The Return of Synchronized Royaling

On Wednesday, Prince William and Kate Middleton returned from a month long break looking positively lifelike while engaged in synchronized royaling with three events in Luton.

At Youthscape, Prince William and Kate chatted with youths who I guess were at risk for not speaking with a duke and duchess that day and somehow it helped.  At the very least, the visit was newsworthy for the unlikeliest of reasons.

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My  cursory search yielded little on Youthscape other than it being a drop-in centre, but there are sweets and video games there so whatever it is exactly, it has to be good.

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At Keech Hospice which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the crowd greeting the Cambridges looked a bit thin with no school children to pull from classes for flag-waving.

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Interestingly, the crowd pic of the Cambridges leaving which was posted on Twitter by @KensingtonRoyal appeared significantly more filled-out than the arrival, so maybe a casting call went out for crowd extras or maybe the masses just get more excited by their departure and feel its worth lining up for.

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Both Prince William and Kate continued to look chillaxed at Keech Hospice.  This is the first time I’ve seen Prince William hold a knife and not been secretly worried he’d turn and use it on the press.

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Crazy, right?  Rebecca English even got close enough on Wednesday at the first  engagement to take these pics of Prince William without spooking him.

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Watching the events unfold on Twitter, I started wondering if the Cambridges were stoned or if I was stoned or if we collectively as a society were stoned.

At Keech Hospice, Prince William had moments of humanity and compassion that made me like him more.

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Normally those who have dealt with terrible tragedy are the ones who look like they’re  trying to put Prince William at ease about having to be there.   But to Prince William’s credit, he attempted to pull a Prince Harry and be all human and stuff.

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I  mean, obviously he’s no Prince Harry but Prince William did well considering he’s not used to the whole being all human and stuff thing.

At  the third event of the day, Prince William and Kate presented the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Hayward Tyler.

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It looked pretty Dullsville so I didn’t pay much attention but it’s supposed to be a prestigious award.

On Thursday, Prince William and Kate looked less chillaxed than the previous day at a YoungMinds visit.  YoungMinds provides hotline support to parents whose children have mental health issues.  Prince William and Kate met with volunteers and listened in on some of the calls.

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While Kate provided the sartorial interest, it was Prince William’s comments that dominated the press.

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During the YoungMinds engagement, Prince William admitted he had feels.

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I can relate.

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In writing about these events, I often struggle to find the point.   While visits from the Cambridges do get  the charity names in the papers to be read and quickly forgotten, it seems the same level  of awareness  could easily be obtained if they were photographed wearing a t-shirt with the charity’s name.   This  last  event seems unnecessarily invasive for those who use the hotline.  If I called somewhere for help, I would be very upset to discover that Prince William and Kate were possibly listening in as  part of  an official royal engagement, it would feel like a betrayal of confidentiality and privacy that would make me hesitate to reach out again for help.   Can anyone just listen in like that?   I really hope callers were made aware their conversations were being listened to and used for educational purposes.  Additionally, while  Prince William’s statements about feeling emotional do humanize and create empathy for him, they also make it seem like some of the issues faced by those who call the hotline might be too great of a burden for some volunteers.   A  lot of people don’t reach out for help because they have reached a state of hopelessness where they don’t want to burden others with the issues that are dragging them down while conversely others feel their struggles are too insignificant to bother others with.  All mental health issues are equally important just as all people are equally important.

These past two days of engagements undoubtedly benefitted Prince William’s image but still leave me questioning the ultimate impact on the charities.

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Oh No, Canada!

The Palace must really not want anyone paying attention to the Cambridge not-so-secret French getaway because shortly after it hit the headlines, Kensington Palace announced that William and Kate will be touring Canada in the fall, giving the press something else to write about and the public something else to focus on.

The invitation for the Cambridges to return to Canada had been publicly announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who bypassed proper palace protocol.  This is Justin  Trudeau so he gets a pass on his lapse in judgment of putting Canada through another Cambridge tour, at least in my book (Canadian readers might feel differently):

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It was a given the Cambridges were going to go, otherwise it would be seen as a slight to Canada with which the British monarchy wants to maintain a good relationship.  And  as Richard Palmer Tweeted on Wednesday:

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No tinfoil hat is needed to see a correlation between the timing of the French getaway hitting media outlets and the Canada tour being officially announced by Kensington Palace.  There are several possible reasons to employ some good old-fashioned misdirection to divert attention, some of which may require Reynold’s Wrap headgear or at least wishful thinking, like maybe there’s a planned Jeggings Intervention they don’t want getting out.  A more likely reason, though, is the Palace doesn’t want the masses doing the math on this latest getaway.

Even privately funded royal holidays cost  taxpayers who foot the bill for security without ever seeing the amount.  Prince William and Harry’s trip to the US to attend Guy Pelly’s wedding cost UK taxpayers an estimated $84,000 according to an industry source cited in a Daily Mail article.

However, UK taxpayers aren’t the only ones covering security costs for private royal holidays, whenever the British royals travel, they arrange security logistics with local law enforcement.   As one comment from the aforementioned article noted:

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This screen grab from the same DM piece shows just one example of the police protection US taxpayers provided for the “privately” funded trip:

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Turns out taxation with representation isn’t all that great either.  We  don’t get to say of course we want Harry but please keep the petulant one at home.

Sadly, the Cambridges are high risk targets.  In light of the terror attacks against France and ongoing threats, local law enforcement is busy enough without the extra burden of allocating its resources to a private royal getaway.  Additionally the UK government warns on its foreign travel advisory page for France:

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Who booked this trip, Triple Whammy Travel?   Worst Case Scenario Tours?   I love France, it’s felt like a second home to me since the age of 16, I’ve spent more time there than any other country outside of the US.  But other countries are pretty cool, too.  Maybe the Cambridges could check one of those out.  According to Prince William, Kate came up with a travel wish list when they were first married, surely there are a few on there they can’t get taxpayers to fund under the guise of a royal tour.

There’s speculation about who actually went on this French getaway and either scenario reflects poorly on the Cambridges.  If Kate went alone, it undermines the argument that she can’t work more because of her children, but if the entire family went, two high risk terror target  future kings are diverting security resources away from a country under the highest terror threat level and in mourning because of  recent attacks.

Just to give a glance into the huge logistical nightmare Cambridge security is, I will once again quote a recent Herazeus comment:

Think about this…..when Kate goes home to Middleton Towers with George, all security resources in the surrounding villages are re-routed for their safety. All police have to be on high alert for the duration of her stay, ground (vehicles + mounted horse) and air patrol the area. All local hospitals and medical staff are also on high alert in case of emergency trouble.

Now imagine the level of security required in a France on high alert for William and George!!

Or to quantify it, the last time London was on high alert, Kate required 9 RPOs just to attend a wedding at the Dorchester Hotel in London which is a skip and a hop from BP/CH and their security arrangements.

In France, the British and the French will have to provide extra security so these numpties can holiday in safety, but why should they let a terror alert get in the way of their holiday plans?

I think Kate probably traveled to France without her husband and children so likely (and hopefully), the French only have one numpty to deal with.  The French paper’s “several sources” only saw Kate, but if Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Nanny Maria were really on the private plane which seats 8 as has been suggested by the British press, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for their Royal  Protection Officers.   Additionally, only two SUVs met the plane according to reports which suggests one royal.  I guess it’s possible everyone scootched, maybe Nanny Maria and the kids went in one while Prince William and Kate were in the other, they just tied the RPOs to the roof like Christmas trees because the luggage for a family of four, a nanny, and their RPOs would take up the remaining interior space but there’s an upcoming Canada tour so we don’t have to think about how they worked out the SUV logistics.  Just know that magic exists, Muggles.

It would have to be one doozy of a spell, though.  This is the convoy when Princes William and Harry were in the US for Guy Pelly’s wedding.

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Thank goodness the Canada tour was announced, otherwise we might feel obligated to count the SVUs and local law enforcement vehicles in the royal convoy.

The announced Canada tour will also help with annual engagement totals for Prince William and Kate.  On Thursday, Express ran a piece by Richard Palmer about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry being ahead of last year’s numbers thus far but still behind Prince Philip.  Tours like the recent India/Bhutan one are an easy way for Prince William and Kate to get their numbers up without the terribly taxing pretending to care about stuff because travel to and from the tour host country and each destination within counts, as do the greetings.  There’s very little substance and yet each tour racks up dozens of official engagements.  So even with the benefit of one royal tour this year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are still  trailing behind  Prince  Philip?  Seriously?

On Wednesday, Kensington Palace Tweeted that that the Cambridges have special memories from their first Canadian Tour.

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I think it’s safe to say that tour holds special memories for royal watchers as well.  It was at the Calgary Airport that Kate had her first full bum flash as a duchess.  Call me sentimental, but I get a little misty-eyed just thinking about it.  Of course, that might just be burning from the image permanently  seared in my retinas.   But remember how we all thought it was a rookie mistake that wouldn’t be repeated?   We were so innocent and naive back then.  I miss that.

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Kate’s Not-So-Secret French Getaway

According to a French newspaper, on Tuesday at 1:30pm, Kate Middleton was spotted landing at the Pau-Pyrénées airport in a private  jet.  My thanks to the lovely Rebecca @TheUpAndUpGirl on Twitter for sending me the link yesterday.

I was curious if the British press would run the story but Rebecca  English’s Daily Mail article indicates the press isn’t sitting on this getaway.

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The initial article from the local French paper suggests that Kate was flying solo visiting relatives, although the Daily Mail article notes, “There was no mention of air ambulance pilot Prince William – although he is due to take time off this summer – or the couple’s children, although Prince George and Princess Charlotte are believed to have accompanied their mother.”

The response from DM readers is thus far pretty brutal.

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And of course, there’s already some speculation as to the whereabouts of Ben Ainslie.

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Last night, I stumbled across something fairly amusing when doing a Google search.  This is what comes up when you type in “Ben Ainslie K”:

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So it appears we’re not the only ones who have noticed.

To be fair, Sunday was Kate’s eighth official Ben Ainslie 1851 Trust engagement since becoming Patron in June of 2014 so they naturally have built a rapport since their first meeting on Day 10 of the 2012 Olympics.

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Ben’s even spent time with her sister Pippa.  In December 2013, she wrote an article about him for The Telegraph.

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So it’s totally not weird at all that one of Kate’s hands disappears in this photo:

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Or that when Kate gives Ben a medal, it looks like this:

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But when William gives Ben a medal, it looks like this:

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Ben obviously doesn’t feel as close to Prince William as he does to Kate which is normal, they don’t spend as much time around each other as Ben and Kate do.  And even when Prince William does accompany Kate to an 1851 Trust event, he doesn’t get as much one-on-one time with Ben.

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So, no, I don’t think Kate wanted some alone time to Google search pictures of Ben Ainslie with his shirt off:

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Or one where he looks devastatingly handsome in a turtleneck that shows off his pecs:

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Therefore it’s highly unlikely Kate needed some time away to figure out if there’s some kind of royal loophole that would allow her to keep Ben Ainslie as a house pet.

In fact, Rebecca English just Tweeted an update that Prince William, Prince George and Charlotte have accompanied Kate on this secret French getaway.  It’s just not reflected in the article yet, although it probably will be soon.

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See, they’re very normal.  Either the French newspaper’s “numerous sources” simply didn’t see Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte or Prince William had to take a separate private jet because he’s not supposed to fly with the heir-to-the-heir-to-the-heir unless he receives special permission from the Queen and the kids are small so maybe they were somehow missed or took their own private jet with their nanny.

It is a private holiday so the only thing the taxpayers have to cover the cost of is the team of royal protection officers and any of their travel expenses and overtime.  And Kate usually disappears for most of the summer, the press just doesn’t usually report on the getaways.

Which begs the question why now?  Herazeus made a very astute comment on the Prince George’s Lupogate post:

“The two numpties have so alienated the press that only their status protects them ie they can’t be pushed too far down whilst HM is still alive otherwise the entire edifice crumbles and no one wants that. Yet.

The press is therefore sniping. Death by 1000cuts.”

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Royals at a Regatta

On Sunday, Prince William accompanied Kate Middleton to Portsmouth to watch the final America’s Cup World Series competition before the America’s Cup takes place in Bermuda next year. With Australia’s and Italy’s teams withdrawn, there will only be five teams challenging Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup.

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The wind quickly devoured Kate’s blow-out.

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The gusts revealed shorter under layers in Kate’s hair which suggest that she likely had a fresh batch of longer extensions added to her mane.

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Both William and Kate wore matching Land Rover BAR shirts.

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Kate chose to pair hers with some jeggings that looked like surgical extraction might be required to remove them.

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Kate smiled through it, though. Because, Ben Ainslie. No one loves sailing that much, even Ben Ainslie.

After the photo op with children being introduced to sailing through the 1851 Trust and a technology tour, Prince William and Kate took to the waters to cheer on Ben Anslie’s team from a Land Rover BAR catamaran.

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Kate appeared far more enthusiastic than Prince William.

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In case you didn’t catch that last pic, their facial expressions would be represented by very different emoticons.

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Ben Ainslie’s team finished on top.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge handed out the awards, affording Kate one of her few one-on-one moments with the very dreamy sailor as she presented Ben Ainslie with the team trophy.

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Alas, husbands and races always seem to get in the way of quality Hello Sailoring.

Afterwards, Ainslie popped his cork and sprayed his teammates with some celebratory champagne.

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And the Cambridges took their helicopter home.

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Not really sure what the point of the Cambridges attending the event was, other than being a nice little jolly like so many of their official engagements. On Friday, the Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Prince Philip, already paid a visit to Portsmouth. Ben Ainslie is known for his focused intensity during races, so I doubt the awkward clapping of a duchess on another catamaran gave him the extra push to victory. In fact during Saturday’s competition, Ainslie’s team won two out of three races, which tied them with France for first place going into Sunday’s second half. Maybe there was some kind of secret contractual agreement with Land Rover which has poured millions into this America’s Cup bid that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be photographed at the event in their Land Rover-branded clothing. Who knows.

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Prince George’s Lupogate

Friday was Prince George’s third birthday, one of those rare occasions that usually unites all royal watchers because regardless  of personal feelings about the monarchy, tiny humans are cute.  To my surprise, the first royal story I would see of the day was this one:

AnimalCrueltyAccusationConsequently, one of the first phrases I uttered aloud on Friday was, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”  A photo of a little boy and the family dog became another @KensingtonRoyal-released PR blunder, the July follow-up to Kate’s controversial fur-lined mitten photos released back in March.  The Daily Mail article headline proclaimed:

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A three year old possible future king was branded a “monster” for offering a lick of his white chocolate-covered vanilla Magnum to the Cambridge canine, Lupo, like he was the Second Coming  of Jack the Ripper.  Once again, the Cambridges provided the outrage ammo themselves.

To be fair, the photo is only suggestive.  We don’t know if Lupo even took a lick or if the photographer used twenty empty boxes of White Chocolate Magnum bars consumed by Lupo as a tripod.  However, there’s a legitimate reason many animal lovers bristled at the photo.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released the statement: “It is lovely that Prince George is trying to help keep his family dog, Lupo, cool in these high temperatures.  We would advise people to be cautious when giving their dogs food meant for human consumption as some items, like chocolate, can be highly toxic to dogs and dairy items can be difficult for them to digest.”

The reason dairy is an issue is because many dogs are lactose intolerant.  There are some that don’t seem to have a problem digesting dairy, but in many dairy can cause a range of digestive issues from mild discomfort to vomiting and diarrhea.

Chocolate, however, can be toxic to dogs and the Magnum bar in question is covered in white chocolate.  The potential fatal factor of chocolate usually comes down to the dog’s weight, age, overall health, how much chocolate is consumed and the type of chocolate.  White chocolate is the safest because it has the least amount of theobromine  which is what is poisonous to dogs.  However, the danger in feeding any chocolate at all to a dog is that the pooch can develop a taste for it and take chocolate treat-seeking measures into his or her own paws.  petMD has a helpful chocolate toxicity meter.

It’s pretty hard to screw up the good-will vibes a picture of a little boy and his dog normally produces but once again, Prince William and Kate Middleton have managed to provoke another backlash with well-intended PR photos they hired a professional to shoot.

After Kate’s Mittengate, it was reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton had selected the ski-holiday photos themselves.  In the past I’ve hypothesized that either the Cambridge’s Communications Secretary, Jason Knauf, has gone missing or is the most evil adversary the British Royal Family has ever faced.   The reality appears to be even more unfathomable.  According to a Daily Beast article written in the aftermath of the disappointing Royal Tour of India and Bhutan, Jason Knauf makes around a mere £60,000 while other Press Office staffers are being paid around £30,000.  That kind of money doesn’t buy a lot of fucks for employees to give and no one in my opinion with the kind of experience required to manage the public image of a future Head of State and his wife would take a salary that low.

Curiously, a recent Daily Mail article revealed that the the chief executive of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry makes around £150,000.  Last year, there was outrage in the UK when it was revealed several charity chief executives were making more than six figures.  The article indicated, “While cutting the amount it handed out to charities, the foundation increased its spending on staff. Costs for its 14 employees rose by almost £60,000 in 2015 to more than £914,000.”   So staffing costs were about half the £1.76 million actually given to charities.

With many questioning the role of the monarchy in modern times, it is curious the Cambridges are underpaying their spin doctors while overpaying those working in a field in which high salaries are often a red flag to potential donors.  A proper PR rep would make sure the Cambridges didn’t release controversial photos on platforms in which outrage can be spread with a couple of clicks.

If the British Monarchy wants to use terms like The Kate Effect and The George Effect to justify its cost to taxpayers, then it must also acknowledge the impact its actions have on the public.  According to a Daily Mail article, the shirt Prince George was wearing in his third birthday photos sold out in an hour.  The potential damage caused by those who might mimic the actions of the young prince will never be known nor can it be adequately measured in pounds because for most of us, our dogs are members of our family.

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The Prince and Queen Bey

On Friday, Prince George accompanied Prince William and Kate Middleton to the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire,  his first official royal engagement in the UK.  In December, Kate became Patron of the Air Cadet Organization which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary.

Daily Mail article has a slew of pics from the event, some of which I’ve screen grabbed for illustrative purposes.

Kate wore her blue Ridley Stretch Cady Dress by Stella McCartney which seems to be a favorite of hers for public appearances that require crouching down.  Queen Letizia does pants to perfection, I wish Kate would take some style inspiration from her.   The press would credit Kate for inventing pants anyway, so it’s not like Kate would risk being accused of fashion poaching from another royal.

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I could dedicate an entire post to Kate’s dress which she’s worn a few times before, like how Kate’s unusually long strides make her look like she’s been wearing the same pair of Depends for the past week, but I’m not going to go there.

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Okay, I did go there.  But just once for this post.  Mainly because the Daily Mail’s pictorial feast revealed something far more glorious.    Prince George is Prince Grumpy Cat no more.

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The UK’s tiniest maybe future king has graduated to, just shy of his third birthday, Prince Beyoncé-in-Training.

At the air show, wind and Sasha Fierceness were both cued.

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The wave to acknowledge all who aren’t royal or Beyoncé was nailed.

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George even delivered a “Because you’re worth it” pout…

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… with some fish face silliness thrown in.

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But alas, there was an inner peace in pieces moment.

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Even adults have those moments where they feel overwhelmed.  Some thought headphones were put on Prince George to muffle the crowd and aircraft noise but he probably just wanted to listen to his Best of Beyoncé playlist.

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Adam Levine might aspire to move like Jagger, but Beyoncé appears to be Prince George’s musical muse.

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George is so Beyoncé in fact, he appears to have reached a state of Ultimate Beyoncé and became his own backup dancers.

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Even Beyoncé hasn’t reached Ultimate Beyoncé yet.

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While Prince William and Kate might not have much in the way of personalities, at least we know they are personality carriers by virtue of their offspring.

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Long live the Queen Bey in all of us.

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Back to the Future Heir & Hair

Lately I’ve  been a little  quiet on the topic of Prince William and Kate, there are only so many ways you can describe beige paint drying.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem far less into the whole being royal thing than the ninety-year-old  monarch who endlessly shows up in my Twitter feed at various engagements.   But here’s a  little catch-up.

Queen Elizabeth II has said, “I have to be seen to be believed.”  According to an April 20th Telegraph article, the only color “she avoids is beige, which does not allow her to stand out in a crowd”.   In contrast, Kate appears to go to great lengths not to even stand out on her own beige couch.  Except of course when it counts.

On Saturday June 11 at Trooping the Colour, Kate managed to make her way  to the front of all the royals waiting to join the Queen and Prince Philip on the balcony.

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When  Kate stepped out on the balcony, she wound up causing a pile-up as she vied for a  prime spot.  Prince Charles had to take Camilla by the hand and gently ease her to the side.

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Because what’s the point of going to Trooping the Colour if you can’t be seen  on the balcony?

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Kate’s efforts not to be obscured because of royal protocol paid off for her.

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For the Trooping  the Colour celebrating her 90th birthday, Her Majesty wore  a nuclear  green coat and dress by Stewart Parvin and matching Rachel Trevor Morgan hat.

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It was the hue equivalent of the toon-killing Dip in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the vat of chemicals  that turned Red Hood/Jack Napier into Batman’s nemesis The Joker.

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That’s kinda badass.  And the Queen did go a little Her Royal Honey Badger on William on the Trooping the Colour balcony, reminding William that taxpayers do expect to see members of the Royal Family.

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At the Order of the Garter on June 13th, royal-watcher Jennifer @Chic_Happens_ noted that after five years, Kate was finally taking standard royal precautions  against  the elements.

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Given how long it’s taken, did perhaps the Queen have a stern word  with the Serial Flasher?

Her Majesty is known to take a laissez-faire approach to running her family.  With the revelation this week that scandal-prone Andrew took a £5,000  helicopter ride to play a round of golf with the World Bank president (added to the Court  Circular the day after the press inquired about it), the Queen really needs to go full-on honey badger with certain members of her family.

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One of the Queen’s black patent leather loafers should be aimed at the heir to the heir. At a June 22nd EACH charity gala, Prince William could barely hide his boredom.

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EACH-2While Kate still can’t hold a wine glass properly, at least she didn’t look like she deeply resented children with life-threatening illnesses for making gala attendance necessary.

The event was part of the efforts to raise £10million for a new hospice in Norfolk launched in November 2014.  To date, only a quarter of the goal has been reached.  In contrast, a May 27th CNN article indicated Ben Ainslie had already reached £50 million of the £80 million target for his bid to win the America’s Cup.

Both William and Kate looked like a lifetime has passed since Kate  last wore the blush pink Jenny Packham gown she had on at the EACH gala back in 2011.

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How hard  is it being royal?  It’s not like the Cambridges do a whole lot of royaling  anyway.   At the Battle of Somme tribute, they looked like a couple that sits on porch rockers with blankets tucked  around them as they forecast the weather by the aches  in their joints.

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They are 34  years  old, the same age as Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne, William’s Eton classmate.

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In this screen grab side-by-side, the picture of Anne was taken one month  after she gave birth.

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Kate is a fashion pendulum swinging in between sexy and elderly.  At the Battle of Somme tribute, Kate sported a hair net which have only been worn by cafeteria workers and fast food employees in the last 80 years.

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On Wednesday Kate glammed it up at the National History Museum, presenting the Art Fund of the Year award.  She wore a  stretch jersey dress with mesh insets by Barbara Casasola.

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I love this dress and thought it looked gorgeous on Kate.  Not sure what the two buttons are, maybe Kate had panic buttons installed on her bum.

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This level of cling on me would provide the kind of visual horror that would forever haunt anyone who happened  to see me in it.  This dress is not cellulite-friendly but on Kate it looks great.

The off-the-shoulder dress had a  front zip which added both an element of  sexiness and sportiness to it.

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According to Rebecca English’s Daily Mail piece, Kate accessorized with a pair of pink heels that were so high, she wobbled in them.

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And  these were some of the expressions Kate wore in the pics from the same article.

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I would take this entire blog down in exchange for whatever pharmacological grab bag Kate’s got her hands on.  I mean drugs are bad, kids, stay in school.

Kate was back to what she does best on Thursday, sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon and meeting celebs.  The Sun has a photo from her Venus Williams Snapchat video, pics of some of the celebs with whom she rubbed shoulders as well as an amusing comparison between Kate and Sansa, listing Kate’s occupation as “Mum of Two”.   It’s always refreshing when the media doesn’t try to pretend she does much in the way of duchessing.

Hope all of you are having the loveliest of summers! Thanks to all who have inquired about me.

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Kate Middleton Hosts SportsAid Banquet

On Thursday evening, Kate Middleton hosted a SportsAid banquet in the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace as part of the charity’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

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Since becoming patron of SportsAid in 2013, the banquet was Kate’s sixth event for the charity which helps support young British athletes.

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Kate went with electric blue for the event.  It’s a smurfy color…

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It just feels Kate’s overdone it in an unsmurfy way.  And almost always with black court shoes and a black clutch.

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The Roland Mouret gown which retails for just under $3,000  (£2,095) also comes in midnight navy which I think would have been a more sophisticated color option.  Not a fan of the exposed zipper, though.

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The royal blue version feels too casual, although the hue can’t shoulder the blame for the dress’ lackluster styling and Kate’s posture, evoking one of Kate’s 2012 London Olympics looks.

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Kate’s $42,750 (£30,000) Diamond Tricolour Cartier Earrings were barely visible beneath her hair which was likely hungry without its usual follicular feast of extensions and wiglets.

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But they did make sporadic appearances, as can be seen in this screen grab from the Daily Mail.

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The earrings seem to be part of the same design collection as the Cartier Trinity necklace  which Kate debuted in 2012 at London’s National Portrait Gallery at an exhibit of athlete portraits.

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Kate’s  Roland Mouret dress was also accessorized with a singular hair strand.  Hopefully it wasn’t a jumper from Prince William’s head, he has so few to spare.

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Kate stepped up the duchessing at Thursday’s SportsAid banquet and actually delivered a speech.

Emily Andrews of The Sun noted it was Kate’s best to date and while I think she was right, the bar is still very low.

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After five years, Kate should be able to deliver far better than she did.  The speech in its entirety can be watched on YouTube.

Kate was obviously nervous, as evidenced by the deep breaths she took to calm herself.

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Kate’s accent affectation continued to be an issue, in fact for a few words her Received Pronunciation started to drift a bit in an American direction (she didn’t make it all the way, dashing my hopes of an international accent patchwork speech). Kate’s attention was mostly fixed down on her speech instead of out on her audience, her delivery was flat with very little inflection, her phrasing was still unnatural and she seemed palpably uncomfortable.  I have pasted below a transcript of the speech from an Express article by Richard Palmer and did a screen-grab of Kate’s face as she was articulating specific words which I have bolded with the corresponding photos below.

Some of you may know that I love sport.  

"love"

“love”

I love cheering on teams and athletes that I am passionate about.  

"passionate"

“passionate”

I love the physical challenge sport presents and the mental strength it gives us all.  And I love the way it so often brings people together to work as part of a team.  

I suspect many of you in this room may feel the same. The brilliance of SportsAid is in really understanding just how much athletic competition gives to our country as a whole.  By investing in young sporting talent, they ensure that there is a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes.

"inspirational"

“inspirational”

"heroes"

“heroes”

These athletes then serve as motivators to everyone in the UK to get involved, get active, and embrace the power of sport to make us happier and healthier.

"happier"

“happier”

"healthier"

“healthier”

With little over 50 days to go until the Games begin in Rio; the next Olympiad is almost here.  As we did in London in 2012, we will see a new generation of sporting stars emerge into the spotlight.

We cannot wait to meet the next SportsAid champions

"champions"

“champions”

…the next Chris Hoys and Katherine Graingers who will remind us all of the magic and the power of sport.

"magic"

“magic”

"power"

“power”

"sport"

“sport”

So thank you all for supporting the incredible work of SportsAid.  I am immensely proud to be their patron and I can’t wait to cheer on our team competing in Rio.

"proud"

“proud”

I do hope you enjoy tonight’s very special occasion.

"enjoy"

“enjoy”

"very"

“very”

"special"

“special”

"occasion"

“occasion”

Thank you.

"Thank"

“Thank”

"you"

“you”

Most of us can empathize with the nervousness that comes with public speaking.  But many professions and passions require frequent speech giving and Kate chose a profession that requires more speeches than most.  After five years with The Firm, Kate still lacks the skill set for a job she spent almost a decade pursuing.

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Cambridge Catch-Up

Greetings, All.  My apologies for my absence.  I have a new post on Kate Middleton ready to go but wanted to play a little Cambridge Catch-Up before hitting publish on Thursday’s SportsAid event.

Prince William has had two royal firsts since my last post.  After 33 years of princing, Prince William finally went to the The Royal  Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show on May 23rd.

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The flower show was a first for Kate, too.  When Kensington Palace’s Press Office suggested on social media that Prince Harry was a Chelsea Flower Show tag-along newbie, royal watchers quickly corrected them and reminded them of Prince Harry’s previous appearances.

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Even though Prince Harry may come in third in the Palace Press Office hierarchy, royal watchers are getting frustrated with how much Jason Knauf’s PR team keeps dropping the ball when it comes to Harry’s work.  I think Prince Harry’s supporters need a nickname like Beyoncé’s BeyHive.  We could be… the Ginger Rooters?  We’ll work on the name.

At the flower show, Prince William looked just as miserable as one would expect a Reluctant Prince who allegedly thinks flower shows and ribbon cuttings are ridiculous royal duties.

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The above Daily Mail screen grab is now one of my very favorite royal photos, mainly because Prince William has never looked more like Bert from Sesame Street than at that moment.

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The Daily Mail provided a bevy of snaps for Keeping up With the Kambridges screen grabbing.  Kate was almost all of the Seven Dwarfs in them.

Sneezy:

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Sleepy:

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Dopey:

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And Happy:

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One  Daily Mail commenter thought Kate looked more like a garden gnome than a Disney dwarf, though.

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The Chelsea Flower Show also had an incredible installation in honor of The Royal  Horticultural Society’s Patron’s 90th Birthday.

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Among the flowers on display were two that had been named after the Cambridge’s children.

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Before the show, there was a Kate sighting by a Twitter user.

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On the 24th, Kate was papped with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.  Prince George was sitting on a Met Police motorbike with the assistance of four police officers, holding on to the handlebars as he pretended to drive it.  The Cambridge privacy line became even blurrier when media outlets in the UK were permitted to print the photos.

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The photos of Prince George were reminiscent of ones taken of Prince William and Prince Harry when they were young.

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Perhaps the Cambridge’s objections to having their photos taken “off-duty” has more to do with the story the pictures  tell.  The photos of Prince George on a police motorbike with his mother and  sister nearby are image-friendly, photos of him with his nanny are not.

While the Cambridges seem to be on a campaign to ultimately control  their image using social media, social media itself is uncontrollable.  The motorbike photos which many initially assumed would only appear in overseas publications were Retweeted with Kate’s dress identified in less time than it takes to find Waldo.

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Later that day, Kate slipped into the same cream Alexander McQueen coat dress and Jane Taylor fascinator she wore to Prince George’s christening to go with Prince William to his very first Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

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Even Kate has gone to those and yet somehow her 33-year-old  blood royal future king husband remained a Buckingham Palace Garden Party virgin until May 24th of this year.

Jennifer @Chic_Happens_ Tweeted a photo of Princess Diana wearing an outfit very similar to Kate’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party attire.  I inserted a photo of Kate next to it for the sake  of easy comparison.  Soooooo, yeah, that happened.

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Kate also had her glam squad with her at the Garden Party: PA/stylist  Natasha Archer and her hair stylist Amanda Cook Tucker.   Natasha’s boyfriend, royal photographer Chris Jackson, also managed to score an invite.  According to royal.uk, invites to the royal garden parties are a “way of recognising and rewarding public service”.

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Did Amanda Cook Tucker have to swallow a balloon full of wiglets to smuggle them into India or something for this most recent tour?  Nothing about Kate’s garden party hair suggested a need  for an  emergency stylist to be standing by.

Then on May 28th,  the Daily Mail ran a piece on Prince William and Kate taking a private chartered helicopter back to Anmer Hall after Tuesday’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party at a  cost of approximately £5,000.  And the response of DM readers was pretty much what you’d expect.

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What I find interesting is that this helicopter had been chartered at all, considering The Queen has a Sikorsky S-76++ registration number G-XXEB which is primarily used by Prince Charles and in July 2014, the Queen leased an AgustaWestland A109S to be used by William, Kate and other members of the Royal Family.  So why the need to charter a third helicopter?  Who was using the other two?  Hopefully Prince  Andrew didn’t swap them in some kind of shady business deal for magic beans.

But then photos of a Cambridge family outing at the Houghton Hall International Horse Trials with blue bows and matching stripes were published by various outlets such as The Mirror bringing a little peace to the land and a bit more haziness to the Cambridge’s privacy expectations.

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Hello Sailor-ing with Ben Ainslie

On Friday, Kate Middleton went to Portsmouth for some Hello Sailor-ing with Ben Ainslie who holds four gold Olympic medals and one silver in sailing and is trying to win the 2017 America’s Cup for Britain for the first time in the competition’s history.

Kate interacting  with the very dreamy Ben Ainslie is my very favorite Kate of all.  She’s vibrant, engaged, and doesn’t have that glassy-eyed wide-grinned  glazed look of a Xanax-Percocet combo with Stockholm Syndrome chaser like she did last Sunday at Land Rover Presents The Queen’s Birthday.

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Kate is so interested and alert in Ben Ainslie’s presence, I’m not even going to make a joke about this being a check for lobotomy scars.

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Kate met with some kids and got a special Ben Ainslie-guided tour around the £12M operations building which received £7.5M from central government funding.  The Daily Mail provided lots of adorable photos from which these screen grabs were taken.

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Kate slipped out of her nautical McQueen and the Precious and into something a little more Land Rover-branded.

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It was so totally adorable the way Ben Ainslie made sure Kate’s helmet was properly fastened.

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Although it’s possible Ben has seen Kate attempt to clap and didn’t want to take any chances with helmet safety.

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Kate and Ben obviously get along swimmingly with Kate even baring her teeth which is how I’ve theorized in the past Duchess Limpets signal sexual availability.

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Not that I think Kate would actually cheat on Prince William, but flirting with Ben Ainslie is the most normal and relatable thing I’ve ever seen her do. Ben Ainslie is also married with a baby on the way so I doubt he’s guilty of flirting with intent but there definitely seems to be some mutual  chemistry between the two.

Kate and Ben set sail on the Land Rover BAR catamaran.

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This was Kate’s seventh official Ben Ainslie event since becoming involved in his bid to bring the America’s Cup to the UK two years ago.  It’s pretty safe to say Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid is the cause closest the Kate’s heart since Kate had around five hours for Ben Ainslie on Friday and yet only twenty minutes to spare for a recent teen suicide awareness talk and none at all for the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Friday’s Portsmouth events saw three outfits and yet Kate rarely even bothers to take her coat off for visits to her other charities, like when she popped into St. Catherine’s Primary School for a Place2Be assembly sing-along earlier this year, her sixth Place2Be event since becoming Patron in 2013.

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East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices has only seen Kate four times since becoming their patron in 2012 with the latest official event coming in under thirty-five minutes.  EACH just deals with critically ill children, though, and the America’s Cup is so shiny.

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America’s Cup historian John Rousmaniere was quoted in a recent CNN article: “The cost of competing in the world’s oldest continuous sporting event is so “extravagant” that only the very wealthy can afford it.”

The article also noted, “In 2013,  the $100 million price tag for each of the teams meant there were only three challengers.”

BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) was officially launched on June 10, 2014 at an event attended by the Duchess of Cambridge.  Its initial investors are listed in an October 6, 2014 post on Ben Ainslie’s official site.

In June 2015, BAR was renamed Land Rover BAR.

The aforementioned CNN article indicates, “Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history with four gold medals, has raised £50 million ($73 million) from various sponsors, including British car brand Land Rover and online trader CMC Markets. He’s targeting £80 million ($116 million).”

I love sailing, many of the happiest moments in my life have been spent on the water.  But this whole Land Rover BAR bid is about a trophy.  Can you imagine the kind of impact $116 million could make on the lives of those struggling in the UK?

I’m also curious about how Land Rover became involved with Ben Ainslie’s bid and if the undisclosed dealings between the British Royal Family and Land Rover is related.  Like maybe every time Kate gets photographed in a Land Rover, a set amount goes to Ben Ainslie’s bid.  A few months after the historic moment of Prince George being  taken home from the hospital in a Range Rover, the Daily Mail ran a piece on the Middletons being given luxury Range Rovers at a deeply discounted rate which was curious timing.  It’s possible Kate arranged some kind of Land Rover sponsorship deal on Ben Ainslie’s behalf in which case at least she would be using her powers for sort-of good.  It would be nice to see Kate’s enthusiasm for Ben Ainslie’s trophy quest applied to her other charities, though.

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