Friday, March 1, 2013

The Cambridges: another holiday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry are in Arosa, Switzerland, to attend the wedding of Mark Tomlinson, whose parents are good friends of the Prince of Wales, and  British rider Laura Bechtolsheimer.   The German-born Bechtolsheimer won two Gold Medals in Dressage at the London Summer Games.
The wedding will take place tomorrow in a Lutheran church in Arosa.  Today, the Duke and Duchess were seen on the slopes.  The Duke skiied, while the Duchess used a sledge.

This is the second holiday for the couple in less than three weeks, after spending more than a week at Mustique.  Yes, it is a holiday.  Spending a few days in Switzerland, breathing in the fresh air, skiing, enjoying time with family and friends is a holiday.

In December, the Dduchess was hospitalized as it was stated she suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a serious condition for a pregnant woman.

Most pregnant women do not recover quickly from HG, but the Duchess seems to have rebounded rather quickly.  She has flown to Mustique, a long flight, and now to Switzerland for the wedding.  I wonder if the HG was a misdiagnosis.

The Duke of Cambridge, a helicopter rescue pilot, has not carried out a single official engagement since the fall.  The Duchess has managed to squeeze out one or two engagements in between shopping and walking the dog.

Earlier today, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had to cancel her official appearance on Saturday in Swansea, Wales, for St. David's Day.  It is a shame that her grandson, the second line to the throne, could not have put his duty before entertainment, and said that he would fill in for his grandmother.  Imagine the media coverage if the future Prince of Wales called his grandmother and said, Catherine and I will go to Wales for you, and fulfill the engagement.  Instead, they chose to attend the wedding of a friend.  A little sacrifice and duty can go a long way.

It really is about time that the Duke and Duchess become full time royals, and take on more engagements.  Their living arrangements and security are largely funded by the British taxpayer. 


Matthew Plooster said...

Couldn't agree more, Marlene. Especially as the monarchy is under more and more scrutiny to prove value for their funding, filling in for high profile engagements should be understandable. Case in point, when the Queen fell ill last October and wasn't able to perform her duties at an investiture at Windsor Castle, the holidaying Prince of Wales flew down from Scotland on a moment's notice.

And this engagement in Swansea isn't just any engagement, it's for St. David's Day, the most Welsh day of the year. As the royal family is in charge of uniting the people and strong national culture, among other things, this should be seen as a priority engagement. And as the Duke of Cambridge is the future Prince of Wales, it would have been apropos for him and his Duchess to fill in for the Queen, let alone actually be in Wales for this particular day.

In the past few decades, there have been many calls for the media to respect the fact that royals have private lives. That's fine. But spending more time out of the country and performing less official engagements, especially on *national* holidays, doesn't align well with the 'duty first, self second' mantra.

Dom Huntman said...

Actually there are rules, guidelines and protocol. The actual event requires that in the absence of the Queen that the person normally responsible (the Lord-Luitentant) will do so as per normal. If the Duke and Duchess offered it would be turned down as the only person who takes priority in this case is the Monarch.

Interestingly, when it comes to scrutiny, the British Royals and the Dutch do quite a lot of work, travel and events. As for William and Kate's holidays, he has a set number of days given by the military not including the leave to preform official functions and we can be pretty sure that these days he spends with Kate are part of that.

Also we should not forget that the Queen (as did Queen Beatrix) has gone through a very strict cutting process that includes who now gets and who no loner gets support from the Royal or the National coffers. The Dutch expenditure is clearly defined and published between what the nation spent, what the royal house spent and what was private.

Michelle said...

wasn't it only on saturday that they announced the Queen was ill? weren't they already at the wedding at that point? if this was a stomach virus, they tend to come on rather quickly & without much notice - perhaps they didn't know until it was too late? i could be wrong, i'm not trying to defend them, it's just that i heard about the wedding before anything about the illness of the Queen.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Palace announced on Friday that the Queen was ill and the visit to Swansea. She is now in the hospital and all engagements are canceled including trip to Rome later this week.

Hopewell said...

William seems to have more in common with Great-Great Uncle David than with dutiful Granny and Grandpa. All well and good to play soldier, but everyone knows he won't have a real career in it. Time to cut ribbons and give nebulous speeches to pay for that incredibly lavish lifestyle. Catherine no more had HG than I do--she needs to eat and drink something occasionally. I like her way better than I did Di, but she's still rather vapid. Hope they both grow up. Now that the press vultures can circle Harry for a while perhaps Wills & Kate can think about their future?

Lisa @

Jessica said...

I must say I disagree that they should be obligated to leave an engagement they have already committed to, to attend one they did not.

Surely they are allowed to attend the weddings of friends, and there would be no surer way to make them unhappy to fulfill their actual duties than to deny them their personal lives as well. As we constantly hear, William is the heir to the heir and as such is not as important as his aunts and uncles yet who could also have stepped in if it was necessary and appropriate.

And for those questioning Kate's HG, that is supremely silly. What is the point? She was in the hospital for several days, what, just for fun? For attention? Perhaps she was lucky and got better or has learned to manage it some other way. A prank call to the hospital confirmed her situation pretty thoroughly .

Marti Canning said...

I totally agree with you. I doubt very much that royal protocol would have allowed them to take over for the Queen even if they wanted to. And my understanding, as for Catherine's condition, some women feel much better by their second trimester.