Thursday, 7 August 2014

It's Official: Prince William to Return to Flying & 'No Rise in Duties' for Kate

The long-awaited announcement regarding Prince William's career came today and there were no surprises. Following a transitional year which saw him mix royal duties with an agricultural course at Cambridge University the second-in-line to the throne has decided to return to flying. He will begin a full-time job as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance in spring 2015 after a period of training beginning in September.

EAAA Facebook Page

More from the Press Release from Kensington Palace:

'After completing a mandatory period of training this autumn and winter, the Duke will start work with the Air Ambulance, based at Cambridge and Norwich airports and flying both day and night shifts, in spring 2015. The Duke will start as a co-pilot but, after a period of training, will be qualified to fly as a helicopter commander.'

Before we continue, we must give full credit to reporters Kate Mansey and Roya Nikkhah who broke the story even after the palace denied it. One of several such situations which has led to an increased difficulty between the media and the press office.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

The Duke will be formally employed by Bond Air Services. He will draw a £40,000 salary which he will donate in full to charity. He is the first senior royal to sign a job contract and pay income tax and national insurance. It is believed the Prince will work a pattern of five days on, three days off and the rota will allow him to undertake some royal duties and overseas trips. Shift hours include 7 am to 4.30 pm and he will be responding to medical emergencies and car accidents.

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Back to the Palace's statement:

'The Duke of Cambridge is hugely motivated by the idea of being able to help people in difficult and challenging conditions. The air ambulance service does truly outstanding work and The Duke of Cambridge wants to make his own contribution to it.

As William signed a two-year contract, he will be at least 35 before he takes on a full-time schedule of royal duties. Considering the training involved, one imagines it's more likely he will remain with the air ambulance for at least four years.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

The job builds on William's operation experience in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue at RAF Valley. During his time there he undertook 150 search and rescue operations. This year left William with an important decision, and he obviously decided he wanted to return to flying.

EAAA Facebook Page

The East Anglian Air Ambulance expressed their delight about William's decision and looks forward to welcoming him as part of their team. Chief executive Patrick Peal told The Sun:

'This is really good news for the charity and we're delighted His Royal Highness has decided to fly with us. We're looking forward to him being part of the team. We need to raise £7.5 million.
 We are confident that this will help raise the profile of the charity. It's a very close-knit crew with pilots operating closely with doctors and paramedics so we need a strong team.'

It is a tremendous organisation which operates 365 days per year. They do not receive government funding and rely entirely on donations.  If you wish to find out more or donate please click here.

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What does this mean for Kate? Will there be an increase in duties for the Duchess? The Palace revealed today:

'She will continue with her small portfolio of work and focus on being a mother. No rise in duties.'

The Cambridges have obviously decided to put a private family life first and perhaps hope to enjoy the same life they did in Anglesey where they enjoyed cinema trips, walks on the beach and trips to local grocery stores without press intrusion. Much of this month will be spent overseeing the final touches to their new country home Anmer Hall, which is expected to be their primary residence for some time. It was hoped it would be completed for June but due to delays (and those who've ever had their home refurbished will know the deadline is almost never met) it will be September. Decorators have just begun work on the top floor.


Norfolk will provide the setting for Prince George's early years where the young prince will play and explore the grounds of The Queen's Sandringham estate. It is quite possible William and Kate plan to have another baby in the near future and want to bring up their children somewhere they can enjoy freedom and the countryside.


No doubt the Middleton family will be regular visitors with Carole, Mike, James and Pippa making weekend visits and spending birthdays and holidays together. They will be surrounded by a close circle of friends in Norfolk (dubbed the "Turnip Toffs" by the media) including William's childhood friend William van Cutsem. Indeed William and Harry spent many days during their childhood playing at Anmer Hall, when it was the residence of the van Cutsems. William's cousin, Laura Fellowes, and Princess Diana's sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, also live in Norfolk.

Mail Online

In the local area Kate enjoys browsing antiques in stores such as the Shirehall Plain Antiques and the Mews Antiques Emporium. Below we see Kate shopping in nearby Holt last year. The Duchess visited the aforementioned antique shops and a local bakery.

ITV

William is fond of the Dabbling Duck Pub. Recently the Cambridges were made honorary members of the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club. We know they enjoy entertaining at home, and with their new state-of-the-art kitchen, they will host many dinner parties for family and friends throughout the year.

Golf Club House/Georgraph

What are your thoughts on Prince William's choice? Do you agree with his decision to put his own wishes first and postpone a royal life? As second-in-line there is more time for William to pursue his passions (in this case flying for an excellent charity) than previous generations. Do you think Kate should increase her workload whilst William works full time? This is very much a different generation of royals. Her Majesty famously said, "I have to be seen to be believed" and has devoted her life to doing so. William, is obviously taking a very different approach and perhaps royal duties are not at the forefront of his mind or priorities at present. A happy family life is vital and very important for the monarchy too, of course, and this move will be good for them as a family and at the end of the day that is what matters most of all.

PA/ The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

We look forward to your comments as always :)

572 comments:

  1. Great post! Good for William for doing what he wants. In a few years he may not get the liberty. I'm glad he is donating the money to charity, do you know which one it is??

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 16:10

    This was a real chock. *Not* Haha. But I am torn on it. Not suprised, but a little torn. In a way this seems logical. George and (probably) their other kids will probably be born in a near future and this is a place and circumstance that fit's how they want to raise their family. In a way it is a reflection on the way William was brought up and the mentality Diana had on giving them as normal a childhood as possible. And I understand them. And I think it's better to get Williams flying out of his system (if that's even possible) because if he later has regrets I think it will hurt his capability to be king. But in a way, he must get used to the royal work. Otherwise I think it will chock him. He is used to working, yes. But in a workplace where action and endorphines is a daily uccurance. I don't know if William is cut from a cloth that will be satisfied with cutting ribbons. I hope he find things he can combine with his royal duties. Make some new rules about what the royal duties contain. Don't know what it could be.

    God, I'm just rambling. Haha. I think it would be really good for Kate to increase her work. Not to full time. But do more. For her sake and ours. I think she is not prepared to do the work yet. I understand that raising George is crucial to the health of the future monarchy, but so is her doing her job... So, as I said. I'm torn.

    But I wish him the bet of luck and that he will be safe.

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    1. Rebecca, I feel torn too. While I don't believe it's as simple as William not wanting to take on royal duties, and this job is far from an easy out (these people risk their lives everyday), for W&K's sake (long term) a happy medium might be a better strategy. Hopefully, he will include royal engagements in the mix and I think Kate should make regular appearances on her own. It would take some of the pressure off both of them if she did so.

      Also, I tend to believe we will see another baby sooner rather than later and the move will give them the opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle somewhat closer to what they enjoyed in Anglesey.

      I recognize that the BRF is in a very different situation compared to other monarchies where the "top job" has shifted in recent years. Charles is STILL waiting for his turn and, at a time when the firm should be taking advantage of its best assets, they appear to be content to have them out of the limelight.

      I see it as a scenario that is 50% understandable...and 50% not in their best interest.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden8 August 2014 at 09:52

      Very nice said. I too think it would go a long way for their popularity if Kate was doing more visible work. That would take the pressure of them both as a couple.

      Yeah, it seems very probable that they will use this time to expand their family. And that sounds like a good plan.

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  3. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 16:13

    Yeah, the charity thing is REALLY clever. He doesn't need it and it is a PR dream :P. Some people thought he might deliver it back to EAAA. But I don't know..

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 19:06

      Uhm... this one was supposed to be under the first post, from Emily J. Don't know what happened...

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    2. He has not announced what charities will recieve his money. And why is this a PR dream?

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  4. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 16:15

    Sorry for spamming. Just got a little worried. This is a theme that will be debated greatly. Please everyone, hold a RESPECTFUL tone. I don't want to lose some great posters again. And so close to many leaving it is even more crucial that we treat each other well. (Not saying that anyone haven't yet. But just in case!)

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  5. Not surprised that the palace initially denied it. Poor wills seems very indecisive. I really think when they decorated KP they thought that would be their main home then wills changed his mind. Kate just goes along for the ride and since she is going to be a mother and nothing else she can do that anywhere. I bet they do the two years and then head to Scotland or somewhere more remote
    The only odd piece is why the trip to Malta I bet the queen requested it

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    1. From memory when the Queen was first married she and the Duke of Edinburgh lived in Malta while he was still in the British Navy. Her first two children were born during this time and presumably she didn't have a full programme of royal duties.It was really only after her father's health deteriorated that she and her husband took on a full programme of duties. So maybe she is sympathetic to their wishes to concentrate on their family for the next few years?

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    2. I don't know that exploring your options means you are indecisive. I think they also gave themselves room to see how they felt transitioning from Wales to London, from no kids to being parents, to life in the military to life out of the military. They could have also been weighing the grandparent's health at that point also, Prince Phillip was ill when they were making the move to London. I also think the Palace has the right to deny things that they aren't ready to announce. This nosing around by the press for ammunition to use to fuel speculation and invite criticism before decisions are even made and arrangements are even ironed out is intrusive and damaging. Charles had a place to live in KP and High Grove from even before he was married. The in town place and the country place seems to come with marriage in this family as a right of passage. I think it's not fair to turn this into some story of abuse of housing, when it's clearly not. Also, I think it would be nice to respect a woman's desire to stay home and raise her children just as much as we respect another woman's desire to work outside the home. Some women can choose whether they want to do this and Catherine can. I hate to see other women belittling this choice. Again, I say, it is not pretty to have to hang around through your 20's 30's 40's 50's 60's and perhaps 70's waiting for your parent to die to take over their job. It's good for William to have a career of his own at least until he is 40 if he can. Remember that there are 2 other sons besides Charles, Camilla and Anne who will be stepping in to take on roles their parents have filled as they aged out of them. This leaves plenty of time for transitioning to William, Kate and Harry. I am certain the way forward has been planned and none of this is haphazard because William can not make up his mind. It's so insulting to characterize him in this manner. I just don't understand where people get off denigrating others in this manner.

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    3. i wondered about the malta trip, too. maybe it was set up 8-9 months ago when they were still thinking of increasing their royal roles?

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    4. I agree with everything Jane's said. Two homes is no big deal for the RF. This arrangement is probably beneficial for the larger family as well, not just Charles siblings who do a full round of royal duties but the Queen's cousins as well. The Cambridges garner so much media attention, perhaps they are used sparingly so that the other's charities are not overshadowed. Also I think it helps to allow the POW to establish his role as the heir and allow his siblings some public role before a pared down royal family is put in place as Charles wishes. I think they have also learned from experience that putting family first is all around also best for the long term stability of the RF. Hope the next baby comes soon!

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    5. Well said Jane. I agree 100%!

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    6. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 04:47

      Jane, I agree with you 100% and you said it all so perfectly.

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    7. Jane I think no one feels Kate has to work full days but blow drying your hair and spending an hour for charity is hardly a strain on a family. I think she would be a better mother if she had some engagements. I think she took all her marriage gave her, paying it forward a small bit would show her appreciation for what she gained.

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  6. Spot on for Prince William and his family. When his father is King (hopefully, not too soon), then he will need to increase his royal duties. Now is the time for him to concentrate on his family.

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    1. Why? Serious question.

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    2. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 04:47

      Agreed!

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    3. I agree 100%! My only wish is purely selfish that I would like to see more of them. I wish them the best and hope another baby comes soon--maybe a little girl?!

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  7. Thanks Charlotte for bringing up this topic!

    I think it is a good move for the family, raise children in the countryside. Having a job he is very keen on.

    Although I must ask because it bothers me that how can his flying is allowed, is the ryal family is not concerned with this? I do not wish them any bad, but I still consider it dangerous. Anything can happen to him and he is heir to the throne. He will be a rescue pilot who does not work in a calm peaceful environment. What do you think about this? Are we not taking everything too granted? He will have enough time to fulfil his role -this is so commonly written here-but what make us be sure about this.What guarentees that after 3- 5 years or so they will be willing to return to public duties?
    But maybe I am just pessimistic....

    I can't help but laugh at the duchess has no rise in duties, sorry.

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  8. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)7 August 2014 at 16:27

    I'm a bit torn. On one hand, it is nice that they will be able to have a "quiet" family life for a few more years, giving their child(ren) a strong foundation upon which to place the various pressures that they will face later on in their lives. On the other hand, I am disappointed because, as a member of the public (as a fan, so to speak), I want to see the couple out and about more--visibly working for their various organizations, bringing attention to the good work of others. That being said, I believe that William is going to do good work--he is going to save lives and that is HUGE! I think that he will probably be fulfilled by doing this, I guess I'm just disappointed that we won't see an uptick in their appearances for a few years.(That isn't a commentary on whether or not they work enough--I don't go into that because I don't know what they are doing behind closed doors--this is more of an admission that I enjoy seeing them do their engagements)

    Ultimately, as Charlotte pointed out, the Queen said that she has to be seen to be believed. In keeping with that, people don't necessarily have to believe in William right now--they fully believe in HM and now need to believe in Charles (as next in line). Maybe, with William and Kate out of the spotlight (so to speak), an added bonus will be that Charles and Camilla will have more of an opportunity to work on being "believed". I don't think that is an intentional result but it is definitely a bonus....

    See...?! I am so torn. Obviously what I think about this doesn't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, but I am conflicted. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.

    Thanks for bearing with my stream of consciousness chatter everyone, and thanks for the post, Charlotte!

    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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    1. I agree. They have many years ahead of them to work their busy royal schedules, so this move makes sense to me. Let them grow their family and strengthen their bond before Prince Charles becomes King.

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  9. He should've put that money towards the kp renovation
    Kate has a full time nanny its a joke she keeps refusing to due more work


    Sarah d

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    1. THANK YOU! I totally agree! I understand that it's got to be hard to leave your kid, but working mothers do it all the time. William and Kate need to step up their engagements. They are the modern face of the monarchy and a lot of people are judging the monarchy based on their actions alone. Both need to understand and respect this. I think this decision is by far the dumbest move they could be making at this time.

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    2. Why so bitter????

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    3. Expressing an opinion is not bitterness, just an opinion.

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    4. Anonymous 20:22 - What is it about Sarah d's post that is so bitter?

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  10. I think it is great. I think William wants as much private time as he can get because it can all change in an instant.

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  11. Rhonda - Wisconsin7 August 2014 at 16:42

    While I would love to constantly see William & Kate in the public life, we have to remember that they are still newly married and life as a full time royal can still be put off for a while. It's a great opportunity for them to continue to build their strong foundation and become the close family (like the Middletons) that William obviously craves. It had to be tough to grow up watching his parents always be at odds and he wants a close, loving family. Good for him for not bowing to pressure. I hope him and Kate have at least two more children and enjoy their family time in the country.

    Having said all that, I will miss seeing them like we have the past year. I hope that they find a nice blend between their private and public lives. I just love this blog and love to see and hear about Kate, Will and Harry!!

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  12. Do I understand correctly that he will be earning a wage from a charity organisation and then donating it to another charity? Why doesn't he just fly as a volunteer? Confused :-/

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 18:52

      He will get pay from a pilot firm, not the charity itself. And my guess is that at a position like that with continued risk, education etc they have to have him on the payroll. Hence him giving it away.

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    2. I could be wrong but I thought I had read he was donating his salary back to the air ambulance ....
      Sin

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    3. Haha! Sin? Maybe that was a Freudian slip :-)
      Simone

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  13. Seems like the perfect opportunity to expand their family!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 18:52

      My guess is that that's the plan :)

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  14. I know this news will receive a mixed reception by many people.

    I think it's a good decision. It sounds like William will have time to do public duties as well as the job and I think it will keep him active and busy and out of trouble (quite frankly), and an outside job is probably something that Charles needed at the same age (despite being heir to the throne). Charles seemed to be happiest when he was in his 20s, in the Navy and doing intermittent engagements for the family.

    I think William is just bored with the few engagements that he does. Even a busier royal like Charles doesn't do an engagement every day, typically clustering 2 or 3 a day in 2 or 3 days a week. For someone who's young and active and ambitious, it does seem very dull.

    For Kate, it sounds like she will do pretty much the same number of engagements (perhaps a few more). I definitely think within the next year they will announce her second pregnancy. Depending on how many children they want (I would assume two or three to mimic their own small families), they could all be born within the span of a few years while he is with the ambulance service.

    The Queen and Prince Phillip, despite his health scare, both seem to be happy with what they are doing, slowly cutting back on engagements. By the time William is done with at least the first two years of his service, that may change (and I expect there will be a clause in his contract allowing him to leave earlier if he needs to), and he will be able to assume more public duties.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 18:54

      I agree with every word in this.

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    2. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 04:52

      Agreed

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  15. What a nice post! Didn't the queen drive an ambulance during WWII? I really think this is a good choice for him, especially if they want to have another child. Most of the royals are behind the scenes in their community work like Prince Charles involvement in sustainable agriculture, but William is in the thick of it flying helicopters for RAF rescue and soon the ambulance service. It will be interesting to see how things work out for him and the service. I wonder if they are going to have another child soon? This is probably as good a time as any to enlarge their family with William under contract for two or more years. Its a little more stability than the past two years of not really having a permanent home.
    Mel in SoCal

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    1. anon from Leominster7 August 2014 at 20:26

      Don't believe so. I think she worked repairing vehicles. Don't recall anything about her driving an ambulance. And she continued royal duties (given she was very young.)

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 22:34

      She was a driver and mechanic of ambulances.

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    3. The Queen repaired military vehicles during the war. There are pictures of her flat on the ground under heavy lorries. They say she still knows her way around an automotive engine, and she likes to drive herself around on her own property. She knows the value of physical work.

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    4. The (then) Queen wrote to someone saying that all Princess
      Elizabeth could talk about at the dinner table was "sparking plugs!"

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  16. An excellent idea. William is not next in line to the throne - it is as simple as that. I think they have the right balance until they become Prince and Princess of Wales.

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  17. I'm a US citizen, so I can't day much about his work or the Duchess', but I can say he doesn't really seem to care much about public opinion. In my own opinion of course. Good for him and his family to settle comfortably where they feel most at home. The firs time I read 7 am-4 pm daily hours, I thought to myself, "that really is as 'normal' as it gets." My husband doesn't even have those hours! He's always working! As I'm sure most family men are, as they want to provide for their families. Again, I'm glad this young family will have time to grow as a family in a place they feel comfortable.

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    1. Amy, Detroit Michigan7 August 2014 at 22:46

      Yeah, I really have no opinion about this choice that Will and Kate have made. I do have the opinion that it bums me out that no increase in duties means no increase out the Duchess's outfits. LOL

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    2. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 04:53

      As do ALL of us!

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  18. Interesting post. Perhaps one day you can explain the embargo press system you've got - are there laws that state you must follow it - or is it give and take - if one breaks it, they are not allowed in royal press pools? This is a system we are not familiar with in the states. Is this system only for the royal family, or does it apply to other news areas as well?

    Also, we call these services Medevac in our area and they are government funded so we don't rely on the ebb and flow of charitable contributions to maintain it since it is a critical service. Interesting that you have a national health care system, but that you don't fund emergency transport services? So Williams salary is actual paid by donor contributions and then he plans to donate that back to some other organization for appearances sake since he doesn't need the money.

    Sandringham is actually closer to London then Angelsey. It is 180km (111 miles) from Sandringham to London which is about 1/2 hour helicopter ride, which explains why the family leased one.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 18:57

      They do have it in the states too. Just followed a blog about a game. And during the conference all the information and pictures etc they got was under an embargo for a week after or so. The blogger said that otherwise they would be legally sued and not invited to upcoming events. So I guess it's similar.

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    2. I thought the helicopter was to be used for RF members going on engagements that are a distsnce from where they live-- cutting down on travel time. And didn't someone here mention sometime ago that Charles & Camilla had an incident in which the helicopter they were using had to make a sudden, unscheduled landing??

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    3. It allows the press to plan as well. During my time at a major metropolitan daily (when online papers were mostly just beginning) we had daily meetings at 9 am and at 4 pm for the print edition to discuss assignments, content and placement with an editor from each department attending.

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  19. Good for him. In this day & age of constant media glare. I am glad he will concentrate on family first. Royal life 2nd.

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  20. Great post! I think it is wonderful William is doing this. He should enjoy what little freedom he has now, as the time left before he is POW then king is ticking away. Bravo for doing a job that is, in my opinion, heroic.

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  21. My guess is that they will like to have a second baby in that time and enjoy the first years of their children before doing more royal duties back in London ;)

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  22. Well, at this point, hardly a huge shock. They've shown no inclination over the past 3 years now at being full time royals...and in fact, aren't even half time.

    On the other hand...I do expect they will have another child next year and really, if I were Kate, I'd take the opportunity to stay home with them as much as possible too. Still a shame that she can't or won't take on a few more duties. After all, what is the nanny for?

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    1. Lin from the Netherlands7 August 2014 at 19:00

      Agreed, Anon!
      I expect Kate will probably involve herself in local causes like scouts etc. And maybe a more active role in her charities too (if she isn't already very active).

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  23. I am so glad George will have a normal childhood! Let's all give them a chance to live and enjoy real family life. Good decision indeed!!!

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    1. I so agree! I think he will make a much better king for having had somewhat of a "normal" family life. I'm so impressed with their decisions over the years.

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  24. Jane from New England7 August 2014 at 18:21

    I think it is a spectacular choice for them. A good solid upbringing for George and perhaps siblings in early years and establishing good quality country friends who no doubt will be with them throughout their lifetime. A place for their families to gather around them unintruded upon. A place for Catherine to entertain in her new home. It sounds wonderful to me and one I would love in their circumstances. I wish them every success in it. And also, William in his new job. He will be better fitted for service to the country as king one day with this wonderful period of his life, and I think both he and Catherine will feel more fulfilled and prepared to be king and queen one day. An absolutely great choice!

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  25. Jean from Lancs7 August 2014 at 18:25

    Glad that William is being allowed to do a job he loves and also raise money for charity. In 2 years he will be 34--with the possibility of 60 years of royal engagements ahead. I have no doubt that if circumstances were to change radically in that time, they have ensured "get out " clauses in the contract.
    I am delighted too that Catherine is being allowed to continue with what she so obviously loves---being mother to George and any other children they may have. It will certainly be better for children in Norfolk that in Kensington, where it was recently recorded that air pollution broke EU rules. There will also be more privacy there.
    Of course we all loved to see them and they do a wonderful job when they are doing royal duties.

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    1. Great points, Jean!

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  26. I know what I think; it is good news for William, who gets to fly, and even better news for Charles, who gets William and Kate out of the public eye--less competition--, and bad news for Kate. Who would want to live in a home once rented by the Van Cutsem family, who provided a safe house for her father-in-law, Charles, and her step-mother-in-law, Camilla, to cheat on their respective spouses? Who would choose to live within a mile or two of her grandmother-in-law, who actually owns the house Kate occupies? Who would want to live twice as far from her own parents than she would if she lived in KP?

    This is a losing proposition, all round, for Kate. And what about Maria Teresa? Is she moving with them, or are Kate and George going to lose her? If the latter, so much for raising a multi-lingual prince--but a great cost-saving measure for multi-millionaire Charles--and so much for freedom of movement for Kate.(I am confident that her movement will be restricted if she has to take THE HEIR TO THE HEIR TO THE HEIR along wherever she goes, even to simply go grocery shopping.)

    And what happens if Kate becomes pregnant, and ill, again? Who takes care of George, if there is no nanny? and no Daddy, for all intents and purposes? Kate? But wait a sec, didn't Kate need help the first time round, from her Mom, to see her through the worst of it?

    I can find nothing positive in this move for Kate--and I haven't even touched upon the PR ramifications, and silly accusations of laziness sure to follow Kate.

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    1. IMO you have it all wrong. First William is doing this for his family. He will be like anyother husband/father going to work either morning shift or evening shift. But either way he will be home with is wife & child/children.
      The queen is not there except for the holidays. The nanny has her own living quarters there also.
      I am sorry but you should read more about what was being built and redone at the property. It explains everything.

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    2. anon from Leominster7 August 2014 at 22:08

      Being a helicopter pilot is high risk and has long periods away from your family on an on-off schedule. It's not at all easy on familes if it's done in the regular way. William would actually have a great deal more time with his family in a conventional sense if he took on royal duties.

      (i.e. if William doesn't assert royal prerogative over his fellow employees - I don't expect to hear about him on Christmas shoots or at Balmoral for a month unless he forfeits other holidays. No other employee should have change a day due to William, who will have lowest seniority)

      William is doing this because he loves helicopters and always has. He is a little boy in a lot of respects. I thought Diana was wonderful. but this flitting of William is something I think he inherited from her.

      Diana made some very strange choices when she stopped a regular royal schedule and it didn't prove to be a happy time from her. I remember reading Hasnat Khan ended the relationship because Diana wanted to be "normal" but only on her terms. She didn't really know what normal meant.

      I suspect the press will be more intense and worse because of this decision. Royal duties filter attention. When there is nothing to publish in that regard, that's when you get articles about Kate's shopping and royal kitchens.

      William has no experience working with lay people. The military is very different. He is going to have to be at once one of the boys (and maybe girls?) and extremely careful since anything he says at work may appear in the press.

      A lot of challenges for William ahead. This is no doodle. And one he will find hard to escape from. I know two very fine young men who started to be paramedics and decided it wasn't for them, because it was much more grueling than they had imagined. One was ex-military. As a pilot, William may be spared the worst of that but there will still be some. And if he quits he will be branded forever as a quitter like Edward with the Royal Marines.

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    3. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 04:59

      The one thing I think you are right on about, that not many have said, if they were thinking it, is that possibly they are "choosing" to go back to a quieter life because the palace needs the public to accept Charles as king, and frankly, there isn't much public support for him. To boot, he isn't going to get that with Kate and Will getting ever more popular!

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    4. Leo-- one advantage of this new job will be that Kate won't have days and days by herself ad at Anglesey--sounds as if William will be at home at night--and three days off. I believe that Kate said that the first five months with George were tough because William was gone so much.

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  27. Jane from New England7 August 2014 at 18:30

    I would like to add that I think the Queen was in a very different position. She HAD to be front and center at 25! And I think if either Charles or William were faced with that same situation, they would both rise to the call. However, William has a whole other reign of his father in front of him, barring unforeseen circumstances, and the Queen didn't have that privilege. I applaud her for what she has done. I bet in private, though, she is strongly encouraging William and Catherine to take this opportunity she didn't have. I also think, it will make for stronger children to be raised by loving parents in private for awhile, and I imagine that does not escape the queen either. Three of her 4 children had shaky marriages. I imagine she does not want that for subsequent generations. Young people need time to build a firm marriage. I'll get off my soap box. I love them all and enjoy following their lives -- not obsessively, but it is fascinating and inspiring.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 19:02

      No, she didn't have to. She nagged and nagged on her parents and they FINALLY let her do it. She wanted to help. She was in no way required to.

      Otherwise I agree with your post :)

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    2. Jane, I agree with you. Those who remember the 1980-90's when the Queen's children were in failing marriages, terrible publicity, behaving like idiots, dragging down the monarchy might see this as an improvement. Many speculated that their abnormal upbringing had something to do with it. I think bringing up George and any future siblings he might have in a more typical family (Yes, quite wealthy and privileged) environment than any other royal children in history can only be a good thing, since little George will inherit a very different monarchy than we see now, or perhaps even reach adulthood in a republican England, his father the last King. So I applaud the Cambridges for making this choice.

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    3. Hi Rebecca, I think Jane was referring to the fact taht @ 25 she didn't have a choice as that is when Elizabeth became queen after her father passed away.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 20:12

      Ah, you may be right. I thought she meant the ambulance :P

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    5. Yeah, Rebecca, I thought that might be the case :-).

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    6. Jane from New England8 August 2014 at 02:35

      What I meant, Rebecca - Sweden is that the queen was required to become queen at 25, because her father, the King died then. I know she wanted to serve her country and I admire her for it. Maybe I didn't state that clearly.

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    7. Jane from New England8 August 2014 at 02:43

      Yes, Greybird K, I agree with you. I lived through the 80-90's, too. I was a great fan of Diana, copying her styles with great admiration, like the younger women do with Catherine now, and I greatly admired her and still do in many ways, but it was a terrifically difficult time for all of them with so much instability in their private lives. I think they all learned some important lessons through that. I also think, from what we can see, that Catherine seems to be more of a "country woman" like the Queen, and Diana really enjoyed the city life more I think. There used to be reports of how bored Diana felt at Balmoral and Sandringham. I think your thoughts about the kind of monarchy George might inherit are very perceptive, too. I agree with you.

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    8. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 05:01

      Well said, and I agree. That queen, if for nothing else, she has to be hailed as someone who has tried her best to roll with the times and for trying to find a balance between private life and duty. I adore her for this.

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    9. Given the criticism of The Queen's putting her duty before her children (which is the way that SHE was raised--with long absences while her parents were on tours when she was little) even though she was very close to her parents-- her being the Sovereign took her away from her children (to very ill effect in most of them) whereas her father was the sovereign & her mother as Queen Consort was able to spend at least SOME more time with her & Margaret. I fear this is a bit of a ramble---hope It was intelligible.

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  28. I'm sure lots of people won't be pleased that they're not taking on full time royal responsibilities, but I'm one who thinks that this will be a good move for Will, Kate, and George. I'm glad to see William continue to use his piloting skills in a way that helps the general public. There will be many years in the future that he can devote to full time royal duties, and in the meantime he is pursuing a career of service, albeit not a strictly royal one. Kate seems to want to focus on being a wife and mother, and I can't fault her for that. My own mother stayed at home while we were small, and I am very thankful that she was able to do that. Anmer seems a wonderful place for George to grow up.

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  29. Respectfully Charlotte, I do not see it as "his decision to put his own wishes first and postpone a royal life". I see it in the same light as Prince Charles needing to carve out his own role while waiting to ascend the throne. He was also criticized for how and what he did. At least William is being productive during this time and helping whatever charities he chooses. He will continue to help out until needed in a full time capacity. How many others members are currently performing full time duties. I can hear the outcry now if he were to come in and take over their current functions. In 2-4 years many of them will be scaling back or have quit public duties altogether. How many respectable charities are still in need of a royal patron? How many ribbons need to be cut or plaques unveiled? This is what he is trained for so let him do it and see him as being productive. There can only be one person on the throne at a time - William's and Kate's time will come! I think he will be seen enough to be believed.

    Wow what an uncomfortable place to be - waiting for your Grandmother and Father to vacate their roles so you can take over and be seen as taking on your responsibilities.

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    1. anon from Leominster7 August 2014 at 22:11

      Actually a lot of charities benefit by royal attention and there is a shortage right now. They are turning to patrons elsewhere. It is frankly a lot more than ribbon cutting. It brings tremendous cheer to people and helps charities raise not just money but attention is a way no foundation can.

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    2. I was thinking though Leo just imagine how much attention this will bring to the air ambulance charity and for sure the increase in donations they will see .... Simone

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  30. One thing that has not been mentioned so far: the effect on Prince George of having a father with a regular job to go to daily, just like most British boys. This could be a very good thing for a future monarch to experience, to help with empathy for his subjects. If William also does royal duties in addition to his full time charity job, then he will be working very hard indeed.

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    1. Lin from the Netherlands7 August 2014 at 18:55

      Good point, Eve, I am guessing this will have been an important part of the decision they made!

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 19:03

      I agree alot. That gives him a perspective no other royal child have been able to have.

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  31. I have to say I'm a little disappointed. Then why spend all that taxpayers money on KP if they are going to be in Anmer Hall for the most part? At least Kate should be doing some more public duties. She has a nanny and staff to help her out. Its been 3 years and she hasn't made any real effort. Pippa is doing more than Kate (and even given an interview) and she is not even royal.

    I think this going to hurt them a bit popularity wise. They are really pushing the press out when they should be working with them. We all know from past experiences what happens when the press turns on you.

    I know some people say that they are not the prince & princess of wales and they have years of duty ahead of them so they should enjoy family life. But what if, God forbid, the Queen or even Prince Charles dies tomorrow? Then what? We don't know what the future holds and anything could happen. If anyone follows Harry, I feel like Harry is doing more work and, yes he doesn't have a family of his own but he does have a army job and yet still has time do engagements and come up with the Invicitus Games. He seems more prepared to be King than William.

    And ok, they do things behind closed door, but that's not the point of a monarchy. A monarchy has to be seen, they have to prove that they are still important to society. And if they did more work publicly, then doing things behind closed doors wouldn't be a problem. The problem is they are not seen in public enough which is why people have hard time believing that they are doing things behind closed doors.


    Sorry for a long post. I'm not trying to be rude or anything. Its just frustrating the way they are doing things. They have so much potential. They could at least do a few engagements a week even if its opening a new hospital or something. Anything.

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    1. They will continue their engagements and tours. And we will continue to see them. That was confirmed by the Palace.
      Monica, France

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    2. Monica I am betting you will see them at fun sporting events such as tennis matches, polo matches and holiday activities with the royal family. Killing two birds with one stone.

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  32. Pauline Oak Hills7 August 2014 at 18:40

    I am glad William is doing wat he want's. He & Kate have their whole life ahead of them for royal duties. I feel that the Queen & Charles learned from the mistakes of the past. This shows in the way they are lettign William & Kate live their life. William is putting his family first by moving them to the country so Kate can be a mom and not have the cameras in her face and Goerges everywhere she goes. And she can walk George and play with him out of the view of the media.
    This would not be possible if the Queen and Charles did not support his choice. Thumbs up for William, the Queen & Charles.

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    1. I am delighted too!
      When the time comes, he will make a wonderful king with the woman he loves by his side. And their children will be very well balanced.
      Yes Thumbs up for William Pauline and anonymous! Hurray that he may be alowed the job he wants. This young man loves to help people with all his heart.
      And the duty of a King is not so much to be ABOVE the people but at their side.
      Great post Charlotte!
      Monica, France

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  33. no great surprise.

    a couple of concerns/thoughts:
    - queen. phillip, charles and camilla, and the queen's cousins who cover many "smaller" engagements, are in their 80s-60s. at what point will they get to slow down while still making sure royal responsibilities and charities are covered?
    streamlining the royal family makes a lot of sense, but only if ALL members, including younger members, are working at full capacity. the family participates in thousands of activities and charities. what happens to them, when there is no transition plan from older to younger people?
    or is the plan to transfer everything to charles and camilla, and his siblings, until wills&kate are ready?

    - does having only older (over 50) family members visible, risk losing the interest of younger generations of the public?

    - i wonder what harry thinks about all this, since (according to media reports) he had to give up his active service and regiment for a desk job in london to fulfill his royal responsibilities?

    - i wonder what beatrice thinks about all this, since (acc to media reports) she is begging for an official royal role, and wills&kate are so clearly not stepping up to be the family members who would bring excitement, glamour, youth to royal duties, and reach a younger audience (and which she could do).

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    1. For Harry, I think he had to take a desk job in order for promotion. But he's also using the opportunity to start the Invictus Games and help his other charities.

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  34. Lin from the Netherlands7 August 2014 at 18:55

    Great post and wonderful information as always.
    Like many other posters, I am also a little torn. I can definitely understand the decision and I can't blame William for wanting to do what he wants while he is young and raising a young family. At the same time, it is a pity that we are going to see less of them, and while I trust that Kate will involve herself in her charities / local causes like the scouts etc, I would have liked to see her carve out a position for herself in some way or another. On the other hand, if she wants to be a stay-at-home mum, that's a decision I can respect as well. I've always had the feeling Will and Kate preferred the quiet family life to the glamour of the spotlights so it is no surprise they have made this decision!

    Lin

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    1. Lin from the Netherlands8 August 2014 at 13:00

      I also meant to add that if Kate and Will are going to go for a bit more of a working life, I would have liked to see Kate in a position or job of some kind for herself too, either by assuming a couple of royal duties a week (like other posters said, doing 2-3 engagements a week should still be compatible with being a mum, especially if there's a nanny and staff on hand as well) or maybe through some other (charitable) positions. In the Netherlands for example, Princess Laurentien works full time as president of various commitees and charitable organisations against analfabetism, wrote a book to promote the cause, etc. Given how Kate seemed interested in her charities with children, I could see Kate in a similar position like this.

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  35. I just watched BBC Look East and the presenters seemed hugely excited Kate and William will be based in the region and the coverage was very positive. They interviewed a boss at EACH and he stressed how many private visits Kate makes to their hospices. They are building a new hospice in Norfolk and he joked that Kate could help lay a few bricks:-).

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  36. I think this is a good decision for everyone involved. I think Prince William working an every day job makes him and the family very relatable to every day families working to get by and making their families their priorities. I think the Princess should continue on in what I would consider part time to 3/4 time work and keep the focus on family. I think this is also somewhat calculated that Prince Charles/Camilla can be put more in the royal forefront getting ready to take the throne as William and Kate seem to steal a bit of their thunder. Fact is he's not abdicating so it seems there is time yet for William and Kate to enjoy this time in a more normal setting and also to decide how they will design and change the definition of what it means to be a royal in the future. God Bless! - Heather C Michigan USA

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  37. Marg and Leo- this comment is for both of you ( Marg, I got your message on the previous post, thank you for answering me personally, that meant a lot). I took the time to look back, and see what I missed, and I did miss a lot didn't I ;)?

    I am putting my comment to you both on this new post, because I want to make sure you both see it. And just to warn you, this is going to be lengthy (so grab a cup of tea), and I am not trying to keep anything going, I just have something to tell you both, that's all.

    First and foremost, I am so so very happy that you have both decided to stay here and continue to be a part of our little community. I think that I had a very unique perspective into this whole situation. For one thing, I missed the whole thing! Lol! And when I went back to read what happened, I had the knowledge of everyone's comments to you two about it, their comments to each other and your comments to each other as well, beforehand, so to speak.

    The thing I love most about Charlotte's community here, is we can share our own opinions and usually have friendly discussions ( sometimes debates) about them. I'm going to give you both my opinion now, and I hope neither of you mind me doing so, and then I promise never to bring it up again. And I want you both to know, I don't think of myself as special or that you NEED my opinion, I just wanted to share it is all.

    Marg, Leo- You both (including a few others; Bluhare, Jo, Esti, Florence, Helen, Royalfan, to name a few of them), are one of the most important reasons that I continue to come here and share my thoughts. Everyone that I named, and a few others I didn't, each have your own unique style of speaking and sharing your thoughts and opinions. You all are individuals, yes, but you also make up the group as a whole. Without 1 of you, any of you, that throws the group out of alignment (so to speak).

    What I believe happened is very simple: A misunderstanding. Someone said (sorry I don't remember who), that seeing something written here isn't giving you the whole meaning (without: facial expressions, tone of voice, etc). You are both very intelligent, funny, witty, expressive and lovely women, in my humble opinion.

    I will put it bluntly: if either of you (actually, this goes for the few I named also, and the others I didn't-and for those I didn't, I'm sorry, my memory isn't what it used to be) were to stop being a part of this wonderful blog, I would not comment again. You both welcomed me from the beginning, as did others, and encouraged me to keep sharing my opinions. As I said before, you each have your own unique aspects you bring to this blog.

    I think I need to continue this on another comment lol, its getting very long......so keep reading lol.....

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  38. Patrick from Austria7 August 2014 at 19:13

    I dunno at the moment how to feel about this. Sure ist great for him to do what he wants/likes and even better if it is something to actually help people. And of course, he, his wife and his son should have the opportunity to have a normal family life as much as it is possible. BUT the aren't just regular normal people, they are some day King and Queen and I am not sure if it actually will help George if they try everything to ensure him a 'normal life' like a normal family, when they aren't.
    I cant help but I'm always thinking of how the Crown Princess of Sweden and her husband are dealing with those issues. The cute Princesse Estelle is more often seen in public and I guess they are doing that so that she can deal better with her position as heiress to the throne. And for sure they are trying to give her a normal life as much as she can have it too, but on the other hand those children wont have a normal life, they will be in public most of their life. I guess it is not easy to find a balance between normal and royal and everyone has to find their own way to deal with it and make the best out of it, But at the Moment, Im not sure if this will lead to a good point. I really hope that this will change some day in a far away future when HRH the Duke and the Duchess became direct heirs to the throne.

    But of course those are just my humble thoughts about those matters. I wish them all the best and good luck for his new job and their new Situation on the country

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  39. I think it's fantastic. Once he becomes king - that is it until his death - so why shouldn't he do what he wants until he's called upon to be king? He is serving his community and living a "normal" life with his wife and family as he should. His great-grandmother lived to be 101. Assuming the Queen and Prince Charles live a long life - it could be 30+ years before William is king. So what do they expect him to do for 30+ years? Just shake hands and appear at events? He is making a solid contribution.

    The Queen is the queen - and right now it's her job for life. If there is stuff to be done - let Prince Andrew or Prince Edward do it (for the life of me I don't know what either of them do!) - why should it all fall on William so early? I admire him SO much for his choices. While I love seeing Kate - I admire her for keeping it simple and raising her family - THAT is her most important job and good for them BOTH making that a priority.

    Good luck to both of them.

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    1. Right on Anon! The Queen has two other sons and a daughter in addition to the PoW who are the rightful ones to support her in her present work. That's normal in any family. If mom and dad are burdened it's not the grandchildren who are expected to step in. W&C's turn will come when Charles needs more support. Meanwhile they get some experience on short tours on the continent and in the Commonwealth. All is as it should be.

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    2. anon from Leominster8 August 2014 at 07:31

      Anne already has a very full schedule. She is also likely to be facing some scandal due to problems with her husband''s private job. Edward works full time as well. But they get little attention.. Edward worked privately in theatre when he was young and became something of a laughing stock. It was a disastrous experience for him and he has never completely recovered his reputation although he works extremely hard now. I suspect if he had it to do over, he would have gone into royal duties immediately.

      I'm certain Andrew would like to do more and the queen is known to be extremely fond of him. He was once as popular as William but those days are gone with the wind as the expression goes. He fell hard from public favour and is now Airmiles Andy. He's said to have done some good work fir British business but it doesn't take much to fall from public grace.

      So it's not a question of them not working, it is a question of public apathy towards them, or worse in Andrew's case. Charles wants to streamline the monarchy supposedly but there seems no real plan for how to do that with William and Kate not working much.

      The monarchy really does need some youthful figures to keep the vigor going. I do wonder whether it would be better to bring Beatrice and Eugenie on board as full-time royals. Working hasn't been a huge success for them, everytime they go on a holiday, they are attacked by the press for not being dedicated enough to their jobs. It actually would be better I think to get them on board - pity it wasn't done from the start. The monarchy is getting very geriatric right now. I'm old myself and I like the older royals who I remember being young, but the young people don't even know who they are for the most part.

      People say it isn't s popularity contest but the monarchy is and alway has to be. It has to have a role or there is no point in having it.

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  40. anon from Leominster7 August 2014 at 19:27

    This is no surprise but several things concern me:
    1. The renovation at Kensington Palace shouldn't have taken place. It was intended as residence for a working prince and contains improvements at public expense. Wiliam and Kate haven't been honest with the public.
    2. William is making no committment to the LIFE of a helicopter pilot. He is living as a rich man in an opulent residence with multiple staff and public paid security for a job that his fellow employees have to support themselves. I expect most of their wives have to work. There is little difference between this and Marie Antointette being a milkmaid. I felt differently about Harry in the services because he lived close in style to his fellow officers.
    3. Employment by royals who didn't need it to support themselves has always started with enthusisam and ended in tears. Think Edward and his acting career, Sophie and her public relations, Angus Olgilvy and now Tim Lawrence and their financial dealings. What's happening in Spain. It's a terrible fit. Even Eugenie and Beatrice are criticised for taking to many holidays when they're alledgedly working. The only ones who have made it work are are doing it to support themselves and have no royal future.
    4. Possibly they won't mind, but his fellow employees are certainly going to be burdened. They may not all like it. Tell-all books are a possibility.
    5. If things to go wrong with someone dying when the helicopter didn't arrive on time, it is a little tragedy for a normal helicopter pilot - for William, it could taint his and George's reign.
    6. William and Kate didn't have a good reputation for mingling with William's colleagues in Wales. I suspect there will be little mingling here, just a lot of partying with their rich friends.
    7. There is a lack of young royals to take his place. The monarchy needs to appeal to all ages. Support can't be assumed.
    8. Many charities are losing public attention while William supports one.
    9. I now wonder if William and Kate lack the committment to be a good King and Queen. They unquestionably have the gifts but there has to be a willingness to use them.
    My feeling is that William and Kate should at once pay full market rent on Kensignton Palace and pay for private security when they aren't working on public duties. But this won't happen.

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    1. I agree with a lot of your points. I don't have a problem with William deciding to take a job, particularly one that should avoid the embarrassments that other royals have encountered when trying to hold down jobs. Also, although I'd love to see more of Catherine I can understand her wish to be a mainly stay at home Mum. My main issues are that he and Catherine are going to continue doing a very limited number of Royal duties yet the British taxpayer is being expected to pay for a large security team, whose main purpose is to keep the general public away. We should pay for security when they are on royal duties but not when they are doing what they want to do. Also I can't get over the hypocrisy of having a full-time live in nanny while stating you want to focus on bringing up your family.

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    2. It is always good to get the viewpoints/opinions of those who live in the UK as working taxpayers and your expectations from your Monarchy. Every single one of your 9 points are so valid. I can have my opinions and speculations from across the pond but only as a foreign observer. I do have such a fascination with the Monarchy as it is so huge with ancestry and preserving its very old history. I like to think I have a small type kin connection in that most all of my ancestors came from England and Scotland with emphasis on England (just a small lineage to Ireland and possibly France). We have nothing like that kind of Head(s) of State here in US nor do we portray something for example so breathtakingly artistic as the appearance of blood spilling out of the Tower of London onto the grounds below commemorating each individual who lost their life in one war. And then resulting in the making of money that will go to such a good cause. It is so understandable that you all desire your Monarchy to be seen to be believed and ensuring that all the causes the Monarchy stands for are being accomplished by those who are royally connected. Part of my problem is the ignorance of the whole role taking picture of the Monarchy as relating to their subjects. Those of you from the UK who post on here aid me in a whole different perspective. There are such stinging truths in those 9 points you made. Thank you for enlightening those horizons.


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    3. Will and Kate pay for the nanny out of their own pocket. So if the see fit to have a full time nanny then it is their business. Not ours.

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    4. I completely agree!

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  41. Ok, now, where was I?

    Oh yes (and so sorry this is so long, but I just feel the need to share, hope you and others don't mind-I guess if someone does, they can ignore me lol)...as I was saying, you each have something different you bring to the table, so to speak.

    Marg- You are very witty, have a lovely sense of humor, are very caring, are open and honest, a great teacher IMO, and an over all very lovely woman.

    Leo- You are also very witty, have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts, very open and honest, also very caring and thoughtful, and indeed a wonderful woman as well.

    You both are also: very compassionate toward others, passionate about your interests and what is important to you, very blunt and forthcoming when needed.
    Both of you, and everyone else I consider a friend, have also helped me when I needed help, and I will never forget that and I can't thank you enough.

    Bottom line: I am beyond thrilled that you are not going anywhere. All of you have been there for me when I was a mess. I wasn't sleeping, I was having horrible nightmares, not eating, not able to work properly, didn't go anywhere, do anything that wasn't necessary, wasn't talking to my Mom. I was living in my own personal Hell, really, I was. It was worse than all of you even knew, and you knew most of it because you ALL are the ones who helped me. Therapy wasn't helping, medicine wasn't helping, dcts were not helping. I am being 100% honest and open here, the only thing that pulled me out of that Hell and what helped me is ALL of you! Everyone I named helped me in one way or another. Marg, your mother-hen attitude with me( don't be mad, affectionate term dear) made me feel protected, cared for, wanted, that you understood me, accepted, that I didn't need to feel ashamed anymore. Leo, your older sister attitude (also affectionate term as I don't have a sister and have always wanted one) made me feel accepted as well, like it was ok to be me and that I didn't do anything wrong; cared for; like I could tell you anything and you would still accept me for who I am; protected as well.

    So you see, the reasons I care and want both of you here, and the reasons I want to continue to be a part of this community with all of you (and the reasons this is so darn long, sorry) goes very deep and personal for me. In fact, you have all helped me to be more open and honest with my feelings and thoughts as well-I would have never had the nerve to write anything like this before. I would have been afraid of rejection, like I used to be.

    I will close now, again, sorry it was so long. I just wanted to get all of my feelings across, and I think I have. Oh, Camilla, you are included as well ( but honestly not sure if you are still here to see it). And lastly, Charlotte, I want to sincerely thank you as well. If it wasn't for your blog and the "family" we have here, I honestly do not think that I would be in a good place in my heart or my head now. You have provided me with more than I ever had a right to expect, and more than I could ever thank you enough for.

    Off to work for me. Take care dear friends. Will actually have time to read the post later lol :)

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    1. anon from Leominster7 August 2014 at 22:49

      Dear Jenn, I answered before, but Blogger ate my remark! It's in a grumpy mood I guess.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. They mean everything to me. I was angry at myself over that whole wretched business, over metioning someone's name which I shouldn't have. Because I really do believe that we all care about one another. I certainly do. I miss people who don't post anymore and wonder what happened to them and wish they would come back.

      I feel so bad for what you're going through. Life can be wretched at times. I always think of that Shakespeare quote "Troubles come not as single spies but in battalions" and those battalions have been on the march for some of us of late. I just went through the loss of a cousin who was like a sister to me, I don't have a sister and feel like I've lost my closest confident. Don't have my mum anymore either. It's worth getting back to speaking to yours if you can, but I don't want to assume too much because I'm sure you have good reasons. It's just you don't have them forever.

      Going through some rough months, I found being able to step away from problems that were right in my face and participate in a community like this gave me a lot of comfort and I'm glad it does for you too. Never be afraid to speak out to us because we do care, and a lot of us are facing challenges so we understand and want to help, even if it's just sending out a lifeline through this blog and a metophorical cup of tea!

      You're one of the best out there, and there are a lot of wonderful contributors on this blog. I don't always even agree with them, and don't feel I have to. I find it interestiing how people think.

      I've been wondering whether I really should be contributing. (This may be a duplicate to above, heavens only knows what Blogger is up to.) I was brought up to be cautious and to think through every problem relating to a decision, it was that way in my working life too, what I had to do.

      So I find it hard to see things in as romantic and positive way as some of the others. I like the fact they do see things that way, it just doesn't work for me. I've seen people sliding away from the monarchy and that worries me but it's happened before and the monarchy has always come through and I think it will again. It's not a question of disliking anyone. I want to see William and Kate develop as prince and princess and even as king and queen, although that's pretty unlikely for me - will be much too ancient.

      I'm glad you're finding yourself in a better place, dear Jenn, and keep those spirits up. We may disagree about Kate's clothes and Willliam's plans but I do believe we all support each other and any rows we have can be sorted out as long as we stop and think that we care about each other as humans, sometimes flawed but always meaning for the best.

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    2. Oh Jenn- bless your heart-- I know well what you all (except thugs!) mean to me -- but it's always a surprise to learn that one has actually helped to give comfort, confidence, the knowledge of being cared for & cared about, encouragement, and even a re-discovered sense of inner strength. Dear Jenn --you have no dea that what you just wrote was itself an act if giving--a sign of your true strength coming back!♥♥

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    3. Jenn, I'm thankful you are on that other side of your personal hell, and that you found the key to stimulating your mind and stirring some response to keep pressing forward. Depression is terrible, misunderstood, deadly. You are wise and brave, and you recognize the value in relationships. You'll beat it.

      Blessings on your continued journey.

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  42. Charlotte, you asked: Do you agree with his [William's] decision to put his own wishes first and postpone a royal life? Do you really believe that's what it was? William in isolation selfishly deciding to postpone his obligations to his position?

    I simply cannot see him doing that--not with such implied motives. I suspect his wishes have the full support of Her Majesty, Prince Philip and his father Charles. I tend to think that if THEY had wanted William fully entrenched in the FIRM that's where he'd be whatever his desires might have been. In spite of how this has been handled with the press offices (badly) I would wager (as others have said) that the senior royals rightly require that the attention be focused on them. Yes, Charles and Camilla are in their 60s, but that doesn't mean they are less than vigorous--and barring some calamity--they will reign first.

    Charles (though I adore him and find his one of the most untenable positions in recent history) is not popular. Never really was, not even at the height of his physical prowess and action-packed lifestyle. Diana upstaged him and I suspect he really doesn't need the same from his own son and daughter-in-law--who would do so without intention. The public focuses on youth and beauty which Charles and Camilla do not have. I'm sure that William does not want to upstage his father either. Both love each other too much for that.

    When the Queen ascended the throne at 25 there was no competition except for a naughty sister's occasional bad press in a magazine (and that wasn't trending in the blogosphere or in the trash tabloids or mainstream news constantly feeding a frenzy in in the public as it is today).

    William's position is quite different. He needs something to do--even Charles has commented that he has had to create worthy & engaging projects for himself or he'd go barkers. William also needs something to do that is consistent with his gifts as a human being, his obligations to his family and his obligation to the Crown and country. I think this option hits all those bases admirably.

    As for the excess of renovating two homes, let's remember that W&C are not middle class as we are. The British nobililty and aristocracy have always had their country estates as well as a London residence. On numerous occasions W&C will be in London. It is only fitting that they have their own home there and that it be outfitted (at their expense) in such a manner that they can enjoy it as a family and carry out functions (entertaining and so on) appropriate to their station. This is normal--for royalty--though it may not be for you and me. Still, even many of us have a city home and a cottage at a lake somewhere and divide our time between the two. None of this is abnormal--just a matter of what one can afford.

    The Queen saw fit to give William a home on her Sandringham estate for his birthday. He'd be a fool not to enjoy it and give his family the opportunity to enjoy more privacy and cleaner air, all within easy access of London and the Middleton family.

    I'm quite sure the nanny will be going with them between places. There are many times when George (and any future siblings) cannot accompany their parents on tours and so on. Nanny will be there to provide the continuity and love when royal duties demand their time. That's simply how life is in the station to which they were born.

    As for Catherine not doing enough, I was happy to read the comment from someone in a charity describing her numerous private visits. Just as I suspected. She can do her work more effectively sans the media circus which accompanies her every move.

    And one more thing, I'm really enjoying how respectful this thread has been--at 45 comments when I chimed in. I hope it stays that way.




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    1. Hello Philly,

      I certainly don't believe it was a selfish decision. I believe William and Kate spent a lot of time making this decision and the transitional year helped William to decide full-time royal duties were not for him. There were many avenues he could have taken as second-in-line which would have helped causes he's passionate about. Conservation, organisations etc

      Ultimately it was a choice for William and he chose returning to flying over royal duties. Many feel the time has come for him to take some of the burden away from The Queen and Prince Philip. One might ask, how much longer is their workload sustainable for?

      Aside from royal duties, I think William and Kate decided they want to bring their children up in Norfolk and I do think that's an excellent idea. I'm not in any way criticising William's decision. He was perfectly entitled to do what he feels is best and ultimately once they are happy that's what matters. I was merely pointing out it was a choice. If you read the paragraph you'll see I'm trying to point out both sides of the debate.

      Very interesting thoughts in your post Philly, thank you for sharing :)

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    2. Philly - well put. Thank you.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 20:29

      Very nice post. Not sure everything is as rosy as that, but good post nonetheless .

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    4. Thanks, Philly, for a very interesting perspective. Yes, they are not just like us.

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    5. Philly -- not agreeing with you simply because you echo many things that I've said before-- but because that was well said!!

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    6. So much of what I wanted to say, Philly has said so well. Thank you!

      I'll just add, if I may?

      * Philip and Charles have both said they regret leaving a structured career in the military so soon in life. Philip had no choice as consort to a young queen, and I don't know the pressures Charles encountered as PoW to begin true apprenticeship, but the end result was not what both men would have chosen.

      The family learns from past mistakes and makes adjustments, at least in this generation, it seems.

      * Official residences are deemed necessary. That's just the way they operate. Everyone has one, and once William's tour in Anglessy concluded, it was expected he and his family would, too. I believe there was some fuss about Charles' renovation of Clarence House when it occurred, as well? But they weather these storms and the resulting press and move forward.

      * Whereas the temperature of the public was once taken by mood or number of letters to the editor, I suspect it is noted and treated differently in today's world. Accessibility to digital media and its many and varying outlets equals a crush of divergent opinions and comments. I wonder if given this, it is easier than ever for someone with William's well-documented stubbornness and desire to do things his own way to throw his hands up and say, "We'll do what we think is best. The rest will sort itself out."

      And thank you for your warm wishes concerning my health. I'm hopeful about a new trial I've begun.

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  43. Klara from Croatia7 August 2014 at 20:02

    Oh, I will miss seeing them... But wish them all the best in their new roles and jobs :) Hope they are happy! Their priorities are worthy.

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    1. Klara, you will still be seeing them, They are not abdicating. William is just taking on a full time job as well. He will not be increasing his appearances, but will continue to carryout duties on behalf of the Queen, maybe not as many as we would like, but you will him and Kate as well.

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    2. Klara from Croatia8 August 2014 at 09:48

      Hi Eva B, haha I know that :) I just thought seeing them (acctually Kate) through August. I was just hoping for increasing in appearances, but it will obviously remain as it is, if not worse :(

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  44. Hey charlotte :) i followed you blog since the very beginning. i am not a keen commentor, so you may not have noticed me. I really don't want to affend you, but in the last time, you (as everybody else who blindly loves will and kate) found excuses for every of their mistakes and for all the things they did do wrong. as i said, no offence, but sometimes it would be better to recognize that even people we loave and adore take bad decisions and make horrible mistakes.

    I am REALLY sorry to say this, because I once was a huge fan of william, kate and what they did, but in the last half year, they are pissing me off more and more. First there was this thing with the two holidays. Fine! A lot of people are talking two holidays a year. But the rest of the time, they are working off there asses (excuse my choice of words). Some now mention their tour of new zealand and australia as an excuse for this. But a lot of people have to do business trips, more than once a year and longer than 3 weeks..
    Then KP stated there would be a significant rise in duties over the summer months. This WASN'T the case.
    Next, the intensive and nothing but cheap renovation of Amner Hall. Good, they paid privately for it. But know they are making it their permanent or main home for year. Now i keep asking myself, why the hell they renovated KP?? I mean, it was a load of money that did go into the renovations, money from tax payers. That was the first time that i was really glad my country did not have a royal family and that my money is spent more thoughtful (i am from austria by the way).

    With taking this job and not becoming a full time royal is nothing but egoistic from William. The Queen and the Duke may be well in health, but they deserve to step down a bit. Yes, William is heir to the heir. But whats with The Earl of Wessex or the Princess Royal? They are far behind William in the line of succession and working like horses. So thats not an excuse for William.

    Now to Kate: yes she may be thrifty. But in the light of her beeing not a full time working royal, she spends to much in my opinion.

    When they are going on doing it like this, there won't be a King William ever again.

    Sure they - or at least - William was born into this role. But so was the Queen. And i think, if she could have chosen, she would have chosen to be a normal citizen. But she accepted her destiny and changed the world and made the very best out of her situation. and she created something great. Too sad that the younger generation will destroy this within years.

    In the end I wanted to say: I don't wanted to offend anyone with my post. I just wanted to say what i think. And sadly I have to say, i am done with william and kate. they are a really dissappointing. So i'd like to say goodbye to all of you. it was a really nice time.. but i can't just find any more excuses for their behavoir.

    Hugs and love to all, Lili from Austria

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    1. A couple of things:

      first, it is offensive to use the term "blind" in a negative way. Many people with sight disabilities find this alienating and offensive.

      secondly, i don't always agree with what william and kate do, but i think everyone is going a little cray on this.

      william is taking a job that really affects and helps people personally and immediately. that must be incredibly rewarding and it will provide many learning opportunities. he is also donating his salary to charity. that's pretty dope. concerning the cambridges "not working enough," come on! so much of what they do is not photographed. there is an immense amount of research and planning that goes into royal tours. there are private meetings with their organizations. kate has volunteered numerous times with the scouts and some of those trips have only been captured on camera by the paparazzi.

      yeah, she spends a lot of money on clothes. it's not great. but what really bugs me is that the next minute royal watchers are disappointed when she shows up in jeans, wedges, and a blazer. or a stella mccartney dress. and people think that she's obligated to show us something new all the time. seriously. it's ridiculous. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.

      i think it's really lovely that they are planning with george in mind. the diana/charles/boys thing was a fiasco. and family is important to them. it's actually really refreshing to see a family in the line of descent that's actually putting family growth and privacy first, especially with a young child. i don't think the queen was able to do that as much as she might have liked, and william's family life was so fractured, we don't even need to talk about it.

      and about the two residences…okay yeah, seems pretty crazy, but much of the money went to making necessary updates. like a driveway that would provide more security. also keep in mind that they are planning on staying in these homes for a while. they're not gonna toss these in a year.

      have you ever stopped to think that maybe the queen has a say in this? maybe she doesn't care? maybe she's glad her grandson is getting this opportunity? just maybe?
      other royals have decided not to work outside of the "firm." they're happy doing that. or they gave up jobs (edward and sophie) because of a scandal (yeah, they weren't always perfect).

      let's put some stuff in perspective before we all go crazy, okay?

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    2. Agree with everything you said.

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    3. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 05:17

      Ohhhhhhh Anon, move to America and you will see what RIDICULOUS spending is. If President Obama had only wasted 4 million dollars... ;)

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    4. Another point is Kate seems to be indecisive as Wills in her decorating and she had to re-paint KP/ A re-do when you move in shows you have no ability to stand by your decisions. The painter put down samples she should have made the changes then. Two indecisive folks who may not stay the course when their time comes

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    5. Well said ! Finally someone who has logic and good sense.

      Elly

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    6. @Anonymous7 August 2014 22:4
      A lot of maybes and speculations in your statement. I rather agree with Lili. Neither Kate or William take their "job" seriously. Not even sure if one can speak of a job. I would not care but they do benefit from tax payer money and that is not necessary. There are for example enough food banks and poor people in UK. The money spent on refurbishing KP was a waste and could have been spent on people in need of it.
      40.000GBP vs. millions for KP is a fake. 40.000GBP in comparison to the money spent on KP is nothing and looks rather cheap.
      Charlotte, would you be so kind to publish this?

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  45. Charlotte, great post as always! One question, if William is flying and attending to car crashes & medical emergencies, will royal protection officers and security accompany him? It that really in the best interest of the patients? It seems like they would be in the way and if not, is it safe for PW? I agree that from PW's standpoint, this is a great move for his family but I'm just not sure how much help he will be if all the added security he requires is taking up space while patients are being tended to. Also, I read on one website that the new position would allow him and Kate to
    Maintain the same number of engagements that they currently do. It said between 40-50 per year and would allow him to still do engagements on behalf of The Queen, including an overseas tour next year. If I can find the link, I will post it. Do you think there is any truth to that?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 20:35

      That's a good question. Not sure we will get an answer though since revealing specifics around the protection officers might be a security risk.

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    2. I'll ask around about this. Very interesting question!

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    3. Actually, I was just sent this from the BBC article :)

      "The job's a departure for the prince and for those charged with protecting him. His bodyguards already receive paramedic training. The training will be upgraded for those officers who will fly with William to ensure that in a small helicopter everyone can offer assistance".

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 22:39

      Do you know the source for BBCs text?

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    5. Yes of course - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28690483

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden7 August 2014 at 23:13

      Oh, I misspoke. I meant what source the BBC have for their information. Already read the article :)

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    7. anon from Leominster8 August 2014 at 07:40

      I trust these guards will put the well-being of the patient before William if there is a crisis on board. Otherwise, it would be unfair to the patient who has to be top priority.

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  46. I'm not sure how to email you, Charlotte, but this is the article I mentioned. It quotes KP saying there will be a foreign tour next year. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2718691/Heir-Ambulance-Prince-William-job-999-helicopter-pilot-40-000-year-charity-paying-tax-like-rest-us.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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  47. I think William signing a 2 year contract holds little meaning. If after a year he doesn't want to do it anymore for whatever reason, I doubt he would be held to it given who he is. Overall I feel like W&K want it both ways, which is really nothing new. My guess is they will continue to waffle back and forth in various ways for another few years at least.

    It's disappointing to me, but it's their life and hard to say what anyone else might do in the same position. I do worry about the long term health of the monarchy though, time will tell.

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  48. Certainly seems like a good decision on William's part to give himself something meaningful to do with his life, instead of just waiting around for his turn at the throne. But as for the salary part - why take the salary and then give it to a charity? How about just not accepting the salary at all and letting the Air Ambulance keep it? If they rely so heavily on donations for support, then I'm sure they could use that salary money.
    It doesn't seem like a good decision on Kate's part to not do very many public appearances. Like it or not, she is not married to a "regular working man". She's a member of the royal family, and receives a huge amount of money because of her position. She needs to show that she doesn't take being royal for granted. Her enormous privileges require that she give something back. And as for having a small child (ren) to raise - I don't see this as any kind of an excuse. Many many women go back to work full time with small children, myself included. She will never have the full-time 9-5 job that other women do. She can surely find a baby sitter for those few hours that she gets out to do engagements. George will in no way be impaired by having his mom go off to a ribbon cutting or charity visit once or twice a week.

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    1. So true! And why couldn't William take a part time position where HE could watch the child(ren) instead of it always sounding like it falls to Kate? All seems terribly old fashioned.

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  49. I am just wondering does William receive any money to live on from the British people? Did the British people finance any part of the remodeling of any of the two homes? If the answer is yes to either then I think what William and Kate are doing is wrong. They are being paid to do a job. The job being to be royals and promote their country. If he wants to be a pilot then live on that salary and that salary alone. Seems like some one is getting the short end of the stick and it is not William and Kate.

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    1. William has money he inherited from Diana and probably the Queen Mum. The public and private life of William, Harry and Kate are funded by the income of the Duchy of Cornwall. The state pays for security because there are people who would like to hurt them.

      The public money was used for only structural work at KP since it is owned by the state. None of the interior work such as furnituring etc or any of the work on Amner Hall was paid by public money.

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    2. anon from Leominster8 August 2014 at 02:03

      Actually believe interior improvements at Kensington Palace, things such as baths and kitchens were paid with public funds. The decorating was paid for privately. Amner Hall was supposedly paid for entirely privately but I'm not completely sure about improvements made for the security officers. In the past, those have been sometimes covered by public funds in private royal houses.

      Personally, I believe that since William and Kate are essentially planning to live a private life with relatively few public engagements in Britain, that there should be a public disclosure of expenses.

      Non-working royals have lately been expected to pay market value rent on flats in Kensington Palace (Prince and Princess Michael of Kent for instance although they actually often attend events with the queen, possibly as many as William and Kate has done this year.) I believe in fairness William and Kate should be paying rent on their flat in Kensington Palace until they assume royal duties. This would come from their private fortune and help fund necessary repairs on other parts of the royal palaces which are said to be in need and which request has been made for public funds.

      I really like William and Kate but find it very noblesse oblige, in a slightly arrogant way, for William to be donating a salary his fellow workers are expected to live and pay all expenses on to some charity. (Not clear to me which one.) His fellow pilots will have nothing like the lifestyle William and Kate plan to enjoy.

      For William to truly be a working helicopter pilot and not just a rich man who enjoys flying, I think a slightly higher financial burden should rest on him and Kate. It might give them a sense of the great privilages they have a members of the royal family, something they are not giving back in turn for the next few years. After all, for ten years, William has been protected by the public purse even as he lived privately. His obligations do need to start at some point.

      I doubt however the present government is going to want to pursue this. Still, at this point, I would be cautious if I was the queen about asking for any funding.

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  50. My opinion falls on both sides. I wholeheartedly commend William for taking on a full time job- he's developing his passion and using it to benefit society. In my opinion, that is more difficult than being a "full time" royal and also gives him a sense of normalcy (or as close to it as the heir to the British throne can achieve). Bravo to that!

    I have different feelings on Kate's decision to maintain her current modest level of engagements. I am a huge supporter of mothers and Kate appears to be a truly present and loving mother to George. She clearly enjoys the simple moments with him and personally concerns herself with his health and development. This should be commended and the Royal Family will be better for it. At the same time, she does have a nanny and staff members to help her out. I think she could easily balance doing engagements for a few hours a day and still having "mommy and me" time. Also, she could work from home conducting virtual meetings and writing emails in order to plan significant events like Harry with the Invictus Games while George naps or plays with his nanny. I'm not saying that her decision is horrible- she certainly isn't hurting anyone. It just isn't overly praiseworthy or admirable. As a fan and a future working mother, I would hope she would be a role model of the modern, independent, intelligent woman that I believe she could be.

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  51. Does anyone know if Prince William completed the ten-week Agriculture course at Cambridge? I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that he did not.

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  52. Canadian Friend7 August 2014 at 22:41

    Hi, Charlotte,

    Thank you for your ever speedy and interesting posts on all aspects of the Cambridges' lives.

    I think we really need to view this as part of a strategy for the "long" game which Will and Kate must play because of his position. Moving to Anmer Hall makes sense for several reasons. There is more privacy in the countryside, especially since I recall that Sandringham is very large. I'm not sure if the press will hang about there as willingly as they would in central London; perhaps upping the odds of a more normal life.

    William loves to fly. Unfortunately, it's a career with very limited job opportunities. It's obvious that finding a way to work in his chosen field is very important to him. I'm glad for him that he could do this. It takes considerable courage to go against the grain as he is. He should do so while he can.

    And that is the key to all this. His contract is only for 2 years. I think by that time they could very easily need a major reconsideration of their lifestyle. I wish no ill on the Queen but there is-realistically- a ten year limit (and that's being very generous) on her reign. The Queen Mother did live to be over one hundred but how rare is that still for most people. We shouldn't assume the Queen will follow suit. William could never continue as a pilot once he is Prince of Wales for so many reasons. This job is a temporary situation.

    Another contributing factor for Will and Kate is having more children. Given Kate's age, I can see the next ten years also being devoted to having and raising children. I would guess that they will likely have three or four, given the size of the Middleton family and the fact that I think Diana and Charles would have had more children if their marriage hadn't been so unhappy.

    Every family makes some choices and/or various concessions while their families are young. They move to homes in locations they believe are best suited. They don't take on the more demanding job or one partner steps back slightly from their career to be at home more. They hire help, etc.

    If YOU CAN AFFORD IT, this is the one situation you should throw a lot of money at. You should do what you want if you can manage it. Clearly, the Cambridges can and should set themselves up as best they can with money as no object. Please stop thinking of them as "middle class" with an either/or approach to choices that can be genuinely tough for those with lesser means. Why would they set themselves up for that when they don't have to?

    Further-it's apparent that Kate sets a great store by her upbringing in the countryside. She may want the same for her family. The KP reno is clearly something that had to be done in some form before part of a Royal Palace fell down. There is no question that William and Kate and several children will need a London base when Dad becomes Prince of Wales.

    I wish they had a better press office. Maybe then it wouldn't seem as if this was just coming "out of the blue". It might not seem as inconsistent as it has come across i.e. first, an impression of assuming full time duties after stepping down from the RAF, then living at KP, then at Anmer, then charity pilot, then etc., etc. This could have been spun so much better!

    Thanks for letting me go on so long! I do hope we continue to see Will and Kate semi-frequently!

    Best regards to all!

    I think we're looking at a two to five year window before their lives will change dramatically. I admire them for trying to make plans, just like "normal" people.

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    1. anon from Leominster8 August 2014 at 02:09

      This sounds like rather cold comfort to the middle class employees who will be working with William while living on forty thousand pounds a year. (Hopefully, they'll consider it an honour but for how long once the novelty wears off.) As far as I'm concerned, once William takes that job, he has entered the middle class. Being a member of the royal family carries special obligations and at this point, there is no certainty how much William and Kate will ever be prepared to give.

      Whether there was any need to urgently repair Kensington is debatable. But Buckingham Palace, a working palace, is said to need urgent repairs. It should have been given priority.

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  53. I understand W & K wanting to have a good family life away from it all but at the end of the day they are not normal people so they have to be seen to be doing their bit too in regards to royal duties. I feel sorry for his grandparents, as they are significantly older now but I also know this would not have been taken on if the Queen had not given her clearence. This set up could all change if one of them dies quickly too.

    I feel that if William is working, Kate, having a full time nanny, should a least be able to do some engagements every week. She may only need to do a couple of days and that would be fine. I think this would be a better reflection than not seeing either of them for weeks at a time - which might be the case. The majority of women today cannot afford to be stay at home mothers and it would be nice to see Kate reflect this somewhat, even if not to the extent of working 5 days a week. I also believe that they knew that Norfolk was going to be their primary residency when the Queen gave it to them and not KP. If this is the case, then maybe they should not have taken a KP apartment that was so significant in size and costing so much to make it inhabitable. I just don't think this looks good with the expense that the public paid out on it.

    KiwiNic

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    1. This renovation was long overdue. It's not W&C's fault that it was neglected this long and they have to take the blame for what it cost. Considering that they will be using it as a London base for (likely) many years to come and the changes they have made (high quality professional kitchen for one) will last well into this century--perhaps even beyond.

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  54. "small portfolio of work" these words would be like a slap in the face for me ...

    IMO having two engagements per week would not be a burden for Kate .. She could still be a wonderful mother and wife as she is now :)

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    1. Very true, most modern women and men share in working and raising children. Wouldn't it be interesting if we were being told that Kate was to take on a full time position and William was going to 'stay home' with the children.

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    2. William & Kate seem like nice people, but I can't help feeling that everyone save the Queen and Prince Philip are showing us that the monarchy is really not that relevant anymore.

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    3. Lin from the Netherlands8 August 2014 at 12:43

      Agree, Ida, and Kat, I hink that's a very interestingnotion I can really get behind!

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  55. Nice post! I'm all for them taking some time for Will to pursue his passions and Catherine to concentrate on being a mom. I have a son around George's age, and toddlers are definitely a full time job! Although I have to wonder, why spend so much on the KP renovation? I understand they need a place to stay when they are in London, but still, seems like a lot of money that could have been put to better use. Also why do they need a full time nanny?

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    1. i agree with you on the renovations thing and that toddlers are a full time job. but now comes the big BUT: Kate does have a full time nanny and kate does have a full time chef and houskeeper (antonia fressolone). so i don't see why at least she can't do one or two engagements a week

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  56. Charles is the next king (not Camilla as queen) and he's been waiting a long, long time, so why not, let W,K & G have a little bit of a life …they'll have a couple kids and do both jobs. Remember how jealous Charles got when Diana stole his thunder…no wonder it's all working out this way!

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    1. I think it's smart to stay out of Charles and Camilla's limelight. The way HM is going strong she might outlive Charles so it's good William and Kate are taking the time now.

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    2. Hi Anon 00:51,

      I have to say I disagree! Kate and William are healthy 30-somethings; and there are many royals wayyyy farther down the line of succession who are working more and representing the monarchy.

      I think it is irresponsible to make a large assumption that HM and Charles will have a long reign ahead of them. God forbid anything should happen untimely, but if it were - William and Kate will be horribly and utterly unprepared.

      So I respectfully disagree that William and Kate should be "taking it easy" - especially as they are more than willing to take full-time benefits of their positions.

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  57. Theresa, New York7 August 2014 at 23:52

    William and Harry are brave men who have put their lives on the line for what they believe in. Harry in Afghanistan and William flying air rescue missions. Although it happens infrequently, helicopters do crash. A dear girl that I went through high school with became a nurse for mercy flights and died when the helicopter she was on crashed. She was a young wife and mother at the time. I'm sure Kate worries constantly when William is on duty. All in all these three young royals are doing a pretty good job.

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    1. Prince William of Gloucester (1941-1972) who would have been the Duke of Gloucester died in a air-plane crash. He was Prince Charles's cousin and best friend. That is the reason why Charles and Diana chose to name their first son William.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_William_of_Gloucester

      Monica, France

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  58. I agree with their decision. They have the rest of their lives to do Royal duties. We forget there is Charles and Camilla. They maybe public figures but family is more important at the end of the day. The first years of George are going to be precious, and character forming.

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  59. I too, find this news to be disappointing and well, lame. I have always supported the fact that they want to live out of the spotlight and not take on official duties yet full time. I can respect that but there is something missing here that does not feel right to the public and whether they have to answer to anyone outside of the household or not, this decision looks extremely selfish and inconsiderate.

    William is too old to be playing around in Helicopters trying to save the world. I imagine this makes him feel better about himself but for starters, this is a dangerous job that requires HIM to be away from his family for days at a time, while Kate is on diaper duty raising their son. It just does not sit well with me and is, like another reader commented, terribly old fashioned. This is no tthe time, with an aging queen, this is all not going to turn out well. Was Kate's dream only to be a mom right now? I admire their parenting commitment but at the same time think it could be balanced out better with duties and experience for them in the long run.
    I want to add that I have never considered them middle class. Seriously though, a "Royal" middle class? You people that ever considered them normal, are being fooled by yourselves. Williams grandma is the Queen for heavens sake and they will always have different and better opportunities than even the wealthiest of people.

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    1. I guess you did not read the information released today except that he and Kate will be living in the country..William will not be leaving his family for long periods of time. He will work either 7am to 4pm. Or 4pm to 1am. This is just like any man or woman going to work. He will be home everyday with Kate and George. He would not do it if it took him away from them. That is one big reason he left the RAF, he was away from Kate to much.
      I take my hat off to him for putting his family first. And for the queen and Charles to support his choice. It seems that they have learn from the past.
      Also I think this will sit well with Charles and Camilla. The more popular couple William and Kate will now be out of the spot light.

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    2. It's basically a nine to five job…what is William supposed to do wait around like Charles. At least he's giving of his time…spreading himself around, so to speak!

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    3. I totally agree with you! If they keep on handling things like they do, there wont be a monarchie for much longer

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    4. Agree with one thing - they are certainly not "normal" in
      The usual sense of the word but then I don't think they ever really tried to portray themselves as such - it was the media who dubbed them to be "normal" ..... No one I know *ever* considered the Royal Family as anything other than rather eccentric, very privileged, very wealthy and generally jolly good for GB.
      I think William wanted there to be a purpose and point to his life and considering the massive constraints to achieving this he has come up with, in my opinion only, a pretty good option to achieving that. "Playing" in helicopters is really not what this is all about - having meaning and purpose in his life before / if he becomes king is what I think it's about and waiting around for the next 10+ years to become prince of Wales wasn't enough for him .... Fair enough I say. Simone

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  60. Hi!

    I think that if William and Kate are not going to be full-time royals, that is totally fine, as long as they stop taking full-time benefits.

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    1. Why not take full time benefits when they are getting full time hassle of all that it means to be a public figure who can never satisfy no matter what they do?

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  61. I think it's a good move - out of the fishbowl of KP and to the country - close enough (and with his own heli Grandma leased for him) to be used to get him around fast to London and elsewhere - not like they are out in the outback of Africa! I have to drive 40 mins each way to get to even a basic grocery store where I live - and they will have staff. I think it will be nice for them to have more kids in this location - more room for company too. I don't think they had enough to do in this past year and that could not continue or there would be an outcry soon of not carrying their weight and needing to get on with life - not thinking that his courses in agriculture maybe were his thing - and not like P. Charles would want to give up any of his eco farming to Wills supervision at this point. Chars still needs to keep his eyeball on the 'top job' as Di called it - and having Wills and Kate tucked away is a good idea for all concerned in that regard.

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  62. I'm from the colonies (Canada) and I'm having a harder and harder time justifying our allegiance to this family. I really want them to be of value to us, not simply be ambassadors for Britain. Their role needs to be bigger. They need to have some sort of relevance to those of us who print their likeness on our coins. Without that, they are no more than a dynasty of celebrities who SHOULD be doing charity work, regardless. But so what. William clearly doesn't want the job of monarch and Kate is a rich wife. Fine. But that's not good enough. Pass it over to someone with a little gravitas and concern for the Commonwealth. How about helping fix the mess Britain made with the aborigines of its colonies, and help those folks get on their feet. THAT would be of value.

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    1. Hi!

      I agree - the BRF is head of 52 countries. I do not buy the notion that there was not enough for them to do.

      I also refuse to use the excuse that they are doing all kinds of research (that's what staff are for) and all kinds of secret behind-the-scenes work (that's not doing their job properly).

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    2. Ooooo ouch .... That was a bit of a low blow Christine. I'm not sure Australia, as an example, would appreciate a bunch of POMS coming over to "fix it's problems" of well over 150 years ago .... Or any other country for that matter. We should Boris Johnson onto it immediately! Simone

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  63. I agree with this decision wholeheartedly. He has a father who is going to be king first. He never asked to be a royal yet still accepts his future fate. In my opinion, he should receive a free pass to do whatever he wants due to what he suffered as a child in the horrific and needless loss of his mother. This man lost his mother because of her fame and exposure to the world. I am sure they feel like The Hunted in London. He wants to protect his family and his own sanity. Why does he have to perform royal duties when he is third in line right now? I like the balance they are striking.

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    1. Oops correction: 2nd in line, sorry :)

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  64. There is no formal role for the 2nd in line to the throne. He knows how to carry out royal duties and so does Catherine. The next stage of responsibilities does not happen until he is heir to the throne. That is a fact.

    He once said that there is no greater calling than helping save the life of people in trouble. He is using the skills learned in SAR to do this. This will be harder as the people he helps evacuate will most probably be seriously injured. But he wants to help - this is public service at the coal face. Not easy; no let up; just hard. I have a local air ambulance - live coastal; rural; small roads; limited hospitals over 40 minutes away by road; we need the air ambulance. Perhaps some of you just dont know what that is like.

    Full time royal duties would mean adding at least another 600 engagments a year - there is no recognised demand for that. IT also would mean a huge increase in costs.

    They are not required as full time royals - the press might want it as it can increase their income, but generally it is not required.

    You might want it as you are "fans" but most of you aren't paying for the royals aas you do not live in the UK.

    They have over 50 yrs of royal duty ahead - a job for which their is no retirement - it is relentless. Only now do they have some space. If you are a real "fan" they you should begrudge them this time to have as normal a private life as they can. They will still continue to do the same level of royal engagements.

    I admire William for taking on a difficult and dangerous job which is clearly a public service role. Not a ribbon to be cut, but possibly a life to be saved.

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    1. Hi!

      Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester as well as the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra some of whom are 40 something in line to the throne yet they work full time so why can’t the 3rd in line? That's what confuses me - as well as William and Kate's tendency to take full-time benefits.

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    2. Well put CP.

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    3. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 05:22

      Completely agree, wholeheartedly!!

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    4. Tammy from California8 August 2014 at 05:23

      I just have to comment again, because I don't think I could like your comment anymore than I already do. In fact, I LOVE it. Yep, I love it.

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    5. Thank you very much for this CP. I completely agree with you. When the Queen is gone, William will be there for his father. I have no doubt about that.

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  65. Charlotte, I have a set of napkins on which is printed "Some call it a cocktail hour, I consider this a support group." I think you could adapt that saying as a motto for your blog! I am not immune - age is attacking me. This blog is definitely a place to enjoy a respite from health and family concerns. I wonder whether you had any way to predict that aspect of it when you began to post.

    When I was a teenager and young adult, I read about the Queen and Princess Margaret. In early middle age, when I again had time, I followed the adventures of Diana and Sarah, and wondered why I was fascinated by two young ladies just entering adulthood. Now in early old age, I am not even questioning my interest in Kate and her family. It's just the way it is. I suppose we always identify with young role models, whatever our own stage in life. They always remind us of ourselves.

    I am glad to see Catherine and William settling into a stage in life that will probably carry them through their early family care years. It is certainly true that they could be called on at any time to take on a heavier royal role, and that it will happen eventually. But right now they seem to be finding a balance between home life and public roles. They are brilliant at the latter, and therefore could be a serious distraction. They no doubt are great spouses and parents as well, with challenges and joys aplenty, And they are symbols of the future. May it turn out to be a future worthy of our own young and of the generation the young royals represent.



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    1. Hello!

      Your napkins sound wonderful! There is a great community here and it's all thanks to the poster who built it up over time. It's my favourite aspect of blogging now :)

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  66. CP good point on the added budget costs if they became more full time royals. I agree that right now is the time to just let them be as they are. In less time than not they will be expected to do so much more with a lot less privacy. I mean no disrespect but the Queen and Phillip are more at the end of life than the beginning. That will be a sad day. She has been an excellent Queen IMHO.

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  67. I think one has to remember the Duke and Duchess are not Prince and Princess of Wales; the PoW and Duchess of Cornwall do a great deal, the Princess Royal, Duke of York, Earl and Countess of Wessex and Prince Harry collectively vastly more, and Princess Beatrice seems to be interested in doing more herself. As to to the Duke being in harm's way, one of course feels for the Duchess, but frankly, the succession is assured already (and would have been even had Prince George not been born). I am quite sure this will not be a popular opinion, but it seems TO ME to reflect the facts as we know them, without going into any opinion about who in the RF wants what, which of course none of us know. Frankly, my biggest concern about all this is the continued problem of the press office(s), which do the RF no good and no credit.

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  68. I was still struggling with the idea that tax money goes to lease helicopters for one family to fly around the country to visit with folks, but you have to beg and collect charitable money to look after those who need emergency transport and then I read that taxpayer paid protection officers will be flying around in the helicopters with William and my mind starting doing back flips.

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  69. Why do people assume when there time comes they will man up and take on a full load. I suspect these two will be light weight royals their whole life. I hope she has enough time to work out and work on her shooting. I guess that is what the nanny is for, to cover for me time!

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  70. I think this is a great idea for them but I do think it represents a change in direction from their original plans.

    Last summer the impression that was given that William was leaving the RAF and basically taking a year out. He has effectively had George's first year to consider his options and enjoy being with his son. Kate's engagements have not increased as George has got a bit older and I think that the reason for that is the same as the reason behind this move.
    We know that George's first few months were tough, we know they were widely spoken of as not wanting a nanny - and then got one. We know that they miss their life in Wales.
    I think the last year has been tough for Kate, probably with some element of post natal depression (and perhaps ante natal depression too - she was very ill and that it often a trigger). We don't know what hours the nanny works. They can clearly afford to pay her full time when she only works two or three days. I think she's there as much as support for Kate as William. I think William wants a normal(ish) family life for Kate's sake and they both want to be based away from London again.
    So in one sense the doomsayers are right and she isn't doing more because she doesn't want to - but that's because of her own vulnerability and decisions that are being made to protect her. She always looks radiant on engagements and is great with the crowds. That doesn't mean she ENJOYS them.
    I think this is a couple looking for a balance and reflecting that the time they've felt most comfortable was when William worked in a non-royal role and Kate was able to volunteer locally and keep the home together. So that's what they're going back to. I wish them well with it.

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  71. Eve from Germany8 August 2014 at 09:18

    Well, how come that I have such a bad feeling about this... My head certainly agrees with Prince William´s decision to try living a life as far out of the spotlight as possible. But my "inner voice" just shakes her head because it just doesn´t FEEL right... I was searching and searching in my head whether I can find a comparative situation somewhere among other royal families, but, of course, there is no monarchy (at least in Europe) where the son of the heir apparent already has his own family and is therefore old enough to be a "full-time royal". So we have no comparison.

    The thing is: the public is the public. And if the public wants something you either give it to them or they tear you to bits in a split second.... The times of young Princess Elizabeth were completely different. Europe was still in the grip of post war difficulties and people didn´t have as much time or access to information about royal couples as we have today. Everyone was used to wait patiently for "official" photos or news and otherwise you had enough to do to simply survive.... Today is different. We have immediate access to information and that´s just human brain-working to want more and more once you realize you can have it (and your brain has nothing more important to "worry about"). The public loves William and Kate so they want more and more.... His mother tried to play that game of "having media attention when I WANT IT" - we all know how "successful" that turned out to be. Please don´t get me wrong: I understand their motives... I just know that it won´t work. The Queen saw things how they are: in our times monarchy has to be seen to be believed.... You´re "Royal" because people let you be - it´s that simple and that brutal, I´m afraid.
    What is more, Norfolk is NOT Anglesey. It´s quite easily accessible for paparazzi and within driving distance from London. So I guess William is in for quite a lot of "please respect our privacy" law suits. In my opinion it´s a lost battle. But a clear repetition of his own childhood drama where he tried to protect his mother (which she should never let have happened, that´s not a child´s duty and not funny or nice at all- it causes serious damage) and was unable to do so.....

    Nevertheless, it´s done, the decision is official now and we will see what is going to happen.....

    I thank you, dear Charlotte, for once again giving us the opportunity to voice our opinions and for once again offering us as much information as neutral and respectful as possible..... Kudos to you!!!!!

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  72. Theresa, from Paris8 August 2014 at 10:26

    Well, it was expected in a way, wasn't it ? Prince William is not in a hurry to take on too many official royal duties. But I think he is taking a risk. I agree with Anon from Leominster that he has no experience working with laypeople and that this will be different from working in the military. You can't expect the same "reserve" from people who face up to every day challenges in an economic crisis and who aren't bound by a military code of conduct. William is an extremely rich young man, who tries to be "normal" which he never will be. In a way, this is a bit annoying. Why not accept who and what you are ? He loves to fly and this is a way of doing it in a good samaritan capacity, but still, I do think he is taking a bit of a risk.
    The fact that the Duchess will not step up her official role is also a pity. It could bring a backlash of public opinion. We mustn't forget that times have changed a lot and that the royal families cannot live as they did years ago. I think it is a pity that she could be attacked for her lack of implication, even though she "works" behind the scenes.
    Of course, I'm happy for them and do not begrudge them these marvelous homes and a lifestyle which belongs to the "happy few". Good for them ! I just think their advisors and themselves do not realize the impact royalty has in this century. The other European royal families seem to have understood that better.

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  73. well great article Charlotte i love that prince william do what he wants while his not heir to the throne and maybe the duchess will balance motherhood duties to official duties

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  74. To all commenters, let's petition to kick out William and Kate of the monarchy. They're stinking our lives and disappointing us terribly by not making us happy. How dare them show us their faces only once in a blue moon! We own them for heaven's sake! They cannot decide for themselves! They should live to amuse us endlessly!!!!!

    :) :). :)

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  75. Joanne from Canada8 August 2014 at 14:13

    At this time I don't think too much from the public purse goes to support the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Certainly no "salary". Their protection officers, of course. Some of the renovation costs for Kensington Palace but I believe that was mostly for heating systems, plumbing and making sure that the structure was sound. Decorating was from their own or Prince Charles' funds. Charles' is also not funded by the public purse but from his own holdings. Kate's clothes would be from private funds. Anmer Hall was their own funds. Their expenses would be covered for any engagements, things like travel. That would need to come from the Civil List which is capped at a specific amount no matter how many engagements etc are undertaken. So basically any public duties that William and Kate undertake are from their sense of responsibility.
    I do not know what goes on behind the scenes of course but I would think that the Cambridges are doing everything asked of them by the Royal Family. I know that everything that they do gets a lot of attention that some of the other family members don't get. To make sure that feelings don't get hurt I think its possible that everyone within the family is happy with what the amount they are doing.
    I don't know of course. For all I know they could be as lazy as sin, but I guess I would rather assume a positive interpretation.
    Joanne from Canada

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  76. I think it is not fair to say that William is postponing his royal duties. In my mind, he is on the contrary, undertaking a very hands-on royal duty and taking it very seriously.
    1) He is donating all his salary to the charity he works at;
    2) He is actually doing work at the charity, as opposed to merely cutting a ribbon here and there
    3) He will be seen by regular people more, not less, because he will actually be out working with the people, building camaraderie with his (dare I say) future subjects, proving every day that he is worthy of their love and support
    4) his involvement will skyrocket the charity's profile and help raise money for it
    5) he is setting an excellent example for younger generation, showing how one can combine one's passion with useful work for society, and a charitable cause in one!

    From a personal perspective, it helps him feel fulfilled as a man, where he is doing something tangible for his people, as opposed to being a character in a dog-and-pony show.

    I am impressed with his choice: he is showing that as a royal he would rather do actual work than be a pretty fixture in the news. Many royal males before him did the same, such as Prince Andrew for example.

    As for Kate focusing on family - good for her. The last thing I want is for her to become isolated and overwhelmed like Duchess of York was, when her husband was out at sea, kids with nannies, and she was stuck going from one engagement to another every day. One cannot feel like a human doing that. Her Majesty The Queen is a very special human being, and good on her for being able to pull off her job so well. But, if Kate is looking for a different balance - that is her choice. I want to have a Princess, not a broken doll.

    Thanks.

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