THE ROYAL WATCH: Five Things You Need To Know Right Now
1. For the moment, Kate and Wills are back on the PR trail Now that Prince William and Kate (I just can't get used to calling her Catherine yet) are back from their media-free honeymoon in Seychelles, they are back on the 'walkabout' circuit (the Brit's term for photo ops). On Tuesday, the couple met with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (Evidently, there are no hard feelings about the Obama's invite getting lost in the mail) at Buckingham Palace. In a series of photos released earlier today, it looked as if while the president and the prince chatted, the women struck up their own conversation where Catherine appeared to show Mrs. Obama her engagement ring. (AP has the whole series of snaps). For the record, Michelle wore a floral dress by Barbara Tfank with her signature shrunken cardigan and wide belt (Im not a fan of this silhouette) while Kate sported a chic taupe sheath by Reiss for the occasion. Who wore it better? I'm giving this round to a rapidly shrinking Kate (who may or may not be on the Dukan diet)
3. Prince Harry is now the most eligible bachelor in the world Having long endured being second string as "the spare" to William's "heir," it looks as if Harry has finally come into his own as a star in his own right. Let's face it, he is a lot sexier and suddenly better looking than William and seems to have transformed his inner bad boy urges (no more Nazi uniforms or druken dust-ups with the paparazzi) into a very charming persona. He was simply wonderful with his young charges at the royal wedding (and even produced some toys from his pocket to keep the pages and flower girls occupied on the carriage ride to Buckingham Palace). His whispered comment to William, "Wait until you see her" when he spotted Kate walking down the aisle as the two brothers stood at the altar is one of my favorite moments from the wedding. Harry's on-again, off-again lady love Chelsy Davy was at the wedding (looking a bit bedraggled, if you ask me) and attended the private dinner afterwards with him so things seem to be back on for the moment. This summer, the couple will be living near each other about 80 miles outside of London where she'll be working in a law firm close to where Harry is stationed to fly military helicopters. Some reports say its Chelsy, not Harry, who is reluctant to take their relationship to the next level. It seems free-spirited Chelsy is not at all enamoured of life as a royal and doesn't want to give up her freedom. I'm sure there's any number of duchesses-in-waiting who would gladly take her place. My money is on Harry for next year's winner of People's Sexiest Man Alive title.
4. Despite all rumors to the contrary, Charles will be England's next king Reports have been circulating for months that Charles will never be king and William will succeed his grandmother because an overwhelming number of people in the UK would like that to be so. These rumblings were supported by several polls taken by British media outlets. Polls are one thing, but the line of succession is another. There is no end in sight to long reign of Queen Elizabeth so it's likely that Prince Charles' reign, when it happens, will be a relatively short one and Prince William will likely be nearing his forties by the time he ascends to the throne. One royal insider told me: "Tradition is not something William takes lightly. He would never push for a change of this magnitude. He knows his father has waited his whole life to be king. He wants to see his father in the 'top job.'" For now, William is enjoying married life and pursuing his passion as a RAF search and rescue pilot. "He is in no mood to hurry destiny along," said the insider.
5. Prince William and Catherine will keep a low profile for the next year -- or two After inviting 2 billion people to witness their nuptials, the royal newlyweds are trying to maintain some semblance of "a normal life" and won't be making a ton of official engagements during the next year. The reasons for this somewhat low profile approach are myriad. One is William, still contemptuous of the press after his mother's death, is not eager to assume the role of lead PR pitchman for the royals -- and has made that clear to all involved -- although he has filled in for his grandmother when the occasion calls for him to step in and support of one of the many charities patronized by the British royals. The other rationale is that the decision has been made behind the palace walls to carefully dole out access to William and Catherine in such a way that satisfies public interest but does not create a media superstar (a la Princess Diana) that overshadows the rest of the family. William and his bride will attend the Trooping of the Colour next month (June 11 -- the Queen's official birthday) and have previously announced an eight-day trip to Canada in July which will also include a two-day stop in Los Angeles. Some time after that, William will be leaving on a ten-week training exercise in the Falkland Isles leaving Catherine at home (or more likely visiting with her parents in London which is sure to bring out the flashbulbs). Kate will not, according to the palace, be undertaking any royal appearances on her own. Look for the tabloids to make hay with the couple's first "separation."
So there you have it. That's the latest on the royals right now. Look for the next installment of The Royal Watch coming next week!