Royal wedding madness

April 28, 2011

I haven’t posted any examples of royal wedding madness for a while, primarily because there have been hundreds and hundreds of example to choose from, so I figured that you were probably seeing them yourselves.  I must say, though, that I’ve been astonished by the degree to which the New Zealand media is obsessed with this wedding.  It would seem that the Commonwealth ties are as strong as ever.  Even our Prime Minister is at it, going to the event himself and buying wedding memorabilia.

I will definitely watch the wedding tonight.  I have such vivid memories of watching Charles and Diana getting hitched when I was six – like the Royals or not, these events are milestones.  However, I have one issue: Tristan’s getting back from Christchurch this evening and I have to collect him from the airport, a couple of hours before the ceremony starts.  Please join me in hoping that there is no hideous mid-evening motorway traffic, eating into my watching time!


Knit the royal wedding

March 12, 2011

This knitting book is the best thing ever: a guide for people who would like to recreate the royal wedding in wool.  Awesome!

Tristan is wondering what on earth a person would do with the knitted figures – put them on display?  Reinact the wedding?  The mind boggles.  However, The Telegraph has written about this book and it’s currently sold out at, so I’m sure that there will be a lot of knitted Kates and Williams around the country.  And a lot of knitted corgis, I hope.

Kate’s style, again

February 26, 2011

Vivienne Westwood was asked whether she was making Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.  Her response was charming:  ‘I would have loved to have dressed Kate Middleton but I have to wait until she kind of catches up a bit somewhere with style.’  So let’s look at her own sense of style, shall we?

Well, I for one feel that her last outfit would have been just perfect for a royal wedding.

Kate’s style

February 20, 2011

You might recall that the Telegraph had a lot to say about Kate Middleton’s style a while ago – apparently, it was all a bit too average and she needed to hire a stylist.

You might also recall that crazy Liz Jones, one of the Daily Mail’s more unbalanced columnists (and that’s saying something: they’re all fairly deranged) had written an article in which she both criticised Kate’s style and told Kate that she needed to have the confidence to develop her own style.  That’s Liz: always helpful and constructive.

Liz has been at it again.  She can’t help herself: she has to wade on in and critique Kate’s outfits.  She went out for lunch and Liz wove an entire article about her clothing choices.  For a random lunch.  Not a fancy occasion – just a meal.  Seriously, wouldn’t this kind of scrutiny drive you insane?

But don’t worry – Liz isn’t trying to be unhelpful.  She’s gone on , a day later, to show Kate what she should have worn.  I’m sure that Kate cut out the article and has sellotaped it to her wardrobe door, for next time.

Kate’s teeth

January 13, 2011

Brace yourself for this, kids: I’ve uncovered some scandalous Royal news…

Kate Middleton visited an orthodontist before the engagement announcement, to ensure that her teeth were as sparkly and white as possible.

It was reported at the time that the wedding was announced that Kate Middleton, 28, had ­visited the ­consulting rooms of French-born orthodontist Dr Didier Fillion on London’s Wimpole Street for a teeth-whitening makeover.

In fact, I [Richard Kay, the hard-hitting journalist who has broken this story] understand, the future Princess Catherine underwent a revolutionary dental treatment to ensure her teeth were perfect ahead of those engagement photographs.

If this wasn’t newsworthy enough, check out her past form when it comes to dental issues:

Kate had dental work as a child, and it is known that she wore a ­conventional brace at the age of 12. Noticeably, however, a gap between her two front teeth remained — until recently.

My world is ROCKED.

Poor Kate

January 6, 2011

I’ve neglected my reports on royal wedding madness recently (blame the rubbish internet access at work, making it too hard for me to post during the day), but this doesn’t mean that I haven’t been noticing what has been going on.  Oh no!

And it seems that, while I’ve been doing other things, the world has been conspiring to make Kate Middleton look hideous.

Exhibit A – the commemorative £5 coin:

Shockingly, Prince William approved this podgy, pudding-faced image!  It doesn’t bode well for their marriage – it’s bad enough when people post unflattering shots of their friends and loved ones on Facebook…

Exhibit B – the February 2011 Tatler cover:

What has this poor girl ever done to annoy the publishers of Tatler?  Did she kill their pet or something?  There is NO way that any woman is going to see herself looking like this and be happy.

Royal engagement photo

December 13, 2010

The official royal engagement photos have been published and, predictably, the media has something to say about them.  The Guardian and the Telegraph have talked about the fact that the photos are re-touched (although it must be fairly subtle – the couple still look like themselves to me).

For more subjective commentary on the engagement photo, look no further than the routinely bonkers Liz Jones in the Daily Mail.  To begin with, Liz had advised (in an earlier article) against using Mario Testino as the engagement photographer, so she can’t quite believe that the Palace didn’t listen to her.

I even wrote in this paper that whatever other mistakes the Palace may make in the build-up to the wedding: ‘Please, no one stick her on the cover of Vogue, to be airbrushed by Mario Testino… let her find her own feet first.’

And what have they done? Had her photographed by Mario Testino

The bare-faced cheek of them!  Sometimes it’s almost as if nobody at the Palace reads the Daily Mail!

Liz’s concern was revisited at the beginning of the article:

Diana was the world’s most photographed woman, and she knew better than almost anyone how to use that power of the lens to her advantage.

But ultimately that same power also made much of her life a misery and, of course, contributed to her death.

Which is why, as we watched Kate take those first formal steps into the public limelight as a royal fiancée last month, I feared that she too, might buckle if exposed to the same degree of scrutiny.

What Liz Jones fails to remember is that Princess Diana was very young indeed when she became engaged and had been the product of an extremely sheltered aristocratic life, whereas Kate Middleton is in her late 20s and has been raised by normal parents.  I think that she’s likely to be a great deal more robust than Liz suspects.

Anyway, as the article unfolds it becomes clear that Liz views the fashion world with great suspicion, which explains her aversion to the idea of a Vogue cover shot.  She begins by explaining why she doesn’t like Testino as a photographer:

Firstly, I don’t believe Testino was the right man for the job. He may have been Diana’s favourite photographer, but he likes everyone to look the same way. He believes that all women have to look unnaturally perfect, like models on the cover of Vogue, so he’s lit and styled Kate in precisely that way. It’s what he did to Diana, time and time again.

She then goes on to discuss Testino’s general character:

I’ve known Mario since the 80s, when we were both starting out.

He is indeed a nice guy, very affable, and I have nothing against him personally.

And then she turns all this on its head by describing him and his ilk thus:

He’s part of that whole fashion mafia. They’re ghastly, shallow people and I don’t want Kate falling into their jaws.

The summary: for a ghastly, shallow person who is obsessed with making women look perfect, he’s nice and very affable.  OK, gotcha.

Although I would have thought that most photographers attempt to light and shoot their subjects in order to make them look as good as possible, according to Liz, it’s all a bit sinister and the Palace should have gone an entirely different route:

What I’d have liked to have seen is something more natural, not by one of these superstar glossy magazine photographers. It would have been nice to have used a British photographer, too.

I don’t even think it’s that flattering. Mario has been quoted as saying that William is very photogenic – if so, then I don’t think he’s done a very good job.

You can see the photo in the Daily Mail story.  It’s perfectly charming: the couple look young, happy and relaxed. 

Liz also saves some misery for Kate’s choice of outfit:

Then there’s the matter of Kate’s Reiss dress. I like Reiss, it’s a good mid-priced label, but for an image that will go around the world, I think she should have been in something a little more special. 

This, coming from the woman who was advising that Kate should remain true to herself and not dress according to others’ tastes, just a few weeks ago.  And her message is so confusing!  The photo shouldn’t be too perfect, but Kate should wear something more special and it should look more natural.  That sounds like a fairly exacting brief.

But it all comes right in the end: having written a load of shallow, judgemental nonsense, Liz finishes with:

Of course, ultimately the only thing that matters is Kate and William’s relationship – and that they should be given the space to let it flourish.

Perhaps – and stop me if this thought is too zany – the media could help in this regard by refusing to continue judging every single choice made by the couple?