Tag Archives: Prince William

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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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):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kate’s Not-So-Secret French Getaway

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

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

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

The response from DM readers is thus far pretty brutal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Royals at a Regatta

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

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The wind quickly devoured Kate’s blow-out.

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

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Both William and Kate wore matching Land Rover BAR shirts.

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

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

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

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Kate appeared far more enthusiastic than Prince William.

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

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Ben Ainslie’s team finished on top.

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

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

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

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And the Cambridges took their helicopter home.

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

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Prince George’s Lupogate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Prince and Queen Bey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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… with some fish face silliness thrown in.

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

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

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

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

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Even Beyoncé hasn’t reached Ultimate Beyoncé yet.

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

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Long live the Queen Bey in all of us.

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Back to the Future Heir & Hair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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