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LONDON — Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, set social media and the British press alight amid reports that she attended her cousin’s wedding Saturday night at the Dorchester Hotel in central London, part of the luxury chain owned by the Sultan of Brunei.
The hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection hotels, which includes the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, and has been front and center of a high-profile campaign by big names from the world of entertainment and fashion calling for a boycott.
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British star Stephen Fry, Richard Branson, Paul and daughter Stella McCartney and Vogue chief Anna Wintour are among the names to have publicly called for no-goes amid a series of anti-gay laws implemented by the owner, sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who has enacted Sharia law, which calls for homosexuality and adultery to be punishable by death by stoning.
Middleton’s covert attendance at the civil marriage of the Duchess’ first cousin Adam Middleton to Rebecca Poynton held in the hotel’s penthouse and pavilion broke the boycott, according to web reports in the Daily Mail and the Mirror.
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A Kensington Palace spokesman declined to comment on the Duchess’ “personal activities” when contacted by The Hollywood Reporter.
The Dorchester hotel has not yet responded to a request for comment.
According to the reports, Middleton went to the hotel in a blacked-out people carrier via its underground car park in order to avoid the press pack that follows her every movement.
The Duchess went to the wedding, which was also attended by her parents, Carole and Michael, brother James and sister Pippa, but there were no reports that Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, attended.
STORY: Russell Crowe Opposes Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott, Says Employees Are ‘Collateral Damage’
Veteran British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell tweeted the news of Middleton’s attendance as a “break” of the “celeb boycott of the Dorchester,” while fashion magazine Marie Claire described the news as “uncharacteristically controversial” for the Duchess.
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