Uh Oh. Has Kate Middleton Defied The Boycott Against The Sultan Of Brunei?

The Sultan's hotel chain is being boycotted by various celebrities after he introduced Sharia law to his country...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Kate Middleton went to a family wedding this weekend. But you won’t see any photos of her attending. She arrived at The Dorchester in a blacked-out car and, according to the Mail On Sunday, with a whopping nine security guards in tow. Now, if it’s true, maybe it might be because first cousin Adam Middleton and new wife Rebecca Poynton didn’t want to have their special day splashed about in the papers.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because there’s a surging controversy when it comes to The Dorchester Hotel? It's all because The Dorchester is part of a group of hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei, the same man who has just passed a new penal code which calls for death by stoning for consenting same-sex sexual activity, adultery, rape, extramarital sexual relations, and for someone saying they aren’t Muslim.

Celebrities across the world are now boycotting hotels and venues owned by The Sultan of Brunei. Stephen Fry, Richard Branson and Anna Wintour are all part of the boycott against the hotel, and the other Dorchester Collection venues, including The Beverly Hills Hotel in LA, Hotel Meurice in Paris, 45 Park Lane in London and Coworth Park in Berkshire.

And that’s where we realise that Kate’s hush-hush attendance at the wedding might be nothing to do with the boycott. Because what use would her hiding her implicit support of the Sultan do while her husband and his brother were off playing polo at his Coworth Park estate?

Princes William and Harry donned their finest polo attire for the Audi Polo Challenge, which was held to raise money for Prince William's cancer charity Royal Marsden Hospital (he's the president), youth training charity Skillforce, and Prince Harry’s HIV fund, Sentebale. Prince Harry previously held an event – along with, of all people, Joss Stone – in aid of Sentebale at The Dorchester, last month, right after the first boycotts were being announced.

Now, if anyone can decide to relocate an event to have it somewhere with a bit more prestige, it’s royalty, right? A bit sad then, that while working towards great things in their charity, the Princes are giving publicity to a hotel chain with such dodgy connections.

Gay rights charity Stonewall have claimed that the boycott, however, is doing more for celebrities wanting to look good than for the cause: 'However satisfying protests may be, in the short term they’re often most rewarding to the individuals taking part.'

That said, celebrities' mindset has trickled down to us normals. While we might not be able to send a polite ‘fuck you’ through the many British lobbyists, MPs and businessmen who like to break bread with Brunei, this is a very blunt way of showing that many people in the west don’t want to fund a man with such damning attitudes towards women and minorities. A spokesperson for The Dorchester recently said that bookings at the hotels have decreased since in the wake of the boycott.

**Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson


Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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