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. 😉

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13 ‘new’ facts: Vogue’s Insight to the British Royals

Britain Afghanistan

With the new Prince Charles biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, we’re sure to get some new information about the British Royals. Vogue gives us glimpse inside with 13 facts revealed by author Sally Bedell Smith. 

Here are three I found particularly interesting

After Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, the dynamics within the royal family changed
Besides Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip have three other children—Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. They’re a nuclear family, but since Prince William and Kate Middleton have added to the next generation in line for the throne, the royal family has become somewhat two-tiered. An example of this came during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee during a flotilla on the Thames. Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry joined the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles on their boat. Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward, and their families rode down the river separately.

Prince Harry participated in at least one missile attack against the Taliban while he was deployed in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has done a fair amount of service, including being deployed to Afghanistan for a 4-month stretch. He was an Apache helicopter pilot and served as a copilot gunner in a missile attack on the Taliban.

The Queen’s death is now more of an open topic
A recent long-form article in The Guardian discussed the secret plan for what will happen when the Queen dies. But among the royal household and the royal family, the Queen apparently believes that an open discussion is “healthy and important.”

Prince George is Going to be a Big Brother!

Royal Baby Number 2

Today, Kensington Palace announced that the Cambridges are expecting a new addition to the family — royal baby number 2!

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child.

The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.

As with her first pregnancy, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer accompany The Duke of Cambridge on their planned engagement in Oxford today. The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace.

— Kensington Palace

A huge congratulations to the growing family! (And hopes that Kate gets well soon!)

 

Style File: Last week’s looks that flopped

Style Files

Queen Mathilde's dress at the wedding of

While Queen Mathilde’s dress looked chic and was the perfect pick for the wedding of Prince Amadeo, eldest son of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, in Rome on July 5th 2014, it’s her hat that landed her on last week’s list of fashion flops. Queen Maxima wore the same hat last month for the D-Day Memorial, but managed to pull it off. Queen Mathilde’s hat was a funky color, and was styled much differently than that of Queen Maxima’s. And, for a wedding, don’t we expect something far more fancy? I do!

Prince Joachim Camoflage Prince Joachim’s first wife, Countess Alexandra, threw a lavish party last weekend in celebration of her 50th birthday. This is what Joachim thought looked good before leaving the house palace. Did he want to blend in during the event? If so, he clearly managed to accomplish the complete opposite. I can’t get over how terrible it is! Cringe!

FFN_FLYUK_Royals_TourdeFrance_070514_51469877Prince Harry. The pants, trousers, whatever you call them, we can all agree are horrific. Did he spill something on his original pair? Did he have to borrow a pair from someone last minute? Did his iron break? Did no one tell him they looked terrible? Or did they look better in person? So many questions, so few answers. And I demand answers, because there is no reason these should have happened.

wenn21514926Queen Letizia really shouldn’t be on this list. This look is only a slight miss, and far from a faux pas. However, the color of pants make it a miss, nonetheless. Had she picked a different shade, or color altogether, we wouldn’t have her on the list at all. But the light yellow just isn’t doing it for this look. But then again, she would make a potato sack look regal, the lady exudes royal.

kate-middleton-tour-de-france-green-dress-splThe duchess and this horrible, horrible coat.  We thought–hoped–we’d seen the last of it, and hardly expected to see it in July, nonetheless. A wool, green coat midsummer? I feel like this may be her rebelling against the demands for her to keep her derriere covered, and she’s saying, “Oh yeah, I’ll show you covered!” It seems as if passive-aggressiveness runs rampant in this royal family… but we’ll never know for sure. All we know is Kate clearly thinks this coat is amazing. (P.S. What do you think about her new hair? It hasn’t been noticed by most media outlets, so I think it’s not much of a change at all…)

Bonus:

tumblr_n8252dAbPV1rvo6i7o1_1280Princess Beatrice looked absolutely stunning last week at the Serpentine Gallery summer party. She pretty much made up for last week’s fashion misses.

 

What do you think: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Solo Strategy

Kate and William go soloPrince William hosted a gala this week at Windsor Castle to honor the work of the Royal Marsden Hospital. One of the hospitals donors Ralph Lauren helped turn the castle into a “Windsor Wonderland.”

‘Spreading their influence’

Allegedly Kate didn’t show to the event because of the couple’s wish to ‘spread their influence.’

I read that in two ways:

Prince William is worried about Kate overshadowing him at events.

Things are rocky in paradise, the pair must only be together when absolutely necessary (royal tours).

It just seems so suspicious.

I understand in matters of, say, a doctor receiving an award and them not wanting Kate’s hair to steal the show, but when it’s a celebrity ball… isn’t it all about everything Kate brings to the table? Picture perfect gowns, snow-white teeth, dazzling jewels? Isn’t that half the fun of being a Princess? And isn’t that the kind of thing you look forward to doing with your husband (prince or not)?

Color me confused.

What’s your take?

 

Bonus: Emma Watson looked stunning, and knowing this made her meeting with William that much better.

 

The Latest Buzz: Prince William flew among peasants; Prince Harry wants Cressida back; Where are Kate and George?

William and Kate Harry and Cressida

William and Kate Harry and Cressida

 

Prince William and economy (seating)

Prince William Flies Econony

People are praising Prince William after a US reporter tweeted a photo of the Prince flying ‘coach’ (a term Americans use for economy seating) on an American Airlines flight from Memphis to Dallas. In the words of Doge, Much brave. Nice save. Such peasant. Very relate.

At first, I was actually impressed. I may have even been among those in appreciation of the Prince’s gesture, flying among the peasants and all… until I started looking into the whole thing. Here’s the thing, it was a flight from Memphis to Dallas. A flight lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes at most. Also, he’s sitting at the very front, and boarded privately from the rest of the passengers. Ok… but such domestic flights, especially when such a short distance, don’t even have options for First Class seating… the first couple of seats are merely considered First Class. But hey, after a trip that cost UK taxpayers a reported $84,000 for security of the young royals during their jaunt to the Memphis wedding. But footed the bill for the trip–aside from the security–themselves. Had Kate been with him, I highly doubt we’d have seen them fly coach, unless, of course, for PR purposes.

Had William flown among us peasants in economy from Dallas to London, well then I’d be rather impressed. But he obviously didn’t, or we’d have that being shoved down our throats, too.

As for Prince Harry’s travel arrangements back to the UK? I think Vanity Fair said it best:

Harry, however, was nowhere to be seen on William’s flight, which means it is still possible thetwerk-happy, newly single redhead returned to London on a gold-plated private jet piloted by Snoop Dogg, populated by the casts of the three most recent Real World seasons, and D.J.ed by an Avicii-Skrillex collaboration. 

Prince Harry plus Cressida equals?

Cressida and Harry

Drama. Lots of drama. The amount of conflicting reports, sometimes from the same news source (hello, Daily Mail!), what are we really to believe? Was she ‘too needy’ or not? Is Prince Harry ‘bombarding‘ her with 15 texts a day? Does this have Kate’s fingerprints all over it? (Spoiler alert: probably.) Is it not over for the two? Who knows. I certainly hope so. I’m still pulling for Chelsy Davy… but that’s a story for another post, maybe later this week?

Anyway, I wanted to post this solid point from a comment I got about the whole debacle (and my saying I think Prince Harry’s camp should apologize for the ‘too needy’ accusation):

I don’t think his camp needs to apologize for calling her needy because her camp has been treading on him in the press as well. She would have been a major headache had she married in because that family of hers has been doing nothing but courting the press and leaking since he started dating her. Notice how there are only paparazzi photos of her and engagement rumors when Harry is out of the UK. She also has been represented by StuartWattsPr since they began dating. Those were her intentions from the beginning. I don’t feel sorry for her she tried to play the game and she lost.

*Slow Clap* Great point.

(I love your all’s comments! Keep them coming. I had hoped this site would start discussions!)

Royal roll call

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 1

Though I’d be lying if I said I expected to see them for months after their vacation grueling tour and all their work, I wish we could see a little bit of George in the country he will someday rule… but, seeing as how they pretty much hid him for 7 months after his christening, I’m an idiot to expect anything else. Maybe we’ll see him on his sixteenth birthday if the media continues to play into all of Prince William and Kate’s requests, maybe.

Many are speculating that the ducal couple headed straight from Australia to yet another holiday, perhaps even Switzerland to ski. (Prince William was seen in the Swiss Air lounge in Chicago.) Love, Lola has a really good post about just this topic.

I think skiing is anything but a vacation–holy workout!–but I also think the Royal Tour was anything but ‘a lot of work.’ But then again, I’ve never had to have my hair and makeup done every morning, don custom dresses, and collect dozens of bouquets from doting fans for a few hours everyday, so who am I to know the stress Kate must endure each day on behalf of the monarchy.

So much gossip to process. I don’t even really know how I feel about it all. What are your thoughts?

Photo credits: image one (custom by me) // image two // image three // image four

Bye, George!

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Just as quickly as it began, it has ended.

And now we hope we’re able to see more of Prince George now that he has been properly introduced to the world. He stole the show this tour and we’re so happy he did… we can only talk about Kate’s (lack of) fashion taste for so long before it gets boring. (Read: it gets old fast.)

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For now we simple bid them adieu and catch up on the reality of our non-royal existences…sigh.

Pop quiz: where do you suppose they’ll vacation after this grueling vacation Tour? My guess: somewhere tropical. Albeit incredibly secluded. Maybe a private island.

Image: ilovebritishroyals.