Remember the Tatler “Catherine the Great” cover story, which came out in May of this year? Tatler clearly authorized it with Kensington Palace, then journalist Anna Pasternak went and did her own research and talked to the Norfolk Turnip Toffs, who clearly have a grudge against the Duchess of Cambridge. I said that at the time – that the article had a feel of “revenge of the Toffs.” The thing is, the tone was difficult to pin down – Kate was painted as the savior of the monarchy, the “kingmaker” who outshone her dull husband, the perfect Top CEO who never puts a foot wrong, and yet… in that particularly British way, it was absolutely awful about Kate, and made her seem cold, distant, pinched, lazy and (horror of horrors) dreadfully middle-class.
The immediate result was that Kensington Palace spent one full week freaking out publicly about the Tatler story. Tatler said at the time that they stood by their reporting, and they even went to KP for authorization at the beginning. The Cambridges, in turn, told everyone that they would take legal action, and Richard Kay and all of the royal commentators were dutifully dispatched to do damage control. Weeks later, Kate got a mulligan when People Magazine published a cover story with much of the same narrative, minus all of the shady sh-t. And then Finding Freedom came out and everybody sort of forgot about the Tatler debacle.
So, what now? I chanced upon this Newsweek story a few hours before several Twitter peeps picked up on it and I thought I really did a thing (but everybody else did the same thing, so nevermind). The most significant part of the story is that, months later, Tatler kept everything in the Catherine the Great cover story as-is. Minus one paragraph.
A Kate Middleton magazine article accused of a “swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations” is still online months after a legal complaint from Kensington Palace. An edited version of the Tatler “Catherine the Great” cover story remains on the U.K. society bible’s website with just a paragraph removed.
Kensington Palace had sent a legal letter to the publication and issued a strongly worded statement denouncing the reporting by veteran royal biographer Anna Pasternak. Britain’s press watchdog Ipso received six complaints, though none from the palace, and these have now also all been dismissed, Newsweek has learned.
No legal action has been announced publicly four months, though the palace legally has one year within which to bring a claim for defamation.
At the time, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said: “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication.” Palace insiders did not go into detail about which claims elements of the story were disputed but at the time said simply it was the subject of a legal complaint.
The section edited out of the story has been seen by Newsweek and relates to a single issue. Tatler defended its coverage at the time, saying Kensington Palace had known about the story for months and “we asked them to work together on it.”
So I really did pull up our archives and compare them to the Tatler story, which you can see here. The missing paragraph? No, it wasn’t the “Top CEO” drivel. It wasn’t the part where someone suggested that William is “obsessed” with Carole Middleton. It wasn’t the part about Kate beefing with Meghan over wedding tights. No, this is the section which was removed:
Then there’s her ‘Turnip Toff’ crowd, the Norfolk Sloanes, including Sophie Carter and Robert Snuggs, who live near Anmer Hall. And the Cambridges’ glamorous Houghton Hall neighbours, Rose Hanbury and her husband, the Marquess of Cholmondeley – with whom there was an alleged falling-out last year, over Rose’s apparent closeness to William. The whole of Norfolk was agog and the story spilled over into the newspapers. No party has commented publicly on the matter.
[From the original Tatler story, via our Celebitchy archives]
Well well well. The only thing mysteriously edited was the sole mention of Rose Hanbury. Could it be that Prince William managed to have that one thing pulled by quietly using his lawyers to threaten Tatler? Or is it something else? I mentioned at the start of this post that the Tatler piece felt like the Revenge of the Toffs. Perhaps Rose Hanbury didn’t want HER fingerprints all over it anymore. She got her point across. Kate better not try sh-t again.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.