Duchess Kate laying low as she battles morning sickness
Prince William has been reviving his royal solo act these days.
He’ll be without a date once again Wednesday evening when he appears at the London movie premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
His usual companion -- wife Kate -- has pulled out of the red-carpet affair as she has her own journey to navigate these days with a rocky start to her pregnancy. She is unlikely to be straying far from home or hospital in the next several weeks.
Her acute morning sickness -- hyperemesis gravidarum -- commonly leads to dehydration, which in turn led her to a three-day stay in King Edward VII Hospital last week. She suffered a relapse on Sunday, prompting William to cancel an appearance at the British Military Tournament.
Still in the first trimester, there’s a reasonable chance the duchess will be back in hospital before this child is born. "It tends to be a cycle of going into hospital, getting rehydrated, going home, getting dehydrated again because you're not getting intravenous fluids, and so on,” Caitlin Dean, a trustee with Pregnancy Sickness Support, told the Telegraph. “The duchess is still very ill by most people's standards and the chances of her going back to hospital are quite high.”
William has been the ideal mate, taking compassionate leave from the RAF to be by his wife’s side. He did make a side trip to the Winter Whites Gala on the weekend (right, with tennis players Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe) which supports his Centrepoint charity. Asked about Kate, he remarked to some guests: “I don’t know why they call it morning sickness -- they should call it all day and all night sickness. It’s a long old process but she is getting there. She feels like it is going to go on forever.”
Kate isn’t expected to be venturing out before Christmas, and even then it’s uncertain where she’ll be spending the holiday. The Daily Mail reports that her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, would like her to spend it with them in Berkshire. However, the Royal Family usually reserves Christmas Day at Sandringham (right), where last year 3,000 came out to see Kate and the royal clan make their trek to church services.
It was thought that Sandringham might have been planned as the original site for a baby announcement by William and Kate. The morning sickness put an end to that surprise.
Christmas cheer back at the Palace
The party is back on for Queen Elizabeth.
The monarch must be sensing a turning tide in UK economic fortunes, since she has reinstated the staff Christmas party after it was cancelled two years ago as a show of solidarity with the “difficult financial circumstances” England was in. Now, she’s ready to shell out upwards of $160,000 from her private income to allow about 2,000 staffers to let loose at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 17.
The Queen usually hosts the event once every two years at Buckingham Palace. The guest list includes employees from the Queen’s estates as well as workers at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle.
“Everyone is delighted it is back,” a Palace staffer told the Daily Express. “It is a rare opportunity for everyone to let their hair down and have a great night.”
It’s also a rare night of social mingling between staff and employer. For this day at least, much of the formality is forgotten.
“All the royals are there. They dance with the servants and it will be extra special because of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the fantastic year she has had,” the Palace source said.
No word on whether the Duchess of Cambridge will attend, but it’s unlikely.
Queen snubbed on Fiji money
On the other side of the coin, so to speak, there must have been a frown or two at the Palace at the news that Fiji is removing the Queen from its currency.
“The decision to remove Her Majesty the Queen's head from Fiji's currency has been received with great shock and sadness,” one of the high chiefs, Adi Litia Qioniaravi, told Radio Australia. “The Royal Family is held in high regard especially by indigenous Fijians. … It is just most unfortunate that the chiefs’ views again had not been sought on this very critical matter.”
Fiji is a republic run by the military, which has seized control several times in the past 20 years and is led by Frank Bainimarama. Charges of undemocratic practices led to its suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations in 2010.
The man who led Fiji's first coup in 1987, General Sitiveni Rabuka, says removing the Queen is a “childish” move.
"In 1970 we became independent, but Australia, New Zealand and Canada were independent before us and they still use the Queen's head on their currency.
"We have forgotten the colonial past -- we are now moving to the future, but there are certain things we cannot change. We can remove the Queen's head but that doesn't mean we erase our history."
Members of the Royal Family have been on Fiji money since 1934.
The head of the bank says it’s simply time to move on and promote Fiji’s natural treasures.