The Rio Olympics have gotten underway down Brazil way. Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been very involved supporting Britain's competitors in the past, they elected not to travel to Rio this summer. Today, the Royal Trio released a video message of support:
The Duke, Duchess and Prince Harry wish all the @TeamGB athletes good luck ahead of #Rio2016 #BringOnTheGreathttps://t.co/isxyHEv7mM— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 4, 2016
The video certainly keeps the focus on the athletes. William, Harry, and Kate each have only a very brief moment of screen time, with Kate's clip the shortest at barely one second. The Duchess is wearing her BARacing polo and Lauren leaf earrings with her hair in a half and half styling.
It looks like the Cambridges filmed their comments while in Portsmouth on the 24th. The windy background and BARacing polos are pretty easy giveaways.
I appreciate this is a video supporting the British athletes, but we are all about Kate here, so that is my focus. To be honest, this video fell a little short for me. Whatever artsy filter the design team used washed out Kate's color and made her look far older than her youthful 34. Not good no matter what the subject of the film is. Recording during the America's Cup race was a good call, because it is yet another example of the royals' support for British sport, but I suspect they were also trying to avoid the fashion frenzy that erupted last time they released a film. When the Heads Together video was released it sparked the search for Kate's top which ended at JCrew's Tippi sweater. If that was part of the plan, they avoided the fashion frenzy, but next time they need to enhance the color, not turn Kate into a sepia version of herself.
Changing gears, last week, the first rumor swirled that Kate and her family had taken a private jet to the south of France. There was a lot of speculation as to where the little royal family had chosen as the final destination, and we still don't know where the lion's share of the vacation was spent, but this week it was revealed the Cambridge family made their way to the coastal resort Biarritz for at least one night at a hotel that was once a palace belonging to Napoleon III.
Napoleon III is (in)famous for a number of things. His Second Empire style cultivated art and architecture that we still admire today, and of course his glamorous wife Eugenie helped shape the fashion and culture of the period. Most lasting, Napoleon III hired Georges-Eugène Haussmann to transform Paris into the city she is today. Before Napoleon III, Paris was still a medieval city, full of crooked, winding streets crowded with timber structures. Haussmann made a master plan for the city that included large and gracious boulevards that would help move traffic, streamline trade, provide light and air, and create a visually stunning capital city for the empire. Not all of his plans were fully realized, but enough were. Whole neighborhoods were razed to make way for the roads and plazas that make Paris so magnificent. (If you watch the new Les Mis, they used CGI to recreate the city in the scene where Javart stands above Notre-Dame. If you look, there are houses surrounding Notre Dame, whereas today, there is a large plaza.) As you can imagine, this overhaul was very controversial at the time, and the methods were likely unjust, but there is no getting around the fact that Paris is Paris because of her mix of the sweeping, white thoroughfares and stone alleys of the older parts. Have we wandered off topic?
Ok, so that is Napoleon III and William and Kate may have stayed the night in one of his erstwhile palaces in Biarritz. According to The Mirror:
This vacation came right around the time the couple announced they would indeed be returning to Canada this autumn for a tour that will include British Columbia and the Yukon. So, although the couple won't be in Rio, they have a fun fall planned for themselves and for us!The luxury seafront hotel describes itself on its website as “a hotel rich in memories, style and history” and with “style synonymous with an epoch, the Second Empire, which was to establish the reputation of Biarritz as ‘The Queen of Resorts and The Resort of Kings’". It boasts stunningly decorated rooms including royal suites featuring marble and Italian mosaics and described as seamlessly blending “timeless opulence with state-of-the-art amenities”.