Prince William, the heir to the British throne, on Monday skipped a major ceremony with Queen Elizabeth and other royals to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
Instead he was spotted in the Swiss alps, drinking beer on the ski slopes with friends after partying into the early hours the night before at a club in the posh ski resort town of Verbier, the Daily Mail reported.
The British tabloids were also eager to point out that he seemed very friendly during a leisurely lunch Monday at a mountainside restaurant with a blonde 24-year-old Australian model named Sophie Taylor.
It is believed that William left his wife, Kate Middleton, and their young children at home for this “lads only” weekend jaunt, returning to England late Monday afternoon.
The prince’s decision to miss the Westminster Abbey celebration for Commonwealth Day, a key event in the royal calendar, has revived criticism that the 34-year-old prince is ‘workshy’ and “failing to knuckle down to his royal role,” the Daily Mail said.
The Sun noted that William and Kate were the only major royals to miss the Westminster Abbey service and palace reception Monday. Besides the Queen and Prince Philip, other royals present included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The absence of William and Kate was also notable in that they had attended the annual event for the past two years. Historian and royal biographer Robert Lacey told the Sun: “It is surprising.”
For those not familiar with Commonwealth Day, it is an occasion that is said to have deep personal resonance for the queen. It celebrates the organization that unites 52 nations, most of which were territories in the former British empire.
Monday’s service was also largest inter-faith gathering in Britain and was designed to highlight the diverse attributes of the Commonwealth, made up of 2.5 billion people. In political and economic terms, the organization is seen by government ministers as a rich source of trade for post-Brexit Britain.
On Monday night, a Kensington Palace spokesman insisted that William and Kate had never intended to go to the Commonwealth service, telling the Daily Mail: “The duke and duchess have attended the event for the last two years and look forward to doing so often in the future.”
Asked about William’s ski trip, the spokesman said: “His schedule was private and we would not comment on it.”
William, who juggles his part-time role as an air ambulance pilot with royal duties, was first spotted on the slopes on Saturday.
Besides raising questions about his commitment to his royal duties, William’s boys’ only weekend has also brought attention to Taylor, the “stunning blonde” model who also works at the Farinet nightclub, a popular après-ski hangout where William and his friends were spotted partying the night before.
Taylor previously worked for an Australian model agency. A photographer who did an assignment with her last year in Bali described her as a “real down-to-earth straight-talking girl from Oz. She would be very comfortable in the company of the royals even though I don’t think she had met any of them before.”
Source: mercurynews com
Tags: Prince William, William, Commonwealth Day, Former, British Empire, Kate, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen