DM: Duchess Kate ‘felt she was very welcoming to Meghan’ & was ‘rebuffed’
The Mail’s Becky English wrote an epic story about the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of her fortieth birthday (January 9). The piece isn’t all “insider” quotes – English quotes named sources at length, like Kate’s current private secretary, Rebecca Deacon/Priestley. Ordinarily, no one currently working for a royal primary would be caught dead being a named source for the Mail. But I guess the Mail and the Cambridges still continue to have their suspiciously cozy relationship, especially given that the Keens authorized Jason Knauf to turn over evidence intended to harm the Duchess of Sussex’s case against the Mail. Does the Mail “own” William and Kate, or is this just a mutually beneficial (or mutually parasitic) situation? In any case, this story is so long and there are so many ridiculous parts, I need to split up this Mail piece into two posts.
This is Part 1, and these quotes are about Kate’s (lack of) work ethic, how she always understood that it was a “fool’s errand” to try to be the next Diana, and how Kate is not self-absorbed in the least, which is likely why Kate and her staff organized this and many other embiggening stories to fluff her up for her 40th.
Kate will be the Princess of Wales by her next landmark birthday (after 40): As with everything associated with the Royal Family, her apprenticeship as future queen has been slow. Too slow, say some. But, astutely alert to the royals’ unflustered ways, Kate has refused to be rushed. Of course, one of our monarchy’s immutable strengths is its repudiation of the modern fad to bend to prevailing fashion. Significantly, too, Kate has brought another unswerving value to the Royal Family: the Middletons’ way of doing things. Steadfast and unflashy.
Rebecca Priestley, Kate’s private secretary: Priestley worked for the duchess for seven years, recalled how newlyweds William and Kate approached the daunting task of a life committed to public service together as if it was a ‘blank piece of paper’. All three were in Anglesey in 2011, where the couple had chosen to spend their first years of married life while William worked as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot. Rebecca says of their conversation: ‘I said: ‘Right, what next? You have the philanthropic world at your feet. There are so many directions you can go in terms of causes you can get involved in. Catherine [as William prefers her to be known] had clearly put a lot of thought into it and made very clear that, for her, it was about listening and learning.’
Kate never wanted to become the next Diana? Some critics felt frustrated at the new duchess’s cautious approach, and she was cruelly dubbed the Duchess of Dolittle. The public had waited years for a young, glamorous new member of the Royal Family, but, wisely, Kate realised it would be a fool’s errand to try to take on Diana’s mantle. Instead, she assumed more the Queen Mother’s ‘steel marshmallow’ character. ‘Catherine wanted to get under the skin of this new role and the challenges she was about to take on,’ says Rebecca Priestley. ‘She wanted to learn. There were a lot of under-the-radar visits and she saw people privately to help her understand the issues she wanted to put her name to. These were lifelong decisions she was taking. She wanted to have credibility when she spoke. And that actually takes huge strength of character.’
Kate isn’t self-absorbed: Heads Together — the mental health campaign fronted by William, Harry and Kate — was her idea. ‘Not that she would ever be so self-absorbed as to tell you that,’ another friend says. Rebecca says: ‘It’s been wonderful to see Catherine achieve what she wanted to and it’s all the more powerful because it is so genuine. Mental health, the Early Years and addiction are all being talked about more openly because of her interventions.’
The Queen is okay with Kate: The Queen has nothing but admiration for her and feels comforted that the future of her dynasty appears assured. Prince Philip was also a particular source of support for Kate — often writing her ‘very warm and loving’ letters. By then, she had lost her own grandparents, so his advice was much-welcomed and he became something of a role model.
She finds it difficult to be a working mother: According to another source, it has ‘not been easy’ for Kate to combine being the mother of three young children with fulfilling a busy schedule of public duties. ‘She’ll be the first person to say how lucky she is to have the help of a nanny and staff. But going from being a mummy, worrying if a child is not well or had a good day at nursery, to transforming herself into a public figure and shining at an evening reception is tough emotionally. Ultimately, her children are her priority.’
Nursery drop-offs? I have been told by several different sources that as a first-time mother, Kate struggled initially to cope with the adjustment of doing the nursery drop-off, then racing to London for meetings and to attend official functions such as state dinners. This was particularly the case when William was an air ambulance pilot in Norfolk, often leaving the house himself at 5.30am. Kate worried whether she and William would ever be able to create a sense of normality for the kids. ‘But Catherine is not a quitter and she determined that she and William needed to work harder at finding a better balance for their family,’ says a friend.
Kate organizes staff: Of course, they have help from their nanny and a housekeeper. But Kate is very much a hands-on mother and, as a member of staff says: ‘It’s all about organisation. If there’s an evening event, Catherine tends to get her hair ready between meetings during the day so she can finish up while the children are eating dinner, which allows her the time to put them to bed. Her attitude is always ‘we will just make it work’. And nowadays, she has more confidence [during the planning process] to say: ‘No, that is too much for that week.’ ‘
Kate has found an ally in Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie Wessex. Seventeen years her senior, the countess is a confidante and a sounding board. They both, I’m told, ‘repeatedly’ reached out to Meghan after she first spoke of her unhappiness in 2019. However, I am also told that both Kate and Sophie were ‘rebuffed’.
Kate welcomed Meghan!! There is no doubt Harry and Meghan’s acrimonious departure from the Royal Family, and repeated attacks on it, have deeply upset Kate and William. The duchess has been accused by some in the Sussex camp of being ‘cool’ towards Meghan — an accusation those close to her vehemently deny. ‘As individuals, they have nothing in common. But Catherine wanted to see Harry happy and felt she was very welcoming to Meghan,’ one friend tells me.
The crying at the 2018 bridesmaids’ dress fitting: As the Queen might say, recollections may vary as to who made whom cry. I’ve been reliably told that the account which suggests it was Meghan’s behaviour towards Kate’s daughter, Charlotte, possibly over whether she should wear tights, that prompted the dispute is ‘broadly true’. Meanwhile, the allegation that the notoriously private Kate schemed to have details of the incident leaked to the media (in fact, there was a number of witnesses present) is laughable. In short, it is her maxim to stay out of family rows.
[From The Daily Mail]
“Kate struggled initially to cope with the adjustment of doing the nursery drop-off, then racing to London for meetings and to attend official functions such as state dinners…” After her giving birth to her first two children, she had lengthy maternity leaves and after those leaves, she would maybe work one day a week. As for nursery drop-offs, she has at least one full-time nanny AND no one forced the Keens to spend all that time in Norfolk, necessitating a “race” to get to London. They were always supposed to be London-based in the first place.
As for creating Heads Together and “Not that she would ever be so self-absorbed as to tell you that” – she literally is that self-absorbed, because “sources” have given her credit for it from its inception. That was also why she and William took credit for all of Harry’s work too, because “Kate created Heads Together.” Will and Kate have done f–k all with it since Harry left too.
The Meghan stuff – as I said, I’m splitting this up into two posts. Kate can’t exist without sniping at Meghan, that’s Kate’s whole persona now. She and Sophie were “rebuffed” by Meghan, oh no. And once again, Kate returns to her favorite worry stone, the bridesmaids’ dress fitting and the ever-changing story about what actually happened and how Kate is the wronged party. I’ve lost count of how many different versions KATE has promoted. What an a–hole.
As for what Rebecca Priestley says about how Kate “clearly put a lot of thought into it and made very clear that, for her, it was about listening and learning” – Kate knew from the very start that she didn’t want to work, that no one should expect her to do anything but pose for pie chart photos and take credit for the work of professionals. This whole thing (Kate) is asinine.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar, Backgrid and WENN.
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