Well, color me surprised – the Duchess of Cambridge took her two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to watch their father play polo in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire. Their location makes me wonder if they’re spending a night or a couple days with the Prince of Wales, whose country home, Highgrove House, is also in Gloucestershire.
Kate spent quite a bit of her time pre-marriage watching William play polo, and she was a semi-regular as a newlywed and then when George was very small. Since then, these sightings have definitely been on the decline, thus making it somewhat notable that she’s turned up in public with her children twice in the span of as many weeks.
Also interesting is that the family seemed to be accompanied by William’s cousin, Peter Phillips, and his wife and children. Yesterday, the Phillips were front and center thanks to their seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, placing her hand on George’s mouth to quiet him during the RAF flypast at Trooping the Colour.
Peter’s children and Mia Tindall, daughter of his sister, Zara, are often photographed at the sidelines of horse-centric events, and have on occasion also been seen playing with George when he’s tagged along. It’s rarer, however, to see William and Kate interacting with the parents, though William and Peter were closer in their younger days.
Today, however, saw Kate and Autumn Phillips tending to all four of their children. And these photos were all kinds of candid, showing George playing with toys, Charlotte trying her hand at a headstand and both having mini-meltdowns that required specific attention from Kate.
The more I look at them, the more I’m inclined to say these might be the most informal and in-depth photographs of the children we’ve ever been privy to.
That, and I’m pretty sure some of these images will be used in each and every future biography of Charlotte:
Can’t wait to see what Gary Janetti does with these on Instagram 😉
Kate is wearing a dress by Zara (as she was when photographed in Norfolk two weeks ago). Zara has consistently made up Kate’s private summer wardrobe for years now, and it’s nice to see that she still turns to the high street mainstay in her downtime.
Also classic Kate is her running about in wedge heels, only now it’s her kids instead of Lupo – quite literally, she’s actually chasing after Charlotte here after the three-year-old managed to make an escape.
We’ll next see the Cambridges together at Prince Louis’s christening, but it’s unclear when that will be. William will be in the Middle East from June 24 to June 28, and the first week of July is Holyrood Week, which will take the Queen to Scotland. My guess is that they’ll either try to stick it in the weekend in-between those trips, or we’re looking at July before the Queen is settled at Balmoral.
One more thought before I sign off here is that these outings may be slightly pre-meditated. Kate obviously knows that she and the kids will be photographed at these events, but they do go a long way in making the public feel like the family isn’t holed up behind palace walls. The last time Kate was on maternity leave the public mood began to turn sour, in part because of the dearth of information, but also because Kensington Palace began cracking down on the children’s privacy. With Kate unlikely to fully return to a heavy work schedule until September, these semi-regular outings are a way of garnering goodwill in a controlled environment and without making the children uncomfortable.
If that’s the strategy, it shows a decent learning curve and is very well done.