This is a round up post for some British royal family tid bits that I didn’t get to during the week (I haven’t updated the blog since Tuesday, my bad), ahead of the America’s Cup event that Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge will be attending tomorrow.
I know this has already been talked about in the comments, but I’m going to mention it here anyway. Because we can add another woman to the list of woman discussing Duchess Kate’s unambitious, depressing, shop-window mannequin-esque lack of personality. Oxford University Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly commented on Kate being more of a 1500s consort than a modern day royal (though the palace and press keep pushing that narrative).
Kate and her old-timey ways: “It fascinates me that the Duchess of Cambridge is doing exactly the same kinds of things that a queen consort would have done at any time from 1500 on. The role has not changed at all, even though the Duchess is middle-class and British.”
Blood princesses have a world of opportunities while married-ins have a much more limited role: “Princess Charlotte may become an Olympic sportswoman, study medicine, or start a company… Prince George’s wife will probably go on doing the same kinds of things that consorts have been doing for centuries.”
The role of the consort: “Presenting as the emotional touchstone of a nation – producing an heir to the throne, make public appearances in a manner befitting ‘her royal husband’s wealth and standing,’ doing charitable work, participating in religious activities.”
Former foreign-born consorts were patrons of the arts: “The Queen’s House at Greenwich by Inigo Jones was begun for Anne [of Denmark] in 1616 and completed by Henrietta Maria [of France] in 1635. Anne and Henrietta Maria promoted the masque — a form of court theatre combining music, dance and drama. Catherine [of Braganza] brought Bombay and Tangiers to Britain in her dowry and patronised Italian painters and composers.”
Watanabe-O’Kelly isn’t exactly calling out Kate for anything here, she’s more commenting on how her research (on foreign-born consorts from 1500-1800) has shown her that the role of the royal consort has not changed since the 1500s. I just wish the palace and press would stop pushing their “Kate is a modern day royal” narrative when it is so clearly obvious that Kate wants to be from the 1950s – if Princess Charlotte’s christening is anything to go by.
Glamour was a bit more neutral in presenting the quotes, while the DM threw shade at Watanabe-O’Kelly for her “disparaging remarks”, but also threw shade at Kate by ending the article with the line, “By contrast, the only things Kate has introduced to society are her socially ambitious siblings James and Pippa.” That’s hilarious.
Switching gears, Tom Parker Bowles – son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – has given an interview to Daily Mail Australia to promote his new cooking show (where he’s a judge of some kind; I’m not entirely sure how the show works). He ended up talking about his mother, Camilla.
Camilla’s relationship with Duchess Kate: “They get on fine. I don’t think there’s any truth to [the rumours of tension]. Well, I can’t guarantee for sure, but I think that’s all bulls**t.”
Camilla’s role as grandmother: Tom says Camilla adores children and is the archetypal doting grandmother. “She’s great, great fun.”
Camilla does not cook: “She doesn’t really cook, to be honest, but she taught us to eat what’s in season and my stepfather is a huge fan of suet gaming pudding with pheasant.”
Tom doesn’t tell Charles what to eat: “He wouldn’t dream of doing the paleo diet, what a lot of nonsense. And I wouldn’t dare tell them what to eat.”
Camilla loves Australia and hates flying: “They’re coming out in November to Australia. She doesn’t particularly like flying, it’s a long flight, but she’ll be all right, she’s excited about coming out. She loves Australia and fell in love with it when they toured the country in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. She’s very excited about it, she’s fascinated by what goes on in the country.”
Sure, I can believe Camilla and Kate get along well… when they actually see each other. My thing is, is that I don’t think they spend a lot of time together outside of family get togethers, engagements, or when the Cambridges are visiting Charles. And even then, I doubt Kate and Camilla hang around each other much. They are cordial, there’s no beef, but they’re not super close either, you know. At least that’s my feeling.
In an update from Tuesday, Prince George celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, July 22, with a birthday party at Anmer Hall. The Queen, Prince Charles, and Camilla all missed the party, but Prince Philip did manage to attend for about 30 minutes. Philip was photographed driving himself to the party. Oh, and William got the day off so he could attend the party, too. [Express]
Also, on July 22, the Grenadier Guards played “Happy Birthday to You” during the Changing of the Guard to celebrate George’s birthday. I wonder if they paid the royalty fee to Warner.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 22, 2015
Keeping on the Prince George train, royal photographer and boyfriend of Duchess Kate’s assistant Natasha Archer, Chris Jackson, did a thing with the Daily Mail where he talked about his favorite moments from George’s life so far. Jackson talks about a number of photos but I’m just going to quote his comments on how George is similar to William.
George gets his #GrumpyFace from William: “You can certainly tell where Prince George inherits that look from. [A photo of William at a similar age] shows Prince William looking very unamused as he is carried by a smiling Diana onto a plane in 1983 in Aberdeen.”
George gets his entertaining streak from William: “Looking at the photo of Prince Harry’s christening, it is not hard to see where Prince George gets that entertaining streak from. Much like Prince George at Princess Charlotte’s christening, we can see that Prince William has been stealing the show for years.”
Which is interesting because Richard Kay recently did an article comparing Prince George to Prince William and explained how William was much more of a terror when he was younger than George is now. Seriously, William was a major royal a-hole.
Photos: Mario Testino via Kensington Palace / Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal