Posts Tagged ‘Camilla’

Kate and Sophie watch Order of the Garter ceremony; Prince George attends first polo match

Garter Day was yesterday, and the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex all came out for the Order of the Garter ceremony/procession at Windsor Castle.  Kate and Sophie were spectators.  The others are actually in the Order.  Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was due to attend, but she had sinusitis and stayed home (Get well soon, Camilla).

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Kate showed up for Trooping the Color

Trooping the Color went down yesterday.  It marks the Queen’s official birthday—not her actual birthday, which was in April.  Trooping the Color originated as a means to show soldiers their regiment flag, so they would recognize their flag while in battle.  This was called, “trooping”, where they carried the flag down the ranks to show everyone.  In 1748, they announced it would also mark the Sovereign’s official birthday.  The flag being trooped this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards. Afterward, the Royal Family (including the Royal Holy Trinity: Kate Middleton, Prince William, and Prince Harry–they’re the tallest ones out of the whole family) gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a flypast.

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Queen joins Obama and other heads of state for D-Day commemorations (DoE, Charles, Camilla, Will & Kate join in)

Obama helps Queen, Putin is sidelined

“These men waged war so that we might know peace.  They sacrificed so that we might be free.  They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight.” – President Obama.

On June 6, 1944, the Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy.  To mark the 70th anniversary of that day, about 20 heads of state and world leaders gathered for a commemoration at Sword Beach.  There were a number of events the world leaders participated in, as well as meeting veterans.  The Queen laid a wreath at a memorial at the British War Cemetary in Bayuex.  President Obama made a speech at Omaha Beach.  There was a lunch for the leaders, and a group photo was taken.  The header photo is a photo of the Queen walking down the steps after the group photo was taken—yes, that’s Putin standing all by himself while others help the Queen down the stairs; really says it all.
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Camilla’s brother, Mark Shand, has died after hitting his head outside fundraiser in NY

The Duchess of Cornwall’s brother, Mark Shand, had died today following a head injury he sustained after slipping and falling outside a charity fundraiser in New York. Camilla is said to be “utterly devastated”. She and Prince Charles are said to be in Scotland at the moment, preparing for their trip to Canada.

Clarence House said:

It is with deep sadness that we have to confirm that the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother, Mark Shand, has today passed away in New York. Mr Shand died in hospital as a result of a serious head injury which he sustained during a fall last night. The Duchess, the Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss. Mark Shand was a man of extraordinary vitality, a tireless campaigner and conservationist whose incredible work through The Elephant Family and beyond remained his focus right up until his death.

Condolences to the Duchess and her family.

Links: Mirror article/live updates. Daily Mail article.

Kate becomes a godmother to university friend’s son (updated)

This post is dedicated to some Kate tidbits before I get to the reception with the Queen.  I didn’t want to make one super long post.

Apparently Kate has been asked by a friend from university to be one of the godmothers to her son.  Kate, William, and George went to the baptism in Essex Sunday morning where Kate became a godmother.  There were no pictures.  The source is the man who performed the baptism.  The article did not give a name of the friend or the child.

My first thought was, Kate has a friend?  And not just a friend, but one close enough to be asked to be the godmother of their child.  But then I thought, of course the person asked Kate to be godmother, now her child has a royal godmother, you know.  Kate was one of four godparents, so it’s not like Kate will be the one saddled with the “spiritual guidance” part.  Phew, right.

According to the Reverend, William was actually there to accompany Kate.  Is that surprising?  I think it kind of is.  Unless William was good friends with the person, too, then I could see him attending.  I don’t think William would care enough to attend an event just to support Kate.

They took George to the baptism.  He was reportedly well-behaved.  Maybe he’s grown out of his constant crying phase?

There are no photos, at least not yet.  Maybe some will surface.  I don’t know what to make of this.  It almost seems too good to be true, you know, what with Kate having a friend, William being there to support his wife, and George not crying.  But you never know.  I want pictures.  Congrats to Kate, and good for everyone involved, I guess.

UPDATE: The friends are Oliver and Mel Baker. Kate is godmother of their son, Henry. Oliver is one of the godfather’s of Prince George. Oliver has been friends with Will and Kate since university. So I guess we now know why Will was there, because it was his friend, too. And they probably brought George so Oliver could see his godson. Eh, sure. /UPDATE

Now with this next story, take it with a grain of salt.  It is about how Camilla thinks Kate’s hair is too long, and too dark (?), and should be cut, and lightened.  The original source is the Daily Star.  That publication is a low-tiered tabloid, right?  One where we probably shouldn’t believe most of what it says.  The article’s source is a “royal source” so who knows if it is right, or even real.  The odd thing is it says Camilla thinks Kate should go shorter and lighter with her hair.  The shorter bit I get, it’s the lighter bit that I don’t understand.  How is Kate’s hair color a problem?  Eh, whatever.  I thought I’d mention it.  I would believe that Camilla thinks Kate should trim her hair, or wear it up for royal duties (because if we’ve been harping on it for so long, you know the royals and courtiers are, too), but I don’t necessarily believe this particular article.  The “go lighter” bit is throwing me off.  Also, if a royal source wanted to leak this info, why go to such a low-tiered tabloid?  Clearly the Express is willing to publish the story.  Eh, whatever.

Royal Variety Show with Charles, Camilla, and Jesse J’s top

I want to talk about the Royal Variety Show that happened.  Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attended the event, and they greeted the performers after the show.  I am not going to list any of the performers aside from the one I want to discuss, if you care to read more about the show go here for the Daily Mail article.  Before I get into the criticism, I want to say something nice:  Camilla looked lovely.  She wore a “specially-commissioned midnight blue evening gown by Vivienne Westwood.”  I think she looks great, and I love her jewelry.  If there is one thing I really love about Camilla… girl loves her jewelry.  And I love royal jewelry, and she gives me the jewelry p0rn that I crave from any and all royal outings.  So yay!

Now onto the stupidity that is Jesse J.  Jesse J was one of the performers, and she met Charles and Camilla.  Jesse J wore two different outfits, one to perform in and one to meet the royals in.  I am going to hedge my bets before anyone can claim I’m a prude or something, I thought Jesse J’s performance outfit was pretty—the lace was pretty and well-placed, and while there was skin showing, it wasn’t in an ugly way—and it works for a stage outfit.  Her meet and greet outfit, however, was awful and inappropriate, and ugly.  The top showed a ton of skin, but not in a tasteful, pretty way like that stage outfit.  I was thinking, and the only way I could see that top being pretty is if it were in an editorial fashion spread, and the overall look was styled better. If you look at what the other people wore to meet the royals, they were in gowns, and the children that were right next to Jesse J were in cute little dresses.  They looked lovely, Jesse J did not.  It was tacky and inappropriate for meeting royalty.  Now, if she had not changed and this outfit was what she wore on stage, I could forgive it; but she changed outfits and deliberately chose the horrible, cut-out top.  There is a time and place for showing so much skin, and meeting royalty is not it.

Charles, according to the article, kept his eyes front, bless him.  What I really want to know, though, is what Camilla thought.  I’d love to hear the snide comments she made about Jesse J and her horribly tacky outfit.

Prince George christened, with official photos

Four Monarchs

These are a bit late—since Prince George’s christening was on Wednesday, and the official photos were released on Thursday—but here’s the official photos of Prince George’s christening—the first actual professional photos we have of the little guy, since Michael Middleton’s awful photos don’t count.  I have to say, they really photoshopped Kate to hell and back in the photos, she looks like a wax mannequin, especially in the one that is just her, William and George.  My favorite photo is the one of the Queen, Charles, William and George—four generations of monarchs, well technically one monarch and three (possible) future monarchs.  That type of picture has only happened one other time, in 1894 with Queen Victoria, and future kings Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII.  I love this photo so much—which is why I’m actually posting it—the only way I would love it more is if the Queen had been holding George.  The other photos are of the entire family—the Windsors and Middletons combined.  The one of William, Kate and George, where Kate looks super waxy but the baby is happy so that makes up for it I guess.  And one that is just the royals, where the Queen is looking at George.  I love that the Queen is looking at him; I wish they had gotten a photo with the Queen holding George, that would have been so nice.  But maybe she didn’t want to hold him, I don’t know.  It would have been nice to get a photo of Charles holding George as well.  Sadly that did not happen either.

Here are some links to the Cambridge’s official website with more details about the godparents and guests, the service details, the christening details, and some official photo galleries.

Here’s a close-up of George outside the Chapel Royal before the christening.  You can see he has brown eyes, like Kate.  I totally called that by the way, the press for some reason thought he might have blue eyes like William and Diana… ha!  Like that was ever going to happen.  The press wanted a beautiful blue-eyed, blonde baby (girl) who would replace Diana, but that was never going to happen… not with Kate’s brown eyes and hair.  George has brown eyes, and has some brown hair growing in.  Seriously, at least in his coloring, he is going to look much more Middleton than Windsor/Spencer.  I like this photo, though, he looks like a grumpy old man.  I love it.  Oh, by the way, George was super well behaved, at least in the short videos I’ve seen.  Unlike William who was fussy and crying the entire time.  Well done George!

Only twenty-two (22) people attended the ceremony:  the Queen and Prince Philip; Prince Charles, Camilla and Harry; Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole, and siblings, Pippa and James; Prince George’s godparents and their spouses (not all of them are married or else it would have been 23).  No other royal family members (except Zara but she was a godparent), and no Cressida Bonas—even though the tabloids were claiming that she had gotten an invite; they really want to marry Harry and Cressida off, it seems.  [For what it's worth there were denials that she was even invited, before the ceremony. Of course the denials come straight from Cressida/her people... but that's another story.] I don’t mind the smaller ceremony with no extra royals.  I know that the media and other royal watchers were freaking out that Charles’ siblings were not invited, but I don’t see it as a big problem.  Would you invite your parent’s siblings to your child’s christening?  I wouldn’t invite my mother’s brothers to my child’s christening, not because I am on the outs with them, but because they play no real role in my child’s life.  If I or my spouse had siblings, then they would be invited (as Harry, Pippa and James were), but they are the child’s aunts and uncles so it makes sense.  But the child’s great-aunts and great-uncles?  Nah.

George has seven godparents:  Zara Tindall (nee Phillips), William’s cousin/Princess Anne’s daughter; Oliver Baker, a friend of the couple from university; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, a friend of Kate’s from Marlborough College (who was totally a friend of William first, way before Marlborough—because Kate doesn’t have any actually friends of her own); Hugh Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster; Jaime Lowther-Pinkerton, the former private secretary to the Cambridges; Julia Samuel, a close friend of Diana; William van Cutsem, a friend of William and the son of a close friend of Charles.

Let’s talk fashion: Kate wore a cream Alexander McQueen dress with ruffles.  It’s not super awful, I don’t mind the color, matching is fine.  I would have gone with a color though, but apparently Kate wanted to match George.  I wonder if she’s going to go the matchy-matchy mother-son route from here on out, that would get awful.  I’m not a big fan of ruffles though, and this dress has a crap load of them.  Pippa also wore cream… eh, boring. And boxy. Goodness, Pippa, please learn to dress yourself better, or get a stylist or something.  Camilla wore cream as well, and I think she looks nice.  One of her better outfits, I think.  She doesn’t always dress her body to make herself look good, you know, but she looks really nice here.  The Queen wore a light blue and looked lovely.  The Queen always looks lovely, hats off to Angela Kelly who does the Queen’s wardrobe.  Carole Middleton wore a dark blue coat and what seems like a gray (?) dress underneath.  I actually think she looks the best here that I’ve ever seen her, usually she looks awful, but in this outfit she looks nice.  Zara wore a dark, navy blue.  She’s about six months pregnant and looks really nice; some of her pregnancy outfits haven’t been that flattering so it’s nice to see Zara looking so good.

Prince William will leave the military to focus on conservation

After almost a year of waiting for this announcement we have finally learned what Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is planning on doing with his life once his time with the RAF is over (which it now is).  We were supposed to know by the end of last year, then it was pushed back to the Spring, then it was pushed back even further and now here we are, his time in the RAF is officially over and we finally get the announcement that William will leave the military to focus on royal duties.  But don’t let that fool you into thinking he’ll actually work full-time for the RF; he’s taking the next year as a “transitional period” to focus on his charities and family while he decides what he’s actually going to do as a full-time, working member of the RF.  Because he couldn’t have figured that out during the year he used to decide what he was going to do with his future (stay with the military or leave).  This just means that his excuse for not doing royal duties and instead “working” for the RAF is gone, and he better step up his royal duties or else people will complain that he does nothing all day—since he doesn’t have a “full-time job” anymore. 

He will be focusing on his charities, including conservation, which he has already started expanding his work in.  It has also been announced that William has brought together “seven of the world’s most influential conservation organizations and the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry” in a partnership called “United for Wildlife”.  It is described as “a long-term commitment to tackle the global challenges to the world’s natural resources so they can be safeguarded for future generations.”  William will be the president of the collaboration.

William and Harry were at a BGC charity trading thing to mark the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.  Apparently they (and by “they” I mean Harry) cracked some jokes, one about William and his constant “baby talk” and another about not being who they said they were, or something.  I guess it’s a celebrity thing, Harry did this event in 2011 and at this year’s there were a bunch of other British celebs.  An interesting comment, though, is that broker Nick Thompson said that Harry seemed to be much more confident than William: “It was interesting listening to them both to see who was more confident. Harry took to it very well.”  Seriously, Harry would be a much better King than William; Harry connects to people more and is more confident in the role in general than William.

Prince Charles, Camilla, William and Harry attended the funeral of Charles’ close friend Hugh van Cutsem—he was 72.  Kate did not attend.

It is NOT okay to call her Princess Kate: titles clarification

There has been some confusion/controversy over Kate Middleton’s official title in the last few days.  It all started when Clarence House released an image of Prince George’s birth certificate and under “mother’s occupation” it said, “Princess of the United Kingdom”.  After this was made public, the media pounced on the “princess” reference.  They made a huge deal about Kate being called a princess, and a lot of reporters and fans were saying it is now okay to call Kate, Princess Kate.  Of course the rational, non-sycophants were very unhappy with this and pushed against those saying Kate is a princess and that it’s okay to call her Princess Kate by saying that Kate is not a princess but rather a duchess, since she was bestowed the title Duchess of Cambridge upon her marriage.  I would like to clarify things a bit:

When Kate married William she became, according to the palace, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus. 

Now, when a woman marries a man of rank, she automatically takes the same rank as her husband; but that does not mean she acquires this rank in her own right, it is contingent solely on her husband.  This is most evident with the wife of Prince Michael of Kent, because Prince Michael did not receive a peerage upon his marriage; his wife became Princess Michael of Kent and is known as such.  She does not hold the title “princess” in her own right, but only because it is the feminine of her husband’s title.  If Prince Michael had received a Dukedom then she would be titled “Duchess” since that would be the feminine of her husband’s title.  Basically, the “princess” title (or duchess, countess, etc) is like the “Mrs.” title for non-titled folk.  That is why she is not Princess Marie Christine, but Princess Michael.

Diana being called “Princess Diana” was actually started by the press—this was not her official title.  Her official title during her marriage was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay.  She, like Princess Michael, was not a princess in her own right, but a princess by marriage.  Had Charles not been the Prince of Wales at the time of his marriage, Diana would have been titled “Princess Charles”.  Had Charles not been the heir and was given a dukedom at the time of his marriage, Diana’s title would have been “Duchess” since that would have been the feminine of Charles’ dukedom title.  It was coincidence that Charles was Prince of Wales at the time of his marriage so Diana became Princess of Wales.  But she was never Princess Diana, not officially.  The press made that name up.

When Sophie married Prince Edward, she became Countess of Wessex, because Edward was given the earldom of Wessex and became the Earl of Wessex.  Countess is the feminine counterpart to Earl.  But she is also “Princess Edward”, because Edward is a prince of the blood.  Since Edward’s highest appointed title is Earl, however, Sophie’s correct title is Countess.  But Sophie is not, and will never be, Princess Sophie.

Upon his marriage, Prince Andrew was given the dukedom of York and became the Duke of York, so Sarah Ferguson became The Duchess of York.  She also became “Princess Andrew”, because Andrew is a prince of the blood.  But Andrew’s highest appointed title is Duke, so Sarah became a Duchess.  However, after their divorce, Sarah retained her title of Duchess of York (just like a divorced woman retains her husband’s last name), but she did not retain the title of “Princess Andrew”, because she is no longer married to a prince.

When William married Kate, he was given a dukedom and became the Duke of Cambridge; therefore Kate took the feminine version and became the Duchess of Cambridge.  She is also “Princess William” and would use that title had William not been given a dukedom.  But because William’s dukedom takes precedence, Kate is titled Duchess.  Kate is not a princess in her own right, just like none of the other married-in ladies are princesses in their own right, so it would never be correct to call her Princess Kate.  It does not matter what her occupation is (nor what William calls her, or she calls herself, when alone), her title is Duchess of Cambridge.  She should be referred to as the Duchess of Cambridge, or else it is incorrect*.  Unfortunately—for people like me—the press wants so much to have Diana 2.0, to have someone they can call “Princess” and that will sell magazines that they take this occupation listing as a clearance to call her Princess Kate, no matter what the palace says.  Of course, this will backfire since Kate will never sell well, no matter what they call her.  She is just not interesting enough for people to care enough to buy magazines with her on the cover.

Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Margaret are princesses of the blood, princesses in their own right and have the honor of being titled Princess [their first name].  Unless one is a daughter or granddaughter of the monarch (or, now that Liz changed it, a granddaughter of the Prince of Wales—of which there is not one since George is a boy) one is not a princess of the blood and does not have the honor of being titled Princess [first name].

Camilla’s title is a bit more complicated.  When she married Charles, she was not accepted much by the public, and Diana was still in most people’s minds.  Because the title “Princess of Wales” was so synonymous with Diana, Camilla chose not to use that title and instead took the feminine version of the highest of Charles’ subsidiary titles.  Charles is also known as the Duke of Cornwall, so Camilla became Duchess of Cornwall.  However, as much as Camilla detractors won’t like this, Camilla is also “Princess Charles”, just like all the other married-in ladies are “Princess [their husband’s name]”.  She could have taken the title “Princess of Wales” since Charles is the Prince of Wales, but she (or the palace) chose not to.

This whole mess is all thanks to William, who himself put as an occupation “prince of the United Kingdom”.  What William should have put as his occupation was “SAR helicopter pilot”, since that is his job; and for Kate’s occupation he should have put “unemployed”, since that’s what Kate is.  But he had to put “princess of the United Kingdom” and cause a huge mess with the press and sycophants and critics.  Thanks Will, I appreciate it.

*I and everyone else continuing to call her Kate Middleton are actually being very rude, since she did take her husband’s title when she married.  But the press continues to call her by her maiden name because she was an established brand for ten years before marriage and referring to her as anything else would throw off their archive system and everything else.  It has nothing to do with anything other than name continuity and recognition.  Of course, for me, she does not act like a duchess so I refuse to call her one.

The Cambridges left the hospital

The new Prince of Cambridge was born only on Monday, but there is a ton of baby coverage and articles surrounding every little thing.  Like, seriously, there are eight articles on the Daily Mail website just from today.  It’s ridiculous.  I don’t even want to bother reading it all, at least not tonight, too annoying.  I just want to cover the major thing that happened today (or yesterday, technically, since it’s after midnight).  The Cambridges went home from the hospital, giving the press their money shot that they’ve been waiting outside the Lindo Wing all this month for.  Go here for a picture of the family; here for a sweet picture of William holding his son; and here and here for close-ups of the baby.  It looks like he does have some dark hairs already, so cute.  I’m going to give the baby the benefit of the doubt, since he is only a baby and he didn’t ask to be born, whom to be born to, or what he looks like.  Until he does something worth criticizing him for, I’m going to leave him alone.  But that won’t stop me from criticizing his parents.  Just because they had a baby does not absolve them of their sins.

I do want to mention William and the way he presented himself today.  I watched the live feed of them coming out of the hospital and talking to the press, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much William really did seem to love and care for his son.  It really seemed like he was super happy to be a father and that he loved his son very much.  I still don’t think he cares much for his wife, but he really does love his son.  The interesting thing is that when Kate came out and down the stair of the Lindo Wing holding the baby, William had his arm on Kate’s back in a protective manner, but then once he had the baby he totally ignored his wife—when they were walking back inside and then even more when they came back out and got into the car.  William was back to his same old ignoring Kate ways, but he seemed happier than I’ve seen him in a long time.  He really is excited, I think, to be a father.  Good for him.

Carole and Mike Middleton visited the Cambridges in the hospital earlier in the day.  They arrived before Charles and Camilla, who also visited the Cambs in the hospital.  It’s interesting that the Middletons were the first to see the baby.  And then Carole went and talked to the media afterward.  Who does she think she is?!  Ugh.  I understand he is their first grandchild too and they should get to meet him, but this child is a royal and future (if the monarchy is still around) king.  Charles should get to see him first.  Of course Charles and Camilla didn’t arrive until just before the Cambs went home.  Whatever.  Maybe that is a bit of an overreaction, but that doesn’t make Carole any less of a snake-eyed manipulator who only sees a meal ticket when she looks at that baby.

As far as Kate goes, why does she still look pregnant after giving birth?  I get that she only had the baby 24 hours previously, and she would naturally still have a stomach, but that rounded of a bump?  Just seems odd.  A bunch of people have mentioned it on Twitter, too.  And on other late-night talk shows.  It’s not just me.  And it seems weird that Kate would wear a dress that would accentuate her bump when there is no baby inside it.  That seems odd to me, but whatever floats her boat.

When the couple came out, they took a few questions from the press.  William seemed really at ease—for him—and was joking around with the photographers/reporters and being a bit self-deprecating.  I think it was one of the best interviews I’ve seen from him.  Usually he is guarded and tense but it seems like being so happy about his son made him relaxed.  Of course Kate only answered like one question and before she did she had to look at William for… whatever it is she’s looking for when she looks at William before answering any question.  Permission, guidance, support?  I don’t know.  I thought overall Kate seemed a bit odd; she certainly wasn’t as relaxed as William during the whole thing.  I guess she seemed like she always does, uncertain and self-conscience.  Which seems odd since she was with her baby and answering a question about how motherhood was for her.  That seems like such an easy answer to give, but she had to look at William, think about it, and then give a response that was very vague and not personal.  She said the experience was, “very emotional.  It’s such a special time, I think any parent can probably understand what that feeling feels like.”  It’s a special time that any parent can understand?  Yes, but what are your feelings, Kate?  Why don’t you have feelings?!  Ugh, I would say she can’t say anything not-vague when she isn’t scripted, but even when she’s scripted she doesn’t say anything not-vague so…  She better get it together.

Kate wore a blue polka-dotted dress to exit the hospital.  Diana wore a green polka-dotted dress when she exited the hospital with William in 1982.  Do you think that’s a coincidence?  Hell no.  Kate and Mummy have studied Diana for years, I’m sure they planned the outfit out so that Kate would get more Diana comparisons.  And it worked.  Ugh.

One last thing, I promise.  The palace gave a 5 minute warning at 2:00PM ET (7:00PM London time) that they would be coming out.  Well they didn’t come out until well past 2:15PM ET.  It was annoying as hell.

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