Could We Please Allow The Former Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge To Sunbathe Topless In Peace?

william and kate royals duke and duchess of cambridgeA French magazine owned by Silvio Berlusconi has published grainy photos of the former Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, sunbathing topless in a thong bikini while on holiday in Provence, prompting a lawsuit. Various websites, including Gawker and Egotastic, and newspapers, such as Ireland’s Daily Star, have reproduced the photos, which appear to have been taken by paparazzi staking their villa out from a neighboring property.

Surprisingly, the British tabloids have so far refrained from republishing the voyeur shots according to a story in Saturday’s New York Times. Let’s hope they’ve learned a lesson from the way they harassed Princess Diana. But it’s a shame that William and Kate can’t enjoy even a bit of privacy while on vacation. One of the great joys of travel is the opportunity to reinvent oneself and to do things that you might not do at home. The royals and other celebrities don’t have that luxury but I don’t think many will be shedding tears for them.How many women around the world would gladly trade places with Kate, even if it meant that they’d have to be a bit more careful while sunbathing topless? I’m also a bit surprised that William and Kate wouldn’t be a bit more paranoid knowing how the paparazzi are. But according to the story in the New York Times, the villa they stayed in advertised itself as a very private secluded hideaway.

“The villa complex, built around a 19th-century hunting lodge called the Château d’Autet, is set in 640 acres of woodland and can house up to 17 people at four main properties. Apart from being a vacation retreat for Lord Linley and his family, it has also been rented out for thousands of dollars a week, offering guests a variety of recreational options including a tennis court, a swimming pool and an area to play the French bowling game called boule.”

In any case, they’ll certainly be more guarded moving forward after this incident, which comes on the heels of Prince Harry getting caught with his pants down while on holiday in Vegas. The British press also got scooped on that debacle and CNN called their restrained coverage of the story a “watershed moment for the UK press.” But in the Internet age, it almost doesn’t matter what the print publications do, because there’s always going to be some website that will satisfy the public’s curiosity.

That’s the downside to fame but I wish that everyone had the ability to cut loose while on vacation, because everyone deserves the right to let their hair, or bathing suit top, down now and then.

[Photo by UK Repsome on Flickr]

California hotels rolling out the royal red carpet for William & Kate’s visit

california hotels - Maison 140Want to live it up like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? Hotels in California are rolling out “Royal” packages in anticipation of William & Kate’s visit to the state July 8 -10. Here are a few our of our favorites:

Mission Inn & Spa
Book this Riverside Inn’s “Royal Wedding Celebration Package” ($1,449) and enjoy overnight accommodations for two in the Presidential Suite, a champagne, caviar and cupcake amenity, a signature candle, private in-suite dinner service, a coffee table book about the Royal Wedding, his and hers bathrobes, a couples-massage in a private villa, in-suite or spa high tea service for two, and complimentary valet parking.

Maison 140
Want to truly live it up? Reserve the entire hotel in a Royal Celebration. For $50,000, rent the entire 44-room hotel for up to 50 guests. The overnight package includes a champagne welcome, afternoon at the Neil George Salon (including blow dry, scalp massage with hair treatment, style, gift bag and $50 gift certificate), high tea service, cocktail reception, dinner at Petrossian Restaurant on Robertson, turndown service with a special gift, night cap and a continental breakfast the next morning.

[Image via Maison 140]
Paso Robles Inn
Explore the famed castle in the “California Royalty Hearst Castle” package. You’ll enjoy a special day tour of Hearst Castle and a picnic lunch in San Simeon, overnight accommodations, a visit to Piedras Blancas to see Elephant Seals and sightseeing and wine tasting in Cambria. From $315.

Montage Beverly Hills
This always luxe hotel is offering a “Royal Summer Escape” featuring two nights of accommodations in a private residence or suite with personal butler (not quite like a full time coterie of servants, but it will do), tasting menu and wine pairings at the Chef’s Counter at Scarpetta Beverly Hills, 60-minute Couple’s Massage for two at Spa Montage, a Royal Presidential Shave at our full-service men’s barber shop, Gornik & Drucker, for him, a Regal blow out at Kim Vo Salon, for her, afternoon tea for two, and of course, luxury transportation in the Montage Maybach by Mercedes-Benz to and from Los Angeles International Airport. Prices range from $3,750 for a Grand Deluxe Suite to $15,500 for a residence.

Safari West
Make like William & Kate (who got engaged in Africa) with this wild “Safari Nights” package from the Sonoma hotel. The package, starting at $2,000, includes a private sundowner exploration into the “Sonoma Serengeti,” with rhinos and cheetahs, plus a VIP ‘Behind the Scenes’ peek into the workings of Safari West. The package includes dinner, wine and evening port around the fire pit with the owners, Peter and Nancy Lang, a photo with one of our cheetahs (if they slow down long enough for a snapshot), plus a Swedish massage along with wine and chocolate in the privacy of your own tent.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
A-listers are used to the royal treatment at this Newport Beach hotel, but the “Royal Treatment” summer package takes luxury to a new level. Live like royalty in one of the hotel’s three-bedroom villas. You’ll enjoy a private four-course dinner by your pool, complimentary treatments spa treatments (two) and a $150 gift card to to Fashion Island.

Harvest Inn
Enjoy wine country in Napa Valley with the “Royal Retreat” package. You’ll enjoy two nights accommodations, a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate truffles, two 60-minute spa treatments, a private four hour wine country tour in a luxury sedan, including an exclusive personal wine tasting tour with winemakers of two wine estates, two monogrammed bathrobes and complimentary wine and cheese tasting on Friday and Saturday evenings in the Inn’s Great Room.

Seychelles idyll for Royal Couple

seychelles royal coupleThe British media reported this morning that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge–the two young lovebirds you may know as William and Kate–arrived in the Seychelles earlier today to kick off their long anticipated honeymoon.

After touching down at Seychelles International Airport in Mahé, the Royal Couple boarded a helicopter and took off for a private, unidentified island.

The location of the Royal honeymoon has been a matter of intense speculation in the UK over the last several weeks. Jordan, the Isles of Scilly, and Barbuda have all turned up as potential destinations.

The Seychelles, a cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean, are a top upscale destination, with tourist inflows coming mostly from Europe. Surely the Royal Couple’s decision to honeymoon in the country will not damage the Seychelles’ reputation as a playground for the rich.

[Image: Flickr | Olivier Cochard-Labbé]

See the Entire Royal Wedding in Just 7 Minutes

New British beer is first to contain Viagra, commemorates Royal Wedding

British beer ViagraPrince William may be losing his hair, but it seems a bit presumptuous to assume that he’s lost his mojo, as well. But that won’t stop Scottish craft brewer BrewDog from releasing Royal Virility Performance on April 29th. The world’s first beer to be enhanced with Viagra, the 7.5-percent ABV India Pale Ale also contains purported natural aphrodisiacs Horny Goat Weed and chocolate, as well as “a healthy dose of sarcasm.”

The beer was specially created to honor the upcoming Royal Wedding, and features a label with the words, “Arise Prince Willy,” and “Celebrate Big Willy Style.” BrewDog has sent several bottles to Prince William for the wedding night (no comment yet from the Royal Family, but one senses the brewery should perhaps have targeted Prince Charles, who is in a more appropriate age demographic).

Just 1,000 bottles of the ale, which retails for £10 a pop, will be produced for the time being (available here; one bottle limit per customer), although production will continue if it’s a uh, big success. All proceeds go to the charity Centrepoint, which Wills supports. According to James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, says, “As the bottle says, this is about consummation, not commemoration.”

BrewDog claims that consuming three bottles is equivalent to taking one Viagra. No comment on how sexually attractive you’ll be with that beer gut.

easyJet looking for Will and Kate look-a-likes – will reward with a year of free flights

easyjet royal wedding

As we get closer and closer to the Royal Wedding on April 29, marketing departments around the world are working overtime to promote their products with a bit of a royal spin.

easyJet is one of them — the granddaddy of the low cost airlines is looking for Will & Kate look-a-likes who are interested in flying to London for a top ten lineup, with a chance at winning free flights for a year.

Of course, the “free flights for a year” comes with some rules, and actually means one free flight each month for a year. The current leaders can be found here. Oh, and you have to be a resident of Europe aged 18 or over if you’d like to enter.