted. I think Beatrice and Eugenie has numerous patronages–and does quite a bit of work for her charities. I wish that Charles did not streamline them out of the monarchy. He really does need them. I think they have a good work ethic–and would really take the weight off of both HM and DoE’s shoulders. The heir isn’t picking up the slack–so I find it a sham. #whateverworkmeans.

          So, Herazeus (sp?), I totally agree with you and with Rhiannon as well.

        2. I would say they’re moderately attractive. Sometimes their make-up is poorly done but so are many other people’s. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. They are the first H.R.H.s to be told they are not needed, not wanted and to go bugger off. At the same time they are Princesses of the United Kingdom and H.R.H.s and the only female royals of their generation. They could be deputies to Katie but they’re not wanted. She’d rather bring in her sister and her mother.

        3. I don’t think Beatrice’s 18 vacations in 12 months helped the perception people have of her. Eugenie seems to be able to hold down a steady job but I think Beatrice is trying to emulate the Duchess of Cambridge’s job history.

          1. Agreed, especially b/c they aren’t backpacking trips through Europe, no they’re five-star resorts in the South of France and on Necker Island.

          2. I agree with Lauri from CA. There is no way you can put a positive spin on 18 vacations in a single year. That is profligate and sends all the wrong messages in my view. That translates to 1.5 vacations every month. Yes she’s Royal, but woefully out of touch. She makes Kate’s Mustique vacations sound like charity work.

          3. B and E start with a handicap – their parents very public profligacy – and unfortunately the daughters have to dig themselves out of a pretty deep hole to get a fair deal from people.

            The 18 vacations only cements the poor opinion of the York family; it is hard to explain to people doing it tough and who face the day to day struggle of making ends meet. But purpose is a larger issue that needs to be dealt with on a whole-of-BRF-family level. Perhaps this is Charles’ purpose in slimming down the BRF? So many of them seem purposeless in life which must be the most awful thing you can wish on a person. The titles seem to get in the way of living a full life.

            Personally, I find both girls attractive; apart from some fashion blips, they comport themselves well. I’d prefer them looking their age rather than ‘dowdy royal’ but I guess that goes with the territory. The ‘mean girl’ press reports are just bullying, cajoling people to get on the bandwagon and jeer these young women. No thank you!

          4. As much as i’m an apologist, I understand why people say what they do about them, and I do think there is much to be said for why you may have formed a negativ opinion of them, and of course Seth makes me wonderful point about the conundrum of being an HRH who suddenly finds themselves surplus to requirements.

            It’s all fair commentary.

            My objection was to Emma19 calling them ugly in the most extreme manner without explanation and I saw read when she invoked that cruel ‘ugly step-sisters’ meme from Kate’s wedding.

            I come from the perspective that these girls can’t catch break. They don’t have a saintly mother that can be used to hide behind and their interests don’t led themselves to public gaze or judgement. Meaning, Harry’s interests are things the public is familiar with and judge accordingly. Zara can be publicly judged via her public sport despite said sport being out of the realms of most people. Peter is assumed to be busy because of isn’t a public figure.

            Eugenie is attempting to do what Peter is doing ie be private despite the HRH. She, more than Beatrice, seemed to understand early that they wouldn’t be required and set out to work and lead a private life with occasional forays into royalty and charity if needed. Yet her privacy is invaded and judged and found wanting. And everyone assumes she’s workshy and or doesn’t work. Mostly based on her new job. And we don’t know the details of her work contract therefore can only go by the DM’s outrage that she is on holiday longer than the DM would like her to be.

            B has taken a series of temp jobs since she graduated from university before settling on a longterm one from which she resigned due to the hacked emails.

            And people’ reaction that she’d had a job for all that time was disbelief.

            And so to the holidays which were presented in as negative a light as possible.

            Firstly, the timeframe given for the holidays overlapped her final months at her job as well as christmas.

            We have 5.6wks statutory holiday in the UK. That can be taken throughout the year.

            And some companies give their employees time off during the Christmas week ie between Christmas eve and new year.

            Every time an article posts about her ‘holidays’, it fails to mention this. And it fails to mention holidays that she’s taken every year, doing the same thing eg that St Barts + Sandrigham + skiing thing + necker island + st tropez.

            It fails to mention that some of those ‘vacations’ were at her parents’ chalet (she went twice with friends).

            It fails to mention that most of those vacations were weekends not weeks on end eg when she’s attended weddings in Europe.

            The other half of the total number of holidays was during a time frame when she wasn’t working.

            She sent out a statement saying she was job hunting and now we know she has a job. Yet people didn’t/don’t believe her.

            Was she supposed to stay at home during the entire job hunting phase if said job hunting wasn’t interfering with her weekend visits with friends?

            And with the exception of far flung ‘vacations’, it’s very easy AND cheap to get to Europe from UK so the outrage doesn’t make sense when it’s clear why she was in any particular country and or the DM made it very clear that she was there for just a few days.

            As for the far flung destinations, it mentioned shanghai for a family friend’s wedding (a man notorious for his generosity to his friends, who paid all travel costs for that wedding weekend), a weekend in NYC for her sister’s birthday – did you guys know that ever since SATC aired there is a cheap NYC weekend Package courtesy of British Airways? Not saying she took this, only that NYLON weekend is a thing here, so her weekend in NYC for E’s birthday didn’t read as outrageous to me.

            And she has taken annual trips to st Barts + st Tropez with her boyfriend every year for some years. He is a millionaire, from a millionaire family whose job with virgin often found him hobnobbing with extremely wealthy people all over the world and he occasionally takes Beatrice with him (one of those trips was included in her ‘vacations’ tally when she was working for Sony).

            Finally, she accompanied Andrew abroad. Also included in the ‘vacations’ tally when she was very clearly sharing a working royal trip with her father.

            I’d like to point out that her total vacations tally also seems to go by destination even when she’s taken a big chunk of time and simply visited several places as opposed to coming back to the UK before going somewhere else eg when she accompanied Andrew to the Middle East, she stayed being for Grand Prix with her boyfriend and then flew onto Shanghai for that wedding before returning to Britain.

            That was counted as 3 separate vacations by the DM.

            Finally, since she started her job, she’s been on one vacation with her friends. The annual st tropez holiday. After that, not a peep.

            And no headline to say that she’s working and not vacationing.

            ….but when she pops up over the next fortnight at her family annual skiing vacation and annual St Barts vacation, the headlines will scream…’B is on holiday again for the X times!!!’

            And right there is a demonstration of how the media reports negatively on these girls.

            I don’t accept that as royals (redundant and private) they have to vacation, if at all, at the local B&B when it’s clear that they aren’t using my tax payer money to do so.

            If they were (mis)using my tax money, as the Cambridges do, i’d be right there with you.

          5. That’s very insightful Herazeus. I had no idea (b/c the newspapers I read don’t report it) that many of Beatrice’s “vacations” to such and such a place were weekend trips. Like moderately affluent people where I live, going to a cozy B&B or inn in the lakes region for the weekend. The difference is in scale b/c she’s royal and has very affluent friends.
            Many of us on this site (including me) are Americans, so I don’t care a wit how much British taxpayers’ money was used to pay for the renovation of the Cams’ apartment at KP or the motorcycle outriders and protection reccs for Pippa’s book signing or the 24-hour police protection at a private citizen’s residence (Bucklebury Manor), which I thought was illegal under UK law.
            On the other hand, don’t ask my opinion on the York sisters’ parents. My answers will be vitriolic.

          6. Thank you, Herazeus. What I appreciate about you is that you have a vast knowledge of the royals–so you opinion is really steeped in facts (which is what I care about.) Much appreciated for writing about her vacations and how they have been misrepresented in the media; I knew some of it–but not all, so thanks for educating us!

          7. Thank you Herazeus for you comments about the York girls. I think the York girls do more than what is reported, do we ever hear of their patronages? Eugenie is actively involved in fundraising for Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, is a Teenage Cancer Trust Ambassador amongst other things while holding down a job. Beatrice is Patron of the York Musical Society, the York Theatre Royal, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Broomwood African Education Foundation, and The Berkshire Community Foundation. Patron of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre. Both girls are Ambassadors for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
            I, too, have seen some terrible photos of both girls, those pop eye ones of Beatrice are bad, I’ve also seen some photos which make her look very pretty. I hope the press will ease off these girls and publish the prettier photos.
            As for the shoes? They are just wearing what their friends are wearing. And I, too, will wear heels to church. After years of dressing nicely to go to church (especially on Christmas Day) I feel like a bit of a scruff if I wear flats – that’s just me.
            Thank you Herazeus for giving us a bit more detail about those 18 holidays. I had wondered if they were just weekend breaks too. It is really easy to fly to Europe or the US from the UK. When you are from NZ it seems like such a jump but I found when I was living in London that it was cheaper to fly to France than to go by coach or rail the another city in the UK. I would take the chance when I could to fly to France or Italy or Sweden when I could and that was just for the weekend. Thanks again Herazeus for running through the holidays, I think it was just another case of lets make the York girls look bad.

        4. I agree. However their charity work is an example to others and Eugenie and Beatrice actually helped as waitresses at Garden Parties in the summer. Real work.

          1. And, I think, it’s unfair that they make fun of their vacations (it’s not like Kate didn’t take a vacation every month while dating William and would leave work without explanation.) From what I understand, Beatrice already spoke to her employer about the vacations she was going to take–and then the press just ran with it to make her look bad. IMO, they would be an asset to the BRF with their charity work, especially those involved with learning disabilities. I also think they feel a bit lost now since they have been shut out from the BRF. I think they would be hard working royals if given the chance.

          2. I wonder with the girls if its the cart following the horse. After KMR brought up how the York girls have been treated by the media, I looked back, and they have been ripped going back ten plus years since they were teens; mean-edged stories about fashion fails, bad choices, etc. Maybe they’ve never tried because they’ve gotten so much ugly press. While they would have been smarter to put their chin up, hire a stylist, and balance work with charity involvement, they may have just decided that nothing they do would be right anyway so why bother. I’d be really interested to see the girls get their act together and try consistently for a year, and see if there is any difference for them personally, and media treatment. If Kate is spotty in 2016, they might re-establish themselves as productive royals.

          3. I agree with you, Sunny. They have been treated horrifically by the media. I think they would be very productive royals given what organizations they already have as patronages. I hope Charles gives them a chance, and he may be forced to.

          4. Both girls are well educated and seem personable. There is good reason for them to really work out what they want to do in life, make it happen as well as participate to some extent in royal events and charity work. I guess it depends on personal drive, as well as being able to pursue their lives with some privacy.

          5. I know Penelope. but these are royals. How we sweat 8-12 hours a day and they do 1-3 hours of posing is light years apart. That’s why I respect that Sophie gives speeches, so that the charity is highlighted, esp. current endeavors. It’s critical that they do more than show up and pose or are always *learning* (hm hm Kate).

      3. Unfortunately, I think a huge chunk of the public perception of Beatrice and Eugenie is tainted by their parents. I think they are very pretty girls who have made some unfortunate fashion choices. Beatrice reminds me so much of a young Queen Victoria and I’ve always felt that Eugenie takes after her father.

        If I remember correctly, at one point Andrew had hired a stylist to work with the girls. They were headed in the right direction then, I don’t know if that person is still on board. Maybe if they had more of a chance to work on behalf of HM there would be a different perception.

      4. I’ve seen Beatrice in person. She was working out with her trainer in Green Park, of all places. I have to say, I was quite shocked at how cute she is in person, even in those conditions! It became very clear to me at that point that the press is absolutely horrid to her and must choose the worst pictures at all times. Seriously, she’s not drop dead gorgeous, but she’s certainly not a troll! Just a cute, normal girl.

      5. A bit late but, fair warning, I’m a fan of the York Princesses.

        First of all, I absolutely hated that meme regarding the girls after W & K’s wedding. My heart ached for them! Did they look their best? Truth be told, no. But to alter the beloved Disney-film to emulate the York Princesses as the “ugly step-sisters” was just flat-out cruel, IMO.

        I remember those pictures of Beatrice in a bikini at 18. Yes, she was a bit pudgy but boy did she show them [the media and press]. She lost that weight, has kept it off for almost 10 years (speaking from experience, that’s HARD) AND is the ONLY member of the BRF who has run the London Marathon! I was so proud of her!

        Also, like others have said, the York girls already had a mark placed upon them simply by being Andrew and Sarah’s daughters. They’ve been punished since forever simply because of who their parents are which is extraordinarily unfair.

        True, the girls aren’t “traditional” beauties but I personally feel that the media purposely publishes those “deer-in-the-headlights” pictures to convince readers that she’s “supposedly” ugly. IMO, Beatrice has the most gorgeous hair, a lovely figure, beautiful eyes, and the sweetest smile and voice! Seriously, she really is a reincarnation of her great-great-great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria.

        As for Eugenie? She looks so much like her great-grandmother, the QM! Same eyes and hair color and, like her big sister, when she smiles she lights up a room! And, IMO, she looks so lovely in bright colors such as turquoise and hot pink!

        In short, I think it’s sad how the media and press have this preconceived notion about the York girls and the public allows their words to decide for themselves how they feel about these young women.

        1. I agree the “ugly step sisters” meme after W&K’s wedding was mean. Especially since the images were photophopped to look that way.

      6. Which articles are calling the York girls “gruesome”? I’ve never read an article about them that called them that.

        This is not a comment on the York girls but on aesthetics in general: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an example: A lot of women think Ryan Gosling is very attractive, but I don’t find him even the slightest bit attractive.

          1. Oh melete, I’m so glad I’m not alone! I hear “Ryan Gosling is attractive” even from men, and I always felt like the odd one out.

  2. Fashion aside (looooove Sophie) do Kates eyes look glassy or wet to anyone else? Like she’d been crying/wanting to cry?

    I noticed the not holding hands immediately & was saddened.

    Harry has got a lot of love in comments online for being so generous with his time with the well-wishers. The Peoples Prince continues.

    1. Not really. There were two photos on the DM where Kate’s eyes had light reflected in them and her eyes looked “glassy” I suppose, but William’s did too with the same light reflected in his eyes.

      I noticed in the video, though short, it did seem like Harry spent way more time with people than others did. Sophie and the York girls looked like they just walked right by everyone and didn’t even stop. Camilla stopped for just a short moment it looked like.

      1. It was drizzling. Most of the family made a dash for home. Harry didn’t stop long though he stopped longer than everyone. The Yorkies stopped as well, but that wasn’t covered by photos.

        Given the weather, it was best for everyone to keep it short, including the fans.

    2. I think maybe the reason William and Kate weren’t holding hand is because he was holding the umbrellas shielding them both from the rain.
      I am not a fan of her coat but I LOVE her hat.
      Merry Christmas to you all from Canada.

      1. On the return walk, yes. It wasn’t raining on the walk to church so they could have held hands then, but didn’t.

  3. Imo, the walk to church does not require full court press, especially on Christmas. Perhaps – some of the photographers decided to sit this one out.
    It seems as though the royals and kate walked past the assembled crowds without stopping due to the rain. Did the Queen collect flowers from the children this year?

    Good King Harry seemed to be the only one, who really took the time to talk to people and accept flowers etc. (He even gave his umbrella to lady sarah chatto. What a gentleman.)

    Style wise – Sophie was absolutely fabulous. Anne and the Queen tied for second. Thankfully Louise ditched the white tights and mary janes!

    Happy Holidays to KMR and fellow commentators.

    1. I don’t think the walk to church needs to be covered extensively either since there is nothing really to say. I was more commenting on the difference in coverage between this year and previous years. There was much more coverage from reporters and photographers the last two years compared to this one. That difference is what I find interesting especially considering how much the reporters and photographers have been complaining this fall.

      1. I agree that it is interesting that there were so many less reporters and photographers this year. I had a hard time finding much coverage on Facebook and was really surprised early this morning. It was the same DM article and a couple others floating around but not as many photos or articles as usual. There is usually photos of Kate and William getting out of their vehicles and I did not see any in the article on the DM like usual.

      2. Thanks, KMR, for the Christmas Day update. Glad the Chinese food was good!

        I imagine that the annual church walk has to be covered by the press, but editors may have thought better of spending money and time this year given William and Kate’s preference to accommodate Chris Jackson to the exclusion of others? The press may be sending a message too, though not much of one since the event is fairly boring! So not too much risk on their part for not sending an entourage of photographers.

        I liked Louise’s coat, beret and boots; she is appropriately dressed for both her age and the cold weather. I also liked Anne’s coat; changing it up suits her. The Queen looked vibrant in red; not so sure about the fur, but hey, why not be jolly at Christmas?

        I do like Kate’s coat, especially the drape at the back. She seems to be wearing the belt as indicated in the model of the coat except choosing a much thicker belt than the one supplied which makes it look pushed up. The belt intended to be worn with the coat suits the coat better. Personally, I cannot abide ‘fascinator’ or flying saucer hats; they look utterly ridiculous, serve no purpose (except to look ridiculous) and absolutely no-one wears them well. She would have been better off in a stylish beret and matching gloves. In such weather surely the aim is to keep warm and especially keep your head well-covered, as per Camilla and the Queen.

        With regard to the brooch, here I differ. Yes, a brooch does add a nice touch. However, I think this one looks old-fashioned and stodgy. Given the UK has extraordinary design talent, having a contemporary design of the acorns-oak mix could have resulted in an amazing bespoke piece. I realise that Kate is very literal in her translation of everything so this solution is probably an over reach. This is my take on her look overall; Kate could represent the contemporary British fashion industry brilliantly, not only established labels like McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry et al, but up and coming young designers too. With some expert guidance, there is enough room to look stylish, royal and (relatively) young at the same time.

        As for the non-holding hands: no-one seemed to be holding hands on the way in or out of the church. It’s not really the way the BRF behave in public so it didn’t worry me. It may have come across as posed if W and K had done that.

        Nice to see Harry and Beatrice and Eugenie take time to greet the small group of people assembled to see them, particularly the elderly women seated at the front. Just good manners really; shame the rest of the royal group didn’t do likewise. If people go the effort of coming along, although I cannot fathom why on Christmas Day they should be sitting out in the cold, then surely there is a duty to acknowledge them, be kind, accept flowers and have a little conversation, and with good grace. Apart from this small courtesy, it does create goodwill and gives the people assembled a great deal of pleasure.

  4. So a few things I would like to comment on. First off, the Queen looked amazing and very vibrant. I like the fur on her. She is the Queen and it looks very royal on her. She is one of the only people that can get away with it these days, if not the only one. Secondly, I do NOT like the way Sophie was dressed. She looks way too full of herself IMO and it isn’t confidence. It comes off as grand and stuck up. Did she even stop to talk to any of the crowd with her children? I am really good at reading people and I think she feels the need to stand out or upstage Kate. Her outfit cost a fortune. Anyways, I think Kate’s look was nice and polished but boring. I am disappointed she did not wear a scarf to cover her wrinkling neck. The fact her and William did not hold hands is very interesting. I would not have caught that!

    All in all, Anne was the winner next to the Queen. Beatrice and Eugenie, blah. They looked sour and boring.

    As far as the Queen’s speech, I was a bit disappointed. It seemed different than most years and was scattered. Although it is always lovely watching it, I did not feel the depth like usual. She made a point to highlight Jesus and reflect on the tragedies that have occurred this year but something felt missing.

      1. This coat was meant to be worn with a belt but I agree it sits way to high on Kate. I wonder if her long torso is throwing the look off or is it her poor posture?

        1. I don’t use belts that much but I’ve always thought that Kate managed to make a good use of them. Why do you say she has a poor posture? Just wondering…

          1. Well, her shoulders are always rounded due to the constant crotch clutching, she also tends to lean back at the waist thrusting her hips forward. Her poor posture is more evident in side shots of her. You’ll notice over time that I tend to harp on this quite a bit πŸ˜› just a pet peeve of mine.

          2. Poor posture can also be connected to osteoporosis–so hopefully, she hasn’t lost so much weight that she is suffering from this condition (because she restricted her diet too much..)

  5. Oh my Louise must have received a new coat. Louise looks very classy. I like the black boots and tights, very snazzy, along with the beret. It is good to see Louise’s brother, James walking to Sandringham.
    Beatrice and Eugenie look sophisticated. I like Beatrice’s shade of blue and Eugenie’s shade of green. The black hats finish but I like the bow shaped hats very much. I don’t think they are boring just dull. Maybe that is better than nothing.
    Kate is dressed in green not blue. Compared to William who is in a blue suit. I like the earrings but it looks like Kate is auditioning for Robin Hood. Kate does appear subdued or trying to hold in her feelings. It is strange they are not holding hands. William is holding the umbrella instead.
    Harry. Well he looks good as always. The Queen in the red coat with the fur looks elegant. Anne still looks elegant and not a hair out of place.

          1. Maybe, but IMO not enough yet. I found these outfits to be atrocious looking and not appropriate at all for a stroll in the rainy country, walking on gravel as an added bonus! Oh well, they might actually surprise me next time!

        1. I agree with Emma! When I see the Yorkies’ faces I just think “Teeth!!!”. The shoes they chose are not appropriate for the weather and looked cheap and… you just cannot deny that they are way too chubby. There are several ways to style a coat to hide some extra “softness”, but definitely a belted coat or one with tight buttons do not qualify.
          The Queen looked great. I just love fur and it is very appropriate for winter.
          I like Kate’s coat; maybe I am partial because Max Mara and SportMax are among my favourite brands: I own several of their coats and the materials, cuts and styling are just amazing!!

          1. Oh how I love Max’s coats! The first time I tried one on in a store I fell in love… they’re absolutely incomparable! And about the Queen I’m not that into fur that’s why I don’t like it :))

        2. “Ugly and coarse” are such harsh words..I think they are pretty girls—and it makes me sad when I hear them described that way.

          1. To me there just weren’t any other words to discribe their attire. As I have mentioned already, who in their right mind would wear plateau shoes and stilettos to walk in the country in the rain? (This goes out to Sophie too). Also the style of the shoes! Goodness… atrocious. Just wrong. The charity work may be good, the style… not so good. Runner how many times have we disagreed already? We always seem not to agree on something. :))

          2. I guess I just I don’t agree with the word choice. It’s far too harsh, that’s all…And I thought you meant that they actually looked ugly and coarse (their face and bodies)–not their clothes. But still, very strong words, that’s all. JMO, you have to be careful because sometimes people don’t know if you are making comments about someone’s clothes or their faces/bodies…

            I am all for having a difference of opinion; it just bothers me to hear such hurtful words.

        3. Are you talking about their outfits or them in general (their faces, etc.)? Because it’s cool to think their outfits are ugly – I’ve thought Kate’s outfits have been ugly (that Erdem dress) – but I think “ugly and coarse” is a bit too harsh if we’re talking about their faces and such.

          1. Usually when someone expresses that kind of judgement we’re talking about attire. But an attire can either way influence one’s vision of the person who wore it who automatically becomes ugly and coarse. That’s just the way it is. I already said that there is potential in them but it needs to be brought to light by appropriate fashion choices. Not something that would make them look hopeless (speaking of body, faces and clothes). Lots of women have successfully hidden their unactractiness throughout the years, my favourite example is of course Wallis Simpson who I may have already mentioned in a previous post; in addition to her fantastic style she also had charm, grace, confidence and everything to make anyone fall in love with her instantly. She wasn’t pretty, yet she was remembered as an incredibly attractive lady because of her fashion! Ah, the power of clothes and the wonders they can work. :))

          2. Oof, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, Emma. I don’t find Wallis Simpson to be attractive at all and I remember her as a Nazi sympathizer so she becomes even more unattractive.

          3. KMR, that is kind of of inaccurate. She was politically naive (both her amd her husband) but this is a really long discussion. I undestand your point of view. Personally I love her story and I was really struck by the complexity of it all. Have you ever read any biographies? I really recommend The Woman He Loved. Beautiful work.

    1. I think Chinese food for Christmas day is fabulous. And hardly any washing up. I wonder for the schedule of Christmas eve/ Christmas day why is timing so important? Do they turn up 10 minutes before the scheduled dinner or events may I ask?

        1. What about size of those boots? How can a mother let her only daughter leave the house thinking this looks good on her. The shoes are so wide on the calfs…. Ah I am critizaing a child but I am thinking that with all this wealth and resources and knowing about the scrutiny of millions of people they dress terrible especially the women. They became an entertainment, live soap opera.

          1. Sophie probably purchased them so they would fit pants into them as well. I only own 2 paris of nice boots and they don’t fit my calf that well because I’m not that big and I didn’t want them super fitted so I could wear casual pants tucked into them as well.

      1. I agree totally! Still young, not too mature, but just right for her age.
        I think the bottom of Sophie’s coat is the problem. It looks good from some angles, but “bunchy-rabbit” from others.
        I like Kate’s coat, the color is nice. Although I saw some comment (Daily Mail maybe) where the reporter was praising Kate for going lighter on the eyeliner right below the pic of her with it caked on as usual. The whole article was pretty much about Kate. They were this close to saying, oh yes, and the queen was there, too!

  6. Thanks for the update KMR. I smiled at the thought of Chinese food for Christmas dinner, spot the person brought up in a country with heavy influences from the UK? I can say that even though a traditional Christmas dinner English style is yummy it can be a bit much on a hot summer’s day!
    The Queen looked great as always. I thought the Princess Royal looked lovely. Anne may look gruff but I’ve been told by someone who knows her that she is very nice.

    1. I heard Anne is hilarious–and has a great sense of humor. She looks lovely and works just as hard as brother Charles. Many props to Anne!

  7. Interesting comment about the press coverage.Good for Mark Cuthbert and friends for staying away. If Chris Jackson is going to be the only one to be in the right place to get the money shot and the rest get back turned towards them by Kate and William then good for them that they stayed away.
    Imo Kate looked a bit out of it, was she listening to the sound track in her head singing “it’s all about me? “. This impression was not helped by reading the article in DM which thinks that Kate is possibly more important than William now. Really? Like he could go off into the sunset and Kate would be Queen?
    SportMax make great clothes but I’m not keen on the very high belt, it looks like it’s right under her breasts. Maybe it wouldn’t have looked so high if she had worn the belt that came with the coat? I do agree that it’s better than that vile McQueen belt.
    Thanks Jason for reading the blog and taking our suggestions about wearing a brooch. There has been talk about the brooch representing the Middleton coat of arms, there is 3 acorns on the coat of arms, but 4 acorns on the brooch. So I feel it is a nice try, nice brooch but that is it.

    1. Re the brooch: I mean, I don’t think there needed to be just three acorns for it to be based off the Middleton coat of arms. Anything that involved oak leaves and acorns would work as being “inspired” by their coat of arms. But I must say again, the brooch’s connection to the Midd coat of arms is pure speculation on my part, it has not been confirmed.

  8. I think Kate looked very good. Love the hair up. But I did think the coat was the same one she has worn on St. Patrick’s day although people are saying it is new. I could not tell the difference. Also her habit of adding belts to outfits is bizarre, but maybe she does it to add the illusion that she has curves. I was glad to see her accessorize with the brooch. Slowly but surely she is taking our fashion advice.:-)

    1. The coat she wears for St Patrick is a different shade of green and it’s a swing coatdress with hardly any lapel to it.

      I actually love this look on Kate though I wish she would try out different fascinators or hats. This feels like her myriad court shoes/coat dresses only in a different colour.

      The belt is sitting at the point that Kate re-tailors all her clothing t compesate for her long torso/short legs combo.

      British Vogue once wrote an artic about why she styles all her clothing this way, and now it can’t be unseen. Even when she’s wearing one dress/coatdress without a belt, you notice that it’s been re-tailored to an empire style to shorten her torso.

      I think this time it’s more glaring because the bottom half of the coat ie below the belt was so long compared to the top half, and she used a big belt so it looked like it was right unde her boobs.

      1. I actually would have liked this coat if it was shortened, which would have avoided the whole Robin Hood nod. The same goes for the fascinator. She could have worn a broad brimmed hat with a green ribbon around the crown, which would have been lovely. I’d like to see Kate step out of this faze and embrace beautiful scarves in 2016, and tone down the eyeliner. She has great cheekbones that a well-chosen scarf could pull out her skin tone and eye color.

        1. Sheikha Mozah was put in the list this year. It took Vanity Fair this many years to put on of the best dressed women in history on their best dressed list. Kate is now alredy on the legendary best dressed list in Vanity Fair. Sadly Kate has no business to be in that list.

          1. Runner,

            Kate was not in the best dressed list this year, but she is now in the hall of fame list, which means that she is considered to be one of the best dressed ever.

            If you check the names of the hall of fame list, it just shows that Kate shouldn’t be in that list.

        2. Vanity Fair can now officially change their name to Suck Up Fair. Or -We Will Icon Anyone Who Can Sell a Mag. Dollars over sense. Sad, very sad.

          1. Super sad when she is far from deserving of the award. Queen Leti-Yes, Princess Charlene-Yes, Queen Rania-yes. Princess Charlotte of Monaco-Yes, CP Mary-Yes; Sophie of Wessex–Yes..Kate Middleton–NO..

            Or we will give the honor to whomever’s PR department sucks up the most. But honestly, who really cares how well these women dress? They are most excellent representatives for their countries and do wonderful charity work–which is what their job title entails–not who dresses the best.

          2. Oof, I shouldn’t wade into this but I have to say I think Charlene, Charlotte, Mary, and Sophie are all hit and miss fashion-wise, just like Kate. I think all the royals are hit and miss, actually. Even women I love like Madeleine and Victoria are hit and miss in the fashion department. Max is too. But then again, fashion is very subjective. I know a lot of those runway looks I think are quite not pretty.

          1. Ok, she is not a princess, but she is royality. Close enough. She is far from middle class as she is the daughter of a princess; she is an aristocrat. Many were very sad that she could not marry William because she is a super gorgeous model and he was very handsome at the time (though I am happy for her that she didn’t because of his unfortunate character and he is no longer very handsome) because her blood is blue. However, she is Catholic and that would never have worked out which is very, very good for her!

        3. I had initially typed up a really long response to the idea of Kate as a fashion icon, but then decided to avoid the debate it might cause. The gist of it was that Kate is only labeled a fashion icon because mainstream mags like Vanity Fair would call anyone in her role by that title. Kate isn’t a fashion icon and never has been. Dig through old Fashion Spot threads, from the very earliest one, and the same things said about her now were said then: no style, no personality, no charisma, frumpy, dresses (and looks) older than her age, etc. People who are involved in fashion will admit, as some already have remarked in public comments, that Kate brings nothing stylish to the table. But because of her role, people in the mainstream will elevate her as a fashionista.

          This particular title isn’t about Kate as an individual, largely because Kate offers the public nothing as an individual. When Kate works up some gumption and finds a personality, she might actually learn how to be a real fashion icon. I’m not holding my breath.

          1. Totally agree Melete. I think that if Kate develops a personality and a voice, we may be more forgiving. But since she’s a blank slate, all we have are her clothes and makeup as our piΓ±ata.

          2. Taste and elegance is enough to make the list. You can’t expect a new Elsa Schiaparelli or Wallis Windsor or Coco Chanel or Grace Kelly by any of the women listed by Runner. Maybe not even Kate. Real fashion icons live in the past and are those from whom women today need to learn… the times when designers named or invented new shades of colours after or for women (Fuchsia or Wallis blue) and when a bag was made famous because of someone are over. Basically everything has already been done, today it’s all about promoting fashion brands and wearing what you choose with taste and elegance.

          3. “would call anyone in her role by that title”

            So very true. They would have called any woman William married a “fashion icon”.

          4. “Taste and elegance is enough to make the list.”

            Emma19, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on Kate having taste and elegance.

    2. For a minute there I thought this coat was the Hobbs coat from 2014, but it’s not. There is a difference there.

  9. Thanks for the great post KMR!!! Your having Chinese for Christmas dinner reminds me of the movie “A Christmas Story” when the family has Chinese “turkey” for dinner after their dinner was ruined. Mr. from Ca made us lobster tails and wow they were yummy!!!

    On to the fashion, the Queen’s outfit was the only one I fell in love with, the red was stunning on her and I loved the grey fur accents! IMO, she really embodied the Christmas spirit.

    I don’t know if it was the weather but I felt everyone else looked rather drab, all dark and dreary colors. Sophie’s coat was interesting but even that felt blah to me, a bit to colorless and I’m so disappointed to see her adopting the crotch clutch walk. Sophie you are better than that!!!.

    Wow, Kate went rather heavy on the eye makeup this morning and the dark green color imo isn’t really festive but again the dark and rainy weather may be making the colors appear more drab than they really are.

    The lack of coverage is interesting but maybe it was due more to the weather than anything else. With the exception of Harry, none of the other royals interacted with the crowds much. Were there children lined up to present flowers to the Queen this year or was that cancelled due to the rain?

  10. I was just wondering if Charles will continue with the Christmas at Sandringham tradition when he is King? Will he continue to invite his brother’s and sister’s families and Princess Margaret’s family or will it just be his immediate family? Maybe George and Charlotte will be able to participate at a younger age?

    1. I hope he continues this tradition inviting the extended family. It’s the only time that they really get together. Also, I think the children should be able to go younger; that way, they could get used to going to church at a younger age. Perhaps, at 6-7, but not much younger because at least then they could understand.

    2. I don’t know. It would be very few of them walking to church if it were just Charles’ family.

  11. I think this is the best look she’s had for all the Christmases in Sandringham. And an updo! See Kate, wearing updos elevates your look especially if your wearing jewelry. If her hair was still long or down, it will probably hide the earrings and brooch and make her look boring. If you’re wearing your hair down, at least make sure that it’s not hanging in front of your shoulders so that extra sparkle shines. Of the brooch, it’s nice but it’s not the prettiest, at least for me. She needs new belts though because the ones we’ve seen are not very complementary on the outfits she’s paired them with.

    1. I still prefer the McQueen black watch tartan coat she wore in 2013, because I really love that coat.

  12. Well I know it’s not politically correct, but I loved what HM wore at both services. She looked wonderful. I also loved Princess Anne’s outfit, the cut of the coat is wonderful on her and I though Sophie looked really pretty in the soft gray. Love that Louise somehow misplaced the white tights and Mary Jane’s. It’s really a better look for her. Very happy to see James there. Would love to know what he thought about the whole thing. You did not have a picture of Lady Sarah Chatto! She wore a wonderful black coat. She was number one for me in the coat game.

    As for Kate’s coat, I don’t know. She actually had the coat fitted differently than the original design. If you look at the two coats, there is space between the belt and pocket flaps. On Kate the belt is higher and the pocket flaps are touching it. No space there at all. She seems hell bent on creating that false waist with her clothing. It just looks so wrong. I am glad that she wore a brooch to liven things up a bit (the Midds were there in spirit), but I wasn’t thrilled with the color. And if you are going to get all matched with your colors, then have your hat and coat made from the same dye lot please. You’re spending enough money on them to do that.

    Did not like Beatrice’s shoes at all. I know she’s not very tall but really. Eugenie’s didn’t bother me as much, but may have been more appropriate at Ascot.

    The men all looked very dapper. I wouldn’t expect anything less from PC and the DoE. Harry is still his wonderful self, but I have to agree with Emma19 on the beard. I like it, but I’m over it now. It won’t bother me if he keeps it, but I’d love to see his face again.

    Interesting that some of the main photographers didn’t show. Pretty soon it will just be Chris Jackson. I imagine William will be thrilled, but he needs to realize that his standing as heir to the heir relies on the goodwill of the people and the people want to see what’s going on and feel some kind of connection.

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas. KMR, I once had an amazing Chinese dinner with a former boss on Thanksgiving, so I completely get the Chinese food on Christmas. It was a sit down restaurant in Los Angeles and he was an aficionado of Chinese food and it was amazing. Loved it. Unfortunately, the restaurant lost their lease. It was one of the places I always used to go to when I visited. At least I still have my memories. πŸ™‚

    1. I noticed that Kate had her coat altered. The pockets on Kate’s coat were much closer to her belt than the model’s.

      I imagine eating Chinese food with a Chinese food aficionado would be quite interesting.

  13. Chinese for Christmas dinner is on tap next year. I cooked myself into a frenzy. And it won’t happen again.

    The Princess Royal looked wonderful. She usually wears dour and sad fashion. I would love to have a chat with her. She does her own thing and I love it. The York girls looked good from the ankle up. I am on the fence about Sophie’s look. HM looks regal in mink.

    Kate’s coat is a no for me. The belt is wrong and hits her in a weird spot. She needs to wear a proper hat. These fascinators are bordering on ugly. The only thing I like and covet are the earrings. I love her dress. And the brooch is just meh.

    Good King Harry looked amazing. He is just the best.

    Thanks for the review, KMR!

    1. +1. And yes, KMR, I hope you had a lovely Christmas dinner! I wanted to thank you for your wonderful writing talent–and all the articles you provide on the royals. You are second to no one. I hope you can take a break some time because the rate you churn these articles out is impressive!

    2. I don’t think her coat is a no for me. My main issue with it is that she has a few that look almost identical. How many dark green coats could one person need? I believe she got a little push back when she wore that expensive aubergine purple lace dress during the Chinese visit. I find this more of a waste because she has so many like it already.

      I also love that The Princess Royal does her own thing. I appreciate that she hasn’t conformed completely to the expected female royal fashion.
      In all honesty I thought that the Yorks looked a bit cheap. Their clothes never seemed to be tailored properly.

      1. It actually looks to me like the belt traveled up a tiny bit while she was walking, creating the bizarre placement and the slight puffing of the coat beneath it. Even if it moved up a couple of centimeters, it could make all the difference in how it looks, and she couldn’t exactly shift it once she was within full view of the public. As daft as Kate’s styling generally is, even I wonder if she deliberately belted that coat in such a silly spot. Then again, this is Kate we’re talking about, so…

  14. The Queen looked like an elegant old lady, furs be damned. I think Camilla’s outfit was too dark. Gray works sometimes on some people. IMHO, Camilla isn’t one of them. I don’t understand why Katie wore a dark green coat. It looks more appropriate for handing out shamrocks to the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day than Christmas. And the black belt! For love of God, we know you’re as thin as a wafer. Say NO to the belt! As for Georgie and Char, I don’t think it’ll be 2021. Remember the Queen determines these things now. By then, Charles will be on the throne. I think we’ll see Georgie with his nanny in four or five years. I think you’re too hard on the Princess Royal. The York girls don’t look too bad. The Countess of Wessex is Her Royal HIGHness, so I don’t think she looks imperious. She looks like an H.R.H.
    I’m surprised with the wet weather and his history of health problems that the Duke of Edinburgh still walks to church and without a cane or walking stick. I know it’s only a few hundred yards from Sandringham House to the church and that he’s in very good shape but he IS 94. If he slipped and fell on the wet ground, it could be disastrous, especially for someone who prides himself on being so fit and healthy.
    My grandmother turned 93 yesterday and though her hip fracture is slowly healing, she’s always going to need a cane or walker. I think a concession or two to Prince Phillip’s advancing years would be sensible but if he can do it, I suppose he still should.
    I’m glad you enjoyed your Chinese food, KMR. I love Chinese food. πŸ™‚

    1. Agreed with you Seth, esp about the DOE. He’s so frail, but I can imagine he’d be damned to not go. That man is fighting for every day. His zest for life is a reminder how precious life and family are–plus throw in some pride and desire for autonomy. However, acknowledging the desire to fight with wisely picking his battles would be better (not walking to church, but walking at his horse activities and other charities).

  15. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who had Chinese food for Christmas! It’s a tradition.

    I’m on the fence with Kate’s look. While I applaud the updo which really looks good on her and the brooch (yay she’s accessorizing), everything else is grim and dark with the coat color and heavy makeup. Same old same old. I want to burn her kohl eyeliner.

    I like the green on Princess Anne, and I actually like Sophie’s coat. They’re different. The red pop of coat on the Queen is playful. They all added lightness and color on a dreary day.

    1. +1 for Chinese. It was a new one for me but I think I’m going to make it a tradition, too.

  16. Just say no to the fascinator, please. I am such an anti-fascinator kind of woman. Just hate them. Or, should I be more charitable and use the word, detest? Ugh, the look is just so smug!

    Kate in green, ok. I did not like the print underneath, or the belt on the coat, but the color of the coat was fine. I don’t think she and William were holding hands because he was holding an umbrella over her.

    Thought Princess Anne looked smashing! Sophie, too. And, HM is always so magnificent!

    Harry stole the show. His interaction with people is truly wonderful. Next year, he needs Rhiannon on his arm.

    1. +1 Harry was the star definitely! I noticed in the clip that people wanted to talk to him, no phones held up and clicking away like with other royals on walkabout. It seems to me that everyone wants to connect with Harry on some level.
      +1 for Harry to be joined by Rhiannon next year!

    2. Thanks, Jenny! I’m getting my look ready. I will go for a flat boot. You can’t pay me enough to walk in gravel in stilettos. I’m thinking a rich burgundy coat with some turquoise accents. Or is that too much?

      1. Nothing you do could ever be too much!!!!!
        Move over, Kate, there will soon be a new Duchess in town. Rhiannon, you
        are the best!!!

        1. I am with you on the flats Rhiannon. Every year I watch these women walk with sky high heels and I am just waiting for the fall to happen one year. Not that I wish anyone to get injured but it is just going to happen one day. Heels, gravel don’t mix and if you add in a slippery surface the odds become stacked in my favour.

          I love the sound of your outfit Rhiannon it sounds fabulous

      2. I actually love the heels and don’t mind them, but I wear heels whenever I can. In fact, I once wore a pair of stiletto boots to cross a parking lot covered in a sheet of ice and snow, with a baby carrier on one arm. Nary a wobble was made. Gravel would be easy-peasy by comparison! πŸ™‚

        I do love the idea of a burgundy coat, by the way. Beautifully saturated and effortlessly seasonal.

        1. I totally agree about heels as well. I think Rhiannon will look fantastic in her flat boots. I still loved all the ladies who wore their fun shoes and took the risk. They were all unique and not boring black suede or LK bennett nude court shoes. Sophie’s shoes reminded me of shoes that Queen Leti’s would wear, very classy. Eugenie’s shoes were equally classy…While Beatrice’s shoes were sky high and probably not very practical, I still thought they were fun.

      3. Rhiannon, I would stay away from burgundy, Kate did that the first year walking to church, and it remains as one of her top 3 outfits (imo).
        Blaze your own trail…how do you feel about a 3/4 length military style with gold button work; very traditional, but in a gorgeous saturated raspberry?

        1. Saturated raspberry coloured coat! Sounds like a wonderful idea Ray and something Kate hasn’t done so Rhiannon will be introducing a new colour to the Christmas morning walk.

  17. I thought Kate looked very elegant. I think you are all being too kind to the Queen, she looks like Mrs. Santa Claus in that outfit. Though the color is nice. Sophie’s outfit is terrible, bunchy in the wrong places and now I can only think of bunnies after reading your comment. Beatrice and Eugenie just can’t seem to get anything right, I don’t understand it. I’m sorry but Camilla must be going to a funeral, all that black is out of place. At first glance, I found P Anne’s outfit interesting, but later I thought it looked like something out of her closet from 20 years past. The styling is awful. I think it’s time for the Queen to retire and maybe get more exercise. Good for Kate and Will to want a “normal” Christmas for their kids. Enough stuffiness! Love your website and photos and comments.

    1. Hey Jules, what do you think about Zara? I thought she looked great. Her hair and makeup complemented her choice of hat color, but that feather was a little too much.

      1. I really wanted to like her look but I just couldn’t. That coat is an optical illusion. The hat is just weird. It was nice to see her involved. I like her a lot.

    2. “I think it’s time for the Queen to retire and maybe get more exercise”
      The Queen has said she is in the job for life so I would be very surprised if she was to retire. As for the comment about exercise? You do realise HM is almost 90 years old? She does exercise and still rides (horses).
      If you are referencing the boxy look of the coat, imo it’s probably just a boxy shape coat.

      1. For the record, the Queen’s weight is usually b/w 125-135 pounds, which is perfectly normal and healthy for a 5’3″/5″4″ woman. Especially given that she has had four children and if she chose, has access to as much rich food and alcohol as she desired, she is very healthy for a woman her age. It’s the cut of her coat that gives the appearance and even if she has gained a bit of weight, the woman is almost 90 and still horseback rides without a helmet or backbrace sidesaddle weekly. She and her husband are physically in good shape for people their age. She always watches her diet very carefully b/c she’s determined to live as long as possible.
        The Queen Mother ate oatcakes, scones and chocolate cake for tea time every day for decades, as well as supposedly drank 70 units of alcohol a week. Women in the UK are advised to drink no more than 20 units of alcohol a week. She lived to be 101. Who should be making the judgments of the Queen’s weight, Jules? πŸ™‚

        1. Also the average British woman’s weight is 11 stone, which is 154 pounds. So even if the Queen has put on a bit of weight as she has aged, it’s ok. πŸ™‚

          1. Hi Seth. Thanks for your comments. I was not impressed that someone would make comments like that about HM and I appreciate your additional information. I haven’t asked about your Mother and Grandmother for a while so was happy to see that both are doing well. Please keep us all updated with how they are fairing. I’ve supported a friend through Chemo this year and it’s really tough on your body. Best wishes and I’m hoping for a great 2016 for you and your family.

  18. The colour looks good on Kate. I dislike the coat- the empire type waist with increased length does her no favours, especially paired with those boots. Overall, the proportions just look “off” on her. I rarely care for her hats/fascinators. Other than that, she’s boring as usual, though the hair looks good. Odd how her facial expression doesn’t change from year to year. At least this year W/K weren’t holding hands which always makes me cringe.

    I *love” Anne’s coat. It’s a lovely colour, looks like a fine tweed, the style is different and interesting and fits her to a T. The hat…well…

    Camilla looks good. I love the cut of her clothes and the hat.

    Chinchilla on the Queen is a total miss- not her colour. Also, it looks like it’s strangling her neck. Not even going to mention the real fur…. Adore her aquamarine brooch, though!

    It is rather strange that there was less media, but I’m happy for it. You make a good point, KMR- when do they get to be with their families? I do hope some of them are sending a message. Enough with the cowardly fawning, already! There really isn’t much to say about this event, is there? It was a much smaller group this year, wasn’t it?

    And, oh yes, another new coat (and hat). I guess she hasn’t enough. Who paid for this one? Let me guess. Is this counted as a public service? Going to church?

    1. I read an article a long time ago, or possibly it was a snippet of a comment by paps on the royal beat on a TV show about their work, where they said that the Middletons always smiled in public. No matter what. Especially when they knew they were being photographed.

      We saw a demonstration of that with Kate’s media tour 2007 when she was heartbroken yet was smiling like she was having the time of her life.

      There was also a video of her surrounded by a swam of paps where it looked as bad as Diana’s worst pap chases yet stills from the same video show her smiling and not moving the car at all and posing as the paps swarmed around her. Looking positively cheerful.

      That’s why it’s unusual for her to drop her smiling public face as a royal. That smile is not an indicator of her true feelings. She’ll be smiling through a divorce if that ever happens.

      It’s interesting to watch her smile on video because she switches it on and off like a switch whether people are talking to her or not, whether she’s with a group or people or not, her default position is to smile as widely as possible. The resulting photos always show a smiling happy person.

      The royals have a public face, but they don’t smile like the Middletons. At best they will be politely pleasant face in public, and when something is genuinely amusing to them, their expressions are as genuine a possible whilst still minding their position. Whereas Kate simply grins all the time.

      When she does not smile, it is assumed that there is trouble in paradise, but it could be that she’s forgotten to continue the smiling charade and there is nothing wrong at all.

      1. Very insightful and perceptive! I agree. It’s been very interesting that in her fifteen odd years being associated with the Royals, she has rarely, if ever photographed having a normal range of emotions. She is beyond spoiled and pampered, but has gone through some emotionally rough times and never shown it visibly. Perceptive people can see her unhappiness, but the average person will take her grins and exaggerated facial expressions at face value. She has a lot of sad, set and angry lines on her face that only come from habitual use of negative facial expressions. She strikes me as the kind of person that would rather be tortured than admit weakness and so I think she keeps sweet in public and probably melts down at home. She would actually gain supporters if she showed her non-robotic side and was vulnerable. She is widely disliked because she is so fake and doesn’t show genuine emotions (unless at a sports event). She’s not relatable at all and the stiff upper lip thing just isn’t working for her.

        1. I think at this point Kate’s in a “damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t” situation. If she were to show genuine emotion and be vulnerable at this point people would assume it’s still fake. Or people would criticize her for not smiling/looking upset or angry.

        2. I’d rather not see her vulnerable side, should she have one. I have had enough with whiny Diana crying on any shoulder she could find.

          1. You mean, neither of you want to see the “real” Kate because to see one’s emotions makes them real? Otherwise, they are mere robots without emotions.

            I want to see the “real” Kate…at least, I think I do. Diana was so real and her “realness” made her precious. Her real pain spurred her on to do such good. I know we don’t agree on these points, but it is so true..

            I think I understand it. To show emotion is to show weakness, correct? And you don’t want a weak princess? I just want to see where you are coming (not attacking) from so I understand your perspectives…

          2. To me it looks like you’re calling out to her “please Kate show us your real side”, “please Kate tell us you’re really miserable and depressed”… you say that she shouldn’t try to emulate Diana yet you want her to be as “real” as you say she was? It’s kind of confusing. We already know we most certainly disagree on the Diana topic but I do this: you can’t pretend to help others if you can’t help yourself. To me she should have devoted a lot more time sorting out her own problems rather than focusing on others and then crying on every shoulder she could find showing her pain publicly so everybody would automatically feel sorry for her. I much prefer Kate’s attitude towards public life, private matters are private and meant to stay private. To be a public figure doesn’t mean that everything should be hung out for people to see. This is, of course, my personal and debatable perspective.

      2. Yes, I’ve seen a video of Kate being surrounded by paps on her birthday after William dumped her, and in the video her head is down and it looks like she’s upset, but the still photos show her smiling. And there are loads of photos from the girlfriend days where she is smiling directly at the camera in pap photos.

        I agree with you that when she is not smiling it may just be her normal expression. No one smiles all the time; that doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. My default expression is not smiling and because of my mouth shape it looks like I’m upset when really I’m just neutral. That could be a possibility for Kate.

      3. Yes this is very insightful. I’d wondered about the smiley face when I saw the photos of the walk to church. She always has a big grin when others don’t.

        I also think she grins like that because it makes her face look better. Or so she thinks. Notice when she’s out shopping and non photoshopped photos are released, she isn’t smiling and the lower part of her face looks very jowly. The smile completely transforms her face and you can’t see any sagging.

    2. How come you’re not keen on fur? Out of curiosity… I personally have a few pieces that I like and wear, but I have a hard time finding the right kind of items for myself. So I don’t really wear it all that much. But some ladies just look so fabulous in it. I only noticed that many are against fur. How come?

      1. I cannot speak for others, but I will answer your question and speak for myself.

        I don’t like fur because usually I don’t think it looks good on people. It looks too bulky and not sleek to me. Plus I just really hate hair in general, so I don’t like the idea of wearing hair and having it that close to ones face.

          1. So it’s basically a matter of protecting and safeguarding animals? Just to understand. Except for those who just don’t like fur like KMR and vickiv…

        1. If the fur is properly tailored it is not bulky at all. And regarding any eco concerns actually faux fur, being basically plastic, is actually much more damaging to the environment than real fur, not mentioning all the jobs involved in fur making.
          While I understand the motives not to wear, obviously, the fur of endangered animals I do not see a problem in wearing chincilla or other “farmed” animals. Not much different than eating meat or chicken and men have been doing it for thousands of years.

          1. It’s a personal choice. Many people see it as selfish when someone wears fur for fashion rather than staying warm purposes.

          2. I understand your point. But I will stand by my anti fur stance as killing an animal for its coat is abhorrent. I do not advocate violence towards those who wear fur (the idiots that throw paint) I just refuse to wear it and would prefer that designers stop using it

          3. If you saw the conditions the animals were kept in and the horrible way they die you might change your mind…killing a creature because you need to eat and then using it’s fur is one thing but killing it just for its fur is just wrong IMO.

  19. KMR, glad the Chinese food was good. My cooking used to be quite good, but I have to say my Christmas dinner this year was my absolute worst. Totally embarrassing! All I could think about was how I would rather be eating Chinese take-out.

    I thought Lady Louise looked the best. Anne had a nice coat (for Anne), but I do not care for the hat.

    Harry of course, looked handsome as usual.

    1. So sorry to read about your Christmas dinner embarrassment!! My family still brings up the time I served frozen green bean casserole and that was about 10+ years ago, so it’s quite possible that your Christmas dinner will become a family legend πŸ™‚

        1. Funny you should say that as I’m on my way to the supermarket for the stuff the make a green bean salad. We all know who put that idea in our heads, don’t we πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for the sympathy. All that work! I make my own stock and everything is from scratch, but if you don’t watch things closely—watch out.

    2. Lol, I remember when my family used to make this great Christmas dinner with a roast that cooked all day. But that’s just too much work and I’d rather eat Chinese.

      1. I don’t think it’s too much work, KMR, b/c I did it yesterday. You just chop the veggies ahead of time, put it all in the slow cooker with a quart of beef stock from the store and let it simmer on low for eight hours. Take it out, the meat pulls apart with a fork. Easy peasie. Cleaning up after is a pain in the behind. That’s why I made my sister and brother-in-law do it. πŸ™‚

        1. No kidding, we ate Chinese last night instead of turkey left-overs. My kiddos were cracking up “no turkey stew???” Thanks KMR, my son and daughter really appreciate you!

          1. I had to smile about the thought of leftovers. We would have a turkey for Christmas dinner and Dad was usually given a ham (or 2!). Mum would threaten us that there would be ham/ turkey sandwiches when school went back (in February) if we didn’t eat up.

  20. Add my name to the fascinator haters of the world. They are just awful. My favorite of the day was Princess Anne. I just loved the cut and color of her coat.

    I really hate all of Kate’s button-less coats. I hope I can explain this so it makes sense. In most coats, the buttons are on the left side and then the button hole is on the right side that crosses over. Kate’s coats look like the button hole is on the left side and the buttons are on the under side of the right side like you would see on the inner button of a double breasted coat or jacket. The problem with Kate’s coats is that you can always see the stitching where the button is attached. Whether this is because the maker is too cheap to do it properly or just can’t be bothered I can’t tell but it just looks tacky. Look at Princess Anne’s coat above and you can see button-less done right. If you look really close, you can see the stitch line for the placket (I think that is what it is called) that is hiding the buttons. That is the way it should be done. Kate pays way to much money for such shoddy construction. At the very least, Kate’s buttons should be sewn on so that the stitches don’t come all the way through the fabric. Sorry to be so long winded about this and I hope it makes sense. It is a chalk squeaking on a blackboard type irritation for me.

    1. Sue, I totally 100% agree with you about the buttons and tailoring! I have noticed that on several of Kate’s coats before, and it always irks me — especially since her coats cost more than a mortgage payment! I suspected it was because she had moved buttons around, but I don’t know enough about tailoring to know if she did the modifications or if the coat came so poorly constructed. The pinkish Cheltenham coat when she was pregnant comes to mind.

      Also: is Eugenie wearing the same blue coat Kate wore to Emma Bridgewater? I think Kate’s only had one button, but they do look very similar. I recall once Kate, pregnant, wore a coat Eugenie had worn before and looked much better in it even though she was pregnant.

      1. No, Eugenie is wearing a different coat. I thought they looked similar, too, so I checked.

        And yes Eugenie and Kate have worn the same coat before. On Christmas last year, Eugenie wore a white Max Mara coat, which Kate then wore in February to an 1851 Trust visit.

    2. I think fascinators make people look like they’ve head-butted a child’s art project that still has undried glue on it. They serve no purpose, other than instantly turning a normal person into a clown. That’s my opinion on fascinators.

        1. I agree. Even the name is weird: fascinators. Why must you wear something to make yourself appear fascinating to other people; is your face and what you have to say not enough? First time I saw her wear one I thought ‘what is she trying to pull here?’ several years on I still don’t get it…

    3. “In most coats, the buttons are on the left side and then the button hole is on the right side ”

      Fun fact: The position of buttons on coats usually depends on whether it’s a man’s coat or a woman’s coat.

      On men’s coats, the buttons are on the right, with the button holes on the left. On women’s coats, the buttons are on the left, and the button holes are on the right.

      It’s a hold over from when women were dressed by dressers. Most people are right handed so it made it easier for a dresser to dress the woman if the buttons were on the woman’s left/dresser’s right. Whereas men dressed themselves so it made it easier for the buttons to be on the man’s right.

      1. Lol Kate would need a good ten more green coats to compete with the number of blue coats she has.

    1. Because she is the honorary Captain of the Sandringham Leprechaun Unit, Anmer Division. They gave her a brooch and everything.

  21. Well… I really liked Kate’s look from today, but then again green is one of my favorite colors and I think one of the best colors on her. However, something seems different about her coat vs the model’s coat. The space between the top of the pocket flaps and the belt and the bustline seems much shorter on Kate’s than the model’s. I didn’t necessarily dislike Kate’s look until I saw how much better the coat seemed to ride on the model’s body shape vs on Kate. I did like Kate’s belt better, since it is wider and darker and cuts a sharper definition against the cloth than the green model’s belt did. However (and I’m not sure how she could do this with those weirdly-placed pocket flaps), I wish Kate would have worn her belt closer to her true waist line. As is, she looks like she is all bust and stilts for legs, with no waist at all.

    I know the hat got a lot of hate, but I liked it. Other than her Aubergine hat, I haven’t cared for any of her Christmas hats in the past 4 years. I think she looks a bit *twee* in those beret/nutshell looking hats she tends to favor. This might would look a bit too much a la the Canadian maple leaves, but I felt like her outfit was screaming for a Christmassy pop of red — how cute would it have been if that poinsettia looking thing on the side of her head had been red in color or maybe even poinsettia leaves themselves? It sounds like an awesome idea in my head, but maybe like one of those ideas that would look ridiculous in real life.

    Prince Philip seemed to be using his umbrella as a cane in some of the photos I saw. Bless him, he reminds me of my own grandpa. Never willing to give up.

    1. I was hoping for some red from Kate as well. The poinsettia in red would have been great.

  22. KMR, this site is one of the most pleasurable gifts I received all year. I love a discussion group that is at once so astute and jovial. Thank you for all that you do.

    I recall the video from a year or so ago at this same event when Eugenie elbowed her way past Kate as they left the church leaving Kate looking somewhat lost and confused. I don’t know if things have changed. The entire family doesn’t look in these pictures like much has changed.

    Andrew grumpy, Beatrice and Eugenie the Cinderella step-sisters, Sophie desperately trying to be above Kate but felled by her fashion choices, and Concave Kate with yet another belt that strangles any chance of posture improvement.

    I don’t know if anything will ever change as we close out this year. The Queen, and oh how I love her, is perhaps rightly more concerned with matters of state and constitution than to quibble over the actual functioning of the family.

    The family does not function, and it is sorely apparent in this and other studies. The ladies’ clothing choices and body language reflect insecurity, competitiveness, and confusion over their proper place in the organizational chart. It is so sad because there is plenty of money to go around and so much good work that could be done that isn’t being done.

    I have come to think that William is an angry man, and maybe he has the justification to be just that. Maybe the Middleton family represents his ideal of what a family should really be and one he might have had if not the Firm had turned out his mother and left her to take up with the likes of Dodie and his lifestyle. That said, Kate may have played a role in that ideal but has he come to see her as a woman who will never have the qualities of his beloved mother.

    It is so evident to me now the tension and angst between Wills and Harry. Harry does indeed have those intangible qualities that made Diana Diana. He spent a good part of the walk talking to the regular people when the pictures show none of his relatives doing the same. And Harry has freedom, which Wills certainly does not.

    I look forward to the coming year of studying this fascinating clan, and I can only hope for their sakes that true love blossoms somewhere in this bunch of artificial flowers.

    1. Thank you so much, Jane. I agree with you that William seems very angry toward his family and his responsibilities. Yet he doesn’t want to give up his lifestyle. And there definitely does seem to be a rift between William and Harry.

  23. I like fascinators, but not Kate’s fascinators. I think she experimented more as a girlfriend, but as a wife wears the same fascinator in different fabric and colours. She’s copying the Queen and Camilla’s hats in this respect because they tend to the same style hat in different colours and fabrics.

    Overall I thought they all looked good. Except for Sophie who I thought looked overdone. Perhaps due to the light colour of her clothing compared to everyone else dark colours.

    I loved Anne’s outfit. The colour was fabulous on her.

    As for the lack of hand holding by WK, i’ve always thought the hand holding in the past was a PR move. Kate always looked quite startled to be holding hands with William. I’m that cynical about their PDAs, especially when they come at a time of intense negative publicity. This time hand holding wasn’t necessary since they are basking in the glow of the well received christmas card.

  24. I really don’t like this color or cut on Kate. She looked bland. The updo I did like and the brooch was a nice touch. I liked Sophies outfit but it’s not one of her best. Loved the color of Eugienies coat but not crazy about the shoes. The biggest and in my opinion the best surprise of the day was Anne, I loved her coat and boots.

    1. I was going to offer my own take on the day, but found that I agree with this entire comment.

      I’ll only add that Harry is a gem. I hope the BRF truly appreciates that. Doubtful, but I’ll remain hopeful.

        1. Yes, Harry truly is such a lovely and caring person. He exudes love and charisma to others; you can tell that he treats them as if they are the only one in the room. IMO, he is the key to upholding the monarchy.

  25. Loved HM and Princess Anne. They both looked so nice. Camilla was well-put together, but the colors were so somber. Not a win for me. Kate’s coat was lovely, but the hat color should have been the same, as pointed out by other commenters. Also, the tailoring was off, as pointed out, too. I compared the model’s coat with Kate’s and Kate’s is so poorly altered. Who alters her clothes? Not a professional. Sophie ‘s outfit is a miss for me. She always looks so good, but this was an awful look. The blood princesses looked nice, but the shoes were a big miss. I liked everyone’s makeup. Heavy eyeliner doesn’t bother me, but I’m from the American South and that’s the style here.

  26. If I am thread jacking, please disregard. What do you think of the latest piece by the DM saying that Kate is eclipsing Will’s popularity–also given the lack of photogs at the Christmas event? I know PR is behind everything so it’s all very interesting.. What do you think KMR? Does it not have Diana undertones?

    1. I know I’m not KMR, but I thought it fairly screamed of Diana undertones. I read this article earlier and got quite a chuckle out of it, so thanks for sharing.

    2. I think this continues what KMR wrote about how the press really hates PW, and again what she picked up with her twitter feed almost silent for Christmas morning walk. If there is an underlying backlash waiting in the wings, 2016 is a going to be a rocky one for the Cambs. But most of us here have been calling that for over a year now, so no surprise.

    3. Agreed, it will be an interesting year for sure. I am also glad that I was not the only one that thought this had overt Diana overtones. Either, it’s the Middleton camp drumming this up or something else is going on…

      1. I agree Runner. Personally, I think its the media trying to stir the pot and turn Will against Kate. They know a sizable amount of the public on both sides of the pond think Kate schemed her way into the family and that Will is a clueless zombie. While that isn’t completely fair (there were other women Will was interested in that didn’t fight for him or flat out turned him down whereas Kate is willing to take on a life of obeying the royal calendar). This is them taking the gloves off with Will that they will publish attacks on him and that he no longer gets a bubble they furnish. His attempt at further control with Chris so that only pictures Will approves of are published is a huge mistake. And what Will doesn’t see is that the Midds will be dragged into this; every mistake they make, and they are quasi-public so they don’t enjoy as much protection, will be ripped at every turn. Does he not think someone will crack month after month?

    4. Someone mentioned that Richard Palmer in his latest Twitter rant that he was praising Kate while simultaneously demonizing William. This seems like more of that. Like the press is, for some reason, changing to praise Kate and demonize William.

    1. Another sad drab Kate outfit unless she’s wearing a scarf to spiff it up which I can’t see from the angle of the pictures. All she needs is a dowager’s hump to complement the outfit and stooped posture.

        1. Wow! What an unfortunate outfit. She is matching her clothing with the weather seriously! She needs a red scarf or something, some color to break things up as Yorkie said! Posture poor as per usual. I will give Beatrice a compliment. She had a nice blue coat on and good posture πŸ™‚ I am thinking KMR might want to write on this even though she needs a break πŸ™‚ So..I hope we aren’t thread jacking. Thanks for the article, Lauri from CA.

          1. This outfit reminded me of the unfortunate outfit she wore to the horse races in ’07 just before the Great Breakup, why would she want to relive that?

            She does style her expensive clothes rather badly, I imagine the designers softly banging their heads against the wall when they see it.

    2. Kate’s outfit is blah beyond words but I do like her hat. Pillbox’s are cute; I like Bea’s too, and thankfully no fascinator’s except Zara’s. Zara’s feather is a too much, but she looked very chic because of her hair and neutral makeup. I’d have to give her the win because she’s never really cared about dressing for publicity, but has nailed a good look for herself here. And again, PP is determined to be out walking. That man could take out an entire army by himself. Very nice to see everyone together so much. Hopefully they are having a relatively peaceful Christmas.

        1. Thank goodness for that Lisa! Perhaps the press just aren’t into them as they used to be. James with his hipster beard and Pippa with her perpetual orange tan can be grating. But there have been a slew of snarky articles lately parodying Pippa and her vacuous “celebration tips” for Christmas. They’ve become a punchline.

          1. Actually, I think they are deliberately laying low. After Carole’s terrible pictures with the wine bottle and the sad breakup for Pippa (hoping that Harry or a former beau would run in with a bottle of Chardonnay and a ring??) its got to be fraying them. The media are definitely upset with the Cambridges, and have no problem taking it out on the Midds. To be fair, Carole and crew ate up the good press. The tides come in and out.

          2. “The Midds don’t have the position and protect like W&K do.” You mean like the firearms officers posted around their house 24/7 and the sign they had removed in town a few weeks ago? Yeah, they’re totally on their own.

          1. Sorry it wasn’t a sign, they had 8 foot high pillars with acorns at the top erected in Bucklebury to celebrate William and Katie’s wedding. The neighbors think they are ugly and should be removed.

    3. Oh, Kate looked terrible. And, that’s not a pill box hat to me. Think Jackie Kennedy! Now, those were the ultimate.

      Kate’s hat looked more like a beanie with a bow on top and she moved it forward to press up against the top of her forehead. Ugh.

      Lauri, I now look at her posture all the time and this was one of the worst looks yet. The way Harry is looking at her is priceless. It’s as if he is thinking, “Shoulders back, lass!”

      1. I agree that it’s not a traditional Jackie Kennedy pill box, but it looks like a modified version and is rather cute. I like that its crown isn’t as high. It may be called something else, but its relatively in the same genre.

    4. Ladies of the BRF, if you are going to day 3 your hair (which I do, all the time), please invest in a restorative can of dry shampoo spray. Dove brand is my personal favourite. It works wonders, literally, especially if your hairdresser isn’t waiting in the wings. Zara’s option was also a winner, slick it all back and top it with something, or just go with a sleek, low ponytail. I don’t care how late you were up last night, plowing through the Sandringham wine cellar, don’t show up with bedraggled locks and pasty faces. The young ‘uns all looked a little hung, imo. Except for the children, of course

  27. Also, Anne looks like she might be looking nice again with some serious red going on as does Zara. What’s up with the yucky drab colors on Kate? Gosh, Kate, go back to your outfits your first year of marriage, please!!

    1. You know Runner, I don’t think her style has changed much from the first year it’s just that it was all new and exciting to us but now 4+ years on her style hasn’t evolved so it’s just boring.

      1. Perhaps, you are right. I just don’t remember her dressing so dowdy. And here, we have the queen–whom the DM should focus on, not Kate, looking fresh in white. She needs a stylist STAT and Tash won’t do, obviously.

        1. A puzzlement that she’s trumpeted as a style icon when she clearly is not and never was. I just don’t get where the adulation is coming from.

          1. It’s all about public relations. The PR people get paid to place her in these types of lists. They continually feed information to the press about what she’s wearing, her hair, her looks (unfortunately because it’s all she has to offer at the moment) and the press writes about it. Sometimes press releases are printed word for word. Believe me, I worked in the music industry in PR and I know how things can be molded and shaped by creating working relationships with key members of the press. William makes it harder for his people because he would rather have a total press blackout but to keep the public interested they have to talk about something so they get her on those kinds of lists.

            She is definitely not a style icon. Haven’t you ever wondered how People Magazine comes up with it’s Sexiest Man every year? It’s definitely not by popular vote. There’s a lot of promoting and back and forth between the magazine and PR people. They also look at who is going to see if they are on the cover. I don’t see Kate front and center as much as I used to, but she is still on the gossip mags at the checkout stands.

          2. Total agree with you, Lisa. Thanks for sharing re: your PR background. I, too, think that everything they do is PR related..Very insightful!

          3. I really think it’s due to how many people buy her outfits. So fashion icon translates to dollars rather than creative yet tasteful or fashion-innovative. Sad.

          4. There are a lot of people who consider her a style/fashion icon. Loads from where I come from… IMO she is, she may not always look her best and not work as hard as others but to me there are very few women who can dress as well as her. I rely a lot of faith that she will learn to fulfill her role in a better way overtime as many require her to (rightfully). I just really like her.

          5. Emma, I’m interested in your point of view. What attracted you as a supporter? I didn’t follow any of the dating years, looked in at the wedding, then busy again for another year plus so I’m pretty unbiased. I just don’t think she lives up to what she’s taken on either style wise or work ethic. The first has been hit and miss with limited originality for the past few years, we’ve seen enough of her to make her a Playboy centerfold, and the last is terrible, plus no speeches five years in until recently. I just tell you honestly why I’m not a fan, but I do think she lives in a bubble of sycophants and if she got some constructive points, might try to do better. If so, I’d be rooting for her because it’s no picnic being the next POW. My cousin likes her, but because Kate’s pretty. That’s it. And that is so 2-D in my book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

          6. Sunny, how can I begin? πŸ™‚ I must confess that I was way too little to follow the dating years but I do remember the day of the wedding. She looked beautiful wearing that gown which reminded me much of the one worn by Grace Kelly for her wedding. She looked radiant and ready to take on her new life. I listened to their first interview afterthe engagement where they spoke so freely and naturally that I fell in love with them immediately. I later documented myself and admired how she managed to go through the dating years and even university with that kind of constant pressure weighing down on her. I would have never made it. I’ve always loved her style and hair so that was just an added bonus. Perhaps she lets down sometimes (I must say that I don’t follow her closely but I do read some articles every once in a while) but every time people critisize her I just put myself in her shoes and realize how hard it must be to always be thrusted in the limelight, constantly beneath the public’s judging eye, everyone following your every move and analysing all your outfit down to ,basically, your underwear. Years of that must have taken a considerable toll on not only her but everyone in the family! She wasn’t trained for that life so she’s not as strong as the queen or harry. Yes I’ve done my fair share of critising ever since I discovered this blog, but I do so basing myself on my personal taste and on my personal thoughts of what is appropriate, what is tasteful, what is elegant, what is flattering. And Kate almost never lets me down. I know many don’t and will not agree with me, it’s fine, but Kate to me is the perfect fit and a wonderful asset to the BRF. I think she’s genuine, clever, naturally poised and sophisticated. I think it’s only just to add to this that I think Will has changed a lot from the wedding and is not helping her at all to adjust. Also I don’t like much her family but that is beyond the point.

    1. Wow, so he doesn’t have to take any personal responsibility for his life and choices? I had a dysfunctional and manipulative mother (not that I would call Diana that), and I’m a well-adjusted adult without any help from anyone other than faith. *Blame the parents* is cliche.

      1. Sunny! So do I (have a manipulative, narcissistic mom). And faith is what gets me through it too! :-)(it’s also what keeps me on my toes on this board; I want to say things in a nice manner and fail sometimes..and then I wonder whether I should even comment and the cycle continues πŸ™‚ I don’t want to let God down…) Blaming the parents is totally cliche. We are all responsible for our choices–and blaming our parents for this or that is a cop out.

        1. Sunny, I also wanted to add that you really are kind to all and set a good example–and I thank you for that. You also ask others nicely about their perspectives–when it’s not easy to do that. Thanks for that πŸ™‚

          1. Belated Christmas greetings to all and much happiness, health and good cheer for the coming year.

            Needless to say, the holiday season was very Merry and super busy in our house, so I have not been able to log on to this site until now.

            Where to begin? First and foremost, I am happy to have been able to go through the posts and learn some happy news from people whom I have come to care about very much. Seth, tremendous happy news that your mom is doing better. I hope she continues to improve and know that will make you and your family very happy, indeed. You are a very good and caring son!

            Secondly, reading so many happy reports of happy holidays made me feel terrific. You come to know people through their posts and to hear that they enjoyed the season is great to hear.

            KMR, a big thank you for your blog which is never disappointing and always informative, often funny and just a go-to place for Royal news. You do your research so well and write your posts so smoothly and effectively, weaving humor in and giving us all the chance to jump in and have our say.

            I thought Kate looked genuinely happy on her walk to Church. I liked the color of the coat, but it’s style so predictable a choice for her. And, the fascinator — oh, don’t get me started on her hat, or Sophie’s. Just cannot stand those little headpieces. Also, print of her blouse/dress was dreary to me. I am not into patterns of most types and cannot believe how their popularity remains. They are difficult to wear for many and not easy for photographers, either. Busy, busy, busy!!!!

            I thought the York sisters looked pretty. I think they get a bad rap on fashion issues, sadly, because they are not stick skinny.

            Sophies suit, minus her hat, were very regal and HM looked amazing to me . She ages beautifully and is so dedicated to her role in life.

            Harry? Oh, Harry! Such a gentleman and prince extraordinaire. Were those flowers for Rhiannon? Oh, how we all wait to see her photographed with PH!

            Enough said at the moment. Just want to send best wishes to everyone and an early Happy New Year!

          2. Thanks Runner! Sending hugs your way, and glad you are doing well! Merry Christmas to you Mary Elizabeth! I still wish Kate and Will had chosen your name for little Charlotte, but Charlotte is nice.

      1. Again, he’s a grown man. Whatever challenges William has because of Diana, he has enough money to pay for counseling, or chart his own course to a healthier persona. The *poor little me* routine doesn’t cut it. Those who encourage it are encouraging mental unwellness, and that’s both wrong and unproductive. Maybe those who believe Diana caused him deep emotional scars should twitter communicate with him and encourage him to get some private counseling. For me, I think he’s fine, he just likes the power that comes with being petulant.

      2. People react differently to parents’ influences. He takes a little less than half of the blame I’d say, the rest can happily be attributed to Diana. Also Sunny, I’d just point out that the “poor little me” act it’s exactly what he got from his mother who throughout all her life has put on that very same act. If she managed just fine with it, why couldn’t he?

  28. Seriously with the acorn thingie erected?! Sorry guys, I just can’t. That speaks volumes about the Midds and not in a good way.

    You don’t see Prince Daniel’s family doing wag garbage like this. ewww.

    1. It wasn’t the Middletons who erected the posts to commemorate the wedding it was some artist in the village.

  29. KMR, thank you for posting the video of the Queen’s speech. I found it very moving, despite (or because of?) the remarkably uninflected delivery style. The quotes referring to light and darkness were beautifully chosen and the references to the refugee crisis, while understated, were clear in the message of acceptance. The diversity in the boy’s choir that followed was the perfect ending statement.

  30. Thoughts on the Christmas day church stuff:

    Kate: there is something not right with her mentally any more; her outfits have been looking drab lately and this time it was all over the place…clashing colours of hat and coat, the hat sticking up weirdly, the jewellery was overkill and the flowery dress with the leafy brooch! She looks like she was trying too hard…
    William: does not look well physically, lots of darkness under his eyes and almost all his hair gone!
    Harry: usual happy-chappy self; beard has been trimmed which is a shame I liked it longer!
    Sophie: looks like she was trying too hard (LMAO at the bunny suggestion, did not see that!)
    Sophie’s kids: Louise looks like a character from a Victorian novel; I’m thinking Wendy in Peter Pan. Still something off about her gaze; I defo think she has Aspergers now. James nothing to say, normal looking.
    York girls: what has Beatrice got on her feet? Sour-faced as usual but Eugenie looked great in that turquoise colour although the coat was a bit short for a princess IMO.
    Charles and Camilla: Meh
    Queen: looked like a fat, old, very expensive, little red-riding hood. She really needs to lose weight.
    Phillip: walking corpse, not long now…
    Anne: won the show in the style stakes! Fab hat, coat, boots and she knew it.

    Funny how they were all dressed up for the main church appearance but not in the earlier one when they were no photographers up close; in the first one they actually looked like normal people. An image they don’t want to give out presumably?

    Also did anyone else notice: every single female had a hat on her head and not one of the males did?! Is there something wrong with not covering your head if you’re a royal female now?

    Further analysis of the pictures coupled with those from yesterday’s church service shows there is something really wrong with Wills and Kate’s relationship. She is doing everything to get his attention and he is looking everywhere but at her. She looks scared and he looks fed-up. I think he has no use for her now he has Charlotte. A separation is on the cards I think; 2016 is going to be an interesting year.

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