Portraits, Titles, and Positions
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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Well, the big buzz of late is the Duchess of Cambridge’s first official portrait. The portrait depicts the Duchess in a headshot against a dark background. While the former Kate Middleton is reported to be “delighted” with the results saying, “It’s just amazing. I thought it was brilliant,” critics and the public have been giving it mixed reviews.

Critics’ comments on the portrait range from “disappointing” and “ordinary” to “very human,” with “no airs and graces” to having been “transformed into something unpleasant from the Twilight franchise." Public opinion comments range from “It makes Kate look “ten years older”; “captivating”; and “Is it going to hang in the toilet?”

The artist, Paul Emsley, was following Kate’s suggestion to capture her “natural persona,” adding he felt it was a good choice to portray her smiling (although I think she looks rather like she’s smirking). He had two sittings with the Duchess and also worked from a series of photographs. He said it’s easier to work with photographs because then he doesn’t have to worry if the subject is too hot, too cold, uncomfortable, etc. “Photography today is so accurate and so good that it’s really so much easier just to take photographs and work from them,” he said. Hold on--isn’t this like cheating? You can get one of those painters at the mall to do that. I don’t know about this guy. How’d he get picked?

Emsley also said he altered the color of Kate’s eyes “slightly” to match the color of the blouse and the blue background. Hey, wait a minute. You’re not supposed to do stuff like that. How is that capturing one’s “natural persona?” This is bull. She should get her money back.

What’s in a Title?

I don’t know if you knew this, but under past rules only a first-born boy born to Prince William and Duchess Catherine would automatically become a prince and heir to the throne, while a daughter, first-born or otherwise, would have been called Lady and would not have been able to accede to the throne. Also, any subsequent children born at a later date would be treated as the son or daughter of a Duke and would not be an HRH, but instead would have the title Lord or Lady. Well, good news. A new law has passed whereby if the now-pregnant couple’s first-born is a girl, she will be the third in line to the throne after her father, Prince William. The little Royal is due in July.

And not only that, the Queen has cleared up the who-has-what-title-mess by declaring that “all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of prince or princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.” This is a big deal because under the old 1917 law, decreed that only a sovereign’s children and the sons of other heirs to the throne could have the HRH title of prince. While all of the Queen’s four children bear the HRH title, only children of her three sons do, according to the law. Princess Anne’s children are not entitled to an HRH. (I know. It’s complicated.)

So Princesses Eugene and Beatrice, daughters of Prince Andrew, are Royal Highnesses, but Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, The Princess Royal (and the only one with nice teeth), is not. It’s about time they knock off that crap, if you ask me.

It’s a Family Affair

And speaking of Zara, It seems the Olympic silver medal winner and her husband, rugby player Mike Tindall, have sold their £1.2 million Cheltenham home. I don’t know what the deal is with selling the house--maybe they need the money--but they’re moving in with Zara’s mother, Princess Anne, to her Gatcombe Park estate. Well, they’ll be in good company, because along with Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence, Zara’s brother Peter and his wife and two daughters live there too. I hope it won’t be too crowded.

By the by, I hope Peter’s kids aren’t looking for playmates because Zara says she’s not having kids anytime soon.

Help Wanted

Hey, listen up, all you job seekers out there. The Royals have not one, but two--count 'em--two positions available. So here's your chance to get off the dole and become gainfully employed.

First off, the Queen is looking for a dishwasher. According to the ad, “you will join the team responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the staff restaurant, wash-up areas and equipment in accordance with the Health and Hygiene Regulations to ensure the smooth operation on the staff restaurant.”

Now wait. Before you turn your nose up at this £14,200-a-year (≈US$22,800) hidden-away-in-the-basement-job, be aware it has its perks. What other dishwashing job comes with travel benefits? Yes, you read this right. If you land this gig, you’ll be based out of Buckingham Palace but you get to travel to Windsor, Sandringham, Balmoral and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh when the household moves around. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime!

Oh, and you must be punctual, reliable, able to work well in a team and have a flexible and willing attitude.

Hold up. Staff restaurant? Really? WTH?

As for the second position, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are looking for a nanny.

Raise your hand if you didn't see that one coming.

Someone Has to Do It

In other important news, Britain's Prince Charles will meet workers at a shoe factory during a visit to Northampton later this month.

I can imagine your excitement.

Stay tuned.

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