Friday, 20 April 2018

Baby Cambridge Due Any Day Now, All the Latest News & Merci Maman Royal Baby Necklace!

Hello, hello!

It is a glorious week in London: the sun is shining, leaders from all over the Commonwealth have assembled for a historic week and, of course, Baby Cambridge is due to arrive any day now. Several of you have been in touch asking if there's any official word on Kate's due date. There isn't, however royal reporter Emily Andrews has been reliably informed Kate's due on Monday, 23rd April. I believe Emily has very solid information on this; she's had a number of spot-on scoops. The couple returned to London at the beginning of the week as George returned to Thomas's Battersea,  Emily reported Kate was spotted on the school run during the week. Below, Chris Ship posted a photo of Buckingham Palace in the sunshine this week...


Hello! reports 'How Prince William and Kate are spending what could be their last weekend as a family of four':

'Duchess Kate, 36, who is expecting to give birth any day now, will certainly be warm this weekend with the glorious April weather hitting an all-time high in London.
In fact, it's believed that the Cambridges may even head out of the humid capital and escape to Bucklebury, Berkshire, to spend time with Kate's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. The pregnant royal enjoyed some quality time with her folks there during the Easter period and takes the opportunity to spend time in the country whenever she can. While she would be further from the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, should she feel the early signs of labour while at her family home in Berkshire, it wouldn't take much more than an hour to drive the 50 miles to the hospital from there.
Of course Kate might choose to be nearer the hospital just in case - her maternity unit is only a quick 10 minute dash from their home in Kensington Palace, and if she did it would mean she and husband Prince William were closer to the Queen's birthday celebrations on Saturday evening. The monarch, who turns 92 this year, will be enjoying an exciting concert at London's Royal Albert Hall which will be broadcast live on BBC1.'

As the Great Kate Wait continues, royal fans have set up camp outside the Lindo Wing.


Many of you will recognise Terry Hutt who has been a constant presence at royal events since he first saw the Queen when he was four years old.


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As part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Her Majesty talked to Sir David Attenborough about her ambitious legacy project, the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, which aims to create a global network of protected forests in each of the 53 Commonwealth countries. The Queen's Green Planet was a fantastic piece of television; it was a delight to see Her Majesty looking at trees she planted for each of her children and hearing about her love of nature. It's available on YouTube at the moment. Click here to view it.


William and Kate's 2016 Canada tour features in the documentary (10 minutes in). In previously unseen footage of the Cambridges' visit to Great Bear Rainforest, the couple are seen catching salmon. One wonders how many videos and photos are recorded for official purposes during tours and never seen.


Meanwhile, Prince William has been undertaking a number of CHOGM duties in London. Below, William and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson meeting leaders of African Commonwealth countries to discuss proposals to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade.


At the State dinner at Buckingham Palace last night, Prince William joined a host of world leaders. As the event is held in various Commonwealth countries biannually, it is very much thought it will be the last time the Queen attends. Today, it was confirmed Prince Charles will succeed his mother as Head of the Commonwealth, and it is thought Her Majesty will reduce her duties in the area from here on in. I thought this was a terrific photo of William from last night. I'm sure he's anxiously awaiting the arrival!


The Queen looked resplendent in the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, and the Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace. It was last publicly worn by Kate at the Spanish State banquet last year.


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To celebrate the new addition to the Royal family, Merci Maman have launched a new limited-edition collection, inspired by the brand's Duchess Necklace, which was worn by Kate.


Kate was spotted wearing her Duchess Necklace during a shopping trip in London in October 2013. Founder BĂ©atrice de Montille was thrilled when she discovered Kate wore one of her pieces and told Hello!: "I was so delighted to see Kate wearing it. I see her as the most inspirational woman of our generation."


More on the new pieces from the brand: featuring two brand-new necklaces and two best-selling designs, Merci Maman’s collection has push presents all wrapped up. Starting from $89, treasure this memorable moment with uniquely personalised designs to create a combination as special as your family!


The Personalised My Royal Baby Necklace is hand-engraved with ‘My Royal Baby’ on the front and illustrated with a crown and personalised name on the reverse, add a birthstone and make this new design fit for royalty.


A look at the birthstones available for the necklace.


It was fun to see the name Alice engraved on the Personalised My Little Prince/Princess Necklace. It was the second most popular girls name in our 'Royal Baby Name Poll' and seems to be incredibly popular among media outlets. The $89 necklace is described: "Choose a front engraving to suit your baby boy or girl and personalise the reverse with a hand-engraved name and date of birth! Available in 18k gold-plated and sterling silver to perfectly match your collection of crown jewels!"


The New Baby Necklace is the perfect gift to mark the arrival of a new addition to your family. It features the birthstone of your choice, the newborn's name and a girl or boy charm. With Mother's Day coming up in the US, it's a beautiful option.


More from Merci Maman:

'Celebrating their 10th anniversary last year, Merci Maman have love and family at their core, so what better way to cherish your loved ones than with personalized jewelry inspired by the bond of Motherhood, that’s fit for a Princess!
Every order is presented in their signature orange gift box, hand-engraved with care in their studio, handpacked with love and delivered to your doorstep. From Buckingham Palace to The White House, Merci Maman is topping the wishlist of leading-ladies such as Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, and political royalty, Chelsea Clinton who were recently spotted wearing bestselling designs from the brand.'

 The brand has also launched a special Tying the Knot necklace ahead of a certain royal wedding. :)


The next time I see you, it will very possibly be with a post announcing Kate is in labour. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Kate's Maternity Wardrobe Milestones!

Before Easter, we looked through Kate's maternity repeats during her third pregnancy. Today, we're discussing Kate's maternity wardrobe during her three pregnancies, chatting about looks she chose for various milestones and events at similar stages, and taking a look at engagements through the years.


The 'Before the Announcement' Appearance

With each of Kate's pregnancies, we tend to remember her last appearance before the big announcement was made. On St Andrews Day's in 2012, the Duchess visited her old preparatory school in Pangbourne, Berkshire where she participated in a game of hockey. Wearing a tartan McQueen coat dress and Aquatalia boots, Kate cut a stylish figure. Fast forward to August 2014 when Kate joined William and Harry at the Tower of London for the official unveiling of 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', an installation of poppies in the Tower's moat. Kate chose her striking blue L.K. Bennett Detroit dress for the outing. Last August, William, Kate and Harry returned from summer break to pay tribute to Diana ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death. A smiling Kate chose a poppy print Prada number with smocking at the waist.


The First 'Post-Announcement' Appearances

Sadly the joy of each pregnancy announcement has been accompanied with Hyperemesis gravidarum for Kate. We first discovered the Duchess was suffering from the illness when it was announced she was expecting her first baby and she had to spend four days at King Edward VII Hospital. Kate looked incredibly frail as she left, wearing a DVF coat and a purple scarf. When Kate was expecting Charlotte she spent much of the first two months following the announcement in Bucklebury quite unwell. She carried out her first duty in late October 2014 to welcome President Tony Tan Keng Yam of Singapore and his wife Mary Chee Bee Kiang at the start of a four-day state visit to Britain. Kate wore a bespoke McQueen coatdress and a Jane Taylor hat. For her third pregnancy, Kate returned to engagements for a World Mental Health Day reception. She chose the pretty blue Temperley London Eclipse dress.


Christmas Day Appearances

William and Kate elected to spend Christmas 2012 with the Middletons in Bucklebury. Kate still looked quite under the weather as she was photographed departing church. She wore her Hobbs Celeste coat with red accessories. In 2014, The Cambridges celebrated Christmas at Anmer Hall with the Middletons and the group made the walk to St Mary Magdalene Church with the royals, ensuring time was spent with both families. Kate chose British labels for the day: a Moloh coat and a scarf by Really Wild. Dressed in an appropriately festive Miu Miu coat, Kate was in great spirits as she made the walk to church with the Royal family in 2017.


St Patrick's Day

The St Patrick's Day appearance is undoubtedly a readers favourite; Kate attended in each year she's been expecting. In 2013, the Duchess opted for Emilia Wickstead; in 2015 she surprised us in a chestnut brown Catherine Walker design; and it was Walker again this year.


Royal Family Events with the Queen

A radiant Kate joined the rest of the Royal family for the Queen's Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey in a bespoke Jenny Packham outfit. The Duchess was very much blooming at the service and enjoyed a chat with Zara Tindall afterwards. We also saw Kate in pink McQueen for the 2015 Commonwealth Observance, and in navy Beulah London for Commonwealth Day in 2018. Her Majesty and a number of BRF members were out in force for all three events.


A Touch of Blue

Blue is undeniably one of Kate's favourite colours and a tried and trusted go-to for the evening events. When Kate was expecting George she sported an Emilia Wickstead dress for a reception at the National Portrait Gallery. The empire line piece very much had a 1960s feel to it; it remains one of Wickstead's most-loved creations. When Kate was expecting Charlotte, she opted for a fabulous Packham gown with a split. She teamed the gown with a pair of pink L.K. Bennett Agata sandals. And for the Royal Variety Performance last year, it was a sparkling blue 'Elsa' Jenny Packham design.


Casual Kate

When thinking of 'Casual Kate' appearances over the years, I instantly thought of the day she volunteered with the Scouts in the snow at Great Tower Scout Camp. Kate wrapped up in a Barbour jacket and her trusty La Chameau wellies. In 2014, Kate, appropriately attired in a Scouts jacket, scarf and woggle, enjoyed a pre-Christmas engagement with a group of Beavers. And in January of this year the Duchess was back in the snow during the Scandinavian tour. Kate's first casual look of the tour was a real winner for me; she wore a black Burberry trench, Sorel Boots and a beanie.


Kate's Working Wardrobe

During Kate's first pregnancy, we very much saw her sticking to her personal style with a selection of high street pieces from Topshop and Hobbs. It was really only when expecting Charlotte we saw a larger number of pieces coming from maternity brands such as SĂ©raphine and Madderson London. This time around, we've seen a marked increase in bespoke pieces from designers such as Catherine Walker and Dolce & Gabbana, in addition to a significant number of repeats. There are several reasons for this: William and Kate are carrying out many more engagements now than they were in 2013 and for the Scandinavian tour Kate opted to order several coats from Walker. We tend to see the Duchess in fewer high street brands than when she first married. The hemlines are also longer with Kate favouring midi length dresses quite a bit recently. I suppose one could say we've seen the evolution of Kate Middleton's wardrobe to the Duchess of Cambridge's in the past five years or so. The graphic below offers six looks from each of Kate's pregnancies.


The Final Appearance Before Maternity Leave

Before Kate's maternity leave in 2013, we saw William and Kate at Trooping the Colour. Kate looked elegant in a pink coat with a heavy collar, three-quarter length sleeve and pearl buttons (you may recall the appearance prompted rumours Kate was expecting a girl). A day of engagements in South London in March marked Kate's final public appearances before Charlotte's arrival. The Duchess wore her much-loved cerise Mulberry coat. And Kate's last royal appearance this time was Easter Sunday service with the Royal family, when she brought back her brown Catherine Walker coat for the day.


It was fun to look back on Kate's maternity wardrobe milestones throughout the years. It's hard to believe George will soon be 5, and Charlotte almost 3!

With George back at Thomas's tomorrow, and a very busy week ahead for William with CHOGM events, and of course a very important impending arrival - the Cambridges are now back at KP where they will remain until the baby arrives. The Mail on Sunday reports Kate was out with her brother James in Hungerford, near Anmer Hall shopping for his new country home. I imagine the sighting may be from before Easter when the Cambridges were staying with the Middletons. Hungerford is about a twenty minute drive from the Middleton home.

Kate's Favourites