Tag Archives: Kate Effect

Is Jason Knauf Fur Real?

This is Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.


He looks like the kind of well-groomed, non-threatening generic American model that J. Crew uses to sell cardigans.  While it’s true that pr reps can only be as effective as their clients are cooperative, in recent weeks Jason has started looking like he is either a complete idiot or the most deliciously evil adversary the British Monarchy has ever faced, the kind that from a historical perspective could ultimately make Rasputin look like Funshine Bear.

The Cambridge’s spin doctor has a background in crisis management and started his royal gig in the beginning of 2015.  Jason Knauf replaced former BBC producer, Ed Perkins, who had joined the Palace in 2007 working for the Duke of York, managing his scandals and overseeing the Diamond Jubilee before being assigned to Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge where he lasted two and a half years before deciding on a new career path.  The search for Perkins’ replacement lasted six months, reportedly Prince William wanted someone whose loyalties weren’t divided by connections to other members of the British Royal Family.  So basically, William’s criteria was finding someone who couldn’t be influenced by the guiding wisdom of his father or grandmother.  And really, Her Majesty has only built one of the most globally recognized brands in the world, what could she possibly know about public relations.

Recent pr mistakes by Jason Knauf’s office have led to even more media backlash towards the  Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  The latest likely made both Jesus and Darth Vader facepalm.


The force of Captain Picard’s facepalm probably blew the Enterprise off course.


I didn’t even catch this latest goof, but the press sure did.  The Daily Mail ran an article on the mittens Kate wore in the photos released this week  by Kensington Palace on Twitter showing the Cambridges on a ski getaway from all that work they’re not doing.  Kate’s Alexski gloves are lined with possum fur.



While it’s not surprising a woman who has been photographed wearing a fur hat while hunting pheasant bred for the royally lazy version of the bloodsport would wear fur-lined gloves, it’s shocking that the Palace would release photos of Kate wearing them to the world.  Could they not find a clubbed baby seal for Kate to put a cigarette out on?

The ski glove’s possum fur comes from New Zealand where the marsupial is widely considered a pest because it is a non-indigenous species that was introduced in the 19th century by the fur industry and having no natural predator, possums have wreacked considerable havoc on New Zealand’s flora and fauna.  One land’s pest is another’s protected species, there are even people who (mostly illegally and definitely ill-advisedly) keep possum as pets.  Usually what separates aww from ugh is how much destruction a species causes, in Australia where possums are indigenous, sometimes foxes are regarded as pests even though they bring the internet this kind of snuggle buddy cuteness.


In NYC, our pests are rats and mice.  Given their plague-spreading history, most wouldn’t put them on their most cuddly list but still wouldn’t stick their hands in the skinned remains of one.

Because of the exposed cruelties of the fur industry and the increased trendiness of its condemnation, spin doctors go to extraordinary lengths to shield their clients from the barrage of criticism that comes from being photographed in fur.  Even celebrities who unabashedly wear fur like Kim Kardashian are aware it’s a controversial topic many feel passionately about.  North West has gotten some serious shade for being papped in it and she’s only two.  Based on the fact that in this photo she’s dressed like her first word was “Nevermore”, I think it’s safe to assume most of North’s fashion isn’t self-selected and we should give the kid a pass.


For a small child to even be unfairly called a “fur hag” by some illustrates why most in the public eye steer clear of the fur debate, regardless of their personal feelings, it is a hotly debated topic.

Bella Thorne recently posted a photo of herself on Instagram in a fur jacket and in response to the enormous backlash, claimed it was faux fur.  When Instagram fashionistas identified it as an alice + olivia rabbit and fox jacket, the actress quickly deleted her faux fur claim and her reps dealt with the fall-out, releasing the statement Thorne “was told it was faux fur” with the promise she would never wear it again.

The Queen also provoked widespread criticism with her fur-clad Christmas appearance prompting many to take to social media to express their disappointment Her Majesty would even wear her vintage fur, especially since she is a representative of the UK which passed laws over a decade ago prohibiting “the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur”.

When public figures are already the subject of negative focus, it’s generally not a good idea to serve up more to find fault with on a gilded platter.  Really the only thing the Palace has as a selling-point for Kate is the so-called Kate Effect when people who want to dress like Kate snatch up whatever inventory is left on items Kate waits to wear so people can’t Copy-Kate her.    Every single outfit Kate wears is broken down and written about because she offers such little substance with which to work.  Considering how contrived and manipulated these snaps are, how did no one even think to make sure the Paper Doll Duchess wasn’t committing a pr fur pas?

While I find these pr goofs highly amusing, the British Royal Family might want to check Jason Knauf’s bank account for large deposits coming from the Republican Party because it’s hard to believe anyone with pr experience could screw up this royally.  Especially an American, we invented pr.  Technically, the founding father of spin was Austrian-American Edward Bernays but we staked the claim convincingly enough that the rest of the world bought it.  Quite frankly, the way the pr is being handled for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is utterly un-American.


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Thrifty Duchess or Shifty Duchess?

I’ve been ignoring the news story of Kate Middleton shopping at Bicester Village designer outlet centre in Oxfordshire on Sunday thinking maybe the puff piece would go away but now pretty much every major news outlet has covered it, gushing about how thrifty Seven Kitchens Kate is and how she’s like the best Mum ever because she bought George some Lacoste pyjamas.  Because as everyone knows, if there isn’t a tiny green crocodile on your child’s sleepwear, swamp monsters will Elm Street him as soon as he drifts off.

In addition to hitting Lacoste, Kate also shopped at Gucci, Reiss, Bonpoint, Temperley London, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, and Ralph Lauren.  Interesting.  If Kate had only turned up at that event honoring the Ralph Lauren Breast Cancer Center back in May, maybe she wouldn’t have to rummage through the Ralph Lauren sale rack trying to find a shirt in her size that didn’t have an ink stain or wasn’t missing a button.

According to the Sun which quoted a Sales Assistant: “Kate came in on Sunday on her own, just like anyone else, and browsed the sales racks.”

Obviously on her own meant with her usual protection officers and presumably her Bootyguard.

According to E!: “She was trying to keep very low key in just jeans and a jumper [sweater],” the witness said.  “Not many people noticed her as she was avoiding contact with them. No pictures were taken that I’m aware of. She was focused on shopping.”

Kate had her purchases couriered to Kensington Palace.  Fascinating she went through the fuss of a delivery for the pyjamas and bath mat she purchased.  Unless of course she wanted to make sure the sales reps knew she was the real Kate Middleton or make it seem like she and Wills were spending oodles of time at their Kensington Palace apartment which was recently renovated at taxpayer expense and not at Anmer Hall, even though that’s where they are reportedly spending most of August.

Oxfordshire is about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of London and in the opposite direction of Anmer Hall.  Who could possibly be near Oxfordshire, living approximately 26.4 miles south of the outlet center?  Oh, that’s right, her parents.

So did Kate ditch her two princes for retail therapy and to go home to see the parental units?  That can’t be.  Kate is such a doting mother, it’s why she can’t perform her duties, only she can watch the royal magical baby being cared for by the full-time supernanny.  Unless of course she’s going on a luxury vacation or relaxing at a resort or attending a society wedding, then her presence isn’t required.

According to reports, Kate frequents Bicester Village designer outlet centre.  There could be another reason she chooses to shop at the outlet centre that has nothing to do with discounts.  Kate is rumored to resent the Kate Effect.  Back in March, Kate and another woman showed up wearing the same Missoni coat to the wedding of Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett, reportedly that bothered her, as does seeing women wearing clothing she owns even if she’s not wearing those particular items at the time.  In order to keep CopyKates from CopyKating, it’s being suggested that Kate is now holding onto items she has purchased until they are no longer available to the masses.  At outlet centres, a lot of the merchandise is the remaining stock of whatever is leftover from the previous season, the surplus gets shipped to the outlet stores and sold at discounted prices.  Therefore, purchases Kate makes at the outlet stores can’t really be CopyKated unless the designer decides to manufacture more in the future if the fabric is still available.

So basically Kate Middleton was just granted Style Icon status by Vanity Fair and she’s out buying clothes that are discounted because no one else wanted them and she appears to not want anyone else following her fashion lead.  And even though she resents having her picture taken all the time with camera phones, there doesn’t appear to be a single photo taken of her at the outlet stores where apparently she goes all the time but this is the first we’re hearing of it, now that she has to move to Anmer Hall for privacy reasons.  I don’t know… this whole thing seems more shifty than thrifty.


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When Dove Gray Cries

Prince William, Prince George and Kate Middleton are presently enjoying a “Rest Day”, having spent their Easter attending church service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney and bringing Prince George to the Taronga Zoo.  Wow, church and the zoo?  On the same day?  It’s madness, I tell you.  No wonder they needed some time off today.

For Easter mass, Kate Middleton chose to celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Christ in Alexander McQueen.  Dove gray Alexander McQueen, a matronly cut in a hue that is the unofficial Spokescolor for Sadness.   This is what it sounds like when dove gray cries:


While most of us were in Easter candy comas, Kate was in a self-induced accessories coma with a beige suede Alexander McQueen clutch, a storm gray Jane Taylor hat and cream colored LK Bennett pumps.

Who pops a neutral with another neutral?  For Easter mass, most women wear bright colors and floral patterns in celebration of the Resurrection and the blossoming of spring.  This outfit is far from celebratory, it looks like something a woman would borrow from her Mom for an assistant bank manager job interview.

Where are the Queen’s jewels?  Thus far we’ve seen the fern brooch, worn a second time I’m assuming because it was too camouflaged by the buttons of Kate’s Lonely Hearts Club Band coat.


If anything could wake up this outfit a bit, it would be a magnificent statement piece from the Queen’s collection.  Did the Queen only trust Kate with the fern brooch given to her by the Women of Auckland in 1953?


When Princess Diana visited Australia in 1983 she was dripping in Royal jewels.  She had so many gems with her, she was using them as headbands.

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There were magical moments where Princess Diana looked breathtaking and regal, something the Duchess of Doolittle hasn’t been able to emulate despite all of her Single White Female attempts of trying to cash in on her late mother-in-law’s iconic status without the effort of earned adoration.  This tour is far more casual, it’s really more Royal Vacation on the taxpayer’s dime than a Royal Tour.  For all its hype, the success of this tour has been resting on the shoulders of a Lazy Duo, a show that’s not drawing the same kind of crowds.  In a National Post article written by Gordon Rayner of The Telegraph, it was noted:

So far the crowds that have turned out to see them in Sydney have been underwhelming; only 3,000 were there to see them arrive at the Opera House, compared with a crowd of 200,000 that turned out to see Charles and Diana in Melbourne in 1983.

It seems the world is far less interested in seeing carefully staged glimpses of the Royal Vacation than was anticipated.  The designer who made the pale yellow floral dress Kate wore to Taronga Zoo asked to not be named.


Fascinating since we’ve been assured by the Buckingham Palace Press Office, the Kate Effect is so strong, it can sell out a single item in minutes and make a designer’s career.  Maybe the designer knew Kate intended to pair the dress with these shoes which look like they smell of feet sweat, fake tanner, patchouli and wasted youth:


The zoo engagement was arranged so Prince George could meet the bilby renamed in his honor.  As always, Prince George nailed his Blue Steel pose.  And in the presence of carrot-weilding royals, the animals struck curious poses:


Meanwhile, Prince William and Lazy Katie who appear happy to use Prince George for photo ops to suit their PR needs are objecting to some paparazzi photos taken of Kate and Prince George on the grounds of Government House at Yarralumla in Canberra.  The deal Buckingham Palace has with the press is they don’t take these private moment photos of them and in return, the Palace leaks some information about the Royal Family so they can sell their papers and magazines.  The paparazzi photos have already been seen on several Australian news channels despite the photos being taken without the permission of the Duke or Duchess.  Right or wrong on the part of the paparazzi, it definitely shows Australia has no intention of playing by Prince William’s rules, the whole ‘Doing It His Way’ as one article laughingly proclaimed, confusing the Royal’s insolence with independence.


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