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Kate Spotted Shopping in Oxfordshire//William Heading Back to School

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It was a quiet New Year for the Cambridges. I thought that we would at least hear they stopped at a petrol station or were spotted here or there, but there was nary a peep. Of course, we didn't really need to guess where they were. They almost always ring the New Year in with Kate's parents and after spending Christmas at Sandringham, they were sure to take George back to spend time during the Christmas season with his grandparents.

Kate was spotted just yesterday at Henley-on-Thames buying antique rugs. Henley-on-Thames is about 20 miles from Bucklebury, not far at all for a Saturday shopping excursion from her parents' house. 

Also making headlines--several days ago--was the news that William will "return to school" at Cambridge where he will study agriculture in a custom designed 10-week program to prepare him for his leadership position in the Duchy of Cornwall. The hackles are up for people who think it is unfair that the royal gets to go to such a prestigious school.  I quote from the Express:
The course is bespoke, but there is anger over his arrival from those who believe his title and not his academic qualifications have earned him a place at the elite university.
They believe his title earned him a place. Hopefully, they didn't have to ponder that one very long before coming to that glaringly obvious conclusion. Let's think, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, the son of Diana, Princess of Wales, the heir to British throne, needs a 10-week course on agriculture. Every school in the country would be tripping over their toes to convince this man to choose their institution. No one in their right mind imagines he had to prove rigorous academic merit. Nor is it unreasonable that he should have to. He brings a significant amount of attention and prestige to whatever place he chooses as well as a certain historical privilege. 

Meanwhile, the enterprising editor of one of the school papers, the Tab, has wandered into dangerous waters when he encouraged all students to take snaps of William and tweet them under a common hashtag. In an almost GossipGirl like user generated "Where is Wills" map, the paper would constantly live blog the prince's whereabouts. Unlike Serena van der Woodsen and hapless friends, this royal victim could easily leverage significant legal weight against an open opponent like the Tab. Even the editor is seeing the pitfalls of his plans:
When asked about the campaign, Mr Heilpern played down the risk of the royal being harassed. But after repeated questioning, he conceded the live blog may need to be scrapped...When asked how he would feel if a live blog dedicated to his whereabouts on campus was set up, Mr Heilpern, who is reading Philosophy, said: "I would not be very interesting."
Well, I love his sense of humor.  In any case, the question does arise, what will the Cambridges do as a family over this ten-week period. Although, the Duke will have private accommodations in the university town, it is not clear if he will choose to commute on the week-end or if he will decide to commute every day. I think it would be very hard to miss little George all week long, but we shall see soon enough what William decides to do.

Meanwhile, in the U. S. of A, season 4 of Downton is airing on PBS. It's been a long wait for the Yanks, but well worth it. Fabulous season ahead!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Jane I think there will always be people who will make snide comments at their privelege but I completely agree with you it is only a ten week course, and he brings publicty and interest in agriculture as a result. And he is the duke of Cambridge so I think it is rather fitting that he will study at Cambridge university!

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    1. Yes, it is inevitable, I agree. I wonder if they chose Cambridge for that reason... I think Charles is on one of the boards, that may also have played into it.

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    2. Oh that's interesting I didn't know that about Charles. Also I wanted to ask do you think Kate knows about this blog? Or maybe her Secretary knows? I was just wondering.

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  2. Hi Jane, thanks for an interesting post. I am guessing Kate is buying rugs for their new country home, I can barely decorate one home I can't imagine trying to decorate two.

    I was glad to hear that William was taking this bespoke course in order to learn how to manage the Duchy of Cornwell, when his father ascends the throne, but more importantly it will enable him to work now in areas of agriculture and land management. I have been reading that farmers and folks in rural areas are excitied about this as well. Having William interested in the problems concerning family farmers and such will really help shine on light on their issues. It sounds to me as though some of the students at Cambridge haven't really thought this through and while they might be very educated, they don't sound as though they don't have any common sense. As future monarch, it is so important that William understand as much as possible about the industries that make Britian great and the issues that confront them. And the thought that the editor of the Tab would encourage the harassment of any student, simply because he doesn't agree with their admission in outrageous. If he calls for the harassment of one student, what is to stop him from extending his reign of terror to other students that he deems unworthy for whatever reason. I'm sorry Jane, I don't see a sense of humor here, I see a troll.

    I am so looking forward to the new season of Downton tonight, although it's on a little late for me, it will be recorded and watched as soon as I get home from work tomorrow!!

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    1. I am sorry, I was not trying to say that his idea to follow William was funny, but that his comment that his life would be rather boring was funny. Also, I should have also made clear that the paper's idea to live blog William was not spurred by a spirit of opposition, but I think, simply a desire to profit on a very high-profile student. Which, will probably get him sued by the RF. I very much doubt that will ultimately happen. I think I was not clear enough, ooops!

      I entirely agree on your points about the farmers. This will be very good for the country to have William understand land management, etc. In fact, it is almost Downton Abbey-esque. ;) Enjoy the show tomorrow!!

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    2. Hi Jane,

      I guess I got somewhat riled and a little huffy. Sorry! It seemed to me that the editor was using his position to harass William because there was opposition to his admission. If that is not the case, then I sincerely apologize for my troll comment. It still bothers me that someone who is supposed to be so intelligent and educated as Mr. Heilpern whould suggest such a stupid idea. If I were a student at Cambridge I think I would be wondering why Mr. Heilpern was admitted!

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    3. This isn't the first time that William has taken a land management course nor is it the first time he is learning about farming issues. He seems rudderless IMHO and i don't see what this course is going to teach him that a stint with the managers and farmers that do the day to day running of the duchy won't teach him. Also, age and position aside, i don't see him being as dedicated to the duchy as Charles has been. Whatever one thinks of Charles, he has been very personally dedicated to it and has run it into profit. he is the first POW in history to be pragmatically productive as far as the duchy is concerned and so far, based on the reports we get of William [yes i recognise that it's all media with agenda], i don't see his being as dedicated to it as Charles. Only time will tell. So far, i don't like what i am seeing/hearing even if it is put through the prism of pr.

      On the subject of Mr Heilpern, i find people outside or fair isles don't get our humour or take it completely at face value. I doubt very much that He would be allowed to live tweet William's whereabouts as indeed any other student regardless of status, but it is always funny to see how po faced non British people are about something that is never likely to happen.

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  3. Hi Jane,

    I think it's good William is studying land management. The bespoke course is ideal preparation for the duchy and also his understanding of the business. I don't know why some of the students are having a moan. ? His royal descendants did afterall build the institution...Hello.!!!. His father Charles and also Camilla are from that country squire set so he good grounded basic knowledge.
    Also in time he must improve on his French language skills. Canada is an important part of the commonwealth. All senior royals can speak other languages and have classical bespoke education. But I gguess Diana wanted him to have a "normal" education in a private state school albeit Eton, but his role in life ain't normal I'm guessing. ..?? Imagine being taught science and nature by Sir Richard Attenborough kinda education.

    I know family time with Kate and baby George is more important and they can have some quality time togethe during his studies. The Middletons have a nice home and grounds, not far from Cambridge and they have nice family time together. Go for long weekend walks and including lupo.

    I've never seen Downton abbey, but I did watch it at Christmas when they attended a ball at the palace episode. I take a history eye for detail and it was ok I guess and I can see why Americans cousins take to it. I think Eastenders" is the I should have a look at. It was Diana favourite soap and im guessing Will and Kate watch it too. It's very popular along with coronation St. I try not to watch soaps because once u start it becomes an addiction. But Eastender" is giving it large the storyline. Watch the last one if you believe me....big stuff indeed.

    Love to all.



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    1. Hi Sam,

      I would love to see Eastenders or Coronation St., but they just don't have them here in the US, at least I haven't been able to find them. And you are right, they are horribly addicting!:) I can't wait to get my Downton dose tomorrow.

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    2. Hi Lauri,

      U can watch "Eastenders" and "Corrie" on youtube and there's also episodes of "The palace" it was the forerunner of downton abbey. .. I think you'll be alright with the local accents. ? If u understand Vinnie Jones the English actor over there, you'll be alright. Downton is so posh and the ladies of the manor speak so nice...Gosh!!!

      "it must've been terribly, terribly daunting" for our Catherine in the beginning, but now her tone sounds more clipped because of elecution lessons I think. William on the other hand hss toned his accent down, which is strange but I guess he's conscious of the modern tones and also of Catherine. That's true love if u ask me. All the young royals, Harry, Beatrice, Eugene, Zara all speak absolutely beautifully. I love hearing them speak. Such rich tones clear diction..

      I'm typing from my iphone and I type fast, so pls forgive my mistakes.

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