December 29 2010 - January 4 2011
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By Gordon Rayner Chief Reporter HIS father employs almost 150 staff to cater for his every need, but Prince William has insisted that he and Kate Middleton have no intention of taking on butlers or household staff after they begin married life in April.
The future king and queen have done everything they can to live life like a “normal” couple during their weekends together at the prince’s rented cottage on Anglesey, doing their own shopping, cooking and cleaning.
Although they have bodyguards on 24-hour duty to protect their isolated cottage, they have told aides that they intend to carry on fending for themselves when they return home as newlyweds after their wedding on April 29.
The couple believe that sharing their home with servants would ruin the intimacy of their relationship, and they will carry on looking after themselves until the prince finishes his tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot in 2013.
A senior royal source said: “It’s very much their instinct to manage on their own. They want to do their duty and make sure they are a real asset to the country but they are private individuals who want to get on with their lives.
“Prince William is not into extravagance and, like any other young officer in the Armed Forces, that is how he chooses to live his life. He and Catherine live without domestic staff and they wouldn’t do it any other way. That’s the life they want to lead.
“The prince is committed to his career at RAF Valley until 2013 and he wants his wife by his side during that time.”
The prince is close to his grandmother, the Queen, and is aware of how fondly she and the Duke of Edinburgh recall their early married life together in Malta, where the duke was based as a naval officer.
The duke and Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, spent some of the happiest years of their lives at the Villa Guardamangia, the rented home of the duke’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, where they lived in near-anonymity from 1949 to 1951. They regularly went dancing at a nearby hotel.
Prince William is also determined to shield his bride-to-be from the sort of media attention that surrounded his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and cherishes the seclusion of Anglesey as a result.
His insistence on doing his own cooking and washing up is in stark contrast to his father, the Prince of Wales, who employs 149 staff, of whom 25 are classed as personal staff for himself, the Duchess of Cornwall and Princes William and Harry.
They include butlers, chauffeurs, valets and chefs and are paid a total of £6.3 million. Jeremy Paxman, a BBC journalist, claimed in a book about the Royal family that the prince had four servants in attendance to help him get dressed every morning, and that one aide squeezed his toothpaste on to his brush for him.
The claims were denied at the time by Clarence House, but the prince has struggled against accusations of extravagance for decades.
Shadowplay Dark side of the Earth turns the Moon a fire red
Millions of people have had the chance to get a glimpse of the first total lunar eclipse for nearly three years. In Britain, the spectacle of the moon turning red in the Earth’s shadow was best seen in the North, including this view from West Yorkshire
By Roya Nikkhah Royal Correspondent MEMBERS of the Royal family joined the Queen for the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham. More than 1,000 wellwishers lined the route to St Mary Magdalene Church on the Norfolk estate as the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry led the royal party on foot.
The Queen, who wore a festive white coat and fur hat, was joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Notably absent were Prince William, who volunteered to be on call on Christmas Day at RAF Valley in Anglesey, where he works as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, and his fiancée, Kate Middleton, who was
The Queen in a fur hat at Sandringham as well-wishers greet the Royal family outside church spending the day with her family in Berkshire.
From next year, the couple will be expected to join the Queen at Sandringham.
Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter, was thought to have spent Christmas at the home she shares with Mike Tindall, her rugbyplayer fiancé, in Gloucestershire.
The Queen used her traditional Christmas Day message to the nation last Saturday to highlight the importance of sport and “team spirit” to unite communities.
Breaking with tradition, the message, which is usually filmed at Buckingham Palace, was recorded last week at Hampton Court,
where the King James Bible was commissioned.
The Queen spoke of the “co-operative endeavour” used to compile the Bible.
“Four hundred years later, it is as important as ever to build communities and create harmony, and one of the most powerful ways of doing this is through sport,” she said.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Lara McGillivray THE Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Christmas sermon to warn that society in Britain is being undermined by the failure of rich people to share the burden of the economic downturn.
Delivering his sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Rowan Williams said the country would suffer from division and mistrust if the most prosperous do not “shoulder their load”.
His comments were echoed by other Church leaders, who expressed concern that the impact of the financial crisis was being unfairly distributed and could cause social unrest.
Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to global conflict, emphasising the importance of people working together for the “common good”.
Dr Williams said that co-operation between different sections of society would be essential if Britain were to recover from the economic crisis and rebuild trust. He questioned whether there was “a sense of loyalty to each other” in the wake of public spending cuts which he said had left some people “crippled” and “terrified”.
“We can and will as a society bear hardship if we are confident that it is being fairly shared. We shall have that confidence only if there are signs that everyone is committed to their neighbour, that no one is just forgotten, that no interest group or pressure group is able to opt out,” the archbishop said.
“That confidence isn’t in huge supply, given the massive crises of trust that have shaken us all in the last couple of years and the lasting sense that the most prosperous have yet to shoulder their load.”
He said that the country would be able to celebrate next year at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, describing marriage as “a sign of hope” and testament to society of the rewards of commitment and “lifelong faithfulness”.
Dr Williams urged worshippers to remember Christians around the world who are suffering for their faith, drawing particular attention to those in Iraq, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
The Pope also used his Christmas message to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians.
In his address from St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, he said: “May the birth of the saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope.”
Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, told churchgoers that Britain also faced localised threats. “Hatred and unrest is not just found in far away places,” he said.
“In the past year we have seen racist marches on our streets in London and Bolton, in Dudley and Peterborough, in Aylesbury and Bradford, led by individuals who want to stir up unrest.”