Prince William’s elephant sanctuary embarrassment and ridiculous tour costumes

Prince William’s elephant sanctuary embarrassment and ridiculous tour costumes

**Quick Kate Middleton update before the William post: Next Thursday, March 12, Kate will visit the set of Downton Abbey at Ealing Studios. That makes five appearances over four days next week. She really is packing in the appearances before she disappears to give birth, huh.**

Prince William‘s latest controversy proves how completely incompetent Will and Kate’s Kensington Palace team are. William visited an elephant sanctuary as part of his crusade against the illegal wildlife trade, where he met an elephant, planted a tree, and gave a speech about how the illegal wildlife trade needs to end (transcript here). About a mile away from where William was, elephants were shackled and forced to perform for visitors. So William was preaching animal conservation while giving no you-knows about animal cruelty.

From Sky News:

    “At the same moment that the Prince was being photographed with an elephant, others were waiting in enclosures less than a mile away with their legs shackled.
    “Sky News spent an hour at the show in which we watched tourists sitting on elephants trunks and riding on them. The animals, some wearing giant spectacles, sat down and balanced on tiny stools. Others kicked around footballs.
    “The show lasts an hour, happens twice a day and is watched by hundreds of Chinese tourists.
    “Sky News asked the Prince if he was aware the elephant entertainment was taking place down the road. He turned around but did not respond.”

There was nothing William could have said that would have made him look good in that moment. Either he would have shown his complete ignorance of the cruelty and his complete lack of involvement in setting his own itinerary, or he would have shown how much he doesn’t care about these animals unless they are being hunted in the wild. Nothing he could have said would have made him look good, but turning away and saying nothing not only makes him seem like he does not care about animals unless they are being hunted in the wild, but also that he’s indignant at even being asked about it.

Because of William’s lack of giving any you-knows about helping set his own itinerary, I only indirectly blame him for this mess (for being ignorant and not bothering to care about helping set his own itinerary). I directly blame William’s KP team for this. That includes but is not limited to: Miguel Head (William’s private secretary), Nick Loughran (assistant press secretary), and Jason Knauf (the new senior press secretary).

This mess shows a complete lack of proper investigation into the places William visited on this trip and the places Will and Kate visit in general. WTF, Miguel, Nick, and Jason, et al?

This will blow over and I do not expect the KP team will even get a slap on the wrist for it, nor change the way they do things (like actually investigating the places they send Will and Kate). Prince Harry‘s bodyguards not only let a bunch of strangers into his Vegas hotel room but didn’t even bother to take their cell phones away leading to naked photos being sold and posted online and in print, and those dudes still have their jobs as his bodyguards. So the embarrassment and stupidity of preaching animal conservation while a mile away from animal cruelty is nothing to them and will go unpunished.

Changing directions a bit, the Daily Mail’s Sebastian Shakespeare has a report that says Prince Charles hardly ever gets to see Prince George because he’s always with the Middletons, and that Carole Middleton “behav[es] like she’s Queen Carole” in regards to overseeing George’s upbringing. When asked when Charles had last seen George, Clarence House actually issued a statement, saying: “We would not comment on the specifics of private arrangements. His Royal Highness enjoys an excellent relationship with his grandson.” So there you go. I don’t know how reliable Sebastian Shakespeare and his sources are, but I could believe Charles doesn’t spend a lot of time with George, whether by design or coincidence – Charles keeps busy and Kate seems to take George to Anmer Hall or her parent’s house quite frequently.

As requested by a few people, here are some photos of Prince William’s tour of Japan and China (and as requested I’m trying to include scenery shots). Honestly, I haven’t really been following it that much, but it seems the elephant sanctuary mess was the thing that made the most waves. It’s shocking how seemingly little waves William’s tour made. Hell there was even a headline from the Express that said: “If you’re so desperate for your visit to Japan to get attention, William, why didn’t you just take Kate along?” I wonder if William and his team notice this and are upset by it?

On February 26, William started his tour in Japan where he took a boat tour of Tokyo Bay; toured Hama Rikyu Gardens; and visited Hodogaya Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and looked at a photo of Princess Diana.

On February 27, William dressed in a ‘Happi’ coat to take part in a Sake Barrell Breaking Ceremony at an ‘Innovation is Great’ Event; met Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko; and dressed in a ‘yukata’ for dinner at a traditional Japanese Ryokan.

On February 28, William visited NHK Public Broadcasting Studios where, as we discussed last week, he dressed as a Samurai; and tried his best to impress some kids at Smile Kid’s Park by juggling.

On March 1, William stood on a hill top in Ishinomaki, Miyagi to pay respects for the victims of the 2011 earthquake in Japan; then moved on to China where he visited the Forbidden City.

On March 2, William met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On March 3, William kicked a soccer ball at a Premier Skills Football Event; and rode a Brompton Bicycle during a visit to the GREAT British Festival of Creativity.

On March 4, William visited the Xishuangbanna Elephant Sanctuary as discussed; and smelled the tea by smelling it during a visit to Mengman village.

Man, William tried his damnedest to get people to pay attention to his tour… dressing up, doing ridiculous stunts, invoking the memory of Diana… and yet the only memorable thing is the controversy surrounding his elephant sanctuary visit.

Photos: Getty

90 thoughts on “Prince William’s elephant sanctuary embarrassment and ridiculous tour costumes

  1. I was also shocked that people didn’t care about this tour. Whenever Kate pokes her body out, she gets tons of press. Why did he get so boring? Are there not any British press people there?

    1. Also, wtf is this: “Staff have complained that Anmer is not run like a proper royal household,’ says my source. ‘It is too middle class.’” (from the dm article)

      Too middle class?? What is that supposed to mean? How is that a reason to quit?

      1. Maybe the staff doesn’t like being forced to cater to the midds?

        William and waitherine seem to have a revolving door for staff. Multiple people have left after a short stay with them.

      2. Eh, sometimes employees and employers don’t get along, even though both are great separately, their personalities and styles of working don’t mix. I would guess that the couple are used to being treated a certain way, as they have been employed by the Queen for years, and Will and Kate and Carole treat them differently. W&K&C probably asked the couple to do things they are not used to, and since they are used to a certain treatment being “royal”, if W&K&C differ at all it would be attributed to them being middle class. Hell, it could be that W&K&C treated the couple better than they were treated by the Queen, but since that’s all they know then how they are treated by W&K&C would seem strange and they wouldn’t like it. Or they could have been treated worse, we don’t know. I’m guessing they were just treated differently, since we know William likes to “do his own thing”, and the couple weren’t used to it and didn’t like it and attributed it to the Middletons being middle class.

        Or Carole overstepped her boundaries and acted like she was the royal and the couple didn’t like it. And that’s the reason for the middle class comment.

        Or the report is bogus. Who knows.

      3. They’ve lost a lot of staff in four years. Nanny, multiple PR and office staff, personal assistants, gardener, housekeepers, security chief. No one else seems to have this amount of staff turnover.

        1. The high rate of staff turnover makes me think that it’s not just that the staff expect to be treated worse than they are or that they’re putting on airs–something is rotten in Cambridgeland.

        2. A lot of staff left too when Charles married Diana. It ws because they felt it was time to go when Charles got married.

          1. That might explain the head of security, not but the nanny, housekeeper, and gardener – all post-marriage hires. And allegedly she’s on her 5th hairdresser in four years, which indicates she’s not easy to work with to me.

    2. I mean, I know William lost his pretty long ago, but I have no idea why people have completely stopped caring about him. If I had to guess I would say his constant complaining about the press and his wanting to disappear into odd jobs and not do royal duties is a factor, but there are still a lot of people who let him slide for that stuff, so I don’t know why there seems to be so little interest in him. Yes, there were some British royal reporters. Not as many as if Kate had gone, and not as many as went to NZ/Oz or even NYC, but there were some.

      1. Great job KMR, for calling out PW lousy team. If Will read this blog, he’d get the much-needed kick in the ass he needs, and fire them or take some control, ask questions, and stop being managed. And that last word, managed, answers IMO your question. PW has been managed aka run, his whole life. Diana meant well when she was taking him out, having him do meet-and-greets, PR, but she was managing him and he’s used to having someone behind him. When she died, KP, not Charles, took over, and no offense to the Queen, but her kids are/have all been a mess. Then the Middleton’s came. Others have mentioned too that she took the place of “mother.” It amazes me that no one saw the danger. England has modernized, but it is still the nation that withstood the Blitz. I think en mass the people dislike that Will was so weak to be manipulated and managed by them. You date the girl, not make her the future Queen. I think the press are watching the Midds because they are more accessible, nut to rip them apart, maybe to wake up W, maybe to move him aside. Any English friends on here to tell me if I’m wrong? I just think Britain expected better, gave him space after Di died, loved him like their national son, and he’s disappointed them.

        1. I think the Queen’s attitude of “let your kids fail in order to learn” is a bad one. I understand the concept, and it works in theory, and in practice for normal people, but not for the royals. HM is all about preserving the monarchy, yet she doesn’t realize how damaging to the monarchy it is to have her kids act like morons? And she excuses any awful thing Andrew does. In my opinion, letting Philip “run the family” was a mistake. HM buried her head in the sand regarding her children and grandchildren in favor of letting Philip have some sort of power because, you know, he’s a man and if he’s not going to “run the country” he has to run something. *eyeroll*

          1. Prince Philip married the HEIR to the throne. What exactly did he think his position was going to be once she was Queen?!?! Every time I read something about his feeling impotent, I want to knock him in the head.

          2. KMR, I agree about letting Philip run the family being a mistake. He never knew what a family was and he carried his own shame into his position as head of the firm.

          3. I Think Philip like many thought his wife wouldn’t be queen until her 40s or so. So he would have had more time to do things in the military and with the family.
            I think Philip was allowed to raise the family since his wife ran the entire commonwealth.

          4. Absolutely Lorena. Maybe not until her 40s, but not for a while. They both loved the relative freedom they had when Philip and Elizabeth lived in Malta from 1949-1951. Anne was conceived at Dickie Mountbatten’s villa (Philip’s uncle). Philip was a first lieutenant of the HMS Chequers, the lead ship of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla of the Mediterranean Fleet, which was commanded by Vice Admiral Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten. Just before Anne’s birth in 1950 Philip was given command of HMS Magpie, his own ship with the rank of lieutenant commander. Elizabeth loved being able to going shopping or out to eat without being recognized (though she always had a Scotland Yard police officer and lady-in-waiting with her). They were even thinking about having another baby. But when King George VI fell deadly ill with lung cancer in late 1951, they had to return to Britain to stand in for him and the Queen. The Duchess of Edinburgh’s Private Secretary carried a draft Accession Declaration when they toured Canada and the United States in October/November 1951, in case the King died. They took over the reorganized tour of Australia and New Zealand which was supposed to have featured the King and Queen in 1949 but had to be postponed b/c the King developed a blocked artery in his leg. They stopped in Kenya Colony to relax and were in Treetops Hotel when the King died. At that time, men were supposed to be the head of the house. When the Queen became Queen, Philip became an afterthought, at least to the courtiers.

          5. I can’t help feeling sorry for QEII in this instance. It must have been absolutely awful for her that she couldn’t be by her father’s side at his last moments.

        2. Sugar, I think this is a sensitive and thoughtful analysis of what’s going on.

          I think Will could redeem himself by sharing George with Britain…their national “grandson..”. But instead, George been hidden away. I truly believe this has been a huge mistake.

          1. PR wise it is a bad move on his part. For the BRF to have any meaning and place in a modern democracy they need to be national symbols and that includes people having an emotional investment in them – both the present incumbents and the new generations, and it is really very easy for people to be charmed by a child. IMO they do it right in Scandinavia where the children are presented to the public through controlled apperances and photos.

            I certainly understand that he wants to shield his son from undue press intrusion but George also has to become comfortable with something that is going to affect his entire life. However, I do reserve judgement until he is older. He’s still a toddler and even in Scandinavia the children generally a kept out of the public eye for the first couple of years (excluding balcony apperances and photo calls).

          2. I’m glad you feel that way Dag; I know I personally appreciate the honest analytical conversation minus as much snark as possible. Will’s arrogance not to look and learn from other royal families, especially how they share their children is so disappointing. doesn’t he have any guy friends that can slap him? When did the Midds completely corral him? He seems to have no life outside them.

        1. The weird thing is, she dresses horribly so often.

          I think it’s more fascination with her weight loss.

          However, I am not of the opinion she has an eating disorder. But people love a slender person who has lost weight, gives the plebs hope or something.

          1. Yes, her clothing choices are often horrible. But there is something going on today all around the world where mediocre is celebrated. That’s in every area. Fashion, literature, film, etc. The truly unique just don’t stand out that much to the media and so they are not getting the attention that the mediocre are. Just how I am thinking today. Any thoughts?

  2. What is the queen’s motto? “I have to be seen to be believed”

    William has spent his life hiding and protecting his privacy and now no one is interested in him. Not surprising. No one believes in William. It doesn’t help that he comes across as very awkward and seems uncomfortable interacting with anyone who isn’t paddington bear and over the age of five.

    Another area where he and his team miss the mark are the charities he supports.
    Sure he is patron of centrepoint, but his last visit ended up being about waity’s nightmare hair. Not exactly a cause people lose sleep over.
    The issue he seems to support at least twice a year is the tusk and it’s hard for the average person to identify with the plight of elephants/rhinos.

    This is where Diana, Harry and even Charles excel; They support issues that people can identify with. Harry visits his charities and causes multiple times a year. He rarely does a token visit for pr.

    As for Charles and the baby… Not surprising to read. Did he really think he would be able to invade the bucklebury bubble?
    They trapped William years ago, there is no hope.

    1. This. He hides, complains, pouts, litigates at the drop of a hat, and then one day he sticks his head out the door and says “I’d like to be taken seriously now”. And, like, we’re supposed to swoon?

      Miguel Head, his private secretary is said to be more of a friend than an employee, hence his longevity. W has not yet realized, if he ever will, that he needs people around him who are smarter than him, who can provide objectivity in their advice.

      1. Completely agree.
        W&K only hire yes people. That’s why they brought Jamie back, he does their dirty work and elevates William above all others.
        They have a reputation for being difficult to work for. How long did it take to hire a new pr guru? An entire year! Absolutely mental!

        It should be said that Harry and his private secretary, the elf (Edward lane fox) are friends as well, tumblr is positive they share clothes.

        However, since Harry hired him, Edward has been a fantastic guide and support for hrh.
        IIRC his background is military, public relations, etc, which line up well with Harry’s interests.

        But William would never hire an elf. He lacks intelligence and foresight.
        In an interview, William bragged about how he treated the grey men. If they suggested something, billy would do the opposite. What a putz.

    2. Why is PW criticized for his choice of cause? Advocating for something is better than not advocating for anything. Kudos to PW for choosing something that no one knows of nor cares about. Maybe after a while, people will start to care for those poor elephants and obliterate the poaching and illegal ivory trade.

      Today, mental health is big. If you want lots of attention, be a mental health advocate. In the 90’s, AIDS was hot. Everyone talked about, studied about it, feared it. Infected people dropped like flies. And Diana was an advocate. I liked the land mines and especially leprosy. This disease is not talked about and I bet medical doctors didn’t study it at all in school.

      1. I don’t mean to undermine the cause. However, endangered species, while important, isn’t an issue that strongly resonate with your average joe.
        Wounded veterans don’t have nearly the amount of support and care that they deserve, especially in the UK.
        This is an issue, which normal people can identify with and support.

        I feel William does deserve criticism in regards to his commitment to charities. He shows up for a conference and a gala once a year and expects people to take him seriously and solve these issues.

        It doesn’t help that he hunts for sport, so it is seen as a hypocritical cause for William to take up.
        What imbecile goes boar hunting the weekend before a important conference on hunting? Billy boy lacks common sense.

        Harry does wonderful work these days and it’s true he has only really come into his own these past few years.
        Even so, he is seen supporting the causes he cares about multiple times throughout the course of the year.

        William and Kate are severely lacking in genuine commitment to their charities. No wonder it ends up being seen as a pr move and a number.

        1. “endangered species, while important, isn’t an issue that strongly resonate with your average joe.”

          One could argue that’s even more of a reason to support it. Because it doesn’t receive much attention.

          “[wounded veterans] is an issue, which normal people can identify with and support.”

          Not necessarily. I forget who it was, but one commenter said re Harry’s Invictus Games that they didn’t care at all about injured servicepeople having an outlet for their sporting events. And I personally don’t know any veterans let alone injured ones. So no, it’s not necessarily a cause people can identify with. There are certainly people who can, but that’s the same for all causes.

          People have their own opinions on charity and causes they wish to support, and it’s up to the individual to choose which cause they deem most important. One can disagree with them, and that’s totally fine, those people would probably disagree with others about their chosen “most important cause”. Someone who has gone through colon cancer would deem that cause most important and choose to support that research, whereas others may not care. Some may think intercity kids are most important while other may not care. It’s individual and I don’t think people should be judged too harshly for the causes they wish to support. If we don’t agree, that’s fine, we’ll support the causes we wish to support and let them do their thing.

          I also don’t necessarily think it’s fair to judge harshly the commitment to one’s chosen cause. Not everyone is passionate about charity, and those that are are passionate to varying degrees. And I don’t think people should be criticized for the degree or lack there of of their dedication to charity.

          Having said that, I do think it’s completely fair to judge the royals for their commitment to their charities. Their entire “work” is judged based on how much time they dedicate to their charities.

          I don’t think William should be judged for the type of cause he chooses to support, I think he should be judged for the commitment he makes to it. He has shown that he doesn’t really put much effort into his devotion to his causes – only shows up once or twice a year to certain charities, some he hasn’t visited in years. And when he’s there he looks so uncomfortable and insecure that it seems like he doesn’t even want to be there. And then of course he never says anything significant at all, just complains about George or Kate’s hair. He gives speeches that he clearly doesn’t prep for, just reads the speech someone else wrote off of a piece of paper and is constantly looking down. His lack of showing how much he cares about the causes he claims to care passionately for is the problem, and what should be criticized.

          1. I think he should be evaluted on how he engages with his causes. My problem with his conservation cause is the way he frames it exclusively in terms of the value elephants and rhinos have for humankind’s enjoyment of nature. The problem with this approach is that is that, conceptually, it is the other side of the way nature is exploited for profit. Philosophically, the use of nature for resources for human uses has gone hand in hand with the view of nature as a pleasant thing for people to enjoy. The way he has framed the argument until now comes off as entitled and paternalistic – the people that endanger these animals don’t really care that entitled toffs like William and his friends will mourn the loss of endangered species.

            I think it is much more important to frame the conservation issue on several fronts, both in terms of socio-economics and in terms of ecological danger. It is well known that if a spieces disappears from an eco-system the consequences can be unpredictable and possibly ecologically catastrophic (same as when a foreign species is introduced in a new eco-system).

            Speaking of conservation in terms of human enrichment (not monetary but in terms of enjoyment) misses the mark because poachers really don’t care about that. Often, they are poor people who need to put food on the table for their families and because there is a market, they can get more money than through other work. The market/demand needs to be eliminated, the people poaching need better and more stable sources of income and the local eco-systems need to be protected because the consequences can be far-reaching and potentially catastophic, not only for the animals but for people as well.

      2. “Kudos to PW for choosing something that no one knows of nor cares about.”

        Excuse me? You think William is the only person who cares about endangered wildlife, poaching and elephants? Have you heard of the WWF?

        “Prince Philip was the first President of World Wildlife Fund – UK (WWF) from its formation in 1961 to 1982, and International President of WWF (later the World Wide Fund for Nature) from 1981 to 1996. He is now President Emeritus of WWF.”

        William did not invent the interest in endangered species, poaching, and elephants nor is he the first member of the BRF to put time into the cause. He has picked something that was already in the news – endangered species – and chosen it because it allows him time with Jecca.

          1. It appears to have happened once, while on an official tour to India in 1961, and the hunt was part of the tour. Horrifies me, yes, but neither illegal nor unusual until a ban went into place in the late 70s. Maybe that was what inspired his WWF commitment? At least it happened historically during a time where that was common. Doesn’t make it any better, IMO.

            Frederik has stated a desire to kill a polar bear. It may be common practice in Greenland, and members of the DRF have worn polar bear trousers on tour and in photos. But why tell people you want to kill a polar bear? To many, a polar bear is an endangered species. To others, it is something that endangers their lives (if you live somewhere like Greenland).

            To me, his desire to kill a polar bear is at odds with his talk about global warming and concerns about preserving arctic areas. I also recognize that I am not a native Greenlander and do not have the perspective of one. Context, time period, attitudes, it very tricky balance even today.

    3. “he comes across as very awkward and seems uncomfortable interacting with anyone who isn’t paddington bear and over the age of five.”

      Yes. He is so uncomfortable and insecure that it seems like he hates having to interact with people during engagements. It seems like he hates having to do the engagement in the first place.

      1. Yes, he does seem uncomfortable. Yet, oh how adored he was as a teen and young adult. There was true love for William and Harry. I hope he feels that still. William may be uncomfortable at these events, but I think his heart is in the right place. He is Diana’s son, after all. And, Charles shows an ability to care about people and causes. I think William needs to relax and enjoy his position in life more. People really do want to care about what he does and who he is. I’m glad he has causes he seems to believe in and hope he will continue to do good work for those causes — not just make an appearance now and then. And, please, to the staff: Do your homework And, PW, do your homework, as well.

  3. I’m disgusted at the lack of preparation obviously not done for this tour – I’m even more disgusted that these supposed ‘charitable concerns and interests’ touted by the BRF are so poorly scrutinized. Right now, the lot of them are a total waste of space….

    1. There was an article published a few weeks before the tour, telling what it was like at that sanctuary and calling on William to refuse to go. They had plenty of warning and he went anyway.

  4. William is reaping what he has sown. He has stated over and over that he does not like the press in his life. Therefore, they are retaliating in a way by not really covering his events. On the elephant sanctuary visit, I fully believe he was aware of what was going on with the show down the road, but because of previous gaffes by his father and grandfather and the fact that this was a promotional trip between Britain and China, he really couldn’t put on his war suit and proclaim against it. I think his frustration showed in a video clip of the reporter asking him and him clenching his fists as he walked away from the questions.

    I do believe his staff is horrible. Both he and Kate have surrounded themselves with people who do are kissing their backsides, not competent in their jobs and/or are systematically throwing them under the bus.

    It’s obvious to us that George spends more time with the Midds that with the other side of the family and the new baby will get the same treatment. Not sure how they are going to change that unless both William and Kate make the effort. Unless of course William grows a pair and wants to involve his family. It’s really a shame that it appears that George is not as involved with his paternal side of the family as much as the maternal and it is also a great loss for him because they are the side that represent what his future life entails. The only thing Ma Midds can teach him is how to cling to his mothers apron strings and not work.

    1. “he was aware of what was going on with the show down the road, but… the fact that this was a promotional trip between Britain and China, he really couldn’t put on his war suit and proclaim against it.”

      Then why go? Go someplace else that doesn’t support animal cruelty. They had plenty of time to change venues. Now it looks hypocritical and like William doesn’t really care about the cause he claims to be so passionate about.

      It’s amazing to me how budget the team at KP is. They clearly don’t have their act together.

  5. Willy is a goofy man-child and it shows in these pictures. No reason to cover him. The staff quitting and going back to the Queen is not unusual. Many of the top-level staff are more royal than the royals. The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal, the Ladies of the Bedchamber, etc. are all titled aristocrats themselves, with their own palatal homes and staffs. The Lord Chamberlain’s great-great-grandfather was Prime Minister in the 1830s and 1840s. The top level staff at Buckingham Palace have their own dining room with their own servants to wait on them and their own monogramed cutlery to be served on. They expect a certain level of behavior and protocol. Since the parasite (Carole) is the one acting like a royal, I’m not surprised they quit in disgust. Some middle class society jumper trying to act royal wouldn’t cut any ice with me either.

  6. Just to play devil’s advocate a bit concerning Prince Charles and Prince George. I could see it being true that he doesn’t see his grandson that often, but I wonder if part of it is because he is still so young. How many royal parents not even grandparents spent that much time with their children until they get older. I would imagine that as George gets older he will be spending more and more time with the other royals – that is unless William and Kate interfere with that.

    1. Totally possible. Charles is 66 so I doubt he really wants to be around an infant and then a toddler too much. But seeing him for a bit and holding him until he cries would probably make him happy.

      1. He seemed happy and able around his young step-granddaughter at the wedding. They even used one of the pictures with her for their holiday card that year.

  7. “He tested the tea by smelling it” BURN! I love it. I do not see William growing into the POW like Charles has. Charles actually has fun and can see that he enjoys his role and has a sense of duty with it. I cannot see William doing this for at least a decade or more. He is ill suited and ill prepared. Even though the “men in grey” have their ways, they are efficient. He is not surrounded by people who know how to run the Firm. Or, worst case and most possible case, Will won’t listen.

    1. I don’t think William will ever really grow into his role. He clearly has no respect for the people who run the firm and doesn’t seem to give a toss about the responsibility and duty to the country. I think William will always be fighting it and the monarchy will suffer greatly because of it.

  8. Sophie was just at the DA set, touring a diplomatic visitor. Why is Middleton going? Just for personal enjoyment. Shouldn’t count as an official engagement to me.

    1. Sophie’s been to the DA set a few times now. Maybe Kate got envious and forced her people to arrange a visit?

  9. Thanks for the great post! I agree with so many others here, William has spent years treating members of the press like crap, ignoring them on other royal tours, never speaking to them and blocking any access to him or his family, now he is reaping what he sowed. While I get that he blames the tabloid press for the death of him mother and the topless pictures of Kate, I think it’s time he grows up a bit. The press will be here until the end of time and he must learn to deal with them. I did watch the most recent royal show, The Royals Reinvented on youtube and it really went into the press/royal relationship. The royals seem to expect the press to treat them as demigods while giving as little as possible back in return. It’s a shame really as many members of the family have great charities and causes that could be better highlighted if their press secretary’s got their act together.

    Too bad about Charles and George. While Charles and Camilla might not be the “crawl on the ground with the kids” kind of grandparents that doesn’t mean that George couldn’t benefit greatly from a closer relationship with them. Each set of grandparents has something unique to offer their grandchild and it would be shortsighted of W&K not to take full advantage of all they have to offer.

    1. Interesting article. It’s a couple of years old and a few things have happened since then. My main issue with the piece is that she assumes Kate is going to inherit millions from her parents and he has millions tucked away that will keep them incredibly happy for the rest of their lives should the monarchy fail. I honestly don’t know how well Party Pieces has or is doing, so I don’t know if her inheriting millions is a credible statement. Yes, they may well retire to Bucklebury. If the stories that circulate that he helped finance it is true, then he should live there.

      They’ve spent an incredible amount of money from other people’s pockets. They’ve become accustomed to spending other peoples money and a lot of it. I don’t know if they would like the fact that they would seriously have to do some kind of budgeting. They’d be able to take their trips to Mustique and where ever, but Kate just tossing it out the window like she does would be restricted. And I have a feeling William can be a bit of a penny pincher with his own funds. Kate’s jewelry has been noted to have been purchased by her, not by him, and I’m sure the bills are going to Charles.

      In any case, if William truly wants a “normal, middle class life” he should step down and adjust his attitude for the reality of what that really means. I don’t know many normal, middle class people who vacation in Mustique and Africa and hunt in Spain.

      1. I’d be curious to know how much of the cost of their lifestyle comes out of their own pocket. When you take away all the freebies, what Charles pays, what’s covered by tax payers, and what’s paid by friends, how much do they actually pay for?

        1. I’ve heard that the royals can’t accept freebies but they can accept discounts, which I’m sure are very steep. My guess is that they pay for food only as their rent is free.

          1. And I think that there are certain loopholes to them accepting freebies. Such as Carole and Pippa can accept them and then share them with Will and Kate.

      2. If they continue their lifestyle, they can’t just live off their millions. Servants are expensive!

        1. Security is the most expensive. If W&K had to pay for all their security guards out of pocket they’d be broke in a hurry.

      3. Interesting article. But, the writer suggests that William and Kate will live happily ever after thanks to her “saving him.” Do you see much happiness on his face when he’s with her in public? He seems bored to tears. Unless, that is just PW — being bored by the events they must attend.

        And, I agree with KMR: How would Will and Kate ever be able to afford their security? And, how much money can the Middleton empire really have? There are 3 Middleton children who will be expecting a piece of the pie, not just Kate and Will and PG.

        No, I still think Carole orchestrated everything from day one. Kate is not capable of rescuing anyone.

        1. I’m sure Ma Middleton will make sure the vast bulk of the estate goes to Katie. Did Pippa give birth to the future King? No. Did James marry the heiress presumptive of wherever? No. Willy and Waity will get it all if this continues. If they had to pay for their security (the Midds included) instead of leeching off the taxpayer, it would probably be around $30 million a year. Willy doesn’t have that kind of money unless he becomes Duke of Cornwall and then King. I doubt the Midds have that kind of money either.

    2. This article is still relevant. The pressure from the press is bound to get worse, not better. William has learned nothing from the Queen.

  10. Isn’t it odd that St. Patrick’s day has not been announced with all these other engagements being announced? I think that may mean she won’t be doing it. Although if they announce it later today I will laugh. Okay, not going to lie, but I wish my job was visiting the set of Downton Abbey. How is that work???? I will say though, I wish she worked like this all the time 4 engagements over 5 days!

    1. Usually they announce her engagements two weeks ahead of time, so I expected them to announce St. Patrick’s Day this past Tuesday, but they didn’t. Then they announced the DA set visit only a week out from the appearance. So it’s possible they may still announce St. Patrick’s Day. They haven’t announced it for William either. It would be odd to send not Will and Kate since Will is the Royal Colonel for the Irish Guards or whatever. But maybe they’re not going this year.

  11. PW needs Kate…No one care unless they are together. She gets more press going out to buy new shoes than PW gets on an important tour!! We all know this, so why is he on the trip without Kate??? PG is a Middleton! Carol is responsible for the growth and development of a future King of England, which means he will be all screwed up!!! HM needs to put the pressure on, she knows what we all see……Middleton = Disaster!!!

    1. Is a tour, where the only highlight is Kate’s lackluster fashion really better than nothing?
      It’s time they cut the losses with these two.

      1. to play devil’s advocate, I actually remember things from their Oz/NZ tour, like places they visited. Sadly it’s because I remember which outfit she wore to those places, but I do remember them. So there’s that.

  12. I have said it before, and i will say it yet again, but I think the Middleton millions is mostly myth and all they are really good at is getting other people (Carole’s brother and PW) to pay their way for them. If they really were worth as much money as it is alleged, they would be doing a lot more travelling (rather than a yearly trip to Mustique) and they wouldn’t have their son-in-law paying for their Dumbleberry (sarcasm intended) estate. I was surprised that Waity had never been to the States before that trip a few years ago. Hey, it’s not that expensive. I have serious doubts about Party Pieces. Who is running the company while Carole is raising PG. Does that company have any employees. Is their really such a huge market for mediocre children’s party costumes.
    I often wonder what Diana would think of them, or if PW would have even gotten mixed up with Waity and Mum had she not died when she did.

    1. They do have a business to manage, hence the lack of vacations. They actually work there, not just own it. Besides, they probably don’t like to travel and don’t upper clash social climbing English think America as uncouth, no class?

    2. Doubting Thomasina, I like what you posted. I agree with what you said, too. I also wonder just how much the Middleton’s Party Company is worth. I think Carole is very adept at schmoozing and using. William was quickly caught in the Middleton Net when Carole coaxed Kate on what William needed. I sincerely doubt that William would have even looked twice at Kate if Diana had not died when he was so young. He was looking for a maternal figure, Carole sensed that and she pushed Kate into Will’s life. He wasn’t strong enough to see what was going on. If and when he finally does, I wonder if he’ll extricate himself.

      1. Doubting Thomasina, I also like what you posted. I’ve wondered about Party Pieces for a long time too. I think they gain a lot of business because of the royal connection but in reality it’s mostly cheap stuff which has been promoted solely on the connection with William. I think it was a means to an end to get Kate and Pippa in the right places so they could meet William and Harry.
        I don’t know why people think this is a love story. If William had wanted to marry Kate then he would NOT have needed that talk from Carole. I feel sorry for him because he ended up in a situation that he could not get out of. I think he is doing the best he can in the circumstances.

        1. Cathy, I agree totally with you. Especially when you said if William truly wished to marry Kate, he would not have needed a push from Carole.

        2. William did plan on marrying Kate…eventually. If my daughter tossed her life out the window just to chase some guy around and gets abused by the press, I’d demand that they get married too, just to save face.

  13. Very interesting piece on the visit to Wild Elephant Valley by Prince William. I’m the reporter who first wrote about the planned visit in February in an article for the Mail on Sunday and I’m surprised it went ahead after that frankly. There was plenty of time to amend the prince’s itinerary after all and it seemed clear to me it wasn’t an appropriate place for him to visit … I’d be grateful if you could email me at as I’d like to look a little further into how this happened and the individuals responsible for the decision. Here’s the link to my original article …

  14. I’m appalled at the disloyalty which has Kate promoted over William. If Kate loved her husband and if their PR team wanted to support William then Kate would have stayed indoors so any press attention would be on William and not Kate. At least William was trying to promote the UK, what was Kate doing, really?

  15. It saddens me that William’s PR people and other staff members are not looking out for him. Saddens me, too, that he doesn’t take some responsibilities for his tours and appearances, too.
    If indeed, he was advised not to visit the elephant sanctuary due to the horror show going on with other elephants mile or so away, it’s shameful that he would not comment on this when asked. He does not seem to take his future role as King seriously. If he were more on top of things, more caring, more able to answer questions from the media and look as if he was in total control of himself, he’d be far more interesting a man. A better future King, too.
    I don’t know when he became so boring, so easy to dismiss. If Kate were on the trip with him, I assume everyone would be in awe of her. It’s a mystery to me as to why there is so much interest in her. She certainly has little charisma, little interest in others, or much passion for important causes. I guess it is her wardrobe that everyone is dying to see. Not that her clothes are that interesting to me. Or, maybe, the thought of another wardrobe mishap is what the media is looking for! Now, that I wouldn’t put past them —, or anyone else.
    I hope William wakes up. I hope he gets a backbone. I hope Prince Charles and Camilla do get to see more of little PG and the new baby, too. I hope Harry can reach his brother. Perhaps, he’s the only one in the Royal Family that William will listen to. Or, maybe Harry was. Now, the Middletons seem to be in total control.

  16. It looks like the press is starting to take the gloves off with William by asking a question that would put him on the spot. I think they’re getting fed up with his petulant ways and attitude.

    1. I’m just re-posting part of a comment I made on another side since it pertains to this discussion:

      To be fair it was an impossible position for William. Britain’s relationship with China is frosty to say the least. If he had spoken out against this issue while visiting the park he could have cause a potential internation incident since he was there as a representative of Britain. However, he couldn’t have downplayed the question either as it would make him look insincere in his conservation efforts and finally, just walking away, which he did, made him seem petulant and rude.

      It was a lose-lose situation for him and what I find interesting about the whole incident is the fact that it looks like the journalist deliberately put him in such a lose-lose situation! Methinks the British press is displeased with the petulant princeling and it will be interesting to see if this trend is going to continue.

      What I find intriguing is that the journalist very deliberately put him in a situation where almost any response could potentially cause offense, which made me think that the gloves may be coming off in the British press – and I find it interesting that it took place on a tour that everyone knew would be a diplomatic minefield.

  17. This is literally only a paragraph, but the Daily Mail is asking why Kate has never been to a state banquet since she’s been married.

    “The Duchess of Cambridge didn’t attend the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s banquet for the President of Mexico, which included the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York.

    Curiously, since marrying Prince William in 2011, Kate hasn’t attended a single state banquet. My source says: ‘It’s long been muttered about.

    The official answer is that, as they are not full-time working royals, it’s not for them to do yet. It’s odd, though.’ Might Kate outshine the royals, as Diana did?”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    That time that she wore the tiara, was that not a banquet?

    1. She’s the wife of the heir. Her position isn’t of any importance. Maybe they’ll teach her this stuff whenwheny get bumped up the line.

      1. Camilla is the wife of the heir, Middleton is the wife of the heir-to-the-heir as sugars are so fond of pointing out. HM could go at any time, Charles isn’t looking all that healthy. When HM dies it will be all hands on deck trying to prevent the Commonwealth from dissolving, which is held together with the sticky tape and little else.

        There will be no time for anyone to train this useless duo. That is what is supposed to be happening now, but W&K refuse to do the work and learn their roles. When HM passes, these two will be as untrained and useless as they are now.

  18. Late to the party – but here are my thoughts:
    I think Kate was actually suppose to go on this trip and her early pregnancy threw everything off. But once the plans had been made there was no way to disengage – so I don’t think either side (UK and China/Japan) was happy with just having William go by himself. The UK press may not have covered it much – I wonder how it was covered on the other side.

    As for Kate – the Downton Abby visit is simply because the series is close to coming to an end. The production right now is for Season 6 – and it is not known if there will be a Season 7.

    Hope she’ll be able to cope with her “busy schedule” of going to Church twice, visiting a movie set and an art gallery. At least she won’t have to talk to people at 2 out of 4 events.

    1. J, interesting article. Thanks for the link.
      Carole is one sharp lady. Knows how to get what she wants.
      Surely, every new mother wants her mother’s help, but Kate seems to be especially tied to her Mum’s apron strings. And, Carole loves it that way. Poor William I say, Grow up PW. And, Kate, grow up, too. You are already a mother, you know the ropes — a bit, I guess — put on your big girl pants and act like a mum.

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