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bitchy | The Waleses’ Boston trip is ‘one of the most important overseas trips for years’

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Prince William and Kate are worried, let me tell you. Roya Nikkah at the Sunday Times had a big story called “Harry and Meghan trashed the monarchy. Can William and Kate win back American hearts?” That question mark!!! At least the Times isn’t making a declarative statement: The Waleses will win back hearts! No, they can’t say that. Because William and Kate live inside their own asses, they have no idea how things are going to go when they arrive in Boston for the Earthshot Awards in early December. They’re going to try to “manage” everything, but we’ve seen – just this year – the kind of amateur-hour staging and keenery that passes for royal tours with William and Kate. Anyway, this article is just chockablock full of hilarity and, yes, the Keens are panicking.

The Sussexes’ Oprah interview: “We now have a US problem,” an exasperated senior courtier told me in the aftermath of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s excoriating interview with the American talk show host Oprah Winfrey last year. After 90 minutes of prime-time royal annihilation, watched by 49 million people, the monarchy’s image was seriously tarnished.

The most important visit to the US in years: In ten days, a visit to the US by the Prince and Princess of Wales, viewed in royal circles as one of the most important overseas trips for years, aims to get the House of Windsor firmly back on the front foot across the pond. The couple’s engagements will cover sport, green tech, vulnerable young people, climate change and Kate’s interest in the early years. They will attend the second Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Boston, which will be shown on December 4 on the American public broadcaster PBS, Multichoice in Africa and the BBC.

An opportunity to have American headlines: Those in royal circles know the US trip is a big opportunity for William and Kate to sprinkle the stardust many Americans love and elevate the monarchy above entertainment news, before another narrative from the alternative Californian royal court hits headlines again. A source close to the couple said of their first visit to the US in eight years: “They are excited about being back on American shores, and as their first overseas visit since the passing of the Queen, they appreciate there will be a lot interest, and they welcome that. This is a huge moment for them as they assume their new roles.

No distractions from the Sussexes: When it comes to the elephant in the room — or on the West Coast — royal sources insist the couple “won’t be distracted by what others are doing or other activities that are coming up”. The largely positive reaction in the US to Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview, which drew support even from the White House, highlighted the transatlantic divide. The US was then largely pro Team Sussex, but many in the UK were more sceptical and there was more questioning of the couple’s claim of racism within the royal family, and of mental health struggles being batted away by the institution.

Nikkah spoke to an American professor who works in the UK: Dr Christine Harlen, a lecturer in US politics and international political economy at the University of Leeds, who is from Massachusetts, says William and Kate’s visit to her home state is especially timely. “The Oprah interview undoubtedly damaged the image of the monarchy in the US, but there is a lot of excitement about this visit. Their support for and leadership on the environment is seen as a more progressive aspect of the royal family. It appeals to the values of Americans who are left of the political spectrum and to the younger generations — people who are more sensitive and sympathetic to some of the concerns raised by Harry and Meghan with Oprah. So it might help neutralise some of the antagonism and interest people who are a bit younger than those who usually follow the royals.” Harlen also thinks the US visit will help rehabilitate the image of UK plc. “After Liz Truss and that mini-budget, a lot of people and media in the US were like ‘What is going on with Britain?’,” she said. “It got a lot of negative attention. A royal visit brings a positive message.”

Tina Brown on the Keens’ visit: “While Harry and Meghan have captured the tabloid imagination here, interest in William and Kate is low boil. I would like to have seen them hit more cities than Boston, where sizzle factor is quiescent to say the least. To win America, I would recommend a White House dinner, with Kate hitting the dance floor with [the actor] Bradley Cooper, as Diana did with [John] Travolta, preferably in the dress Kate wore to the James Bond opening.”

It sounds like Will & Kate are fighting the idea of doing a real tour: Aides are keen to emphasise the Boston visit is a “trip, not a tour” and “part of their more modern approach to statesmanship”, which is about “going into the heart of communities and promoting the issues that are close to their hearts, not just going to the White House”.

[From The Sunday Times]

Tina Brown’s comments are f–king hilarious to me. She thinks Joe Biden would have the time or interest in hosting William and Kate at the White House, or that someone could arrange Bradley Cooper dancing with Kate? Y’all. First of all, William and Kate are genuinely too lazy for all of that. Second of all, the Bidens wouldn’t agree to that. There’s also a mention in this piece about how the trip is “an opportunity for the royal family to align itself with America’s most revered first family.” Again, the Windsors have been Kennedy-obsessed for decades, which makes it even funnier that the Robert Kennedy Human Rights non-profit is giving the Sussexes an award just days after William throws himself a dull Earthshot party in Boston. Beyond that, it’s like… no one even wants to say it out loud, that this pair of 40-year-olds are diplomatic lightweights. I hope their trip is an utter disaster.

Photos courtesy of Instar.



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