Royal Protocol: ‘The Duchess Slant’

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When your brain is full of really obnoxiously random royal facts such as mine, it takes all I have not to scream when coming across headlines as those that were floating around yesterday after the Queen’s Young Leaders event.

No, no, the majority of headlines were not about the aforementioned young leaders, rather the fact that Meghan…

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The time I chatted with Will & Kate in Hamburg

Yes! It’s true! I met and chatted with both! But first we must rewind…

In the middle of June, the royals announced a seemingly spontaneous tour of Poland and Germany. My sweet coworkers, knowing my love of royals, began emailing me and stopping by my office to alert me of the news. And after a few strokes of the keyboard, I was able to verify.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

It was true. The British were, in fact, coming! But I didn’t let myself get my hopes up too much. You see, I’ve seen the Danish royals when the visited in May of 2015, and I didn’t manage to snag so much as a wee wave. So getting to even talk to William or Kate? “Yeah right,” I thought.

And, as my father so lovingly reminds me often, “Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.”

Armed with my father’s wisdom and the reality that Kate fans can be a bit… pushy, I wasn’t hoping for more than a photo up close.

Fast forward a few weeks to the day of…

I’m lucky in that I live near the Elbphilharmonie, one of their stops on the tour, as well as the fact that I get that generous, European amount of vacation days, and as an American who still feels guilty for taking time off, well I had more than enough left over to use a half day.

So I hoped on my bike around 12 to head that way. They were due to arrive at 2:40 p.m. As I rode down that way I couldn’t help but be a bit disgruntled with myself that I hadn’t managed much earlier. I was expecting a crowd of thousands already set up.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon a mere hundred, leaving me plenty of time to post up.

First, though, I’d have to strategize where to stand. So I found a news anchor who was preparing herself and asked where she was planning to get the shot. (As a journalism major, I knew she had the best insider scoop.) She was super kind and explained that the majority of the crowd was near the entrance as Kate & Will were due around 2:00p.m. to enter the concert hall… BUT(!), if I was willing to wait, and wanted a more “personal” experience, she recommended  I stand at the hardly crowded exit, as they would take time after the concert for a walkabout.

So I found a spot that, admittedly, was almost too good to be true. And I waited. My good friend met me on her lunch break and was patient enough with me to put up with my competitiveness with the crowd for a good position.

The crowd made for some grand people watching as we waited.

There was the Kate Middleton lookalike — there were many actually, and I kind of loved the amount of reporters even trying to replicate Kate’s style.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was the lady who was PISSED that the royals were even there. (Purposely cropped out.)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was a royal pup! IMG_6764

And the people opting for a birds-eye view… IMG_6776

Then before we knew it, was time. (Quick side note: there was a woman there determined to get the books she wrote into Kate’s hands. At first it was endearing. Then it became… intense. But her determination meant that Kate stopped and chatted with our portion of the crowd, so I guess that’s a plus!)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate in HamburgIMG_6799Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate very graciously accepted the books as the woman gave her the books for George’s 4th birthday. It was very sweet actually. And Kate was so kind and patient. It is worth noting that Kate does seem rather shy. I don’t know how she managed the crowd. I was overwhelmed and no one was hollering my name or shoving things my direction. She was so graceful under pressure.

My journalism instincts must have kicked into high-gear next, as I somehow managed to catch this exchange between Kate and the girl next to me (whom I did not film for privacy reasons).

The girl told Kate how much she appreciated the work they’ve done for mental health with Heads Together (which they have done wonderfully, and something I’ve been meaning to write about on here for a while). Kate took the time to be so incredibly kind and thoughtful in her response. It was truly amazing how she managed to stay focused with many other people in the crowd.

Bravo Kate. Bravo.

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(A selfie! I couldn’t help but think back to this post. And I couldn’t dare ask her to pose with me. I actually became surprisingly tongue-tied upon actually meeting her!)

I was so starstruck after saying hello and shaking Kate’s hand (not captured on film, of course), that I almost nearly forgot William was coming as well.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in HamburgMeeting Wills and Kate in Hamburg

William was asking people if they spoke English, and somehow I managed to think quick and use this to my advantage. I piped up, “Greetings from America, Will!” To which he immediately came our way and shook my hand, asking, “Whereabouts in America are you from?” “Kansas!” I replied, the shock clear in my voice. “Kansas! What a beautiful spot,” he replied.

My mind was blown. I had just spoken with Prince William. THE Prince William whose name adorned my sister and my’s custom “I LOVE PRINCE WILLS” pencils throughout elementary schoool… THE Prince William whose photo I had affixed to my wall for most of my adolescence. THE Prince William whose wedding my sister and I woke up at 4 a.m. to watch. THE Prince William who is third inline to the throne. THE Prince William who will one day be the King of England.

It was clear. I had royally peaked.

Part II. soon to follow, wherein I start to get rude DMs from people across the world for my royal posts. 😉

King & Queen of Spain’s US Tour: First stop, Washington D.C.

Spanish Royals in Washington DC

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain are currently on a US tour. They kicked it off with a visit to Capital Hill.

Bienvenido to America!

Washington, D.C., is getting the royal treatment this week as the city plays host to Queen Letiziaand King Felipe of Spain.

The glamorous couple – who rose to the throne after Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated in 2014 – are on a four-day tour of the U.S., starting in the nation’s capital.

For their first official visit to the U.S. as king and queen, the Spanish royals took care to start off with spots that held a significance for their homeland. They requested that their first visit be to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, “to highlight the long-standing historic relations between our two countries,” said Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador to the United States. (People magazine.)

You can see more photos from their time in Washington, D.C. here.

The Duchess of ‘Doolittle’ No More?

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(I firstly would like to apologize for putting this site on the back-burner as of late. Work has been super busy, and it turns out Northern Europe winters are far harder than I remembered (major props to those Scandinavian Royals!). But the sun is now staying out past 4 o’clock so I am feeling much more ambitious in my old hobbies after work. 😉 So let’s go!)

Duchess of ‘Does-a-lot’?

I have, of course, been following along with headlines of the royals here and there… and more than anything, I’ve been a bit surprised at the amount of ‘work’ Kate has been doing lately. I have a theory it’s because she a.) got a stern talking to after last year’s numbers came out, and b.) after this baby is born we won’t see her for approximately 2 years…

Also, when you go from doing 2 outings per month to a mere 4, is that really deserving of a pat on the back? I am conflicted.

The Daily Beast’s royal correspondent Tom Sykes wrote this very pro-Kate piece on the matter last week.

He writes:

There seems little doubt that with this flurry of activity so late in her pregnancy—at eight months pregnant to show no sign of slowing down is admirable—is a carefully thought-out strategy. Kate is seeking to put an end to the ‘lazy Kate’ story that threatened to become a theme when, towards the end of last year, it was revealed that Kate had, as well as taking numerous foreign holidays—attended just 76 official engagements in 2014 while Philip, 93, showed up at over 200 and the Queen attended 375. Indeed, Kate had the lowest official appearance rate of all the senior members of the Royal Family in 2014.

While sources are cagey about appearing to endorse the ‘lazy Kate’ narrative even by refuting the allegations, one source says, “The fact is that Kate’s feeling great and determined to pack in as much as possible before the birth.”

Work ethic debate aside, I think Kate looks so beautiful lately, and cheers to her for no Marilyn Moments yet for 2015…

The Invictus Games, Part I.

5BRITAIN-MILITARY-DISABLED-GAMES-ATHLETICS 3 4Invictus Games:  AthleticsYesterday was the opening ceremony for the Invictus Games. The games, which have wounded servicemen and women compete, is one of Prince Harry’s patronages, and one he holds very dear to his heart.

In his speech, Harry, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, said: “Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with twelve wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole.

“I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless.”

He told how he had been inspired by the Warrior Games in the US. “Seeing people who, only months earlier, had been told they’d never walk again, now winning medals in front of their family and friends was breath taking.

“I knew that anyone would be inspired by what these men and women had achieved, not just other servicemen and women, but all those adjusting to life post injury.”

He told the competitors in London: “The British public’s support for our servicemen and women has been exceptional; I know they will show you the same over the coming days.

“Finally, I would like to thank you for the tremendous example you set. Your stories move, inspire and humble us.  You prove that anything is possible, if you have the will.” (Express)