Tag Archives: Victoria Murphy

Days 6 & 7 – India and Bhutan Tour

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

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

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

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This is what Kate wore:

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No one really knows why.

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

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Some royal watchers saw other characters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kate wore a dress by Indian designer, Naeem Khan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 1 of India/Bhutan Tour

With the time difference, Day 2 of Prince William and Kate’s India/Bhutan is already underway so I’m already behind.  I was awake and a little excited for the tour so I watched the first day unfold on Twitter.  It was more boring than waiting for a YouTube video of someone describing paint drying to buffer.  I randomly asked two royal correspondents to Tweet photos of their shoes but no takers.

Victoria Murphy wrote an excellent article on the importance of this tour for William and Kate.  When I noted in ReTweeting the article that I wasn’t sure if William and Kate even had enough momentum going in to turn around public opinion, Victoria responded, “I think the setting has really helped boost things for them.”

And she is right.  New set, new wardrobe, new guest stars, and the hope that somehow the show’s quality is going to improve.

William and Kate aren’t merely players strutting and fretting upon India’s stage, they also have producing and writing credits.  Not only do they have this fabulous new set, these scheduled events tell their vision of their host country and it’s surprisingly stereotypical: cricket, slums, Bollywood… presumably the snake charmer called out sick.  And I’m not the only one who noticed, this is a comment from a reader in India:

Slums-poverty-bollywood-cricket the stereotypist guide to India. Out of curiosity- doesn’t Kate have a stylist or Google or a mirror? The red dress looked like it was made out of the Taj hotel’s bedsheet collection and the blue dress looked like the nightgowns worn here. What is noteworthy is the negligible coverage of the visit in local press. Not even cricket god Sachin Tendulkar could make these two interesting or newsworthy. I don’t think anyone here is interested in having them back unless they are bringing back the Koh-i-noor with them or at least Coldplay.

So here’s how the first day unfolded:

Kate looked a little Elizabeth Taylor emerging after the flight.

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Flight fatigue and what I assume was a handful of tranquilizers became apparent in later photos, but it was an impressive “Bitch I’m Madonna” moment.  After nine hours on a plane, I spark fear that the Zombie Apocalypse has begun.

Kate arrived in bespoke McQueen and LK Bennett “Fern” shoes.  I like the original McQueen and how it was styled, I think it was a missed opportunity for Kate although I think I have to accept that she just can’t accessorize.  Or not suck the life out of clothing… I wonder how much of her diet consists of fashion’s soul.

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When the Cambridges arrived at the Taj Palace Hotel, they layed a wreath in memory of victims of its 2008 terror attack and met with staff whose heroic efforts helped save guest lives.

The Cambridges’ lunch was vegetarian.

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After a wardrobe change, the Cambridges headed to the Oval Maidan cricket ground.  Kate wore a bespoke tunic dress from Mumbai designer Anita Dongre and Mint Velvet wedges.

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Three charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline, participated in the event.

There were no wardrobe malfunctions, but the wind at one point made Kate look like she was wearing clown pants.

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The teased special surprise was a bus ride.

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You can’t sit with us!

At the Banganga Water Tank, Prince William and Kate scattered petals in the water.

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Prince William and Kate then met with the charity SMILE.

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The Cambridges played football in the streets of the slum and there was almost a dance-off instigated by William who then backed out of it.  I noticed Kate got hit in the calf with a soccer ball, I’m not sure if it was an accident or if the kicker in question got to do something that has popped into the minds of many royal watchers at some point  or another.  Impoverished children then asked the Cambridges all sorts of questions about their big house, like how do they like their giant house and how do they call each other and their children in it which for some reason appeared to make William and Kate uncomfortable.

In the evening, William and Kate attended a Bollywood dinner and reception which benefited the charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline.  Kate wore bespoke Jenny Packham that was beaded in India and earrings by Amrapali.

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In a dress that would have looked smurfy on Papa Smurf’s nana, Kate sort of looked like the spinster lovechild of Margaret Thatcher and The Joker.

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In a speech, Prince William revealed, “When Catherine and I were married, India was the 1st place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit.”  So after almost a decade of Waitying, Kate suddenly puts together her dream destination list once she could go on these trips on the taxpayer’s dime?

According to actress Madhuri Dixit, “The Duke said he hadn’t watched any Bollywood movies but he represents the British film industry was and interested in collaboration.”

WTF?  Prince William, President of BAFTA and resident of planet Earth has never seen a Bollywood film?  How is that even possible?

Granted, I’m probably a bigger film lover than most, I’ve even taken multiple subways to go see an obscure French vampire film I don’t even think some of its cast had ever heard of, but the BAFTA president couldn’t have watched one or two movies on the nine hour flight in preparation for the event?  Or maybe on one of his many days off from both royal and air ambulance duties?

I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising considering Prince William vetoed Skyfall on the staff’s special Christmas film night and insisted on fucking Twilight and then blew it off.  Seriously, he can’t even make it through one film, how is he going to handle being Head of State?

At least Prince William appeared to have an inkling of what he’s been missing out on in the presence of one of the most beautiful women in the history of the world, actress Aishwarya Rai.

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Let Them Eat Cheesy Snacks

Tonight, Prince William and Kate Middleton hosted a reception at Kensington Palace to remind people they are going to India and Bhutan.

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Buzz about the upcoming tour of India and Bhutan from April 10th-16th has been flying at half-mast. Even the number of Cambridge Critics logging onto sites to vent about the lazy duo has diminished considerably.  An unmoderated Daily Mail article about the Bhutan visit only had four comments nine hours after it was published.

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Well, the Cambridges wanted to be left alone, although it probably was not the best strategy to wrap themselves in apathetic irrelevancy so soon before a royal tour.

It’s been nineteen days since Kate’s last appearance, the opening of a charity shop on March 18th which came in under thirty-five minutes, one day after blowing off the Irish Guards.  Because, hair.

At Wednesday’s reception, Kate also reminded people she’s still royal now by going Totally Tudor in a neck ruffle both Queen Elizabeth I and Princess Diana favored.

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Kate wore the Mary Navy Dots maxi dress by Saloni London.  

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On Kate, it was that curious Senior Citizens on Cialis look Kate seems fond of like back in October when the duchess combined Mother of the Bride and side boob.

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Kate wasn’t bold enough to go with the semi-sheer swiss dot front panel and her dress was actually lined, creating pale mounds that resembled those of her own topless doll.

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On Twitter, Julie RocketQueen @rocketqueen1985 described the dress as “20 yards of WTF”.

With her hair worn down, it wasn’t totally apparent which side of Kate was the front.

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Kate left household cleaning implements everywhere shouting, “Bitch stole my look.”

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I have no idea how Kate is going to carry all that extra add-on hair on a six hour hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery during the upcoming tour.  Here is a screengrab from one of the pics @KensingtonRoyal posted on Twitter:

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Another Twitter post by the Mirror’s Victoria Murphy revealed that Kate may have learned a little bit about lighting.  When being photographed with London-based Indian model Neelam Gill, pretty much your only chance of not being totally dwarfed by her beauty is to nudge her towards a light source so she’ll be in the shadows.

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The real star of the night, though, was the Cheesy Snacks posted by Victoria Murphy.

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