This Royal Round Up includes an update to Prince Harry‘s schedule, some Prince William and Kate Middleton news and follow up on their privacy letter, and other British royals commemorating VJ Day.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Today, August 19, is Crown Princess Mette-Marit‘s 42nd birthday. Happy Birthday, your royal highness!
Kensington Palace announced yesterday that Prince Harry will visit the United States, South Africa, and Lesotho in the fall.
Harry will visit Washington D.C. at the end of October to attend events connected to the 2016 Invictus Games to be held in Orlando, Florida.
From November 26 to December 4 Harry will visit South Africa and Lesotho. Harry is visiting South Africa at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to carry out a program of engagements on behalf of HM Government. His visit to Lesotho is on behalf of his charity Sentebale, where he will officially open their Mamohato Children’s Centre – the newly-built flagship facility to serve all of Sentebale’s work with vulnerable children in Lesotho.
As we know, Harry is currently in southern Africa working on his conservation work. He is due back in mid-September. Once he returns, Harry will work as a volunteer with the Personnel Recovery Unit of London District, where he will assist soldiers with their rehabilitation after being wounded or injured in service.
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Firstly, according to the Sunday Times, Prince William and Kate Middleton will attend the State Banquet during the State Visit from China in October. Here’s the article in which this news appears, if you can get past the paywall. If this is true, it will be the third time we will see Kate in a tiara (after her wedding, and that diplomatic reception in 2013). She wore the Cartier Halo for her wedding, and the Lotus Flower for the diplomatic reception. It will be interesting to see which tiara she wears to the banquet. But more interesting for me is whether Kate has the Queen’s family order yet. Diana received hers about 18 months or so after her wedding and Camilla had hers by two years in. Though, Sophie only got hers after a good seven years or so, and Fergie never got one. So I am very interested to see whether Kate has it yet. Of course, they only ever release photos of the Queen, Philip, and foreign guest, so there will not be any good photos of Kate in a tiara. But depending on where she sits, we may see a glimpse of her on the video of the Queen’s speech like with Camilla in March, or perhaps in pap photos in the car on the way in or out as with the diplomatic reception.
Then in November, according to Katie Nicholl, Kate and William will take the kids to Mustique. Because wearing a tiara for a few hours is such a chore that Kate will need a good week-long vacay after that.
Next up: William was spotted at a wedding with Pippa Middleton this past weekend. Kate was supposed to attend, and was first said to have attended. But those reports were wrong as she pulled out at the last minute. Like, so last minute that Kate’s name was still on the seating plan. The Mail is correct that Kate has missed a lot of weddings that William went to alone in the last couple of years. And Kate also missed Mia Tindall’s christening last November. But the Mail is incorrect when they say that Kate went to 0 weddings in the two years after she married. She went to a ton of weddings in the two years after she married. It wasn’t until 2013 that she started missing so many weddings.
In the wake of William and Kate’s, via Kensington Palace, request for privacy, there has been lots of commentary.
First, Richard Palmer at the Express is still upset about KPs letter. He wrote an opinion piece criticizing KP for their demands, bringing up William and Kate’s spending habits and lack of work, and seemingly taking pot shots at certain Kate superfans. Palmer raises some very valid points in his article, but his view can be summed up with these two sentences:
“Like most royal reporters and photographers, I don’t want to be restricted to portraying the Royal Family completely on their terms, exactly as how they dictate it, ‘allowing’ me to cover just events where they want publicity. To fulfill my responsibilities towards our readers, I want the freedom to portray them in the way that is closest to the truth and that means, just as a biographer would do, writing about all aspects of their life, not just the small amount of time that they are on public duty or show.”
The Daily Beast has an article basically saying that both paparazzi photographers and the British press pack give no you-know-whats about Will and Kate’s letter. The entire article can be summed up with this quote from Jo Piazza:
“Celebrities, and make no mistake, that is what Will and Kate are, have long tried to shame the photographers into not taking pictures of their kids. It has worked in that large publications no longer publish unauthorized photos. But other outlets do, so the pictures will continue to be taken. It is a question of supply and demand. It is by no means right or moral, but at the end of the day, the demand is there and there is a market for these kinds of pictures.”
It think it’s interesting that William and Kate are playing the “morality” card in the first place. It’s really the only card they have here. It is not illegal to take photographs of children in public places without the parent’s consent. So legally, KP has no leg to stand on. All they have is the morality card. But the problem is, is that morality is not universal. The morality card may work on some people but it will not stop paparazzi taking photos of George nor will it stop magazines and websites from publishing them.
Apparently Jason Knauf gave a quote to the Guardian:
“The Duke and Duchess simply expect publishers to do the right thing when it comes to protecting their children. They are happy to provide official photos, but it is not part of a deal. We don’t buy into the argument that giving out official photos stops the paparazzi problem. Gentleman’s agreements are a thing of the past. They don’t work when you have overseas publications ready to print anything they like.”
Again, morality is not universal. “The right thing” is not the same for everyone. But what interests me the most about this quote from Jason is that he seemingly threatens not to release any photos of George or Charlotte at all. Like, only if the press do what they want will the Cambridges release photos. If not, they will withhold all access to the kids. Because that wouldn’t drive up the bounty on those kid’s head or anything. I understand that Will and Kate think this is a problem, but if they want to stop it they are going about it the wrong way. Pity party letters, threats, lawsuits, and hiding the kids are only going to make the problem worse.
August 15, 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) and several British royals were out for commemoration services. The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duchess of Gloucester all attended a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London.
Japan announced their surrender – and officially ended World War II – on August 15, 1945 with the official signing of the surrender document following at a ceremony in Tokyo Bay on USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.
The Queen wore her light pink suit and hat with the Cullinan V Brooch she last wore to the VE Day commemorations in May.
Sophie repeated an Emilia Wickstead coat she debuted at Ascot in June, a Jane Taylor hat from 2012, and pearl earrings from Heavenly Necklaces.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall commemorated VJ Day at Horse Guards Parade where they attended the Drumhead Service and Charles laid a wreath.
Following the service at Horse Guards, Charles and Camilla attended a Royal British Legion reception in the College Gardens, Westminster Abbey where they met with veterans.
Camilla – in a repeated a mint green dress and hat from Ascot Day 1 in June – danced with Royal Navy Veteran Jim Booth, aged 94.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan also took part in VJ Day commemorations in Tokyo.
Photos: Sølve Sundsbø/The Royal Court / Invictus video screengrab / Getty