**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.