Kate Middleton royals

Duchess Kate’s ‘Big Changes Start Small’ commercial looks like an SNL parody

The Duchess Of Cambridge Hosts Gala Dinner For The 25th Anniversary Of Place2Be

Remember how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released that denim commercial for their tenth wedding anniversary? It was really bizarre, like it was a genuine ad for their “happy marriage.” It raised more questions than it answered. Questions like “are you two even living together?” And: “How much is your office spending on these cheesy commercials?” It’s true that Kensington Palace has increased their staff in recent years, especially for social media, videographers, and keen busy-workers. Which explains why Kate’s Early Years “work” in the past two years has been all gloss and no substance. She genuinely believes that she can make a few videos and suddenly she’s an expert on child development. She has zero goals, zero expertise, zero accomplishments in this field. She wants all the praise and all the photo-ops, and frankly she’d rather skip the photo-ops.

So, as we learned in the past 24 hours, Kate’s big new project is the Keenwell Centre for Buttons, Wiglets and Early Years. The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will be housed in Kensington Palace, and it will be under the Royal Foundation umbrella. Kate has zero goals here. The stated “goal” is vague, “research” and “raising awareness.” Wouldn’t you know, they made a big dumb commercial for the center too. I guess she’s going to call the project Big Change Starts Small, which is what the “report” is called too. Here’s the commercial:

I truly believe that #BigChangeStartsSmall.

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 18, 2021

I started laughing when Nelson Mandela came on the screen. Is this bitch for real? I’m seriously asking. Keen Mandela used footage from the 1963 March on Washington too, during the Civil Rights Movement. I… can’t. And JFK and Malala!! OH MY GOD. Malala is like “I would like to be excluded from this narrative, please.”

Beyond all of that – which is entirely inappropriate and ghastly – the message of the commercial is what, exactly? Babies are important! The Early Years are important! Kate Thee Keen has raised awareness, okay? You need to know that child development is super-important. Linchpin Mandela has spoken. Except she’s not even in this. In case you were wondering who did the voiceover, it’s Dean Andrews. How much did they spend on this??

Duchess of Cambridge

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN, Kensington Palace.

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Ken Wharfe: Prince William ‘often played second fiddle’ to ‘popular’ Harry


Ken Wharfe was a royal protection officer back in the days of “the war of the Wales.” He was especially close to Princess Diana, and he spent years protecting her, Harry and William. He retired from protection services long ago and he’s now a writer. Some times, he’ll chime in on the comings and goings of the Windsors, and he’s definitely profited from his association with Diana. That being said, he’s not really a regular royal commentator. I suspect that he would love that work – it’s an easy gig – but he has no poker face and he tends to tell the truth about the Windsors.

Back in 2015, Wharfe said that Prince William “was always a sly little boy, and now he’s become arrogant and spoilt. I hear from people who work for William that he can be very difficult.” Again, that was 2015. Wharfe also said, in the same breath, “I liked Harry better and I feel sorry for him because he was never really able to engage in his military career. But I think he’s the answer to the family’s longevity, and I bet if there was a vote on who should accede to the throne; the people would go for Harry.” Wharfe has also said repeatedly that the Windsors need to downsize and that they’re becoming increasingly irrelevant. So… that’s why Wharfe isn’t quoted all that often in the British press. He tells the truth. Speaking of:

Prince William always played “second fiddle” to his brother because Harry was “very popular”, Princess Diana’s former bodyguard has claimed. In an interview with OK! Magazine, Ken Wharfe, who was Princess Diana’s protection officer between 1988 and 1993, recollected memories from when William and Harry where boys.

He said the Duke of Cambridge, 38, who is second-in-line to the throne, was “better than Harry at certain things”, but the Duke of Sussex was a “natural listener and a fun person”.

Harry, 36 and who now lives in the US with his wife Meghan Markle and their two-year-old son Archie and newborn daughter Lilibet, wasn’t “embarrassed or shy”.

William, however, was “more reserved” and due to his character, rather than because he knew he could one day be king, the author of Guarding Diana said.

“William was helpful to his little brother to an extent, but if he saw him getting more attention, he didn’t like it,” Mr Wharfe said. “I think William often played second fiddle to his brother, simply because Harry was very popular and that was very difficult for him.”

[From The Daily Mirror]

It makes me think about how much of our character is already formed even in childhood. William was sly, jealous and lacking in Harry’s natural charisma. So instead of developing his own interests and personality, William seethed throughout his life, watching his younger brother win people over just be being himself. The now-adult brothers were always heading towards what eventually unfolded: Harry marries someone with an equal amount of charisma and they are hailed as the bright young things, the saviors of the monarchy, a new, bold era. And jealous William couldn’t have that. He couldn’t play second fiddle to his younger brother yet again.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

Meghan Markle royals

Duchess Meghan wrote the foreword to her patronage Mayhew’s annual report

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Months ago, Queen Elizabeth “forced” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give up their royal patronages. It was one of several punishments the Firm inflicted on Harry and Meghan for daring to live a life which is happy, free and rich. Plus they have beach access. Anyway, what was funny about the “make them give up their patronages” thing is that none of Harry and Meghan’s patronages wanted to say goodbye to them. H&M were great for business, and so the “private” UK charities simply kept them on. There was no way for Liz to force a private charity to shove Harry and Meghan out. Which is why Meghan is still the royal patron of Mayhew, the animal welfare charity in the UK. Mayhew loves Meghan. Mayhew asked Meghan to write the foreword to their annual review, and here it is:

“Over the last year, each of us have felt the profound effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Be it the loss of a loved one, the health challenges far too many faced, or the disproportionate life changes everyone has experienced, it has been an overwhelming process of grief, growth and also of gratitude. I have heard from so many of you about the impact of having a pet with you at home during the isolation of lockdown; you have mentioned the therapeutic effect of having your animal by your side and the solace and comfort you found in their company. This effect is something Mayhew strives to deliver day in and day out to people throughout the UK and beyond.

“I want to thank every animal lover across London, the UK and the world who has supported Mayhew during the past year. Your help has meant that, despite the hardship, Mayhew has been able to continue providing vital support to cats and dogs, and the communities around them. I have been proud to witness Mayhew adapting to the moment – through virtual rehoming, TheraPaws visits over Zoom and delivering care packages to animals and pet owners in need. The organization has rescued and rehabilitated cats and dogs in critical situations and, of course, delivered vital animal health services overseas in countries also gripped by the pandemic.

“When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection. We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side. Mayhew – and thousands of small, community organizations like them – will continue to listen, adapt their services, and provide the resources that people and pets need to stay together and persevere through hardships. As we collectively build to the future, my sincere hope is that we do so with ongoing support and appreciation for organizations like Mayhew, who continue their vital work in days of crisis and in days of calm. Their commitment to the cause of animal welfare is steadfast and their effect on our community wellbeing is self-evident.”

[From Mayhew]

I love that she wrote about the tangible programs Mayhew offers as well as writing about the joy and comfort animals have given people last year. People spent so much time with their pets in 2020! Dogs had maybe the best year ever, spending so much time with their humans. I bet Mayhew was swamped with people wanting to adopt pets, like every other shelter. Anyway, this is just a reminder that Meghan still has patronages in the UK. So if she ever does return to Salty White Folk Isle, it will be because she wants to give some attention to those patronages.

The review includes a special message from our Patron, The Duchess of Sussex, who said “We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side.”

— Mayhew 🐶🐱 (@themayhew) June 17, 2021

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Kate Middleton royals

Duchess Kate’s big new project is a keen research center for buttons & Early Years

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is pictured at LEYF, London

One week ago was the start of the hype for the Duchess of Cambridge’s big new keen project. She used the Instagram post about her (dreadful, embarrassing) event with Dr. Jill Biden last Friday to announce that she would be announcing something special in the coming week. The first promise was that Kate would share “a major announcement about how she is working to elevate the importance of early childhood and continue the conversation on this vital issue.” Then Kensington Palace’s campaign began in earnest over the weekend, with a promise that Kate would, at long last, “step up” her campaign with the launch of an “ambitious and hugely significant” new initiative, something which would be Kate’s version of William’s Earthshot Prize or Diana’s campaign to end landmines.

I waited all week to see what this big dumb project would be. I even made suggestions, like they should do the Keenshot Prize and give away money to low-income families. Then KP posted a dumb video of a copier printing out “Big Change Starts Small” and we were like “…huh?” On Thursday, KP once again did a preview of the big announcement with this:

Ten years in the making…

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 17, 2021

Just so we’re clear, Kate and her palace handlers are showing us exactly what this is all about: Kate. Not kids. Not early years. Not child development. It’s about Kate, beauty shots of Kate, and putting some kind of keen gloss on Kate’s decade-long laziness to make it sound like she’s been hyper-focused on kids this whole time. So with that preview in place, Kensington Palace did the big launch… at midnight in Britain. Guess what it was? The Keenwell Centre for Buttons and Book Learnin’. No, I jest. But just barely.

Today, Duchess Kate is taking her work in the field of early childhood to the next level by announcing The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood—a hub within the Cambridges’ charitable vehicle that will help push for increased awareness of and new research into the impact of the early years.

Alongside the announcement, Kate also launched the center’s first inaugural report, titled Big Change Starts Small, which has brought together research from across the sector and highlights six areas with opportunities to make a difference, including “building a mentally healthier and more nurturing society,” “creating communities of support,” and helping strengthen the early years workforce. It was written in collaboration with Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child and the London School of Economics, and also reveals the huge amount currently spent on addressing issues that exist in British society that could be avoided through early intervention—$22.45 billion (£16.13 billion).

“Our first five years lay important foundations for our future selves,” Kate writes in a letter in the report. “This period is when we first learn to manage our emotions and impulses, to care and to empathize, and thus ultimately to establish healthy relationships with ourselves and others.”

She continues, “It is a time when our experience of the world around us, and the way that moulds our development, can have a lifelong impact on our future mental and physical wellbeing. Indeed, what shapes our childhood shapes the adults and the parents we become.”

Kate—who will appear at an embargoed royal engagement on June 18 to mark the announcement and also share a personal video message on social media—is also launching a new website to help raise awareness of the importance of early childhood and serve as a base for the center’s latest activities, which will include research into increasing knowledge; working with people across the private, public, and voluntary sectors to collaborate on new solutions; and developing campaigns to also raise awareness.

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

After all that and after a decade of marriage, Kate’s big project is a “research center” within Kensington Palace, folded into The Royal Foundation. Not just a research center – she’ll also do a new website which will “help raise awareness of the importance of early childhood and serve as a base for the center’s latest activities, which will include research into increasing knowledge.” A website devoted to being keen about Early Years, with no tangible goals beyond “being keen about Early Years” and “vaguely encouraging others to be keen through pie charts.” Yep. Sounds about right.

I mean, obviously, this is a complete mess and a waste of time and resources. The narcissism and short-sightedness to believe that Kate should have her own “center” for buttons and keenness is a f–king joke. Especially when you consider how many existing programs and projects are out there already to benefit kids! Kate could literally become royal patron to any of those programs and accomplish a lot more with fundraising and awareness-raising. But no, she just has to put her own keen stink on everything. It would be like Diana seeing the HALO Trust’s work and deciding to start her own little research facility to show how keen she was to raise awareness of how keen she is about anti-landmine work.

Today I’m proud to be launching The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood — let’s embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy and more nurturing society.

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 18, 2021

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Kensington Palace, WENN and Backgrid.

Jeffrey Epstein Prince Andrew royals

British authorities are finally reviewing Prince Andrew’s old Epstein-related crimes

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts **FILE PHOTOS**

I’ve just gotten used to the lack of coverage around Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, so I don’t even go looking for it anymore. I mean, so much is already known and still nothing is done. Andrew sits in the Royal Lodge in Windsor, he rides his horses and checks in on the Queen and buys himself fancy new Bentleys. He is living the peaceful life of a retired aristocrat. The only thing that probably irks Andrew is that he can’t travel as freely as he used to, because he’s still wanted for FBI questioning. But it’s perfectly clear that as long as he stays within the UK, no one is going to touch him for all of the crimes he committed with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, up to and including human trafficking and rape. But then this Channel 4 News segment changed my mind a little:

That’s… a lot. A rare piece of great journalism around this situation. The basic gist is that British authorities have failed to investigate Epstein and Maxwell’s activities in the UK because of their connection to Prince Andrew. Now the Met is like “okay, thanks for telling us, we promise we’ll investigate!”

British police say they will review allegations made in a recent Channel 4 News investigation that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his former partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, sexually abused, trafficked and groomed multiple women and girls in Britain over a period of 10 years. The claims, of which there are at least half a dozen but the broadcaster said could be “much higher,” aired on Tuesday, prompting fresh calls for the Metropolitan Police Service to fully investigate the Epstein scandal which has thrust Britain’s Prince Andrew, the second-eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, into the spotlight due to his ties to the disgraced U.S. financier.

The broadcaster said the allegations, including rape and sexual assault, came from evidence collected from “a combination of publicly available documentation (including court papers), witness accounts, and interviews.” The allegations further implicate British socialite Maxwell, who is in jail and awaiting trial in the United States on sex trafficking charges. She has denied enlisting underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse. In its report, the broadcaster asked why Britain has been so slow to investigate the allegations when authorities around the world have moved to uncover the truth about the extent of Epstein’s crimes and connections.

“In this country there has been a deafening silence from the metropolitan police,” the investigation said, adding “Scotland Yard has seemingly done very little. Tonight we ask, why?”

In 2019, Scotland Yard dropped the investigation into claims of sex trafficking by Epstein, saying the case “would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK.” The force said it “was not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries.”

Responding to the new report, the Metropolitan Police Service said “we will always consider any new information and will review the information sent to us from Channel 4.”

The broadcaster also explored the widely speculated issue that Andrew’s ties to the scandal may have influenced how the investigation was handled by British police.

[From WaPo]

I mean… it is what it is. Nothing will be done in the UK. For now. I do think that things might start happening in and around Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, depending on the international coverage and depending on just how much is revealed during the trial. I still think there’s a very good chance that Maxwell will spill all on Andrew in particular, simply because she has no reason not to spill. And that in turn will put more pressure on British authorities. We’ll see.

Duke of York, Prince Andrew continues to get probed about his involvement with the Jeffery Epstein case! **FILE PHOTOS**

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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Prince Charles is ‘immensely sensitive’ & that’s why ‘he hides’ from Harry’s emotions?

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Here are some photos of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Royal Ascot Day 2. I haven’t seen Camilla’s dress identified but I suspect that it’s Bruce Oldfield, the same designer she wore to Day 1. Once again, she had a mask made to match her coatdress – this time the mask and dress were the same creamy off-white with pearls. I don’t know, I usually think Camilla looks fine. She always looks very blousy and comfortable, like she’s about to open the second bottle of wine. Charles once again looked impeccable in his three-piece suit. There were other royals in attendance, namely the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. She watched some of the races side-by-wise with… Andrew Parker Bowles, Camilla’s ex-husband. Anne and Andrew dated back in the day. He was quite a catch back then. I wonder how Camilla feels about Anne stepping out (as “friends”) with Andrew now?

As for how Charles feels about the proverbial elephant in the room, namely his younger son, his daughter-in-law and his two youngest grandchildren all living in California, we’ve heard various comments about Charles’ feelings over the past six months or so. Either Charles is full of rage, or he’s not. Either he’s conciliatory or he’s not. Either Charles is hyper-sensitive or he’s not. Mostly, I find it interesting to watch and see when Charles is excluded from royal commentary, because the gaps are more telling than the commentators’ spin. Us Weekly continues to quote from Princess Diana’s “friend” Stewart Pearce about all of this. Take this however you want:

Princess Diana‘s friend Stewart Pearce wrote the new book Diana, The Voice of Change, out now, and the author gave some insight into the people who surrounded Diana before her death in 1997. Pearce told Us exclusively that his comments are “just simply categoric observations about how perhaps [some royals’] behavior [were] not always as emotionally intelligent as it could be.”

He continued by calling out Diana’s ex-husband, Charles, 72. “For example, Prince Charles is a very, very shy man, a very sensitive and delicate man, but we see his public personality, but in private, he’s immensely sensitive,” Pearce explained. The voice coach noted that “when we’re sensitive, if we’re dealing with very strong, combustible emotion on the outside of us,” people tend to go with a fight or flight response. When Diana accused Charles of having an affair with Duchess Camilla, his response was clear.

“So, what he did was to shrink back and as a result of that became an aloof,” Pearce said. “Well, that doesn’t heal the challenge that’s taking place.”

The expert, whose father worked for the late Prince Philip, explained that Charles’ personality rings true in all of 36-year-old Harry’s recent public statements about the royal family, including when he revealed his father hadn’t spoken to him in a while. “That’s what Charles does. … He can’t deal with it because of his sensitivity, so he hides,” Pearce said. “And what Harry’s trying to do is to heal that. Not out of umbrage, not out of anger or revenge or criticism or accusation. … I felt that he was just somebody saying, ‘This is the way that it is, and this is why we want to make change.’”

[From Us Weekly]

I think Charles is “sensitive” when it comes to himself. He’s very droopy-dog, Eeyore-faced “how could this all happen to me,” but then he doesn’t show the same sensitivity to other people, like his late ex-wife or his sons. William shares the same self-absorption, only William’s narcissism seems almost pathological at this point. Besides, I genuinely wonder if Harry and Charles are even technically “speaking” right now. I still say that if they are communicating, it’s through letters or emails.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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Tominey: Duchess Kate might not attend the Diana-statue unveiling either

The Funeral Of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Is Held In Windsor

I’ve actually been surprised by how few stories we’re getting this week about the stupid “statue unveiling” on July 1st. That date marks Princess Diana’s 60th birthday, and Prince Harry and Prince William are scheduled to unveil a statue of Diana in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace. For months, there’s been so much energy around “will Harry show up” and “Harry better show up, so William can rage at him” and “but will Meghan be there.” I tend to think that as the date draws closer, people on Salty White Folk Isle are actually in the dark about whether Harry will actually come. He must not be answering their emails, lol. He’s on parental leave! Anyway, everyone’s favorite royal commentator Camilla Tominey has many thoughts about many things involving the statue unveiling and how the courtiers will treat Harry from now on. Some highlights:

Duchess Kate might skip the unveiling: Royal expert Camilla Tominey said: “We’ve never really been told that family is going to be included in this thing, we know this is the reunion for the brothers on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on July 1. Never any suggestions that the Cambridges would attend along with Prince William and equally, that Meghan and the children would attend with Harry. So I think we may just see them cut solo figures without their families around them. All eyes will be on the brothers of course, because everyone’s hoping there may be some kind of reconciliation at what is going to be a hugely poignant and significant moment for them, remembering their late mother.”

The Sussexes “revealed” their conversations with the Queen? The Sussexes have continued to speak out via spokespeople and friends about their ongoing conversations with the Queen and the wider Royal Family, a move which has frustrated Palace aides, one royal expert has claimed. Addressing the rift in the Telegraph royal newsletter, expert and editor Camilla Tominey wrote: “While there is no doubt that Buckingham Palace is growing increasingly frustrated by Harry and Meghan repeatedly revealing their private conversations with the 95-year-old monarch, it is unlikely we will suddenly see the press office reacting to each and every royal story rather than continuing with their tried and tested ‘rise above’ approach.”

The palace won’t abandon “never complain, never explain”: Ms Tominey shot down speculation the Queen may abandon her traditional “never complain, never explain” approach to public relations in order to counter some of the Sussexes briefings to the press. She added: “And HM, who has never given a full interview, is no closer to doing ‘an Oprah’, either. Yet there are limits to the great-grandmother’s patience, not least when the Sussexes’ spokespeople – both official and unofficial – continue to seek to speak on her behalf from across the pond (and on Twitter).”

The Queen’s aides are frustrated: Ms Tominey argued aides’ frustration with Meghan and Harry lies in the fact those speaking out on their and the Queen’s behalf “have no real idea what the Queen is thinking. Not only do these people have no real idea what the Queen is thinking on any given day, they are also in no position to guess, largely being thousands of miles away across the Atlantic with little knowledge of the inner workings of the royal household.”

[From The Daily Express]

Tominey is basically trying to emphasize two things. One, contrary to Mail on Sunday reporting, Buckingham Palace isn’t going to get drawn into a briefing war against the Sussexes and BP will not abandon their highly selective “never complain, never explain” strategy. Which I don’t believe. Two, that the Queen’s aides are really, really mad when the Queen does something that they don’t know about, like talk to her grandson. Palace aides want to emphasize that there is no “Harry chatting with his grandmother.” There is only the Queen, and all conversations with the Queen are with the Queen, not a grandmother. So much of what Harry has said this year leads me to believe that he separates his grandmother from the monarchy though, and I don’t think he’s going to stop.

As for whether Kate will attend the statue unveiling… I just don’t see how she could avoid it, or why she would want to avoid it. She made Prince Philip’s funeral all about herself and how she was the keenest peacemaker linchpin ever. Don’t you think she wants to do that again? Is that why she’s not coming? Is William like “you should stay home, I don’t want to read fifty million stories about how you saved the monarchy”? I think that’s what it is – William doesn’t want Kate to steal his thunder anymore.

Funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor

The Funeral Of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Is Held In Windsor

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.