By Josh Duboff. Photos: Getty Images.
Normally, a Kate and William official engagement is a highly predictable affair. Kate will look excellent, and we’ll learn what she was wearing and how much it cost. William will appear, you know, pleasant and cheerful. The two will usually engage with the assembled well-wishers. Often we’ll hear about an interaction between Kate and a fan (“The Duchess reached out and took a rose from the young woman”). There’s usually some kind of ceremonial proceedings. We enjoy the pictures, and then move on.
Well, today is a bit different, friends!
Earlier this week, Prince William was nowhere to be found at the Commonwealth Day services (Kate was also absent). It was later discovered he had been off in the Alps, with a bunch of his pals, for a ski trip. In and of itself, that was highly scandalous, in the royal-family sense, but what truly tipped it into a full-blown thing was the video released in the next few days of William dancing in a nightclub while on the vacation. Given that William has not attended the usual number of official events lately, the optics were especially not great.
On Friday, the couple made their first appearance since Alps-gate, to honor Irish Guard soldiers, in commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day, in London. The Daily Mail suggests that William appears “pensive and self-conscious” in the shots of him and his wife (who is, per usual for the holiday, wearing all-green). And, you know, he does look kind of odd! In most of the photos, the two are standing pretty far apart from one another; and that distance between them can be felt. Kate’s smile looks a bit strained (she is, per reports, “not pleased” by William’s actions). Let’s just say these photos aren’t going to do anything to quell the whispers that, perhaps, something is up between the couple.
There will be several more chances for us to assess their body language and mood over the next few days, as William and Kate are scheduled to visit Paris later today for a two-day visit to France, involving a meeting with President Francois Hollande, a black-tie dinner with French actors and actresses, and a soccer game. All of these events will no doubt be overshadowed, however, by the Prince William/Kate Middleton Expression Watch.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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