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When Did Kate Middleton Get Security?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On Saturday night, Meghan Markle attended the Opening Ceremony of Prince Harry's Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, (and she was at tennis yesterday with Harry!). Royal correspondents reported that it appeared the Hollywood star had been given a PPO. Rebecca English pointed out that one of Harry's Scotland Yard detail stood in the stairwell by Meghan's seat and accompanied her out of the VIP section when she was ready to leave. This has sparked a lot of questions about whether Meghan and Harry are already secretly engaged, because traditionally, you don't get a PPO until the ring is on the finger. It also has raised questions about when Kate got her PPO, so let's look back quickly to find out. 

Many speculate Harry and Meghan are already secretly engaged, but Kate Middleton had a secret engagement of her own. The princess-to-be was on holiday with William in Kenya in October of 2010 when the Prince, who had been carrying the ring around the entire trip in his rucksack, popped the question. Although the death of Kate's grandfather prevented the couple from announcing their engagement as soon as they had initially planned, the couple did wait until November 16, 2010, to announce their very exciting news to the world.

On that chilly November day, Kate Middleton woke up the royal-girlfriend, but as soon as the news was released, her life changed in many ways. One dramatic shift was her security situation; she was immediately assigned her own security detail. Although Kate was pictured in December, her first big debut sans William came on January 8, 2011, when she attended the wedding of friends Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Sarah Louise Stourton in North Yorkshire. The glowing bride-to-be arrived in a chauffeured Range Rover and trailed by watchful PPOs. 

Prince Harry was also at this wedding, but this was Kate's own security team, and it was our first real taste of the future in which Kate would be afforded full royal privileges. 

Kate did a lot of last minute shopping before the wedding and honeymoon, and we got to see a little more of her new lifestyle. Below is one such sighting. Kate had been shopping at Whistles on Kings Road and was snapped making her way to a waiting Range Rover with her PPO next to her and several more were by the car. 

I have looked around for old news articles on this, but didn't find any. But, I can tell you from recollection that there was talk that William wanted to give Kate security when they were dating, particularly after she was photographed on her 25th birthday.

Of course, that would have created quite the stir, and to my knowledge, Kate never got tax-paid protection. I did hear that her parents had the London apartment they owned, and which Kate and Pippa shared, given a complete security upgrade, and there was talk of privately financing security for Kate, but if they did hire private protection, it wasn't visible.

So where does this leave us with Meghan Markle? Kate was never given tax-paid security before she not only got engaged, but before that engagement was announced to the public. If Meghan had a security officer assigned to her for the night, it would not be indicative of her status. As Harry's very high-profile girlfriend, it was be entirely reasonable to appoint a security officer for her on the night of such a big event when she was expected to turn up and support Harry. I don't think it confirms anything to have had security on that occasion. 

Meghan Markle and Harry Hold Hands at Tennis

Monday, September 25, 2017

Well, we thought we'd see these two together, and here they are! Prince Harry and his beautiful girlfriend Meghan Markle were hand-in-hand today to watch the wheelchair tennis competition at the Invictus Games:

Meghan is looking chic and relaxed in skinny jeans, a crisp white blouse and matching leather flats and bag. According to What Meghan Wore, the bag is from Everlane. 

They look so comfy and in love and proud of each other. These two are rooting for tennis, and we are rooting for them. :)

Meghan Markle Supports Harry at Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

Saturday, September 23, 2017

We've been waiting all day to see if Meghan Markle would attend the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games tonight. California-girl Meghan has been living in Toronto for years now, since she has been filming her popular television series Suits. Given how serious Harry and Meghan are, it was hard to imagine that she would not show up to support her boyfriend's successful initiative. And we were not disappointed. 

Meghan was close to where Harry was seated with the dignitaries. This picture from Patricia Treble shows the Prince's section illuminated:

Patricia Treble
Prince Harry was seated next to the First Lady Melania Trump, whom he met earlier in the day at a photo-call. Melania is wearing a houndstooth suit from French giant Dior. 

Of course, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie are also present as their nation proudly hosts the Games. 

We can't see Meghan's whole outfit, but she is wearing an aubergine dress with a deep v-neck and a leather jacket in a matching hue. When she stood to clap (below) more of the dress was visible, as well as a velvet clutch. I am sure most of these pieces will be ID'd. [Update: readers on Facebook have told me that Meghan is sitting with Markus Anderson, the mutual friend who set her up with Harry.]

This shot gives a better look at her dress and the velvet clutch she was carrying. The big news of the night was that one of Harry's PPOs was looking after Meghan throughout the night. Rebecca English reported that a Scotland Yard PPO stood in the stairwell by Meghan's seat, and she was escorted out by them when she left. Because the royals' PPOs are taxpayer funded, this is generally a perk you only get once you are engaged. 

NB: Absolutely no exception will be made for any comment that introduces political commentary onto this post. They will be deleted. This blog brings together women across the political spectrum, and out of respect for each and every single one of you, there will be zero tolerance for posts that express negative political vibes. This is not the proper venue.  I ask you respect that non-partisan spirit that has enabled us to thrive as a community. 

Could Kate Be Returning October 10th?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Based on previous patterns, I have been projecting that Kate will return to the spotlight in late October, but it turns out she might be back in action a little earlier than I had thought!

A gentleman on Twitter today shared the invitation he has received to a reception at Buckingham Palace on October 10th. The invitation lists Kate as a royal attendee along with Prince Harry and Prince William. 


When pregnant with Princess Charlotte, Kate didn't return until late October, and she appeared to still be a little delicate. You probably recall that after the welcoming ceremony and procession down the Mall, she skipped the luncheon in honor of the President of Singapore, although she did need to get ready for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards held later that night. 

Because this October 10th event is on the earlier side, if Kate does go, I think we will see a slower return to engagements, similar to the way she eased back after her HG with George, but I do think we could see her on the 10th! Fingers crossed she is feeling much better, even if not 100%, and that she comes on out!

New Video Features Princess Kate on Behalf of Anna Freud Centre

Monday, September 18, 2017

There are two things I always want on my birthday, and one of them is an appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge. That almost never happens, although it did in 2015! This year I completely discounted any possibility, for obvious reasons, but birthdays are full of surprises! 

The Anna Freud Centre, of which Kate is patron, released a new video promoting wellbeing and mental health, and the introduction features Kate! It is short and sweet, as is pretty par for the course with Kate, but she presents so well.

I am racking my brain, but I don't think Kate has ever done a video with a debut ensemble. Following that pattern, this is a recycle from one of my favorite boutique labels, Eponine London. Kate debuted this cobalt blue coat-dress on January 11th of this year. It was her first ensemble of 2017 and may or may not be making the "Best of" 2017 list come December. ;) 

That event got extra points for also featuring Prince William and the darling dynamic between our favorite two royals. We should caption this "Baby by the End of the Year of Bust." 

In the video released today, it looks like Kate is also wearing her sapphire and diamond drops. Kate pairs these with blue ensembles with regularity (pictured below in Luton wearing the L.K. Bennett Lasa dress), and they are some of my favorite. Plus, sapphire is the September birthstone, so it's appropriate for a September 18th my mind. :)

Every year on my birthday I am so filled wth gratitude for all the good in my life and for the people who fill it with love and happiness - my family and my friends. The community of readers here on the blog certainly qualify in my mind as virtual friends, even if we have never met!  You all have been such a blessing to me over the years I have been blogging about Kate. It's so fun to create this space, and that is almost entirely because so many of you care enough to drop by. Thank you for being part of a 28th year that was overflowing with blessings. With a third baby Cambridge on the way, I know this next year will be a wonderful royal year--and the perfect final year of my twenties. :)



Kicking Off Three Pregnancies: Kate's Final Engagements Before She Announces

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Almost two weeks ago I got a message from a reader telling me she had heard that Kate had paid a visit to hospital and that the Duchess might be expecting again. Indeed, Woman's Day, a very popular magazine out of Australia (that publishes many of the pictures of G&C) had reported that Kate checked into the Edward VII hospital for a one night visit, and that Carole had watched the kids while Kate was gone. There was not a hint of this in the British media, or anywhere else for that matter, but the rumor hung on the margins of the royal-watching community until Wednesday when Kate stepped out at Kensington Palace with her husband and brother-in-law.

The smiling and slim Duchess was glowing on August 30th, and nothing about her fitted crepe-silk Prada dress suggested the Woman's Day rumor was true.

As we all know now (I certainly hope), on Monday morning royal reporters began asking questions when they learned Kate's engagement at Hornsey Road Children's Centre was canceled. Shortly thereafter, Kensington Palace broke the news with a press release announcing the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her third child...and once again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. For me, the final and penultimate engagements Kate undertakes just before she announces really stick in my head. Her Wednesday appearance in the White Garden at Kensington Palace will now forever be linked to the happy news of this third little Cambridge. On this crisp September Saturday, let's review her past two announcements.


The world had been on baby watch for Kate's first since, I don't know, April 30, 2011? But in November of 2012 we were a good year and half after the wedding and had settled into a pattern of false magazine headlines and no royal baby.  In late November, Kate undertook a string of public engagements, concluding with the two that stand in my mind as the "George-Announcmeent" events. The first was her visit to Cambridge on the 28th. Dressed in a pale pink MaxMara coat, Kate looked lit from within despite the wind that seemed to blow from every direction. 

Unbeknownst to us, or even to her, the Duchess's next engagement would be her last before she broke the news to the world that there would be a little Cambridge. Kate paid a visit to Saint Andrews Pangbourne where she once was a pupil and reminisced about her childhood. Dressed in her Black Watch tartan coat, the Duchess dashed around the field--hockey stick in hand--aboslutely glowing with life and energy.

That weekend, William and Kate drove to Bucklebury to spend time with the Middletons. It is likely they were celebrating their secret, but the celebrations were cut short. Kate became very ill and when she didn't recover, William drove her back to London, to Edward VII, where she was hospitalized for severe dehydration and ultimately diagnosed with hypermesis gravidarum.

As I've mentioned in a few of the posts this week, Kate still fulfilled her commitment to appear at the Sports Personality of the Year awards, and we saw her at church in Bucklebury on Christmas morning. She also made a public appearance in January to view her first official portrait on the day it was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery. With Charlotte, however, Kate kept to her bed, or at least out of the limelight.


2014 was a big, big year. The Cambridges undertook their longest tour to-date, traveling to New Zealand and Australia for a total of three-weeks on the road. It was also the Cambridges debut as a family, since they brought along Baby George. After they returned, Kate took her little man to a polo game in June and I think the public was still adjusting to the new order with little thought to baby #2.

On August 5th, William, Harry, and Kate visited the Tower of London to view the poppy installation honoring the fallen of WWI. Kate was striking in her bright blue L.K. Bennett against the scarlet sea of flowers. It was their last engagement before the royals retired to their summer vacation, and we didn't expect to see Kate much in August.

The summer went by with reports that Kate was enjoying her time with George. Playdates and walks in the park filtered through, and of course the family was transitioning to Norfolk at the time, and Kate was busy working on that project.

At the very end of August, the Duke and Duchess were spotted on a quiet date-night at the Kings Head Hotel in Great Bircham near Sandringham. Dressed casually, they enjoyed a meal together and appeared more loved-up than ever. They probably knew the hg would likely strike soon and were enjoying whatever time they had left before all the world was informed of their happy news.

With September comes the return of the royals and excitement was high to see Kate with William in Oxford on Monday, September 8th, to open a centre on China studies, followed by two more engagements that week alone. But when the morning came, the Palace announced the Princess would miss the visit because she was pregnant with her second child.

I am so glad that Kate decided to have a third. The years to work as an ambassador for charity stretch out indefinitely in front of her, but these years when she can have children and immerse herself in motherhood are relatively short.  All the accounts of hg I have read sound harrowing, but it is clear that the joy Kate has in her children overcomes and far out-compensates the misery she is currently enduring.  I hope she feels better soon!

[Update] Kate Absent for Prince George's 1st Day of School

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This is without a doubt, one of the most disappointing days of royal-watching to-date. Prince George arrived for his first day of school at Thomas' Battersea this morning with his daddy, but Kate was absent. Yesterday royal reporter Rebecca English said her sources were whispering that Kate would be much too sick to venture out, and it appears they were correct.

William was at a function earlier this week where he said that these early days are always very anxious and that there "wasn't much sleep happening" at Kensington Palace.  Kate is battling hyperemesis gravidarum which can leave women sick round the clock and has required Kate be placed on an IV drip in past pregnancies to keep hydrated and nourished.

Meghan Markle Suggests She Will Marry Harry in Vanity Fair Cover Story

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Yesterday we got the exciting news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third. Today, it sounds like the royal family will be expanding even more in the not so distant future. Meghan Markle is headline news this morning as the American beauty is revealed to Vanity Fair's October cover girl. The magazines presents a spread of glamorous shots of the royal girlfriend, but it is the interview she gave that has tongues wagging...and royal fans' hearts hoping that an announcement is imminent.

The piece is relatively lengthy, and you can read it in full here. (Meghan wore an Erdem dress for her meet with the journalist, and said she'd been wearing the label for years. Something she can bond with Kate over. :)) Meghan confirmed that she met Prince Harry in London in 2016 when they introduced by friends, and addressed the trolls and naysayers who have critizsed her relationship:

What To Expect Now Kate is Expecting: FAQs

Monday, September 4, 2017

This morning we got the thrilling news that the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton to the majority of the fan world) is expecting her third child. After the first burst of excitement, this news is raising a lot of different questions about the next few months. Below, I have tried to answer the questions that come up all the time when Kate announces she is going to have a baby! 

How Far Along Is Kate?  According to Rebecca English, she was told the Duchess is less than 12 weeks along, and that she only announced because she was not well enough to attend today's engagement. Kate fell ill with Prince George in the first few days of December and was hospitalized on the 4th of that month. The little prince was born on July 22nd. Kate announced her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte on September 8th and Charlotte was born on May 2nd. You can assume an April/May baby!

Duchess Kate Is Expecting Her Third Baby

William and Kate have been keeping a special surprise! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced this morning that Her Royal Highness is pregnant with the couple's third child! Baby Cambridge #3 is coming! [See second post today, What to Expect Now Kate is Expecting: FAQs here.]

The press release announced that Kate is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum as she has with her previous pregnancies and is currently being cared for at Kensington Palace. With George, the hg was unexpected, as it would be, and the Duchess was hospitalized, but with Charlotte, Kate knew what was coming and her doctors were able to care for her at Kensington Palace and in Bucklebury.

Kate's Casual Ensemble for Scilly Isles Marked Turning Point

Saturday, September 2, 2017

It is a rainy Saturday morning where I am, and a year ago today it was a rainy morning in Cornwall, too, where the elements were conspiring to stop William and Kate from traveling to the Scilly Isles on the second day of their two-day visit to Cornwall. Happily, after the couple postponed their morning events, the weather lifted and the royals were able to make the trip and the majority of their planned stops.

This public engagement stands out because it marked a turning point in Kate's casual wear. She wore these patterned ankle-trousers from Gap, and paired them with a fitted top from H&M and her favorite Smythe blazer. Throughout the day she switched between her wedges and flats depending on the terrain:

William, Harry, and Kate Remember Princess Diana at Kensington Palace

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Twenty years ago today Diana was staying at the Ritz in the Place Vendôme. She dined with Dodi al-Fayed and was scheduled to fly back to London the the next morning. Shortly after the bells struck midnight, however, she was in a chauffeured Mercedes racing along the dark Seine. Diana was just across from the Eiffel Tower, which had been sparkling a mere twenty-three minutes before, as it does every night at midnight, when her driver lost control and slammed into a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel. Because Diana survived the crash and did not expire until 4am, both days are caught up in the horror and tragedy of her death. It is interesting that William and Harry chose today, the last full day she lived, the day that set in motion a continuum that ended in her death, and the last day they went to bed with their world intact, as the day they paid public tribute to her memory. 

Duchess Kate at Crathie Kirk During Scottish Holiday

Sunday, August 20, 2017

We were just talking about Kate's hats on Wednesday (Hats Off to Jane Corbett) and several commenters mentioned they hoped Kate would trend toward larger hats. Those of you who agreed will be pleased to see that the Duchess of Cambridge has recycled her Tiffany hat on her way to a Sunday service this morning at Crathie Kirk, Balmoral.

Hats Off To Jane Corbett & Her Designs for Kate

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Yesterday morning I was surprised and saddened to see one of my favorite milliners announce she is hanging up her hat after 21 years in the business. Kate has a number of milliners to whom she turns for her many beautiful toppers, but Jane Corbett has always been one of my absolute favorites. The Princess has been wearing her hats since before her marriage, and as we say goodbye to Jane Corbett, let's look back at Kate's best hats from this remarkably talented artist.

We all know the pressure we feel dressing to meet the family for the first time, and I can only imagine how Kate felt as, in 2008, she chose her ensemble for Peter and Autumn's wedding. Although Kate had been dating William for some years, it was at that wedding that the royal girlfriend was finally introduced to Her Majesty. Kate picked a tasteful, dark hat from Jane Corbett featuring a birdcage veil. The style is a little unusual for Kate, but was the perfect blend of glamor and demure for a pretty red letter day for Kate Middleton.  

In August of 2009, Kate wore one of her most famous ensembles to the wedding of Nicholas van Cutsem. I think most everyone knows the Troughton coat, but it isn't as widely known that the hat was a Jane Corbett piece. You can see the foreshadowing of several of Kate's subsequent hats in this design.

Shortly after her marriage, the Duchess attended a service at St. Georges Chapel, Windsor, to celebrate Prince Philip's 90th birthday. She recycled her Zara pleated dress and the gorgeous Jane  Troughton paisley coat, and added a new percher from Corbett. This is not my favorite Jane Corbett hat. She created a number of hats in this general style (we will be seeing them shortly) and I feel the flat and simple style sell her creativity short.  Nevertheless, it was fun to see Kate turn to Jane Corbett to find a second hat for this coat. 

In September of 2011, Kate attended the wedding of friends wearing a red ensemble and a red hat by Jane Corbett that looked like it was a variation on the topper she wore to Peter and Autumn's big day. She ditched the birdcage on this one, which was a good choice given how busy the lace dress was, but the structure is still the same. 

Two months later, Kate debuted three absolute smash hits. In my opinion, these three hats are among her absolute best and they eptomize Jane Corbett's incredible eye for detail and her ability to create fresh and bold designs. The first of this smash hit trio made its debut on Remembrance Sunday in 2011.  This dressed up trilby was unexpected and a smash hit. 

The next month, Kate joined the Royal Family at Sandringham for her first public walk to St. Mary Magdalene on Christmas morning. I am sure that the excitement of seeing Kate on her first Christmas morning as a royal contributed to the memorability of the hat, but this aubergine topper (in a similar vein to the Remembrance Sunday hat) was another unusual piece and an almost equally huge success.

Like the Remembrance Sunday hat, it had a panache and a vintage quality that we have since observed Kate develop quite a bit throughout the rest of her fashion. To me, both these hats have an 18th century vibe, almost like a toned down version of some of the hats that the Duchess of Devonshire wears in the Keira Knightley historical drama "The Duchess." 

The third and final hat in this iconic trio debuted the next summer, May of 2012. Kate ricocheted from the embellished trilby to a classically feminine style, that nevertheless incorporated unusual and striking style elements. It was the lacey pink piece Kate wore to her first summer garden party at Buckingham Palace.

I loved every element from the barely-there pink to the unusual structure and busy lace overlay--this was a hat fit for a princess, and a design that showcased Jane Corbett's beautiful scope of talent. 

Kate's next three Jane Corbett's worked off of that flatter design first worn at Philip's birthday service. Kate wore an ice-blue disc percher with looping embellishments to Trooping in 2012. This hat really balanced the disc style well by adding the bows both to the top that tilted down Kate's forehead, but also an the back. It was well balanced and flattering on Kate.

Jane Corbett actually created two hats for this beautiful embroidered Erdem dress. Kate wore the first (above) to Trooping, but she wore a second hat, also by Corbett, to a September wedding the same year. 


Jane Corbett shared a picture of both the hats "under construction" sitting by a sample of the fabric.

At the time, she shared that the hat Kate wore to the wedding is one of her favorites! She wrote on her blog: 
So lovely to see HRH The Duchess of Cambridge wearing on of my creations at a wedding on Saturday. A soft grey straw trimmed with organdie that I embroidered to match the embroidery on the dress……I so enjoyed creating this piece, one of my favourite hats!
Kate must have liked the Trooping hat quite a bit, because she followed it up with an almost identical creation at her 2013 garden party appearance while pregnant with George. 

Although these hats are almost the same, I didn't love it the way I loved the icy blue at Trooping in 2012. I think these heavily angled hats are very sensitive. You really have to get the tilt just right, and I am not sure she did on this outing. 

Kate's final Jane Corbett hat debuted in 2014. It was a bespoke piece that blended the disc hats and her wildly popular pink lace hat. Life just isn't always fair, and although the marriage of these two designs should have resulted in something wonderful, it left me feeling a little flat. 

I never thought this would be the last Jane Corbett Kate debuted, and for myself, I don't feel it did her justice, but I guess those are the breaks. It wasn't a terrible hat, but Jane Corbett's talents should never have been spent on these very simple disc hats. I guess no one asked me. ;)

I do not flatter or overstate how exceptional those earlier three hats were and remain in Kate's closet. Although she currently favors the straight-forward Jane Taylor percher (no detriment to this style, or JT, it's beautiful and flattering)...

Jane Taylor fashion heart does beat a little faster when she switches it up, whether it is with a John Boyd picture hat (a milliner I consider Jane Corbett's style counterpart)...

John Boyd

...or a Philip Treacy (that was a big and welcome surprise!) angled disc hat...

...or a Jane Taylor piece that steps out of the usual mold:

Jane Corbett was genius at breaking the mold. Hats shouldn't be crazy, but they should make enough of a statement to warrant their presence. In that department, Jane Corbett at her best just couldn't be beat. When I think of the many happy years royal watching and blogging about Kate, Jane Corbett stands out as one of the designers that made those early times so special. I will truly miss her one of kind influence on Kate's closet. I know so many of my readers join me in wishing Ms. Corbett the very best as she ends such a hugely successful run. From one Jane to another, God bless you on your way.