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Her Excellency, the Viscountess of Hellenbrone, Lady of Erex of the House of Hohenrov
I have nothing against Kate. I am sure that she is nice, that she is a good wife, a good daughter, a good person, and of course, a great mother. But I do have a problem with her being held up as an ideal of exemplary womanhood, a wonderful role model for our daughters, an antidote to the Kim Kardashians of the world.
Because this outpouring of adoration is for a woman whose job description is basically:
“Have some babies.”
“Don’t rock the boat.”
History is littered with cautionary tales of women who did not follow the above script. One word in particular springs to mind: Fergie.
I know, I know, the royals have learned so many lessons since the Diana-Fergie days. Kate and Wills, the story goes, are a love match. I’m sure they are, but it was a love match for which a woman had to to sacrifice her freedom, her youth, her independence and, many would argue, her personality. To marry the man of her dreams, she had to change who she was, give up her privacy, paid employment, ensure her 20s were entirely scandal-free and lose half her body weight. This is not something I would wish for my daughter.
And that’s why Duchess Kate is dangerous for our daughters. She has revived the idea that women being defined by who they marry is a positive life choice.
So I’m sorry people, she’s not just like you. And I don’t want my daughter to be like her."
Where most of us would look distinctly frazzled after almost 28 hours on a plane, the Duchess of Cambridge looked a million dollars as she arrived in New Zealand today. But then most people don’t have a team of helpers, including their own personal hairdresser, on hand to give them a mid-air makeover before they touch down. The Duchess, who also had the advantage of a bed in a luxurious first-class cabin on the flight from London, had a team of helpers to make sure she looked refreshed and glamorous for her first visit to New Zealand.
Although the Duchess does her own make-up, her personal hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker was with her on the flight and will style her hair every morning of the tour. The 50-year-old, who charges £300 per day during the tour, was one of the first people to visit the Duchess in hospital when she gave birth to Prince George last year, so she could do the Duchess’s hair ready for her departure, and also accompanied the Duchess on her tour of the Far East in 2012.
Although the Duchess does not travel with a dresser, she has a personal assistant who can help look after her wardrobe, and her private secretary Rebecca Deacon is also on hand to make sure everything the Duchess needs is provided.
Most importantly of all, the Duchess was also accompanied by Prince George’s nanny, Maria Borrallo, who would have been able to settle the eight-month-old and allow his mother to get some precious sleep if he started grizzling during the flight. Prince George is teething and although he is said to have had a quiet journey the Duchess will have slept better knowing she did not have to worry about him.
The royal party travelled from London on a scheduled Qantas Airbus A380 which left Heathrow at 9.25 on Saturday night bound for Sydney via Dubai. The cost of the tickets, which normally start from around £6,300 per person return, was paid for by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Qantas has won awards for the level of luxury offered in its first class cabins. Passengers have an extra-wide seat that folds into a flat bed, with a duvet and sheepskin mattress, and are given 100 per cent cotton pyjamas and slippers A la carte meals are prepared freshly on board, and a complimentary leather wash bag includes skincare, toiletries, ear plugs and a leather-bound mirror. The Duke and Duchess, their staff and royal protection officers are believed to have been given the entire 14-berth first class cabin to themselves.
After being welcomed at the airport by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, the Duke and Duchess were taken away for a Maori welcoming ceremony while their staff unloaded their luggage, including around 30 outfits for the Duchess and numerous changes of clothes for Prince George. The couple will have plenty of time to get over their jet lag; after the Maori ceremony they were driven to an undisclosed location to begin 48 hours of rest and relaxation before resuming their public duties on Wednesday afternoon."
I’m so tired of shaking my head at Duchess Kate. Plus, at this point, I can’t even believe that these PR disasters are her doing. If Prince William, or Charles, or even the Queen told her to work, she would. But no one tells her to work. They just expect her to be/act like a coddled trophy wife, and I believe that’s all on William. So let’s all shake our heads at William, the fussy baby who will one day be king, but only if his laziness doesn’t burn down the monarchy first.
In January, William “enrolled” (except not really) into a “bespoke” program on agriculture at Cambridge University. He’s not really enrolled – there are no grades, we have no idea if he’s making all of his classes, and it’s basically like he’s just auditing some courses for fun, in between vacations. The bespoke program was supposed to last ten weeks. The ten weeks are not up yet, but William was just desperate for another vacation (he only had a mini-break to Spain with his ex-girlfriend last month!), so he and Kate have flown to the Maldives for a week.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have flown to the Maldives for a week’s holiday. They arrived on a British Airways flight at around 9.40am on Thursday, according to local media reports. The couple are understood to be holidaying at a newly opened private resort island in the northern part of the Maldives.
It was not immediately clear if Prince George, their seven-month-old son, was with them but he was not mentioned in initial reports from local media sources.
A diver’s paradise, the Maldives is an Indian Ocean island nation comprising a double chain of 26 atolls and almost 2,000 islands. Its palm-fringed white sandy beaches are internationally renowned. It was on William and Kate’s shortlist of honeymoon destinations but they eventually opted to go to the Seychelles.
The couple’s decision to go on holiday comes ahead of a gruelling three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia beginning on April 7.
But it has surprised many royal watchers.
William, 31, is just nearing the end of an intensive 10-week course in agricultural management at Cambridge University, intended to prepare him for a future role managing the Duchy of Cornwall estate when he is heir to the throne.
Sources have suggested there are no lectures for him this week and the course is scheduled to finish at the end of the month.
He went shooting in Spain with his brother Prince Harry in early February.
Kate, 32, is still tanned from her last holiday, a week in Mustique with her family and George at the end of January to mark her mother Carole Middleton’s 59th birthday.
There’s some subtle shade in that story, isn’t there? Ha! That was written by Richard Palmer of The Express, he goes by @RoyalReporter on Twitter and he seems to have broken the news about this Maldives vacay. He seemed genuinely surprised by his scoop too, tweeting yesterday, “To the surprise of all of us in the British press pack, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear to have gone on holiday to the Maldives. Reports suggest William, nearing the end of a course at Cambridge, and Kate, who just holidayed in Mustique, arrived in the Maldives today.”
Many are saying that this is becoming Will and Kate’s thing, that they go on a “romantic” vacation just before a big tour, which is what happened just before their giant Asian tour (which, again, lasted eight days). That was in 2012, and Will and Kate suddenly dropped out of their scheduled appearances at the Paralympics so that they could vacation in France. And it was in France where Kate went topless and a paparazzo got those photos. Will there be another repeat? We’ll see. I also wonder about the “not taking George thing” – it’s bad enough that Will and Kate are on YET ANOTHER VACATION but would they really leave George behind?
And for the record, none of this would be a thing if only the public had a sense of what they needed a vacation from – Kate has made all of three public appearances since December 11th. William’s last public engagement was attending the BAFTAs. It’s not like they’re just super-exhausted, you know?
Update: Richard Palmer confirms that Prince George is not with Will & Kate. George is with staying with his Middleton grandparents.
She’s not long back from Mustique, but the Duchess of Cambridge will be able to top up her tan nicely thanks to another break – this time in the Maldives without her baby.
She and William have jetted out on what has been billed as a second honeymoon after they left George at home with her parents.
The couple arrived in the Maldivian capital, Male, on a British Airways flight yesterday, accompanied by several taxpayer funded Scotland Yard detectives.
Alone: William and Kate have jetted out on what has been billed as a second honeymoon to the Maldives
They were immediately whisked from the First Class cabin into a VIP lounge before transferring on to a private hydroplane which whisked them off to a paradise isle.
The Duke and Duchess are staying at one of the most exclusive resorts in the Indian Ocean – the five star Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel on Noonu Atoll.
Sources confirmed yesterday the entire 45 villa resort had been closed for the week to accommodate the royals and their party.
The holiday comes just a month before the couple embark on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia – this time accompanied by George.
Luxury villa: The five star Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel on Noonu Atoll, where the Duke and Duchess are staying
Airline: The couple arrived in the Maldivian capital, Male, on a British Airways flight yesterday (file picture)
However, its timing is something of a surprise because William was due to be studying at Cambridge University.
The prince enrolled on the ten-week course in agricultural management on January 7, which should have seen him there until the end of this month.
At the time Kensington Palace said he would have around 20 hours a week of timetabled lectures, seminars and meetings. He was also expected to study in his own time and undertake the occasional field trip.
Family: The royals, pictured with Prince George who they left at home, were whisked from British Airways’s First Class cabin into a VIP lounge before transferring on to a private hydroplane to take them to the isle
Holiday: The Duchess has only recently returned from a week-long family holiday with Prince George in Mustique, along with a full group of police bodyguards. Above, the island in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Last month William attracted public criticism when he went on a four-day boar shooting holiday in Spain with his brother.
The Duchess has only recently returned from a week-long family holiday with Prince George in Mustique, again with a full group of police bodyguards.
Although the couple have recently employed a new nanny, they made the decision to leave eight-month-old George with Carole and Michael Middleton at their Berkshire mansion – accompanied by his own Scotland Yard security detail.
Tour: The holiday comes just a month before the couple embark on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia (pictured) - this time accompanied by George
Cheval Blanc Randheli, where the couple are staying, is part of the elite Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy group and is described as an ‘intimate and contemporary haven’.
It boasts just 45 loft-style tropical villas which have a large living room, adjoining powder room, double dressing rooms and bedrooms and light-flooded bathrooms.
Each has its own 41ft infinity pool and outside dining pergola plus a private beach and spacious over-water sunbathing decks.
Unsurprisingly none of this luxury comes cheap. The hotel is too exclusive to list its prices on its website – but one tour operator offers a four-night stay at more than £6,000.
A five-course dinner in the best restaurant, without drinks, costs £350 per couple.
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