Tatler absolutely blessed us with all of this fun royal drama this week. Maybe things really are getting back to normal, gossip-wise. As we discussed, Tatler’s “Catherine the Great” cover story was supposed to be a sugary Embiggening project, but it blew up in William and Kate’s faces and made them look lazy, entitled and weak. Kensington Palace issued a denial and Tatler clapped back saying that they stood by their reporting AND that KP knew about the story for months. In People Magazine’s coverage, a “royal source” said that while KP didn’t specify which parts of Tatler’s story were false, the source “tells PEOPLE there is no truth to Tatler’s claim that Kate feels overwhelmed by the heavier workload resulting from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s recent step down from royal life.” That IS oddly specific. It’s not “false” that Kate magically has a bigger workload post-Sussexit, it’s only false that Kate feels overwhelmed by the now unmanageable Zoom calls once a week. LMAO.
Meanwhile, I was waiting with bated breath to see all of the furious reactions from Kensington Palace. You know that William was stomping his feet and screaming at everybody for the past two days. And much like the Rose Hanbury debacle, I thought this would be a great opportunity for William to run off to see Richard Kay at the Daily Mail. And that’s exactly what happened. You can read the full piece here at the DM – trust that Kay got to the important stuff at the beginning, namely that no matter what, everything is still Meghan’s Fault.
How dare Middle-Class Will & Cathy be mocked by a snobbish magazine? “Suddenly they are the uneasy focus of a snobbish profile in society magazine Tatler, which touches not only on the sensitive issue of the alleged rift between Kate and sister-in-law Meghan, but also raises some frankly impertinent questions about the Duchess’s apparent ‘thinness’ and her Middleton family background.
The Meghan-tights story: “Had Kate intervened as the article suggests, say friends, it would have been not just because she knew that tights look neater but also as a mark of respect to the Queen. Certainly there have been previous reports of disagreements between the two duchesses over wedding day outfits, with one claim that Kate, who had not long given birth to Prince Louis, had been reduced to tears after an encounter with Meghan. Middleton family friends have always denied the tears story but have also acknowledged that the relationship between the two women has not been easy. All the same, they do not recognise Tatler’s assertion that the Duchess of Cambridge had ‘sought the opportunity to put Meghan in her place, reprimanding her for speaking imperiously to Kensington Palace staff’. According to insiders the ‘tights episode’ — as reported by Tatler — is ‘not quite right’.
Kay’s sources insist that Kate did try to help Meghan: Many believe this was the moment when a froideur descended between the two women, one determined to do things her way, regardless of the rulebook, the other finding her offer to help and be a guide firmly rejected. At the same time, the Duchess’s circle deny the claim from a friend that Kate ‘never pulled Meghan under her wing and said: “I’ll show you the ropes.” ’ As a close friend of the couple told me: ‘Help can only be provided if it is willingly accepted.’
The Cambridges are mad about the lazy stuff: What has upset the Cambridges, and upset them deeply, is the claim that Kate somehow resents the increase in duties that have come her way…. Aides are refusing to be drawn on this, but I understand that this assertion that she is workshy is utterly rejected and that the couple are angered at what they perceive to be a false and misleading picture. One figure says that the Duchess ‘is doing more, because she asked to do more’. A close friend tells me: ‘Yes, she is juggling a lot with three young children at home while contributing when she can to the national effort, but she is very conscious that there are many, many more people under far more pressure than she is.’ They particularly repudiate the idea that this makes the Duchess out of touch with the hardships so many households are facing.
Tricky about Carole/Diana: References to William’s relationship with her family will also hurt. A ‘country grandee’ is quoted as saying: ‘I’ve heard that Prince William is obsessed with Carole. She’s the mummy he always wanted.’ This, say friends, is absurd. And it is not the only reference to the Princess of Wales. The article also says: ‘Outwardly it seems that with years of scrutinising public pressure Kate has become perilously thin, just like — some point out — Princess Diana.’ But the Princess suffered from an eating disorder that for a while was a central and damaging feature in her life. For Kate, this is perhaps the most uncomfortable barb of all.
Maybe I’ve just been starving for royal drama, but this piece was very ODD, right? While I feel William’s fingerprints throughout (and I’m sure William directed Kay to write this rebuttal), I really felt like Kay allowed some of Tatler’s criticisms to go unanswered, un-denied, just left out there. Especially the stuff about the Middletons – all Kay will really say is that Kate will find it “wounding” especially because “Tatler is read by the Duchess’s friends and lies around in the drawing rooms of the country houses she and William visit.” And how! And Kay’s piece ends on the note about an eating order too, without really rebutting that either. Very curious. And like many of Willileaks’ tantrums, I feel like this will only lead the Tatler debacle becoming an even bigger scandal.
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