Kate, the bump and another new dress: back to royal normality


After a frenzied 24 hours in which speculation was ramped up over just about every royal scenario you can imagine, we end in a rather normal situation. The regal week comes to an end with an appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge and a return to the far less fevered world of bump spotting, gender guessing and new evening gowns. Welcome to royal reality.


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At one point today, whispers about a potential royal engagement being announced were so loud you couldn't shut them out if you tried. Reports in the Evening Standard that the BBC was on stand by for a major royal story on November 24th combined with bookies stopping taking bets on a betrothal between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Thursday led to orders for souvenir tea towels being finalised across the land. Make that world. No matter. The crucial moment that is 11am on the nose when royal engagements are made public came and went without so much as a hint of a diamond.


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Never worry, in the absence of a royal wedding let's get back to royal baby number three. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were always scheduled to attend the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium so Harry doing the marry thing would always have been slightly awkward as it would have led to photos of the future king attending a royal staple being bounced by his brother.

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William and Kate arrived for a slightly delayed performance - the Palladium in Argyll Street in central London was briefly out of bounds after the Metropolitan Police responded to reports of gunshots being fired around nearby Oxford Circus. The Met later confirmed they had found no trace of ''any suspects, evidence of shots fired, or casualties''.




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The royal guests are following a very regal tradition. The Royal Variety Performance began in 1912 when King George V and Queen Mary attended the Royal Command Performance. The king had said he would attend an event provided all the proceeds went to the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund. Now well over 100 years old, the show is run by the Royal Variety Charity of which the Queen is patron. It will raise money that will help hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK in need of support.



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It really was back down to earth. This event is a regular in the royal calendar and really marks the final regal turn towards Christmas. It's attended by different members of the Royal Family every year and this was the Cambridges' second appearance at the event  - the first was in 2014. So after hours of wondering which big royal story was next, it all ended very predictably. A royal staple, Kate in Jenny Packham (new, too) and lots of photos of her bump which is truly making its presence felt. The speculation was left to whether Baby Cambridge Number Three is a boy or girl (she's in baby blue and that bump is all out front right now so let's go with boy for the next hour or so) and everyone in Kensington Palace can settle down to a proper giggle about how excited everyone got about something that didn't happen at all. This is the royal reality. As you were - until Monday, at least.

Photo Kensington Royal Twitter.

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