The Queen is forcing Duchess Kate to take on another patronage: amazing?


Duchess Kate is a big tennis fan. Last summer, she even took a break from maternity leave to attend Wimbledon. She seems to schedule everything around her love of tennis-watching and tennis-playing, and Prince Charles is likely spending upwards of $100,000 just so William and Kate’s new tennis court won’t affect their views at Anmer Hall. Whenever anyone asks how Kate spends her time in Norfolk, “tennis” is often the answer. So, we’ve established that she loves tennis. Which is why the Queen is once again forcing Kate to take on more work, this time tennis-related work. This reminds me so much of Kate going to Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace and having a new patronage forced upon her suddenly. That’s one way the Queen gets Kate to work more: Her Majesty simply isn’t giving Kate a choice.

The Duchess of Cambridge is set to take on a prestigious tennis role as The Queen prepares to hand over two of her most high-profile patronages. Kate Middleton will become patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon championships – after Her Majesty enjoyed 64 years in the role. As a lifelong tennis fan, the 34-year-old royal is likely to be thrilled following the move – the latest that suggests the Queen is preparing to cut down her workload ahead of her 90th birthday this year.

According to the Sunday Times, the Duchess’s patronage is likely to be officially announced during the tennis championships this summer. Meanwhile, sources suggest Prince Harry, 31, is poised to take over as patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) who governs English rugby, a title that the Queen has held for 65 years.

Ahead of her landmark birthday on 21 April, she is thought to be reconsidering the amount of time she devotes to each of the charities and organisations she is involved with. And as part of that change, Buckingham Palace is undergoing something of a reshuffle. As well as the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, it has been rumoured that Prince William, 33, will take over as patron of the Football Association, while the Countess of Wessex will also share the load with a major new role.

A source told the Sunday Times: ‘The Queen is mindful that she does not want organisations with which she is associated to think that when she turns 90, that’s it – it’s goodbye. That will not be the case at all.’

While Kate is a regular face in the royal box at Wimbledon, the Queen has attended the championships just three times since her first appearance in 1957.

[From The Daily Mail]

Even though I’m half-joking about the Queen forcing Kate into a heavier work schedule, my guess is that this is one patronage Kate will genuinely enjoy, as the Daily Mail says. Kate has consistently shown genuine interest in sports/anything athletic, especially if it means getting a fresh blowout and sitting and watching a game or match and having that count as “work.” So, yes, this position will be a natural for Kate. She might even excel at it. Honestly, I didn’t even know the Queen had this patronage – she really doesn’t show much of an interest in tennis, and I thought the Duke of Kent or someone else was big on the tennis patronages?




Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet, PCN.

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93 Responses to “The Queen is forcing Duchess Kate to take on another patronage: amazing?”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Well, somebody needs to force her to do something, but maybe the Queen just thought she would enjoy this.

    • Anne tommy says:

      As the queen could hardly ever be bothered to get her royal backside down to Wimbledon, the workload can’t exactly have been large. Funnily enough she had no problem regularly attending events where she actually likes the sport, like horse racing. The whole idea of royal patronage is nonsense anyhow.

    • Natalie says:

      It’s pure damage control. She was criticized for going to Wimbeldon and skipping a military event. Her two new patronages? Military and a valid reason to go to Wimbledon. Soften the Wimbeldon announcement by first announcing her ongoing energized support of children’s mental health.

    • crtb says:

      Why? Why does she need to be forced to do anything?
      I think it should be a family decision between Kate and her husband how much work she wants to take on. So we shame women who work, we shame women who don’t work, We shame women who have to work and be away from their children and we shame women who have the luxury of not having to work. So tired of the comparisons of what work the Queen did and what Diana did. Her life , let her live it as she chooses. She and her husband always look happy. Her children look happy.

      • Natalie says:

        Kate and her pr have talked ad nauseam about how much she wants to do. Don’t want to work? Be honest and upfront and pay your own way.

        I will shame anyone who uses up public resources like she does and gives little to nothing back. Actually, I shame William all the time!

      • Kelly says:

        Are you being serious? She lives an incredibly privileged life and gives almost nothing in return. She is not the average woman/mother and she knew she wouldn’t be going in.

      • holly says:

        This argument holds no sway where the Royal Family is concerned. The whole system is an Emperor’s New Clothes situation. As long as the RF keep distracting the masses with shiny things, the public never question the appropriateness of one family’s greedy grasp of power.

      • suze says:

        Kate *has* a job. This isn’t a matter of shaming average women who make life choices based on what they and their families want and need. It’s entirely different and a unique situation.

        Kate doesn’t have a choice about working – she married into a life and job. She knew full well that she would have to work – such as it is – once and forever when she got married, and she went ahead and walked down the aisle and signed on the dotted line.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You do realize that Kate and her husband are supported by the taxpayers? And that they live a life of total luxury and privilege due to the chance of birth, not because of anything they have done to earn it? So, it might be fine and dandy with you if they sit on their behinds and do not not give one thing back to the people who support their extravagant lifestyle, but I think you’re pretty much on your own there. Nobody is “shaming” (most over-used word on the Internet) anyone for their choices about working vs staying home with their children. Kate owes the people of her country some teeny tiny return for the millions they spend on her each year. If you don’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you.

      • Brasileira says:

        Since the British people is paying for her luxury lifestyle, yes, she does have to show up for work in some way and the Commonwealth has not only the right, but the obligation to have her giving them explanations and showing up for work. If she doesn’t want to be criticized, let go of the titles and the goods that come with them.

  2. lilacflowers says:

    She had better not upstage Princess Michael.

    • Betti says:

      I LOVE Princess Michael and have a rather big crush on Prince Michael, he’s quite the ‘Russian Tsar’ silver fox. *sigh*

      • Citresse says:

        I agree. Prince Michael is much more attractive than James Middleton could ever hope to be. I normally dislike beards but Prince Michael was really made for a beard.

  3. SKF says:

    Those sunglasses are awful. That’s all I have.

  4. vauvert says:

    So the Queen is “forcing” her to take on a patronage that will allow Kate to show up at events she enjoys and count them as work. That mean old biddy. Poor Kate, however is she going to manage??

    • COSquared says:

      Honey, she will need a Mustique vacation to cope with the workload. Poor dear.

      • vauvert says:

        At least one!! ‘Cause you know she will tear herself away from her children to attend every single day, such is her devotion to work. Anyone would need a luxury vacation after two whole weeks of work. Oh wait… not everyone… just the poor overworked Duchess. Right.

    • Amber says:

      That was my first thought too @vauvert. Kaiser is right, the Duke of Kent is the President of the All-England Club. And since I honestly can’t remember seeing or hearing of the Queen herself doing anything for them*, (it was big news when she attended Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years in 2010), I have no doubt that this will literally be Kate showing up for matches and lunches (and other things that people like the Duke actually organize) and getting work credit for it. *Besides, you know how we complain about Kate making time, ripping herself away from her children, for these things but not charities? Well that goes double now and in general. Is the All-England Club really something that needs a royal patron if they’re not even working behind the scenes? Do they really get much out of Bill and Kate sitting in the royal box at Wimbledon?

      However, and I said this last time at the Christmas Lunch, if Philip’s been quietly trimming his schedule and passing things along, why the first big to-do for Kate? If that was just the start of more announcements like these and the QEII and D.O.E.’s are really getting the ball rolling now, again, why are they not emphasizing William? Or Charles? They’re making it most public and though this is a bs, glamour gig, I do think they are “killing her with kindness” and pushing.

      • Peanutbuttr says:

        The Queen is said to hate tennis. The only other time she showed up was when Virginia Wade won, because it was a Wimbledon anniversary and because a British lady had a chance to win. All other times, as you have mentioned, it is the Duke and Duchess of Kent who present the trophies.

      • anne_000 says:

        They’re giving her jobs which W&K can’t complain about. They can’t complain about the Air Force one, because it is military and it would make them look bad to complain. Also, Kate gets to meet up with all the military men. And Kate is not going to complain about this tennis one, because now her fun can be counted as work. Also, her family will probably get to attend tennis games more often, get more pap’d photos, and get other benefits from this new patronage.

        I don’t know whether it’s like bribing children to do work by giving them candy and easy jobs at first or whether it’s because of the worry that W&K might throw a fit if they were given more substantial work. But I think QE2 and PP might have to give the more substantial work to Charles, Camilla, and Sophie. Thank goodness they have Sophie. She is partly making up for the disaster that is W&K.

      • Amber says:

        Does she hate tennis more than she hates soup, @Peanutbuttr? :D I guess Kate will be doing more than QR simply by showing up.

        That’s not really a shot at Her Maj, but it’s just so absurd. I mean, I get it. I’m not naive about this from the patronage’s side or the BRF’s. But if you can be the patron of the All-England Club, the Natural History Museum or whatever, and do nothing for them, I don’t think they need you as a patron, LOL. I’m surprised the BRF doesn’t get called out more on gigs like this, (though people do often question the overall impact of royal patronage). It’s a thought that I’m kind of just having myself since William shaking hands and attending some rugby matches was listed on the court circular.

        @Anne_000 – Bill and Bucket getting the ornamental position with no expectations of working behind the scenes, then taking the credit for work others do, is sort of the basic set-up for EVERYTHING they do. Sophie in particular already appears to be something of the designated charity shadow or engagement “buffer”. Take 100 Women in Hedge Funds for one example. Bill took them on in ’09. Harry and Kate in 2012. Since then, Harry’s done one thing for them, Kate the other. Meanwhile, Sophie is a patron of a different branch for them, but actually does things. Like speeches and meetings. I know, it’s crazy. It’s like Sophie thinks she can actually make a difference or something.

      • Kori says:

        The Duke of Kent is 80 himself and had a mild stroke or heart attack last year or so. He already has a number of patronages and has for decades–maybe it’s time to give him a break! :) Also, as the royal family streamlines and some of the old guard (the Duke of Kent and his sister Alexandra, the Gloucesters) pass on or step back because of age/health many of these groups are going to lose royal patronage. The Kent and Gloucester dukedoms will cease to be royal ones in the next generation and their children, while members of the large family for weddings and such, do not and will not carry out royal duties. So some groups will just be out of luck.

      • Liberty says:

        anne_000….”thank goodness they have Sophie. She is partly making up for the disaster that is W&K.” — totally agree with you,

        The babying of W and K is so absurd. You’d think they’d be ashamed to know that discussions are held to figure out which tiny sparkly “work” crumbs they can handle. When an 89 year old woman outstrips you daily…..

        But I guess we know they only care about the toys.

  5. ShinyGrenade says:

    Will she ever stop with the awful eye make-up? It ages her.

  6. The Original Mia says:

    Perfect fit for our Duchess of Dolittle. She’ll probably be more hands on with them than any of her other charities.

    • anne_000 says:

      Yeah, now that she has it, she’ll have to squeeze it into all the work she’s said to be doing this year for children’s mental health. I wonder which will suffer first and most?

  7. Sixer says:

    The Duke of Kent is the president of the AELTC. That’s the actual job.

    Just a load of #poorjason fanfare over a patronage-that-isn’t-really-a-patronage-as-someone-else-is-already-doing-the-job-well.

    The levels of how to make nothing look like something are truly reaching desperate proportions.

    • Canadian Becks says:

      Your observation is spot-on. She’s been handed a plum postion- now when she goes to Wimbledon, something she goes out of her way to do anyway, she’ll be credited with “working”.

      And how galling it will be to see the mother, sister, and brother all swanning in to the prime seats on the back of their daughter/sister’s connections.

      • Janis says:

        IKR? I wonder if seeing her and her family enjoying tennis in the Royl Box EVERY DAY for TWO weeks will quiet down Kate’s critics. I doubt it. It’ll be interesting how this “devoted hands-on normal mum” manages to drag herself away from her children every day for a whole two weeks. This appointment is a joke especially since no actual work is involved. Ugh!

      • anne_000 says:

        I have a feeling that the Middletons will be a nightmare to all the employees. Wasn’t there a story about how James made the RPO do valet work to park his car?

        Anyhoo, the sense of entitlement are strong with these people and they might have employees at the tennis arenas running around for them. I hope those people talk and talk a lot. Good juicy gossip.

      • COSquared says:

        ^Tanna spotted him doing that. Also DYK he was the one who took those Dip. Reception car pics where Kate wore the CLK? He was the ONLY one who took any sort of pic before and after it. Seems he’s still on speeddial.

      • Deedee says:

        Yes. William frowns and threatens Tanna, but the Middletons slip him cash.

    • Betti says:

      I wonder how long it will be before the Duke is ‘retired’ from the position for her to take over and, if this rumour is true, then will the Duke be expected to step aside when and allow the new ‘patron’ to hand the winners trophies? Something that he has done for many years.

      The resemblance to Pips and her mother is strong in these photo’s. And sure she’ll have more vacations to cope with the workload that’s been ‘dumped’ on her, she can barely cope with the hectic whirl that is her current schedule. #pooroverworkedKatieBucket

      PS i love the top image – she looks like the cat that got the cream. #normalbillthegreatcatch

      • Sixer says:

        I think it’s more likely that other senior royals will retire from other name-only patronages, where someone else is doing the actual work (like the Duke of Kent and Wimbledon) and Kate will take over those.

      • COSquared says:

        The DofE is patron of more than 900 organisations. If they’re serious about reducing the load, WKH(maybe the Wessexes if not the entire family) must take on a whole lot more than orgs.

      • Amber says:

        Kate was given an honorary membership at Wimbledon in 2013, I think. The DM ran a story then saying basically that that’s the longterm plan and she’ll of course take the Duke’s spot sooner than later.

      • Betti says:

        @COS. The Earl of Wessex is already doing this, particularly with the DoE awards. Over the past few years he has taken on more and more responsibilities and has quietly taken over a few of his fathers other organisations as well. I can’t recall what they are as i saw an article about them some time ago, Anne has been doing the same. I know Sophie is very involved in the Girl Scouts, one of TQ’s big patronages.

        The thing with other family members is that they don’t feel the need to make a big press hullaballoo over every new ‘patronage’ like they are blazing a new trail – they just get on with it.

    • suze says:

      The thing is, this is actually perfect.

      I doubt Gran is forcing anyone to do anything, but maybe, just maybe, due to her understanding of matching patronages with actual, you know, interests, she thought, “Let’s give this one to Kate. She may bring some enthusiasm to this task.”

      I actually think this is the direction Kate should head. It might give her some genuine joy and purpose in royal life.

      • Sixer says:

        *grudgingly grinds out this comment*

        I do keep saying she should just do sports!

      • hmmm says:

        Just curious. What might that purpose be besides showing up, looking expensive and important, enjoying tennis and hobnobbing with tons of celebrities?

      • suze says:

        @hmmmm – there is no other purpose, which makes it perfect for Kate.

        @Sixer – HA! You have to admit she will look a lot more enthusiastic at sports events than grinding out her mental health advocacies.

        I think she and the Firm need to stop pretending. She likes sports. She likes the outdoors. Throw her into those patronages – there have to be lots of them – and let some one else tackle the heavy hitters. Calling Sophie Wessex. LOL.

      • anne_000 says:

        Well, you gotta hand out candy to bribe certain little spoiled kids do some chores.

      • Sixer says:

        Suze – I’m a bit on the side-eye for Wimbledon. But I do think sport is the way to go. They could so easily wring a good angle out of it. Women’s sport. Raising the profile to get parity with men: tick. Inspiring young women and girls to get involved in competitive sport as much as young men and boys: tick. Adding prestige to under-attended women’s sporting events: tick. And no word salads that completely miss the mark on important social issues like teen mental health: tick.

      • hmmm says:


        Wouldn’t she actually have to care about women (never mind parity for them) for this to happen?

    • Bridget says:

      Isn’t the Duke of Kent kind of old? They may be easing this succession in to see if Kate can actually do well and potentially handle a real responsibility.

  8. Karen says:

    All it means is when she goes to Wimbledon she now will get counted as work in the court circular.

    The Duke of Kent is the President of this club.

  9. COSquared says:

    I’m still perplexed: what about the Duke of Kent?

  10. Cecilia says:

    As an American this all seems so silly to me. Who cares what Kate does? Do the British people actually care about any of this charity work these royals do – I mean is it the quid pro quo they demand for the tax dollars the royals get? Are any of these royals actually any more effective in their charity work than the myriad regular people who donate their time and money to charity? Wouldn’t the UK be better off just getting rid of the monarchy and putting the money somewhere useful (like bolstering the shaky NHS)? The Queen clearly takes this all VERY SERIOUSLY but I am simply baffled by this institution that still exists in the 21st century.

    • Natalie says:

      Kate’s a boon to anti-monarchists. She really highlights how useless and needlessly expensive so much of this is. *Wimbeldon* needs a royal patron?

    • Ponytail says:

      I’m British and it all seems very silly to me… In fact, take out the nationality and I could have written your exact comment !

    • Anne tommy says:

      Totally agree cecilia, well said.

    • anne_000 says:

      The more I see of how tax dollars are wasted on useless royals of various countries, the more I agree that they’re not needed at all and all that money should go to helping out people in need.

  11. wow says:

    Lol! That pic is pricelless but I doubt she is being “forced” by The Queen to do anything. Besides, it was already released in the press earlier (and also discussed here) that Kate would be adding more things to her schedule. This seems to fall in line with that.

  12. LAK says:

    I enjoy the thought of HM and Doe springing these patronages on Kate.

    It’s funny because she can’t exactly turn down an invitation from HM/DoE and when she does, some form of work is forced upon her!!!! LOL

    See also, that Sandringham wreath laying during her birthday weekend at which she was not expected, but was pegged by the LIW (clearly sending instructions from HM with whom she’d travelled to church) and suddenly she had to go to work.

    That’s 3 times she’s been ambushed!!!

    I exaggerate, but it still makes me laugh.

    At least we know she’ll be keen on Wimbledon. Will show up for all 12 days even though there is no work involved besides sitting in the royal box and watching matches. No doggy treats necessary to turn her out.

    • suze says:

      It is the royal equivalent of visiting your aging great auntie and having her give you some old as* lamp to keep.

      “Here dear. It’s been in the family forever. Keep it and use it in good health.”

      I wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear Kate’s weak “Why thank you.”

    • Betti says:

      Am not sure i buy the ‘she was ambushed’ at the lunch, its more more like she was told in advance that this was being passed to them and she was given no room to say no. As for that photo of her, the cadets and the DoE she looked uncomfortable, primarily as she always looks uncomfortable around other members of the family, particularly TQ and the Duke. We get the ‘grin’ when she’s uncomfortable.

      • anne_000 says:

        I dunno. William didn’t show up for that lunch and Kate could have joined him in attending that memorial of the father of a friend of his.

        And they wouldn’t need Kate to be there to give her this patronage, would they? They didn’t hold a special lunch for her to be given this tennis one, right?

        So it could have been an ambush (or not). I’m thinking it would be a better story if it was though. :-D

        It would make a good story that if after they found out that only Kate was going to show up for lunch, they prepped things so that they could ambush this new ‘job’ on her without William there to throw a fit in protest.

      • LAK says:

        Betti, of course she knew in advanced. It’s the no room to argue part that we are having fun with.

      • Betti says:

        Ah yes – am a little slow this Monday, still recovering from the weekend ;)

        I hope this type of approach to the Buckets keep up – its entertaining and at some point Normal Bill will push back to Granny/Grandpa for being mean to his poor delicate and already hard working wife. That will be fun to watch.

    • anne_000 says:

      It’s kind of ironic how she, the Midds, and their b-day guests thought to show up and show off by going to church service when they knew the Queen would be there, but then W&K got snagged into doing some work afterwards. Ha ha! Good for the Queen and Philip. I’m thinking it was Philip who was behind this as I think QE2 is way too lax.

      • Liberty says:

        If I were the Queen, I’d sit around at night with Phil watching my shows, having a nice bite of cake and making lists of the charities most likely to annoy W and K and slapping my knee with laughter.

        And then I’d hand them out like fortunes at every opportunity! K and Unwilling Bill would be sporting nervous twitches within two months. I would cackle and cackle.

    • MinnFinn says:

      So is it respect for the person or the authority of monarch that caused Kate to bend to QEII’s will? This calls to mind how Willy & Harry refused to take on the Prince’s Trust. When Charles is the monarch, do you suppose Willy & Kate will bend to Charles’ will?

      • anne_000 says:

        When Charles becomes King, won’t William inherit the Duchy of Cornwall and all the money that comes from it? I think once William gets a hold of that money and becomes even more independently wealthy, we’re not going to see an increase in work by W&K unless it’s something self-glorifying or fun.

      • hmmm says:


        I agree. If Willy becomes king nothing will change except a growing excess. He’ll always be a petulant slacker.

  13. Ollie says:

    That´s actually a very smart PR move for all of them.

    The Palace people know Kate has to rise her numbers to avoid more lazy headlines. Kate will definitely show up for every match. She will look animated, makes grimaces and wear tennis dresses. Perfect photo ops.

    And more important
    1. Queen gets rid of a patronage she has obviously zero interest in
    2. Kate gets something to do and higher numbers at the end of the year
    3. Cambridge PR people can paint Kate as the caring in-law who helps granny out! Because she is so loveable! The Queen adores Normal-Kate! That´s why she gives her and only her one of her beloved patronages! Kate the favourite! The Queen´s only true successor ;)

    You guys, the future of the monarchy is save!

  14. monica m says:

    Those teeth though!!???

    • Citresse says:

      Kate looks good in the photo with her sunglasses in her hair pushing her hair back. Her hair back is always her best look.

  15. hmmm says:

    Kudos for indulging the Duchess of Fluff, our own Hurray Harriet! Who knew you could make a ‘job’ of it? Why don’t I ever get coddled like she does? What am I doing wrong? She’ll be ecstatic hanging out with all the celebrities, AND count it as “work”. Ye gods.

  16. AntiSocialButterfly says:

    Every. Single. Time. I see that heavy eyeliner on her lower lids, I want to hold her down and forcibly wipe it off.
    So completely awful.

  17. Maggie says:

    The Queen is slowing down, she’s going to be ninety. I think she will begin handing out her patronages and Kate is a perfect fit for this as she’s an avid tennis player.

    • LAK says:

      Keen Maggie KEEN!!!!

      • COSquared says:

        Comment of the day!

      • Maggie says:

        Uumm I’m not getting the humour. Keen? Was there a joke about her being keen? I’m serious.

      • anne_000 says:

        Yes, W&K’s PR team usually use the word ‘keen’ to say how enthusiastic W&K are to do work and how they’re so interested in their charities. They’ve been using it for years.

        Another word they use is ‘energized,’ especially after saying that Kate is now ready to do some work after her maternity leaves.

        W&K themselves like to use the words ‘amazing’ and “Keep up the good work” when chatting with charity workers.

      • LAK says:

        Maggie: Kate is always described as keen especially by their PR team. The media has followed suit and regularly inserts it in everything. Sometimes several times in the same sentence.

        No matter what she’s doing, made up or real, she’s always keen and she’s always keenly interested.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Hit the ground running is a favorite of mine, too, though it hasn’t been used that much since the engagement interview. It gives the impression she’s a racehorse chomping at the bit and bursting out of the gates rarin’ to go.

    • anne_000 says:

      I’m sure all the Midds are in favor of this particular patronage, so of course William and Kate would be too.

      Next patronage should be something to do with the Caribbeans.

  18. Bridget says:

    I think a paraphrase from The Cutting Edge is appropriate here: They’re looking for a go-to girl, when they should have started with a go-to guy in the first place.

  19. Tough Cookie says:

    “Last summer, she even took a break from maternity leave to attend Wimbledon.”

    LMAO….awesome comment!!!

  20. Citresse says:

    I wasn’t aware HM “hates tennis” although it seems to make sense especially since an old photo of HM and Philip on the tennis court pre-engagement (playing) presumably would’ve emerged by now. I love tennis. However for those not so keen on the sport, they may prefer the alternative of Badminton.

  21. Louise says:

    What a larf.

    During Wimbledon, when the alarm goes off, I am sure she will think “I can’t face work today, its so hard”.

    Sitting on her arse for the best seats in the house to watch the tennis.

    Sometimes I think us Brits are sheep and they must laugh at the masses like the Count off Sesame Street.

    You feel me?

  22. Anne says:

    I don’t know, my impression of Kate is that all she really wants is to be a celebrity. being photographed watching tennis matches from the royal box fits in perfectly with that. it doesn’t raise my opinion of her “contribution” as a member of the royal family. sorry.

  23. What's inside says:

    I do not care what she does. She is living her life, albeit a really cushy one, but still.