Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals features a lot of embiggening for the new Prince and Princess of Wales. You’d almost think that Nicholl was simply publishing the talking points she had been issued from Middleton Manor and Kensington Palace. In some new excerpts published by the Daily Mail, Nicholl – hold on, I’m laughing as I type this – writes about how Prince William and Kate are the “new Elizabethans” and they’re also leaning into their star-power and glamour, as evidenced by Kate’s 40th birthday portraits. LMAO. Some highlights:
The long game: The Princess of Wales, meanwhile, has notably grown into her role. Rebecca Priestley, her private secretary for six years, told the Daily Mail that Kate ‘knows every decision is for the rest of her life, everything is for the long game’, and Kate’s playing it accordingly.
Kate’s 40th birthday portraits. The images were confident, bold even. It’s no overstatement to say they heralded a new age of Kate. Taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, they showed Kate in two Alexander McQueen frocks and in jewellery from both the Queen’s and Diana’s collections. It was a significant contrast to her debut on Vogue’s cover in 2016, when she was dressed in a brown country coat and a green fedora. William had been wary about her doing things that could be seen as too showy. At that time, he didn’t want her to do anything that might be compared to the famously sexy yet sophisticated portraits of his mother by Mario Testino.
William has mellowed about Kate’s consumption glamour: A former aide says: ‘William has always been very firm that his role is about duty, not celebrity, but he recognises in today’s world that he and Kate can use their global profile as there is a huge amount of interest in them. There is always something meaningful behind a red-carpet moment.’
This is what they’re teaching their kids? That is the point for the Prince and Princess of Wales, and it is what they hope to impress on their children. The family already has a unique global platform, and following the departure of the Sussexes, they no longer have to share it.
The New Elizabethans: ‘[William] certainly models himself on the Queen’s sense of duty,’ says one of his long-standing former aides. ‘There are also elements of his father’s duty that he takes into close consideration, but the values he most looks up to are his grandmother’s. ‘He knows that the institution has to be genuine, it has to be authentic, relatable, and really make a difference to people’s lives.’ That’s their Royal ambition: to be new Elizabethans. The monarchy is theirs to fashion as they see fit.
The Wales kids in the spotlight: ‘We’ve seen the children performing in front of the cameras in a way that cannot have been part of the original plan,’ observes Royal historian Robert Lacey. ‘We know that William and Kate want to bring up their children in relative seclusion and privacy, but the children have had to become a prominent part of the show.’
When Meghan was the star of that ‘Fab Four’ talk for the Royal Foundation: Nicholl claims Meghan’s first public appearance as a board member of the Foundation was a ‘wake-up call’ for Kate and William. She quoted a source who said: ‘That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realised that Meghan was very impressive, very confident and very capable.’
“He didn’t want her to do anything that might be compared to the famously sexy yet sophisticated portraits of his mother by Mario Testino…” I mean, it would have been hilarious for Kate to try to copykeen Diana’s gorgeous Testino portraits but Kate, as we know, doesn’t have the range. Her range is “happy when QEII dies” to “OMG buttons” to “Victorian nanny.” Speaking of, that’s always been Kate’s default – not glamour, not glitz, but Victorian and dated. Her default is to copy someone else, even if that someone lived 120 years ago.
As for the kids… again, people act like William and Kate *have* to bring their kids out, like they’re being forced to exploit their children. It’s William and Kate’s choice to hide behind their kids. This is also curious: “It is what they hope to impress on their children. The family already has a unique global platform, and following the departure of the Sussexes, they no longer have to share it.” Ah, yes. William and Kate ran a destructive hate campaign on Harry and Meghan so that they could teach their children the valuable lesson of not sharing a spotlight.
Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Avalon Red, Cover Images.