Will and Kate hit the road while questions linger
There will be no retreat.
As much as there may be inclination to hide out in their Wales farmhouse for a few months until any lingering topless Kate talk dies away, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be back on public view this coming week.
Their schedule, in fact, is one of the busiest yet, with a half dozen engagements that touch on everything from soccer fields to addiction clinics.
Above all, the couple's travels will give rise to guessing games about their future.
- Will William make a greater commitment to royal duties? He's due to tell the RAF by the end of the year whether he extend his service, or take up another post permits greater exposure to royal engagements.
- Will the royal duo finally get down to starting a family, given that they currently have no major tours planned?
- Is Kate about to extend her own commitment to more charity work? One royal source tells the Telegraph that Kate will be looking at more charities over the next few months "to consider whether there are other areas where she can provide support and more patronages she can take on next year."
- Are there any more embarrassing photos lurking in a paparazzi's camera? Probably. But they are unlikely to prompt any more action by the Palace beyond what has been sparked in France, with an injunction and a criminal investigation. Carrying on in the best British tradition isn't just the sensible option for Will and Kate, it's the only option that makes sense.
It's off to the northeast of England on Wednesday, to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, visiting schools, a youth project, Action on Addiction and a few other charities, plus offering some thank-yous to volunteers from the London Olympic Games.
Far from seeking the shadows, all signs are pointing to the couple being fully indoctrinated into royal duties before they hit their second anniversary next spring.
SAY, ISN'T THAT YOU-KNOW-WHO?
There business of being a Kate lookalike is pretty good these days. One British woman, Heidi Agan, says she makes $1,000 per appearance. So why keep yourself confined to the boundaries of the UK, right?
Hence, her appearance on several U.S. shows this week. Here's a couple of them -- Today and Katie Couric -- as she hit the Big Apple and scored plenty of double takes. (And, no, she did not entertain the obvious requests to go topless).