Tag Archives: @KensingtonRoyal

The Return of Mental Health Midge

On Sunday and Monday, Kate Middleton managed to carry out three mental health-related events, bringing her yearly engagement tally up to seven.

While it’s important for mental health issues to be destigmatized in society, it’s hard for me to believe that this is a cause Kate and Prince William genuinely care about.  Kate looks stiff and posed at these engagements while Prince William’s default compassionate expression looks like he’s trying to suppress a belch.  In stark contrast, Prince Harry’s interest in mental health is unquestionably sincere, his mother’s compassionate light burns within him, at these events he communicates with ease and appears in touch with his own humanity.

At the January 17th Heads Together event at which Kate, Prince William, and Prince Harry gave one of their three-fer speeches, royal correspondent Richard Palmer noted after Prince William brusquely ignored the media two feet away on the way in and bolted for the waiting car on the way out:

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While I rarely comment directly on Kensington’s Palace’s Twitter posts, I felt it necessary to point out that Kate’s oratorical contribution at that event was difficult to understand.

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With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at these engagements, I am reminded of jesters and minstrels of yore who performed for royalty, but in this case, it’s struggling individuals reaching into their souls to pull out the most painful, raw and darkest parts of their being for examination by the royal family’s two laziest royals so there’s an illusion that they care, despite their consistently low yearly engagement totals suggesting otherwise.

On Sunday February 5th, Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry attended a Heads Together event, joining a London marathon training session at the Olympic park.

Kate, William and Harry participated in a relay race with Prince Harry winning the royal leg.

To be fair, Kate was wearing her tightest jeans to date.  Every stride must have felt like getting a Pap smear on a bouncy castle and her starting position suggested she’s still struggling with keeping within the lines in her colouring books.

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Prince William’s trousers weren’t exactly the most event-friendly either.  If anyone was wondering, the second-in-line to the throne went left with his penis on Sunday.

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Prince Harry looked like he inched his starting position slightly ahead to gain an advantage over his brother but he needn’t have bothered.  The man who beat Usain Bolt with some creativity easily bested his brother who looked like he either really wanted to win or was passing a kidney stone.

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On Monday, Kate Middleton and Prince William got an unusually early start and attended a Place2Be engagement at the Mitchell Brook Primary School.  The Kindness Assembly marked the beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week.

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Kate wore a repeat red Luisa Spagnoli suit and once again sported her Muppet Madness bared-teeth grin which I imagine haunts the nightmares of children and the monsters living underneath their beds.

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Kate presented a Kindness Award to a student.  Videos from the event looked like a commercial for Mattel’s Mental Health Midge doll which comes with a bathing suit under her official engagement attire for a quick holiday get-away.

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In the photo @KensingtonRoyal posted, Kate looked posed and awkward but she didn’t give them a lot with which to work.  She totally has Mattel arm in this photo.

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Kate also delivered a speech which sucked less than usual but still was difficult to follow at times and uninspired.  Rebecca English’s Daily Mail article included its contents if anyone is interested.

On Monday night, Prince William and Kate attended a Guild of Health Writers conference at which William delivered a speech.

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Kate wore an Oscar de la Renta suit out of which she styled the life with her same-old black suede court shoes, black clutch and black tights.  Seriously, why aren’t the Fashion Police a legitimate branch of law enforcement?  Kate should be arrested for suffocating this gorgeous Oscar de la Renta suit to death with bland accessories and forced to attend a workshop on styling and maybe do some community service since she is a repeat offender.

Monday also marked Queen Elizabeth II’s Sapphire Jubilee, making the Queen the first British Monarch to reach a 65 year reign.  Long live the Queen!

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The Return of Synchronized Royaling

On Wednesday, Prince William and Kate Middleton returned from a month long break looking positively lifelike while engaged in synchronized royaling with three events in Luton.

At Youthscape, Prince William and Kate chatted with youths who I guess were at risk for not speaking with a duke and duchess that day and somehow it helped.  At the very least, the visit was newsworthy for the unlikeliest of reasons.

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My  cursory search yielded little on Youthscape other than it being a drop-in centre, but there are sweets and video games there so whatever it is exactly, it has to be good.

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At Keech Hospice which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the crowd greeting the Cambridges looked a bit thin with no school children to pull from classes for flag-waving.

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Interestingly, the crowd pic of the Cambridges leaving which was posted on Twitter by @KensingtonRoyal appeared significantly more filled-out than the arrival, so maybe a casting call went out for crowd extras or maybe the masses just get more excited by their departure and feel its worth lining up for.

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Both Prince William and Kate continued to look chillaxed at Keech Hospice.  This is the first time I’ve seen Prince William hold a knife and not been secretly worried he’d turn and use it on the press.

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Crazy, right?  Rebecca English even got close enough on Wednesday at the first  engagement to take these pics of Prince William without spooking him.

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Watching the events unfold on Twitter, I started wondering if the Cambridges were stoned or if I was stoned or if we collectively as a society were stoned.

At Keech Hospice, Prince William had moments of humanity and compassion that made me like him more.

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Normally those who have dealt with terrible tragedy are the ones who look like they’re  trying to put Prince William at ease about having to be there.   But to Prince William’s credit, he attempted to pull a Prince Harry and be all human and stuff.

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I  mean, obviously he’s no Prince Harry but Prince William did well considering he’s not used to the whole being all human and stuff thing.

At  the third event of the day, Prince William and Kate presented the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Hayward Tyler.

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It looked pretty Dullsville so I didn’t pay much attention but it’s supposed to be a prestigious award.

On Thursday, Prince William and Kate looked less chillaxed than the previous day at a YoungMinds visit.  YoungMinds provides hotline support to parents whose children have mental health issues.  Prince William and Kate met with volunteers and listened in on some of the calls.

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While Kate provided the sartorial interest, it was Prince William’s comments that dominated the press.

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During the YoungMinds engagement, Prince William admitted he had feels.

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I can relate.

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In writing about these events, I often struggle to find the point.   While visits from the Cambridges do get  the charity names in the papers to be read and quickly forgotten, it seems the same level  of awareness  could easily be obtained if they were photographed wearing a t-shirt with the charity’s name.   This  last  event seems unnecessarily invasive for those who use the hotline.  If I called somewhere for help, I would be very upset to discover that Prince William and Kate were possibly listening in as  part of  an official royal engagement, it would feel like a betrayal of confidentiality and privacy that would make me hesitate to reach out again for help.   Can anyone just listen in like that?   I really hope callers were made aware their conversations were being listened to and used for educational purposes.  Additionally, while  Prince William’s statements about feeling emotional do humanize and create empathy for him, they also make it seem like some of the issues faced by those who call the hotline might be too great of a burden for some volunteers.   A  lot of people don’t reach out for help because they have reached a state of hopelessness where they don’t want to burden others with the issues that are dragging them down while conversely others feel their struggles are too insignificant to bother others with.  All mental health issues are equally important just as all people are equally important.

These past two days of engagements undoubtedly benefitted Prince William’s image but still leave me questioning the ultimate impact on the charities.

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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:

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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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Let Them Eat Cheesy Snacks

Tonight, Prince William and Kate Middleton hosted a reception at Kensington Palace to remind people they are going to India and Bhutan.

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Buzz about the upcoming tour of India and Bhutan from April 10th-16th has been flying at half-mast. Even the number of Cambridge Critics logging onto sites to vent about the lazy duo has diminished considerably.  An unmoderated Daily Mail article about the Bhutan visit only had four comments nine hours after it was published.

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Well, the Cambridges wanted to be left alone, although it probably was not the best strategy to wrap themselves in apathetic irrelevancy so soon before a royal tour.

It’s been nineteen days since Kate’s last appearance, the opening of a charity shop on March 18th which came in under thirty-five minutes, one day after blowing off the Irish Guards.  Because, hair.

At Wednesday’s reception, Kate also reminded people she’s still royal now by going Totally Tudor in a neck ruffle both Queen Elizabeth I and Princess Diana favored.

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Kate wore the Mary Navy Dots maxi dress by Saloni London.  

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On Kate, it was that curious Senior Citizens on Cialis look Kate seems fond of like back in October when the duchess combined Mother of the Bride and side boob.

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Kate wasn’t bold enough to go with the semi-sheer swiss dot front panel and her dress was actually lined, creating pale mounds that resembled those of her own topless doll.

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On Twitter, Julie RocketQueen @rocketqueen1985 described the dress as “20 yards of WTF”.

With her hair worn down, it wasn’t totally apparent which side of Kate was the front.

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Kate left household cleaning implements everywhere shouting, “Bitch stole my look.”

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I have no idea how Kate is going to carry all that extra add-on hair on a six hour hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery during the upcoming tour.  Here is a screengrab from one of the pics @KensingtonRoyal posted on Twitter:

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Another Twitter post by the Mirror’s Victoria Murphy revealed that Kate may have learned a little bit about lighting.  When being photographed with London-based Indian model Neelam Gill, pretty much your only chance of not being totally dwarfed by her beauty is to nudge her towards a light source so she’ll be in the shadows.

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The real star of the night, though, was the Cheesy Snacks posted by Victoria Murphy.

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Potential Dangers of Private Royals

For those not following royal photographers on Twitter, it seems like there was an incident on Saturday about which royal photographer, Niraj Tanna, cryptically Tweeted:

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While no specific royals were mentioned, royal watchers suspected it could be a dangerous escalation of the Cambridge’s ongoing privacy war against the media. The Usual Suspects, it turns out, were on an extended weekend ski getaway with newly released photos by John Stillwell Tweeted by @Kensington Royal providing the anticipated family photos to quiet the grumbling masses.

Photographer Jesal Parshotam offered another clue about what Tanna’s Tweet was eluding to:

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It was pretty messed up when in August, Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, released a public appeal for sympathy which also included the veiled threat, “it will not always be possible to quickly distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm.”  But putting the general public at risk using taxpayer-funded RPOs driving recklessly to avoid being photographed ups the crazy factor.  Allegedly back in December, Kate Middleton’s car is said to have employed the same photographer evasion tactics.  As one royal watcher noted:

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If I were ever to be mowed down by a Royal Protection Officer driving recklessly to keep any member of the royal family from getting photographed, I would haunt the crap out of both the RPO and the royal in question.  And it wouldn’t be one of those polite hauntings either where a couple times a year you think you maybe saw something out of the corner of your eye and sometimes feel a cold draft that has no discernible source, I would throw a phantasmal freak-out.  There would be no Lola, only Zuul.

The Tweet of another royal photographer suggests the incident to which Niraj Tanna eluded transpired at the wedding of William’s ex-girlfriend, Olivia Hunt, which took place this weekend.

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Interestingly, as Sebastian Shakespeare noted in his most recent Daily Mail piece, the only member of the British Royal Family to attend the wedding was Prince Harry.  Neither Prince William or Kate Middleton went, opting instead for a private family ski getaway.  While Prince Harry is not known to possess the same level of animosity towards the press as his older brother, he once got into an altercation with Niraj Tanna outside of Boujis, as detailed in a 2010 article by Camilla Tominay so it’s possible their history has something to do with Tanna’s Tweet.  Prince Harry has grown a lot in the past few years, though, and has found a way to juggle the pressures of his role, gladly posing for photos with royal fans, even tipping off the press as to his whereabouts while accommodating photographic requests.  Harry’s conducted himself with far more grace than his brother, the future king, which makes me even more curious about the missing pieces of this story which still remain untold.

This line from Sebastian Shakespeare’s Daily Mail article does not sit well at all with me, “Security was in place for royal guests. Tourists and photographers were turned away from entering, apparently at the request of the police.”

Exactly how much taxpayer money went towards security for this private wedding at Temple Church because of its royal guest list?  Security costs for the British Royal Family are never reported with the excuse that revealing the figure would somehow jeopardize their safety.  Were RPOs used to keep photographers from documenting this taxpayer expense, endangering the very taxpayers who fund them in the process?

Hopefully Niraj Tanna will follow up with details.  Considering this is the second accusation in three months of RPOs driving aggressively to avoid having pictures taken, hopefully some better way of handling the presence of photographers will be explored that won’t endanger the masses.

I really wish Crown Princess Victoria taught seminars on how to juggle a royal role and family life, both she and her husband, Prince Daniel, manage it far better than any other royals.  In my opinion, the reason they are able to have the privacy they want is because they are dedicated to duty and accommodate interest in their family, providing enough of a public presence that they are allowed to keep the rest for themselves.   After the birth last week of Prince Oscar Carl Olaf, Prince Daniel addressed reporters warmly and requested the same kind of space with their newborn son they were granted by the press when Princess Estelle was born for which they were so thankful.  No expectation of privacy letters handed out, no threats, just an acknowledgement of how wonderfully understanding the press had been after Estelle’s birth and an appreciative request that Oscar’s birth could be handled in the same manner.

These latest photos released of the Cambridges on Twitter are lovely, but ultimately, they are glossy photos of a family to which the public feels little connection enjoying some wintry frivolity.  I also question the reasoning behind taking photos of a couple criticized for their lack of worth ethic while on a get-away from the duties they rarely undertake.  While the photos are likely intended to represent a promising future for the monarchy, they also represent an increased burden on taxpayers.  RPOs are flown Business or First Class on the taxpayer’s dime, their accommodations, overtime and per diem are also covered by the taxpayer.  That’s a pretty pricy photo op during a time of austerity.

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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.

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New Photos of Princess Charlotte

On Sunday, two pictures of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana were released on Kensington Palace’s @KensingtonRoyal Twitter account.  By posting these photos of their children on social media, the Cambridges are able to control what gets distributed to the public and remove the loathsome media middleman.  It’s a smart move given that Princess Charlotte has been the least photographed princess since Rapunzel.  Since it’s unlikely Kate will permit her daughter to out-hair her, releasing these photos to the masses reduces the kind of photographic bounty that might tempt Peter Parker to use his great power to become a web-slinging paparazzo.

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The photos were taken by Kate Middleton at the beginning of November.  Likely these photos were taken with the same Canon EOS 5D Mark II Kate used for Charlotte’s first official baby portraits.

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The new Charlotte photos are the best of all Kate’s attempts both technically and compositionally, finally putting her on par with most mothers on Facebook.  She avoided the mistakes of Princess Charlotte’s first official baby portraits in which an abundance of white fabric bounced the light and created distracting glowing effects.  If Kate really applies herself, in a decade or two she might be able to get a job with Sears Portrait Studios.

The green gingham upholstered French chair suggests the photos were likely taken in Charlotte’s nursery, creating a warmer and more personal feel than the generic beige backgrounds Kate gravitates towards.  It is a chair fit for a princess.

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Princess Diana spent many hours on a green upholstered antique French chair in her sitting room, working on her correspondence.

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Of course, this is a more widely recognized image of Princess Diana on an antique French chair with some gingham in the background to boot.

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Perhaps Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana being photographed on a green gingham antique French chair is just a coincidence, but Kate has gone to some pretty extensive lengths to dress George in clothing nearly identical to the outfits Princess Diana selected for William.

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So it’s not outside the realm of possibility Kate will draw inspiration from the past with her daughter.

Hopefully the Cambridges will avoid such overt sartorial references with Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana since she will already inevitably be compared to the grandmother whose childhood was spent at Park House, a mere three miles from Anmer Hall.  No gingham required.

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