Duchess Kate and Prince William have a new housekeeper! Sort of. People Magazine reports that Kate and William have hired one of the Queen’s long-time housekeepers to look after them at Nottingham Cottage, and then she’ll move over to the Kensington Palace apartment when the renovations are done:
Nothing like getting a helping hand – and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have more than one. But the couple have hired one of Queen Elizabeth’s long-standing housekeepers for their new home, Apartment 1a in Kensington Palace, which they plan to occupy early this fall.
She is Antonella Fresolone, 42, who is said to be unmarried, Italian, and already on the job – helping at the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage where William and Kate are living until their larger family home is ready.
Fresolone apparently has worked at Buckingham Palace for 13 years as one of three housekeepers for the Queen, who has now given her blessing for Fresolone to help her grandson, his wife and their upcoming baby – as well as cocker spaniel Lupo.
The employee is “renowned for being very hard working,” an insider told the Sunday Express. “She is extremely dedicated and fully intends for this job to become her whole life.”
William and Kate’s office, which generally does not discuss staffing issues, would not comment on the appointment.
Again, I have no problem with William and Kate having personal and household staffers. What bugs me is the “they’re just like us” propaganda in which “royal sources” claim that Will and Kate do everything on their own. And I like how People notes that this housekeeper is “already on the job”. Meaning she was hired a while ago and Will and Kate didn’t want anyone to know.
Meanwhile, if you have five minutes today, you should really read this fascinating story about Duchess Kate in The Telegraph. It’s from a few days ago, and it’s all about how Kate is amazing and how she’s just crushing it as a duchess. It’s a royal propaganda piece, of course, but it’s just fascinating. Some highlights that I found interesting:
The secret of her success, say those closest to her, is that it is the Duchess herself who is always in the driving seat, whether it be choosing the charities she supports, deciding where she should visit or even what she is going to wear.
“She is an incredibly keen learner,” said one insider. “We have seen that in the diligence with which she has researched the causes she wants to support, and the preparation she does before each visit. The rest is down to how she is with people; she is very confident and she enjoys listening. She has also been able to watch the Queen at close quarters and learn from her the art of the 30-second conversation.”
Ask palace aides whether the Duchess has taken to solo engagements more quickly than they expected, and they will insist there was never a “time frame” in mind, but one well-placed source conceded: “You don’t know how well someone is going to cope until they start doing it. She has proved to be a natural.”
The Duchess’s choice of the seven charities of which she is Patron (as well as being a Scout volunteer) has been entirely her own. Before putting her name to any good cause, she spends months researching it and carrying out secret visits. Even the decision to visit Naomi House children’s hospice in Hampshire (with which she has no formal link) at the start of Children’s Hospice Week on Monday was her own idea; she had been there before because her family’s Berkshire-based firm, Party Pieces, donates party ware to the hospice.
The eventual plan is for the Duchess to have formal links with perhaps 20 or 30 causes at a time (by contrast the Duke of Edinburgh has more than 800) and to take many of them on a fixed-term basis. The younger generation of the Royal family believe that rationing their support will have more impact for each cause.
Royal duties will, of course, have to take a back seat when the new third in line to the throne is born, but once again it is the Duchess, rather than the Royal Household, who will be calling the shots. Unlike with previous royal generations, the Duchess will have no maternity nurse to help her out, and no nanny, for now at least; she will instead rely on the help of her mother Carole, on whose advice she depends. The Duchess intends to spend a lot of time during the first few weeks of her baby’s life staying at her parents’ Georgian manor house in Bucklebury, Berks.
Despite the added pressures of a new baby, the Duchess has no intention of increasing the size of her staff. In fact, the number of courtiers at St James’s Palace is about to be reduced after Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the ex-SAS officer who has been a steady presence at William and Harry’s side for the past eight years and principal private secretary to William, Kate and Harry, told them he has decided to step down…. His role will be divided between three individual private secretaries: Miguel Head, 35, for the Duke, Rebecca Deacon, 30, for the Duchess, and Edward Lane Fox, 36, for Prince Harry.
So, Will and Kate won’t be adding any more staff. Except for the housekeeper that was just revealed. And they’ll get their individual secretaries. And of course, there will be no nanny or nurse except that I’m sure we will find out, months from now, that Kate hired both. I also don’t get the idea of “rationing support” for charities for “impact”. Are they preparing us for Kate to barely do any work at all as a royal for years and years? Probably.
Photos courtesy of WENN.