Royal Round Up: Kate’s new private secretary & royals graduate Sandhurst

Kensington Palace announced Kate Middleton‘s new private secretary back on July 31, and the woman is way over-qualified. Plus, royal princes from Jordan and Luxembourg graduated Sandhurst.

KP announced 58-year-old Catherine Quinn will take over for Rebecca Deacon as Kate’s private secretary. Quinn will start her role in October.

    “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has appointed Catherine Quinn as her Private Secretary. Ms. Quinn is currently Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean for administration at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and has previously held leadership positions at Middle Temple and the Wellcome Trust.
    “Catherine is a member of the Boards of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Met Office, and the Royal British Legion. She has an MBA from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and degrees from US and UK universities.
    “Ms. Quinn will begin her new role at Kensington Palace in October. She succeeds Rebecca Priestley, who as previously announced, is stepping down this summer after ten years of service to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.”

I hope Quinn not starting until October doesn’t mean Kate won’t have an engagement until then. There is nothing currently on her schedule, which is normal for August, but I hope she does something between now and October.

Here’s a bit more about Quinn:

    “Catherine joined Oxford Saïd at its Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean for administration and operations from The Middle Temple, where her role as Chief Executive combined direction of commercial and not-for-profit activities, including the running of a heritage estate with Local Authority status in central London and a professional membership and training institution for barristers. Prior to this, Catherine led the grant-giving operations of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable healthcare foundation, where she restructured the Trust’s services and operations and led the establishment of a sister organisation in India. Before Wellcome, she spent several years in Oxford, where she directed the University’s institution-wide Research Services and co-founded Oxford University Consulting.”

Quinn is very qualified; almost too qualified for the role. I wonder if this hiring is Kate actually wanting someone this qualified to help her get better at her royal job, or if someone else put their foot down. Either way, I hope we see an improvement in number of appearances and quality of speeches moving forward.

Switching gears, the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst took place on August 11 in Camberley, England. King Abdullah II of Jordan represented Queen Elizabeth II at the ceremony where Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg both graduated.

Also in attendance were Queen Rania of Jordan and the rest of their family – Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem – and Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg with the rest of their family – Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, Prince Felix and Princess Claire, Prince Louis, and Princess Alexandra.

106 Comments on Royal Round Up: Kate’s new private secretary & royals graduate Sandhurst

  1. C.
    August 13, 2017 at 12:27 am (1 month ago)

    Alexandra’s dress. I…have no words.

    Stephanie looks matronly as always and those shoes are a crime. Claire looks fantastic as almost-always and her shoes are to die for.

    Will be very interested to see if this new private secretary plays a different role than Rebecca Deacon. It seems like she has been more of a personal assistant than anything else, and it certainly seems as though that’s not likely Ms. Quinn’s MO (I hope).

    • Lovely Blossom
      August 13, 2017 at 1:15 am (1 month ago)

      I don’t understand why so many girls today have to wear such short clothes.It’s their new normal.I guess, they have wrong role-models.Plus,it must be really uncomfortable to sit in such dress.
      Nevertheless, I’ m always looking forward to see the Luxembourgs, I hope Stephanie has soon babys, I can’t wait anymore(I know,it’s their decision).
      I also like that the whole family attend such an event,it’s surely nice for these young men to get the attention of their families after hard work.

      • Alexandra
        August 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm (1 month ago)

        I think young women have maybe evolved past looking for role models based on what they wear.

        • Collegedrowner
          August 15, 2017 at 10:09 am (1 month ago)

          Speaking as a young woman, I can confirm this. I wear what I like, and sometimes that happens to be short, sometimes it’s long. It’s not because of ‘bad role models’ unless you consider Michelle Obama a bad role model, cause she’s about as far up as my list of role models go.

    • Cathy
      August 13, 2017 at 1:24 am (1 month ago)

      Blimey! That Navy Blue dress sure is short!

      • jenny
        August 14, 2017 at 11:38 am (1 month ago)

        It is, it is! I’m not a fan of young women wearing such short-short dresses.

    • Future Crayon
      August 13, 2017 at 8:39 am (1 month ago)

      Stephanie’s shoes and orthopedic stockings… Alexandra’s hemline… sheesh. I’ve seen criticism of Claire’s look, but to me she looks the most elegant and seasonally appropriate of the bunch. It’s a nice hat and it’s a gorgeous coat. The Luxes are a funny looking bunch, but Claire’s elegant and has two gorgeous kids with whichever one of the interchangeable toothy oddbod Lux boys she’s married to.

      The Jordanians looked good, too

  2. Cathy
    August 13, 2017 at 1:20 am (1 month ago)

    A Private Secretary’s role is to advise their Principal (that will be Kate). She will be there to advise on protocol, Palace protocol, diplomacy, will probably give advice on the charities Kate will be involved with etc. Catherine Quinn is most certainly not there to type up a letter or to get Kate a cup of tea or coffee. She is not there to gather up the flowers on walkabouts either. She’s not there to take notes at engagements like Kate had Rebecca do once. A Private Secretary is a senior official and most certainly not to be confused with a PA.

    • Ellie
      August 13, 2017 at 1:37 am (1 month ago)

      I hope such an over-qualified, educated woman such as Catherine Quinn will give Kate a push in the backside to be prepared and work more! Kate having a real PS would be a great asset. Imagining Catherine Quinn gathering flowers, bleh, I’ll be pissed off if they make such an intelligent, powerful woman reduced to that.

      • katemiddletonreview
        August 13, 2017 at 1:59 am (1 month ago)

        I read that Quinn is going to be paid something in the neighborhood of six figures for this role (not sure how true that is, but I read it at the Express), so gathering flowers is beneath her pay grade.

        • Cathy
          August 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm (1 month ago)

          KMR – Have you seen anything to say what Rebecca or Miguel Head are paid?

      • aaa
        August 13, 2017 at 6:29 am (1 month ago)

        I may be mis-remembering but I think that I’ve seen Patrick Jephson hold Diana’s flowers. Part of that person’s job is to be in close proximity of the royal at key events and I can see circumstances where she/he will be handed flowers or other trinkets but presumably that is a very small part of the job description.

        • Rose74
          August 16, 2017 at 12:16 am (1 month ago)

          I haven’t read all of the replies through, so someone else may have pointed this out (and I’m neutral on this), but I Google Mapped Prince George’s new school (Thomas’s – Battersea location) to Kensington Palace and according to Google it’s 3.6 miles by car. That’s really not that far. The closest public school to my house is 5 miles away, and that’s the high school, the elementary is farther. As I think someone else pointed out, Sidwell Friends is about the same distance from the White House. It’s 3.9 miles from Sidwell Friends to 1600 Penn Ave.

      • royalsareajoke
        August 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm (1 month ago)

        I just read KMR’s comment that rumor has it that this woman will be paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 figures. That and the publicity might make it worth her while to baby sit Kate:) for a couple of years, save money and then write a tell all. I’m sure there’s a ‘keep your trap shut’ clause in her contract, but I’m equally certain that the ‘firm’ would be reluctant to sue her. That’s the only reason I can see to accept such a job. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but Kate is maybe too insecure to have such an intelligent accomplished woman in her orbit, and ma Midds might take issue with anyone who attempts to ‘ween waity’. Should be interesting:)

    • Nic919
      August 13, 2017 at 10:20 am (1 month ago)

      Is Kate going to listen though. And is William going to interfere with CQ’s authority. I guess we will find out soon, ok in a few months when she actually starts.

      • Jen
        August 13, 2017 at 11:10 am (1 month ago)

        I’d guess CQ has been appointed by Charles/the Queen to impose structure and professionalism – finally! – to Kate’s workload. The Cambridge’s have been given years to get themselves ‘ready’ to assume duties and time has run out. So it’s been imposed from above. Whether the pair will be even more recalcitrant, who knows. If they brook her advice there would most likely be repercussions. I wonder who CQ will answer to? Charles?

        • MavenTheFirst
          August 13, 2017 at 11:56 am (1 month ago)

          Clearly Kate/William didn’t pick this wonderfully qualified person given their track record. This should get interesting. As George is starting a new school in September, far, far away from home, I wonder if Kate’s excuses will increase exponentially. I also expect that exclusive helicopter to get a real workout. Makes me wonder if that’s how George will normally get to school.

          I also wonder what stick Charles is using on William. Something definitely seems to be changing at the top.

          • Questalynne
            August 13, 2017 at 5:34 pm (1 month ago)

            Helicopter George to school — that would be a way to start a public row. I do wonder why the long commute. (A little off-topic, but why have him sit through such a congested traffic ride? Surely there must be decent schools nearby.)

          • Nic919
            August 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm (1 month ago)

            There is a similar school much closer to KP. But these two are wasteful and don’t really care how this inconveniences the City just for their child to attend school.

          • Lizabeth
            August 13, 2017 at 9:06 pm (1 month ago)

            I wouldn’t think taking George to school by helicopter would be very safe even if all of London was a no-fly zone for everyone else.  Sounds quite wasteful too but I doubt Will or Kate would care about that. The choice of school still mystifies me. But I have seen reports saying unlike the branch chosen, the branch near KP is spread over several buildings and that was a security concern. Still blocking the streets 2 x day for a child’s commute….

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 13, 2017 at 9:20 pm (1 month ago)

            Is there any evidence that they are intending to use a helicopter to take George to school, or to shut down streets to drive him? They don’t shut down streets for their other normal daily activities.

            Also, we have no idea why that particular branch was chosen, they could have had legitimate reasons such as liking the program or the teachers better.

          • Jessica
            August 13, 2017 at 10:11 pm (1 month ago)

            Seriously, there is no way George is helicoptering to school. Sasha Obama and had about a 30 minute commute with 2 security cars to elementary and I imagine the same will be for George. DC has some of the worst traffic on the planet btw so I think it’s a fair comparison.

          • Cathy
            August 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm (1 month ago)

            I was working in Notting Hill when Charles and Diana decided to send William to Wetherby, a couple of minutes from where I worked. At the time one of the reasons why they picked that school was the close proximity to KP. It”s a great school too! That’s why I wondered why they would send George to a school so far away? It makes for more driving when you have play dates and after school activities too.

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm (1 month ago)

            One thing that the press noted when George’s school was announced is that the school William and Kate chose is co-ed, meaning both George and Charlotte could attend the same school, whereas the one William and Harry went to is not co-ed.

          • Cathy
            August 13, 2017 at 11:36 pm (1 month ago)

            Thanks for that KMR, I didn’t realise Weatherby was still boys only. It will be nice for both kids to go to the same school for a while, even if they get sent to single sex schools later? Assuming George is going to Eton like his Dad and Uncle?

          • Ellie
            August 14, 2017 at 12:11 am (1 month ago)

            AFAIK a lot of the schools that were single-sex even in the 80s are co-ed now.

            I can see them sending the kids to the same school til it comes time for boarding. I do question the choice of a school so far from KP in London traffic and how their outriders will disturb traffic for everyone else going from Kensington to Battersea…

          • Lizabeth
            August 14, 2017 at 8:08 am (1 month ago)

            I agree we don’t know why the Battersea branch of the Thomas School was chosen for George. But we do know the Kensington branch is also co-ed unlike Wetherby which is still all-boys. Sacha and Malia did go to Sidwell Friends School where lots of other presidents’ and vice-presidents’ kids have attended. (Except Amy Carter who went to public school in DC) But when the Obama daughters started Sidwell Sacha, 7,  was at the Lower School in Maryland, not the upper branch in DC with Malia.

            We also don’t know how the commute will be handled for George nor should we know. But didn’t Diana talk about her car having some sort of device the driver could press to turn lights red for the other traffic? That was well over 20 yrs ago and I’d think technology would have quietly advanced since then re: royal transportation. 

          • bluhare
            August 14, 2017 at 9:57 am (1 month ago)

            I recall reading that Kate didn’t like the Kensington branch because there were too many privileged students. She didn’t want the children exposed to just upper class children.

          • jenny
            August 14, 2017 at 11:42 am (1 month ago)

            Well, they ARE chopper parents!

            Since I am not too familiar with the British education system, may I ask an expert if George and Charlotte have to go to boardung s schools? Wow, the regular crowd William and Kate, who are hell bent on modernizing the monarchy (meaning, keeping as far away from work as possible), won’t want to let go of George and Charlotte so much. I can’t imagine those two in boarding school.

            As for the Royal Graduate, many best wishes and congratulations. From all you have written of this young man in the past, KMR, he seems like a wonderful person. I wish him well. His family ISquite loving and must be very proud!

          • Ellie
            August 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm (1 month ago)

            ‘She didn’t want the children exposed to just upper class children.’ – Considering the fact her mother only wanted them to associate with the upper classes makes this really funny to me. It’s not like Kate and William would allow playdates for G&C with ‘normal’ kids, and St Thomas’s is insanely expensive so obviously they’d only be around similarly privileged children. I just don’t get it when they have a Kensington branch really close to KP. Seems too stressful on a little lad, that long commute!

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 14, 2017 at 6:09 pm (1 month ago)

            When I was in elementary school, my mom’s best friend drove her kids an hour-long commute every day in the morning and in the afternoon just so that they could attend a private school (rather than the public schools that were closer to them). So it’s not unheard of or all that odd to me that a parent would make that type of decision if they preferred the other school better (for whatever reason).

          • TC-P
            August 15, 2017 at 5:02 am (1 month ago)

            I know I have not been to London in ages but use to go up quit a bit for meetings and we drive up from time to time for events and I just do not see why it would be difficult to drive George to his school in Battersea from Kensington. Traffic is not as bad as it use to be due to the congestion charge. It is not that far and I would think dependant upon traffic would take no more than half an hour to get there by car. One just finds that either traffic is with you or against you.

        • TP76
          August 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm (1 month ago)

          Agree, Jen, and Maven the first. This is coming from above. I doubt Kate would hire someone of Quinn’s caliber to be her PS: it might end in actual work. If she did, in an attempt to improve, then I’ll be delighted. But that does not fit with what we know of her personality/work ethic so far.

          In any event, hopefully it results in more, and more substantive, engagements.

          • Red Snapper
            August 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm (1 month ago)

            If this new hire is to be the precursor for a new and improved work ethic, then there would be a PR push saying so. How many times have we been lied to that Kate was ‘keen’ to fill up her diary? Either the PR push hasn’t happened YET, or Kate is balking behind the scenes. I don’t think Rebecca is being pushed out, she’s probably ready for a change. I wonder if Charles, or someone on his staff, picked CQ and made it clear that there would be no funding another choice. If Charles is (finally) using his purse strings to bring the Cambridges to heel…. William must be apoplectic with rage.

          • Jen
            August 14, 2017 at 4:20 am (1 month ago)

            The new sweep across the board – resignations, retirements – is a good excuse to install a more unified agenda between the various offices, with appropriate people in key posts. Whether Kate does more work… well, I wouldn’t hold my breath but CQ may well have the mandate to hold Kate to more accountability. I thought it interesting that CQ would focus on Kate. If she becomes more visible and professional, William will have no alternative but to follow suit aka divide and rule.

      • bluhare
        August 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm (1 month ago)

        Yes, this is what I’m interested in. If Kate follows William’s lead, and William doesn’t like the direction Kate’s office is going, I don’t see this woman lasting long, which is unfortunate. William is his own worst enemy and I hope Kate can stand on her own here.

        On the other hand, I hope she can finally deliver that swift kick that has been lacking.

        • Nic919
          August 14, 2017 at 2:18 am (1 month ago)

          Kate will do anything to please William so I don’t see her standing up to him if he doesn’t like CQ. It’s why William picked her. He wants an obedient doormat and she has met that requirement in all aspects. As much as Will and Harry praise their mother and what she did, William himself is a huge hypocrite in that he did not want a woman with an assertive personality who would outshine him. He really isn’t different from his father in his regard.
          Harry on the other hand, if he marries Meghan, has chosen someone who has accomplished something with her life, has done charity work on her own and has the potential to be as charismatic as Diana.
          Kate still doesn’t have much of a voice on any issue and is basically an expensive clothes hanger, and William is completely okay with that.

          • Jen
            August 14, 2017 at 3:52 am (1 month ago)

            Nic, I’m sure you’re right in the choice of William’s bride but I’d extend that to include the rest of his family too. They all expect to be the star attractions and appendages are just…there. Whether Harry will revert to family form or have a truly equal partnership will be revealed in time. But Meghan presents a ‘problem’ for all the strengths you ascribe to her: she has independent thoughts and actions. As mere ‘spares’, H+M have far more charisma than the wooden, disinterested Cambridge’s. We’ve seen how Harry minimises himself around them; will Meghan be required to as well, to not draw attention? Asking anyone to be less than what they are, to disallow full expression of themselves, is a hollow, frustrating life.

          • Jen
            August 14, 2017 at 7:18 am (1 month ago)

            I’d also add that Harry and spouse have two options: (1) step up to Charles’ agenda regardless, or (2) continue Harry’s deliberately vague cherry-picking schedule and flit here and there. The second option will do them no good.

          • bluhare
            August 14, 2017 at 10:00 am (1 month ago)

            You know what that tells me, Nic? That Harry is by far the most well adjusted of the two. Probably stating the obvious there, aren’t I? 🙂

            Jen, I think you’re dead right about the second option.

          • LadyBlueRibbon
            August 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm (1 month ago)

            I can see Meghan working out in the family if she and Harry were ambassadors abroad. Charles sending them overseas to do basically what he has done over the years – build relationships and coalitions. Guided by the UK Government of course. So “overseas” royals might fit their personalities and much like Maddie in Sweden – come to UK for the ceremonies. This would keep the domestic spotlight on W&K&G&C who may be ambassadors closer to home.

        • LadyBlueRibbon
          August 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm (1 month ago)

          Here’s another angle – perhaps she was appointed by Charles so that while Kate is being the “public” face of the royal family for public relations – her private secretary is the one actually doing the diplomacy for the UK government. Think about it. Kate’s new secretary comes from the most prestigious university from business education leadership. She may not be there to tutor Kate at all – but to handle things in the back channels.

    • Fifi
      August 13, 2017 at 11:23 am (1 month ago)

      Aren’t the PS usually “over-qualified”? Especially for the low salaries usually offered (though perhaps not in this case). Kate still needs a lady in waiting as well, who would take flowers, write notes, end awkward conversations and all the other jobs LIWs do.

      • bluhare
        August 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm (1 month ago)

        Why am I thinking that might be Pippa? The LIW I mean. There was talk when Kate got married, and then she said she didn’t want one.

        • Lizabeth
          August 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm (1 month ago)

          Maybe. But doesn’t Pippa have her own “minders” now?

          • bluhare
            August 14, 2017 at 10:03 am (1 month ago)

            Apparently so. It’s difficult avoiding the riff raff you know. I could go on a real rant here but I will spare you all.

          • Jen
            August 14, 2017 at 10:22 am (1 month ago)

            Oh, go on. We need a good rant!

        • Jen
          August 14, 2017 at 3:39 am (1 month ago)

          Given Pippa’s extravagant faux-royal pre-wedding build-up and faux-royal tour/honeymoon, it would seem she struggled with Kate getting all the attention, first from her parents and then from the world. I can’t see her wanting to play second fiddle again, and so publicly. A requirement of the job of collecting flowers etc is to be invisible, an obedient mouse. Does that sound like Pippa?

          • bluhare
            August 14, 2017 at 10:02 am (1 month ago)

            Well, now you put it that way . . . . . . 😀

          • GraceH
            August 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm (1 month ago)

            I thought all the tabs would be on baby announcement watch with Pippa. Another reason why she couldn’t be a LiW now. It’s time for her and hubby to start their family.

          • TC-P
            August 15, 2017 at 5:08 am (1 month ago)

            I doubt Pippa would want to be a lady in waiting as it would require work. Not sure how Carol and Michael avoided teaching their children a work ethic but they did. All three seem to just coast by especially Pippa and Kate who both seemed to work hard at getting a man to support them. When I think of Carol I always think of Jane Austen’s character Mrs Bennet. Poor James, the marshmallow king, has yet to find a rich partner. Two out of three is not bad run though.

          • LadyBlueRibbon
            August 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm (1 month ago)

            You know what? Work is really over-rated.
            May we all enjoy the pleasures of life while we are here.
            Believe me, if I didn’t have to work, I wouldn’t either.

          • Lizabeth
            August 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm (1 month ago)

            But “work” doesn’t have to mean punching a clock 5 days a week LadyBlueRibbon. It could involve meaningful volunteer or charity activities too. Pippa has done some of that but she has seemed to lose interest quickly. And James’s confectionery businesses seem pretty ephemeral. Although E. Erikson is the one who actually said it, Freud is often credited with proposing that  “mental health is the ability to work and to love.” Whoever said it, it seems pretty right to me!

  3. Accentbeach
    August 13, 2017 at 2:23 am (1 month ago)

    Very interesting such a qualified woman has been chosen and rumors of her her salary are indeed interesting as well. I too hope this is a sign that Kate will be stepping up to do more official engagements and work. There would be no point in hiring someone for that salary if there isn’t some serious stuff in the works. Otherwise she’d be paid to do a ton of behind the scenes things that someone not so overly qualified could handle for much less of a salary (if salary rumors are true).

  4. Questalynne
    August 13, 2017 at 3:04 am (1 month ago)

    Question– does Ms. Quinn report to someone higher up in the Palace administration?

    From her experience, it would seem she could assist William as well.

    Does Kate still have a Lady in Waiting to take flowers and the occasional gifts during the walk-a-bouts?

  5. LadyBlueRibbon
    August 13, 2017 at 4:21 am (1 month ago)

    I suspect this might have to do with Philip retiring and the Queen delegating more of her work. The funds for hiring such a person would come from Philip no longer needing employees/support. It might signal Kate (and William) being asked to do more work outside of the UK and needing some qualified diplomatic guidance. Even though she is 91 and still the Queen – she’s reportedly not leaving the country any more. Further, Charles is 68 and has taken on more of the Queen’s responsibilities in this regard – but he is only one person and Camilla is slowing down. So while Charles is pretty much the de facto Commonwealth representative and taking on those duties – there’s the reality of Brexit – and the need for more diplomacy and representation in those sectors. It is my understanding that IS one of the primary roles of royalty: to represent the people of the UK abroad.

    So I don’t think she’s there to help Kate become a better society charity hen. The idea that Kate exists to raise funds for various humanitarian causes is somewhat backwards. Royalty actually sometimes perform necessary roles for trade alliances. See Elizabeth II’s parents George and Elizabeth and their traveling to the US to get support during WWII for a classic example. William going to China and Japan for trade purposes is another.

    We shall see. It will make royal watching a bit more interesting.

    • Lizzie
      August 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm (1 month ago)

      I totally agree that this new appointment is not to help Kate become a “better charity hen.” And I wonder if this new appointment, if Charles was involved in the selection, is to counter the influence and expectations of Lorraine Heggessey, the new head of the Cambridges’ royal foundation. After all, Charles and the BRF probably aren’t interested in the Cambridges taking on more charity “work” for that foundation, but in them taking on more actual required BRF duties.

      I think it’s going to be fascinating to watch how the Cambridges’ staff and the Queen’s staff sort themselves out and function after all of the recent and predicted shake ups.

  6. Sunfuntravel
    August 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm (1 month ago)

    Kate has improved in her speeches …some… but I am grading her on a huge curve by saying that… she has been at the job for a while now and still looks stiff and terrified (which makes me feels badly for her at times) but having said that no matter how overly qualified this woman is.. you can’t teach charisma, either you have it or you don’t… Here’s the problem that William and Kate will face in the coming years…. those appearances and visits are starting to look the same. there’s the dress, the nude shoes, the hair, the clutch, the walk about asking have you come far? take flowers, some sort of sport competition thingy year after year… the press and people will stop caring, and they need people to care! On the other hand give a stirring speech, show some passion or emotion about a subject and topic. Connect with people and causes that are meaningful and that shows a difference was made and lives were changed. Show up at places and work with the charities behind the scene, with no press. Be real no one is perfect! With the passing years and difficult times to come, for the monarchy to survive, both William and Kate need to know that they can not continue with the same old tricks… the luster is fading and the kids will not stay cute and cuddly forever…

  7. the spectator
    August 13, 2017 at 7:43 pm (1 month ago)

    Perhaps these changes are related to rumours about Charles being made Prince Regent.

    • bluhare
      August 14, 2017 at 10:04 am (1 month ago)

      I think that might be what’s going on too. There’s a lot of staff changes happening.

  8. aaa
    August 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm (1 month ago)

    Someone asked about salaries:
    Sir Alan Reid (Keeper of the Privy Purse) – £180,000 per year
    (source: businessinsider.com)

    Sir Christopher Geidt (the Queen’s recently departed private secretary) – £146,000 per year in 2013
    (source: businessinsider.com / the Evening Standard)

    Prince Charles Household / Staff:
    The following is from the Telegraph in 2002, so this is 15 year old data:

    Sir Michael Peat was the Prince’s private secretary in 2002. Prior to joining the POW’s household he was the Keeper of the Privy Purse for the Queen. When he worked for the Queen his salary was £172,000 – of which £47,000 was reimbursed to the Property Services as rent for his apartment at Kensington Palace

    Michael Fawcett – £45,000 salary + £40,000 a year from the Prince’s Foundation for event planning+ a grace-and-favour house in London, estimated to be worth £450,000.

    Mark Bolland – £150,000 when he served as deputy private secretary

    Note:
    Prince William’s private secretary Miguel Head worked for Prince Charles as an Assistant Press Secretary
    (source: dailymail.co.uk)

  9. jenny
    August 14, 2017 at 11:46 am (1 month ago)

    I agree that this is going to be very interesting, indeed. CQ will hopefully, crack the whip, but in a genteel way. Kate better get ready to work. And, be more informed about the people she is meeting and the places she will be going.

    I did read of a six figure salary, too. It will be worth every pence, I am sure. This woman has her work cut out for her because I think Kate may complain to William if work becomes too much and William will throw his Royal weight around. Of course, in the long run, he will be answering to Charles and I don’t believe W and K will be getting the old slack cut for them for too much longer.,

    Of course, as we all hypothesize in the past, there’s always another baby to take Kate’s attention and make it hardfor her to work. Good luck CQ. Oh, how I wish the tell all book could be an option. How much longer do we have to wait to see one in our local book stores?

  10. Lisa
    August 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm (1 month ago)

    I would think they chose somebody over qualified on purpose, somebody who has the requisite skills you would expect from a Duchess, skills we don’t see in the actual incumbent. Seriously, it’s like any other sector, if the principal person is under-performing but they have life tenure, you hire a very, very competent person to assist them.

    • TC-P
      August 15, 2017 at 5:15 am (1 month ago)

      Lisa,

      You wrote ” Seriously, it’s like any other sector, if the principal person is under-performing but they have life tenure, you hire a very, very competent person to assist them.”

      True but the problem always is what happens with the incompetent person thinks they are competent and will not listen? Then you have the competent person there to actually do the job all but in name and outward appearance undermined and ends up looking incompetent as well,. It only works if the person the competent person answers to is higher than the side-lined incompetent person. Therefore, in some respects it is a highly paid babysitting job to make sure the incompetent person stays in line and does not make mistakes.,

      I just do not see how the new private secretary would be able to force Kate to undertake more engagements if she does not wish to. It would take the Queen and Charles to tell them to either get on board or off and if they get off then all the money, houses, jewels etc. goes as well. I am not sure they could cope living on William’s inheritance for the rest of their lives.

      • Jen
        August 15, 2017 at 8:47 am (1 month ago)

        I’ve been willing to cut KP staff some slack because they answer to two incompetent people in William and Kate. The former, especially, is delusional about his abilities and in complete denial about his continued failure to launch. There is only so much staff can do if their advice is not heeded. Instead their job becomes one of cushioning a vain couple’s egos and obfuscating errors of judgement/performance by the principals.

        It would be a huge chess move if, and that’s a big if, Charles has placed conditions upon his lazy son and daughter-in-law. My goodness, it would be about time, and time to call William’s bluff. I don’t think William would walk even if he’s threatened to in the past; he’s too used to the deference and material goodies accompanying his position.

        I’m interested to see where CQ sits in the chain of command and who she answers to. If it’s Charles, then her mandate will be clearer, I think.

      • Lisa
        August 16, 2017 at 11:08 pm (1 month ago)

        I don’t think Kate and Kate are into self improvement in terms of reading their briefing materials prior to events, but I think the new person will be giving that information to them in a way they can handle to make them look more capable, intelligent and competent at their work, if only superficially. Kate and William seem quite happy with their lives, they just want the criticism to go away. Good staff are invisible and make Kate and William look the best they can be. I don’t think more engagements are necessarily on the table for Kate and she’s said she wants more children. But I think the Palace is aware she needs to be better at the ones she does.

  11. notasugarhere
    August 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm (1 month ago)

    I thought there was a third royal who graduated this time around, but cannot find the info again. Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein maybe?

  12. Herazeus
    August 15, 2017 at 5:46 am (1 month ago)

    Genetics are strange. The 2 Jordanian princesses are the spit of their aunt Halia. Meanwhile the Crown Prince looks so much like his grandfather in that picture. Identical smiles.

  13. Herazeus
    August 15, 2017 at 5:52 am (1 month ago)

    Regarding the appointments in the KP household, y’all are much more charitable than i am. I will have to be the doubting thomas of the group because no matter how competent the person hired, there has been ho corresponding improvements in William or Kate.

    They’ve remained recalcitrant in every way.

    Seeing is believing and until i see results, i am not prepared to rejoice at this appointment. She’s going to be like every person hired by/ for these 2. A glorified babysitter OR their incompetence will be hidden even more than it has been in the past.

    • Jen
      August 15, 2017 at 10:13 am (1 month ago)

      I accept all you say, but who or what will break the stalemate? If William and Kate still enjoy popularity with the British public in general, why should they change if dragging out the kids plus a campaign like HT every now and then keeps people thinking they are great? Plus their PR provides a wonderful shield for their unsuitability and incompetence. Does Charles enjoy popularity in the UK or is he still dogged by Diana? It’s a crazy situation: Charles has worked hard to create a role for the PoW and is disliked; is son is a complete tosspot but liked.

      • TC-P
        August 15, 2017 at 10:47 am (1 month ago)

        I am not convinced that Kate and William do have a huge popular following. Harry, even, who is liked the most out of the three does not really pull in the crowds like he use too. If you look at pictures there are less and less people who turn up for them. Even whilst they are at Sandringham estate and you are guaranteed to see the family at church hardly anyone shows up anymore.

        I just do not think we can judge from the newspapers because they have an agenda most of the time.

        • Jen
          August 15, 2017 at 11:49 am (1 month ago)

          Not being located in the UK, I was wondering what the general feeling was: a population that thinks their national identity derives from the monarchy, or passivity/acceptance re. royals, or maybe something in between? I’m genuinely interested. I agree that newspapers have their own agenda and/or driven by those who do. And yes, it is apparent that crowds are smaller; closely cropped photos in papers do their best to disguise this, even when numbers are inflated by dragging kids out of school as rent-a-crowds to cheer on the royal. I wonder, too, how those smaller crowds are interpreted in royal circles.

        • jenny
          August 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm (1 month ago)

          Call me an eternal optimist, but if Harry and Meghan wed, the charisma level doubles and I think crowds will flock to see them. I know that it will be expected that they need to tone it down in order not to outshine the Cambridges. But, charisma shines always. It just does. At any rate, big shake-ups in the Royal Family. I find it laughable that the media is saying Kate hired Ms. Quinn. Um, we all seem to be on the same page that this hire has been thrust upon her by others higher up. But, I don’t put it past Kate and William to fight any major changes as hard as they can.

          • TC-P
            August 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm (1 month ago)

            As far as i can see a great deal of the population are not in support of Harry and Meghan union. She is seen as a sleazy social climbing divorced woman who sole aim is to bring attention to herself and make money off of product endorsements. Soon after she closed her website The Tig about two months after that she ended her pap strolls that had clear product placements. I would not fault her for that as the royal family are known to obtain sponsors and deals so cannot get annoyed at someone else for doing it.

            People cannot stand her simulated sex scenes as well as her less than stellar family. There is a number of comments about her being a divorced american as well as the cheating claims due to the timeline around her and Harry becoming involved was during the time she was still with Corey. her nicknames by the public are even less flattering than what Kate had to contend with. I think the public is tired with having to keep paying for a large family and their spouses and children at a time when families are loosing their homes, having to rely on food banks to survive and unable to pay their basic bills.

          • notasugarhere
            August 15, 2017 at 4:08 pm (1 month ago)

            The only people opposed to Harry and Meghan are a handful of racists on DM and the handful of unhappy trolls on tumblr.

            She shut down her blog, keeps her head down, doesn’t talk about the relationship. Anything else is a bunch of trumped up charges (product placement, lies about cheating) from a handful of people.

            I don’t know if they will marry, it doesn’t matter to me. If they do, she’d be fine in the role.

          • TC-P
            August 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm (1 month ago)

            NotaSugarHere,

            You wrote “The only people opposed to Harry and Meghan are a handful of racists on DM and the handful of unhappy trolls on tumblr. ”

            I cannot agree with this statement. I will be honest I am not sure I would be happy with Meghan representing me on tours an it has nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her character. There are already a slew of royalty who are taking advantage of the British tax payer purse and I for one do not wish to have one more. William, Kate and Harry have proven that they are not willing to do the work for the benefits and I am not convinced that Meghan would be any better. Up to this point her humanitarian work has been lacklustre and she has not followed through on what she said she would undertake or follow through with promises.

            By all accounts it looks like she is more than happy to live off of others such as her ex husband helping advance her career and then living in a house that her ex boyfriend provided all the while seeing Harry on the side for a couple of months before they broke up. I am in no way getting on a moral high horse but if someone is going to represent me I would like to know they have some integrity. Plus she has stated that she undertook certain activities which there is no evidence that she did such as the issue around the dish soap commercial and writing Hillary Clinton. And let us not forget how she outed the relationship with the spooning bananas why do that if she did not have an agenda to further her self.

            Thus I am not a racist nor an unhappy troll; just someone who is sick and tired of having to pay a great deal in taxes so unelected people show up for a few events a month amounting to less hours than people I know work in a week. I personally do not wish to see one more person getting on the gravy train.

          • notasugarhere
            August 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm (1 month ago)

            “As far as i can see a great deal of the population are not in support of Harry and Meghan union.” Again, not by a long shot from what I’ve seen.

            Everything you’ve written in response is verbatim what is parroted on anti-MM sites (IG, product placement, lies about her cheating, speculation about timeline, love scenes, her not earning her career, etc.).

            Repeat – verbatim what has been parroted for months. No evidence whatsoever that she did any of those things, but some people just throw sh*t at the wall hoping something will stick.

            I’m not for or against her, don’t watch Suits, and whomever Harry marries is up to him. But I don’t get the extremist views against someone who has only been royally-adjacent for a year. If they marry and if she fails to do the job, then I’ll join the logical critics. Until then, IMO the party line against her is getting old. Let’s let them figure their life – together or apart – without us gumming up the works.

            The spare’s wife will always have a more difficult time because of the nature of being the spare’s wife. In a streamlined BRF of only 6 royals, Harry’s wife will be a huge part of the working royal family – regardless of who she ends up being. That’s appears to be the way Charles is setting things up, but there will be 6 working royals during his reign including Harry and spouse.

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 15, 2017 at 11:13 pm (1 month ago)

            Re the speculation about the timeline: To be fair, the press keeps changing the timeline every other month, so we don’t actually have a true timeline to go on. So of course there is speculation about it because we have no concrete timeline because the press keep saying different things in every article.

          • TC-P
            August 16, 2017 at 5:49 pm (1 month ago)

            NotSugarHere,

            You wrote “Everything you’ve written in response is verbatim what is parroted on anti-MM sites (IG, product placement, lies about her cheating, speculation about timeline, love scenes, her not earning her career, etc.).

            Repeat – verbatim what has been parroted for months. No evidence whatsoever that she did any of those things, but some people just throw sh*t at the wall hoping something will stick.”

            I have read your statement a few times and the only conclusion I have been able to come up with is that you are inferring that I am a racist because I do not agree with you and think Meghan is all sunshine and roses. This does not in fact make me a racist. To be a racist I would have to hate myself because all humans are from the same race. The only difference between us is the level of melanin which dictates our skin colour. I also find it easy for people when they do not have a proper argument to insult. Guess what; I read the Daily Mail, I also read the International Herald Tribune, the NY Times, The Austin American Statesmen, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The International Business Times, Al Jezzera, Helsingin Sanomat, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Metro (when in London), The Independent and a load of other regional newspapers around the world. I like to be well read.

            It was not called for when Harry made the statement and pulled the racist card and it is not on when you do it. Not everyone has to agree with each other. As an aside there is more than adequate proof that Meghan has done endorsement deals even before she was dating a prince. Just as there is evidence that the royal family and Middleton family also receive financial gain for endorsements. I have no problem with people endorsing products but they should say they are receiving enumeration for their plug of said product.

            As far as Harry marrying as he pleases on one level he should be able to but he is not going to be supporting his wife all of the UK tax paying citizens will be supporting her, him and their children. I do not want to support her, him or his children. He has already arrogantly sent out the statement informing all the UK that we are racist and then the Newsweek article where he petulantly stated that no one wants to have the top job whilst they are happy to take our money to live a life of luxury whilst a large portion of the UK citizens are drowning in poverty.

            As far as streamlining the royal family in many respect is a good idea but in reality the extended family will still be supported in one way or another through tax payers funding. So it does not matter if there are just six of them because there are still quit a few on the Royal funding train.

            You also wrote “Everything you’ve written in response is verbatim what is parroted on anti-MM sites (IG, product placement, lies about her cheating, speculation about timeline, love scenes, her not earning her career, etc.).”

            I have already discussed the pap walks which you can find in any newspaper besides your so despised Daily Mail.

            It has also been highlighted Meghan’s lack of follow through when it comes to her charitable activities and she does not appear to be committed to her causes. She promised to follow through on her Indian trip which has not materialised. Her UN speech was more about her than the actual topic at hand which can be seen on YouTube. I did not see it on Daily Mail nor Tumblr.

            You have every right to your views and thoughts but in the future please do not make sweeping statements that people who do not agree with you are racist. In my How to Argue legal course in undergrad this would be a prime example that you do not have a valid counter to my premises. Therefore, please give me a rebuttal that does not involve insulting me through veiled innuendoes.

          • notasugarhere
            August 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm (1 month ago)

            KMR the press will keep speculating about the timeline, and the couple will likely never say anything.

            No where in my statement do I call you racist, tcp. I point out that the points you keep reiterating are the same points that have been thrown around, ad nauseam, by the anti-MM crowd for months. All of the vehement anti-MM crowd are not racist, but there are vocal ones who are.

            No proof whatsoever of any of those things (IG, that these are deliberate pap walks to make money on product placement, timeline, who left whom when, etc.). What some call a pap walk, I call “Going to the familiar grocery store 5 minutes from where she was staying”. None us us have access to her bank accounts, so “adequate proof” remains speculation. Contrary to the Middletons who openly asked for royal discounts and it was told to the press by the companies themselves.

            IMO Harry’s statement needed to be edited, but it needed to be made. The attacks on her in many places have been racist and he was right to stand up against that.

            The royal family will continue until the people remove them. It will be streamlined but it will remain, with 6 key royals for the duration of Charles’s reign. The elderly will retire, move to smaller accommodation, cost less. Until they are voted out, that’s the way it will be.

      • Herazeus
        August 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm (1 month ago)

        Related, but slightly off topic. One of the more measured WK fans decided to do the DM’s diana obsession for them by starting a twitter account to which they upload the diana news articles for each day in august 1997. Account will be uploaded daily until her 31st August.

        I’ve read a few of them, and as much as i’m Diana poisoned, i’d really forgotten just how mocking the articles were, not to mention all the Diana/ Dodi shenanigans going on.

        https://mobile.twitter.com/DianaDaybyDay

        As with all well intentioned things, i don’t think this fan thought articles events would be this scathing or mocking.

        To th8nk the same journalists turned her into a saint just days after writing these articles.

        • notasugarhere
          August 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm (1 month ago)

          I think it shows how many royal watchers hatched at the time of the W&K wedding. They often take their pro-Diana / Diana is a Saint mantra from William if they are W&K fans.

          Those of us who were here watching it all as it unfolded have a different view of things, memories of it happening, perspective of a decade or two that gives us more distance.

    • TC-P
      August 15, 2017 at 10:44 am (1 month ago)

      Personally I believe they, the Royal Family, hope the incompetence is hidden even more. I also think that I am not sure it will help as the dye is already cast in public opinion. But saying that the Queen was able to turn public opinion around after 1992 when she was at her lowest. To accomplish this though she had to finally agree to pay taxes as well as repairs for Windsor Castle. It is amazing what can be accomplished when they realize the gravy train might actually be taken away. Shame it is not happening with Buckingham Palace.

    • MavenTheFirst
      August 15, 2017 at 10:45 am (1 month ago)

      ” OR their incompetence will be hidden even more than it has been in the past”.

      They are all about image while doing as little as possible. Could it be that this appointment simply is meant to bring cachet to their ever floundering ‘brand’? It makes them look competent and ‘keen’. Until we see nothing has changed and/or she quits. The proof will be in the pudding and as everyone has said, why would they want to change unless their perks are on the line? I can see them doing this ad nauseam to fend off the barbarians at the gates, just like William flitted from job to job, from course to course, from place to place, and had seriously ‘keen’ gap years. They completely depend on PR, IMO, while never budging.

      If Charles wants to streamline/modernise the BRF, then as Jen and others have asserted time after time, modernise it by getting them off their welfare salary and paying them per event. And contractually obligate them to actually improve in order to get bonuses.

      • Jen
        August 15, 2017 at 11:40 am (1 month ago)

        They’d be lost without the crackerjack PR, heavy-handed media control and most of all, a scared or disinterested press. Would the BRF be interested in the job if paid per diem and with only very modest and limited security arrangements/housing? Somehow, I don’t think so. They want the big money and total deference.

    • jenny
      August 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm (1 month ago)

      Thanks, Jessica. What a big day for the adorable twins. Their good looking parents looked proud. Mary most loving, too. Oh, her husband, too.

    • notasugarhere
      August 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm (1 month ago)

      Athena started this week too.
      http://www.billedbladet.dk/kongelige/danmark/soedt-billede-prinsesse-athena-og-prins-joachim-til-foerste-skoledag

      First week of school for their youngest and in a couple days, Mary and Fred are both going to Australia for a fun-in-the-sun yachting event. Strange choice to me, to leave all four kids days after school starts, esp as the twins are starting school for the first time. Fred is sailing in the event; it appears Mary is just going along for fun.

      • Jessica
        August 15, 2017 at 4:08 pm (1 month ago)

        Maybe she wanted some alone time with her husband. A week or two ago she took the kids to a historic town by herself and has been with them all summer. It’s also a chance for her to go home and visit her family.

        • notasugarhere
          August 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm (1 month ago)

          There have been plenty of photo ops of both parents with the kids out on public events this summer, plus the two of them cozying up on a yacht outside an earthquake ravaged Greek city. Photos of Fred and Mary out riding horses together without the kids, photos of them all visiting a museum and going boating.

          I don’t see any reason for both of them to leave their four kids the week school starts. It isn’t for work, it is because Fred wants to go yachting for a week. She doesn’t seem to trust her husband going off for a week of yachting and parties by himself.

          • Tsarina
            August 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm (1 month ago)

            If an almost 50 year old man is still interested in yachting and partying without his family/wife, there really would be no reason to trust him.

          • Jessica
            August 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm (1 month ago)

            Or maybe she wants to visit her home of Australia. You clearly don’t like Mary and Fred and that’s fine but don’t act like it’s crazy that she’s taking a trip to her birthplace.

            You also didn’t read my comment correctly. I didn’t suggest Fred hasn’t been with his kids all summer, because he has, just that she took them to a historic town by herself and has also been with them the entire summer. I don’t think Mary has had any major trips in a while.

          • notasugarhere
            August 15, 2017 at 9:23 pm (1 month ago)

            Fred was with them on the trip to the historic boat, which seems to have been the same day as the trip to the village.

            “She has been with them all summer.” Neither of us has any way of knowing, outside of the photo ops coming our way, how much time either of them has spent with the kids this summer. Why assume Mary has been with the kids more, or that it is her responsibility (as mother? female?) to spend more time with them than their father? It appears another documentary is being filmed about them, for Fred’s 50th, which might account for how public those outings have been.

            Taking a few days to fly all the way to Australia to do nothing but hang out with the wealthy watching her husband sail? It is an odd choice to me given, again, that all four kids are in the first week of school. If you want to visit Australia, why not go there during the recent summer vacation and take the kids?

            She has her niece living with them (the “exchange student” she said they were hosting turned out to be her niece). It isn’t like she has no family nearby, with that and her father and stepmother.

            I liked Mary fine at the beginning and there are times that I think she does her job well. She definitely does a better job than Fred.

            Her spending is out of control, as is her love of PR and her silly PR moves. Those are the things that have gradually soured me over the last nearly 15 years of watching. If she’d stop shopping and work more than 90 days a year, she’d improve in my eyes.

          • Ellie
            August 15, 2017 at 11:12 pm (1 month ago)

            I find it odd for Mary since she only uses these trips to soothe the ego and pose and pose for photographers. She’s all about the ego and shameless self-promotion, and not in a good way, with that pretentious, fake accent and fact she can’t speak Danish and a host of other behaviors/comments. I used to like Mary until I started truly reading about her and found myself really appalled, between how she went for Fred after trying for others (and was Fred’s bedmate when he was dating someone else; I have a bad opinion of Frederik, too, despite how he seems like a very troubled, unhappy person). Were she not totally fake I wouldn’t dislike her as much as I do…

            I wouldn’t trust Frederik either, I mean, he cheated on his girlfriend at the time with Mary in Sydney thinking his girlfriend back home wouldn’t find out!

            We think Kate is lazy, look at Mary or even Victoria who I adore and how little they do!

          • notasugarhere
            August 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm (1 month ago)

            Ellie, I think Fred is the weakest of the incoming future monarchs. Of the “class” that includes Felipe, Philippe, W-A, Victoria, Charles, etc.

            Philippe was helped immensely by a strong woman who wears the pants in the family. Fred doesn’t seem helped by it but hindered.

    • GraceH
      August 15, 2017 at 11:11 pm (1 month ago)

      I find the date chosen to resume schooling after a summer break interesting when reading about the days that the royal children in different countries return to school.

      My experience for all schools except college was that the school year began in the second week of September. The next break from school was Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November (Thurs & Fri + Sat & Sun) and then the winter holiday usually 23rd Dec through Jan 3rd approx. The last break was for spring holiday in late March or early April for one week. The school year ended in early June leaving 10 weeks of glorious summer break.

      Many communities tailored their school year around the growing season so extra help would be available for planting and harvest and to allow for autumn hunting. Even though the communities no longer need the young labor, the school year still follows the agricultural seasons.

      I would be in misery if I had to attend school in mid-August. IMO it is the best part of summer, with good dry weather, warm days, warmer water (relatively speaking) at local lakes for swimming, and the annual maintenance chores assigned by parents finally finished. Your parents knew your routines, where you went, who you associated with and reminded you of when you needed to be home for dinner. Otherwise, the entire day was yours to use.

      It was the part of summer when you knew that you had grown smarter and more self-sufficient. Your parents knew that too and let you revel in your summer accomplishments. The bicycle was your vehicle of choice (even when you had already gained a driver’s license) and the necessities of the day were contained in the rucksack you took everywhere. At dinner you could talk about the day – or not.

      In my experience it was the time spent in the evening on the garden porch curled into the wicker chairs as the daylight slipped away where you talked about the day’s adventure and learned how your parents spend similar time in their youth. End of August was the most special time of the warm season.

      I’m interested to know when summer break began for KMR posters and when it ended with the return to school before the summer season was over.

      • katemiddletonreview
        August 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm (1 month ago)

        I live in the US, and almost my entire school life we started school in mid or late August. Only once did we start in September. Where I am currently, the kids have already started school again.

        • GraceH
          August 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm (1 month ago)

          I’m in the US as well. When were your breaks from school? Did they follow any local pattern such as hunting season or snow season sports? My Canadian cousins tell me that their breaks during the school sessions follow winter sports such as XC skiing, ice skating/hockey, snowmobiling in the forests and, hunting and ice fishing.

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 15, 2017 at 11:41 pm (1 month ago)

            So, for my elementary school years, we had the Thanksgiving weekend off, then we got about two weeks at Christmas time, then Spring Break in March or April, then we let out in late May or early June, and then were off until mid or late August.

            Then during middle school and high school, I was in a different state from my elementary school years, and there we got a “fall break” in October because where I was was more rural and there was a lot of farming around our city so they gave us a fall break due to harvest time and such, then we got off Thanksgiving weekend, then about two weeks at Christmas, then Spring Break in March or April, then we let out in late May or early June, and then we back to school in mid or late August.

          • GraceH
            August 15, 2017 at 11:55 pm (1 month ago)

            So it seems there was that two-week leeway for the end of the school season compared to my experience. I ended a little more into June and it gave me a little more time in true summer so school didn’t begin until September. I do know from work colleagues that the closer they were to a bigger metro area, the school year began in August instead of September. I think I’m glad I was further away from the metro area.

            I wish I would have thought about this subject when I was in search of a topic for a college term paper. It would have been an enjoyable research project and a great deal of fun to talk with people about their school years calendar.

      • notasugarhere
        August 16, 2017 at 10:47 pm (1 month ago)

        They change it around where I live, sometimes based on urban vs. rural. Some of the rural schools are 4 days a week with longer school days. They move the start date around to try to get finals before Winter Break, which means the kids go back mid-August. Problem when many of the schools do not have air condition. 2 days at Thanksgiving not a full week, 2 weeks over Winter holidays, 1 week spring break.

        Other districts have year-round schools but kids attend 3 out of 4 quarters. Makes it difficult to make sure your kids at different grade levels are assigned the same 3 quarters.

    • Ellie
      August 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm (1 month ago)

      Poor Vincent crying and upset in some pictures 🙁 Sweet kid. He seems like the shy one and Josie is wild and untamed, and not in a good way; she’s clearly too indulged.

      Mary’s incessant posing for the photographers drives me nuts. It’s all about her. Fred twirling Josie around is sweet.

  14. Jessica
    August 15, 2017 at 9:41 pm (1 month ago)

    @notasugarhere
    You’re again misinterpreting my comments because of your own biases about Mary and Fred. Whatever; I no longer care to carry on this conversation.

    There’s also a difference between visiting your birthplace and having a relative live with you for a few months. Again I think it’s fine that they are having some alone time without the kids in her home country; you obviously don’t. I really don’t care.

    • eve
      August 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm (1 month ago)

      Jessica, I just wanted to say that I understood your meaning, and I loved how you didn’t apologize and assume you were unclear in your original post (as I have often done, not just on this forum, but in life). It does feel like sometimes comments are intentionally misinterpreted in order to allow others to feel outrage.

      • Jessica
        August 15, 2017 at 10:58 pm (1 month ago)

        Exactly; if people want to twist themselves to get find it odd that a woman is traveling to to her birthplace (without her kids after spending most of the summer with them) then let them.

    • notasugarhere
      August 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm (1 month ago)

      I don’t have a problem with her niece staying with them. The problem was, she was talking about it and getting kudos for “oh she’s wonderful taking in an exchange student” – then the truth came out that it was her niece. She’d kept that tidbit back, which made her talk about look like a PR move.