We're back with a selection of news stories and updates beginning with news on Kate's health. Unfortunately, it seems the Duchess is still very much suffering from the debilitating condition Hyperemesis gravidarum and has been feeling so unwell another unannounced engagement was cancelled yesterday.
More from Richard Palmer's article for the Express:
'Kate, who is believed to be around eleven weeks pregnant with her second child, was due to visit Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup team base in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on Monday.
But aides have cancelled plans for her to go to Sir Ben's new £12 million headquarters in the Camber Docks. The 32-year-old future queen is still too sick.'
The visit was obviously a follow up to an engagement the Duchess undertook in June, during which she attended a private reception to mark the launch of Britain's attempt to win the America's Cup for the first time. Kate is a keen sailor and appeared to enjoy the launch and wanted to continue to lend her support to Sir Ben's efforts.
Back to Richard Palmer's article for official word from the Palace:
'A royal source confirmed the trip to Portsmouth had been called off and that Kate has no plans to undertake any official engagements before next week. Kensington Palace, while declining to go into detail, said, 'Her engagements are being reviewed on a case by case basis. Any further engagements will be announced in due course.'
Since Palace officials announced on 8 September that she was pregnant, Kate has been unable to work. Up until this week, she has missed 16 engagements on six different days including 10 planned for a two-day trip to Malta.'
Indeed, Kate hasn't been spotted in public since the pregnancy announcement, suggesting her illness has not subsided even briefly over the past month. HG is unpredictable and often worse with successive pregnancies; it certainly seems it is considerably worse this time round.
Kate has been staying with her parents Bucklebury and convalescing there. When one is feeling unwell the comforts of home and being surrounded by family are both very important. At Kensington Palace, one imagines with staff and aides around, it isn't very homely and while I cannot say this with any certainty, one does get the impression this is how William and Kate feel. Once Kate begins to feel better the Cambridge family will spend much of their time in Norfolk and of course, time will be spent in Bucklebury too, as always. I can see Kensington Palace being little more than a place to stay when engagements are scheduled rather than a home for some time to come.
A family friend spoke with People's Simon Perry:
'She is not at all well, the poor thing. When you're ill, the place you feel most comfortable is at home with your mum, isn't it? When she's there, Kate can just relax and sit on the sofa and not have to worry about having to deal with all the staff and everything else that comes with a palace full of big rooms.'
It sounds like Kate is going through a terrible time and we wish her all the best. For her own sake, perhaps it would be better if the Palace stopped announcing cancelled engagements and cleared her calendar for the moment. What are your thoughts on this?
Next, a quick look at other stories involving the royal couple. A surprising reports making the headlines this week is news of a possible trip to New York this autumn. A number of news outlets are reporting Prince William is planning to visit the Big Apple. According to People "an open mind is being kept as to whether Kate will accompany him or not".
This would be surprising news as the Cambridges' schedule this year has already included the New Zealand/Australia tour and visits to Normandy and Belgium. I would have thought the primary concentration would have been supporting patronages in the UK for the remainder of the year. If true, the visit will probably take place in late November - early December and details should be revealed in roughly a month or so. It would be a real treat for our readers across the pond :)
The Duke and Duchess have started legal action against a photographer amid reports 'an incident last week has prompted their royal highnesses to seek reassurances from the individual about his behaviour. There is reason to suspect the individual may have been placing Prince George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routines for a period of time.'
|Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website|
We'll hear more on this in due course, however, it goes without saying no one, including photographers and members of the media - no matter who the person in question is - should be allowed to harass a child, regardless of his status or future role. With celebrities and royals, being photographed on and off duty comes with the job but it should not be the case for children too. You can read the photographer's rebuttal in Camilla Tominey's article. The BBC reports the individual has been spoken to "over a number of years about his behaviour".
The total cost of the Cambridges' tour of New Zealand and Australia has been revealed, coming in at $474, 137 - less than one fifth of the Queen's trip in 2011. The majority of the money spent by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was to cover transport costs.
The breakdown of costs is as follows:
- Transport - $251,388
- Domestic travels (meals, accommodation, incidentals) - $73,638
- Media liasion - $85,366
- Hospitality and event related costs - $59,486
- Miscallenous visit costs - $4,309
It's interesting to see the breakdown and to see how these trips are being planned with economising in mind. While the figures appear very large, by royal tour standards reports are hailing it as a budget tour. It seems it was an immensely successful tour all round!
We do believe more engagements are scheduled for Kate this month (we also believe more cancellations are yet to come), however, one special event readers should keep an eye on is the upcoming state banquet in honour of the President of Singapore during his visit to the United Kingdom from October 21-23. The event is of course white tie and considering William and Kate's 2012 visit to Singapore it would be very fitting for them to attend, if Kate is up to it (not to mention we'd see a better look at the divine Papyrus tiara Kate wore for the annual Diplomatic Reception last year).
Kate graces the cover of this week's Hello! Magazine; the feature story refers to the couple's battle against the paparazzi.
Thank you all for reading as always!