01/15/2013

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie wave the flag -- in economy class

Beatrice and eugenieThe British government is digging deep into its royals pocket to sell itself to other countries.

What they've pulled out is the sister act of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, a surprise tandem considering they are seldom called upon for royal duty.

Still, they are officially fifth and sixth in line for the throne as Prince Andrew's daughters, which is good enough for 10 Downing St. In their first foray into the international arena, the siblings are headed to Germany this week, where they will tool around in a Union Jack-covered Mini as part of Britain's GREAT campaign to drum up trade and tourism.

"They are young, interesting and cool and this particular event has a young, fashionable flavour," said a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "We are delighted they are taking part."

Even better for the government, Prince Andrew is paying for the two-day trip himself -- taking the commoner approach and flying the girls via economy class, according to the Daily Mail. The Prince himself resigned as a UK special trade ambassador last year after revelations of lavish travel spending and some questionable friendships.

MiniHis daughters' duties with the trade delegation include driving the splashy Mini, right, through Berlin, attending a fashion show featuring British brands, and visiting several shops. A side trip to Hanover will see them at the re-opening of Herrenhausen Palace.

Beatrice1The young women, 22 and 24, are known more for their hats than their diplomacy.

Princess Beatrice, right, gained international attention at Will and Kate's wedding for her outlandish Philip Treacy hat. She turned that into a positive in a charity auction for the hat that netted $128,000.

She has since landed a venture capital job in London. Younger sister Eugenie is looking for work after graduating from university last year. They share a four-bedroom apartment at St. James's Palace with Prince Andrew paying the rent.

They are not full-time working royals, so they don't lean on the public purse, though they do participate in many royal activities. "They are obviously always keen to help the UK whenever they can," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said. "This was something they were asked to do by Downing Street. It was something they were delighted to do."

PRINCE HARRY TOPS BACHELOR LIST

Prince Harry -- surprise, surprise -- is one of the world's most eligible bachelors. According to the Town & Country magazine, in fact, he's right at the top of the list.

Harry"He's the wild-card royal, the naughty one, the one who goes out with rah women, hangs out with a fast crowd, downs too many drinks, and goes home at the wrong moment," the magazine intones in its list the world's top 40 bachelors this month. "That's why we all like him best."

"Harry might not possess a towering intellect ... but he is cooler and more appealing than his older brother, sweet as William undoubtedly is."

Harry, 28, who has publically wondered about finding a woman who is up for the challenge of royal life, is currently linked to model Cressida Bonas. The burning question is whether that relationship has survived the four-month separation forced by Harry's deployment to Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot for UK forces.

Town & Country's list includes most of the usual suspects, including several other royals. Below, from left, they are Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark (age 26), Prince Carl Philip of Sweden (33), Prince Amedeo of Belgium (26) and Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco (25).

Princes

DUCHESS KATE PORTRAIT (REVISED)

It didn't take long for the tech artists to dip their keyboards into the virtual paint and come up with their own version of a Duchess of Cambridge portrait.

Kate portraitThe painting by Paul Emsley was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last week and received mixed reviews, many complaining that it made her look dour and older. Still, our own completely unscientific poll suggest the majority were okay with the artistic intrepretation.

The duchess is a patron of the gallery and the portrait was a gift from retired art dealer Sir Hugh Leggatt.

"He wanted to commission this image of her before the full weight of responsibilities of state and motherhood descended on her -- and as it turned out, just in time," Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar told the Guardian.

That didn't stop others from creating their own intrepretation of Emsley's canvas.

Below are three of the versions making the rounds. From left, Kate as Vigo the Carpathian from 'Ghostbusters 2,' Kate from her Mr. Bean days, and the Joker version from 'The Dark Knight.

Kates

 

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