I’m always happy when there are a million royal and royal-adjacent stories happening within several days, honestly. It makes my job easier, and you guys know I love writing about these people. This weekend was especially crazy though – within a 72-hour period, we had the Meghan-approved Gayle King CBS special, the Sussexes’ wedding anniversary (and Instagram post), Lady Gabriella’s wedding (attended by royals), plus William attending some football match and to top it all off, Kate doing the most to promote her garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Out of all of them, I think Kate probably “won” – Kensington Palace posted photos of the Cambridge kids, plus Kate had three outfit changes within a 24 hour period, so she got SO many headlines. But of course, because these stuffy royals are stuffy, now they think all of these competing headlines are a problem.
William and Kate and Harry and Meghan have fuelled months-long talk of a rift after engaging in what looks increasingly like a game of one-upmanship. There was a prime example yesterday when the Cambridges took their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis to see Kate’s new garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. After the visit, they released charming pictures of the children enjoying Kate’s creation at the show, of which she is intensely proud. Just hours before the event, new parents Harry and Meghan celebrated their first wedding anniversary by publishing a stunning collection of previously unseen behind-the-scenes photographs from their big day last year.
“It was a case of anything you can do, we can do better,” one seasoned royal watcher observed yesterday. Both couples produced a treasure trove of memorabilia for royal enthusiasts but after a spate of similar publicity clashes some aides have expressed concern that the lack of coordination is diluting some of the work of the Royal Family.
“Our diary planning could be better,” one source said. Aides said there was little they could do about their wedding anniversary clashing with the Cambridges at the flower show but courtiers conceded there had been times when both couples had overshadowed the other’s work.
They insisted the Cambridges and Sussexes, who split their household earlier this year, would always draw attention to their favoured causes. But a bigger concern, according to one source, is that efforts to promote Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s work risks losing out to the younger members of the Royal Family. Palace officials say they hold regular planning meetings but there will always be diary clashes. At the same time, however, sources have acknowledged that there have been days in the past few weeks when the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.
On the day last week when Prince William was launching a campaign to use football to persuade men to speak about their emotions, clips of Meghan’s friends giving interviews to a US documentary about how they felt she had been treated unfairly in Britain started to appear. On another day William and Kate launched Britain’s first round-the-clock national text messaging helpline for people in emotional crisis but, even though it was a project supported by Harry and Meghan, the Duke of Sussex was in The Hague, taking publicity away from the launch.
Well, this is why the Sussexes wanted their own household and their own communications office, honestly. So they wouldn’t have to coordinate endlessly with the Cambridges, only to have Will and Kate constantly pull rank and sideline them. Basically, I hope the Sussexes continue to do what they do and I hope that their actions continue to spur on the Cambridges to do more, to be more engaged, to attempt to one-up the Sussexes. The competition is good. William and Kate have been so much more engaged and truly KEEN since Meghan came on the scene, and that’s good for the royals and for those of us watching the royals. But the real drama is as the Daily Express says – what happens when the Cambridges and Sussexes are so busy trying to one-up each other and Prince Charles is utterly ignored? Hm.
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Happy one year anniversary to Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! Today marks the one year anniversary of the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their Royal Highnesses exchanged vows at St George’s Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19th, 2018. The selected song “This Little Light of Mine” was chosen by the couple for their recessional. We hope you enjoy reliving this moment, and seeing some behind the scenes photos from this special day. A message from The Duke & Duchess: Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world. Each of you made this day even more meaningful. Photo credit: Chris Allerton/Joe Short (B&W); PA (color) ©️SussexRoyal (B&W images and video)
Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Sussex Royal IG, WENN and Avalon Red.