Tag Archives: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Day 4 of the Poland/Germany Royal Snore

Wow, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal tour may be a more powerful sleep aid than Ambien.  I’m not sure if I’m even typing this or if it’s all just a dream but the goat in a scuba suit doing a Christopher Walken impression is really starting to freak me out.

Here’s a cut and paste of Day 4’s itinerary from the Daily Mail just in case there’s someone still out there who cares about this tour:

German Cancer Research Institute

William and Kate will meet Nobel Prize winner prof. Dr. Harald zur Hausen, and visit the stem cell research lab.

Traditional German market, Heidlberg

The pair will be given a tour of the traditional market by the Mayor of Heidlberg

Rowing race

Each will cox a boat each in a competitive race between the twinned town of Cambridge and Heidelberg.

Reception at Clärchens Ballhaus

A reception will be held at the last original dancehall in Berlin for some of the most exciting new names in the world of art, culture, style, fashion and technology.

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Kate’s first dress was Jenny Packham, a rotten egg brocade that looks like the upholstery from a couch my parents got rid of before I was born.  Some were commenting that Kate’s wedges didn’t go with the dress but other than some old fondue stains, not much would.

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Kate changed out of her house frau frock and into her standard sporty look of a striped top and jeggings for the rowing competition.  But, hang onto your hats, royal watchers, the blue of this Hugo Boss top was a lighter blue than she normally wears.  I know.  Dogs and cats living together!  Mass hysteria!

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Kate’s jeggings were so tight, I’d be surprised if she was still able to have more children after wearing them.  Yikes.  Do they even make Monistat with morphine?

Prince William somehow won the rowing race.  I don’t know much about rowing but I do question his contribution given that he’s just sitting there in this photo like Whistler’s Mother.

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Did they not have any needlepoint William could do?  Maybe some socks he could darn or buttons to sew back on?

Kate’s final wardrobe change was into a dress by German designer Markus Lupfer.  It was either some kind of botanical print or decapitated zebra heads and paper bag ghosts.

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We haven’t seen any major shiny this trip but it does look like Prince William gave Kate one of his mother’s bracelets.

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Royal watchers were swooning over this admittedly cute picture in which Kate looks at Prince William with crazy stalker eyes.

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Call me a romantic, but I think it’s sweet she’s looking at him like, ‘I want to weave a hammock out of your chest hair and drink your bath water’ and he’s looking at her like, ‘I’d love for you to meet my friends in security.  Security!’

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Day 2 of Poland/Germany Royal Tour

For the second day of the Royal Tour of Poland and Germany, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured the Stutthof Concentration Camp and met with five former prisoners, traveled to Gdansk to take part in a street party, visited the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre and toured the European Solidarity Movement Museum, leaving flowers at the Solidarity Monument.

Unfortunately, the events of Day 2 were overshadowed by debate on social media over whether or not Kate’s outfit was inappropriate for a visit to a concentration camp where nearly 65,000 people died. Reaction ran from some thinking it was fine to others being extremely offended.  No matter where royal watchers landed on the opinion spectrum, far too much of the conversation was about whether or not Kate, a guest of Poland as an official representative of the United Kingdom, was appropriately dressed.

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Kate wore a floral Erdem top and skirt and a pair of Stuart Weitzman Nearly Nude Ankle Strap Sandals.  I couldn’t find attire guidelines listed on the Stuttof website but the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site asks that no children under 12 visit the grounds and to “Please respect the dignity of the site by wearing appropriate attire.”

“Appropriate” is a subjective term.  Kate’s Erdem was a floral print but with somewhat subdued tones on a white background in a modest cut.  On Twitter, Richard Palmer noted that he asked if “black or dark colours were expected and they said not”.

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I didn’t happen to notice anyone else in a pattern, most were in dark blue or black.

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In addition to a questionable clothing choice, Kate also wore sandals.  Kate’s worn sandals on tour before but to events like the zoo and the beach.  There are a lot of companies that prohibit employees from wearing sandals on the basis they look unprofessional while some only allow sandals on Casual Fridays.  Given how devoted Kate is to her court shoes, her decision to wear sandals to tour a concentration camp is a curious choice.

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And then there was the red polish on Kate’s toes with which some took issue.  I would just like to point out Kate usually has a visible problem with toe nail fungus so maybe the red nail lacquer was serving a beneficial purpose.  Just sayin’.

For every Royal Tour, a team goes out ahead of time on a reconnaissance mission at taxpayer expense, gathering information about the venues, taking photographs, making notations about things like temperature and weather conditions all to make sure clothing will be event appropriate and will photograph well in the surroundings.  So what happened?  Now that Rebecca Deacon’s leaving, perhaps Kate should give some serious consideration to a proper lady-in-waiting.  Kate’s known to be stubborn and not take suggestions under advisement, but she’s more than six years into a job she waited almost a decade to get, there shouldn’t even be a debate about how sartorially insensitive a future Queen Consort was being at a concentration camp.

Another disappointing aspect of the visit to Stutthof was the revelation via Royal Correspondent photos that the sentiment in the visitor’s book was obviously written ahead of time by someone else because the handwriting wasn’t Prince William’s or Kate’s.  All the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did was sign their names.

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With only two short days, it feels as if the Poland part of the tour was over before it began with so much of the host country under-represented.  Even at the street party, Kate and Prince William ate pierogi and drank Goldwasser which I can do pretty much any time I want here in New York.  Polish cuisine has the best comfort food ever, it deserves so much more than a casual mention.  I must admit I’m not a huge fan of Goldwasser, though, it’s basically like drinking candied fire.  It’s so potent, in seconds you go from your tummy feeling warm to asking if the bell no one else heard meant an angel got its wings.

Richard Palmer wrote a lovely piece about the Stutthof Concentration Camp which I recommend reading because it’s a focused overview of the first engagement without the distracting noise.

Interestingly, the media chose to not question Kate’s attire or even mention the heated debate amongst royal watchers.  Considering how flat the Cambridge’s recent tours have been, perhaps they need this tour to go well because once the public loses all interest in the Cambridges, they will need to find a new job.  Or maybe they’re just waiting for a lull when they need a story of interest.  Like this one mentioning the fight Kate and William got into prior to leaving for the garden party celebrating the Queen’s birthday.

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I’m not sure what’s going on with Kate lately, but in these photos, she looks like Wonder Woman’s pissed off grandmother.

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Day 1 of Poland/Germany Royal Tour

On Monday July 17th, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrived in Poland for Day 1 of a five day royal tour of Poland and Germany.

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Given that it is such a short tour, many were surprised Prince William and Kate were bringing the children at all.  After all, they had no problem leaving Prince George at home when he was a baby to holiday in the Maldives.  Some felt the trip would be too disruptive to the children just to have them spend the days with nannies and see the parents primarily at night like they do when they are hitting the slopes. Unlike other royals, the Cambridges tend to approach their tours more like taxpayer-funded holidays than duty, though, so perhaps it’s not surprising they decided to model this tour once again on one of their ski get-aways.

There was some suggestion the children were brought along as Brexit diplomacy photo props.

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That’s pretty cynical, though.   Kate’s behavior with her children at these airport arrivals, the way she fusses with their clothing instead of looking up or turns her focus to them instead of the officials waiting to greet her, suggests she is using them more as surrogate emotional support animals than diplomatic props although it’s possible she’s after the doting-Mum photos but is instead inadvertently creating awkward-adult-focusing-on-the-family-dog-at-a-party pics.

To be fair, these royal tour airport arrivals do seem a bit scary.  I’m always worried that Kate is going to drop whichever child she is carrying because for some reason, it’s usually raining whenever the Cambridges land, making the steps all the more perilous in heels.  Fortunately, the steps were much more manageable this time despite the rain and there appeared to be less media waiting for them.  Prince George, however, wanted nothing to do with any of it.

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I feel like I get George, like we’re both old souls with a bit of a mischievous streak.  So pictures like this one break my heart.

This isn't Disneyworld. Oh what fresh hell is this?

This isn’t Disneyworld. Oh what fresh hell is this?

George is just shy of four. I was at least six before I had that glazed dead-inside look.

It must be strange for Prince William and Kate to raise Prince George as a Maybe Future King.  Surely they must possess enough self-awareness to realize the monarchy’s days are numbered and William will likely be the last king if even he makes it to the throne.  I mean, they’re not headless, they would have to have some kind of inkling, right?  Between David Beckham’s pictures of his daughter’s royal birthday tea party hosted by Sarah Ferguson at Buckingham Palace and the Very Middleton Wimbledon with Carole and Pippa getting kicked out of the royal box for tardiness and Carole hitting up Roger Federer’s wife for extra tickets, the royal “magic” Prince Harry recently eluded to in his Newsweek interview is gone.  The humane thing would be to pull the plug.

The Cambridges arrived in Poland on a private jet.  According to the Annual Royal Household Annual Accounts that came out in the end of June, the private jet the Cambridges took to Paris for that so-called diplomatic mission cost UK taxpayers £20,000 so this trip will be a bit more.  Don’t worry, Poland, you’re getting screwed over, too, the security detail is unreal.

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Because Poland’s flag is white and red, the Cambridge’s arrival clothing broke somewhat from the traditional Team Cambridge Blue.  Kate wore a new white suit by Alexander McQueen which was beautiful on her, just like the several similar pieces she already owns. To represent the red in Poland’s flag, Kate went with a red Jenny Packham box clutch and a ruby and diamond necklace and earrings which got lost in her hair.  I haven’t been able to find anything on the new rubies, mostly because I barely looked, but they appear to be G. Collins and Sons to me.

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After the airport arrival, Kate and Prince William met with President Duda and the First Lady at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and then went to the Warsaw Rising Museum where they met with vets.

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Not everyone was impressed by Kate, however.

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Then there was the Young Entrepreneur’s Reception and the Garden Party at The Orangery in honor of the Queen’s birthday. Again.  She’s still just 91, right?  It’s hard to keep track with all these celebrations.

Kate’s final wardrobe change was pretty tragic. The dress by Polish designer Gosia Baczynska looked like something George and Charlotte made on the plane with black marker, safety scissors and those white paper table coverings they have at kid-friendly restaurants.

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Kate’s evening updo was a little too Margaret Thatcher. The necklace was kinda cool, though.  I mean, I wouldn’t wear it, but I thought it was a nice way to visually call attention to the Madonna cone boobs.   Music’s where you find it.

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After more than six years of marriage, Kate still doesn’t know how to hold a wine glass.

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If you ever want to know how to do anything properly, just watch the Queen.

Of course, Kate drinking wine (which I assume she did instead of just holding it) blows away my theory she is already pregnant.  Not that a few sips of wine would hurt a fetus, but I suspect she’d be sticking to water.  Interestingly, the subject of more babies did come up when she was given a gift for a newborn (I guess I’m not the only one who thought she might be pregnant).

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Perhaps one day Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have another sibling taxpayers will only see at Trooping the Colour and tours abroad.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Saving the Earth from an asteroid…

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Defeating the Kraken…

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.”

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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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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.

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The wind quickly devoured Kate’s blow-out.

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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.

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Both William and Kate wore matching Land Rover BAR shirts.

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

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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.

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Kate appeared far more enthusiastic than Prince William.

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

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Ben Ainslie’s team finished on top.

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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.

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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.

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And the Cambridges took their helicopter home.

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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.

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Prince George’s Lupogate

Friday was Prince George’s third birthday, one of those rare occasions that usually unites all royal watchers because regardless  of personal feelings about the monarchy, tiny humans are cute.  To my surprise, the first royal story I would see of the day was this one:

AnimalCrueltyAccusationConsequently, one of the first phrases I uttered aloud on Friday was, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”  A photo of a little boy and the family dog became another @KensingtonRoyal-released PR blunder, the July follow-up to Kate’s controversial fur-lined mitten photos released back in March.  The Daily Mail article headline proclaimed:

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A three year old possible future king was branded a “monster” for offering a lick of his white chocolate-covered vanilla Magnum to the Cambridge canine, Lupo, like he was the Second Coming  of Jack the Ripper.  Once again, the Cambridges provided the outrage ammo themselves.

To be fair, the photo is only suggestive.  We don’t know if Lupo even took a lick or if the photographer used twenty empty boxes of White Chocolate Magnum bars consumed by Lupo as a tripod.  However, there’s a legitimate reason many animal lovers bristled at the photo.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released the statement: “It is lovely that Prince George is trying to help keep his family dog, Lupo, cool in these high temperatures.  We would advise people to be cautious when giving their dogs food meant for human consumption as some items, like chocolate, can be highly toxic to dogs and dairy items can be difficult for them to digest.”

The reason dairy is an issue is because many dogs are lactose intolerant.  There are some that don’t seem to have a problem digesting dairy, but in many dairy can cause a range of digestive issues from mild discomfort to vomiting and diarrhea.

Chocolate, however, can be toxic to dogs and the Magnum bar in question is covered in white chocolate.  The potential fatal factor of chocolate usually comes down to the dog’s weight, age, overall health, how much chocolate is consumed and the type of chocolate.  White chocolate is the safest because it has the least amount of theobromine  which is what is poisonous to dogs.  However, the danger in feeding any chocolate at all to a dog is that the pooch can develop a taste for it and take chocolate treat-seeking measures into his or her own paws.  petMD has a helpful chocolate toxicity meter.

It’s pretty hard to screw up the good-will vibes a picture of a little boy and his dog normally produces but once again, Prince William and Kate Middleton have managed to provoke another backlash with well-intended PR photos they hired a professional to shoot.

After Kate’s Mittengate, it was reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton had selected the ski-holiday photos themselves.  In the past I’ve hypothesized that either the Cambridge’s Communications Secretary, Jason Knauf, has gone missing or is the most evil adversary the British Royal Family has ever faced.   The reality appears to be even more unfathomable.  According to a Daily Beast article written in the aftermath of the disappointing Royal Tour of India and Bhutan, Jason Knauf makes around a mere £60,000 while other Press Office staffers are being paid around £30,000.  That kind of money doesn’t buy a lot of fucks for employees to give and no one in my opinion with the kind of experience required to manage the public image of a future Head of State and his wife would take a salary that low.

Curiously, a recent Daily Mail article revealed that the the chief executive of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry makes around £150,000.  Last year, there was outrage in the UK when it was revealed several charity chief executives were making more than six figures.  The article indicated, “While cutting the amount it handed out to charities, the foundation increased its spending on staff. Costs for its 14 employees rose by almost £60,000 in 2015 to more than £914,000.”   So staffing costs were about half the £1.76 million actually given to charities.

With many questioning the role of the monarchy in modern times, it is curious the Cambridges are underpaying their spin doctors while overpaying those working in a field in which high salaries are often a red flag to potential donors.  A proper PR rep would make sure the Cambridges didn’t release controversial photos on platforms in which outrage can be spread with a couple of clicks.

If the British Monarchy wants to use terms like The Kate Effect and The George Effect to justify its cost to taxpayers, then it must also acknowledge the impact its actions have on the public.  According to a Daily Mail article, the shirt Prince George was wearing in his third birthday photos sold out in an hour.  The potential damage caused by those who might mimic the actions of the young prince will never be known nor can it be adequately measured in pounds because for most of us, our dogs are members of our family.

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