Entries in Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (9)


Regardless of Gender, Kate Middleton and Prince William's Child Can Succeed the Throne

Niall Carson - WPA Pool / Getty Images(LONDON) -- The happy news of Kate Middleton's pregnancy brings with it a flurry of questions, one of the hottest being whether the baby is a boy or a girl -- a fact that could have historical significance, as the rules of royal succession are on the cusp of changing.

On Monday, representatives from St. James Palace officially announced that their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting a baby. And because of proposed changes in rules that came late last year, it is anticipated that -- boy or girl -- the child can eventually succeed to the throne.

The reforms were first announced in October 2011 by Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to Australia. Cameron said the constitutional changes to remove male preference in succession had been agreed upon by the commonwealth nations.

The change means that if Middleton gives birth to a girl, the child will take precedence over younger brothers in the line of succession and will become monarch.

Although U.K. legislation has not yet been passed to change the existing succession laws, in May the queen confirmed at the opening of Parliament that the British government would work with commonwealth countries to bring in a new royal succession law. It is understood that proposed legislation would apply to descendants of the current Prince of Wales, Charles, Prince William's father.

U.K. legislation will be introduced once 14 of the 16 commonwealth nations have agreed to change their laws.

The rules, as they stood until last year, not only gave boys precedence over girls when it came to the monarchy but also prevented future monarchs from marrying Catholics.

"[The change] brings the British monarchy into line with other European monarchies," Carolyn Harris, a teaching fellow and royal historian at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, told ABC News.

When the U.K. moved to change its rules, it followed several of its neighboring countries, who over the past few decades had made such reforms. The Swedish Parliament had made the change to oldest child in 1980, whether a boy or a girl, in the interest of gender equality -- despite the king's protest. The Netherlands followed suit in 1983, Norway in 1990, Belgium in 1991 and Denmark in 2009.

The new succession rules for the British commonwealth nations reflect modern ideas about gender equality, Harris said, and the recognition that women who had become queens in the British monarch had held long and successful reigns.

"A lot of those queens that England has had have become iconic figures," Harris said. "The current queen is very popular as well. There's quite a positive association with female rulers in the United Kingdom."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton Step Out at Movie Premiere

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Kate Middleton are just days away from celebrating their first wedding anniversary, but the couple put their celebrations aside to take a spin on the red carpet.

The high-wattage royal couple stepped out today at the London premiere of the Disneynature film African Cats, a movie about lions and cheetahs that was directed by the couple's friend, and Madonna ex, Guy Ritchie.

The London skies were dark and drizzly for the premiere event, but Middleton, 30, still managed to shine in a gray dress hemmed with jeweled turquoise by British designer Matthew Williamson.  Her husband, 29-year-old Prince William, proved ever the gentleman by holding an umbrella above his bride while the couple made the short, but wet, walk from their chauffeured car to inside the BFI Southbank Theater, where the screening was held, according to the UK newspaper The Mirror.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are formally known, were on hand to support the film because it benefits one of Prince William's charitable causes, the Tusk Trust charity.

William has been a royal patron of the Tusk Trust conservation charity since 2005 and delivered brief remarks after the event.

"I would just ask one thing of you," he said, according to a transcript of his prepared remarks released by the palace.  "Spread the word about the work of Tusk and other organizations engaged in this battle to preserve Africa's unique natural heritage....There is nowhere more awe-inspiring or beautiful than the vast plains of Kenya's Maasai Mara....We have to preserve places like this...not just for us, but for future generations."

William also spoke of his personal experiences in the area, describing a trip to Botswana he took with his younger brother, Prince Harry.  It was also in Africa, two years ago, while on vacation in Kenya, that William asked then-28-year-old commoner Middleton to marry him.

The red carpet appearance market the first time the couple has appeared together at a public event since William returned from his nearly seven-week deployment to the Falkland Islands last month.  The couple will celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary this Sunday, April 29.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton to Run London Marathon?

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- If you say it, they will run.

That was the approach taken by England's Prince Harry when he volunteered his older brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, to run next year's London Marathon while on live television.

The royal jester was greeting the nearly 40,000 runners who finished the London Marathon Sunday when he thought the field would benefit from the addition of two very high-profile runners.

"What's fantastic is my brother and his wife will be doing it next year," the prince told BBC's Sue Barker, during a live interview broadcast across the country.

"You've just said that live on air," Barker said, to which Harry replied, "He's going to have to do it now, isn't he?"

Harry, 27, attended the marathon in his role as Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.  He was presenting trophies to the winners of this year's race, Kenyans Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang, when he made the announcement.

The prince's comments set the Internet abuzz with visions of England's most-photographed and sought-after couple running for 26.2 miles around the country's capital city, but his statement was chalked up to another one of the colorful prince's colorful asides.

According to the BBC, a Clarence House spokesman said the royal couple -- William, 29, and Middleton, 30, --  had no plans to enter the race, and that Harry's comments "were said in jest."

As for the big talker himself, Harry also had a quick-witted response as to why he himself had not yet run the marathon.

"I have been trying to get myself a place for years. I can't get myself a place. What do you have to do?" he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Travel Gifts Revealed

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- What do you get a royal couple who has everything? How about caribou antler goggles and a dragonfly brooch? Or a peacock feather fascinator? A rag doll?

That’s what three anonymous Canadians gave Prince William and Kate Middleton during their royal visit to North America this summer.

Buckingham Palace posted the full list of official gifts given to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their 2011 overseas tours on their website Tuesday, and the items run the gamut.

There are tons of traditional gift items like books, DVDs, pens, souvenirs, commemorative medallions, jewelry, scented soaps and art.

Other items have clear local or historical significance, such as framed aboriginal artwork the mayor of the City of Ipswich in Australia gave them during their March 2011 visit, or a “carved and inscribed building fragments from Christchurch earthquake” from New Zealand.

Then there’s the odder swag. Anonymous fans in Australia gave the couple a sleeping bag, a jar of Vegemite and a dog toy. There’s also a global selection of hats -- baseball caps, cowboy hats, a “wide-brimmed hat,” an Akubra hat from Australia, blue hats, and fascinators -- so the royal couple will never be lacking in the headwear department.

From their visit to California this summer, the royal newlyweds got an iPad from the California governor, and on a slightly stranger note, a teddy bear from the chief of staff to the British ambassador, and four coasters from the Santa Barbara county coroner.

Public officials who give gifts to members of the royal family are listed by title, according to the palace, but individuals who aren’t heads of state or don’t hold public office aren’t named. Members of the public can also give gifts during events and engagements on tours and it’s all meticulously recorded.

Official gifts accrued by royals on tours are technically received on behalf of the monarch, but the royals who receive them can make full use of the items, according to the UK's Telegraph.

Click here to see the full list.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kate Middleton Turns 30: How Will She Celebrate?

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- How does a princess celebrate the start of her third decade?

The world will soon know when Kate Middleton, the newlywed bride of Prince William, turns the big 3-0 on Monday, Jan. 9.

Until then, speculation around exactly how Middleton will celebrate the milestone birthday has become a parlor game in England, and even here in the U.S.

The UK’s Daily Mail got royal watchers buzzing with a Jan. 5 article speculating that Kate’s younger sister, Pippa Middleton, and royal brother-in-law, Prince Harry, were planning a blowout, ’80s themed party at a “secret pop-up venue” in London.

The article said the party would feature cocktails and karaoke, and that guests, said to be close family and friends, had already received their invitations for the “secretly arranged party.”

The Daily Mail’s report came from Grazia, a British fashion magazine, which cited a “royal source” in saying the party had been “months in the planning,” and that Pippa and Harry have “been in the thick” of the setting up.

Those plans did not seem so far-fetched, considering 26-year-old Prince Harry is known to enjoy a good time, and Pippa Middleton is somewhat of a professional party planner herself.

The 28-year-old sister of Kate threw a New Year’s Eve party at the Middleton family’s Berkshire home attended by Prince William and Kate. The event for 100 guests was said to include a $5,000 teepee-style tent known as a kata in the backyard, rented just for the New Year’s Eve affair.

The siblings come from a family of party planners, (parents Michael and Carole Middleton own the U.K. party supply company Party Pieces), and Pippa has signed on to author a party planning book to be released this year.

Alas, the party story wasn't true, said the palace, which issued a brief statement on the couple’s plans, or lack thereof, to celebrate Kate’s special day.

“Whatever is planned will be low-key and private,” said a spokesman for St. James’s Palace.

The Palace is also not releasing information on where the couple will spend Kate’s birthday eve, but unconfirmed media reports say it will be at the premiere of the Steven Spielberg film War Horse, in London’s Leicester Square, followed by a charity dinner.

In addition to the party guessing game, royal watchers have also had fun speculating what kind of gift befits a princess turning 30.

Some reports claim that William is commissioning an oil portrait of his bride, to commemorate their first year as royal newlyweds together, and shopping for a more thoughtful gift, like a watch.  Others have Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, giving the Duchess a tiara from the royal collection.

One story the media may have correct in all the Middleton mania is her wish that family and friends make a donation to charity in lieu of buying her a gift.

Middleton drew further comparisons to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana of Wales, when she announced this week the array of charitable organizations to which she would donate her time and attention.

Among the groups who may benefit from Kate’s turning 30 on Monday are a group of children’s hospices, an art therapy and addiction charity, a world-famous art gallery and the Scout Association, the British equivalent of the Girl Scouts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton Visit Centrepoint Youth Charity

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Kate Middleton and her husband, Britain’s Prince William, visited a London charity for homeless youth on Wednesday.

Middleton -- who wore an olive jersey dress from designer Ralph Lauren that was nearly sold out within hours after she appeared in it -- looked sleek. A black belt accentuated her thin waist and flat stomach, dampening the feverish media speculation that the Duchess of Cambridge could be pregnant.

William and his brother, Prince Harry, both were introduced to the charity by their late mother, Princess Diana. William now serves as its patron.

The Duke and Duchess joined Centrepoint youth in a healthy cooking lesson -- the pair made low-fat mince pie and gingerbread, attended a talent show and watched a group session of a work preparedness program.

During their visit, the royal couple teased each other and appeared affectionate, according to several reports.

William, who was dressed in casual clothes, even danced alongside one of Centrepoint’s residents. His playful antics brought a smile to Middleton’s face.

The couple will reportedly spend Christmas weekend and Christmas Day with the entire royal family at Sandringham Manor, the Norfolk, England, retreat of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton Plan Charitable Christmas

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Kate Middleton are following the edict that "it is better to give than to receive" when it comes to planning their first holiday season together as a married couple.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will kick off their Christmas week celebrations on Dec. 19, with William’s brother, Prince Harry, in tow, by attending “A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards,” or the “Millies,” to honor servicemen and servicewomen in the UK.

Two days later, on Dec. 21, the royal couple, married since April, will visit London-based charity Centrepoint, People magazine reported.

According to the magazine, William was introduced to the charity, which works to help young homeless people, by his late mother, Princess Diana, and now serves as its patron.

The Duke and Duchess will reportedly join Centrepoint youth in a healthy cooking lesson, attend a performance from the winner of a “Centrepoint’s Got Talent" show and watch a group session of the charity’s “Workwise” program.

In their off-duty hours, William and Kate, both 29, will be surrounded by family.

They’ll spend Christmas weekend and Christmas Day with the entire royal family at Sandringham Manor, the Norfolk, England, retreat of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

Helping Middleton feel more at home with her new, royal family will be her younger sister, Pippa.

People reported that the Queen has invited Pippa, 27, to join the family for their traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot on Dec. 26, an event normally reserved for royals only.

Up next for the couple will be a chance for Kate to introduce her new husband to the traditions of her own family.

A source told Us magazine that Kate, William and Pippa “will all travel together back to Bucklebury and spend the remaining days of Christmas with the other Middleton family members,” following their attendance at the Boxing Day shoot.

Adding to the holiday buzz surrounding the couple is growing speculation that this could be William and Kate’s last Christmas together as just a family of two.

Rumors that Kate is pregnant with the couple’s first child, a potential heir to the throne, have swirled after she first refused to eat a product containing peanuts, off limits for expectant moms, at a charity event in Denmark, and then appeared to conspicuously hide her belly with her purse while attending a charity concert earlier this month with William, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


London Celebrates Annual Remembrance Day

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron, among others, attended the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in central London Sunday, where they paid tribute to Britain’s fallen soldiers.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also in attendance, donning two poppies—Britain's traditional symbol of remembrance—pinned to their jackets.

Floral tributes and wreaths were placed at the foot of the city’s Cenotaph war memorial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate to Move into New London Home

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be trading their modest two bedroom London apartment for some more opulent digs, but only after an extreme home makeover.

The new apartment, which hasn’t been lived in since Princess Margaret died in 2002, has no hot water, asbestos in the walls, and decades old electrics. It’s estimated that $1.6 million in renovations will need to be done before it becomes liveable.

But the royals are willing to wait.

Prince William knows the four story, 20 room apartment well — it’s where he was raised by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

So are the new digs a sign the couple plans to start a family?

Earlier this week, Kate sparked pregnancy rumors after she declined to eat peanut paste while on a humanitarian visit to a United Nations aid depot in Copenhagen. The palace has not commented on the issue.

Whenever the time comes, the royal couple can rest assured they will have just the place to raise a future king or queen.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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