Kate spots a deal and Queen spots a sniper
'Philip? Is that you?' ... Queen Elizabeth comes face to face with a sniper from the Household Cavalry during a visit to Combermere Barracks in Windsor on Monday. (Reuters)
There are all kinds of skills royalty needs. One is keeping up your guard. Another, apparently, is knowing how to bargain.
Lets deal with Kate first. The Antiques Trade Gazette reports that the duchess made a surprise visit to an antique fair last month in Anglesey, Wales, where she and Prince William have a home while he is stationed at RAF Valley.
"We had sent out complimentary tickets to Prince William and the duchess for our May fair and again in October," said Nick Bayliss, the owner of Continuity Fairs. "And to my absolute delight in she comes with her party on the Sunday morning and had her hand stamped with the green dragon by my daughter, who didn't recognize her."
Kate wandered around the fair checking out the wares before settling on some serious bargaining over some Japanese Imari vases. Playing the haggling game, she reportedly drove the price down from $285 to $255.
The Queen doesn't carry much cash, so you're not likely to bump into her at the market. But when it comes to troops and horses, the monarch has an eye for quality.
She tested it on Monday as she looked over all the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men at Combermere Barracks, about a kilometre from Windsor Castle. Her Household Cavalry will be on official duty for the next few days with the state visit from Kuwait's emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.
The monarch stood in stark contrast to her troops, wearing a violet coat and hat while her troops donned fatigues, camouflage and brown dress uniforms. The Queen seemed to have no trouble adapting to her audience, whether it was a sniper or a horse.
Her tour also included naming a drum horse Adamas -- the word 'diamond' in Greek -- in recognition of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
She then watched a training session for riders and met 19-year-old Trooper Thomas Ephgrave (right), who rode a horse called, appropriately enough, Elizabeth. It's the same horse that the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, has ridden during the monarch's birthday parade in June.
The Queen's little inspection came just hours before the arrival of the royal from Kuwait. He will be staying at Windsor Castle for three days as a guest of the Queen, while holding talks with British officials, including Prime Minister David Cameron.