Tag Archives: UK Press

The Parable of the Perturbed Press

“To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48

After years of reaping royal benefits, this week the media reminded the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of their enormous growing bar tab of expectation.

On February 17th, Kate Middleton did her guest stint with the Huffington Post UK. The photos Tweeted by @KensingtonRoyal of the “newsroom” confirmed to me that they were using stuffed animals instead of real dogs and ponies for the Kate is Keen Show.

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While the event was geared towards bringing awareness to children’s mental health issues, the inherent flaw in selecting one outlet is representative of the greater issue that the Cambridges mistakenly believe they don’t need the media.  Kate’s second event of the year lacked the traditional media fanfare even though she wore a brand new outfit and everything.  Above all else, the press is a business so they naturally wouldn’t want to waste a lot of column space plugging their competition.

Many wondered if there would be a complete media black-out.

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Daily Mail article on Kate being papped shopping in pricy designer clothing referenced the Huffington Post event as Kate guest-editing “a website”.   While celebrity guest editing isn’t new which Jezebel’s “Kate Middleton Joins the Long, Goofy, Controversial Line of Celebrity Guest Editors” explores, the very fact that Kate is being classified as a celebrity reveals just how royally Kate is missing the mark.  Taxpayers don’t fund celebrities’ lives and more is expected of royals than being famous for being famous.  As representatives of the UK, royals are supposed to remain politically neutral and avoid the appearance of impropriety by refusing freebies  by companies seeking royal product placement…a  future Queen Consort aligning herself with one media outlet is tantamount to brand endorsement.

Prince William’s first scheduled engagement of the year on the 16th at the Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy seemed to even more blatantly break with the royal neutrality policy when a speech he delivered was widely interpreted as thinly veiled support of remaining within the European Union.  As the Daily Mail noted, “he all but named the EU as he referenced international organisations such as the United Nations, Nato and ‘elsewhere’ as institutions that help Britain affirm its ‘commitment to working in partnership with others’. ”  The Palace denied any political agenda and pointed out that never once in the speech did Prince William specifically mention the European Union.  Sure, and when I refer to the Petulant Prince, I really am talking about any spoiled arrogant balding 33-year-old British heir to the throne with a pathologically lazy wife, two kids and a Cocker Spaniel named Lupo.

On February 17th, The Sun fired a shot at William the Reluctant heard round the world’s media with “Throne Idle: Prince on 1st job of the year… and it’s a disaster”.  While many of the points it makes have been discussed here and on other sites like Kate Middleton Review, Kate Middleton: Duchess or Diva, Celebitchy, and Sarah Whalen’s posts on Bayou Buzz, it’s refreshing to see the UK mainstream media dispense with the royal candy coating for a change and exercise some journalistic candor.

The Sun’s journalistic bitch-slap was such a departure from the white glove treatment Prince William normally receives, The Guardian dedicated an article to the article in “The Sun gives both barrels to Prince William”.

On February 18th, Richard Palmer Tweeted that for the RAF Disbandment Parade attended by Prince William and Kate, media access was limited under the guise of space restrictions.

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Perhaps the Cambridges were trying to keep out members of the media who might question the “value for the money” of Prince William and Kate who do so few official engagements to begin with taking a helicopter ride from London to Anglesey, Wales to attend the disbandment parade of the now-privatized branch of the Royal Air Force William left in 2013 without meeting his training commitment.

The Daily Mail continued the media pummeling with two new articles questioning the Petulant Prince’s dedication to his royal role with “William the Unwilling: A no-show at the Baftas, only two engagements all year and now even Royal eyebrows are being raised at a Prince who’s gone missing in action” as well as “Patell’s People: Work-shy William has to make a royal choice”.

The quote “to whom much is given, much is expected” comes from The Parable of the Faithful Servant, an eschatological warning in the Gospel of Luke to be prepared for the day of reckoning.  How long the monarchy will last remains to be seen, but with the press’ trumpeted judgment of William the Reluctant and the Duchess of Doolittle reaping the royal perks without commensurate return, the British Royal Family might want to figure out the whole Cambridge situation before the last three trumpets ring out.  The polo  ponies of petulant princes are no match against the apocalyptic horses of a republic.

redheart

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Secret Ski Vacation Rumor

A few weeks ago, I got a tip that Kate Middleton and Prince William were planning a secret ski get-away following the Australia Tour.  I dismissed it as some propaganda whispering, when I get gossip which seems unlikely even for this royal bunch, I usually assume there’s some amount of fabrication to it.  After all, would the Lazy Duo actually try to squeeze in yet another vacation given all the bad press they’ve received this year for their luxury get-aways?  That would require a sense of entitlement and impertinence at a level akin to pathological narcissism.

As public figures, Kate Middleton and Prince William are often the target of rumors, some of them true, some maliciously fabricated and others that remain more difficult to confirm or refute like the one that’s been circulating for a few years now about Kate’s alleged secret 2006 abortion when she and Prince William were dating which was rumored to be one of the contributing factors to their 2007 break-up. Unfortunately the more deceitful PR tactics are employed, the more voraciously the press will become to expose any concealed truths.

Because the UK press does not enjoy the same Freedom of Speech that the US press does, sometimes unflattering photos or tidbits of info are leaked across the pond by frustrated or disenchanted members of the media.  And sometimes people with grudges just make crap up because they’re bitter and bored.  It seems a little silly that people actually bother to fabricate gossip about the British Royal Family, that group has so much riveting dysfunction, if they ever did a reality show called The Real Housewives of Windsor, we would all be watching it.  But it happens.  And sometimes a dismissed rumor seems more credible than once believed.

Tonight, I noticed a comment on Kate Middleton: Duchess or Diva that I found fascinating.  My2Pence noted:

Prince William spotted in the private SwissAir lounge at Chicago/O’Hare on the way to Memphis. Presumably, he would only be allowed in that lounge if he had flown SwissAir into Chicago. Proof they snuck off on their skiing holiday? From what I can tell (and I could be searching their site incorrectly), SwissAir doesn’t fly from London to Chicago, but they DO fly from Zurich to Chicago.

And in a follow-up, My2Pence stated:

What surprises me is that the majority of royal reporters (and boards) seem to be ignoring it. Tanna hinted that they’d gone on holiday straight out of Australia but no one engaged with him about it. No photos of them arriving back in the UK after NZ/AU which is also odd. William flying SwissAir would seem to be proof that they went skiing straight out of Australia (with or without George) but everyone is pretending this didn’t happen?

Despite having heard the exact same rumor weeks ago about the couple going on a secret Middleton ski vacation after the New Zealand/Australia Tour and finding the report that Prince William was hanging out in the SwissAir Lounge at O’Hare on the way to the Memphis wedding odd, it still didn’t occur to me that Prince William and the Duchess of Doolittle could actually have the impudence to squeeze in yet another vacation until My2Pence made the connection.  That should pretty much settle any lingering doubts any of you might have as to whether or not I’m a natural blonde.

I imagine to the Cambridges, it’s such a bummer when protesting peasants wreck your annual ski vacation plans but did they actually try to sneak one in under the radar below the stink-eye line?  My initial reaction was no way would they attempt such an ill-advised trip, but maybe the genius of the plan was its unfathomable audacity.  Grumblings about the cost of security footed by taxpayers are being acknowledged in media articles estimating UK citizens are paying approximately $84,000 in security costs for this Memphis vacation for Princes William and Harry.  I estimated that the Maldives get-away cost taxpayers around $114,000.  Plus there’s Kate’s vacation to Mustique earlier this year and Prince William’s hunting trip to Spain.  With such intense scrutiny over the cost of the Royal Family to taxpayers, perhaps William and Kate tried to avoid even more security costs from reaching the public’s awareness and yet another vacation souring any positive press they earned during the New Zealand/Australia tour.

I did some follow-up research on Prince William’s selection of the SwissAir lounge and O’Hare seems to be the connecting city of choice for most international flights originating in Europe, so the connecting airport offers no clue as to the city of origin for Prince William’s flight, but there remain other details which make this rumor seem plausible.

  • There weren’t any released photos of the Heathrow arrival of the Royal Trio following the New Zealand/Australia Tour.  At least I didn’t see any and trust me, I looked.  Now that Buckingham Palace is counting travel time as official engagements in order to pad Lazy Katie’s numbers due to the PR backlash against UK’s Laziest Royal, arrivals and landings should be a matter of public record.  Travel arrangements can’t fall under the protection of privacy if they are being counted as official workdays.
  • No photos of Kate Middleton have been published since the Australia tour on April 25th, nothing in the press to suggest where she’s been since she boarded the flight to Sydney.  We’ve all been assuming she’s been locked away inside Kensington Palace but there’s no evidence to support that.
  • Prince William wasn’t seen since he boarded the flight to Sydney on April 25th until he was sitting in the SwissAir Lounge with his friends at O’Hare Airport en route to Memphis on Thursday May 1st enjoying some nachos and hot wings.
  • Why the SwissAir lounge and not say the British Airways lounge also located in Terminal 5 of O’Hare Airport?  Granted, when you’re a Prince, you can have your choice of lounges but it’s very possible his staff arranged the logistics of the layover directly with the airline.  Perhaps the Prince was flying SwissAir because he really was on the rumored secret Swiss ski vacation with Kate?
  • There’s already a pic of Prince William taken while onboard a flight to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport on Niraj Tanna’s Twitter page.  And yet no one snapped a single a pic or even commented on his presence until O’Hare?  Connecting at a different airport on the flight out, so is it possible now he’s actually returning to the UK?
  • Neither the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge showed up to the funeral of Mark Shand, brother to Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, on May 1st, despite a statement released by their reps that they were devastated by his death.  The Duke of Cambridge flew to Memphis on May 1st and there was no explanation offered as to why the Duchess of Cambridge could not attend.  Is it possible they weren’t even in the country at the time which is why it wasn’t feasible for the Duke to catch a later flight and still arrive in Memphis two days ahead of the wedding?

It is possible this secret ski vacation is just idle gossip that’s been idling for the last few weeks but it will be interesting to see if anything else emerges.  Could the Lazy Duo successfully pull off the same kind of secret ski getaway that Prince Harry got caught attempting when he and Cressida tried to sneak off to Kazakhstan in March?  Absolutely, Prince Harry only got busted a couple of days into his secret vacation because of a fellow skier with a camera phone, it’s possible the Duke and Duchess were more cautious, perhaps choosing a location where they would be guaranteed privacy, with trusted staff members being required to sign a Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreement.

What do you guys think?

redheart

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Royal Family is Trippin’

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George are on their way to Australia and New Zealand and we’re assured by the UK press that everyone is excited about it.  Waity Katie can’t wait because she’s always wanted to visit, Prince William can’t wait because he has been there before, and Prince Georgie is probably thinking, “I require a window seat and an in-flight Happy Meal. BUT NO PICKLES. OH, GOD HELP YOU IF I FIND PICKLES.”  We’re assured the people of Australia and New Zealand are simply giddy waiting for the trio to touch down.  Because the UK Press has absolutely nothing to gain by passing along royal propaganda.

I mean, it’s not like Royal Family and the press they abhor so much have any kind of agreement in place like the press won’t take pictures of them during their private down time and in exchange for their cooperation in not publishing anything that would damage the carefully crafted public images of the Royals, the Palace will “leak” information to the press, providing them with juicy little tidbits about the Royals so they can sell their papers and magazines.  Oh, wait a second, that’s exactly the arrangement in place.  The often-quoted “anonymous source” in articles about members of the Royal Family is the Buckingham Palace Press Office which of course obtains permission before “leaking” any juicy little tidbits.  (Of course disgruntled staff members and the Royals themselves with their own agenda have also been known to leak to the press directly without going through the Buckingham Palace Press Office.)  Members of the press who do not comply with the arrangement are frozen out.

The Daily Mail published an article about how the Duchess of Cambridge “will use the Royal tour of New Zealand and Australia to champion the cause closest to her heart – the children’s hospice movement.”  The article then went on to praise her and the article went on to compare Lazy to Princess Diana who worked tirelessly for her causes and dared to call Lazy “Queen of Hearts”.  The outrage this caused was so intense, the Daily Mail stopped publishing comments thirteen hours ago and I’ve noticed the tally of comments has decreased.

My comment was not published.  I pointed out that Lazy Kate has only done four appearances to date this year, none of which were for children’s causes and she often mispronounces “palliative”, a word she shouldn’t struggle with if palliative care was truly a cause close to her heart.   I suggested that the article should be labeled a paid endorsement.

Weird they didn’t publish that.

Here are some comments they did publish, though.

Someone from Australia noted:

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To which someone in New Zealand responded:

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And people from the UK and Canada chimed in with:

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I have yet to hear one positive comment about the Lazy Duo from anyone in Australia or New Zealand which is probably the point of the visit.  It’s generally assumed that upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand, Australia and Canada will declare themselves full republics.  Out of the mouths of babes who don’t know either what function Prince William and Kate serve: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/royal-tour/9905651/What-do-Prince-William-and-Kate-Middleton-really-do.

Diana’s 1983 Australian tour with Prince Charles and baby William cast the Royal Family in a very positive light; engaging and enchanting princess, adorable baby, and heir to the throne, all a promising and captivating picture of what the future could hold.  The Royal Family is trying to pull a repeat.  They’ve got a royal trio, but magic can’t be manufactured and Kate is a poor understudy to Princess Diana, try as she might, Pageant Girl has no passion for charity work, her interests are in shopping and hair appointments.

Trying to claim that Kate is a champion for children’s hospices is a feeble attempt to make her seem endearing to those who haven’t been paying attention to her idle approach to Duchessing.  This year, her mere four appearances have been at the National Portrait Gallery where she flubbed a seven sentence speech she had to read from cards and admired a portrait of herself, an appearance at the opening of the Art Room at the Northolt High School, a meet and greet with celebrities at Buckingham Palace and handing out shamrocks to Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day.  The rest of the time she was busy going over-budget on taxpayer-funded renovations for her home at her Kensington Palace and off on two luxury vacations.  Queen of Hearts?  Hardly.  If anything, she’s the Joker.

Here’s the tour schedule the Daily Mirror published with its exhausting wine tasting, draining boat rides and strenuous “Rest” days.

NEW ZEALAND

  • April 7 – Wellington: Arrive to ceremonial welcome.
  • April 8 – Rest.
  • April 9 – Wellington: Meet parents and their babies at Government House, hopefully with George.
  • April 10 – Blenheim: Events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
  • Wellington: State Reception where William will unveil a portrait of the Queen.
  • April 11 – Auckland: Meet serving air force personnel and their families. Race each other across Auckland Harbour in Team New Zealand Americas Cup yachts. Ride on a Sealegs craft – boat that can be driven into and out of water. 
  • April 12 – Waikato: William views an aircraft factory while Kate goes to a children’s hospice. Both travel through Hamilton town centre and meet Olympic athletes and open the new velodrome. 
  • April 13 – Dunedin (Travel away from George for one night): Maori tribal welcome, visit cathedral then watch and participate in a Rippa Rugby tournament – non contact rugby.
  • Queenstown: Wine tasting, travel on the Shotover Jet – 50mph white water ride.
  • April 14 – Christchurch: Ceremony for those who died in 2011 earthquake. Watch a 2015 Cricket World Cup event, later visit air force museum and memorial wall. 
  • April 15 – Rest.
  • April 16 – Wellington: Visit a police training college, sign the city’s visitor book then depart.

AUSTRALIA

  • April 16 – Sydney: Arrive and attend reception at the Sydney Opera House.
  • April 17 – Sydney: Fire-ravaged street in Blue Mountains.
  • April 18 – Sydney: Attend the Royal Easter Show, visit a children’s hospice before watching a demonstration by surf life-saving volunteers. 
  • April 19 – Brisbane: RAF base visit then reception for Queensland’s young people. 
  • April 20 – Sydney: Cathedral service then visit Taronga Zoo where the bilby enclosure is being named after Prince George.
  • April 21 – Rest.
  • April 22 – Uluru (Ayres Rock) (Second night away from George): Visit the National Indigenous Training Academy, view Aboriginal art display then walk round part of the rock.
  • April 23 – Adelaide: View young people’s music workshop and watch skateboarding display.
  • April 24 – Canberra: Visit the National Portrait Gallery, attend a reception at Parliament House, plant a tree at the National Arboretum.
  • April 25 – Canberra: Attend ANZAC Day March, lay a wreath and plant a ‘Lone Pine’ tree in the Memorial Garden.
  • Depart for home.

Articles like the one the Daily Mail published are offensive, expecting the public to accept these ridiculous attempts to salvage the royal image.  Respect is earned, not carefully crafted by PR teams.  The Press dubbed Kate Middleton Waity Katie.  And she was also referred to quite frequently in the press as The Mattress.

The Duchess formerly known as The Mattress leads off the cheeky Entertainmentwise.com article published yesterday.  Here’s a screen grab.

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For those who can’t tell, Kate Middleton is the mattress on the right.

The very press who blasted this woman for almost a decade as being lazy, waiting around for a prince who cheated on her to marry her, giving her the mattress moniker that eluded to her open-leg policy when it came to royalty, now expects us to buy that this woman who rarely makes any charity appearances actually cares about something other than being Mrs. Prince William, shopping, salon appointments and luxury vacations?

Ridiculous.  The Palace has let her skate by with only four engagements to date in 2014 (and really, it’s being generous counting making small-talk with celebrities as an engagement).  If they want us to respect her, she has to earn it.  Until then, I would appreciate it if the press would refer to Kate Middleton by the titles she has earned: Lazy Katie, Waity Katie, The Duchess of Doolittle, and The Mattress.

redheart

 

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