Duchess Kate is ‘confident, she’s competent’ & it’s not ‘all a publicity stunt’

The Times of London’s weekend article about the Duchess of Cambridge as “the real royal revolutionary” was pathetic, obvious and frighteningly tone-deaf. As we’ve seen in recent years, the Windsors are very, very bad at this. It’s shocking to see how they used to be considered, at worst, baseline competent at communications, and now they’re left reeling by any story, and seem unable to function at any PR strategy. Everything around Kate is a good example, because I feel like she’s got three different PR camps working on her behalf. There’s Buckingham Palace, eager to set her up as the future queen. There’s Kensington Palace, eager to cover up her laziness and incompetence. And then there’s Middleton HQ, eager to both infantilize Kate and make her sound like a Top CEO who can do it all. The Times’ “royal revolutionary” piece is the product of all three strategies playing out in a disorganized way. The exploitation of murder victim Sarah Everard was only part of the Times piece. The other part was just a general embiggening article, and I’m afraid several people threw out their backs from all of the reaching. Some additional highlights:

Kate is not woke, but she’s not NOT woke: Few royal insiders are expecting Kate suddenly to turn into a fire-breathing apostle of “wokeness”, or even to express the remotest hint of a political belief. She does not issue bold proclamations to compare with, say, the welcome page of Harry and Meghan’s new website, Archewell, which announces: “Through our non-profit work, as well as creative activations, we drive systemic cultural change across all communities, one act of compassion at a time.”

She’s effective because she’s selflessly lazy: Yet Kate is no stranger to acts of compassion, and her low-key approach may strike many as a great deal more effective. “When Harry and Meghan talked to Oprah, they were more concerned about their own welfare; it was all about them and that’s been their narrative all along,” says Penny Junor. “But there’s a difference between service and self-service. I feel real service is doing things selflessly for others. I think that’s what Kate understands.

The Queen of Zoom, I sh-t you not: She won’t be the queen of Britain for a while, but she’s already a queen of Zoom meetings. Through Kensington Palace’s social media feeds she has become an online video-conferencing force to be reckoned with during lockdown, and the causes she supports and the charities she endorses are reaping incalculable benefits. “All the Zoom calls William and Kate have done are showing them in a very good light,” says Jennie Bond, a former BBC royal correspondent. “Usually you just see a tiny bit of them on the telly or a picture in the paper or whatever. But you kind of feel from their work online you’re getting a peek inside their true personalities, inside their homes. They seem much more natural and Kate is coming across as very knowledgeable and compassionate.” Junor adds: “I think the whole of lockdown has opened people’s eyes to working members of the royal family. They are reaching a far wider audience than before and Kate is coming out of it really well.

Kate did something once in 2007: Those with long memories may recall that Kate once embarked on a long-distance rowing project of her own. In 2007 she trained for a cross-Channel attempt as the helmswoman of a dragon boat with an all-women crew, but her then status as William’s girlfriend forced her to give up.

Penny Junor on how Kate isn’t a narcissist: “Kate is just really very good at it in a relaxed, friendly way. She’s not over the top, not ‘me, me, me’ at all. I think she’s absolutely coming into her prime now — she’s confident, she’s competent, and you don’t get the impression that she’s waiting for cameras to be there and it’s all a publicity stunt.”

Penny Junor on the lessons Kate learned from Diana: Kate may have learnt an important lesson from Diana, whose popularity began to outstrip her husband’s. “Charles was Prince of Wales and not used to having the limelight taken from him,” she says. “That caused huge problems. Kate is being very careful to ensure she doesn’t outstrip William. She is not on an ego trip, and her head has not been turned by celebrity. Kate is a working woman doing a job. She didn’t leave the human race when she joined Planet Windsor.”

[From The Times of London]

Kate the Keen: stealing all the good things about Meghan, in a white package. That’s the short version. And would this current version of Kate the “competent” (I laughed) exist without Meghan as her foil? Why did Meghan and Harry even need Frogmore Cottage when Meghan lives rent-free in all of their heads? Meghan: *breathes* Kate: “I breathed first and I breathe better because I’m not woke-breathing and I’m not trying to take attention away from my husband when I make everything about how I’m much better than Meghan!!” Lord, this mess. And the Queen of Zoom thing SENT ME. How can one be a Top CEO, the Queen of Zoom, and careful enough to not overshadow her thin-skinned incandescent husband?

Anyway, the rule of thumb is always “if they’re trying this hard to make a story happen, you know the opposite is true.”

— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) April 3, 2021

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN, KP.

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