Patterns are beautiful things. There is an order to them; they can be counted on, and they can help us understand situations that may seem confusing or tangled. There has been a backlash against the Cambridges over their surprise holiday in the Maldives "so soon after Kate's holiday in Mustique." But, the Royals have been vacationing in patterns. I want to put their vacations in categories to determine if they have a pattern, and then plug those categories into the holidays they have taken during their marriage to determine just how crazy all this holidaying actually is.
- Absolute Staple Holiday: Middleton Family Vacation in Mustique in Late January/Early February: This holiday has been happening for years! The Middletons, like millions and millions of families around the world, take a beach holiday together once a year. Their destination might be a little more exclusive than the average vacation destination, but they have the means. Why let that beautiful island go to waste?
- March is the Month to Ski: March is ski-season all over the world. If you love the sport and can scrape enough together to buy a ski pass, you are probably sneaking away for time on the slopes. The Royals and the Middletons are no different. They usually fit a ski-trip into their spring.
|Romance in French Wine Country|
- Romantic Holiday For Two: William and Kate, in one capacity or another, have taken a very private, just-the-two-of-them holiday every year of their marriage thus far.
|Granny's Place: Balmoral, Scotland|
- Random trips to Scotland and/or Berkshire: Who doesn't go to visit granny now and again? Particularly if you have the regal type who never comes to you? We won't be addressing these types of vacations at all, they are equivalent to long weekends or Bank holiday breaks.
So, those are the main categories. They aren't crazy or extravagant. There is no Drunk, Drug Fueled Weekend on Ibiza in there, which cannot be said of every wealthy inhabitant of planet earth. It's pretty par for the average course. The Cambridges have similar categories to many people all over the globe, they differ only in scale. We all vacation according to the scale our means afford.
Now let's look to see the categories in action and see if there are patterns.
William and Kate honeymooned in the Seychelles (pretty much the perfect definition of the romantic holiday for two) after their April wedding. The next month they undertook their first overseas tour together.
2012 William and Kate hit every category.
Kate and William holiday with the Middletons in Mustique. (Family Holiday)
William and Kate joined the Middletons for a ski holiday after his return from the Falklands. (Ski Trip)
Late summer, William and Kate took a holiday in the Luberon before their South East Asia tour. (Romantic Get-Away For Two)
William and a pregnant Kate holidayed with the Middletons in Mustqiue. (Family Holiday)
March: William and Kate attended a wedding in Switzerland that doubled as their ski holiday for the year.
Kate joined her family in Mustqiue, William had to stay behind for school. (Family Vacation)
March: Week in the Maldives, sans George, in the run-up to a really big overseas tour. (Romantic Get-Away For Two)
Unless they fly off for a late March ski-trip, which frankly seems very unlikely, it looks like they won't be ticking that box this year.
Putting it together:
So, that's what we are seeing emerging as the pattern for Mr. and Mrs. Cambridge. They really seem to take about three solid weeks of pure vacation. The Middleotn holiday is non-negotiable, which is why I argued that Kate would go with or without William this year, which she did. They like to take a ski trip. Usually it happens, sometimes it doesn't, other times it is a two-for-one deal, as in the case of the wedding in Switzerland. Lastly, it isn't a pattern yet, but there does seem a trend that William and Kate sneak away before a tour. They were on a tropical island honeymooning before Canada, they had (too much) fun in the sun in the Luberon just before South East Asia, and now they are in the Maldives before they head to Australia.
If you take a moment to actually look at the patterns, this vacation is not a shocking aberration at all., nor is it all that different from the rest of us. Many people have a family holiday and in an ideal world try to fit in a get-away as a couple. It is true that some people can't make this all happen, but they would if they could! The Cambridges can, so what reason is there for them not to? In fact, given the stress that no doubt arises from their high-profile status and carefully watched lives, they may need that time alone to focus on their marriage more than the average couple.
So again, it seems we have circled around to the ugly question: Why is this vacation so bad, why is "public opinion" so against this vacation? And don't be fooled, we are the public, our opinion is public opinion. If there is bad PR, we are creating it. Even if I had the flexibility, I don't think I could afford three trips a year, but if I could afford it, I would certainly enjoy this schedule! Three weeks of solid vacation is not that crazy, either, especially if you are in the financial bracket that the Cambridges are. (En fait, there are places in the world that take off un petit peu more, am I right? I love you, France. God bless you for your joie de vivre. :)) So why are we all huffing and puffing and trying to blow the Windsor house down? I can't afford all the McQueen, and Packham, and Mouret, and Burberry, and Cartier that Kate wears, but I sure enjoy watching her wear it all. You don't see me demanding she never put on a piece unless every average person can also afford it. This vacation isn't so different. We all vacation to our means, we dress to our means, and the royals are no exception. They do what we do, at their means. If we have a problem with it, it reflects more on our life-attitude than theirs.