Tag Archives: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Day 2 – India and Bhutan Tour

On Monday, Kate Middleton wore white.  It is a traditional mourning color in India and appropriate because it is a day for mourning, my royal watching friends.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

There’s no coffin to bring out because the monarchy remains on life support, but the message nonetheless is that the monarchy is dead.  All that’s left to do is pull the plug.

The Petulant Prince and PR Rasputin both have blood on their hands, but as it turns out, the most evil adversary the British Monarchy has ever faced wears Prada. I mean, technically she carried it Monday in clutch form pressed up to her nether regions, but she didn’t dress for my metaphor because Kate doesn’t roll like that. Waity does it her way.

In this traveling royal show, Kate is the archetypical Trickster. The Clown. The catalyst for change. She is the Joker.

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The day should have gone smoothly.  This was the itinerary:

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But Kate had other plans.

Okay, first of all, this was her day outfit:

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Kate chose a floaty white boob-flapped Emilia Wickstead dress.  Because somehow visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, walking in Gandhi’s last steps and honoring his memory translates to boob sock puppets.

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I can’t unsee it.  They look so hungry.  Maybe Kate should have consulted her boob sock puppets before refusing that offered pancake William made.

While laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kate went five tours for five with flashing. And the timing was perfect, just as they were honoring the fallen.

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I don’t know how Kate timed that, like if Natasha Archer was off to the side with a walkie talkie headset commanding, “Cue the wind,” but that could not have been executed at a better worse time.

Ironically, the duchess who blew off the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day and broke tradition because she didn’t want to create an expectation she could be bothered handing out shamrocks once a year was thwarted by a soldier who held down her skirt to keep the embarrassing snaps at such a sacred spot to a minimum.

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This isn’t an oops moment.  Kate’s had so many of these, she knows she has to dress for the elements, she knows the issue is easily avoidable with a different silhouette, if she wants to wear something floaty, she can have dress weights added or a chain sewn in like Chanel does with their jackets.

While this may be frustrating for royal watchers trying to find a reason for Kate’s behavior, logic can’t be applied because these are illogical acts.  They are acts of anarchy.

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As described in a Hero’s Journey article I happened to stumble across at  gordonranier.com when I was looking for the above The Dark Knight quote:

“The key to the Trickster is that he can be clever and mischievous or a foolish clown or an entertainer but at his core he likes to upset, use reversals and surprises to ply his trade.”

Kate is staging her own anarchy because some duchesses just want to watch the monarchy burn.  Is she rebelling against the stifling protocol of an antiquated role she spent a decade pursuing?  Does it even matter?  The end result is the same regardless of motive.  And unless Her Majesty finally decides to suit up and launch a caped crusade within her own family, the British Monarchy is toast.  The Queen has done nothing to suggest she’s going to ask Angela Kelly to make her something in leather and badass.

And really, any action at this point is just postponing the inevitable.  Because as it turns out, very few people in the tour’s host country India are even interested in the Lazy Duo.

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Various articles like this one on newslaundry.com discuss India just not being that into William and Kate.

And William and Kate don’t seem to be all that into being royal,  Earlier in the day on Monday, William and Kate yet again had to be persuaded to pose for pictures.

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At the Garden Party celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday later in the day, they went through the motions, but didn’t look totally present:

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The duke and duchess are basically this:

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Day 1 of India/Bhutan Tour

With the time difference, Day 2 of Prince William and Kate’s India/Bhutan is already underway so I’m already behind.  I was awake and a little excited for the tour so I watched the first day unfold on Twitter.  It was more boring than waiting for a YouTube video of someone describing paint drying to buffer.  I randomly asked two royal correspondents to Tweet photos of their shoes but no takers.

Victoria Murphy wrote an excellent article on the importance of this tour for William and Kate.  When I noted in ReTweeting the article that I wasn’t sure if William and Kate even had enough momentum going in to turn around public opinion, Victoria responded, “I think the setting has really helped boost things for them.”

And she is right.  New set, new wardrobe, new guest stars, and the hope that somehow the show’s quality is going to improve.

William and Kate aren’t merely players strutting and fretting upon India’s stage, they also have producing and writing credits.  Not only do they have this fabulous new set, these scheduled events tell their vision of their host country and it’s surprisingly stereotypical: cricket, slums, Bollywood… presumably the snake charmer called out sick.  And I’m not the only one who noticed, this is a comment from a reader in India:

Slums-poverty-bollywood-cricket the stereotypist guide to India. Out of curiosity- doesn’t Kate have a stylist or Google or a mirror? The red dress looked like it was made out of the Taj hotel’s bedsheet collection and the blue dress looked like the nightgowns worn here. What is noteworthy is the negligible coverage of the visit in local press. Not even cricket god Sachin Tendulkar could make these two interesting or newsworthy. I don’t think anyone here is interested in having them back unless they are bringing back the Koh-i-noor with them or at least Coldplay.

So here’s how the first day unfolded:

Kate looked a little Elizabeth Taylor emerging after the flight.

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Flight fatigue and what I assume was a handful of tranquilizers became apparent in later photos, but it was an impressive “Bitch I’m Madonna” moment.  After nine hours on a plane, I spark fear that the Zombie Apocalypse has begun.

Kate arrived in bespoke McQueen and LK Bennett “Fern” shoes.  I like the original McQueen and how it was styled, I think it was a missed opportunity for Kate although I think I have to accept that she just can’t accessorize.  Or not suck the life out of clothing… I wonder how much of her diet consists of fashion’s soul.

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When the Cambridges arrived at the Taj Palace Hotel, they layed a wreath in memory of victims of its 2008 terror attack and met with staff whose heroic efforts helped save guest lives.

The Cambridges’ lunch was vegetarian.

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After a wardrobe change, the Cambridges headed to the Oval Maidan cricket ground.  Kate wore a bespoke tunic dress from Mumbai designer Anita Dongre and Mint Velvet wedges.

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Three charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline, participated in the event.

There were no wardrobe malfunctions, but the wind at one point made Kate look like she was wearing clown pants.

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The teased special surprise was a bus ride.

You can't sit with us!

You can’t sit with us!

At the Banganga Water Tank, Prince William and Kate scattered petals in the water.

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Prince William and Kate then met with the charity SMILE.

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The Cambridges played football in the streets of the slum and there was almost a dance-off instigated by William who then backed out of it.  I noticed Kate got hit in the calf with a soccer ball, I’m not sure if it was an accident or if the kicker in question got to do something that has popped into the minds of many royal watchers at some point  or another.  Impoverished children then asked the Cambridges all sorts of questions about their big house, like how do they like their giant house and how do they call each other and their children in it which for some reason appeared to make William and Kate uncomfortable.

In the evening, William and Kate attended a Bollywood dinner and reception which benefited the charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline.  Kate wore bespoke Jenny Packham that was beaded in India and earrings by Amrapali.

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In a dress that would have looked smurfy on Papa Smurf’s nana, Kate sort of looked like the spinster lovechild of Margaret Thatcher and The Joker.

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In a speech, Prince William revealed, “When Catherine and I were married, India was the 1st place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit.”  So after almost a decade of Waitying, Kate suddenly puts together her dream destination list once she could go on these trips on the taxpayer’s dime?

According to actress Madhuri Dixit, “The Duke said he hadn’t watched any Bollywood movies but he represents the British film industry was and interested in collaboration.”

WTF?  Prince William, President of BAFTA and resident of planet Earth has never seen a Bollywood film?  How is that even possible?

Granted, I’m probably a bigger film lover than most, I’ve even taken multiple subways to go see an obscure French vampire film I don’t even think some of its cast had ever heard of, but the BAFTA president couldn’t have watched one or two movies on the nine hour flight in preparation for the event?  Or maybe on one of his many days off from both royal and air ambulance duties?

I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising considering Prince William vetoed Skyfall on the staff’s special Christmas film night and insisted on fucking Twilight and then blew it off.  Seriously, he can’t even make it through one film, how is he going to handle being Head of State?

At least Prince William appeared to have an inkling of what he’s been missing out on in the presence of one of the most beautiful women in the history of the world, actress Aishwarya Rai.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Prince William Blows Off BAFTA Awards Again

For the forth time in the six years since becoming President of the British Academy of Film and Television Academy, Prince William was a no-show at the British Academy Film Award Show at the Royal Opera House, skipping the nominee reception held at Kensington Palace as well for the second  consecutive year.  The only  British Academy Film Awards Prince William has bothered showing up to was in 2010 when he was named BAFTA  President and in 2014 when William went Kate-less.

In 2011, the post-wedding Canadian Tour was extended to America at Kate’s request so she could meet celebrities at the BAFTA Brits to Watch Event in LA.  Given how seduced Kate appeared to be by Hollywood celebs at the LA event, it’s possible William has been skipping  these award shows so he can ensure that nominees don’t have  their legs dry-humped by his star-struck wife on the red carpet.

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The only other BAFTA events Prince William has attended in his capacity as President was the Give Something Back Launch and the official opening of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in 2013 and the Sean the Sheep event he attended with Kate and Prince Harry in October.

The part-time pilot and part-time prince had sent his regrets he would be unable to attend.  According to the Court Circular, Prince William has only undertaken one official  engagement to date this year, attending the February 11th private funeral  of explorer Henry Worsley who passed away on an expedition raising money for the Endeavor Fund which is managed by the Royal Foundation.

Six events in six years is underwhelming for an organization’s president but missing BAFTA’s big night is ridiculous even for William.  What’s the point of his even being the BAFTA President if he can’t be bothered putting on a tux once a year and briefly talking with some celebs who are masters of small talk and maestros of schmooze?   To this day, I have no idea what James Marsden and I chatted about at a Vanity Fair party, I think he started off with a comment about  waiting for drinks but beyond that, the  conversation was so insignificant it left no memory of its contents whatsoever but  still interesting enough to have been engaging for an extended period of time.  Dame Judi Dench is such a lovely woman and conversational delight, you forget you’re speaking with  someone who has been knighted.  If Prince William  can’t  even manage  a little small talk with individuals whose professions make them highly skilled at performing all the conversational heavy lifting, how is he going to fare as king?  The  BAFTA awards are a cake-walk event, William blowing them off doesn’t bode well for this year’s engagement total.  It’s mid-February and thus far,  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have undertaken two whole engagements  COMBINED.

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