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  #281  
Old 01-07-2012, 07:25 PM
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Well it does give some MP's and former officials,most of whom the public have never heard of and likely never will again, the chance to get their names in the papers.
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  #282  
Old 01-07-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina;1355251[I
It is fair to say that Countess of Wessex could not refuse the gift. The refusal to take a present or presents could have been viewed as a disrespect and/or a political stance on the current situation in Bahrain.[/I]
I agree; the couple was placed in a very delicate position and I think reaction is being unfairly misdirected at the Wessexes. If the Foreign Office works closely with the royals during their visits to foreign countries, it is this institution that had to have advised the couple what to do in this prickly situation. To have refused the gifts outright could have led to a diplomatic/political blunder that royals cannot become involved in. Sophie can only bury these items in the royal vaults for now and perhaps wear them sometime in the future and might even have them remodified from the original settings. I'm sure the royal vaults are full of questionable gifts given over time to past monarchs, and most likely this won't be the last.
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  #283  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
Well it does give some MP's and former officials,most of whom the public have never heard of and likely never will again, the chance to get their names in the papers.
Ah, acid cynicism. How apropos this particular "storm in a teacup". The Government and in particular, the Foreign Minister, having been fully briefed by the Foreign Office, are well aware of the shape of such visits and the Queen did not send her son and duaghter-in-law on a private freebee. They were sent at the behest of the Goverment, probably to try to smooth over the embarassment caused by the withdrawal of the wedding invitation due to "human right's issues".

Quote:
Former Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane said . . . . .
Would that be the squeaky clean and politically manipulative Labour MP who, totally aware of the way things are in the Foreign Office, is once again trying to gain some free political traction at the expense of honesty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
After the 2001 general election, he was made a junior minister at the Foreign Office with responsibility for the Balkans and Latin Ameririca. He caused some embarrassment to the government in 2002 by describing President Hugu Chavez of Venezuela as a 'ranting, populist demagogue' and compared him to Benito Mussolini during a failed military coup attempt to depose the democratically elected presiden. Afterwards, he had to make clear that, as minister with responsibility for Latin America, the government deplored the coup attempt.
Hmmm. Caning the Wessexes for accepting "inappropriate" gifts from a "Repressive" Government they were sent to visit on behalf of the British Government and yet he (personally) supported the attempted overthrow of a democratically elected government.

How very morally flexible of him. I suppose the free PR is just an added bonus? Raise his public and (more importantly) political profile. Check! Dump on the Monarchy in HM Diamond Jubillee Year to muddy the waters of his apparent flip flop. Check! Check!

Taking the Moral High Road. Yeah Right!
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  #284  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:11 AM
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How a routine royal visit spelt trouble for the Countess of Wessex - Telegraph

Quote:
Buckingham Palace was last night forced to defend the Countess of Wessex after it emerged she had accepted a lavish set of gems from the Bahrain royal family during a visit to the Gulf state.
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  #285  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
OK, the visit was arranged by the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office is well aware, or should be, of the type of gifts Arab rulers given to visiting members of the BRF so none of this should come as a surprise. If they saw the potential of receiving gifts as a problem they should quietly have advised the Bahranis that the couple would not be allowed to accept any gifts.
Sophie only has the right to use the jewels during her life and then they go into the Royal Collection which is essentially a national trust.
To refuse the gift would have been insulting to a nation that regardless of their internal problems is a friend and ally of the UK. There are problems in the gulf with Iran, so the UK needs to keep the friends it has.
This issue being drummed up by the DM is a storm in a tea cup.
I fully agree with you. If the Bahraini's are considered "kosher" enough to get a royal visit, then accepting a gift on behalf of the UK is absolutely fine, IMO. The decision to visit Bahrain or not by a member of the BRF is one that is taken by the UK government, and not the BRF themselves.
  #286  
Old 01-08-2012, 12:16 PM
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Look honestly these critics are petty and a pain as far as I am concerned. I really think these people who create a storm in teacup are pills ... imagine if she had refused and caused problems there if the protocol is give then she is in a no win situation and I think she should keep them.
I am soooo tired of petty lower class politicans and newspaper folk making these problems out of nothing ... I wish they would go away.IMO
  #287  
Old 01-08-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post

It is impossible for us to determine what gift US Presidents and their spouses or any other President get because it is not widely publicised.

Actually it is very easy. Gifts are recorded and turned over to the State department. Anyone can review the records.
  #288  
Old 01-08-2012, 12:56 PM
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One would assume that the Wessex's staff and Foreign office staff would be more astute as to problems when visiting foreign countries. Exchange of gifts between heads of states are one issue but for a royal so far removed from the throne to accept suites of jewelry during a short stop-over visit is perhaps not so easily justified.
  #289  
Old 01-08-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grevinnan View Post
Actually it is very easy. Gifts are recorded and turned over to the State department. Anyone can review the records.
The State Department records or records of any other Foreign office/ministry are as accurate as the parties concerned want them to be.
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  #290  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Buckingham says the Countess of Wessex will not return the jewels given to her by the King of Bahrain
Buckingham asegura que la condesa de Wessex no devolverá las joyas que le regal&oac | Realeza | Noticias hola.com

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  #291  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:55 PM
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Part of the problem when the RF receive or are offered gifts is that Royals tend to be around longer than Presidents/Prime Ministers/ Foreign Ministers so this means they have to look to the long term future. A president who may only be around for the next 2 years say can afford to refuse a gift as its fair to assume within 2 years relations with the country giving the gift won't have changed drastically however a Royal who may be around for a lifetime may well wish to refuse a gift from certain countries now but find that those countries are close allies again in a decade from now. If you look at Europe's relationships with middle-eastern countries over the past few decades you'll see how much they can change, refusing a gift now might turn out to be a big mistake/regret in the future.
Whilst I might personally have preferred Sophie not to accept the jewels I think really she had no choice, so the next best thing is to accept them, hide them away for sometime and make sure they go to the state collection.
  #292  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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Which I also mentioned briefly in my post #280

Incidentally, the English newspapers [the 'better quality' ones certainly] mentioned that Edward was given the present of a silk rug at the same time. This seems to have 'slipped under the radar' to the extent that the politicians asking the Countess to return the jewels she was given have not made the same request in relation to her husband. [I am guessing that although the jewels would apparently have been more valuable, it is not beyond the reals of possibility that the rug was of significant value as well...]

It's really a 'no win situation'. If Sophie and Edward hadn't stopped off at Barhrain, then the 'gift problem' would not have arisen, but, as NGalitzine has mentioned, the West needs to make and keep as many friends as it can in the Middle East in view of the general volatility of the political situation.

As I said before, it's a difficult situation,

Alex
  #293  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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I'm shure - it's not Sophy's or any other Royal choice to accept or worse to REJECT a gift. .. Thats a decision of the foreign office.
  #294  
Old 01-16-2012, 12:58 PM
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On January 12, Sophie has attended the author Heather McGregor's "Mrs Moneypenny's Careers
Advice for Ambitious Women" book launch party at Home House Portman Square in London.

Bad pictures, but better than nothing


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** gallery **
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  #295  
Old 01-16-2012, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the images. It's such a bummer we can't see the images without the ISOPIX logos. Sophie, however, looks lovely and I love the updo. :) Nice to see Sarah Brown, Gordon Brown's wife. Apparently she and Sophie are good friends, and Lady Louise and Sarah's older son are friends.
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  #296  
Old 01-16-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly2101 View Post
Thanks for the images. It's such a bummer we can't see the images without the ISOPIX logos. Sophie, however, looks lovely and I love the updo. :) Nice to see Sarah Brown, Gordon Brown's wife. Apparently she and Sophie are good friends, and Lady Louise and Sarah's older son are friends.
Wonder if the children go to the same school, or know each other from their mothers being friends. As always, Sophie looks lovely.
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  #297  
Old 01-17-2012, 08:11 AM
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I found two articles with scan pages from Majesty Magazine ans Sunday Express 'S' Magazine about Sophie's fashion
Enjoy
Majesty Magazine
S Magazine
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  #298  
Old 01-17-2012, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
The State Department records or records of any other Foreign office/ministry are as accurate as the parties concerned want them to be.
Actually, any and all gifts to any governmental official with a value of $25.00 and above must be claimed. If not, you are in a lot of trouble. And by governmental official, this can be the President of the United States or a clerk typist who is a GS3 (for example).
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  #299  
Old 01-17-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagMil View Post
I found two articles with scan pages from Majesty Magazine ans Sunday Express 'S' Magazine about Sophie's fashion
Enjoy
Majesty Magazine
S Magazine

Thanks for those. They are really small, or is it just me? Hard to read the text, but great that Sophie's amazingness is being recognised!

The Countess of Wessex was in Bedford today (that is soooo near me, gutted I was working), opening Lakeview School.

Image

Royal Visit to Lakeview School

How adorable was Sophie's response to the little girl saying a Princess was coming to the school? Too cute.
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  #300  
Old 01-17-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly2101 View Post
Thanks for those. They are really small, or is it just me? Hard to read the text, but great that Sophie's amazingness is being recognised!

The Countess of Wessex was in Bedford today (that is soooo near me, gutted I was working), opening Lakeview School.

Image

Royal Visit to Lakeview School

How adorable was Sophie's response to the little girl saying a Princess was coming to the school? Too cute.

Thanks Molly
This must be a very sweet moment
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