Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Royal Tour Itinerary Released: The Cambridges' Most Colourful Tour Yet!

With under two weeks to go until the Royal Tour of India and Bhutan kicks off, Kensington Palace released the full itinerary today. It promises to be an exciting tour - taking place from 10-16 April - with a variety of events encompassing everything from a glittering night with Bollywood's stars to a six-hour trek in Bhutan. There will be several opportunities for the royals to meet local people and immerse themselves in the culture of both countries, experiencing urban life and rural traditions.


Kensington Palace described it as the "most ambitious tour" the Cambridges have undertaken outside a realm nation and "promises to be the most colourful to date". It will cover five distinct locations over six days across four regions of India and a visit to the remote and beautiful Himalayan kingdom. The tour occurs the week before the Queen's 90th birthday. The Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess are honoured to be carrying out this visit on Her Majesty’s behalf as so many around the world prepare to celebrate this happy milestone."


More from the official press release:

'In India, the Duke and Duchess will be starting a personal relationship with a country that will play a major global role throughout Their Royal Highnesses’ lives. The Duke and Duchess will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and India, but will focus on understanding India as it is today and will be throughout the 21st century – a vibrant, entrepreneurial, aspirational nation that faces both its challenges and huge opportunities with confidence.
India is the world’s largest democracy and by 2030 is projected to be the most populous nation on earth and home to the world’s third biggest economy. The UK is hugely strengthened by the 1.5 million strong Indian community in the UK. Their Royal Highnesses are pleased to have this chance to contribute to the on-going partnership between Britain and India.'

William and Kate will fly overnight from the UK on Saturday 9 April on a scheduled flight, arriving in Mumbai the next morning. They will travel with a staff of eleven, including Kate's hairdresser (presumably Amanda Cook Tucker), four press officers and William and Kate's private secretaries, Miguel Head and Rebecca Deacon. Prince George and Princess Charlotte will remain at home, most likely with the Middletons and their nanny, Maria Teresa.

Sunday, 10 April

Let's take a look at the full itinerary for each day! It all kicks off in Mumbai. The vibrant city boasts a population of twenty million people and is India's commercial and entertainment capital. The Palace noted, "Their Royal Highnesses will see the city in its full character – a bustling metropolis that is home to some of the world’s most successful companies." Day one in Mumbai offers a packed schedule.

Wikipedia

The first public part of the tour will be on William and Kate's arrival at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Indeed, this is no ordinary hotel stay. The Taj was one of the scenes of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and in the years since has become a symbol of strength in the city thanks to stories of the bravery and dedication of staff spreading around the world. The Cambridges will follow in the footsteps of Prince Charles and US president Barack Obama, who both stayed at the hotel to show solidarity. William and Kate will lay a wreath at a memorial inside the hotel and meet staff members who helped protect guests during the attack.

Wikipedia

Next, the Duke and Duchess will have the opportunity to say hello to Mumbai at one of the city's most famous public spaces, Oval Maiden. The popular recreation ground is home to cricket pitches that boast great views of the city’s skyline and is a gathering place for local people. William and Kate will watch a cricket match and meet children living in slums around the city, as well as beneficiaries of charities Magic Bus, India's Childline and Doorstep.


The Palace promised "a couple of surprises at this event as well". Are you thinking what I'm thinking? :)


William and Kate will then make their way to the Banganga Water Tank - an ancient water tank located in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai. Kensington Palace said the visit would allow the couple "to get a real sense of the complexity of this city. Alongside one of the most upmarket residential areas in Mumbai, they will see people who are living in tough circumstances in a small slum and are working hard to gain skills and make their way in the world". During the visit they will meet representatives from a charity called SMILE that focuses on skills and opportunities for young people and their parents.

Welcome to Mumbai

Day one will end with a sparkling reception and dinner held in William and Kate's honour to celebrate Mumbai's film and creative industries. Hosted by the British High Commission in partnership with The British Asian Trust, of which Prince Charles is founder and president, the couple will meet Bollywood stars. The event will include red carpet arrivals, dance and fashion. This event is the one to look out for, for those who are hoping to see Kate wearing a stunning gown. I expect we may see the Duchess choose something colourful for this one - perhaps a vibrant bespoke dress by Jenny Packham or Alexander McQueen? I'm very much hoping to see Kate inject a serious pop of colour into her wardrobe during the tour.


Monday, 11 April

The jam packed day will begin with an engagement where William and Kate will meet with aspiring young entrepeneurs at a GREAT campaign event at The Social - a bar come restaurant and collaborative workspace. This will provide a unique opportunity to explore how the UK can work with Indian business. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi described the relationship between the two countries as "an unbeatable combination".

The Social

From here, the second leg of the tour begins with the Cambridges travelling to New Delhi, India's capital city. Their New Delhi programme will begin with a wreath laying ceremony at India Gate. The 42m high, red standstone structure is the country’s main war memorial, covering the two world wars, the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. As the world marks 100 years since the First World War, the Duke and Duchess will in particular honour the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the British Army during the conflict.

Wikipedia

The Duke and Duchess will next visit Gandhi Smriti - a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi - where he spent the last years of his life and was assassinated in 1948. William and Kate will be given a tour of the museum and pay their respects at the memorial. "The Duke and Duchess are grateful to have the chance to learn about this great man's life in the place where he spent his final years."

Wikipedia

That evening, the Duke and Duchess will attend a birthday party for the Queen at the residence of the British High Commissioner. The garden party will be attended by hundreds of VIP's from the world of government and politics, and will offer a chance to celebrate the links between the UK and India. Prince William will pay tribute to his grandmother with a speech. I would imagine we'll see the Duchess opting for a cocktail dress for the event.


Tuesday, 12 April

The day will begin with two engagements in New Delhi, which will be announced closer to the time of the visit. One will allow the Duke and Duchess to see up close work supporting desperately vulnerable young people in the city. The second engagement will be a meeting with a senior government leader. The couple will also have a private meeting with NGO's working in Delhi before departing the city.

Wikipedia

The Duke and Duchess will then visit Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam. The theme of this leg focuses on the role of conservation in the lives of the rural people of this area. Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site and a wildlife conservation site of great global importance. They may have the opportunity to see elephants, water birds, swamp deer and many other species.


More from the press release:

'More than many other famous national parks in the world, in Kaziranga you get a real sense of how closely linked local people are to the animals that live there. This connection is not always easy. The visit to Kaziranga will allow the Duke and Duchess to see up close work being done to manage the conflicts that arise when humans and wild animals live in close proximity. A number of stories of human animal conflict in India have made global news recently and this trip will allow Their Royal Highnesses and accompanying media to understand this issue in much more detail.'

The visit comes at the time of the Bohag Bihu festival, the celebration of the Assamese New Year. Around a campfire, the Duke and Duchess will meet local people and see dance and musical performances. It will be a colourful and fun introduction to rural life and a great way to start this leg of the tour. It promises to be an incredibly fun evening and should produce some fabulous photos.


Wednesday, 13 April

It will be an early start for William and Kate beginning with an open-air drive around the national park. The Palace said: "The Duke, President of United for Wildlife, has long wanted to visit Kaziranga. The park is situated on a flood plain and the vital annual floods drive animals up to the adjacent hills." The couple will meet rangers and discuss the park's success in recent years in protecting its animals from poachers, however, this has begun to change recently with a number of poaching incidents. William "will use this visit to speak out against the lies and violence that threaten these valuable species and the communities that rely on them".

Wikipedia

In the afternoon, they will visit the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation. The centre provides emergency care and rehabilitation to wild animals that have been injured, displaced, or orphaned. The Duke and Duchess will meet young filmmakers who are members of Green Hub, a project that teaches film-making as a vocational skill to young people across Northeast India. They will see two short films focusing on human-animal conflict.


Next, the Cambridges will travel across the road to the Kaziranga Discovery Centre built by Elephant Family, the charity founded by Mark Shand, late brother of the Duchess of Cornwall. Here they will see a first-of-its-kind health clinic for working elephants and an elephant information centre, which is under construction. Before departing, the couple will put the finishing touches on an elephant sculpture to officially mark the ‘call for artists’ for India’s elephant parade, which will see 200 elephants decorated by artists and placed in 200 locations across India by the Elephant Family.

Elephant Family
Thursday, 14 April

The Duke and Duchess will fly to Bhutan:

'In Bhutan, the Duke and Duchess are looking forward to learning about a beautiful country that has famously prioritised the happiness of its people above all other national goals. Their Royal Highnesses are honoured to have the opportunity to build a personal relationship with Their Majesties the King and Queen, who, being of the same generation, they look forward to knowing for many years to come. The visit to Bhutan comes less than a decade after the historic decision, led by the Fourth King, to establish a democratic, Constitutional Monarchy in the country.  This is an opportune time to build on the friendly relations between the UK and Bhutan.'

Upon arrival, the Duke and Duchess will immediately get a sense of the beauty of this mountainous country. They will be ceremoniously welcomed by senior state representatives before departing for a scenic drive to the capital city of Thimphu.

Wikipedia

That afternoon, they will travel to the beautiful Thimphu Dzong where they will take part in a Chipdrel, a traditional welcome procession, complete with music, ceremonial dress, and plenty of colour. Inside the Dzong, they will have a private audience with the King and Queen. The couple recently welcomed the arrival of their first child and no doubt the foursome will have plenty to chat about! The group will then travel across the Dzong’s vast courtyard, which will be beautifully decorated, across to a temple where they will receive a brief blessing and will light butter lamps.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

William and Kate will then head to Thimphu's open-air archery venue, located in the heart of the small city. The couple will witness the the country's national sport first-hand and have the opportunity to meet children from local schools and NGO's who will be playing other local games.


The day will conclude with a private dinner with the King and Queen at Lingkanka Palace.

Friday, 15 April

Friday in Bhutan is described as "a very special day" on the tour with William and Kate putting their fitness to the test with a six-hour hike to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery, which dates to 1692. The monastery is near the cave where Guru Padmasambhava – who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan – is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days in the 8th century.


Below, we see Prince Charles visiting the monastery in 1998.


That evening, the couple will attend a reception for British nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK.

Saturday, 16 April

The Cambridges will bid farewell to the people of Bhutan at Paro Airport before boarding a flight to Agra in India, the home of the Taj Mahal. One of the wonders of the world - it will be a fitting end to what promises to be a memorable royal tour. It is thought photos produced from the visit will be one of the highlights of the tour.

Wikipedia

The Palace stressed how grateful William is to visit a place where his mother's memory is kept alive.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Back to the press release:

'The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother, the late Princess of Wales is held in India and he appreciates the iconic status of the images that exist of the Princess at the Taj. He feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother’s memory is kept alive by so many who travel there. 24 years on from her visit to the Taj, the Duke and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour.'

The photos of William and Kate posing together at the landmark will be in stark contrast to those of Diana, alone during her visit.


It's a fantastic itinerary with an array of unforgettable visits to India's and Bhutan's most beautiful locations. I am incredibly excited and cannot wait to learn more about the locations the couple will be visiting. Throughout the tour, we hope to bring you posts with high quality photos as quickly as possible. There will be up to several posts each day. To keep track don't forget to visit our Royal Tour Spring 2016 page.

A look at the time difference between India and the UK, and Bhutan and the UK.


TimeandDate.com is a very handy tool, offering the time, a look at the weather and other interesting information. It will be useful for those hoping to follow the tour as it happens, and will give you the relevant information based on your country and timezone.

TimeandDate.com

Are you excited about the tour? What events are you looking forward to most?

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Also today, we're delighted to announce the winner of our Merci Maman giveaway. The entrant who won her own personalised Duchess Necklace is Laura W who commented: "Thanks for the chance to win the necklace! I'm expecting my first child in May, I would engrave the necklace with his name, Ludovic, and my husband's initial on the heart charm... I've subscribed to Merci Maman newsletter and liked their FB and IG pages, my number of entries is 4." Congratulations, Laura! If you could email me at hrhcatherineblog@hotmail.com that would be wonderful. :)

Merci Maman

The Sun reports Kate took George and Charlotte to Windsor Castle to pose for celebrated American photographer Annie Lebowitz for an official photoshoot ahead of the Queen's birthday. A source said "William and Kate were with the children but as adoring parents rather than wanting to be in the pics themselves. Annie was taking the official pictures but Kate took her own snaps for the family album. It was really cute." I expect we may see an official portrait of the Queen with her great-grandchildren released at some point next month.

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Finally, The Duke and Duchess will attend a reception at Kensington Palace on Wednesday 6 April to meet young people from India and Bhutan living, studying or working in the UK. William and Kate will meet India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna. Additionally they will be introduced to a wide range of Indian and Bhutanese people, including those involved in British and Indian business, the charity sector, key figures within the diaspora community, academia, and representatives from the British Asian Trust.

223 comments:

  1. WOW. Charlotte, once again, you are AMAZING. This seems like it will be quite an amazing tour. I cannot wait!

    Also here to say that no matter what people think, I can't imagine the behind the scenes prep for a tour, especially one like this. I am hugely excited and especially can't wait for the fashion ;) It will be a long two weeks until April 10th!

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    1. It is their private secretaries that do the leg work for the tours. they set up every engagement and where they stay and everything
      the only thing kate and william have to do is choose what to wear

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 00:34

      Not true at all Anon 00.21. They have to study up on traditions and such. Should you look in the eye? Is it ok to show the soles of your feet? etc. Even if the staff might give them a list of it they still have to memorize it and make sure not to do any of it or risk offending people. They will have to read up on the people they will meet (especially the government officials) and while the staff might provide the material, they still have to memorize it. They will have to study faces and names of people etc etc. And probably alot more.

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    3. Anon00:21, I wish it was that easy:).
      Ali

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    4. Annette New Zealand30 March 2016 at 01:08

      I have been involved organising Royal Tours in New Zealand and there is no way their private secretaries will have set everything up. This is an official visit and the Indian Government will have organised everything in consultation with the Royal Couple. The private secretaries will be involved of course, but only in the admin aspects. There is no way they would be making final decisions about hotels and engagements. The Duke and Duchess will have been extensively briefed on all the aspects of the places they are visiting and the people they will be meeting as well as local customs. After all they are representing the Queen and can't afford to offend anyone.

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    5. Thanks Annette.

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    6. There is an interesting article on http://theroyalpost.com/ about how they plan ahead and organise the tour. Worth a read!

      And thank you Charlotee - I always read and enjoy your posts!

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    7. Very interesting read, Barbara. Thanks for posting the link. :)

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    8. Thank you for the first hand information, Annette.

      The article below gives interesting additional insight, including how Toronto's Fairmont Royal York handled a power failure that occurred two hours before a state dinner for Queen Elizabeth took place in their premises.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/how-to-prepare-a-hotel-for-a-royal-visit-carefully/article584691/

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  2. What a GREAT POST!! Thank you Charlotte!!

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  3. Thanks for all this information. I can't wait. You may want to correct your third paragraph. They are leaving April 9th nor March 9th.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 00:34

      That mistake is actually from the press release itself. It was suprisingly many typos in it.

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  4. Alejandra Ramírez29 March 2016 at 22:06

    Mega Excellent post! One of your best yet!
    Thank you so much for the detailed information and for the photos!
    It will be a tour to remember! :D
    The photos and interactions will be one of the best yet, because now we will see the couple more comfortable with their position and with a lot more experience in royal tours! :)

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  5. Typo at the start of this entry. I believe they fly overnight in April, not March :)

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  6. Charlotte, thank you for a very detailed itinerary! I am really looking forward to the tour. :) And YAY for new photos of George and Charlotte! :)

    I hope it will be a very safe, productive, and colorful tour for the Cambridge's.

    And LAURA W, congratulations! :))

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  7. Charlotte, your blog is my absolute go-to every evening when my daughter Zuzia goes to sleep. Absolutely interesting, absolutely fantastic! I'm your big fan, and a fan of the commenting ladies (and gents ;)) Always waiting for a new post :* Anna

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  8. I can't wait for this trip! What a privilege!

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    1. There's nothing new about the press building someone up to knock them down. It sells papers. What *I* find disturbing is when the "fall" is celebrated.

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    2. Agreed Royslfan. While some here show a genuine concern, others seem to relish the current bad press. However history shows this is nothing new. Gerts royals has just posted an old article about Camilla being work shy. The monarchy will move forward albeit not in the fashion that so many are used to, but surely anyone with common sense can understand that. Different times and attitudes bring about change.

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    3. Exactly JLN. This *whole* thing is manufactured by the press, I'm sure of it. They do their duty, they do what the queen wants them to do, they do what they want to do. They take their job very seriously and they are also lucky to have time to be with their children when they are young. There is a whole family doing this job and they are all doing the best they can. How Will and Kate face the press at all their engagements that write such vile things about them, I will never know. They have thick skin for sure.

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    4. Sarah Maryland USA30 March 2016 at 03:17

      How are the press knocking them down royal fan? Your attitude about the press scares me you seem to think it is there sole job to be the PR people of will and Kate
      William and Kate deserve every single bit of bad press they are getting..especially Kate. It was such a bad idea skipping the saint Patrick's day event. So bad.
      I actually think the press are letting Kate slide by because she works less than William
      He does the whole air ambulance thing as well as engagements
      So really Kate should be doing more
      And yes she has kids but spending a few hours each day supporting a charity or something doesn't mean they will grow up go be seriel killers
      Seriously royalfan...u find an excuse for every poor decision William and Kate make.
      You can't blaim the press for their total lack of awareness.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 21:44

      I agree Lauri. Thankfully, the Queens birthday is quite close to their tour so (unless they snub the Queen, which I doubt) they will have to be back and seen rather quickly after the tour :)

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    6. I rest my case. The shamrocks have wilted, but the drama continues.

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    7. They started the drama, RF. I think Julia had an excellent thought about rotating the honor amongst the Royal ladies, including Beatrice and Eugenie. The male soldiers would love that. :)

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    8. Hi Sarah, I agree that the press is there to report on William and Kate not to excuse them for every faux pas. If I disagree with you on anything it's that I think William needs to step up more than Kate does. He's the heir-once-removed; she is not. He's the one who needs to think about his legacy; Kate is mostly their to support it. That being said, I do agree that a bit more from her would not hurt!

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    9. Well Sarah, I can also say that I find your total support of the media over the last few months as even more scarry. You appear to have bought into their relentless accusations and not being able to see that there is another side to everything/story they manufacture. For example there is a plausible explanation for why Kate was not there, but people will not even try to see any other side other than Kate is "lazy". The tradition has always been that a ROYAL always gave out the shamrocks and THIS did not change. You, others and the media here made it out that Kate has totally DESTRYOED tradition, when in fact the actual tradition was carried out very well by William. I for one think since both the Queen and Prince Charles had engagements that day coupled with the fact Kate had already had a lot of coverage on two occasions that week and a third coming up the next day, it was requested she not attend. I am sorry, but I in no way buy into the media's statement that she just wanted to spend time with the children. All KP said was that she was home with the children. Just a statement of fact of where she was as it was the only thing KP could truthfully say without giving out information that could cause a major open fight with CH or BP, it was the media that slanted it the way they wanted Kate portrayed. One of the other possibilities is George had a program which would have been so very important to him at this age, an age where memories are being formed. Very important for a child to have a parent present. William did not cancel this engagement, the regiment got its shamrock, but Kate continues to be vilified in the media and here. So as I said above it is more scary to me that you can not see the positive side and choose to only believe the negative slant the media put on William and Kate only to sell papers.

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    10. Julia from Leominster31 March 2016 at 07:08

      Since the press is remarkably varied from Hello! magazine that never prints anything negative, to People which is running some article I haven't yet seen comparing (as I understand it favourably) Kate with Diana, to Ingrid Seward and the rarely critical Majesty Magazine, to Richard Palmer who wants to keep his job, to the catty Daily Mail, the coy headlines of Huffington Post, the Australian magazine that publishes photos no one else will, it's is honestly impossible to make broad statements about their motives.
      Hello! has never torn anyone down - while the gossip papers print nonsense, and everything in between. The one thing every one of these has in common though is that they are trying to capture the mood of their readership. The broad range of unhappiness with those wilting shamrocks came direct from the public.
      Those who manage royals can do much. Camilla is known to still be quite unpopular but she has worked using her own personal charm and with stories fed by her staff (sometimes frankly ridiculous ones) that the press cheerfully publishes.
      William and Kate on the contrary have not only not cooperated with the press but have gone out of their way to antagonise them. (I always treat William and Kate as a couple although here, most of the blame lies with William.) Regardless of whether you think you have good reasons or not, you reap what you sow - it's less that the press always wants to tear people down - Diana had excellent press for years - than they have little motivation to do anything for William and Kate - and the public is sick of not seeing them work - it's a perfect storm of a weary public, a vexed press corps, a fumbling press office and a couple who are making missteps that may not harm them much now - but could do more damage if they stay on this course.
      And fumbling is the word for this press office - badly worded statements, pompous sounding statements, and now typos. I'm not without sympathy - I remember spending a whole evening frantically preparing a report I had suddenly been assigned the same day- trying hard to proof it only to I had missed one important acronym.
      But William's staff has had time to pull this itinerary together. Everything they put out should be proofed by multiple people and read aloud - preferably by someone other than who prepared it. It looks untidy to have dates wrong.
      The tour sounds wonderful and should lead to a rush of positive press, followed by the queen's birthday. So I think public and press will relax at least for now. But hopefully there have been lessons learnt for a better managed future.


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    11. Tedi in California31 March 2016 at 07:56

      Amen Royalfan. I agree with you. The press have always loved to build up and tear down. It's in their DNA, and it sells.

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    12. I have read the "serial killer" comment once too much. I must speak up and say it is quite insulting to all mothers and fathers that decide to stay with their children. "children won't become serial killers if you leave them for a few hours each day" I can't stand it. What about " your career won't suffer if you take a few years to be there with your children" "or the world doesn't count less serial killers because you work full time?" how would that come across?

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    13. Tedi in California31 March 2016 at 18:58

      Diana suffered terrible press. Her bulimia, unstable mind, relationships with just about everyone in the royal Family. And, don't forget all the different affairs she may, or may not have had. Diana wasn't deified until after her untimely death. Then, the entire RF, including the Queen were accused of having her murdered. Ah yes, the virtues of the gutter press.

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    14. Julia from Leominster31 March 2016 at 20:07

      I confess I don't see a huge distinction between "wanting" to be home with the children and being home with the children. Her absence was planned long in advance so it wasn't the case of a child being ill - and most unlikely anything at school. (My friends with little ones tell me George would not remember whether she was at some specific event or not, at such a young age - that lasting contextual memories don't form until later - but I'm no expert on children.)
      I doubt that it was some plan by the royal family to call attention to some other royal event - they don't function that way. But if it was, it backfired badly.

      I try to see the press in a realistic way - and particularly look for the connection to public feeling. There was an extremely strong public feeling to Kate's absence - there are many reasons for that but essentially that is an engagement started by and in most people's lifetime almost uniformly performed by a royal lady (Edward the one exception -after the Queen Mum died.) Many of us remember the Queen Mum greeting the guards when she was 100 so William, Kate and their staff had to be truly dense to think the public would take this well, unless it was handled very carefully. The strong public response is why established royal reporters like Ingrid Seward who rarely say anything unfavourable got involved.
      And it's why I believe if Kate doesn't wish to do it every year, it would be best to make an adapted tradition of passing it among the royal ladies, rather than leading to yearly speculation about whether Kate will show or not. In a few years, that adaption would become accepted and the norm. Rotate Anne, Sophie, Kate and Camilla.

      On the converse - the issue of photographs on the ski trip was seen as something between the press and William and Kate and the public was far less interested in the press's grievances, and it was seen as such. Mostly, it got a big public shrug.
      And many articles fall somewhere in between - it comes down to whether they strike a chord with the public.
      So I see no point in making a big bad wolf out of the press - to the royal family they are a necessity - what interests me the most is how much they reflect the public feeling and mood. Most articles whether it's Hello! or Majesty or the DM or that Australian magazine will be an attempt to strike that chord with their readership. That will be mostly what interests the press because that's what sells. And in truth, that's what the royal family is about -selling themselves and, at their best, their causes and their nation.

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    15. 0808, non-royal women's careers do suffer if they take time with their children. I read something not too long ago about the unintended consequence the European lengthy maternity leave programs has for those women who take it. That I cannot find now, but I did find the following.

      http://newsok.com/article/5426828
      http://www.econlife.com/the-unintended-consequences-of-parental-leave/
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2014/11/06/when-good-maternity-leave-programs-can-actually-hurt-women/

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    16. Anon 4:09, thank you for your comment! You're exactly right!

      Tedi, sad but true about the intentions of some elements of the press.

      And Anon 8:08, for what it's worth, I cheered your on the money response. :))

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    17. Yikes. Spellcheck is doing some interesting editing to my comments. Only coffee here, I swear! :)

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    18. Julia from Leominster1 April 2016 at 14:52

      As someone who followed the Diana press closely and saved a lot of clippings, I disagree respectfully with you Tedi, on Diana. Until the separation Diana received very positive press for her charitable work, which did a huge amount for her reputation after the separation and the public response to her. And while there were reports on the men she was involved with - thanks to those tape releases which clearly came from the Charles camp, she was still treated more as a victim of a nasty royal family and Charles than as someone culpable.

      She used the press very much to her advantage in supporting her in the divorce and in her landmine campaign and while she later regretted that interview, it harmed her more with the royal family than it did with the public. The massive public response and grief would never have happened had she not been seen as a positive figure and Charles has been paying the price for the public sympathy ever since - because the press picked up the public mood and took her part.
      That doesn't mean she wasn't hounded by photographers especially after the separation but the press never supported Charles' camp attempt to have her pegged as mentally unstable - that attempt (particularly by Nicholas Sommes but it is still out there even today if you meet old-time Charles supporters who still grumble that the public didn't appreciate how unstable she was and how hard it was for Charles) could have been used against her and it wasn't. Again, it's the synergy of the press and public mood. Charles has been clawing his way back ever since- if there's a lesson in what press damage can do, it is him.

      Anytime there is an incident like that, there will be conspiracy theories, and in this case they were fed by the Fayad family, that never identified white car, the murder of the photographer and the fact it turned out Diana herself had speculated about a car smash.
      As for William, he needed someone to blame - other than his father and the royal family, and so put the blame on the press - but the truth is far more complicated and he lacks his mother's flare in using the press to her advantage.

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    19. Sarah Maryland USA2 April 2016 at 04:21

      You know why I stick up for the press? It's because I worked as reporter for two years before switching jobs.
      Do I know what goes on in news rooms. There is no manufacturing of stories. Do reporters pursue topics more than some others because the public is interested? Yes of course.
      But the negative stories about William and Kate are exactly how I would've written them. They aren't stating anything that isn't fact..are they doing it now more than in the past? Yes. And I believe they are finally doing it because they finally feel that the public I'd getting fed up with the royal couple
      If they had try to write anything negative a few years ago they would been destroyed
      So if anything he public mood determines what topics reporters focus on
      However. It DOES NOT lead to reporters making up stories
      So stop insulting reporters I'm sick of it
      I'm sick of people calling Richard a whiner because he has anything negative to say
      When all he is stating is fact
      In some of his tweets he actually even suggests steps will and Kate could take to fix this PR mess they have gotten themselves into
      That doesn't sound like someone who is trying to always tear them down
      He has said he is a monarchist but he also will not skate over some of the stupid choices they have made

      Delete
    20. It's so easy for us to forget the years after Fergie joined the royal family. See this People magazine article from 1987 which summarizes attitudes of the time: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20096763,00.html
      Many people were blaming Fergie for her "bad" influence on Diana, and the focus of this article is largely on Fergie. But Diana had been Princess of Wales for 7 years and was 26 years old. And the media was having a field day. One of the interesting paragraphs is this one: "Certainly the impromptu comedy team of Fergie and Di has brought out the beast in Fleet Street. Suffering badly from post election doldrums, the papers seized the chance to fan the furor. Chided the Daily Express archly: 'Their [world] seems to be one of unashamed hedonism. Fun first, extravagance second, showing off third. And duty? Well, that can be conveniently fitted in among the parties, the holidays, the frocks and the champagne.' Even the relatively unexcitable Sunday Times, which usually leaves day-to-day royal gossip to the tabloids, gave the princesses a thumping: 'The royal family has become so used to being treated like a soap opera by some sections of the media that some of its members are beginning to act as if they are in one.'" Events of the time that had people riled up included using closed umbrellas to poke people's rear ends at Ascot and Diana spending time with a single aristocrat, which fed rumors of an affair. All parties denied this, but the concern expressed by royal watchers, including Ingrid Seward, was that however innocent the behavior, it was unnecessarily creating problems for the monarchy. Some went so far as to suggest Fergie and Diana were undoing all the good for the monarchy that the queen had created.

      Delete
    21. I remember those days, Becky. I also remember Diana distancing herself after it call came out too. She couldn't really afford to be thought of that way given her position. Plus I really think she didn't want to be thought of in those terms either. I truly do think that her work was important to her, and the fact we're all still talking about her almost 20 years after her death is testament to that.

      Sarah, thank you for the information on reporters. One thing I really love about reading here is how interesting everyone is. I'd say I agree with what you had to say, but I suspect you already know that!

      Delete
    22. Sarah Maryland USA2 April 2016 at 22:30

      Thanks bluhare! I felt it was important for people to understand how reporting actually works!
      Do I think some of the articles written are sloppy messes? Yes! But just because a few are off doesn't mean they all are!
      Anyway, I'm looking forward to the tour! I hope Kate highlights some Indian designers!

      Delete
  9. I'm really liking how they are supporting other family members charities on this trip. In addition to Prince Charle's British Asian Trust, which you mentioned. The Countess of Wessex is Patron of the UK's Childline.

    And Charles and Camilla are Joint Presidents of Elephant Family, since Mark's death in 2014. Also Sarah, Duchess of York, since about 2008, and Camilla's sister Annabel are both Patrons of Elephant Family.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 00:35

      I didn't know all of these :) That is very nice! :D

      Delete
    2. I agree, that's a very nice touch. Thanks for the information!

      I was a little surprised that KP brought up the Diana comparison first, I expected it from the press! But I suppose they're taking the "let's face it head on" approach. Probably a smart move, they know it's going to be a highly publicized moment, that Diana image is known the world over.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 01:22

      Yeah, I also was a bit surprised but I also think that it is probably the best way. Get a statement out fast and don't put their heads in the sand. I understand why they are going to Taj Mahal (probably very highly requested by India rather than the royals) so when they knew they were gonna have to deal with the Diana comparisons I think it's better to tackle it head on than to act clueless.

      Delete
    4. Claudia, I think you're exactly right. What better way to combat the inevitable speculation than to tackle it head on.

      Delete
    5. That is fantastic. I am very happy for the Elephant Family especially as I feel there has been not much royal support after Camilla's brother died. I heard that Beatrice and Eugenie were doing a trek for them once but that got cancelled.

      Delete
    6. Julia from Leominster31 March 2016 at 07:16

      As I said above, there has been a lot about the press office of William and Kate that I've thought unwise - but I do think facing this head on is a positive thing. Since we are speaking of elephants - that's the one in the room....and acknowledging that leaves less room for speculation.

      Delete
    7. I disagree. I think this is exploitation of his mother's image. They even said it themselves with the creating memories statement. I am waiting for the photo of them sitting on opposite ends of the bench so someone can photoshop his mother in between them, to be honest.

      Delete
    8. The press office needed to tackle the fact William attended his ex girlfriends wedding with his wife. And left them on Easter. William has taken a beating in the media regarding this.

      Delete
    9. Julia from Leominster1 April 2016 at 14:57

      Oh goodness, Bluhare, I hope not. I realise that one photo is the classic at the Taj Mahal but I rather hope they set up the photos from a different perspective - to avoid anything like that.

      (However, William and Kate have turned out some lovely affectionate snaps, so maybe there will be something at the Taj Mahal - more subtle than a kiss though.)

      Delete
    10. I do too, Julia. I've said from the very beginning that I hoped Kate could step out from Diana's shadow (the fact she got her engagement ring inextricably links them) and forge her own path. I still hope that.

      Delete
  10. Not entirely true. There is a delegation that sets everything in motion, but W/k have to do a certain amount of preparation to familiarize themselves with the culture and with whom they are meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations Expectant Mom Laura W. An early push present. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 01:48

      Yeah, a big congratulations on both the bling and the baby :)

      Delete
  12. Hopefully they both have been working out to be in good condition for that 6 mile hike. I wonder if Becca and Miguel will be doing the hike also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 01:49

      Haha, my first thought was if the reporters were gonna do it as well, and if so, will they have to carry their equipment? :P

      Delete
    2. Again, good point Rebecca.

      Delete
    3. Anon & Rebecca: Exactly my thoughts! Can't wait to see pictures. Hope they are all breaking in their hiking boots as we speak.

      Emily

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    4. hi Charlotte, such a great post.... its very good to know about kate and wills tour of india nd bhutan. may they have a safe journey.amin
      p.s very exited to see kate nd will with bollywood dtars in glam night.
      can't wait to see their fashion choices
      faiza, pakistan

      Delete
    5. One of Kate's hobbies is hill walking (see her official bio from KP), so I imagine that she is far fitter than all of them! I can't wait for this tour!

      Delete
    6. Sarah Maryland USA2 April 2016 at 04:23

      I wouldn't let anyone take my picture on this hike. So god bless Kate for that. I don't know about you but I would be a hot sweaty and dirty mess
      Hopefully the press are nice enough just to give her give minutes to fix herself up at the end of the hike!

      Delete
  13. Tedi in California30 March 2016 at 01:56

    Wonderful itinerary. I look forward to following them on their tour. By the way, anyone who thinks the preparation is all done for them is wrong. They must study the country they are about to travel to. The customs, the language, the history. Also the people that they will meet, for instance the King and Queen of Bhutan, what interests do they have. They just can't pull up a chair and have a chat. There is much work for the Duke and Duchess ahead of a tour, and not just picking out clothes.
    Congratulations to Laura W on winning the Duchess Necklace. It will be fun to see the new pictures of the children. April will be exciting.

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  14. Charlotte I love this blog the most when you are covering foreign visits of William and Catherine's. No one puts together a more splendid array of photos and commentary than you. I've said it before and I'll say it again they should hire you!

    I am so excited about this trip....India changed my life, it is such a complex, gorgeous and sometimes horrible place. So many people crammed in Mumbai and New Delhi, it was overwhelming to be sure. My boyfriend at the time and I took a year off from university and spent 6 months traveling around India, Tibet and Bhutan. Bhutan at the time was closed to tourists, but we were lucky when a group of invited New Zealanders offered to lets us travel with them. So beautiful.
    We went to many of the places that they are visiting on their tour....I tell ya India is mind-blowing there's no place like it!

    Can't wait to follow Catherine and William on there journey via DK. I think Catherine is going to knock it out of the park with her fashion choices. I do hope everything is new.

    Thanks Charlotte for all your good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 02:21

      It's gonna be so fun to stay up and hang here during the tour! I remember how fun it was with the Aus/NZ tour and I hope for as much fun this time :)

      Delete
    2. Mel your excited description made me more excited for this India tour. Thank you for your insights.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster31 March 2016 at 07:11

      Very excited too - I've always longed to go to India - I've friends who have visited and gone to Bhutan as well, but I've never been able to manage it - so I'm pleased to be able to do so vicariously through William and Kate and look forward to wonderful scenery and wonderful clothes.

      Delete
    4. I have several family members that have visited and lived in India. It is an incredible country but the problems in the country can be pretty overwhelming to the visitor. It is a country of contrasts, not all so good.ali

      Delete
    5. ali-1754-agree. Such beauty, but what contrasts! Such an abyss between classes.
      I have a relative who recently visited Chenai, a tourist site, on business.
      The lack of sanitation and reliable public transportation truly nearly over-
      whelmed him.The beach areas were too polluted to swim there.The infrastructure
      is deteriorated at best and non-existant at times.
      I won't speculate about causative factors.
      There is a long way to go to bring the country into the twentieth century, let
      aone the twenty-first. So many factions and obstacles.
      The good news-it appears India is motivated to grow and change and hopefully, Wiliam and Catherine's visit will bring the interest and attention ( and capital and support) perhaps others have failed to do.
      I realise other countries have big problems, too. There's not one that doesn't.(excet Bhutan?) However, the Cambridges are going to India .

      Delete
  15. I know it's all about Kate and her clothing but she and William are going to have to tread very carefully on this visit as they haven't perhaps had to on their previous tours.
    Despite the carefully-chosen venues and crowds that also will be vetted so Kate and William aren't burdened with the reality of Indian life, the country is desperately poor. The burden of empire under the British still isn't forgotten either and the terrible injustices that happened during the British rule of India.
    I would expect Kate will be mixing some previously-worn and a few new pieces in her tour clothing. She has all the outfits from the Asian tour and many of those ensembles and day dresses would work wonderfully on this tour. It would be beyond insensitive, not to mention the ultimate in superficiality, for Kate to be appearing in hundreds of new pieces costing millions of pounds when they're visiting a country with one of the highest rates of poverty, child malnutrition and infant mortality in the world - and with so many of the problems of modern-day India rooted in the British occupation of the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth - 2:21 "100s of new pieces, costing millions of pounds" for a 6 day tour! Wow, when will she find the time to do anything but change clothes?

      Delete
    2. Read Charlotte's post, Elizabeth. They are going to a slum. They are going to visit hotel employees involved in the horrific terrorist attacks. It doesn't get much more real than that. Yes, the sites were carefully chosen-to give the future king and queen as comprehensive a view as possible.
      But-thanks for the ethics lesson.
      Can't imagine the uproar if she wore mostly outfits worn on other tours.Let's face it.
      She's gonna be criticized either way. Wait and see.

      Delete
    3. "hundreds of new pieces costing millions of pounds"?????????? since when? never. not even close.

      Delete
    4. They are visiting a slum in between a couple of fluffy engagements. They are staying in a hotel -- a very nice hotel -- that caters to high level guests. By this thinking, if I walk through the park/street where men and horses got blown to pieces 30 years ago, am I expressing solidarity or am I just heading over to Harrods? If I go to the station that was bombed on 7/7 am I communing with the victims or am I going to take the train? I think all of us would take a moment to think what happened there but I also think their office is going way too far on the hyperbole with this to offset the recent bad press.

      Delete
    5. Rebecca - Sweden1 April 2016 at 02:35

      I agree and dont bluhare. I agree that it's not a big thing. But it was probably also a choice made for that reason. But I think it is standard official person fluff and nothing extra to William and Kate. And certainly not somthing that was decided as recently as this recen bout of bad press. I mean, Charles and Obama has stayed there "in solidarity" as well so it's nothing new for them to do it.

      Delete
    6. I'm scrolling from the bottom up this evening, Rebecca, so I'm going to blame it on the Harry documentary I just watched that I want to reach out and give you a big hug. When you get down to the bottom, you might understand what I mean!!

      Delete
    7. They aren't just staying at that hotel, there is a planned meeting with victims. Fluff? Before making judgements about people's motivations and purpose, try
      having a personal one-on-one with a terroism survivor.Not fluff and not a holiday, I assure you. I have talked with terrorism victims in the hospital
      and it is a gut-wrenching experience.If there are lighter moments on the tour, they will be needed for emotional respite.All the royals who actually
      communicate meaningfully with troubled persons and problems have them. Even
      Harry.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca, well considered and stated. Media releases include that "hyperbole" and "fluff" because it makes it easier and faster for some reporters to file a story; corporations and governments do it all the time. Anon 23:21, thanks for your wise words.

      Delete
    9. When this tour was first announced, my first private thought was about safety...let them be well protected, safe, and return home to their little ones.

      They will stay at a hotel that was the target of terrorists. I still remember the images! I see nothing to mock about this tour. Nothing in GOOD taste, that is.

      Delete
    10. Other than meeting with the hotel staff, and going to the slums their appointments are fluffy.

      Are we going to one-up each other now? That's a lovely thing you did talking with terror victims. Have you worked the crisis phone line with a drunk man threatening suicide? Who screams, drops the phone and his 3 year old son picks it up and says "my daddy's bleeding!"? That involves addiction and the physical and mental health of both the adult and the child. Causes on which Kate is "very keen" to make a difference. I made a difference one night. I got help over there and the guy was OK; too drunk to do much damage, actually. But I've always wondered what happened to that little 3 year old boy. What William and Kate are doing is fluff.

      Delete
    11. Define "fluff."

      Delete
    12. ps-this is not a philanthropic tour, although "fun" events are fund-raisers
      for various charities.The focus of the tour seems to be to bring attention and
      interest to India and thus trade and business. This is accomplished by the Cambridges bringing attention to businesses and tourist sites by actually going there. I am not stating a new idea; these facts have been written elsewhere,as well as in this comment section. For some reason, there are those who persist in labeling these very purpose-driven activities as "fun" and "fluff."
      I believe KP also mentioned something
      about forging a relationship and ties between the country and the future king and queen.
      There are organisations,charities, the UN whose job it is to do the hands-on
      work. I will say that India's infrastructure and political strucure make delivery of assistance difficult.
      Royals have the name and face recognition to bring attention.
      We as private citizens can man phones (although Kate has done it) and hold hands
      (she's done that, too)

      Delete
    13. From Merriam Webster:

      1fluff
      noun \ˈfləf\
      Popularity: Bottom 40% of words
      Definition of fluff
      1
      : 7down 1
      2
      : something fluffy
      3
      : something inconsequential
      4
      : blunder; especially : an actor's lapse of memory
      See fluff defined for English-language learne

      Delete
  16. Hi there! I'm a reader from Los Angeles. FANTASTIC blog post!! Thank you for breaking it all down for us and with great pictures as well! I took one look at the press release earlier and thought, I don't want to read all of that, but you broke it down so beautifully. I always look at your blog for the latest Kate update. Thanks for all you do to keep us informed!

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  17. Thank you as always Charlotte! I am looking forward to the clothes but mainly the interactions and the reaction to the scenery. And how lovely that Kate took the kiddos to get their photos taken with "Gan Gan"! Looking forward to those!

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  18. Everyone talks about Kate's great look on the Canada tour, but I think she was ar her most elegant during her daytime events in southeast Asia. Not so much at night. The dress and hairstyle in the first picture above, the one she wore with pearls in her hair, and the dress for the orchid garden are among her very best looks. I hope her dresses and hairstyles for India will be as beautiful as those.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sharyn from AUS30 March 2016 at 04:42

    I hope we get to see kate in a saree, or a dress made out of saree material. It would look beautiful against her complexion. I also hope kate takes photos like she has dine elsewhere...i want to say borneo?
    Cannot wait for the fashion and connections that will come out of this amazing trip. I think everyone should go and visit the amazing country filled with beautiful contradictions

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  20. I think it would be so wonderful if they shared a kiss in front of the Taj Mahal. Now that pic would sell a lot of papers! But with Williams aversion to PDA we may not see that. I hope that 6 hour hike is round trip! Otherwise, I cannot imagine having another engagement that day. Prince Charles looks quite tired at the end of his hike, but of course he was older than them at that time. The elevation difference will be hard for them even though they are very fit. It will be a trip to remember!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 17:00

      I think that would be over the top to say the least. They can pose there as any other tourist, but to make it even more about Diana would be stupid, in my opinion.

      Also, I thought about that as well. They are gonna be at a reception/dinner the same day after the trek. Ouch!

      Delete
    2. Darla, I don't see the kiss happening. :) I think we have seen plenty of spontaneous PDA, but a kiss at a location that has such an awkward and sad connection with his parents, well, I just don't see it.

      Delete
    3. I would like to see Wiiliam take Kate in his arms, tilt her back in his arms and give her huge kiss.
      wouldn't that make set the media abuzz. After his appearance in Africa, I think he owes Kate that. :)

      Delete
    4. It looks like you you can ride a mule/donkey to the site also. So you could hike both ways or hike and ride both ways or hike one way and ride another. Also several hikable routes, some easier than others. AIso it it is 6 miles one way then I am guessing for a one day trek they are riding one way or part of the journey up and down. 12 miles in one day is a long hike on foot:) Ali

      Delete
    5. Darla, I wouldn't be astonished if William and Catherine went about it the way Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh did. For those interested, here are photos & footage of them visiting the Taj Mahal in 1961:
      http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/royal-tour-to-india-queen-elizabeth-ii-and-prince-philip-the-duke-of-picture-id78965388
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/royalty/8955948/Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-the-Royal-Familys-global-tour-in-pictures.html?image=12
      http://www.efootage.com/stock-footage/55380/Queen_Elizabeth_Visits_Taj_Mahal_/

      Delete
    6. Francis, you are so funny. Thanks for the links.

      Delete
  21. OK, I just read about the hike and at the National Geographic site it said it was a moderately easy hike if you went slowly and stopped often, but there were a lot of stairs. It takes about two hours to reach the top which is at 10,000 feet. Of course, you want to spend time in the monastery once you get there before you head back down. Maybe that is how thy came up with a 6 hour hike.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Darla for the Information. I thought that it was going to be a 6 hour hike up and a 6 hour hike to return. That would be slot to ask of guests.

      Delete
    2. I'm sure with the altitude and their entire the couple, media, aides, etc. that it will take a lot longer.

      Delete
    3. Oh I just commented in a prior post:) before reading your post. That is a very doable one day hike:) Thanks for the information. Ali

      Delete

  22. First of, a huge congrats in order to Laura, use this lovely jewellery well!!

    This tour really promises to be colourful and truly fantastic. They gonna visit places, which are once in a lifetime experience. This is let's be honest an another holiday. Going to visit a cricket match, hiking,receptions, garden parties. But there is nothing wrong with that, kind of getting used to it.I hope their private secretaries will do a wonderful job and prepare them for all the rules and customs they need to succeed.

    On fashion note, I truly hope I won't see those dreaded wedges, it was so nice not to see them for a while. Also hope for many patterns and colours. Probably the mini skirts are out of question too, and visiting a slum in her bespoke Jenny Packham is probably not the best idea. Let's see how she thinks.

    Thank you very much for this lovely post as always!

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2016 at 17:02

      I would in no way call this a holiday. It is in holidaying locations but it's 100% work. As I've said before, when dad takes clients to hockey or something of the sort, yes the thing itself is fun but he's still 100% in job mode and it is in no way a vacation.

      Delete
    2. It's not a holiday but it isn't like a business trip either. They get to do lots of fun & interesting things. Yes, it's probably more exhausting than the usual holiday but I bet many people would jump at the opportunity to do this kind of work. So, it's definitely a privilege and while it shouldn't be undervalued, let's not exaggerate either.

      Delete
    3. Oh dear.The tour didnt even start. How sad.

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - Sweden31 March 2016 at 00:06

      I'm not exaggerating. Take my dad for example. He is a sales person. To him, while going watch hockey or golf or whatever is fun and makes the jobday less tedious, the job part of his job (in this case, schmoosing and selling) are the same as if he sat in a conferance room. William and Kate have a similar job at times, schmoosing and selling the country, connecting and networking. And just because they're at a beautiful and nice place doesn't mean that they are not in work mode. Add to that that most of the lines they say will be recorded and/or reported and if they look sad or a gust of wind blows by. They are absolutley in work mode.

      Delete
    5. It certainly will be WORK. No matter what they do they will have a ton of reporters and photographers trailing them. They will not be able to relax and be themselves at the Taj Mahal with the eyes of the world watching and comparing every move with Diana's visit. Watching and photographing every gesture for it's body language and manufacturing hidden meaning into EVERYTHING. Not sure how one can enjoy a hike with this multitude of people following them up the mountain. Kate may wear a new wardrobe or add some repeats, but you can be sure it will meet with unending critique. Being on display 24/7 for a solid week is not in any way shape or form be a "HOLIDAY".

      Delete
    6. It might be work, but it's fluffy work. It's not the same as (for example) Harry who actually stayed with the widow of a Ghurka, engaged with people, and stayed 6 extra days to help build a school.

      Delete
    7. They haven't zipped their suitcases yet and here we go with chipping away at the significance of the tour before it even starts. How very sad indeed.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca - Sweden1 April 2016 at 02:42

      True Bluhare. And I am not saying that Harry are not doing good. He's doing great! But William and Harry are in different positions. William and Kate are probably the choice the government ask for to do the bigger tours. China and India are very different to Jamaica and Nepal. Both groups are great but the China and India tours are heavy hitter government tours and will and shouldn't be conducted in the same way as the more grounded and charity focused tours that Harry does. Something else that is very different is how strict the security is. A thing like William sleeping on the streets as he did when he was younger would probably not be possible anymore. For every year that goes you can see how the gap between William and Harrys circumstances differ. In their late teens and early 20s they lived rather simalarly affected lives. After that you started to see the change. William wasn't allowed to be deployed, Harry was. And you can clearly see how the walls are moving closer and closer around William while they are lessening it's hold of Harry. So while what Harry does is amazing and great, I don't think it's fair to either him or William to compare the two since one of them are government tours with some charity in while the others are charity trips with some government in. Harry can walk around in his jacket and cap and dance with kids and sleep in the house of widows. William can't do that in the same way, especially on days he will meet with government officials. He has a certain professional image of professionalism that he has to maintain as the future monarch. Yes, they can be cute and dance and hug kids and all that. But not in the same way as Harry can because that is not their role.

      Delete
    9. I like talking to you, Rebecca. Thank you. I understand your point; and agree with it to a point :). I just got done watching Harry's Heroes, the documentary about the North Pole trek that WWTW did. He was only there for three days, not the whole trip on that one, but look at what that did for wounded servicemen. They even made me, lazy old me in front of my keyboard, feel determined!

      The point is it's not so much what you do, it's what you put into it. You can feel how much Harry cares for his causes. It shows in how he presents it and himself. He doesn't hide his awe for the people he's trying to help. So I guess I don't see position being an issue because I would hope that feeling that strongly about something isn't position related, if you know what I mean. And that to me is the big difference. William and Kate look pretty and take lots of nice photos and get some nice PR for a day or two but that seems to be it. I don't know if Harry cares more than William and Kate do, but he certainly seems that way. Now that I'm done fangirling him, I'm going to go find some articles that aren't so glowing to get me back in middle ground!

      Delete
    10. Maybe you are right, regarding this schedule hard work, but after missing St. Patrick's Day and seeing this, I disagree.
      Though I see someone's point with these tours (they are usu light weighted, getting to know the country so on), but I will go back and check whether at the beginning like the Canadian tour or the others what the ratio was.

      As always bluhare found the right word: fluffy, thanks for that!:-)

      Anon 03.13

      I find it amusing you shouted out loud these 3 words in connection with the Cambridges: work, holiday and everything. :-))))
      Had a good laugh!

      Delete
    11. I believe you are absolutely spot on bluhare - that is a really insightful comment. It is the passion or lack thereof that comes through in engagements and that is the "magic" or the aura that makes some royals stand apart from others. Whether Sophie is condescending or not, the speeches that she makes and her interactions with her charities have been praised heavily by the people she supports. Her engagement and dedication (even if it is to a degree fake) shines through and makes people feel that she is 100 percent "present". Obviously Harry and Diana have the same quality. Anne has it as well - despite her manner people recognize her dedication and unwavering loyalty to duty.
      Maybe one day Kate will also perfect the art to appearing very dedicated to her charities. But as of now she does not. And the reason is partly her schedule - she appears for a week and disappears for five weeks. That does not foster an image of being dedicated or dutiful. It may change when she starts doing duties every week - probably in three or four years when she is done having kids and they are older. But now this is what it is and people forget about her when she is not around.
      Also, she used to wear flimsy skirts that blew up at the drop of a hat. She has asked some pretty silly questions at times - the question about Faberge eggs still been made - considering that she has a 2:1 in art history , I mean , golly. How did she ask that question? How did she not know that? I have a degree in engineering - as far removed from art as possible and even I KNOW the history of faberge. Anyway... many of her utterances in the past really damaged my opinion of her. I used to really like her when she got married but that comment gave me a pause. A long one. I think that she is much more thoughtful now, however, when she speaks. And she will only improve. But that one comment really shattered the image I had of her.
      William. No comment. That is all I will say.

      Delete
    12. Lecia

      I find Sophie a really nice person, I suppose her previous job helps her a lot how to sell and communicate with other people. This is a the advantage of having a job before marriage.

      I had the same feeling with that Faberge eggs story. Maybe she missed that art class.(sigh) There was another one when she asked How do you test smell by smelling it? or something similar. At that point I had my doubts that she had any kind of background research done.

      Delete
    13. I sit here in disbelief. :) Apparently, Sophie is "condescending" and "fake", yet Kate continues to be shredded for lack of a better word. Okaaaay.

      The need to knock her down is becoming more transparent by the day.

      Delete
    14. Rebecca - Sweden1 April 2016 at 22:34

      Very good points Bluhare. But that we cannot know by looking at the scheduel. That we will have to wait to see until it happens :) And I agree that Harry looks more involved, but I think it has to do with personality. Both William and Kate are rather shy in a way while Harry has his heart on his sleeve. Different personality types. But I do see your point.

      Delete
    15. I agree too, Rebecca. I know that this is going to have a diplomatic component to it as well, and that is the dull stodgy stuff that is necessary to international relations. And they are a good choice for that, being the future king and queen consort. Although (reading from the bottom up again) some people here think that this is a bunch of meangirls being mean for no reason, I don't think so. I think that William and Kate are coming off a spate of bad press. This is an excellent chance to try and get past it and move forward. However, I just can't get on board with how much good they do and how much they care. Because I haven't really seen it.

      BUT you need to be careful, Rebecca. You're going to get me blowing through your screen and giving you a big harehug one of these days!!

      Delete
    16. royalfan I did not say that Sophie is condescending or fake - some other posters mentioned that on the previous thread. I was merely saying that even if she is pretending to be interested (which I am not saying she is because I don't think she is) people are clearly impressed with her.

      As for knocking Kate - yes it may appear that way to you (I know you love everything about her and I do respect your loyalty to her :) ) but I was only stating a fact. An uncomfortable fact yes, but don't YOU think that it is shocking that a person with a degree in art history would not have heard of Faberge and know the tremendous historical significance behind the name or the surrounding history? Would that not shock you?
      How did you rationalize her comment on this? I simply couldn't. That is all I was saying.

      Delete
    17. Rebecca - Sweden3 April 2016 at 02:18

      As long as you don't show up at my door unannounced, I'll happily recive all the virutal hugs you wanna give :P

      Delete
  23. I am really excited about the upcoming tour. Plenty of great photo opportunities, many charities and social issues will be highlighted. It sounds like the Duke and Duchess will be really involved in many aspects of Indian and Bhutan culture.

    I am looking forward to any event/engagement with children in need. I work in that industry and it is very close to my heart. Anyone who brings attention to children who require intervention is a hero in my book.

    I like how the KP press release talks about India in the present and future tense. The tone was perfect.

    Can't wait to see photos of the interactions between William and Catherine - they always work best when they are together.

    Cara, Australia.

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  24. i think this will be one of the most colorfull and beautiful tours ever i hope kate does not wear repeats i think that would be rather tacky and the press would have a hay day with that i can't wait gonna be a very long 2 weeks thanks for the post charlotte

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  25. I would not want to travel to the Himalayas. So kudos to W/K. No offense to anyone about my preference.

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    1. It wouldn't be my cup of tea either 07:38. Hopefully it is theirs.

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  26. Thank you so much Charlotte for news about travel and time zone ! What would we do without you ? :-) Have a nice day to the community

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  27. hmm love there itinerary and im looking forward to these trip sure the private secretaries prepared them to a nice study of their culture styles and historical figures im sure their will be nice thing to look forward on the trip maybe they should try different food their hmm India and Bhuthan are nice place hmm been there for tour with a friend mind your right Mel in SOCal the place is mind blowing there no place you will not like

    BTW looking forward seeing Catherine and William on their journey in via my favorite blog DK im sure these blog will going to blast when tour starts kick off charlotte

    and looking forward pictures prince George and princess charlotte and the queen coming days

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  28. congrats to Expectant mom Lauren W for winning the duchess necklace

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  29. What an interesting tour and a very busy one. The preparation for this tour will have been substantial as neither of them have been to India before and will have had to familiarize themselves with many cultural aspects of the country so as to ensure they do not offend anyone I would imagine Sir David Manning will have a busy time. I am glad they will be attending all the events together not like Charles & Diana who spent most of their tour apart in different parts of the country. Quite justifiably they have had a bad press recently some deserved others not deserved I don't think William is workshy but he is appearing to be somewhat arrogant and self centred.
    I am somewhat surprised to read that on April 6th he will be attending a luncheon at Wembley Stadium to celebrate 10 years as president of the F.A I cannot recall any other royal holding an event to celebrate his own involvement with an outside organisation. I think it demonstrates his arrogance. I can think of better ways of spending the money.
    Kate has also been disappointing I just wish she could overcome her nerves when speaking but I do think she brought up some nice points about the Queen in the documentary referring to the impact of the Queen when she smiles at people and the Queens love of simple things and it came through very clearly to me through many other remarks Kate made about small things the Queen did that the Queen had learnt from the mistakes of the Diana years.
    I just hope all goes well on this tour but I think it will take more than this tour to repair all the damage of the last few months.
    It has been reported from several sources that George will be starting at Williams' old pre prep school in London in Autumn 2017. If true it would indicate that they will be leaving Anmer Hall at that time and take on more Royal Duties. George will at least have had just over 4 years away from press intrusion but regretfully Charlotte will not be so lucky as she will only be 2 years.
    Looking forward to seeing what Kate wears for the tour hopefully there will be some good photographs I have just seen from his twitter that Richard Palmer is going on the tour his tweets could be interesting!!

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    Replies
    1. He is going to have a busy day on April 6th if he is going to Wembley. Charlotte just posted that he & Kate are going to a reception for Indian & Bhutanese students studying in England

      Delete
    2. Regarding the Wembley engagement. He has been invited by the FA. Rather like someone arranging a party for someone they like.

      He isn't organising it at all and he isn't spending ££.

      Re George: his name has been put down for the Wetherby School. That is not a guarantee that it will happen (though I'd guess more likely than not).

      I just watched the 5 part programme "The Monarchy". I think its 2007. There is a great piece with the Princess Royal (in part 5)where she says " ....Break out in a cold sweat .. remembering how awful I was". She had a terrible reputation for being standoffish and unhelpful with the press. Now they say they love her but still don't cover her engagements (maybe that's why she's more relaxed).

      I also watched the Queenat90 and she still is hesitant and shy when speaking to individuals but manages to overcome her nerves in front of the camera. Catherine seems to be the other way round. Chats happily to people she meets but is shy directly in front of cameras.

      Comparisons are invidious because they are all different people with different skills. What is important is that Catherine made the effort. I enjoyed all the contributions.

      IF you are really interested in how the Monarchy functions, then I recommend the programmes its 5.5hrs in total. The first one is the preparation for the state visit to the US by the Queen in 2007. Here is a link to that one

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFvS_XaWamE

      obviously no Catherine

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    3. Mary, I do not think William is holding the Luncheon. I think it is being hosted by the FA. They have more than enough money to put on this affaire and not blink. Funny how people do not want to support the BRF, but will spend million/billions watching men chase a ball all over the field and attempt to cause harm to the other team.

      Delete
    4. Caroline in Montana31 March 2016 at 17:08

      "I am somewhat surprised to read that on April 6th he will be attending a luncheon at Wembley Stadium to celebrate 10 years as president of the F.A I cannot recall any other royal holding an event to celebrate his own involvement with an outside organisation. I think it demonstrates his arrogance. I can think of better ways of spending the money."

      Could it be that the Organisation itself is throwing the lunch and not personally William throwing a lunch for himself?

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    5. 02:51, Just think how many poor and struggling people worldwide could be helped if even half the monies spent in sports was directed to the needy. Not to mention the manpower, and administrative organization necessary to distribute the monies and man hours to be done by the suits in the coaching/announcing part of it. What a difference that would make. What a difference. For a simple example, I am a widow and need someone to help me put mattress encasements of my box springs and mattress. I can't lift the box springs and mattress to do that. A football guy could help me easily. Other people with much greater needs are multitudinous of course. The sports community could help. More important than chasing balls, bouncing balls, tee offs, etc. First things first.

      Delete
    6. Rebecca - Sweden1 April 2016 at 02:46

      Anon 20.10. That can be said about so many things. I personally am not a sports person. But there is a reason that among food and medicine, the things that can be donated to countries in need are footballs. Because it gives enjoyment. Enjoyment, fun, laughter, song and dance are needed to keep the fire of living alive, and is very important in communities. From the small community getting together to watch the kids play, to the school watching their team or the big town. I don't watch sports. But I can absolutley see the need for the unity, community and push for getting people moving that is involved around sports.

      Delete
    7. The day I decided I liked David Beckham (for other than the very obvious reasons) was when I read an article about the demands celebrities make when they do charity work in under developed countries. There were only a few who didn't get skewered (anonymously for the most part), but the two who were called out for being amazing to work with were Angelina Jolie, who is prepared, knows her stuff and doesn't complain and David Beckham. David Beckham's only request when he went somewhere (can't remember where) was that he have his evenings free so he could kick a football around with the local kids. So, Rebecca, totally agree with you.

      Delete
    8. Julia from Leominster1 April 2016 at 15:25

      I'm not a sports person either, and the money spent on players horrifies me, but I've never been a believer in the idea that getting rid of something would necessarily mean more help for the poor and suffering - it just doesn't work that way.

      Having said that, I do find William's charitable work too sports heavy and would like to see a better balance with less "entertaining" charitable work. Lovely to support the British teams, but there is more needed out there than showing up at matches and sports related events. Hopefully, his work with mental health will start giving him a bit more gravitas. He's never going to be the complete natural with people Harry is, but he needs some public polish - the blip with the young diplomats speaks of being out of practice. William started with some wonderful work with the homeless but we've not seen him following up on that in public much of late. People are losing track of what William is really about. besides helicopters and sports. And as I said, those who support him by saying the helicopter work is more important, run the risk as he is doing, as saying there is no reason for a royal family - their work is dull and outdated - it isn't, but William needs to be first champion of that.

      As for the FA lunch - I think we're just seeing poor wording - surely they are hosting it.

      As for Kate's clothes on tour - striking the right balance is always hard, people want and expect her to dress well, it is something of an insult to the host country if she doesn't and yet one doesn't want to look too opulent. Kate's always been good at striking that balance and if she uses some of the wonderful Indian designers Charlotte featured, she would give a huge compliment to the host nation and look fabulous as well.

      Delete
    9. Just to clarify, I said if even a portion of the energy and assets could be redistributed, not the whole kit and kaboodle. BTW, did you know that the National Football Leagues in the United States are tax exempt?

      Delete
    10. Are you kidding? For real? Are they really tax exempt? I'll have to ask the guys about that one.

      Delete
  30. Love reading this blog! Reading this morning with a cinnamon roll and coffee, it was a big one! Congrats on the necklace and the baby! I tried to explain to my husband what a push present was after hearing about it on this blog haha it was a funny one! So excited about India and especially Bhutan, I wonder if we will see their royal baby on the tour! And the photos with the queen should be spectacular! Do you think it was just George and Charlotte or also Mia and Peter Philips children as well?

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  31. So... So excited! I look forward to learning more about these countries through the Royal visit!

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  32. Charlotte, I can't wait for this tour to begin! I remember the attacks of Nov 2008, my nephew works as a chef at Taj, and when that happened all the kitchen staff escaped through the window.The itinerary looks very interesting and I can't wait to see Kate's fashion choices for the tour. Congratulations Laura W on winning the Duchess necklace!!XOXO

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  33. Dear Charlotte, I am from Germany and I am reading your Posts nearly every day. I justed wanted to let you know that I am a big fan of yours !

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  34. Hello!

    The post is updated with news William and Kate will attend a reception at KP to meet young people from India and Bhutan on 6 April :)

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    Replies
    1. Kate, Texas, USA30 March 2016 at 17:55

      Thank you so much Charlotte for the informative post! The month of April will be a fantastic one between the upcoming tour and Her Majesty's birthday. I hope you had a lovely Easter and are resting up before some very busy and exciting days ahead!

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  35. Charlotte,

    You are the best source for all things Kate.

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  36. Charlotte,

    Your work is exemplary. Thank you.

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  37. Kate, Texas, USA30 March 2016 at 17:52

    Charlotte, thank you for the lovely and informative post! I am SO excited about the upcoming tour! Not sure what's more exciting for a Royal watcher than a royal tour! I am interested in learning more about India and Bhutan and I know following the blog with be informative, interesting, and exciting. The schedule is packed and will offer some wonderful photo opportunities, but also opportunity for William and Kate to spread their "magic" throughout India and Bhutan. I know it will be life-changing for the many they meet. We all know the many aspects it takes into planning and carrying out a tour, so I am thinking of William and Kate and their "camp" as the final details come into place.

    The fashion choices will be one to watch with the receptions and dinners planned. I am curious to see which go-to designers Kate will choose, but also how she will honor her hosts by choosing pieces by Indian designers.

    It's almost HM's birthday month! Very excited to see the official photos released ahead of her birthday. It's going to be a FABULOUS month for the BRF and for us on the blog!

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  38. Thank you Charlotte for your great work on the post. I read through the highlights of the palace announcement yesterday but didn't read it in its entirety. I was waiting on your post to help provide additional details. Superb job as always!

    I am very much looking forward to the tour as I think it will be fascinating look at the culture and beauty of these countries. I can't wait to see the pictures and vote on favorite looks and moments afterwards.

    Thanks for providing an update on the upcoming reception on the 6th and congrats to Laura W on her winning the most recent contest.

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  39. Maggie - Minneapolis31 March 2016 at 02:06

    The tour looks to be shaping up to be very interesting. I'm quite disappointed, though, that Kate does not have a single solo engagement. Do other female royala (excluding the Queen) have such a high percentage of joint engagements for their total engagements? It seems like Kate is doing less and less on her own. It's disappointing - they already do much less than most royals, and by doing so many together, they are further decreasing the number of causes they can lend attention to. And I think Kate's interview in the Queen at 90 makes it clear she still has a lot to learn, and they aren't doing her any favors by letting her step back and let William take the lead so often. And while I know a tour will never have many solo engagements, and most of my criticism is not just about the tour not having a nun but is it common for there to be no solo engagements for either member of a royal couple on tour?
    Additionally, my god, whoever wrote the press release should be ashamed. It had SO many typos at the beginning. It even misspelled Gandhi! Of all the things to mispell on the monarchy's website before visiting INDIA...

    I wonder if it got released early to stop the negative press about William in Kenya, and thus was rushed.

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    Replies
    1. The state of their press office is really something to be worried about ! The press release was a complete disaster. Who are they employing? Maybe they need to get paid more so that they can employ people who know how to spell and have a modicum of professionalism.

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    2. Caroline in Montana31 March 2016 at 19:42

      Dearest Maggie, finally something we can agree on - that press release was horrible.

      Delete
    3. This is a tour being undertaken at the request of the British Government, not a tour by the Royal Family for their own purposes. For that reason, I would expect that the Government would dictate quite a bit of what they do with their time, although I'm sure William and Kate had input into it. This is a fairly short tour to 2 countries. Not sure how much time there would have been for separate engagements. I think (in my opinion) you're being a little unfair in suggesting that this is somehow a failing of Kate's and or William's. Or did I miss your point? Sorry if I did.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden1 April 2016 at 02:48

      I agree on the misspellings. What is up with that?! That together with alot of other mistakes done recentl (that cannot be blamed on the cambridges) are such beginner mistakes! They wrote the wrong date for goodness sake in the release! I didn't even catch that Gandhi misspell!

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    5. Hi Maggie, I think Charles and Camilla did mostly joint appearances in the Balkans didn't they? Although wait a second. I think Camilla met with rape survivors there. So I guess I'd think it would mostly be joint on something like this, although I hope Kate gets out more on her own at home.

      Their office needs to go to remedial writing class.

      Delete
  40. hmm thank you for updating charlotte your my ultimate sources of all things in kate bet the reception on the 6th to familiarize the facts about learning india and Bhutan sure will are all be inlove on india and Bhutan

    april must be really exciting for us on the blog hm birthday and the tour kicks off

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  41. I wish Kate would do a solo engagement during this trip. This is her fifth tour, including the brief one in NY and she should be confident to carry out tasks alone. i know she has lots of solo engagements at home, but she can be so much bigger, she can have a voice worldwide, if she choose to speak that is. The opportunity to do something greater than yourself and make a difference. She has always been criticized for not having a job and idling a better part of her 20s partying and waiting for William. But she could change all that. She's now a mother and as such don't you want your children to have a brighter and better future? And she can contribute to that better and brighter future. Work hard, speak up, show empathy. She is known worldwide and can reach and inspire so many. Don't waste this privilege and opportunity to serve. I mean nothing could be more satisfying than touching other people's lives and in a way make the world a better place.

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    Replies
    1. Caroline in Montana31 March 2016 at 19:42

      Im just curious how you are " touching other people's lives and in a way make the world a better place." you seem so passionate about it that I can only assume you spend a lot of time volunteering with the poor and making speeches at charity events?

      Delete
    2. Annette New Zealand31 March 2016 at 20:08

      The visits they make to charitable organisations in UK and elsewhere give those groups publicity and help them raise money. They can also promote volunteering and volunteers by inviting them to public functions and giving awards. Can they do more than that? If someone wants to make the world a better place volunteering is a good way to do that, but previous comments on this blog have pointed out how difficult it would be for them to do that without security concerns. Overseas tours have a additional purpose as they are part of the monarchy's constitutional role as Head of State so they are more ceremonial with lots of the formal events such as receptions and walkabouts. We like to watch them because of the lovely dresses (and occasional tiaras). It must be nice to have a big dress allowance, but not so enjoyable if you know a good percentage of people seeing you will be criticising your outfit or the way you have done your hair - not to mention Prince William's growing bald patch. Many men are self concious about things like that and I think the Duke is quite shy and he jokes to cover up this. None of us like to be embarrassed or shamed and imagine if we know something is getting worldwide coverage. The day Kate was pictured in that beautiful white dress carrying the roses is also the day they heard about the intrusive photos of them sunbathing in France. She coped and did a magnificent job that day. As for overseas tours being a holiday, imagine yourself spending your next holiday going to functions where you know hardly anyone, shaking hands and spending your time trying to think up interesting things to say which are non controversial. The resulting innocuous remarks get published in the newspaper and we then find them boring. Not an enviable job in my opinion!

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    3. First, security arrangements will already be complicated on this trip, so having to send two security teams would be an unnecessary expense and more worry. As Charlotte's lovely detailed post explains, the focus is on children's charities and antipoverty initiatives; that seems like doing good and making the world a better place to me. Catherine does solo engagements in the UK and also when they came to the States. It seems she has chosen the "voice" that is authentic to her, at her husband's side. Diana was escaping an unhappy marriage when she flung herself out into the world, and her children were much older. I happen to think you are giving Catherine far more power to "inspire" than she can ever have. She's a wealthy, attractive wife and mother living in luxury and privilege. She's not a hands on hero, nor is she meant to be. And most of the world is unimpressed by royalty. It looks to be a lovely trip with many opportunities to solidify Britain's relationship with India, and highlight locals doing good work. Seems enough for now.

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    4. Kate's contribution to the Firm will be defined by a lot more than the last 5 years. She has been work with causes and charities and is carving out her niche, but for the time being her role is more of a supportive one, with her most important task being to create a solid foundation for the next generation. And if anyone doesn't think that is important, just think back to how dysfunctional the Firm was back in the 80's & 90's. At this point, she does not need to be the loudest voice behind at the podium to make a difference. Even Camilla who is out there more, and rightly so given her rank, isn't taking the world by storm. :)

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    5. I think that in this instance, joint engagements are planned for the simple reason that they may be compared to Charles and Diana. When Charles and Diana visited India, they performed many solo engagements, and we got that famous photo of a sad and lonely Diana sitting in front of the Taj Mahal. I do think they are over compensating this time around, but at the same time the past must never be repeated. In the interview, Catherine stated that she had not been pushed, the Queen was not forceful with her, and this may very well be the reason. As frustrating as it is, I do not think that we will see Catherine stand on her own two feet for years. We just have to accept that. It is a safety measure by the Palace to protect both William (heir) and Cathetine (consort). My two cents...
      Royal Watcher

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    6. To Caroline, I work as part of a team who provide health care services to remote communities. We provide basic health care, give medications, teach them proper sanitary practices, proper nutrition and other health services. Its hard work and I often have to make sacrifices but its very fulfilling and satisfying. The thought that I may have saved a woman from dying from childbirth because we taught them proper aseptic techniques, saving a child's life from malnutrtion, and other diaseases because we taught them about nutrition and sanitation makes what I do worth it. I may get paid to do it and its not "volunteer" work but not many people would do what I do. These basic services should be readily available to everyone but I live in a third world country. So yeah, in my own way, I hope I make a difference and touch people's lives.
      To Royalfan, I think 5 years is a long time to make your mark. Motherhood is forever, you dont stop being a mother just because your children have grown. You can't keep making your family an excuse forever. Just like Kate, doesn't she turn to her mother all the time even now? God forbid this happens and I'm certainly not wishing this so dont get all upset, if Kate passed away today, what would she be remembered for? What would be her legacy? She chose this life, she has waited a long time, put her life on hold to be a princess. One would have thought she would be eager and keen to perform the duties associated with this privileged lifestyle and position.

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    7. Julia from Leominster1 April 2016 at 15:38

      I tend to agree with you Anon .34 with the caveat that no one ever succeeds by being over-protected, that the only way improvement comes is by standing on your own two feet. Most of us excused Kate's nervousness in this latest interview, but next time, more will be expected of her. She has the charm and beauty but she needs more independence and polish and that comes only with experience.

      Both she and William need to start showing the public the mettle of the future king and queen before the public gets more weary and starts to write them off. Once a reputation - for work-shyness for instances, is established, fairly or not, it can be a beast to get rid of. There are royals who have clawed their way back, such as Edward and Sophie but it takes a lot of hard work and there are royals like Andrew that would be hard put to regain his reputation even if he won the Nobel peace prize. Charles has had to fight continuously since the damage of the Diana days - and he never will regain the support he once had completely. It's far better not to get oneself to the point of having to rebuild in the first place.

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    8. anon 00:34- As I remember, Kate's remarks about the Queen's not pushing were some of the statements she stumbled over.

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    9. I beg to differ. Motherhood may be forever, but this is the time for Kate to invest in her children. Her royal role is forever too; a role from which there is no retirement. But as luck would have it, her husband is not next in line so she can concentrate on her children and gradually transition to focusing more on her royal role. The Queen was able to do it for a very limited time and I suspect she is happy that her son was able to have a different experience and, for now, likewise for the Cambridge's.

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    10. Belva, kudos for the work you do. May God guide you and bless you richly.

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    11. belva, my hat is off to you. I imagine sometimes it's a thankless job, but it sounds like the rewards are great.

      Delete
    12. Annette New Zealand2 April 2016 at 05:11

      I commend you Belva, I think you are definitely contributing to making the world a better place. However Kathryn can't possibly emulate you without giving up her present position as a royal wife and mother. Like most of us her circumstances have limited her options. Maybe once her children are older she will establish her niche just as some others have done. Thankyou for sharing.

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    13. I agree Julia 15.38. The over protection is starting to become more and more obvious. We have seen engagements where Catherine is very comfortable and her speeches are improving.
      The recent interview was not her best, I must say. And it's a shame, because it could really have been a turning point for her. But unfortunate it wasn't. I have to say that, sorry. I adore William and Catherine, but sometimes they make me want to go "Noooo, don't do that to yourselves!!" I found it hard to understand Catherine full stop, Anon 15.46, so could not say if she stumbled in a particular spot, or if it were all one stumble. Gosh I feel for her, I really do, but she needs more practice!! Like Belva said, Catherine waited so long to become a princess, wouldn't she just be itching to get out there, and make a difference! I would.
      Royal Watcher

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    14. belva never said anything about Kate emulating her, Annette. She was responding to Caroline's comment asking her how much good she did if she's going to comment on what Kate does. And, belva, you laid that one down. Did you ever.

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  42. Kate has done solo engagements on previous tours and in New York. Maybe it is the time constraints of this tour or maybe they want to show a united front in contrast when Charles and Diana were in India together and did so many solo engagements and then a few months later separated. If you think of the times the Queen and Philip used to travel abroad - joint engagements.

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  43. Someone recently commented on Prince Edward never being seen so I thought I would look as see his official record on the Court Circular, being a data, fact driven individual. What an interesting record. I always had a perception that it was more a social calendar type thing, however that is very wrong. The circular was started by King George III to combat his irritation and annoyance at inaccuracies and misreporting in the Press of his day. So it seems the BRF/ press, shall one say somewhat tetchy relationship, is quite a tradition stretching back over two hundred years.

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    1. alimai, thank you for mentioning the Court Circular. If you havn't already done, you might have fun checking the very enlightening exact wording the Court Circular uses for the St Patrick's day engagements in 2012, 2014 and 2015. A fellow data, fact driven individual :)

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    2. Thank you I will Francis.

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  44. My second comment is that the error riddled press release from KP is inexcusable and in my book a sackable offence. The BRF has always been about attention to detail, which was patently missing and this from someone or perhaps several people who are employed because of their ability with words. Disappointing.

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  45. Hope this isn't off subject, but since we were referencing other royal videos, does anyone one know how many servants are employed at Bagshot, the mansion that Sophie lives in, or how many servants are employed at The Royal Lodge in Windsor Park where Prince Andrew lives, or at the home of the Princess Royale? I have tried but not yet found anything about the number of servants for any of those. I would like to know how many servants are at Amner Hall and at William and Kate's apartment at Kensington Palace. You would think they would have to make that known. I would also like to know how many servants are employed at Windsor Castle, Holyrood, Frogmore, Sandringham, Balmoral Castle and Buckingham Palace. They have other homes also, like ski chalets, and mountain retreats like the one in Transylvania. I would like to know how many servants they have for those. Oh, and then there's Highgrove and Clarence House also. Anyone have any links?

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    1. Why should the number of servants at Bagshot be public knowledge? Or where Andrew or Princess Royal lives? None of them are supported by the public funds. The reason we know the size of staff used by Charles and Willliam and Harry is because of the way they are funded.
      In the interview that was released for Sophie's 50th birthday they said that she has no official staff to help her with engagements. She does her own research and talks with the charities she supports with shows up on her own. There is no "becca" in the wings helping her. I imagine that the other members are the same way.

      Delete
    2. Why is this important? W&K have no more then 6 total people that work for them between both of their homes. They are hands on parents for their children. And Kate likes to cook. There was a write up on the total number working for them but I forgot where I read it. I think it was on one of the royal sites.

      Delete
    3. I read that write up also I think. That was early in their marriage before completing renovations on Amner Hall. I think knowing the number and types of service they enjoy daily is all part and parcel of a general curiosity about all things pertaining to the Royal family. Not re-inventing the wheel here. The books written by Paul Burrell are nice. The media tried to sully his reputation but I found his accounts very believable. Not a comprehensive report of the network of servants though.

      Delete
  46. The reception they are attending on the 6th meeting people from India and Bhutan will enable them to get an insight into the culture of those countries a very useful acquisition prior to the tour.
    I notice one or two people have expressed disappointment at Kate not scheduled for any solo visit. It is just a guess but I wonder whether this is due to security concerns. Both Mumbai and Delhi do have problems and are not the safest of places in today's world. Kate has not been involved in conservation issues so it is logical that she would be with William in the Park and in Bhutan. Kate undertook 2 solo engagements on the New Zealand/Australia tour and one/two on the Far East tour and is more than capable undertaking solo engagements which makes me think security could have been an issue or simply that it is only a short tour the other tours were longer.

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    Replies
    1. Or perhaps they are consciously being a visible 'couple' rather than emulate how Williams parents were on their trip....
      Erininnyc

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster1 April 2016 at 15:52

      Anonymous 20:44, there is a book "Not In Front of the Corgis" that gives some sense of the behind the scenes and the staff for each of the royals and despite the title, seems to have been written with reasonably good sources, although it definitely is gossipy. There is a book by the chef who worked at Buckingham Palace and later for Diana, which gives some feeling for the royal kitchens.

      The current biography of Charles also discusses his staff to some extent and Transylvania. Someone mentioned the series on the monarchy above - there is also a very good book based on that series that gives information on the inner workings of Buckingham Palace, at least in the official capacity.

      But there are so many differences, there probably isn't one source for all the answers and little is known, for instance, about the behind the scenes of William and Kate - mostly speculation from adverts for staff.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Julia for the references. I think someone needs to comprehensively research that and write a book just on that. I think the royals might not want people to know how many servants they have. It has to be a lot just due to the number of residences, the size of the residences and the standards the royals require.

      Delete
  47. A message for Diane: Diane could you please email me and perhaps we could discuss the issues you raised? I prefer to chat with readers privately if they have specific issues rather than taking the thread off topic. Thank you :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlotte but I have nothing to say.

      I already tried.

      I will say this. This blog is becoming increasingly negative. It's not fun. That is why some of us... battle back. If we cannot do that on a Kate blog. Then what is the point?

      Seriously disappointed.

      Be well. I am done here. I will never comment. The mean girls are taking over and I am not clear why you don't see this...it's subtle. But LOUD.

      Ciao

      Delete
    2. I think we should all remember that Charlotte is not a corporation, not a big media outlet, she's a human being, a young woman with an interest in royalty.

      She clearly has great blogging skills, and so developed her royal (and specifically Kate interests) into this fine blog with quite a following. But she's still a person, a one woman show, and this is *her* private passion and hobby. She wakes up and decides what to cover and the various comments she wants to allow.

      We have all probably questioned one comment or another, particularly if it goes against our stance! Ironically, I've thought lately that the comments have become more intolerant of any constructive criticism, so again, depending on your stance I suppose the readership is in the eye of the beholder :)

      But when you look at all the comments generated, the truly off putting ones seem to be a rather small percentage, not worth the attention. Remember, "what you feed, grows" -- if something really bothers you, don't give it the attention, thus allowing it take over the comments.

      But again, it's Charlotte's party that she allows all of us to attend, without asking anything but courtesy in return. House rules apply. There's another blog that's more a fan site, and another that's much more critical, usually this is a lovely balance, much more in line with real life in my opinion.

      There has been a lot to question and discuss about the Cambridges lately, that's going to ebb and flow throughout their public lives and there's nothing wrong with that. Optics matter, not to get political but to make a point, the US President has learned that the hard way in the last year or so with some major gaffes. No public figure is immune.

      I think Charlotte does a terrific job, I'm so impressed with not just her work but the time she gives to facilitate our conversations, which I've thoroughly enjoyed.

      If I don't comment as much it's generally because of W&K :) never Charlotte, her blog, or her readers.

      Thank you again Charlotte, I know none of us say it enough.

      Delete
    3. Claudia, thank you so very much. Your comment is enormously appreciated :)

      Delete
    4. Claudia, I think that's a lovely statement and I do agree with your comments regarding Charlotte. I, too, respect and appreciate Charlotte's time and effort, the quality product, and her consistently upbeat presentation. I honestly do not know how she juggles it all. :)

      With that said, I do have a slightly different outlook on a couple of points...

      While it's absolutely true that Charlotte doesn't ask for anything but courtesy in return, I think there are regular examples of her being on the receiving end of something different. Yes, this is her private passion, so wouldn't it be nice if her time and effort was met with equal sincerity and respect? And by that I am NOT implying that every one should fawn over everything Kate does, wears, or says, but I know I am not alone in seeing the blog used to bash and undermine Kate (and it is happening more and more). Sadly, I can appreciate Diane's "mean girl" statement. It isn't the opinion, it's the intention behind it.

      A new post will be up, and it isn't uncommon for the very first comment to be a swipe at Kate. Here we are looking ahead to the tour, and the itinerary has already been undermined and dismissed. PR goofs have been made, but some of the delight expressed over it has been difficult to miss. Is that "critical thinking"? It seems more like bullying to me.

      This is a Kate blog and people are free to comment. But I can think of a number of fans who decided they would no longer participate due to the bashing while, ironically, the most disappointed non-fans can't stay away. Does this make sense? :)

      Delete
    5. Charlotte. I have been a big fan of your blog since you started. There has been ups and downs but no of them your fault. You lay down the law but some like to break them. It really up set's me they do this.
      You know I have strong opinions regarding W&K. But I have elected not to comment because I do not want to start a pissing match with your reads. But i come here everyday, even several times a day.
      You have brought some dear ladies into my life and we all are still very dear friends. I thank you for that.
      Again I want to thank you for all you do for us fans.

      Delete
    6. Rebecca - Sweden3 April 2016 at 02:25

      I agree Claudia. This blog might not be for everyone, and that is ok. But please don't try to put down Charlotte because she does an amazing job!

      Delete
    7. very, very nicely put, Claudia @ 21:42. I believe you spoke the heart of many of us concerning Charlotte's accomplishments with this blog. Thanks Claudia, Thanks Charlotte

      Delete
    8. Very nicely and accurately stated, Claudia. I know I feel the same way about this site, Charlotte and our fellow posters.

      Royalfan, I have tons of respect for you and you have always been gracious to
      me but I really have to disagree with you. I feel that there is just a very small element of real negativity and Kate bashing that goes on here. The tone and intent that I glean from the majority of posters are positive and I think there are only a few people wbo show up here that wish the Cambridge's ill. There are a lot of critical thinkers here who call K&W out when they think something went terribly wrong (SPD) but I believe they wish them well and want them to succeed.

      Delete
  48. I am especially excited about this trip. First Prince Harry in my native country if Nepal who voluntarily extended his stay to build homes for the Earthquake victims and now Prince William and the duchess in India! Love love love!

    Prince Charles I heard loves India and why not? As Britain and India has such great history! I highly recommend the Academy award winning movie Gandhi if you want to know more.

    I hope the duchess wears my favorite Indian designers Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani and Ritu Kumar the latter has dressed Princess Diana too. But I'm sure she will dress in Indian designers based in The UK as well. Let's see some beautiful colors Kate! You can pull it off I'm sure!

    This is also a cultural experience for all readers of this blog so that one day you can visit Nepal, India and Bhutan three beautiful countries.

    Namaste!

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  49. Also if you are keen to know the planning and execution of such foreign Royal trips, there's a long but awesome video on Prince Charles and Princess Diana's trips abroad on YouTube! It's quite fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree I looked and couldn't find easily. A link would be wonderful :)

      Delete
  50. Perhaps Charlotte or Julia would know this. If one wanted to write to Kensington Palace who would one write to and secondly is it in the public realm as to who maintains the history in the making records. I want to write to them to suggest that this blog be kept with all the newspaper stuff etc that they would already keep as firstly Charlotte has written the blog so well with excellent research and detail, such a fabulous record for people to read on perhaps W & K 90th birthdays. And then secondly because it is a good mirror of public opinion from all over the world. The other blog that I would also recommend from a totally different perspective is What Kate Wore, which is a such a factual record of both what Kate has worn and the fadhion designers of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am especially excited about this trip. First Prince Harry in my native country if Nepal who voluntarily extended his stay to build homes for the Earthquake victims and now Prince William and the duchess in India! Love love love!

    Prince Charles I heard loves India and why not? As Britain and India has such great history! I highly recommend the Academy award winning movie Gandhi if you want to know more.

    I hope the duchess wears my favorite Indian designers Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani and Ritu Kumar the latter has dressed Princess Diana too. But I'm sure she will dress in Indian designers based in The UK as well. Let's see some beautiful colors Kate! You can pull it off I'm sure!

    This is also a cultural experience for all readers of this blog so that one day you can visit Nepal, India and Bhutan three beautiful countries.

    Namaste!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Bye ladies I am done here.

    Carry on the fight royalfan...Marny... Tedi...Robin. ...

    It's been fun.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Victoria Murphy has an excellent article today focusing on what this tour means for the Cambridges, and how it can reinvigorate their public image. It's very well written and well balanced.

    Concerning the recent bad press, Murphy says "Far from being a crisis, this is the natural order of things as the honeymoon was never going to last forever."

    However, she adds, "In a modern democracy the survival of the Monarchy is largely dependent on the popularity of its individuals. Kate and William are in a new phase, where they will have to work hard to get the right kind of attention. They can still bask in adoration and make the world take notice, but to do so won't be as effortless."

    Murphy admits this tour is beginning in less "triumphant fashion" than previous ones, where Kate's every appearance was almost guaranteed the front page "even if she said or did very little. But now her day to day appearances are not commanding the attention they once did and glowing coverage has given way to questions about her work timetable... as little as a year ago it would have been unthinkable that the criticism of William and Kate could gain traction, but it has."

    She concludes by saying India and Bhutan are perfect destinations to "reaffirm their worth and popularity" -- the right trip at the right time so to speak. That "the novelty of the settings is the perfect foil for the fact the couple are now no longer a novelty themselves. This trip is definitely one to watch."

    I don't know much about Murphy, she's a younger reporter, but I'll have to keep more of an eye out for her. This was very well written, and offered strong, but fair analysis I thought.

    I do agree this is an important tour for them and I'm not sure what to expect, have they done enough to smooth over press-palace relations before take-off? They can't afford any PR missteps on tour I think, they will have to be accommodating and generous with the traveling press corps. Definitely one to watch.

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    Replies
    1. I will go look for it Claudia. I really do like balance. Was told I wasn't normal on another blog a while ago because I do like to see both sides. I've been called a lot of things in my posting career but that one left me gobsmacked. :)

      Delete
    2. It's what the tabs are selling right now Claudia. And I consider a media source
      that has stories about alien abductions and pictures of giant pimples popping
      definitely tabloid.
      I wonder why W&C were used to promote the birthday film if they are no longer
      selling papers? Interesting.
      They should have used Eugenie and Beatrice. Or Andrew.

      Delete
    3. Isn't Victoria Murphy the former Victoria Arbiter, Dickie Arbiter's daughter? As such, she has been reporting on W & K for a long time. Always been very pleasant and non-controversial.

      Delete
    4. Oops I thought she was Victoria Arbiter but she isn't. Still she has been covering W & K since their wedding and went with them in their Canada trip so she isn't a newbie.

      Delete
    5. I found it (thanks for tweeting the link, Charlotte!) and I agree with your take, Claudia. I thought the article was quite fair and she made her point. I hope the tour goes well too.

      Delete
    6. Thank you Claudia, excellent post.
      I saw pictures of a VERY tired but happy Princess Victoria of Sweden. She was attending an event of importance and nearly nodded off. Motherhood at its best! Afterwards she smiled and waved at the reporters. And you know, they LOVED her for it. It was great to see. Making an effort goes a long way! I really hope that William and Catherine will find a new niche as active, modern parents, combined with dedicated involvement with royal duties, where Catherine can be more vocal and confident.
      "You have to be seen to be believed!"
      Royal Watcher

      Delete

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