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  #581  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Princess of Durham View Post
I was really hoping that we would get a peek of William and Catherine at Ascot. I guess it has been decided to "ration" them out so they are not over exposed, but still it would have been fun.
Perhaps if Catherine is allergic to horses, her attendance may be less frequent than other senior royals.
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  #582  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:11 AM
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Spletnik -Ascot 2011 - Day 5
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  #583  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Elly C View Post
Perhaps if Catherine is allergic to horses, her attendance may be less frequent than other senior royals.
What do you mean allergic?? A real allergy or you mean that she does not like them???

Very interesting because Princess Diana either didn't like horses!
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  #584  
Old 06-20-2011, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fandesacs2003

What do you mean allergic?? A real allergy or you mean that she does not like them???

Very interesting because Princess Diana either didn't like horses!
A real allergy. Diana wasn't a Princess. Another illogical comparison.
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  #585  
Old 06-20-2011, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
A real allergy. Diana wasn't a Princess. Another illogical comparison.
Thanks, but what do you mean? She was not a Princess by blood, but she has been the Princess of Wales!
And why it is illogical? This is not very commun for a British lady well educated to hate horses! (For Kate I'm not talking about allergy, I thought she hated also)
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  #586  
Old 06-20-2011, 11:10 AM
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The story about the allergy has never been confirmed. According to a journalist, Kathy Lette or something, Catherine said to her she was allergic, but she may have been joking.

If true I can see the irony specially someone in her position. It made me wonder if any royal ladies is allergic to flowers, that would be just as unfortunate
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  #587  
Old 06-20-2011, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mia_mae View Post

If true I can see the irony specially someone in her position. It made me wonder if any royal ladies is allergic to flowers, that would be just as unfortunate
That WOULD be unfornutate. On that note, I often wonder what on EARTH the women do with all the bouquets and flower baskets they receive at engagements. Their houses must be never short of flowers.

If Catherine is allergic to horses that is also unfortunate, though she could bond with the Queen in other areas, haha.
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  #588  
Old 06-20-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fandesacs2003

Thanks, but what do you mean? She was not a Princess by blood, but she has been the Princess of Wales!
And why it is illogical? This is not very commun for a British lady well educated to hate horses! (For Kate I'm not talking about allergy, I thought she hated also)
You cannot call her Princess Diana as she was not a Princess by blood.
People constantly find links between Diana and Catherine just because they can.
You're making a seriously OTT comment there about educated ladies liking horses.
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  #589  
Old 06-20-2011, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Molly2101 View Post
That WOULD be unfornutate. On that note, I often wonder what on EARTH the women do with all the bouquets and flower baskets they receive at engagements. Their houses must be never short of flowers.
Please can I provide a little bit of background information about the flowers? I have helped with Royal visits and know that the majority of flowers are actually delivered to nearby hospitals etc after the visit. Most flowers are of course handed to the Royal at the informal 'walkabouts' that usually follow the scheduled engagement, be it an offical opening, visit or lunch or other charity event etc; during the 'walkabout', the Royal collects the flowers and then hands them to her lady-in-waiting who puts them in the cars [usually support vehicles] although one or two might be retained for the Royal and any bouquet presented to the Royal at the pre-walkabout event [e.g. the unveling of a plaque, the visit to the school etc] is usually retained by the Royal and not passed on to the hospital - I think because it is 'too identifiable', whereas bouquets presented at walkabouts are 'less specific'.

Accompanying Private Secretaries, Equerries, royal detectives, the Lord Lieutenant of the County etc may also be 'pressed into service' with flower-collecting duties if there are masses of bouquets and the lady in waiting is getting overwhelmed [by the way, watch tv films of royal visits carefully and you might notice that not everyone on a walkabout gets to hand over bouquets].

The late Princess of Wales early on in her royal career developed a very charming way of dealing with the deluge of flowers - if handed a bunch, I watched how she was very clever in quickly splitting them up and then, as she moved along the line, inserting single flowers into people's button holes. She also tried to gather every bunch that people tried to present to her so as not to disappoint them [people 'missed out' tended to emit audible 'ah's, which the Princess could never find it in her heart to ignore - unlike certain other royals] - and on more than one occasion I can remember a town's mayor being called on to help deal with the flowers she was being given as her own staff simply couldn't cope.......

People also tend to give more substantial presents as well - including photographs, teddies and toys for young royal children etc. This is a nightmare for the Royal's staff, who aim to try to catalogue everything they are given, with the donor's name and details, so that an appropriate record of the gift can be made, which also means that a 'thank you' letter can then wing its way to the donor in a few days' time.

Hope some of this is of interest,

Alex
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  #590  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:45 PM
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Please note that all posts regarding the styling of Royal Duchesses and Princesses by marriage have been moved to http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...es-258-46.html .

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  #591  
Old 06-20-2011, 06:02 PM
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Alex, thx for that interesting info (where have you been the last couple of days). At my church, we have massive altar arrangements every Sunday. After the services, we break down the arrangements and take them to shut-ins and nursing homes. Very rewarding when you see the faces light up.
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  #592  
Old 06-20-2011, 06:53 PM
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That's a lovely idea about the flowers from your Church Kitty. It's speading the joy around really isn't it?

Where have I been for the last few days? How kind of you to ask and indeed to notice I have not been about. Well, Last Saturday week I went to Trooping the Colour, [ not 'Trooping of The Colour as the disgraceful BBC actually began calling it this year]; On Sunday week I went to Guards Polo Club in torrential rain to watch the Final of the Queen's Cup, with Prince Harry presenting the Trophy. The Queen usually does this, but I suspect that she decided to 'sit this one out' because of the need to conserve royal energy as she and the Duke of Edinburgh have so much on at the moment, what with all the usual June ceremonial as well as the 90th birthday celebrations: on Monday I had a ticket to view the Garter Procession and then from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive I was at Royal Ascot, where I have the honour to be in the Royal Enclosure. And in my spare moments, I have been trying to fit my work commitments around all my 'outings'.

I've been reading through this thead, catching up, and think that I might post a bit of background information about Royal Ascot in order to answer some of the questions that have been raised. I am a hopeless typist and so it will take me a bit of time, but I think I will try to do it now as some people might find it of interest.

Alex
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  #593  
Old 06-20-2011, 08:01 PM
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Some background information about Royal Ascot

Please can I add a little information about royal customs and traditions at Royal Ascot?

It is probably as good a place as any to start by mentioning UK horseracing. Racing is divided into two: so-called 'National Hunt' racing, which takes place mainly in the Autumn / Winter Period of September to March, where horses jump over fences and 'Flat racing', where horses race round courses with no obstacles to jump!

Racing in the UK is known as 'The Sport of Kings'. Despite the fact that a very heavy betting industry is centred on racing in the UK, the image of racing is rather upmarket [upscale] and many - but by no means ALL race horse owners are drawn from the ranks of the wealthy and the aristocracy. Friends of mine from abroad are often a bit surprised as to how racing has such an upmarket image because of its close association with gambling.

Racing takes place [obviously] at racecourses: some courses are devoted exclusively to national hunt racing [e.g Aintree]; other courses are for flat racing only [e.g Goodwood] and others have both national hunt and flat racing [e.g. Ascot] where there are in effect two courses - one that is 'flat' and one that has 'jumps'. Race courses do not hold racing on every day - instead they have several 'meetings' a year, consisting of between one day and five days. In practice, meetins of two or three days are the most common.

Racecourses are usually divided into three different areas for spectators known as 'Enclosures'. The most expensive area is known as 'The Members' Area' or simply 'Members' ; admission is granted to people who buy an 'annual membership' badge. This entitles people to attend every meeting at that particular course without further payment. Facilities in the Members' vary from course to course, but basically, they are the best facilities at that particular racecourse; the Members' Enclosure is situated alongside the last part of the track that leads up to the Finish [Winning Post]. There is a grandstand in the members' enclosure with facilities such as comfortable restaurants / bars/ cloakrooms and a grandstand with seats giving a view of the whole course as well as the portion of the track with the winning post. To become a member you may have to be proposed and seconded. Having said that, some courses do sell 'day badges' for particular days to anyone who wants to attend. Many Members' Enclosures have strict dress codes.

The next enclosure down is generally known as the Grandstand and Paddock. [Actually the term is a bit misleading because the Members' Enclosure has a members' Grandstand.] Admission to the Grandstand Enclosure is by ticket [not annual badge]. The facilities less good than in the Members', and the adjacent sector of track is the section immediately before the winning post section that is adjacent to the members' enclosure. A very important part of the Grandstand Enclosure is the fact that it houses the betting ring with the bookmakers taking bets. Members can leave their enclosure to visit the 'Ring' - the unspoken implication is that as the bookies are a bit 'downmarket', they should be kept out of the more salubrious members' enclosure. Another very important part of the Grandstand Enclosure is that it contains the 'Paddock', i.e. the area where the horses parade before the race. Again, members can leave their enclosure to visit the Paddock to view the horses before the race; the members then retreat back to their own enclosure. Finally, there is what is known as the 'Silver Ring' Enclosure, which sounds rather grand to some people but is in fact 'pay on the day'. The facilities are markedly less good than the Grandstand Enclosure, but there will be some food and drink outlets and a view of some section of the track [i.e. the part of the track preceding that which passes before that of the Grandstand enclosure]. There will also be a few bookmakers although not so many as in the Grandstand enclosure. Admission is cheap and affordable.

And now at last to 'Royal Ascot'. 11 days after the Derby [which is held at Epsom] in June, Royal Ascot takes place, starting on Tuesday and ending on Saturday. The Queen attends every day and racing, which begins at 2.30pm each day, is preceded by the famous carriage procession. In previous years, when there were a lot more royals, up to 6 carriages took part. The Queen's carriage is pulled by the so-called 'Windsor Greys', the other carriages by bay [brown] horses. Coachmen wear scarlet livery. Varoius other members of the BRF [and of course Royal Guests] join the Queen at Royal Ascot each day at HM's invitation. Not all guests though will take part in the carriage procession.

Ascot Racecourse is owned by the Queen and is situated near Windsor Castle. After lunching at Windsor Castle, the Queen and her guests all leave in Cars: those guests not taking part in the carriage procession drive straight to the course; those taking part in the carriage procession are driven to so-called 'Golden Gates', which are situated at the end of the racecourse. People can go and watch the royals and their guests transferring from their cars to the carriages.

The Queen holds a house party during Royal Ascot. Guests tend to be invited for the whole week although there are 'day' guests as well, who will just join the Royals for lunch at Windsor Castle on the day that they have been invited. They don't stay overnight. Some of these day guests may well be invited to take part in the Royal Carriage procession, even though they are not staying at Windsor Castle. The Middletons are the best example of this.

Invitations to the Royal Ascot houseparty are sent out some months in advance. A friend of mine was invited - she was a single woman at that time. Her invitation arrived in February. She revealed to me that her room at the Castle was very comfortable although there were no en suite facilities and she had to wander a few doors down the corridor to a shared bathroom. She took part in the carriage procession on one day and told me the rather funny fact that before setting off, eveyone had to take a travel sickness pill. Apparently the carriages may look nice, but they were constructed many years ago and the suspension is NOT all it could be!

Guests and Royals NOT taking part in the carriage procession are driven straight to the course by road and go to the Royal Box to await the arrival of the Queen. [The Royal Box is in part of the Grandstand that makes up the Royal Enclosure - see below]

It is important at this point that I explain about the Enclosures that operate at Royal Ascot, which is why I launched into all that detail at the start. For Royal Ascot only, the Members' Enclosure is renamed 'The Royal Enclosure' and even if you are an annual member, you cannot attend, because your Annual Membership badge is in effect suspended for the duration of Royal Ascot. This is because of a very, very important change: admission to the Royal Enclosure is supervised by an official appointed by the Queen known as 'Her Majesty's Representative'. And admission is a privilege that is granted ONLY to those whom HMR regards as acceptable. You have to make a formal application using very precise wording. If you don't fall at that hurdle, you then have to fill in a detailed form and you have to be sponsored as well. It is a system that is very reminiscent of the former 'Presentation at Court' system. How HMR decides who gets in and out is not recorded. If you have had any criminal conviction or been of known bad beviour, you're not going to make it....! The present HMR has been the Duke of Deveonshire, but he has just stepped down. [His reward was to be included in the carriage procession this year!]

It is interesting at this point to mention the previous system for admission to Royal Ascot. Until the death of the Queen Mother, who wanted this old system kept, the Royal Ascot Office was kept at St James's Palace. Each year, those who had the privilege of being in the Royal Enclosure and wished to attend Royal Ascot had to remember to make formal applicaton; any people desiring to be admitted for the first time had to make formal application as well, as mentioned above. Application had to be made from January, and the lists closed either when full or in April. The records were maintained on an incredibily ancient card system - listing who was entitled to attend the Royal Enclousure and who had applied but had been unsuccessful. Each year, if your applicaition was granted by HMR [or if you were newly accepted] a precious voucher was sent to you, which you then exchanged nearer the time for a badge with your name on it. If you forgot to apply until May, then hard luck. To be sure I remembered to apply, I used to prepare my application when I wrote my thank you letters post Christmas.......

Up until the first half of the 20th Century, all divorcees were automatically banned from the Royal Enclosure. The rules were slightly amended at one point to allow innocent parties to attend, when old Queen Mary [who had been a sworn enemy of divorcees] handed in her veto. However, how the decision to grant a Voucher was made by the particular HMR has never been disclosed. I have mentioned above that if you are a jailbird, then you are not going to get in, ditto if you are a peson of dubious morale virtue. But over the years there has been great anguish, with perfectly respectable people being unable to secure admission.

Following the death of the Queen Mother, the old system was partly swept away, in that the Ascot Office moved from St James's Palace to Ascot and The Voucher system has now been swept away, with the Ascot Office writing to you instead - this is possible because the old card system has been replaced by an electronic system. The Royal Ascot Office therefore contacts you about your badge without your having to make the formal application each year [unless you are a newbie! - see above]
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  #594  
Old 06-20-2011, 08:02 PM
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Up until the first half of the 20th Century, all divorcees were automatically banned from the Royal Enclosure. Instead they had to sit in a separate stand outside the Royal Enclosure called the Iron Stand [which was for men only - divorced women just could not attend!!] The rules were slightly amended at one point to allow innocent parties to attend, when old Queen Mary [who had been a sworn enemy of divorcees] handed in her veto. However, how the decision to grant a Voucher was made by the particular HMR has never been disclosed. I have mentioned above that if you are a jailbird, then you are not going to get in, ditto if you are a peson of dubious moral virtue. But over the years there has been great anguish, with perfectly respectable people being unable to secure admission.

Interestingly, both Sarah [no surprise, I suppose] and Diana were banned from Royal Ascot. In the year following her separation, Diana reputedly said that she wished to go to Royal Ascot on the Thursday [ Gold Cup Day aka Ladies' Day] but was told that she had been banned...........

If you are granted the privilege of admission to the Royal Enclosure, you have to comply with a strict dress code: Men must wear formal dress: Top Hat, Tail Coat, Waistcoat, Trousers. The Tail Coat HAS to be black or grey, ditto the Top Hat. Black is reckoned to be the most smart, athough Royals seem to have both black and grey suits. Make of that what you will. Ladies have to wear formal day dress. This can be either a dress or a trouser suit - but the trouser suit must be made of matching material. Shoulder straps of dresses must be at least an inch wide. Hats are compulsory.

The history of the Trouser suit at Royal Ascot is rather strange -and by the way, short skirts have never been banned at Royal Ascot, [unlike at Henley Royal Regatta, where knees can NEVER be shown]. What happened at Ascot was that in the 1960's, several girls turned up wearing hot pants, and they were deemed unacceptable. At that time, HMR was the old Duke of Norfolk, and he decreed that even trousers would be better than hot pants because less flesh was visible. What he was actually saying was that trousers could be worn, but people did not realise that he was talking literally - they thought he meant that trousers were also beyone the pale but at least would have been better than hot pants! It was only about 15 years ago that people suddenly cottoned onto the fact that trousers had NOT been banned by the old HMR the Duke of Norfolk, who by that time had been succeeded by both the Marquess of Abergavenny and Sir Piers Bengough as HMRs!

If your dress is sleeveless, then it must have starps AT LEAST one inch wide - so no bare shoulders. The Hat can now be replaced by a substantial fascinator, but the crown of the head must be covered by this. Stockings, tights etc are required in theory, but this seems to have gone by the board in recent years, because I have seen a lot of bare legs over the years.

And now to the really sad part: the effect of redevelopment of the Ascot racecourse. Up until 2005 the design of Ascot race course was quite interesting: the Paddock was actually separate from the Grandstand Enclosure: this meant that the physical Grandstand of the Grandstand Enclosure was one side of the Royal Enclosure, and the actual Paddock was the other side of the Royal Enclosure. Racegoers who bought tickets for the Grandstand enclosure [open to all - no vetting required etc] therefore were entitled to go to the Paddock and to do this they had to go down tunnels under the Royal enclosure: The Paddock don't foget is open to both holders of the Grandstand tickets and members of the Royal enclosure. Thus, in the actual physical Paddock there would be both Royal Enclosure-ites and Grandsand Enclosure-ites, and that after inspecting the horses in the Paddock before each race, both sets of race goers would return to their separate enclosures. And here is the really lovely bit of the old system: The Royal Family would be mingling in the Paddock Enclosure with everyone - both Royal Enclosure-ites and Grandstand ticket holders. When it was time for everyone to return [i.e. just before the start of each race] the Royal Family would walk back to the Royal Enclosure, their way being marked not by large fences but by rather sweet 'whitepainted tram lines on the ground'. Sadly in 2006 the new course opened - and now the Paddock is in the Grandstand Enclosure and the Royals don't mix and mingle any more: it's the Queen enters the Paddock via a tunnel from the Royal Box in the Royal Enclosure and so she is kept well away from most people. I think that that is so very sad.

I have mentioned the strict dress code for Royal Enclosure-ites; before the old day there was a separate entrance to the Royal Enclosure with ladies checking that you were adhering to the dress code and refusing to let you in unless you complied [which often meant a quick trip into Ascot town for a 'complying' hat or skirt or whatever was wrong. Nowadays, everyone enters Ascot through a common entrance gate, and although the Royal Enclosure is still separate, there are no people checking to make sure you have got it right. Having said that though, most of the horrors to which people here have referred are being worn by those in the Grandstand, not the Royal Enclosue. Don't forget that anyone can turn up and buy a ticket for the grandstand enclosure - it was reported in the papers that a prostitute had gained admission. Well, that was only to the Grandstand, and because of the new system of keeping the Queen apart, there was no chance of HM encountering a hooker.

One more point: the new system is felt to be more democratic; surely that is nonsense, as the Queen is now so separate from everyone.

Some final points: Royal Enclosure badge checking is carried out by gentlemen [mostly very old retired gentlemen, many of whom were workers on the Royal Estates] wearing 'bowler hatst. They are known as 'Bowler Hats', as in 'My Royal Enclosure badge has just been checked by a Bowler Hat'.

Oh and full marks to Princess Eugenie - after she had presented a Trophy the other day, she did not go back to the Royal Box from the Paddock via the Royal Tunnel, but actually left by a common staircase, mingling with everybody, just like the old days.

And a word about the Royal Box: before the redevelopment, it was a lovely part of the grandstand in the Royal Enclosure [not to be confused with the Grandstand in the Grandstand enclosure!!] and we used to sit alongside it and the Queen Mother even used to wave to us. Now the Royal Box is a rather charmless affair, very cut off - and the poor Queen finds the visibility terrible as it was designed for taller people! The Royal Box is equipped with several TVs and so the Queen keeps one tuned to the Royal Ascot Racing transmission; the Duke of Edinburgh keeps his TV tuned to .......the cricket, if at all possible, because he dislikes racing [this is reputedly because he prefers to participate in horse sports, not spectate, and so he has reputedly never 'got into' horse racing.

Following the end of racing each day, the Queen leaves in a car not in a carriage procession - the cars have all driven back to Windsor. And then everything restarts again the next day.....

Hope some of this helps,

Alex.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:00 PM
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Alex... all I can say is that I'm at a lost for words right now and thank you for painting such a clear and concise view of Royal Ascot both as it is now and from the historical and giving us your own bird's eye view on the entire Royal Ascot week. I definitely think that perhaps the moderators here might be wise to move your posts on this under its own article about Ascot and its history for all that may be looking for such information.

And I thought it was about hats! Actually I do see where the hats do come into play here and perhaps some of my insights do seem silly but without knowing the traditions and the protocol, they do seem to "fit" a wee bit. For one, the hats. For years i've always had the notion that HM always wore a hat for the sole reason that she was the Queen and being the Queen, she always wore something on her head to represent the Crown. Of course its not true as I've since found out but I did associate that fallacy with the hats at Ascot. With the strict dress code allotted to ladies attending, with the dress being almost uniform in nature somewhat, there would be an area where they could try to "outshine" each other. Come to think of it, the representation of this protocol was greatly alluded to in the movie "My Fair Lady" with every female in black and white.

Thank you for pointing out the changes made in how Ascot works too. To be honest, reading about the changes in who's in and who's out seemed to me to be losing a part of the past. Times do change and it does happen but if we didn't adapt in small ways, we'd not be very realistic. The part about Eugenie not taking the tunnel back is perhaps a side of her that most of the world will never see and I thank you for sharing that with us.

I never knew the extent of the opening of the "season" that the Queen does every year. All I can say is that HM has some 20+ years on me and to do her appearances that the public has seen in the last month would have totally exhausted me let alone having a grand house party for a week!

I've recently remarked in another thread that tradition and protocol is something very associated with the BRF and that it would continue thru the monarchs of the future. What you've shown me with the history and protocols and changes that have been made to Royal Ascot are the discreet changes that have been made to adapt to the changing world.

In the lead up to the royal wedding, I can remember seeing a clip on Kate having to practice getting in and out of the carriage along with getting used to to riding in one no less... the dramamine made sense!

Thanks again Alex.
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  #596  
Old 06-20-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
Up until the first half of the 20th Century,
Hope some of this helps,

Alex.
Dear Alex:

It has been a delight to read your posts since you have joined us here at the board. You provide such needed background. I usually print out
your posts to read at my leisure.

I do believe you should write a book about your experiences and your career so far, it would be a delightful read.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us all.

Yours truly
Charlotte
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  #597  
Old 06-21-2011, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
You cannot call her Princess Diana as she was not a Princess by blood.
People constantly find links between Diana and Catherine just because they can.
You're making a seriously OTT comment there about educated ladies liking horses.
Millions of people was calling her Princess Diana, but if it is not protocolarry wrong, sorry. If you prefer Diana Princess of Wales ok. I do not pretend being a specialist.

What do you mean by "OTT"??

I was meaning that British ladies of a certain social level are learning horse riding since their childhood. Riding takes a very important part of their life, but I did not said this with any sense of irony, on the contrary I find it very nice and interesting!
Why you re SO eristic?
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  #598  
Old 06-21-2011, 07:50 AM
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Alex, thank you so much for providing us with additional information on Royal Ascot! It was very interesting & insightful!
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  #599  
Old 06-21-2011, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
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why not? because she has her own coat of arms now??
Coat of arms, what are you chatting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yekaterina View Post
wonder why carol was not busy with her party pieces today. i think kate is a gem and i like the father. he looks nice. not fond of the rest of the middleton family. so many tacky pictures of them, pippa half naked, james in woman clothes, uncle gary and the cocaine. and now carol plays the countess or whatever. hilarious. good luck to them.
Considering she's the owner of her own company, she can take the day off to enjoy the glorious site of the Royal Meeting at Ascot. You like her common father and daughter, but not her common mother - so original, slightly like the DM actually.

They're a private family, whos daughter has happened to marry William. Carole, Michael, Pippa and James are private citizens who can do what they like when they like and scrutiny from members of the public means nothing to them.

They seem to have better luck than some poeple to be honest.

Royal Ascot this year was wonderful, now we move on to the wonders of Wimbledon.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:37 AM
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Actually, the dress looks to be the correct size for PE, she just does not have CP Vic's figure and needs to wear some Spanx or other type of undergarment to smooth her out. This is the best I've seen her look in ages.
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