So much for “stiff upper lip” royals and “never complain, never explain.” Apparently, it’s only biracial duchesses who must never, ever respond to false accusations or untrue reporting. Apparently, it’s only the height of scandal when Prince Harry and Meghan threaten media outlets with lawsuits (and follow through). When the white duchess does it, it’s merely a bold, righteous, feminist move, right? So it is with the Duchess of Cambridge and Tatler’s “Catherine the Great” cover story. It was supposed to be the centerpiece of a 2020 Embiggening Kate campaign. Instead, the piece was full of petty quotes and spilled tea, most of which made Kate look like a lazy, out-of-touch narcissist who thinks she’s working “as hard as a top CEO.” We still don’t know the extent to which Kate and the palace communications team worked with Tatler and/or authorized people around Kate to speak to Tatler. But now Kate and William are threatening to “take legal action” against Tatler:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to be taking legal action against society bible Tatler magazine after it published a ‘string of lies’ about Kate. In a highly unusual move, the couple have sent legal letters to the magazine demanding its profile of the Duchess – headlined ‘Catherine the Great’ – be removed from the internet.
It comes after Kensington Palace issued a fiercely critical statement on last week’s article which it said contained a ‘swathe of inaccuracies and false representations’. The palace is particularly ‘furious’ about claims that Kate feels ‘exhausted and trapped’ by the increased workload following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back. The Duke and Duchess are also said to be upset about criticism of her family, her children and her weight.
A Royal source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘That is such an extremely cruel and wounding barb. It’s disgusting. It’s sexist and woman-shaming at its very worst. The piece is full of lies. There is no truth to their claim that the Duchess feels overwhelmed with work, nor that the Duke is obsessed with Carole Middleton. It’s preposterous and downright wrong. The whole thing is class snobbery at its very worst. The stuff about [Kate's sister] Pippa is horrible. Tatler may think it’s immune from action as it’s read by the Royals and on every coffee table in every smart home, but it makes no difference. It’s ironic that the Royals’ favourite magazine is being trashed by them. The Duchess is a naturally shy woman who is doing her best.’
Tatler’s article also claims that Kate, 38, had a spat with Meghan Markle ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. It says the clash took place at a rehearsal two days before the big day and centred on whether Princess Charlotte and the other young bridesmaids should wear tights. Instead, The Mail on Sunday understands that the fall-out was over Meghan’s reaction to Kate’s request that the hem of Charlotte’s dress be lengthened. The resulting row left Kate in tears.
The Mail on Sunday understands that Tatler approached Kensington Palace in February to ask if Kate would pose for their cover or provide an exclusive cover photo. That request was politely declined and it is understood that Kensington Palace was not offered the chance to comment on the specific content of Ms Pasternak’s article. Tatler did not respond to a Mail on Sunday request for comment and Kensington Palace declined to comment.
As soon as the full Tatler piece began to pick up steam last Wednesday, I kept my eye on Tatler’s site – the link to the cover story was moved off Tatler’s front page, and they also removed it from their “Royals” section and “Duchess of Cambridge” section. But the link was still active, and people could still read the full piece on the site, it was just difficult to access just by navigating the Tatler site. The fact that Tatler was making it more difficult to find the article was a signal to me that there was a lot of screaming and foot-stomping happening at Kensington Palace and a lot of calls and threats were being made, even as early as Wednesday.
I also think it’s notable that William & Kate aren’t exactly promising to sue. Look at the wording – “understood to be taking legal action” and “the couple have sent legal letters to the magazine demanding its profile of the Duchess… be removed from the internet.” Right now they’re just hoping the threat of legal action will be enough to censor an unflattering article, an article which they likely approved of in the early stages. I’m reminded of how William made similar threats last year around American and British reporting of the Rose Hanbury-affair story, claiming that his human rights were being violated (lol). The palace even “applied pressure” to Giles Coren for TWEETING about the affair.
It’s also worth noting that with every denial or threat from the palace, there’s a recitation of the “Meghan made Kate cry” story and some kind of added clarification of that. Which just goes along with my theory that Kate originally wanted the Tatler story to focus on throwing Meghan under the bus yet again. The point of it was to reiterate that Meghan Made Kate Cry (For Reasons). It’s also worth noting that Kate couldn’t care less about correcting anything regarding Meghan or how the Cambridges treated the Sussexes. All Kate is mad about is how Tatler made fun of HER. Also: “The Duchess is a naturally shy woman who is doing her best.” Can we all come together and stop infantalizing Kate?
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.