Tag Archives: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton’s Masks

“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.”
-Victor Hugo

Kate Middleton is a woman with multiple pairs of nearly identical court shoes and even more virtually indistinguishable masks she wears to her official engagements, casting them off and forgetting about them until she needs to show up in public again to convince the masses she is keen on doing whatever her Communications Secretary proclaims is close to her heart.

Tom Sykes wrote a piece recently in which he discussed growing disenchantment with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Sykes noted, “If William and Kate do slip up, the press, who have showed Olympian levels of restraint in their coverage of the royals in recent years, will eat them alive, so heavily built up is the resentment from a series of sleights, non-co-operation and attempts to cut them out of the picture.”

At Kate’s last two engagements on Wednesday for Action for Children, a patronage passed to her by the Queen, there was a curious lack of royal correspondents discussing the events on Twitter.  I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

KirstyActionforChildren

Rebecca English from the Daily Mail was supposed to be there but had to cover an event at Clarence House instead because of a “childcare crisis” but overall the general Twitter hum generated by a Kate engagement was more of a ho-hum.

Kate wore a burgundy suit by Paule Ka which she first debuted in 2012.

DMBurgundySuit

Not only is the skirt surprisingly short for official engagements requiring a lot of crouching down, it looks surprisingly like my Christmas tree skirt that disappeared several years ago.  Now, I’m not accusing the designer of breaking into my home and raiding my holiday decorations, but it’s good to know there are replacements out there for it.  Quite frankly, it might be best covering the base of a tree because I noticed a number of photos with this happening on Kate.

SkirtSuctioned

Once dubbed a modern fairytale princess, Kate no longer draws crowds like she once did.

PAMISTArrival

Comments on the Daily Mail article about Wednesday’s engagements made observations that Kate “seems like an empty soul” and “looks so insincere”.

DMEmptySoul

DMLookssoInsincere

Despite the usual photo props of cute children and lovely bouquets, all was not grins and roses.  BBC Wales News posted a video with the kind of kid hug footage that’s usually instant PR gold.

BBCWalesNews

Unfortunately, they missed the frames in which Kate was switching masks, like when Kate turned away from the cute cuddlers and made an annoyed face with her eyes shooting daggers.

KateEyeDaggers

KateEyeDaggerExpressions

And of course there was the face she made when she realized she would have to turn back to the adorable tykes to say goodbye and thank you.

KateDisneyVillain

I’m not sure why becoming a Disney princess ranks highly for so many, but I guess I’m cool with it as long as becoming a Disney villain ranks lower.

KateVillainExpression

If Kate can’t handle these mini bursts of engagements without being able to convincingly feign an appearance of not being resentful towards her duties, there’s little hope for the monarchy marathon.  Kate got her prince but it seems it never occurred to her that after her wedding she wouldn’t be able to disappear into the words “and they lived happily ever after”.

redheart

signature-copy

Kate Kicks Off 2017 on a Blue Note

Kate began her work year today with two engagements, the first at the Anna Freud Centre and the second a dual engagement with Prince William at The Child Bereavement UK Centre.

re-katefirstengagement

Her $2,000 Eponine coat dress is in that shade of Smurfy cobalt blue Kate seems to favor.

katebluelineup

This is the fourth year in a row Kate has started off a new year of royal engagements in blue.

katenewyearoutfits

In addition to the brand new $2,000 coat which looks like the same old same old, Kate did go for a surprising new accessory.  For some reason she wore tiny orchid spike clips in her hair.

katehairclips

Despite being so small, the clips in Kate’s hair inspired quite a few comments like this one from a Daily Mail article.

dmkatehaircomment

Once again, there weren’t a whole lot of people around hoping to catch a glimpse of Kate’s arrival.

jennifercrowdsannafreud

I took a screen grab from the video posted on Twitter by Simon Perry of People Magazine and circled the barricade which looks more like one of those screens that people use to keep small breed dogs from going into the dining room.

simonperrycrowdscreengrab

Supposedly the Anna Freud Centre event lasted an hour and forty-five minutes which is quite long for Kate, her official engagements usually tend to fall between twenty minutes and an hour.  The press was even able to get a quote:

“Parenting is tough.  And with the history and all the things and the experiences you’ve all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers…I find it extraordinary how you’ve managed actually. So really well done.”

Of course, with a nanny, household staff, assistants and access to duchy millions, Kate’s observation that parenting is tough carries less weight than someone without Cambridge  comforts.

At the second event at the Child Bereavement UK Centre, Kate once again took a back seat to her husband.  Prince William’s quotes printed in the Daily Mail piece are pretty touching.  But once again, it is one of those frustrating flickers that reminds you that Prince William does have the capacity to do good work, but ultimately lacks focus and follow-through and any sense of noblesse oblige.

The Cambridges may have their moments, but they are few and far between.  Two days ago on Twitter, Jennifer@Chic_Happens_ pointed out that I paragraph I wrote about Kate two years ago is as applicable now as when I originally wrote it.

jennifer-paperdollduchess

The paragraph in question is:

“A new year always brings new hope as the calendar resets.  Let’s hope for Kate 2015 holds an invigorated approach to her role because Kate’s nearly four years of duchessing have been repeat performances of very little substance, leaving little to comment on other than her appearance.  With the same hair and same make-up, Kate is like a paper doll, with clothing that might change from time to time but still remaining a two dimensional figure that holds little interest.”

After almost six years, there’s little to suggest Kate will ever take her duties seriously or Prince William will overcome his own Prince Williamness and be the future king the UK deserves.

redheart

signature-copy

Cambridge to Nowhere

Once again, Prince William and Kate Middleton begin a new year being criticized for their lackluster performance and putting in far less work than other members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and Prince Philip who are in their 90s.  Prince William only managed 188 engagements in 2016 while Kate only showed up for 140.  The Cambridge’s numbers for 2016 are impressively low considering they undertook two tours which are big numbers-boosters because all of those airport greetings and “private” touristy experiences from which the press was banned counted as official engagements.

Since joining the British Royal Family in April of 2011, Kate has only undertaken a grand total of 484 engagements to date.  In 2016 alone, Prince Charles handled 530 engagements while Princess Anne had 509 so Kate still hasn’t cumulatively pulled off in almost six years what other members of the family manage in one.

The Daily Mail ran an article detailing how Prince William and Kate only do half the work Prince Charles and Princess Diana did at a comparable stage in their married lives when they were raising young children.

Not surprisingly, the public was reminded on Friday Prince William has another job he pretends to do sometimes with a series of photos taken by the same photographer who managed to track down the future king on the job last year when the press and public were grumbling loudly about Work-shy William.

jennifer-pwphotog

Prince William’s contract with East Anglian Air Ambulance  ends in March, the fact that he’s still in the co-pilot seat shows he puts in as much effort there as he does with his royal role.  It’s not that big of a deal, though.  Most air ambulances just have the one pilot, the government had to purchase a special helicopter for EAAA so Prince William could play co-pilot because he was unqualified for the job.  Once William decides he wants to be a cowboy or open a fake psychic detective agency, the EAAA just has to make a minor software adjustment to switch their air ambulance freebie back to a one pilot helicopter.  Or Prince William may decide to extend his contract, after all he’s able to dictate his EAAA schedule claiming royal duty while using the job as an excuse as to why he can’t do more royal engagements.

Something seems off about these photos in the Daily Mail piece.  Maybe it’s just Prince William’s stiff posture as he tries to emulate someone who does stuff or his getting the EAAA photo op out of the way so early in January that’s throwing me off, but there are two side by side pictures where the foliage doesn’t seem consistent at the same portion of the tail boom.

section1 section2

Of course it could just be the angle.  Just like the strange violet hue at the top of William’s head could be explained by lighting conditions.

princewilliameaaahead

But it got me thinking.  It’s hard to juggle both holidays and PR photo ops.  I mean, those poor Cambridges have to fit in both sandy beaches and snowy slopes not long after their time off at Christmas.  Instead of going through all the trouble of having to go work and try to remember what it is he supposedly does so it can be captured by a photographer like Geoff Robinson, why don’t they just shoot Prince William in various poses against a green screen?  That way he can easily be dropped into heroic scenes while he’s working on his tan or hitting the slopes or playing video games in the Fortress of Solitude.  Then whenever there’s word of a taxpayer torch and pitchfork mob forming, the Palace Press Office can release photos of Prince William in various heart-warming scenes like rescuing a box of kittens…

pwhellboy

Saving the Earth from an asteroid…

pwarmageddon

Defeating the Kraken…

pwclashofthetitans

Or even diverting attention away from any of his wife’s future flashing with a Marilyn moment of his own.

pwsevenyearitchh

Since Kate rarely speaks and when she does, she’s difficult to understand, they can try to beef up her numbers by having her assistant carry around a life-size cardboard cutout of her to her various patronages and see if anyone even notices.

Of course, the Cambridges might just opt to send everyone in the UK a photo from their next holiday with the message “We’re just not that into you.” especially since Prince William (the future Head of the Church of England) and Kate skipped sending out a Christmas card this year. (Instead they mailed out a photo from the Canada tour thanking those who sent them warm holiday wishes.  Other royals adhered to tradition with Prince Harry’s holiday card featuring children of an Invictus Games veteran while Prince Charles’ and Camilla’s holiday card included a photo from their Croatia tour).

Prince William and Kate deciding to spend Christmas at Bucklebury for the second time, a year after they skipped the Queen’s Christmas lunch in order to host the Middletons at Anmer Hall, suggests they don’t really feel strongly bound to the Royal Family or its traditions.  While there have been no repercussions, even the Royal Family must be wondering about the future of the monarchy under William the Reluctant.

redheart

signature-copy

La Vie En Bleu

On Saturday just shy of 4pm, the Cambridge’s plane landed in Victoria, kicking off their eight day Canadian tour, the cost of which is born by the host company.  Prince William and Kate’s 2011 Canada Tour came in around $1.2 million for taxpayers.

Even before the Cambridges touched down, Twitter revealed that no matter where the new royal tours go, the same old frustrations still exist.

emilyandrewsbehindthescene

Really, that’s how the Palace want to kick off the tour?  Ticking off the skilled professionals who use their talents to paint the Cambridges in a more interesting hue in the global media?  This group who climbed into shuttles to meet the Cambridge Quartet at the airport?

chrisjacksonworldmedia

The littlest royals were spotted peaking out of the craft ahead of the official arrival.  I imagine Prince George turned to the staff and said, “Nope.  Shut it down.”

princegeorgecharlotteinwindow

Weather at the time of the landing was overcast and in the upper 50s.

tourforcast

The Cambridges wore blue because no other colors exist for them anymore, they have adopted the hue as their official  team color.  Kate was in Jenny Packham, a Lock & Co hat and wore the Maple Leaf Brooch, on loan from the Queen.

hellocanadastairs

It was Kate’s best arrival look to date and was fitted which avoided flashing.  Kate’s Jenny Packham shade was slightly more sophisticated than the Smurf Blue she’s been favoring during her Blue Period.  She managed to make it down the stairs in nude heels, carrying Charlotte and holding George’s hand when the steps proved a bit steep for his little legs.

Kate tried to create cute kid moments but looked like the socially awkward adult at parties who targets the family cat and winds up clutching poor Fluffy like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Kate’s attentions were focused on trying to get Charlotte to wave and squatting down in front of George in a rather unregal manner instead of interacting with the adults who waited around on a tarmac to greet them such as the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

chrisjacksoncharlottewave

It appears the Windsor is already coming out in Charlotte who looks to me like she will resemble Princess Eugenie.

eugenie

George managed to get off a royal wave but was more interested in a Sea King that was landing nearby so no paternity test is needed.

The royal convoy then made a quick trip to the Government House.

According to the royal correspondents on Twitter, approximately 10,000 people gathered to welcome the Cambridges to Victoria.  Unfortunately for those who were waiting, Prince William and Kate were running late so staff gathered up the bouquets instead.

staffbouquets

Prince William and Kate laid a wreath in honor of Canada’s fallen soldiers and shook hands with select military personnel.

As part of the welcome ceremony, Prime Minister Trudeau and Prince William gave speeches. The reception Prime Minister Trudeau received suggests he was a large part of the event’s draw, he received louder cheers than the Cambridges.

trudeaucheers

William attempted a line in French, sheepishly admitting his French was “rusty”.  As someone who hasn’t had a chance to speak French often over the last few years, I would describe mine as rusty, Prince William’s French was a linguistic massacre.  I died a little inside.  In lieu of flowers or donations, please send Chanel.

At the end of the welcome ceremony, Kate accepted flowers and the couple headed to the Government House for a photo op with the Trudeaus.  While Sophie Trudeau is touted as a fashion icon, I can’t be supportive of the Duchess of York style shoulder bows on her Edition de Robe dress, discordant eggplant Saucy milliner hat (which  I love on its own) and plastic and suede court shoes.

trudeauphotoop

But at least it wasn’t blue.  Picasso’s infamous Blue Period marked a time of severe depression and despair in his life between the years of 1901 and 1904.  Kate’s been hitting the blue hard lately.  Hopefully she is okay and the observation that if she loses those pesky last 20 grams of spinal cord, she’ll finally obtain her goal of being just a floating head isn’t in poor taste.  Normally it would be irregardless, but given her pre-wedding comment about her concerning weight loss being “all part of the plan”, I suspect Kate would find it the nicest compliment I’ve ever paid her.

redheart

signature-copy

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):

JustinTrudeauPM

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:

USPoliceProtectionforPellyWedding

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.

KPCanadaSpecialMemories

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.

redheart

signature-copy

 

Royals at a Regatta

On Sunday, Prince William accompanied Kate Middleton to Portsmouth to watch the final America’s Cup World Series competition before the America’s Cup takes place in Bermuda next year. With Australia’s and Italy’s teams withdrawn, there will only be five teams challenging Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup.

2017America'sCup

The wind quickly devoured Kate’s blow-out.

WindDevouringHair

The gusts revealed shorter under layers in Kate’s hair which suggest that she likely had a fresh batch of longer extensions added to her mane.

Under layer

Both William and Kate wore matching Land Rover BAR shirts.

1851TrustChildren

Kate chose to pair hers with some jeggings that looked like surgical extraction might be required to remove them.

KateJeggingsSituation

Kate smiled through it, though. Because, Ben Ainslie. No one loves sailing that much, even Ben Ainslie.

After the photo op with children being introduced to sailing through the 1851 Trust and a technology tour, Prince William and Kate took to the waters to cheer on Ben Anslie’s team from a Land Rover BAR catamaran.

TheRoyalStandard

Kate appeared far more enthusiastic than Prince William.

TakingtotheWaters

In case you didn’t catch that last pic, their facial expressions would be represented by very different emoticons.

expressiondifferences

Ben Ainslie’s team finished on top.

RegattaResults

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge handed out the awards, affording Kate one of her few one-on-one moments with the very dreamy sailor as she presented Ben Ainslie with the team trophy.

katePresentsTrophy

Alas, husbands and races always seem to get in the way of quality Hello Sailoring.

Afterwards, Ainslie popped his cork and sprayed his teammates with some celebratory champagne.

ChampagneCelebration

And the Cambridges took their helicopter home.

NirajHelicopterRide

Not really sure what the point of the Cambridges attending the event was, other than being a nice little jolly like so many of their official engagements. On Friday, the Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Prince Philip, already paid a visit to Portsmouth. Ben Ainslie is known for his focused intensity during races, so I doubt the awkward clapping of a duchess on another catamaran gave him the extra push to victory. In fact during Saturday’s competition, Ainslie’s team won two out of three races, which tied them with France for first place going into Sunday’s second half. Maybe there was some kind of secret contractual agreement with Land Rover which has poured millions into this America’s Cup bid that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be photographed at the event in their Land Rover-branded clothing. Who knows.

redheart

signature-copy

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:

MonarchistMonsterHeadline

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.

redheart

signature-copy

 

Back to the Future Heir & Hair

Lately I’ve  been a little  quiet on the topic of Prince William and Kate, there are only so many ways you can describe beige paint drying.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem far less into the whole being royal thing than the ninety-year-old  monarch who endlessly shows up in my Twitter feed at various engagements.   But here’s a  little catch-up.

Queen Elizabeth II has said, “I have to be seen to be believed.”  According to an April 20th Telegraph article, the only color “she avoids is beige, which does not allow her to stand out in a crowd”.   In contrast, Kate appears to go to great lengths not to even stand out on her own beige couch.  Except of course when it counts.

On Saturday June 11 at Trooping the Colour, Kate managed to make her way  to the front of all the royals waiting to join the Queen and Prince Philip on the balcony.

vyingforposition1

When  Kate stepped out on the balcony, she wound up causing a pile-up as she vied for a  prime spot.  Prince Charles had to take Camilla by the hand and gently ease her to the side.

vyingforposition2

Because what’s the point of going to Trooping the Colour if you can’t be seen  on the balcony?

TroopingtheColour2015

Kate’s efforts not to be obscured because of royal protocol paid off for her.

KateHelloCover

For the Trooping  the Colour celebrating her 90th birthday, Her Majesty wore  a nuclear  green coat and dress by Stewart Parvin and matching Rachel Trevor Morgan hat.

QueenTroopingtheColour

It was the hue equivalent of the toon-killing Dip in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the vat of chemicals  that turned Red Hood/Jack Napier into Batman’s nemesis The Joker.

TheDip

That’s kinda badass.  And the Queen did go a little Her Royal Honey Badger on William on the Trooping the Colour balcony, reminding William that taxpayers do expect to see members of the Royal Family.

StandUpWilliam

At the Order of the Garter on June 13th, royal-watcher Jennifer @Chic_Happens_ noted that after five years, Kate was finally taking standard royal precautions  against  the elements.

KateWeightedHems

Given how long it’s taken, did perhaps the Queen have a stern word  with the Serial Flasher?

Her Majesty is known to take a laissez-faire approach to running her family.  With the revelation this week that scandal-prone Andrew took a £5,000  helicopter ride to play a round of golf with the World Bank president (added to the Court  Circular the day after the press inquired about it), the Queen really needs to go full-on honey badger with certain members of her family.

ass-kicking

One of the Queen’s black patent leather loafers should be aimed at the heir to the heir. At a June 22nd EACH charity gala, Prince William could barely hide his boredom.

EACH-1

EACH-2While Kate still can’t hold a wine glass properly, at least she didn’t look like she deeply resented children with life-threatening illnesses for making gala attendance necessary.

The event was part of the efforts to raise £10million for a new hospice in Norfolk launched in November 2014.  To date, only a quarter of the goal has been reached.  In contrast, a May 27th CNN article indicated Ben Ainslie had already reached £50 million of the £80 million target for his bid to win the America’s Cup.

Both William and Kate looked like a lifetime has passed since Kate  last wore the blush pink Jenny Packham gown she had on at the EACH gala back in 2011.

William&Kate2011

How hard  is it being royal?  It’s not like the Cambridges do a whole lot of royaling  anyway.   At the Battle of Somme tribute, they looked like a couple that sits on porch rockers with blankets tucked  around them as they forecast the weather by the aches  in their joints.

Kate&WilliamSomme

They are 34  years  old, the same age as Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne, William’s Eton classmate.

william&eddie

In this screen grab side-by-side, the picture of Anne was taken one month  after she gave birth.

Kate&Anne

Kate is a fashion pendulum swinging in between sexy and elderly.  At the Battle of Somme tribute, Kate sported a hair net which have only been worn by cafeteria workers and fast food employees in the last 80 years.

KateHairNet

On Wednesday Kate glammed it up at the National History Museum, presenting the Art Fund of the Year award.  She wore a  stretch jersey dress with mesh insets by Barbara Casasola.

CreamDress

I love this dress and thought it looked gorgeous on Kate.  Not sure what the two buttons are, maybe Kate had panic buttons installed on her bum.

BumButtons

This level of cling on me would provide the kind of visual horror that would forever haunt anyone who happened  to see me in it.  This dress is not cellulite-friendly but on Kate it looks great.

The off-the-shoulder dress had a  front zip which added both an element of  sexiness and sportiness to it.

FrontZip

According to Rebecca English’s Daily Mail piece, Kate accessorized with a pair of pink heels that were so high, she wobbled in them.

pinksuedeheels

And  these were some of the expressions Kate wore in the pics from the same article.

kateexpressions

I would take this entire blog down in exchange for whatever pharmacological grab bag Kate’s got her hands on.  I mean drugs are bad, kids, stay in school.

Kate was back to what she does best on Thursday, sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon and meeting celebs.  The Sun has a photo from her Venus Williams Snapchat video, pics of some of the celebs with whom she rubbed shoulders as well as an amusing comparison between Kate and Sansa, listing Kate’s occupation as “Mum of Two”.   It’s always refreshing when the media doesn’t try to pretend she does much in the way of duchessing.

Hope all of you are having the loveliest of summers! Thanks to all who have inquired about me.

redheart

signature-copy

 

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:

Tiger'sNest

This is what Kate wore:

KateHikingOutfit

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.

MenInTights

Some royal watchers saw other characters.

WhoWoreItBetter

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.

EA-hike

RPhike

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.

CT-Katevest

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.

KateGlamSquad

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

Zara&AlmostARoyal

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.

BhutanReception

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:

KatePre-Loved

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.

RE-Agra

VMAgra

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

RP-PressPosition

Kate wore a dress by Indian designer, Naeem Khan.

RP-Kate&WillTaj

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

ArthurEdwards-Tajphoto

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.

TajCloseup

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

BarbieCut&StylePrincess

 

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.

BenefitClaimantsonBench

 

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.

PeppersmintMoS

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

Rp-India'sPress

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.

redheart

signature copy

Day 5 – India and Bhutan Tour

The fifth day of Prince William and Kate’s Royal Tour was spent in Bhutan, a Buddhist country in the Himalayas with a national happiness index and some pretty chilled out porkers with the munchies.  Marijuana grows in such abundance there, it’s fed to pigs.  Truly the happiest place on Earth.  Your move, Disney.

The Cambridges were met by the King of Bhutan’s sister, Chhimi Yangzom, and her husband at the airport.

VMBhutanArrival

Kate quickly ditched her Emilia Wickstead coat under which she was wearing her first Tory Burch dress of the day which had its debut at a 2014 Place2Be conference.  The Times of India described it as, “a subtle nod to the Indian art”.

KateToryBurchdress

 

Kate changed into a Paul and Joe top and a skirt made in London by Kelzang Wangmo from material woven in Bhutan.

CeremonialWelcome

Prince William and Kate met the King and Queen of Bhutan, 25-year-old Jetsun Pema who gave birth to a son less than two months ago.

RPFourRoysls

Once again, Kate grappled with her archnemesis, the wind.   Despite wearing very similar skirts, Kate struggled with the wind far more than the Dragon Queen who gracefully slayed it.

REKateWind

Kate&Jetsun

This screenshot taken from the Daily Mail demonstrates one of the contributing factors in Kate’s long-running battle with breezes, Kate’s Godzilla strides.

KateGodzillaStride

The Queen of Bhutan wore a fabulous pair of red towering Bitch, Please shoes.

QueenofBhutan

At the archery event held in Thimphu, both Kate and William struggled, missing the target by a lot.

PrinceWilliamArchery

KateArchery

It was bad.  Like impressively bad.

WilliamStrayArrow

Archery isn’t hard.  Seriously, they make bows and arrows for little kids and there are archery summer camps.

Child'sArchery

When even out of shape couch potatoes are hit with the realization they’ve reached an age at which it’s unlikely they’ll ever get to cross “Compete in the Olympics” off their bucket list, they shrug and go, “Eh, there’s always archery.”

While taking their turns, the Cambridges received what turns out to be some traditional trash-talking.  When Kate asked for a translation of what they had been cheering, she was informed, “You’re bald. You’re a baldy. Your nose is really big. We hope your private parts are as big.”  The same taunt was used for both but wasn’t exactly unisex.  I would have been happy to make a bespoke jeer for Kate.

KateTranslation

Kate’s expressions were so over-the-top, the only logical explanation was that she was suffering from some kind of altitude madness or her foundation is possessed by the spirit of the Norse god Loki.

TheMask

In the evening, Prince William and Kate had a private dinner with the King and Queen of Bhutan.

KateToryBurchEvening

Not my favorite dress, it was a little A Fish Lure Called Wanda.

FishLure

redheartsignature copy