Tag Archives: Richard Palmer

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.

MarkStewart-PrinceWilliam&Katerunning

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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Oh No, Canada!

The Palace must really not want anyone paying attention to the Cambridge not-so-secret French getaway because shortly after it hit the headlines, Kensington Palace announced that William and Kate will be touring Canada in the fall, giving the press something else to write about and the public something else to focus on.

The invitation for the Cambridges to return to Canada had been publicly announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who bypassed proper palace protocol.  This is Justin  Trudeau so he gets a pass on his lapse in judgment of putting Canada through another Cambridge tour, at least in my book (Canadian readers might feel differently):

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It was a given the Cambridges were going to go, otherwise it would be seen as a slight to Canada with which the British monarchy wants to maintain a good relationship.  And  as Richard Palmer Tweeted on Wednesday:

RPCanadaTourConfirmation

No tinfoil hat is needed to see a correlation between the timing of the French getaway hitting media outlets and the Canada tour being officially announced by Kensington Palace.  There are several possible reasons to employ some good old-fashioned misdirection to divert attention, some of which may require Reynold’s Wrap headgear or at least wishful thinking, like maybe there’s a planned Jeggings Intervention they don’t want getting out.  A more likely reason, though, is the Palace doesn’t want the masses doing the math on this latest getaway.

Even privately funded royal holidays cost  taxpayers who foot the bill for security without ever seeing the amount.  Prince William and Harry’s trip to the US to attend Guy Pelly’s wedding cost UK taxpayers an estimated $84,000 according to an industry source cited in a Daily Mail article.

However, UK taxpayers aren’t the only ones covering security costs for private royal holidays, whenever the British royals travel, they arrange security logistics with local law enforcement.   As one comment from the aforementioned article noted:

DMAmericansPayingForRoyalSecurityComment

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

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Turns out taxation with representation isn’t all that great either.  We  don’t get to say of course we want Harry but please keep the petulant one at home.

Sadly, the Cambridges are high risk targets.  In light of the terror attacks against France and ongoing threats, local law enforcement is busy enough without the extra burden of allocating its resources to a private royal getaway.  Additionally the UK government warns on its foreign travel advisory page for France:

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Who booked this trip, Triple Whammy Travel?   Worst Case Scenario Tours?   I love France, it’s felt like a second home to me since the age of 16, I’ve spent more time there than any other country outside of the US.  But other countries are pretty cool, too.  Maybe the Cambridges could check one of those out.  According to Prince William, Kate came up with a travel wish list when they were first married, surely there are a few on there they can’t get taxpayers to fund under the guise of a royal tour.

There’s speculation about who actually went on this French getaway and either scenario reflects poorly on the Cambridges.  If Kate went alone, it undermines the argument that she can’t work more because of her children, but if the entire family went, two high risk terror target  future kings are diverting security resources away from a country under the highest terror threat level and in mourning because of  recent attacks.

Just to give a glance into the huge logistical nightmare Cambridge security is, I will once again quote a recent Herazeus comment:

Think about this…..when Kate goes home to Middleton Towers with George, all security resources in the surrounding villages are re-routed for their safety. All police have to be on high alert for the duration of her stay, ground (vehicles + mounted horse) and air patrol the area. All local hospitals and medical staff are also on high alert in case of emergency trouble.

Now imagine the level of security required in a France on high alert for William and George!!

Or to quantify it, the last time London was on high alert, Kate required 9 RPOs just to attend a wedding at the Dorchester Hotel in London which is a skip and a hop from BP/CH and their security arrangements.

In France, the British and the French will have to provide extra security so these numpties can holiday in safety, but why should they let a terror alert get in the way of their holiday plans?

I think Kate probably traveled to France without her husband and children so likely (and hopefully), the French only have one numpty to deal with.  The French paper’s “several sources” only saw Kate, but if Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Nanny Maria were really on the private plane which seats 8 as has been suggested by the British press, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for their Royal  Protection Officers.   Additionally, only two SUVs met the plane according to reports which suggests one royal.  I guess it’s possible everyone scootched, maybe Nanny Maria and the kids went in one while Prince William and Kate were in the other, they just tied the RPOs to the roof like Christmas trees because the luggage for a family of four, a nanny, and their RPOs would take up the remaining interior space but there’s an upcoming Canada tour so we don’t have to think about how they worked out the SUV logistics.  Just know that magic exists, Muggles.

It would have to be one doozy of a spell, though.  This is the convoy when Princes William and Harry were in the US for Guy Pelly’s wedding.

PellyRoyalConvoy

Thank goodness the Canada tour was announced, otherwise we might feel obligated to count the SVUs and local law enforcement vehicles in the royal convoy.

The announced Canada tour will also help with annual engagement totals for Prince William and Kate.  On Thursday, Express ran a piece by Richard Palmer about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry being ahead of last year’s numbers thus far but still behind Prince Philip.  Tours like the recent India/Bhutan one are an easy way for Prince William and Kate to get their numbers up without the terribly taxing pretending to care about stuff because travel to and from the tour host country and each destination within counts, as do the greetings.  There’s very little substance and yet each tour racks up dozens of official engagements.  So even with the benefit of one royal tour this year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are still  trailing behind  Prince  Philip?  Seriously?

On Wednesday, Kensington Palace Tweeted that that the Cambridges have special memories from their first Canadian Tour.

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I think it’s safe to say that tour holds special memories for royal watchers as well.  It was at the Calgary Airport that Kate had her first full bum flash as a duchess.  Call me sentimental, but I get a little misty-eyed just thinking about it.  Of course, that might just be burning from the image permanently  seared in my retinas.   But remember how we all thought it was a rookie mistake that wouldn’t be repeated?   We were so innocent and naive back then.  I miss that.

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Kate Middleton Hosts SportsAid Banquet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of you may know that I love sport.  

"love"

“love”

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

"passionate"

“passionate”

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

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

"inspirational"

“inspirational”

"heroes"

“heroes”

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

"happier"

“happier”

"healthier"

“healthier”

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

We cannot wait to meet the next SportsAid champions

"champions"

“champions”

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

"magic"

“magic”

"power"

“power”

"sport"

“sport”

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

"proud"

“proud”

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

"enjoy"

“enjoy”

"very"

“very”

"special"

“special”

"occasion"

“occasion”

Thank you.

"Thank"

“Thank”

"you"

“you”

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

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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.

Bealah

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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Another Quickie for Kate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Just one of the many mysteries of Kate.

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

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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.

JW-DMCompetition

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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Blue Monday-Busting BRF

According to a quasi-scientific  study released back in 2005, the third Monday of January is the most  depressing day of the year.  Despite the questionable criteria used  to determine the calendar’s biggest bummer, it’s not that big of a stretch.   Fully detoxed from holiday highs and doggie-paddling in the dashed optimism of New Year’s Resolutions,  those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are at the peak of winter dreariness, dreading the walk to the mailbox in  the cold barren grey stillness for credit card statements made thicker by holiday shopping.

Fortunately, the British Royal Family is maintaining a high  level of ridiculousness to distract us from  short days, wind chill factors and the ho ho humdrum of January.

On Friday, an announcement was made that Kate Middleton will be serving as Guest Editor for Huffington Post UK for a day in February.

Kensington Palace released a statement saying:

“The Duchess of Cambridge has made the mental health of young people a key focus of her work in recent years. She is delighted that The Huffington Post will help put a spotlight on this important issue.

The duchess will be commissioning contributions from a number of leading figures in the mental health sector as well as from young people, parents, and teachers.”

Royal correspondents were  Twitterly  unamused.

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In addition to running the same kind of pap pics that make Prince William threaten to huff and puff and blow  the house down, Huffington  Post UK hasn’t always treated the Cambridges in a dignified manner, recently insinuating that Kate confused royal semen with hair gel to achieve Something About Mary sperm hair.

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Huffington Post seems to spend an inordinate amount  of time pondering royal trouser trout.

Following the birth of Prince George, the  US version of Huffington Post speculated that the 150-year-old tradition of circumcising British  royals ended with Prince William and Prince Harry whose foreskin was not removed due to Princess Diana’s wishes and surmised that  Prince George’s royal scepter would remain intact.  Going one step further, Huffington Post UK declared the idea of a circumcision total tosh, accusing  circumcision-happy Americans for starting the rumor.  Sure, blame the Americans, everyone knows the  Declaration of Independence originally included “life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and freedom of foreskin” but had to be modified because the signers couldn’t keep a straight face adding their signatures below the president of Congress’ enormous Hancock.

Without doing any in-depth  research on the matter, the Huffington Post still found it necessary to discuss  princely staffs.  One of the readers here will just have to sleep with Prince Harry to put at least one rumor to bed.  It’s quite possible that Prince William and Prince Harry are both circumcised,  at least going by the old photos of Prince William taking a  leak on a polo field back in 2008 (photos of are not suitable for viewing at work, while eating, after eating  or if in general the very thought of Prince William makes your vagina dry-heave).  Theoretically, Prince William could have been pushing his foreskin back with his fingers, but at least to me the rounded blur looks a professionally trimmed helmet on William’s little Flight Lieutenant.  Did anyone else just throw up a little in their mouth and/or underwear?

While Kate having the Huffington Post swing by Kensington Palace  for a day  is for an important cause, many are left wondering exactly how this came about.

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Or why, especially considering the couple has been seeking to bypass the loathsome media completely with announcements and official royal baby portraits released directly on the @KensingtonRoyal  Twitter account.  As royal photographer, James Whatling pointed out, perhaps the Cambridges wouldn’t mind the media as long as they completely controlled it.

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Within reason, of course.

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Perhaps it’s all an elaborate ruse to get Pippa’s CV to Huffington Post since poor Kate is swamped according to a Daily Mail article that ran over the weekend with Kate being the Second Coming of Diana and all.  According to the article,  Kate has been undertaking secret charity visits like her deceased mother-in-law.  I wonder if the Daily Mail knows that Peter Jones is not a charity.   The article notes, “As a result she has ordered aides to fill her diary for 2016 and is keen to demonstrate an increased commitment to the charity sector.”

Maybe Kate  is keeping  these visits such a secret that even those she’s visiting don’t even know she’s there, maybe the children think she’s some kind of  fidgety mop boogyman lurking in the shadows. Considering that Buckingham Palace padded Kate’s 2015 numbers to get her up to 62 engagements for the year, including her tour of the set of  Downton  Abbey, the birth of Charlotte  and Charlotte’s private christening in the total, I am skeptical of any report that Kate is secretly doing work for which she’s not getting credit.

Last year Kate’s engagement total accounted only for 1.66% of the entire British Royal Family’s workload.  In 2014, she performed 2.23% of the royal family’s duties. Does anyone really expect us to believe that Kate is keen  on anything other than shopping?  And as for “filling up her calendar”, Kate has yet to have a  single event appear in the Court Circular for this year so clearly her calendar  is not filled considering we’re already three weeks into 2016 and her last engagement was on December 16, 2015.  That’s a five week break  from duties, so she’s not exactly hitting the ground running.

In other leg-pulling royal news, the Queen’s  eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, is organizing a celebration in the Mall for the 628 charities of which Her Majesty is Patron in honor of the monarch’s 90th birthday.   Tickets will run the Queen’s charities £1,500 for a table of 10 people but the charities are permitted to sell up to  40% of their tickets out of consideration for the burden of the cost on these non-for-profit organizations, some of which are very small. Otherwise it  would be tacky for a hostess to ask foundations barely scraping by to absorb the whole cost of going to her birthday party, at the very least, people who  aren’t involved with the charity at all should have the opportunity to go instead of those who tirelessly devote themselves to their respective causes for little or no pay. This idea could really catch on in event planning, I can see wedding guests  lining up at vending  machines punching  the appropriate button for chicken or fish and baby showers with a cover charge and two drink minimum,  the  fetus’ cost can be deducted from his or her college fund once the little tyke is born.  Peter Phillips insists nepotism  had  nothing  to with his company, Sports and Entertainment Limited, being the one  selected to organize  the event  for which he  is receiving an undisclosed sum.   The Queen’s grandson declared, “I was very conscious to make sure we did this properly, so we went through the normal channels of approaching the Palace. We had to show that this wasn’t a case of trying to cut corners because the Queen happens to be my grandmother.”

The fact that Sports and Entertainment Limited was selected to plan Her Majesty’s  90th birthday bash I’m  sure had nothing to do at all with Peter Phillips’ royal family ties, just like I’m sure it was simply a coincidence that Peter Phillips’ company Sports and Entertainment  Limited was the one that brokered the £150,000 deal to sell the first photos of Zara’s daughter, Mia, to Hello! magazine.

It’s rather unseemly to sell  tickets  to this  event, the Queen’s 90th birthday isn’t a concert.  She’s the Head of State, not Adele.   Unless Her Majesty, Prince Philip and  Prince Charles are going to put on wigs, cat ears and leopard leotards and perform as a Josie and the Pussycats tribute band, I can’t imagine paying to be part of someone’s birthday celebration.

Richard Palmer’s Twitter page has been a goldmine  of  disenchantment in recent days.  One of his latest blows was an Express article about Norfolk Country Houses From The Air  for  sale at the Sandringham gift shop containing commissioned aerial photographs of Sandringham and Anmer Hall.  The book  contains the very types of photos  that Prince William  crusaded against, petitioning to have Anmer Hall declared a no-fly zone.  I guess it’s only a privacy violation  if you’re not getting  paid.

The entertainment value of the ridiculous antics of the British Royal Family  have helped a  bit with my winter blues.   And here I thought all January would have to offer was the return of the X-files on Sunday.

The truth is out there and so is this underground  video of Bree Sharp’s David Duchovny which is a festival of 90s nostalgia. If you didn’t  get at least a bit of chuckle from those silly British royals, perhaps  this video will push you  a  bit further out of the Blue Zone.   It was made by members of the X-files crew  and shown at their holiday party. Because of the multitude of celebrity cameos, some of which were  shot on the sets of other shows on the  same  lot, it could never  be officially released.

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wijp4-3giNw

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Prince George Starts Nursery School

Kate Middleton might be getting the good lovin’ tonight from hubby Prince William, so if their ten bedroom country estate is a-rockin’, don’t go a-knockin’.  The couple managed to pull off Prince George’s first day of nursery school without the presence of the loathsome media, released two photos taken by Kate on Twitter after-the-fact, thereby sharing the future king’s milestone moment in the couple’s trademark on-their-terms-only fashion, and pissing off a multitude of royal  photographers in the process.

So how did the Cambridges pull off this latest coupe of public figures living privately?  It was actually kind of brilliant.  It didn’t require the kind of carefully calculated choreography of Ocean’s Eleven, they simply used the Power of Assumption.

The Bait:

On December 18th, Kensington Palace released an official announcement that Prince George would be starting Westacre Montessori School Nursery  in Norfolk before the end of January.

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Media outlets dutifully reported the news that George would be starting nursery school at the end of the January, like eonline which gushed, “But after the holidays, Prince George is going to have to start planning his first day of school outfit, as the palace also announced Friday that he’ll be starting nursery school at the end of January!”

Technically, January 6th does fall before the end of January.  So the announcement was not even blatantly deceptive by the Cambridges’ standards.

As Richard Palmer noted in his December 18th Express article on the choice of a nursery school ten miles from Anmer Hall:

“The Cambridges have spent an increasing amount of time at Anmer Hall, their 10-bedroom country home on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, despite taxpayers forking out £4.5 million to upgrade their official London residence at Kensington Palace.

Aides had said they would spend most of their time at the London residence but they soon got fed up with the public and media attention in London and it quickly became clear they intended to base themselves in Norfolk.”

It’s just so irksome when the public shows interest in public figures.  Hang your heads in shame, peasants, you basically forced them into doing what suited them like they would have anyway.

The Heist:

With the public and royal photographers assuming Prince George’s first day of nursery school would fall at the end of the January, Prince William and Kate Middleton pulled up to Westacre Montessori Nursery with two-and-half-year-old George and Kate took some pics.  After George’s first day, when the family was back at their Fortress of Solitude, Anmer Hall, Kensington Palace released two of Kate’s photos of George’s first day.  From the @KensingtonRoyal Twitter Account:

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Prince George is undeniably adorable.  But two pics of His Royal Cuteness taken by his mother feels a bit paltry, especially compared to the media presence at Prince William’s first day at nursery school, as evidenced in this photo published by Hello Magazine.

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The Daily Mail couldn’t resist pointing out that on Prince William’s first day of nursery school, “In line with tradition, a formal photocall was arranged by Kensington Palace for the three-year-old’s arrival at Mrs Mynors’ Nursery School in London, which was also a Montessori.”

Royal photographers, whose livings are adversely effected by the Cambridge’s dodging of traditional photocalls and legal threats against unofficial photos, vented their frustrations on social media.  Royal photographer, Mark Stewart, lamented the covert move by the Cambridges on Twitter with royal photographer, James Whatling, emphasizing that the changes were for the worse.

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James Whatling also got in a dig at how ridiculous it is that public figures are demanding to live privately, doling out amateur photographic pellets as if they will satiate the public that supports the monarchy.

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Perhaps the most interesting Tweet of all was from Niraj Tanna, who has an impressive track record of being in the know about the generally unknown:

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Did an American journalist get the scoop before anyone else that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be releasing photos of Prince George’s first day of nursery school on the American-owned platform Twitter?  If so, that’s gotta sting even more.

It kind of makes me  nostalgic for the days when instead of all these passive-aggressive shenanigans, the future Queen Consort  just out-right flashed the press the V sign (the  British  version of giving the finger).KateFlashesVSign

Prince George won’t be attending nursery school regularly, permitting him breaks from the drudgery of cutting and pasting.  According to a senior aide quoted in the Daily Mail“He won’t go every day… but the couple decided that it would just be nice for him to attend a little local nursery school.”

So basically like his parents, Prince George’s schedule will remain flexible so he can properly go on holiday and be reportedly keen on things.  George is one precocious kid, he’s not even three yet and he’s got the whole Cambridge prince thing down.

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