Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Muck and Magic: Kate's Afternoon with Farms for City Children!

The Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Gloucestershire this afternoon to visit Farms for City Children.


The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.Farms for City Children aims to encourage learning, to raise self-esteem, and to enrich young lives by providing a safe and welcoming setting where children and their teachers together get involved in the working life of a real farm with real farmers. The main aims of the charity include: Addressing poverty of experience arising not just from economic and social deprivation, but also from the effects of increasing materialism. Using practical, hands-on learning outside the classroom to enhancing the requirements of the national curriculum and celebrating success and building self-worth through work and the completion of tasks.


Kate was greeted by founders Michael and Clare. Rebecca English noted "According to a spokesman for the charity, Kate read about its work in Country Life and approached them to see if she could come down to one of its farms."


Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976.


The charity already has a special royal connection. The Princess Royal has been their Royal Patron since 1991 and has visited the farms on a number of occasions. Below, we see her visiting Nethercott House in 1986.


The organisation now has three working farms, where it welcomes around 3,200 children and 400 teachers a year. Last year they celebrated their 40th anniversary.


How do the children who visit the farm feel about their experience? They received this lovely letter from a pupil, I particularly enjoyed this portion "I'm gonna stop eating junk now, I think of my body as a fresh new Ferrari". The student continued "Being here has made me realise I can do anything I want in my life".


Kate visited Wick Court - a farm on the bend of River Severn in Gloucestershire. The house is a Grade II* listed manor house with an intact, square-shaped moat. The farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and is farmed directly by the charity using low impact, traditional methods. There are a total of 140 acres, the charity farms 60 acres. Wick Court is a small-scale traditional livestock farm, with sheep, beef cattle, pigs and poultry. It also has a busy stable yard, where the children help care for ponies and horses. To illustrate the contrast in farming styles, the children also work at a neighbouring commercial dairy farm.


Kate listened to a briefing about the farm before joining a story time session led by Michael Morpurgo.


A key aim of the week is to draw on the farm experience and the charity’s literary heritage to promote literacy and storytelling.


The Duchess joined a school group of pupils and teachers as they got to work around around the farm.


Kate very much enjoyed feeding Stinky, a hand-reared lamb.


Then it was time to get to work on the farm as Kate and children completed work around the yard, working in the allotments and tending to pigs, sheep and chickens.


Kate and the children from Vauxhall primary school helped Farmer John to herd piglets. “She was pushing the pig’s bum with her bare hands, It was just to move the pig along. It was second nature to her.” Edison David, the school’s head teacher, told reporters.


Kate was clearly in her element.


Planting onions in the vegetable farm.


The children showed Kate the horses.


Kensington Palace shared these snaps from the farm.


During a chat Kate revealed she has five chickens at home and said she is trying to teach George and Charlotte Spanish. More from the Mail Online:

'According to stockman Dave Evansoneya, 50, who has worked at Wick Court for eight years, the Duchess has a huge passion for chickens and provided hugely knowledgeable about them when invited to clean the farm's resident hens out.
'She has got several Cuckoo Marans at home, she told me. She says she had cleaned out a few chicken sheds in her time,' he recalled afterwards. 'She also told me and the children that she has an incubator of eggs at home at the moment with a hope that they are going to hatch into chicks. Her children are very excited. '
Rehanna , ten, chatted to the duchess at length and said afterwards: 'She said she had lots of animals at home, a dog, a hamster and her chickens. She said she also had lots of eggs in an incubator and they were hoping they would hatch into chicks. ' Her teacher Nicole Preston explained: 'The incubator is relatively new and she doesn't know if it is going to work. She says it takes 21 days but George and Charlotte are so excited that they come down each morning and peer inside to see if anything has happened!'
'She said she is trying to teach Charlotte Spanish and said her son George can count up to ten in Spanish already,' she said. 'We also told her how we found all the cameras a bit strange but she said although it was weird she had got used to it.'

Kate also revealed they had a birthday party for Charlotte yesterday and she sang Happy Birthday to herself :)


The visit concluded with cream tea in the courtyard, where Kate met some of the volunteers, staff and trustees.


In order to enable 3,200 children to visit the farms every year, the charity needs to raise a staggering 1.2 million annually. If you would like to help more children enjoy a week of "muck and magic" you can find donation information here.

They also have a well stocked online shop, with everything from mugs to tea towels. There's also a selection of works by Michael Morpugo including a book released for the 40th anniversary 'Didn't we have a lovely time' tells the story of a boy whose confidence and speech returns after meeting a very special horse down on the farm.


Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew once again.


The Duchess wore a selection of familiar pieces today.


Kate sported her £350 Troy London Wax Parka. The lightweight coat is made from 100% cotton milled in England with a dry wax finish. A black sports-luxe lining provides 100% waterproof protection. Below, we show Kate wearing it during the last day of the tour in Canada last year.


Holly and Ryan from the What Kate Wore Facebook Page identified Kate's top as the J Crew Italian Cashmere Long Sleeve T-Shirt in heather midnight. The garment features rib trim at neck, rolled edge at cuffs and hem and is described as "semi-fitted".

J Crew

The piece is available in an array of colours from $99 to $199 at J Crew. The brand are offering an additional 30% off sale styles with discount code SHOPNOW. A thicker cashmere sweater (identical in style to the top) by the brand is offered at Net-A-Porter.

J Crew

It appears Kate wore her GAP Fitted Boyfriend Gingham Shirt, worn in New Zealand in 2014.

GAP

We first saw Kate wear her Zara khaki jeans during a safari in Kaziranga National Park during the India/Bhutan tour.


The Mid-Rise biker trousers feature distinctive knee detail.

ZARA

Kate wore her trusty Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots. Made in Spain, the boots are rendered in leather and feature scalloped detail at the zip pane. They are currently available at Moda Operandi.


The Duchess accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren leaf earrings.

Kiki McDonough

And her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.

Cartier

It very much appears Kate raided her 'royal tour' closet today :)

285 comments:

  1. What a lovely couple the Morpurgos are & a great charity. I remember going to a working farm for a school trip & it remains one of the fondest memories from my childhood. Growing up in an urban environment, you would never get to see farm animals up close & smell the wonderful smells of the farm. It was really fascinating. These kids will cherish this experience, just as I did when I was their age. Great to see Kate highlighting this charity.

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    1. As we drive by a local dairy farm which can reek so badly it can bring tears to huge men's eyes, the dowager will always say, "aaah . . . country smells!"

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    2. I grew up on a farm, and if any visitors commented on the "country smells", my dad would always say, "That's the smell of money." :)

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    3. Oh man, the silage smell is nauseating when visiting family friend's dairy farms in the winter. But you cannot deny the yummy cream, butter and other dairy products that come out of those farms.

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    4. Shannon, since you mentioned it, I am enjoying some creamy dairy butter this morning that has warmly melted on a toasty "English" (no less) muffin, lol, with lightly salted slices of fresh, juicy (hopefully local) tomato. We "Foodies" love farms. :) (and inadvertently had to "get you back" for mentioning potato chips the other day, cc. :) )

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    5. In the photo with Anne, I think Clare looked a lot like Isabel Rossellini (Ingrid Bergman's daughter).
      That's who I thought that was at first.

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    6. Bluhare. Sweet how you've been mentioning your mom recently. (And she thought you weren't listening.) :)

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    7. Isn't the Dowager bluhare's mother-in-law? I agree, SG, that her mention is nice.

      I thought both the Morpurgos looked like movie stars in the 70s picture. Beautiful and handsome! And what a fine project they founded and have kept going all these years. I have occasionally noticed Kate conversing with Princess Anne in pictures; maybe that's how she became interested in the farms for children. Since she is a gardener herself, Kate might be a natural choice as patron of this project someday.

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    8. P.S. Just so you know cc, I made a special trip to the kitchen upon your mentioning potato chips.
      I was even very ready to make a special trip to the store to get some because someone had finished up ours. In the nick of time, I decided on toasted muffins instead. :) whew. That was a close one. lol You have to know. I actually mentally brace myself for those Lay's potato chip commercials and contend for the calories, but your comment caught me off guard. Like you, I can't stop at just one. I eat the whole bag of them, and usually with dip, lots of dip. But that's okay. I am keeping muffins at the ready now. Mention away. It's all good. lol

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    9. Hi Patricia, the dowager is actually my mom. I've called her that since my dad died.

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    10. Surfer girl, so very sorry :P!! But I hear you, the battle is real!!! When it comes to picking my poison, I'll take chips over sweets any day, so a bag of potato chips stands no chance in my presence!! Nice to know you are a kindred "chip" spirit!! lol. Makes me wonder if Kate has any indulgences??? I hope so!! cc

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    11. Zora from Prague5 May 2017 at 22:25

      CeCe and surfer girl, another kindred chip spirit here! Trouble is I'm not the only one in the family and so if I want to make sure there are potato chips (British: crisps!!) in the apartment (British: flat!!) and I don't have to run to the nearest store (British: shop!!) I need to put them in my nightstand drawer. The larder is not a safe place at all. :-P A good friend once gave me 2 huge bags (not packets!) of them for Christmas, tied by a nice golden ribbon. One of the best presents ever! :)

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    12. :), cc. sorry you understand so well. lol

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    13. Thanks for the correction, bluhare. I was misremembering a story from awhile ago. Best regards to you and the Dowager!

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    14. Zora, that is so funny, lol. I didn't realize that there were so many of us. Thanks for the "British"
      lesson. (you forgot larder though, :). We say pantry.) What a cute gift from your friend (and the ribbon matched the chips). Are you a chip and dip girl, or just chips straight up girl?

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    15. Zora from Prague6 May 2017 at 19:12

      Just chips, and the plainer the better (just salted are my favourites). But if I'm offered a dip somewhere I won't say no :)! Thank you for the "pantry" - I had a feeling there might be an American expression for it but couldn't remember. We were actually taught these "dublets" at school. AmE vs. BrE. Very interesting!

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  2. Julie from NC3 May 2017 at 15:43

    This is a great organization. It really highlights a large movement I have seen in my piece of the world about getting to know better where your food is coming from, how fresh it is, and a better understanding of what it takes to feed people.

    It looks like she had a delightful time and the kids look happy to have her there as well. She really looks in her element and it reminds me of when she said she wanted to be a farmer if circumstances had been different.

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    1. Julia it is a great organization and what foresight the Morpugos had in 1976! I always admire people who live their convictions. There definitely needs to be a better understanding of food and where it comes from. Having grown up in Midwest United States, we were city kids but had country cousins and spent many weekends in pastures chasing cows (much to my uncle's dismay), milking, fishing, detassling corn, and exploring. These are the stories of our childhood. How wonderful that these children have this experience. How touching and inspiring the comment from the child who spent time at the farm. Unconnecting from the electronic world is what more children (and adults) need these days. (Of course that is after I order online the book by Michael Morpugo for a gift).

      I love Kate's look and think she does very well at dressing for these casual engagements. She fits right in and looks at ease as a English country lady. Wouldn't doubt that she takes George and Charlotte someday :). Can anybody tell me what is "cream tea"? cc

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    2. CeCe, a cream tea is a cup of tea with a scone, split in half then topped with clotted cream & jam, a big favorite in Devon & Cornwall.

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    3. Oops meant Julie.:) cc

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    4. Cream tea is a light afternoon tea with tea, clotted cream, jam and scones. It is absent all the other goodies, cakes, fruit and sandwiches. At least that's what I have always believed.

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    5. Zora from Prague3 May 2017 at 21:25

      I love the name ("cream tea"), the sound itself evokes lovely things. And the real thing..., oh, I feel like going to Devon this very minute! :)

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    6. Courtney from NC3 May 2017 at 22:33

      For my sisters bridal shower we had a huge tea party buy she is finicky so we had to add French pastries to the normal English teacher menu. I made clotted cream because nowhere carried it. Of course, since I was one of the hosts I didn't get to enjoy the treats the day of. I, of course, had tasted as I baked enough that I know I'd love to attend a tea at some point where I can just enjoy myself (which really means stuff myself full of yummy things!)

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    7. Thank you all, very interesting!! It really does sound lovely and it leaves me with a beautiful image in my mind. I too wish I were in Devon enjoying "cream tea"! :) cc

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    8. I remember once having strawberries and clotted cream in Devon in spring. Lovely!

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    9. CeCe, you can do it quite easily. Scones are easy to make, and you can find Devon and Clotted Cream from England at Whole Foods (if you have one near you). I like to use Earl Grey tea with cream (milk or coffee creamer works, too) and sugar.

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    10. Holy cow, this all sounds delicious. You have all made me hungry at work haha - I know what I'll be making this weekend!

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    11. Thanks artistswriter!! I think I'll try it. We just got a Whole Foods here last year and I am a huge fan of Earl Grey tea. Scones and jam, no problem, but googled clotted cream and it seems to have a custard texture so will be interesting to try it. Looks like this Sunday I'll be taking a mental journey to Devon with my "cream tea" time!! cc

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  3. An amazing charity. I love farms. They can truly revitalize a weary soul and give people a real connection to this beautiful planet we call home. What an awesome education for the children of where food comes from and how much work is involved. And I really enjoyed the letter from the little boy. :) Would be interesting to interview him now so he could share more about the results of his visit. I also like that they get to experience so many aspects of farming, including a visit to the neighboring dairy farm. Kate's visit to that farm prompted me early this morning to get out and take a walk and smell the fresh ocean air. If there had been an accessible farm nearby I would have made a beeline for that also. :) The farmer's market will have to do today. I am so glad Anne is patron of that very fruitful charity and that Kate is now involved. It would be so cool if George and Charlotte could visit the farm with her in the future.

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  4. Loved the running pig. Little scene stealer. :)

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    1. I thought that was so funny!

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  5. The house even has a real moat. wow. :)
    That farm is so beautiful I would not be surprised if at the end of a week some of the children don't want to leave.

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  6. I think these are great engagements, something different and interactive which always makes for great copy and images, which leads to coverage! Theresa May is out there making some fairly significant comments today so none of it may make the front pages, we'll see!

    I thought she was allergic to horses though? Or was that just a line because she didn't dare tell the Queen she didn't like riding? Let's hope that pic doesn't make it to BP ;)

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2017 at 03:40

      It was reported around the wedding as a reason why she arrived by car. It was immediatley debunked by the palace but has continued to be reported as a "fact"..

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    2. She has riden in carriages a lot, even on the day of the wedding.

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  7. This outfit is just so awkward to me-- plain jeans or pants would have been so much better suited than the ribbed ones she opted for. I hate being negative because, really, I worship her, but ughhh

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    1. Carolie in Montana3 May 2017 at 21:55

      I feel the same way! i think the top half looks great, and i like the boots too. but those jeans just didnt work for me with the rest of the outfit!! i think we are in the minority:)

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2017 at 03:40

      I actually really like the monochrome with different textures. I think it was a very chic look for going on the farm :)

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  8. Jo in Ireland3 May 2017 at 16:27

    I am imagining the conversation between Kate and George tonight around the tea table: "Where were you Mummy?" "I went to a farm darling." "Why didn't you bring me?" "Well, Mummy had to work and spend time with a lot of people [read: I didn't want to be criticized for not paying enough attention to my charity work]. Besides we can go to a farm anytime together when Mummy isn't working." "What kind of work DO you do Mummy? You don't fly helicopters like Daddy does."
    The word "work" sounds funny I know because it doesn't seem like a lot of work to be at a charity for a few hours. Mind you, I spent two hours pushing a pram around a park trying to get a 6 month old to sleep and I am beat!!! But it also reminds me about how we used to talk about dads coming home from "work" when moms had been looking after babies, cleaning, cooking, etc...
    (I think my brain is mush, apart from looking after my friend's grandchild, I have been researching how to go back home to the US this November and I am bamboozled by the difference in prices between airlines and ships [I hate flying] and then there's the dog.... Of course my husband thinks I have just been "playing" all day.)

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    1. lol, Jo. Loved your text. :)

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    2. My husband has the uncanny timing of only popping his head in or walking by when I'm sitting down and relaxing. Never seems to do it when I'm slaving away. Hence, I've fielded all sorts of remarks about " not working" throughout our marriage, so definitely hear you regarding the male definition of not really working or playing all day. Jeepers! Men!

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    3. Must be an ability they picked up on Mars. lol
      (You know like in "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus")

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    4. Courtney from NC3 May 2017 at 22:38

      My husband is smart enough to not make those comments. As a child who had a stay at home mom I remember her running around like a crazy person doing her house chores and taking care of us and all that entailed. I also remember her on her feet long after my dad came home from work and sat down to relax. If husband's, boyfriends, partners who work outside the home could see all that many of the stay at home or primary caregiver does each and every day they'd be gobsmacked.

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    5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread and then the cherry on the cake from Courtney ... "My husband is smart enough to not make those comments." I LOVE IT! :-)

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    6. Amen, Courtney. Did anyone ever see Michael Keaton in "Mr. Mom"? If so, I rest my case. :)

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    7. lol, true rf. Her husband must have received debriefing on his re-entry from Mars. (not all men do). No offense Mr. Courtney. :)

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    8. One would think after 17 years my husband would be smart enough not to make those comments too, Courtney! Oh well, it assuages my guilt about shopping sprees ☺ SG, Mars....the god of war. Yup, that's about right!

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    9. Jo, that was funny :) Although I do think when her kids are older, she will take then to this farm. This was a fun engagement,, and I'm sure this is something the kids on the farm will remember for a long time to come,,XOXO

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    10. Courtney from NC5 May 2017 at 09:56

      I suppose I should have qualified that statement with a now at the end. He said it once early in our marriage and it went over REAL well as you can all imagine. Lol. We have been together over 16 years and married over 14 so he has had practice.

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  9. What a great organization! She seems happy and comfortable here, and dressed just as I expected. I must say, though that I will never understand this weird unflattering hairdo. Why not just take the whole top back into a clip? Then she wouldn't have that ridge at the crown and the flat sides. Maybe it looks different from her perspective?

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    1. Usually, I don't like this hair style when she wears it for engagements but think it looks pretty good here. I think I like the darker color and straightness with the slight wave today. Plus, not minding the clipped back casualness for mucking about. Any other day, I would be right there with you complaining though.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden4 May 2017 at 03:42

      Haha, it's funny how different we see things. This is my go to look for myself to get the hair back and I have always loved it on myself and Kate and others :)

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    3. I actually liked her hair today, because it was cleanly pulled back and chic. The half-up hairstyle that I can't bring myself to like is the twists with butterfly clips. I'm glad she's shelved that look for the past few engagements (and hopefully forever haha).

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  10. Off topic, but the Cambridges were in the news last night for the court case with the French photos.

    I personally think they are making a mistake pursuing this so vehemently, especially now attaching a monetary figure for damages. I've already heard "what do they need more money for?" Like it or not, that's how it will play for much of the public.

    Asking for an immediate cease and desist at the time is perfectly fine, but they have blinders on as they pursue this in my opinion. All this does is rehash the story again, bring attention to the photos again, frankly embarrass Kate time and time again and remind everyone about it. It's as if William is determined to "get back" at them, and will cut off his nose to spite his face in the process.

    I think any private citizen has the right to pursue legal recourse, but whether you like it or not the royals are in a different position.

    And when they complain strongly and formally about everything from George on a police motorbike to near nude pics, it's a bit like crying wolf, no? The narrative just becomes, "here they are complaining about the press again" and it muddies the waters between something serious and something fairly harmless.

    And this is one of the times, I have to say, he should have left Diana out of it. There are many meaningful ways you can talk about her, this was not appropriate and I think was an effort by William or his team to manipulate sympathy with the courts.

    I know this is off topic which many of you won't like! I've already commented I thought today was a lovely engagement. But this was in the news and made most of the front pages today.

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    1. I can see your points Claudia. I am not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I do think that they could designate any awarded monies to charity and let people know that. About all the other points I don't know how I feel about those yet.

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    2. No, I had the same reaction, Claudia. All I can think of is that he is trying to hit them where it really hurts so that
      it will never happen again. If awarded the money, you can bet it will go to their foundation which is a good thing but, yeah, it was all but forgotten and now those pictures are in everyone's mind again now:( . Agree that playing the Diana card is overkill too. He may feel that way but to state it publically makes it seem as if he's pandering for a bit of public sympathy.

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    3. I agree with you both SG and Erika, that any money will absolutely go to charity, and if they're awarded anything most "experts" think it won't be anywhere near the requested amount. BUT... that's not the impression being made with the public.

      Here are today's headlines, on the *front* pages:
      "Kate and Wills want 1.3m damages over topless pictures"
      "1.3m to see Kate topless"
      "Kate demands 1.3m over topless pics"
      "William:Topless Kate pictures more painful because of Diana"
      "Duke's distress at topless photos of his wife"

      (William submitted a letter as evidence in court proceedings referencing Diana's death.)

      Now, all this does in the internet age is get the Google search "Kate Middleton topless" back up in the list of requested searches again. I don't know that any of us would want that.

      I personally think this is bad strategy, and to the general public I think it's just turning into another "Will and Kate hate the press" story. Again, the danger of pursuing formal complaints with IPSO on even the most harmless images.

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    4. Claudia, if they started proceedings right after it happened this is most likely a normal time progression for it to have actually made it to where it is now. Perhaps they wanted to follow through to make a point even knowing it would stir the embers. I don't live in the Daily media circus that they live in almost everyone they leave their home so I don't really think what they are doing is that outlandish given their perspective, including William's childhood experiences. They probably weighed all the variables at the beginning and decided it was worth it. Just a guess.

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    5. Well, the financial punishment is really all there is for offenses driven by money. Of course they are trying to stop some of this activity for themselves and their children. The topless photos were taken in France early in their marriage from a road onto private property. Where is your national pride? Why do you think these people have no right to personal privacy even outside of their own country? Who is so rich that being violated like that isn't painful? In the US some very high earning women have won monetary judgements after nude, invasive pictures have been taken. The motive for the pictures is money.
      I don't think him mentioning the death of his mother is out of place here if that's his true feeling. His wife was grossly disrespected and the worst of being a public figure landed on her.
      You talk of "image". I shall never forget the live video of Diana's feet sticking outside the car window, moving, as she lay dying. I'll never forget a person I told of her tragic passing saying, "She's rich and famous, who cares!" Just two or three clicks from this very well run blog, you can see people calling Willam and Kate's children names so vulgar that they are sickening.
      I say he has to find his own way, fight for his family and what he thinks is right, regardless of how the public likes to belittle him. He is going to maybe be a king, and you want him to lay down and take this basic affront to his family? He has no personal rights?
      I also think the press should stay away from everyone's children, regardless of who their parents are.

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    6. I would normally agree with you except when it comes to nude/topless photos. Taking and publishing photos of someone nude without their consent is sexual assault and should be punished to the highest extent of the law.

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    7. Zora from Prague3 May 2017 at 21:22

      Well put, Ellen, I agree with your points.

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    8. I agree completely with Ellen. The rich are entitled to basic human rights and dignity just like everyone else. By saying William should just suck it up is like saying the woman wearing the short skirt and being out after midnight is to blame for being raped. What happened to Kate is despicable and these magazines and photographers only pay attention to money, so suing for money is the only recourse. This is a Court action and the lawyer is doing what needs to be done to win the point. The point isn't the money - its the invasion of privacy. I'm sorry that there are some who think that Kate brought this on herself and should just let it go after all this time. Hasn't all the press on mental health meant anything? Kate was violated in an illegal and immoral way - for money! Having her day in Court is the very least she should get. I don't for a minute believe that its about money at all. Just because William and Kate are royal doesn't mean that they are fair game for all and sundry to violate them at will. Sorry Claudia, but I just don't agree with your position on this.

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    9. Several posts ago someone who I had never seen on the blog before started a thread directed toward me, challenging me on two rather unkind things that were said about William and Kate, in fact one thing about William was more than unkind it was quite mean spirited. Trouble is, I never made either of the comments. So the thread rubbed me the wrong way, hit me at the wrong time, and I engaged with the person, whose name escapes me now! That was quite foolish on my end because it was an absolute waste of my time and energy. Lesson learned.

      I decided from then on not to "take the bait" anymore and correct people who attribute inaccurate things to me, it's not worth it and frankly the back and forth just clogs up Charlotte's comment section! So even though there are numerous charges here claiming I said many awful things about these court proceedings, I think if you go back and read my comment carefully you'll see I never did.

      (Lord knows I get enough grief over things I actually say!)

      I did say repeatedly that, whether we like it or not, or agree with it or not, William has a unique role in life, and he has to look at how his actions play on a bigger stage, far beyond his own feelings of personal retribution. If nothing else, think of his wife. I think Kate wants more than anything for this entire thing go away once and for all.

      And Marny no apologies ever necessary for disagreement! That's what makes the world go round, we all bring different opinions and perspectives to the table. I only ask that we keep discussion to points we all *actually* make.

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    10. Claudia. I am not sure if you know how the system works or not. But I would say 99.9% of the time it is not the client who tells the attorneys how much they want to receive. It is the attorney who,puts a price tag on the case. They always go high because you never get what you want or deserve.
      I think William is doing the right thing for he and Kste. I look at as he is protecting his wife. What these people did to her was a violation of her privacy. They were on private property during a private vacation. These people trespassed on private property to get these shots of Kate. They used high power lens.
      William and Kate have a right to expect privacy during their down time and when they are on private property.
      Let's just hope that they win their case do they can put this unfortunate invasion of privacy behind them.

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    11. Not "taking the bait" can be very effective. It was a lesson I've learned also Claudia.

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    12. I agree with you Claudia. I think William is not helping matters by invoking his mother's name, as one could also argue that he ought to know the lengths paparazzi will go to get a shot, looking at his mother and his ex-Aunt Sarah. The paparazzi climbed all over whatever to get the shots they got of Sarah, and she was behind a fence and screened. Their balcony was wide open, although I do agree most of us would not expect to be viewed. However, I can also tell you from my small personal experience that you are never out of view. A girlfriend and I were in the sun topless, in a field, surrounded by tall grass and lying down. A small airplane started circling.

      So, yes, while I have sympathy even I know you are never out of range of a camera, and invoking his mother over this just read like a blatant play for sympathy to my eyes and really over-egged the pudding.

      Delete
    13. I think they should pursue this case. Even though she was sunbathing nude on public property in plain view of others, under no circumstances should one take photos of someone naked and publish them without their consent. Zero reason for that!!!!
      I fully support WK to go through with the suit.

      I do, however, feel the money they get should go straight to the Special Olympics. They chose to go on holiday when they were expected to attend, and used the excuse of work which turned out to be untrue. That was always the sore point of the entire thing to me. I think it would be GREAT if they did that, but any charity would be good.

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    14. Hi Claudia,

      I actually had completely forgotten about those photos - they happened years ago now! So yes, whilst the court case can go on for a while...most of the public probably forgot about it. All this has done is bring it out into the spotlight again. And especially at a time when there's an election coming up and brexit. It's obvious they're focusing their efforts in Europe this year. Once again, it just shows that Will and Kate are in their own bubble and really don't care that they're part of a bigger picture. I say "don't care" because, come on, would it really be plausible to think they're ignorant about their situation?

      And bringing up Diana in all of this was very distasteful in my opinion. It definitely seemed he was far reaching and using his mother's death to gain sympathy. Diana's relationship with the press wasn't as black and white as William portrays. Diana used the press to her advantage sometimes too. Even Kate's topless photo situation is not black and white. Yes, the photographer used a long lens to peak into a private residence - definitely an invasion of privacy. But you could see the road from the house - and there's a very clear view of the house from the road - so why would Kate risk it, knowing the position she's in? Again, it comes down to the fact that they often act like they're private citizens but they're not.

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    15. You have to make your case in a lawsuit, no? And I think any sharp lawyer would have recommended making the comparison (with Diana). And, quite frankly, it does apply here.

      As for the money, I am sure it will be donated and used wisely. It isn't about personal monetary gain for the Cambridge's; it's about punishing and deterring in a language that is easily understood: MONEY.

      I don't see the big deal and I agree with Ellen's comments.

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    16. Florida Moxie4 May 2017 at 04:22

      I'm having a tough time with "going naked outside" and being upset that folks saw. Not exactly sexual assault. That's keeping in mind folks who are actually sexually assaulted. As well as folks who are naked inside. If those photographers were not trespassing... it's actually a tough case. Especially, in a country where modesty is not always practiced.

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    17. Florida Moxie4 May 2017 at 04:28

      Claudia, I couldn't help think, what is William's goal? The next time my wife is outside topless, don't you dare take her picture and sell it! It does sound a bit nuts when it is put like that.

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    18. I would just like to put it out there that I was sexually assaulted on a train while living in NYC and I don't think having nude photos published is *quite* the same thing. That's not to say it isn't terrible, degrading, and a violation of privacy, etc.

      I do think they have a right to pursue the case, rich or not, but I have to agree that many people had probably forgotten the incident and have now been reminded of it. I was surprised to see it in the news.

      Delete
    19. Technically, photos with taken with long lens while the subject is on private property is called surveillance, not just a snapshot. That is invasion of privacy and for profit. An infringement for sure.
      William's complaint was not dismissed. It found legal merit. There have to be boundaries and William is making that very clear.

      Delete
    20. Stephanie, I agree with you about the monies going to the Special Olympics and for the very reasons you said. I doubt that will happen though as it emphasizes the fact that they ducked out of that engagement on the pretense of other work and went on vacation instead. Don't think they want people reminded of that. Other charities will most likely get the monies. They had to know that that people would find out about that, yeh? They really can't hide. People even saw them at the airport etc. (Just like seeing William and Jecca at the airport in Spain.) They have to know that they are recognizable everywhere.

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    21. bluhare, that is so so funny about the plane. I laughed out loud. I could just see your all's expressions. So much for no tan lines. What were the odds? May have been a crop duster?
      Were you all in the middle of a crop? Maybe it wasn't just tall grass. lol

      Delete
    22. Claudia: I do apologize for drafting my response in such a way as to imply that it my comments were directly in response to your opinion. It was prompted by your post, but I did not mean to suggest that you were responsible for some of the comments I referred to. I can see why it appears that way, but that was not my intention. I did read your post carefully. I do disagree with the suggestion that William is the sole one driving this, that he is trying to get back at "them". My opinion is that he has a responsibility to his family, to the Royal Family and to his wife to pursue this. He is raising his family in a very different world than that of this predecessors and he has to draw the line somewhere. This suggestion (not necessarily from you, but I do believe that you have referenced such an opinion in the past) that the public own him (again, not your words), is not correct and not fair. He owes them a duty to publicly serve them now and much more so in the future, but privacy is something every human being is entitled to. A line in the sand must be drawn in the interests of his wife and children and unfortunately in this day and age a lawsuit is his only option. I do apologize for appearing to direct my comments specifically to your post. While I agree that there is no need to apologize for a different opinion, there is a need to apologize for appearing to target you. No baiting intended.

      Delete
    23. Julia from Leominster4 May 2017 at 18:00

      If the case could have been handled quickly, it might have been a good idea - if it was going to take this long, I wouldn't have done it. It will do absolutely no good and only harm William and Kate far more than it hurts the periodicals. It's not going to stop photographers of that sort.
      I had mixed sympathy here. The photographs shouldn't have been taken. However no one in public life should ever be outside without clothes on - this is a future queen of England. It comes down to is it so important for Kate to be out without her kit versus the risk of someone seeing her. Quite apart from photographers, it could have been someone stopping along a public road, a gardener or the like - it was an act of foolishness on her part and most unroyal and undignified - a uni girl act.
      I absolutely would not have mentioned Diana - it seems tawdry - especially after the lovely recent remarks about her. The circumstances aren't similar enough to justify using her name.
      If they are going to ask for a huge amount of damages (for what? How was Kate really harmed?) then they should make it clear immediately that any recovery will go to charity - for now the majority of comments about this are about the money and how it will be used - it has become a terrible distraction that should have been made clear from the start. There is little sympathy out there for the couple.

      It brings back to me unfortunate memories of how Kate and her family won damages for her being photographed on a tennis court whilst in the same newspaper, there was no recovery for a young boy who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of school bullying. Whilst Kate couldn't have known about that - it made me think money and royal connections do talk whilst ordinary people have to deal with no compensation - here's a young woman who'll go squander the money on clothes whilst a young boy's family will struggle to care for him.
      Because this case will in no way benefit the public at large but only rich people who want to take their kit off and not be photographed - I think it should have been put down by William and Kate as lessons learnt - and with gritted teeth forgotten. Especially, with the mention of Diana and the papers happily pointing out what we all knew - that they skipped the Paralympics for this holiday - they may learn that damage doesn't have to be at the end of a camera's lens - and winning money can cost you.

      Delete
    24. The case is in France. Mentioning Diana in France has certain implications probably not lost on the French. I do think that regardless of the jurisdiction, I would have made that point also. I think it has a bearing on the case for sure. William has access to the best lawyers in the world. One would think that they know what they are doing. Hopefully, anyway. :)

      Delete
    25. I think that even though it is not assault, having private pictures published online has to feel like a pretty huge violation. The magazines didn't just publish Kate topless but also of her changing bikini bottoms - all of it. So in that sense I can understand why William and Kate feel like they need retribution. The photos should not have been taken. Period.
      At the same time I agree with Julia and Claudia in that pursuing this case may end up raking up the muck again. It remind the public that they were on vacation when they did not attend the Para Olympics and it probably leads to more searches of Kate's topless pictures because people who didn't know about it then probably do now.
      I honestly can't say what I would have done in this situation. On one hand I don't like legal stuff although I have a family full of lawyers, but on the other hand I would have wanted some kind of retribution.

      That being said, playing devil's advocate here, another part of me thinks that Kate and Pippa may not be all that prudish about nudity as we might be thinking. Topless or nude sunbathing in France is a pretty standard thing. One quick google search of Pippa Ibiza will show you pictures of her topless changing a bikini top right in front of her men friends and William nearby. Most of my European friends are a lot less skittish about wondering about naked in gym lockers than I am - I never do, for instance, but they do it all the time. So Kate may have a thicker skin that we are giving her credit for.

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    26. Becca I am so, so sorry to hear that. Hugs to you. X

      And Marny thank you for clarifying, I do always appreciate a good discussion :)

      Julia brought up the tennis incident and I have to go get the account that summed that up so well, and influences my thinking on how William is in these matters. I think it was Tina Brown, with a very well sourced piece, who reported that William was really pushing Kate to "go for the jugular" with the case, and Kate balked. It was Carole (I think) who urged Kate to go easy, savvy enough to know Kate was in a tricky spot to go after the press as a citizen, without palace protection. According to Brown, William was furious that Kate wasn't going along with him and it was quite a tense time for them and delayed the engagement announcement.

      I hate bringing up articles when I don't have them at hand, I want to be accurate. But the point was that William has been looking for a while for an opening to bring it to the press, so I do tend to think he is the driving force here. And I fear that once again, he can't see the forest for the trees. Just my opinion of course!

      Delete
    27. The delay in the announcement of their engagement was due to
      the death of Kate's grandparent. not tension with William. Quite the contrary.
      It was a few weeks, not months.

      Delete
    28. Two separate incidents 1:14.

      Brown (and others) had reported an engagement was expected earlier in the year (2010) with an announcement by the palace by June 2010. The tennis/Tanna incident happened that Christmas. According to reports, William wanted Kate to sue Tanna personally, not just the photo agency. That is what Kate (reportedly influenced by Carole) resisted. Here's more from the article for anyone who's interested :) I thought Brown's gave the best analysis but several other reporters also had similarly sourced articles.

      "The picture of her (Kate) playing tennis with her brother and sister on the Manor court never appeared in the British press, but the mere fact that someone somewhere had photographed Kate on a private vacation on a communal court gave Prince William the test case to sue he is known to have been looking for... William pressed Kate, seeing Tennis Ball-Gate as the chance he’d been waiting for to capitalize on Princess Caroline of Monaco’s legal triumph against three German magazines in June 2004. William wanted blood. I am told he pushed Kate to put the fear of God into the already weakened paparazzi by suing Tanna, the photographer, personally. It’s a move that would threaten Tanna with financial ruin, and the usually pliant Kate balked. It is possible that Kate’s balkiness over suing Tanna sowed the suspicion in William’s mind that Kate was maybe a tad too amenable to the press, a non-negotiable in his world. He has been known to plant false leaks with friends to test their loyalty. (Tanna’s friends have an alternate theory—they suspect that he was set up to take the tennis picture to trap him.) I am told the tension between the couple about the Tanna affair grew so intense the engagement announcement was postponed again while William sulked."

      Worth noting, Tanna "did not trespass. He snapped it from a public footpath close to the tennis court and he claims that Kate smiled at him and wished him Merry Christmas as he clicked away." The Middletons were also known to approach him to request photos for their family album.

      Delete
    29. Claudia, I personnaly don't think William or Kate would "set up" anyone, no offense. Kate and James love tennis, were on vacation and even gave the photographer the solicitations of the season. The other scenario sounds a little too diabolical to have any credence, IMO. If they wanted him as a family photographer why would they do something underhanded like that? Next the tabloids will be saying that William had Kate pose nude on the balcony to trap photographers. Not.
      Volumes on the Royals have been written based
      on opinion and hearsay about certain moments in time. I don't think Brown's "analysis" has plumbed the truth of William's psyche at all. It is mere speculation at best and sordid gossip at worst in my opinion. No offense.

      Delete
    30. Florida Moxie5 May 2017 at 18:02

      What is interesting about this information Claudia is how it reflects on the Oct 2010 Kenya engagement story. And the idea that the engagement took William's family by surprise. More like William kept delaying the ANNOUNCEMENT for his own purposes and the family was fully aware of the situation, just didn't know when William would stop sulking and move forward.

      Delete
    31. I don't understand. Speculation by tabloids about a possible engagement in early 2010 was used to verify further speculation that the pair were on the outs and thus the fake engagement announcement was delayed...which was used to verify William's private responses to various events as well as Kate's private responses to those responses. The only reputable source for that information would have been William or Kate. Weren't phones still being tapped at that time? Surely, the writer did not use eavesdropping; however,that could explain the, frankly, amazing conclusions and information apparently included in that story. That sort of intensely private information would not have been knowingly shared by anyone close enough to the pair to be a credible source.
      The comment did not specify and I assumed it referenced the actual, known engagement announcement in November, 2010.

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    32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    33. They signed the registry book in on October 21, 2010, not 2011. Good thing I am not an historian.

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    34. Becca, I am sorry to hear that that happened to you. I hope you got justice and some sort of restitution for that.

      As far as the timing on their case, it is probably following the normal chronology of case development. It truly can take that long. It isn't something they just picked up on again is my experienced guess. We have had litigation in the past that took years to process properly. Our attorneys told us it would take as long as it did but we didn't believe them at first.

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    35. First, I am not a fan of Ms. Brown. And the tabloids told and retold stories about imminent engagements, delayed engagements, and engagements that would never happen. William and Kate have sold newspapers since day one. Aside from an engagement being big news, much of the speculation was downright nasty with journalists claiming (or should I say wishing?) that William would never marry Kate and, therefore, she was wasting her time. Nonsense. I believe that a plan was in place long (as in *years*) before the engagement was announced. In their rather unique scenario (understatement!), an extended courtship enabled them to enjoy a more "normal" life for a bit longer.

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    36. Maggie - Minneapolis6 May 2017 at 00:58

      Must echo some of the others who don't think it's a good idea to be demanding so much money in court. The victory alone should get the point across, since (as far as I understand) it's also a criminal case, and so if found guilty then those being charged face jail time. And it seems as though French courts rarely award substantial amounts of money in these cases and are much more likely to award a euro or two - so I feel like now, if William and Kate win the case but then only get a euro after very publicly demanding so much more money, it will actually come off as more of a loss than a win.

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    37. Julia from Leominster6 May 2017 at 15:17

      Becca. I'm so sorry for what happened to you.

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    38. Becca, did you get justice for that and some kind of restitution? (If you don't mind my asking)

      Delete
  11. Pam from Boston3 May 2017 at 16:52

    I love when Kate wears "ordinary" clothes (or "high street", as you would say in the UK I suppose). It makes her more relatable. I own the same shirt (purchased after she first wore hers, I admit) and I bought the same exact jeans for my daughter, before Kate wore hers.

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  12. Seems like a great charity run by sincere and kind people. A unique engagement for Kate! She seemed to enjoy it, and I'm glad she appeared for such a hands-on event after what surely was a bit of a busy day yesterday (for Charlotte's birthday).

    That former student's letter was hilarious and fantastic. How great that the children are so impacted!

    I really like Kate's jacket and her hair is really pretty today. She looks perfect for the occasion. Not super crazy about the texture on the jeans, but that's a minor nitpick.

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  13. Julia from Leominster3 May 2017 at 16:59

    A wonderful charity - because young people, especially urban young people have so little connection to where food comes from - an understanding is particularly important to gain an appreciation for the proper care of animals. bluhare points out the stench of a dairy farm - I've known people who are "ethical" vegetarians - completely sincere but consume dairy. It's hard not to - not thinking about the fate of calves, not to mention dairy cows when they are no longer productive. I eat meat myself and think it is a natural part of being human - but that the abusive treatment of farm animals must be addressed and that can only begin with an awareness of where food originates. Likewise, an appreciation for fresh fruit and veggies will be developed in children who learn a sense of the growing process - it was part of our education growing up but no longer.

    I had to once work in an office near a mass knackers and the stench was beyond belief. But Leo and I like to stay on farms when we can and a well-managed one will not have that stench.

    Kate looks fine for the occasion - I like her hair natural and that fact her jeans have knee detail which hides the tendency to sag.

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  14. This would've been a fun engagement for little Charlotte to attend. I was kind of hoping Kate would bring her along as a belated birthday present ;)

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    1. I hope she can bring both George and Charlotte there if she visits that farm again.

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  15. Tammy from California3 May 2017 at 17:34

    I have many comments:

    1) That sweater with the gingham top underneath is a favorite casual look for her. I wish I could have seen more of it.

    2) You guys across the pond are really doing things right! The last two charity outings have been what EVERYONE in EVERY country should be doing! Mental health and getting kids back to their eating "roots", so to speak. Both charities create balance in a life. I wish the U.S. would do this. I would LOVE to start a farm like this here. In fact, it's been on my mind for some time now, how I could do EXACTLY this (I am a teacher now).

    3) I want to go to this farm and stay for a week!

    4) Love Kate's long locks

    Okay that's it. Have a wonderful day everyone!

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    1. Zora from Prague3 May 2017 at 20:18

      Tammy, why don't you try to contact them and arrange a week's stay? Perhaps it would help you to get on with your dream! As a teacher, I suppose you have relatively long summer holidays. Maybe it wouldn't be impossible...? :) It's never too late to start a good thing!

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    2. Tammy from California4 May 2017 at 01:26

      You are so right, it isn't ever too late to start a good thing! Thank you for the advice!

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  16. Diane, Southampton3 May 2017 at 17:49

    My daughter went to Wick Court when she was a child and had an amazing week,experiencing the delights of living and working on a farm. It is wonderful that Kate has been able to bring it some well deserved attention.

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    1. Very interesting Diane. Thanks for sharing. :)
      Did your daughter develop any related hobbies or other interests that you know of as a result of visit?

      Delete
  17. Tammy. Contacting that farm would seem like seem like the logical first step, after prayerful consideration first, :). Then a visit if that works out. What a fulfilling venture having a farm like that would be. That may be your next calling Tammy. Look at Sarah. She was feeling "the tug" and now her blog is a reality. You would just be teaching on a farm instead of a classroom. :)

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    1. Tammy from California4 May 2017 at 01:31

      Funny, I had already signed up to go back to college for Agriculture. I am signed up for the fall and went to visit a few weeks ago. I have been very excited! We don't have many agriculture schools I could teach in and it is why I have been thinking about where I could buy some land and have field trips for kids, a little organic store and a community milk giveaway program. These are my main ideas so far, it would have to be nailed down a little more as I progressed. I wanted to get my feet wet first before I went any further with the idea. Where I am going to school they have all farm animals except for chickens, which out of everything is my expertise. I have hatched eggs for years in classrooms and have experimented with everything chicken. So I wouldn't mind bringing that to the college...? We will see.

      Tell me more about Sarah, I want to see and support her blog. What is the name?

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    2. That is so neat to hear that Tammy. Sounds like your dreams have a very good chance of coming to fruition. That is so exciting and an encouragement to us all. I love your charity ideas about the milk, etc. In your professional opinion, do you think that George and Charlotte's raising the incubator lid to look for chicks will lessen their chances for those additions? :) ๐Ÿฅ
      Not being an IT person, perhaps someone can give you Sarah's information. I know there are lots of links available. Sarah?
      Keep us in the loop about your progress (if you don't mind), okay?

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    3. Tammy, if you click on my name, it should take you to the blog I've started. That being said, here is the address anyway: https://shatteringthestigmaofmentalhealth.blogspot.com
      You can follow me on Twitter too (@SVCforMH).

      The blog is about mental health and mental illness. In addition to the posts I've written, it also has a side-bar full of helpful reminders, thoughts, statistics, and resources. I keep the side-bar updated frequently and add to it. I am currently working on a new post and hope to have that up later today.

      Take a look at the blog and let me know what you think!

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    4. surfergirl, the incubator business is tricky. My kids' preschool montessori teacher (they attended each for three years before first grade) used to do it. Unless the temperature is perfectly controlled they won't hatch. I don't know about lifting. One year the temperature control didn't work. She had to drive out to a farm and bring a bunch of chicks to pretend that some of the eggs had indeed hatched (none of them had - all the eggs were dead by then) because she didn't want a bunch of sobbing three to five year olds. It was kind of funny because these chicks were days old and five year olds saw through it right away. I mean they were sort of gigantic compared to newly hatched chicks. Even I couldn't keep a straight face when my son showed me.

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    5. that was a dedicated teacher. funny that the kids saw through it.

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    6. The Mama chicken gets off the nest from time to time. I don't think a quick peek
      would do any harm. Also-don't the incubators have air holes? It has been so long since I have seen one, I'm not sure. I think there is more involved than just an incubator. Bad eggs? Delay in or improper transfer from hen to incubator? I would suspect that in the school project incident. I remember my aunt "candling" the eggs to determine which were fertilized. They probably don't do that anymore.

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    7. Thanks, 12:31, I didn't realize it was that complicated.

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  18. Love the outfit, hair, everything, just wish she would have worn different jeans. I do not think they go well with the boots. That`s cute about the chickens though. I also wonder when they got a lamb?!

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  19. Love this so much!! What a wonderful place for children to learn. Thank you for all your background work- you are such a fantastic writer. Thank you! - Casey, USA

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  20. I liked Kate's outfit but for the first time I noticed that her hair has split ends. At first I thought the wind messed up her blow dry but her hair looks that way even upon arrival. Looks like it's time for a trim!

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  21. Oh. And Kate said that George can count to ten in Spanish and that she is trying to teach Charlotte Spanish. Is Maria helping her? I think Maria was raised in Spain, right? I hope Maria is still with them.

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    1. Maria Teresa, the nanny (she is called as The Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, who is from Cuba) is from Palencia, Spain.

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    2. Does Maria have a "title"?

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    3. No!! I meant she and the Grand Duchess of Luxemburg are both called Maria Teresa....The nanny's name is not Maria only. Spanish naming customs..

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  22. I love when we get these tidbits about "real" Kate - who is quite a down to earth person, it seems, and who clearly loves spending time with her children doing ordinary things like raising chickens. It makes me glad that Kate and William are clearly putting a lot of effort into raising their children as normally as possible and away from the cameras as much as possible (quite different from William and Harry's childhoods).

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  23. Thanks, Charlotte for a delightful fun post. As a youngster, I worked on a farm. My Mom and Dad came from a long line of farmers and land owners. Therefore, it was fun and enjoyable to see Duchess Catherine and the children feeding the sheep, planting in a garden and working the pig show. I'm glad to know it was her desire to visit the farm. Another example of the Duchess' "down to earth" persona.

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  24. Zora from Prague3 May 2017 at 21:33

    I like this farm so much. A fantastic thing for kids, especially nowadays. When I was a little girl, I used to go to a farm in the village where our cottage is. There were geese (I was so afraid of their hissing!), chicken, goats, sheep and a friendly cow named Olina. Once she had a calf and when I came near it, it licked my hand. To this day, I remember the rough touch - it felt like a grater! :) These childhood memories stay for life. I'm so glad Kate visited the farm and helped draw attention to it. I also like that they have chickens at home - fingers crossed for the eggs in the incubator! What a lovely thing it would be for both kids to see the chickens hatch.
    It is also very good and interesting that Kate teaches the children Spanish, I didn't know she could speak it. It's easier than French - perhaps one day William could manage it, too! ๐Ÿ˜œ
    I like how we get to know bits and pieces of interesting information about George and Charlotte from Kate's speaking with the kids. It feels so natural and sort of "homey".

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    1. Annette New Zealand3 May 2017 at 22:11

      Of course the children's nanny is Spanish so I suppose she plays a major role in the Spanish language learning. Spanish is spoken in many countries and is important in USA as well. My Californian daughter in law speaks it very well. It is better to start other languages very early rather than leaving it until later. My NZ grandchildren are learning Maori and Mandarin. Maori is one of our two national languages and Mandarin will be important for their future employment as well as encouraging mutual understanding in a multicultural New Zealand.

      Delete
    2. Zora from Prague4 May 2017 at 07:21

      Exactly, it is good to start learning a language as early as possible, in a very natural way, through play, songs, pictures... Wow, Annette, Maori and Mandarin! I imagine both are quite difficult but no doubt your grandchildren will benefit from learning them. I know the Cambridges' nanny is Spanish, only I didn't think of her as a possible source of language learning - not sure why. I suppose I imagined she would only speak English with G+Ch but if they learn from her it makes perfect sense. Perhaps Kate can speak it too; as you say, it's getting more and more widespread and important.

      Delete
  25. She has opened up more about the children recently.
    To me, that's a sweet thing for her to do. Just not too much information. She knows the parameters. Just enough to give a nice glimpse. Her children wouldn't appreciate anything more than that.

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    1. I agree. Some neutral tidbits. I am wondering if that's not part of the underlying strategy of W/K regarding the kids. The kids may be kids but they are still people and should be able to have privacy without being on display. We all choose what photos/comments/events from our lives we choose to share, why should we make that choice for someone else? (and yes, I know they are royal and their lives aren't truly their own, but still...).

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  26. So nice and unusual image of Kate running after her chickens.
    Those chickens remind me some very remote days of my childhood, when I was with my brother at our grandma home. She had some chicken and once we stole some eggs and we prepared a cake with eggs and mold. When we finished, the result was not appetizing at all. My little brother looked at me and said: Tata, it looks like poo!

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    1. Ha!!! Thank you for sharing that, Paola... :-)

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    2. Hopefully you didn't give up baking??? :)

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    3. I'm not a great baker indeed Surfer Girl! :))

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    4. Practice makes perfect, Paola. :) But where would you find the time?

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  27. Of course any money awarded from the lawsuit will go to charity. I hope they are fined to the highest extent allowed by law. It is sexual harassment and assault in the most vile manner. No person should ever fear for his or her privacy. It is a basic human right!

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  28. Wonderful place for city kids to visit, and it will stay with them forever. Great to see them all with the animals, learning about kindness to our fellow creatures.
    Kate looked wonderful in her casual gear, and she certainly was right at home with the animals and children.
    For one, I applaud William and Kate following through on the lawsuit. I am sure that if awarded any money, they will donate it to one of their causes. I hope they win the case.

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    1. I think so too, Tedi. Also agree about the lawsuit.

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  29. So nice too see the duchess doing like these she full time f energy those farm reminds me a of province when raising chivken and pig with. My grandma just fine its great to see the duchess like. These when she wears ordinary casual outfit

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  30. A really fun engagement, and she looks great. The outfit was very appropriate and she seemed comfortable and relaxed. Would love to see her do more things like this in the future.

    I'm wondering if we've sadly seen the last of Becca Deacon. Perhaps she agreed to stay through the Heads Together campaign/marathon and is winding down now that it is over. Notable that Sophie Agnew is out with her again today. I'd love to hear Kate's thoughts on losing such a faithful assistant. She has really been there through thick and thin and I am sure they have developed quite a close relationship. How could she leave? Sounds like a dream job to me (although I'm sure it is incredibly hard and taxing!)

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    1. I feel the same way that you do about all that Nina.
      My guess is though that she wants to start a family and have a regular schedule that might not be as stressful and public. I felt the same way when Jamie Pinkerton left.

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  31. Such a fun engagement. My roommates and I roadtripped today through Amish country and saw a ton of sheeps/cows/horses. My roommate would be insanely jealous of Kate's chickens as she wants to be self-sustaining someday.

    I liked the outfit. Perfect for the engagement and getting down and dirty.

    Interesting that this is Anne's long-standing patronage and Kate was visiting. Is that normal to have royals visit other patronages? I don't feel like I have seen that previously(unless it was some sort of group thing) but maybe I just missed it?

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    1. Love Amish country. Some really good "down home" cooking available and good prices on bulk pantry items.

      Nice to know that Kate and her family have fresh eggs. Gathering eggs for my grandma from her chicken during summer visits are sweet memories for me. She had free range guineas also. Their eggs are so tiny. She also had a very nice cantaloupe patch and a Concord grape arbor. Grape arbors were popular in her generation. Being in the country, she also had a cellar house. Those remain cool in the summer and warm in the winter. She grew potatoes and stored them in the cellar house. She grew such beautiful hydrangeas and made lots of homemade bread. Her neighbor churned homemade butter for them, and my grandma had her homemade jellies to round that all out. I remember reports that Kate makes homemade jelly also. Wouldn't surprise me if she gives her children homemade bread to go with it.
      I can picture George and Charlotte getting up early and going to gather eggs. They will miss that at Kensington. Maybe Kate can have a chicken or two in her walled garden. Why not?
      I thought that Kate visiting that farm was such a good thing although I also had the thought that that did seem unusual for her to be visiting Anne's patronage.
      I liked the response that Kate made regarding the media's presence. Kate agreed that is weird but that she has gotten used to it.

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  32. Tying Kate's embarrassment to Diana's death seems to be a followup to the Heads Together emphasis on talking about difficult issues. Of course, a court case is different from conversation with someone who is sympathetic, and the two experiences certainly are not equally devastating, but perhaps William has decided he needs to be open about his pain. Obviously, he worries about his family.

    Even though Kate was indeed harassed on private property, I think she also has had lessons to learn about revealing too much flesh outdoors. I know some of you will not agree, and it did happen in France where norms are rather different, but as far as we know, Kate has not repeated such open air bareness. Princess Margaret had a similar experience in Italy, and although she was pictured much later with a couple of nude males (partly covered with the skirt of her swimsuit) I think she also had to learn to be very careful herself.

    I rather like Kate's leather jeans, with horizontal pleats allowing bending at the knees, for farm work. And the rest of her outfit is perfect for the day. I did like her hair better when she wore that jacket in Canada, though. She looks so nice in low ponytails and a low gathering of part of her hair in back, that I am surprised she does not wear it that way more often.

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  33. Good evening (USA time). I totally agree with the lawsuit. Even if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren't awarded all the money, the principle and precedent has been set that those two will not stand by and just allow people to invade their privacy. I support them all the way to the bank or to charity; stand tall for what is right.

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  34. Great engagement. She obviously had fun. Hello Canada said she spent four hours on this engagement. Bravo. I am sure the children will remember this forever.

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  35. It is being reported in Australia that there has been an emergency meeting called of all Royal Household staff in an urgent manner. I hope all is well with the Royal Family.

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  36. Why do you think the whole staff has been called to the Palace? I hope everything is ok?
    Mary - Sydney.

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  37. Courtney from NC4 May 2017 at 10:23

    Buckingham Palace has announced Prince Philip will be retiring from public engagements this fall. It is completely a deserved retirement for him. I'm sure the timing of Will and Kate's move back to London isn't coincidental. It will be interesting to see how his patronages get divided up or handed down. After the uncertainty of what the meeting this morning was about, this is really one of the most positive outcomes of all the speculation.

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    1. It will be interesting to see how the patronages are divided up. I have wondered for a bit of that is why W/K have a low number of patronages for their position. They will have to pick up a lot from the Queen and Prince Philip. They could in theory be equally divided but how does an organization go from having the Queen to someone like Eugenie or Beatrice. Not that they themselves are a problem but it's not quite the same level of prestige.

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    2. Orange County Grandma5 May 2017 at 20:56

      I read neither Eugenie or Beatrice will be given any of Prince Phillips patronage. Nothing has been said how they will be divided. But I would think most will be given to Andrew, Edward, Sophie. Then a few to William, Kate, and Harry. Some also to Charles.
      I hope we see Kate attending engagements with the Queen. I just can't stand seeing Camilla with the Queen doing engagements. But also Sophie I bet will step in with the Queen too. I have read that Sophie is one of the Queens favorite. Not sure of that is true.
      Wishing Prince Phillip a happy retirement. He sure deserves it.

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    3. Orange County Grandma, this will shock people, but I, too, dislike seeing HM with Camille. That's when her photographer-spotting radar goes into overdrive.

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  38. Hmm Alarmed but i think these expected. Prince phillp Retired from his royal. Duty I think he. Health ix more important the queen really. Very supportive. Of him
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4472736/Prince-Philip-retire-royal-duties-95.html

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    1. Thanks for the link, Bluefire - it was a very enjoyable read!

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  39. Why was this meeting not planned in advance rather than "an emergency meeting"? This sounds like something that was planned out and known about. Were the reports wrong about it being called at the last minute or is there something more behind it (which I doubt because he intends to carry out duties through August)? Also, do you think this means he will no longer accompany her for state dinners/receiving foreign heads of state, etc?

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    1. Queen of the Sun4 May 2017 at 15:12

      I think the 'emergency' part was made up by socail media histrionics. I would not be surprised if the meeting has been planned quite a bit in advanced on a need to know basis. They only let the staff know at the last moment to limit the time to speculate. Even though speculation was rife it was limited to about 3 hours, when most people was asleep.
      Also fitting it in between engagements yesterday and today, prevent any cover-up stories.

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    2. I thought perhaps the meeting was called at the last minute because they just got some bad news about Philip's health which is causing him to step down.

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    3. Hi Florida girl,
      although it is speculation; I think you could compare his retirement to the retirement of prince Henrik in Denmark. He doesn't join queen Margrethe to most of the dinners anymore, but he shows up now and then for special occasions.

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    4. I wondered the same thing, Florida Girl - about the meeting being called as an emergency. Given some of the things I’ve read about him, I can almost see Prince Philip twinkling at the Queen and saying, “Well, Ducks, it’s been a bit dull around here lately - let’s cause a little excitement, shall we?” Perhaps it’s being left up to Prince Philip whether or not he will attend an engagement such as a state dinner, etc. Then again, maybe Charles and Camilla will be in attendance, to act as co-hosts or otherwise support the Queen on such occasions. It will be interesting to see how this will be worked out.

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    5. leahmaria, lol. I can so see Prince Phillip doing something like that. That is right up his alley. :)

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    6. leahmaria - you think things have been dull in the UK lately?? In the past year we have had: Brexit, a Prime Minister resigning, a terrorist attack in London and now yet another election next month. We're exhausted!

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    7. your way of putting that brings a smile Brina.

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  40. Whether the media chose the word "emergency" or the palace did, I wish that word had not been used to describe the staff meeting. The words and language we choose to use matters greatly, because as was evidenced by the rampant speculation today, interpretations can have consequences (and serious ones at that).

    I am grateful that Prince Philip's retirement was the outcome of this called meeting, rather than something far worse. After 65 years in public life and service to the queen and the UK/Commonwealth, this is a well-deserved retirement. This April would have been the 70th wedding anniversary of my maternal grandparents, had they lived to see it. They were married in April of 1947, only a few months before the Queen and Prince Philip. 70 years of marriage is a tremendous blessing indeed and I hope that the Queen and Prince Philip enjoy this extra special year together, with many more to come.

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    1. Julia from Leominster4 May 2017 at 18:49

      I agree with you - I'm sorry the term 'emergency' was used whatever its origins. Even though we had just seen both the Duke and Queen at work - it can't help but make one wonder.
      It was an awkward situation for the palace - if they announced the gathering of staff too early, there would just be more speculation, if they announced at once what the reason was, then it denied the staff the honour of hearing it first - no doubt, the Duke wished to give his thanks to them all. I suspect also that the restoration of palace might also be a topic discussed.

      I also suspect we will continue to see Philip - he truly is remarkable, walking so straight and without a cane. I think he will continue to appear at big events and may even accompany the queen - he's always been very supportive of her - but this stops the flow of invitations for him and gives him freedom not to appear when he wishes.

      This year would have been the 70th anniversary for my parents - had they lived - I know they treasured beyond description every year they had together. They were married close on to the queen's date, with all the hardships of the post war period - what a lot has happened since then and will continue to happen. Blessings to Philip and Elizabeth - they have well earned it - despite the Duke's occasional comments - some of which are funny, some which should never have been uttered - he is loved for his hard work and full dedication to the monarchy and to the queen - in public and private.

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  41. This is so wonderful thanks Charlotte for another great post

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  42. As fewer and fewer people understand the role and realities of farming, from the small home farm to the truly large complex, I cannot possibly think of a more educational charity to which to donate. Thankyou Charlotte for putting in the donations link. An enormous debt to HRH for picking up The Princess Royal's good work highlighting such an important charity. I certainly hope TRHs' will continue to visit and highlight this vastly important cause.

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  43. I can't believe it, but I've been quite emotional all day after the DofE news, it hit me that we really are at the end of an era. I think I will cry buckets when the Queen dies, just for everything that will be lost. Whatever comes after her will be so different, it may be good or bad, but it will be quite different. The monarchy will never be the same again I don't think, and I can't help but wonder how long it will be able to last at all.

    To put it in perspective, I saw one headline that said "Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for more than a quarter of the time the USA has even been a country" just remarkable.

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    1. Courtney from NC5 May 2017 at 00:55

      Your last paragraph, wow. Just wow.

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    2. It *is* sad. The queen has been queen my entire life, and with her the duke. But 95!! I think it's OK for him to take it easy while he can. I just hope it doesn't mean his health is worse.

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    3. Florida Moxie5 May 2017 at 05:16

      That changed the headlines didn't it?

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    4. The US is 241 years old. Victoria and Elizabeth have reigned for 130 of those years. It has taken seven kings to cover the other 111 years. The queens have had the advantage of coming to the throne quite young and living a long time. But still, there has also been a lot of stamina in them. (And in the queen consorts of the era.) On the male side, Philip certainly shares that longterm stamina.

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    5. Yes it did FM. Hmmmm.....

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    6. The Queen strikes again. :) Simple, masterful strategist. Not her first rodeo. lol

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    7. Changed the headlines from what? Just curious. :)

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    8. William's lawsuit over the photographs, FG.

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  44. Where is Miss Rebecca? I know I haven't been on as much myself lately with some travel on my end, but I've usually "seen" her a few times by now. She's likely rolling her eyes at this but just thinking about her... ;)

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    1. Zora from Prague5 May 2017 at 10:06

      I was also wondering, Claudia, but you can find one or two Rebecca's comments here if you search her name :).

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden5 May 2017 at 18:00

      I'm here :) I have not been able to comment right when the posts go up as I usually do so I've mostly skimmed the comments and commenting where I had something to say :)

      And not rolling my eyes. It's sweet and nice knowing that people miss you :)

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    3. She has a comment just upthread here. If you are talking about Rebecca from Sweden.

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    4. Me too! Rebecca - Sweden, where are you?? :)

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  45. Marci in Utah4 May 2017 at 23:18

    The Princess Royal has so many charities that I fear a number of them get sort of lost in the crowd. It's nice that Kate visited this one and brought it some attention. I love farms. Though I live in a city, my next-door neighbors were raising chickens a couple of years ago and when they were away I took care of them. I love that the Cambridge children are learning to raise chickens too.

    About that lawsuit, I'm sorry it has dragged out so many years, but perhaps that was an unforeseen and unfortunate development. I hope that more attention is given to the wrongness of the original action (taking and selling photographs that clearly violate privacy), but I'm afraid like some of you have suggested, too much attention will be paid to the negative aspects.

    I'm glad to hear that the so-called "emergency" was simply an announcement of Prince Phillip's retirement. Not an emergency at all, and a well deserved rest for someone who has spent most of his life now in the service of his country.

    Kate's choices for the farm visit were all appropriate, and her engagement with the children and with the animals was delightful to see.

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  46. Does anyone know what happened to Lupo? You never see the dog or them talking about it.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 May 2017 at 18:03

      I seem to remember one of them mentioning him not too long ago but I cannot seem to recall the occation.

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  47. Congrats on the retirement of Prince Phillip. Well done!!!!!

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  48. What a lovely engagement this was and I feel gave us another glimpse of the real Kate. She was so natural in everything she did during the visit & so clearly enjoyed it It was lovely on how she chatted to the children about George and Charlotte I feel Kate & G & C are really going to miss life at Anmer Hall KP will be so confined in comparison. Kate is very much a Country girl. It would seem that it was Kate who instigated the visit.
    I see that Princess Anne has been patron since 1991 and in that time has made 5 visits to the organisation 3 to the Devon farm and 2 to the one in Wales the last one being in January this year to the Farm in Devon to celebrate their 40th anniversary and unveil a new bench. She was on an away day in Devon and looking at the write up it seemed a short visit not hands on like Kate's.
    It is time Kate widened her interests and I hope this is a first step of her doing so. There was good coverage in the press of her visit with photos of her feeding the lamb accompanied by a short write up in many of the papers giving the charity much needed publicity.
    Like some others I do wonder how protocol works when another Royal wants to visit an organisation that already has a Royal Patron.

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  49. Apparently William and Kate send a "Thank You" note to everyone who had sent in a "Happy Anniversary" to them. Their "Thank You" card had a photo of them that was one taken of them on their trek up the mountain in Bhutan. The palace posted their "Thank You" on social media with the same photo. Very nice.

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  50. I think Lupo is still happy and healthy, hiding in his many special places as much as possible from the tugging, lifting, and chasing antics of a four and two year old. :)

    Maria probably wishes at times that she could do the same. :) We haven't seen her for awhile either. I did read an article somewhere recently though that said she is still onboard.

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  51. Pippa Update. Pippa and James attended the Parasnow Ball at Hurlington Gardens. James in tux and Pippa in an Erdem gown. (Would have liked a straight skirt rather than a ruffle though.) The Daily Mail article said that 21/2 year old Avia Horner, daughter of Lady Emily Compton, former Tatler social editor and her husband, a business associate of James, will be accompying Princess Charlotte and Prince George down the aisle.
    Trees, similar to, but smaller than the 20ft. English maples that lined the Abbey for Kate's wedding will be present at Pippa's. Her five bridesmaids will get ready at Englefield House, the home of Richard Benyon, Conservative MP and friend of the Middletons. Richard's wife, co-founder of the Jewelery store who did the Middleton's wedding bling, has also designed some pieces for Pippa's wedding apparently. The choir is a hand chosen one, not the regular one, and they will be getting ready at Richard's home also, next to the church that is on his estate. Renovations have been done on the church in preparation for the wedding. Those renovations are due to be completed by May 8. Busy little shire. :) The article didn't say who the bridesmaids are or what pieces of Jewelry had been designed but it sounds like it will be a lovely wedding, quite the social event of the year. I hope we get to see lots and lots of photos.

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    1. Image the length of THIS checklist,SG. OMG. I'm looking forward to it and hope the weather cooperates.

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    2. I know RF. Will the shire ever be the same? :)

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  52. A huge Thank You to Prince Philip for his years of service, and devotion to The Queen. He certainly has earned his retirement, but he will be missed.

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  53. Jo in Ireland5 May 2017 at 21:11

    I saw that William was the Queen's escort today for her lunch with Aun Song Kyuee (sorry can't remember the spelling.) He was so tall beside her it reminded me of Prince Philip.
    After saying that W & K will never come to my little corner of Ireland, I have heard in our local papers that C & C will be coming to Kilkenny, a half hour's drive away, at the end of the month. Hmmm.

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    1. Jo, I have been in denial about Prince Phillip retiring. I don't want him to retire. I want he and the Queen around forever. Haven't seen William with the Queen yet. I had better emotionally brace up before I look at the photos. ๐Ÿ˜”

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  54. They must have read your comment, Jo. :)
    Are you going to venture forth to see them or no?

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    1. Fyi tomorrow night (Sunday) ABC will have a two hour "Last 100 Days of Diana" show from 9:00-11:00 EST for those interested.

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    2. Jo in Ireland6 May 2017 at 15:17

      Don't know surfer girl. If it were W & K I would be up there bright and early but I have seen C & C before. So probably not.

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    3. I totally understand, Jo. I think, in general,that speaks volumes about Charles and Camilla/William and Kate. You probably had the same reaction as many do.

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    4. Thanks Cherie. (We had better get out the kleenexes.)

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  55. Is Kate giving the peace sign in one of those pictures?
    The 24th (including videos) photo down. She very clearly did that when she and her family were walking to the seating area when William graduated from Sandhurst and she did it again in the photo here. I don't blame her at all.

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  56. And, remember the "peace signs" on the green silk dress she wore when she and the other senior royals hosted the press cocktail reception at the palace.

    I wonder what prompted this recent peace sign. Again, I haven't seen her do that since Sandhurst. Maybe it was just a general fatigue regarding constant media scrutiny, particularly in an environment she's loves and where the press really stood out to her so clearly as not part of that special natural habitat.
    One of the children there mentioned that they thought it was weird having all the cameras there and asked Kate about it. She said she thought it was weird also but that she had gotten used to it. Perhaps she did the peace sign after that just for the children.

    I don't know how she has coped as much as she has, although I think her faith, like the Queen's, has had a lot to do with it. She is one of the most photographed and scrutinized women in the world. For her, giving that peace sign was huge. As I looked again at the photo it brought tears to my eyes. The pressure of her reality regarding the constant scrutiny freshly dawned upon me. Yahweh bless and keep you dear Kate and give you everything you need to successfully fulfill your unique destiny. Stay strong in Him. ❤

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  57. Julia from Leominster6 May 2017 at 15:27

    Touching photos of Harry with a young man with Batten's disease - he is his mother's son, and I believe it comes naturally and is not contrived.

    Sometimes what comes naturally is not so good though - William's expression in the posed photos of Aung Sung Suu Kyi looks surprising grumpy although when he's greeting her, he's smiling. I'm sure he didn't mean it that way - he needs what people call a better resting expression.

    Even with all that's going on, the money in the lawsuit is causing William and Kate damage. (And being one myself, I would never use legal advisers as public relations people.) Kate needs engagements quick - these huge gaps of time are not good - they create a void for all sorts of unfortunate publicity and speculation - in this case on her greed and faulty judgement.

    Hopefully Lupo is still around - the last time I can recall seeing him was when the Cambridges were in Cornwall and he escaped - that wasn't so long ago. William mentioned him as part of the mental health scheme too.

    Hope you get to see C & C Jo, if you want to.

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  58. what kind of law do you practice, Julia? (If you don't mind my asking)

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  59. Was there ever a doubt...first a wedding, now an appearance at a polo match-on the grounds of Windsor Castle, no less. I don't doubt an announcement is imminent and the couple will appear together at the BP children's tea party. I still think it is possible Pippa's wedding will be sooner than the rumored date. Within the week. Meghan reportedly took a week off from work for the wedding. She is in Berkshire today. Two plus two...

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