By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 0 Comments
“Her eyes are dead.” “She appears precision-made, machine made.” “Designed to breed in some manners.” Those are a few of the harsh comments directed at Kate, duchess of Cambridge by Hilary Mantel, who’s won two Booker prizes for instalments of her popular Thomas Cromwell series. They come from a biting lecture, “Royal Bodies,” delivered on Feb. 4 but just noticed by the press, at the British Museum for a London Review of Books series. While the lecture covers the baby-making qualities of everyone from Anne Boleyn to Marie Antoinette and Diana, princess of Wales, Mantel’s criticisms of Kate are its heart.
“Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions…Kate seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character. She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture. Diana was capable of transforming herself from galumphing schoolgirl to ice queen, from wraith to Amazon. Kate seems capable of going from perfect bride to perfect mother, with no messy deviation.”
Even Prime Minister David Cameron stepped into the controversy, calling Mantel’s comments “completely misguided and completely wrong.” The tabloids, needless to say, have gone ballistic. And, for them, the timing couldn’t be better, for they could juxtapose Mantel’s biting works with new pictures of Kate. Tuesday, she appeared at her first engagement in two months. Showing off her baby bump in a close-fitting wrap dress, she visited one of her charities, Hope House, an addiction recovery centre foe women in London.
Though seemingly harsh for the sake gaining attention when it comes to Kate, Mantel’s lecture is also a rollickingly good read, especially when she highlights the regal gilded cage–”everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage”— in which the Windsors live:
“I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not? Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage.”
By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM - 0 Comments
Oh boy, here we go again. Five months after Italian tabloid Chi and a bunch of other rags published topless photos of the duchess of Cambridge, while vacationing at a secluded villa with her husband in Provence, they’re at it again. This time Chi has photos of Kate on a vacation with her husband and family on the private island of Mustique in the Caribbean. She’s apparently visibly pregnant and wearing a bikini.
No reaction yet from palace officials, but given Prince William’s fury at the last invasion of his wife’s privacy, you’ve got to bet that they’re consulting lawyers again. Interestingly, while the London tabloids are covering the story, they are also blacking out the relevant photo when they reproduce the Chi cover.
Still, everyone was expecting the photos. Kate is the hottest commodity in the paparazzi world, and no one has yet caught images of her expanding tummy. And lest we forget, Diana was also snapped in a bikini on a Caribbean vacation while pregnant with William. (This pinterest page has links to the snaps, or see below.) Back then, the Queen and household officials roundly criticized the invasion of what was clearly a private vacation. It’s 30 years later, and nothing really has changed.
UPDATE: From the palace via the BBC
The palace said it was “a clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy”. A St James’s Palace spokesman said: “We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas.”
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM - 0 Comments
It is likely that the Canadian Government took the gamble of this approach in order to avoid the hassle of obtaining the agreement of the Provinces while banking upon the likelihood that no one would have the standing or motive to challenge it. Moreover, if the Duchess of Cambridge has a first-born son, it will avoid the problem of having a female monarch of the United Kingdom and a younger brother who becomes the monarch of Canada. Hence, the chances of getting by with such a constitutionally shoddy arrangement are reasonable.
Nonetheless, it shows a disappointing lack of understanding of the Crown and its divisible nature and a willingness on the part of Canadian politicians to sacrifice Canadian independence to avoid having to engage with the Provinces.
Update 12:42pm. And to all these concerns about the nature of our country, the House just shrugged and agreed to pass the bill unanimously at all stages.
By Philippe Lagassé - Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM - 0 Comments
Why the Conservatives must rethink their approach to succession
Canada’s most monarchist government in decades has just dealt a serious blow to the Canadian Crown. In an effort to quickly enact changes regarding royal succession, the government has introduced a bill that undermines the concept of a truly independent Canadian Crown, the foundation of Canadian sovereignty. Equally troubling, the government claims that altering succession to the throne does not require a constitutional amendment. In making this argument, the government has overlooked the very nature of the Crown in law and the Canadian constitution. However commonsensical the proposed changes to the law governing succession may be, such a cavalier approach to the Crown, to the foundation of sovereign authority of and in Canada, merits scrutiny.
Heritage Minister James Moore laid out the government’s thinking at a press conference this past Wednesday. According to the minister, succession to the throne is not a matter of Canadian law. Instead, succession is a question of British law alone. Only the British Parliament can set the rules for who ascends to the throne, while the Canadian Parliament’s only authority lies in assenting to the changes. Put differently, the authority to legislate the rules of succession belongs with the British Parliament because the Canadian constitution does not address matters of succession. The legal pretext for this interpretation is the preamble to the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which states that the United Kingdom will obtain the assent of the Dominions when altering succession to, and royal titles and styles of, their shared Crown.
For Mr. Moore, the absence of an explicit reference to succession in the codified parts of the Canadian constitution also explains why no constitutional amendment is needed to alter succession in Canada. Although the Constitution Act, 1982 states that changes to the “office of the Queen” require a constitutional amendment that is approved by Parliament and the provincial legislatures, the government interprets “office” to mean only those powers and privileges of the Crown that are identified in the codified constitution. Hence, succession doesn’t pertain to the office because succession isn’t mentioned in the codified constitution.
Unfortunately for the government, these interpretations of the Statute of Westminster and office of the Queen are problematic.
The conventions outlined in the preamble to the Statute of Westminster depended on the power of the United Kingdom to legislate for the Dominions and on the idea that all the realms were under a single Crown. Neither of these conditions holds anymore, as Australian legal scholar Anne Twomey has shown. When Canada and the other Dominions altered their royal styles and titles in 1953, the realms did not assent to British legislation; they legislated for themselves. And Canada’s act made no mention of the Statute of Westminster. In the 1970s Australia and New Zealand enacted new royal styles and titles without consulting the other Dominions, sapping the prescriptive authority of the Statute‘s preamble. Claims that the preamble still applies to succession were further undermined in the 1980s. The authority of the preamble depended on section 4 of the Statute, which allowed the British Parliament to legislate for the Dominions. The Canada Act, 1982 ended the British Parliament’s authority to legislate for Canada and abolished s. 4 of the Statute. Australia followed suited with the Australia Act, 1986, as did New Zealand with its Constitution Act, 1986. The United Kingdom is no longer able to legislate for Canada, Australia or New Zealand, even in matters of succession and even if they assent.
As important, the United Kingdom cannot legislate the succession to the Canadian throne because the British and Canadian Crown are no longer one and the same. The British and Canadian Crowns are legally distinct and independent entities.
The emergence of the distinct and independent Canadian Crown happened gradually and it took time to be properly recognized. Somewhat ironically, the process began with Statute of Westminster, which granted the Dominions legislative independence. As Canadian cabinets monopolized the authority to advise exercises of the Crown’s powers in right of Canada in the decades that followed, the idea of a Canadian Crown took shape. In the early 1950s, the title of Queen of Canada was created. During her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed the Queen of Canada. As the government’s own publication, A Crown of Maples notes, “The proclamation reaffirmed the newly crowned monarch’s position as Queen of Canada, a role totally independent from that as Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.”
The final step toward a distinct Canadian Crown was achieved in 1982, when the Canadian constitution was patriated and Canada became a fully sovereign and independent state. While the 1982 patriation ended Canada’s legal ties to Great Britain, the expanded Canadian constitution retained the Crown as the concept of the Canadian state and as ultimate source of sovereign authority in Canada. This fully independent Canadian state could not have the British Crown as the source of its sovereign authority. Nor could it be a shared Crown. The only way Canada could be completely sovereign and independent was to decouple the Canadian Crown from its British counterpart.
The fact that only the Canadian Parliament and provincial legislatures can amend the constitutionally entrenched office of the Queen is a testament to this development. The Canada Act, 1982 and Constitution Act, 1982 gave the Canadian Parliament and provincial legislatures absolute control over the office of the Canadian Sovereign and the wholly independent Canadian Crown. Any claim that Canada and Britain share a Crown in the legal or constitutional sense is therefore incompatible with the complete sovereignty that Canada achieved in 1982.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson implicitly admitted as much when the succession bill was introduced in the House of Commons on Wedenesday. The minister noted the Governor General had given the bill his consent, a requirement for any bill that touches on the powers and privileges of the Crown. Since the British Crown had already given its consent to the British succession bill and the Canadian government claims that the Crown is shared, it is unclear why the consent of the Governor General, the representative of the Queen of Canada, was required. The only plausible answer is that the succession bill affects the separate and distinct powers and privileges of the Canadian Crown.
If the United Kingdom cannot legislate the rules of succession for the Canadian Crown, it follows that Canada must have the power to determine the rules of succession for its Sovereign and head of state. At present, the Canadian rules of succession are those that were inherited from the United Kingdom. And an argument might be made that they must mirror those of Great Britain absent a constitutional amendment, owing to the preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867. But mirroring the British rules does not mean Canada can simply assent to British bills to bring its succession into line with the United Kingdom’s. If Canada is a sovereign state and has an independent Crown, the Canadian legislatures—Parliament and the provincial legislatures—must pass substantive legislation to ensure that Canada’s rules of succession reflect those of Great Britain, not merely assent to a British law. Here again, the Governor General’s granting of Crown consent to the Canadian bill indicates the government is at least partially aware the British and Canadian Crowns cannot be affected by the same British law.
If we accept that Canada is fully sovereign and that the Canadian Crown is fully independent, then there must be some part of the codified constitution that addresses succession, whether explicitly or implicitly. A strong case can be made that the “office of the Queen” mentioned in s.41(a) must be that provision that addresses the succession to the Canadian throne. Accordingly, any change to the succession to the throne must trigger the amending process identified by s.41(a).
Succession must pertain to the office of the Queen because of the Crown is a “corporation sole.” Corporations sole fuse an office and an office holder. The office and office holder are treated as synonymous in law. This means that, legally speaking, all references to the Queen, Her Majesty and the Crown in Canadian statutes and the constitution refer to the same thing. When the constitution speaks of the office of the Queen, then, it is referring to both the Sovereign and the Crown in the broadest sense.
Most importantly for our purposes, this further means that the office of the Queen extends not only to the current office holder, but to those who will succeed to the office. This is necessarily true precisely because the Crown is a corporation sole.
The purpose of having the Crown as a corporation sole is to ensure that successors to the office of the Sovereign retain all the powers, duties, constraints of the Crown when they ascend to the throne. Hence, when one monarch dies and is replaced by their successor, there is no need to reiterate the established powers, duties and constraints of the Crown. Nor is there any need to rewrite any statutes. Having the Crown as a corporation sole allows for a seamless and automatic transition between the current Sovereign and her successor. So, when the Prince of Wales becomes King Charles III, all references in Canadian statues and the constitution to the Queen and Her Majesty will automatically apply to him because the Crown is a corporation sole.
It is the idea of corporation sole that underlies the cry of “the king is dead; long live the king!” The Crown is never vacant and the Sovereign never dead because, as a corporation sole, the office of Queen (or King) is immediately filled by successors when a monarch passes. Hence, as the canonical jurist of English law William Blackstone noted when discussing the concept: “Corporations sole consist of one person only and his successors, in some particular fashion, who are incorporated in law, in order to give them some legal capacities and advantages, particularly that of perpetuity, which in their natural persons they could not have had. In this sense, the king is a sole corporation.” The office of the Queen necessarily refers to both the current Sovereign and her successors.
To reiterate, then, altering the rules of succession requires a constitutional amendment under s. 41(a) because the Crown is a corporation sole, a legal status that was purposefully designed to ensure that the office of the Queen includes matters of succession.
Recognizing that the Crown is a corporation sole also helps us answer the question that hovers over this entire discussion, namely: how can the Canadian and British Crown be distinct if they’re both personified by Elizabeth II?
The Canadian and British Crowns are distinct corporations sole. As a result, the Queen of Canada and Queen of the United Kingdom are legally distinct office holders, just as the Canadian Crown and British Crown are distinct offices. However, the natural person who occupies these offices, Elizabeth Windsor, is the same. One woman personifies distinct and separate offices. This means that the Canadian and British Crown are under a personal union, but not a legal or constitutional one. Elizabeth Windsor holds the legally independent offices of the Queen/Crown of Canada and the Queen/Crown of the United Kingdom. But when she acts as the Queen of Canada, she is not acting as the Queen of the United Kingdom. The fact that Elizabeth Windsor is both the Queen of Canada and the United Kingdom does not mean that the two states shared a single Crown or Sovereign.
To conclude, it is worth discussing what might happen if we accept the government’s argument that succession is only a matter of British law and that changes to the rules of succession do not require a constitutional amendment. The most obvious consequence of the government’s position is that Canadian republicans will have been proved right: the Crown is an inherently British entity and Canada cannot claim to be an independent state until our ties to the House of Windsor are cut or we become a republic. The government’s view would also mean that Canada would effectively cease to be a constitutional monarchy if the United Kingdom decided to become a republic. The concept that underlies Canada’s entire system of government, the Crown, could be dismantled by another country.
The government’s narrow construction of the office of the Queen under s. 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1982 may lead to some interesting outcomes, too. If the office of the Queen covers only those powers of the Crown that are explicitly identified in the codified constitution, a future Parliament could pass various statutes to undermine the monarchy without consulting the provinces. One could image, for instance, a future Parliament passing a regency act that transforms the Governor General from the representative of the monarch to the personification of the Crown in Canada, owing to the Sovereign’s absence in Canada. Coupled with a new set of letters patent that transferred all of the Sovereign’s remaining authority to the Governor General, this regency act could be used to exclude the royal family from all Canadian affairs. Since this kind of act would not affect the powers of the Crown included in the codified constitution, Parliament could pass it without consulting the provinces. Of course, it is difficult to imagine that this was the intended spirit of s.41(a), but a narrow construction of the office of the Queen might allow it.
Suffice it to say, while the changes to the succession are laudable, a greater degree of caution and debate is warranted here.
Philippe Lagassé is an assistant professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. He thanks James W.J. Bowden for his research assistance.
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
Colby Cosh on the Constitutional problem of a female heir
Is there perhaps a silent prayer sweeping stealthily across the ranks of Canada’s constitutional experts? “Please, Lord, let the duchess of Cambridge be delivered of a fine, healthy heir. And if you could see to it, let it be a boy. Or, if it’s a girl, make sure she only has younger sisters.”
When St. James’s Palace announced on Dec. 3 that the wife of HRH Prince William was great with child, the machinery of the Commonwealth was ready. The heads of government in the Queen’s various realms had, in October 2011, already agreed to a co-ordinated change in their statutes that will allow the Prince’s children to succeed in order of seniority, irrespective of sex. The necessary changes to British law, which affect acts as far back as 1351, are ready for parliamentary approval and scheduled to go through as early as possible in the new year, with the Canadian ones to follow. There is nary a whisper of dissent from any quarter. Continue…
By Patricia Treble - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM - 0 Comments
William and Kate have to pick a baby name that will be both modern and historic. No pressure then.
The minute the pregnancy was announced, bookmakers started taking bets on what name William and Kate would choose. Since this baby will eventually carry the title of “Queen” or “King,” a few names can be immediately nixed. The traditionalist couple won’t pick anything celebrity-like, so no Peaches or Apple or Blue Ivy for the Windsors. And though Diana will likely be honoured as a secondary name if it’s a girl—Charles and William each have four given names—her public campaign to stop Charles from becoming monarch makes it unlikely she’ll get top billing. Though William adores his granny, Elizabeth is probably out for two reasons: there have already been two British Queen Elizabeths in the last century: the current monarch and her mother. Furthermore, the Belgian heirs snagged the name for their future queen. So here are some early guesses. Continue…
By Ken MacQueen - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Kate and William have toured Canada and served as cheerleaders-in-chief at the Summer Olympics. Together they will face a hyper-scrutinized pregnancy.
The statement Monday from St. James’s Palace had all the hallmarks of a rush job: “Their royal highnesses the duke and duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby,” began the terse statement. After a nod to the happy relatives, it concluded with the meat of the matter: “The duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with Hyperemesis gravidarum. As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, her royal highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”
As any parent will tell you, children have minds of their own, and so it was the potential future king or queen of Britain, Canada and 14 other realms who set the agenda in a most unpleasant way. Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), as most everyone now knows, is a severe form of nausea and vomiting, an amped-up morning sickness that must have made Kate’s weekend visit to her parents’ home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, a hellish experience. Protocol should have dictated that William’s granny, Queen Elizabeth II, would have been the first to know her third great-grandchild and heir was on the way. But even if the couple hadn’t chosen that weekend to share the news of the pregnancy, Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, would have surmised it soon enough as their usually unflappable 30-year-old daughter made repeated dashes for the nearest bathroom. By Monday, her nausea was severe enough that a worried William was on the phone to doctors. That afternoon, he drove her into the city to King Edward VII, “London’s foremost private hospital.” He stayed with her until about 8:20 p.m. Monday, returning to the hospital Tuesday morning. Continue…
By John Fraser - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM - 0 Comments
Royal baby’s sex won’t hinder rise to the throne
If Kate ever wondered after her storybook wedding what it would be like when the full force of royal expectations and demands descended upon her, she knows it now. The ordinary miracle of pregnancy shared by a happy couple anywhere is always a cause for celebration, but a first pregnancy in the direct line of succession to the Crown was always bound to bring on a media frenzy. This one also comes complete with a historic constitutional blizzard.
The news that she and Prince William, the duchess and duke of Cambridge, are expecting their first child in a little over seven months will be greeted with joy in many quarters, indifference in some and gnashing of teeth in still others. That’s normal in an egalitarian age when deference to royalty vanished a long time ago but residual and even renewed and growing affection for Queen Elizabeth II and her “heirs and successors” has surprised many observers.
But this particular pregnancy is also fraught with constitutional heavy traffic, the likes of which royal watchers have not seen in a long time. For starters, the current law of succession in all of Elizabeth II’s realms—and there are 16 of them, including the United Kingdom and Canada—says a first-born girl can be trumped by a younger brother. Continue…
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM - 0 Comments
Can Will and Kate give their child a semblance of a private life?
Prince William’s first public engagement came just 22 hours after his birth: a brief appearance on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, swaddled in a blanket and held in the awkward clutch of his father, Charles. As the crowd cheered, reporters bellowed and cameras strobed, the jug-eared heir to the British throne dutifully displayed his own, far more telegenic successor. Then he handed the infant off to a shyly smiling Diana, steered her gently by the various photographers’ positions and opened the rear door to their chauffeur-driven station wagon as the new family prepared to speed off home.
Thirty years on, the most striking thing about the footage is the absence of a car seat, or even seat belts for that matter. But the carefully choreographed unveiling was groundbreaking for its time. William Arthur Philip Louis was the first future sovereign to be born in a hospital. His father was actually there to witness his arrival. And, as with the couple’s fairy-tale wedding 11 months before, the public and press had been invited to share the joy almost every step of the way. The news of his birth may have been declared with a traditional 41-gun salute at the Tower of London, but there were modern touches mixed in as well. William would never be a commoner, but his parents, it seemed, were determined that he might find some common ground with them. Continue…
By Rosemary Westwood - Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM - 0 Comments
The findings of the Leveson inquiry may alter coverage of the most anticipated baby since William himself
As soon as the royal baby story hit the wires, up popped the “live coverage” feeds on the Guardian and Telegraph news sites.
It’s the “only story that anybody on the royal beat is going to be working on for the next nine months,” declared the Telegraph’s Gordon Rayner. He predicted “feverish” coverage of the pregnancy before pronouncing it “the most anticipated baby since Prince William himself.”
But even as reporters and camera crews huddled outside the hospital where Kate was being treated for extreme morning sickness, anxious for more news (William leaving the building was about as dramatic as it got), British MPs were busy debating a controversial plan to reel in the more zealous members of the press.
The Leveson report calls for greater scrutiny of the media through a new independent regulatory body, backed up by legislation. It stems from the Leveson inquiry, the government’s response to the British phone-hacking scandal. Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the idea of a low-cost body to handle libel disputes, levy fines and even demand apologies. But, wary of too much legislative meddling, he dumped the file onto the desks of Fleet Street editors. Come up with a plan, he warned them, or expect a new press law. Continue…
By Mika Rekai - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM - 0 Comments
Betting agencies all over the world are handicapping the possibilities: here’s a summary of the contenders
Because the baby growing inside the duchess of Cambridge will, presumably, become Canada’s Head of State, it is the job of every Canadian citizen to celebrate the news, congratulate the happy couple (open a window, shout towards the east) and speculate wildly about the future monarch currently taking up its in utero residence.
Will it be boy or a girl? Will it have shiny hair like its mother? Will it have rosy cheeks like its father? Will there actually be two babies? The question on most people’s minds, however, is what will the baby be called? Betting agencies all over the world are handicapping the possibilities: here’s an alternative summary of baby name prospects.
Elizabeth is the odds-on favourite worldwide, and the choice is really a no-brainer. The Queen has carried the name very successfully for the last 86 years and her mother pulled it off for 101 years, so you can hardly accuse the couple of being “faddish” with this one. Another nice thing about the name “Elizabeth” is that it lends itself easily to nicknames, so Kate and Wills will still have a dozen choices for what to actually call the child, when they’re yelling at it to stop running in the palace, or to put down that jewel-encrusted scepter! Personally, I hope they pick “Beth”. “Beth Wales” sounds like the kind of girl you want to play detectives with at when you’re eight. “Beth Wales” is the type of girl who gets caught smoking in the washroom with you at 17. “Beth Wales” is the type of Queen you want to grab late night pizza with after you’ve had too much Champagne at a State Dinner.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
Nurse at King Edward VII Hospital gives private information
The hospital where Kate, duchess of Cambridge, is a patient has admitted to a security blunder after a prank call from two Australian radio show hosts was transferred to a nurse, who gave out private information about the duchess.
The hosts, from 2Day FM, pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and their call to the the King Edward VII Hospital in London was immediately transferred to the ward where Kate has been a patient since she was admitted with a severe form of morning sickness on Monday. Her condition forced St. James’s Palace to confirm rumours that Kate and Prince William are expecting their first child.
At one point during the call, Mel Greiga, who was pretending to be the Queen, mistakenly called Kate “my granddaughter.” One of the hosts also barked, pretending to be one of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
By Emma Teitel - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM - 0 Comments
The duchess of Cambridge is officially pregnant, which means that print media will stay in business for at least another nine months—thanks in large part to my grandmother. Speaking of grandmothers, this one should probably invest in a car seat. And Will and Kate should put some parental controls on their computer.
In the mean time, We, lowly plebs of the north, secondary subjects of Widdleton, should get used to it: It’s going to be Will-and-Kate time all the time, perhaps until the end of time. Canada is really into its royals, especially when they learn our customs. And when they don’t.
By macleans.ca - Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM - 0 Comments
[View the story "Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant and Twitter explodes" on Storify]…
By Patricia Treble - Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM - 0 Comments
Today’s announcement from St. James’s Palace was terse:
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.
The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.
Fyi: Hyperemesis gravidarum is a fancy term for acute morning sickness.
The announcement ends speculation that started April 29, 2011—William and Kate’s wedding day. Last week she was wearing noticeably looser clothes. Well, looser for a woman known for form-fitting outfits. As I said last week— “Is Kate pregnant? Check out her belts.”
By Patricia Treble - Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM - 0 Comments
“Is she pregnant?”
There’s no need to even ID “her” as Kate, duchess of Cambridge, in the question I’m asked at least once a day. Every time she adopts the normal “Kate pose”—her hands (and often a purse) clutched defensively in front of her stomach, the questions would come fast and thick. Until this weekend my standard response was: “The world will know when William and Kate announces it. I’m not going to guess.”
Well, now I’m guessing. There are three reasons for my change of heart—a red belt, a green one and a beige one, plus a plaid outfit.
First the background: this is a woman who likes formfitting outfits. And who is fond of tight belts (also, here and here), and tightly belts her coats. That’s why I didn’t think anything was odd when I first noted she wore a red coat to a rugby match on Saturday. It was an L.K. Bennett creation that she’s worn before and there appeared to be a belt. Nothing new, I thought.
By Ken MacQueen - Friday, November 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Celebrating a remarkable Diamond Jubilee year, our adored Queen is still going strong, in sensible shoes
In the week before Remembrance Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II trekked to the scenic London borough of Richmond Upon Thames to tour the Poppy Factory. She is patron of the Royal British Legion and Prince Harry, her gunship-flying grandson, is among the British and Commonwealth troops in peril in Afghanistan. She was greeted by local dignitaries, toured the production area, had a go at assembling a poppy, and met with staff and clients from the factory-funded employment program for wounded veterans. “The Poppy Factory hasn’t had a visit from the Queen for 20 years,” the facility’s chief executive would later remark. Not that you’d think anyone’s counting—but they are.
By any measure 2012 has been exceptional for the 86-year-old monarch. It marked her 60th year on the throne. She had a historic rapprochement with an ex-Provisional Irish Republican Army commander, whose group blew up her cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten 33 years ago. She presided over the opening ceremonies of London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, including a star turn with Daniel Craig’s James Bond. On Nov. 20, Elizabeth and 91-year-old Prince Philip observed their 65th wedding anniversary. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 2:26 PM - 0 Comments
While the Queen watches the boats float along the Thames, the NDP’s Pat Martin suggests it’s time we move past the monarchy.
Well I think I speak for a growing number of Canadians, Tom, who think that this is the right time to revisit whether we should cut our apron strings to the British Monarchy but I think what jelled it for me most recently was going to a Canadian citizenship ceremony that as an MP I get invited to often and watching these people from 30 or 40 different countries having to swear allegiance not to Canada but to the Queen and all of her heir and successors for time and memorial, it kind of just struck me at that moment that we are way out of touch with this and if anything, new Canadians should be swearing an oath of allegiance to their country Canada and not to this vestige of hangover of the Colonial Era …
Canadians aren’t you know baffled by shiny objects like the wedding of Will and Kate. We have to think beyond that. Your preamble to our conversation here is a good education for Canadians to remind themselves, isn’t it kind of goofy that our currency has the face of a foreign monarch? I mean, wouldn’t you rather have a Canadian as the head of state for Canada? Wouldn’t you like your son or daughter to someday be able to aspire to that goal? We are so wrongheaded that I think there’s a big appetite once Canadians think about it for a minute to severe those ties, there’s no justification and being a Member of Parliament, it kind offends me that we have to ask permission from the Queen to pass a piece of legislation, even though we know it’s just a pro forma thing that we’re going through, it’s just wrong.
By Patricia Treble - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM - 0 Comments
Look through the websites devoted to the clothes of Kate, duchess of Cambridge—such as Cambridge Chic and What Kate Wore—and, after marvelling at the way they are able to identify every part of her wardrobe, right down to who designed what belt, there is one striking observation: she doesn’t recycle outfits worn at official engagements. Now, before I’m inundated with angry emails, let me be very precise: I know she re-wears outfits at private functions such as weddings, and has worn older clothes at public functions. I’m talking about recycling outfits from one official engagement to another. And that she hasn’t done. I’ve checked the Court Circular, the palace record of these events, then cross-referenced engagements with outfits. No repeats.
Why? Susan Kelley of What Kate Wore believes it’s because she hasn’t been on that many official engagements, saying, “I don’t expect to see [repeats] until late this year or next year, depending on the schedule.” And Ella Kay of Cambridge Chic thinks one of the reasons could be that Kate is “keenly aware of the attention she gets as a result of her wardrobe” and by wearing something different to each engagement she “shines a spotlight on the causes that she supports.”
By Ken MacQueen - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM - 0 Comments
A controversial new book says her mental illness hurt her son and has even affected his relationship with Kate
On the day of the funeral of Diana, princess of Wales—a sunny Saturday in September 1997—there was one small item that broke a million hearts in a city, and a nation, already awash in grief. A bouquet of white freesias sat atop her coffin as it rode on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey. Nestled in the flowers was an envelope with a single word—“MUMMY”—printed in a child’s hand. Walking behind were its authors, princes William, 15, and Harry, 12, accompanied by their father, Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their embittered uncle, Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother. At the time, those of us covering the funeral, and millions more watching on London’s streets and on televisions around the world, wondered what these wounded young lads could possibly have said to make sense of the tragedy that befell their mother, and the circus of grief it spawned.
That note also touched a deep chord with Penny Junor, a veteran royal watcher and the author of the newly published Prince William: Born to be King, which manages to be both a sympathetic portrait of the future king and a controversial examination of an upbringing that was scarred by tumult, loss and Diana’s mental fragility. “I thought it was incredibly touching,” she said of the note. It was only through the wise intervention of Sandy Henney, Prince Charles’s press secretary at the time, that the boys’ farewell words to their mother were sealed in an envelope, protected from the reach of the hundreds of telephoto lenses lining the funeral route. “Their lives had been so intruded upon by the media,” Junor said in an interview with Maclean’s. “That would have been the end of their world if their little note to their mother had been picked up by those lenses.”
In fact, the privacy of William and Harry’s lives had been trammelled from birth. Long before their mother’s death, they endured the loss of loved ones who fell out of favour with their parents, and the rage, tears and public humiliation of the marriage breakup that left them caught between the warring camps of mother and father. “He would be superhuman if he didn’t have demons,” Junor writes of William. “But he keeps them to himself; he is one of the most intensely private people you could meet.”
By Ken MacQueen - Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:07 AM - 0 Comments
Justin Trudeau’s crackberry rage, Kate’s first royal speech, the cost of keeping Jennifer Aniston fresh
Is Montreal MP Justin Trudeau about to defect from his BlackBerry to an iPhone? He recently thumbed an angry tweet: “OK, now I officially hate this BlackBerry. Stupid, ineffective touch screen mislaunching tweets . . . ” His tweet bleat was picked up by Huffington Post Canada under the headline “Trudeau: BlackBerry sucks. It just sucks.” An enraged Trudeau accused HuffPost of a “blatant lie” for the suggestion. “I never ever said that,” he tweeted of the beleaguered tech giant’s alleged suckiness. “Mad at my phone, yes. Mad at RIM, no.”
The cost of beauty
True, actress Jennifer Aniston has the fresh beauty of a girl next door. But it is an expensive door. The Daily Mail, in, one hopes, an unrivalled feat of investigative journalism, has unearthed the guesstimated costs of keeping the 43-year-old star glowy, youthful and vigorous. Estimated monthly costs: skin care, $2,000, including lashings of ointments and rejuvenating serums, facials and laser peel surgery. Private yoga sessions with trainer Mandy Ingber: $3,500. Consultations and food delivery by dietitian Carrie Watt: $2,700. Grand total: $8,000 per month.
By Patricia Treble - Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM - 0 Comments
No one doubts that the duchess of Cambridge is just as competitive an athlete as her sister Pippa is, especially after Thursday’s exhibition with the British Olympic teams. Ditching conservative dresses for a pair of tight coral jeans—and then worrying that they clashed against the Astroturf—and an official Olympic sweatshirt, she showed off her field hockey skills during an engagement with the country’s top athletes at the Olympic Park as their “Team GB” ambassador.
Kate fired shots at the goal until she finally nailed one, telling everyone, “Wow, that was no pressure then! I was determined to keep on going until I scored.”
She’s played for years, having been team captain at Marlborough College. The duchess recounted that experience to squad members: “I used to play at school and I remember my muscles at the beginning of the season were agony. I was striker so you had to get the timing exactly right, well that was the idea. I played on the left wing. I really enjoyed it.” She did, however, confess to being a bit jittery at playing in front of a phalanx of cameras, saying, “I haven’t played since I stopped so I am really nervous now.”
That evening she retreated to her usual monotone (boring) style—a plain grey frock by Orla Kiely—to indulge in another passion, art. She visited the Dulwich art gallery with her father and mother-in-law—otherwise known as Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall—to meet the students involved in the Great Art Quest, which is supported by Charles’s foundation.
By Patricia Treble - Friday, March 9, 2012 at 10:52 AM - 0 Comments
It was clear Kate was determined not to be the centre of attention from the moment the royal party arrived at St. Pancras station in London on Thursday. Her clothes were dark and unobtrusive, leaving the focus solely on Kate’s travelling companion—the Queen, who was officially starting her Diamond Jubilee tour of Britain. Kate even wore her hair pulled back under a hat, avoiding the inevitable photo op when she battles for control of her tresses as they get whipped by the wind. That meant all attention was on the Queen, aided by her bright pink outfit, in Leicester, leaving Prince Philip in his customary back-up role and Kate chatting with local officials.
By Patricia Treble - Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM - 0 Comments
It is so rare for Queen Elizabeth II to take family with her on a public engagement that the BBC World Service broke into its newscast to go live with the coverage of the arrival of the monarch, her daughter-in-law Camilla, and her granddaughter-in-law Kate at Fortum & Mason, the exclusive London department store. They were there to unveil a plaque marking the revitalization of the area (has anyone counted how many times the Queen has whipped back the curtains on those markers in the last 60 years?), meet servicemen involved in sending gifts to troops overseas, and have tea with the store’s staff and owners, the British branch of the Weston family.
From the Telegraph:
Two things stood out: Continue…
By Jessica Allen - Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM - 0 Comments
The duchess’s Canadian doppelgänger competed against professional lookalikes in a French reality TV show
Holly Ferrier, a 26-year-old former rancher who drives a truck and doesn’t have high-speed Internet, is a dead ringer for the Duchess of Cambridge. In fact, the resemblance is so uncanny that the producers of a French reality TV show, Qui Sera Le Meilleur Sosie? (Who is the Best Lookalike?), invited the Camrose Canadian ad sales rep to Paris, all expenses paid, to compete against other celebrity lookalikes for a grand prize of 15,000 euros (about $20,000). We found out about Ferrier after she just barely missed the deadline to enter our summertime Great Canadian Face-Off competition. Maclean’s caught up with her a few days after getting back from Paris, where she walked the red carpet and had to teach her Prince William how to drive a stick shift, Albertan style.
Q: First of all, how did you traveling to Paris to be on a French reality TV show come about?
A: When Kate and Will came to the Calgary Stampede, a few people noticed the resemblance and the Calgary Herald did a little something on it and I ended up getting an agent. But I didn’t really take it too seriously. I actually moved back to the Camrose area after ranching in High River and took a job at the Camrose Canadian as an advertising sales rep. I had a lot of family stuff going on and a lot on my plate and my agent was kind of getting annoyed that I wasn’t doing anything. So I decided to put up a Kate Middleton lookalike page on Facebook, just to make my agent happy. And that’s how the show in Paris tracked me down—through the Facebook page.
Q: The show found you? Continue…