I have a bit of clean up on a Kate Middleton quote from Friday, and then the rest of the post is the start of Sophie Countess of Weesex‘s DofE Award Diamond Challenge. I’ll be covering the Swedes tomorrow.
UPDATE: Prince William really wants you to know he’s such a Normal Bloke with his air ambulance job. But I’m too tired to make it it’s own post so I’m tacking it on to the end of this one.
On Sunday, I quoted People magazine quoting Kate during a group discussion with parents of kids at Stewards Academy, and I kind of called her out a bit on the quote, and I know others called her out on the quote as well. Well, the Heads Together Twitter account produced a video of the group discussion in which you can hear Kate speak.
People quoted Kate as saying: “It’s all about standing up there and being super-confident, being super sociable…” To which I said “I’d really love to know what the ‘it’ is in that sentence and what People cut out with the ellipses.” Well, here’s the full quote from the Heads Together video:
“That’s what the vision is for everyone to stand up there and be super confident and be super sociable and have loads of friends, when actually it’s fine to be shy, it’s fine, you know, it’s accepting these things.”
So People misquoted her and misrepresented her by cutting out the entire point of her sentence: that it’s okay to be shy.
The reason I’m bringing this up is basically to apologize to Kate. I was working with limited knowledge and made a judgement based on what I knew, but she actually gave a nice quote there. It’s totally acceptable to be shy if that’s what you want to be. The point is to be who you want to be, and if you want to be shy then there is nothing wrong with that. The only nitpick I have is that she should probably have said it to the kids, rather than the parents, but that’s a nitpick.
The quote begins at 1:50.
"It's fine to be shy, it's accepting those things" – The Duchess talking to other parents about their kids' worries pic.twitter.com/tPytlGXbCs
— Heads Together (@heads_together) September 19, 2016
Sophie started her DofE Award Diamond Challenge yesterday, September 19. She began at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh being waved off by her husband, Prince Edward, and father-in-law, Prince Philip.
Prior to the start, Sophie gave an interview with Sky News (there’s a video, too):
How she’s feeling: “Nervous, very nervous. Quite terrified.”
How’s the training been going: “It’s been going quite well. Fingers crossed that the training, they keep assuring me that the training is the hardest bit and that I’m now really ready to go. So I’m hoping that really was the hardest bit. But I’m in Scotland and there are quite a lot of hills between me and the south.”
Why she took on this challenge: “No. I hadn’t ever been on a road bike before. Well I was asked to take on a challenge in support of the Diamond appeal for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. And why cycling, that’s a very good question; it was part of another idea that I came up with which was going from Scotland down to the south but I wanted to involve kayaking and walking and sailing as well but it got very complicated so I thought keep it simple and decided cycling was probably the best thing to do.”
The training hasn’t been smooth: “There have been a few thrills and spills, not just by me I hasten to add. The first one was within ten feet of the car when I put cleats on for the first time and they came straight off again because you realize you can’t move your feet out of the pedals. But yes we’ve met with the wrong end of a plank as well and there’s been various corners where one or the other of us have not been able to uncleat in time and have ended up in hedges or unfortunately down on the road and that’s where it really hurts.”
Prince Philip’s response to her challenge: “‘You’re mad’ was probably his first response. Since then we have spent time up in Scotland on holiday with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and they watched me out there every day. I think he is pleased I am supporting his charity. They know why I am doing it but (I’m) probably slightly mad as well, it helps.”
Sophie has written a blog about the first day of her challenge:
“After a wonderful send off from Holyroodhouse this morning, with my husband, Father-in-law and inspirational DofE young leaders to wave us off, we headed out of Edinburgh under clear blue skies. Having never experienced any problems with the bikes before, of course Rachel and I both suffered chain malfunctions within 30 minutes of departure. Fortunately it happened some way into the ride and not in public view – without a chain you can still peddle but you won’t get very far!
“The villages soon started to fly past and after two hours and 25 miles it was time for our first pit stop in the town of Lauder. Quite what they thought of a group of people in brightly coloured Lycra descending on the place and eating them out of cake I don’t know but they were very welcoming!
“Cake is proving a theme for the day after one of the DofE young leaders from this morning, a Gold Award holder with great experience of expeditions, told me how her Aunt’s fruit and coconut cake had kept her going. Unbeknown to us she had also delivered some to the DofE to pass on, so much of the day was spent sampling this very delicious recipe (thank you Auntie!).
“Our next stop was in the historic town of Jedburgh where we had a few moments to look at the ruined Abbey and stop for lunch (in a very salubrious car park!). Before long we were back on the road and it was time to head up the hill that marks the border into England, posing for some pictures on the way. The hills have actually been a pleasant surprise (so far). I had built them up in my head into walls of doom but they have not been nearly as brutal as I had imagined. Long may that continue!
“After over five hours cycling I noticed my energy was starting to dip. Looking down I realised we had cycled over 70 miles and were thankfully not far from home for the night. It’s been a great day and I’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve had good fun, keeping each other going up the hills and on the long roads, Rachel has even offered to sing, but thankfully we haven’t had to resort to that…yet! Roll on tomorrow!”
Sophie’s Just Giving page is here – she’s up to £104,804 as of time of posting.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 19, 2016
Considering how few people cared about Sophie’s writing about her training, and how many other royal things I want to cover before William and Kate’s tour starts on Saturday, I probably will only cover Sophie’s challenge again once she completes it. Until then, here are some more photos from Day 1 of her challenge, including a photo of her and Edward with a goodbye smooch.
Pay attention to Prince William, you guys. He works super hard at his air ambulance job and he just wants you to know how hard he works. But don’t call him Prince William – he’s just William Wales, Normal Bloke.
William has done a thing with the BBC Future project to promote East Anglian Air Ambulance and National Air Ambulance Week 2016. William and his EAAA comrades have given an interview to the BBC about their job.
You can view all the photos and videos at the BBC Future’s interactive gallery. I’m too tired and unwilling to transcribe all of what he says, but I transcribed him talking about how his air ambulance job is rewarding in ways that his royal job is not.
“It’s rewarding when I come here to do this job and I really look forward to coming here every day, whether it’s five thirty or going to bed at two in the morning, the shift work is still exciting and it’s challenging for the variety more than anything. And the fact that I love working in a team. And that’s something that my other job doesn’t necessarily do, I’m sort of, you know, you’re more out there on your own a little bit, but I very much enjoy working with the likes of James and the team and it’s good fun.”