Friday, 26 February 2016

Royal Tour Details Announced: Kaziranga National Park, Taj Mahal & More

Good evening,

Kensington Palace has announced dates and details regarding the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of India and Bhutan. William and Kate will arrive in India on Sunday 10 April, before travelling to Bhutan on Thursday, 14 April. The tour will conclude back in India on Saturday, 16 April. Lasting just under a week, it's a relatively short tour, but with two very young children at home it's something that makes sense and I expect may set a precedent for the Cambridges' overseas tours while George and Charlotte are so young.


The Palace said: "The visit is being undertaken at the request of Her Majesty's Government. This will be the first time Their Royal Highnesses have visited either country. This tour, coming shortly before the Queen's 90th birthday, will also allow the Duke and Duchess to pay tribute to Her Majesty's huge contribution to diplomacy in Britain and the Commonwealth."


Where will the couple be spending the week? Kensington Palace shared the following breakdown:

Kensington Palace

More from the press release:

'In India, the Duke and Duchess will see a variety of aspects of contemporary Indian life, focusing on young people, sport, entrepreneurship, Indian efforts to relieve urban poverty, the creative arts, and rural life. Their Royal Highnesses will begin their visit in the creative and business hub of Mumbai. They will then travel to the capital New Delhi, which is the seat of history and politics in the world's largest democracy.'

The Duke and Duchess will visit Kaziranga National Park where they will experience the rich variety of wildlife and also pay tribute to the traditions of the rural communities who live around the park. It promises to be one of the most interesting events of the tour and we can expect to see a selection of beautiful photographs.


Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species of large cats, such as Indian tigers and leopards. Kaziranga was declared a tiger reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world.


The sanctuary, which contains two-thirds of the world's one-horned rhinoceroses is a world heritage site. According to a census held in March 2015, which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,401.


No doubt William and Kate will be eager to explore the area and catch sight of the magnificent wildlife and flora in the sanctuary - perhaps undertaking one of the safaris or walking tours available. I imagine keen photographer Kate will be eager to capture snaps for her photo album too. Below, we see tourists enjoying an elephant safari; will see William and Kate doing the same? :)


The sanctuary also boasts fantastic accommodation including the Iora Retreat, a 20-acre resort with 4 star amenities, landscaped gardens and a small tea garden. It looks like a rather splendid place to enjoy afternoon tea, wouldn't you agree?


A look at one of the bedrooms.


In Bhutan, the Palace said the Duke and Duchess "are very much looking forward to meeting Their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan and continuing the relationship between the two families". The couple will have the opportunity to learn more about the heritage and culture of the beautiful mountain kingdom and its people. According to the media, there is great excitement building in Bhutan ahead of the tour.


Indeed, it's a very exciting time for the King and Queen who welcomed their first son into the world earlier this month. A statement read their "happiness knows no bounds". The Prince will be two months old when the Cambridges visit, and no doubt there will be plenty of discussion about all things babies.


On 16 April, the couple will return to India to visit UNESCO world heritage site, the Taj Mahal, allowing them the opportunity to thank the people of India for their hospitality by visiting their most iconic landmark. This is expected to be a highlight of the trip, as the couple will follow in the late Princess Diana's footsteps. Diana was famously photographed looking forlorn as she posed at the site alone during a visit in 1992, and told reporters she found touring the site "very healing". When asked what she meant she simply said: "Work it out for yourself". A few months later, in December, she and Charles announced their separation.


This visit promises to produce a very different set of images - ones showing a unified couple.


Kensington Palace concluded by saying:

'The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to their tours of India and Bhutan. Their visit to India will be an introduction to a country that they plan to build an enduring relationship with. They will pay tribute to India's proud history, but also are keen to understand the hopes and aspirations of young Indian people and the major role they will play in shaping the 21st century.
Their visit to Bhutan will allow them to continue a relationship between two Royal Families by meeting the King and Queen. The Duke and Duchess have heard many wonderful things about the country and are grateful to have this opportunity to get to know the Bhutanese people.'

I'm very much looking forward to the tour! We should hear the full itinerary in a couple of weeks or so.

************

We also have several fashion updates on items Kate has worn beginning with the Duchess' sporty look in Edinburgh earlier this week.


Kate's Nike Baseline Half-Zip Women's Top is still available in all sizes for $70 at Nike. The top features a mock neck and half-zip front for a custom fit and coverage, and contoured seams for enhanced range of motion.


Kate's Asics GEL-Solution Speed 3 Trainers are available in all sizes for $130 at Zappos with free shipping included.

Asics

Also, Kate's Ralph Lauren Houndstooth Shirtdress is reduced from $1,595 to $638 at Neiman Marcus.


The Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon Wedges remain discounted by 50% on the Stuart Weitzman website.

Corkswoon

And last but not least, for those who were disappointed to miss out on Kate's Reiss Vinnie Shirt the piece is sporadically being restocked. If you're hoping to purchase one keep an eye on the website especially early in the day.

Reiss

We leave you with a link to an opinion piece by journalist Richard Palmer:  'The Royal family remain an asset to Britain - but the younger generation must step up'. As you all know there's been a change in the air with the media and the Cambridges, which is opening up a bigger conversation on our young royals, the Royal family's relationship with the media,  and the future of the monarchy. Richard's piece is a fair, measured article sharing the situation from the perspective of the media and I thought I'd link to it for those of you interested.

We'll be looking at potential designers for the tour next. Hoping you all have a lovely weekend! :)

375 comments:

  1. I'm totally excited with the tour of India and Bhutan! I was apprehensive at first at the thought of them going to the Taj Mahal, knowing it will be compared excruciatingly with Diana's experience. But I heard the tourism office of India really wanted them to go to showcase the country's best. Now I'm very excited about that too. I look forward to your coverage!

    I read Richard Palmer's piece and that it's a good point of view from a journalist. The young royals have room for improvement, but let's also not be fooled. I think it is more a case of the press fearing they'll lose their jobs and their significance in today's digital age. As shown in Kate's recent engagements, they have their own interests at heart. Promoting the royals' charity work is secondary to their bottomline.

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    1. I think the Taj Mahal visit is necessary. Not only will it be invaluable in promoting tourism but it is high time that a new, more positive photograph with the BRF be linked to that site.

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    2. Erika, I'm not disagreeing with you, but do you want to bet on side by side photos (from the Taj Mahal)?

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    3. Amen to that Erika.

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    4. I would love to see them at least hold hands or have William put his hand on her back as he often does. Oh wouldn't it that be sweet. And yes it is nice to replace the lonely image with a fresh happy one of a couple who truly love each other. (No disrespect to Diana.)

      I am sure this will be an emotional moment for William. Thank God he has Kate.

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    5. Oh, yeah, side by side comparisons are guaranteed, royalfan but I don't see the harm in it. Eventually, I think, that will stop and the beautiful photos will stand on their own merit. Do you think there is a harmful aspect to the inevitable comparisons?

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    6. No harmful aspect, Erika, although I do suspect that some member of the RF may not appreciate being reminded of the past.

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    7. I think the Taj Mahal visit is more India's preference than William or Kate's. I am sure William is sensitive to how it will be portrayed. It does bring back unhappy memories of his parents' doomed marriage. But I hope they'll turn it into a happy memory as you said, Erika.

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    8. No, I suspect he wouldn't royalfan :)

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    9. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 22:56

      I wonder how much William will be affected by it - he was only around nine years old when that photo was taken - and I suspect the trauma at home had much more impact than a single photo. And he deals with Camilla on a very friendly basis and remains close friends with Tiggy- those are two people who caused Diana much more pain than one visit - so while we will all be thinking about it, it's difficult to say how William will see it from the inside - I won't be surprised if they avoid a direct comparison photo though and have photos taken from a different angle.

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    10. I think you are absolutely correct Julia. I have a hunch that the only royal who may abhor such a comparison will be Charles. I'm sure he's not too eager to have a flashback to that place in time.

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  2. I very much look forward to the tour! At first I thought it sounded very short but I saw this comment on a great tumblr blog so it makes sense: "So the Cambridge tours in the past have actually been quite long for Royal tours. Royals used to go on tours which lasted a few months but now it’s rarely more than a week or two, When Camilla and Charles went to India they were there for 9 days in total do not too different really. They’re also going to the Balkans from 14-19 March and visiting 4 countries in that time."
    ( http://duchessofostergotlands.tumblr.com/ )

    And on a superficial note, I cannot WAIT to see Kate (and maybe even William) in some amazing fabrics from India and Bhutan!

    On Richards article I will repost the comment I just posted on the last post (Posting the posted once post, looking to see how many times I can say posted. Post!):
    I agree with quite a few points in his article (although I still don't like his twitter persona) but I think he kind of shot himself in the foot when you read the last paragraph. It shows his motive is (as I've guessed long before he said it) fear of losing his job. And I get him. I truly do. It must be terryfing. And since W+K are supposed to promote british buissness I see how they feel slighted at times. But I still don't agree with how it's William and Kate's and Harrys fault for not letting them into their personal life... But I'm glad he finally have (or was allowed) to write a more cohesive article instead of his "in the heat of the moment" twitter rants. But still.. this paragraph... Makes me wonder how much of his complaint actually have to do with WKH themselves, and how much has to do with his job, his editors, declinging paper media etc. But still valid points to bring up.

    "They remain a huge asset for Britain but they are squandering their popularity. I write this as a critical friend with a vested interest in preserving interest in the British monarchy. It would be a shame to see the job of royal correspondent go the same way as the newspaper labour correspondent of the 1970s or the zoological gardens correspondent of the 1950s."

    The first part of the paragraph says one thing and the last another.

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    1. Rebecca while I agree with your diagnosis that the first and last paragraphs seem contradictory I think that the point he was trying to make, not very well, is that the monarchy needs the print media in order to sustain interest in monarchy as much as the royal reporters need the monarchy for their own survival. It is a symbiotic relationship. So the two paragraphs are actually linked through this shared interest, which he does not bring out very clearly.
      I felt that the piece was very balanced and "measured" as Charlotte put it. It needed to be said. Many people on this site have been saying the exact same things.

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    2. Oh, I agree Lecia. I might not agree as much as some do, but I see the use of the paper press. I was more speaking about what the root of his reasoning was, which is telling on why he chooses which things to point out. That doesnt mean some of his points aren't valid. Just that people need to be aware from "where" his reasoning comes.

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    3. Rebecca I think Richard is not just an excellent correspondent, but an excellent person as well, truly an upstanding man with a real sense of integrity. He does have a drier sense of humor and is a little tongue in cheek at times on Twitter, so I think sometimes he's misinterpreted and people aren't sure how to take him.

      He did say recently that he thinks we're approaching a perfect storm of the royals and press trying to reinvent and stay relevant, so of course he's worried about his job, but I think he's trying to make the point also that there may be no royal family to cover.

      For the first time in my life I'm honestly wondering about the future of the BRF and other monarchies. That is not all to be laid at the feet of William and Kate of course, but Diana herself knew the only way for the monarchy to survive was to be in touch, to be involved, and to show up.

      A few of us saw this coming and were "fierce" ;) in our past comments because, in my opinion anyway, this was all avoidable. I also warned that the narrative and mood can change in an instant. And in today's internet and social media world, labels can take a lot of work to remove.

      W/K/H need to be doing more. I don't think that's a matter of opinion any more. They also need to stop trying to control and circumvent the press at every turn, the press have a role covering publicly funded officials and can be an enormous benefit to them.

      KP has about 600,000 followers on Twitter I think, there are 65 million people (give or take) in the UK. Very few Brits see the royals in person, their relationship with them is through the press. Ignore the press and many readers feel they're being ignored too.

      Richard also said his paper likely won't send him on the India tour, because the benefit doesn't outweigh the costs. When the royals see no press at their events, the message may finally hit home.

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    4. I agree with Rebecca on the Palmer piece. I pray he finds something that gives him Job security.
      He is going to have to sooner than later as the market for papers and the way the RF is on tweeter etc changes the old guard way a lot.
      I think his last two statements are really the essence of his situation and discontent in my opinion. My prayers go out to him.

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    5. I believe that in the future we will see fewer and fewer UK royal correspondents travel with the BRF on long haul tours simply because it is too costly. As it is royal tours are shorter than they used to be. More use will be made of local media to file reports. While advancing technology is good it also impacts jobs negatively in many areas, not only printed media.

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    6. I think he is a good correspondent. I have no views on his integrity or how he is as a person. I have only been commenting on his twitter persona. And I think he's witty and do understand when he's funny. But a few comments have left bitter taste in my mouth. That doesn't mean that some of his other views are not valid. Just that I think sometimes his view is not one I agree with.

      I have seen both sides of the "fierce" discussions but put my word behind the pro side since I always try to see things positive and also, the "debaters" usually end up being the people looking from the negative view so since the negative view have been so heavily debated I have put my words down for the positive side many times. That doesn't mean that I have not seen the negative side and thought it valid. I've done, and I have agreed that they need to be careful. I have often said that while even when they might be right, they need to sometimes act like the press is right for their own sake. I do NOT agree that they should start budging on their view of paparazzi pictures of the kids, however I think they can post more pictures themselves etc.

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    7. I absolutely agree with you Rebecca. There are aspects in royal life that can be improved. And then there are others like paparazzi pictures of kids that should be not even be negotiable. They have to do what is best for them and their family. I think any parent would agree to that.

      Anon 22:32 There will be fewer UK royal correspondents in the future, certainly. It is a global trend, as you say, and not only in royal reporting or print media, but in all forms of news. Everyone should adapt.

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    8. I'm sure that many royal correspondents and photographers are worried about their job security. But all this just highlights that people think W/K/H should be doing more. It's almost not a debate anymore about that. Will and Kate have been married nearly five years now. And, as Charlotte said below, they shouldn't cave because of the media, they should genuinely want to be doing more and using their platform for good. This has been one of the most disappointing things for me over the years - that it doesn't seem like they truly want to do more. Like the WWI engagement earlier this year, where many people here agreed they were "nudged" into it. They shouldn't have to be "nudged", they should realise it was an event where they can lend their support in promoting British interests and those that fought for their freedom. And they were nearby anyway, and the engagement didn't go for very long. Surely they could have proactively taken time out of their holiday schedule to support the Queen. Again, this is all speculative because we don't know if they were truly nudged in the first place.

      It's their attitude which is disappointing to me. Their inherent nature. Now perhaps there are other things going on which are holding them back. If that is the case then I'm wrong about all this, of course. But from what we know, and have seen over the years, it's a fair and logical opinion. And I don't think Richard Palmer was exaggerating when he said they're squandering their popularity. They are! Sorry to be blunt, but William and Kate were hugely popular years ago when they got married. All that is quite deflated now. Not to mention the fact that it's difficult for people to not talk about Kate's looks and clothes, etc, and not take her work seriously. Has she ever given us any reason to take her work seriously? She's failed to become seriously invested in anything over the years. Now it seems like they are focusing more on childrens mental health, which is great, but they've also done a lot of damage as they've taken So long to get into it. This last week proves that, no doubt.

      And even though Kate's work with Huffington Post was great, it no doubt had its controversy. Why align yourself with a member of the press and exclude others? Yes, people say other press should rise above that and promote Kate's work, but honestly, this is business. Why would another press company want to promote a competitor? Why didn't Kate launch the initiative through her own organisation independently? That way everyone could promote it and it would reach more people. Doesn't she have anyone to advise her about this? Press relations were already bad as it is.

      Of course, just because things are not so great right now, doesn't mean things can't change for the better, but they'll have an uphill battle. And we are all rooting for them, as Charlotte said. I would love to see them using their position to do more good. But the more and more they don't, the more I wonder if they truly want to. Or maybe they do want to, but they're just holding off as long as possible for their own comfort and family security. They definitely need a shake up at KP. It doesn't take long for the story to change, as Claudia has said.

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    9. First, I have no "in" with William so the opinions I am about to express are mine and mine alone. I don't think William has any intention of being King. I think he, as Diana did, sees the writing on the wall for royalty. But he is loyal to his grandmother and is walking a fine line of doing things for her sake and preparing for the day when he and Kate will be wealthy (don't forget they are wealthy in their own right) private citizens. I believe that he will do as his father instructs too but to those of us who are saying "he had better watch out..." I think his actions say that he knows full well what the future can hold and really doesn't care. He will do his duty as long as the public wants but when they no longer want him I doubt he or Kate will shed any tears.
      Just my opinion

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    10. "where his reasoning comes from" is a good way to put it Rebecca.

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    11. Valerie I think that's a valid observation. I also think William is very loyal to his grandmother and loves her a great deal, and would never do anything to traumatize her, as the abdication traumatized her entire family.

      I remember reading (will have to check my books for source) that after Diana's death, William told his father he was done, and the source said it took several years to get him back on board. But maybe they never really did... again, gets us into the bigger discussion about the system of monarchy.

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    12. His article reads MORE THAN the typical complaint about work ethic of the subject matter. He sounds like a person who made several observations and came to draw the line.
      The surprise part of his observation, Camilla is the darling of the media. Say what?

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    13. LOL. Anon 15, I wasn't surprised one bit about Camilla. Just take a look at Getty's site whenever she does an engagement. She is the Queen of looking and smiling directly at the cameras. Blizzard? Memorial service? No problem. ;) Good on some levels, obviously, but I think it's overdone for someone in her position.

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    14. royalfan,
      Actually I got more laugh from your comment especially the Blizzard? Memorial service? No problem. You make her look like a model for all occasions and times. It is that deliberate of her, and I can easily agree with your comment.

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    15. I think William is hugely respectful of his grandmother and the value of monarchy. I do not question his dedication to his charities. He may not be the biggest fan of the press, but I believe if the monarchy is truly in danger, he will not so easily let it slip away.

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    16. Cassandra from Leominster27 February 2016 at 03:01

      Someone said they were sorry for Richard Palmer but I don't see why - he's a fine writer - sharp and witty with a good CV - even if the royals would stop tomorrow, he could find work - same with the photographers.
      The thing about social media is you have to want to seek out your subject matter - a magazine or paper headline stares you in the face - it calls attention even if you're only mildly interested - you buy it to read on a plane or the tube - Twitter requires you to be interested in the subject to start with - it is a tool for those interested, but while I know many young people who use social media, few are much interested in the royals - if there's a big event, or a royal comes to town, interest rises, but there isn't the strong interest that there was in the Diana days. Why should there be? There aren't young royals out there wearing gorgeous clothes or doing worthwhile interesting things, there's no interest in a helicopter pilot and a mostly housewife, much less a seventy year old prince and his former-mistress-now wife who looks eighty. The mystique of royalty is lost to much of the young -they are a bunch of rich people with unearned benefits. I learned to follow royals from my mum and nana, so did many of my friends - we still read articles but we don't follow social media.
      So what happens to Julia, Bluhare, Rebecca, Royalfan should the royal family end. We are crushed of course, but the world has changed a lot already and we adapt. Other royal families may fall in a domino effect but other countries have young eager royals who will fight for their survival. Charlotte will start the Royal Digest and we'll carry on.
      What happens to William and Kate? Bills, bills such as they never have seen - security,staff, no more Duchy of Cornwall - that's frozen while a settlement is negotiated between Charles and the government - Kensington Palace - gone in the blink of an eye- Amner - at risk - Sandrington will probably be sold - helicopter pilot - forget it - you're lucky if some super rich friend loans you his - but there aren't so many offers of this sort now you're not a king to be. You have to sit on boring boards - think about money constantly - market yourself, advisors don't tell you what you should do, but what you must do -endless family tension, and George and Charlotte - happy that you protected them so much! No way! You forfeited their future - George is angry, he wanted to be king.
      So maybe planting a few trees and cutting a few ribbons, keeping public interest high, making peace with the established press, while developing new means isn't so bad. Behind every tree and ribbon are people, the ill, the helpers, the volunteers, little people who will remember that visit for a lifetime and point to that tree when it is big - and say I saw Kate plant that when she was still Duchess of Cambridge. Not so bad now, is it.

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    17. I could not agree with you more Valerie. I think there are going to be big changes once Prince Charles inherits the throne. I remember reading an article quite a few years ago on how Charles was going to change things when he became King. Reducing the size of the RF and the many benefits given to them. The Royal residences would be eliminated as a residence and given back to the people year round.
      I also do not think William has any desire to be King. I personally think he wants a private life away the the public.
      However...I do not agree with the idea that W K and H are not pulling their weight. The heirarchy in the equation is brushing over
      Queen Elizabeth's children and spouses. They should all be putting in full-time royal duties. I know Anne is always busy...probably the busiest. I think it is unfair to compare the Queen's engagements with the grandchildren's. It is apples and oranges. What are the comparisons with the Queen and Sophie or Prince Edward. That would be interesting to note. When did Prince Charles. Edward. Andrew and Princess Anne begin full-time royal duties when they were in their early thirties? that would be interesting to know too. Thank you!



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    18. Tedi In California27 February 2016 at 06:11

      We should take into consideration that those earlier tours throughout history were by ship, necessarily taking weeks to traverse distances that can now be covered in a matter of hours.

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    19. Anon 23.31

      Nicely put. Come again:-)


      Claudia
      Such a thoughtful Diana reference, in touch and be involved and shown a lot. Yeah, that was truly her.

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    20. Ana B. from Brazil27 February 2016 at 14:18

      I agree with some comments here. When you are born with a future already decided for yourself and you can't choose another path it may be a really heavy burden to carry. I think William doesn't agree with the monarchy and its terms. From what I see, he would like to be anything but King. And Kate, well, it's not her fault she fell in love with the 2nd in line to the throne. It must be very difficult living your life in public when you were born a private citizen and lived most of your life as such. But it would also be too hard leaving the man you love behind because he was born in such unconventional circumstances. She has to deal with the press because of her marriage and it doesn't mean she will nor has to like it. She just tries to accept the fact she has to deal with them. Honestly, deep inside, I don't think William will be King. As much as I would love to go to London for his coronation (which I plan on doing).
      And about Camilla, I have no doubt she must be a nice woman but it will be impossible to erase from our minds the part she played in the Royal family a while ago and its consequences.

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    21. Valerie, I don't think you are wrong, but I wonder if William thinks he can 'dissolve' the monarchy so to say. If he didn't want to be King, his son and daughter would be next in line. Would William want to put that burden on them? Who knows, times will tell.

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    22. If the monarchy ceases to exist I don't think it will be all the gloom and doom that you envision for the Cambridge's Julia. The queen is a wealthy woman in her own right and Charles, being the good business man that he is, probably has quite a bit of personal wealth as well. The Middleton's also have a bit and so do William and Harry. William and Kate showed in Anglesey that they can live a less glamorous life, so even if Anmer has to be sold, they will downsize. However Sandringham and Balmoral are owned privately by the Queen. I don't think KP will be an issue for them. They already do with fewer employees than the older generation of Royals and security is not at their behest, but rather the British government. The gloom with the abandonment of the Monarchy would be for Britain, because as some else said in this comment section, there will be little interest in Britain without the BRF. The country will be like any other country with their problems and no monarchy to set it apart.

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    23. Royalfan, I cannot stop laughing at your comment! "She is the Queen of looking and smiling directly at the cameras. Blizzard? Memorial service? No problem." Hahaha, so true!

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    24. I think William, like Diana in her day, thinks the monarchy needs to change with the times and be more relevant to the people. But that does NOT equate to him not having respect for his grandmother or the institution.

      Think about some of the nasty treatment his mother received at the hands of the press, and some of what Kate (and the Middleton's) has (have) endured over the years. He has lived and breathed this from the time he was old enough to be aware of it. His birthright does not make him any less human. I don't think he objects to being a member of the RF; I think he objects to being treated (by the media) like a member of a reality TV family.

      For now, the Queen is in charge, and his father is waiting to be king. There is so much that W&K have to "grin and bear" for now, but my goodness, they are contributing in a positive way and I see nothing but potential, and popularity, ahead.

      If anyone here seriously believes that WILLIAM spells the end of the monarchy, then what on earth did you think, or would you have thought, during the 80's and 90's? Reality check here: Charles married his mistress and the ship is afloat!!

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    25. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 23:33

      I maintain my position that William and Kate would be immediately concerned about money. Charles has a very expensive lifestyle and according to most reports runs quite close to the line now - he would be particularly hard it if there was a legal battle over the Duchy of Cornwall which is an almost certainty and probably not able to do much for his children. The queen's personal wealth is more difficult to fathom - but it would be spread many ways - the Duchy of Lancaster would also be a question. The Middletons by British standards today are not particularly wealthy - not wealthy enough to support a country house lifestyle (extremely expensive, especially when you take security into account) for William and Kate - they have two other children neither of whom are said to be earning much and their business would probably suffer. The inheritance from Diana was tidy but not that great - today London is a hugely expensive city, as is country life. Having watched disposed royals, abdicating royals and royals who aren't active like Prince Michael - money is always a major concern.
      Even Angelsey was hardly a budget affair with a full-time housekeeper and an unclear rent arrangement - this at an age when most of us were in bedsits.
      As for how Britain would fare, the argument of republicans is that countless flock to Versailles and palaces in Russia and to palaces in Italy - all of which no longer have a monarchy. I like to think they aren't entirely right - I think there might be impact for a generation or so in tourism but long term the palaces would become tourist attractions in their own right - with a new generation who wouldn't remember when there was a monarchy. (Do we remember when there was a tsar?) There are so many other elements of change at the moment that it is difficult to say.
      It is correct that it will be the public that decides if there is a monarchy. At the moment, I think, as long as the queen is alive, it is quite secure, but referendums are also becoming quite the thing. So far, there has been a leaning towards the status quo but who knows...and the timing of the next referendum is miserable for the queen - coming right when she must have been hoping her birthday would get full attention.
      Andrew and Sarah did quite a number of engagements. I think he was thirty-one or two when he left the navy and took on full work - mainly geared towards business, still his interest. Anne has always worked but her spouses have never been active royals - she works an extremely heavy schedule as does Charles. Edward and Sophie both played with private work and then turned to royal duties with relief after the messes. Edward was certainly doing royal duties in his thirties. It was the choice of Charles mainly I think not to have the next generation participate (I don't know that Peter and Zara would have wanted to but Beatrice and Eugenie probably would have. I think it was a mistake, leaving no full-time active young royals and leaving those two girls drifting and generating bad press. Right now, with the Peter Philips mess, it has not been a good start to the queen's big year - and as for the nineties - things were very bad. Really it was the hopes for William and Harry that kept things afloat but it is not a time I think the queen would look back on with happiness. The ship may still be afloat but it took on some water then and never has recovered to the popularity of the eighties (actually, after some weakness in the seventies, a very popular time - not sure why you think it wasn't.) -and there waa a literal loss of a ship - Britannia - which would most likely not have happened if Charles and Diana had stayed married. When royal popularity ebbs - that's when the government starts looking at royal costs and benefits and ways to cut them.

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    26. I am quite disheartened at the dismissive attitude given to "ribbon cutting". Ribbon cutting is opening a hospital in your town, starting a new *insert institution here* in your town. It is interacting with the public, and I for one do not think that is something that should be cut back on. Imagine how excited you'd be if William, Kate or Harry came to your town to open the new shopping center. You'd be thrilled and out there waiting for them. And then you'd tell your grandchildren all about the time you shook Kate's hand. Would you get up to go see the Duke of Gloucester (fine person though he probably is)? Probably not.

      I understand that's the equivalent of getting the filing done in the royal job description. But it's important and I don't think it should be dismissed as not as important as a PR campaign for an initiative. If you don't get the grunt work done, then the other work does not necessarily follow. If they don't want to interact with the public that keeps them in their lifestyle, then perhaps it is time for the monarchy to drive off into the sunset.

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  3. what a great post!! I can't wait for the tour, and Hopefully Kate does take pictures and release them like that one time(and for the life of me I can't remember what trip it was!!))

    The Holy Trinity, Will Kate and Harry, does need to step up there game! I'm hoping with the Queens Birthday Celebrations we will see them more. Remember the good old days, when the UK was hosting the Olympics, I miss those days ;)
    I Don't think Kate is boring, she is not wild and she hardly puts her foot out of line, so to some that must mean boring. I must admit I do want more from her, more videos, more speeches more of everything really. But I will be happy with some more family pictures!!
    I said it before, I hope KP updates her diary, add some new days to her schedule!.

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    1. In your opinion, why do they need to step up their game when they are yet 2nd in line to the throne?

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    2. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 23:39

      There are cousins out there doing royal duties. The idea that heirs to the throne don't take on royal duties until they are first in line is completely novel. The queen's own parents did plenty of engagements when it was assumed Edward VIII would marry and produce an heir. William and Kate are receiving paid security, use of the queen's flight (for now), a rent-free palatial London home and many other benefits with the intent that they are active working royals. You take, you give, has been the customary way of seeing it.

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    3. It is really hard to do at least 2-3 engagements a week? There is nothing new in her schedule. They need to step up their game bbybringing out there more.

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  4. I look forward to this tour very much. I think there will be some terrific sights and pictures we all can witness. It's a pity that this tour is so short but on the other hand understandable.

    Thanks for sharing a link to Richard's article, I know some regard him as one of the whining journos but I agree it is a well balanced piece of writing.

    Have a lovely weekend to you as well!

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    1. I regard him as both whiny and balanced. Whiny and a bit absorbed in his own role of the puzzle, but balanced as a writing reporter, just not as a twitter persona.

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    2. Twitter needs short, catchy tweets especially from reporters. Absorbed sure it is his job which is at risk. Whether he is right all the time, can be up to discussion. But I think they are in this so much that they have abetter understanding, perception than us who only see the surface.

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  5. Sarah Maryland USA26 February 2016 at 21:06

    Thanks for sharing Richards article! I disagree with a lot of people here who call him whiney. Just because he disproves of how KP runs things doesn't make him whiney
    It's amazing how quickly the flipped has switched because people like bluhare and myself have been saying for months that the young trio needs to step up and now people are starting to come around to that idea
    I can't wait to see the clothes Kate wears in India? Maybe before the tour..and since it seems like we won't see the couple for awhile..maybe Charlotte you can preview Indian designers she might wear?

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    1. Potential tour designers coming up next :)

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    2. Good article from Richard Palmer from a royal correspondents perspective. Agree with Rebecca that the last paragraph is very telling. All about job insecurity.

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    3. It is clear though from the past year that he always thinks about how to sell the story, complains when there are no pictures of HIV patients, children are off limits, talking about changing the narrative to keep people interested. His eye is on his own job and stopping everything that keeps them out of business. I have sympathy for him, but he can't rely on the younger royals to keep him in business.

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    4. Sammy, I agree. I have sympathy for him also but hopefully this will let him know to stop whining and move on with his life if he is so unhappy where he is.

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    5. I follow him on Twitter and he only has complained about KPs relationships with the press which everyone can admit is not good

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  6. Thank you for the post Charlotte :) Have you thought of sharing your own commentary and observations on the current state of affairs?

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    1. Hello Claudia,

      I have thought about it and have half-written pieces on the topic before and later decided not to publish. It's an incredibly emotive topic which people have very strong views on. There are so many layers and various elements to consider in the conversation too.

      I will say, I do think our younger royals could be doing more for a number of reasons (negative press is not one of them). I feel, while William is second-in-line, it affords them a wonderful opportunity to get stuck in with causes they are passionate about while bringing something new to the table and offering a modern approach to royal life. This is one of the reasons I have been so pleased to see Kate's enthusiasm for children's mental health. It's such an important area and it's clear she's passionate about it.

      When Charles becomes king, William and Kate will be thrust from their life in Norfolk to a very demanding schedule encompassing a huge number of events. I have pondered the notion that a gradual transition may be easier for them. Perhaps increasing their royal work by a certain amount each year? One also wonders how long HM and the DoE can sustain their current workload.

      I think the bigger question lies in the future of the monarchy. Our younger royals do not want to use their roles for ribbon cutting and such. I agree with that, and I think we need to move with the times and utilize our Royal family's influence in bearing a spotlight on the many, many worthy charities and organisations in Britain. They are also fantastic ambassadors for Britain abroad.

      Focusing on family and prioritising building a happy family life cannot be underestimated in its importance. It's wonderful William and Kate have created such a happy home life; it's key for them as a family and the future of the monarchy. With that in place, I do think it's a good time to take a look at areas which could be improved upon in their royal roles.

      It's worth mentioning how truly dire relations between KP and the media are. I have heard some truly shocking stories that are frankly disappointing. In my opinion it's time to shape up the team and bring in experienced advisers who are not afraid to take a 'tell it as it is' approach. I've been told first hand how royal photographers who have followed all the rules are being alienated and gradually the number of media invited along to engagements is decreasing.

      Then there was Telegraph writer Gordon Rayner's story in which KP claimed William could not do more because of required rest periods after flying. The CAA quickly rebuffed that and I'm honestly surprised they were so badly misinformed. It came across as a terrible excuse, a PR disaster, and is one of many.

      If they do plan a rethink or a new strategy it shouldn't be because of media pressure but a sense of duty and perhaps a realisation it's time for more. There are two sides to every story and of course I understand it cannot be easy as there are aspects of being a royal which must be awful - but there's also the power to do a huge amount of good and that cannot be overlooked.

      I hope a way forward can be found that balances all aspects and that ultimately works for William and Kate to enable them to be happy and spend as much time with their children as possible whilst enabling them to commit to their royal roles. William and Kate are fantastic for the monarchy - and for Britain - and I know we're all rooting for them.

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    2. Oh Charlotte, if only you continue your opinion this way at least on quarterly basis or whatever works. It was good to read your commentary.

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    3. Thanks for your opinion Charlotte. I agree that some things can be improved. And it is always good that there is room for improvement. KP has made some embarrassing errors. I fully support that William, Catherine and Harry can improve in their royal roles. For William and Catherine, hopefully not in the expense of their children. I however have lost much sympathy for the British press. Their work is inferior in quality and hardly ever focuses on the important subjects. Charity does not sell, so it's all about the superficial and about scandal. I cannot blame KP for the emphasis it places on its social media accounts largely because of that reason.

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    4. I agree with you Charlotte. You have an understated way of saying things but you are precise in your choice of words and have conveyed your opinion very clearly. I am really glad that you did and I hope we will see more editorializing from you in the future.

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    5. I agree with every single word Charlotte. These are exactly my views!

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    6. Thanks for the balanced comment, Charlotte. It was interesting to gain an understanding of the tensions between KP and the British media. Clearly this is a time of adjustment, not only in the roles of the young Royals in their working lives and their relevance to the British public, but in their relationship with the media.

      Reading Richard Palmer's article, I get a strong sense that William's protectiveness of his young family has its root in his own experience as a child/adolescent with the constant presence of photographers and media intrusion, culminating in the tragic way his mother died. No doubt he has some serious thinking to do about how he relates to the press in future, but it's understandable where his distrust for them emanates from.

      Fiona in Australia

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    7. Charlotte doesn't always give her opinion', but I tend to always agree with her when she does! I also loves when she gives them! It is well balanced, fair and hardly ever negative. All of these reasons, and many more are the reason why this is my favorite Blog.

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    8. The article implies that W/K/H are in a position to call the shots. I think RP is frustrated with their approach to the media because THEY are the ones the press wants to cover because they sell. Times change and he and his colleagues need to adjust.

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    9. Thank you, Charlotte, for this summary of your viewpoint. I think it is especially valuable where the KP office is concerned. Since that involves Prince Harry as well as the Cambridges, I wonder whether they are handling his PR better. If so, is it because there is less public focus on him, or is it because he is easier to work with?

      One thing that I have noticed, and I am not British so am not sure how true or important it is, is that the activities listed in the Court Circular for the Prince of Wales often seem like busy work. In other words, he is looking active by running around to a lot of things that seem somewhat trivial. This seems to be in addition to his serious undertakings. I wonder how British posters feel about that.

      In contrast, Kate and William and Harry each have found an area about which they are passionate to concentrate on. This seems to be a departure from the royal habit of taking on myriad patronages. Perhaps Diana set them on this path when she resigned from several hundred organizations and then concentrated on land mines, as well as breast cancer. Previously she had had a big effect on attitudes toward AIDS and leprosy, and efforts to reduce hunger.

      Prince Charles may have a foot in each era - the one of myriad patronages and the one of focus on one or two important areas of great need. I am very much interested in what others think.

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    10. Royalfan, I don't understand your point. You want the press to adjust to a world where there is no free press? Where WIlliam gets to dish out little blurbs on his activities where he gets to do as he pleases with noone but his lackeys reporting on him ? In other words a North Korea? Is that what you want them to adjust to? I don't understand this logic people here keep repeating.
      Of course K&W&H sell. Do you follow a blog dedicated to the Queen or PP? We are all here because we are interested in Kate. She sells. This blog can be run because Charlotte gets pictures and news from photographers and royal reporters, the likes of RP. You get to read this content because they go to the ground and take pictures and write the articles. What KP wants is for the FREE MEDIA not to report on them or take pictures. He wants HIS OWN pet photogs and reporters to release information through twitter and other social media outlets. He wants to control every aspect of his image. This is inherently a slippery slope - do you not agree as someone living in North America ? THAT is what the problem is.
      I am absolutely blown away that even on the face of such a well-reasoned argument so many people are so quick to call out RP without weighing his actual argument. Do you all want a country run like North Korea ? Because that is what your arguments imply.

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    11. 1:31, every generation of royals has had a different approach to dealing with the press. Once upon a time, there was such a thing as mystique and respect and, today, it seems that the royals are treated like celebrities, with much being fair game. I am not against free press and in no way am I advocating propaganda (as was suggested above), but I do not see anything wrong with this younger generation tweaking the process. Aside from times changing, they have good reason to do so.

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    12. North Korea? Well Americans should also be concerned about free press if Mr. Trump is your next president. What he said about the NY Times and Washington Post and libel could spell the end of democracy under his presidency. Much adjusting to be done.

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    13. It's extreme to suggest KP is gunning for North Korea methods. Remember that press are still invited to royal events. They just operate on rota to prevent crowding. It is a worldwide trend from the White House to the royals. But the press is never satisfied. That much is clear.

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    14. Cassandra from Leominster27 February 2016 at 03:36

      Charlotte -beautifully written and more gentle than I feel at the moment. A few points:
      Remmember as I mentioned above, George and Charlotte may not thank William for protecting them if he "protects" them out of a strong monarchy. William should always remember his children's best future lies with a strong royal family and not to be short-sighted -- or judge everything by how he felt as a child. If he was honest, his parents' unhappy marriage was probably the main source of his misery.
      I'm delighted to see Kate focusing on one strong and important area - I thinks that's wonderful but it is also very limiting from an attention point of view - or maybe I should say a no-attention point of view from the little amount her Huffington Post work got. A varity of activites is very beneficial to royals - it keeps interest high - and also brings wonderful attention to many causes - a balance Charles has done very well.
      I'm not sure that royal life needs to change so much as William needs to start believing in it - European royals are doing well with more or less the traditional model -while picking up important points of interest.
      If William does want a new model, he needs to start developing it right now - and it needs to have a strong active role for him and Kate - not just an occasional royal foundation meeting - royals HAVE to be different from celebrities and the rich - or there's no point. And there is a danger in being too ordinary - again, what's the point!
      Since royal progresses aren't practical and royals MUST be seen, a press - the widest possible press - is an absolute necessity. Charles is desperate for attention - William should remember he will be in that position too - all too soon - make use of fleeting youth and to paraphrase Herrick, gather those photographers while ye may...
      We see just a few royal reporters but the majority of the press editors are republicans - they will be all too happy to be given an exuse to ignore or critise the monarchy if public interest wanes. It's already happening.
      It's too bad there aren't more active young royal to spread the load but that's how it's been set up this generation - too late now - and young royals are the "loss leaders" for the royal family. They keep interest alive. Leaving it to Charles and Camiilla does nothing but damage everyone - attention doesn't turn to them - it vanishes altogether and helps no one.
      There was a great royal occasion this week - in Sweden - Princess Madeleine put on her gown and tiara and hosted a party for ill children - sitting on the floor with them in her evening gown. it combined the best of what it means to be royal - a unique glamour mixed with caring and good - it is a fine thing - I wish I thought William believed in it as much as I do.

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    15. THANK YOU Anon 1:31, we are not in North Korea here. What happened this week with Williams work schedule shows just how important free press is. The press is there to keep powerful figures accountable. Sure, it's not perfect, but works a lot of the time. It's actually difficult for me now to trust what William says - it seems like this whole time he was deliberately deceiving people. Or was it KP that muddled things up? It seems like he and/or KP took advantage of his popularity, and treated everyone like ignorant fools.

      No matter what happens from this point, what happened last week leaves me with more sympathy for the press and less sympathy for Wiliam and his need for "privacy" (which is more and more sounding like "privacy so I can do what I like and ignore my responsibilities")

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    16. Charlotte

      You always give us hints what you think. But this article of yours takes it all. I agree and thank youfor sharing it with us. I hope you won't get too many naughty mails after this.There should be more people like you who can see both sides. Thanks again!

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    17. If quotes from The Sun is your version of free press, then I'm sorry to say you will be sorely disappointed. I am all for accountability, and the young royals have ways to improve, but believing quotes from unnamed sources from a rag and an author known for imaginary falsities is not a way to create a balanced and truthful perspective on things.

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    18. Thanks for sharing Charlotte, and I understand your initial reluctance :)

      My one quibble would be with what is referred to as "ribbon cutting" - William himself has implied publicly that he finds it mundane. However, I would urge him and others to remember that what is minor to a royal can be quite major to a charity and to members of the public.

      I understand them wanting to be active in charities, but there is a role for more ceremonial support as well. If they like a charity but don't have lot of time to be active with it, why not lend their name? It can be enormous for fundraising, and these small visits are quite exciting and where many members of the public get to see the royals in person.

      This is one area where I feel Diana's presence is sorely missed. I think she'd be the first to say "It's not all about you William!" If he finds it boring, too bad! Remember, it may be a big impact for the people you're supposed to serve. Show up, put a smile on your face for an hour, meet and greet and, as Kim would say, get on with it :)

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    19. Ever heard of Deep Throat, Sammy? Deep Throat (only identified decades after the actual events) brought down a corrupt presidency. Reporters use unnamed sources all the time; they would not be able to report if they didn't. They also go to jail rather than reveal them.

      I don't know where that whiny article is; apparently Mr. Palmer wrote two and a lot of you read that one instead of the quite well reasoned piece I read. He didn't take them down. He said they need to do more, and that the British people deserve some transparency. I agree with him.

      Charlotte, Cassandra, Claudia; agree with all of you.

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    20. That is it, simply said, Sammy @ 18:39.

      True Journalism done honestly and with good intent, regardless of being pro or con is of course necessary and welcomed. But 98% of media today is about as far from true Journalism as you can get. So for everyone here who has freaked out because you have interpreted the debate as some trying to abolish the press, this is your answer. True Journalism welcomed. Slurrious and unsubstantiated trash, not welcomed.

      And trying to blame William for the collapses of free press and the collapse of the British Commonwealth is as ludicrous as it sounds.

      William knows the nature of the media and he is not, and doesn't have, to give the media carte blanc into their lives. The Queen has privacy and always has. So should William.

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    21. There are enough working royals to show up and cut ribbons Probably too many. I think that William and Harry, like there mother, believe that being more involved in causes they truly believe in is more important. I agree with that train of thought.
      There are so many are so many areas that the royal family would not touch in prior times and if they are willing to stick their necks out to do it, I say bravo.

      It was Diana who started this trend , and as her sons, isn't this a natural progression. Afterall, she was criticize for her Landmine Campaign. It was Diana who was thought to be a danger to the monarchy after her Panorama interview. She was a rebel ,and so to perhaps, are her sons.

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    22. Charlotte, thank you for sharing your opinions/views. You were eloquent with your words, as usual. :) I have to agree with you. I am a huge supporter of the BRF and especially William and Kate, but I do feel they need to step up their royal duties. Why won't William retire his civilian job and take on full time duties? While I can appreciate their desire to enjoy the country life and raise their family, William is not your "ordinary guy". My opinion is that it's time to think of moving the family permanently to London and enjoy Anmer on the weekends and holidays. Obviously, William and Kate have the Queen's blessing with how they are choosing to live their life and not taking on full time duties, but the current situation is not helping the BFR much. I hope and pray that there is a monarchy when its William's time to ascend the throne. That being said, the causes William and Kate support are fabulous ones and they can bring SO much needed attention. They are fabulous ambassadors for the UK and all hope isn't lost. As Charlotte said, we are all rooting for them! It's going to be a great year celebrating the Queen turning 90 and much to look forward to with the India tour and her birthday celebrations.

      On a different note, what is going on with their PR and why isn't something being done to solve the problem? Is it to make Charles and Camilla shine? Do they not think it's been damaging? Hopefully something will be done sooner rather than later.

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    23. Kate, the selfish part of me would love to see W&K on a regular basis, and I do agree that it would be good for the monarchy *as a whole*. But, in MY humble opinion, if W&K were to do this then C&C could pack it in and move TO the country. ;)

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  7. Anyone else surprised that they are actually going to the Taj Mahal? I haven't been to India but I hear it's quite a distance from the major cities. It's the money shot people are waiting to see.

    I echo what others think here. Richard is a good writer but he has proven once again that he puts his own personal agenda above the subject. At least he is honest with it from the last sentence of his article. William, Kate and Harry's responsibility is to serve the public, not to serve the press.

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    1. How is he putting his personal agenda before anything?

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    2. Amen! The digital age is here, like it or not. The days of the photo calls are gone. I suspect that Kate will continue to photograph her
      children unless its a family picture. The media will have to adust.

      The trip should produce some great shots. Wonderful wildlife and exotic fabrics to entice the senses . What a great opportunnity for Will and Kate. An early honeymoon!

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    3. Anon 22:03 He often moans about not getting the money pics, nothing interesting to write, changing the narrative to keep people interested, redundancies in his paper, no raise for years, etc. He is fearful for his job and is hopeful that the royals will sustain his livelihood. The British public has little interest in other royals, so the burden falls on William, Catherine and Harry. That is how I see it.

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    4. At least three occupations (switchboard operator, telex operator, word processor) disappeared during my working career. I had to adapt and find something else. I did until the day I counted up my savings and happily retired.

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    5. Charlotte, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Very nice. (It sometimes takes a lot of courage to share here. lol.)

      I do think that a total housecleaning should be done at KP and I have been saying that for years. I think that that housecleaning needs to be done immediately. And not in a shy or haphazard way. All the pageantry events, patronages and charities matter little if they can't get the "front of the house" in order.
      If they need to get a team with some military veterans in there better yet. They need to approach this like the country is at war quite frankly because it IS that important. Jamie Lee Pinkerton, where are you? Hopefully, the Queen will hear the clarion call and iniate this and have it in effect during her tenure. As for placating the press. Impossible for more than a day really. But if KP has their side of it together that doesn't matter.

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    6. Anon 22:17 I agree with you that it's a digital age, but the content still has to come from somewhere. Printed newspapers may become a thing of the past but we still need boots on the ground reporters and photographers to be the eyes and ears and provide the content, regardless what form the outlet takes. Nothing can exist without that, from the news sites online to these blogs. Charlotte couldn't do this blog without information from the people on the ground.

      That is the biggest quandary facing the press I think, because most online sites don't employ their own reporters, very few if any, they're notorious for lifting or using copy from the print reporters. (One of the reasons the press have such a beef with the HuffPost)

      So if the print reporters are let go by newspapers, will they be rehired to work for online sites? That would seem challenging as most online sites are struggling to make a profit too - even the most popular MailOnline. Employees at the Independent said 70% of staff were facing redundancy, only a handful would transfer online. Maybe sites will start using "pool reporters" - one person who files for numerous outlets.

      Can the powerful supply their own photographs by taking them and posting on social media? Sure. But we're all heading into dangerous waters when they start supplying their own information too.

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    7. Look at this article:http://us.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2016022630033/prince-william-surprises-locals-rescue-mission/. No press fanfare, no royal reporters. Doubtless some might suspect a conspiracy, plants from KP who are trying to counter the bad publicity. Whatever. I read it and took it at face value--some locals getting excited about seeing a prince doing an ordinary job and being very low-key (humble?) about it.

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    8. I find it terrifying that so many will not only accept but seem to prefer propaganda to a free press.

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    9. Thank you for posting the article, Valerie.

      And there's nothing wrong with a bit of positive PR. :) Honestly, there must be many more stories like this out there, so why not share them from time to time. I suspect it isn't William's style, but after the past week, it's time! :)

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    10. There are boots on the ground covering these engagements though. Usually at least one print reporter and PA. And local press are invited too. The argument that there isn't free press at these royal events is simply not true. Where KP wants to limit coverage is of their private lives. With how they stalk Harry's girlfriends and follow the kids, who can blame them?

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    11. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 03:48

      One thing to remember is that for every Duchess Kate, Berkshire to Buckingham, What Kate wore and Royal Order - there are a host of really terrible sites out there that trade in the worst of royal gossip. Almost all readers here ignore them - but somebody's reading them - social media is a very tricky and uncontrolled thing - the press has at least some standards and restraints - and when something like New of the World goes too far - there are remedies - the failure to stop that Australian magazine buying unauthorised photos shows how hard that is to control abroad -and putting all eggs in the social media basket - William and Kate risk getting as much bad as good - rubbish is a lot more titilating to many than a terribly tame royal twitter - so complete control will always be impossible - the DM sent a little reminder to William on that this week - pointing out that it was the foreign press that published on Edward VIII's love affair while the British press held back - and while those days are gone, the home press has still been the grudgingly most respectful - and there needs to be quid pro quo.

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    12. Anon 01:06 I agree with you. I am shocked as well at the utter nonchalance shown to the thought that an extremely privileged individual, royal by birth should be able to singlehandedly put free press comprising of hundreds of people, out of business. And instead he should be free to indulge in propaganda as he wishes and when he wishes. I am shocked that people think this is okay. But maybe I should not be shocked. Look at the state of politics in the USA. Look at our candidates and the people that the electorate is voting for. People do not overthink at all. Heck maybe they don't even think.

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    13. Royalfan, those articles show up a few a month. Mostly in different local online papers though. But this is nothing new. (Ofc KP might have hinted so he got photographed this week but it might also be that since his flying has been more newsworthy recently, that papers have been more intent on getting the flying stories)

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    14. I agree that the point is that WKH should be serving the public - which means stepping up and doing more. It certainly is time.

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    15. In my opinion public service can come in different forms. Flying an air ambulance 2/3x as much as a full-time pilot and donating your salary to charity is a very honourable form of public service. At least while he is second in line. The British public in fact prefers that.

      I am unfamiliar with the state of affairs in the US as far as free press is concerned. But your elections and electorates certainly are amusing! TRUMPS our politics certainly!

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    16. Okay. quickly, in your minds, compare Wiiliam and Trump. Did you do that? lol, William doesn't look bad after all does he? William does many good things and many try to find fault with William ceaselessly it seems. Kudos William, I believe there are more for you than against you.

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    17. Thank you, Rebecca. And if that is the case, isn't it interesting that it is reported on, and remains, at LOCAL levels. Meanwhile something deemed "negative", is headline news. Kate taking a helicopter from KP to Anmer is a perfect example.

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    18. No offense, but I have researched Donald Trump's spoken words that are on record,
      (not just taking today's news as Sanskrit), and surprisingly I agree with the man. So much so that I am going to vote for him and I haven't voted in years because I didn't agree with what the previous candidates really and honestly, consistently stood for. They just seemed to weasel in and out of things, however glibly.
      So as much as I like William, I like Mr. Trump also.

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    19. Sammy, I agree that the Taj Mahal shot is the one many want to see, the money shot. I also believe it will symbolize so much that is "right" with William and Kate that was not with Charles and Diana. The Shah Jahan built it in memory of his wife and to represent his desire for harmony, beauty, and perfection. Will and Kate have a beautiful love story that represents the same and will have a beautiful memory to add to their ongoing love story. I think it will be a picture they will treasure for years to come.

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    20. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 23:46

      I don't think Sammy speaks for everyone - a recent Hello! poll - and it is mainly a royalist magazine made it clear and unambiguous that the young royals should be doing more - the numbers weren't even close. It's not clear how the poll was taken but it almost certainly reflects an overall mood. US politics has no bearing on anything about William.

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    21. I would hope when they are photographed at the Taj Mahal, William puts his arm around Kate. Or she has her arm through his.

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    22. @Anon 22.20. Why bring up Trump on the blog. Has nothing to,do with W&K. And who you plan to vote for is none of our business. This is a fan blog for Kate not a political one.

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  8. Anon 22:17 I do not think we can call a royal tour a honeymoon! It will be very hot so I suspect both will be withering in the heat. It will be colourful certainly.

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    1. Autumn is not utterly hot in India. At least, I don't think 20 °C is unbearable. I went to India 2 years ago and that's the temperature I endured on my 7 days stay.

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    2. 20 °C would be lovely weather. I've always had the impression that mid April is scorching! I still image very light and breezy clothes for Kate. And the colours! It would be a photographer's dream.

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  9. I quite liked this article, including the choice of photos, covering Prince Charles' engagements in Wales today. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3465810/Prince-Charles-given-picture-parachuting-royal-visit-Wales.html

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  10. This quote from Richard's article is really telling of the press attitude:

    "It is the public's interest in how the royals live, how they get on together, who their friends and lovers are, and what they do in their spare time that has traditionally given the media the reason to cover the charities and other good causes the Queen and her family represent."

    It seems to me he is saying that the reason the media cover charity events is because they primarily wish/want to cover the recreational lives and loves of the Royals. That is number one desired news story, and the official work is a by product of that.

    No wonder there is such a rift between KP/William and the press. Richard is pretty much saying the private or pap shots and stories are what the press desire most. How intrusive that must feel to a family with young children.

    Cara from Australia

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    1. Well why else do people follow the royals? To listen to their speeches ? Of course they are popular because people are interested in what they do - it is the whole mystique that surrounds them. Royals have been followed through history - each and every aspect of their lives were documented. In exchange for the huge priviledge they are given.

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    2. In fact, it seems to me that Richard Palmer is saying the media is put off and people are bored because there are no scandals! It almost seems he would like to return to the 90s. I think he will have to give that up. He says himself that Kate is balanced, intelligent, and reserved. She is not going to give him either free access to her children or the salacious details he apparently would like. An era of stability would seem to be a good thing for the monarchy. Surely another round of crises would endanger it more than the current peace.

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    3. Cara @00:35
      Very nice observation of a quote from Richard Palmer's article. Assuming this is also the opinion of his colleagues as much as his, and that it is true, he is being honest.

      Princess Anne described as "the work horse of the family", and in fact also travels on behalf Britain and international charitable organizations,her engagements are hardly talked about.

      People complain why some media focus on Kate's clothes and style, but then again, it had been unwritten understanding most people are drawn to that aspect of the royal life/your quote from RP. The life style part of the royals becomes the channel for an interest in the charities. There is some truth to that admitted or not.

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    4. I agree with what you said 02:05.

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    5. Good point, 2.05. The media would LOVE another Charles and Diana-type chapter, but William is determined to submit his own script, and Kate recycles (the nerve).

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    6. I agree Anon 00:35! Isn't it the not knowing - the mystique - of what happens privately that makes the Royal Family intriguing and not like us? If we knew about the interactions between them, "their lovers" (how crazy is that) would they be any different from the man on the street?

      There's no doubt some balance needs to be struck. Relatability versus privacy. Personally I think Kate is doing a good job of being able to relate to, but then she's probably more grounded than William in that sense.

      I also agree with you Anon 02:05, does the RF really want more scandals! Being sure and steady may be 'boring' and not sell papers, but creating a stable family for the future is surely more important. As Charlotte so wisely says, there are many layers involved here.

      Fiona in Australia

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    7. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 04:09

      I'm sure they wouldn't mind a good scandal but that's not what he is saying. He is speaking of a need for newsworthy activities which means a variety of interesting royal engagements by young royals on a regular basis. This is what it looked like in the eighties - while there were occasional hints of trouble (sadly most of which were true) press and public skimmed along quite happily on good news and royal appearances - I still recall where Vogue and Tatler would cover royal doings every month in society columns and once or twice a week there would be royal photos in the papers we supporters would clip - I still have books filled with those yellowed and brittle glowing reports of Charles and Diana visiting a charity or attending a party- positive, popular and happy - and now ridiculously sad to read. Then Hello! with it's gorgeous photos and perpetually postive spin came along - today that's about the last bastian that covers royal events with much interst.
      If I seem at times so cynical and cautious as to be sometimes falsely accused of being a republican - it's because it's hard for me to go back to naive and happy assumptions of good after the royal deceit of those days.

      There is no stability in the monarchy - or the nation right now - it is a very unsettled time and the only thing holding it together is respect for the queen and her decades of royal duty. While there will be an uptick of interest when there is a coronation - the time to build a strong future for the monarchy is not when it is badly weakened by an aging king and his still very unpopular wife and the controvsy that will rise when he insists she be crowned. (It will probably be the only coronation I'll be alive to see and one I won't watch! The irony.) William and Kate need experience as Charlotte says, and the country increasingly needs a vision of what so royals they are going to be - what form this new monarchy they're talking about will take and whether they really care enough to devote the time needed to making it happen.

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    8. I think it is a difference of interpretation of Richard Palmer's "newsworthy". He would like a scandal to sell his newspapers and that is just what he trying to create. I can not take his "newspaper" in anyway serious when I read it on line I am subjected to "pimple and blackhead popping pictures". This is a publication that wants to be taken seriously -really!

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    9. We can all benefit from interesting royal engagements. Not just by the young royals but from everyone else. I agree with that. What I do not agree with is compromising things that matter i.e. children's privacy in the attempt to keep things interesting. The British press is very good at creating scandal when there is none. The royals are all the wiser by listening, but not pandering, to them.

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    10. Sammy @ 18:49,

      When you start playing the media's generally unscrupulous game their way, you automatically lose.

      Delete
  11. I think it's a real shame for their host countries that the visit is to be so short. I really can't see how they can do justice to either country with so little time. A very long way to go for less than a week.

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    1. I thought the same MGA but I do understand that they wouldn't want to leave their very young children for any longer.

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    2. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 04:12

      It seems awfully short to me too - no one expects a super long tour with small children but they left George longer to go to the Maldives. I supported that when they did it - but by the same reasoning, I don't see why they couldn't take at least a ten day tour now,for such a large and varied country.

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    3. I thought the same Apron, but then I checked, and this is a "normal length" for royal tours nowdays. William and Kates have been unusually long before, appearantly.

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    4. It's not like they go on tours every few months! I don't see why they can't leave the children for 10 days or 2 weeks once a year or so.

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    5. Times is reporting three more overseas tours this year.

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    6. There are many factors that determine the length of a tour and it is somewhat unfair to "blame" G&C for the length of this one. It does imply an unwillingness on W&K's part. George traveled with them previously, and I'm sure both children will in the future...

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    7. It's quite possible - no one wants to pay for extended security for the heir's son. William is so far down the line and has a job as a helicopter pilot - he isn't exactly traveling in the high powered circles that the Queen and Charles are and does not have much to offer India society. I think the short trip is for budget reasons - on both sides.

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  12. Tedi in California27 February 2016 at 00:58

    What was relevant 10, 15, or 20 years ago has changed. We can't keep comparing Diana's time to today. The print media will probably become obsolete within the next decade or so. Plus most of the headlines I see are salacious. Is Kate pregnant? Does she hate Sophie? I think that at least for now the younger royals should step up their appearances. However, I wonder that once Elizabeth's reign is over, and we have King Charles, how long it will be until the monarchy is over. People no longer believe in all the royal protocol. They are human beings, just like the rest of us. They live their lives, and then they die. I believe they are good PR for England, at least for now. But I see a day when that all ends. It is possible that William, or his son, will never be King.
    I look forward to the Cambridges tour in April. I still think Kate is a tremendous asset to the RF.

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    1. I think I am coming to this conclusion myself Tedi, and the only reason I think there will be a King Charles is because of timing, there won't be time to do anything different between HM's passing and his accession. I do think some serious talks will occur during his reign, and maybe in very senior, limited circles they are all already aware of this.

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    2. "The print media will probably become obsolete within the next decade or so."

      That is the prediction here and there, but there is some sort of movement to make it matter, at least for printed books.

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    3. The conversation about the monarchy ending is an interesting one. How does it end - by the monarch abdicating or the people of Britain deciding it's obsolete via a referendum or such? I know many of us have concerns in the current state of play, but I'd be interested to know if anyone here knows the mechanism of how this would happen.

      I agree that Charles will be a very different King from the current Queen who has a great deal of respect and loyalty. Perhaps in this context William, Kate and Harry are grappling with the concept of remaining relevant in a fast-changing world. I do somewhat agree with Richard Palmer's comment that, were the monarchy to cease to exist, would William really mind that much. I've often wondered about his attitude to being 'born into the role' and why he decided on a career flying, possibly looking at other options as a stop-gap perhaps? Personally, looking at the history behind any royal family whether it be in Europe or Britain, I can't see it ending in a puff of smoke.

      Fiona in Australia

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    4. If Charles really wants to preserve the monarchy, he should never be King. His time has come and gone. A seventy year old ascending to the throne has no appeal to the next generation. Most of the leaders around the world are much younger than Charles and Camilla.

      Really something to think about durimg these turbulent times. Surely, this is being discussed among the movers and shakers in the UK. Btw, I think that William took one for the team with his recent speech to the diplomats.

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    5. Well, in Sweden, class has been a thing of the past for ages. We are a very forwardthinking country with big focus on equality. And our royals are sitting very safe. So if the BRF play their cards right I have no doubt that there can be a role for them in the future.

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    6. It will be the UK's detriment if they choose to dismantle the Monarchy not Williams. William will always be interesting as the King as he was born to be. I will always follow the BRF, but will I be as interested in Great Britian if they do not have the pomp and majesty of the RF, I think not. It will be just another country with its poverty and problems as is any other country. The BRF is one of the things that make the UK interesting and different from any other country.

      If Mr. Plamer wants to keep his job I think a little less negative publicity from him would go a long way. Is it any wonder that William may not want to be King with the whiny, temper tantrum articles written by Richard Palmer and others.

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    7. I do think it is important for us to bear history in mind as context for these discussions. Speaking broadly, excepting approximately ten years under Oliver Cromwell - and after those, we returned to monarchy - monarchy has survived in Britain since long before the Conquest. Through all manner of changing times and historical conditions, all sort of contemporaneous rumours regarding those who have occupied the office(s) - it endures. The only country's monarchy overthrown in the aftermath of WWI which had anything like the longevity was that of the Hapsburgs' - which was centred 'round a family, not a country. English and British monarchy adapts. History argues strongly against the position that, in the end, the survival of the monarchy depends on William as a person.

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    8. William and Kate will be the very best King and Queen of the British Commonwealth so far. With what they have gleaned from Her Majesty and Prince Phillip, etc. I am convinced they will be.

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    9. Pandora that has been my belief for most of my life as well, that the monarchy has seen turbulent and changing times before and survived. But I think we've never been in an age quite like this before, where everyone has information at their fingertips, and the veil between the different worlds has been completely removed.

      I compare the monarchy often to the plight of churches, organized religion, where attendance and enrollment is dropping rapidly. People don't have that automatic reverence for institutions anymore, that was so ingrained in our parents and in some of my generation.

      I don't think the survival of the monarchy depends on William alone, I do think he may hasten its demise by his action, or inaction. And he may have no problem with that. I do think, as I believe Julia said once, that it will all just go out with a whimper when the time comes.

      Maybe for the best in this iPhone age. An excellent article 10 years after Diana's death opined on her plight well before camera phones, and wondered if modern royal life would just become unlivable.

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    10. What many people forget is that the Crown is part of the British constitution. Read Bagehot if you are really interested in royalty. The Crown is an abstract principle rather than a practical ruling mechanism. But it preserves us from dictatorships, charlatans, military coups and the ill-regulated prejudice of the populace

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    11. wow. Thanks Cecilia. That puts everything in a new perspective. So hold on everyone. Don't storm the palace just yet. You may want to re-think a couple of things first. Definitely going to read Bagehot.

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    12. I agree 07:09, and that is what I said just a few minutes ago. And I agree that William took one for the team.

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    13. Wow did really someone just say in a comment that if Palmer wants to keep his job he should keep his mouth quiet about anything negative on the royals?
      I'm sorry since when are the royals excempt from criticism? Or do you hanker for the environment of both Korea
      It is so scary that anyone even said that

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    14. Julia from Leominster28 February 2016 at 00:15

      I'm puzzled by the idea that only the Hapsburg were a long term monarchy to fall - what about Russia? And while not long united, Germany had a long history of being ruled by royalty. Spain has long been a monarchy and things are very shaky there now - hopefully the royal family will survive - they are working hard to do so. France was one of the biggest monarchies in Europe when it fell. And immigration to all countries is bound to have an impact. One thing I've noticed about immigrants I know is their interest in equality - the biggest argument against a monarchy.

      My understanding from republicans I know (and whom I listen politely to without arguing) is that they are placing their hopes in a referendum after the queen is gone - probably not immediately as a coronation will lead to an uptick in interest but there's no question Charles and especially Camilla aren't popular. (Id Charles pushes to have Camilla crowned, that will also weaken things - friends who support the monarchy are taking his supposed assurance that won't happen more seriously than I am. And despite the big push - her numbers haven't budged.)
      William is likely to be older and less interesting (although most likely he will be invested as Prince of Wales - another bread and circus although my guess is they will - or should - spread things out.)
      George and Charlotte will most likely still be young and if things go as they have so far - hidden out of the way. With the youngest royal other than William, Kate, Harry and a future wife of Harry already being fifty (Sophie) the monarchy is at the moment, a very aged institution when it comes to fully active royals - ranging from fifty to ninety. It would be nice to say age doesn't matter (not being young myself) but, let's face it, it does matter - one reason the queen has such built up loyalty is that she was at it from a very young age.
      My personal feeling is, much like what happened in Scotland, people will keep the status quo. But even Scotland still isn't a certain thing. The empire is gone, the commonwealth also uncertain.
      And as I said above, when the government senses weakness in the royal family that's when they start looking for ways to cut back on money and powers.
      I think one reason the monarchy remains quite popular in Sweden is that they have young very active interesting royals who are out all the time - the same with Denmark and the Netherlands. Estelle is very much out there- a happy confident little girl who is often seen. You get the feeling they are saying - look, here's the future.

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    15. Thanks Cecilia.

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  13. Kate looks so pretty in that red dress. (1st. photo.)

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  14. I am very much looking forward to this trip. I hope to see a tiara.

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    1. I want to bet there will not be a tiara. India seems to have some issue about a return of some precious stones and treasure from Britain.

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  15. Bluhare I think you were asking a question about Twitter trends in previous post? I couldn't find original comment...

    Twitter changed their format a while back so that "trends" are formatted to your likes and who you follow. So they may not be current or active and everyone sees something different. You have to go into settings and change it so that you will see current trends for your location - or you can pick another location if you're interested.

    Hope that helps! And I'm no expert but have smart daughters :)

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    1. I didn't ask the question, but I'm pretty sure I have it set properly and I follow most of the royal reporters and royal sites. I still wasn't seeing it unless I did a specific search for the hashtag. Thanks, though, and I agree with you up thread about Palmer.

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    2. I figured you knew what you were doing :) But if others think something is trending it may be that they are just seeing stories that have been tailored to them (per the new format which I dislike!) and they are not seeing the actual and active current trends.

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    3. Thanks for explaining what trending means Claudia. I was the one that disputed twice that the #youngmindsmatter was trending. I could have taken the trouble to explain but I did not take the trouble- thanks for doing it for me. Obviously it was nowhere close to actually "trending" and I hope that the person who was claiming that it was has now realized how twitter works.

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  16. At last, we have tour dates! I excitedly await the the full itinerary. India and Bhutan are so culturally different from any country they've visited and I would love to learn more about their practices. India has always been in my bucket list.

    If the royals need a rethink surely the British press also need a rethink! Starting from the quality of their paper! I took one look at their royal coverage and it has nothing that I value. They are underestimating their readers' intelligence by not focusing on the charity aspects of royalty. No wonder people come to this blog instead! I'm sorry for Richard that his he is in a dying business, but when you are in a sinking ship, it's better to jump out rather than be sucked into the abyss. It is inevitable and it isn't the royals' job to save him.

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  17. Wow! I'm super excited annd really proud too :)
    Though my chances of meeting then are bleak because I have exams during that time, I will anyway obviously follow their entire tour! Really really looking forward!
    I have to mention that I am immensely proud of the history and uniqueness of India. I hope that TRH start to love and adore thie diversity that they will get to see. Maybe India might have a long way to go to abolish poverty, but therein lies the traditions and cultures that are so beautiful and enthralling.
    Regarding dresses and designers, I hope she wears a Saree or wear dresses that showcase Indian talents like Zardosi work, Kancheevaram or Mysore silk. There are several designers she can choose from.
    Anyways, I hope that through this tour, all you beautiful ladies too get a glimpse into the Indian cultures and traditions.
    Thank you Charlotte for this amazing post! :)

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    1. I'm already looking forward to learning more about India! :)

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    2. How cool it must feel to have them visit your country! Even if you dont get to see them. Crown princess Victoria was in my town one day and my friend knew where they were staying, so on the lunch she and me hung out outside the house. We didn't see her (we saw a van with blacked out windows that may or may not have had anything to do with Victoria) but it was exciting that we MIGHT have been outside the house where Victoria MIGHT have been in :P Doesn't matter if she was or not.

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    3. I can imagine how thrilled you are, Nam! Good luck with your exams and all the best to India! We're currently doing a project about India in the school where I teach. It's an amazing country! Zora

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    4. cute, Rebecca. I can so relate. :)

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    5. I am certainly enjoying learning about the cuisine of India. The use of spices is so complex and so healthful. A whole new world of cooking.

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  18. Tammy from California27 February 2016 at 04:55

    Charlotte and readers: Can someone tell me why the Duchess is called the Countess of Strathearn in Scotland and Duchess of Cambridge in England?
    I am from the US and we have no such thing, so I was wondering why she would be called something different in another country...

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    1. Strathearn is in Scotland so when she is in the country Scotland (the united kingdoms actually have different countries although they seem more like states) her title is the highest scottish title of Williams. But in England or in general, they use the title Duchess of Cambridge since Duke trumps Earl. Prince (if it's in your own right) trumps duke (as in Charles going by Prince of Wales and not Duke of Cornwall most times) but William and Harry are princes by their father and not by themselves, hence, a ducal title is higher ranking than their prince titles. UK titles are really muddled and complex. In Sweden, if you marry a prince, you're a princess. End of story. But the UK classes and titles are more complex so no wonder you are confused :P

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    2. Thanks Rebecca. I just learned a lot, especially about the ducal title over their birth Prince status.

      Kate has no doubt had to learn a lot of that. She has had a lot to catch up on, don't cha think?, what with titles, protocols, geography, foreign affairs, pertinent British history, layouts of the palaces and castles and their contents, employee infrastructures, diplomacy, not to mention being educated about and aware of all the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. She is going to be the stewardess of all that maybe sooner than later. (not speaking anything bad over anyone, btw.) Regardless of what some may think, I doubt that Kate has much Idle time, if any.

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  19. Mumbay: I cannot think of that! LOL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlMReeBTNOI

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  20. Interesting points of view. What would you pay for? I would pay a subscription for Charlotte's high quality blog but I would not pay current media for their poor quality offerings. There is just no comparison. And Mr Palmer will most likely be out of a job as the advertising spend is moving to the social media we all access on our phones. And that is just the way of the world - Steve Job's fault?. Perhaps KP are not so foolish to promote their twitter and instagram accounts.

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    1. That's an interesting question you raised alimai! Online news sites are still trying to figure out how to make the same profits, and paywalls seem to be the only avenue though not always effective.

      I pay for a couple of main newspapers to read them online. And maybe I'd pay for Charlotte too :) But remember, Charlotte wouldn't be able to provide as much information without the reporters who are on the ground providing the content. Information solely from KP would be very one dimensional. So I hope news outlets come up with a way to keep as many reporters and photographers at work as possible, we all benefit from that.

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  21. hmm Im so excited about the royal tour and sure they will love too see the fabrics there lor good designer like manish mallhotra and I love the design of bilbhu mohapopatra im sure her team will choose better

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  22. I don't believe Mr Palmer when he says he is concerned about saving the monarchy, all I can see is him trying to save his own skin. He seems to be willing to destroy the monarchy in order to have something to write about and keep his job. He resents Kensington Palace for bypassing the print press more and more and is therefore creating a drama out of nothing.
    It's also sexist IMO to say that Kate has an "excuse" for doing less engagements than William because she is taking care of the children. William is just as much a parent to George and Charlotte and deserves the same consideration.
    Some of the things he wrote about are complete nonsense such as Kate being hampered by a natural reserve. Who would say after seeing her time and time again laughing and chatting with those children. The reserve he speaks may rather be towards him and the press pack and I don't blame her after being hounded by them for over a decade now.
    I think William and Kate are doing a marvellous job and support such wonderful causes and if that's "too boring" for Mr Palmer to write about then maybe he shouldn't be a royal correspondent anyway.

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    1. Denise I agree with everything you said @ 10:21.

      Many are angry because William and Kate refuse to become MEDIA PUPPETS. The Queen has drawn boundaries and so have William and Kate. It is a healthful and reasonable thing to do.

      The press is MERCENARY. They have to have headlines to sell their product. They are NOT an ultruistic group just trying to keep everyone informed
      about daily life.

      Mr. Palmer has many friends I am sure and is a nice enough guy, but professionally I very much question his judgement.

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    2. Julia from Leominster28 February 2016 at 00:28

      I have to agree with him on Kate's reserve just from watching her - those overused feathery waves, the nervous hair fiddling and a lack of spontanaity with crowds - she often clings close with the queen's local representative. It is with children or sports where she does seem to let go - otherwise, she can seem a bit stiff. But I did think in Scotland she was opening up more - the more she does, the easier it will become. I noticed that with Sophie who was far more reserved when she started.

      I don't think this has to be a huge deteriment - I was (am) reserved myself but years in business taught me how to put on a more open and genial exterior. (Nothing like having to do it.) The queen is also quite reserved - I don't think her way will work any more, but Kate, with experience, will find an accomadation. Gregarious isn't always good - look at Margaret and Sarah. The real trouble is Diana had a fabulous instinct with people and even among those who weren't alive to know that, an expectation has been created that is hard to let go of.

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    3. I respectfully disagree about Diana's "fabulous" instinct with people. Dare I mention James Gilbey, Oliver Hoare, her psychic friend, the celebrities she cultivated, the trashy news articles, the friends she dropped, lied about.... She was a troubled child who looked for love and then adulation. That she did a lot of good is undeniable. But to say that Diana was her own creation is giving her too much credit. The media created her and enshrined her. I remember her from her first debut in the tabloids with the sun shining through her skirt. Kate won't play to the media that way and bravo for her. She is still doing good but, as they both said in their engagement interview it isn't a return to the "Diana Years."

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  23. This sounds an interesting and varied tour covering many different areas of Indian life giving W & K an ideal introduction to India. I look forward to the publication of the detailed itinerary. It is good to see that they will be together for the tour not apart in different parts of India as Diana and Charles were for most of their tour. I am glad they will be visiting the TAJ MAHAL.
    On Richard Palmers article I did agree with some of his observations. W & K do need to undertake more public engagements preferably together as there is more interest in their joint engagements even it is only to notice their "body language". Kate needs to widen her interests promoting mentsl health issues is an important cause and IIII am sure she will continue to do so but as far as the press is concerned it doesn't sell newspapers very evident from what was published after her trip to Scotland most of the U.K. papers had photos on inside pages of her participating in the Tennis workshop some with good write ups but only one & that very briefly even mentioned her visits to the 2 charities. Photos of Charles & Camilla have appeared regularly in the paper over the past few weeks at various interesting events many not charitable ones those are what the press want.
    It is a great pity that the State Visit was cancelled as I am sure W & K would have featured prominently in that.
    It is not too late but it will not be easy for them to regain the popularity that they once had. They need to start doing something now.

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  24. April will be so exciting this year! I'm looking forward to Royal Tour and hope Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will enjoy this tour

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  25. I really hope that we DO NOT see the royal couple riding elephants, especially considering India's bad reputation for the treatment of them and Williams participation in the Tusk Trust. Despite the name "sanctuary" in the title of the place they'll be visiting, in the photograph those elephants have CHAIRS strapped onto them which is condoned by almost every organization for the promotion of wild animals.

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    1. Yeah, that was my thought as well. No way that they're gonna do that. Or if they do, they would make bad choices AND have bad advisers.

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  26. How many public appearances, in addition to church, did the Queen make in January? What about Ptince Philip? Like Prince William, Prince Harry has made three this year.

    Prince William's three appearances were at the Worsley funeral, the farewell to the RAF rescue service, and his speech to the diplomats. All determined by events. And I wonder whether the speech was at least vetted, if not encouraged, by the British government; William is becoming the diplomat prince. None of these were trivial events. They reflect William's serious approach to his various roles, and his kindness.

    Kare's events express her deep concern for the condition of children, including her new role with he air cadets, which of course also involves young people. Like Sophie's, her public appearances are clustered to allow uninterrupted time with her own children. She accompanied William to the RAF event. Her other appearances were solo.

    Obviously, the disagreement between KP and the air rescue service never should have occurred. And I understand the questions about HuffPost, though I read and appreciate HP. But these concerns do not change the nature of the work that Kate and William are undertaking in both their public and their private lives. I believe they are to be commended for their efforts. I also believe that their public appearances receive more attention because they are distinctive and even somewhat rare. This careful focus is likely to be influential.

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    1. Anon 14:25, the Queen has done 38 official engagements so far this year, according to Gert's Royals - who I think is great and could probably replace Tim O'Donovan if she wanted to :) She tracks events publicly and through the court circular I believe and has a smart way of compiling them in my opinion.

      I also think the speech by William was deliberate, solely because I realized David Manning was involved. He is mature, experienced, and his sole purpose is to avoid gaffes like that. So there's absolutely no way he wouldn't have anticipated the fall out. My conclusion was it was either a point William was trying to make (like father like son) or William was used. But it's impossible to argue that Manning was asleep on the job, it isn't him at all.

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    2. Julia from Leominster28 February 2016 at 00:34

      The queen is ninety for heaven's sake - and even so she did at least three engagements in January and was back on a very full schedule in February, not to mention the red boxes.
      And there is no tradition of taking January off for anyone else -all were back at work - Anne in the Fauklands (very important right now) Charles and Camilla both with multiple appearances. Edward and Sophie were called out for using a private jet to go skiing recently but they had engagements before and after.
      As for the speech, I'm sure the government would love for William to speak out but that would be wrong (regardless of anyone's position) and I don't think he meant that at all - it's just a time when the smallest word can be seized on. The fact the palace had to respond means it wasn't intentional.

      Delete
    3. Julia, we must be looking at two different women. :) I do not see Kate as being reserved OR clingy.

      Delete
  27. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 14:52

    There appears to be an effort to regroup going on. Besides the helicopter fueling snap - William was at his most personable at rugby - rather a soft engagement, watching a match that most people pay to see, but at least it is an engagement - I have to admit I don't count funerals of friends as such.

    I also saw a hint the queen is taking notice, and doing some support/damage control. Over at Jewel Vault there is a photo of her greeting the Grenada High Commissioner - the sort of thing you see almost every week she is working -but...

    In most of those photos, unlike the Christmas broadcast and visits by royalty or PMs (which are likely to be published more widely in the press), you don't routinely see family snaps in the rooms where she has her audiences, but...

    For this Grenada audience, two photos are extremely visible. One is the engagement photo of William and Kate, the other is the recent portrait of William and Harry in that series on supporters of the queen (famed for its hugely unflattering one of Camilla.) There's also a portrait of someone else in uniform - I can't tell who, and one blocked by a chair, but these two snaps stand out - the engagement photo is even highlighted by a big eye-drawing bouquet of red flowers, so no one will miss it (no one at Jewel Vault at least.) Kate's white dress really pops.

    The High Comissioner is standing in just the right place so the photos can be see - I can just imagine the royal official photographer, "just a little back, your excellency...no, now just a bit more forward, sir..." so no shoulder or er... tush got in the way. The poor man probably hadn't a clue how he was being used. (Not that I would think he would care.)

    Contrast this photo with two similar ones from a week earlier before this current crisis -no flowers, no photos seen, nothing personal - I haven't made a scientific subject of this but I do think it's a hint of support for the boys and hopeful reassurance for the country's future and to disgruntled non-twittering royalists like Julia. Very clever, our queen!

    And it leads me to wonder, along with the royal brooch keeper (well, we know she's Angela) and royal corgi wrangler, who the royal photo minder is. An interesting job, finding out what family member the queen thinks needs a spot of help or encouragement and producing nicely framed photos and angling them just right on the tables so they can be seen in the snaps. Should I ever be royally employed, that's the job I want!

    Contrast http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2016/02/audience-at-buckingham-palace.html

    with:

    http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2016/02/audiences-at-buckingham-palace_18.html
    For a look at the queen's subtle handiwork.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I had seen William on telly and was looking well happy and at ease. He did not looked troubled one bit. I believe he attended a reception for injured rugby players apart from watching the match. One of them said William recognised him from another event a year ago.

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    2. Julia, I wouldn't call this a crisis. But if the Queen IS giving W&K a subtle thumbs up, good for her. It's more than Charles has done during a week when he has had plenty of opportunity to do so.

      Delete
    3. I know Charle's has waited along time to become king, but if I am honest I have to admit that I think his day at fruitful kingship have passed by. Rather than all the hullabaloo to get him in and established, why not streamline everything and let William be king while Charles himself can act as an advisor. Makes way more sense to me. Some of Charle's formats are sort of out there anyway and I think that might make the public just a little nervous. All the green initiatives he likes are already up and running for the most part so he can continue to grow those. I really don't think the public would mind at all if William succeeds the Queen. (long live the Queen tho)

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  28. Julia from Leominster27 February 2016 at 15:34

    Did a bit more reseach on my royal framed photo propoganda comment which is probably somewhere above and it's all a bit more subtle - the photos of William and Kate and William and Harry are frequently in those spots in audiences in that room - and flowers are always present but before I retire with my tail between my legs like one of my chastened spaniels - I will also report...

    The Grenada positioning is particularly arranged to highlight those photos. Others photos usually around them have been removed. In other audiences, the person meeting the queen blocks the family snaps, or the photo is taken from such a wide-angle with family snaps seen on both sides that their subjects aren't as promenent and in one case with a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon 10-12-14, the red flowers almost hide William and Kate (which hardly matters as Sturgeon's magenta jacket dominates the photo.)
    But lest we think those photos are always there...

    In the photo of the queen meeting Justin Trudeau, just this last November (25 November 2015) William and Kate have vanished and a black and white photo has taken their place - it's a military snap - I can't tell of who but presume it has something to do with Canada - not Trudeau's father, as I might have supposed. (I would imagine the queen met Pierre at some point but clearly doesn't count him as family.)


    (Usually the companion photo to William and Kate seems to be a black and white of a couple - I can't quite identify who but when meeting the president of Rowanda and his wife, (who are blocking where William and Kate would be) there's a colour wedding photo - I'm reasonably sure it's not William and Kate - the train seems wrong - but can't place who it is.

    So family snaps do get moved around as suits her majesty. A little earlier in November, the governer of Victoria is blocking where William and Kate would be...but the other photo of the couple (looking for all the world like Prince and Princess Michael) has been changed out for something else yet - don't ask me what or who! my head is starting to spin - but I still want the royal family snap minder job.

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    1. I agree with you that the photos are not accidental at all, I doubt anything is left to chance actually. HM's staff are savvy enough to know everything in any pictures released of her will be dissected by the press - just recently there was great interest and numerous articles over her sitting room at Windsor Castle, down to the remote control and leather bound Radio Times :)

      Delete
    2. The Queen is photo savvy. That same savvy has given her the good sense to not give interviews
      and also to keep her private time private.

      She has not become a media puppet like some want William (and Kate) to become.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Julia, how many people don't even notice the staging? I certainly think the recent placement of the photos of William and Kate were purposeful. You don't reign for 60? years and not learn a thing or two. :)

      Delete
  29. I really like Kate's casual athletic look at the event in Scotland. I think I like it partly because we so rarely see her in casual wear at official appearances. She looks great, much better than I could ever look in workout wear. Lol.

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    1. Rebecca @ 20:49,

      I do so agree with you, especially the last two paragraphs. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  30. I have to say I really enjoy this discussion and debate because it's an area I'm most interested in, the future of the monarchy and how it can adapt or survive in this very modern, every changing, online world. We are heading into very fluid times and I think the next decade or two will be fascinating to watch.

    However... I know for many of you all this talk is awful! I know you wish everyone could get back to chatting about Kate and her fashions. So when Charlotte posts designers for the upcoming tour I'll pipe down, I promise :)

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    1. :) you are thoughtful Claudia. Thank you.

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    2. That's very kind of you Claudia. I as well enjoy (although at the same time don't because it would be nice if the conversation didn't have to be) this calm kind of dicussion about very complicated matters without any sides talking as if they KNOW the right answers.

      But maybe we can spin this off as a little sub thread with lighthearted stuff to take refuge in?

      A safe topic that might bear talking about (without trying to take away from Charlottes future posts so I'll avoid a tour specific talkingpoint. Also, remember, this is lighthearted so no talk about how she dresses boringly or anything. Just a little game):

      How would you guys have styled Kate's latest look? Say you had to wear the kilted skirt, would you wear it the exact way she did? Or would you have changed some things?

      I personally would have kept all the "base clothing" but accessorised differently. I would have the green coat, but change the clutch and shoes to bright/deep red. I would put the hair in one of her lovely ponytails and wear some earrings with red in them. When removing the coat I would have added a red belt over the kilt but leave the rest as it was. How would you have done?

      Delete
    3. Claudia (21:34), I have found it an interesting read too, although I feel none the wiser about possible solutions to the rift between the various parties.... and feel a little overwhelmed by everyone's opinions as they are so different.

      But I have to say, it has been a good discussion; everyone here on the blog has respected the views of everyone else and had their say in a safe, supportive environment. Well done us!

      Cara in Australia

      Delete
    4. Oooohh, Rebecca! Fun! I like your suggestion a lot. I think a pop of color is just what is needed.

      I would have styled the kilt with an emerald green turtleneck changing out the shoes for her knee high black high heeled black boots with with black opaque tights. I would have given her a black coat and an emerald green clutch. Her hair would have been half up/ half down with a substantial pair of diamond solitaire earrings to top it all off.

      Thanks for the suggestion :-) I rarely turn down an offer to virtually style the DoC.

      Delete
    5. I can't wear a kilt--too hippy. I liked the suggestion of an emerald green top or maybe, as it was Scotland, a purple thistle color?

      Delete
  31. I am really looking forward to the India tour! I am interested in learning more about the country and Indian culture. I think it will be an interesting tour and one enjoyed by Will and Kate. I am excited to see pictures from Kaziranga National Park. The pictures posted above of the animals are beautiful. I would LOVE to do an elephant safari! I am also looking forward to seeing Will and Kate photographed at the Taj Mahal. I'm sure it will bring a bit of sadness to William thinking of his mother's photo, but there is reason for happiness and rejoicing that he and Kate are in a happy marriage. Theirs is a great love story, one of beauty and harmony. It will be a memorable photo and one for the history books. So much to look forward to!

    Palmer's article was a good read. There are some wise words, but also a bit of grumbling. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and opinions. While there definitely needs to be some thought put in to William and Kate's current lifestyle and workload, they are fabulous ambassadors for the UK with MUCH to offer. Hopefully there will be positive changes made and a positive future ahead. I know William greatly respects his grandmother, I just pray he loves and respects her enough to take on the job he was destined to do. He has the potential to be a great king and we all know Kate will be a wonderful Queen consort.

    Thanks Charlotte! Looking forward to the post on fashion and possible designers we'll see for the tour. Have a lovely weekend!

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  32. Sarah Maryland USA27 February 2016 at 23:39

    You know what? I have to say something. I am sick and tired of people using Williams childhood as an excuse for why it's OK for him to do nothing now
    Ummm the queen didn't have an easy childhood did she? The abdication..world war ii..watching her father slowly die in front of her and being thrust on the throne at the very young age of 25
    And you know what? She got on with it. She did her duty. That is what I want from William

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    1. With all due respect, perhaps others here are equally "sick and tired" of the insistence that William is not doing anything. Perhaps others have different opinions based on history...a history we can factor in with a degree of EMPATHY.

      Delete
    2. Everyone is different. What might be trivial to you could be devastating to me. It doesn't help to say "get on with it" , in fact, it makes things worse.

      Delete
    3. Spectacularly said! Bravo!

      Delete
    4. You gave no idea what has been decided behind closed doors. So you can wanted all you want be it will only happen when the queen feels it is time for Wiiliam to step up. So until them we just have to let him be.

      Delete
    5. I do have empathy but his past needs to stop being an excuse for what he does now
      And no one is saying William isn't doing anything
      Also I'm sick of the whole if the queen wants him to do more he would..u think for one second William would be pushed into doing more duties if he didn't want to?

      Delete
    6. "to do nothing"? you don't know what is doing. He certainly is doing way more than nothing.
      no offense.

      Delete
  33. She was thrust onto the throne and did her duty. She was not born to serve as William was. Its not Williams time to serve on the throne yet. When it is he will do his duty.

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  34. Charlotte I would ask to keep Mr. trump out of this blog. I know it is yours but to bring in someone like Mr Trump to this site that focus on Kate is not right. And to compare William to Mr Trump is way off base.
    Thank you for listening. I am new to reading. Your blog but I will not continue to read if the U.S. presidential race continues to be brought up.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would hate to see William and Kate taking a elephant safari. Elephant's back were not made for it :/

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well this story has taken a strange turn... it would seem William has just thrown Charles (and even Diana) under the bus as they say.

    Camilla Tominey has a column in the Sunday Express where she quotes "a source close to the Duke" who says the real reason William doesn't want to work, is not because he's afraid of overshadowing Charles, it's because he's "afraid of turning into him."

    This source goes on to say "William does not want to be an absent father because he knew what it was like growing up with one. Prince Charles is a workaholic. He wasn't always there for William and Harry and nor was Princess Diana. People forget they were brought up on the nursery floor, they didn't even eat with their parents."

    This is absolutely stunning to me on many levels. First, Tominey is a connected reporter, this was clearly an authorized source speaking on behalf of William. But honestly, she doesn't usually get roped in to these kind of things, she would normally be a little more skeptical.

    Second, to any of us who were around at the time, it is almost identical to what Charles said about the Queen and DoE years back, and got enormous backlash for it.

    I cannot imagine the reverberations this will cause in Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. It seems to me frankly that William is a little taken aback by the criticism he's been getting (he hasn't been in the hot seat really before) and in desperation is speaking without thinking. A bad habit he may have inherited from his mother.

    The topper is, the source insists again this is William being a "modern husband and father" - but most modern men are working men sharing in all the duties of running a household alongside an often working woman, without nannies and housekeepers I might add or vast wealth. And the great irony is that Tominey spoke out about Kate and this very issue some time ago. Basically that it's a little insulting to say that working parents and families can't also raise successful children and have happy families.

    I know William has reason clearly to hate his childhood. But this came across very poorly if I'm being honest.

    Sorry if I'm going on too much here! I read the piece online this evening and am truly floored by it, and again by the PR strategy. Either William is cornered and not thinking clearly or something is very off in the Wales family.

    ReplyDelete

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