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Princess Kate: Palace communication is catastrophic (opinion)

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Princess Kate: Palace communication is catastrophic (opinion)


Mystery about Catherine The royals don’t owe their people any pictures – but their communication is catastrophic

Prince William and Princess Kate in Ireland in 2020

© Phil Noble/PA Wire / Picture Alliance

The public hadn’t seen Princess Kate since Christmas, but now she was photographed in the car by a paparazzo. However, the skeptics online are not satisfied.

It looks a bit like the paparazzo used a camera from the 50s to capture Princess Kate and her mother Carole Middleton in the car. The shot, which the US portal “TMZ” published on Monday, is blurry and grainy. And so the first picture of the future queen since Christmas does not necessarily reassure skeptics online. They worry about the popular princess because Kate has had to take it easy for so long and hasn’t been seen in ages. She will not attend any public appointments until after Easter.

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The paparazzo photo is analyzed online by attentive observers, every centimeter of the princess’s face is examined for abnormalities. Her face shape seems a little rounder than usual, which could be for a variety of reasons. Much more exciting is the question of why the mystery surrounding Kate excites people so much.

In Kate’s case there are several reasons for this. People are used to their future queen always appearing perfect and radiant in public. Even after the birth of her three children, she presented herself in a dress on the stairs in front of the hospital entrance. True to the motto: Look, I’m a professional and I’ll show you your heir to the throne. Kate is known to be dutiful and always adheres to royal etiquette. In view of this, the fact that she has withdrawn from the public for almost three months is surprising.

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Other demands on the female royals

However, it raises the question of whether a male member of the royal family would react similarly or whether his desire for privacy would be respected by the people. When Duchess Meghan gave birth to her son Archie in England, the press was in a state of emergency because no one knew which hospital the American had chosen and she also refrained from appearing in public immediately after the birth. One difference to the current situation surrounding Kate is that the press is still holding back while people speculate wildly online.

The Waleses’ current behavior is strange, and not just because of Kate’s usual loyalty to the royal family and the rules there. The palace’s PR strategy can also at least be improved. Every royal is surrounded by communication professionals – and yet the way the royals deal with illnesses sometimes doesn’t seem well thought out.

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While King Charles III. William and Kate are very open about his prostate treatment and subsequent cancer diagnosis. Neither the nature of Kate’s operation nor the reasons were revealed. The two didn’t adjust their strategy even when the hashtag “WhereisKate” was trending online for a long time. “Never complain, never explain” seems to be the top priority for the Wales family too. Which isn’t surprising if it weren’t for Charles’ unusual thirst for information, which makes William and Kate seem strangely tense.

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Finally, there is still the question of how much the royals owe their people. The answer: It’s complicated. Because of course the royals are co-financed by the people. Last year, state remuneration to the royal family amounted to 86.3 million British pounds. Government grants called the Sovereign Grant, which pay for travel and security costs, as well as staff costs and maintenance of palace operations. The British taxpayers have a financial stake in the monarchy system.

And so the British have high expectations of “their” royals. To put it bluntly: They want to see them work. They want the big entrances, the flashlights and the chance to see the royal family live. Preferably Kate, who shines brighter than many other members of the family. And so the expectations of her are obviously greater than of other “working royals”. The fact that they are just human beings with vulnerabilities, illnesses and bad days is often forgotten. The people in particular do not seem to recognize any weakness in the female members. This was the case with Duchess Meghan because she actively resisted unofficial customs, and is now also noticeable with Kate.

Yes, the British pay the royal family with their taxes. And yes, the institution is also justified because the members of the family attend numerous appointments and engagements. But does a woman who has just had surgery owe the public a photo of herself if she doesn’t feel like it and her body is suffering from the strain? No. However, it should perhaps adapt its strategy to the people’s concerns. Instead of never complain, never explain, explain a little more. The Waleses’ PR team could have nipped the concerns among the British people in the bud long ago.

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Sources: “TMZ” / Statesman

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