Tag Archives: Jecca Craig

Kate Middleton, Fashion Vampire

Vogue UK has decided to celebrate its 100th Anniversary with a cover so lifeless, a doctor would solemnly tell its loved ones, “The best we can do is make it comfortable… it’s just a matter of time.”

A magazine known for being a glamorous sumptuous feast of fashion decided that one hundred years was long enough and went full-on dull duchess.

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Vogue UK made a point to note, “Having participated in choosing not only the clothes worn in the shoot and the locations used as a backdrop, but also the photographer who captured the images, the Duchess was pleased with the resulting feeling of informality in the final shots.”

In other words, it’s not Vogue’s fault.  Kate decided to go all Jecca Craig on the cover on her own.

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This isn’t the first time Kate has sartorially referenced her romantic rival.  Back in August 2005, Kate wore an outfit similar to her Vogue cover to the Gatcombe Park Festival.

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That was a few months after Prince William dumped Kate for “more space” which quickly took the form of Jecca.

Many were surprised Kate had decided to do Vogue UK since five years ago several magazines were clamoring to feature the royal bride with Anna Wintour of Vogue US vigorously campaigning to have the duchess on the US cover, reportedly involving photographer Mario Testino in her crusade without success.  At the time a Palace aide noted, “Both William and Kate feel it would be wrong for Kate to promote herself as a fashion or style icon.  That’s not what they are about and they take their royal duties far too seriously to, in one sense, trivialize them.”

Apparently Kate finally realized no one is buying her as someone who takes her duties seriously so she might as well pose for Vogue, but in the drabbest clothing possible so no one could accuse her of trying to be a style icon.

Of course, British royals on the cover of Vogue UK is nothing new.

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Kate’s the first one, though, daring enough to embrace the bland sterility of a back-to-school clothing sale circular in the Sunday paper.  One editor quoted in The Daily Beast noted, “I think it’s an atrocious cover—especially for one that should be celebrating a momentous anniversary. 100 years of Vogue—a magazine that has published some of greatest, most groundbreaking photography and they use a bland Kay’s catalogue image.”

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The Vogue shoot was said to be a collaboration between the magazine and The National Portrait Gallery of which Kate is Royal Patron.  Two of the photos from the  shoot taken by photographer Josh Olins were hung as part of the gallery’s Vogue 100: A Century of Style.  This screen grab from The Guardian comes from an article entitled Kate’s Vogue shots shouldn’t be in a gallery. They’re not art.

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Reaction to the Indiana Jecca look was not positive overall, with fans taking to The Royal Family’s Facebook page to note that Kate looks very unKate:

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Although perhaps the real issue was that the photographer captured Kate’s essence a little too well.

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Others found the shoot itself in poor taste or inappropriate.

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Comments in the Daily Mail criticized Kate not having the time for her duties but plenty to spare for a photo shoot.

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On Twitter, royal correspondents and photographers were also critical of the photos.

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Kate’s Vogue hit the stands on Tuesday.  The rest of the photos are as equally uninspired, shot in January against a barren beige backdrop in Norfolk selected by Kate.

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Kate’s vision was for the spread to reflect her “private existence”, just not with her usual jeggings paired with one of her numerous black and white striped shirts or solid jumpers she normally wears, instead opting to protect her sartorial privacy by wearing an equally bland collection of contrived casual country clothing.

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Glamorous gowns and jewels set against the neutral winter country setting would have made for visually interesting photographs with the juxtaposition of elements representing the dual nature of Kate’s life.  Had Kate been wary of an overt display of opulence because of the criticism she’s faced over her pampered taxpayer-funded luxury lifestyle in a time of austerity, she could have still incorporated elements that would reflect more of who she is as a person or how her life has changed since joining the royal family five years ago.  One word Kate seems fond of lately is “surreal”.  Perhaps the media attention makes Kate feels like she exists in a sort Wonderland which could have been subtly referenced by her wearing a simple light blue dress with a black hair band while she sipped tea or sat at a table with cards in front of her.  Beyond a bicycle, there are no props in these photos to even indicate what she does with the vast majority of her time which is spent out of the public eye.  No camera hanging from a strap around her neck to represent her interest in photography, no children’s toys casually left on the lawn to hint at her identity as a mother, with the exception of Lupo in one photo, there are no other signs of life, not even smoke coming from a distant chimney to suggest a family which waits for her indoors.  It’s just simply a generically pretty airbrushed Kate, wearing entirely forgettable clothing in a beigely barren winter landscape.

The only possible hint at Kate’s personal interests is a curiously included shot in the magazine which caused a bit of social media buzz as people wondered if they were really seeing what they thought they were.

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Emily Andrews noted the picture was too blurry to positively ID what exactly was going on with the back of Kate’s jeans.  The picture is pretty fuzzy, but this is the area in question:

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Has Kate included a partial moon in her Vogue spread to show her cheeky side or is it perhaps something completely innocuous like a scarf tied around her waist with a pattern resembling butt cleavage?

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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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The Crowded Courtship of Will and Kate

Media outlets have been speculating that the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton may be on the rocks.  Kate’s most recent disappearing act can be explained by her allegedly recovering from plastic surgery but of course that doesn’t explain her absences from those countless other missed social engagements or why she so often prefers to spend extended periods of time at her parents’ home, away from her husband.

Kate and William’s marriage was described to me a while back as being more of a friendship.  I’ve never believed it was a great romance which made think it actually might go the distance, it was a more practical arrangement and given all that Kate endured to become Mrs. Prince William, there was no reason to suspect the Limpet would ever let go.

Royal fairytales sell newspapers because they provide a form of escapism from the dreariness of everyday news.  When Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage first showed visible signs of disintegration, the press turned a blind eye, churning out instead candied stories of the glamorous princess and her prince living perfect lives inside an enormous palace until the obvious strain on their faces when in close proximity could no longer be ignored and the press was forced to go with the truth.

The beginnings of Kate and William’s marriage didn’t fit the typical fairytale mold, forged instead inside of a romantic bouncy castle.  The media frequently criticized Waity Katie who most believed would never make it down the aisle to wed her prized prince.  There may have been three in Princess Diana’s marriage but the courtship of William and Kate was far more crowded.

Before he began dating Kate, William had a few minor relationships.  In 2000, Prince William spent quite a bit of time with Jecca Craig during the gap year he spent at the Kenyan ranch owned by Jecca’s parents.  Usually when Jecca is mentioned, there’s reference to hers and William’s “mock engagement”, but it tends to get dismissed as an interesting anecdote about the whimsy of youth and Jecca gets relegated to the status of ex-girlfriend in the media when in reality, to William she is far more important.  Jecca has always been strong, self-assured, practical and she knows what she wants and the princess life isn’t it.  Prince William’s time at her family’s Kenyan ranch was one of the happiest of his life because he was able to escape the perceived burden of being a prince, he was young and in love with a beautiful, down-to-earth girl.

In 2001, another major figure in the William love life saga appeared on the timeline, Prince William met the gorgeous Isabella Calthorpe and developed a major crush on her.  She didn’t pay much attention to him at the time, they became friends because they had overlapping social circles.

There were rumors about William’s and Jecca’s relationship since his gap year but it wasn’t until 2003 that the media started printing stories about their involvement.  Prince William was very protective of Jecca and thinking it would spare her media scrutiny, he had St. James Palace immediately issue a statement that it, “denies that there is or ever has been any romantic liaison between Prince William and Jessica Craig.”  They admitted Prince William returned to Kenya in August 2002 to spend time with her and her family back but that was it.  Many regarded the Palace’s denial as an idiotic move, they never commented on William’s other relationships, the denial was considered confirmation Jecca was very important to William, more important to him than any other woman to whom he was romantically linked up until that point which included Kate Middleton.

Jecca and William may have been star-crossed lovers, but Jecca is far too pragmatic for any kind of sword and poison scenario and William wasn’t going to lead a life of celibacy because the girl he really wanted didn’t want a future of tiaras and ribbon cutting in the UK.

By the time of Prince William’s 21st birthday bash on June 21, 2003, Kate had been with William long enough to assume she would be sitting next to William at his 21st birthday celebration and was devastated to discover that Jecca occupied the top spot at Prince William’s side while Kate found herself exiled to another table.

Kate wasn’t liked by William’s friends.  They found her cold, boring, presumptuous and her only discernable interest appeared to be in marrying a prince.  There were a number of people hoping Jecca would replace Kate for good but it became clear Jecca had no such intention.  Jecca started dating one of William’s old school chums, dashing hopes that Jecca would serve as Kate-B-Gone.

William’s friends disliked Kate so much, they had been conspiring to get rid of her from the very beginning.  There was a group of girls chasing William, I forget what they called themselves, while each wouldn’t have minded becoming a princess, the whole thing was a bit of a lark for them as well.  When William had plans to go out, a member of the group would tip off the girls in hopes William would realize there were more options than Kate.  William would flirt, dance and drink with these girls when they could get close enough.  Kate would tag along when William went out, fiercely guarding her prince claim, physically body blocking the girls who tried to get close and even brought along another girl with her for guard duty so that one of the girls couldn’t serve as a diversion while another snuck in on the side to talk to William.  The girls hated Kate and found her guard dog behavior so ridiculous, that on at least one occasion they approached a stranger on the street because they thought William would really go for her, told her where he would be and what time to show up and they would make sure she was introduced to William.  I have it on very good authority that the random stranger had absolutely zero interest, politely declined and is in hindsight insulted they thought she was William’s type. It didn’t escape Kate’s notice that this group of girls appealed to William, they drank, had fun, wore sexier clothes so she strove to emulate them, trying to turn herself into everything William seemed to like and want.  Kate wasn’t much of a drinker initially, at first she usually had a couple over the course of an evening, but she saw that William seemed to be drawn to the girls tossing back drinks and having less-inhibited fun, so that’s what Kate did.

In 2004, William broke up with Kate right before exams.  He wanted space, shortly thereafter he reportedly discovered he had just enough space for Jecca.

After Kate and William got back together, it wasn’t long before Kate found her position as Prince William’s girlfriend was again in jeopardy.  Kate had nothing in her bag of tricks to compete with the likes of Isabella Calthorpe, very few women do.  William was so smitten with Isabella that whenever they bumped into each other, William only had eyes for Isabella and would completely forget about Kate’s existence.  At a ball in October of 2005, William was so enraptured by Isabella with whom he had spent the evening in deep conversation that Kate finally stormed off.  I’m not sure how long it took William to even notice Kate was gone.  William cast Kate aside to fully pursue Isabella.  The relationship was brief, Isabella reportedly told William that if he weren’t a prince, she could see a future for them together, but the realities of his life weren’t for her.  Kate once again was offered the now-vacant number one girlfriend position which she accepted, despite feeling humiliated for being so publicly dropped on her ass while William swooned over Isabella but William promised Kate he wouldn’t see Isabella anymore.

Once again Kate was William’s official plus one and Kate and Jecca would run into each other at weddings and various events.  Knowing how insecure Kate was and that William’s circle didn’t like Kate, Jecca went out of her way to be nice to Kate, talk to her, make her feel welcome as part of the group and reassure Kate that she was in no way a threat to her, she had absolutely no interest in living a princess life.  In 2005, Jecca even hosted Kate and William at her family’s Kenyan ranch.

Jecca was rumored to be one factor in the 2007 break-up.  My own opinion is that William got spooked because of what allegedly happened towards the end of 2006 that made the idea of a future married to Kate with babies feel more suffocatingly real and it made him want freedom.  Kate’s parents had rented the Jordanstone House in Alyth for the 2006 winter holiday, after spending Christmas with his family at Sandringham, William was supposed to join them, but he blew them off, never bothering to show.

Up until his being a no-show at the holidays, Kate was sure she and William would eventually be getting married.  William started becoming very distant.  I’m not sure if this part is true, but supposedly Kate suspected William and Jecca were romantically involved again and tried to dictate who William was and wasn’t allowed to see and he responded with something like screw you, you don’t tell me what to do, I’m Prince William and I give orders, I certainly don’t take them from you. The possibility Jecca and William were secretly romancing on the side was rumored to have also been a factor in Jecca’s canceled engagement to Hugh Crossley in 2008.  Jecca’s family released a statement that it had nothing to do with a third party, the reason Jecca called off the engagement to Hugh Crossley was because they had two vastly differently visions for the future.  Honestly, I doubt the veracity of this particular Jecca rumor.

In the months before the April 2007 break-up, Prince William was spotted snogging a girl in a nightclub, photographed in March with his hand on another woman’s breasts and was rumored to have been sneaking random girls into the barracks for some non-regulation nookie.  Most girls would have put his crown jewels in a vice grip and dumped his sorry cheating ass, but not Our Fair Waity.  Kate asked William for more of a commitment.  She should have been committed… to a mental institution.  Then William decided to break up with Kate once and for all by cell phone.  When he was done severing ties with Kate, he jumped up on the table, proclaiming, “I’m free!”

During the Limpetless Freedom Tour 2007, William attempted to see if it was possible to love every woman.  In a bid to win Prince William back, Kate began a campaign to show him what he was missing by hitting the clubs in sexier outfits and she made sure she was seen dancing and flirting with men so it would get back to William.  By June of 2007, Kate was back to existing in a suspended state of waiting for William.  In May of 2008, Prince William once again demonstrated how important Jecca was to him by skipping his own cousin’s wedding in order to attend the wedding of Jecca’s brother.  William asked Kate to attend Peter Philips’ wedding in his stead, which some interpreted as a sign it wouldn’t be long before Kate officially joined the Royal Family while others thought it was a pretty ingenious way of keeping Kate from going with him to Jecca’s brother’s wedding so he and Jecca could have some alone time.

Kate and William finally got married in 2011 and for some reason brought along friends on their honeymoon.  Their holidays were usually group affairs as well, more often than not taken with Kate’s family, because what newlywed couple doesn’t love to have parental supervision.  Not all of their holidays were taken as a couple.  In February 2014, when William was reportedly so occupied with an agriculture course he was unable to join his wife and son on holiday, a photo emerged showing Jecca had joined Prince William on a trip to Spain for some boar hunting.

Given the state of their union to this point, it appears likely Kate and William have some kind of arrangement which affords William certain freedoms while in return Kate gets to have a title the public and media rarely use and a seemingly endless supply of jeggings.  Not exactly the romance of the century but given how far from idyllic Kate’s courtship with Prince Not-So-Charming was, it’s hard to tell exactly where a bumpy path becomes a rocky road.

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Bigfoot Spotted on the Slopes, Still No Kate

Kate Middleton still hasn’t been spotted since April 25th.  There’s been one major Bigfoot sighting filmed in Canada since Kate boarded the plane in Australia but no sightings of the duchess.  I don’t know guys, are we absolutely sure Kate Middleton is actually real?  Is it possible that the fidgeting mop of brown hair and pageant teeth has a more logical scientific explanation, like perhaps what we were seeing popping up next to Prince William was actually swamp gas?

Gossip columnists have run out of stories to run on the Royal Vacation Tour so they are all running stories about how Kate scared away Cressida Bonas.  Um, duh.  This is what I find so infuriating about the mainstream media, they manufacture a faux friendship and then leak a headline-grabbing scoop that the two weren’t really besties.  No, they weren’t, Cressida always found Kate a smidge horrifying.  Seriously, if you ever run into Kate in a forest, do not take an apple from her even if you relatively certain she’s just a rolling patch of swamp gas.  She does not play well with others.  And definitely don’t take any kind of candy or fruit from her mother, spotted here lurking behind a tombstone at a wedding with that wicked Middleton grin which kinda makes you secretly wonder if the Middleton women sink or float in water.  Wait, has anyone seen Jecca Craig recently?

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In the absence of any real Kate news, Pippa is making headlines for her new shoulder length bob.

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Eh.  Pippa looks even more masculine with this cut but of course everyone is oohing and aahing because the bob is a big trend right now.  Taylor Swift, Jennifer Connelly, Kaley Cuoco are among the celebs who have gone for the chop.  While we sometimes need to lose a few inches of hair for its overall health, personally I’m just not a fan of the Adderall-addicted-soccer-Mom-on-a-downward-spiral shoulder length messy bob and predict the next trend in hair will be extensions.  Not that Pippa would ever try faking it when it comes to beauty, I’m sure all rumors to the contrary have been grossly padded.  Pippa’s got Nico Jackson now anyway and he’s pretty enough for the both of them.  And he’s charming, too.  Looks like Pippa is ahead of big sis in the man department even if the new ‘do doesn’t quite make the cut.

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The Empire Strikes Back

Prince Charles’ Press Office has been tasked with the unenviable job of making the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear a little less let-them-eat-cake in the public eye.  From a strategic standpoint, I must say, well done.

On March 18th, the Duke and Duchess made a £5,000 donation to Rhyl Town Mayor’s Flood Appeal.  Good deed, but it was an anticipated move.  On one of Kate’s fan sites, HRH Duchess Kate, a commenter going under the handle Maryland Moxie stated, “A surprise donation to help the needy after a lovely vacation in the Maldives! What thoughtful generosity and how kind of the PR team to publicize it. Here’s hoping all the fans will follow their lead and help out too. The Maldives economy and the people struggling in Britain. In which ever order you prefer.”  On Kate Middleton: Duchess or Diva, commenters did the math and the general consensus was, “That’s it?”

In chess terms, their donation would be known as the English Opening.

It wasn’t until Wednesday March 26th that the game got interesting.  US Magazine revealed that according to a “source”, while the Duke and Duchess were in the Maldives, they missed George’s first crawl.  Information about Prince George is more carefully guarded than the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, the only permissible source is one of the two parents, and the article would have indicated which parent was quoted.  This “leak” is as brilliant as the Second Star of Africa on the Imperial State Crown.  In addition to outrage over the second luxury vacation for the UK’s Laziest Royals, the security costs taxpayers were footing the bill for, many objected to them leaving Prince George behind.  By revealing that Prince William and Kate missed the first crawl, those who objected to leaving Prince George behind were able to feel smugly justified in their objections because the Duke and Duchess missed a milestone and now ‘they’ll know better’.  Those who were just generally disenchanted overall got to feel like the karmic checks and balances system was somewhat intact.  Faith in universe somewhat restored.

Well played, Buckingham Palace Press Office.

That leak also gave them some PR wiggle room.  Should someone point out it’s hypocritical to insist on bringing Prince George with them on the Australia/New Zealand tour when they left him home for Maldives, and dare to suggest that maybe Prince William and Kate are after the same kind of 1983 royal family blanket photo op that made Princess Diana so endearing, they have the excuse that they missed his crawling and don’t want to miss any other milestones.

Well played, Buckingham Palace Press Office.

Then they turned the focus on Kate as a mother, letting the press know that Kate is “very excited” about Mothering Day.  Her very first.  Mothering Day in the UK falls on Sunday March 30th, but the news had to be broadcast four days in advance just so everyone would have time to absorb the excitement of Kate being excited about her first Mother’s Day as a Mum.  Then stories reminisced about how exciting it was when George was born back in July and how excited Kate was and how excited William was and how excited the excited were because it was just oh so exciting.  Is everyone else secretly doodling hearts in their journals, too, just thinking about it?

Well played, Buckingham Palace Press Office.

On Thursday, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted at Zara, casually dressed, picking up some of their affordably priced clothing presumably for the upcoming Australia/New Zealand tour.  Just rummaging through the racks like anyone who happens to walk around with four Scotland Yard bodyguards.

In 2012, Kate spent approximately $94,000 between Duchess-duty clothes and her beauty regime which is more than double the average yearly salary in her country, before taxes of course, which go to supplement the Royal’s lavish lifestyle.

But the Zara appearance on Thursday makes her look like she’s trying to be all thrifty.  Those budget-blowing renovations at Kensington Palace just had to be unavoidable, after all, Kate shops at Zara, she would never blow an extra $1.7 million on top of the $1.8 million unless it was truly necessary.

Well played, Buckingham Palace Press Office.

Saturday was a double-header of attempted Lazy Duo humanization by the Buckingham Palace Press Office.

Prince William and Kate showed up at the wedding of friends Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett with Harry in tow.  Harry received his own PR Bitch-Slap this week for taking a ski trip associated with an oligarch who is besties with Kazakhstan’s lead-oppressor who gave Prince Harry use of a government helicopter.  Prince Harry appears to be using Kate as a human shield in some of the pics which can be seen at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592424/Awkward-moment-woman-pictured-wearing-coat-Duchess-Cambridge-friends-wedding.html?offset=0&max=100#comment-51229839

Something tragic did occur at the wedding, Kate and another guest showed up wearing the same coat.  The unlucky guest is shivering in the picture, maybe because she’s wearing strappy heels in March or maybe it’s because she knows her picture will run alongside of Kate’s with a caption, “Who Wore It Best”.  I think it’s considered an act of treason not to pick Kate.

Kate is perfectly polished as always, but seeing the two girls side by side makes Kate look even skinnier.  I think Kate might be getting too thin, I have an overwhelming urge to FedEx her a sandwich and maybe some cookies, too.

Two of Prince William’s ex-girlfriends were in attendance.  We notice Kate isn’t smiling that full grin some of us have been assuming is caused by some kind of neurological damage or imminent plans to become Batman’s next villain.  One of the exes is Jecca Craig, the perhaps-not-so-ex-after-all, who accompanied Prince William on his hunting trip to Spain.  I actually feel a little bad for Kate.

Well played, Buckingham Palace Press Office.

The second half of Saturday’s double-header was the release of the first family photo made public since the christening.  They stuck with the same photographer, Jason Bell, perhaps for his talents with PhotoShopping hair on Prince William.  While tabloids are cooing with delight, it’s not really the most joyful of photos.

CambridgesMotheringDayPic

The photographer used a window as a framing device, taking the shot from below which emphasizes the prominence of the family.  The dark background gives the photo the somber feel of a 16th century Venetian portrait.  The positioning of Prince William and Kate is stiff, the only interaction within the photograph occurs between Prince George who turns towards the family’s cocker spaniel, Lupo, with curiousity and Lupo who in turn regards him apprehensively.  In this photo, the Duke and Duchess are relegated to the position of easels.  Kate is seated the furthest back, with Lupo occupying a spot closer to the foreground.  Kate’s role is simply to prop up the son who visually breaks the interior plane of the window frame like his father, both royal by blood.

While undoubtedly released for the UK’s Mothering Day, this portrait is not a celebration of family or even a modern monarchy.  Despite the heavy PhotoShopping, the pronounced bags under Kate’s eyes could not be erased without obliterating half her face, her expression seems more forcibly molded than ever, her glazed eyes unseeing, her left eyebrow appears to have been darkened and thickened slightly to give a sense of movement and life to her frozen face.  Prince William has his shirt sleeve rolled up, an affectation of practiced relaxed cool, his smile that of a prep school student humoring the yearbook photographer with the slightest of sneers conveying that he feels like he’s being a good sport about the inconvenience.  Any hint of a Maldives tan has been swapped out in favor of a porcelain mask finish to better represent the winter pastiness of their people.

Just like everything in the Royal Family, this photo has been over-manipulated by heavy hands to the extent that not much of the original material remains.  Whether for clothing or propping up her son, Kate is used for display purposes only.  The only visible object in the room darkened behind them is a gilded frame, reinforcing the artifice of the image and the Royal Family as a whole.

Better luck next time, Buckingham Palace Press Office.  Nicely played, though.

redheart

 

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