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Dates for Charles and Camilla’s tour announced

- April 30th, 2012
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Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are headed to Canada May 20-23. (Photo: Daniel Deme/WENN.com)

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, be visit Canada May 20 to 23.

The royal couple will visit Toronto, Saint John, N.B., and Regina, Sask. They will be officially welcomed at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, then will take in Victoria Day celebrations in Saint John on May 21. They will then head to Queen’s Park in Toronto on May 23, then the Saskatchewan Legistlature on May 23.

“We are delighted that Their Royal Highnesses will join Canadians in celebrating the 60th anniversary of her Majesty’s reign as Queen of Canada,” Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore said in a release Monday. “We welcome the Royal Couple and look forward to showing them some of the best of what Canada has to offer.”

The theme of the tour will be For Queen and Country: Service to Canada – A Royal and a National Value.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Victoria Day fireworks
  • Meeting with youth and executives at The Prince’s Charities Seeing is Believing
  • Meeting young veterans and mentors in the Military Entrepreneurship summer school at CFB Gagetown
  • Attending a meeting with the National Leadership of Assembly of First Nations in Toronto
  • A special military event that will commemorate the War of 1812 in Toronto
  • A celebration of the centennial of Regina’s legislative building
  • A performance by the Regina Symphony Orchestra of which His Royal Highness is a Royal Patron in Regina

We still love them (err, her)

- April 28th, 2012
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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look at a model of the new First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum in London on April 26. (Photo: Paul Grover/REUTERS)

It’s been a year, and the world’s love affair with Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, seems far from waning.

Check out the royal couple’s first year

They were married April 29 and on Sunday, will celebrate their first year of marriage. They are said to be planning a small celebration.

But even a year on, people still take to Twitter during every single outing to discuss in great detail what Kate is wear, how she looks (too thin? how did she do her hair? where did she get those shoes? is she touching her stomach? OMG, IS SHE PREGNANT?), and how happy the couple look.

About William, they talk about, well … his wife.

No one really talks about the future king. It’s still all about Kate. Maybe it’s because she’s still new and interesting and still’s still seen as the “people’s princess” (a term I hate to use, but have seen in the media. It reminds me too much of Diana).

“Kate has been able to accompany more experienced royal women, learning on the job to some degree, whereas Princess Diana complained about feeling isolated during her first year,” Queen’s University teaching fellow and royal historian Carolyn Harris said in a recent press release about the upcoming anniversary.

And people might just love her because she seems to be enjoying what she’s doing.

“Kate has excelled in her new role, receiving widespread praise for her charitable patronage and engagement with ordinary people,” Harris said.

Yes, Kate seems happy. She seems to be excelling at her new role.

But let’s all be honest – no one knew Diana was unhappy in her marriage in the first year. She and Charles would go to events, they’d smile at each other, Diana would pose with children and everything seemed just fine.

Is that to say Kate and Wills aren’t really happy? No. But I think the pressure from the media and the public to always be happy can’t make it easy.

While I agree we should mark the occasion with a congratulatory blog post, perhaps a tweet or two, I do think we should leave these two crazy kids alone.

Fish pie? I’ll pass

- April 24th, 2012
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Would you eat it? I know I wouldn't. This fish gives me the creeps. (Photo: Great Lakes Fishery Commission/FACEBOOK)

This has got to be the most vile thing I’ve ever heard.

Apparently there was a day when royalty enjoyed a fish called lamprey. But this fish is not like salmon or trout – this fish looks a bit like an eel and is a blood-sucking parasite.

Yuck!

And yet, it is said King Henry I died from eating an excessive amount of lampreys.

So why is this of interest today? Apparently the city council in Gloucester, England, gives the reigning monarch a gift of lamprey pie for big events (it used to be every Christmas, but that became expensive because the fish weren’t readily available in the middle of winter and the practice was discontinued in 1836 – but brought back just for the Queen).

The Queen has been given a lamprey pie for her coronation, and each of her silver and golden jubilees.

She’ll get another one this year for her Diamond Jubilee.

But there’s a new problem facing British bakers of the, uh, treat. Apparently lampreys are on the endangered species list in the U.K. So those who want to make the dish for the Queen this year have had to turn to North America and the Great Lakes. A delegate from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will be in Gloucester on May 4 to hand over Great Lakes lampreys for the special pie.

You see, we don’t have the same issues here with the fish being endangered.

“Lampreys have been enormously destructive since they invaded the Great Lakes. Sea lampreys attach to fish with a sucking disk and sharp teeth. Sea lampreys feed on body fluids, often scarring and killing host fish. During its life as a parasite, each sea lamprey can kill 40 or more pounds of fish,” the commission’s website says. The commission was actually formed to control the spread of lampreys.

(Read the story here)

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"Edward, they want to give me what? Do they expect me to eat it?" Not what the Queen is saying in this photo, but what I'd imagine she'd say. (Photo: Anwar Hussein Collection/WENN.com)

I can’t imagine the Queen looks forward to this gift. I would think it gets tossed out.

So what is lamprey pie? What’s Cooking America says the fish is set in cool syrup and covered with a large raised crust.

“Baked lampreys were cooked in a syrup inside the pie. When the crust was opened, the liquid was mixed with wine and spices, and then spooned onto slices of white bread in a dish warmed over a chafer or hotplate. The lamprey was then cut into ‘gobbets as thin as a groat,’ and placed on top of the bread and sauce,” the website says.

Uh, yum?

I think I’ll pass and stick with some good ol’ fashioned cake made of flour, eggs and sugar, thanks.

Happy birthday!

- April 21st, 2012

The Queen turns 86 today.

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The Queen after an Easter Sunday church service. (Photo: Zak Hussein/WENN.com)

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Illustrated self portraits by 200,000 children are projected onto Buckingham Palace to form portraits of Queen Elizabeth in central London April 19, 2012. The portraits were collected by the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts to celebrate the nation's children in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. (Photo: Andrew Winning/REUTERS)

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Gunners from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a forty-one gun salute in Hyde Park on Saturday, marking Queen Elizabeth's birthday. (Photo: Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERS)

Kate vs. Camilla – who is cooler?

- April 20th, 2012
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during an outing in March. (Photo: WENN.com)

Here’s some Friday food for thought: I think Camilla might actually be “cooler” than Kate. Think I’m nuts?

While I don’t condone what went on while she was married to another man and Prince Charles was married to Diana, Camilla has really worked hard to improve her public image and she seems to be able to take a joke. And I enjoy her outings. She does stuff beyond just waving and smiling for photos.

So, let’s compare some “cool” criteria (which I made up myself and may or may not reflect what you think is “cool” criteria).

WEN_camilla_television_008_wenn5816640Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall brandishes a prop gun as she visits the film set of the Danish television drama The Killing with Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and meets Sofie Grabol, who plays the main character Sarah Lund, during a recent tour. (Photo: Zak Hussein/WENN.com)

Public appearances

Kate, as we all know, has a lovely smile and takes lovely photos with lovely children. But she’s not as easy in public as other royals, but this is likely because she’s so new to it. Still, she seems to enjoy the attention, so maybe this will improve. Points, though, for her Olympics outing where she looked like she was actually enjoying playing some field hockey.

Camilla can smile and wave and take photos, but she actually does things, too. She will eat ice cream and pastries (Kate has been offered food on a few outings and has refused). She will hold a gun on the set of a Danish TV show. She does stuff – which is unusual for a royal, yet so refreshing. She makes these boring photo ops slightly more interesting.

Winner: Camilla

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in Los Angeles in August. (Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com)

Fashion

Kate is known for her fashion – her dress coats, her hair, her hats. You name it, if Kate has worn it, it’s flying off store shelves.

Camilla has actually adopted some of Kate’s style in the past year – but she’s never been known for her well-put-together looks.

Winner: Kate

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the Ebony Horse Club in 2010. (Photo: Anwar Hussein Collection/WENN.com)

Ability to laugh at herself

Kate’s thin frame has often been reported as being the result of stress from her new role as Prince William’s wife and a member of the royal family. She’s stressed out. If there ever were bad press about her, we’d probably see her become see-through.

Camilla once held up a reusable shopping bag that declared, “I’m an old bag.” And in the photos, she’s smiling. She knew what she was doing, she knew what people were going to say, and she laughed anyway.

Winner: Camilla

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during a visit to Leicester, England, in March. (Photo: WENN.com)

Critics

Kate has a lot of fans. A lot. And they can be quite rabid. Say one bad thing about Kate and they’re on you, ready to tell you how you’re all kinds of wrong. Sure, she has her critics, but they seem fewer and far between. Or maybe her fans just drown them out.

Camilla is hated. Maybe not as much now as she used to be, but people do not like her. They call her a horse, they say she’s useless.

Winner: Kate

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the royal wedding in April 2011. (Photo: Zak Hussein/WENN.com)

Confidence

Kate has some confidence, but she needs more. Her first public speaking event made if very clear she was nervous and she seemed unsure about her speech and herself.

Camilla, perhaps because she has critics who will take her to task in the media, doesn’t really seem to care about what is said, so she does what she wants. She’s a good public speaker who also meets and greets like a pro.

Winner: Camilla

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in Oxford, England in February. (Photo: WENN.com)

Influence

Kate was named to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential list this year. She is constantly on fashion watch lists and people hope to steal her style.

Camilla has never really been seen as being influential.

Winner: Kate

Oh, it seems we have a tie. Interesting.

What are your thoughts?