Harry’s ski trip links him to a Kazakh dictator: how much backlash will he get?

Man, the Royal Holy Trinity just can’t win as of late, can they.  Prince Harry is now facing some backlash following his ski trip to Kazakhstan because of the human rights issue of vacationing in a country with a poor human rights record, and in association with an oligarch who is close friends with Kazakhstan’s dictator president who has been accused of all sorts of human rights violations.

To recap, Harry and Cressida took a trip to Kazakhstan from March 13-16.  They took a private jet to get there.  They stayed at a resort that is partially owned by oligarch Serzham Zhumashov, who is close friends with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.  Harry and Cressida, and their friends, were given free use of a government helicopter to take them to and from the slopes every day.

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Prince Harry takes Cressida Bonas on a ski holiday to Kazakhstan

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas reportedly took a ski holiday to a resort in Kazakhstan.  It’s some luxury resort frequented by wealth Russians.  They were there from the 13th to the 16th of March (Thursday to Sunday). They flew in a private jet and then used a Kazakhstan government helicopter to go heli-skiing (whatever that is). Here are two pictures taken by Russian tourists, apparently, and posted by Emily Andrews of the Sun.

Some questions: why did they use a government helicopter? It was a “private” holiday. And um… doesn’t Cressida have a job?  Why is she able to take a vacation mere months after getting a new marketing job?  It’s kind of like how Dave Clark works at Virgin Galactic yet manages to find all this time to trot after Princess Beatrice all the time.  Who pays for these luxury vacations?  They’re “private”, so does that mean Harry pays out of his inheritance (which came from the money Diana got in the divorce, which came from Charles and the Queen from the money they get from the state, so basically William and Harry’s money all came from the taxpayer—or the bank through interest), or Charles from the money he gets from the Duchy?  The security obviously isn’t paid for privately.  I wonder how many protection officers they took with them. It’s a luxury chalet, I wonder how much that cost. And of course the private jet they took to get there. Did Andrew set them up with a Russian oligarch who let them use the place for free? And again, why did they use a government helicopter for a private ski trip? No offense to Kazakhstan, but it seems like a strange place for a British royal to go vacationing. Don’t they usually prefer Verbier for skiing?

Prince William: spoiled brat who wants a job in the Foreign Office as an excuse to put off full-time royal duties, or modern, independent royal?

There are two bits of William news I would like to discuss.  First, there is a Mirror article about his next career move (hint: it’s not full-time royal work).  Second, there is a Robert Jobson article about how William wants to modernize the Monarchy by doing things “his way”.

William reportedly wants a job in the Foreign Office to help prepare him for when he is king.  It would be a “full-time position” as he is keen to have a full-time job—as long as it has nothing to do with royal duties and allows for lots of vacation time.  A source said: “He will come to the end of his ‘transitional year’ in the autumn and has made it clear he wishes to begin full-time work again.”

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Prince George’s Spanish nanny has a name

Prince George’s Spanish nanny has a name: Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Maria went to Norland College, the prestigious nanny training college whose nannies are so coveted by celebs and royals (for the full Norland College advertisement, see the links below).  Maria is a full-time nanny, she started a few weeks ago, and she will be accompanying Will, Kate and George to Oz and NZ.  Maria will be living at Kensington Palace.  She supposedly doesn’t have a husband, boyfriend or children and is “married to the job”.

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Prince William knights doctor who delivered George, and other news.

Random info: Whenever I see the word “doctor” followed by the word “who” in a sentence, I automatically think of Doctor Who, the television show.  I’m a Whovian.

There is some random Kate and William bits to report:

  • Prince William knighted the man who delivered Prince George.  Sir Marcus Setchell (as he is now known) was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order yesterday at Buckingham Palace.  William performed the investiture.  Setchell saved the lives of Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor in 2003, when he delivered Louise a month early via cesarean.  Sophie almost died.  If Setchell was going to be knighted, he should have been knighted for that, not for delivering George.  I do love that Setchell is so “I don’t give a sh-t” about delivering George.  He said, “[delivering George was] just the same pleasurable, lovely experience [as every other delivery].”  Links:  Express article.  Telegraph article.
  • William and Kate have reportedly made a donation of £5,000 to the town of Rhyl in Anglesey somewhere in Wales that is near Anglesey to help with the flooding and flood victims.  It was a “private” donation.  I don’t know what that means and don’t know where the money came from.  This is good, I guess, right?  The number’s kind of small, though.  They spent more on their vacation.  Links:  Telegraph article.
  • William, Kate and Harry attended a black tie, Chairman’s dinner at Buckingham Palace Monday night a Patrons of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry (damn that name is a mouthful).  Kate wore a long, white dress.  Links:  Rebecca English twitter.  Richard Palmer twitterNiraj Tanna twitter.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex gets emotional during visit to hospital that saved her life during birth of Lady Louise

The Countess of Wessex has been getting a lot of coverage lately—which is awesome.  Yesterday, Sophie visited Frimley Park Hospital where she nearly died giving birth to Lady Louise in 2003.  Sophie suffered a placental abruption at 36 weeks which caused her to lose a lot of blood.  Marcus Setchell delivered her via an emergency cesarean one month early.  Lady Louise was taken to St George’s Hospital’s neonatal unit in London for two weeks.

Sophie was at the hospital to open the new neonatal unit.  It was the first time she had been back since she gave birth to her son, James, Viscount Severn, in 2007.  The unit was funded by the Frimley Park Hospital Charity’s Saving Tiny Lives Appeal.

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, shows off her hockey prowess

The Countess of Wessex was out and about yesterday (March 11), visiting the England hockey team at Bisham Abbey National Sports Center in her role as Patron of England Hockey—she’s been patron since January 2007.  Sophie talked to the staff and players and got in on the action by playing a bit with player Shona McCallin.  From the pictures, Sophie seemed to really be enjoying herself, which is great to see.  She was presented with an England Hockey jersey.

The men and women’s England hockey teams will compete in the Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands in June and in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in August.

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Prince Edward and Sophie visit primary school on his 50th birthday

To celebrate his 50th birthday Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited Robert Browning primary school in Walworth, London to observe work being carried out by Kidspace, a charity preventing childhood bullying, who received money from the Wessex Youth Trust. The Wessex Youth Trust is a charity set up in 1999, after the Wessex wedding, that has granted £1.3 million to 154 charities since it’s inception.

Prince Edward and Sophie

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