Tag Archives: Prince Harry

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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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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The Queen Opens Parliament

At 90, Queen Elizabeth II is more than twice my real age and more than three times my pretend age. Today she opened Parliament with the kind of pomp and ceremony that has kept the British Monarchy in business.  For the first time in her sixty-four years as Queen, one minor traditional  concession was made to the toll ninety years has taken on her body and Her Majesty took a lift instead of the stairs to execute her Parliamentary duties.

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As Queen Elizabeth II famously proclaimed, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”  And she meant it, she’s in it for the long haul with the type of dedication to duty that has garnered global respect and admiration.

Queen Elizabeth II has only missed the State Opening of Parliament twice, once while pregnant with Prince Andrew in 1959 and the second time while pregnant with Prince Edward in 1963.  As spectacular as it is to watch such a grand tradition as the Opening of Parliament, the Queen is a nonagenarian and it’s hard not to feel exhaustion empathy for her.

The Queen rolled up to the State Opening of Parliament  in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.  Coaches are uncomfortable to ride in, even the magically conjured one in Cinderella looked as smooth a ride as a Hippity Hop bouncing its way to the ball.

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In a coach, every bump in the road sends a jolt through every injury you’ve ever sustained in your life. Tell me this isn’t the face of a woman wistfully longing for the smooth suspension and plush leather seats of a luxury automobile or at the very least, a pair of padded knickers.

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A  gilded carriage does make a statement, but so would the Queen arriving by jet pack with less of a scrambled feeling upon arrival.

Then the Queen slipped  into  something a little more uncomfortable, the Robe of State which weighs 15lbs and is 18 feet in length.  Does a 90 year-old woman really need  to be wearing ceremonial garb that footmen help carry?

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Couldn’t she just wear a Snuggie?  It comes in Royal Purple.

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The Imperial State Crown worn by Her Majesty weighs 2.3lbs.  While that may not sound terribly heavy, try putting a pair of standard 1lb ankle weights on your head.  I can’t even deal with them on my ankles.

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As much as I love head  sparkle, maybe the Queen should  pick up one of those Aros sweatshirts where the hoodie inflates  into a pillow.  Sometimes my head feels heavy even without a crown.

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The whole State Opening of Parliament could be done much more efficiently by simply getting one of those reversible Open/Closed  signs  that hang from a chain.  The Queen could just flip it to signal  the Opening of Parliament with a generically upbeat pop song like Katy Perry’s “Roar” playing in lieu of the Queen reading a ten minute speech outlining the government’s agenda.

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Considering the tradition of imprisoning the Vice-Chamberlain to ensure the monarch’s safe return from Parliament  is still ceremonially observed, it’s unlikely we’ll see the Queen with a pair of sneakers peeping out from beneath one of Angela Kelly’s gowns.  I marvel at all the Queen manages to do at 90.

The monarchy is long past the point the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became full-time royals.  Although even counting their physical presence at official engagements in the Court Circular seems almost pointless considering how lackluster their appearances are.  At the launch of the Heads Together Campaign on Monday, Prince Harry’s presence made it even more apparent that Prince William and Kate are ill-prepared for their roles.  In a speech divided between the three, Prince Harry was the only one who engaged the audience, while the delivery of his brother was flat and detached and his sister-in-law only attempted  a few forgettable sentences.  Other than the three donning boxing gloves for photo ops and  Kate wearing a skirt Banana Republic likely won’t restock, it was hard to figure out the objective of the event which was said to work towards erasing the stigma of mental illness.

But then I spotted this photo.

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That’s the kind of genuine warmth that reaches people and gives them hope.

Were it not for chance of birth order, the future of the British Monarchy would be bright.  And the stoic perseverance of the Queen to continue the monarchy would make sense.  I feel Prince Charles will make a good king but his reign realistically will be brief and then the British Monarchy will be left with Ignorance and Want huddling beneath the ghostly robes of history.

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Close Encounters of the Prince Harry Kind

Today’s post is guest-authored by a woman named Ashley who has shared with us our her account of being within close proximity to Prince Harry during the Invictus Games.  Ashley offers incredible insight into Prince Harry, his warmth, sincerity and genuine commitment to his role as both a prince and a humanitarian.  The photos Ashley took of the driving force behind Invictus are the end of her incredible account.

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On Monday, May 9, 2016, my sister Amy and I were attending the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. The Invictus Games were established by Prince Harry as a competitive international event for wounded veterans. We were able to attend the Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, May 8th at the ESPN Wide World of Sports venue at Disney, at which Prince Harry, Michelle Obama, Pres. George W. Bush, and Morgan Freeman made appearances and spoke. We’d already fully enjoyed that event, and as a sort of “cherry on top” we decided to attend two sporting events on the first day of competition – Monday.

On Monday, the first event we were scheduled to attend was the Indoor Rowing Finals, held in a large stadium called the HP Fieldhouse. We arrived at 1:45pm, about 15min after the event had begun, and as we entered the stands we showed our ticket to a worker who then let us know that we had the choice either of sitting in section 103, which was closest to the action, or in section 203, which was one level up. Since I had my larger camera with me and wanted to get some wide-perspective shots, I suggested to Amy that we sit in 203 first (which only had about 6 people seated there at the time) and then move to 103 later, as the competition was supposed to run for at least 3-4 hours and we knew we’d have plenty of time to move around.

When we were walking up the wide cement steps to section 203, we saw an Australian gentleman wearing an athlete’s jersey sitting a few rows up on the stairs, playing a gigantic didgeridoo. I was excited, because I’d never seen one outside of TV, so I made a mental note that I wanted to get a picture of him before we moved to the other section.

We sat about four rows up in the section, Amy in the end seat and I one in, and the Australian man was sitting just to the right of Amy, one step up. After about 10 minutes of taking wide-shot photos of the stadium, I decided to turn and ask the Aussie if he would take Amy’s and my picture with the stadium in the background – and I intended to also ask if I could get a pic of him with his instrument.

However, as I half- stood and turned to ask him, I suddenly realized there was another man who had come and sat next to him on the step. And after a split second, I realized it was Prince Harry!! First, my brain said, “That is Prince Harry!” then immediately I thought, “That’s not possible. It can’t be Prince Harry!” And then my brain did some sort of calculation that went “Red hair – beard – black Invictus polo shirt – lanky build – it IS PRINCE HARRY.” And for a second my heart stopped and my brain just about fried. And my next thought was “how am I going to tell Amy without making any noise??” because Prince Harry was less than a foot from her right shoulder, seated a step above, and I knew if I said anything above a whisper he would hear me!!

I sat down, turned to Amy, grabbed her knee and said in a very soft whisper, “Prince Harry is JUST behind your shoulder!!” Amy says she thought I was joking until she saw my face and realized that I was actually serious. I had to repeat myself for her to understand. And then it was so strange because even though she knew he was there, she couldn’t turn around to look because she was too close!! So we just sat perfectly still for a few seconds collecting our thoughts. I had both my big camera and my phone in my hand, and I debated whether I wanted to try to use the big camera, but it was so obvious that Prince Harry was trying to be incognito (up there in the non-lighted, empty stands, sitting on a cement step) and so I decided not to use the big camera. Instead, I took a series of pictures silently using my phone with Prince Harry in them. I’m sure his security detail noticed Amy and I taking cell phone pics, but we never interrupted him or made any scene, so they never said anything to us. A couple of people did step up and ask if they could take photos of him and Prince Harry allowed them permission – he even tried to play the guy’s didgeridoo but failed miserably and hilariously, so everyone was laughing. We found out later that one of the people taking pics was from the UK paper The Daily Mail, because they posted an article about it two days later.

Prince Harry continued to talk to the Aussie for over half an hour, and then they moved into the seats…and Prince Harry sat in the stadium seat DIRECTLY behind me. I was so freaked out and so nervous and excited, and all I could think about was that he had such long legs and I was terrified that if I moved I would hit him in the knees with my hair or my head!! So I just sat still and only leaned forward if I moved at all – I ended up with a backache from being so still!! But he stayed for such a long time and was talking about how strong the athletes are, and how he liked the music they were using, and just generally was so charming and friendly to the Aussie athlete. After a while, it became obvious that more and more people were noticing Prince Harry in the stands. Our section started to fill up with people, and several asked for photos with him. A couple of times I even had to stand up to let people into our row, and I actually had to lean back toward him which was so awkward and I felt bad about invading his personal space (although in a stadium it’s unavoidable). He did allow athletes and their families to get pics, but at one point when there were multiple people coming we heard him say (very nicely) “Ok, but please don’t make this a thing,” as in, please don’t start a chain reaction of people wanting pictures. Prince Harry spent the whole rest of the time cheering for all the athletes, especially the UK team, and at one point he let out a huge cheer for an athlete from Afghanistan who was there on his own. He was absolutely unfailingly polite and friendly to everyone we heard him speaking to.

Amy and I both went through basically the same mental process during this time, which was that we realized he was trying to be incognito, he didn’t want to have everyone trying to get pictures, and we both thought that for once it might be nice for him to just be able to enjoy a sporting event without everyone near him pestering him for pictures. And since this was his event, we both realized that the best thing we could do would be to demonstrate that we were there to cheer on the US team (which we were!) and that we were having a great time (which we DEFINITELY were!). So instead of trying to interact with him, we mutually agreed to just snap a few pictures with our phones but basically leave him alone and act as if he was just any other person there watching with us.

After so many people started coming to ask him for pictures, Prince Harry left with his team, and we were left in the stands to have our fangirl freakout in peace!! Amy and I immediately started texting friends and posting on social media, and just discussing the whole crazy situation.

And then, just about the time that the section had cleared of most of the other people and we had relaxed, Prince Harry came back!!! This time he came with about 6+ people, and sat two rows behind us and one seat to my left. He was sitting with a man we didn’t recognize, and his security detail created more of a perimeter for him that time, so that he wouldn’t be disturbed. Again, he just spent the time chatting and was so engaged and so animated talking about the athletes and venue and event – it seemed clear that he was enjoying himself! That time, they stayed for less than an hour and they left again…and then about half an hour later they came back AGAIN!

Amy says we must have passed the creeper test, because by the third time it was pretty obvious that both Prince Harry and his detail weren’t concerned about us doing anything crazy. In fact, one of his security team sat just in front of us and made eye contact and grinned at us as if to communicate that he knew they had made our day, but clearly they wouldn’t have come back if they thought we were weird creepy people!

The third time Prince Harry was near us, he spent more time standing on the steps and either chatting with his team or taking pictures. At one point he walked a bit lower and snapped a lot of photos on his cell phone before returning to a seat above us. By that last visit, we weren’t even taking pictures anymore because we were just so happy that he was back and weren’t worried about getting more – we already had quite a few!! He stayed for a shorter period of time then, and left with his entourage. A few minutes later, he handed out the medals in one of the Indoor Rowing medal ceremonies where the UK had placed, and the woman holding the medals for him was so flustered she accidentally fell down and dropped them! Prince Harry helped her up, but I felt for her because she was so embarrassed and I knew exactly why!!

In total, Prince Harry was within 5 feet or less of Amy and I for over two hours, and we could hear his conversation for the majority of that time.

Our impression of the Prince is that he is incredibly genuine, charming, friendly and unassuming. He laughs a lot, is extremely expressive when he talks, and is gracious to everyone with whom he interacts. One thing that really stuck out to us was how “in-the-moment” he was – he was near enough to us for us to hear about two hour’s worth of his conversation, and the entire time was spend chatting about the Invictus Games in general, about the athletes, about his team, about the venue, etc. He is definitely the kind of person who takes full advantage of the present moment!! He is good-looking (and smells great!), but to be honest his personality is really what makes him as attractive as he is; he was so charming even in that very low-key situation that it was pretty amazing.

There are very few people by whom I would be this star-struck, but Monday’s experience ranks as one of the most exciting of my life so far. And I’m not at all sorry that we didn’t attempt to interact with Prince Harry or get a picture with him, because it clearly resulted in us having a great deal more time in his presence – and I wouldn’t trade that for any picture! I just hope that our discretion did contribute toward his being able to more peacefully and fully enjoy the experience of the amazing Invictus Games he established. He deserves so much respect for making this amazing event happen!!

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Warrior Prince

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
– Winston Churchill

Over the weekend, my Twitter feed was approximately 60% Prince Harry and Invictus Games, 20% Cute Animals and 20% makeup and miscellaneous.  The percentages were encouraging because it meant that Invictus news was making the rounds, even beating out some undeniably precious pandas.

With the buzz surrounding Invictus Games, especially with the charming Prince Harry involved, conversation can quickly veer off course, no matter how noble the cause.  With Prince Harry promoting Invictus to raise awareness, outlets have been latching on to his casual remarks in order to sell the fairytale and not the cause.  Sure, wounded warriors who have overcome great adversity is cool and all but Prince Harry is like totally looking for a girlfriend and OMG!

A few hours ago, I did a Google search for Prince Harry and this is what was at the top of the News chain:

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Really?  Even during such an impressive massive undertaking as Invictus, Prince Harry’s love life is still the focus?

On Twitter,  has done a tremendous job in separating the key moments from all the noise and Tweeting the best of Prince Harry’s laudable efforts.  I highly recommend following peppersmint for the best of both the Invictus Games and Prince Harry.

The Invictus Games are a sporting event created by Prince Harry, this year uniting 500 wounded, sick and injured armed services personnel from fourteen countries as they compete in the events of archery, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. (Source: Invictus Games 2016 Official Website).  Invictus is Latin for “unconquered” and derives its name from a poem by William Earnest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
 My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
 Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Prince Harry has been the driving force behind Invictus which was launched in 2014, initially inspired by the 2013 Warrior Games in the US and expanded upon by the prince who was in the army for ten years until June of last year.  Supporting those who have served  their country is a cause to which Prince Harry is deeply devoted, but not all of his work makes the papers.  As noted earlier this year by Herazeus, “Harry volunteers 3 days a week with the Ministry of Defence’s Recovery Personal programme unit.”   More information on the programme “designed to ensure wounded, injured and sick service personnel receive co-ordinated support” can be found here.  In September of last year, Prince Harry was joined by his brother Prince William in building homes for veterans in Manchester, an effort which did get quite a bit of press.

Having served in the army and devoted himself to military causes, Prince Harry is aware that the men and women who risk their lives defending their countries often have difficulties readjusting to civilian life, away from the brotherhood and sisterhood of the armed forces.  Those who have been wounded while serving their countries don’t stop being soldiers when their injuries prohibit them from returning to combat, that’s when the real battle begins for wounded warriors.  Some suffer through painful rehabilitation, having to learn how to use parts of their bodies again.  Tragically, some have to find the strength to learn to live without parts of their body.  Many find themselves crushed under the weight of all they have lost gasping for hope.  The hell seems never-ending and Churchill’s famous words “Never, never, never give up,” aren’t a rallying cry for those deeply scarred but a reminder that  giving up is an option.

Mike Roggio, a competitor at the Invictus Games who had broken his neck in a naval accident, shared with People, “One of the biggest obstacles in my recovery was dealing with depression. I went from being an athlete and a very able-bodied person to being bed-ridden and in diapers for several months.  I couldn’t even push off the wall [of the pool] at first, but a few months down the road I was actually racing other people in the pool.”

With Invictus Games,  Prince Harry reminds the injured, wounded and sick service personnel that the warrior spirit can’t be conquered.  Through this competition within the brotherhood and sisterhood of the armed forces, Prince Harry gives them something to battle for and reminds them their injuries don’t define who they are or who they can be.

Opening ceremonies for Invictus 2016 were held on May 8th in front of 10,000 spectators.  A member of our community, Melete, was there at the opening ceremonies and shared her experience with us:

“Attending the Opening Ceremony was a truly rewarding experience. I’m fortunate to live about 10 minutes away, so I felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. My spouse is also a veteran with lingering issues from his military service, and I have so much respect for how Harry’s brought these Games about.

It’s almost difficult to describe just how happy everyone was to be there. The audience was enthusiastic about everything, and it was great to see people cheering all the competitors from all the countries as they walked out. In fact, the ladies sitting behind us were also locals, and they brought on the loud whistles and cheers for every country. People completely understood why there were there and just how important it was. I loved the sense that these competitors should all be the heroes we look up to. And honestly, I loved the push for hiring veterans, as that’s also a huge part of the event. Yes, the competitors were there to challenge themselves physically, but they’re also proving to the world that they’re still valuable members of society who have something to contribute in the workforce.

The flyover was awesome, and the helicopter bringing in the Invictus flag was pretty amazing. We could see the helicopters fly past, but from where I was sitting I couldn’t see the paratrooper exit (except on the screen). But everyone cheered when the flag got to the stage. The silent drill team was also incredible, and the audience loved it. The Invictus choir was one of my favorite parts, really impressive. The singers were just as moved as the people watching, so it made for a beautiful moment. Because the ceremony was being broadcast live, there were actually commercial breaks, and things would be shifted around for the next part of the ceremony. At first, it was a little confusing, but then we all got the hang of it, and when everything seemed to come to a stop, people around us would say, “Commercial break!” It was a fun group in the stadium and seemed to be a pretty good mix of locals and people from other countries. Lots of people from the UK, but that didn’t surprise me, since half the people who live around me are British. It was just nice to see so much support for the event, and if it wasn’t a full house (9500) it was very close to it.

James Blunt brought down the house. I’ve never seen him perform before, but it was clear he was enjoying himself but not making it all about himself. Then Harry walked out, and the stadium went wild. It wasn’t a celebrity thing, though, and Harry didn’t act like a celebrity or like this was all about him. It was clear that everyone genuinely appreciated the work he’d done with Invictus and bringing attention to wounded veterans. And he responded by turning everything away from himself and back on the competitors. I’ve seen other people comment about how good his speech was, but I’ll mention it again. It was really, really good. He carried himself well, he spoke with confidence, and I didn’t notice any hint of hesitation or even nerves. (There were teleprompters at the base of the platform, but I didn’t see him or anyone else who spoke rely much on them. They all knew what they were there to say.) It’s almost like Harry’s finally reached that place of maturity in which he knows who he is, why he’s doing this work, and he’s totally at peace with himself. I’ve seen a few complaints elsewhere that he’s making the Games all about himself, but nothing could be further from the truth in the Opening Ceremony. He was there to support and encourage, and he gave a speech that reflected it. In fact, everyone who stood up there and spoke had something very important to say, a piece of the pie if that makes sense, to remind the spectators and the audience watching from home just what the Games were all about. They weren’t about Harry, or Michelle Obama, or Morgan Freeman. They were about the wounded veterans who were reclaiming their sense of themselves and showing the world that you can be a whole person even if you lost your legs. They were also about the invisible injuries that are just as devastating, because people don’t always feel comfortable talking about them. So Harry et al talked about them, as they should.

(For what it’s worth, I only saw him from my seat, although one of the ladies sitting behind us saw him, Michelle Obama, and Robin Roberts when they came into the stadium. She must not have been too impressed, though, because when James Blunt said something about Harry being hot, she said, “No he’s not!”)

We stayed until just after the British soldiers spoke (right after DT). We had a small child with us, who was starting to look desperate for sleep, so we thought we’d beat the crowds. No luck there, as quite a few other people had the same idea. The show was supposed to run from 8-10 pm, but we left at 10:30, and it went for another 10-15 minutes. We saw the fireworks as we were walking back to the car.

Only downside had to do with getting in and getting out. VERY slow entry due to security (TSA checking bags and Secret Service monitoring metal detectors), and leaving was kind of horrible because the parking lot exit was poorly managed. Despite my living a few minutes away, we didn’t get home until shortly before midnight. That aside, it was worth it, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to go and support such an amazing cause.”

The games run from the 8th until the 12th at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

The TV Schedule of Events for the Invictus Games has been posted on espn.go.com (all times ET):

Sunday, May 8:

  • Opening ceremony, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Monday, May 9:

  • Powerlifting finals, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. (ESPN3)
  • Rowing finals, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Archery finals, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Day 1 recap show, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Day 1 recap show (re-air), 10:30 p.m.-midnight (ESPN2)

Tuesday, May 10:

  • Track and field finals, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Sitting volleyball semifinals, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Sitting volleyball gold/bronze medal matches, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Day 2 recap show, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Day 2 recap show (re-air), 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday, May 11:

  • Swimming finals, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Wheelchair rugby semifinals, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Wheelchair rugby gold/bronze medal matches, 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Day 3 recap show, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Day 3 recap show (re-air), 11 p.m.-midnight (ESPN2)

Thursday, May 12:

  • Wheelchair tennis final, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. (ESPN3)
  • Wheelchair basketball semifinals, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Wheelchair basketball gold/bronze medal matches, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Closing ceremony, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. (ESPN2)

Sunday, May 15:

  • Encore presentation, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. (ABC)

The work Prince Harry has done is so inspiring.  Not only is he supporting service personnel who have overcome great obstacles, he is celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit.  Each of us in our lives deals with great adversity at some point.  These games are a reminder of what we can achieve when we embrace our own inner warrior and fight back with everything we’ve got. And hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll have people with the warmth, compassion and generosity of spirit Prince Harry has shown to share in our triumph.

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The Charge of the Prince Brigade

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
   Rode the British Monarchy.

 

The Daily Mail has its own take on Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.  They suggest the spin doctor is neither an idiot or the most evil adversary the British Royal Family has ever faced, he is simply a yes puppet perched on the tyrannical hand of the Petulant Prince who listens to no one on his staff.  As Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Charge of the Light Brigade details, very bad things can happen when people blindly follow a leader who blunders.

If Prince William is behind the wheel fully intent on driving the British Monarchy off a cliff and Punxsutawney PR Puppet Jason is just along for the ride and doesn’t see his spine, exactly how many months remain until the winter of our discontent?

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I’m not really sure, I sort of lost interest when I realized the answer might involve math.

Plus, the Cambridges have a curious way with their numbers.  On Thursday March 10th, they may have undertaken two or three engagements.  The first engagement at Maytree, a suicide counsel center, was labeled a private one.  Normally these private engagements do wind up counting towards their dismally low annual totals,  but at this point the Court Circular’s website hasn’t been updated with the latest for confirmation so I’m sticking with a total of two for Thursday.

Maytree

“Forward, the Prince Brigade!
Charge for the cameras!” he said.

Waiting photographers were told  to go away, part  of Prince William’s ongoing campaign to  limit the number of royal photographers permitted at their engagements.

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In the photos of Kate that made it on social media, she looked rather rough which shows why it’s a good idea in general to be nice to photographers.

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Kate’s right eyelid (left in the above photo) was drooping more than the other.  Causes for unilateral ptosis can be attributed to either natural aging or be a side-effect of  Botox.  There’s nothing natural about how quickly Kate is aging, especially since she’s said to enjoy the deadening embrace of neurotoxin.  The puffiness of Kate’s right lid (photo left) in comparison to the left suggests a likely Botox-assist.

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Kate was so keenly keen on showing her keenness for suicide awareness, she didn’t even bother taking off her coat at Maytree or for the first official engagement at St. Thomas Hospital where she and Prince William met with Jonny Benjamin whose suicide attempt was stopped by Neil Laybourn  six years ago.  Once back at Kensington Palace for a group discussion, Kate finally took off her coat.

The body language and forced expressions of William and Kate on Thursday suggested they were uncomfortable, but those revealing the most agonizingly painful moments of their lives when they were so bereft of hope they tried to commit suicide did their very best to try to make William and Kate feel okay about having to be there.

“Forward, the Prince Brigade!” 
Was there a man dismayed?

 

Oh, yeah.  It was hard to watch as many commented.

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FakeLooks Pamelass:Harriet

On Friday, William and Kate had another joint engagement.  Those crazy kids, giving us twice the uselessness with an XLP event meeting at-risk youth who have benefited from the mentoring program.  Kate even wore a new red and white checked outfit by Eponine.  I think I probably liked it but I couldn’t really tell because of the same ol’ problem.

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The Daily Mail has a gazillion photos and yet not a single  one of Kate without her clutch firmly held against her crotch disturbing the visual lines and minds everywhere.

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Seriously, what is in that thing, a vibrator set all the way up to jackhammer?  That would explain all the over-the-top random mouth-agape expressions.

On Friday on Instagram, someone had PR blundered again with this post.

FridayKensingtonPalaceInstagram

Quite a few people made the same comment that William looked like he was peeing on flowers.

WhyIsHePeeingOnThoseFlowers Wee Comment

I actually noticed he looked like he was peeing at the same time I processed the clenched buttocks and his super wedgie so my initial thought was that William was very angry about having to pee on those flowers.  He really does resent everything, doesn’t he, even urination?  I noticed I wasn’t the only one who saw His Royal Wedgie.

WedgyComment

I don’t care how neutered William’s staff is, this photo should not  have been posted on Kensington Palace’s Instagram account.  Even if William said, “I don’t think anything quite captures the tragic loss of life of the Japan tsunami like a picture where it looks like I’m holding my willy,” someone should have replied, “What the fuck is wrong with you?  Let us do our jobs.  We don’t walk into your luxury resort suites while you’re on holiday and tell you how to do nothing, we know you’ve got totally fucking useless all figured out.”

I’ve never viewed Charge of the Light Brigade as a story of courage.  I fail to see the honour of silent self-sacrifice.

Theirs not to make reply, 
   Theirs not to reason why, 
   Theirs but to do and die. 
   Into the valley of Death 
   Rode the six hundred.

 

True courage is standing up to a leader you know is wrong.  Having the strength to say, “Sooo, noticed the Death Valley sign, saw you blunder, let’s brainstorm a new strategy so we don’t all have to die. ‘K?”

The army of media continues to storm the Cambridges with critical articles while all the world wonders with Camilla Tominey taking the latest shot  while Ian Burrell of The Independent  also thundered.  Shattered and sundered they might ride back, but not the six hundred.

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Is Jason Knauf Fur Real?

This is Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

JasonKnauf

He looks like the kind of well-groomed, non-threatening generic American model that J. Crew uses to sell cardigans.  While it’s true that pr reps can only be as effective as their clients are cooperative, in recent weeks Jason has started looking like he is either a complete idiot or the most deliciously evil adversary the British Monarchy has ever faced, the kind that from a historical perspective could ultimately make Rasputin look like Funshine Bear.

The Cambridge’s spin doctor has a background in crisis management and started his royal gig in the beginning of 2015.  Jason Knauf replaced former BBC producer, Ed Perkins, who had joined the Palace in 2007 working for the Duke of York, managing his scandals and overseeing the Diamond Jubilee before being assigned to Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge where he lasted two and a half years before deciding on a new career path.  The search for Perkins’ replacement lasted six months, reportedly Prince William wanted someone whose loyalties weren’t divided by connections to other members of the British Royal Family.  So basically, William’s criteria was finding someone who couldn’t be influenced by the guiding wisdom of his father or grandmother.  And really, Her Majesty has only built one of the most globally recognized brands in the world, what could she possibly know about public relations.

Recent pr mistakes by Jason Knauf’s office have led to even more media backlash towards the  Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  The latest likely made both Jesus and Darth Vader facepalm.

jesusdarthvaderfacepalm

The force of Captain Picard’s facepalm probably blew the Enterprise off course.

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I didn’t even catch this latest goof, but the press sure did.  The Daily Mail ran an article on the mittens Kate wore in the photos released this week  by Kensington Palace on Twitter showing the Cambridges on a ski getaway from all that work they’re not doing.  Kate’s Alexski gloves are lined with possum fur.

Cambridge3

Alexski

While it’s not surprising a woman who has been photographed wearing a fur hat while hunting pheasant bred for the royally lazy version of the bloodsport would wear fur-lined gloves, it’s shocking that the Palace would release photos of Kate wearing them to the world.  Could they not find a clubbed baby seal for Kate to put a cigarette out on?

The ski glove’s possum fur comes from New Zealand where the marsupial is widely considered a pest because it is a non-indigenous species that was introduced in the 19th century by the fur industry and having no natural predator, possums have wreacked considerable havoc on New Zealand’s flora and fauna.  One land’s pest is another’s protected species, there are even people who (mostly illegally and definitely ill-advisedly) keep possum as pets.  Usually what separates aww from ugh is how much destruction a species causes, in Australia where possums are indigenous, sometimes foxes are regarded as pests even though they bring the internet this kind of snuggle buddy cuteness.

DogCat&FoxNapping

In NYC, our pests are rats and mice.  Given their plague-spreading history, most wouldn’t put them on their most cuddly list but still wouldn’t stick their hands in the skinned remains of one.

Because of the exposed cruelties of the fur industry and the increased trendiness of its condemnation, spin doctors go to extraordinary lengths to shield their clients from the barrage of criticism that comes from being photographed in fur.  Even celebrities who unabashedly wear fur like Kim Kardashian are aware it’s a controversial topic many feel passionately about.  North West has gotten some serious shade for being papped in it and she’s only two.  Based on the fact that in this photo she’s dressed like her first word was “Nevermore”, I think it’s safe to assume most of North’s fashion isn’t self-selected and we should give the kid a pass.

NorthWest

For a small child to even be unfairly called a “fur hag” by some illustrates why most in the public eye steer clear of the fur debate, regardless of their personal feelings, it is a hotly debated topic.

Bella Thorne recently posted a photo of herself on Instagram in a fur jacket and in response to the enormous backlash, claimed it was faux fur.  When Instagram fashionistas identified it as an alice + olivia rabbit and fox jacket, the actress quickly deleted her faux fur claim and her reps dealt with the fall-out, releasing the statement Thorne “was told it was faux fur” with the promise she would never wear it again.

The Queen also provoked widespread criticism with her fur-clad Christmas appearance prompting many to take to social media to express their disappointment Her Majesty would even wear her vintage fur, especially since she is a representative of the UK which passed laws over a decade ago prohibiting “the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur”.

When public figures are already the subject of negative focus, it’s generally not a good idea to serve up more to find fault with on a gilded platter.  Really the only thing the Palace has as a selling-point for Kate is the so-called Kate Effect when people who want to dress like Kate snatch up whatever inventory is left on items Kate waits to wear so people can’t Copy-Kate her.    Every single outfit Kate wears is broken down and written about because she offers such little substance with which to work.  Considering how contrived and manipulated these snaps are, how did no one even think to make sure the Paper Doll Duchess wasn’t committing a pr fur pas?

While I find these pr goofs highly amusing, the British Royal Family might want to check Jason Knauf’s bank account for large deposits coming from the Republican Party because it’s hard to believe anyone with pr experience could screw up this royally.  Especially an American, we invented pr.  Technically, the founding father of spin was Austrian-American Edward Bernays but we staked the claim convincingly enough that the rest of the world bought it.  Quite frankly, the way the pr is being handled for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is utterly un-American.

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Potential Dangers of Private Royals

For those not following royal photographers on Twitter, it seems like there was an incident on Saturday about which royal photographer, Niraj Tanna, cryptically Tweeted:

NirajTweet

While no specific royals were mentioned, royal watchers suspected it could be a dangerous escalation of the Cambridge’s ongoing privacy war against the media. The Usual Suspects, it turns out, were on an extended weekend ski getaway with newly released photos by John Stillwell Tweeted by @Kensington Royal providing the anticipated family photos to quiet the grumbling masses.

Photographer Jesal Parshotam offered another clue about what Tanna’s Tweet was eluding to:

JesalTweet

It was pretty messed up when in August, Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, released a public appeal for sympathy which also included the veiled threat, “it will not always be possible to quickly distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm.”  But putting the general public at risk using taxpayer-funded RPOs driving recklessly to avoid being photographed ups the crazy factor.  Allegedly back in December, Kate Middleton’s car is said to have employed the same photographer evasion tactics.  As one royal watcher noted:

simonmensahtweet

If I were ever to be mowed down by a Royal Protection Officer driving recklessly to keep any member of the royal family from getting photographed, I would haunt the crap out of both the RPO and the royal in question.  And it wouldn’t be one of those polite hauntings either where a couple times a year you think you maybe saw something out of the corner of your eye and sometimes feel a cold draft that has no discernible source, I would throw a phantasmal freak-out.  There would be no Lola, only Zuul.

The Tweet of another royal photographer suggests the incident to which Niraj Tanna eluded transpired at the wedding of William’s ex-girlfriend, Olivia Hunt, which took place this weekend.

MarkStewartTweet

Interestingly, as Sebastian Shakespeare noted in his most recent Daily Mail piece, the only member of the British Royal Family to attend the wedding was Prince Harry.  Neither Prince William or Kate Middleton went, opting instead for a private family ski getaway.  While Prince Harry is not known to possess the same level of animosity towards the press as his older brother, he once got into an altercation with Niraj Tanna outside of Boujis, as detailed in a 2010 article by Camilla Tominay so it’s possible their history has something to do with Tanna’s Tweet.  Prince Harry has grown a lot in the past few years, though, and has found a way to juggle the pressures of his role, gladly posing for photos with royal fans, even tipping off the press as to his whereabouts while accommodating photographic requests.  Harry’s conducted himself with far more grace than his brother, the future king, which makes me even more curious about the missing pieces of this story which still remain untold.

This line from Sebastian Shakespeare’s Daily Mail article does not sit well at all with me, “Security was in place for royal guests. Tourists and photographers were turned away from entering, apparently at the request of the police.”

Exactly how much taxpayer money went towards security for this private wedding at Temple Church because of its royal guest list?  Security costs for the British Royal Family are never reported with the excuse that revealing the figure would somehow jeopardize their safety.  Were RPOs used to keep photographers from documenting this taxpayer expense, endangering the very taxpayers who fund them in the process?

Hopefully Niraj Tanna will follow up with details.  Considering this is the second accusation in three months of RPOs driving aggressively to avoid having pictures taken, hopefully some better way of handling the presence of photographers will be explored that won’t endanger the masses.

I really wish Crown Princess Victoria taught seminars on how to juggle a royal role and family life, both she and her husband, Prince Daniel, manage it far better than any other royals.  In my opinion, the reason they are able to have the privacy they want is because they are dedicated to duty and accommodate interest in their family, providing enough of a public presence that they are allowed to keep the rest for themselves.   After the birth last week of Prince Oscar Carl Olaf, Prince Daniel addressed reporters warmly and requested the same kind of space with their newborn son they were granted by the press when Princess Estelle was born for which they were so thankful.  No expectation of privacy letters handed out, no threats, just an acknowledgement of how wonderfully understanding the press had been after Estelle’s birth and an appreciative request that Oscar’s birth could be handled in the same manner.

These latest photos released of the Cambridges on Twitter are lovely, but ultimately, they are glossy photos of a family to which the public feels little connection enjoying some wintry frivolity.  I also question the reasoning behind taking photos of a couple criticized for their lack of worth ethic while on a get-away from the duties they rarely undertake.  While the photos are likely intended to represent a promising future for the monarchy, they also represent an increased burden on taxpayers.  RPOs are flown Business or First Class on the taxpayer’s dime, their accommodations, overtime and per diem are also covered by the taxpayer.  That’s a pretty pricy photo op during a time of austerity.

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You Only Work Twice

The British Royal Trio was resurrected today for a double-header of events.

Earlier in the day, Prince  William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton attended the BAFTA  premiere  of Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas.

Kate looked less than thrilled upon arrival.

KateArrivalMaybe she caught a reflection of herself wearing the Tabitha Web Meg Space dress which looked like the universe got carsick on the ride over and vomited cosmic chunks on her frock.

Kate stalled in the entryway, but was coaxed  inside by the guiding hand of her husband.

KateStalledSometime between the Welly tossing competition and arts and  crafts portion of the event,  Kate’s mood  lifted as she laughed at something her prince companions didn’t find quite as  amusing, revealing some chipped bonding from  one  of  her greyish molars.

KateAmusedBonding isn’t as durable as veneers and is more prone to staining from  smoking and drinking coffee, tea, and red wine.  Maybe she should have gone withBonding, James Bonding on her back teeth.

While Prince Harry seemed to  struggle while working with modeling clay, he excelled at bringing joy to the faces of children and that’s what it’s all about.

PrinceHarryShauntheSheepEven Kate  had a noteworthy moment with some kids, being ninja-hugged by two happy girls.

It  seemed legit to even my cynical eyes, so likely the two spontaneous huggers weren’t then tasered by Kate’s RPOs and issued restraining orders.

KateHuggedOf course, nothing  really lights up the Duchess of  Cambridge like celebrities.

A Hong  Kong journalist covering the Creative Collaboration: UK & China event wrote, “Most unexpectedly, Princess Kate, who should be used to meeting and greeting dignitaries and upper echelons of society, suddenly lightened up with great delight and was very girlish when meeting Jackie Chan.”

The public figure so preoccupied with preserving her own privacy appears to still be enamored with meeting people who are famous.  In  2011, the post-wedding Canadian Tour was extended to include the US  at Kate’s request so she could meet Hollywood celebrities at the BAFTA Brits to  Watch event. Kate seemed a little too into Nicole Kidman.

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Tonight Kate got  to delight in meeting more celebs at the premiere of the James Bond film, Spectre.

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Kate’s gown was bespoke  Jenny Packham  which means that not only was the design of the dress on purpose, it came with a much higher price tag.  Somehow it managed to combine side boob with Mother of the Bride.

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Perhaps braless  Kate wanted to show off the  results of her rumored  breast lift?

If only there were celebrities in need, Kate might finally have a cause she could care about.

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Prince Grumpy Cat and The Whirly Bird Mystery (Updated)

A few days ago on Royal Dish, I spotted a pic of a Star Magazine story of George saying goodbye to his uncle Harry on his way to work which Noodlesza posted.  Hi, Temi!

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Except conveniently, Prince Harry is not pictured in any of the photos.  Since at the moment it’s raining the kind of giant heavy drops that make you feel like you’re being slapped in the head in NYC, I decided to apply my sleuthing skills to the Star magazine story.

The helicopter in the paparazzi photos is an AgustaWestland A109S.  The registration number visible on the craft G-XXEC is the same one as the helicopter the Queen leased last year for official engagements for William and Kate and other members of the British Royal Family if needed.  Official engagements, the kind that show up the Court Circular as evidence the British Royal Family is providing “value for money”.  This is the story the Daily Mail ran on the helicopter acquisition:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2664338/Heir-Force-One-Queen-leases-luxury-8million-helicopter-fly-Wills-Kate-official-engagements.html

The Star photos of George, Nanny Maria and Lupo supposedly on their way to see an invisible Prince Harry were taken on June 12, 2015 when Harry was still in the army, he had no official engagements that day.  If Harry was being picked up for some reason for just another day of looking sexy in uniform and other military duties, it wouldn’t be in the AgustaWestland A109S G-XXEC for official engagements, it would be in a military craft.  Military work doesn’t count as official royal work in the eyes of the official royal number keepers.

So who was George going to see in the photo?  When Prince Charles flies, he uses the Queen’s Sikorsky S-76C++ registration number G-XXEB, so it wasn’t grandpa.

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Jinkies!  It looks like we’ve got a real mystery on our hands, Gang.   Who is in the AgustaWestland whirly bird the adorable Prince Grumpy Cat is headed for in the Star magazine photos?  The real Captain Cutler covered with phosphorescent seaweed pretending to be the g-g-g-g-g-ghost of Captain Cutler?  Was it the creepy caretaker all along?

For possible suspects, I looked to the Court Circular.  Her Majesty was quite active on June 12, 2015 at Buckingham Palace, as was Prince Charles.  The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent all had local engagements as well.

Zoinks!  No one needed an official whirly bird for an official engagement and there were no other engagements that day.

So, unless there was some misappropriation of Duchy money, then it had to be Prince William returning home from his June 11, 2015 speech at a special fundraising dinner for Jewish Care.  Another very expensive heli ride for William the Reluctant a couple of days before his $25,000 Magna Carta whirly bird whirl when the ceilings at Buckingham Palace are falling down?

And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.

Ruh-roh.

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Update 6/28/14.  Photos emerged with Harry which isn’t fantastic for the British Royal Family, especially considering the Royal Household Annual Accounts just came out.  The helicopter is for official engagements, Harry had none on June 12th (the date the photos were taken could be in question, Star magazine indicated they were taken the 12th, but if they were really taken on the 11th, then Prince Harry had the Afghanistan Memorial).  As delicious as Prince Harry looks in uniform, there still needs to be accountability.  Of course, Prince Harry could have been just there, the helicopter could have been used by William for his Jewish Care event, but this really needs to be investigated further.  If Harry did borrow the helicopter for a personal visit to see his nephew, then he needs to be formally reprimanded.  By me.  In leather.  And he would have to wear that uniform.  That is just how committed I am to the UK taxpayers.

HarryHeli1 HarryHeli2

 

 

redheart

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