Tag Archives: Daily Mail

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):

JustinTrudeauPM

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:

RPCanadaTourConfirmation

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:

DMAmericansPayingForRoyalSecurityComment

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

USPoliceProtectionforPellyWedding

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.

PellyRoyalConvoy

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.

KPCanadaSpecialMemories

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.

EnglishDMArticle

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.

BenAinslieWhereabouts

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”:

GoogleSearchBen Ainslie

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.

KateMeetingBenAinslie

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

PippaBenAinslie

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

Kate&BenAward

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

KateGivesBenMedal

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

WilliamGivesBenMedal

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.

Ben,Kate&William

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

BenAinslieOlympicBodies

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

BenAinslieTurtleneck

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.

RebeccaEnglishUpdate

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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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:

MonarchistMonsterHeadline

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.

KateCrouching

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.

KateDepends

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.

GeorgeBackUpDancers

Even Beyoncé hasn’t reached Ultimate Beyoncé yet.

SingleLadies

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.

George&Beyonce

Long live the Queen Bey in all of us.

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Kate Middleton Hosts SportsAid Banquet

On Thursday evening, Kate Middleton hosted a SportsAid banquet in the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace as part of the charity’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

EmilyAndrewsSportsAid

Since becoming patron of SportsAid in 2013, the banquet was Kate’s sixth event for the charity which helps support young British athletes.

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Kate went with electric blue for the event.  It’s a smurfy color…

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It just feels Kate’s overdone it in an unsmurfy way.  And almost always with black court shoes and a black clutch.

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The Roland Mouret gown which retails for just under $3,000  (£2,095) also comes in midnight navy which I think would have been a more sophisticated color option.  Not a fan of the exposed zipper, though.

RolandMouretMidnightNavy

The royal blue version feels too casual, although the hue can’t shoulder the blame for the dress’ lackluster styling and Kate’s posture, evoking one of Kate’s 2012 London Olympics looks.

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Kate’s $42,750 (£30,000) Diamond Tricolour Cartier Earrings were barely visible beneath her hair which was likely hungry without its usual follicular feast of extensions and wiglets.

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But they did make sporadic appearances, as can be seen in this screen grab from the Daily Mail.

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The earrings seem to be part of the same design collection as the Cartier Trinity necklace  which Kate debuted in 2012 at London’s National Portrait Gallery at an exhibit of athlete portraits.

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Kate’s  Roland Mouret dress was also accessorized with a singular hair strand.  Hopefully it wasn’t a jumper from Prince William’s head, he has so few to spare.

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Kate stepped up the duchessing at Thursday’s SportsAid banquet and actually delivered a speech.

Emily Andrews of The Sun noted it was Kate’s best to date and while I think she was right, the bar is still very low.

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After five years, Kate should be able to deliver far better than she did.  The speech in its entirety can be watched on YouTube.

Kate was obviously nervous, as evidenced by the deep breaths she took to calm herself.

(DeepNervousBreath)

Kate’s accent affectation continued to be an issue, in fact for a few words her Received Pronunciation started to drift a bit in an American direction (she didn’t make it all the way, dashing my hopes of an international accent patchwork speech). Kate’s attention was mostly fixed down on her speech instead of out on her audience, her delivery was flat with very little inflection, her phrasing was still unnatural and she seemed palpably uncomfortable.  I have pasted below a transcript of the speech from an Express article by Richard Palmer and did a screen-grab of Kate’s face as she was articulating specific words which I have bolded with the corresponding photos below.

Some of you may know that I love sport.  

"love"

“love”

I love cheering on teams and athletes that I am passionate about.  

"passionate"

“passionate”

I love the physical challenge sport presents and the mental strength it gives us all.  And I love the way it so often brings people together to work as part of a team.  

I suspect many of you in this room may feel the same. The brilliance of SportsAid is in really understanding just how much athletic competition gives to our country as a whole.  By investing in young sporting talent, they ensure that there is a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes.

"inspirational"

“inspirational”

"heroes"

“heroes”

These athletes then serve as motivators to everyone in the UK to get involved, get active, and embrace the power of sport to make us happier and healthier.

"happier"

“happier”

"healthier"

“healthier”

With little over 50 days to go until the Games begin in Rio; the next Olympiad is almost here.  As we did in London in 2012, we will see a new generation of sporting stars emerge into the spotlight.

We cannot wait to meet the next SportsAid champions

"champions"

“champions”

…the next Chris Hoys and Katherine Graingers who will remind us all of the magic and the power of sport.

"magic"

“magic”

"power"

“power”

"sport"

“sport”

So thank you all for supporting the incredible work of SportsAid.  I am immensely proud to be their patron and I can’t wait to cheer on our team competing in Rio.

"proud"

“proud”

I do hope you enjoy tonight’s very special occasion.

"enjoy"

“enjoy”

"very"

“very”

"special"

“special”

"occasion"

“occasion”

Thank you.

"Thank"

“Thank”

"you"

“you”

Most of us can empathize with the nervousness that comes with public speaking.  But many professions and passions require frequent speech giving and Kate chose a profession that requires more speeches than most.  After five years with The Firm, Kate still lacks the skill set for a job she spent almost a decade pursuing.

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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.

RebeccaEnglishFlowerShow

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.

FlowerShowCorrection

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:

Sneezy

Sleepy:

Sleepy

Dopey:

Dopey

And Happy:

Happy

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.

Charlotte&GeorgeFlowers

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.

PrinceGeorgeMotorbike

The photos of Prince George were reminiscent of ones taken of Prince William and Prince Harry when they were young.

PrinceWilliamPrinceHarryMotorbike

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.

PrincessDianaComparison

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”.

KateGlamSquad&Photog

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.

DMHeliComment

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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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Another Quickie for Kate

Kate Middleton’s annual engagement numbers have recently gotten a boost to thirteen where royal rumors suggest she is going to hold until next month’s royal tour of Bhutan  and India.  In addition to the opening of a charity shop on Friday the 18th, the Court Circular wound up counting the “private engagement” at MayTree on March 10th and broke down suicide awareness events at Kensington Palace into two, the latter of which was also private.

CourtCircular3.10.16

We’re 81 days into 2016 so 13 engagements is a disappointing total, especially considering how brief the most recent photo ops have been.  Royal-watchers RoyalObsessedinU.S. and Jennifer on Twitter commenting on the quick engagements noted that Friday’s event was just a hair above the 30 minute mark while the teen suicide awareness talk on the 10th lasted 20 minutes.

RoyalObsessedinUS&JenniferTwitter

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Apparently Kate being keenly keen on keenness roughly translates to about a half hour of work these days.

After snubbing the Irish Guards on Thursday, Kate attended the opening of an East Anglia Children’s Hospices shop in Holt on Friday, just a short drive from Anmer Hall to which the Cambridges returned via helicopter on the 15th.  Kate’s appearance caused many to speculate that the real reason for Kate not handing out the shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day was a scheduling conflict with her hair.

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The fresh new color of Kate’s beefed-up bouffant even led to some musing that the grey John Boyd UFO hat Kate wore on Commonwealth Day was really all about hiding her roots.  Hopefully that’s it and Kate’s UFO hat wasn’t looking for intelligent life on Kate, its millenary overlords would be displeased by what it returned with.

Despite an obviously recent salon trip, Kate’s hair looked like it was involved in some kind of civil war tress distress with the add-on hair gaining combat advantage by seizing the high ground at her crown.

As this screen shot from the Daily Mail shows, to the wiglet go the spoils.

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Royal Correspondent, Richard Palmer, from the Express, posted a snap to Twitter from the engagement.

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For those distracted by the wheel-chair bound woman being used as a photo prop in the rain, this is a cropped version of the above depicting the tell-tale line.

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Reporter Ben Kendall’s pic post on Twitter afforded a different vantage point.

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One Daily Mail commenter noted that she felt bad for the woman in the photo op orchestrated to show how Kate “suddenly has compassion”.

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An atypically large crowd was gathered for the event, many of whom were children pulled from school and made to wait in the rain.  Several Daily Mail readers complained about this practice employed to beef up crowds in order to make royals look more popular, while one afforded insight into how children are made to stand for hours outside and told when to cheer.

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But I’m sure standing for hours outside for a woman who waited around nearly a decade to marry a prince and who rarely bothers to even wave to waiting crowds has great educational value.

If Kate has any lesson at all to teach children, it’s that what’s on the outside is what truly matters.  Kate’s arrival smirk shown in this Daily Mail screen grab suggests that even she bought the whole ruse.  I have no idea what exactly she’s doing with her crotch clutch hand, but kids, don’t try this in public.

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But skipping out on the St. Patrick’s Day’s day event did appear to leave at least some kind of indelible impression on Kate.  Or on her kneecap more specifically which the face of a leprechaun appears to now be inhabiting.

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Seriously, what’s up with that thing?  It looks like Kate’s knee now has extra pieces.  Her knees didn’t used to look like that.

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Just one of the many mysteries of Kate.

And as an aside, please follow me on Twitter @LoveLolaHeart.  I’m finally now using it, despite it being challenging for me to say anything in 140 characters or less.

redheart

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The Parable of the Perturbed Press

“To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48

After years of reaping royal benefits, this week the media reminded the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of their enormous growing bar tab of expectation.

On February 17th, Kate Middleton did her guest stint with the Huffington Post UK. The photos Tweeted by @KensingtonRoyal of the “newsroom” confirmed to me that they were using stuffed animals instead of real dogs and ponies for the Kate is Keen Show.

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While the event was geared towards bringing awareness to children’s mental health issues, the inherent flaw in selecting one outlet is representative of the greater issue that the Cambridges mistakenly believe they don’t need the media.  Kate’s second event of the year lacked the traditional media fanfare even though she wore a brand new outfit and everything.  Above all else, the press is a business so they naturally wouldn’t want to waste a lot of column space plugging their competition.

Many wondered if there would be a complete media black-out.

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Daily Mail article on Kate being papped shopping in pricy designer clothing referenced the Huffington Post event as Kate guest-editing “a website”.   While celebrity guest editing isn’t new which Jezebel’s “Kate Middleton Joins the Long, Goofy, Controversial Line of Celebrity Guest Editors” explores, the very fact that Kate is being classified as a celebrity reveals just how royally Kate is missing the mark.  Taxpayers don’t fund celebrities’ lives and more is expected of royals than being famous for being famous.  As representatives of the UK, royals are supposed to remain politically neutral and avoid the appearance of impropriety by refusing freebies  by companies seeking royal product placement…a  future Queen Consort aligning herself with one media outlet is tantamount to brand endorsement.

Prince William’s first scheduled engagement of the year on the 16th at the Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy seemed to even more blatantly break with the royal neutrality policy when a speech he delivered was widely interpreted as thinly veiled support of remaining within the European Union.  As the Daily Mail noted, “he all but named the EU as he referenced international organisations such as the United Nations, Nato and ‘elsewhere’ as institutions that help Britain affirm its ‘commitment to working in partnership with others’. ”  The Palace denied any political agenda and pointed out that never once in the speech did Prince William specifically mention the European Union.  Sure, and when I refer to the Petulant Prince, I really am talking about any spoiled arrogant balding 33-year-old British heir to the throne with a pathologically lazy wife, two kids and a Cocker Spaniel named Lupo.

On February 17th, The Sun fired a shot at William the Reluctant heard round the world’s media with “Throne Idle: Prince on 1st job of the year… and it’s a disaster”.  While many of the points it makes have been discussed here and on other sites like Kate Middleton Review, Kate Middleton: Duchess or Diva, Celebitchy, and Sarah Whalen’s posts on Bayou Buzz, it’s refreshing to see the UK mainstream media dispense with the royal candy coating for a change and exercise some journalistic candor.

The Sun’s journalistic bitch-slap was such a departure from the white glove treatment Prince William normally receives, The Guardian dedicated an article to the article in “The Sun gives both barrels to Prince William”.

On February 18th, Richard Palmer Tweeted that for the RAF Disbandment Parade attended by Prince William and Kate, media access was limited under the guise of space restrictions.

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Perhaps the Cambridges were trying to keep out members of the media who might question the “value for the money” of Prince William and Kate who do so few official engagements to begin with taking a helicopter ride from London to Anglesey, Wales to attend the disbandment parade of the now-privatized branch of the Royal Air Force William left in 2013 without meeting his training commitment.

The Daily Mail continued the media pummeling with two new articles questioning the Petulant Prince’s dedication to his royal role with “William the Unwilling: A no-show at the Baftas, only two engagements all year and now even Royal eyebrows are being raised at a Prince who’s gone missing in action” as well as “Patell’s People: Work-shy William has to make a royal choice”.

The quote “to whom much is given, much is expected” comes from The Parable of the Faithful Servant, an eschatological warning in the Gospel of Luke to be prepared for the day of reckoning.  How long the monarchy will last remains to be seen, but with the press’ trumpeted judgment of William the Reluctant and the Duchess of Doolittle reaping the royal perks without commensurate return, the British Royal Family might want to figure out the whole Cambridge situation before the last three trumpets ring out.  The polo  ponies of petulant princes are no match against the apocalyptic horses of a republic.

redheart

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Prince William, The Escape Artist

On Monday, the Daily Mail dutifully ran photos of Prince William, Prince George and Kate Middleton boarding their return flight to London, perfectly staged with Prince George in his mother’s arms, Prince William carrying a floral bag presumably belonging to Kate, the royal trio bookended by a couple of Royal Protection Officers.  “Just Another Family On Their Way Home…” the headline proclaimed, the article candy-coated with a normality hard-sell that incited a flurry of generally negative responses from the disenchanted masses.  Some even remarked with surprise that the comments weren’t being heavily moderated in favor of the royal image.  A few noted that Nanny Maria was notably absent from the shots, along with the rest of the security team, probably boarded ahead of time to manipulate perception that Kate and Wills are just regular folk.  Readers were so focused on the obviously staged photos that many accepted the photos were taken earlier that day.  In fact, they were taken Friday when the couple actually returned, had they left on Monday, the only British Airways flight back would have them departing late at night, not during the day.

Screenshot taken from Daily Mail

Screenshot taken from Daily Mail

But why have the Daily Mail hold onto the “exclusive” photos instead of running them over the weekend?  A little bit of magician’s misdirection, perhaps?  For once, it was better having the masses think Prince William was still on a long luxury vacation, sunning himself in a tropical paradise, instead of back in the UK dealing with winter dreariness like everyone else.  Because with the public believing Prince William was in Mustique, it was slightly more understandable why the BAFTA President would blow off the BAFTA Awards held at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night and the nominee reception “hosted” by him held in Kensington Palace on Saturday night, sending his regrets along with pre-recorded videotaped messages.

BAFTA stands for British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  Basically it’s the British Oscars.  Prince William was appointed BAFTA President in February 2010.  This weekend marks the third time Prince William has blown off one of his few actual responsibilities as BAFTA President: being there.

Seriously?  Two weeks of relaxing and the sun and he can’t muster the energy to attend the award show or even the nominee reception that he “hosted” the night before, instead providing guests with his prepackaged regrets he couldn’t attend, but to please enjoy his and Catherine’s home.  Granted, Saturday’s reception wasn’t in Apartment 1A itself, it was in the palace’s King’s Gallery, but still, it’s not like he had to leave the coziness of palace walls.  Did the couple have to turn off all the lights in their apartment in case curious eyes peaked over?  Did the duke and duchess have to duck “Where r u?” text messages from Prince William’s Eton pal Eddie Redmayne and Kate’s Hollywood BFF Reese Witherspoon who both attended the reception?

Prince William hasn’t made an official appearance yet this year with the excuse that he’s been studying to become an air ambulance pilot, a job that will begin in the summer now instead of the spring, as initially reported.  The air ambulance job he’s chosen to do instead of the job he already has, as a royal and future king.  No official explanation offered yet as to why he hasn’t been able to adhere to the schedule of this detour from duty and start in the spring, although as mentioned in previous posts it was rumored back in October that he wasn’t showing up for training like he was supposed to.  With both his royal duties and non-royal commitments, it seems Prince William can’t be bothered.  It doesn’t instill much confidence in Prince William as a future king, or an air ambulance pilot.  Prince William’s real talent seems to be in magic, by creating the illusion of having a dual life, he has managed to avoid the responsibilities of either, a consummate escape artist who might just make the monarchy disappear.

redheart

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Daily Mail Reporter Might Be Hearing Voices

On September 1st, The Daily Mail Online ran an article proclaiming Malta giddy with anticipation over Kate Middleton’s scheduled two-day tour on the 20th and 21st of September.

The reporter, Harry Mount, declared, “Already the island has gone Kate-crazy.  People could talk of little else as I traveled around Malta and its neighbour, Gaza.”

I found that Daily Mail claim interesting because the majority of the comments I’ve heard from Malta residents about Kate’s upcoming tour fell somewhere on the spectrum between indifferent and annoyed.  Which honestly makes sense, Malta is celebrating 50 years of independence, why would they be particularly excited about honoring a representative of a monarchy from which they fought to sever ties?  Sure, Queen Elizabeth II is a respected international figure and had some happy WWII marriage memories there, but perhaps instead of her sending a woman with a track record of flashing her lady parts on foreign soil, Her Majesty could send Malta an Edible Arrangements Fruit Bouquet with a card that reads something like, “Congrats on cutting ties with us!  I keep trying to “accidentally” lose certain members of my family on hunts, you really must share your secret on how you successfully got rid of us, the skinny fidgety commoner has worked my last nerve.”  I’m sure the Maltese would appreciate the basket more, especially if Queen Elizabeth springs for the kind that has the fruit dipped in chocolate.  Some of the containers they come in are really cute, too.

So where is all this supposed excited buzz about Kate’s visit that the Daily Mail is reporting on?  Is the article some overly zealous Buckingham Palace PR Piece dutifully printed by the UK’s not-so-free-press or are Daily Mail reporters now starting to hear voices?

It turns out, Malta is equally mystified over the Daily Mail’s allegations of the island going Kate-crazy.  The Times of Malta took to the streets in search of the reported excitement over the Duchess’ visit and unable to find it, concluded, “the reporter might have been a tad overzealous in his assessment…”

While the Daily Mail at best fibbed again about Kate’s alleged popularity, I do know some people who would be excited to see her, her charities: Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, The Art Room, The National Portrait Gallery, Place2Be, SportsAid and The Natural History Museum.  In terms of the charities the press claims are so near and dear to her heart, this year the Duchess of Doolittle has only bothered showing up to an M-Pact event, that laughably “secret charity visit” to EACH “leaked” in June that happened to be captured by AP photographers, and the two photo op events back in February at the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Room.

Here’s a zany idea, but if Kate did actually try to make a positive impact in the world, more people would be genuinely excited about seeing her so the Daily Mail wouldn’t potentially be forced to spin fictional fanfare.

Because of Kate Middleton’s seemingly pathological laziness, the PR puffery currently being employed as a counter-measure only sets her up for a bigger fall.  If Kate’s presence doesn’t attract crowds from what appears to be a fictitious  Maltese fan base, Kate will be declared incompetent of even being able to manage a short little two-day tour on her own.  Such a failure would be an even bigger story for the papers.  If by some combination of animatronics, Special FX and genie wishes Kate actually manages to pull off serving as a suitable representative for her country, with all the pre-hype, it will be generally assumed her success was due to her international celebrity that had Malta “Kate-crazy” for weeks, thus requiring no real effort on her part.  Ultimately, the only real winner is the press, with the possible exception of the reporter, Harry Mount, if he really thinks he did hear excited Kate-crazy chatter in Malta.  If that’s the case, I wish him all the best on his road to recovery.

redheart

 

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