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Wills would rather watch Twilight than 007: Report

- December 30th, 2012
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Prince William at the premiere of the Hobbit. (PHOTO: WENN.com)

Is Prince William a 13-year-old Twihard?

The Mirror reports that when he arrived at Sandringham with his wife, Catherine, Wills said he didn’t want to watch the new Bond film Skyfall during an annual party with staff – he wanted to watch – ahem – Twilight.

Say what?

I find it hard to believe, but have to ask:

Don’t print photos of Will and Kate at church: Palace

- December 27th, 2012
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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave a church service on Christmas Day. (PHOTO: Neil Hall/REUTERS)

Palace officials have thrown a royal hissy fit over photos taken of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

On Christmas Day, a Reuters photographer snapped a shot of the royal couple leaving church. It’s typical that photographers take pictures of the royal family attending such public events. The difference here was Kate and William were spending the holidays with her parents.

According to the Daily Mail, the palace had told some media outlets (but not all) to not go to the church to take photos as the couple were celebrating in private. Reuters, a reputable news outlet, didn’t get the memo and, along with other news outlets, went to cover the event. The police cleared an area for the photographers. The photographers had no idea about the request from the palace.

After the photos made it up onto the wire, the palace then sent a “baffling request” to London papers, asking them not to use the photos.

“The Palace insisted this very public event should remain private, and that none of the pictures be printed – a request we have reluctantly agreed to,” the Daily Mail said in a comment piece.

“The Mail, of course, wishes the couple a happy and relaxing Christmas,” the piece concludes. “But we also hope the Palace understands the frustration it has caused by adopting such a baffling and illogical position.”

I 100% agree with the Daily Mail. Why would the couple being out in public not be OK for the British media to cover? Any one of the other churchgoers could have snapped a shot of the royal couple and sent it along to a newspaper. The police in the area clearly were unaware of the palace’s stance because they cleared a spot for the photographers.

But Kate doesn’t look happy in these photos (I only saw two from Reuters and yes, I’m printing it because I think the directive from the palace is silly, and it was only for British media). I’m sure she was hoping for a quiet holiday away from the cameras but she and William have to remember they are a part of the royal family, he is the future king, and their first born will follow in William’s footsteps. People want to see them and know what they are doing.

This doesn’t mean photographers have any right to shoot through windows or catch private moments, but when the couple exits a public church, there can be no expectation of privacy.

This desire by Will and Kate to control the media is getting to be ridiculous.

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Will and Kate were all smiles here because this photo op was planned, but catch them when they don’t want to be photographed while in public and you’ll get not-so-happy looks. (PHOTP: WENN.com)

Will and Kate have been trying to control the media on such silly little things – they refused to tell reporters whether a dog they got last Christmas was their own, and then refused to tell them a name (it took a little girl asking the duchess about the dog for the truth to come out).

William got used to the media keeping its distance while he was at school, and the couple have become accustomed to people in Wales protecting them (the townsfolk are very protective of Wills and Kate when they are in Anglesey, where William is stationed as a search and rescue pilot).

And while they have been tabloid fodder for years, they have to realize that with a baby on the way, people are even more interested. Monarchists and celebrity watchers alike are keen to hear about their baby – whether because it’s a future monarch, or because our society is obsessed with celebrities.

“With a new baby in their lives, a lot of things will change from now on,” Concordia University royal expert Estelle Bouthillier told me in an e-mail when I was working on my end-of-2012 wrap-up.

“If Prince William decides to continue for another tour of duty with the RAF, they may have a better chance to have a ‘normal’ life and the pleasure of sharing their child’s first few years. But being a member of the armed forces, Prince William can be posted somewhere else, and this can be a completely different environment for them,” Bouthillier said.

“Right now, the people of Wales let them live their lives as they wish; it should be the same everywhere they go, but we know it couldn’t be like this if they live closer to a big city. Everything depends on the local people and their resolve to protect them and give them a chance to have a ‘normal’ life.”

I think any chance of the royal couple living a “normal” life is gone. They may try to escape their situation by visiting Kate’s parents, where it’s been said William feels like he can forget his royal duties and just act like anyone else. But the idea they could live quietly in Wales after the baby is born is unlikely.

“Babies are game changers,” as my husband would say. Perhaps even more so for a young royal couple who desperately want some time alone, but who absolutely won’t get it now. Will and Kate will continue to be tabloid fodder for 2013 – there is no doubt about that. And they need to realize blocking out the media will not be possible – the media will fight back if they think requests are too baffling.

Royal year in review

- December 26th, 2012

It’s that time of year for annual “year in review” stories, and I will not disappoint you. Here’s my round up of great moments in royalty this year!

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Prince Harry and Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s champion do the lightening strike pose, on the track at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica on March 6. (PHOTO: Anthony Foster/AFP)

In March, Prince Harry went on his first official tour, visiting Belize, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Brazil. During the tour he made speeches, dedicated a street to his granny, took part in a military exercise, and “raced” Usain Bolt. He also didn’t party too hard and stayed out of the tabloids.

In May, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, give BBC viewers a chuckle as the two present the weather while on a tour in Scotland. Reading a bleak forecast for over Balmoral Castle, Charles joked, “Who the hell wrote this script?”

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Toronto on the second day of their Canadian tour on May 21. (PHOTO: Michael Peake/QMI AGENCY)

From May 20-24, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visit Canada as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour. They made stops in Toronto, Saint John, N.B., and Regina, Sask. A highlight: Charles showed off his DJ skills in Toronto.

On June 2, the Queen officially kicked off Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London. She attended the Epsom Derby on Saturday, and a massive concert was held in her honour the Monday. But it wasn’t all jubilation  Prince Philip was admitted to the hospital with a bladder infection on June 4.

At the beginning of July, it was announced Princess Eugenie earned her degree in English literature and art history from Newcastle University.

Then on July 29, the Queen became the talk of the Olympics after she appeared as part of the opening ceremonies in a video with actor Daniel Craig (a.k.a. the current James Bond). In the video, Craig arrived at the palace and, while followed by two of the Queen’s corgis, made his way to where the Queen was sitting. She made him wait, before leading the way to the helicopter waiting outside. When she arrived at the Olympic venue, she skydived out of the helicopter to make her appearance at the ceremonies.

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A television screen grab image taken on July 29 shows footage featured during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games starring British actor Daniel Craig playing James Bond escorting Queen Elizabeth through the corridors of Buckingham Palace. (PHOTO: AFP)

But another photo of the Queen also went viral with many a memes being made spoofing her expression, where, let’s be honest, she doesn’t look amused at all.

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Photo from knowyourmeme.com

Two days later on July 31, Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of the Queen, won silver at the Olympics as a member of Team GB during the equestrian eventing team jumping event. Her mother, Princess Anne, presented her and her teammates with their medals. It marked the first time a member of the royal family won a medal at the Olympics (Princess Anne did compete in equestrian events in the 1976 Montreal Games, but did not medal).

On Aug. 15, Prince Philip was again rushed to hospital as a “precautionary measure” for another bladder infection.

Then things really got interesting.

During a personal trip to Vegas in August, Prince Harry showed off his, well, naked body during a game of strip pool with some girls he and his friends met at the MGM hotel. Unfortunately for him, phones with cameras were not checked at the door and two photos of Harry showing off the royal jewels were published on the website TMZ on Aug. 21.

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Prince Harry comes close to showing off his royal jewels in Vegas in photos sold to TMZ. (PHOTO: TMZ.com/QMI AGENCY)

People who supported Harry during the scandal started posting naked photos of themselves to Facebook and the website Salute 4 Harry. The website also accepts donations for wounded soldiers.

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Prince Harry gives the thumbs up upon his arrival at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan on September 7. (PHOTO: John Stillwell/Pool/AFP)

On Sept. 7, Prince Harry returned to Afghanistan for a four-month tour of duty, the British military confirmed. The military said Harry’s squadron would provide surveillance, deterrence and, when required, close combat attack capabilities as well as escort duties for other aircraft.

“Captain Wales is a serving soldier and a qualified Apache Pilot having completed the Apache Conversion to Role (CTR) course earlier this year. As such, and after further flying experience, he has deployed along with the rest of the squadron as part of a long-planned and scheduled deployment to provide support to ISAF and Afghan forces operating in Helmand,”  Lt Col Tom de la Rue said in the release.

Starting Sept. 11, Canada had a second royal tour when the Earl and Countess of Wessex came to visit. Their seven-day tour included stops in Ottawa, the Ontario communities of Trenton, Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catharines and Midland, and Iqaluit, Nunavut.

As I was considering my year in review in September (I was doing it so early because I was expecting a baby and knew I might not have time after the baby was born to research and write the whole piece), I thought to myself, “Wow, the most boring royals this year have got to be Wills and Kate. All they do is sit around at home watching television and making dinner. William goes off to work and saves people, but for the most part, they haven’t been very newsworthy.”

Then, the photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless were published by the French magazine Closer.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a statement: “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner. The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”
The royals have taken legal action against the photographer.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII Hospital in London together on Dec. 6. (PHOTO: WENN.com)

Then, one Dec. 3, the news it seems the world has been waiting for was announced: Kate and Wills are expecting a baby. The news was released the same day Kate was admitted to the hospital for Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a serious form of morning sickness.

Speculation began almost immediately about possible names, whether Prince William will leave his job with the RAF, and whether Kate is carrying twins.

The year wrapped up for most of the royals at Sandringham, the country house belonging to the royal family. The Queen was fighting a cold, but Prince Philip seemed in good health. Prince Harry is still in Afghanistan, so will not be attending the annual Christmas gathering. As well, Prince William will be spending the holidays with his wife’s family, the Middletons.

Queen’s annual Christmas message

- December 25th, 2012

The Queen reminisces about her Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and discusses helping others in her annual Christmas message.

Watch it on YouTube

Read more

And despite fighting off a cold on the weekend, the Queen was all smiles Tuesday after attending a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England.

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The Queen leaves church on Christmas Day. (PHOTO: Leon Neal/AFP)

‘Big H’ kills Taliban leader: Report

- December 24th, 2012
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Prince Harry gives the thumbs up upon his arrival at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan on September 7. (PHOTO: John Stillwell/Pool/AFP)

Prince Harry killed a Taliban commander in October, The Sun reports.

“We were on patrol and the Apache helicopters were called in. We heard this posh voice come over the radio and knew it was Big H. They were tracking a Taliban leader — he was commander level,” a source told the Sun newspaper.

Big H is Harry’s nickname among his fellow soldiers.

“Big H is a legend,” the source said. “He’s like a normal squaddie. All the guys in Afghan have so much respect for him and love him.”

Prince Harry is currently fighting in Afghanistan where he is an Apache helicopter pilot. He will be there over Christmas.

His brother, Prince William, will be spending the holidays with his wife’s family, it’s been reported.