The Green Goblin & Tight Trousers Strike Canada – Day 4

On Day 4, when Kate Middleton emerged for royal duties in Dolce & Gabbana, royal watchers anxiously waited to see if her dress had the design’s enormous hideous giant pocket watch patch.

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Thankfully, Kate avoided the Atlantic City-style Alice in Wonderland embellishment, leaving William’s short and overtly snug trousers as the day’s most visually surreal clothing element.

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Seriously, I am so tired of seeing Prince William’s khaki penis whiskers.  Don’t look too closely if you feel like you’re going to throw up a little in your mouth, but one of his balls is being squeezed like a pimple and that can’t be comfortable.

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The color of Kate’s dress was a very royal tour shade of green, known to everyone who has almost choked  to death  from car freshener fumes in the back of a taxi cab as Royal Pine.

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I put a red vertical line over this screen grab to illustrate what a disservice Kate does to herself with her quest to over-tailor everything to the point of constriction because she doesn’t think that we get yet that she’s skinny.  The askew buttons ruined the front of her £2,000 designer frock.

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The poorly fitted 1940s-style dress made me wonder if Kate also shares my dream of a full-out 1990s Kinderwhore revival, but Kate’s choice of sedate nude LK Bennett court shoes and clutch made me realize with great sadness that the only figure from 1993 Kate will ever channel is Married… with Children bank manager Marcy D’Arcy, not Courtney Love.

Not that we were ever going to see plastic poodle barrettes and heroin needles poking out out of Kate’s extensions anyway, but ffs, sex this thing up a little.  Between Kate’s so-called wardrobe malfunctions, Prince William’s ball floss trousers and two children, we know they’re anatomically correct and likely use their genitals, Kate could go a little naughty with the shoes or bag.  Maybe even a berry-stained lip.  Just something to hint her next patronage won’t be at the Celibacy Library where every book is filled with only pure thoughts.

The first half of the day’s events were spent in Kelowna, British Columbia where they watched a volleyball game at the University of British Columbia.  Grand Chief Stewart Phillip was set to attend but pulled out last-minute again, renewing his protest and was replaced by Chief Jonathan Kruger at the event.  The Cambridges gathered up more gifts and worked the crowd according to this Emily Nash Tweet.

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Huh, so they do “work”.  Then the Green Goblin and Tight Trousers headed to a food tasting festival at Mission Hill Winery where they ate some penis clam.  Raw.

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Yeah, when I first saw these things at a market in Seattle, I just assumed they were for some kind of black magic rituals to hex ex-boyfriends.  They’re actually even more traumatizingly flesh-colored once washed off and are supposed to be delicious, just unfortunate looking, but no.  Just no.

I do like to call attention to the positive and Prince William genuinely did seem at times to want to create memorable moments yesterday with those who had gathered which is the closest thing I can find for a point for these types of  events so well done, Tight Trousers.

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While the Cambridges cut some pinot noir grapes, there was no mention in the press about a proper wine tasting, just that Kate drank cassis and passed on the whiskey.  (UPDATE: According to reader and area resident, Arlene, they did do a private wine-tasting, no press was allowed though.)  Then they flew up to Whitehorse in the  Yukon where it was unreasonably cold for September.  When I Googled temps at 2:45pm EST, it was 34°F (1°C).

Kate slipped on a Hobbs coat and carried a maple leaf tartan scarf.  At the airport, they were greeted by Canadian Rangers and Junior Rangers.  The Lone Ranger was a no-show.

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Then they headed to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre to watch some performances.

Day 5 is already underway so with only three more days to go, this tour might wind up being historically noteworthy as the first official royal tour Kate has pulled off without having a significant wardrobe malfunction.  34-year-old duchesses grow up so fast.

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Days 2 & 3 of the Canada Tour

The Cambridge’s Canada tour is even more lackluster than the India/Bhutan tour which is why I’m grouping Days 2 & 3 together, it’s hardly worth putting energy into it when the total combined fucks given by Prince William and Kate Middleton can’t even be seen by the naked eye. The only thing that seems remotely funny about the lack of effort the touring royals are putting into this for the crowds is the statement Kensington Palace Tweeted on Saturday.

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I know, right?  I’m keeping that one on the Desktop, I think it will deliver laughs for years to come.

On Sunday, Prince William  and Kate Middleton undertook a series of events in Vancouver which were overshadowed by Prince William’s admission he hadn’t bothered to read the notes given to him along with epic hideousness of Kate’s £4,000 ($5,200 in USD) Alexander McQueen dress  that was so ugly, it left an aftertaste.  This thing had a late 60s bathroom wallpaper pattern, an early 70s young miss bodice cut, an eyelet lace ruffle, and two tiers of tragic that looked like they wanted to be the bottom of Xena Warrior Princess’ leathers.

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Amazingly, Kate had no recorded flashes, although in Twitter pics, there was various puckering from the bodice being too tight and at one point, her skirt started creeping up in the back.

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Kate paired that f.u. to fashion with a £640 red Miu Miu bag and red Hobbs court shoes.

Photo ops for the Cambridges on Monday included visits to Sheway which helps mothers and pregnant women struggling with addiction and other issues, Immigration Services Society of B.C. where they met with Syrian refugees, a reception for young leaders in  arts, sports and business, and the Kitsilano Coastguard Station where they met with emergency responders and social workers.  The day netted an impressive haul of gifts for the Cambridges.

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Richard Palmer revealed that at Sheway, Prince William missed the connection between the charity and his mother’s work with Women’s Reproductive Maternity Service in Glasgow, admitting he hadn’t gotten through his notes yet.  Richard Palmer also wrote an article about William’s not being prepared for the event.

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The events with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, just further highlighted how unprepared Prince William and Kate are not only as public figures, but as adults in general.

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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau has the presence of a woman confidant and secure with her role as a public figure and there’s just something so warm an welcoming about Justin Trudeau.  And I’m not just saying that because he’s got great hair.

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While crowds have been turning up for these events, not all were royal supporters.  Some gatherers dragged along a guillotine and dressed up as henchman, bringing cosplay to their Cambridge criticism which just highlights how much I’m half-assing it here.

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Rather hardcore for Canada.  Up until Sunday, this had been known  as the rowdiest protest ever in the Great White North:

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On Monday, Prince William and Kate were welcomed by Heiltsuk First Nation  in Bella Bella, the Cambridges received more gifts, then Prince William delivered a speech to mark the inclusion of the Great Bear Rainforest in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.  Wearing a Holland Holland jacket, Zara jeggings, her Chilvers boots and Pippa Small earrings, Kate was in a mood.

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Here are the Faces of Kate from all of Monday’s engagements (click on it for a larger version).

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To me it looked like Kate’s desire to be anywhere but the rain  forest dipped even further when William whispered something in her ear during the Bella Bella welcome ceremony.  From the wounded expression on her face, I imagine it was something along the lines of “Jeggings suck!” or “So, Angelina’s single and you’re tedious…”  Maybe Kate was plotting a nip slip for this tour and William told her absolutely nothing above the waist, those were harder to try to explain to Granny.

Because of the rain which weirdly fell at the rain forest, a couple of the events were canceled but Emily Andrews Tweeted some pics of what they missed.

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On Twitter, @Peppersmint noted the canceled events had still found their way in the Court Circular though.  Maybe the Cambridges did other fun holiday stuff on their own so they figured close enough.

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More than one member of the press in attendance Tweeted the existential joke, “What am I doing here?”

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Unfortunately, Kate rarely utters even a quotable sound-bite, preferring to contribute as little as possible to these events so clothing has to be the focus.  It’s been five years, maybe we should let Google know her profession isn’t Philanthropist, it’s Mostly-Retired Long-Waisted Catalogue Model.

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Later at a reception at the Government House, Kate still looked a bit glassy-eyed in her red Preen Finella dress.

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Kate clutched Jenny Packham this go-round and there was a second appearance by the Maple Leaf brooch.  So again, Kate doesn’t seem to have packed any tour bling beyond a host country brooch, rewearing instead her £130.00 Soru Jewellry earrings, I guess because either she couldn’t find a pair of matching cigarette butts or George wouldn’t let her borrow the glitter glue.

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The events had the looming spectre of a snub by one of the chiefs who opted out of  the Black Rod ceremony in protest of what he felt was a charade  due to  the treatment of his people by the Canadian government.  There’s a great article about it by Richard Palmer in Express.

Today Prince William and Kate will have four photo op events, one of which will involve wine tasting so there will be more opportunities to alienate the public with his uttered gaffes and her stony silence.

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La Vie En Bleu

On Saturday just shy of 4pm, the Cambridge’s plane landed in Victoria, kicking off their eight day Canadian tour, the cost of which is born by the host company.  Prince William and Kate’s 2011 Canada Tour came in around $1.2 million for taxpayers.

Even before the Cambridges touched down, Twitter revealed that no matter where the new royal tours go, the same old frustrations still exist.

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Really, that’s how the Palace want to kick off the tour?  Ticking off the skilled professionals who use their talents to paint the Cambridges in a more interesting hue in the global media?  This group who climbed into shuttles to meet the Cambridge Quartet at the airport?

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The littlest royals were spotted peaking out of the craft ahead of the official arrival.  I imagine Prince George turned to the staff and said, “Nope.  Shut it down.”

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Weather at the time of the landing was overcast and in the upper 50s.

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The Cambridges wore blue because no other colors exist for them anymore, they have adopted the hue as their official  team color.  Kate was in Jenny Packham, a Lock & Co hat and wore the Maple Leaf Brooch, on loan from the Queen.

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It was Kate’s best arrival look to date and was fitted which avoided flashing.  Kate’s Jenny Packham shade was slightly more sophisticated than the Smurf Blue she’s been favoring during her Blue Period.  She managed to make it down the stairs in nude heels, carrying Charlotte and holding George’s hand when the steps proved a bit steep for his little legs.

Kate tried to create cute kid moments but looked like the socially awkward adult at parties who targets the family cat and winds up clutching poor Fluffy like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Kate’s attentions were focused on trying to get Charlotte to wave and squatting down in front of George in a rather unregal manner instead of interacting with the adults who waited around on a tarmac to greet them such as the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

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It appears the Windsor is already coming out in Charlotte who looks to me like she will resemble Princess Eugenie.

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George managed to get off a royal wave but was more interested in a Sea King that was landing nearby so no paternity test is needed.

The royal convoy then made a quick trip to the Government House.

According to the royal correspondents on Twitter, approximately 10,000 people gathered to welcome the Cambridges to Victoria.  Unfortunately for those who were waiting, Prince William and Kate were running late so staff gathered up the bouquets instead.

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Prince William and Kate laid a wreath in honor of Canada’s fallen soldiers and shook hands with select military personnel.

As part of the welcome ceremony, Prime Minister Trudeau and Prince William gave speeches. The reception Prime Minister Trudeau received suggests he was a large part of the event’s draw, he received louder cheers than the Cambridges.

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William attempted a line in French, sheepishly admitting his French was “rusty”.  As someone who hasn’t had a chance to speak French often over the last few years, I would describe mine as rusty, Prince William’s French was a linguistic massacre.  I died a little inside.  In lieu of flowers or donations, please send Chanel.

At the end of the welcome ceremony, Kate accepted flowers and the couple headed to the Government House for a photo op with the Trudeaus.  While Sophie Trudeau is touted as a fashion icon, I can’t be supportive of the Duchess of York style shoulder bows on her Edition de Robe dress, discordant eggplant Saucy milliner hat (which  I love on its own) and plastic and suede court shoes.

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But at least it wasn’t blue.  Picasso’s infamous Blue Period marked a time of severe depression and despair in his life between the years of 1901 and 1904.  Kate’s been hitting the blue hard lately.  Hopefully she is okay and the observation that if she loses those pesky last 20 grams of spinal cord, she’ll finally obtain her goal of being just a floating head isn’t in poor taste.  Normally it would be irregardless, but given her pre-wedding comment about her concerning weight loss being “all part of the plan”, I suspect Kate would find it the nicest compliment I’ve ever paid her.

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Mental Health by Mattel

After holidaying at Balmoral with the Queen, Prince William and Kate Middleton returned to duty with an appearance at Stewards Academy in Essex which participates in the Place2Be program.

While Kate is the royal patron of Place2Be, there is unfortunately not much to discuss about the Paper Doll Duchess beyond her outfit.  The speech was given by Prince William and Kate made no comments deemed noteworthy by the press.  The conversation contributions Kate did manage were hard to hear and based on her hand gestures seemed like they were probably pamphlet parroting (she makes air circles when she regurgitates material).

At Friday’s event, Kate debuted a $2,150 (£1,728) dress by Altuzarra.

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At first glance, I thought the 1930s-inspired dress had a black and white pill pattern, but alas, it was abstract dots.  Kate accessorized it into sedation with her usual LK Bennett nude court shoes and Nina box clutch combo.  Given that the cut of the dress with its yoke and button-down front has a vintage housedress feel, she really needed to take it in a different direction with the accessories.  The dress cried out for a belt on her and Kate loves to belt dresses so I’m not really sure where cinching breakdown occurred.  And if Kate really feels strongly about wearing a court shoe, I wish she would at least go with one that doesn’t look like a leather lobotomy like this Paul Andrew Ayla pump.

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Even though Kate has a runway figure, she always sticks with the same fashion formula: dress + pumps + clutch =  wake me when it’s over.  I would have loved  to see something other than the same old, maybe over the knee boots and a top knot bag.  This is a glorious time for accessories from Chanel pearls to the revival of kinderwhore Mary Janes, leather bags with chains and candy-colored faux fur scarves.  Designers like Saint Laurent have left no woman behind in their fall collections.  And for all of the duchess’ McQueen,  how does she not have these gloves?  How do I not have these gloves?

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Kate’s Altuzarra dress had a sexed-up high side slit that was tamed by some tailoring but she still managed to show off some of her legs with long strides upon arrival, which was really the only time I noticed she came with bendable joints.

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Otherwise Kate’s body language seemed rigid throughout the two hour engagement  suggesting she was even more  uncomfortable than usual.  In candid pics, Kate looked like she had been bent into  poses meant to mimic animation during the product shoot and was in danger of tipping over.

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With her doll hair, Kate basically looked like Mental Health Midge, a member of Barbie’s squad who, according to the box, cares how you feel, leather couch, framed diploma and prescription pad sold separately.

While William and Kate were doing their greetings, the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Jonathan Douglas-Hughes, took a tumble.  The Daily Mail has a video.  Compassionate Kate was so worried about the welfare of the 72-year-old man, her reaction was to turn her back to him and attempt to resume her conversation with her hand on her chest to convey surprise by the disruption and possibly concern.  Once Kate realized all of the attention was on the man sprawled out on the pavement, she then turned back again and took a couple of awkward steps towards him and stopped as Prince William and others helped him up.  Fortunately, the man was just embarrassed and did not appear to be injured beyond needing an ice pack for his wrist, although hopefully he was looked at by a medical professional.

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Prince William and Kate attended an assembly at which selected students highlighted some of the issues they face with changes in their lives.  Despite Place2Be being Kate’s charity, Prince William was the voice at the event, providing sound bites and a speech during which he admitted to having the jitters which had a humanizing effect and seemed to put everyone at ease.

Based on how uncomfortable Kate appears at events focusing on mental health, I’m not sure this is the cause for her.  It doesn’t exactly help destigmatize mental health issues when the charity’s patron doesn’t look like she wants to be there and decides to pass along speaking responsibilities to her husband.  I mean, Prince William doesn’t ask her to pretend to be a pilot, she should be able to step up to the podium.  Allegedly at the launch of the Heads Together campaign, Kate was the only one slated to speak but she decided last minute she couldn’t do it so the speech was divided up with Princes William and Harry delivering the bulk of the content.  A forum comment I randomly stumbled across mentions organizers were left scrambling two hours before the event to find additional podiums and microphones:

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While Kate has always struggled with public speaking, she seems either less willing or less able to perform one of her major job requirements when it comes to the Heads Together campaign.  If mental health doesn’t interest her or makes her feel uncomfortable, it is too important a cause to have its Palace-professed champion attempt to convey the message that mental health issues are something everyone should feel comfortable talking about while remaining silent.

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Prince Alexander’s Christening

On Friday, Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, Duke of Södermanland, son of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, was christened at the Drottningholm Palace Chapel.

The godparents for the fifth in line to the throne are: Crown Princess Victoria, Victor Magnuson (Prince Carl Philip’s cousin), Jan-Åke Hansson (Prince Carl Philip’s friend and best man), Lina Frejd (Sofia’s sister) and Cajsa Larsson (Sofia’s friend).

At just four and a half months old, Prince Alexander seems to be ballin’.   He’s already been on two international  holidays, the first to Spain and the second to the south of  France and  has spent time at the track to watch his father race.

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He even did it in a sun-and-paparrazi-shielding bucket hat with a swallow design that is popular for tattoos.   I bet even his binky is badass.

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I don’t spend a lot of time around tiny humans but Prince Alexander seems  pretty advanced for just four and a half months.  I’m pretty sure he’s sitting on an ace-high straight flush in this photo released ahead of his baptism.

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On Friday at the Drottningholm Palace Chapel christening ceremony, Prince Alexander looked like he was making some after-after-party plans with his cousin, Prince Oscar.

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For the littlest prince’s baptism, Sofia pulled a Kate Middleton and matched her attire to the christening gown which caused  the predictable photographic challenges.

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Not only is finding Prince Alexander in group photos like playing Where’s Waldo, White Lace Edition, in some of the pics it created a spectral glow.

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Sofia’s lace ensemble was custom made by Ida Sjöstedt, the same designer who created  her wedding gown.  The floral elements in the chapel for Prince Alexander’s christening (photos can be seen in the Daily Mail’s piece) were the same color scheme as Prince Carl Philip’s and Sofia’s wedding so it’s possible Sofia was intentionally referencing a bridal look with the white lace dress and center-parted updo which was very similar to how she wore her hair on her wedding day.

It was a big day for Prince Alexander who also received the Order of  the Seraphim.   Traditionally, the Order of the Seraphim wasn’t awarded until a member of the royal family turned 18, but the youngest generation  of Swedish royal babies have all received theirs during baptism.  It seems strange to give Sweden’s most prominent honor to an infant… it’s almost sends the message that they’re special by virtue of their bloodline and will be handed things without merit.   Okay, so that’s basically being royal in a nutshell, but it’s also the antithesis  of Sweden’s beliefs.  Perhaps that’s why the Order of the Seraphim is now given as part of  the baptism package, the Swedish Royal Family is unsure if there will still be a Swedish Royal Family when its youngest members turn eighteen.  Prince Alexander tried  to eat his newly acquired order proving he may just be wise beyond his months.

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Cornwall Tour Light

On Thursday, Prince William and Kate Middleton began a two day mini tour of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, staying at the historic 16th century Restormel Manor in Lostwithiel on Thursday night.  This Tour Light is the Cambridge’s first official visit to Cornwall which will one day give them millions of reasons to stick with the royaling.  The Duchy of Cornwall presently provides Prince Charles with approximately £20million in annual income and will pass to William when Charles gets kinged.

For Day 1, Kate wore a Lela Rose dress (initially sold for $1,295) which has the same cut as most of her dresses in the same shade of PMS pink as the McQueen pieces she debuted in Adelaide.  This isn’t Kate’s first Lela Rose dress, the US designer also made the white doily dress Kate wore to the reception hosted by Australia’s Governor General.  Kate’s accessories with this pink dress underwhelmed with her Kiki McDonough earrings getting lost in her hair and the beige Monsoon wedges receiving the brunt of the criticism.  Wedge dismay appeared in the top ten highest rated comments of the Daily Mail piece on the first day of the tour.

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Throughout the day’s events, Kate’s fingers frequently retreated into her hair sparking critical comments on social media while Kate’s rapid fire facial expression rotation left me with second-hand TMJ.  Kate appeared to be on stage  in a summer improv class with an instructor commanding her, “You’re sad.   You’re a sad tree.  You’re Howdy Doody.  You’re Howdy Doody telekinetically making soup with too much parsley.  Now you’re a spider monkey.  You’re a sexy spider monkey.  You’re a sexy tree that just ate a sad spider monkey.”  No smile was too big to fake, no sympathetic head tilt too steep to make.  Just some of the many Faces of Kate on Thursday:

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If only Kate cared as much about her posture as her exaggerated expressions.  The last person with this much of a hunched back lived in a bell tower:

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It can’t be comfortable to sit like that.  She looks like she has a turtle head poking out of a pink shell.

Arriving by helicopter on Thursday, the Cambridges started off the Cornwall tour-ette with a stop at Truro Cathedral where they signed a slate for their £3.2 new roof campaign.

Afterwards, they went on a royal walkabout.

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Kensington Palace naturally went with a photo on Twitter where the crowd was a little denser.  No wonder they want royal reporting to become an extinct profession, they aren’t drawing the same kind of crowds anymore, although there was much more of a turn-out in Cornwall than at recent events.

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Prince William and Kate hit another drop-in centre, the Zebs Youth Centre  which provides local adults-to-be with creative outlets.  After a tour, both Prince William and Kate admitted it took a long time to figure out what they wanted to be when they grow up.

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Strange remarks considering Prince William has had that future king gig on hold for him and Kate seems pretty fixed on a life of doing as much nothing as humanly possible.

Prince William and Kate headed to Healeys Cyder Farm which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

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Kate passed on the cider but did take a small sip of whiskey suggesting she is probably not presently pregnant despite her small B Cups looking like they got a visible boost.  I guess sometimes good bras happen to lazy duchesses.

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Kate also got hands-on with a horse, putting to rest horse allergy rumors.  The rumor traces back to Kate herself at a polo match during the Waitying Years.  When Australian writer Kathy Lette asked Kate why she didn’t play, Kate retorted that she was allergic.  Unaware that Kate was on a royal girlfriend high horse, Kathy took Kate’s cold brush-off at face value and repeated her remarks.  Horses got back at Kate during the royal wedding, though.  Reportedly several of the horses were unusually difficult to handle that day with one horse throwing its rider near the carriage and making a break for it, spooking Kate in the process.  But on Thursday when the Duchess of Cambridge met Duchess the horse, there appeared to be no hard feelings.

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They checked out development projects in Nansledan and Tregunnel Hill before wrapping the day up on Newquay’s Towan Beach.

I’m sure it was a total coincidence the royal press pack was left to wait for William and Kate’s arrival at the water’s edge with the tide rising.

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The Cambridges met with the group Young People Cornwall Wave Project which uses surfing to promote mental well-being.

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At the photo-op, the Cambridges went with I’m-not-a-regular-Mom-I’m-a-cool-Mom gnarly hand gestures.  Somewhere Prince George and Princess Charlotte instinctively shuddered and died a little inside.

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What makes it an even more cringe-worthy photo is the placement of Kate’s other hand.  She looks like she’s diddling Miss Daisy, tickling her ivories, dancing with herself…

Despite there being much to criticize, there were also moments where the Cambridges seemed to have genuine moments with people sincerely excited about seeing them.

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That’s what I find so frustrating about Prince William and Kate.  They are both capable of performing their duties and giving people wonderful memories they will carry with them throughout their lives.   How can anyone capable of providing flickers of happy or at least a little brightness in the lives of others merely by showing up resist engagements and hole up in the Fortress of Solitude?  Hopefully whatever they decided they want to be when they grow up will involve performing their duties and serving those who support the monarchy.

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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):

JustinTrudeauPM

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:

RPCanadaTourConfirmation

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:

DMAmericansPayingForRoyalSecurityComment

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

USPoliceProtectionforPellyWedding

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.

PellyRoyalConvoy

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.

KPCanadaSpecialMemories

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.

EnglishDMArticle

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.

BenAinslieWhereabouts

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”:

GoogleSearchBen Ainslie

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.

KateMeetingBenAinslie

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

PippaBenAinslie

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

Kate&BenAward

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

KateGivesBenMedal

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

WilliamGivesBenMedal

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.

Ben,Kate&William

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:

BenAinslieTurtleneck

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.

RebeccaEnglishUpdate

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.

NirajHelicopterRide

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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