Tag Archives: Natasha Archer

Cambridge Catch-Up

Greetings, All.  My apologies for my absence.  I have a new post on Kate Middleton ready to go but wanted to play a little Cambridge Catch-Up before hitting publish on Thursday’s SportsAid event.

Prince William has had two royal firsts since my last post.  After 33 years of princing, Prince William finally went to the The Royal  Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show on May 23rd.

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The flower show was a first for Kate, too.  When Kensington Palace’s Press Office suggested on social media that Prince Harry was a Chelsea Flower Show tag-along newbie, royal watchers quickly corrected them and reminded them of Prince Harry’s previous appearances.

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Even though Prince Harry may come in third in the Palace Press Office hierarchy, royal watchers are getting frustrated with how much Jason Knauf’s PR team keeps dropping the ball when it comes to Harry’s work.  I think Prince Harry’s supporters need a nickname like Beyoncé’s BeyHive.  We could be… the Ginger Rooters?  We’ll work on the name.

At the flower show, Prince William looked just as miserable as one would expect a Reluctant Prince who allegedly thinks flower shows and ribbon cuttings are ridiculous royal duties.

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The above Daily Mail screen grab is now one of my very favorite royal photos, mainly because Prince William has never looked more like Bert from Sesame Street than at that moment.

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The Daily Mail provided a bevy of snaps for Keeping up With the Kambridges screen grabbing.  Kate was almost all of the Seven Dwarfs in them.

Sneezy:

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Sleepy:

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Dopey:

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And Happy:

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One  Daily Mail commenter thought Kate looked more like a garden gnome than a Disney dwarf, though.

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The Chelsea Flower Show also had an incredible installation in honor of The Royal  Horticultural Society’s Patron’s 90th Birthday.

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Among the flowers on display were two that had been named after the Cambridge’s children.

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Before the show, there was a Kate sighting by a Twitter user.

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On the 24th, Kate was papped with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.  Prince George was sitting on a Met Police motorbike with the assistance of four police officers, holding on to the handlebars as he pretended to drive it.  The Cambridge privacy line became even blurrier when media outlets in the UK were permitted to print the photos.

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

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Perhaps the Cambridge’s objections to having their photos taken “off-duty” has more to do with the story the pictures  tell.  The photos of Prince George on a police motorbike with his mother and  sister nearby are image-friendly, photos of him with his nanny are not.

While the Cambridges seem to be on a campaign to ultimately control  their image using social media, social media itself is uncontrollable.  The motorbike photos which many initially assumed would only appear in overseas publications were Retweeted with Kate’s dress identified in less time than it takes to find Waldo.

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Later that day, Kate slipped into the same cream Alexander McQueen coat dress and Jane Taylor fascinator she wore to Prince George’s christening to go with Prince William to his very first Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

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Even Kate has gone to those and yet somehow her 33-year-old  blood royal future king husband remained a Buckingham Palace Garden Party virgin until May 24th of this year.

Jennifer @Chic_Happens_ Tweeted a photo of Princess Diana wearing an outfit very similar to Kate’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party attire.  I inserted a photo of Kate next to it for the sake  of easy comparison.  Soooooo, yeah, that happened.

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Kate also had her glam squad with her at the Garden Party: PA/stylist  Natasha Archer and her hair stylist Amanda Cook Tucker.   Natasha’s boyfriend, royal photographer Chris Jackson, also managed to score an invite.  According to royal.uk, invites to the royal garden parties are a “way of recognising and rewarding public service”.

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Did Amanda Cook Tucker have to swallow a balloon full of wiglets to smuggle them into India or something for this most recent tour?  Nothing about Kate’s garden party hair suggested a need  for an  emergency stylist to be standing by.

Then on May 28th,  the Daily Mail ran a piece on Prince William and Kate taking a private chartered helicopter back to Anmer Hall after Tuesday’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party at a  cost of approximately £5,000.  And the response of DM readers was pretty much what you’d expect.

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What I find interesting is that this helicopter had been chartered at all, considering The Queen has a Sikorsky S-76++ registration number G-XXEB which is primarily used by Prince Charles and in July 2014, the Queen leased an AgustaWestland A109S to be used by William, Kate and other members of the Royal Family.  So why the need to charter a third helicopter?  Who was using the other two?  Hopefully Prince  Andrew didn’t swap them in some kind of shady business deal for magic beans.

But then photos of a Cambridge family outing at the Houghton Hall International Horse Trials with blue bows and matching stripes were published by various outlets such as The Mirror bringing a little peace to the land and a bit more haziness to the Cambridge’s privacy expectations.

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Days 6 & 7 – India and Bhutan Tour

The royal bore tour is finally over.  After the plane landed, Prince William and Kate were either headed to Bucklebury as the press reported or the far more likely Anmer Hall where Carole Middleton, who had been taking care of the Half-Blood Prince and Princess, is most at home.  Here’s how the last two pointless days of the India and Bhutan tour and the Dull Duo’s fifth anniversary jolly went down.

On the sixth day of the royal tour, Prince William and Kate Middleton gave the world a reminder they are royal and everything is about them always.  While royal tours are ostensibly to help boost tourism, Prince William and Kate weren’t about to let media access ruin their visit to the Tiger’s Nest monastery, permitting the press only to go half way on the hike, leaving the public to imagine what the rest of the scenery and monastery might like.  I’m picturing Kate with a wine bottle in one hand and cigarette in the other while Prince William sits side-saddle on a tiger, his pants around his ankles while he drools over a centerfold in Douchebag Digest.

This is what the Tiger’s Nest monastery looks like for anyone who wants a DIY mental image of the private official engagement:

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This is what Kate wore:

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No one really knows why.

Perhaps Kate dressed like a character from Robin Hood: Men in Tights for the hike in homage to Bhutan’s national sport, archery.

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Some royal watchers saw other characters.

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Like most of Kate’s clothing this tour, many were left scratching their heads with Janet Street-Porter from the Independent dubbing Kate The Duchess of Drab.

Prince William was flushed and sweaty and even the press pack struggled with their part of the hike.

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On Kate, however, there wasn’t even a whisper of glistening which is surprising because her hair was down and she was wearing a Really Wild leather vest and her Penelope Chilvers boots.  Shiver me Chilvers.

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Various theories were floated as to how Kate appeared to be unaffected by a two and a half hour hike each way, with some attributing her lack of hike glow to sweat-preventing Botox while others suggested she’s in great shape because of her exercise regimen.

Of course, Kate bringing along a glam squad trio on the hike probably helped.

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Not all were impressed with their efforts, though.  Kate’s add-on hair looked like it was made by Mattel.

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A row ensued between the Palace and the press which had gone to great efforts to be there to cover the hike and monastery visit, only to be told the duke and duchess wanted part of the event to be private.  According to an excellent article written by Richard Palmer, “The Cambridges have excluded media from several parts of their tour, prompting tension with journalists who believe the palace has an agenda to try to take control of the message and diminish the role of a media trying to hold them to account.”

Television news crews were the most peeved due to equipment-hauling crankiness.  The Palace tried to smooth things over by allowing a brief interview of Prince William and Kate about what they thought of the hike and monastery.  According to Richard Palmer’s piece, “Palace officials relented after the broadcasters began running pieces a suggesting the  couple were enjoying a taxpayer-funded sightseeing trip without letting the people who paid for it see the results.”  The handful of answers provided by the Cambridges weren’t even akin to tossed crumbs, it was like taking the last piece of cake and then deigning to briefly describe it to the person who didn’t get a piece.

Kate opted to not give a speech on this tour and uttered very few words in public during the engagements so the press had to take whatever it could get, dutifully reporting that Kate said, “I feel very lucky and fortunate to see such beautiful scenery,” and also indicated that the hike was, “a great way to burn off the curry.”

While Prince William has never made a secret of his disdain for the media since he was a boy, he may soon get his wish of them all disappearing, and with them, the monarchy.  At first, it didn’t look like the Express was even going to send royal correspondent, Richard Palmer, because  decreased interest in the couple prior to the tour made the cost a questionable allocation of is resources.  In a piece Camilla Tominey wrote, she indicated, “last week journalists who had travelled thousands of miles at great expense found themselves able to cover just one job a day in Delhi. On several occasions, parts of the tour were deemed “private”.”

In the wake of criticism of being work-shy, Prince William and Kate couldn’t even make it through a week-long tour without asserting their perceived right to also be on a taxpayer-funded holiday.  How much of a break do they need from going on a safari, playing cricket, meeting Bollywood stars and watching people dance?

Like many tourists on holiday, after the Tiger’s Nest monastery hike, the Cambridge’s stopped to pick up some souvenir trinkets.  Prince William got a small bronze tiger and Kate picked out a pair of earrings, borrowing the money from their foreign affairs advisor, Sir David Manning, because carrying cash is for peasants.

Later in the day, Prince William and Kate attended a reception for people from Bhutan who have lived or worked in the UK.

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Hopefully the hosts put out a more substantial spread than just cheesy snacks and a bowl of nuts like the Cambridges did at the reception’s Kensington Palace counterpart.

Kate wore a red Beulah London dress with a poppy print.  Bhutan’s national flower is the rare blue poppy.

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On the seventh day of the royal tour, Prince William and Kate flew from Bhutan to Agra for their Taj Mahal photo op and private tour.  Perhaps all that private holiday time on the taxpayer dime left William feeling a little frisky because Rebecca English made an amusing observation:

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With scorching temps in Agra, royal correspondents and photographers waited around for the photo op.  The Cambridge’s tour of the Taj Mahal also deemed private time.

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1,000 rupees sure doesn’t buy a lot these days.

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Kate wore a dress by Indian designer, Naeem Khan.

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To no one’s surprise, they recreated the iconic Princess Diana Taj Mahal photo.

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Kate’s hair showed that the second biggest con job in the UK is being pulled off by her traveling hair stylist, Amanda Cook Tucker.

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It looks like Amanda Cook Tucker has been using the hair and styling tools from Barbie’s Cut and Style Princess on Kate.

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Before the trip, the Palace released a statement that “The Duke and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour.”  Seriously, why does no one in this family send food hampers or flowers or one of those Edible Arrangements where they cut fruit into the shape of flowers? Their pineapple is delicious.  Also, thanks yous don’t usually wind up costing the recipient.

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A spokesperson quoted in a BBC article changed the official tune to, “They made the decision because it is what all visitors to the Taj Mahal do – they sit on the bench with the perfect symmetry of the building behind them.”  Oh, so now they are just tourists like everyone else, that does make everything much clearer then.  The BBC article also supplied a quote from their tour guide which offered a glimpse into Kate’s perspective on this trip: “She said this is the perfect thing to do before their wedding anniversary.”

While the Palace is eager to respin the small crowds in India and a bore of a royal tour into something that looks a little less pointless, the media is less keen on joining in their reindeer games.

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India’s press failed to fall under the fairytale spell the British media has been selling.

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Unfortunately for the British Monarchy, very few buy into the fairytale version anymore.  No matter how hard anyone tries to spin William and Kate, there’s nothing of interest to shake loose.  The Mirror ran an opinion piece by Carole Malone which described the couple as “boring. They couldn’t cobble together a personality between them.”  No matter how great the set, the characters make or break a story and neither Prince William or Kate have much appeal to any audience.

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Day 4 – India and Bhutan Tour

First of all, I want to congratulate anyone still following along with this royal tour because I think I’ve lost the will to blink.  I can actually feel my brain glazing over while the stupid spreads through my body like paralyzing neurotoxin.  This tour feels like watching hour after hour of someone else’s vacation footage because, well, that’s exactly what it is.

Many of us have been wondering what the point of this tour is supposed to be.

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These royal tours are claimed to boost tourism but its effects supposedly can’t be measured for a few years, a point at which conveniently there are so many other variables, it’s really impossible to extract any kind of concrete data.  I can’t even commit to the $70 Glamorous maxi dress Kate wore yesterday, I can’t imagine someone spending considerably more on a holiday because Kate Middleton and Prince William went there.  The world already knows about India, far more than the Cambridges seem to.

The tour moment most covered in the international press has been Kate’s flashing moment at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I’ve heard that royal photographer, Chris Jackson, who is romantically linked to Kate’s personal assistant, Natasha Archer, captured the most revealing moment, but has decided not to release the photos.  Yeah, that would be super awkward for his girlfriend, plus letting Getty Images have them would probably effect his special access and seat at Wimbledon.  Coming in second is the controversy over the state of Kate’s bare feet revealed at the Gandhi museum.

Other than Kate’s curious boho wardrobe, flashing moment, and previously seen high heel-effected feet, there hasn’t been much to discuss because Kate has opted not to give any speeches or provide anything more than small talk stock comments.

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Day four of the tour was conservation-themed.  William and Kate began the day with a safari in Kaziranga National Park.

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Kate wore a top by RM Williams and Zara biker stretch pants which would have violated my high school’s dress code but Kate thought would be cool to wear as a representative of the UK and the British Monarchy on a royal tour.

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Like we all do on vacation, Kate took some photos during the safari.

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Afterwards, William and Kate spoke to rangers about conservation issues at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.

Not all were impressed with William as champion of conservation.

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Piers Morgan wrote a scathing piece in the Daily Mail.

When royal correspondents and photographers were checking into their hotel, they experienced tremors from the Myanmar earthquake.

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Everyone was fine, though, including the royal couple and their entourage.  Kate changed into a dress by Topshop.

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Prince William and Kate visited the Kaziranga Discovery Centre built by Mark Shand’s charity, Elephant Family.  Mark Shand was the brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, so the event was said to have special significance for them.  Neither William or Kate attended Mark Shand’s funeral in 2014, despite both supposedly being in town, although it’s possible they were off on a secret ski vacation before Prince William jetted off to the Memphis wedding festivities of Guy Pelly and Lizzy Wilson.

Both William and Kate played royal nanny to orphaned baby elephants and rhinos.

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They also spoke to local villagers and Prince William filled in a design element on an elephant sculpture.

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Prince William and Kate then hopped their flight to Bhutan, their luggage causing a bit of an airport traffic jam.

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Day 2 – India and Bhutan Tour

On Monday, Kate Middleton wore white.  It is a traditional mourning color in India and appropriate because it is a day for mourning, my royal watching friends.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

There’s no coffin to bring out because the monarchy remains on life support, but the message nonetheless is that the monarchy is dead.  All that’s left to do is pull the plug.

The Petulant Prince and PR Rasputin both have blood on their hands, but as it turns out, the most evil adversary the British Monarchy has ever faced wears Prada. I mean, technically she carried it Monday in clutch form pressed up to her nether regions, but she didn’t dress for my metaphor because Kate doesn’t roll like that. Waity does it her way.

In this traveling royal show, Kate is the archetypical Trickster. The Clown. The catalyst for change. She is the Joker.

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The day should have gone smoothly.  This was the itinerary:

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But Kate had other plans.

Okay, first of all, this was her day outfit:

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Kate chose a floaty white boob-flapped Emilia Wickstead dress.  Because somehow visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, walking in Gandhi’s last steps and honoring his memory translates to boob sock puppets.

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I can’t unsee it.  They look so hungry.  Maybe Kate should have consulted her boob sock puppets before refusing that offered pancake William made.

While laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kate went five tours for five with flashing. And the timing was perfect, just as they were honoring the fallen.

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I don’t know how Kate timed that, like if Natasha Archer was off to the side with a walkie talkie headset commanding, “Cue the wind,” but that could not have been executed at a better worse time.

Ironically, the duchess who blew off the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day and broke tradition because she didn’t want to create an expectation she could be bothered handing out shamrocks once a year was thwarted by a soldier who held down her skirt to keep the embarrassing snaps at such a sacred spot to a minimum.

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This isn’t an oops moment.  Kate’s had so many of these, she knows she has to dress for the elements, she knows the issue is easily avoidable with a different silhouette, if she wants to wear something floaty, she can have dress weights added or a chain sewn in like Chanel does with their jackets.

While this may be frustrating for royal watchers trying to find a reason for Kate’s behavior, logic can’t be applied because these are illogical acts.  They are acts of anarchy.

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As described in a Hero’s Journey article I happened to stumble across at  gordonranier.com when I was looking for the above The Dark Knight quote:

“The key to the Trickster is that he can be clever and mischievous or a foolish clown or an entertainer but at his core he likes to upset, use reversals and surprises to ply his trade.”

Kate is staging her own anarchy because some duchesses just want to watch the monarchy burn.  Is she rebelling against the stifling protocol of an antiquated role she spent a decade pursuing?  Does it even matter?  The end result is the same regardless of motive.  And unless Her Majesty finally decides to suit up and launch a caped crusade within her own family, the British Monarchy is toast.  The Queen has done nothing to suggest she’s going to ask Angela Kelly to make her something in leather and badass.

And really, any action at this point is just postponing the inevitable.  Because as it turns out, very few people in the tour’s host country India are even interested in the Lazy Duo.

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Various articles like this one on newslaundry.com discuss India just not being that into William and Kate.

And William and Kate don’t seem to be all that into being royal,  Earlier in the day on Monday, William and Kate yet again had to be persuaded to pose for pictures.

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At the Garden Party celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday later in the day, they went through the motions, but didn’t look totally present:

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The duke and duchess are basically this:

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Lack of Sartorial Variety at Royal Variety Performance

On Thursday night, Kate Middleton and Prince William attended The Royal Variety Performance.

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And she didn’t wear the black lace Alice Temperley.  Instead she wore black lace Diane Von Furstenberg. This is one of Kate’s best looks to date and yet, it falls a little flat.

Don’t get me wrong, she looks lovely.  But she is a beautiful thirty-two year-old woman with nearly limitless resources who could have looked spectacular.

Due to the thrice-repeated Alice Temperly dress, we’ve seen her in floor-length black lace.

KateBlackLaceAliceTemperleyWe’ve also seen that neckline before.

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We’ve even seen it with three quarter lace sleeves.

KateLaceNecklineThis is Kate’s first time representing Her Majesty at The Royal Variety Show.  And she chose the color black which Queen Elizabeth very rarely wears.  Her Majesty believes the monarchy should be visual representations of blossoming hope for the future.  The future that Kate is representing photographs flatly.

In 1962, this is what the then 36 year-old monarch wore to the Royal Variety Performance.

queen1962I’m not a fan of fur, but it was a different time.  Queen Elizabeth looks breathtaking.

Granted, Kate is a duchess married to the second-in-line to the throne and not the reigning queen, but she could have evoked the same kind of glamorous regal grandeur without overstepping her position.

Tonight’s accessories and make-up are unmemorable.

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Kate’s gone with an ever-so-slightly darker version of her smoky-eye and nude lip day make-up which she never strays from despite a self-professed love of make-up.  The earrings are blue topaz circles with diamond accents designed by Kiki McDonough which she’s worn before at a Creative Industries reception and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.  They are pretty, but certainly not spectacular.  Blue topaz is a semi-precious stone that tends to disappear on skin, the understated design makes these earrings more suitable for an awards luncheon.  From beneath her hem peaked black platform Jimmy Choos as she clutched a black beaded evening bag to her favorite resting spot, no nailpolish to even brighten up her crotch clutching, her hair the same loose chignon that has become one of the very few up-do’s she wears.

Kate’s look this evening is merely slight variations on other looks we’ve seen before.

It’s said that the Royal Variety Show is the least favorite event on the Royal Family’s official calendar, Prince Charles and Camilla have attended on the Queen’s behalf in recent years.  Last year Camilla wore custom Vivienne Westwood gown and a sapphire brooch converted into a pendant.

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That necklace was not on loan from the Queen, but Camilla has on many occasions worn some of Her Majesty’s spectacular jewels, including major pieces such as the Boucheron tiara, the Delhi Durbar Tiara, the Collet Coronation Necklace, and the Greville Diamond Necklace.  To date, Kate has only been lent four pieces: the Cartier Halo Tiara on her wedding day, The Maple Leaf Brooch for the Canada tour, the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace for the National Gallery Portrait Event earlier this year and the Fern Brooch for the New Zealand tour.  I was curious to see if The Queen would loan Kate any pieces for her first Royal Variety Performance, it would have been the perfect opportunity to dispel some of the swirling rumors that Kate is feuding with the Queen over her work ethic and that the marriage of Kate and Prince William is on shaky ground.  I wasn’t surprised that she hadn’t.  Maybe the Queen was just concerned she wouldn’t get one of the priceless pieces back in case Kate scampered directly back to Bucklebury and feared it would wind up on Pippa demonstrating the perfect keg stand on The Today Show.

So far I’m not impressed with stylist/assistant Natasha Archer’s choices for Kate, if she was involved at all with this look.  Kate looked beautiful but underwhelming.

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