Whenever these kinds of stories pop up, I inevitably think “wow, Prince William is playing a very dangerous game.” It’s one thing for William to smear his brother and sister-in-law on an almost daily basis, it’s quite another to use his media connections to publicly criticize Prince Charles. As the man said, if you come at the king, you best not miss. William is balling up his fists and hoping to ride out a newscycle by quickly throwing Charles under the bus out of convenience. I hope Charles takes William to the woodshed. So, what am I talking about? William’s favorite royal commentator, Dan Wootton, has a new column: “Why William is refusing to repeat the sins of his father: Dan Wootton reveals how the Prince is determined to be present for HIS children – after Charles often was absent during his childhood following Diana’s death.” Watch your step, Peggington. Some highlights:
Peggington’s brutal honesty: Prince William is brutally honest with close friends and courtiers about the impact his father’s work had on his childhood following the death of his mother in 1997. Even today, with his relationship with Prince Charles very much on the mend, the Duke of Cambridge makes explicit his desire to avoid repeating what he believes are the mistakes of his upbringing.
The Cambridges’ move to Windsor: That’s why the Cambridges formal move to Windsor unveiled this morning, which will see the family move into the comparatively small Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate and all three children attend the nearby Lambrook School from next month, is highly significant. More than just a physical move from Kensington Palace, William is sending a clear message to the Royal Family that, while his children remain in their formative years, he views his most important job as being a dad.
William is not Charles (hint: William is worse): My senior royal insider explained: ‘Prince William has forgiven his father and relations between them are stronger than they have been in some time, but he has been abundantly clear to all that he won’t repeat the way he was prioritised as a child. He feels Prince Charles’ unquestionable work ethic had a direct impact on his upbringing, especially after the death of his mother. Far too often, his father chose his duties over being a dad. It is his overarching, unquestionable mission and motive in life to be the best father possible, especially when his children are this age. He is unapologetic about that.’
The same insider continues: ‘The public won’t notice much of a difference and, of course, he acknowledges his significant duties as a working royal and second in line to the throne, but he believes those duties can be worked around his role as a hands-on father. So, for example, when timing engagements, wherever possible, school pick up times will be factored in, so either him or the Duchess can be there to pick up the children.’
How Princess Diana’s memory looms heavily: While [William and Harry] have taken very different paths, both are convinced they are living their lives in a way that fulfills their beloved mother’s wishes. In the case of William that means preparing Prince George to be king while infusing him with an understanding of real life and empathy for ordinary people. But the Duke is also of the belief that Diana would not have approved of Prince Harry’s separation from the monarchy.
Harry’s different: Harry, by contrast, has embraced his mother’s rebellious, anti-establishment streak and disdain of the ‘men in grey suits’ behind-the-scenes of the British Royal Family who Diana was convinced were out to destroy her reputation. Harry and Meghan have the same victim complex in regards to them. Friends say the Duke of Sussex has convinced himself, no doubt aided by his wife, that Diana would have ended up moving to the US to avoid the scrutiny of the British Press, who he has come to despise.
Diana would be so disappointed in her sons? Those who were close to Diana remain bitterly disappointed the previously tight brothers have been torn apart, knowing their mother believed the support they had from one another was going to be critical to cope with the demands of royal life as adults.
Imagine saying that a woman who was hounded to her death by the media at the age of 36 had a “victim complex.” Imagine saying a pregnant woman almost being driven to suicide by a coalition of Windsors and media has a “victim complex.” As for what Diana would have done or what she would have felt… as I’ve said a million times, if Diana had lived, so much would have been different for her sons.
As for what Wootton says about William believing that he’s a better man and a better father than Charles… it’s kind of ridiculous because they’re two sides of the same coin. Charles just does more work. Wootton’s source saying “The public won’t notice much of a difference” is extra funny because it’s an admission that William already does f–k all. He barely works and this Adelaide Cottage arrangement truly won’t change that. And let’s be real: William will mostly be living in Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall anyway. There is absolutely no way that William would have agreed to the Adelaide Cottage scheme if he intended to live there “full time.” Why is William throwing Charles under the bus for a quick headline boost? Smells like incandescence and diversionary tactics to me. “No, really, William is moving to Adelaide Cottage, we swear, and he’s doing that so he can be better than his father!”
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar, Cover Images, Backgrid, Kensington Palace.