Tag Archives: Anmer Hall

The Cambridges Goth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Well, the Cambridges posed for a family photo for Prince William’s GQ article and the family portrait that was released is… well, it’s just bloody awful.

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It’s like The Addam’s Family on acid.  I’m not sure why George is crawling into the photo, he’s going the wrong way.  Run George, run!  And take your sister, who is presumably looking at her nanny out of frame, with you.

Remember how creepy and lifeless the family photo taken for Kate Middleton’s first Mother’s Day was?

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It’s like the photographer for this GQ piece, Norman Jean Roy, looked at that one and said, “Hold my beer.”

I’ve got an inner goth girl and would describe my personal aesthetic as Haunted Bordello, but even I wouldn’t have this copy of GQ in my home for fear the maniacally grinning Kate would crawl from the pages and attempt to devour my soul.  More hair has been PhotoShopped on Prince William, but his head still looks like a menacing floating orb, his grimacing smile that of a demonic Bugs Bunny.

How are they finding these photographers, do they say “Beetlejuice” three times and ask him for a recommendation?

In the Daily Mail article, there is a quote from Prince William reflecting on his mother’s death: “I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.”

To be fair, one of the first things grief counselors are taught is that no two people grieve the same but quite a few people took issue with Prince  William’s choice of words in comment sections and on social media with one cherished member of this community summarizing it on Twitter as “elitist”.  I have tremendous sympathy for Prince William and can’t imagine what it was like for him at such a young age, but the phrasing makes it seem like he’s saying his grief is special because his mother was famous.

Prince William was also quoted as saying, “I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. I will fight for them to have a normal life.”

Does Prince William mean the normal life George has at the Anmer Hall Fortress of Solitude and occasionally Kensington Palace from which he only ever seems to escape when accompanied by Nanny Maria or sometimes Carole Middleton?  And that normal life, that’s amongst the taxpayers who are threatened with lawsuits should they dare take a photo of George despite it being perfectly legal, right? Or will actors be cast and sets made to create charming little plays about real life as Marie Antoinette enjoyed doing?  Normalcy is such a lark.  For a really good time, Prince William should try giving it a go without all the taxpayer-funded perks.  The rest of us are having a blast.

If Prince William truly wants George to grow up in “a real, living environment”, the first step would probably be putting an end to the spooky family portraits that make the Cambridges look like menacing specters.  Even poor Lupo looks like some black shadow figure hunting for ghost prey.

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Cambridge to Nowhere

Once again, Prince William and Kate Middleton begin a new year being criticized for their lackluster performance and putting in far less work than other members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and Prince Philip who are in their 90s.  Prince William only managed 188 engagements in 2016 while Kate only showed up for 140.  The Cambridge’s numbers for 2016 are impressively low considering they undertook two tours which are big numbers-boosters because all of those airport greetings and “private” touristy experiences from which the press was banned counted as official engagements.

Since joining the British Royal Family in April of 2011, Kate has only undertaken a grand total of 484 engagements to date.  In 2016 alone, Prince Charles handled 530 engagements while Princess Anne had 509 so Kate still hasn’t cumulatively pulled off in almost six years what other members of the family manage in one.

The Daily Mail ran an article detailing how Prince William and Kate only do half the work Prince Charles and Princess Diana did at a comparable stage in their married lives when they were raising young children.

Not surprisingly, the public was reminded on Friday Prince William has another job he pretends to do sometimes with a series of photos taken by the same photographer who managed to track down the future king on the job last year when the press and public were grumbling loudly about Work-shy William.

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Prince William’s contract with East Anglian Air Ambulance  ends in March, the fact that he’s still in the co-pilot seat shows he puts in as much effort there as he does with his royal role.  It’s not that big of a deal, though.  Most air ambulances just have the one pilot, the government had to purchase a special helicopter for EAAA so Prince William could play co-pilot because he was unqualified for the job.  Once William decides he wants to be a cowboy or open a fake psychic detective agency, the EAAA just has to make a minor software adjustment to switch their air ambulance freebie back to a one pilot helicopter.  Or Prince William may decide to extend his contract, after all he’s able to dictate his EAAA schedule claiming royal duty while using the job as an excuse as to why he can’t do more royal engagements.

Something seems off about these photos in the Daily Mail piece.  Maybe it’s just Prince William’s stiff posture as he tries to emulate someone who does stuff or his getting the EAAA photo op out of the way so early in January that’s throwing me off, but there are two side by side pictures where the foliage doesn’t seem consistent at the same portion of the tail boom.

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Of course it could just be the angle.  Just like the strange violet hue at the top of William’s head could be explained by lighting conditions.

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But it got me thinking.  It’s hard to juggle both holidays and PR photo ops.  I mean, those poor Cambridges have to fit in both sandy beaches and snowy slopes not long after their time off at Christmas.  Instead of going through all the trouble of having to go work and try to remember what it is he supposedly does so it can be captured by a photographer like Geoff Robinson, why don’t they just shoot Prince William in various poses against a green screen?  That way he can easily be dropped into heroic scenes while he’s working on his tan or hitting the slopes or playing video games in the Fortress of Solitude.  Then whenever there’s word of a taxpayer torch and pitchfork mob forming, the Palace Press Office can release photos of Prince William in various heart-warming scenes like rescuing a box of kittens…

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Saving the Earth from an asteroid…

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Defeating the Kraken…

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Or even diverting attention away from any of his wife’s future flashing with a Marilyn moment of his own.

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Since Kate rarely speaks and when she does, she’s difficult to understand, they can try to beef up her numbers by having her assistant carry around a life-size cardboard cutout of her to her various patronages and see if anyone even notices.

Of course, the Cambridges might just opt to send everyone in the UK a photo from their next holiday with the message “We’re just not that into you.” especially since Prince William (the future Head of the Church of England) and Kate skipped sending out a Christmas card this year. (Instead they mailed out a photo from the Canada tour thanking those who sent them warm holiday wishes.  Other royals adhered to tradition with Prince Harry’s holiday card featuring children of an Invictus Games veteran while Prince Charles’ and Camilla’s holiday card included a photo from their Croatia tour).

Prince William and Kate deciding to spend Christmas at Bucklebury for the second time, a year after they skipped the Queen’s Christmas lunch in order to host the Middletons at Anmer Hall, suggests they don’t really feel strongly bound to the Royal Family or its traditions.  While there have been no repercussions, even the Royal Family must be wondering about the future of the monarchy under William the Reluctant.

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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 Hair Menagerie

“She lives in a world of her own – a world of – little glass ornaments…”
― Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

A somewhat belated Happy Easter or a more timely Happy Monday!  My funny bunny, Nightwing, sends his love.

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I’m a little behind on royal news due to technical difficulties.  But Apple has reunited me with my resurrected laptop, so time for a little catch-up.

To no one’s surprise, Prince William wound up jetting off to attend the wedding of rumored first love Jecca Craig in Kenya, leaving a fairly impressive amount of pissed off people in his cloud of cartoon smoke.  At least one of William’s co-worker spouses was displeased her husband had to spend yet another holiday away from his family when William got to take both Easter and all of December off.  Many taxpayers were peeved about having to pick up the pricy tab for Prince William’s security detail and private secretary for another international jolly.  And it’s assumed Kate isn’t too happy either that Wills missed out on their daughter’s first Easter to attend the wedding of his ex, although having watched Kate being interviewed for the Queen at 90 documentary, I suspect it’s possible Kate is being kept so heavily sedated, someone probably just stuffed a pillow into that blue sweater William always wears and Kate thinks she and her hubby just had the best Easter ever together.

The bulk of Kate’s contribution to the documentary on the Queen had already been released and discussed by the press: George calls Her Majesty Gan-Gan, the Queen leaves little gifts for her great-grandchildren in their room when they visit and Kate made the Queen chutney for her first royal Christmas.  Not terribly riveting stuff, this is more the sort of information that might be exchanged during small talk at an official engagement, if Kate actually bothered with small talk or engagements.  The Shetland pony featured in the documentary probably offered more insight on Her Majesty than the future Queen Consort did.  The documentary can be viewed in its entirety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD7dAsNxmrQ

While the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Cornwall provided glimpses into the Queen as a woman, most of what Kate had to offer was more on Kate.  In one clip, Kate noted:

“I think she’s so… so engaging.
And I think she’s got the most fantastic smile.
I think even if the Queen says nothing at all but just smiles, she gives people an enormous amount of pleasure.”

Notice a pattern?  I, I, I.  There was an abundance of Is all throughout Kate’s segments.  “I was worried…”, “I thought back…”, “I noticed…”, “I think…”.  I, I, I.

Contrary to popular belief, over-usage of the pronoun I in speech isn’t a mark of narcissism, it’s one of insecurity.  In the documentary, Our Fair Waity sounded like Eliza Doolittle raided Paula Abdul’s medicine cabinet and then tried to leave a trail of pronoun breadcrumbs to help her find her way back to her own thought process.  Kate’s affected posh accent somehow managed to get even plummier and she appeared to be somewhat disoriented trying to maintain its consistency, with words lost in her own nervous laugh or in a rush to make sentences be over.

In one segment, Kate noted, “There’s a real art to walkabouts, everybody teases me in the family that I spend far too long chatting.”  Yeah, I don’t think the walkabouts which Kate rarely does are the problem.  Supposedly, the Royal Family finds Kate’s affected accent to be frustrating because she has to think about how each word should sound and it can take her a while to stammer through a complete thought.  They’re known not be fans of people putting on airs so a middle class girl constantly being a conversational speed bump in an attempt to sound like the poshest one of all naturally wouldn’t go over well.

In two clips, Kate made reference to the Queen taking care of her in a maternal nurturing way, by making sure she was okay at the Leicester engagement when she was without William and by putting out the chutney Kate made her for Christmas which Kate felt, “shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody.”

Why does a woman in her thirties and a future Queen Consort need the Queen to look after her as if she’s a child?  If someone as busy as a Head of State needs to stop what she’s doing like the Queen did at Leicester and ask if you’re okay, in all likelihood you are very far from okay.  Maybe the reason Kate usually doesn’t take her coat off at official engagements is because Kate’s Mum has to pin a note inside of them reading, “If found, please return to Carole Middleton’s umbilical cord.”

If there was any doubt before, Queen at 90 solidifies my suspicion that Kate is a walking Tennessee Williams play.  Kate ticks a lot of the same boxes as Laura, the mentally fragile daughter from the Glass Menagerie.  Both need to be taken care of, live in seclusion, become nervous speaking, drop out of commitments, have social circles limited to siblings, have mothers overly intent on making strong matrimonial matches for their daughters, and judging by Kate’s bad tailoring, it’s likely she puts her elongated torso on the same exaggerated level of physical deformity as Laura views her limp.  Substitute glass animal figurines with a wiglet collection and you’ve got a play… just not a woman suited to a role she aggressively pursued for over a decade.  The most striking difference is that Laura is a far more sympathetic character than Kate, Laura was trapped by circumstance whereas Kate built hers brick by boring brick.

The Daily Mail ran an article over the weekend indicating that it’s likely Kate and William will be ditching Anmer life and returning to London so Prince George can attend Wetherby next year.  Maybe the suggestion that the Cambridges will be returning to both London and duty is merely a PR ploy so the masses will think their seemingly endless gap year will be drawing to a close soon, but if they are moving back to London, how exactly is that going to work?  They can’t keep their criticism-provoking actions from the public’s awareness with Anmer Hall’s seclusion acting as a cloaking device and London affords far fewer places to hide the more unflattering aspects of a fairytale that’s looking increasingly Grimm.

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Prince George Starts Nursery School

Kate Middleton might be getting the good lovin’ tonight from hubby Prince William, so if their ten bedroom country estate is a-rockin’, don’t go a-knockin’.  The couple managed to pull off Prince George’s first day of nursery school without the presence of the loathsome media, released two photos taken by Kate on Twitter after-the-fact, thereby sharing the future king’s milestone moment in the couple’s trademark on-their-terms-only fashion, and pissing off a multitude of royal  photographers in the process.

So how did the Cambridges pull off this latest coupe of public figures living privately?  It was actually kind of brilliant.  It didn’t require the kind of carefully calculated choreography of Ocean’s Eleven, they simply used the Power of Assumption.

The Bait:

On December 18th, Kensington Palace released an official announcement that Prince George would be starting Westacre Montessori School Nursery  in Norfolk before the end of January.

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Media outlets dutifully reported the news that George would be starting nursery school at the end of the January, like eonline which gushed, “But after the holidays, Prince George is going to have to start planning his first day of school outfit, as the palace also announced Friday that he’ll be starting nursery school at the end of January!”

Technically, January 6th does fall before the end of January.  So the announcement was not even blatantly deceptive by the Cambridges’ standards.

As Richard Palmer noted in his December 18th Express article on the choice of a nursery school ten miles from Anmer Hall:

“The Cambridges have spent an increasing amount of time at Anmer Hall, their 10-bedroom country home on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, despite taxpayers forking out £4.5 million to upgrade their official London residence at Kensington Palace.

Aides had said they would spend most of their time at the London residence but they soon got fed up with the public and media attention in London and it quickly became clear they intended to base themselves in Norfolk.”

It’s just so irksome when the public shows interest in public figures.  Hang your heads in shame, peasants, you basically forced them into doing what suited them like they would have anyway.

The Heist:

With the public and royal photographers assuming Prince George’s first day of nursery school would fall at the end of the January, Prince William and Kate Middleton pulled up to Westacre Montessori Nursery with two-and-half-year-old George and Kate took some pics.  After George’s first day, when the family was back at their Fortress of Solitude, Anmer Hall, Kensington Palace released two of Kate’s photos of George’s first day.  From the @KensingtonRoyal Twitter Account:

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Prince George is undeniably adorable.  But two pics of His Royal Cuteness taken by his mother feels a bit paltry, especially compared to the media presence at Prince William’s first day at nursery school, as evidenced in this photo published by Hello Magazine.

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The Daily Mail couldn’t resist pointing out that on Prince William’s first day of nursery school, “In line with tradition, a formal photocall was arranged by Kensington Palace for the three-year-old’s arrival at Mrs Mynors’ Nursery School in London, which was also a Montessori.”

Royal photographers, whose livings are adversely effected by the Cambridge’s dodging of traditional photocalls and legal threats against unofficial photos, vented their frustrations on social media.  Royal photographer, Mark Stewart, lamented the covert move by the Cambridges on Twitter with royal photographer, James Whatling, emphasizing that the changes were for the worse.

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James Whatling also got in a dig at how ridiculous it is that public figures are demanding to live privately, doling out amateur photographic pellets as if they will satiate the public that supports the monarchy.

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Perhaps the most interesting Tweet of all was from Niraj Tanna, who has an impressive track record of being in the know about the generally unknown:

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Did an American journalist get the scoop before anyone else that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be releasing photos of Prince George’s first day of nursery school on the American-owned platform Twitter?  If so, that’s gotta sting even more.

It kind of makes me  nostalgic for the days when instead of all these passive-aggressive shenanigans, the future Queen Consort  just out-right flashed the press the V sign (the  British  version of giving the finger).KateFlashesVSign

Prince George won’t be attending nursery school regularly, permitting him breaks from the drudgery of cutting and pasting.  According to a senior aide quoted in the Daily Mail“He won’t go every day… but the couple decided that it would just be nice for him to attend a little local nursery school.”

So basically like his parents, Prince George’s schedule will remain flexible so he can properly go on holiday and be reportedly keen on things.  George is one precocious kid, he’s not even three yet and he’s got the whole Cambridge prince thing down.

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Keeping Up With The Kambridges

A new cast member has been added to the British royal sur-reality show, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana born on May 2nd.

I was a little surprised Kate Middleton gave birth to a girl, I assumed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would have two boys close in age, then a girl, the order ensured either through in vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic diagnosis or whatever dark magic Middleton matriarch Carole has got on tap these days.  With the Kambridge ratings slipping as its walking shadows fill the stage with sound and fury, perhaps the powers that be decided the show needed some Diana-colored memories of the way they were.  Of course, it’s always possible Charlotte was conceived the old-fashioned way without test tubes or cauldrons, just Prince William summoned to Bucklebury by his mother-in-law for tea and coitus with an ovulating Kate.

On Wednesday, Princess Charlotte was brought to Anmer Hall, the couple’s country home located on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.  The press was immediately warned through hand-outs distributed by Norfolk police that their presence was not welcome and that the family expected privacy.

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Of course it’s natural that following the birth of a child, Prince William and Kate want some family time, alone with their daughter, son, their team of Royal Protection Officers, nannies and Kate’s parents who have moved in to Anmer Hall to oversee the couple’s household staff.  As public figures, however, the Cambridges are not afforded such a right to privacy, there is merely a gentleman’s agreement between the Palace and the increasingly irritated UK media not to publish photos taken during down time, as well as the royal family’s means to financially devastate members of the media with costly legal fees to discourage non-compliance.  No matter how much Prince William tries to isolate himself from the press, duty and the people he represents, though, he is still a future king, public interest will never go away.  The more he rants, the more irrational he looks and let’s face it, given his past battles with the press and how screwed up his formative years were, the psychological strings that keep him from sitting in front of Anmer Hall in a rocking chair, wearing a bathrobe and tapping long fingernails against the stock of a rifle are probably pretty frayed by now.

Many comparisons between the Cambridges and Kardashians have been made over the years… the tenacious matriarchs, Kate and Kim’s concurrent weddings and pregnancies, the booty battle between Pippa and Kim, Kate and Kim’s exposed genitalia… but while one family courts the media, the other shuns it completely.  Ultimately, the stock-in-trade of both familial brands is public popularity which can go away very quickly.  While it’s been said that Kim Kardashian lives in fear of one day no longer being famous, Prince William’s actions seem to suggest he’d be far less devastated if the monarchy were to be abolished as long as he got to keep some of its perks.   I can totally picture him riding a scooter or a battle cat throughout the palaces, tagging items he wants to keep with W-inscribed Post-its and pulling off the H Post-its.  Sometimes I wonder though why Prince William wouldn’t want to try harder to preserve the family business for his own children.  Maybe Prince William thinks it’s not worth having.  Because right now the focus seems to be on how much Prince William doesn’t want to be an heir to the throne, he wants to be left alone with all the royal perks that were sent along to Anmer Hall so this attempt at a normal life wouldn’t be burdened by any actual normality.  Additionally, Carole moving into Anmer Hall to oversee the staff raises concerns about Prince William’s competency for his future roll.  Um, how exactly will Prince William be able to serve as head of state when he and his wife can’t even serve as head of household?  Behind all of Prince William’s various gap years and diversionary stints to buy time away from the inevitable is a thirty-two year-old man who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, a reluctant prince who will probably one day grab the microphone at Prince Charles’ coronation and proclaim, “”Yo.  Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best coronations of all time! One of the best coronations of all time!”  At least if Prince William does fully metamorphosize into Kanye West, he’ll finally know what he wants to do when he grows up, “make dope shit for the world” and “represent the regular dude who believes in God but still likes pussy”.  It’s important for “normal” people to have goals.

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The Middletons Take Mustique

After three events on Monday for which child-scarer Kate Middleton looked like a Clueless Miss Geist, the duchess became a self-fulfilling punchline when she jetted off to Mustique on Thursday with Prince William, Prince George, her mother, father, sister and brother and several Royal Protection Officers.

Despite being ‘too pregnant’ to join Prince William on a tour of China and Japan, Kate is apparently just pregnant enough for the nine hour flight to her favorite Caribbean destination.  No Fake Hyperemesis Gravidarum to spoil the Caribbean Queen’s third trimester two week getaway with the Middletons, which is fortunate, had Kate’s pregnancy really been a difficult one and not just billed so to get out of duties, there might be concern that the future fourth-in-line to the throne was several islands away from the most basic of hospital care.

The trip is ostensibly to celebrate Middleton Matriarch Carole’s 60th birthday which apparently the Doolittles were unable to do when they spent this past weekend with Kate’s parents at Bucklebury or during the two weeks or so that the Middleton family spent at Anmer Hall around the Christmas holidays.

Surely this birthday celebration for Carole has been in the works for a while and yet Prince William still opted to forego Christmas Day with his grandmother, preferring to spend it instead with Carole and the rest of the Middleton clan in a mansion gifted to him by Her Majesty.  Apparently with the short deck Prince William seems to be playing with these days, Carole trumps the Queen.  With Carole Middleton seemingly always getting top priority, isn’t every day Carole’s birthday?

But this Mustique trip had to have an official reason to make it slightly more palpable to the press, after all, Prince William has been doing very few official engagements while supposedly training to be an air ambulance pilot, Kate just took several weeks off around Christmas from all that nothing she does, and they couldn’t call it a Babymoon because they just had one of those in November, nor could it be a second honeymoon because they just had one of those ten months ago in the Maldives… so Carole’s birthday celebration it is.

While this is a private Middleton getaway, unfortunately it still comes with a hefty price tag for taxpayers who foot the bill for security and any additional staff the couple brings, such as the nanny.  These costs include round-trip business class tickets, luxury resort lodging, per diem and overtime.  While RPO numbers are never released for “security” reasons, I estimate a dozen Royal Protection Officers were brought along to Mustique to guard the villa, The Heir-To-The-Heir, The Heir-To-The-Heir-To-The-Heir and The Hair.  Despite taxpayer financial contributions to this trip, it’s doubtful taxpayers will even get to see pictures from this latest holiday.  In the past, other guests on Mustique have complained about royal security restricting movement on the island, taking away their cell phones and even questioning them before allowing them on the beach (which makes the 2013 babymoon pics even more curious, with many believing Carole was somehow involved).  But, who knows, maybe Prince William will spring for some “Kate and Wills Blew My Tax Money on Another Holiday and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” souvenirs.  Or maybe Prince William prefers the more classic “I’m With Stupid” design. redheart

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Seven Kitchens Kate

Okay, I’m a bit confused.  Which admittedly happens quite a bit, but usually not with basic math.  When Kate Middleton and Prince William moved into Kensington Palace, Apartment 1A had three kitchens, two of which were staff kitchens, with a family kitchen on the ground floor.  Kate added a second private kitchen for Cambridge-use-only, which means they’ve now got four kitchens.  Three plus one equals four.  So why is the press taking jabs at Kate by referring to her as Two Kitchens Kate?

Maybe the press doesn’t count the two staff kitchens, used by their staff of over twenty?  The twenty-plus staff who were moved into newly refurbished offices at Kensington Palace, the cost of which remains undisclosed but still paid for by the taxpayer.  The twenty-plus staff that the press conveniently glosses over because Kate is just so much like us.  I keep my staff of twenty plus in the castle I had been using for sweater storage because my flying monkeys kept getting tangled up in their hair.

So really Kensington Palace has four kitchens unless of course Kate sealed off the two staff kitchens, perhaps thinking that commoners are like cats, once you feed them, they keep coming back.  Let them eat cake, just elsewhere please.

There are also two staff kitchens at Anmer Hall, one for the guards and another in the nanny’s quarters in addition to the existing $65,000 family kitchen there they are ripping up.  The new kitchen will have an air purifying refrigerator with NASA-designed technology which runs $25,000 a pop, an oven that costs a cool $13,600, a $6,800 sink and tons of pricy gadgets like the Tubie which is a hands-free machine that dries and irons clothing in minutes and will undoubtedly freak out Lupo.

Snow White had seven dwarfs, Waity has seven kitchens.  This modern fairytale sucks, I don’t think even Disney could make it endearing, there are just far too many characters walking around with poisoned produce.

Despite Kate having a kitchen for every day of the week, the press is sticking with the moniker Two Kitchens Kate.  And as Waity Katie knows, once the media latches on to a nickname it sticks.  With all the public grumblings and turning tides, Kate should be working her ass off.  There was a flicker of hope there for a second a couple of weeks ago but Kate probably spied an LK Bennett sale happening on the path of least resistance, decided the whole effort thing blows and had her assistant call for one of the Bentleys.

Instead of proving herself to be more than a pampered pet, Kate’s July calendar has remained clear following her July 1st engagement, save for the awkward unofficial Wimbledon appearances where her clapping looked like a PSA for helmet safety and the exhausting Tour de France ribbon cutting on July 5th shown in this screen grab:   

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Ribbon cutting isn’t neurosurgery so I’m not sure why she required a two-prince-assist.  It is kind of cool though that there are photos for the history books of the precise moment the British Royal Family jumped the shark.

Kate will be attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28th and 29th, so until then Kate will be doing whatever it is Kate does while the nanny and various taxpayer-funded household staff take care of Kate’s so-called hands-on duties as mother and homemaker.  My theory has been that Prince William has a laser pointer and Kate runs around trying to catch the red dot but I’m sure she watches television too and probably plays with balls of yarn.

In order to restore Kate’s image following the recent unflattering press, there appears to be an attempt to refocus attention on Kate as a mother complete with golden halo and harp music.  There are quite a few stories about how Prince George cried through his breastfeeding stage, not sleeping through the night until the beginning of this year when solid food was introduced into his diet.  If the story was intended to garner sympathy, I admit I do feel bad that seventy-one year old Nanny Webb had to go through all that.  I’m not so sure the story did much to bolster Kate’s reputation.  The problem with obvious PR moves is people aren’t a fan of the obvious.  Deception is far more palpable if it has at least some entertainment value.  I will forgive a lie much more easily if it involves a dance number, train hoppin’ hobos and a monkey.

Babies are a PR goldmine, normally the public will forgive even the most egregious behavior with just a hint of a new bundle of joy.  In previous posts, I predicted Kate would try to line up getting pregnant with the spare to coincide with the Royal Household Annual Accounts reports released at the end of June.  Well, it’s being reported that Jessica Hay, a former school friend of Kate’s, has confirmed Kate is pregnant.  Pregnancy rumors are nothing new for the Duchess of Doolittle except this is the same former friend who accurately reported Kate was pregnant the first time around so it has some credibility.  While it could just be a planted rumor Kate tried to make seem more believable by giving her stomach what appeared to be a pregnancy pat at the Tour de France event, Kate’s face does seem like it’s either retaining fluids or dermal fillers.

Regardless, the spare is inevitable.  A second will give Kate a nice nine month break before a year of maternity leave, plus however many years she can pull off saying that her family is her first priority and the reason she can’t do more engagements.  I have the highest respect for mothers but when Kate married Prince William, she took a duchess title that came with duties.  She said, “I do”, not only to a man, but to a commonwealth as well.  Kate is provided with an extensive staff to be able to perform the duties expected of her, funded by taxpayers.  If Kate wishes to live the lifestyle of a private citizen, she should do so without the allocated resources of a fulltime working royal.

The more Kate and Prince William try to live as private public figures, the more they alienate those who fund their lifestyles.  Why should taxpayers pay an undisclosed sum somewhere in the millions of dollars for their annual security protection when the UK’s Laziest Royals put in so few official engagements, then complain about their lack of privacy as they wait to live in the secluded luxury of Anmer Hall, away from photographers and cell phone cameras?  In a curious move some speculated was part of Prince William’s broader campaign to control the media, the United for Wildlife charity cricket match on Monday was declared a private event, shutting out freelance photographers and attaching copyright terms to the released photos.  The couple is also reported to be asking for the airspace above Anmer Hall to be declared a no-fly zone, filing a claim that photos taken at the end of May were below the legally required 500 feet.  The CAA is still trying to determine if there’s enough evidence to even launch an investigation into their claim but have indicated that the rules were the same for royal residences as they were non-royal ones.  With all their privacy complaints and scheduled move to seclusion, it kind of sounds like they are on their way towards writing a 35,000 word manifesto about technology and freedom.  Hopefully the next Kate Effect doesn’t involve hoodies and aviator sunglasses.

Normally babies are a jackpot in terms of public perception but I doubt Kate’s second pregnancy will have a tremendous restorative impact on her image.  July could have marked a turning point on how Kate would be historically remembered, but she has instead chosen inaction as her course.  I really don’t think it matters what Kate Middleton does past this point or how many cute Prince Grumpy Cats she gives birth to, if she is called Waity Katie, Lazy Katie or Two Kitchens Kate, historically she is likely to be referred to as the woman who sank the British Monarchy.  I always hope for the best from people but I fear Kate truly may be hopeless.

redheart

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The Hidden Expenses of Prince William’s Private Pilot Gig

In the backlash over the recent $6.8 million Kensington Palace renovations for Prince William and Kate, many are left bewildered as to how Prince William and Kate could up and move to the Anmer Hall country estate gifted to Prince William by the Queen.  Those of course are the people who haven’t been paying attention. We welcome all to the Land of the Disenchanted with open arms, we’ve been expecting you.  Please make yourselves comfortable, someone will by shortly to collect your Royal Wedding souvenir spoons and those Kate mugs you claimed were ironic but secretly loved.

Today the Royal Household Annual Accounts officially come out.  Obviously there are those who have lashed out over the cost of Kensington Palace renovations and Prince William’s and Kate’s decision to live at Anmer Hall so Prince William can play helicopter pilot, but perhaps the most interesting figures that come from this are the ones that won’t ever be listed on any report.  Prince William’s decision to postpone royal duties is going to cost taxpayers a fairly large sum of money.

In order to protect Anmer Hall, an estimated fifteen officers will need to be hired to guard the grounds around the clock, costing taxpayers an additional $2.5 million per year.  That’s what the taxpayers shelled out annually to secure the couple’s rented farmhouse in Anglesey when the couple decided they wanted the privacy of living off base.  At Kensington Palace, there is already a security team in place.

Also at Kensington Palace is the recently installed super-tricked out panic room and state-of-the-art video surveillance.  It’s likely Anmer Hall is being similarly outfitted, since it will be their primary if not their “official” residence.  The average panic room runs around $1.7 million, likely the second in line to the throne would get an above average panic room.  Perhaps a security upgrade is one of the reasons why Anmer Hall isn’t ready yet.  Security costs are paid for by the taxpayer and aren’t released apparently for the British Royal Family’s safety.  Because even though an insane nut job targeting the Royal Family can count the number of protection officers in published photos and read about the special mesh curtains designed to catch shattering glass in most major magazines around the world, knowing how much each protection officer makes an hour would somehow facilitate their heinous plans.

Anmer Hall is approximately a hundred and twenty miles away from London and a hundred and fifty-two miles away from Berkshire where Kate’s parents live.  Likely Kate will make many escapes to stay with her parents like she did when Prince William was an RAF pilot and they lived in Anglesey.  Now that she has Prince George, the cost for securing her parents’ Berkshire home for the third in line runs taxpayers in the neighborhood of $17,000 a day.

Of course, what’s distance when the Queen allocates part of the Sovereign’s Grant to lease you a helicopter instead of blowing it on needed repairs to Buckingham Palace?  A lot of that priceless artwork in danger of being destroyed by a leaky roof has been around forever, a lot of people have already seen it and there are probably some pictures of that stuff somewhere in case it gets ruined to remind people what it looked like.

In addition to the cost of the helicopter lease, there are operational costs such as fuel and oil, maintenance, a pilot if Prince William isn’t doing the chauffeuring.  But the helicopter will come in handy now that Kate will be further away from six of her seven charities.  If the seventh, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, drops by the house and asks her to do something, Kate can always hop in the helicopter and tell the pilot to step on it.  That kind of convenience is priceless.

If Prince William really wants his life to be private then taxpayers shouldn’t have to cover these outrageous sums.  No taxpayer-funded protection officers, travel expenses and staff.  If he really wants a “normal life”, he should be afforded the opportunity to live just like everyone else.  Maybe a glimpse into actual normal life would be enlightening to the Petulant Prince.

redheart

 

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William the Reluctant

Prince William turned 32 on Saturday.  The father, husband and second in line to the throne of England is still no closer to figuring out what he wants to be when he grows up despite the birthright he still views as a birthwrong.  Today he wants to be a helicopter pilot, perhaps tomorrow he’ll want to be a cowboy.  Prince William is a man of many interests, none of which appear to be his role as a future king.

As a child, Prince William would notoriously stomp his feet and scream, “I don’t want to be king.”  As a teenager his outbursts against his inherited role were chalked up to teenage rebellion.  He resented both the media and his protection detail, shouting at both, “Why won’t you just let me be a normal person?”  When Wills aged past the age of hormonally-explained dissent, Prince Charles attempted to instill in him a sense of duty, resorting to getting third parties like protection officers to convince the petulant prince to embrace his destiny as king.  Now thirty-two, Prince William’s defiance involves less kicking, but he still appears just as reluctant to accept his destiny, a destiny for which his own mother believed that his brother Harry was better suited.

It’s anticipated that Prince William will soon announce that he’s accepted a position as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance and that he, Kate and Prince George will ditch their digs in Kensington Palace which just cost taxpayers $6.8 million to renovate in order to take up residence at Anmer Hall, a hundred and twenty miles north of London.  So much for Kensington Palace being their primary residence.  So much for assuming more royal responsibilities.  So much for a lot of things.

The helicopter pilot gig has been maybe happening since April.  The timing of the announcement coinciding with the release of the Kensington Palace renovation report makes me even more suspicious that William the Reluctant is becoming William the Destroyer, blasting as many holes in the monarchy as he can before he attempts to sink it.  Perhaps the Republican Movement simply isn’t moving fast enough for his taste so Prince William is trying to annihilate the monarchy from the inside.

Throughout his life, Prince William has approached his role as future king with contempt that’s worn many veils, but the underlying issue has always remained the same, Prince William despises being watched.  Realistically, there will always be some level of interest in Prince William either for who he will be or who he could have been.  Whether historically remembered as William the Reluctant or William the Destroyer, the only privilege Wills wasn’t born with was the option to be irrelevant.

This past year was labeled a transitional year by the Palace to explain why Prince William, now in his thirties, is still balking over becoming a full-time royal.  Perhaps like his wife, Kate, Prince William is allergic to things he doesn’t want to do.  Prince William couldn’t even make it through a ten-week agriculture course at Cambridge without taking two vacations.  The royal tour of Australia and New Zealand was laughably light on scheduled events, his calendar of official engagements has been as sparse as the hair on top of the heir’s head and now he’s taking another giant step away from the throne with this decision to play pilot.  He can’t have the perks without the responsibilities, he’s either in or he’s out.  So why is he still being considered for the job of king when he so clearly doesn’t want the only part of it that’s beneficial to the people of the UK?

There are those who believe that if Prince William removes himself from the line of succession, the British Monarchy wouldn’t survive, an opinion rumored to be shared by the Queen.  It’s also been suggested that William only presently endures his loathsome role out of deference to his grandmother.  Wait, so Wills has actually been on his best behavior?  I shudder to think what his worst behavior looks like but I imagine it involves plushy orgies, paintball tournaments in Buckingham Palace and Wills riding around on an armored tiger with his robe open and a butter knife raised above his head proclaiming, “I have the power.”

Whether he leaves or stays, it appears more and more likely that the end of the British monarchy will come at the hands of Mr. Kate Middleton.  Prince William’s decision to postpone his destiny by at least another year undermines the future of the British monarchy as taxpayers struggle to see the value in a prince who is more interested in leading a private life than becoming king.  Money from the Sovereign’s Grant that should be spent on upkeep of the palaces is instead being allocated to appease the petulant prince and his lazy wife to the outrage of many taxpayers.  The new helicopter that will be used to shuttle the Duke and Duchess of Doolittle to official engagements from Anmer Hall comes out of the Sovereign’s Grant despite Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace being in urgent need of repairs.  Priceless art and artifacts are in danger of being destroyed by leaky roofs while the whims of Prince William and Kate are being catered to.  If the Firm is unable to adequately manage itself, how effectively can it serve the people of the United Kingdom?  Should the future of the monarchy really be in the hands of someone who is so disinterested in it?  Perhaps it’s better to take their chances with a King Harry who genuinely has a sense of duty rather than a man who is woefully unprepared to be first in line to the throne and take over the Duchy of Cornwall.

I just want to say a quick thanks to gingerboy24 of Royal Gossip for posting the link to my blog.  I’ve tried to join Royal Gossip in the past to thank individuals for their support, but the forum wisely wouldn’t have me as a member.  And of course, thank you to temi for always being wonderful amazing you!

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