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Latest News on the British Royal Family



Prince Charles on William & Kate’s Popularity

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s widely successful North American tour is over, and it looks like the press is scraping the barrel and milking the stories for what its worth.  Other than an announcement that William and Kate intend to keep a lower profile till the end of the year (something we’ve already known), what has happened exactly?  Nothing.  But now people are insinuating that the young royal couple’s popularity has made Prince Charles uneasy, just as his late wife did 30 years ago…

Take note that the story was first suggested by Richard Kay, who was Princess Diana’s friend and media leak.  According to him, Prince Charles feels “he is caught between a rock and a hard place. There is the growing affection for his son on one side and the enduring reverence for the Queen on the other. In short, he feels overlooked.”  At the same time, he feels that William & Kate’s recent overseas tour had far too many photo opportunities and that their success undermines the work of other royals.  So what’s Charles to do?  Shift his PR strategy to change the public’s attitude toward him.

Do I personally believe this?  No, not in the slightest until I find concrete proof…  To me this is the media yet again pitching the royals against each other to create drama.   And as royal watchers, we can’t believe everything we read.  With no news, unfounded nonstories often come to print, just like America’s recent rubbish about Kate’s weight and fertility fears.  The blog All Things Regal has a brilliant piece on not “specuKating.” Highly recommended read.

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William & Kate’s North American Tour: Quotes & Reviews

It was the king of royal tours — the best for decades.  Now William & Kate have retreated to a normal married life in Wales.  This weekend (if Twitter sightings are to be trusted), the couple went to the cinema in Llandudno (North Wales) to catch (what else?) Harry Potter!  The Telegraph also reports that the couple with take on larger roles as British business ambassadors in the future.

A royal aide said: “It is not something that William or Catherine had done before LA, but they have genuinely enjoyed being ambassadors for the UK and flying the flag for British business in America, and it is definitely something they will start to do more of. It will not always be about just going to realms in the future. They will now start to visit countries of strategic importance to the United Kingdom with the purpose of meeting the Foreign Office’s commercial objectives. Just as the Prince of Wales regularly meets with corporate and environmental leaders during his overseas tours to highlight British trade and investments, so the couple will begin to emulate this approach through the prism of their own interests.”

On Kate, he says: “All of us have been utterly amazed and impressed by how well she’s done, and she has genuinely enjoyed herself all the way. I know the Duke is incredibly proud of her.” Kate is said to perhaps begin to take on patronages and charities starting the autumn, after the palace receiving “several thousand” charities requesting for her involvement.

Anyway, back to William & Kate’s recent tour:  reviews from royal correspondents and memorable quotes:

Looking Forward to: Zara & Mike’s Wedding

On July 30, this year’s second royal wedding — between Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Phillips & her rugby player fiance Mike Tindall — will take place in Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. We’ve read before that the wedding will be a “private affair.” Now the Mail reports that Zara been forced to turn down a £500,000 wedding deal with Hello! magazine after Buckingham Palace vetoed the arrangement. Her brother Peter had done this for his 2008 wedding to Autumn Kelly, much to the dismay of the palace.

Instead, Zara & Mike’s wedding will see a small number of hand-picked photographers allowed into the Palace of Holyroodhouse to record the arrival and departure of the bridal party and their immediate families. This includes newlyweds William & Kate, the Queen, Prince Harry and the Tindall family. The ceremony and reception afterwards will be strictly off-limits to commercial photographers.

Article: Daily Mail

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William & Kate 2011 Canadian Tour: Day 8 (Calgary)

Previous days: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Day 8: 7 July 2011
Calgary, Canada

Arrival in Calgary. The cowboy hats, the cancer-stricken little girl, and the wind.

Kate fulfills a cancer-striken girl's wish. Todd Korol/Reuters

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Calgary International Airport were met by dignitaries and a very sick 6-year-old girl.  The mayor presented them with traditional white, stetson cowboy hats – a long-standing tradition in Calgary and a symbol of Western hospitality.  But to the disappointment of the crowd and media waiting, they didn’t put it on.  At least not right away…

But the highlight of the arrival went to six-year-old Diamond Marshall, a very sick girl with undifferentiated abdominal sarcoma, who had recently lost all her hair to chemotherapy and radiation.  Diamond’s wish of  meeting a real princess came true when she met Kate.  Read her letter to Kate here.  Unable to contain her excitement, the little girl ran across the tarmac to give Kate a hug.  Kate bent down despite the furious wind and chatted with the youngster.  A heartwarming moment that evokes memories of Diana.

It was very windy at the airport, and Kate struggled to prevent a Marilyn Monroe moment.  Kate was wearing a yellow (!!!) “Primrose dress” by Jenny Packham.   More about the dress

Tour of the University of Calgary Ward of the 21st Century Research and Innovation Centre.  At the University of Calgary W21C Research and Innovation Centre, William & Kate attended a presentation on cutting-edge health research and innovation.  They met iStan, a human patient simulator.  iStan simulated a cardiac arrest, prompting Kate to undo his shirt as William performed CPR and used the AED. Article about the simulationVideo here.

Reception at BMO Centre. And the real fun begins.  Arriving by stage coach, wearing their new white ten gallon hats and full cowboy gear, William and Kate made a colourful entrance to the Calgary Stampede exhibition centre. William threw a stove into a “chuck wagon,” the traditional way to start one of the stampede’s races. The royal pair also got a chance to see rodeo riders, including “mutton busting” – young kids riding on sheep in their version of the rodeo.  William even almost stepped into a bullpen, making his wife and security team nervous.

Yee-haw! William & Kate in full cowboy spirit at Calgary

Prince William later gave a beautiful speech, thanking Canadians for their welcome, praising its beauty, and describing their unforgettable week:

“In 1939 my great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, said of her first tour of Canada with her husband, King George VI: ‘Canada made us.’ Catherine and I now know very well what she meant.”

“Canada has far surpassed all that we were promised. Our promise to Canada is that we shall return”

I am sure Canadians will be very pleased with that. After all, as PM Stephen Harper said about the people’s reaction to their tour: “we haven’t seen a love-in like that since the first visit of the Beatles!”


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Pictures: Getty Images | Rex Features | IB Times

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5 Days to Go: Royal Wedding Guests & Abbey Seating Arrangements

Now that the Queen has officially consented to the marriage of her most “beloved” grandson Prince William to “trustly and well-beloved” Catherine, the Royal Wedding bandwagon is in full swing…. now just 5 DAYS AWAY

Inside Westminster Abbey

Select Guest List for the Westminster Abbey Service Released

Only guests with public presence were released. Among them a list of foreign royalties and dignitaries. Among the celebrities, there’s David & Victoria Beckham, Elton John & partner, Guy Ritchie, Mr. Bean Rowan Atkinson, Joss Stone, photographer Mario Testino and Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe.

Westminster Abbey Seating Plan

A seating plan released ahead of the royal wedding ceremony has revealed that only the couple’s nearest and dearest will be able to witness the wedding ceremony for themselves.  Despite the 1,900 guests, it shall remain an intimate ceremony.

On the South Lantern: Front row: The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles & Camilla, Prince Harry. Behind them, foreign royals.
On the North Lantern: Front row: Mike & Carole Middleton, James Middleton. Behind them, the Spencer family – mainly William’s uncle and aunts from Diana’s side.

More than 1,000 of those in the Abbey will have to rely upon video screens to follow the service.

A good illustration of what the seating arrangement in the Abbey will look like can be found here.

The Archbishop of Canterbury gives an interview

He said he had been struck by their wedding preparations, describing the couple as courageous and unpretentious. The head of the Church of England praised the couple’s “simplicity” and the way they had dealt with the build-up to the wedding and wishes them “every richest blessing in their life together.”

Video: Official Royal Wedding Website

The latest Royal Wedding Media Briefing, which includes details released to the public so far, can be downloaded here

Spotlight on the Bride

As the wedding draws closer, the world craves to know more about the future princess… what she’s like, what she wears, what she’s doing now…

What is Kate Middleton really like? Friends speak out to reveal a very grounded, down-to-earth, diligent, measured if not slightly “boring” princess-to-be.

Kate’s popularity soars. Lately, it’s all about Kate. They want her pictures, her clothes, her ring, her handbag. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Kate Middleton’s legacy is bigger than the legacy of the Olympics, both domestically and internationally,” Dr Harold Goodwin, a professor of tourism at the University of Leeds, told The Times.

Revealed: How Kate and William both went to Chile with Raleigh International Expedition during their gap years. While William has videos released of his 10-week mission in Chile, not many know that Kate went on the same expedition only months away. This was before the pair met as students in St. Andrews.

 
Katie Couric, who’ll be covering the wedding, talks about Princess Diana & Kate Middleton


 

Wedding and Honeymoon Tidbits

If tabloids are to be believed, William & Kate are preparing little surprises for each other. Kate’s wedding gown is kept secret from William. He’s keeping the honeymoon destination a surprise. She’s bought bikinis for their honeymoon on a recent shopping trip (picture here). And now William prepares a sexy hamper of goodies for their Royal Wedding night. Ooh-la-la!

Other William, Kate & Royal Wedding Tidbits

 

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