Royals Round-Up, February 19th, 2016


This week’s Royals Round-Up brings you the return of Maxima, some wacky hats, a SOLID Rando Royals Wikipedia Deep Dive, and all the details from Wills and Kate’s outing yesterday, which I was unable to bring you in a more timely manner because I was on a plane when the photos all came in. More for today, right?

Elsewhere:

– While we’ve got you here, I’m sure you’ll hear more about this from us in the next few months, but The Royal We comes out in paperback in a couple of months, and it’s available for pre-order NOW. Can I entice you by noting that it has a bonus chapter? (It’s not new plot, but it is a look at an event in the book from the POV of another character.) (It also has a new cover for the paperback, so if you were in love with the hardback cover…FYI.)

The Royal We is the book club pick this month for Forever Young Adult — despite not being a YA book! We got a special dispensation — and they actually made us our own cocktail.

– The Court Jeweller has an interesting piece on the on-going discussions of whether or not the Koh-i-Noor should go back to India.

– At Order of Splendor, an interesting tidbit on Imelda Marcos’s Cartier tiara, which is going up for auction. (Don’t worry; I know Imelda is not royalty, but you know. Tiaras. Of interest.)

– Good lord. OK! says Kate is pregnant again. Let me be clear: OK! will never, ever EVER EVER get the scoop on this. Anything you read about Kate in OK! is literally complete fiction. If that news is ever leaked — doubtful, because the W&K set is famously close-mouthed — it’s because someone sold the story. And no one in a position to sell that story would go to a third-tier US tabloid. They’re going to the Mail, or the Sun, or even People. 

– Speaking of the DMIK, this made me laugh. I apologize: “The entrepreneurial younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge is moving to Hong Kong next week to expand his personalised marshmallow business Boomf.” As one does!

– At People, a sweet story about Wills and Kate’s trip to Anglesey on Thursday — that is, as Kate put it, where they started their lives together.

– Also at People: The Reluctant Royal! Belgium’s Prince Laurent Says: ‘I’m Tired of Being a Prince’ You don’t even have that much prince-y stuff to do, dude!

– Speaking of people who are very possibly not that thrilled with duties demanded of a role they were born into, this was a very interesting read at The Guardian: The Sun gives both barrels to Prince William. This is something I find fascinating. If you’ve read The Royal We, you know it’s actually something we get into a lot in the book: Wills has a LOT of privileges but he also has very little choice about how to live his life, all because of to whom he happened to be born. The only option is to suck it up, basically — and, yes, yes, yes, I know: he’s got plenty of money and lot of advantages and I am not discounting that at all. But I think that if you are born to be king and haven’t the constitution for that kind of life, one that also requires your child to be in the exact same situation, it would be a recipe for resentment (especially if you perhaps privately think the monarchy is a relic, and that the role of king will be essentially meaningless by the time it gets to you). I personally think the best option is to go the Princess Anne route and work your ass off for charities that are meaningful to you — you cannot undo the family into which you are born — but I also think that if you are Prince William, you’re born into a construct that is designed to make you spoiled and then asks you to be utterly selfless. It’s got to be kind of a mindfuck. (And I’ve got like 486 more pages of thoughts where this came from!)

– In related news, it seems like there’s a case afoot for Anne:

[Photos: Getty, PA Wire]

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Comments (150):

  1.  Michaela
    +14

    Anne’s coat is great.

  2. Kathleen Trail
    +2

    I’m in the Forever Young Adult Book Club Austin chapter and I think most of us had already read (and LOVED!) The Royal We before it was “assigned” as our February pick. And yay for the bonus chapter!

  3. ACA
    +26

    Jessica, I will happily read each and every one of those 496 pages of Thoughts About William should you ever choose to write them.

    • Alex
      +3

      Me too!

    •  Sue R
      +14

      I can’t decide if William is acting like he doesn’t want to be king or if he just figures/hopes it’ll be so long until he’s there he’s got all the time in the world to become fully invested. Harry seems to have much more enthusiasm for his role. Not that I have any reason to care except that I want my bread and circus of clothes and jewels on parade. Anyhoo, actually Kate seems to be coming around to something of a stride having identified children’s mental health as a good, underserved cause. Maybe she’ll be out and about on a more regular basis, which is more interesting to me than William anyway.

      •  kat
        +15

        I think William knows that whatever he does part of the press will be gunning for him anyway – so he just does what he wants. And he made it quite clear that he intends to enjoy a ‘normal’ life with wife and kid as much as possible as long as possible – apparently with the Queen’s blessing.

        The Sun is clearly pissed by his attempts to control the spin. He (and his team) seem to be quite good at it. The decision to release pictures of George and Charlotte by the DoCam was very clever and shows that he knows what he’s doing. I would very much enjoy to see Kensington Palace release a couple more pics over the next few days in retaliation. They’re probably to classy for that though.

        •  Macy
          +4

          Agreed. The Sun has its own agenda – but it doesn’t appear to have much traction. The comments following that article in the Guardian ( famously left wing and republican) were on the whole surprisingly supportive of Wills.

        • Tina
          +10

          I really don’t think the Queen wants W&K to do as few engagements as they do. She really doesn’t control what they do. And this is not normal press criticism. It is very unusual for pro-Royal papers like the Sun and the Daily Mail to criticise the royals like this. They have been going along with William for years, and they are seriously annoyed with him. If he doesn’t start to do more, they are going to keep up the criticism.

    • Jessica
      +7

      My thoughts are mostly all in The Royal We!

      • Brenda
        +2

        William is a Cancer, like his mother.
        He has her nurturing qualities. But Cancer males differ from Cancer females in one respect: they are futsy. They want things to go their way, whatever their way is at the time. They have really looooong memories and hold odd grudges. I dated a Cancer guy for years, but it got so I could only stand him for a few hours at a time. This sounds like William, to a T.

        • Jessica
          +6

          Oh yes. I also dated two Cancers and ADORED THEM — I love love love a Cancer man — but this is very true. Maybe this is why I so fond of Wills? They make me feel very nurture-y (I feel like they always need extra affection.)

    • Ness
      +14

      I think I’ve read that both Will and Harry want to be normal. And by that they don’t mean a builder or a farmer or teachers, but to be like their friends-well off, old money, all the perks but no responsibility or scrutiny.
      When actors or singers complain about fame people say – well you chose your career knowing what it would entail, but Will and his kids were just born.
      But I can also see the argument that British taxpayers spend a lot of money to look after them.
      But they want their children to have privacy and he wants to protect Kate from what happened to Diana.
      It’s tough…

  4.  BeautyMarks
    +25

    Maxima’s suede heels are what beige shoes SHOULD be.

    • Suzy Q
      +4

      Those look mauve to me.

      • Jenni
        +1

        I’ll be shocked if she sticks with this cause, since she hasn’t really stuck with any of the other causes she was so “keen” on

    • mj
      0

      I like the hat on Kate – it makes her look intriguing in film noir sense. I think the Queen looks great – always beautifully and appropriately stylish. Love Maxima too – she always has an interesting piece of clothing or shoes.

  5. Emster
    +8

    I agree with you on Kate’s hat inside vs. outside. I’m 99% sure the problem is the angle. Inside, she was shot exclusively from the front, which means it looks really heavy on her head. Almost too big? Too severe with the tight ponytail? Outside, she was shot exclusively from the side, where you can’t see how small her head looks in the thing.

    •  Mina
      +1

      I agree about the hat hair combo looking out of place inside vs. outside.

      I was thinking it was how close up she was being photographed inside vs. outside.

    •  Niki
      +1

      Heavy, yes. With the color, fabric, weight, and size, it looks like a hat for warmth instead of accessory. I know nothing about the intricacies of British headwear, but I’m from Nebraska, and I know a cozy hat when I see one.

    • Rebecca
      +8

      Was also coming in to say that I don’t think the hat looks good head-on but it looks good from the side, if that makes any sense at all.

    • Rebecca
      +17

      Maybe Kate’s hat got moved between events. You know, when making out in the hallway :P

    •  GrandSophy
      +12

      I have never liked that hat and it looks much worse when worn with a ponytail. Looks like she is in a ill fitted uniform. The length of this coat looked best the first time she wore it the brown suede heels- with pumps it looks matronly – she actually looks very much like a warden in that coat and hat.

      •  Jasmine
        +19

        I honestly hate that hat, and I hate it more every time she wears it. It looks less terrible outside when she’s photographed from the side, but it’s still bad, there, just not as bad as when she’s photographed head on. It does look worse worn with a ponytail, but honestly, there’s no way to make it look good.

      • scone
        +2

        I had the same reaction when I saw the pics – Ugh I hate that hat! It looks less bad outside, but that’s it.

    •  Jodi
      +1

      Perhaps it has to do with all the people in uniform, who don’t wear a hat when inside. As soon as you go outside, you “cover.” It wouldn’t look so strange if Kate took her hat off while inside, and Wills put one on when outside – fedora! Come back fedora!

      Also, he looks so much like Edward these days…

  6. Claire
    +14

    I think the whole outfit on Kate looks weird when inside, especially next to WIlls while he’s just in a suit. It’s like someone told her that they would never being going inside for the whole event and then told him the exact opposite.

    •  AnnieC
      +2

      The random dark brown accessories are just awful. Kate seems to prefer completely unrelated, unmatched accessories and they just look random and silly. I do so with she would invest in some really lovely hats. Her perchers don’t do her any favors.

  7. Elizabeth K. Mahon
    +2

    I love the new cover! I have the hardcover but now I want the paperback for my bookshelves.

  8. Jenni
    +3

    What’s with the quote on the first picture of Kate? Is Zara a well-known drinker? Was Prince Harry too easy a target?

    I like her coat, but not the hat, and definitely not together.

    • Michelle
      +16

      I sort of read it as a roundabout compliment implying that Zara is the fun one; akin to that scene in the Royal We where Gaz is complimented as the “kind of guy that knows where the beer is.”

      • Jessica
        +12

        Yes, I just think Zara seems like a hoot.

      • Tina
        +5

        I think Zara’s great. My husband met Mike Tindall once and said he was surprisingly thoughtful and intelligent, and I think Zara is too.

  9. library_girl
    +6

    What is King W-A doing?

    Also, Queen Matilde’s grey outfit is amazing.

    • Lane
      +5

      He’s opening a Jheronimus Bosch exposition where the central part in one of the major pieces is a wagon of hay. To open it he was removing ‘a block of hay’.. I know it’s a little far fetched but the exposition is great!

    • Little Bow Wow
      +1

      I was going to comment that the statue behind King W-A was Maxima first thing in the morning, but I think I like her too much to do so for real.

  10. Jennifer
    +9

    Picture #2 of Kate puzzled me for some reason, and then I figured it out. That’s the closest to “alone” I can recall seeing her at a photographed event. It could just be the cropping, but no one appears to be talking to her or trying to get her attention, she’s not waving to anyone, she’s just kind of there with her “orange juice” (I like the idea that Zara is teaching her the fine art of stealth drinking), wearing a kind of “who should I talk to next?” look. Why, I’VE worn that look! Royals! They’re just like us!!! But with much better coats…

  11.  attica
    +6

    Wouldn’t it be great if Anne were carrying an RF scanner as she prowled the warehouse aisles? She’s just looking for her order of fingerprint transfer plastic! They said it was shipped last week, but it still hasn’t arrived! Can’t you picture her taking things into her own hands like that?

    •  MRC210
      +3

      I see her more as M, being escorted by Q through his warehouse of secret-agent doohickeys. “In this aisle, ma’am, we have our exploding ball-point pens and over here you’ll see our watches that shoot out grapple hooks:”

  12.  Miranda
    +26

    I miss King Felipe’s beard. He’s a handsome fella no doubt, but the beard takes him into the stratosphere of hotness.

    • Jane
      +1

      I was surprised by how much I liked his clean shaven look in picture 17.

      On the other hand, I looked at pic 8 and was thinking that Wills should try growing a George V style beard.

      What can I say? I like variety.

      • Rebecca
        +2

        I also kindof think William should grow a beard. Although, I couldn’t stand all the “ooooh, William is just copying Harry” comments that would show up :P

  13. Amy S.
    +11

    Sorry, I think the paperback cover for The Royal We is a fail. The hardback cover is PERFECTION. Sigh.

    I’ll still buy it, though. Don’t worry!

    Given that Wills is third in line to the throne, I think he can afford to be less out and about right now. I know he and Kate are popular, but I think they should have time to raise their kids outside the royal limelight as much as possible. It’s only going to get worse as they get older. But I agree that maybe he needs to find a passion project the way Kate has children’s mental health (though Wills is supposedly involved with that) and Harry has the Invictus Games.

    • Michelle
      +19

      I completely agree – let these kids raise THEIR kids and have a life and their pet projects…they will have plenty of time for 400-odd engagements a year later on, and neither one of them strikes me as the type to shirk duties. It makes me crazy when people bag them for not pulling their weight. I also agree that Wills needs something of his own…what that is, I have no idea, but it’s always nice to have a path to give you focus.

      • Nancy
        +14

        But they aren’t giving up the perks while they avoid full time duties. And the optics are bad, like the helicopter ride for Kate an hour and a half ride while the Queen took the train. Not her fault, I’m sure she didn’t make this decision, by someone needs to pay attention to a 3000$ helicopter ride for a 2 hour function when people are hurting financially.
        I agree, raise your kids in private, but pay for your own renovations on TWO homes, your own security, don’t buy Kate’s clothes with Duchy money or get out and work. Idle royalty doesn’t seem to be acceptable anymore. Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, Anne, Sophie, Harry, Camilla, Maxima, and others work very hard. William and Kate look ridiculous compared to all of them.

        • Jessica
          +15

          They actually did pay for Anmer with their own funds. KP is different story — it’s owned by the crown. (I agree w. you that their optics are often not thought out to the end of the line, which is dumb. But people also have a tendency to never give them the benefit of the doubt, either. Which, in fairness, you’d think would ALSO be something they should think about and try to get in front of, as we’ve all said many times before. I feel like their PR continue to need work, but I DO think it’s improving. No one went to Mustique this year, for instance. Sometimes these boats are slow to turn around at sea.)

        • Kairu
          +12

          The thing is, ALL the royals get dinged in the press by their own respective countries. Whether it’s a new car or a third vacation home or whatever, nobody is immune. We only see other royals doing the “serious” events (plus vacation photocalls), and they are very seldom covered by our media. You should have seen the stories when Mette-Marit first got engaged to Haakon, or when Mary was first dating Frederik. The hysteria surrounding William and Kate is more intense, but only because Americans are only familiar with the British royals (and to a slightly lesser extent to the Monaco royals, and in that case only because of the Grace Kelly connection).

          •  MRC210
            +8

            Right — the media in European countries are as rough on their monarchies as the DMIK and other UK tabloids are on the Windsors. In the Netherlands for example there seems to be a similar state of tension between the royal family who want the press to back off, and the press whose attitude seems to be “We can crush you if we want to” and who keep raising the question of whether the Dutch royals are worth what they cost (sound familiar?). The press has never let go of stories of how Beatrix disliked Maxima and banned her family from the wedding and other royal events. The Spanish royals have to walk on eggshells too, their public approval ratings are very low right now.

    • Rebecca
      +9

      William has trafficking of endangered Wildlife. He even is chairing (or president) of United for Wildlife which he helped start which unites organizasions from around the globe to help battle illegal trafficking. They even got China to sit down for talks about that (china never is involved in stuff like that) plus have talked with Obama and the President of China about it (they signed an agreement). He also held a speech on Chinese TV to inform the public about trafficking etc. So he has his thing.

      • Jessica
        +10

        We also LOVE the hardback cover. It’s very common, however, for books to be given a new paperback cover to give them new life, and this one was very popular with the buyers at Target — and it’s very good for us to have the book in Target, so it’s a win-win.

        • Jessica
          +1

          Also, I am sorry this comment ended up here — it was supposed to be upstream! Whoops!

      • Tina
        +12

        While he still hunts, the message is inevitably going to be diluted (I blame Harry here too). If he stopped hunting, he would be a much more effective spokesman for that cause.

  14. nannypoo
    +9

    Kate’s hat is never going to look good anywhere, but it’s less bad outside because it looks so heavy and warm.

  15. papersitter
    +9

    That hat is horrible. It’s the two face (ala Seinfeld’s girlfriend) of hats! And that first photo of Kate is not flattering and I blame the hat.

  16.  Alyssa
    +3

    I think the hat is a little oddly placed on her head, so it looks strange. But also it’s a little odd looking when they’re inside and Wills is in his suit but Kate is wearing a wool coat and hat. Almost like she’s trying to hurry them all along by being ready to go (I know this isn’t the case, obviously). So that’s my feeling as to why it looks odd inside versus out.

    • HME
      +6

      Agree about the odd placement. That hat needs to be worn at an *angle and that is indeed how she has worn that hat in the past and it looks so much better angled. And Kate does look odd still in that heavy coat indoors, I’m boiling just looking at her.

      But I think the main problem for me is that hat does not go with that coat or that hairstyle. Hats and ponytails just don’t work together imho. Frankly the whole look is a miss for me. I don’t love the brown and red combo and even her ‘bare’ legs look really odd with a heavy weight coat, in February.

      Love that William is sticking with the close cropped hair, I think it looks great.

      LOVE Cams in that purple. (as ever though she needs a better bra, talk to the Queen Cam! I’m sure her fitter would be glad to help you out)

      *I feel like a lot of Kate’s hats need to be worn at more of an angle. Often if you look at the hat she’s wearing on the modal on the designers website its at an angle and looks better than when worn straight on.

      • Ali
        +3

        yes I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it’s the heavy coat with bare looking legs that bothers me. that’s something you’d wear if you had a nice dress on underneath and were planning to take the coat off once you got inside.
        the hat would work better with a really low ponytail to one side. if she was insisting on a ponytail (I get it, big ponytail fan here).

  17. Chappy05
    +10

    A little heavy on the powder there, Liz!

  18. Alisa
    +7

    Ok, Max clearly held some kind of clothing intervention for Mathilde the last time those two Queens were together. And quite possibly gave Mathilde a bunch of hand me downs, because that grey ensemble is amazing and very Max-like.

    • Ali
      +7

      oh my god! flicking through the gallery the first time, i thought that WAS Max. I had to go back and look after I read your comment because I was like “where was the photo of Mathilde?”. clearly I look at outfits before faces haha.

    • Charlotte
      +6

      They shop at lot at the same places. Over on Order of Splendor we call them the “Natan Twins” sometimes. My favorite appearance of theirs last year was coordinated very much so they were Thing One and Thing Two.

      • Kairu
        +2

        I *love* this about them. They both wear so much Natan, and they have a lot of identical items in their wardrobe (or the same items in different colors), yet their individual styles (not to mention actual physical features and coloring) are so different. I like to imagine them having a girls’ day out at the Natan atelier, or texting each other photos from their dressing rooms.

  19. maryloubethune
    +5

    Queen Maxima is such a delight and those shoes are very enviable.
    I love the way Queen Letizia looks so in charge; mush more so that her amiable husband.
    The Duchess of Cambridge always seems to wear vaguely militaryesque clothes when her duties lie there. The hat is odd but appropriate and as always, her coat is beyond compare.

  20. jjdaddyo
    +5

    Queen Max has set her skirt length to “saucy”, no? (in the last pic)

  21. Ali
    +5

    so for these buckingham palace receptions, do the guests wait in that room and the Queen comes in to greet them or does her maj spend all day standing on that circle on the carpet while various guests come in and out?
    basically, I am really hoping Mrs Dieng got some alone time in that room to take a photo on the couch because her outfit goes with it perfectly and she looks like the fun kind of lady who would use that as her profile picture.
    is it still called a couch when it looks that uncomfortable? it just looks like a double width chair. the more I see of this room the more questions I think of.

    • Rebecca
      +4

      I think she is in the room and the guests are lead in. I have seen videos of them being announced and bowing in the doorway :P So I think the Queen knows that carpet fairly well :P

    •  MRC210
      +3

      I wonder if it’s like a step-and-repeat on the red carpet. I’m imagining the Queen meeting her guests in another room and saying “Now we have to have our pictures taken on THE RUG”, they troop into this room and take their positions on THE RUG pretending that they’re just being introduced and saying “Rhubarb, rhubarb” while the cameras flash, then Liz says “Glad that’s over, now let’s go back and have a cup of tea.”

    • Kathy
      +7

      Isn’t it impressive that Mrs. Dieng had the foresight to choose an outfit that coordinates with the room? That woman did her homework and I applaud her.

      •  MRC210
        +4

        I like that Ambassador Dieng chose plain robes in a muted color and let his wife shine!

  22. Suzy Q
    +6

    Oh, I needed this today! I had horrible and extensive dental surgery yesterday, and I look like a secret Kardashian Kousin from the swelling.

    But, seeing Her Majesty and Max so carefree and happy has elevated my spirits, as have the pain meds.

  23.  Ailatan
    +3

    Máxima and her broad brimmed hats make sense, no? I mean they are ok with her features and style, if she wore sth smaller like Kate’s it would look idiotic on her.

  24. WendyD
    +7

    Is it weird that what I’ve taken away from this week’s Royal Round-up is a concern for the people in northern Wales where they no longer have a Search and Rescue team for that area?
    Maybe it’s being replace? Now I have to go look at the internet.

    • nedian
      +9

      That arm was privatized, which William was apparently very against. So it still exists, but is no longer an RAF service.

    • Rebecca
      +5

      It’s being privatized. And not only there. Appearantly the whole SAR is gonna be run by an outside company from now on.

  25. Kathy
    0

    I need to see Max’s shoes in that last slide!

  26.  Margaret
    +31

    See, who I really feel bad for are the random royal relatives, who get none (or at least far fewer) of the perks, AND get the paparazzi and pain that goes with them. I’m not saying Pippa is a perfect, but she didn’t choose the notoriety, that was just dumped on her. She doesn’t live in Buckingham Palace, she just gets to be told she’s not classy enough to be related to the Queen.

    • Jessica
      +7

      Agreed.

    • Nancy
      +7

      And Beatrice and Eugenie, who Charles removed from active royal work! They seem to really want to work, and can’t. But they get dinged for vacations, etc., even though their father pays for their own security now.

  27.  missElaineous
    0

    Is Kate drinking a Royal Tea perhaps?

    • pink peonies
      +2

      Love this! And she’s probably telling those guys to read The Royal We because it was so awesome.

  28.  Kate
    +20

    Sparky Dunlop is the name of the Prince’s old commanding officer?!?!?

    I just died and went to England.

  29. Caitlyn
    +12

    Jessica, your thoughts on Wills are so interesting! I personally think that he hasn’t quite found his cause yet – and I also think that he’s involved in Kate’s children’s mental health stuff behind the scenes. Harry has so clearly found his cause and it makes Wills look like a dilettante in comparison. But the sheer lack of choice he has in his life? I think that would breed resentment in anyone.

    I say all this, but dude needs to find his cause for sure in something domestic (wildlife trafficking, while an incredibly important topic relating to terrorist funding, endangered animals, etc. is not a sexy, people-focused topic) and should do it pretty soon. I’m the world’s biggest Wills apologizer, but even I think it’s time to pick up the ball and start running with it.

    • Rebecca
      +2

      In a way I agree. But also… we don’t remember the time when Charles was seen as a nutty hippie for growing organic etc. Maybe animal trafficking will “become a sexy topic” in like…. 15 years. And then William will be in high regard because he started before it was “hyped”. I don’t know.

      • Nancy
        +15

        Then he should stop hunting. No?

        • Rebecca
          +3

          True. But illegal wildlife trafficking is a totally different thing from culling local animals. But I agree, the optics are bad.

          • Jessica
            +7

            I agree that he should stop hunting given all the work he is doing with the animal trafficking.

            Obviously, there are totally reasonable explanations for why his domestic hunting is different then animal trafficking, as Rebecca says. And I am sure that when people bring up that he should stop hunting, he notes them, and they’re correct. But it looks bad and “looking bad” cannot be fought with reason — they’re using semantics to justify something that people feel emotionally.

  30. caroline
    +1

    What does the dynastically equal marriage thing mean?

    • Jessica
      +6

      They’re both on the same royal level. (Like, if a prince married a princess. Wills is a prince and Kate a commoner, so they’re not dynastically equal. If Harry were to marry some princess who’s also forth in line, they’d be dynastically equal — at the same place in their respective royal dynasty.)

      • Matilda Joycr
        +2

        Actually, Harry’s wife wouldn’t need to be 4th in line, but she would need to be a princess and daughter/granddaughter of a monarch.
        I don’t love the hat but I do love the brown/red combo.

      • Visa Diva
        +3

        Dynastically equal us still a thing in a lot of deposed royal families, like the Bourbons, Hohenzollerns and Hapsberg-Lorraine.

        • Brenda
          +4

          Right, so Princess Caroline was NOT dynastically equal to her current husband, Prince Awful of Hanover. Her rank was elevated by marrying him, because the Hanoverian dynasty goes back centuries, and the Monagasque royals are sort of made up. I love the word Monagasque.

        • Brenda
          0

          Right, so Princess Caroline was NOT dynastically equal to her current husband, Prince Awful of Hanover. Her rank was elevated by marrying him, because the Hanoverian dynasty goes back centuries, and the Monagasque royals are sort of made up. I love the word Monagasque.

  31. Cynthia
    +2

    Kate’s coat looks frumpy at that length without boots and I never liked that hat. I hope someday she goes Maxima and discovers fabulous big and flattering hats and won’t be afraid to wear them!

  32. Nancy
    +13

    I agree with you that to be born into a role you’re not suited for must be tough. And doing good works is a way to deal with that. I would love the opportunities that William and Kate get to make a change in the world. But I think William is a Man-child, quite petulant, and doesn’t really seem to care much about too much, unlike Harry, who seems much more passionate about helping people. Wills seem to have missed the empathy gene that Diana had. Personally, I feel if you want the perks, do the job, and that goes for Kate, too. Ideally, William could step aside and let Harry be king, cause I don’t think the monarchy will survive a reluctant King who gets tremendous privilege, especially when the people are losing service after service. For his own sake and the sake of his kids, William need to figure this out and get a move on filling up his calendar. He could do much worse than to look to his Aunt Anne, or even his own father, for a good example.
    “To those who much is given, much is expected.” France survived loss of royalty. England certainly could, too.

    • Jessica
      +15

      I agree with you that he needs to get a grip and move on with it because this is just how the cards played out — that said, I feel like he really cannot step aside without it being an honestly ginormous huge HUGE HUUUUUUUUUGE deal. And who is to say he wants to saddle his brother with a fate he personally finds onerous, when Harry seems to be extremely happy as he is? That is ultimately a very selfish act, potentially. (As we also cover in the book, actually.)

      • jezebella
        +13

        Plus, weren’t most of the things being said now about William also said about his father (and his uncles) 30-40 years ago? Couldn’t some of them have even been said about his grandmother and grandfather 65-70 years ago? Wouldn’t they almost inevitably said about his brother if William did step aside?
        I can hardly blame him if he is ambivalent about his role, if he is trying to carve out some sense of normalcy, if he has realized that he’s not going to win for losing so he might as well please himself, or if he’s an introvert with resting sad face who dislikes the media and avoids the limelight.

        •  kat
          +16

          Exactly! An enormous amount of conjectures are made with little evidence to support them. I have yet to see an interview where William is going ‘Woe is me!’ He’s obviously more of an introvert while Harry is an extrovert – and I hate it when people turn that against someone (s. Charlène of Monaco).

          I remember the same Guardian going all huffy and puffy about William not taking his future job seriously getting all huffy and puffy a couple of weeks ago when it transpired that he received on occasion sensitive cabinet papers to get briefed on ‘relevant’ matters of state (probably before he’s going on a state’s visit abroad) – i.e. something that would prepare him for his part as future king.

          When it transpired that he was going to work as an Air Rescue Pilot there were complaints that he’s taking away someone else’s job. When he shows up for opening a new library people demand he get a proper job and stop free-loading.

          And even if it were true that he does not want to become king – he can’t step aside. I’m pretty sure it’s the one thing the Queen would not forgive nor accept. And Harry sure as hell does not want the job – part of his ‘free spirit’ personality that people enjoy so much is probably due to him knowing that he’s not as shackled down as his brother.

          Since I’m not British it’s obviously none of my business if the British people want to abolish the monarchy or not. I actually think once a majority is there for turning the country in a republic it will happen. But he argument for a republic should not be based on the personality and character of the heirs to the throne (claiming they are not up to the job – implying there’s still a proper way to do the job). It should be framed in more abstract terms and go deeper than just get rid of the ‘Germans’ (I highly doubt that the still existing British class system will go away just because the country turns into a republic).

          Until then I enjoy all the gossip, great fashion and pictures of cute royal kids.

          • Tina
            +9

            Why shouldn’t the argument for a republic be based on the personality and character of the heirs to the throne? If their character is work-shy and petulant, that’s relevant to the question. And there is absolutely a proper way to do the job – it’s what the Queen has been doing for the past 63 years.

        • Tina
          +11

          No one has ever, ever claimed that the Queen or Philip didn’t do enough Royal work. And no one made that claim about Charles when he had a young family. No one criticised Andrew, Edward or Sophie for not working enough when their children were small. It really is just William.

          • Rebecca
            +16

            Oh YES they have! The Queen and Phillip jetted of to Malta (leaving the kids in UK mind you) and she lived like a army wife. People complained, and also very much saw her as a bad mother because she left her kids in another county. Sophie and Edward got crap for working in their non-royal buissnesses and it lead to big scandals. People have very short memories. Sophie was seen as a black sheep, but now she is seen with high regard.

            • Tina
              +8

              The Queen spent two winters in Malta as a military wife when she was Princess Elizabeth and she really wasn’t criticised for it, it wasn’t expected that aristocratic mothers spend much time with their children then. And Sophie’s troubles were when she and Edward were first married, not when they had a young family.

              In any event, those were the first couple of years of the respective marriages, and they settled down and became proper working royals within a couple of years. William and Kate show no signs of responding to the criticism they receive and doing the same.

              • jezebella
                +7

                It was closer to five years (1947-1951) for Elizabeth and Phillip; they became “proper working royals” when her father’s health started to deteriorate the year before his death.
                Besides doesn’t being a “proper working royal” mostly entail making public appearances? Do you suppose that the royals freelance those, just showing up when and where they choose? Given the logistics, it seems more likely to me that they go when and where they are asked and/or sent by the Firm.

                • Tina
                  +5

                  All the sources I can find say 1949-1951, which is two years. And BP and KP have repeatedly said that the royals set their own schedules. There is no vast coordinating plan.

            •  MRC210
              +18

              You’re right about short memories, it’s only been a little more than a decade since the Wessexes had to resign from their respective business ventures in disgrace after embarrassing the royal family, and the Queen made them join the family firm and go to weddings for her. Kudos to them for behaving themselves since then. Andrew, of course, is still embarrassing.

              I suspect that the press are bored with the Cambridges after the heady scandals of the previous generation, but I can’t help thinking that the Queen must be vastly relieved to feel that she can safely look at the morning paper these days without seeing a photo of Kate getting her toes sucked by her lover or a transcript of William telling his mistress that he’d like to be her tampon.

        • Nancy
          +3

          Charles was a jerk, but he was never work-shy. Totally different issue, in my view.

      •  Catherine
        +4

        It’s my personal belief that until the Queen’s health seriously declines and Wills is on the cusp of being Prince of Wales, he can continue to live a relatively normal life. This seems to go along with a slimmed down Firm. I also think if something happened to Chaz, that Kate and William would immediately step up and fulfill that role. Right now, they have the luxury of living a more “normal” life and are enjoying it as long as possible. I don’t think that makes them work-shy, I think it means they are conscious of the long-term responsibilities of their position and are doing their best to position themselves to do well in the future. I think when they become Prince and Princess of Wales things are going to change significantly.

        • Jessica
          +4

          I agree with you, but I don’t know if I think that they actually DO have that luxury anymore. Basically every paper in the UK has run a story this week about how Wills isn’t doing any work. One of them had a quote from a source in their set that was critical, which…that’s NEVER happened. They have a very very very closed-mouthed and protective group. (This wasn’t in OK, either; it was from a royals reporter who is legit — who of course I cannot remember right now! Which, still, grain of salt and all, but it definitely raised a brow from me.)

          I obviously like Wills and Kate v. much and have been very defensive of them in the past and I don’t think they’re making choices out of laziness or brattiness — stories I’ve read all stress that William is a very good parent and husband — but I DO think that it doesn’t really matter why they’re doing what they’re doing, because it looks bad and it’s gotten to a point where even people who are very supportive of them think it looks bad. Three months into the year and Wills has only made two public appearances is bad. I know that he may well be working very hard on something behind the scenes — and honestly, Harry’s been AWOL too, probably working on Invictus — but I think he HAS to start popping out more.

          • Catherine
            0

            Definitely (I was apparently asleep for a few days and missed your reply and then the discussion yesterday). I give Kate slightly more credit because she doesn’t have another job, seems to be a very involved parent, and is still making it to more engagements than him. I’ve never been a huge Wills fan. He’s fine, whatever, but she’s the one I love. As you’ve said here and in other threads, this does seem to be spiraling into a big story in a bad way. I hope they get on top of the story soon.

            ETA: Although, despite her engagements, they keep dinging Kate for using the helicopter to go to engagements. Sigh. Not a great week for the Cambridges.

    •  Jenn
      +5

      I think you’re critique is completely valid, but I think that they don’t care that not much. I’m not saying they’re cold hearted or anything, but I think they’re thinking long term . . .like 20-30 years long term. The plan could very well be to let William and Kate have fewer appearances now, and then take on more when their children are older and/or when William takes the throne

      • Kirsten
        +6

        The Queen is 89. Say she lives to 100. Prince Charles would be 78 when he becomes King. If he lives to 90, William has 11 years before he is heir to the throne, and 23 before he is King. There is plenty of time for him to spend time with his family, support charitable causes, and gradually take on more responsibility.

        • Tina
          +8

          So the Queen and Phil have to work through their 90s until they drop, and Charles has to continue to take on 500+ engagements per year in his 70s and 80s, just because William does not technically have the title of heir to the throne?

          • jezebella
            +6

            No, they don’t have to work thorugh their 90s. The Queen can choose to step aside or to scale her schedule back signficantly (weren’t you claiming above that royals set their own schedules?). I’m sure she’s already under some pressure to do the former, as evidenced by the groundwork that’s been laid for a regency, so if she may also be reluctant to the latter as it could well be read as a sign that she can no longer fulfill her duties.
            Further, there were calls for Charles to step aside in William’s favour at the time of the latter’s marriage. For all I know, William is taking one for the team so his grandmother can remain on the throne until her death and his father can succeed her. By remaining more in the background and not taking on heavier public duties, William has, intentionally or not, nipped the calls made for his father to abdicate in the bud.

            • Tina
              +4

              Here’s a quote from the latest article on William’s laziness: “One well-placed source said: ‘There’s talk that more responsibility is going to be handed down to the younger generation, which is right.
              ‘The feeling is that the Queen and Prince Charles need more support and I keep hearing that April will be the catalyst for some key changes.’
              Another said: ‘The Queen has said she needs the support of her substitutes. This has been on the cards for some time.’”

              I’ll believe the April thing when I see it, but even BP sources are acknowledging it.

            • Tina
              +3

              And the Queen is asking for the support of her substitutes, not demanding it. There’s no grand central plan where the work is doled out. They set their own schedules and she is asking them to take on more work. We’ll see if they do it.

  33. jezebella
    +1

    If you’re interested in serious royal scandal, might I suggest a deep dive into Leopold III’s grandfather, Leopold II?

    •  MRC210
      +12

      I hope there’s a special place in hell for Leopold II for what he did to the Congolese people — slavery, murder, mutilation of millions of people while he controlled the Congo. One of the vilest kings in European history and yet he got away with it because he didn’t harm his own people, just a nation in the middle of Africa.

      • jezebella
        +10

        He did lose the Congo — it was made a colony of Belgium after 1908 and was no longer the king’s personal holding — but it was hardly a punishment equal to the scale of the atrocities committed by/for him.
        It’s amazing to me how completely many people have skimmed over that bit of history, because it is so pertinent to understanding post-colonialsim and modern racism and the ongoing problems in Rwanda and Burundi and the DRC, and it is so completely horrifying.
        In comparison, it does seem completely daft to be faulting William for not seeming chirpy enough or making enough public appearances.

        • Jessica G.
          +2

          I love that this board has people like you making comments like this on it. King Leopold’s Ghost was one of the most horrifying and important books I ever read.

        • Tina
          +4

          So because a Victorian-era Belgian monarch committed genocide, we shouldn’t criticise a modern-day Royal for failing to do enough? I fail to see the logic.

          • jezebella
            +1

            I didn’t say people shouldn’t criticise modern royals, I said that they sound daft when they criticise them for such minor things.

            • Tina
              +4

              They’re not minor things to me, and the likes of me who pay for them. They’re not minor just because they’re not genocide.

  34.  GeoDiva
    +1

    Interesting link about Imelda’s tiaras and other jewels. Didn’t realize how extensive her collection was. My brother and sister-in-law where in Manila for the holidays and saw Imelda at Christmas dinner. They got a selfie with her and Imelda hasn’t aged in years!! She doesn’t look any where close to being in her 80′s.

  35. Eli
    +12

    Oh my stars, Kate’s makeup is so so so so so bad. She looks so aged and haggard. And it’s not just the eye makeup…her foundation is doing her no favors either. I’m sure that she is suffering from the effects of sun damage the way the Middleton women like to tan, but I think a lot of it is just truly horrible makeup. Letizia is I believe at least a decade older than Kate but looks much fresher. Someone needs to intervene and drag that girl to a MAC counter or something.

    • Rebecca
      +3

      I think it’s more 2 bouts of HG and dehydration that has taken it’s toll and not the sun.

      • Eli
        +8

        That is probably part of it but she and Pippa were ALWAYS super tan in their younger years and Pippa also looks far older than she is (without any HG). But regardless of the cause, good makeup can hide a multitude of issues and Kate’s is just bad. Her foundation makes her look ashen and washed out. And the heavy raccoon eyeliner just draws attention to flaws around the eyes and makes her look tired. She could easily look 10 years younger with the right makeup. If one is going to go to the effort of wearing makeup, one should pick that which flatters.

    •  AnnieC
      +3

      Not to get into an area we do not cross in Fuggville but, Letizia has had a fair bit of “touching up”. That said. I definitely agree that Kate needs to start going to a professional for skin and makeup advice. She has notoriously declined professional help before (e.g., her wedding) but she needs to recognize that there are others who do know this stuff AND won’t make her look like someone else.

  36. Froney
    +3

    Princess Anne is cosplaying the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark!! Perhaps it’s a prequel to her current crime-fighting show?

  37. Froney
    +1

    And Mathilde looks very youthful in her church outfit!

  38. jec
    +2

    Just a little request … can you please not call her “Middleton”, either seriously or in jest? I know you were being funny, but please show some respect – she hasn’t had that name since she got married and as you know her name is the Duchess of Cambridge. Thanks!

    • Jane
      +16

      I really think she’ll be Kate Middleton in the popular imagination until she becomes Princess of Wales. The Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t trip off the tongue. I live in the UK and no one I know would call her the D of C – even my mother-in-law. I think it’s because, unlike the Princess of Wales, it’s a slightly obscure title that hasn’t been in use for a while. However, even Princess Diana was always known as Lady Di, her pre-marriage title/nickname. And Kate was just plain Kate.

      •  Leeann
        +8

        Agreed, I’m not sure how it’s disrespectful to use her birth name. In fact, I think most people use it fondly!

    • Jessica
      +29

      I think I’ve been VERY respectful to Kate in general over the last five years. Using someone’s maiden name is not, to me, a sign of disrespect — and considering that I call Charles and Camilla “Chaz and Camz” and we call W-A and Maxima “Max and Wax,” using “Middleton” on occasion, as part of a joke line, seems to me to be in line with our editorial take on the royals as a whole, and certainly not something that would indicate a lack of respect on my part.

    • Eli
      +17

      There is certainly historical precedent for calling those who marry into the Royal Family by their maiden names, particularly because there are about a million Catherines, Annes, and Marys, etc. in British history. We still call Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour by their maiden names, even though they were known as Queen Anne and Queen Jane after they married Henry VIII.

  39.  Leeann
    +2

    I love that the Queen’s dress/coat coordinates with the Ambassador’s wife’s dress. Do you think that’s deliberate? I picture a flunky running into her room with the scoop on her visitors’ colours!!

  40. karen
    +1

    regarding D of C’s possible pregnancy, one of the Australian magazines insists she is pregnant because she was observed drinking sparkling water, not wine, at a meal. However we were deprived of the rumour about twins. Next week ……

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