Home » Prince William abandons Kate Middleton: royal commentator

Prince William abandons Kate Middleton: royal commentator

by Marko Florentino
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You and I should, by rights, know all about Queen Jane.

She was the woman who, depending on which historian you ask and how close to lunch, was meant to be England’s first regnant Queen – that is, who ruled in her own right.

Instead, nine days after the 17-year-old was forcibly pushed onto the throne by her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland, something Lady Jane never actually wanted herself, she was forced to relinquish it and was duly executed.

At the end, even her father had abandoned her cause.

My point?

The British crown!

It’s been using women for its own ends since Ealhswith married Alfred the Great in the ninth century, thus essentially founding the English monarchy, only to be ignored and written out of history for ages.

It depresses me to my ardently feminist socks to have to tell you this is still happening, 470 years after Jane met her fate thanks to the maneuvering, exploitative men in her life.

Happily, Kate the Princess of Wales is in no danger of being dragged off to the Tower anytime soon, but metaphorically?

Reputationally?

Happily Kate the Princess of Wales is in no danger of being dragged off to the Tower anytime soon. WireImage

The 42-year-old has, this week, been tarred, feathered, put on the rack and paraded about for some rotten fruit throwing, and all while the men of the royal family are closely inspecting their fingernails in another room.

As this week closes out, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) has declared that Kensington Palace is no longer considered a trusted source, CNN has announced it’s “reviewing” all the images previously supplied by the palace and Instagram has added a warning to the Instagram shot that was heard around the world.

What should have been a heartwarming blip on the radar, a new photo showing Kate with her three kids (and really doing her utmost to promote the British wicker chair industry) has instead snowballed into one of the biggest crises of the princess’s otherwise blemish-free career.

We now know pretty much exactly how things played out.

The photo of the princess, along with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was taken last Friday afternoon after the Wales kids got home from school.

CNN has announced it’s “reviewing” all the images previously supplied by the palace and Instagram has added a warning to the Instagram shot that was heard around the world. Frank Augstein/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

The family had a 40-minute window to get the image, which was snapped by none other than Prince William, Flat Cap Wearer magazine’s annual man of the year.

Later that night, at 9:54 pm UK time, someone, presumably Kate, edited the photo before again tweaking it the next morning at 9:39 am.

As we have now learned, the end result was a bit of a Franken-pic of rubbish Photoshopping that did not pass professional muster.

A day later, it was released via the Waleses’ social media accounts and to the major photo agencies, ironically taken to mark Mother’s Day.

About 12 hours after that, the five major photo agencies (Press Association, Getty Images, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Shutterstock and Reuters, issued kill notices labeling the shot “manipulated”.)

The photo of the princess, along with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was taken last Friday afternoon after the Wales kids got home from school. Getty Images

(To give you a sense of how massive this is, Phil Chetwynd, AFP’s global news director, explained this week that “previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency”.)

What followed was Kate having to issue a totally unprecedented apology, admitting “I do occasionally experiment with editing.”

This rat-a-tat of drama only dialed up the hysteria that has overtaken social media about Kate and her supposedly mysterious whereabouts.

Honestly, I’m surprised that X and TikTok’s vast, vast acres of servers haven’t all spontaneously combusted under the sheer weight of derangement and obsession.

Everyone take a breath here and let me ask you, what do you notice about all of this? Of the Bedlam-worthy events of the last week, what, or more accurately, who is curiously absent?

This rat-a-tat of drama only dialed up the hysteria that has overtaken social media about Kate and her supposedly mysterious whereabouts. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Answer: The men.

Our first AWOL fella is William. 

It was the prince who actually took the photo that started this whole ordeal, even though I think we can assume it was Kate, a lifelong photographer and patron of the Royal Photographic Society, who might have composed and organized the image.

When the princess’s apology landed this week, there was a nice, big, fat ‘C’ at the end, marking the missive as a personal one from Kate – and Kate only.

Where the heck was her supposed faithful partner? 

Princess Kate got caught editing a photo. Prince of Wales

Where was the man who had promised to love and honor and occasionally let her be the big spoon all those years ago in front of a slightly bored-looking Archbishop of Canterbury?

Even if it was Kate who was the one who was up at nearly 10 pm on a Friday tinkering on a Mac, inadvertently proving she is not perfect in every conceivable way, the image was released by their shared social media accounts.

It infuriates me no end that when the Waleses’ joint project – the photo – landed them in roiling, surging hot water, suddenly the prince was nowhere to be seen and it was Kate gamely taking the rap solo.

For god’s sake, they could have just chucked a ‘we’ into that apology and a ‘W’ on the end, as we have seen countless times before, to put on a nice united front.

I shudder to think what centuries of English Kings reared on strict chivalric codes of honor would have made of Willy’s speedy, very noticeable decision to make himself scarce this week.

The prince is not the only one this charge can be laid at, thus welcome to the stage AWOL fella two, King Charles.

His Majesty, of course, has his own problems right now as he undergoes treatment for cancer, and has been forced to drop nearly all of his public-facing duties aside from an occasional official audience.

(This week Charles “pricked the List of High Sheriffs for the Counties of England” as the Court Circular put it, which is a lovely bit of holdover medieval nomenclature. All he did really was sign the list.)

Still, throughout the Great Wales Hullabaloo, Charles, like his son, was nowhere to be seen.

This is a tad trickier.

Realistically, Buckingham Palace is not going to pop up and start issuing statements about whatever ordeal his usually irreproachable son and daughter-in-law have accidentally created thanks to good intentions and some shoddy computer work.

That is simply not how things are done.

But how they are done is that royal insiders and sources tend to pop up in a select handful of newspapers to give select insights into One’s feelings or to convey a general sense of the prevailing winds inside the palace.

Thus, it would not have come as a surprise to see a line in some reporting this week such as, ‘the King is wholly supportive of the Princess of Wales’ need to continue to recuperate and knows this will all blow over’.

You know, something dull but sending supportive smoke signals?

Except this has not happened and Charles has stuck to neatly signing documents and lovingly tending his flowers.

Reader, I’m pissed off. Deeply.

The royal family and the monarchy has only survived this long because women like Kate have willingly signed over their lives, wombs and identities for the ultimate good of the crown since the Dark Ages, when doors were newfangled tech.

The only reason that Charles even still has a throne to sit on is because of women like the Princess of Wales, women who have given themselves over in every sense for the greater good of the monarchy.

Yet now that Kate is in trouble and could very much do with the full weight of the crown rallying behind her, instead she is shouldering this unthinkable burden without even one of the men in her life, men of Teutonic DNA and the righteous privilege of millennia of male primogeniture, publicly and audibly supporting her.

Added to which, need I remind anyone that all of this is happening while Kate recovers from surgery major enough to require months of sick leave?

Decades from now, who will want to marry George, Charlotte and Louis?

Who would be bold or brave or foolish enough to agree to throw their lot in with the monarchy for the sake of love?

Lady Jane never stood a chance.

I really hope the Wales kids do.



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