The royal bore tour is finally over. After the plane landed, Prince William and Kate were either headed to Bucklebury as the press reported or the far more likely Anmer Hall where Carole Middleton, who had been taking care of the Half-Blood Prince and Princess, is most at home. Here’s how the last two pointless days of the India and Bhutan tour and the Dull Duo’s fifth anniversary jolly went down.
On the sixth day of the royal tour, Prince William and Kate Middleton gave the world a reminder they are royal and everything is about them always. While royal tours are ostensibly to help boost tourism, Prince William and Kate weren’t about to let media access ruin their visit to the Tiger’s Nest monastery, permitting the press only to go half way on the hike, leaving the public to imagine what the rest of the scenery and monastery might like. I’m picturing Kate with a wine bottle in one hand and cigarette in the other while Prince William sits side-saddle on a tiger, his pants around his ankles while he drools over a centerfold in Douchebag Digest.
This is what the Tiger’s Nest monastery looks like for anyone who wants a DIY mental image of the private official engagement:
This is what Kate wore:
No one really knows why.
Perhaps Kate dressed like a character from Robin Hood: Men in Tights for the hike in homage to Bhutan’s national sport, archery.
Some royal watchers saw other characters.
Like most of Kate’s clothing this tour, many were left scratching their heads with Janet Street-Porter from the Independent dubbing Kate The Duchess of Drab.
Prince William was flushed and sweaty and even the press pack struggled with their part of the hike.
On Kate, however, there wasn’t even a whisper of glistening which is surprising because her hair was down and she was wearing a Really Wild leather vest and her Penelope Chilvers boots. Shiver me Chilvers.
Various theories were floated as to how Kate appeared to be unaffected by a two and a half hour hike each way, with some attributing her lack of hike glow to sweat-preventing Botox while others suggested she’s in great shape because of her exercise regimen.
Of course, Kate bringing along a glam squad trio on the hike probably helped.
Not all were impressed with their efforts, though. Kate’s add-on hair looked like it was made by Mattel.
A row ensued between the Palace and the press which had gone to great efforts to be there to cover the hike and monastery visit, only to be told the duke and duchess wanted part of the event to be private. According to an excellent article written by Richard Palmer, “The Cambridges have excluded media from several parts of their tour, prompting tension with journalists who believe the palace has an agenda to try to take control of the message and diminish the role of a media trying to hold them to account.”
Television news crews were the most peeved due to equipment-hauling crankiness. The Palace tried to smooth things over by allowing a brief interview of Prince William and Kate about what they thought of the hike and monastery. According to Richard Palmer’s piece, “Palace officials relented after the broadcasters began running pieces a suggesting the couple were enjoying a taxpayer-funded sightseeing trip without letting the people who paid for it see the results.” The handful of answers provided by the Cambridges weren’t even akin to tossed crumbs, it was like taking the last piece of cake and then deigning to briefly describe it to the person who didn’t get a piece.
Kate opted to not give a speech on this tour and uttered very few words in public during the engagements so the press had to take whatever it could get, dutifully reporting that Kate said, “I feel very lucky and fortunate to see such beautiful scenery,” and also indicated that the hike was, “a great way to burn off the curry.”
While Prince William has never made a secret of his disdain for the media since he was a boy, he may soon get his wish of them all disappearing, and with them, the monarchy. At first, it didn’t look like the Express was even going to send royal correspondent, Richard Palmer, because decreased interest in the couple prior to the tour made the cost a questionable allocation of is resources. In a piece Camilla Tominey wrote, she indicated, “last week journalists who had travelled thousands of miles at great expense found themselves able to cover just one job a day in Delhi. On several occasions, parts of the tour were deemed “private”.”
In the wake of criticism of being work-shy, Prince William and Kate couldn’t even make it through a week-long tour without asserting their perceived right to also be on a taxpayer-funded holiday. How much of a break do they need from going on a safari, playing cricket, meeting Bollywood stars and watching people dance?
Like many tourists on holiday, after the Tiger’s Nest monastery hike, the Cambridge’s stopped to pick up some souvenir trinkets. Prince William got a small bronze tiger and Kate picked out a pair of earrings, borrowing the money from their foreign affairs advisor, Sir David Manning, because carrying cash is for peasants.
Later in the day, Prince William and Kate attended a reception for people from Bhutan who have lived or worked in the UK.
Hopefully the hosts put out a more substantial spread than just cheesy snacks and a bowl of nuts like the Cambridges did at the reception’s Kensington Palace counterpart.
Kate wore a red Beulah London dress with a poppy print. Bhutan’s national flower is the rare blue poppy.
On the seventh day of the royal tour, Prince William and Kate flew from Bhutan to Agra for their Taj Mahal photo op and private tour. Perhaps all that private holiday time on the taxpayer dime left William feeling a little frisky because Rebecca English made an amusing observation:
With scorching temps in Agra, royal correspondents and photographers waited around for the photo op. The Cambridge’s tour of the Taj Mahal also deemed private time.
1,000 rupees sure doesn’t buy a lot these days.
Kate wore a dress by Indian designer, Naeem Khan.
To no one’s surprise, they recreated the iconic Princess Diana Taj Mahal photo.
Kate’s hair showed that the second biggest con job in the UK is being pulled off by her traveling hair stylist, Amanda Cook Tucker.
It looks like Amanda Cook Tucker has been using the hair and styling tools from Barbie’s Cut and Style Princess on Kate.
Before the trip, the Palace released a statement that “The Duke and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour.” Seriously, why does no one in this family send food hampers or flowers or one of those Edible Arrangements where they cut fruit into the shape of flowers? Their pineapple is delicious. Also, thanks yous don’t usually wind up costing the recipient.
A spokesperson quoted in a BBC article changed the official tune to, “They made the decision because it is what all visitors to the Taj Mahal do – they sit on the bench with the perfect symmetry of the building behind them.” Oh, so now they are just tourists like everyone else, that does make everything much clearer then. The BBC article also supplied a quote from their tour guide which offered a glimpse into Kate’s perspective on this trip: “She said this is the perfect thing to do before their wedding anniversary.”
While the Palace is eager to respin the small crowds in India and a bore of a royal tour into something that looks a little less pointless, the media is less keen on joining in their reindeer games.
India’s press failed to fall under the fairytale spell the British media has been selling.
Unfortunately for the British Monarchy, very few buy into the fairytale version anymore. No matter how hard anyone tries to spin William and Kate, there’s nothing of interest to shake loose. The Mirror ran an opinion piece by Carole Malone which described the couple as “boring. They couldn’t cobble together a personality between them.” No matter how great the set, the characters make or break a story and neither Prince William or Kate have much appeal to any audience.